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Disney Grows in Subscribers, “Blood Sister” Ranks 9th on Netflix



American-owned Entertainment Company, Walt Disney records another height in the number of subscribers for streaming services, avoiding the slowdown experienced by Netflix.

Over nine million subscribers added to the number of Disney’s online video platforms in the first three months of 2022.

Disney Parks business also witnessed this new increase in the number of users. Disney’s performance was under serious check following Netflix’s fall in subscribers last month.

Netflix is the first company to start an online streaming platform but is having difficulty attracting new subscribers as it tries to build on an already huge 220 million subscriber-based platform.

“A huge sigh of relief for Disney”, said PP Foresight analyst, Paolo Pescatore. Disney has poured investment into its streaming services, seeing them as key to the future of its business, as movie attendance decreases and more people turn from traditional television.

But analysts had worried that its troubles might be more widespread and signal a wider slowdown in consumer demand for streaming.

There are currently 138 million subscribers on Disney since its launch in 2019. Gaining more from hit-movies like Marvel’s “Moon Knight” series and Pixar movie “Turning Red”.

The firm also owns Hulu, ESPN and Hotstar in India.

Disney executives said subscriber growth over the last six months was stronger than they had expected.

However, believe that the number may be slow in the coming months, as the firm enters markets, like Poland, where the war in Ukraine is affecting sentiment.

But they said they remained confident that they will hit sign-up goals.

Chief Financial Officer, Christine McCarthy said “We still do expect an increase in growth.”

“The company’s growth was likely to remain strong, as the company launches in more markets overseas. The company is also planning an ad-supported service,” added Pescatore.

“For now, take-up for its direct-to-consumer services like Disney+ remains robust and will continue to do so,” he said. “Ultimately, it is in a different phase of growth compared to rivals including Netflix, akin to a start-up.”

Disney revenues increased year on year at 23 per cent for the first three months of the year to $19.25bn, boosted by its amusement park business, which saw revenues more than double.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s movie, Blood Sisters has been placed 9th on the newly released movie ranking n=by Netflix as the most-watched movie.

The movie which was released barely a week ago has garnered positive reviews from movie buffs propelling the Netflix film to global acclaim.

According to the ranking by Netflix, Blood Sisters took this position when it had about 11 million viewing hours.

Produced by Mo Abudu’s Ebony Live TV Studios “Blood Sisters” is categorised under the Crime TV Show and as a limited series with four episodes. The film was released on May 5, 2022.


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Twitter to Permit Only Verified Accounts in For You Recommendations



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Starting from April 15th, only verified Twitter accounts will be eligible to be in For You recommendations.

This was disclosed by Twitter’s CEO Elon Musk on his Twitter handle, which according to him is the only realistic way to address advanced AI bot swarms taking over the platform.

Musk wrote on Twitter;

“Starting April 15th, only verified accounts will be eligible to be in For You recommendations. This is the only realistic way to address advanced AI bot swarms taking over. It is otherwise a hopeless losing battle. Voting in polls will require verification for the same reason. That said, it’s okay to give verified bot accounts if they follow terms of service & don’t impersonate a human”.

Fake or spam accounts otherwise known as bot accounts are visible on Twitter which are usually automated and not run by human users. They often make use of the reply function or direct messages to send adverts or scams to users or represent attempts to influence public discourse by tweeting something controversial.

Other fake accounts exist purely to boost the metrics of individual users, who can buy followers, likes, and retweets from bot sellers who control thousands or millions of fake accounts. Because they also inflate Twitter’s daily user numbers, they pose a threat to the company’s advertising revenue.

It would be recalled that before Musk acquired Twitter, he wanted to opt out of the $ 44 billion deal after he queried Twitter’s claim in SEC filings that a small proportion of its users were fake or spam. Musk further suggested that he could seek to pay a lower price for Twitter because of the fake accounts issue. However, after a relatively short court drama, Musk agreed to purchase the platform for the initial offer and has so far devised different means to address the bot issue on the platform.

Before the recent strategy to reduce bots by permitting only verified accounts in For You Recommendations, Musk had earlier rolled out a paid verification feature that will charge $8 per month to verify users’ accounts, which he claimed that the plan would solve the platform’s issues with bots and trolls while creating a new revenue stream for the company.

Musk believes that paid verification increases the costs of making bots by 10,000 percent and makes it easier to identify them. Meanwhile, the paid verification policy raised concerns about misinformation on the platform, as virtually anyone willing to pay the price could attempt to impersonate a public figure under the guise of a verification mark. However, in a bid to prevent this, Twitter has taken a step further by reviewing Twitter Blue accounts before granting them verification.

Moving forward, Investors King understands that Musk has also recently disclosed that only Verified accounts will be able to take part in polls on the platform. This is coming after a Twitter user suggested that Blue subscribers should be the only ones that can vote in policy-related polls.

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Experts in Nigeria Telco Industry Expresses Concerns Over Low Foreign Capital Inflow



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The decline in Foreign capital inflow into the Nigerian telecommunications sector has heightened experts’ concern as the nation looks to deepen its broadband penetration.

In 2019, Nigeria’s telecommunications sector welcomed $942.8 million (N358.26 billion) in capital inflow. This amount declined by $525.4 million to $417. 5 million in 2020 while in 2021, the foreign direct investment into the sector was flat at $417.5 million, the same as in 2020.

In 2022, Nigeria’s economy recorded a boost in foreign direct investment to the tune of N23.982 billion ($57.79 million) in Q1 of 2022. Data obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics disclosed that the figure represents a 2.6 percent increase when compared to the same period last year.

Speaking on some of the reasons for low foreign capital inflow in Nigeria’s telecommunications industry, the President of the Association of Telecommunications Company of Nigeria (ATCON) and Chief Executive Officer of Medallion Communication Limited Engr. Ikechukwu Nnamani disclosed that Nigeria’s unfriendly foreign exchange is a limiting factor that has discouraged foreign investors. 

He added that foreign investors have bemoaned the contradictory regulations coming from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which they claim is discouraging them from making investments in Nigeria.

In his words, “It has been estimated that the country would require $100 billion in investments in the next 10 years to bridge the existing infrastructure gap in the telecom sector, but where is the money going to come from?

“The exchange rate situation in Nigeria is of serious concern for Foreign investors, they are not sure of what the situation would be by the time they want to repatriate their returns. Their returns on investments could be halved due to the fluctuations in the exchange rate. If we want to see investors, we have to first address the foreign exchange situation.”

Meanwhile the 5G network rollout in the country, was said to have reportedly increased foreign investments in the telecommunication sector. According to telecom experts, 5G is expected to headline network investment and drive foreign investment into the sector.

Investors King understands that MTN Nigeria and Airtel Africa which are considered the big players in the industry had their investments in the sector increase to N613.13 billion in 2022. While MTN spent a total of N504.33 billion on the network rollout, Airtel’s investment hit N108.79 billion ($236m) for the same purpose.

The 5G network is projected to contribute $2.2 trillion to the global economy by 2034, according to a 2020 GSMA Intelligence report, titled: ‘The Mobile Economy’.

Nigeria reportedly has one of the largest telecommunications markets in Africa, supported by the second largest economy on the continent after South Africa. In recent years, the telecom sector has benefitted from supportive regulatory measures aimed at improving competition and developing infrastructure. This has helped boost the country’s broadband sector, which remains strongly focussed on mobile connectivity.

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Elon Musk Unveils Twitter Valuation at $20 Billion, Sees Clear Path to $250 Valuation



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Recent reports reveal that Twitter CEO Elon Musk has put the company’s valuation at $20 billion, which is a significant drop from the price he purchased the company in October last year at $44 billion.

Despite the unimpressive company’s valuation, the billionaire owner told employees that he sees a clear but difficult path to a $250 billion valuation, a hypothetical outcome that would make the company’s current stock price worth 10 times as much in the future. 

He further added that the company would allow employees to sell stock every six months, a practice that is also implemented at SpaceX, his space equipment manufacturing company. The sales of private stock would allow employees to have liquid stock but without the stock price chaos and lawsuit burdens of a public company.

Musk disclosed that radical changes including mass layoffs and cost-cutting would be carried out at the company where necessary, to avoid bankruptcy and streamline operations. The decline in the valuation of Twitter doesn’t come as a surprise owing to the fact that since Musk’s takeover of the micro-blogging platform, he has carried out a series of changes, especially in content operations which have scared off advertisers from the platform.

It would be recalled that at the start of 2023, the company’s daily revenue was reportedly down 40 percent from a year ago after more than 500 of its top advertising partners such as Audi, Pfizer, Ford, and the likes paused ads spending on the platform.

Also, concerns about an increase in hate speech on the platform after its acquisition by Musk who described himself as a “free speech absolutist” prompted advertisers to withdraw in droves. They have also been alarmed by a spate of impersonator accounts that flourished on the site after a botched relaunch of its blue tick scheme for verified users. Ever since, Twitter has remained in the grip of an advertising squeeze, after the social media platform hit a 40% drop in revenue.

Advertising is disclosed to be the main source of income for Twitter, which represents more than 85% of the company’s revenues. In 2021, advertising accounted for more than 90% of its $5.1bn in revenue. Musk perturbed by the company’s revenue decline in a bid to woo back advertisers on the platform, offered free advertisements to brands.

Musk rolled out a lucrative plan where companies who spend more than $500,000 on Twitter ads will receive a 100% match on their spending in equivalent marketing value up to $1 million. The platform also partnered with ad tech companies DoubleVerify and IAS on brand safety initiatives amid advertiser exits. These platforms will inform advertisers if their ad is placed around inappropriate content.

Investors King understands that Musk has been working tirelessly to increase Twitter’s revenue, the recently launched Twitter Blue program according to reports looks to have around 300,000 subscribers, which would mean that Twitter is currently bringing in an extra revenue of around $2.4 million per month via the program, or $7.2 million per quarter.

Known for his ambitious nature, Musk will continue to look for ways to generate more revenue for Twitter, after he recently told employees that “Twitter is being reshaped rapidly”.

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