AT&T Spins Media in Discovery Deal; Apple Music-Lossless Audio to All-No Extra $; Google I/O Looming Tomorrow; Clubhouse-Worldwide on Android by Next Week

AT&T jumped into the media business just 3 years ago, but now is jumping out. The New York Times reports that the Telco will spin off its WarnerMedia Group and merge it with rival programmer Discovery. The deal will combine HBO, Warner Bros. studios, CNN and several other cable networks with a host of reality-based cable channels from Discovery, including Oprah Winfrey’s OWN, HGTV, The Food Network and Animal Planet. The two companies expect the deal to be approved and finalized by the middle of next year. The combined media entity will be bigger than Netflix or NBCUniversal. Together, WarnerMedia and Discovery did over $41 billion in sales lat year, with an operating profit exceeding $10 billion. That places it behind Walt Disney Company as the 2nd largest media company in the US.

Apple ha announced that it is bringing lossless audio to its entire catalog at no extra cost, starting next month. According to 9to5mac.com, the pristine audio will be available on over 75 million tracks in the Apple Music library. Cupertino will also launch support for spatial Audio music with songs authored in Dolby Atmos. Keep in mind that lossless formats use significantly higher bandwidth to stream, so the feature will be opt-in. 

Google I/O starts tomorrow at 10 AM Pacific. CEO of Google/Alphabet Sundar Pichai will be showing the later and greatest…again in virtual form online, as the other major tech companies have all had to do the past year because of the pandemic. Arstechnica.com says that we may see a beta release of Android 12, which has looked from the developer preview to be a pretty major overhaul. Google has already advised that the new Pixel phones will be out on schedule with last year…so that will be August, not tomorrow. We’ll have a recap of things announced tomorrow here, though.

Clubhouse will expand its Android app worldwide next week. Techcrunch.com reports that it will hit Japan, Brazil, and Russia tomorrow, and be worldwide by as soon as Friday Afternoon. Clubhouse started as iOS only last year. The Android version still lacks a number of features the iOS app has…users can’t follow a topic, create or manage a club, link their social profiles, make payments, or change their profile name of user name. The startup said it is working to bring iOS features to the Android app.



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