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StumbleUpon has failed to secure itself additional funding, which will see the company laying off 70% of its workforce, cutting numbers from 100 to around 30 employees.
Employees were reportedly made aware of the changes last week, with those that are looking at the door to be finishing up this week. The ones that are sticking around, are mostly sales and engineering, according to VentureBeat. Their source has said that it's hard for StumbleUpon to compete against the onslaught of social networks.
A new report from PageFair says that there has been a 41% spike in the use of ad blockers over the last 12 months, something that will cost the industry around $21.8 billion in lost advertising revenue in 2015 alone.
The report warns that ad-blocking software is a large threat to the future of free content on the web, with PageFair's 'The cost of ad blocking' study saying that close to 200 million monthly Internet users are now using ad-blocking browser extensions. The report continued, saying that sites targeting "young, technically savvy, or more male audiences" are the ones that are most effected when it comes to ad blockers.
In the United States, around 45 million monthly active users use ad-blocking software, but that pales in comparison to Europe's 77 million users. Greece tops them all with 36.7% of the Internet population using ad-blocking software of some sort. Co-founder and Chief Executive of PageFair, Sean Blanchfield said: "It is tragic that ad block users are inadvertently inflicting multi-billion dollar losses on the very websites they most enjoy. With ad blocking going mobile, there's an eminent threat that the business model that has supported the open web for two decades is going to collapse".
Google has filed paperwork with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) in its plan to rebrand the public holding company as Alphabet Inc. The decision was made as Google looks to create a new operating structure, but that doesn't mean Google's businesses will suddenly disappear.
Services such as its search, maps, apps, YouTube, ads and Android will be listed as "Google business" under Alphabet. However, the company has branched out into a number of other business ventures, which will be better organized under Alphabet.
Expect the changes to be rolled out over the next few months, as current Google investors should be able to receive a detailed outlook how each business is operating.
It looks as though things have gone from bad to worse with Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC, with investors effectively saying HTC's "brand, factories and buildings were worthless", reports Bloomberg.
HTC's market price fell to $1.5 billion on Monday, below the $1.5 billion it had in cash at the end of June. Calvin Huang at Sinopac Financial Holdings Co. in Taipei told Bloomberg: "HTC's cash is the only asset of value to shareholders. Most of the other assets shouldn't be considered in their valuation because there's more write-offs to come and the brand has no value".
Q3 2015 isn't shaping up to be too good for HTC either, with the Taiwanese company forecasting 48% below analysts' estimations, after a 35% cut to projected revenues in the preceding period. There's one massive looming question I have: what about Vive? HTC's VR headset that it collaborated on with Valve, which could be the most exciting product HTC has ever made.
Tesla Motors might have one of the most exciting cars on the market with its Model S electric car, but the company lost a huge $359 million on the Model S last quarter alone.
$359 million over a three-month period is a hefty $4000 per car sold, with the company aiming to cut its production targets for the rest of this year, and into 2016. Elon Musk has even been tempted of raising more capital and also didn't rule out selling more stock. Tesla shares fell 9% on Thursday, and another 2% on Friday as investors begin to "weighed the risks of Musk's ambitious plans for expanding Tesla's auto and energy-storage businesses", reports Business Insider.
We all know HTC has been struggling for the last couple of years, but the company is on the precipice of releasing one of the most exciting products it has ever launched: Vive. But, that doesn't mean it's going to be a massive seller for the company, with plans on some extreme cuts to HTC's core business.
The Taiwanese giant has said that the next step to try and secure the future is to have layoffs, cost cutbacks, and a reduction of how many smartphone models it offers to consumers. Chief Financial Officer Chialin Chang talked with Reuters recently, saying that "the cuts will be across the board" and that "they will be significant". No exact number has been discussed, but we should expect to see it before Q2 2016.
NVIDIA has just posted its Q2 2015 financial results, beating analysts' expectations by a considerable amount. Analysts pegged NVIDIA to have revenues decline by 8%, but NVIDIA had an increase of 4.5% in revenues instead.
The increased revenues were thanks to strong GeForce sales, surely led by the super-impressive GeForce GTX 900 series of video cards. The company is expecting sales to drop in Q3, while NVIDIA's gaming revenue increased 59% thanks to big GeForce numbers. Wedbush Securities analyst Betsy Van Hees said: "The near term story continues to be PC gaming. That is the key driver for them and they continue to dominate in that area".
Another area where NVIDIA is working hard is in the automotive sector, where the company has said that there are 8 million cars on the road using their technology and that they're working with over 50 companies for its DRIVE chip, allowing self-driving cars.
All of this happened before Apple Music even launched, and revealed how powerful the 25-year-old is in the music industry. Swift recently praised Apple while criticizing Spotify:
"Apple treated me like I was a voice of a creative community that they actually cared about," Swift said in the September issue of Vanity Fair. "And I found it really ironic that the multi-billion-dollar company reacted to criticism with humility, and the start-up with no cash flow reacted to criticism like a corporate machine."
Music streaming service Tidal may not have been the greatest investment rap mogul Jay-Z has made, with several more music executives jumping ship. However, Tidal shoots down rumors that Jay-Z plans to step down from the company he purchased earlier this year:
Tidal is trying desperately to rebrand itself in a competitive streaming music market place, and several executives have left. The company's SVP of label and artist relations, Zena Burns, has left, following the earlier departures of the company CEO (twice), along with US and sales marketing manager David Solomon.
HTC is in hot water over its Sense Home application on some of its smartphones, with the Taiwanese giant using the push notifications to throw ads for the new Fantastic Four movie onto some users' devices.
A thread on Reddit has 'impersonaljesus' reporting that even though they were using a custom launcher, "this ad was pushed to my phone". You can disable notifications from the Sense Home app by going into the app settings and disabling the ability of push notifications, but you shouldn't need to be putting up with forced advertisement from HTC like this, no matter what setting is enabled or disabled.