LA Tech Updates: Peacock Hits 10 Million Users; TikTok's $2 Billion Creator Fund Goes After Instagram, Youtube

Francesca Billington

Francesca Billington is a freelance reporter. Prior to that, she was a general assignment reporter for dot.LA and has also reported for KCRW, the Santa Monica Daily Press and local publications in New Jersey. She graduated from Princeton in 2019 with a degree in anthropology.

LA Tech Updates: Peacock Hits 10 Million Users; TikTok's $2 Billion Creator Fund Goes After Instagram, Youtube

Here are the latest updates on news affecting Los Angeles' startup and tech communities. Sign up for our newsletter and follow dot.LA on Twitter for more.

Today:

  • Peacock Hits 10 Million Users
  • TikTok Promises $2 Billion for Creators Over 3 Years as Rivalry with Facebook Heats Up

        Peacock hits 10 million users 

        Peacock Will Be Available on Google and Android Devices in JulyNBCUniversal

        NBCUniversal's new streaming service Peacock has hit 10 million users three months after its debut. The figure represents both new members who joined since July 15 when it launched for the general public and users who signed up in April when the platform opened exclusively to Comcast play TV customers.

        NBCUniversal is the latest to join the so-called streaming wars. Unlike some competitors, Peacock offers a free tier subscription for members to watch most content with ads. Last week, it rolled out a "Roll to Tokyo" channel dedicated to the 2021 Summer Olympics as one way to attract subscribers.

        Comcast Corp. reported the figures on Thursday during their second quarter earnings and it was a bright spot for the company.

        "Across the board, we're better than expectations," NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell told investors during their call. "We didn't expect this many sign-ups, we didn't expect people to come back as frequently as they're coming back and we didn't expect people to watch as long as they're watching once they come back."

        Executives have said their goal is to gain 30 million to 35 million users and $2.5 billion in revenue by 2024.

        TikTok Promises $2 Billion for Creators Over 3 Years as Rivalry with Facebook Heats Up

        TikTok announced it'll pay creators almost $2 billion over the next three years to support their careers online, a move that marks territory as rival Instagram's prepares to join the space with its service Reels.

        The Culver City-based company launched the TikTok Creator Fund last week to "encourage those who dream of using their voices and creativity to spark inspiration careers," TikTok General Manager Vanessa Pappas wrote in a blog post.

        The fund, which was originally set at $200 million before Thursday's update, will start accepting applications from U.S. creators in August.

        It's a signal that CEO Kevin Mayer has ratcheted up their efforts to take on competitors like YouTube and Instagram. On Wednesday he called Reels by Instagram, a Facebook owned company, a "copycat product."


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        Cadence

        Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

        Christian Hetrick

        Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

        Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

        When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

        The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

        Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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        Christian Hetrick

        Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

        Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

        LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

        The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

        From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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        GrayMatter Is Building Industrial Robots To Take Over the Jobs Humans Hate

        Samson Amore

        Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

        ​GrayMatter robotics working
        Andria Moore courtesy of GrayMatter

        GrayMatter Robotics, a startup based in Gardena (and definitely not a “Breaking Bad” reference, the founders assure us) is looking to disrupt the industrial finishing and sanding industry by programming robotic arms with artificial intelligence software to automate this labor.

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