Tag Archives: $10B

Microsoft in talks to purchase Discord for at least $10B: report

Microsoft Corp. is in talks to acquire Discord Inc., a video-game chat community, for more than $10 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

Discord has been talking to potential buyers and software giant Microsoft is in the running, but no deal is imminent, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. Discord is more likely to go public than sell itself, one person said. Representatives for Microsoft and Discord declined to comment. VentureBeat reported earlier on Monday that Discord was engaged in sales talks.

San Francisco-based Discord is best known for its free service that lets gamers communicate by video, voice and text, and people stuck at home during the pandemic have increasingly used its technology for study groups, dance classes, book clubs and other virtual gatherings. It has more than 100 million monthly active users and has been elaborating its communication tools to turn it into a “place to talk” rather than merely a gamer-centric chat platform.

Microsoft, which last year sought to buy social-media app TikTok and held talks to acquire Pinterest Inc., has been shopping for assets that would provide access to thriving communities of users, according to people familiar with the company’s thinking. Microsoft’s Xbox business has also been expanding the suite of subscription perks it provides as part of its Game Pass offering. Microsoft shares were up about 1.2% in the first minutes of trading Tuesday.

“Microsoft possibly acquiring Discord makes a lot of sense as it continues to reshape its gaming business more toward software and services,” said Bloomberg Intelligence Analyst Matthew Kanterman. “There’s a big opportunity to bundle Discord’s premium offering, Nitro, into the Game Pass service to drive more subscriptions from the last reported 18 million.”

After Microsoft’s recent $7.5 billion purchase of ZeniMax Media Inc., owner of The Elder Scrolls and Doom publisher Bethesda Softworks, an acquisition of Discord would signal the Redmond, Washington-based software giant’s willingness to keep investing in its video-game unit.

“We expect Xbox to remain acquisitive to keep bolstering the value proposition of Game Pass and drive subscriptions higher,” Kanterman said.

Discord reached out to Microsoft to gauge interest, and Xbox chief Phil Spencer has been talking to the company, according to one person. The company raised $100 million at a $7 billion valuation last year, according to Pitchbook.

Discord has also held discussions with Epic Games Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. in the past, according to two people familiar with the matter. Epic didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Amazon declined to comment.

(Updates with shares in the fourth paragraph.)
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Study: Lack of diversity in Hollywood costs industry $10B

Despite regularly outperforming other films, Black-led projects have been “consistently underfunded and undervalued,” concluded the McKinsey study.

NEW YORK — For years, researchers have said a lack of diversity in Hollywood films doesn’t just poorly reflect demographics, it’s bad business. A new study by the consulting firm McKinsey & Company estimates just how much Hollywood is leaving on the table: $ 10 billion.

The McKinsey report, released Thursday, analyzes how inequality shapes the industry and how much it ultimately costs its bottom line. The consulting firm deduced that the $ 148 billion film and TV industry loses $ 10 billion, or 7%, every year by undervaluing Black films, filmmakers and executives.
“Fewer Black-led stories get told, and when they are, these projects have been consistently underfunded and undervalued, despite often earning higher relative returns than other properties,” wrote the study’s authors: Jonathan Dunn, Sheldon Lyn, Nony Onyeador and Ammanuel Zegeye.
The study, spanning the years 2015-2019, was conducted over the last six months and drew on earlier research by the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Southern California and Nielsen. The BlackLight Collective, a coalition of Black executives and talent in the industry, collaborate with McKinsey researchers. The company also interviewed more than 50 executives, producers, agents, actors, directors and writers anonymously.
McKinsey attributed at least some of Hollywood’s slow progress to its complex and multi-layered business — an ecosystem of production companies, networks, distributors, talent agencies and other separate but intertwined realms.
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But the lack of Black representation in top positions of power plays a prominent role. The study found that 92% of film executives are white and 87% are in television. Agents and executives at the top three talent agencies are approximately 90% white — and a striking 97% among partners.
Researchers found that films with a Black lead or co-lead are budgeted 24% less than movies that don’t — a disparity that nearly doubles when there are two or more Black people working as director, producer or writer.
Among other measures, McKinsey recommends that a “well-funded, third-party organization” be created for a more comprehensive approach to racial equality. The film business, it said, is less diverse than industries such as energy, finance and transport.
Following the Black Lives Matter protests last year, McKinsey said it would dedicate $ 200 million to pro-bono work to advance racial equality.
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