Sling TV Offers Free Games to Subscribers via Arcade Feature

Dish Network’s Sling TV subscription streaming platform has added a feature called Sling Arcade that lets users play games while Sling plays television content in an optional adjacent window. Available only to Sling customers who have Amazon Fire TV or Android TV, it has 10 games at launch that the company describes as “both classics and contemporary favorites,” including “Tetris,” “Wheel of Fortune,” “Poker Online” and “Solitaire Clash.” Sling is offering Arcade free to those with the Sling Freestream FAST service as well as those with paid subscriptions to Sling TV. Continue reading Sling TV Offers Free Games to Subscribers via Arcade Feature

Nvidia Revenue and Profits Soar on Strength of AI Chip Sales

Demand for artificial intelligence computer chips drove Nvidia income up 769 percent to nearly $12.3 billion for Q4, year-over-year, and 286 percent — to just over $29.7 billion — for the full-year fiscal 2024 frame that ended January 28. Revenue was $22.1 billion (+265 percent) and $60.9 billion (+126 percent) for the respective periods. Data center sales hit record highs of $18.4 billion for the quarter, up 409 percent from the previous year, $47.5 billion for the fiscal year, an increase of 217 percent. Gaming revenue was flat for Q4, at $2.9 billion, and up 115 percent for the year. Continue reading Nvidia Revenue and Profits Soar on Strength of AI Chip Sales

Apple’s Vision Pro Ignites Worldwide Interest as Sales Inch Up

Apple has reportedly sold about 200,000 Vision Pro units since its U.S. release February 2, the day before the tech giant’s quarterly earnings showed net sales increased by 2 percent to $119.58 billion for the three months that ended December 31. It was the company’s first quarterly revenue increase in a year, driving $33.92 billion in profit for the period, a 13 percent uptick year-over-year. Apple has yet to release official numbers for the Vision Pro, which it describes as “a revolutionary spatial computer that seamlessly blends digital content with the physical world.” Based on early estimates, sales of the $3,500 device are likely to be too small to significantly impact the next quarter. Continue reading Apple’s Vision Pro Ignites Worldwide Interest as Sales Inch Up

Disney Announces Gaming and Sports Part of Growth Strategy

The Walt Disney Company announced revenue of $23.5 billion for the quarter ending December 31, essentially consistent year-over-year, while net income was up 49 percent to $1.91 billion year-over-year. CEO Bob Iger amplified plans to bring the company “to a period of sustained growth.” Following news that ESPN plans to partner on a new sports streaming platform, Iger disclosed a $1.5 billion investment in “Fortnite” creator Epic Games that will see the companies “collaborate on an all-new games and entertainment universe.” He also revealed Disney+ will exclusively stream Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” concert film. Continue reading Disney Announces Gaming and Sports Part of Growth Strategy

Growth in Ad Sales, AWS Drive Amazon Profit Up 200 Percent

Amazon’s net sales for Q4 were $170 billion, a 14 percent increase year-over-year. For the full year 2023, net sales were up by 12 percent to $574.8 billion. “This Q4 was a record-breaking holiday shopping season and closed out a robust 2023 for Amazon,” CEO Andy Jassy said in the recent earnings release. The results included October Prime Day and holiday season shopping. Outstanding Q4 performers included ad sales, up 27 percent to $14 billion, and Amazon Web Services, which brought in $24.2 billion, growing 13 percent.”What we’re most pleased with is the continued invention and customer experience improvements across our businesses,” Jassy added. Continue reading Growth in Ad Sales, AWS Drive Amazon Profit Up 200 Percent

Qualcomm Earnings: All-In on XR, Smartphone Chips Rebound

Qualcomm reported revenue of $9.9 billion for the quarter ending in December, a 5 percent increase year-over-year. The company tallied $6.69 billion in sales of handset chips during the three-month period, up 16 percent over the prior year’s $5.7 billion, marking a turnaround after two years of declines. The quarter marked the beginning of shipments of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip, designed for mobile generative AI, and its adoption by OEMs and manufacturers including Samsung for its new Galaxy S24 lineup. Qualcomm also announced it will continue selling 5G modem chips to Apple. Continue reading Qualcomm Earnings: All-In on XR, Smartphone Chips Rebound

Microsoft Q2 Profits Surge 33 Percent Driven by AI and Cloud

Microsoft profits were up 33 percent year-over-year to $21.9 billion in the quarter ending December 31, its fiscal Q2 for 2024. The quarterly growth was the company’s strongest in more than two years. Executives credited it to excitement about artificial intelligence services and the resulting demand for cloud services including Microsoft Azure. Earlier this month, Microsoft achieved a $2.89 trillion market valuation, overtaking Apple as the world’s most valuable public company, and this week it surged past $3 trillion. Revenue was $62 billion for the quarter, up 18 percent. Continue reading Microsoft Q2 Profits Surge 33 Percent Driven by AI and Cloud

Netflix Adds WWE, Touts 12.5 Percent Revenue Growth in Q4

Netflix added 13.1 million subscribers in Q4 2023, its biggest gain in a year-end quarter, and the streamer continues to try to broaden its demographic reach by investing in new content, including a new deal for live WWE wrestling matches. The expansion into live-streaming provides an opportunity to draw regular, appointment viewers, something advertisers like. “No entertainment company has ever tried to program at this scale, and for so many tastes and cultures,” Netflix wrote in a shareholder letter that says it plans to spend up to $17 billion on content in 2024. Continue reading Netflix Adds WWE, Touts 12.5 Percent Revenue Growth in Q4

Nvidia Sales Surge as Rivals Circle and China Sanctions Loom

Nvidia logged another record quarter, with Q3 revenue of $18.12 billion, up 206 percent from a year ago and a 34 percent increase from Q2 that exceeded both its own and analyst projections. The surge, attributed to increasing demand for the chips that drive artificial intelligence, logged primarily under Nvidia’s data center results a record $14.51 billion, up 279 percent from the prior year and 41 percent from Q2. Profits swelled to $9.2 billion, a stunning 1,259 percent increase from 2022’s $680 million. The results for Nvidia’s Q3 were for the three-month period ending October 31. Continue reading Nvidia Sales Surge as Rivals Circle and China Sanctions Loom

Merged Disney+ and Hulu App to Launch as Beta Next Month

Disney, which is in the process of completing its purchase of NBCUniversal’s 33 percent stake in Hulu, will begin beta testing a combined Disney+ and Hulu bundle next month for subscribers of both services, according to CEO Bob Iger. Last week, Disney announced it would pay Comcast at least $8.61 billion for the Hulu stake, indicating the final cost could be higher, based on market value estimates by each party’s investment bankers. “We remain on track to roll out a more unified one-app experience domestically via Disney+,” Iger said in discussing the September quarter on an earnings call. Continue reading Merged Disney+ and Hulu App to Launch as Beta Next Month

Despite China Market, iPhone Sales Still Reach $43.8 Billion

Apple posted fiscal Q4 earnings of $89.5 billion, down one percent year-over-year. CEO Tim Cook put the quarter’s best facts forward: “a September quarter revenue record for iPhone and an all-time revenue record in Services,” and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $1.46, up 13 percent. While net income of just below $23 billion exceeded Wall Street expectations, Q4 capped a fiscal year in which Apple revenue fell 2.8 percent, impacted by a decline in iPhone sales in China. Following the report, shares fell 3 percent in extended trading based on the prospect that the company may not rebound to growth in the important holiday sales season. Continue reading Despite China Market, iPhone Sales Still Reach $43.8 Billion

Spotify to Introduce New Version of Its Royalty Payout Model

Spotify will reportedly change its royalty payout formula beginning next year in an effort to cut out scammers and more equitably distribute funds among “legitimate artists” and rightsholders. As a result, it is estimated that about $1 billion in royalty payments will be redistributed over the next five years. The streamer is considering setting a minimum number of annual streams to qualify for royalty payments — which is generating controversy — as well as sanctions on distributors and labels determined to be fraudulently manipulating streams, and adding a playtime threshold that targets so called “noise tracks” designed to emulate music. Continue reading Spotify to Introduce New Version of Its Royalty Payout Model

Netflix Raising Rates After Profitable Q3, Subscriber Growth

Netflix can chalk up another solid quarter, with Q3 revenue of $8.5 billion, up 8 percent year-over-year, with 9 million new subscribers for a total of 247 million worldwide. Netflix attributes the strong subscriber growth in part to its ongoing password-sharing crackdown. The company has now officially rolled out what it calls “paid sharing” in all regions in which it operates, reporting that there were fewer resulting cancellations than expected. Rather, it says it has largely effectuated its desired result of converting piggybacking customers into paid subscribers. Meanwhile, Netflix is raising its rates as it continues to add originals and “license titles from around the world.” Continue reading Netflix Raising Rates After Profitable Q3, Subscriber Growth

Universal, Deezer to Reinvent Music Streaming Royalty Model

Universal Music Group and Deezer have set Q4 as the launch date for a new, artist-centric streaming royalty model the companies jointly developed. Indie streaming platform Deezer will launch the concept model in its native France in Q4 2023. The companies conceived the new compensation methodology as part of a previously announced collaboration, using “deep data analysis” for an outcome they say “better reflects the true value of artist-fan relationships.” Calling streaming “the most significant technology advancement in music in many years,” the partners conclude “a flood of uploads with no meaningful engagement” has necessitated reassessment. Continue reading Universal, Deezer to Reinvent Music Streaming Royalty Model

Demand for AI Chips Drives Nvidia to Revenue Record in Q2

Nvidia announced Q2 revenue of $13.51 billion, a 101 percent year-over-year increase that sets a new company record. The data center division — which accounts for the majority of AI chip sales — also established a new benchmark: $10.32 billion in Q2, a 171 percent leap over the prior fiscal Q2. Nvidia projects that revenue for the current quarter will hit $16 billion — about $3.5 billion above analysts’ expectations. Nvidia chips power OpenAI’s popular ChatGPT and other generative AI and cloud computing apps from companies including Amazon, Google, Meta Platforms, Microsoft and VMWare. Continue reading Demand for AI Chips Drives Nvidia to Revenue Record in Q2