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  • Streaming Becoming Cable TV? 📺

Streaming Becoming Cable TV? 📺

PLUS: OpenAI Fattens Up 🤑

Hi Everyone. This is Take Off. We're like a hidden Easter egg in your favorite video game - surprising, delightful, and adding an extra layer of fun to your tech news consumption.

Here's what we're serving up today:

  • Streaming Becoming Cable TV? 📺

  • OpenAI Fattens Up 🤑

  • Wednesday Wires 💰

  • Asteroids ☄️

Streaming Becoming Cable TV? 📺

Once upon a time, in the good ‘ol days of cable TV, we’d grit our teeth through commercials, waiting for our favorite shows to resume.

Fast forward to the streaming era, we bid adieu to pesky ads and embraced uninterrupted binging.

But it seems like the times of ad-less utopia are going to be over pretty soon as streaming platforms are rolling out the red carpet for commercials once again.

Unless you spare an extra $50.51/month. What’s that number you ask?

That’s the extra amount of money you’ll have to shell out if you want to keep watching OTT content on your favorite streaming platforms - AD FREE.

The Rise of Ads

Amazon became the latest entrant in the ad-bandwagon by introducing a tier that’s lighter on the wallet but heavier on ads.

But why are streamers taking us back to the age of cable-television?

Well, like most things in life, the answer to the above question is MONEY.

Streaming ain’t cheap folks. These companies either have to pay hefty licensing fees or spend billions of dollars in producing their own original content.

Since JPow and Co have started raising interest rates, Wall Street has demanded streaming platforms to shift their focus from growth to profitability.

Streamers think cheaper ad tiers are likely to bring in customers who may have been turned off by higher, ad-free subscription prices.

Copying the OG

Netflix might be the OG when it comes to the broader concept of streaming, but the pioneer of the Pay and Still Watch Ads model is Hulu.

Back in 2010, Hulu boldly stepped into the unknown by asking subscribers to bear with ads despite paying a monthly fee.

It was a move that raised a lot of eyebrows. Fast forward to today, and it seems like every platform is playing catch up to Hulu’s once scoffed-at model.

The streaming companies seem to be liking the ad-supported tiers. Disney reported that 40% of their new subscribers are opting for the cheap ad-based plan.

Netflix and Warner Bros have said that their ad-tier based plans generate more revenue per user than the ad-free counterparts.

Would you be billing to pay more for an ad-free experience? Let us know by replying.

OpenAI Fattens Up 🤑

It’s been a relatively quiet year for venture capitalists and private markets. Sure, there were a couple of IPOs last month but Wall Street’s reaction to them has been mostly “MEH”.

But there has been one private company that has been basking in glory this year. Care to take a guess? **** Drumrolls ****

It’s none other than OpenAI. 2023 can arguably be called OpenAI’s Annus Mirabalis owing to the now ubiquitous LLM - ChatGPT, that kickstarted the wave of optimism that has flipped the public tech markets from a big RED to a good GREEN this year.

After doing the heavy lifting for the public markets, it’s time for OpenAI to treat itself a bit. Word on Wall Street is that the company is looking to sell some secondary shares.

And no, they're not just selling shares for lunch money. They're eyeing a valuation that screams 'Whaaat?' think $80B-$90B, up from the $29B valuation set back in April.

A valuation exceeding $80 billion would place OpenAI in the Big 3 of the startup world, trailing only SpaceX and ByteDance.

Source: Finimize

OpenAI becoming one of the most valuable companies was honestly a matter of when and not if.

The company was reportedly at a revenue rate of $1 billion already and is expected to ramp up the business with even more product offerings.

Microsoft, owning nearly half of OpenAI after a big investment at its $30 billion valuation, could see their stake's value triple with this stock sale.

☄️ Asteroids ☄️

PayPal and Venmo cards can now be added to Apple Wallet for easy Apple Pay transactions! Soon, you'll be able to add them directly from the PayPal/Venmo apps. 📲💳

LinkedIn is spicing things up on its 21st birthday by rolling out cool AI features across job hunting, learning, and marketing. From an AI-driven learning coach to enhanced recruiter tools, LinkedIn's making networking smarter! 🤖🎉

X has been ordered to pay $1.1 million in legal fees related to investigations during Elon Musk's takeover. Former executives sued for unpaid bills, and a judge ruled in their favor. 💼⚖️

⚒️ Trending Tools ⚒️

💻️ Webwave - Create a website like no other

☁️ Antimetal - Smarter cloud cost optimization

🌐 Hotjar - Know everything you ever wanted to know about your website

🧜‍♀️ Mermaid Chart - A smarter way to create diagrams

💰 Wednesday Wires 💰

Induced AI, a startup by two teens and backed by Sam Altman, recently raised a $2.3 million seed funding. They aim to help businesses automate workflows in new ways. 💡🖥️

Swedish fintech Brite Payments raised $60 million in a Series A funding round. It focuses on instant account-to-account payments, positioning itself for growth in the evolving open banking landscape. 💰📊 

Qobra raises $10.5 million for its real-time sales compensation tool. The platform integrates with CRM and ERP systems, providing real-time insights and customizable compensation rules. 💼💰

📰 Recommended Reading 📰

1/ Learn how to maximize your credit cards and travel in style. Click here to subscribe.

2/ We recommend checking out AIModels.fyi. It's a free tool that lets you discover, select, and integrate the perfect AI model for your project. They also have a newsletter with a summary of the top new models and helpful how-to guides. Click here to check out.

3/ The Bay Area Times is the visual daily newsletter on business and tech. Click here to subscribe.

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