TechSummit Rewind 123

This is the TechSummit Rewind, a daily recap of the top technology headlines.

CNN acquires social-video startup Beme


CNN has acquired Beme, the social video startup co-founded by YouTuber Casey Neistat, who will be leading the team as a new standalone media sub-brand in the CNN umbrella as executive producer. All 11 members of the company’s team will join the news network.

Black Friday online sales: $3B overall, over $1B on mobile

Walmart Black Friday 2013

Black Friday online shopping has never been stronger, and that’s been confirmed by a new report out from Adobe, who’s been tracking e-commerce transactions throughout the holiday. Black Friday is on track to break records by surpassing $3 billion for the first time. It’s also expected to be the first day in U.S. history to drive over a billion dollars from mobile sales.

According to the company’s final numbers, sales ended up exceeding estimates with $3.34 billion in sales, growing 21.6 percent year-over-year. Mobile sales accounted for $1.2 billion during the day, up 33 percent from last year.

Mobile drove 56 percent of retail site visits on Friday, according to Adobe, with 47 percent of that coming on smartphones. Overall, 40 percent of sales came from mobile, with 29 percent of them coming from smartphones.

However, while smartphone conversions were at 1.9 percent, tablet conversions were at 3.7 percent, and desktops were at four percent.

iOS users also spent more than Android users, with an average order value of $144 on iOS and $136 on Android.

According to Adobe, top-sellers included iPads, Samsung 4K TVs, the MacBook Air, LG TVs, and the Xbox.

Combined with Thanksgiving’s $1.93 billion in sales, over $5 billion was spent over the weekend.

However, the e-commerce industry is still reeling from the post-election downturn.

“The negative impact on online shopping we saw following the election has not been fully made up, but consumers are back online and shopping. As spending ramps up on Black Friday, we are back on track. We still expect Cyber Monday to surpass Black Friday and become the largest online sales day in history with $3.36 billion.”

–          Tamara Gaffney, Adobe Digital Insights principal analyst & director

Sling TV launches cloud DVR


Sling TV is launching a cloud DVR that’ll let customers record shows and movies to watch later at their own convenience.

According to Sling, the feature will launch in beta next month initially only for those that watch Sling TV on Roku devices.

Sling recordings won’t expire about 28 days, which is exactly how long recordings can be saved on PlayStation Vue.

In addition, the DVR will offer conflict-free recording, and the ability to pause, rewind, and fast-forward through recorded content.

During the beta period, customers will receive 100 hours of cloud DVR storage at no charge. Sling will focus on listening to customer feedback and adding features.

Once enabled, customers can record movies, TV shows, or entire series, and these recordings will be made easily accessible from the “My TV” screen in the app. When recording space fills up, Sling (like most other DVRs) will make room for new programs by deleting the oldest “watched” recording first.

Current Sling TV customers interested in the beta can sign up here.

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners: Amazon Echo sales reach 5M in two years


According to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, Amazon’s Echo has sold 5.1 million units since launching in the U.S. two years ago.

Approximately two million units were sold in the first nine months of 2016.

According to CIRP, awareness of the Echo has climbed to 69 percent in September, up from 20 percent in March 2015.

The firm polled 3,000 Amazon customers and found that the smaller and cheaper Echo Dot and Echo Tap accounted for at least 33 percent of sales in the past six months.


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