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NBCUniversal Second-Quarter Earnings Hit by Lower Film Results

The Hollywood Reporter reports “Cable giant Comcast on Wednesday reported its second-quarter financials, including lower profit figures for its entertainment arm NBCUniversal amid tough box-office comparisons and its smallest second-quarter pay TV subscriber decline in more than a decade.

Kicking off earnings season for big Hollywood players, NBCUniversal posted operating cash flow, the profitability metric the company uses, of $1.69 billion, down 6.4 percent on a pro forma basis from the year-ago period. The figure was down only 0.2 percent when excluding the financials from the recently acquired 51 percent stake in Universal Studios Japan from the year-ago figures.”

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Warner Bros. to Expand Korean Film Production

Variety reports “Korean-language movies “Bad Lieutenant” and Lee Byung-hun starring “A Single Rider” are next up on the local language slate of Warner Bros.

The Hollywood studio’s Korean production drive is poised to get off to a dramatic start with Kim Jee-woon’s “The Age of Shadows,” which has its commercial release in South Korea in September and will bow at the Toronto festival.

The studio is seeking to expand its local-language production initiatives in the country and appointed local executive Jay Choi as head of local production in 2015.”

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Apple Shares Rise After Beating Earnings Projections

Billboard reports “Apple shares rose after the closing bell when it posted quarterly earnings that slightly beat analysts’ expectations on Tuesday.

The tech giant said it earned $1.42 per share on $42.4 billion in revenue, while Wall Street expected the new-media behemoth to post $42.2 billion in revenue and $1.40 in per-share earnings in its fiscal third quarter.

Analysts also expected Apple to sell 40 million iPhones in the quarter, and it sold 40.4 million.”

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Wanda to Buy Chinese Movie Website Mtime for $350M

The Hollywood Reporter reports “Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, led by Asia’s richest man Wang Jianlin, has agreed to acquire Beijing-based film marketing and media company Mtime for $350 million.

The deal, to be announced in Beijing late Wednesday, will add an array of digital services to Wanda’s expanding global film empire. China’s leading online destination for movie news and reviews, Mtime’s business areas also comprise film marketing and a fast-growing e-commerce platform targeting the country’s burgeoning movie merchandising sector.”

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Tumblr to introduce ads across all blogs

TechCrunch reports “Tumblr this week quietly announced plans to roll out a new advertising program across its site which will see it implementing ads across users’ blogs. The company did not provide specific details on how the program will operate, but it appears to be an expansion of its earlier Creatrs program, which connects brands with Tumblr users directly, instead of having advertisers work with third-party influencer networks.

Now, Tumblr says that the same opportunity provided by its Creatrs program will be available to “any eligible Tumblr—poet, musician, fan artist, and misfit weirdo memelord alike,” the company explains on its official Staff blog.”

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Warner Music Group Partners With Streaming Video Platform Vadio

Billboard reports “Warner Music Group and b2b music video platform Vadio announced a content agreement on Wednesday that will give Vadio’s partners easy access to WMG’s trove of artist videos. This marks the first major label partner for the Portland, Ore.-based company, whose network of partners spans 80-plus streaming video channels, including, Vizio and MetroLyrics.

Vadio’s curation platform, ChannelMaker, allows its clients to curate music video channels from a library of videos. Ron Wilcox, WMG’s executive counsel of business affairs, strategic and digital initiatives, said in a statement that ‘Vadio’s extensive distribution network of video channels expands the potential for Warner Music artists to connect with new fans, while creating new revenue streams on our artists’ behalf.'”

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Twitter stock down 13% after lacklustre growth in Q2

TechCrunch reports “Twitter’s share price is getting battered once again: the company’s stock has tumbled by more than 13 percent in trading today, a day after the social media platform posted an earnings report that pointed to poor growth in user numbers both in logged in and logged out users; sluggish revenue; and mediocre projections for Q3.

The company’s stock has gone as low as $16.02 today (it’s $16.06 as of me hitting publish, and I’ll update again). That figure is well off its 52-week high of $36.67 from almost a year ago; and for those keeping track, Twitter’s current $11.26 billion market cap is well below its IPO valuation of $18 billion; as investors who are not convinced about the company’s business projections continue to sell off shares.”

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Alibaba invests $150 million into esports, including $5.5 million tournament

Mashable reports “Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba on Tuesday made a a $150 million investment in the International e-Sports Federation. The IeSF and Alibaba will use the investment to help “esports be recognized as sports,” including securing participation in the Olympic Games.

The investment includes a $5.5 million prize pool for an upcoming tournament, the World Electronic Sports Games. While no location, date or included games were announced, the IeSF release said the tournament’s purpose was to “attract esports players from over 100 countries and regions.” Alibaba also plans to build esports stadiums in China, according to the release.”

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5 Questions With: Andy Swanson of Twitch

Andy Swanson is a veteran of 17 years in the gaming industry and the VP of eSports and events at Twitch. Andy got his start in 1998 at Future US where he eventually became publisher of PC Gamer, OXM and PSM. He moved onto Ubisoft and GameFly before landing at Twitch in 2013. As an early team member to Twitch, Andy was brought on to plan, evangelize and execute the strategy around brand sponsorships and integrations within Twitch’s eSports ecosystem. Digital Media Wire had the chance to ask Andy about Twitch, his inspiration, eSports and gaming culture in the interview below.

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SoundCloud Owners Said to Mull $1 Billion Sale of Music Service

Bloomberg reports “SoundCloud Ltd.’s owners are considering a sale that could value the German music streaming company at $1 billion as it looks for ways to boost growth and profit from its user base, according to people familiar with the matter.

SoundCloud’s founders and investors, including investment firm Doughty Hanson & Co., are exploring strategic options for the company that could lead to a sale, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the discussions are private. While the owners have been thinking about a potential sale for some time, the deliberations are at an early stage and the company may decide against pursuing a deal, the people said.”

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Nintendo Hopes ‘Pokémon’ And The NX Will Revitalize Growth After Posting Substantial First Quarter Losses

Forbes reports “Nintendo experienced a manic July with its stock skyrocketing from the runaway mobile phenomenon Pokémon GO before heavily regressing when the company announced the title would have little effect on their bottom line due to their relatively minor financial involvement. Nintendo’s roller coaster month plunged down another hill today as they posted a 31.3% decrease in net sales and an operating income loss of 5.1 billion yen ($48.1 million) in their first quarter earnings report.

Over a three-month period ending on June 30, Nintendo’s net sales were 61.9 billion yen ($585.4 million), down from 90.2 billion yen over the same period last year. In their report, Nintendo attributed a significant portion of the loss to the appreciating yen, resulting in exchange losses of 35 billion yen ($330.9 million).”

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Apple’s proposal could transform how streaming services pay songwriters and music publishers … but beware the fine print

Recode reports “There is plenty of evidence that on-demand streaming music services like Spotify and Apple Music are disrupting the way people listen to music. Between them, the two companies have almost 50 million paying subscribers and are generating annual revenue in the billions.

As streaming grows, much attention is being paid to the problems between Spotify and recording artists. Whether it’s the arguments about “windowing” made by Adele and Taylor Swift, or complaints by artists like Radiohead about record labels not compensating artists for streaming, they get a lot of press.

While these are important issues, there is one troubling fact that gets lost in the shuffle: Songwriters have yet to benefit in any significant way from streaming. If we don’t change the current system for paying them, there’s a chance they never will.”