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YouTube targets Netflix, and Zynga’s cofounder is back — 5 things to know today

April 9, 2015, 12:09 PM UTC

Hello friends and Fortune readers.

The technology industry has generated a ton of headlines in the middle of this week, with the announcement that Zynga cofounder Mark Pincus has rejoined the beleaguered online social gaming company an especially notable development. He joins the company as CEO — news that sent Zynga’s shares lower.

In news abroad, Iran said it would only sign a final nuclear accord with six world powers if all of the sanctions imposed over the nation’s atomic work were lifted on the same day. Those sanctions have drastically curtailed Iranian exports of oil.

Here’s what else you need to know to start your day.

1. Zynga’s Mark Pincus is back.

Mark Pincus is returning to take control of Zynga (ZNGA) from the executive who replaced him in 2013, Don Mattrick. Mattrick is leaving the CEO post after failing to halt ongoing struggles at the social media focused gaming company. Zynga, founded in 2007, first generated buzz in the tech world after it gained millions of monthly users by launching social games like FarmVille, which were played on mobile devices and networks such as Facebook. But the business model requires companies like Zynga to churn out multiple hits, a challenge Zynga and other established social gaming companies have failed to meet. Zynga’s annual sales slipped to $690.4 million in 2014 from nearly $1.3 billion just two years earlier. The company hasn’t recorded an annual profit since 2010.

2. YouTube targets Netflix.

Google’s (GOOG) YouTube video website is planning to launch a subscription-based service that will let users watch videos without being interrupted by advertisements. There aren’t details yet about how much the service will cost, though Bloomberg has reported that the paid service would be available before the end of the year. The news is seen as a move by YouTube to better compete with streaming services like Netflix (NFLX) and Hulu. Streaming services like Netflix have been busy adding original content, which has helped bolstered their user subscription base. The ad-free, paid service could also help YouTube generate more revenue.
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3. Iran wants sanctions lifted on same day as nuclear deal.

Iran is insisting that all nuclear-related United Nations resolutions, as well as economic sanctions by the United States and European Union, be lifted “immediately” after signing a final accord. That is a contrast with the timeline that the U.S. and EU have focused on, which would phase out those sanctions gradually. Iran has been negotiating with the U.S. and five other nations that would restrict Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for removing economic penalties. U.S. and EU sanctions against Iran have reduced oil exports by 60% to around 1 million barrels a day, Reuters reported.

4. Samsung bullish on newest Galaxy smartphone.

South Korea-based Samsung has projected record shipments for the company’s new Galaxy S6 smartphones, though the company also warned it could struggle to meet demand for the curved-edged version due to some production constraints. The gadgets maker desperately needs a hit in the U.S. Samsung, which at the end of 2012 commanded nearly 30% of the smartphone market, has seen its share ebb to 19.9% at the end of last year according to industry tracker International Data Corporation. Some business was lost to Apple (AAPL), which finally unveiled iPhones with larger screens.

5. Home buyers hit by financial crisis are back.

Americans who lost their homes to foreclosure during the financial crisis are now returning to the market, as enough years have passed to allow those individuals to qualify for a mortgage again. More than five million American families lost their homes to foreclosures between 2007 through the end of last year, The Wall Street Journal reports, and foreclosures and most negative credit events stay on credit reports for up to seven years. Those that lost their homes at the beginning of the financial crisis have seen their credit scores improve, and thus their ability to borrow again has increased. WSJ reports the trend could have “widespread implications for the U.S. economy, including a boost in demand for mortgages in the coming years.”
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