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Stories

Streaming tomorrow: Much more than a simple screen

Stories - February 16, 2017

Thought streaming and reality were two separate worlds? Think again…!

Fed up of toeing the same line, big boys like Netflix are pushing out the boat, expanding the ways in which we use the service. Recently, Netflix unveiled plans to release a new range of products after a number of their hit TV series. Want to wear your House of Cards t-shirt, while you sip from your Orange Is The New Black mug? You got it 😉  

It’s not all about style, either. Streaming has taken over our personal lives, creating viewing habits that have a life of their own. While binge watching is on the rise, so is “streaming cheating” – an act that sees one half of a couple skip ahead in a series to find out what happens next. Worried you’re affected? Don’t worry – Netflix recently released a survey to uncover cheaters once and for all!

Netflix also intends to end streaming debates. New user profiles will gather the preferences of multiple viewers at once, creating a collective catalogue of recommended films. No longer will your viewing habits be a question of debate; soon enough, everyone will be happier thanks to a better integrated system. Here’s to life in full colour 🙂

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Prince is streaming his way back into our lives

Stories - February 15, 2017

Prince is officially back! Well, streamingly speaking… 😉

Notoriously protective of his intellectual property and suspicious of streaming, back in 2015 the pop star had famously pulled back his entire catalogue from all music streaming platforms. Over 20 albums and compilations of his were no longer to be found, including legendary albums like Purple Rain and Controversy.

However, since his death last year at the age of 57, Warner Bros has been teasing the revival of “the Emperor of Pop” (to quote Stevie Wonder). Well, the wait is over – it is now done – Bruno Mars’ 2017 Grammy tribute marked the official return of Prince “online”!

For the occasion, Warner Bros is also planning other exclusive releases: remastered and unheard editions of his old albums, compilations of concerts…

For those of you feeling nostalgic, and who cannot wait for the new content to come out, take a walk down memory lane and visit the Prince Online Museum – “a dedicated online memorial in the form of a ‘museum’ collating two decades worth of web activity on one site” 🙂 

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Festivals, the Super Bowl, Emma Watson: Live streaming on the rise

Stories - February 17, 2017

Although streaming is mostly known for its impressive libraries of content (Deezer, Orange OCS…), its “live” mode is now on the rise!

In a world where anybody, anywhere, can be reached in an instant, more and more businesses are placing their bets on live streaming. Companies such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube have already added “live” features to their platforms – a strategic choice to not lose their users.

Surprisingly, other companies (non social/media related) also want a piece of the pie!

The Sundance Festival, for example, plan on live streaming this year’s event – a first step into “live” for an independent film festival!

Snickers, on the other hand, went all in. Before its Super Bowl LI commercial – during which it aired the first-ever live commercial in Big Game history – Snickers gathered hype for its ad with a 36-hour Facebook Live broadcast. A bold move with Adam Drive which proves that live streaming has a bright future!

Keep your eyes wide open next time you’re in the street, you might bump into Emma Watson live streaming life advice for $2… 😉  

So I just “ran” into Emma Watson at Grand Central giving advice for $2 through an iPad booth… #welcometoNY #keepitweird #emmawatson

Une publication partagée par Laura Berazaluce (@lauberazaluce) le

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Streaming and radio stations: a virtuous circle

Stories - February 20, 2017

As you might have already noticed it, Disney is into remakes 🙂  “Alice Through the Looking Glass”, “Tinker Bell”, “Snow White and the Huntsman”,… and now “Beauty and the Beast”!

Although Disney’s 1991 animated romantic fantasy has already been adapted into a Broadway musical, fans are very eager to discover the live-action film featuring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. But who says “remake”, says more at stake – as if following Frozen’s “Let It Go” and Moana’s “How Far I’ll Go” hits didn’t make it difficult enough!   

Consequently, Disney also fine tuned the musical casting: Céline Dion, Josh Groban and an exclusive Ariana Grande-John Legend soundtrack ! But will the duo gentle cover top Disney’s previous pop hits, which could easily be played on radio stations?

Well, one thing is sure, on streaming platforms the song is already a success: more than 2.4 million plays in less than a week! Just like with album sales, streaming works hand in hand with radio stations. Radio hits become streaming hits and vice-versa. Thanks to its streaming success, Ariana Grande and John Legend’s cover will surely find its way onto our radio stations. It might be soft and gentle, but streaming platforms have spoken!

“Beauty and the Beast”: Soon to be heard in your local supermarket… 😉  

For those of you with a Deezer account, here is the link.

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AFCON 2017: Cameroon is back on its throne

Stories - February 08, 2017

Cameroon’s national football team has officially regained its throne – the Indomitable Lions have won the 2017 edition of the African Cup of Nations 😉  Congratulations to them!

However, their success was far from predictable… The team had not won the title for 15 years, and was missing 7 players (who refused to be a part of the competition). No need to say that the team’s motivation and dedication were crucial in repealing the curse!

Cameroon officially knew that it had an appointment with destiny when it discovered that it was going to face Egypt in final. They had what we call a “déjà vu”: 1986 and 2008, same opponent, final stage of the competition, both defeats…

Destiny kept Orange Cameroon and Cameroonian fans on their toes up until the 88th minute of the game – when Aboubakar broke the curse by scoring the winning goal. Final score: 2-1.

“I don’t have 23 players, I have 23 friends” – following the team’s victory, these strong words from team coach Hugo Broos sum up perfectly what football is all about: friendship! A beautiful image of what Africa’s 2019 Cup of Nations edition will look like in Cameroon, with Orange Cameroon – may it be as colorful and passionate as this year’s supporters 😉

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Legendary 44-year-old Egyptian goalkeeper retires from AFCON

Stories - February 09, 2017

Regarded as one of the best African goalkeepers of all time, Essam El-Hadary announced that the 2017 African Cup of Nations would be his last.

AFCON without him will no longer be the same. Over the years he had become a longtime member of the competition, and (more importantly) a lucky charm for his country – winning the trophy 4 times with Egypt (1998, 2006, 2008 and 2010), and reaching the second place in 2017 ! To give you an idea of his reputation, the famous Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba said he was “the best opponent” he had ever played against. Pretty impressive!  

So is he retiring? Well, Essam El-Hadary did say it would be his last AFCON, but not that it would be his last competition… (Hurray!) Before retiring, he wants to carry out a dream of his: to compete in a World Cup event. Considering that the goalkeeper is now 44 years old, it would be a great way for him to end an astonishing career. The next World Cup is taking place in 2018, in Russia, so we can expect to see him there.

Until then we can check if his nickname “African Buffon” is worthy, or if we ought to nickname the Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon the “European El-Hadary” 😉  

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Ibrahim Soré : Burkina Faso’s twelfth team member

Stories - February 10, 2017

Who said that there could only be 11 on a football team? Maybe on the field, but surely not in the crowd… 😉  

Burkina Faso, for instance, have a hidden lucky charm: Ibrahim Soré – a dedicated supporter. Ibrahim has made a reputation for himself by being present at every African Cup of Nations for the past few years. Every time he follows his team with his incredible outfit: hat, maracas trousers, glasses, rhythmic shoes, necklaces, bracelets,… and of course his country’s football jersey! Don’t worry if ever you go to an AFCON you can’t miss him, just look for an enthusiastic red-green-yellow dancer with a horse looking motorcycle!

Unique and passionate, Ibrahim supported the Stallions with his dance moves up to the semifinals – earning them the third place on the podium. But the Burkina Faso didn’t leave the competition with only a bronze medal… Ibrahim’s performance caught everyone’s eye, including Orange Gabon which awarded him the mascot prize for this year’s AFCON. We are all the more happy that in 2017 Burkina Faso is joining Orange as its 20th country in Africa and the Middle East! Welcome to them 🙂  

 

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AFCON’s eSport competition

Stories - February 13, 2017

Football, Africa, fans… These terms might remind you of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, but they also refer to another event… 😉

In parallel to this year’s AFCON, Orange organized the first e-sports cup in Africa: Orange Football Club E-sport. Far from the stadiums, gamers from seven African Orange countries, plus Gabon, engaged in a virtual AFCON on Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 (PS4).

The competition itself was not as publicized as the AFCON, but it sure was as thrilling and exhilarating! Fans cheered on their countries, supported their friends – it was just like being in the stands. To give the competition a professional feel to it, Orange partnered up with the Word Gaming Federation and organized “qualifying rounds”. The two best players of each country were sent over to defend their flag during the final stage of the virtual competition.

Just like the official AFCON final (Cameroon – Egypt), the first E-sport final took place in Libreville between Côte d’Ivoire and Morocco. No need to say that the Moroccan gamer was as delighted as the Cameroonian AFCON players when he won his trophy 😉

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African football academies are changing the game

Stories - February 14, 2017

Football is much more than sport: it’s friendship, it’s joy, it’s a way to thrive and inspire!

For associations like Right to Dream and Football for Good, based in Africa, football is a virtuous circle: “Anyone with talent, given the opportunity” can become a role model, an ambassador for Africa, and inspire others.

So, what do these associations do about it? Well – to quote their motto – they “nurture talent in Africa”. Compared to other “business-oriented” academies – that send off players abroad in the blink of an eye – Right to Dream makes sure that all players receive a good academic education before accepting any deals. May the newcomer be a goalkeeper, a defender or a striker, the academy gives them the knowledge and equipment (shoes, outfit, training kits, matches, professional coach, facilities…) to help them develop their football skills as well as become graduates!

Over the past few years, these academies have successfully signed many of their players in clubs abroad – lately two players joined Michigan and another signed at Villanova.

If ever you are looking to improve your football skills just check out their social media accounts – they often share tips and tricks! Who knows, you might find out how to train like the next big football star 😉

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1984 : Orwell’s novel is trending on Amazon

Stories - February 01, 2017

Originally published in 1949, George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984, is often quoted as having the most accurately predicted the 21st century.

The most famous prediction of all is “Big Brother” : the fact that governments keep constant tabs on the population (now thanks to mobile devices). Back in 2013, when Snowden leaked US surveillance documents, people were so worried and concerned to know what would happen next that 1984‘s sales rocketed!

Recently, the British publishing house Penguin Books has experienced the same unexpected rise, and has planned 75 000 copies (and not the usual 36 000) for the coming year. Why? 1984 is trending again on Amazon in the USA!

CNN put Donald Trump’s presidential election as the first reason for this. But, if it is so, his senior adviser Kellyanne Conway’s interview on NBC should come second. She talks about “alternative facts” instead of “falsehoods”. This slight change is a direct reference to Orwell’s idea of “Newspeak” – the fact that politics engage in euphemisms and political correctness because they are both persuasive and pervasively derided. Terms are sometimes so ridiculous that George Carlin even made a sketch out of it 😉

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