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2022-01-26 00:00:54| Engadget

After its president TM Roh teased "the most noteworthy S series device we've ever created", Samsung is announcing today when we can learn more. The next Galaxy Unpacked event, which is the company's first this year, will happen virtually on Wednesday, February 9th at 10am ET (7am PT). You'll be able to watch the event on Samsung's website, though Engadget will also have our own livestream with a pre- and post-show Q&A to discuss the news. Samsung is expected to unveil the next S-series flagship then, and if it doesn't drastically change the naming standard it's been using for the last few years, we should be seeing the Galaxy S22. Based on the rumor mill, there might not be many huge upgrades in the next-gen product. The most significant improvement could be an onboard slot for the S Pen and a blockier design, which would spell the death of the Note line. Other reports suggest the new Ultra variant might start out with less RAM than last year's model, offering 8GB at the base level compared to the S21 Ultra's 12GB. There could also be a 50-megapixel camera on the regular S22s, up from the S21's 12-megapixel sensors. We won't know the full details until Samsung officially confirms them come February 9th. You can tune in to the company's stream directly, but if you want to chat and react live with us before and after the show, come join us on the Engadget YouTube channel instead. It should be an illuminating time. 

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2022-01-25 23:20:06| Engadget

Being part of TikToks creator fund is apparently a lot less lucrative than it may seem, even for some of the apps biggest stars. Over the last few days, some high-profile TikTokkers have taken the unusual step of publicizing how much or in this case, how little they are making from the fund.TikTok is still relatively early in its monetization features for creators. Instead of a revenue sharing arrangement like YouTubes Partner Program, TikTok pays its top stars out of a creator fund. Launched in 2020, the fund started out with $200 million, and TikTok said last year it was increasing the fund to $1 billion over the next three years in the U.S. But the company hasnt provided details on how much it has distributed or how much participants can expect to earn.But according to one prominent streamer, most creators are earning very little. Last week, Hank Green, who has more than 6 million followers on TikTok, shared a YouTube video titled So TikTok sucks. In the 24-minute video, he details his experience in TikToks creator fund, and estimates that he currently makes about 2.5 cents per 1,000 views on the platform a fraction of what he earns on YouTube and about half of what he had previously earned on TikTok.The problem, as he explains it, is that TikTok offers a steadily growing number of creators a portion of a static pool of money, that isnt tied to TikToks revenue or its skyrocketing popularity. The result is that each creator makes less and less, even as TikTok becomes more successful. Because of the way that TikTok shares a lot of audience among a lot of creators, that ends up being less than a dollar a day for most of the people in the creator fund, he said.Green, whose participation in the creator fund was previously touted by TikTok in a corporate blog post, said that creator funds arent bad on their own, but that TikToks current arrangement is preventing creators from being able to adequately support themselves.His comments prompted others to share their frustrations with TikTok. Safwan AhmedMia, who goes by SuperSaf on TikTok, shared Greens video along with a screenshot of his TikTok earnings: 112.04 (about $151). This is how much I've made from the TikTok Creator Fund since April 2021 with over 25 million views in that time, he wrote.Then, Jimmy Donaldson, the streamer known as Mr. Beast, shared his TikTok earnings. According to the screenshot, hes earned just under $15,000 from the app, with daily earnings between $18 and $32 in January. As The Informationpoints out, that works out to less than $10,000 a year from TikTok, despite his estimate that hes gotten over a billion views on the app. That number is particularly low considering Donaldson is YouTubes top earner, and made $54 million on the platform in 2021.Heres mine, Im 2 lazy to count the views on my tik toks but its prob over a billion views pic.twitter.com/D8cSrBdXsZ MrBeast (@MrBeast) January 21, 2022It's not clear how much Green, AhmedMia and Donaldson's experience reflects that of other creators in the the fund. But TikTok hasnt offered an alternative explanation about why its creators are making so little. The Creator Fund is one of many ways that creators can make money on TikTok, a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement, pointing to the companys creator marketplace, which helps match creators with potential sponsors. We continue to listen to and seek feedback from our creator community and evolve our features to improve the experience for those in the program.It's true that the creator fund isn't the only way TikTok stars make money from the app. The app has a tipping feature, though it's not available to everyone yet. Creators also regularly partner with brands and those deals can be worth millions for the app's most influential users. But inking a deal with a major brand requires time and effort, and that option may not be available to lesser known creators. And since TikTok doesn't have a revenue sharing feature, the fund is right now the only way creators can be paid directly by the company. Elsewhere, the app is testing other monetization features for creators. It's experimenting with subscription features, which would allow creators to effectively move some of their content behind a paywall. The features appears to be in an early stage, and the company hasnt said when, or even if, the feature may be available more widely.Are you in TikTok's creator fund or have a tip to share about how it distributes funds? Email me at karissa.bell [at] engadget.com.

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2022-01-25 23:00:35| Engadget

Microsoft's overall business is still going strong, even though it's not seeing the shockingly huge profit growth it saw last year. In its Q2 earnings report today, company reported revenue of $51.7 billion (up 20 percent from last year) with profits of $18.8 billion (up 21 percent). As usual, Microsoft has its unstoppable cloud business to thank, as well as a decent showing from its PC group, Office and other business products. Its Intelligent Cloud business grew by 26 percent, reaching $18.3 billion, while its Productivity and Business group saw revenues increase by 19 percent to reach $15.9 billion.There weren't any true major weak links this quarter even Surface revenue, which Microsoft previously expected to dip a bit, grew by 8 percent thanks to strong Surface Laptop sales. Windows OEM revenues also increased by 25 percent, not a huge surprise since the overall PC industry is still going strong. Where the PC business goes, Microsoft's revenues will follow, after all. When it comes to Office, the company says its consumer revenue increased by 15 percent, and that it has reached 56.4 million Microsoft 365 subscribers.While Microsoft's earnings reports have basically looked the same over the last few years Cloud good! Revenues grow! the company's numbers will look a bit different once it finalizes its $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard in 2023. At the very least, we'll get to see how much the new Microsoft Gaming division actually helps (or hurts) Microsoft's overall business.

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2022-01-25 22:40:15| Engadget

President Joe Biden has offered some more backing to right to repair rules, following an executive order he signed last summer. He acknowledged that many companies have made it difficult for consumers to fix their own devices. Biden also nodded to Apple and Microsoft for changing their right to repair policies ahead of the Federal Trade Commission taking more action on the matter.Among dozens of other issues the executive order covered, it encouraged "the FTC to issue rules against anticompetitive restrictions on using independent repair shops or doing DIY repairs of your own devices and equipment." The agency said later that month it would tackle unlawful right to repair restrictions by enforcing existing laws and doing more to help consumers and small repair shops fix products."Denying the right to repair raises prices for consumers, means independent repair shops cant compete for your business," Biden said. "Too many areas, if you own a product, from a smartphone to a tractor, you dont have the freedom to choose how or where to repair that item you purchased."The president noted that, in many cases, consumers need to go to a dealer or the manufacturer and pay their asking price for repairs. He added that he was pleased to hear the FTC unanimously voted to "ramp up enforcement against illegal repair restrictions."Toward the end of last year, both Apple and Microsoft announced programs that would help consumers repair their own iPhones, iPads and Surfaces. "What happened was a lot of these companies said, 'Youre right. Were going to voluntarily do it. You dont have to order us to do it,'" Biden said. "For example, Apple and Microsoft are changing their policies so folks will be able to repair their phones and laptops themselves although Im not sure I know how to do that."The president added that moves such as ones made by Apple and Microsoft, as well as possible regulations at state and federal level, will "make it easier for millions of Americans to repair their electronics instead of paying an arm and a leg to repair or just throwing the device out."

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2022-01-25 22:06:12| Engadget

Don't expect the worldwide chip shortage to end any time soon. Bloomberg and The Washington Post note the US Commerce Department has published a semiconductor supply chain report estimating that the global shortage will last until at least the second half of 2022. "We aren't even close to being out of the woods" with supply problems, Department Secretary Gina Raimondo said.Many companies are particularly sensitive to problems, too. The median chip inventory for a client company plunged from 40 days in 2019 to under five days in 2021. Even a relatively short (weeks-long) disruption overseas could shut down an American factory, the Department said.The shortage is particularly damaging to broadband companies, car makers and medical device producers, according to the report. Despite early claims, there wasn't evidence hoarding contributed to the shortfalls. Demand was higher, too, with median interest about 17 percent higher in 2021 than it was two years earlier. The Commerce Department's study was comprehensive, obtaining supply chain data from almost all major semiconductor firms and companies across a range of industries.Officials concluded the government couldn't directly end the shortage. Private companies were "best positioned" to overcome challenges by increasing production, optimizing their designs and limiting the impact on their supply chains. However, Raimondo used this as an opportunity to plug President Biden's proposed $52 billion subsidy through the US Innovation and Competition Act (USICA). The investment could help "rebuild American manufacturing" and boost domestic supply chains for "years ahead," she said.Factories resulting from USICA money wouldn't be ready for years, however, and the bill itself has been delayed. While it passed a crucial Senate vote, the House bill is only expected to surface by this week at the earliest. It could take longer to both clear the House and evolve into a final form Biden can sign into law. For now, the tech industry largely has to solve this dilemma on its own.

Category: Marketing and Advertising


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