Surfing docuseries ‘Make or Break’ season two debuts on February 17


“Make or Break” season two premieres February 17



Apple has revealed the trailer and premiere date for a new season of “Make or Break,” a documentary about surfers coming to Apple TV+.

The company will release four episodes of season two on Friday, February 17, followed by another four episodes on February 24. The eight-part season spotlights elite internationally-recognized World Surf League champions Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore, Filipe Toledo, and others.

Season two will offer a look into the aspirations, challenges, accomplishments and personal lives of the surfers, and includes the first-ever mid-season cut, international rivalries, and record-breaking upsets.

Box to Box Films (“F1: Drive to Survive,” “Break Point”) produces the docuseries for Apple in partnership with the World Surf League. Executive producers include Academy Award and BAFTA Award winner James Gay-Rees (“Exit Through the Gift Shop,” “Amy”), BAFTA Award nominee Paul Martin, Warren Smith, and World Surf League CEO Erik Logan.



Apple and Major League Soccer unveil broadcasters for MLS Season Pass





Apple names broadcasters for MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+


MLS Season Pass





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Apple and Major League Soccer have released a list of broadcasters for MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+, which starts on February 1.

MLS Season Pass will launch in the Apple TV app in over 100 countries and regions. Major League Soccer will announce the complete production plan for the service before the MLS 2023 season starts on February 25.

MLS Season Pass broadcasters

The team of broadcasters covers three categories and includes many of the industry’s qualified announcers, including some soccer legends. Apple made the announcement on Tuesday.

Match & studio analysts

  • Marcelo Balboa
  • Maurice Edu
  • Sacha Kljestan
  • Sebastien Le Toux
  • Lori Lindsey
  • Danielle Slaton
  • Kyndra de St. Aubin
  • Taylor Twellman
  • Diego Valeri
  • Bradley Wright-Phillips

Studio hosts

  • Tony Cherchi
  • Liam McHugh
  • Jillian Sakovits

Play-by-play

  • Max Bretos
  • Steve Cangialosi
  • Frederic Lord
  • Pablo Ramirez
  • Jake Zivin

MLS Season Pass

MLS Season Pass will feature every regular season match, Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, and Leagues Cup in one place, with consistent match times and no blackouts. Apple says this is a first in live sports broadcasting.

The Season Pass will include pregame shows and a whip-around show that will share live look-ins from every match and feature every goal, penalty kick, and big save. Analysis and discussion of all of the crucial moments, and a postgame wrap-up, will also be included.

MLS Season Pass will feature every regular season match, Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, and Leagues Cup

MLS Season Pass will feature every regular season match, Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, and Leagues Cup

Every match will have commentary in English and Spanish, while games involving Canadian teams will also offer commentary in French. Pregame shows and the postgame wrap-up will also be available in English and Spanish.

Fans in the US and Canada can also choose their home team’s radio for broadcast audio on the Apple TV app where it’s available. MLS Season Pass will have matches on Saturdays and select Wednesdays at 7:30 PM local time starting February 1.

Starting February 1, fans can subscribe to MLS Season Pass in the Apple TV app for $14.99 per month during the season or $99 per season, and Apple TV+ subscribers can sign up at a special price of $12.99 per month and $79 per season.

Each full-season ticket account will include a subscription to MLS Season Pass. And through Family Sharing, up to six family members can share the subscription using their own Apple ID and password.

Major League Soccer announced the 2023 season schedule for the Season Pass in December 2022. Highlights of the season will include “MLS is Back,” the debut of expansion team St. Louis City SC, the return of Rivalry Week, and more.



Major League Soccer announces 2023 season schedule





Apple TV+ unveils trailer for final season of ‘Servant’







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Premiering from January 13, 2023, the fourth season of M. Night Shyamalan’s “Servant” sees the conclusion of one of the first Apple TV+ dramas.

The first episode of this last season will debut on Friday, January 13, 2023, with the series finale on March 17, 2023. Described by Apple as an “epic and emotional conclusion,” the season is the “final chapter of the Turner story.”

“Leanne’s war with the Church of Lesser Saints heightens, threatening Spruce Street, the city of Philadelphia, and beyond,” says Apple in a statement. “Meanwhile, the shattered Turner family must not only confront the increasing threat of Leanne, but the certain reality that Dorothy is waking up.”

“As the Turner family brownstone continues to crumble,” it continued, “questions are finally answered: who is Leanne Grayson and who is the child in their home?”

“Servant” was one of the first shows to air on Apple TV+, premiering on November 28, 2019. It’s also been the subject of a protracted lawsuit, which accuses the show’s creators of plagiarism.



Make the season merry with mobile CX| CX StrategyRetail Customer Experience


For successful holiday sales, one expert recommends trying the CX trifecta: Messaging, AI and self-service.

Over the past few years, the way people shop for the holidays has changed — perhaps permanently.

When lockdowns forced physical stores to close almost overnight, a record number of shoppers depended on e-commerce to play the role of Santa. Instead of waiting in long lines at the store, customers discovered that they loved the convenience of contactless store pickups to get their gifts.

During the first three months of 2020, e-commerce penetration in the U.S. vaulted ahead by 10 years, according to research by McKinsey, and 59% of total retail sales in the U.S. in 2021 were digital-influenced, according to Forrester.

Taking note of these shifts in shopping habits, smart retailers shifted their priorities from in-store merchandising to omnichannel sales. Even though many shoppers clearly prefer shopping on their smartphones to hitting the mall, a surprising number of retailers have been slow to react to customers’ changing habits.

Recreating the high-touch experiences that customers expect in stores on digital platforms may be challenging, but it’s worth the effort. If customers can easily interact with stores on their favorite digital channels, the result is happy shoppers and retailers in the black.

And this holiday season, the stakes are high. Businesses globally stand to lose $4.7 trillion in consumer spending due to poor customer experiences — and it takes just one bad experience for half of customers to switch to a competitor..

Fortunately, there are proven strategies that can help reluctant retailers improve their customers’ digital experience for a successful holiday shopping season this year.

Get personal with messaging

With everyone on their smartphones, shoppers now want to connect with companies on the same digital channels that they chat with friends and family. Channels like Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp can offer customer service that’s fast, personalized, convenient and secure. And if you’re not ready to connect on social messaging apps, adding native mobile messaging to your existing mobile application is a great way to create a frictionless customer experience with engaged customers.

More customers are using these channels to interact with brands. The popularity of social messaging apps rose faster than any other channel in 2020, particularly among younger customers. And the number of these new social media shoppers will continue to grow. Zendesk’s research shows that nearly a third of customers messaged a company for the first time in 2020—and 74% say they’ll continue.

With its immediacy in familiar apps, most customer issues can be resolved quickly and easily. Social media channels can offer customers rich, interactive conversations with agents in real time. And customers love it — messaging has the highest CSAT of any support channel.

Agents also love messaging. They’re 50% more likely to prefer messaging to live chat when communicating with customers. With messaging, agents can simultaneously work on multiple tickets — and conversations don’t disappear when the chat window closes.

Streamline operations with AI

For many retailers, the holiday season may mean more complaints from the occasional Grinch. Implementing artificial intelligence can help your CX team work smarter — and maybe even help heal a heart that’s three sizes too small.

Artificial intelligence, or AI, can help retailers streamline operations by organizing conversations by intent and increasing visibility on where to prioritize. AI’s powerful machine learning and natural language processing can be leveraged to identify customer intent and show agents recommendations on what to do next.

Common customer questions like, “Where’s my order?” can be answered almost instantly with a conversational bot. These chatbots work 24/7, allowing agents to focus on more complicated inquiries.

Well-served by self-service

Bots can be a big help during the holidays — and a solid knowledge base can help your customers help themselves.

Knowledge bases provide on-demand support by answering common questions and providing articles on how to use products or services successfully. Agents can also use knowledge bases to quickly find solutions, increasing their efficiency and reducing wait times.

According to Zendesk’s research, about 60% of consumers say quick problem-solving is a mark of great customer service. And when your CX agents get an assist from messaging, AI, and self-service — this holiday season is sure to be a hit.

Jon Aniano is a Senior VP, Product at Zendesk focused on building and growing CRM products in enterprise software. He has 10+ years of hands-on experience leading product vision, product strategy, go to market strategy and operations within both small startups and large software companies. He has a proven track record leading product management teams and engineering teams to define product roadmap and execute product delivery.



Apple celebrates the holiday season





Apple and Major League Soccer announce MLS Season Pass launches February 1, 2023





App Store to gain new ad slots in time for holiday season




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Apple has begun contacting developers to encourage them to purchase ad space in the App Store, because of an imminent expansion of slots.

Developers were encouraged to purchase ads that would appear in the new placements on Tuesday, according to a message seen by CNBC

“With new opportunities coming to Apple Search Ads, you can promote your apps across the App Store to engage even more customers this holiday season,” the message reads.

Previously, there were only two ad spots available on the App Store — and they both appeared only when users searched for new apps.

While the message does not specify where the ads will be placed, the company had previously tested spots in its Today tab and another on app product pages in a category dubbed “You Might Also Like.”

The segment has seen some criticism from other players in the ad industry. Back in May 2021, some ad executives said that the placements were “too expensive.”

Companies like Meta (formerly known as Facebook) have accused Apple of pushing privacy features to boost its own ad business. Apple has denied those accusations.



7 shows like Manifest to watch before the fourth season drops on Netflix Nov. 4


manifest season 4

Today, August 28, is also known to many folks worldwide as “Manifest Day.” That’s because the cult hit TV show centers on the time-displaced passengers of Montego Air Flight 828 (8/28). Last year, it was looking bad for the show’s prospects, as NBC decided to cancel the series after just three seasons. However, the show began to surge in interest when earlier seasons dropped on Netflix. That caused Universal and Netflix to enter talks. On August 28, 2021, it was announced that Netflix would be the exclusive home for Manifest’s fourth and final season, which would be released as two parts of 10 episodes each.

Today, Netflix announced that the first part of Manifest season 4 would drop on November 4. If you are a fan of the show, we have several series you should check out that could make that wait a bit easier. Here are seven shows like Manifest to tie you over. If you haven’t watched the show, you can check out all three previous seasons on Netflix.

Netflix icon

Netflix

Netflix is still the leading premium streaming service, with over 200 million worldwide subscribers. It offers thousands of movies and TV shows to binge watch, including its always growing list of original films and series, including Stranger Things, The Witcher, Bridgerton, and many more.

Shows like Manifest

Lost

Still from Lost - shows like yellowjackets

If you think of “mysterious airplane disappearance” as a premise for a TV show, your thoughts have to go to Lost. The passengers on Oceanic Flight 815 crash landed on an uncharted Pacific Ocean island in the first episode. However, that was just the start of their problems. The show became a huge hit as the audience tried, sometimes in vain, to figure out all of the mysteries and puzzles that were presented in the series’s six seasons. You can watch the show, with or without ads, on Hulu, or you can watch it completely free (with ads) on Amazon Freevee.

Hulu Logo

Hulu

Hulu offers not only thousands of movies and TV shows to stream, it also has original shows and films like The Handmaid’s Tale. You can upgrade to Hulu Plus Live TV to get live channels, including your local stations.

The X-Files

Best tv revivals

If the journey of Montego Air Flight 828 took place in the X-Files universe, you can bet that FBI special agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully would be first on the scene to find out what happened. This duo investigated all sorts of supernatural and science fiction mysteries through most of the show’s 11 seasons (plus two feature films). You can check out all 11 seasons of the show on Hulu.

Fringe

fringe1

This show also has an FBI-based team that looks into events that center on “fringe science” events. Indeed, the first episode of the show was all about an airline flight where the passengers died of a mysterious biological threat. You can check out all six seasons of this show on HBO Max.

HBO Max logo

HBO Max

HBO Max is your home for Warner Bros-made movies and TV shows like The Lord of the Rings, the DC Comics superheroes, and more. It’s also the home for new and original movies and shows available nowhere else.

The Twilight Zone (1959)

twilight zone

There have been several different versions of this sci-fi anthology series, but the original, created by Rod Serling, is still the best. Many episodes showcase people who become displaced in time and space. However, our favorite episode remains Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, where a young William Shatner has to save his disbelieving passengers and crew that a gremlin is trying to bring down their aircraft. You can watch all five seasons of the show on Paramount Plus, along with the latest incarnation of The Twilight Zone that has its own version of this episode.

paramount plus from Impact

Paramount Plus

Paramount Plus includes thousands of movies and TV shows from CBS, Showtime, and Paramount Pictures. It also includes new and original movies like The Good Fight, Infinite, and more.

Stranger Things

The kids from Stranger Things outside the emergency room

Netflix’s biggest English language show is, of course, Stranger Things. Like other shows like Manifest, this series has tons of different mysteries and massive events to uncover and discover in its first four seasons. You can catch the show on Netflix, and get ready for its own fifth and final season as well.

Netflix icon

Netflix

Netflix is still the leading premium streaming service, with over 200 million worldwide subscribers. It offers thousands of movies and TV shows to binge watch, including its always growing list of original films and series, including Stranger Things, The Witcher, Bridgerton, and many more.

Travelers

travelers netflix

Here’s another great Netflix show that unfortunately didn’t find a big enough audience. Time travelers from the future enter the minds of people in the present that are supposed to die. Instead, they take over their bodies in order to try to save the world from a future apocalypse. You can check out all three seasons now.

The 4400

4400

John Callaham / Android Authority

This show has become a cult hit since its release in 2004. The title refers to the number of people who suddenly reappear all at once from a ball of light. They have all been missing for as long as 60 years. The mystery of who these people are, how and why they went missing, and why they have returned, is the center of this show. You can catch all four relatively short seasons now on Netflix. Be sure to watch it now before it leaves the service August 31. You can also buy the entire series on DVD via Amazon for a pretty low price.


That’s all the shows like Manifest we have listed so far. We will update this list with more shows in the coming months. In the meantime, Happy Manifest Day.