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2024-06-13 01:52:55| Engadget

Spotify has once again drawn the ire of the music industry. The National Music Publishers' Association has called on the Federal Trade Commission to examine the streaming service's addition of audiobook content into all of its paid subscription plans. According to the group's FTC complaint, Spotify's recent actions are part of "a scheme to increase profits by deceiving consumers and cheating the music royalty system." This requires some backstory. In November 2023, Spotify announced that it would include 15 hours of audiobook content as part of all its Premium subscription plans. A few months later, the company unveiled a new audiobook-only subscription, offering the same number of listening hours for $10 a month. The publishers' organization claims that Spotify's recent price increases are based on offering that extra audiobook content, and that paying customers are automatically being charged for a service they didn't choose and can't opt out of without switching to the free, ad-supported listening experience. And the additional revenue from the higher Premium subscription costs may not go to the music composers. According to the FTC complaint, Spotify will pay about $150 million less in music royalties over the first year of these new bundled Premium plans. The NMPA letter goes so far as to call the new audiobook-only plan "a sham" that "exists solely to allow Spotify to claim that audiobook content is a significantly and independently valuable aspect of its 'bundled' Premium Plan, as the Audiobook Access Plan costs only $1 less than the Premium Plan with the exact same audiobook content and music." At this early stage, it's hard to say whether this issue will impact Spotify's planned overhaul of its royalty model. Both artists and publishers have routinely criticized the streaming ecosystem at large and Spotify in particular for underpaying the creatives behind the music.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/music-publishers-accuse-spotify-of-bait-and-switch-subscription-scheme-235255614.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2024-06-13 01:03:25| Engadget

We dont know if OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, is actually making any money so far. But thanks to a Wednesday report in The Information, what we do know is that the company doubled its annualized revenue a measure of the previous months revenue multiplied by 12, as the publication helpfully explained in the last six months. OpenAIs annualized revenue was $3.4 billion, CEO Sam Altman reportedly told staff. Thats up from $1.6 billion around the end of last year, and $1 billion a year ago. Most of this revenue came from a subscription version of ChatGPT, which offers higher messaging limits to people who pay at least $20 a month, as well as from developers who pay the company to use the companys large language models in their own apps and services. About $200 million on an annualized basis comes from Microsoft, which gives OpenAI a cut of sales of OpenAIs large language models to customers using Azure, Microsofts cloud computing platform aimed at businesses. Notably, an OpenAI spokesperson told The Information that the financials were "inaccurate" but did not explain which details it disputed. OpenAI did not immediately respond to Engadget's request for comment. Earlier this week, Apple announced a partnership with OpenAI. The company plans to hook ChatGPT right into its operating systems for iPhones, iPads, and Macs, letting Siri reach out to ChatGPT to answer questions. The financial terms of that deal, however, are still unknown.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/openais-revenue-is-reportedly-booming-230324957.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2024-06-13 00:23:44| Engadget

If youre looking for a birthday gift for the Pokémon fan who has everything (and we mean, every toy, card, item of apparel, game, Happy Meal collectable, etc.), the jewelry brand King Ice may have the solution. King Ice posted a photo on X and its website Wednesday teasing a new line of Pokémon jewelry pieces. The photo features the familiar face of Pikachu with a Poké Ball on his head decked out entirely in jewels. The X caption reads: Collection dropping 6/14/24. This is not the first time the jewelry and clothing brand have collaborated with a big video game franchise. King Ice also sells a line of bejeweled Xbox themed necklaces, rings and earrings. It's also made necklaces and other keepsakes featuring characters from games like PAC-MAN, Sonic the Hedgehog and Halo with a completely blinged out Master Chief full figure and helmet. King Ice has also made necklaces and rings for other pop culture icons such as Batman, Chucky and Tiffany from the Childs Play horror movie and TV show franchise, Looney Tunes characters based on the Space Jam movies and Ren and Stimpy. This also wont be the first time that Pokémon has been honored with its own jewelry line. Tiffany & Co. released a line of Pokémon jewelry pieces in November designed by Daniel Arsham featuring characters like Pikachu, Charmander, Squirtle, Jigglypuff, Cubone and Mew. The Tiffany necklaces came in 18K yellow gold with diamonds or sterling silver and even have their own Tiffany Blue Poké Balls, according to Womens Wear Daily.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/king-ice-teases-bejeweled-pokemon-bling-222344432.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2024-06-12 22:49:34| Engadget

Sony Pictures Entertainment announced today that it has acquired Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, a beloved independent theater business. Alamo Drafthouse won scores of loyal fans over the years for its well-enforced policy of no talking and no texting during showings, as well as its dine-in experience with food and beverage menus. At least for now, the Alamo experience for viewers may not feel different under the new management. Alamo Drafthouse will continue to operate its 35 cinemas and run its Fantastic Fest film festival. And current CEO Michael Kustermann will remain at the helm and report to the head of a new Sony Pictures Experiences division. It's the end of an era for the indie theater chain, which was founded in 1997 by Tim and Karrie League. But given how hard the COVID-19 pandemic crushed the movie-going experience, at least this isn't the end of the Alamo Drafthouse story. The business made a valiant effort to keep viewers' support with its Season Pass streaming service in 2020, but the Texas-based company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2021 and began approaching potential buyers in March of this year. There's no dollar figure attached to the announcement, but Sony's press release notes that Alamo Drafthouse is the seventh-largest theater chain in North America. Even with their struggles, the company attracts an annual audience of 10 million and posted a 30 percent increase in box office revenue last year. Maybe this sets the Alamo theaters up to host special Crunchyroll anime marathons in the near future.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/alamo-drafthouse-is-being-bought-by-sony-pictures-204934280.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2024-06-12 22:23:07| Engadget

Theres a whole new crop of games headed to your PlayStation console if youre a subscriber to one of Sonys various PlayStation Plus tiers. The additional games for the June update include 14 new titles featuring PS5-only games like the medieval RPG Crusader Kings III, the surreal action-adventure After Us, the industrial age strategy game Anna 1800 and Football Manager 2024. The collection also includes several PS4/PS5 crossover titles starting with the critically acclaimed, fan favorite Monster Hunter Rise from Capcom. Others include the motocross racing game Monster Energy Supercross - The Official Videogame 6 and the procedural police sim Police Simulator: Patrol Officers. A few titles originally released on the PS4 are also being added, including the first-person shooter Far Cry 4 and two Lego games including The Hobbit and Disney-Pixars The Incredibles. A few older titles are also being added to the Classics catalog for Premium subscribers: third-person shooter Ghosthunter, Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy and the wisecracking platformer Daxter. Junes collection of PlayStation Plus titles is the first to feature a game for the PlayStation VR 2 with the free release of the nature paddling simulator Kayak VR: Mirage. Sony started offering PS VR2 games on its PlayStation Plus earlier this month as part of its Days of Play celebration that included a healthy collection of virtual titles include Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord, Before Your Eyes, Walkabout Mini Golf, Synth Riders and both chapters of The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners. Youll need to be a Premium subscriber to try the VR games, though. The first batch of new PlayStation Plus games for June announced in late May including SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake, AEW Fight Forever, Streets of Rage 4 and EA Sports FC 24. These titles are available to anyone, regardless of which PlayStation Plus tier youre subscribed to. The update also offered a batch of PS2 classic titles for those on the Premium tier. Those include Tomb Raider Legend, Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus. Finally, PS Plus Extra and Premium members also got access to Dredge, Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2, Cricket 24, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - The Definition Edition and a game trial of WWE 2K24.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/playstation-plus-june-offerings-include-monster-hunter-rise-and-three-lego-games-202307151.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


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