The 11th Hour Dispatch – Friday, March 9, 2018

| March 9, 2018

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Netflix is reportedly working on an exclusive series deal with former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Sources close to the deal suggest the series might focus on inspirational storytelling or topical discussions related to the Obamas’ White House stint. This agreement could also include documentaries and series endorsed by the Obamas. Apple and Amazon have also reportedly been in talks with Barack and Michelle, but Netflix appears to be coming out ahead in this one. In other equally presidential news, Netflix has nailed down yet another talk show with comedian and former SNL cast member/Colonel Sanders, Norm McDonald.


Electric scooter share company Bird is raising $100 million one month after completing a $15 million round of funding. The startup is seeking to raise funds at about a $300 million pre-money valuation. Bird allows people to book electric scooters on an app, ride it to their destination, and then just leave it wherever they please when they’re done looking like a 10-year-old in 2005. The company, founded by former Lyft and Uber executive Travis VanderZaden, has already “taken Santa Monica, Calif., by storm.” Reportedly, Bird has had 500,000 rides booked on its app in the area. However, Santa Monica is considering passing an ordinance that would smack the company with a $60 impound fee for scooters left on public roads without city authorization. This would require Bird to set up parking destinations for the scooters, similar to Zipcar, and would greatly harm its primary value proposition. 


Facebook now has deals with all three major music labels after signing with Warner Music. This means Facebook users and users of Facebook-owned companies Instagram and Oculus can now create, upload, and share content and messages featuring music from Warner Music, Universal Music Group, and Sony/ATV Publishing. The Warner addition adds some music industry heavy-hitters including Ed Sheeran, the Rolling Stones, and Coldplay. Besides just opening doors for creators, this is massively something to note because, while Facebook currently has no plans to launch a Spotify or Apple Music-comparable streaming service, it easily could with its now-licensed music library and connections it has fostered.


“Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli will be in the slammer for seven years for his infamous price hike of a life-saving drug by 5,000%. Don’t let the greed get the best of you, kids.

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