Category Archives: Modulates Tech Media

Where FaZe Clan sees the future of gaming and entertainment

Lee Trink has spent nearly his entire career in the entertainment business. The former president of Capitol Records is now the head of FaZe Clan, an esports juggernaut that is one of the most recognizable names in the wildly popular phenomenon of competitive gaming.

Trink sees FaZe Clan as the voice of a new generation of consumers who are finding their voice and their identity through gaming — and it’s a voice that’s increasingly speaking volumes in the entertainment industry through a clutch of competitive esports teams, a clothing and lifestyle brand and a network of creators who feed the appetites of millions of young gamers.

As the company struggles with a lawsuit brought by one of its most famous players, Trink is looking to the future — and setting his sights on new markets and new games as he consolidates FaZe Clan’s role as the voice of a new generation.

“The teams and social media output that we create is all marketing,” he says. “It’s not that we have an overall marketing strategy that we then populate with all of these opportunities. We’re not maximizing all of our brands.”


Hulu's upcoming 'Hillary' tells HRC's life story

“I’ve got the kind of life you can’t make up,” Hillary Clinton tweeted on Friday morning referring to Hulu’s forthcoming original documentary about her personal life and political career.

Hillary, which features never-before-seen footage from the consequential 2016 general election, boasts interviews with HRC’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, their daughter Chelsea Clinton, campaign insiders, relevant journalists, and Secretary Clinton herself. The documentary claims it will paint a picture of the unseen parts of Hillary’s exceedingly public life as a First Lady, Senator, Secretary of State, and the Democratic presidential nominee. Read more…

More about Hillary Clinton, 2016 Election, Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, and Entertainment

Rep. Ayanna Pressley reveals alopecia diagnosis and bald head in powerful video

On Thursday, in a powerful video for the Root, Rep. Ayanna Pressley revealed she has alopecia, an autoimmune disorder characterized by hair loss. 

“I am ready now because I want to be freed from the secret and the shame that that secret carries with it, and because I’m not here just to occupy space. I’m here to create it,” Pressley explains in the video.  

Last fall, during a hair appointment, Pressley explains she learned she had bald patches. From that point on, it accelerated. 

“I’d been waking up every morning to sinkfuls of hair,” Pressley says in the video. “Every night I was employing all the tools that I had been schooled and trained in throughout my life as a black woman because I thought that I could stop this.”  Read more…

More about Social Good, Black Hair, Alopecia, Ayanna Pressley, and Social Good

Calling all PC gamers: These curved monitors are on sale for up to 57% off

TL;DR: Nearly 20 curved monitors are on sale across Amazon and Walmart, saving you as much as 57% during this stellar sale.

Big, bright, and boasting 1000R curvatures that surround your entire field of vision, Samsung’s new Odyssey G7 and G9 QLED ultrawide gaming monitors were two of the big cheeses at last week’s CES 2020. And if you’re a serious PC gamer who wants to feel like you’re sitting in the center of the action while traipsing around various virtual worlds, we’re willing to bet money on two things: 

  1. You’ll for sure want to snag one of those monitors upon their release sometime during the second quarter of 2020.

  2. You’ll need to start saving for that purchase, like, yesterday. (Samsung has yet to release official numbers, but we’re calling it now: These puppies will be pricey with a capital “P.”) Read more…

More about Gaming, Samsung, Alienware, Curved Screens, and Mashable Shopping

Daily Crunch: NBCUniversal reveals its streaming plans

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.

1. NBCU’s streaming service Peacock launches April 15 for Comcast subscribers, everyone else on July 15

NBCUniversal shared the details about its upcoming streaming service at an investor event yesterday. There will be a free tier of Peacock that includes more than 7,500 hours of programming, including classic shows and the current seasons of freshman broadcast series.

But if you want to see the original programming that NBCUniversal is creating for Peacock — as well as get early access to “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and twice as many hours of content overall — you’ll need Peacock Premium, which will be bundled for Comcast and Cox subscribers, and will cost $4.99 per month otherwise.

2. Elon Musk shares details about SpaceX’s Starship, including estimated 20 to 30-year service life

Answering questions on Twitter, Musk said that Starship — meant to support a human colony on Mars — will need to operate on a brisk schedule. The spacecraft is being designed with the plan of flying it for an average of three flights per day, each carrying over 100 tons per flight, for a total of more than 1,000 flights per year per vehicle.

3. Xiaomi spins off POCO as an independent company

POCO, a sub-smartphone brand that Xiaomi created in 2018, is spinning off a standalone company that will now run independently of the Chinese electronics giant.

4. Zendesk launches Sell Marketplace to bring app store to CRM product

Zendesk acquired Base CRM in 2018 to give customers a CRM component to go with its core customer service software. After purchasing the company, it changed the name to Sell, and now the company has launched a new Sell Marketplace.

5. Funnel closes $47M Series B to prepare marketing data for better reporting and analysis

Funnel is a Stockholm-based startup that offers technology to help businesses prepare — or make “business-ready” — their marketing data for better reporting and analysis. The company says it will use the injection of capital to accelerate its plans in the U.S.

6. Chinese podcasting and audio content app Lizhi debuts on Nasdaq

Lizhi, one of China’s biggest audio content apps, is debuting on Nasdaq today under the ticker symbol LIZI. It’s going public before its major Chinese competitors, but Ximalaya is expected to also list in the United States later this year.

7. Space Angels’ Chad Anderson on entering a new decade in the ‘entrepreneurial space age’

Space as an investment target is trending upwards in the VC community, but specialist firm Space Angels has been focused on the sector longer than most. The network of angel investors just published its most recent quarterly overview, revealing that investors put nearly $6 billion in capital into space companies across 2019. (Extra Crunch membership required.)


YouTube's top related videos have a climate change denial problem

A new study claims that YouTube is rife with misinformation about climate change and that some major advertisers inadvertently have their ads running alongside these videos. 

The new report comes from activist organization Avaaz, a relatively new global group that harnesses the power of collective action via campaigns and petitions.  The Avaaz study found that not only were a significant number of climate change denial videos surfacing on the platform, but that YouTube’s algorithm was sending viewers to even more of those types of videos. 

Additionally, in a move that might actually cause YouTube to do something about it, Avaaz found dozens of big-name brands – including Samsung, Uber, L’Oréal, Warner Brothers, and Nintendo – have had their ads attached to climate change denial videos on the platform.  Read more…

More about Youtube, Climate Change, Misinformation, Tech, and Big Tech Companies

Microsoft announces global Teams ad push as it combats Slack for the heart of enterprise comms

The long-running contest between Microsoft and its Teams service and Slack’s eponymous application continued this morning, with Redmond announcing what it describes as its first “global” advertising push for its enterprise communication service.

Slack, a recent technology IPO, exploded in the back half of last decade, accreting huge revenues while burrowing into the tech stacks of the startup world. The former startup’s success continued as it increasingly targeted larger companies; it’s easier to stack revenue in enterprise-scale chunks than it is by onboarding upstarts.

Enterprise productivity software, of course, is a large percentage of Microsoft’s bread and butter. And as Slack rose — and Microsoft decided against buying the then-nascent rival — the larger company invested in its competing Teams service. Notably, today’s ad push is not the first advertising salvo between the two companies. Slack owns that record, having welcomed Microsoft to its niche in a print ad that isn’t aging particularly well.

Slack and Teams are competing through public usage announcements. Most recently, Teams announced that it has 20 million daily active users (DAUs); Slack’s most recent number is 12 million. Slack, however, has touted how active its DAUs are, implying that it isn’t entirely sure that Microsoft’s figures line up to its own. Still, the rising gap between their numbers is notable.

Microsoft’s new ad campaign is yet another chapter in the ongoing Slack vs. Teams. The ad push itself is only so important. What matters more is that Microsoft is choosing to expend some of its limited public attention bandwidth on Teams over other options.


While Teams is merely part of the greater Office 365 world that Microsoft has been building for some time, Slack’s product is its business. And since its direct listing, some air has come out of its shares.

Slack’s share price has fallen from the mid-$30s after it debuted to the low-$20s today. I’ve explored that repricing and found that, far from the public markets repudiating Slack’s equity, the company was merely mispriced in its early trading life. The company’s revenue multiple has come down since its first days as a public entity, but remains rich; investors are still pricing Slack like an outstanding company.

Ahead, Slack and Microsoft will continue to trade competing DAU figures. The question becomes how far Slack’s brand can carry it against Microsoft’s enterprise heft.


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