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The latest news from Entertainment

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    gotti vertical entertainment moviepass ventures

    • 18% of current MoviePass subscribers say they plan to cancel the service.
    • But the majority of customers are still happy with MoviePass despite new restrictions.
    • The most common reason cited for previous cancellation of the movie-ticketing subscription service was the restrictions on movies and showtimes.


    MoviePass, the movie-ticket subscription service, raised howls of anger from customers after it capped the number of movies they can see every month and introduced other restrictions. 

    But while 18% of MoviePass current subscribers are planning to cancel, a large percentage are still happy with the service despite the new limits on movies and showtimes.

    According to a new survey conducted by on-demand insights platform AlphaHQ for Business Insider, MoviePass has a surprisingly large group of loyalists who have not been turned off by the new restrictions. Out of 165 people surveyed who had subscribed to MoviePass in the last six months, 56% said they were either extremely or moderately satisfied with the service, while 18% had a neutral reaction.

    As MoviePass has struggled to gain financial footing in recent months, it has rolled out new features designed to control its cash burn. The main ones still in a effect are a cap at three movies per month, and limitations on which movies (and showtimes) subscribers can go to.

    “There are always movies that I want to see,” one respondent said. “I feel it is a great value for the amount paid. Other friends have purchased based on my great experience.”

    Another, however, said they had become disenchanted with MoviePass: “It was amazing at first but became too restrictive at the end.”

    Despite laments about the product going downhill, these survey results are a far cry from the doomsday scenario social media would suggest was happening to MoviePass.

    Read more: MoviePass competitor Sinemia has a new cheaper 'weekday-only' plan starting at $3.99 per month.

    That said, 18% of 119 current MoviePass subscribers surveyed said they had plans to cancel, with 6% saying they already tried but were not allowed to (a common complaint Business Insider has heard).

    Of 46 previous MoviePass subscribers who had already canceled, 54% cited the limitations on which movies they could go to as a reason.

    “They changed it too much and you basically couldn't see movies when you wanted to which is why I stopped subscribing,” one respondent said.

    MoviePass announced in June that it had passed three million subscribers, so even with a double-digit drop the company would still have a sizeable user base.

    But the more proximate worry for MoviePass and its parent company, Helios and Matheson Analytics, is angry shareholders, some of whom have seen the value of their stakes drop over 99% in recent months.

    Helios has twice delayed a crucial shareholders meeting where it will ask for authorization to perform a 1-for-500 reverse stock split to avoid getting delisted from the Nasdaq exchange. The meeting is now scheduled to take place on November 14.

    SEE ALSO: MoviePass competitor Sinemia has a new cheaper 'weekday-only' plan starting at $3.99 per month

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Everything you need to know about 'Red Dead Redemption 2' — 2018's most anticipated video game


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    playerunknown's battlegrounds

    • It looks like "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds," the game whose success paved the way for "Fortnite: Battle Royale," is coming to the PlayStation 4.
    • The game hasn't officially been announced, but files for the game are present in the PlayStation 4 game database, and the online PSN store.
    • "PUBG" is one of the most popular action games on PC, but it's been console exclusive to the Xbox One for the past year.

    It looks like "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds," the game that is largely credited with sparking the popularity of battle royale shooting games like "Fortnite: Battle Royale," is set for release on PlayStation 4.

    While Bluehole, the game's developer, has yet to confirm a PS4 release date, fans have discovered files on PlayStation 4 consoles and in Sony's online PlayStation Network store. Last month the South Korean Game Rating and Administration Committee leaked ratings for a PlayStation 4 version of the game as well. A representative for the game declined to comment. 

    "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds," or "PUBG," was officially released on PC in May 2017 and has been console exclusive to the Xbox One since December 2017. The game was in Microsoft's Xbox Game Preview program until September 4th, when version 1.0 was officially released. The mobile version of the game is also one of the most popular video games in China.


    Read more:The company behind 'PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds' has reportedly dropped its lawsuit against the wildly popular 'Fortnite'


    Like "Fortnite: Battle Royale" and other games that it inspired, "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds" throws 100 players onto a single map with scattered resources. Players need to find weapons and items to defend themselves as the safe areas of the map begin to shrink. The last player or team surviving at the end of the round is the winner.

    Though "PUBG" helped pioneer the battle royale genre, the game has seen its star wane, even as rivals like "Fortnite" have skyrocketed to success and challengers like "Call of Duty's" Blackout and "Battlefield V's" Firestorm continue to crop up. and. "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds" has a smaller development team than those games and has struggled to keep up with the demands of a massive community.

    In November of 2017, "PUBG" was averaging 1.3 million players each day, according to SteamCharts, which tracks players on Steam, the most popular platform for PC games. The average number of daily "PUBG" players has since dwindled to about 450,000 over the last 30 days.

    Still, "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds" remains one of the three most popular games on Steam by a wide margin, alongside "Dota 2" and "CounterStrike: Global Offensive." 

    With "PUBG" available on multiple platforms, players are wondering if Bluehole will be able to implement cross-platform play. Earlier this year "Fortnite" became the first game to offer cross-platform play between the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC, and mobile devices. Bluehole has expressed interest in allowing cross-platform play in the past, but nothing has been confirmed.

    "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds" is currently available on PC and Xbox One for $29.99. This hypothetical PS4 version will likely carry a similar price.

     

    SEE ALSO: The new 'Call of Duty' has a surprisingly fantastic Battle Royale mode aimed directly at 'Fortnite'

    SEE ALSO: The company behind 'PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds' has reportedly dropped its lawsuit against the wildly popular 'Fortnite'

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here's the reason most new console video games cost $60


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    dunkirk helmets soldier battalion

    4K entertainment was once a thing of luxury — few could afford it or justify dishing out a large sum of cash for the necessary equipment. Now, 4K TV's have gotten much more affordable, 4K streaming devices are easy to find and are relatively cheap as well, and plenty of entrainment is offered in the high-resolution format. 

    Once you've made the jump to 4K, though, you're going to want to put your setup to the test to see what you've been missing. 

    Fandango, a movie-ticketing company which operates the FandangoNOW streaming service, conducted a survey with FandangoNOW users to determine the best movies to watch in 4K. So if you're looking to get the most out of your fancy high-resolution setup, here are 44 titles that come highly recommended.

    44.  Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle



    43. Atomic Blonde



    42. Arrival



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Donald Trump campaigns in Staten Island in April, 2016.

    Less than 24 hours after an advertisement that was widely condemned as racist aired during a Sunday Night Football game on NBC, the network issued a sweeping reversal, vowing to immediately remove the ad. NBC cited the ad's "insensitive" nature as the reason for its removal.

    Shortly after, both Fox and Facebook, which aired the ad on their respective platforms, issued similar statements and pulled the ad.

    The 30-second primetime advertisement released by President Trump's campaign attempted to draw a connection between convicted cop killer Luis Bracamontes, an undocumented Mexican immigrant who is now on death row, and the so-called migrant caravan now traveling up through Mexico toward the US border. There is no known connection, and Trump has frequently used the migrant caravan — a group of several thousand Central American migrants fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries — as a talking point to stoke fears about immigration in the US.

    Click here to read more about how the ad passed muster.

    In other news:

    Media and advertising could be rocked by some crazy deals in 2019 — including AT&T buying Roku and Google buying LiveRamp. Advertising and media have witnessed a flurry of mergers-and-acquisitions activity in 2018, which is likely to gain steam in 2019, according to a new Forrester report.

    Forrester also expects that Instagram and WhatsApp will save Facebook, and blockchain’s use in advertising will become more mainstream.

    Facebook says Russia may have been behind a fresh plot to contaminate US democracy during the midterms.Facebook says the 115 accounts it pulled down this week for meddling in the midterms may have been linked to notorious troll farm, the Internet Research Agency.

    The Victoria's Secret fashion show illustrates 'how out of touch the brand still is,' Jefferies says.Analysts cited sinking TV ratings and sluggish sales as reasons why the annual TV event will struggle.

    Starbucks says it's taking lessons it learned from it’s 'long game' in China and rolling them out in the US.Among those innovations are delivery services designed to closely resemble the experience customers enjoy inside Starbucks retail stores.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This mind-melting thought experiment of Einstein's reveals how to manipulate time


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    2x1 Phil Bredesen Taylor Swift

    • Swift broke her usual policy of political silence to endorse Senate candidate Phil Bredesen from her home state of Tennessee in October.
    • Swift criticized Republican candidate Marsha Blackburn's record on issues such as LGBT and women's rights.
    • Voter registration spiked nationwide after Swift's endorsement, but Blackburn was safely elected in the red state.
    • Swift also endorsed Rep. Jim Cooper for the House, who successfully kept his seat.
    • Follow our live blog of the midterm election results.

    The Democratic Senate candidate for Tennessee, whom Taylor Swift endorsed in a high-profile break from her political silence last month, has lost.

    Swift endorsed Phil Bredesen on Instagram in October, saying that she was spurred to speak out in opposition to the Republican congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, who represents Tennessee's 7th District in the US House, saying Blackburn's voting record "appalls and terrifies me."

    Blackburn — who has opposed same-sex marriage, argued to defund Planned Parenthood, and is conservative on issues like gun control and immigration — kept the red state in Republican hands.

    Swift described her opposition to Blackburn in October, writing on Instagram: "I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love."

    Read More:Midterms 2018 LIVE: Democrats take the House, GOP holds the Senate in a wild election night

    Blackburn was slated to win in the solidly Republican state, but Democrats' hopes were raised when voter registration spiked after Swift's endorsement.

    About 65,000 people nationwide registered to vote in the 24 hours after the endorsement, Vote.org said. 44,801 of those people were between the ages of 18 and 24.

    I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now. I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent. I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway. So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting! 🗳😃🌈

    A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on Oct 7, 2018 at 4:33pm PDT on

    Swift also endorsed Rep. Jim Cooper, a Democrat who represents Tennessee's 5th District, who was successfully re-elected.

    Swift's endorsements angered members of the so-called alt-right, who called her a traitor and called for violence after her announcement.

    Read More:Nancy Pelosi's victory speech signaled how the Democrats can now make life hell for Trump

    Bredesen tweeted on Tuesday: "I am encouraged by the energy, especially of the young people involved in this campaign, and what that will mean for the future of our state. Don't be discouraged, stay engaged, and never give up."

    He also told Business Insider in October that Swift's endorsement was "out of the blue."

    "I had no reason to believe she would even know I was running, let alone that she would do this."

    SEE ALSO: Midterm key takeaways: Trump's message flops, and Democrats set the stage for 2020

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Megyn Kelly in 2017: 'I regret a lot' of the controversial stuff I've said on live television


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    In this Oct. 6, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Topeka, Kan. There’s a lot of talk in Washington these days about the formal politeness known as “civility” is possible _ or even desirable _ among the nation’s political combatants these days. It’s not likely to get better, at least before the Nov. 6 midterm elections in which Republicans are defending their House and Senate majorities.

    • NBC, Fox, and Facebook all pulled an ad widely condemned as racist following public backlash.
    • While all three companies have their own advertising standards teams that evaluate ads, an initial review didn't flag anything as impermissible in the ad.
    • Some experts note a perceived difference in the way ads are reviewed for commercial products and political issues.
    • Brand-safety issues come with running political advertisements for networks and platforms.


    Less than 24 hours after an advertisement that was widely condemned as racist aired during a Sunday Night Football game on NBC, the network issued a sweeping reversal, vowing to immediately remove the ad. NBC cited the ad's "insensitive" nature as the reason for its removal.

    Shortly after, both Fox and Facebook, which aired the ad on their respective platforms, issued similar statements and pulled the ad.

    The 30-second primetime advertisement released by President Trump's campaign attempted to draw a connection between convicted cop killer Luis Bracamontes, an undocumented Mexican immigrant who is now on death row, and the so-called migrant caravan now traveling up through Mexico toward the US border. There is no known connection, and Trump has frequently used the migrant caravan — a group of several thousand Central American migrants fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries — as a talking point to stoke fears about immigration in the US.

    So how did the ad pass muster?

    For one, it actually wasn't cleared by all the companies to which it was submitted. CNN, for example, rejected the ad, calling it racist.

    NBC, Fox, and Facebook all have their own advertising standards teams that evaluate ads and originally accepted the Trump ad. Federal agencies, which have varying degrees of jurisdiction regulating ads, didn't flag anything as impermissible. It was a public rebuke that prompted a second review and the eventual pulling of the ad.

    The original airing, outcry, and then reversal by the networks show both the difference in rules around enforcement between commercial and political ads, and the growing indication that networks and platforms must appreciate the brand-safety issues that come with political advertisements.

    Standards and practices

    The teams at a network or cable company that review an ad for a commercial product and for a political candidate or cause tend to be the same. But the evaluation process is different, according to people familiar with it.

    "I have to believe that in a sane world when a political party or candidate buys time, the assumption is you don't have to scrutinize ads same way you have to if someone is selling something," Preston Beckman, former NBC and Fox executive, told Business Insider. "Political ads are selling policy." 

    Ad agencies also note a perceived difference in the way ads are reviewed for commercial products and political issues.

    "The FCC, the FTC, and the FEC leave the American people for dead when it comes to political advertising," Sarah O'Leary, lead strategist at Methods & Madness, told Business Insider. "They allow our public airwaves to be used to lie to us without any regulation." 

    The FCC administers political programming rules for TV, but it doesn't evaluate messaging in ads. Both the FEC and FTC oversee campaign finance laws, including the disclosure of funds raised to influence federal elections.

    The network is the real evaluation point on ad messaging, according to O'Leary, who owns an ad agency.

    In her experience, the process of getting a commercial ad submitted involves reading product research to understand what facts can be included in an advertisement, multiple layers of review by lawyers, and a final review by networks or cable companies to decide if the ad is legal and fact based, or misleading.

    "The people at the networks know this process inside and out," O'Leary said. "They figured they'd take a chance."

    Money is part of the equation, she said, and primetime slots fetch significant ad dollars. Trump spent $2.7 million on national TV ads last week alone, according to iSpot.TV.

    The Trump ad was created by Jamestown Associates, a corporate advertising firm based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with National Media as the ad-buying agency, and aired three times on NBC properties and 14 times on Fox properties over the last week before it was pulled. At the time it was removed, it had been viewed more that 21 million times, according to iSpot.TV.

    The review of a political ad shouldn't be any less stringent than it is for a commercial product, O'Leary said. "They're selling the most important thing to our society they are selling ideas and principles that are going to determine our government."

    Reputational risk

    Since federal agencies don't thoroughly review political ad messages, that leaves the evaluation of whether an ad is appropriate to broadcasters and cable companies. And that determination has proven difficult. NBC, Fox, and Facebook all removed the ad not because it spouted factual inaccuracies, but for less quantifiable reasons. 

    NBC used the term "insensitive." Facebook said the content was "sensational." In either case, the platforms seemed to designate the ad as a violation of social mores. And that may leave them exposed to a future mishap.

    In the case of the most recent Trump ad that was removed, the damage seems contained.

    "I don’t think there’s a reputational risk for the network and its other advertisers either way, unless an ad is so egregious that it somehow causes consumers to view other advertisers or the network negatively," Brian Wieser, senior analyst Pivotal Research, told Business Insider in an email. "Advertisers are concerned more about the content they are associated with than the brand company they keep."

    YouTube is an example of a platform that faced backlash after advertisers noticed their ads running next to offensive or extremist content. It resulted in hundreds of advertisers pulling their ads from YouTube even though ads only rarely ran next to questionable content, Wieser said. 

    But advertisers usually only act when there's a direct correlation between content or brand safety and an ad.

    Take Facebook's role in the genocide against the Rohingya, a persecuted Muslim minority group. On Monday, Facebook admitted it didn't do enough to prevent its platform being used to incite violence and hate against the Rohingya. But advertisers aren't boycotting Facebook the way they did YouTube.

    "No advertiser has concern at this time because, I think, the connection is too indirect for most consumers to appreciate even if it seems plain as day to someone studying the business closely," Wieser said.

    It may take someone putting together a clear argument that resonates with large groups of people for the connection to become more problematic, he said.

    But brand-safety issues for networks and platforms could become more of an issue in the future because of changing expectations of consumers.

    "I think millennials and young people want to align with platforms and brands that are extensions of their values and their principles," Joseph Anthony, CEO of New York based advertising firm Hero Group, told Business Insider. 

    "I think that the networks are not insulated from that, especially as you see more young people cut the cord and starting to look at more on demand platforms and there are a lot more options out there."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Valedictorians rarely become rich and famous — here's why the average millionaire's college GPA is 2.9


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    ron perlman sons of anarchy

    • FX's "Sons of Anarchy" is leaving Netflix, which could signal future FX and Fox shows leaving the service, as the Disney-Fox deal is expected to close in January.
    • Disney is launching its own streaming service next year, which will compete with Netflix.
    • Other FX and Fox shows, like "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and "Bob's Burgers," are no longer on Netflix, but stream on Hulu, which Disney will own 60% of after the Fox merger.
    • "Sons of Anarchy" is also streaming on Hulu.

     

    FX's "Sons of Anarchy" is leaving Netflix in December, signaling what could be in store for shows owned by Disney after the Disney-Fox deal is complete. 

    According to Netflix's website (first pointed out by CinemaBlend), "Sons of Anarchy" is only available until December 1.

    sons of anarchy netflix

    FX, which originally distributed the series about biker club starring Ron Perlman and Charlie Hunnam, is a Fox property. But once the merger with Disney is complete (it's expected to close in January), it will be owned by Disney.

    Disney is expected to launch its own streaming service late next year that would compete with Netflix, so "Sons of Anarchy" being pulled could mean bad things for FX's other shows on Netflix, such as "American Horror Story" and "The People v. O.J. Simpson."

    Netflix and FX did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    READ MORE: Interest in Netflix's 'Luke Cage' and 'Iron Fist' dropped dramatically over time, and its other Marvel shows could also be in trouble

    Other FX shows like "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and "Archer," and Fox shows like "Bob's Burgers" and "Empire," left Netflix previously, but can be found on Hulu, which Disney will own 60% of once its Fox deal closes.

    Disney also owns ABC, which could mean that those shows are in danger of leaving Netflix and either being exclusively streamed on Hulu or the upcoming Disney service. Some ABC shows currently on Netflix include "Scandal," "How to Get Away with Murder," "Grey's Anatomy," "Once Upon a Time," and "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."

    SEE ALSO: The top 5 TV shows to watch on Netflix and other streaming services this week

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How 'The Price Is Right' is made


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    Riot Games HQ

    • The "League of Legends" developer Riot Games is facing a class-action lawsuit claiming the company harbored a sexist work environment with women suffering from unequal pay and regular harassment.
    • Reports detailing the company's "bro culture" surfaced in August, leading Riot to issue an apology to current and past employees.
    • The two women who filed the lawsuit detailed multiple instances of inappropriate behavior, including a list of "Hottest Women Employees" and unsolicited photos of male genitalia.

    Months after reports accused the "League of Legends" developer Riot Games of fostering a sexist work environment, two employees, one former and one current, have filed a class-action lawsuit against the company alleging discrimination and harassment.

    In the complaint filed with the California Superior Court in Los Angeles, the plaintiffs claim that Riot denied them equal pay and blocked their career advancements on the basis of gender.

    Both plaintiffs are women and claim that Riot promoted a male-dominated culture that led to sexual harassment and misconduct in the workplace.

    A copy of the complaint obtained by Gizmodo Media Group mentions an investigative report from the GMG-owned video game website Kotaku detailing the experiences of more than two dozen Riot employees, many of whom share the same criticism. After the report was published in August, Riot acknowledged that the company's emphasis on what it called "gamer" culture resulted in gendered discrimination.

    Read more:Riot Games apologizes after being accused of sexist culture, vows to change

    Representatives for the plaintiffs, Jessica Negron and Melanie McCracken, claim the "core gamer" identity emphasized by Riot is explicitly male and was used to disqualify women from recruitment and promotions. Furthermore, they allege that women have been assigned to lower-paying jobs while less qualified men receive more frequent promotions. The lawsuit also claims women in the workplace are subjected to additional criticism, harassment, and retaliation based on gender.

    "Women are required to participate and tolerate crude male humor which include jokes about sex, defecation, masturbation, rape, and torture," the lawsuit says. "Women who do not join in these adolescent humor jokes are classified as 'snobby' and unwilling to fit in with the company."

    The lawsuit offers several specific examples of how what it calls Riot's "bro culture" negatively affected female employees. According to the claim, one of the plaintiffs counted male Riot Games using the work dick more than 500 times during a single month. Other employees were shown unsolicited photos of male genitalia, and one woman found an email chain in which coworkers discussed what it would be like to "penetrate her," the lawsuit says. The claim says there is an ongoing email chain of "Riot Games Hottest Women Employees" that rates female employees.

    Basic work dynamics were said to have suffered as well, with the plaintiffs saying women were frequently talked over during meetings and had their ideas dismissed. Riot Games' CEO and cofounder, Brandon Beck, is accused of using the phrase "no doesn't necessarily mean no" as a slogan for the company during an internal meeting.

    One plaintiff said her supervisor told her, "Diversity should not be a focal point of the design of Riot Games' products because gaming culture is the last remaining safe-haven for white teen boys."

    Riot Games Brandon Beck (CEO) Marc Merrill (President).

    When asked to comment on the lawsuit, a representative for Riot Games offered the following statement:

    "While we do not discuss the details of ongoing litigation, we can say that we take every allegation of this nature seriously and investigate them thoroughly. We remain committed to a deep and comprehensive evolution of our culture to ensure Riot is a place where all Rioters thrive. We've shared our progress here: https://www.riotgames.com/en/how-were-evolving."

    Since the initial reports of sexism surfaced in August, Riot has been detailing its efforts to combat sexism and discrimination within the company. This includes bringing in third-party consultants to help redefine the company culture and sharing a timeline of actionable steps to make that change happen.

    Still, regardless of what changes are being made, Riot will need to answer the allegations of past discrimination in court. Both plaintiffs are seeking damages over multiple allegations of discrimination and harassment as well as what they say are violations of California's Equal Pay Act. The court will need to certify the lawsuit for it to become class action.

    SEE ALSO: One of the world's biggest game studios has been hit with multiple allegations of fostering a hostile, sexist work environment

    SEE ALSO: Riot Games, accused of fostering a sexist work culture, apologizes and vows to change

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Watch Apple's October 2018 event in 8 minutes


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    bryan singer

    • Fox's "For Your Consideration" Oscar-campaign website includes Bryan Singer for Best Director for "Bohemian Rhapsody."
    • Fox fired Singer late into production on the film and replaced him with Dexter Fletcher because he was repeatedly absent from set.

     

    Most critics agree that Rami Malek's portrayal of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in "Bohemian Rhapsody" lands him in the Oscar race. But Fox, the studio behind the movie, is also pushing director Bryan Singer, despite firing him before the movie was finished.

    Fox's "For Your Consideration" Oscar-campaign website lists Bryan Singer for Best Director among the categories it's hoping for "Bohemian Rhapsody" to be nominated in. The movie's best shot at a nomination in any of the major categories is Malek, as the film has received backlash for its historical inaccuracies and portrayal of Mercury's legacy, on top of subpar reviews (it has a 60% on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes).

    Fox did not respond to a request for comment.

    singer fyc

    The movie came to theaters this month after a troubled production, in which Singer was regularly absent from set to the point where Fox had to replace him with Dexter Fletcher late into filming.

    However, Singer was still credited as the sole director of the movie. Director's Guild of America rules stipulate that a movie must have one director or director-team credit, and Fletcher said that he did not want to be credited.

    On top of the controversy surrounding the film, Singer is also facing a lawsuit that claims he sexually assaulted a 17 year old at a party in 2003. He has denied it. Singer also responded to a yet-to-be published Esquire article last month that he claimed would "attempt to rehash false accusations and bogus lawsuits."

    With all of this mind, it's curious why Fox would include Singer in its "Bohemian Rhapsody" Oscar campaign.

    SEE ALSO: 'Bohemian Rhapsody' director Bryan Singer issued a scathing denial of a not-yet-published Esquire article

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Everything you need to know about 'Red Dead Redemption 2' — 2018's most anticipated video game


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    game of thrones

    • A new Parks Associates analysis shows the top 10 over-the-top video services in the US in 2018.
    • Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu remain at the top from last year, but YouTube Red got bumped off the list by DirecTV Now.
    • HBO Now, Starz, Showtime, and CBS All Access each got a bump this year because of the quality of original content, according to Parks Associates senior director of research Brett Sappington.
    • "This pattern suggests new services such as WarnerMedia's DC Universe and the forthcoming streaming service from Disney could achieve success quickly," he said.

    A new analysis from market research company Parks Associates shows who is winning and losing in the contest among video services in 2018. The report, released Wednesday, is based on estimated number of subscribers for each service, and while the top three are the same as last year, the rest of the list showed a shift.

    Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu remain the big three, but premium cable channels that have gone direct-to-consumer in recent years, like HBO, gained ground.

    A new addition this year is DirecTV Now, AT&T's primary digital TV package, which bumped YouTube Red out of the top 10.

    Read more: Disney faces major hurdles as it takes on Netflix, and it needs to figure out Hulu fast

    HBO, Showtime, Starz, and CBS All Access each got a bump this year, which Parks Associates senior director of research Brett Sappington attributed to the services' original programming.

    "HBO, Starz, Showtime, and CBS All Access demonstrate the powerful attractiveness of original content through series like [HBO's] 'Game of Thrones' and [CBS'] 'Star Trek: Discovery,'" Sappington said. "This pattern suggests new services such as WarnerMedia's DC Universe and the forthcoming streaming service from Disney could achieve success quickly."

    Disney is expected the enter the streaming war in a big way next year with its own service, which will include original "Star Wars" and Marvel TV shows, and DC Universe launched this year as a service for DC Comics fans, with original series and a library of digital comic books.

    The 2018 top 10 subscription over-the-top video services are below:

    1. Netflix
    2. Amazon Video
    3. Hulu
    4. HBO Now
    5. Starz
    6. MLB.TV
    7. Showtime
    8. CBS All Access
    9. Sling TV
    10. DIRECTV Now

    And here is the 2017 list:

    1. Netflix
    2. Amazon Video
    3. Hulu
    4. MLB.TV
    5. HBO Now
    6. Starz
    7. YouTube Red
    8. Showtime
    9. CBS All Access
    10. Sling TV

    SEE ALSO: Morgan Stanley predicted how Disney's Netflix competitor will fare in the streaming wars — and said it could be a $6 billion business

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How 'The Price Is Right' is made


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    sinemia website

    • Sinemia is an affordable MoviePass alternative that has comparable features and pricing without some of MoviePass' more annoying restrictions.
    • But Sinemia's fee structure is not well explained on its website and it has unresponsive customer service.
    • Sinemia should be clearer with its customers about pricing, especially since it offers an attractive model for movie fans.


    When MoviePass introduced its cap of three movies a month in August, as a customer, I breathed a sigh of relief.

    I’d been reporting on MoviePass for months and understood the precariousness of its financial situation, and that it was hemorrhaging money by buying full-price tickets for super users who made moviegoing a sport.

    But then the restrictions on which movies I could see with MoviePass, and the removal of many eligible showtimes from the app, began to frustrate me (though many subscribers still like it). I looked for an alternative and found Sinemia, a movie-ticket subscription service that, like MoviePass, isn’t tied to a specific chain like AMC Stubs A-List.

    And while my experience with Sinemia has been largely positive, there’s a central issue I ran into that prospective customers should be aware of before signing up — and that gave me a bit of a flashback to my MoviePass horror stories.

    Here come the sneaky fees

    In August, Sinemia was running a monthly promotion that gave me a plan comparable to MoviePass: $9.99 for three movies a month, but without the restrictions on movies or showtimes. I was on board and signed up.

    I downloaded the app and poked around. The design was cluttered and confusing, but eventually I came to a section that explained there were two ways of using Sinemia: with a card and cardless.

    The card option supposedly worked much the same as MoviePass, where you check into a movie and then use your Sinemia debit card to pay at the theater. This, the app said, included no extra fees besides my monthly $9.99. The second way was “cardless.” Using that option I could buy my ticket online in advance, but I would have to pay the online ticketing convenience fee myself ($1.50 the first time I used it).

    sinemia 1

    I thought that was definitely a fair deal and began to use the cardless option while I waited for my card to arrive. But it never did. I sent an email to customer support on October 11 and never received a response. I followed up on October 29 and still heard nothing. (I had started my membership on August 29.)

    I finally reached out to a PR representative for the company in my capacity as a journalist on November 2, and was told that Sinemia had been cardless “by default” since June, though the app and promotional material still refer to it as an advance ticket “option” and a cardless "feature," and there is still a whole section in the FAQ in my app dedicated to how to use your Sinemia card:

    sinemia 2

    “Upon introducing the Cardless feature, Sinemia saw that using Cardless through Sinemia’s advanced ticket feature was the most popular way for subscribers to get their tickets, so Sinemia went Cardless by default in June 2018,” a Sinemia spokeswoman said. “Additionally, Sinemia is working on a feature that will allow customers to request a physical Sinemia card through their app before the end of 2018.”

    Given that cardless is the only option right now for new customers, when I look at the pricing guide on Sinemia’s website, it feels misleading. The website clearly spells out your monthly fee (and your sign-up fee, if you choose to be billed monthly and not yearly), but details about the convenience fee appear either buried in the FAQ page, or in fine print before you pay for a plan — without an estimate of how much they'll be.

    If you are going to be getting hit with that fee every time, it would be more honest of Sinemia to note that in the section that explains the two other ways you’re going to get charged money right on the front of its website.

    I still have high hopes for Sinemia, but the confusing terms and lack of customer service are reminding me of the worst of MoviePass.

    If you have any information about Sinemia, or have a story about your experience with the service, contact the author at nmcalone@businessinsider.com.

    SEE ALSO: MoviePass competitor Sinemia has a new cheaper 'weekday-only' plan starting at $3.99 per month

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Everything you need to know about 'Red Dead Redemption 2' — 2018's most anticipated video game


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    Stranger Things

    • The third quarter of 2018 was terrible for pay-TV subscribers.
    • It was the first time legacy-cable and satellite companies lost more than 1 million subscribers in a quarter.
    • Even including the virtual multichannel video programming distributor, or vMVPD, options offered by cable and satellite providers, the ecosystem lost subscribers.
    • Analysts are split over what it could mean for the future and whether it's the start of a long-term trend.

    The pay-TV industry just reported its worst quarter to date, and a new revenue stream that had helped to soften declining subscribers is looking weak.

    As disruptive companies like Netflix and YouTube have spurred a cord-cutting revolution, cable and satellite companies have fought back with burgeoning virtual multichannel video programming distributor, or vMVPD, packages that aim to retain customers by shifting from one viewing platform to the next. Since the first quarter of 2017, traditional-TV losses and the transition to digital bundles have seemed to move in tandem. The latter helped to offset the former.

    But in the third quarter of 2018, the rise in vMVPDs could not keep pace with traditional-TV cord-cutting, and total subscribers fell, according to Wall Street analyst firm MoffettNathanson.

    Screen Shot 2018 11 07 at 2.46.47 PM

    In fact, it was the first time that legacy-cable and satellite companies lost more than 1 million subscribers, analyst Rich Greenfield said on Twitter. Including vMVPD subscribers, that loss was mitigated to about 500,000, the worst loss in two years.

    "People just aren't seeing the value," Alan Wolk, the lead analyst for TVREV, told Business Insider."Right now there's a loss of 0.7%, but we will start seeing much bigger losses, especially as 'the flix' — Disneyflix, Appleflix, Warnerflix — come to market." Disney, Apple, and AT&T's WarnerMedia have all announced over-the-top streaming services that will be released in the future.

    Both Sling, which is owned by Dish, and DirecTV, which is owned by AT&T, had poor quarters for pay-TV subs, Wolk said. Sling had carrier disputes over the quarter, but, overall, part of the churn is related to other vMVPDs like YouTube TV and Hulu stealing subscribers, analysts at Barclays said.

    While traditional pay TV will take the biggest hits to subscriber losses in the future, Wolk said he expects the trend of weakened growth, or even losses, to cable- and satellite-provided over-the-top services to continue. One potential area for hope may be for these companies to lean back into the original skinny bundle, Wolk said, pointing to bloated packages that offer 80 channels.

    NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke also recently tempered expectations about the streaming market. "The growth of the virtual MVPDs is starting to plateau, at least in the last month," he said on Comcast's analysts call in October.

    But Paul Verna, an analyst at eMarketer, said he's cautious about drawing conclusions from one quarter about the viability of digital-TV bundles like Sling and DirecTV Now.

    "You can only draw so much of a conclusion, because it's a new mode of monetizing TV. These are quarterly ups and downs," Verna told Business Insider. "The lumpiness is coming from the fact that the services are new. They are vying against each other and won't have the same sub growth every quarter."

    Verna said there's no question that the traditional pay-TV providers are having a very hard time, but he projects growth in linear over-the-top through 2022. In his projection he included Sling TV, DirecTV Now, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, Sony PlayStation Vue, and fuboTV.

    image001 (1)

    "I think best positioned to undergo a lot of growth is YouTube TV, simply because they already have a massive user base and it's a question of converting them to linear TV," he said. Of course, growth for Youtube TV doesn't bolster waning subscriber numbers for cable and satellite companies.

    The third quarter figures may trigger another inflection point in the industry, especially as Comcast, the nation's largest cable-TV provider, has said it isn't looking to join the list of companies offering over-the-top services delivered over the internet.

    SEE ALSO: 'The cord is still intact': a Comcast exec explains why America's largest TV provider can survive the death of cable TV

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: There's so much CO2 in the atmosphere that planting trees can no longer save us


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    pokemon go generation 2

    • Pokémon Go players spent more than $70 million on the free-to-play game during October 2018, an increase of 67% percent from October 2017. 
    • Pokemon Go was the seventh highest earning mobile video game during the month, earning more than the mobile version of "Fortnite: Battle Royale."
    • Japanese players spent slightly more than players in the U.S.; together the two countries account for about two-thirds of the game's revenue.

    It seems like the sun will never set on Pokémon fever. Now several months into its third year, "Pokémon Go" shows few signs of slowing down, having generated $73 million during October 2018 according to research firm SensorTower.

    The mobile video game is still free-to-play, but players can spend money on in-game items and cosmetics. Japanese players made up the majority revenue, out spending players from the U.S. by a thin margin. Together the two countries accounted for 66.1% of the game's revenue during October. SensorTower reports that the game was the the eighth highest earning mobile app worldwide in October and 7th among mobile games, earning more than the mobile version of "Fortnite: Battle Royale."

    "Pokémon Go" recently unveiled a new batch of creatures from "Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl," which likely led to renewed interest in the game. The October earnings reflect an increase of about 67% when compared to last year; the game earned $43.6 million during October 2017.


    Read more:'Pokémon Let's Go' is the first full Pokémon game on the Nintendo Switch — here's what you need to know to get started


    This is certainly good news as Nintendo prepares to launch "Pokémon: Lets Go, Pikachu!" and "Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee!" later this month. The two games are remakes of "Pokemon Red & Blue" and the first main series Pokémon games to arrive on the Nintendo Switch.

    "Pokémon Go" developer Niantic recently relaunched their original mobile exploration game "Ingress" under the name "Ingress Prime." The game is an alternative to "Pokémon Go" with similar, albeit more complex, mechanics and a unique story. Niantic is also working on a Harry Potter-title in the same vein as "Pokémon Go" named "Harry Potter: Wizards Unite."

    SEE ALSO: 'Pokémon Go' just rolled out a fresh batch of Pokémon from 'Diamond and Pearl' -- Here's the list of new additions

    SEE ALSO: The creators of Pokémon Go have totally revamped their original game — and it's perfect for Pokémon masters looking for a new challenge

    SEE ALSO: The team behind 'Pokémon Go' is creating a Harry Potter game for smartphones

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here's the reason most new console video games cost $60


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    Roku CEO Anthony Wood at the company's IPO in 2017

    • Roku reported third-quarter results Wednesday that topped Wall Street's expectations.
    • But investors sold off its stock following the announcement; in recent trading it was off as much as 12%.
    • The growth rate of the company's platform business, while still robust, slowed markedly in the quarter, and it offered a disappointing forecast for its bottom line in the fourth quarter.

    Roku's investors may not have been pleased with the company's third-quarter earnings report, but CEO Anthony Wood insists that everything's going just fine.

    The streaming media device maker's results beat Wall Street's expectations on the top and bottom lines. But investors found the results disappointing nonetheless, sending Roku's stock down 12% in after-hours exchanges Wednesday.

    Potentially feeding shareholder worries: Roku projected that its bottom line in the holiday quarter won't be as robust as analysts were hoping, and it revealed that the growth rate of its platform business, which includes its fast-growing advertising sales, slowed considerably in the third quarter.

    "We had a great quarter," CEO Anthony Wood insisted in an interview with Business Insider. He continued: "We're very happy with how things are going."

    Investors weren't, though. In recent after-hours trading, Roku's shares were down $7.45, or 12.66%, to $51.41. Earlier in the session, they were off as much as 13%.

    Wood had much to crow about

    From one vantage point, he and his colleagues had plenty of reason to be pleased with results. Roku posted $173.4 million in sales in the period, up 39% from the third quarter last year and above Wall Street's forecast of $170.4 million in revenue.

    For the period, the company posted a loss of $9.5 million, or 9 cents a share. In the same period a year earlier, it lost $46.2 million, or $8.79 a share, although that figure was swelled by a one-time stock-related charge. Regardless, its results in the third quarter bested analysts estimates; they were expecting a loss of 12 cents a share.

    And the core parts of Roku's business continued to post healthy growth. The company now has 23.8 million active customer accounts, which was up 43% from the year-ago quarter and up 8% from the second quarter this year. Its platform revenue, which includes advertising sales and the money it makes from licensing its software to television makers, grew 74% from last year's third quarter, and its revenue from video ads grew by more than 100%.

    "Our ad business is firing on all cylinders," Wood said.

    But looked at another way, the company gave investors and analysts reason for concern. Take its outlook. The company expects its bottom line in the fourth quarter to be anywhere from a loss of $4 million to a profit of $3 million on sales ranging from $255 million to $265 million. That forecast implies a bottom line ranging from a loss of about 4 cents a share to a profit of about 3 cents a share. 

    Analysts had forecast better results, at least on the bottom line. Prior to the report, they had projected that Roku would earn 5 cents a share in the holiday quarter on sales of $258.9 million.

    But Roku's growth rates are slowing

    Meanwhile, even the company's standout results for the third quarter included some data points that likely raised eyebrows. While impressive, the company's platform growth rate slowed markedly in the quarter and has been on a consistent downward trend. In the second quarter, that segment grew at a 96% annual rate. In the three prior quarters, it grew by more than 100%.

    Similarly, the growth in the company's number of active accounts also slowed down, although not as dramatically. The 43% growth accounts was the slowest pace since Roku became a public company last year.

    Meanwhile, its costs jumped significantly in the period. Its operating expenses were up 57% to 90.7 million, far outpacing its revenue growth.

    Roku faces growing competition from Amazon, which not only sells rival streaming media boxes but also reportedly has an ad-supported streaming video channel in the works that would rival the Roku Channel. Like Roku, Amazon has started to license the operating system that underlies its media boxes to smart TV makers, signing a deal this summer with Best Buy to have it included on Best Buy's Insignia television line.

    Read this:Amazon's got its eyes set on yet another market — and one high-flying upstart should be worried

    The company also potentially faces new rivals such as Comcast, which has its own streaming media box in the works for its broadband customers, according to CNBC.

    Wood sees advertisers as a bigger challenge than Amazon

    But Wood said the bigger challenge for Roku is convincing advertisers to spend their dollars with it. The portion of advertisers' video ad budgets that's going to Roku trails the amount of time that consumers are spending on its platform, he said.

    "That's a way bigger issue than our competition," he said.

    And Wood isn't worried about Amazon's deal with Best Buy. That's an exclusive relationship; those TVs can't be sold outside of Best Buy, he said. By contrast, smart TVs running Roku's operating system can be sold anywhere. On top of that, the company expect Best Buy itself to carry more Roku TVs this holiday season than it did a year ago.

    "Our smart TV business is going great," he said. "We're super-happy with that program."

    Roku's shares closed regular trading on Wednesday up $3.24, or 5.8%, $58.86.

    Now read:

    SEE ALSO: YouTube is growing like a startup — these two charts show the 12-year-old site's stunning surge

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A cybersecurity expert showed us how hackers can tap into an office phone and listen to everything you're saying


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    Pokemon Go Grandpa

    • A 70-year-old Taiwanese man has gone viral for his dedication to the mobile video game "Pokémon Go."
    • Photos from Twitter show Chen San-yuan playing the game on 11 different phones at the same time using a special rig tied around his waist. 
    • San-yuan, who has been given the nickname "Uncle Pokémon" has slowly upgraded his setup over the last few months and reportedly spends more than $1,200 a month on the free-to-play game.

    A Taiwanese man has earned the nickname Uncle Pokémon after gaining international attention for his outrageous dedication to "Pokémon Go." Recent photos show Chen San-yuan, 70, using a waist-mounted rig to play the mobile video game on 11 different phones at the same time.

    San-yuan first garnered virual attention in May, when photos of the elderly man playing "Pokémon Go" on a bike-mounted setup with six phones surfaced on Reddit. By the time video game news outlet EXP.GG tracked him down on camera in June, San-yuan had upgraded his setup to use nine phones at once from his bike.

    Now it seems that San-yuan has built a new rig to use even more phones without a bike. In August, BBC reported that San-yuan spends more than $1,290 a month on "Pokémon Go." While the game is free-to-play, the money is spent on new phones and in-game items — the kind of dedication that may have helped Pokémon Go ring up $73 million in revenue in October. 

    San-yuan uses multiple portable battery packs to power the devices and he can play for up to 20 hours at once. He told the BBC that he plans to add four more phones to his setup, bringing the total to 15. 

    SEE ALSO: 'Pokémon Go' raked in $73 million during October, a whopping 67% increase over the previous year, proving people are still obsessed with the game

    SEE ALSO: 'Pokémon Go' just rolled out a fresh batch of Pokémon from 'Diamond and Pearl' -- Here's the list of new additions

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Review: Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL are the best smartphones you can buy right now


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    Nancy Dubuc

    • Vice Media CEO Nancy Dubuc, who took over for Shane Smith in March, is cutting staff at the digital publisher, The Wall Street Journal reports.
    • The Brooklyn-based company is reportedly shedding 10% to 15% of its workforce and is on track to miss its revenue goals for this year.
    • Vice Media had 27 million unique visitors in September, down from 49.1 million in March 2016, according to Comscore. 


    Nancy Dubuc, Vice Media's CEO who replaced Shane Smith in March, is making cuts at the digital publisher.

    According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Brooklyn-based Vice Media is lowering its headcount by 10% to 15% of its workforce and is on track to miss its revenue goals for this year.

    To make the cuts, Dubuc ordered a companywide hiring freeze six weeks ago and plans to trim staff through both the freeze and attrition.

    Vice Media had 27 million unique visitors in September, down from 49.1 million in March 2016, according to Comscore. Vice Media's total Comscore numbers each month are comprised of traffic from its own properties plus third-party websites like SEO-focused Ranker, Metalinjection.net, and ModernFarmer.com.

    Per the report, Vice Media is expected to make $600 to $650 million this year, which is flat with its 2017 revenue. The company reportedly is on track to lose more than $50 million this year in addition to losing $100 million in 2017.

    “At a time of seismic change across the media landscape, Vice has never been better positioned to continue its remarkable growth, further cementing its status as one the most impactful and innovative youth brands worldwide," the company's board of directors said in a statement. "From its deep library of critically-acclaimed programming, to its diversified revenue streams and channels across digital, mobile, television, film and branded content, Vice's audience has never been bigger, more global, more diverse or younger.”

    Vice's web audience is shrinking

    Vice Media has built scale in digital media by focusing its coverage on specific verticals like Noisey (which covers music), Broadly (for women), Munchies (for food), and Vice News. Dubuc reportedly plans to fold several of its existing verticals together to form three to five core verticals, according to The Wall Street Journal's sources.

    Instead of focusing on web publishing, Vice Media plans to beef up its television and movie business to make third-party programming.

    Vice’s in-house agency Virtue (formerly Carrot) is also a priority. Virtue recently signed a deal with entertainment brand El Rey to launch an agency catering specifically to the Hispanic market in the US.

    According to a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Vice Media is preparing to launch a live news show called “Viceland Live” on Viceland, the channel operated by A+E Networks. Vice’s current weekly show on HBO is also in the process of winding down this season.

    Dubuc took over Vice Media earlier this year amid sexual-harassment allegations and financial concerns over whether or not the digital media company could live up to its $5.7 billion valuation, including a $450 million investment from private equity firm TPG last year.

    "Of course, there's pressure," Dubuc told The Hollywood Reporter. "Like any good Hollywood story, people look for the Caped Crusader. The reality is never as simple."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This company spent 10 years developing a product that allows humans to scale walls like a gecko


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    netflix2

    The pay-TV industry just reported its worst quarter to date, and a new revenue stream that had helped to soften declining subscribers is looking weak.

    As disruptive companies like Netflix and YouTube have spurred a cord-cutting revolution, cable and satellite companies have fought back with burgeoning virtual multichannel video programming distributor, or vMVPD, packages that aim to retain customers by shifting from one viewing platform to the next. Since the first quarter of 2017, traditional-TV losses and the transition to digital bundles have seemed to move in tandem. The latter helped to offset the former.

    But in the third quarter of 2018, the rise in vMVPDs could not keep pace with traditional-TV cord-cutting, and total subscribers fell, according to Wall Street analyst firm MoffettNathanson.

    Click hereto read more about pay TV's terrible quarter and what it means for the future of the industry.

    In other news:

    Vice Media is cutting its staff by up to 15% amid missed revenue and a traffic slump.Vice Media CEO Nancy Dubuc, who took over for Shane Smith in March, is cutting staff at the digital publisher, The Wall Street Journal reports.

    Roku's CEO says his business is doing 'great' — even if investors aren't convinced.The growth rate of the company's platform business, while still robust, slowed markedly in the quarter, and it offered a disappointing forecast for its bottom line in the fourth quarter.

    Eric Schmidt takes the blame for Google's social networking failures: 'I suspect we didn’t fully understand how to do it.’In a recent podcast interview with economist Tyler Cowen, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt said the company's failure to build the next, big social network was mostly his fault.

    New data shows the winners and losers in streaming TV this year — and it's good news for Disney as it enters the battle for subscribers.A new Parks Associates analysis shows the top 10 over-the-top video services in the US in 2018 and how the leaders changed from last year to this year.

    Facebook is launching pop-up stores at Macy's in a move that's straight out of Amazon's playbook.The pop-up will be showcased in "The Market," which launched earlier this year as a way to bring lesser-known brands to Macy’s.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    moviepass

    • MoviePass sent subscribers a bizarre email on Wednesday from its "Director of Barketing" saying it was listening to and learning from user concerns.
    • "I see these humans working like crazy to make MoviePass better and better for you as fast as possible," the email said.
    • Users took to Twitter to express their displeasure with the email, with some saying it was insulting and questioning whether it was mocking customers.

     

    Troubled movie-ticket subscription service MoviePass wants users to know that it is listening and learning from user concerns — or rather, its "Director of Barketing" wants you to know that.

    MoviePass sent subscribers a strange email on Wednesday with a picture of a dog claiming to be "Chloe, the Director of Barketing at MoviePass." The email, phrased as if "Chloe" wrote it, said: "I'd like to explain why from time to time you have had a 'ruff' experience with us but it turns out that I'm a dog and I can't talk."

    "What I do is that I see these humans working like crazy to make MoviePass better and better for you as fast as possible," the email continued. "They are so grateful for your membership and support while they work it out."

    It concludes with, "We're listening. We're learning. We're changing."

    MoviePass subscribers have regularly expressed their displeasure with MoviePass' customer service and its inability to address their "ruff" experiences, and getting an email from a fake dog isn't likely to change that.

    Users quickly took to Twitter to voice their opinions, with somecalling it insulting and unhelpful:

    MoviePass has changed its rules and features several times this year in an attempt to sustain itself financially, to the annoyance of many users. In July, it announced that it would raise its monthly price from $9.95 to $14.95, but allow users to see a movie a day. It quickly rolled back those changes, and promised to keep the price at $9.95 a month, but limited the number of movies a month to three. 

    It began transitioning all annual subscribers to this new monthly plan over the summer, and during the transition, it limited the movies that users could see (keeping some blockbusters off the app, for instance). Months later, that still hasn't changed, and the available movies and showtimes on the service are still restricted and change on any given day.

    But not everyone is upset with the service. According to a recent survey conducted by on-demand insights platform AlphaHQ for Business Insider, 56% of users who subscribed in the last six months said they were satisfied with MoviePass. Still, 18% said they planned to cancel.

    SEE ALSO: Sinemia has emerged as a cheap MoviePass alternative, but it has hidden fees and awful customer service

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Everything you need to know about 'Red Dead Redemption 2' — 2018's most anticipated video game


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    Red Dead Redemption 2

    • The latest open-world game from the folks behind "Grand Theft Auto" is "Red Dead Redemption 2." It's available now on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
    • The game is set in 1899 America, albeit a fictionalized version. As such, there are period-appropriate characters filling its world: Cowboys and Pinkerton detectives and women's rights activists.
    • Due to the nature of "Red Dead Redemption 2" as an open-world game, players can interact with those characters in both passive and — as one viral video demonstrates — extremely violent ways.

    The folks behind "Grand Theft Auto" are once again embroiled in controversy over their latest game.

    This time, the game is "Red Dead Redemption 2," and the controversy isn't related to a secret bit of code. Instead, the controversy surrounds a YouTube video that exploded in popularity named, "Red Dead Redemption 2 - Beating Up Annoying Feminist." 

    In the video, YouTube creator Shirrako's character briefly speaks with a women's rights activist — then he punches her in the face.

    The video is just one minute and thirty seconds long. It has over 1.6 million views as of this writing:

    YouTube

    Just like "Grand Theft Auto" before it, "Red Dead Redemption 2" allows players to interact with any characters in its vast, open-world environment. 

    Thus, when you encounter the women's rights activist above in the streets of Saint Denis — the game's approximation of New Orleans circa 1899 — you're able to speak with her, or to trample her with your horse, or, as this player did, punch her in the face.

    Read moreA horrific glitch in 'Red Dead Redemption 2' is turning one road into a mass horse grave

    The game doesn't encourage this behavior; in fact, it discourages that behavior actively with its "Wanted" system. The more illegal stuff you do — like accosting a stranger in the street of a major city — the more hostile the world is to you. Bounty hunters will chase you down, and shop owners may not interact with you. Being a maniac in "Red Dead Redemption 2" isn't very rewarding.

    That of course isn't stopping players from doing it anyway, and it certainly isn't stopping YouTube video makers from capturing footage of that stuff for salaciously-titled videos like, "Beating Up Annoying Feminist" or "Annoying Feminist Fed To Alligator" — another popular video on this particular YouTube creator's channel.

    Red Dead Redemption 2

    What counts as 'gratuitous violence'?

    In a surprising twist, YouTube took down the videos in question — and then reinstated the videos hours later.

    According to YouTube, the video and the channel where it was hosted were violating community guidelines. 

    "After review, we've determined that activity in your account violated our Community Guidelines, which state that the promotion or display of gratuitous violence is not acceptable on our site," a letter from YouTube to the channel's owner said, according to Motherboard.

    But, as the YouTube creator points out, his channel is full of videos depicting gratuitous violence in video games. Indeed, any video depicting gameplay from games like "God of War" or "Mortal Kombat" is, by its nature, full of gratuitous violence.

    "You literally rip characters apart in 'Mortal Kombat,'" he told Motherboard. "Why are those videos allowed and what I made is ban worthy?"

    That said, there's obviously a difference between content intended to provoke a response — like a video tailored specifically around violently attacking a women's rights activist — and the kind of violence depicted in games like "God of War."

    Business Insider reached out to YouTube for clarification of what constitutes "gratuitous violence" on the site, and we were sent the following statement: "YouTube’s Community Guidelines prohibit among other things, gratuitous violence, nudity, dangerous and illegal activities, and hate speech. Creative formats such as video games can be challenging to assess but when content crosses the line and is flagged to our attention, we take action as necessary."

    SEE ALSO: A horrific glitch in 'Red Dead Redemption 2' is turning one road into a mass horse grave

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    altered carbon

    • Netflix announced a collection of Asian originals on Thursday, including "Pacific Rim" and "Altered Carbon" anime shows.
    • Netflix has yet to break through in Asia, and hasn't exceeded more than 2 million customers in any Asian market.
    • Netflix already streams the Indian original "Sacred Games," and plans to focus heavily on the country with this new initiative.

     

    Netflix is a streaming giant, but it has yet to break through in the most populated region in the world: Asia. 

    Netflix has over 130 million subscribers, but it has not exceeded more than 2 million customers in any Asian market, according to Bloomberg. The company hopes to change that with a collection of new Asian original series it announced at its first content showcase event in the region on Thursday, called "See What's Next: Asia."

    The 17 new originals include a prequel to"Baahubali," the highest-grossing franchise in Indian history. Netflix is betting hard on India in the region, as it can't operate out of China without a local partner. Netflix already streams "Sacred Games," its first Indian original series, and will announce nine more on Friday during the second day of the event.

    "Sacred Games," though, highlights some hurdles for Netflix. The show has faced legal trouble because of its allegedly unflattering depiction of India's former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. A petition was filed in Delhi High Court this year for Netflix to delete any references to him. A woman also accused Vikas Bahl, who co-founded the production company behind for the show, of sexual harassment. After an independent investigation, Netflix decided to move forward with season two.

    Most of the series announced on Thursday, though, were anime (a style of animation that originated in Japan). They include a series based on Guillermo del Toro's giant robot-vs.-giant monster movie, "Pacific Rim," and one based on the Netflix original sci-fi series that debuted this year, "Altered Carbon."

    The eight series announced Thursday are below, with descriptions provided by Netflix:

    Anime Originals

    • Pacific Rim: Returning to the epic battle of Kaiju and Jaegers, this original anime series will expand upon the story of the first two live action movies and follow two siblings - an idealistic teenage boy and his naïve younger sister - who are forced to pilot an abandoned Jaeger across a hostile landscape in a desperate attempt to find their missing parents. Co-showrunners: Craig Kyle ("Thor: Ragnarok") and Greg Johnson ("X-Men: Evolution"). Production Company: Legendary Entertainment ("Kong: Skull Island"; "Pokemon: Detective Pikachu").
    • Altered Carbon: This anime feature, set in the same universe of the Netflix live-action sci-fi series (second season in production from Skydance Television), will explore new elements of the story mythology. Writer: Dai Sato ("Cowboy Bebop," "Samurai Champloo") and Tsukasa Kondo. Animation Studio: Anima.
    • Cagaster of an Insect Cage: Set in a post-apocalyptic world where a mysterious disease “Cagaster” turns people into giant murderous insects, this manga-based series follows the struggle of a young couple to stay alive. Directed By Koichi Chigira ("Last Exile," "Full Metal Panic!"). Animation Studio: Gonzo ("Hellsing," "Afro Samurai").
    • Yasuke: In a war-torn feudal Japan of mechs and magic, a retired ronin must take up his sword when he is charged with the task of transporting a mysterious child who dark forces want to eliminate. Created & Directed by LeSean Thomas ("The Boondocks," "Cannon Busters"), who is also serving as Executive Producer. Grammy nominee Flying Lotus will compose the music and be an Executive Producer on the show. Lakeith Stanfield ("Atlanta," "Sorry to Bother You") will be the voice of the protagonist “Yasuke” (based on the historical samurai of African origin who fought with Oda Nobunaga). Animation Studio: MAPPA ("Yuri On Ice," "Kakegurui").
    • Trese: Set in a Manila where the mythical creatures of Philippine folklore live in hiding amongst humans, Alexandra Trese finds herself going head to head with a criminal underworld comprised of malevolent supernatural beings. This anime series is based on the Philippine graphic novel by the same name, created by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldissimo. Executive Producer: Jay Oliva ("Wonder Woman," "The Legend of Korra"). Produced By: Shanty Harmayn and Tanya Yuson at BASE Entertainment, a studio based in Jakarta and Singapore.

    Thai Language Originals

    • The Stranded: 18 year old Kraam survives a devastating tsunami along with thirty-six of his fellow students at an elite private high school on a remote island in the Andaman Sea. As mysterious events start happening on the island, it quickly becomes clear that no one is coming to rescue them and Kraam must lead the students to rescue themselves. Director: Sophon Sakdaphisit. Production companies: GMM Grammy (this will be the first Netflix original series since the GMM Grammy multi-title deal) & H2L Media Group. Executive Producers: Ekachai Uekrongtham, Gary Levinsohn, Steven Sims, Billy Hines, Christian Durso.
    • Shimmers: A drama series about five teenagers at an isolated school in Northern Thailand. Over a school break, they find themselves haunted by the ghosts of their pasts, only to discover they are threatened by a much more terrifying mystery. Directors: Wisit Sasanatieng and Sittisiri Mongkolsiri. 

    Chinese Language Originals

    • Triad Princess: A Taiwanese original series. Growing up in the shadow of her Triad father, Angie craves an independent life of her own. Defying her father's wishes, she takes on a gig as an undercover bodyguard for a famous actress at an agency, where she must navigate the unfamiliar world of glitz, glamour and even love. Key Cast: Eugenie Liu and Jasper Liu. Director: Neal Wu; Production Companies: mm2 and Goodfilms Workshop.

    SEE ALSO: New data shows the winners and losers in streaming TV this year — and it's good news for Disney as it enters the battle for subscribers

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