The Toronto Star has announced it’s shutting down its tablet app Star Touch on Aug. 1, just two years after its launch. The newspaper will lay off 30 staff, with a memo from Torstar chief executive John Boynton saying Star Touch would be replaced by a “new universal app that operates on both smartphones and tablets.” Boynton’s memo goes on to say that readers and advertising volumes were significantly lower than forecast. Torstar had aimed for 180,000 Star touch users by the end of 2016 and spent about $23 million on the app.
Facebook has marked a milestone, reporting two billion monthly users. The company says each day, more than 175 million people share a love reaction, and on average, over 800 million people like something on Facebook. More than 1 billion people use Groups every month. Facebook Messenger and Facebook-owned WhatsApp boast about 1.2 billion monthly users. By comparison, Instagram has 700 million monthly active users, while Twitter has about 328 million.
The Canadian Football League (CFL) has announced a new live streaming deal with Twitter Canada. #CFLTHISWEEK, a 30-minute live show hosted by Brodie Lawson and three-time Grey Cup champion Davis Sanchez with guest appearances by Max Rosenberg, will air at 3 p.m. ET every Wednesday @CFL on Twitter. The live streaming deal is a first for a Canadian sports property.
Music Canada is lauding a Supreme Court of Canada decision in Equustek Solutions v. Google, upholding a ruling that Google can no longer provide global search results that point to a website that unlawfully sells the intellectual property of another company. Music Canada joined several other creative industry associations as interveners in the case. The Supreme Court rejected Google’s approach of only delisting individual pages within sites, which a lower court described as promoting a “Whack-A-Mole” approach to online infringement. It also rejected Google’s claim that, as a non-party, it was “immune” to court orders. The order applies across all of Google’s search engines worldwide.
Omny Studio has introduced a new monetization option to deliver video pre-roll ads across podcast listens on the web. Customers of the on-demand audio publishing platform will be able to connect their podcast with the premium video advertising marketplace to open up an additional revenue stream for their content. Video ads can be enabled as skippable or non-skippable pre-roll for embedded podcast players, on both desktop and mobile, with targeting available by user location/IP, station network, show and episode metadata.
Food Network Canada celebrity pastry chef Anna Olson has partnered with digital media and entertainment company Kin Community Canada, which will manage and leverage marketing for Olson’s Oh Yum YouTube channel. Oh Yum has over 178,000 subscribers and 11 million video views. The fourth season of Bake with Anna Olson hits Food Network Canada this fall.