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.


  • 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 July NBCUniversal

        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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        When Meg Whitman spoke to dot.LA in April, the Quibi CEO struck a tone of cool patience. "I'm very focused on 'where are we after a year?'," she said. Ultimately, Whitman never got that perspective. Quibi shut down less than seven months after its launch.

        The high-flying, $1.75 billion mobile streaming service attracted investors from Hollywood studios to Goldman Sachs and is now grappling with how to return whatever capital it has left. Meanwhile, investors and those inside the company are asking how it all happened.

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        • L.A.-based Output, a bootstrapped business founded in 2013 to help musicians overcome writer's block, announced its first ever fundraise, of $45 million from Summit Partners.
        • The company serves a range of musicians from hobbyists to professionals, providing them a library of loops and samples that they can then manipulate into unique songs of their own.
        • Immediate plans are to nearly double its staff and expand its product platform, with future goals of leading the evolution of digital music production.

        Gregg Lehrman was no stranger to music composition. He had worked under world-famous composers such as Hans Zimmer writing music for film and TV and had produced big projects with BMG music publishing. But after setting out on his own, he found himself suffering from writer's block.

        So, he said, "I made a piece of software for myself, as a music-maker — with no intention of starting a company."

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        After $300-million and 11 years, the nation's largest county rolled out the first publicly-owned voting system earlier this year, promising "transparency, accessibility, usability, and security."

        Los Angeles County's new voting system — dubbed "Voting Solutions for All People," or VSAP — has raised concerns from election security experts. Dozens of advocacy groups have warned California's top election official that the electronic touchscreen system used for in-person voting relies on QR codes to tabulate votes. QR codes are vulnerable to hackers and system malfunctions and cannot be easily verified by most voters, U.S. government and outside experts have found.

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