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Recode Daily: Netflix confirms it won’t be partnering with Apple on its new video plans

Plus: Facebook can’t find enough local news, a Warner Bros. Studio CEO resigned over a sex scandal, and Myspace may have deleted your garage band tracks from 2005.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.
Ore Huiying/Getty Images for Netflix
Shirin Ghaffary is a senior Vox correspondent covering the social media industry. Previously, Ghaffary worked at BuzzFeed News, the San Francisco Chronicle, and TechCrunch.

Netflix won’t be a part of Apple’s new streaming service. At a press event Monday, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings confirmed that the company won’t be selling subscriptions to its video service through Apple, ahead of the iPhone maker’s big launch. As Peter Kafka writes, that’s “100 percent unsurprising, since Netflix has been steadily disengaging with Apple over the last few years,” but it does raise questions about how Netflix will handle the competition from an increasing number of players in online media streaming. Hastings shrugged off the potential threat with “variations of riffs he has used in the past: Competition is great for Netflix, consumers, and content makers.” When asked about regulation in the tech industry, Hastings said he doesn’t view Netflix as a tech company, but instead “mostly a content company powered by tech.” [Peter Kafka / Recode]

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Facebook wants to promote local news, but there isn’t enough of it. A year ago, the company launched a special section of its app to promote local stories, called Today In. But in a blog post today, Facebook acknowledged the fundamental difficulty in this project: the barren landscape of local news. One in three Facebook users in the US lives in what the company calls a “news desert” — a place where there aren’t enough articles published about a specific locality on a regular basis. That’s in large part due to the fact that local newspapers’ advertising revenue has plummeted, as tech giants like Google and Facebook dominate the market share of advertising dollars spent. In January, Facebook announced it’s donating $300 million toward journalism projects. That might help local journalism — though not enough to undo the tidal shifts the industry has weathered. [Rani Molla and Kurt Wagner / Recode]

Myspace accidentally deleted 12 years worth of photos, music, and videos — and the company has no backup. The social media company lost over 50 million songs from 14 million artists as a result of a botched “server migration project” that also deleted some photos and videos uploaded between 2003 and 2015. Since Facebook’s rise in the late 2000s, Myspace has languished, which is why it makes sense that it took a while for people to even notice the extent of the loss. Many inactive Myspace users probably don’t care, but others were understandably upset that their media had been lost. It’s a sign that social media platforms can’t be trusted to keep user content forever, which is why groups like the Internet Archive work to keep records of the World Wide Web. [Kaitlyn Tiffany / Vox]

The CEO of Warner Bros. Studio, Kevin Tsujihara, is leaving the company after a sex scandal. Tsujihara was reportedly involved in an affair with an actress who he had been offering to help find roles at the studio, detailed in a bombshell piece in the Hollywood Reporter. “Kevin acknowledges that his mistakes are inconsistent with the Company’s leadership expectations and could impact the Company’s ability to execute going forward,” wrote AT&T executive John Stankey about Tsujihara’s departure in a press release. As Peter Kafka writes, Tsujihara isn’t the only top exec to leave Warner Bros. in the wake of its $85 billion acquisition by AT&T. While the exits were for different reasons, “less than a year after AT&T’s deal to buy the entertainment giant, all of the men who ran the company have left or are leaving.” [Peter Kafka / Recode]

Russia is making it illegal for people to post content the government finds insulting or to be false. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed legislation on Monday allowing Russian authorities to censor, fine, and even jail people for writing content found to be insulting to the government. Those who show “blatant disrespect” for either state authorities, the public, the Russian flag, or the constitution can be fined up to around $1,000. Repeat offenders can serve jail time of up to 15 days. As Reuters’ Tom Balmforth writes, “Critics have warned that the legislation could create a mechanism for state censorship, but lawmakers say the new measures are needed to combat false news reports and abusive online comments.” [Tom Balmforth / Reuters]

Top Stories from Recode

Instagram will now let you buy products directly inside the app. No more clicking out to a retailer’s website. [Kurt Wagner]

CNN’s Brian Stelter says it’s “vital” for regular people to hold newsrooms accountable. On the latest Recode Media, Stelter says that if viewers think someone is being covered unfairly in the 2020 campaign, they should write an email. [Peter Kafka]

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