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Will Netflix and Spotify Be Used to Alert Users to High-Risk Emergencies?

One News Page Staff Monday, 23 July 2018
Will Netflix and Spotify Be Used to Alert Users to High-Risk Emergencies?by 👨‍💻 Simon Baxendale

The reach of streaming services, both in terms of video and audio alike, is fairly broad – to a global extent – and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Netflix and Spotify are inarguably the respective leaders in these fields, with the former having recently surged ahead of Disney in terms of stock market value temporarily, and with the latter holding firm against the likes of Apple Music, Deezer and Pandora. With more and more homes using such services as standard, it perhaps makes sense that the platforms be used to communicate something more than mere entertainment alone – and according to recent news, it appears that discussions are ongoing as to whether or not the services could and should be used as modern forms of the early warning alarms of old.

It’s being reported that the US Senate has introduced a new legislatory bill which will aim to streamline and investigate current emergency warning systems and which will, reportedly, look into the effectiveness of warning residents of potential emergencies and threats through their streaming services. Senators are reportedly looking into ways in which a ‘system to offer emergency alerts to audio and video online streaming services’ could be leveraged in future – and while both Spotify and Netflix were mentioned by name during discussions, it remains to be seen whether or not these platforms will be the sole beneficiaries of such a system.

Senators Want To Put Emergency Alerts Into Netflix, Spotify
Senators Want To Put Emergency Alerts Into Netflix, Spotify

The new bill comes as a misunderstanding led to Hawaiian cellphones receiving a state-wide SMS message which advised that a ballistic missile threat was incoming earlier in 2018 – and it’s thought that the new legislation will tackle the effectiveness of current systems in order to prevent such accidents or mistakes from occurring in future. Not only was the SMS something which the government obviously wants to avoid in future, it also highlighted how many people were actually receiving such emergency announcements. “Some people never got the message on their phones, while others missed it on their TVs and radios (…) Even though it was a false alarm, the missile alert exposed real flaws in the way people receive emergency alerts,” Senator Bill Schatz for Hawaii stated during the READI bill’s announcement. READI stands for Reliable Emergency Alert Distribution Improvement.

Will we be getting future emergency alerts and warnings while binging boxsets? Let’s wait and see – stay tuned!


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