Pirate Studios of Bristol raises $20m for ‘self-service’ recording, live stream and sharing music

(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Thu, 15 Nov, 2018) London, Uk – –

Bristol-based startup creating 24-hour production studios, where artists can record, live stream and share their music, has raised $20m (£15m), benefitting from growing demand among musicians for more control of their content.

Pirate Studios has raised the cash from venture capital firm Talis Capital, taking its total valuation to around $46m.

It has previously received backing from Eric Archambeau, an investor in Spotify, as well as partners at Hong Kong-based fund Gaw Capital.

The company operates the studios in a similar way to how The Gym Group runs its gyms, providing those using its sites with codes they can then use to unlock and access the studios.

Since it was founded in 2015, Pirate has grown to around 350 studios across the UK, Germany and the US. It had initially only offered recording studios, but now also has facilities for DJs and producers, and those using the sites can automatically record their content and live-stream it to social media platforms.

“We wanted to create studios that were more affordable, so we did this by opening up our sites for a 24-hour booking period per day,” said David Borrie, co-founder and CEO of Pirate Studios.

“And what most people don’t see is that we’re half construction company, half music studio company, so all our designs are effectively flat pack which we can build very quickly and, because we’re in industrial buildings, our rates can be cheaper.”

The latest fundraise comes amid growing interest in the music production space, with companies such as Spotify launching artist development programmes and allowing artists to upload their own music to the platform. Apple Music, meanwhile, in October took on staff from smaller business Asaii, which uses algorithms to predict which artists will be popular.

Spotify and Apple Music have been battling for market share in music streaming space, although Spotify, which launched first, is still thought to be well ahead. In May, Apple’s subscription service had 50 million active users, while Spotify has around 87 million paying subscribers and 110 million unpaid users.

“Interestingly the Spotifys and the Apple Musics are doing a great job in pushing bands and artists to record their content and either they pay to record their own content or they have a label paying for them,” Mr Borrie said.

“But we’re really more at the grass roots, so we’re looking at the artists who are trying to make it. They are just starting their journey or trying to push on to that next level, where they can then go up, record or start producing material which can go on to the likes of Spotify or Apple.”

“As to whether Spotify or Apple would ever be interested in having their own studios, from our perspective we want to make it so that we’re not pushing artists down one particular channel. We want to give artists as much choice as possible and by entertaining discussions with any particular provider in terms of how their music is distributed it would be pigeonholing ourselves,” he said.

“I guess maybe at some point these companies might want to look at stuff that's more in the grass-routes area, but we're very happy with the support we give those artists at the moment and we'll try to continue that choice and freedom.”

By Hannah Boland

 

How Diamond Engagement Rings Became Part of Smart Advertising

 

Bloomberg

Most of us presume proposing with a diamond engagement ring is just part and parcel of getting married, but this tradition hasn't actually been around all that long. It was dreamt up by some smart advertising and has since changed the entire diamond market.

 

Disney reveals name of planned television streaming service to take on Netflix

(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Fri, 9th Nov, 2018) London, Uk – –

Walt Disney has revealed that its planned television streaming service is going to be called Disney+ and confirmed that it would be showing television shows spun off from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Speaking on an earnings call chief executive Bob Iger said that a TV series about the Marvel character Loki is in development for the service, featuring the actor Tom Hiddleston.

There will also be TV shows based on the Star Wars franchise and other Disney movies including Monsters Inc and High School Musical.

The planned family oriented streaming service is going to be a direct competitor to the streaming superpower Netflix, which said last month that it had 135m subscribers paying monthly fees.

Beginning in 2019, all of Disney's movies will be removed from Netflix as the two companies prepare to compete for subscribers.

To help it bulk up its web-based programming ahead of the looming faceoff Disney is buying 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets in a $71.3bn deal.

The acquisition, which include Marvel’s X-Men and Avengers franchises, was approved by European Union authorities earlier this month.

Ahead of the earnings call, Disney reported a record annual profit of $12.6bn.

Fourth quarter earnings beat analyst estimates, with the studio-entertainment division and theme park unit driving profit growth.

Films including “Ant-Man and the Wasp” and “Incredibles 2” helped to more than double movie earnings during the quarter.

The California-based company’s theme parks and resorts benefited from a busy summer season and saw profit rise by 11pc.

Disney said its ESPN cable network continued to shed subscribers as viewing moved to digital platforms.

To counter that ongoing shift, Disney this year released a streaming service called ESPN+ with live college sports, documentaries and other programming that does not run on television.

By Wil Crisp

 

 

Freed of London Make Historical Move With Brown Ballet Shoes For The First Time In The UK

Youtube/Joan Sellers

Brown ballet shoes are to be made for the first time in the UK in a move hailed as “historic” for diversity. Dancers from minority ethnic backgrounds can now get pointe shoes in both bronze and brown instead of traditional pink to match their skin tone. The footwear is made by Freed of London – Britain's oldest manufacturer of ballet kit. Cassa Pancho, founder and artistic director of Ballet Black, a professional company of black and minority ethnic dancers, hailed the news as marking an “historic moment” in British ballet.

 

 

Heinz first London baked beans cafe – this is what it’s like

 

Business Insider UK

You can now get hot pots of baked beans at Heinz's cafe in London's Selfridges.

The company launched it to mark the 50th anniversary of the “Beanz Meanz Heinz” slogan created in the 1960s.

Each pot costs £3 and you can get your beans with scrambled eggs, ham hock, or crispy bacon.

 

Starbucks opened their first Italian chain : How well did it go down with the established coffee culture?

 

CBS This Morning

Since its start in Seattle in the early 1970s, the Starbucks coffee chain has opened shops all over the country and the world, including European nations where coffee culture was already well established. One place they dared not tread was Italy, the coffee-centric land that helped founder Howard Schultz shape the chain's character in the first place.

Seth Doane reports.

 

 

15 unbelievable Things Rich People Did With Their Money

 

Alux

In this video we'll try to answer the following questions:
How do millionaires spend their money?
How to billionaires spend their money?
How much do rich people spend?
How much money does it take to live like a rockstar?
What is the rockstar life?
Who are some people that spend money like crazy?
When do you know you're rich?
How much money does it take to never go broke?
How much money does Floyd Mayweather have?

 

A Tour of The World’s Most Luxurious VIP Airport Terminal

Sam Chui

A tour of the world's most luxurious VIP Airport Terminal in Dubai South. Check out the amazing facility of JetEx and one of a kind duty free shopping such as BMW and Rolls Royce sports cars! This video gives you an insight how the rich and VIP travels.

 

Comcast reports over 75 percent of Sky shares secured

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Thur, 4th  Oct, 2018) London, UK —

LONDON (Reuters) – Comcast (CMCSA.O) said it had secured over 75 percent of Sky’s (SKYB.L) shares, bringing it closer to finalizing the $40 billion takeover of the British pay TV group.

U.S. cable company Comcast has previously said it hoped the acquisition would complete by the end of October.

Last month, Comcast emerged triumphant in the long-running battle for Sky after it beat Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA.O) in an auction.

Comcast said in a regulatory filing on Thursday that by Oct. 9 when its acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox’s 39 percent stake completes, it will hold or have received acceptances in respect of over 75 percent of Sky’s share capital.

The company said a further announcement will be made in due course.

Reporting by Sarah Young

 

 

Why Christian Louboutin’s Trademark Red-Bottomed Iconic Shoes Are So Expensive

 

Business Insider

Christian Louboutin's trademark red-bottomed shoes have become iconic. Beyoncé wore a custom pair of boots for her Coachella performance, and Cardi B slipped on a pair of “bloody shoes” for her “Bodak Yellow” music video. But why do these heels cost hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of dollars?

 

 

Comcast Triumphed Over Fox In Auction For Sky


QLM Image

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Mon, 24th Sept 2018) London, Uk – –

Comcast's dramatic shoot-out with the US entertainment giant ends 21 months of uncertainty for Sky over its ownership.

Comcast has triumphed in the auction to buy Sky plc, the owner of Sky News, for £29.7bn in the biggest takeover ever seen in Europe's media industry.

Comcast's offer of £17.28 per share was £1.61 ahead of Fox's offer of £15.67.

The US giant's victory follows a dramatic shoot-out with US entertainment giant 21st Century Fox in a rare three-round auction overseen by the Takeover Panel.

The result ends 21 months of uncertainty for Sky over its ownership after the company's independent committee unanimously recommended the offer to shareholders.

In a statement Sky plc said: “As the price of the final Comcast Offer is materially superior, it is in the best interests of all Sky shareholders to accept the Comcast offer.

“Accordingly, the Independent Committee unanimously recommends that Sky shareholders accept the Comcast offer, and in order to ensure the successful closing of the Comcast offer, urges shareholders to accept immediately.”

Both companies want Sky to help them compete more effectively with the new wave of online entertainment providers, including streaming services provided by the likes of Netflix and Amazon Video, who sell their content directly to viewers.

Comcast in particular wants Sky to give it a presence in Europe and reduce its dependence on the US and has also made clear its admiration for Sky's technological know-how.

Disney, meanwhile, has been looking for a way to make its content available directly to viewers without having to go via a third party like a cable company.

Sky agreed to be taken over by Fox, its biggest shareholder, in December 2016. Since then, Fox has agreed to sell most of its entertainment assets to Disney, including its Hollywood film studio and its 39.1% stake in Sky.

However, the bid was held up by a lengthy series of investigations by the Competition & Markets Authority and by Ofcom, the broadcasting and telecoms regulator.

That opened the door for Comcast to make a counter-bid for Sky. In July, it tabled a £14.75-a-share offer for Sky, valuing the company at £26bn.

That was the highest offer going into today's auction and compared with Friday night's closing price of £15.85.

Under the contest, Fox – as the lower bidder – was entitled to raise its offer first.

In the second round, only Comcast was allowed to raise its offer.

This meant the two sides went into a final “sudden death” round of bidding.

Such auctions are exceptionally rare. There have been only four since the rules were changed in 2002 and the most recent of these was in April 2008 when Enodis, a maker of kitchen equipment for McDonald's and Burger King, was acquired by the US company Manitowoc for £948m.

 

 

Brian Roberts, chairman and chief executive officer of Comcast, said it was a “great day”.

He added: “Sky is a wonderful company with a great platform, tremendous brand, and accomplished management team.

“This acquisition will allow us to quickly, efficiently and meaningfully increase our customer base and expand internationally.

“We couldn't be more excited by the opportunities in front of us.

“We now encourage Sky shareholders to accept our offer, which we look forward to completing before the end of October 2018.”

Jeremy Darroch, group chief executive for Sky, said: “This is the beginning of the next exciting chapter for Sky.

“Brian and his team have built a great business and we are looking forward to bringing our two companies together for the benefit of our customers and colleagues.

“As part of a broader Comcast we believe we will be able to continue to grow and strengthen our position as Europe's leading direct to consumer media company.

“Today's outcome is down to the hard work of tens of thousands of people who have built and developed this business together over the last 30 years. Sky has never stood still, and with Comcast our momentum will only increase.”

21st Century Fox said in a statement that it was “considering its options regarding its own 39% shareholding in Sky and will make a further announcement in due course”.

It added: “Sky is a remarkable story and we are proud to have played such a significant role in building the incredible value reflected today in Comcast's offer.”

 

 

Other companies whose fates have been decided by an auction overseen by the Panel include Corus, the owner of British Steel and Canary Wharf, the commercial property company.

However, in terms of the amount of money being paid, this auction is by far the biggest yet.

Sky, which was founded in 1989, is Europe's biggest pay television broadcaster.

It has 23 million household customers in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy, while it has recently launched “over the top” services in Spain and Switzerland.

It floated on the stock market in 1994 and, since flotation, has been a remarkably stable business, having had just five chief executives in the intervening 24 years – the late Sam Chisholm, Mark Booth, Tony Ball, James Murdoch – who is the current chairman of Sky and current chief executive of Fox – and Mr Darroch, the current incumbent.

 

 

By Ian King, Sky News business presenter

Sky to increase viewership by adding Netflix to its streaming platform

(qlmbusinessnews.com via cityam.com – – Wed, 19th Sept 2018) London, Uk – –

UK media giant Sky will bundle Netflix into its subscription for the first time in November in an effort to step up user engagement with its own programming.

The Ultimate on Demand package will give users access to Netflix and Sky Box Sets on its Sky Q platform, making it easier for customers to browse TV selections from both companies.

The plan will cost £10 a month on top of a Sky Q subscription, which is more than the £7.99 Netflix currently charges. However, it will include an additional 350 box sets which would cost £5, therefore saving customers around £2.99 a month.

“We want Sky Q to be the number one destination for TV fans,” said Stephen van Rooyen, Sky chief exec. “Partnering with Netflix means we will have all the best TV in one great value pack, making it even easier for you to watch all of your favourite shows.”

Media firms share a tricky relationship with one another in a crowded market – while Netflix is a considerable threat, Sky recognises the demand for consolidating their entertainment subscriptions. Putting Netflix directly on its Sky Q platform is a shrewd way of adapting to viewer demands while encouraging customers to consume more of its own content.

Sky trying to be a ‘one stop shop'
Paolo Pescatore, a leading media & tech analyst, said the move showed Sky's ambition to become a “one stop shop media provider.

“Sky wants to position itself as an aggregator of services as underlined by recent tie-ups,” he explained. “As important as bringing services together is to be offer users a seamless and integrated service experience.

“Therefore, the move further increases Sky’s own value as a one stop shop provider.”

Comcast, who is competing with Fox to takeover Sky, has also signed its own similar agreement with Netflix. Pescatore added that Sky's move could make it an even more attractive asset for Disney (which is taking over Fox).

“More importantly it will also get access to Netflix’s catalogue and metadata which will prove more attractive to Disney,” he concluded.

Read more: 21st Century Fox extends deadline for Sky to vote on £24.5bn offer

By Josh Mines

 

 

This exceptional make-up artist’s surreal work made her an Instagram hit

 

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Sat, 15th Sept 2018) London, Uk – –
Make-up artist Romanie-Jade Tulloch has amassed nearly 160,000 Instagram followers on her account with her surreal designs.

The 19-year-old, from Nottingham, said the artworks can take up to five hours to create.

Ms Tulloch, now an “Instagram influencer”, was awarded a Prince's Trust loan to get her career as a make-up artist off the ground.

At the same time her social media page “blew up”, she said, and now hopes to turn her hobby into a full-time job.

 

The rent parties from 1920s Harlem making a revival in the UK

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Sat, 8 Sept, 2018) London, Uk – –

Rent parties were held in 1920s New York when African Americans faced disproportionately high rents. They threw wild jazz parties for paying guests to make up the money before the rent collector came round.

British choreographer Darren Pritchard is putting on performances inspired by these rent parties, to highlight housing inequalities in the UK today.

 

How 2018 summer box office packed a punch with revenues spiking 12.8% over this time last year

(qlmbusinessnews.com via cnnmoney.com – – Sat, 1 Sept 2018) London, Uk – –

The US box office bounced back in a big way this summer with revenue spiking 12.8% over this time last year, when it suffered the worst haul in two decades.
This summer's offerings of superhero movies, documentaries and films that ushered in a new era in on-screen representation has been the “perfect antidote” to last year's “abysmal” ticket sales, according to Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore (SCOR).

“Last summer gave short-sighted naysayers ammunition to declare the death of movie going,” he said. “However, the cyclical nature of the industry was proven once again with a strong summer that had slate of films that offered everything from cinematic fast food to cinematic fine dining.”

Here's how the US box office rebounded this summer:

Diversity

Hollywood finally got the message about representation. Films with diverse casts or ones that touch on race relations resonated with movie fans this summer.

“Ocean's 8,” an all-female sequel to “Ocean's Eleven,” topped the box office on its opening weekend in June. The film has since gone on to make $138 million domestically, which places it in the top ten highest-grossing films this summer.

Boots Riley's $3 million movie “Sorry to Bother You” has brought in roughly five times that amount since opening last month.

Spike Lee's “BlacKkKlansman” has made $26 million over its first two weeks, which is the most for a Lee film since 2006's “Inside Man.”

And “Crazy Rich Asians,” the first major studio film since “The Joy Luck Club” 25 years ago to feature a predominately Asian cast, exceeded expectations at the big box office as one of the biggest rom-coms in recent years. A sequel is in early development at Warner Bros.

Related: ‘Crazy Rich Asians' exceeds expectations, takes top spot at box office

Documentaries

The summer movie season is not typically known for documentaries, but that wasn't the case this year.

“Three Identical Strangers,” the Ruth Bader Ginsburg documentary “RBG” and the Mr. Rogers documentary “Won't You Be My Neighbor?” all made more than $10 million. “Won't You Be My Neighbor?” made a staggering $22 million. All three appeared in less than a 1,000 theaters during their theatrical runs.

This summer's docs were outliers because it's not a genre that is typically popular at the box office. The top documentary last year was Disney's nature film, “Born In China,” which made $13.8 million, and the top documentary that was shown in less than a 1,000 theaters last year was “I Am Not Your Negro,” which made $7.1 million.

“When people are fatigued by the news, by negativity, a divided country and sensationalism, a simple true story of one person overcoming huge obstacles to do good becomes almost soothing for adults to watch in the theater,” Fandango correspondent Nikki Novak told CNN.

Disney

The mouse was mighty this summer with three of the top five highest grossing films in the box office.

“The Incredibles 2” is at the top with “Solo: A Star Wars Story” and Marvel's “Ant-Man and the Wasp” coming in fourth and fifth, respectively.

Disney accounts for roughly a 35% market share of the overall box office this summer, according to comScore. That doesn't include the record opening weekend of “Avengers: Infinity War,” which premiered a few days before the season began in May.

Even the studio's biggest disappointment this summer was somewhat successful. May's “Solo,” which brought in lackluster returns for a “Star Wars” film, still made $213 million.

“Studios are stepping up their game to compete with not only each other but with streaming services like Netflix,” Novak added. “What this summer really showed is that people still love going to the movies.”

By Frank Pallotta

 

The Charmed and Glamorous Life of a Pro Gamer

 

At age 20, professional gamer Michael Schmale had it all: a steady salary, a team mansion overlooking Hollywood and a chef, personal trainer, coach and team manager who were all there to help him play at his best. But the job came with plenty of uncertainties too. This is a series about careers of the future hosted by Bloomberg Technology's Aki Ito.

Video by David Nicholson and Victoria Blackburne-Daniell