Team YS ( )
Disney+ Hotstar’s catalogue is set to shrink even more.
Come April 1, the streaming giant will no longer stream HBO content on its platform, including popular shows like Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon, Succession, and the recent hit series The Last of Us, among others. The Deadline was the first to report this on February 10.
On Tuesday, a tweet by the streaming platform’s customer service account confirmed the development, which resulted in many users asking for a refund. This comes at a time when Disney+ Hotstar is already reeling from the loss of its crown jewel—IPL digital streaming rights—to Viacom18 in June.
Last month, it reported a quarterly drop of 6% in its paid subscribers in December—its first-ever decline since launching over three years ago. The loss of HBO content may lead to more paying subscribers leaving, despite its Marvel and Disney catalogues.
While Warner Bros Discovery seems to have put its plans of launching HBO Max in India on indefinite hold, the company signed an agreement with Amazon Prime Video in July 2022 for the streaming rights to several HBO Max Originals. This has led industry watchers to predict that Amazon may be the future home for the content being removed from Disney+ Hotstar. But for now, both companies have been mum on the details.
All we can say is keep bingeing your favourites until it’s time for farewell.
Meanwhile, even as users amp up their cloud storage, the OG, i.e. the floppy disk, continues to live and thrive thanks to companies like Boeing, Chuck E. Cheese, Tajima, and others. In fact, floppy disks are so popular in Japan that its Digital Minister Taro Kono had “declared war” on the storage device and other retro tech last year in a bid to rid the country of outdated tools.
In case you’re too young to know what a floppy disk is, please pretend you didn’t read this part.
Oh, and it turns out insects can learn from each other and have the capacity for ‘culture’?
In today’s newsletter, we will talk about
- Anti-money laundering provisions on crypto
- Inside buildAhome’s green home project
- A Bengaluru startup enabling Middle East SMEs
Here’s your trivia for today: How do Kit Kat manufacturers dispose of rejected and damaged bars of chocolate?
Anti-money laundering provisions on crypto
In the latest step to tighten oversight of digital assets, the Indian government has imposed anti-money laundering provisions on the cryptocurrency sector.
- On Tuesday, a Finance Ministry notice revealed that crypto businesses—exchanges, custodians, wallet providers, and others—will come under the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA).
- The laws will apply to any exchange between virtual digital assets and fiat currencies; an exchange between one or more forms of virtual digital assets; and the transfer of digital assets.
- This move aligns with the global trend of requiring digital-asset platforms “to follow anti-money laundering standards” like banks or stock brokers, Jaideep Reddy, counsel at law firm Trilegal, told Bloomberg.
Round: Series D
Inside buildAhome’s green home project
Founded in April 2016, Bengaluru-based buildAhome brings its users a commission-free way to build the home of their dreams. Its latest bet is on green homes which according to Abhijith R Priyan, its CEO, is the next big thing.
A systematic approach:
- buildAhome takes accountability right from the construction of the house by providing advanced payments to creditors, vendors, and labourers, ensuring that each project received the appropriate funding.
- The firm also gives a customer the opportunity to customise packages based on their requirements. These are made available to them in two full-service packages—Rs 1,470/sq ft and Rs 2,700/sq ft.
- It has completed nearly 300 projects to date, with over 450 ongoing projects. The startup considers JSW Homes, 100Pillars Construction and Brick&Bolt as competitors.
A Bengaluru startup enabling Middle East SMEs
SolutionBuggy, a Bengaluru-based consulting aggregator, helps manufacturing enterprises find the right resources and expertise to build their business and technology. It was founded in 2017 by Arjun N and Guruprasad Bangle.
The right expertise:
- SolutionBuggy expanded to the Middle East last year to service the needs of the growing SME market in the region and address the gap between small original manufacturers and big consulting firms.
- Its platform connects SMEs with more than 10,000 consultants and experts from across the world in domains such as aerospace, defence, FMCG, automotive, textile, energy, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and mining.
- So far, the startup has provided services to 60,000 clients across the UAE, Oman, India and Nepal, and a few companies across Eastern Africa.
News & updates
- Eggstreme: McDonald’s, 7-Eleven, and mayonnaise-maker Kewpie are just some of the firms in Japan contending with the worst-ever global outbreak of bird flu. Of 100 listed restaurant companies in Japan, 18 had suspended egg-related items as of March 5.
- Tough times: Adidas on Wednesday reported a big fourth-quarter loss and slashed its dividend after the costly termination of its partnership with Kanye West’s Yeezy brand in October. The company is projecting a full-year operating loss of 700 million euros in 2023, marking its first annual loss in 31 years.
- Greener days: Elon Musk believes Twitter has “a shot” at being cash flow-positive next quarter, thanks to aggressively cutting costs. The company slashed its non-debt expenditures to $1.5 billion from a projected $4.5 billion in 2023 by reducing cloud services bill by 40% and closing one data centre, Musk said.
How do Kit Kat manufacturers dispose of rejected and damaged bars of chocolate?
Answer: Rejected bars of Kit Kat get mashed up into a paste, which is then used to fill new Kit Kats. Zero waste!
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