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The Battle of the Billions: Netflix vs. Disney's Approaches to Entertainment Growth
Tuesday, April 25th, 2023
First Republic Bank Struggles to Keep the Change, CEO Claims They Still Have Friends Though
First Republic, a troubled regional bank, reported a 40.8% drop in deposits to $104.5 billion in Q1 2023, which was worse than the expected estimate of $145 billion. Despite the outflow of funds, CEO Michael Roffler boasts that they've managed to maintain over 97% of their "client relationships," though we’re not sure how they define that. In an effort to cut expenses, the bank has decided to reduce executive compensation, cut jobs, and condense office space. Surprisingly, the bank managed to beat Wall Street estimates, earning $1.23 per share on $1.21 billion of revenue. Sadly, this victory was short-lived, as their shares plummeted 20% in extended trading. First Republic can't catch a break!
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Snapchat's 'My AI' Feature: An Unwanted Guest That Overstays Its Welcome
Snapchat's latest innovation, the "My AI" chatbot, has been met with lackluster reviews from its users since its worldwide debut with complaints flooding in about the intrusive feature. The mere presence of My AI has sparked widespread alarm among users, who are outraged that the only way to banish the bot from their Chat feed is by paying for Snapchat+. And as if that wasn't enough, the bot's dubious knowledge of personal data, including users' location, has sparked concerns about privacy invasion. Somewhere out there, there’s a Snapchat product manager who won't be getting a "snap-tastic" performance review anytime soon.
Is Disney Saving Billions or Ruining Dreams?
Disney announced this week that it will be casting out several thousand employees from its ESPN, entertainment, theme park, and product divisions. This decision comes as part of the company's plot to cut down its workforce by 7,000 loyal subjects. According to sources, the cutbacks will save the company $5.5 billion, which is enough to fund quite a whole lot… advanced VR rides or building fleets of autonomous drones for entertainment shows would be our suggestion if anyone’s asking. This latest layoff wave comes after an initial cut of 4,000 jobs last month, with a third and final chop expected before summer.
Apple Forced to Lower Its Guard and Welcome Third-Party Payments
Apple, the tech giant that has always been an ardent follower of rules, has lost an appeal against Fortnite creator Epic Games. The verdict could compel Apple to permit developers to incorporate links and buttons for third-party payment options, thereby, reducing sales commissions to Apple. The US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals backed the 2021 order, but also affirmed that Apple's App Store regulations don't breach antitrust laws, giving the green light for their commissions of up to 30% for in-app payments to remain. So don’t worry, our rogue $1.99 per month app fees we all accidentally subscribed to after the free trials expired are still headed Apple’s way.
Netflix Going "Gangnam Style"
In a move that's sure to delight K-pop fans and lovers of over-the-top TV drama alike, streaming giant Netflix has announced plans to plow $2.5 billion into the South Korean entertainment industry over the next four years. The decision was made following a top-level meeting between Netflix's co-CEO and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, who expressed his enthusiasm for the move. With K-pop sensations BTS and Blackpink already taking the world by storm, Netflix is confident that the country's creative industry will continue to produce hits, citing the massive success of "Squid Game," "The Glory," and "Physical:100" as proof.