Weeks ago, lawyers representing Netflix, Disney, Amazon and other powerful corporations in media and tech struck a tentative deal to avoid a historic strike in Hollywood — but the saga isn't over yet. This weekend, members of the union that represents behind-the-scenes film and TV crews will decide whether to approve the deal, and many are hesitant to do so. Read more >>
Here's what else we're reading in the news:
- The total value of companies going public surpassed $1 trillion this year thanks, in part, to Rivian's multibillion-dollar market debut.
- Smartsheet's chief strategist and product officer, Gene Farrell, is leaving to become CEO of Vanilla, an L.A.-based estate planning platform.
- L.A.-based battery manufacturer Nanotech Energy is expanding to Nevada.
- The Black TV & Film Collective (BTFC) is merging with The Parity Project to support Black creators in television, film and digital entertainment.
- U.S. companies have hired a record number of robots, 29,000, in the first nine months of 2021 — 37% more than the same period last year.
- Meta, formerly named Facebook, is quietly buying virtual reality companies, including Within, Unit 2 Games, Bigbox VR and Downpour Interactive.
- A record number of Americans, 4.4 million, quit their jobs in September in a labor phenomenon known as the great resignation.
At stake in a tentative deal offered to IATSE union members is a three-year contract that establishes minimum pay, meal breaks and funding for workers' pensions and health care, as well as setting some safety standards. But many IATSE workers say the deal does little address long work hours and potential pay rate increases for "new media" streaming productions.
Disney announced on Friday a lengthy list of new movies and shows coming on its streaming platform by 2022, including some "Star Wars" and Marvel spin-offs. The announcement, calling it Disney Plus Day, comes on the second anniversary of the streaming platform.
For $4.99 per month, startup Struum aggregates content from 60 smaller streaming providers into an app that tells people where to find media. The L.A.-based startup was co-founded by Lauren DeVillier, a former Discovery executive, and recently raised $7 million to expand.