The 11th Hour Dispatch – Monday, April 30, 2018

| April 30, 2018

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BINGE WATCH

Google and NBC have teamed up to produce at least 10 multi-episode VR shows to run alongside NBC and NBCUniversal (channels like Bravo, CNBC, E!) programming. The series will be viewable in VR via Google Cardboard and Daydream View as well as uploaded to YouTube if you’re not ready to commit to that VR lifestyle™. Google also says the content will be available in VR180 format for 4K, three-dimensional video down the road. NBC’s Saturday Night Live, Bravo’s Vanderpump Rules, and various content from SYFY WIRE will get the VR treatment initially. On top of just bringing VR content to a larger audience, this provides NBCUniversal audiences a very interesting way to interact with its series besides just mindless bingewatching marathons in Cheeto-stained sweatpants, and I for one am excited to see what the two companies pump out.

YOUNG MONEY

The music arm of the Chinese tech giant Tencent has officially invited banks to pitch for a position in its U.S. IPO worth up to $4 billion. Tencent Music plans to go public by the end of the year and is seeking an IPO valuation of around $25 billion. In 2017, the company was valued at $12.3 billion after Europe’s Spotify Technology swapped a stake with it, giving Spotify about a 9% stake in Tencent and Tencent around 7.5% ownership of Spotify. Tencent Music reportedly starting chatting with banks about a U.S. IPO in late 2017, but progress slowed after Tencent Music directed focus to the aforementioned Spotify deal and explored a listing in Hong Kong after the city’s exchange operator revealed plans to add more tech offerings by loosening listing rules. This is a big move for Tencent, but it’s also a big move for the music industry as a whole, especially the big three music labels — Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group — which all own a stake in its parent company Tencent. It might be a good idea to keep tabs on the music industry right now. It’s been pretty explosive as of late.

BIG BUSINESS

Avengers: Infinity War absolutely annihilated the box office with its opening this past weekend. The movie’s final domestic box office numbers came in at $258.2 million, which is $8.2 million higher than Disney’s already jawdropping estimate of $200 million on Sunday. Overseas, the film raked in an astounding $382.7 million (without the second largest movie market China no less, which won’t get the film until May 11), bringing its grand opening total to $640.9 million. This greatly dwarfs the previous record holder The Fate of the Furious‘ $541 million opening in 2017. On top of this, Infinity War also broke Sunday showing records pulling in $69.2 million in just that day. This dethrones Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was sitting pretty with a $60.5 million Sunday record until the “most ambitious crossover event in history” destroyed it. The Big Mouse (all hail) is now the proud owner of 9 out of the 10 largest openings in North American history. 

NOTHIN’ BUT ‘NET

It may be cheaper to exclusively get around with Uber and Lyft rather than with your own car by 2027. If that’s the case, Ubers and Lyfts better start filling their passenger seat floorboards with empty water bottles and discarded receipts so I feel more at home.

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