Twitter’s $70 million SoundCloud investment is officially wiped out

Jack Dorsey invested in the music streaming service in 2016; last year he wrote off the deal.

One more reminder that digital music remains a very, very difficult place to make money: Twitter has written off a $ 70 million investment it made in SoundCloud, the music streaming service.

Twitter put the money into SoundCloud in in 2016, via its Twitter Ventures unit, in a deal that valued the company at $ 700 million. Now Twitter, via its 2017 annual report, says it has written off $ 66.4 million it invested in SoundCloud because that money is “not expected to be recoverable within a reasonable period of time.”

Variety first reported the news. For context: Twitter generated revenue of $ 2.4 billion in 2017, and ended the year with $ 4.4 billion in cash and short-term investments.

Twitter’s SoundCloud writedown isn’t a surprise, since almost all of SoundCloud’s existing investors were crammed down in a last-ditch funding deal last summer, which also brought in a new management team.

But it should be a formal coda to Twitter’s on-off infatuation with SoundCloud. Two years before the investment, Twitter had looked at buying SoundCloud for more than $ 1 billion, but didn’t.

And it’s a reminder that even though consumers have embraced free and paid music streaming services, the companies that run those services generally aren’t making a profit.

For giant tech guys like Apple and Google who run streaming music as a side business, that’s probably OK. For standalone companies like Pandora and Spotify, that’s not (reminder: Spotify is planning on going public in the next couple months).

Meanwhile SoundCloud, which had been pushing a $ 10-a-month subscription service like the one Apple and Spotify offer, is changing its strategy.

The new plan, as outlined by CEO Kerry Trainor at our Code Media conference this month: Focus on a more limited $ 5-a-month plan, as well as a renewed emphasis on a subscription service SoundCloud has always sold to music creators, producers and other prosumers.

Here’s my Code Media chat with Trainor:


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028: HomePod stains, Berkshire Hathaway’s AAPL investment, KGI on 6.1-inch iPhone sales | 9to5Mac Daily

Today we’ve got everything you need to know about HomePod’s first controversy, Berkshire Hathaway’s latest massive AAPL investment, and KGI Securities prediction on upcoming iPhone sales.

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New Media Confirms Investment in TapOnIt

New Media Investment Group Inc., one of the largest publishers of locally based print and online media in the United States as measured by number of publications, announced that it has acquired a 20% equity stake in TapOnIt, an opt-in text-based platform that delivers offers from local businesses direct to consumers’ phones.

TapOnIt was launched in April 2015 by digital advertising veteran Katie Wilson in Quad Cities, Iowa. In under three years, the company expanded to three additional Iowa markets – Des Moines, Iowa City and Cedar Rapids – and built a database of over 70,000 registered users.

The investment by New Media is expected to help TapOnIt to expand across the country by being added as an available product offered to advertisers at New Media’s publications across its 540 markets.

TapOnIt users register to receive up-to three image-based text messages per week featuring three local offers per message. With a 98% open-rate – including 90% who open within three minutes of receiving – the TapOnIt platform delivers immediate results at a fraction of the cost of traditional direct mail. And unlike other app-based discount offer platforms, TapOnIt business customers keep 100% of the revenue generated by users.

“Because our platform is text-based with no apps to download or update, we experience less than a 2% monthly churn rate compared to 70% churn for apps in their first 90 days,” said Wilson. “And our users redeem the offers they receive at rates of up to 11%.”

The post New Media Confirms Investment in TapOnIt appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.


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Tested: Can Investment Apps Make You Rich?

If you’ve been paying attention to the Sony Mobile Blog, you will have noticed our recent budgeting post and potentially started managing your finances directly from your Xperia. Great choice. But now does it feel like that cash is burning a hole in your pocket? Sure, you could splash those hard earned savings on a flat white – or – you could launch your empire. You’ve seen Wolf of Wall Street, it’s easy, buy low, sell high, retire at 26.

Okay, it’s not that straightforward, but we’ve tested some of the most downloaded apps that could see that one coffee, turn into two and that’s not a bad place to start.

Before you know it, you’ve got a nice little nest egg to throw into Beanie Babies, Tulip Bulbs or Bitcoin.

Please remember with any investment, your capital is at risk, so please do invest with caution.

 

iBillionaire

This is a pretty simple concept, you want to invest, but you, like us, have no clue about the markets. But you know who does? Billionaire investors with a track record for getting things right. iBillionaire lets you peak over the shoulder of the likes of Warren Buffet, David Einhorn and Carl Icahn. How does it do this? Every quarter, iBillionaire automatically updates your portfolio to replicate billionaires’ filings. If it works for them, it should work for you right?

You’ve got a number of investment options here – you can take the Billionaire route as above, or you could invest in their Bitcoin Fund, their Real Estate Fund or maybe you’ve read up on Bridgewater’s All Weather strategy and think that’s the way to go? Whatever you choose, it starts at $ 1 a month (including four rebalances every year) and there are no additional costs or commissions charged. They claim for as little as $ 5 a week, you could invest like a billionaire.

 

Acorns (USA) and Money Box (UK)

Acorns and Money Box though created by different developers, have a similar aim – making everyday investing a habit. The cleverest part (in our opinion) is how you can save. The first barrier most people run into is that they don’t have any money to invest in the first place. Where these apps succeed is taking the sting out of investing, by making it gradual. Buying a sandwich for $ 3.75? Your purchase gets rounded up to an even $ 4.00, you notice nothing at the time, but over a couple of months, this rounding up turns into real money.

Depending on whether you’re using Acorns or Money Box, your money will be put into Funds and ISAs, which you can customise to your preferred level of risk. For example, with Money Box, depending on the level of risk you are willing to accept, there are three investment options: Cautious, Balanced and Adventurous

Acorns charges $ 1 a month (accounts investing up to $ 5,000), while Moneybox costs £1 a month and 0.45% of the value of your investments per year (at the time of writing, Moneybox is offering to waive the £1 fee for the first three months).

 

Nutmeg

To be honest, this one isn’t an app you’ll be opening every forty minutes, it’s a slow burner. Nutmeg means business. You put money in it every month and invest it – the app is just a nice way to keep track.

You can get a Lifetime ISA with contributions starting at £100 a month, a Nutmeg ISA or general investment account within initial £500 when you make monthly contributions of £100, or consolidate your pension with a £5,000 investment.

You’ve handed over your money, but what are Nutmeg bringing to the table? Their schemes have been built by investment experts – they’ve created a number of diversified portfolios that limit risk but have options for those of you who want to play it a little more dangerously.

They’ve also got award winning service and it’s really straightforward to use – so if you do happen to get a bit stuck, they’ll get someone on the case for you.

 

So now you’re an “investor”, you may not be a wolf, but you’re certainly not a sheep. Good luck.

The post Tested: Can Investment Apps Make You Rich? appeared first on Sony Xperia Blog.

Sony Xperia Blog

Fujitsu selling majority stake in mobile phone division to investment firm

Japanese IT firm Fujitsu has announced a plan to spin off their mobile device business into a separate company. Under the deal, investment firm Polaris will take over management and assume control of 70% of the company, while Fujitsu will retain a 30% stake. While Sony is the largest Android device manufacturer in Japan, Fujitsu is also a major contender. Fujitsu’s Arrows series of smartphones and tablets are available primarily on NTT Docomo, the largest mobile network operator in Japan.

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Fujitsu selling majority stake in mobile phone division to investment firm was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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