DC will launch a daily show on its streaming service to keep fans apprised of all things DC

This month, the DC Universe digital subscription service will open a beta for its streaming branch, and next week, it’ll launch with a show called DC Daily, a news program about all things DC. The DC Universe platform is designed to be an all-encompassing home for the media company’s vast content library. When it launches this fall, it will be available on a variety of platforms, from iOS to Android, as well as home devices such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV.

In addition to a slate of original live-action and animated shows, DC Universe will also house classic DC films and television shows, as well as remastered comics, designed to be read on a television screen or tablet. At San Diego Comic-Con, DC noted that it wants to bring all its fans together under one roof. DC will hold a preview of the program on August 29th at 7:30PM ET / 4:30PM PT, hosted by filmmaker Kevin Smith, who’ll introduce fans to the program and DC Universe.

A daily news program makes a lot of sense for the platform. DC Universe will host an encyclopedia, forums, and blog entries to help foster an online community of DC fans, and this seems like it will complement those sections. According to the company, DC Daily will feature a rundown of the day’s news; an in-depth feature on a dedicated topic, like a comic book or TV show; and panel discussions about the news.

There are a variety of similar shows out there, like The Star Wars Show or AMC’s The Talking Dead. But those are weekly programs, and while the DC universe is large, coming up with worthwhile news every day will be a significant challenge. If the show is compelling, it’ll be a good way to entice DC Universe subscribers to check in on the platform every day. DC also says some segments will be available on “additional online channels,” presumably to lure non-subscribers into subscribing, much like how networks like HBO chop up viral-ready segments of popular shows like John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight to post to YouTube.

Samsung is partnering with Spotify across its devices

Samsung has announced that it’s entering a long-term partnership with Spotify, including support for the just-announced Galaxy Home smart speaker.

The partnership is described as one that will span all of Samsung’s devices from phones to TVs to speakers. It seems like a deeper, more integrated version of the existing Spotify Connect feature that the company already offers for Samsung’s hardware.

Spotify is now part of the setup experience on Samsung devices, and Spotify and Samsung accounts will eventually be able to be linked for smart home integration with Samsung’s SmartThings app. Spotify will also become the default music option for Bixby — when users ask Bixby for a song, Bixby will look to Spotify, even if that person hasn’t actually used Spotify before.

Samsung and Spotify are also pointing out that this is merely the start of the partnership. More functionality is presumably planned for the future.

MoviePass will limit users to just three movies a month starting on August 15th

MoviePass has announced that users will soon be limited to seeing just three movies a month. It’s a major change from the current policy that allows users to see a movie once a day with their subscriptions, via The Wall Street Journal. It’s the latest change to the unlimited moviegoing service as the company desperately tries to stay afloat in the wake of problems like entirely running out of money at the end of July.

The new plan undoes some of the changes that MoviePass announced last week, including the $14.95 price increase and surge pricing. Instead, users on the new plan will be able to continue paying $9.95 per month, although they’ll be limited to just three movies (something that MoviePass previously offered for $7.95).

The new plan goes into effect on August 15th. Monthly subscribers will have the chance to subscribe to the new plan after that date when their current monthly subscription expires, while annual subscribers will be able to keep their existing plan until they’re up for renewal. However, it seems that only subscribers to the new, three-movie-a-month plan will be exempt from MoviePass’ surge pricing and ticket-verification policies.

Also sticking around are the added limitations to seeing newly released movies during the first two weeks of the theatrical run (unless the movie has a promotional deal with MoviePass). That started most prominently two weekends ago with the release of Mission: Impossible — Fallout. Users who are interested in seeing the latest films in theaters right at release will still likely be out of luck with MoviePass going forward.

Spotify is now streaming Archie motion comics

Spotify has partnered up with Nerdist to offer motion comics based on new Archie comics. All six issues/episodes feature music and voice acting alongside the original comic illustrations. If you watch Riverdale on CW or Netflix, you’ll be familiar with the characters and their backstories, but the storyline follows the comics and diverges from the television show.

The motion comics are available in Spotify’s mobile app. To watch, tap play and the episode will begin. You’ll be reading, hearing, and experiencing the comic all at once. The text of the comics still appear, but since the comic auto-plays rather quickly between panels, you don’t really get the option to read at your own pace. The graphics also appear a bit small compared to Webtoon or other more optimized comics readers.

The first six motion comics are already on Spotify now as Spotlight: Archie — The New Riverdale, using the same Spotlight branding as the visual podcasts that Spotify launched back in January. They’re each around ten minutes long, and they’re honestly pretty fun to watch. The autoplay and voice acting also solve the pain point of needing to use one hand to scroll through comics and keeping your eyes glued to the text ordinarily.

Archie Comics has been experimenting wildly with incorporating real artists into new issues, creating unusual spinoffs, and even licensing the rights out to create Riverdale, a much moodier take on the franchise.

A couple years ago, Spotify made a big (but ineffective) push to expand beyond music into video. In January, the company pivoted away from original video, announcing it was partnering with media companies to make visual podcasts and audio snippets, which would be more in line with what users expect from the service. Spotify also lets users stream podcasts on the service, which has been more successful than its video initiatives.

Facebook might start holding singing competitions among its users

Facebook appears to be working on a talent show feature that would have users record themselves singing and then submitting their videos for critique. In the app’s code, researcher Jane Manchun Wong spotted an interface that would let users choose a popular song and then record themselves singing it.

The feature might let users compete against each other in a talent show of sorts, and allow talent singers another platform to get discovered on. Wong notes on Twitter that the feature looks to be locked to Facebook Pages, so it might only be page administrators that can initiate a talent show.

The spotted code gives a hint as to what Facebook had in mind in March when it inked a music licensing deal with Warner, adding to its deals with the other two major labels, Universal and Sony. Facebook said at the time that it would look at more ways to integrate music onto the platform and this “Talent Show” feature looks to be one of them.

In June, Facebook launched a feature called Lip Sync Live, a direct competitor to the lip-syncing app Musical.ly. Lip Sync Live lets you start lip-syncing to a song while live-streaming, and gives viewers the option of seeing the artist and song name and following the artist. The feature incorporated music covered by the licensing deals, like “Havana” by Camila Cabello.

Of course, just because it showed up in code, it does not necessarily mean Facebook will fully roll this out, but it’s a good glimpse at what the company wants to experiment with.

Netflix is adding over 100 new user profile icons

Netflix has announced a “makeover” of its selection of user profile icons. The company is refreshing the current icons and adding dozens of new options including characters from its own original shows like Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black, Queer Eye, and more. “We’re thrilled to give you a way to show your fandom and make your connection with Netflix more unique,” the company wrote in a blog post. In total, users will now be able to choose from over 100 different icons.

Existing icons like the mustached man with sunglasses, the super hero, and the penguin are being updated with subtle changes like different colors and more detail. For example, the sunglasses now have a gold gradient and the penguin’s face is no longer tilted to the side. Really monumental stuff here, people. But at least they’re not gone. Netflix clearly doesn’t want to stir the same unrest that Google did when it ditched blob emoji.

The new icons will be rolling out and available on Netflix’s website, mobile apps, and TV apps “over the next few weeks.” People watching Netflix on the big screen also have a revamped, simplified home screen headed their way. Five years after they were introduced, the company is reminding users of the convenience of creating different profiles. Even if your Netflix subscription is just for you and not shared with anyone else, you can use different profiles to customize recommendations for different moods or genres. Can’t say I’ve ever thought of doing that, but it’s there if you want to.