CBS and Viacom Merge to Become ViacomCBS

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ViacomCBS is the name of a merged corporation between CBS and Viacom. It will create a joint media library including over 140,000 TV episodes and 3,600 movies.

In their announcement, the companies note that the merger creates a joint content library that includes more than 140,000 TV episodes and 3,600 films, and “reunites fan-favorite franchises such as Star Trek and Mission: Impossible” (which were previously split between Paramount on the film side and CBS on the TV side). They also say that this will allow them to “accelerate” their direct-to-consumer strategy, which includes offerings like CBS All Access, Showtime and Pluto TV. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2019.

Private Social Network MeWe Reaches Over 5 Million Members

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MeWe is a social network with privacy in mind, and it recently surpassed 5 million members. Additionally it closed a US$4.5 million offering, bringing the company’s total funds raised to US$15 million.

MeWe is on track to have 30 million members by yearend, and projects 150 million by the end of 2020. MeWe achieved 405% growth in 2018 and is already growing twice as fast on a daily basis in 2019. MeWe’s growth is organic—it runs no paid marketing campaigns.

It’s good to see MeWe doing well. I don’t use it anymore, but I still recommend it to people looking for a private social network.

Kickstarter Claps Back Against Unionization Attempts

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On Tuesday, a bunch of Kickstarter employees went public with their efforts to unionize under the name Kickstarter United. But senior employees are fighting.

We believe this effort to unionize is the result of consistent issues with internal communications. We hope well-intentioned, good faith dialogue with executives and a specific list of issues from unsatisfied coworkers can get us to a better place. We want to give this a try before resorting to something as extreme as a union.

The statement is from an internal memo circulated among the company, and lists various reasons against the union.

5 Ways to Improve Apple Services

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Michael Grothaus writes about five ways to improve Apple services, a drum that Tim Cook has been beating for the past couple years.

The problem for Apple is that the iPhone is such a large part of its business. If the company is going to continue to grow, what product could step up to take the place of lagging smartphone sales?

I’ll paraphrase Kelly Guimont’s comment on a recent episode of Daily Observations. If Apple truly wanted to be a services company, it should have been improving services all along. Don’t wait until the last minute when the iPhone puts you into panic mode.