New Apple services, sonic boom, and digital media merger talk

Apple.JPGTim Cook with Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg.Reuters

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Apple revealed a new video service, news subscription package, an exclusive games platform, and a credit card on Monday, spawning a lot of questions and hot takes. ICYMI, here's everything Apple announced. Apple didn't say how much the video or gaming services would cost, but gave a lot more detail about the news service, Apple News Plus. It's unclear how much the service will benefit the 300-plus publications in the service. The Wall Street Journal will be an interesting test case of whether a high-priced subscription publication can protect its valuable direct subscription base while broadening its appeal to a general news audience.

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Here are other good stories we've been reporting. (To read most of the articles here, subscribe to BI Prime and use promo code AD2PRIME2018 for a free month.)

'We're just getting started': A top Accenture Interactive exec reveals the firm's strategy to crush advertising agencies
Accenture Interactive has been sharpening its assault on ad agencies and plans to keep creating full-service capabilities and build brands beyond advertising, said the company's managing director, Anatoly Roytman. He also dismissed agency critics who say consulting firms lack talent, saying "everybody wants to work with us."

Samsung has fired a bunch of marketing staff following an internal audit over gifting
Samsung Electronics America, one of the world's biggest marketers, has fired a bunch of its US marketing staffers following an audit over gifting practices, according to two people familiar with the situation. The company's chief marketing officer and its head of media and planning have also recently left, surprising people who have worked with them.

Digital media companies Group Nine Media and Refinery29 are said to be in talks to merge
The rationale for such a merger could be that Group Nine and Refinery29 are in similar businesses of similar sizes. Group Nine CEO Ben Lerer is on the team of Lerer Hippeau, which is an investor in Refinery. Both companies are looking to diversify away from advertising, which has been harder to come by as most of the digital ad dollars are going to Google and Facebook. But Refinery isn't profitable yet. Group Nine is presumed by industry watchers to be unprofitable, though the company won't say.

Ad-tech companies are moving full speed ahead to chase OTT ad dollars. Here are the 13 companies poised to win the most.
Business Insider polled a handful of ad buyers and compiled a list of 13 ad-tech companies that are at the forefront of shaping the future of OTT advertising, including Data Plus Math, Freewheel, and Hulu.

Big brands including Mastercard, Visa, and Pandora are trying to conquer sonic branding, the latest frontier in digital advertising
Brands are increasingly using sound to reinforce their brand identities and positioning, just as they would use certain colors, designs, or words. The rise of smartphones, voice technology, and other digital devices and voice assistants have made marketers realize they need to be not only seen, but heard. One challenge is to make sure they do so without being interruptive.

Feel free to send tips or thoughts to me at lmoses@businessinsider.com.

Here are other good stories from tech, media, and entertainment:

MoviePass walks back its claim to be 'profitable' and declines to say which investors 'did well' during its 99.99% stock drop

Amazon is finally letting brands track traffic from Facebook in its latest effort to cozy up to big marketers

'It's a complex ecosystem': Ad-tech firms promise OTT advertisers granular measurement, but marketers say there are holes in their pitches

This killer fact shows Apple has a ton of work to do if it's going to seriously challenge Netflix

These are the 5 big trends that will shape the future of digital advertising, according to Adobe
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