Summary of “Five Things Spotify Needs to Fix in 2019 – Rolling Stone”

Amid its year-end financial-results announcement, Spotify confirmed that it was set to spend between $400 million and $500 million on acquisitions throughout 2019, including the recent buyouts of podcasting content company Gimlet Media and distribution platform Anchor.
Things are looking up for Daniel Ek and his green machine – but Spotify still faces a few stark challenges.
Spotify CFO Barry McCarthy told investors on February 6th that self-serve advertising, whereby clients upload their own ads and target audiences themselves, is now “Our fastest-growing [ad] channel.” Spotify Ad Studio, the firm’s self-serve platform, is currently available to varying degrees in markets including the U.S., U.K. and Canada, ahead of an expected wider global rollout.
Analysts at MIDiA Research have predicted that 2019 will likely be the year that streaming subscription growth slows in the North America and Europe – meaning that Spotify will really need to up its game in the Middle East and North Africa region, where it launched in November.
In its forecast for 2019 – partly due to that acquisition budget of $400 million-$500 million – Spotify is projecting another annual operating loss of €200 million to €360 million.
Spotify has reportedly just paid more than $200 million to acquire New York-based podcasting production company Gimlet Media, in addition to podcasting distribution house Anchor.
If this wasn’t indication enough that Spotify is banking its future on the spoken word, Ek told investors this month that his company wants more than 20 percent of listening on Spotify dedicated to podcasts, rather than music, in years to come.
So how can Spotify use podcasts to improve its financial numbers as time wears on? Ek was asked this precise question on the Spotify Q4 earnings call.

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Summary of “The Newseum was a grand tribute to the power of journalism. Here’s how it failed.”

A bald eagle named Challenger shot into the sky on that day in April 2008 as the Newseum celebrated the unveiling of its sumptuous building with the soaring facade just steps from the U.S. Capitol.
Just 10 years later, the Newseum is shrinking into an uncertain future, the distress sale of its building to Johns Hopkins University marking the end of a troubled tenure that has become a cautionary tale of bloated budgets and unrealized ambition.
The Newseum originally opened in 1997 in Rosslyn in a building with a geodesic dome as its only recognizable feature.
While operating in the red, the Newseum kept paying big salaries to upper management, including $1.2 million to chief executive James C. Duff in 2014.
When the economy rebounded after the stock market convulsions, the Newseum failed to bounce back.
“The Newseum is trying to portray an industry that is ill-defined, therefore the Newseum is ill-defined.”
In August, Douglas Cumming, a journalism professor at Washington and Lee University who had been a Freedom Forum fellow, proposed a panel on redesigning the Newseum.
Erika Pribanic-Smith, a professor at the University of Texas at Arlington, wants the Newseum to expand its digital content to better serve a society gripped by partisan bickering and suspicious of media bias.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Netflix says over 45 million accounts watched Bird Box”

Netflix announced on December 28 that more than 45 million accounts watched its Netflix original horror movie, Bird Box, in seven days, making it a record breaking debut for the streaming service – but considering Netflix rarely specifies what its data means, it was difficult to gauge what that number meant.
It’s also unclear from Netflix’s tweet how many people watched all of Bird Box or even half of the movie, before switching to something else.
A spokesperson for Netflix tells The Verge that the company only counts an account as having watched Bird Box “Once a view surpasses 70 percent of the total running time.” Furthermore, “Each ‘account’ may include multiple views and viewers but is only counted once,” the spokesperson added.
By this logic, that means at least 45 million people have watched at least 70 percent of Bird Box.
Considering that people may have watched Bird Box with friends or family, chances are that the total view count may be even higher than 45 million – especially given that Bird Box was released globally.
Netflix would not comment on where the majority of Bird Box’s viewers were geographically based.
There are still a number of questions Netflix wouldn’t address when asked by The Verge, including how 45 million account views in seven days compares to the last record holder.
A Netflix spokesperson added that specific data collection method is only applicable to Bird Box, not the rest of its content.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How This 7-Year-Old Made $22 Million Playing With Toys”

Ryan of Ryan Toysreview really isn’t that different from any other first grader.
These short, simple videos have made Ryan one of the most popular influencers online, with 17.3 million followers and a total of nearly 26 billion views since he launched his main channel, Ryan ToysReview, in March 2015.
For Ryan, this means not only an endless stream of toys to play with but also a seemingly endless stream of money: He was this year’s highest-paid YouTube star, earning $22 million in the 12 months leading up to June 1, 2018, Forbes estimates.
Ryan is part of the YouTube trend of unboxing, in which content creators film themselves opening up toys, tech products and other consumer goods, explaining different features and, in Ryan’s case, screaming and giggling with enthusiastic delight as he does so.
Nearly all of his money, or about $21 million, comes from pre-roll advertising on his channels Ryan ToysReview and Ryan’s Family Review.
What’s almost as baffling as the amount of money that Ryan has made before his eighth birthday is why today’s kids would rather tune in to watch another one play with toys than play with toys themselves.
It may seem bizarre to those who grew up watching Saturday-morning cartoons, but today’s children know their way around YouTube the way Millennials knew their way around a VCR. The YouTube Kids app has more than 11 million weekly active users-which translates into a lot of kids eager to see what toy Ryan is going to open next.
The line, which Ryan heavily promotes on his YouTube channel, features a variety of slimes and putties, Ryan action figures, T-shirts, toy cars and more.

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Summary of “Mammals Will Need Millions of Years to Recover From Us”

The pygmy sloth, for example, may be one of the most threatened mammal species, but it’s also one of the youngest, having diverged from its closest relative 9,000 years ago.
The aardvark, by contrast, is the last survivor of a once-large group of mammals that split off from the others 75 million years ago.
To work out the extent of these cuts, Davis and his colleagues first built a family tree for all mammals past and present, going back 130,000 years, into the late Pleistocene.
By adding up the length of all the missing twigs and branches, they calculated that prehistoric humans robbed mammals of 2 billion years of unique evolutionary history.
Since the 16th century, we’ve wiped out an additional 500 million years of evolutionary history, and we stand to lose a further 1.8 billion years within the next five decades.
There used to be six species of elephant-like mammals in North America alone; now there are just three left in the entire world.
Even in this implausibly optimistic scenario, it would take half a million years for mammalian diversity to bounce back to its Ice Age zenith.
More realistically, given how fast mammals typically evolve, and given that some living species will inevitably go extinct, the full comeback will likely take 3 million to 7 million years to stage.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The map we need if we want to think about how global living conditions are changing”

If we want to show where the world’s people are we need a population cartogram, a geographical presentation of the world where the size of the countries are not drawn according to the distribution of land, but according to the distribution of people.
As the size of the population rather than the size of the territory is shown in this map you can see some big differences when you compare it to the standard geographical map we’re most familiar with.
If you want to follow what is happening to the world you have to keep track of these two countries: More than a third of the world population – 36.2% – live in India and China.
Population growth in Asia has been rapid in the last decades: The population of Asia has tripled in size since 1950.
While some countries in Asia have already reached the last stage of the demographic transition some others still have rapid population growth ahead. The fertility rate in India has fallen from 6 children per woman in the 1960s to 2.35 children today, but population momentum means that population growth will continue for another 4 decades.
According to the UN’s population projection the population of India is expected to reach 1.68 billion in 2060 and the country is then expected to be the most populous country in the world.
Another way to show where the world population lives is to show the population density of each country on a geographical world map, as you see below.
While a geographical map is helpful if you want to find your way around the world, a population cartogram is the representation that we need if we want to know where our fellow humans are at home.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The rise of giant consumer startups that said no to investor money”

Gold rush? Over the last five years, venture capital and private equity investors in the U.S. have rushed to fund a new breed of company, dubbed direct-to-consumer startups.
In the first eight months of 2018 alone, investors have committed $1.2 billion to these young companies, almost triple the $426 million spent on similar startups in 2013, according to CB Insights.
MVMT’s management team and 40 employees own 100 percent of the startup, with the company’s two founders holding the vast majority of company equity.
CircleUp uses proprietary algorithms to evaluate and identify consumer startups to which it should offer equity investments and working capital loans, typically to companies with $1 million to $15 million in revenue.
As investments in pure technology companies have gotten more competitive, venture capital firms that have historically focused on tech have expanded into new categories like consumer retail in search of new ways to spend their money.
For Honest, the company was forced to raise new investment money under terms that valued it well under its previous valuation.
A decade later, Dunn was able to turn to e-commerce software company Shopify as the platform for Allswell, a mattress brand that Dunn helped incubate in his new role at Walmart where he oversees the company’s digital-native consumer brands.
Startups can use the company’s software from launch and stay on it even as they approach $1 billion in annual sales, as a brand like Fashion Nova has shown.

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Summary of “Behind the Spectacular Collapse of a Private Equity Titan”

After analyzing the documents they could get their hands on-since some went missing-investigators at PricewaterhouseCoopers said Abraaj’s use of loans to cover operating expenses left it “Sensitive to volatility and potential liquidity crises.” They are now selling Abraaj assets to pay creditors and investigating allegations of “Mismanagement, comingling of funds and misappropriation of assets.”
Up for Grabs Abraaj assets for sale include stakes in 12 funds and holdings in a Pakistani utility and a discount voucher business.
Abraaj’s spectacular demise has dealt a severe blow to Dubai’s reputation as a global financial center.
Abraaj’s Biggest Creditors Dubai private equity firm is defaulting on at least $1.1 billion of debt.
The chronology of the collapse, drawn from conversations with about a dozen people with direct knowledge of the company, lays out how rapidly things fell apart for Naqvi, the suave Pakistani entrepreneur who built Abraaj from the ground up in the past 16 years only to see it crumble in under 10 months.
A fixture at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Naqvi had crafted Abraaj’s image as the face of Middle East private equity.
Starting about a year earlier, Abraaj did in fact begin pulling tens of millions of dollars from at least one flagship fund-the Abraaj Private Equity Fund IV-to prop up its finances, three people said.
The liquidators’ report valued Abraaj’s known assets at $1.1 billion, including stakes in 12 funds and investments like the K-Electric holding.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Here’s How America Uses Its Land”

Using surveys, satellite images and categorizations from various government agencies, the U.S. Department of Agriculture divides the U.S. into six major types of land.
Piecing the data together state-by-state can give a general sense of how U.S. land is used.
The actual land area used to grow the food Americans eat is much smaller-only about the size of Indiana, Illinois and half of Iowa combined.
The amount of U.S. land used to produce citrus fruits alone is larger than Rhode Island.
More than one-third of U.S. land is used for pasture-by far the largest land-use type in the contiguous 48 states.
Forestland is the last major category of land categorized by the USDA. Unprotected forests and timberland constitute a quarter of the contiguous U.S. According to the U.S. Forest Service, timber harvests typically occur on about 11 million acres each year.
Much of U.S. land serves specific purposes, such as the 2 million acres devoted to golf courses or the 3 million acres for airports.
Magazine, since 2008 the amount of land owned by the 100 largest private landowners has grown from 28 million acres to 40 million, an area larger than the state of Florida.

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