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Digiday DealBook: Musk’s struggle to acquire Twitter, Shutterstock’s continued growth, new customer insight deals, and more

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Digiday DealBook: Musk’s struggle to acquire Twitter, Shutterstock’s continued growth, new customer insight deals, and more

Welcome To Digiday’s DealBook. We aim to provide a quick overview of all the deals acquired and hired during the week. This site will keep you informed and updated on all the latest industry news at the top of your email each Monday. — Carly Weihe

–Twitter remained in the spotlight last week as shareholders sued Elon Musk and Twitter itself for driving stocks down due to sowing doubt in the potential acquisition deal in his Tweets following its public announcement last month. Shareholders filed a class-action suit against Musk last Wednesday, arguing that Musk violated California corporate laws, including those regarding market manipulation.

Since Musk’s initial bid on the company went public, Twitter stocks have fallen 12%, while Tesla’s stocks have fared even worse, dipping 40%. And Twitter agreed to pay $150 million after the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice found that Twitter violated an agreement in 2011 to not use personal security information such as users’ phone numbers for data insights. Twitter used the security information to target users more effectively with ads.

To expand its editorial offerings, Shutterstock purchased Splash news. Splash is a source of content for live events and award shows and is described by Jamie Elden, chief revenue officer, as “premium celebrity and entertainment content.” This follows Shutterstock acquiring Pond5, the world’s largest video content marketplace, for $210 million in May. Shutterstock plans to expand its Editorial Newsroom offering with these acquisitions. In addition, Splash’s archive of over 27 million images will join Shutterstock’s existing 60 million.

— Two key players in consumer insights closed deals this week. First, MoEngage, a customer engagement platform led by AI insights, has raised $77 million in Series E funding backed in part by Goldman Sachs. MoEngage, a listening platform that tracks consumer engagement across multiple platforms, is part of the Series E funding backed in part by Goldman Sachs. This is the third round of multimillion-dollar financing the company has received in the last 12 months. AnswerThePublic was also acquired by NP Digital (a performance marketing company). AnswerThePublic, a search engine listening device that tracks keywords using autocomplete, listens to 3,000,000 searches per day including Alphabet’s Google.

In other news …

  • Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO and founder Mark Zuckerberg’s right hand, announced her departure from Facebook this past Wednesday. The new COO will also be announced on June 9. The official change in the stock symbol of Meta, Facebook’s parent company, from FB to META will be made on June 9. This is Zuckerberg’s ongoing effort to highlight the metaverse and parent company rebranding.
  • Zinc, a venture capital fund focused on investing in mission-driven companies, received $34 million to continue investing in mission-based entrepreneurs to tackle pressing social issues. The new fund will invest in 500 new ventures and 100 pre-existing ones such as Vira Health and Tonus, with most funding coming from British Business Bank’s Enterprise Capital Funds program.
  • Broadcom, a semiconductor software company, acquired VMware for $61 million, the company’s second-largest acquisition of 2022 thus far. Companies such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google use VMware software to advance cloud computing.
  • Vibenomics, an audio provider, has raised $12.5 million in Series B funding to widen its catalog of networks in retail stores. Panoramic Ventures is a large tech venture company that provided the funding.
  • Rom-com podcast company Meet Cute closed a partnership with Range Media Partners. Range Media has been backed by A+E Networks. This will give the rights to the network to adapt Meet Cute’s podcasts to series.
  • Forbes scratched a deal to go public with a SPAC deal in place. Last August, the deal was initially announced as a $630 million deal to merge with Magnum Opus Acquisition.
  • Uncertainty rises as Britain’s Competition and Market Authority investigates the proposed merger between BT Sports and Warner Bros Discovery. CMA stopped the merger in order to determine if it would limit media market competition.
  • Nfinite, a visualization and commerce merchandising company, has raised $100 million in Series B funding in part by the software investor Insight Partners. By allowing customers to virtual try on clothes using AI, the company hopes to continue shaping e-merchandising as well as how consumers shop online.
  • Fremantle, a British distribution and production company, has hired Gabriella Carriere as group head of strategy
    • She previously worked at Sky Italia under Ski Wifi as marketing and commercial senior director
  • The Washington Post has promoted Emily Chow Mitnick as head of production operations
    • She was formerly the director of product and core user experience at the Post
  • Mediabrand Content Studio has hired Nathan Coyle as global president of content partnerships and influencer marketing
    • He was formerly CEO of Pride Media Inc.
  • Snap has hired Colleen DeCourcy as chief creative officer
    • She was formerly chief creative officer at Wieden+Kennedy, one of the world’s largest independent ad agencies
  • Mike Tyson’s cannabis brand, Tyson 2.0, has hired Jackie Guarini as CMO
    • She was formerly head of commerce media at Anheuser-Busch, U.S. portfolio
  • Leaf Group has hired Kate Lowenstein as senior vp and general manager of Well+Good and Livestrong
    • She was formerly the Global editor-in-chief of VICE
  • Chicago Sun-Times has hired Jennifer Kho as executive editor
    • She was formerly the president of the Journalism and Women Symposium

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are
A player shouldering the ball



(Image credit: EA)

FIFA 23 might be the best game soccer game yet for terrible sports fans, as it lets you turn off commentary that criticizes your bad playing.

Now that the early access FIFA 23 release time has passed, EA Play and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can hop into the game ahead of its full release. But as Eurogamer (opens in new tab) spotted, they’ll find a peculiar option waiting for them.

FIFA 23 includes a toggle to turn off ‘Critical Commentary’. The setting lets you silence all negative in-match comments made about your technique, so you can protect your precious ego even when you miss an open goal or commit an obvious foul. The more positive commentary won’t be affected. 

Spare your feelings

A player dribbling the ball in FIFA 23

(Image credit: EA)

The feature looks tailored toward children and new players, who don’t want to have their confidence wrecked within mere minutes of picking up the controller. But even experienced players who just so happen to be terrible at the game might benefit.

It’s not perfect, though. According to Eurogamer, the feature didn’t seem to work during a FIFA Ultimate Team Division Rivals match, with critical comments slipping through the filter. Still, who hasn’t benefited from a light grilling every now and then?

Polite commentary isn’t the only new addition in FIFA 23. It’s the first game in the series to include women’s club football teams, and fancy overhauled animations that take advantage of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S’s new-gen hardware. EA will be hoping to end on a high, as FIFA 23 will be the last of its soccer games to release with the official FIFA licence.

If disabling critical commentary doesn’t improve your soccer skills, maybe building a squad of Marvel superheroes will. Although you might not do much better with Ted Lasso wandering the pitch.

FIFA 23 is set to fully release this Friday, September 30.

Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and Gamesindustry.biz, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games. 

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch
The backs of the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro



(Image credit: Google)

We’re starting to hear more and more Google Pixel 7 leaks, with the launch of the phone just a week away, but tech fans might be getting a lot of déjà vu, with the leaks all listing near-identical specs to what we heard about the Pixel 6 a year ago.

It sounds like the new phones – a successor to the Pixel 6 Pro is also expected – could be very similar to their 2021 predecessors. And a new price leak has suggested that the phones’ costs could be the same too, as a Twitter user spotted the Pixel 7 briefly listed on Amazon (before being promptly taken down, of course).

Google pixel 7 on Amazon US. $599.99.It is still showing up in search cache but the listing gives an error if you click on it. We have the B0 number to keep track of though!#teampixel pic.twitter.com/w5Z09D28YESeptember 27, 2022

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According to these listings, the Pixel 7 will cost $599 while the Pixel 7 Pro will cost $899, both of which are identical to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro starting prices. The leak doesn’t include any other region prices, but in the UK the current models cost £599 and £849, while in Australia they went for AU$999 and AU$1,299.

So it sounds like Google is planning on retaining the same prices for its new phones as it sold the old ones for, a move which doesn’t make much sense.


Analysis: same price, new world

Google’s choice to keep the same price points is a little curious when you consider that the specs leaks suggest these phones are virtually unchanged from their predecessors. You’re buying year-old tech for the same price as before.

Do bear in mind that the price of tech generally lowers over time, so you can readily pick up a cheaper Pixel 6 or 6 Pro right now, and after the launch of the new ones, the older models will very likely get even cheaper.

But there’s another key factor to consider in the price: $599 might be the same number in 2022 as it was in 2021, but with the changing global climate, like wars and flailing currencies and cost of living crises, it’s a very different amount of money.

Some people just won’t be willing to shell out the amount this year, that they may have been able to last year. But this speaks to a wider issue in consumer tech.

Google isn’t the only tech company to completely neglect the challenging global climate when pricing its gadgets: Samsung is still releasing super-pricey folding phones, and the iPhone 14 is, for some incomprehensible reason, even pricier than the iPhone 13 in some regions. 

Too few brands are actually catering to the tough economic times many are facing right now, with companies increasing the price of their premium offerings to counter rising costs, instead of just designing more affordable alternatives to flagships.

These high and rising prices suggest that companies are totally out of touch with their buyers, and don’t understand the economic hardship troubling many.

We’ll have to reach a breaking point sooner or later, either with brands finally clueing into the fact that they need to release cheaper phones, or with customers voting with their wallets by sticking to second-hand or refurbished devices. But until then, you can buy the best cheap phones to show that cost is important to you.

Tom’s role in the TechRadar team is to specialize in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working in TechRadar freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. Outside of TechRadar he works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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