Amazon’s IMDb Freebie Content Approach For Black Viewers

Amazon’s IMDb Freebie Content Approach For Black Viewers

By CultureBanx Team

  • IMDb Freedive streaming platform will now be free and ad supported

  • African Americans stream videos more frequently than the total U.S. population

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Film and TV website IMDb is gearing up to take a larger share of the ad market with its free streaming video channel. The Amazon (AMZN -0.95%) owned platform wants to grab a larger share of the digital ad market with “IMDb Freedive” and attract more viewers. With African Americans streaming videos more frequently on all devices than the total U.S. population, it will be important for Amazon’s IMDb to connect with these viewers to get advertisers who want to be in front of this audience.

Why This Matters: Even though IMDb’s streaming service will be free, competition is getting intense in this space. IMDb needs to create authentic content connections with African Americans, as Nielsen found they are the top consumers of streaming video.

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Does LeBron James Own His Tattoos?

Does LeBron James Own His Tattoos?

By Justin Moore

  • Tattoos in sports video games are facing legal challenges

  • Video game market estimated to generate $138 billion in 2018

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A company that acquires and licenses tattoo designs has filed suit against the makers of the popular video game series by Take-Two Interactive (TTWO +1.44%) NBA 2K, for including a digital re-creation of one of LeBron James’ tattoos in the game. Solid Oak Sketches claims it acquired the rights to the design from the tattoo artist who penned it on James, and they allege the NBA 2K producers owe them big for featuring the ink in the game without paying them a licensing agreement.

Why This Matters: Video games are becoming more and more life-like and tattoos are a part of that authenticity. Imagine a virtual LeBron with no tattoos. Player’s associations, in this case the NBA PA, often license the likenesses of its players to video game makers but it’s not clear whether that includes tattoos.

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Slack’s Diverse Workforce Powers Unique IPO Strategy

Slack’s Diverse Workforce Powers Unique IPO Strategy

By CultureBanx Team

  • Slack is planning a direct share listing on the NYSE instead of a traditional IPO

  • The company’s tech workforce is 5.5% black

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One of Silicon Valley’s most diverse tech companies is taking its talent to the NYSE through a direct share listing. Slack, the messaging software giant is following the path set out by a few other businesses that have decided to side step the traditional IPO process. Armed with a tech workforce combination that’s 5.5% black, 7% Latino and 4% mixed-race, along with a $7 billion valuation the company could be one of the biggest to enter the public markets this year.

Why This Matters: Slack doesn’t need the publicity or the capital that comes with a regular IPO, a person familiar with the matter said. Even though they don’t need those things to go public, perception is still very important to the company. As the messaging platform continues to strive to better represent its customers internally, they’ve ramped up diversity efforts ahead of their anticipated IPO. Overall, diversity in tech is way below all private industries in the U.S., with blacks making up 7.4% of its workforce compared to 14.4% across all private industries.

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Changing the Game: Rebecca Allen Shoes Answers the Brand Identity Call

Changing the Game: Rebecca Allen Shoes Answers the Brand Identity Call

By CultureBanx Team

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Founder Rebecca Allen desperately needed a shoe in her closet that could go with everything and was never able to find a pair in traditional stores. So she decided to launch her own footwear company creating nude shoes for all skin tones. “As a consumer I felt emotionally charged that brands were overlooking me as a customer,” Allen said. Coming from an investment banking background Allen decided to start with a pump that could easily be used for going to work and then hanging out afterwards. Her shade inclusive brand of shoes comes in a variety of styles at an affordable price point in the mid $200s. The footwear company’s direct-to-consumer model allows shoppers to easily connect with the brand in a way that transcends race and ethnicity.  This is one of the main focuses of the company as they work to “answer the call from a brand identity standpoint and making women feel like the leading ladies they should feel like.” All women can now find themselves in fashion with Allen’s nude shoes.

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Egypt’s Private Sector Receives $1 Billion Cash Injection

Egypt’s Private Sector Receives $1 Billion Cash Injection

By CultureBanx Team

  • The World Bank and Egypt signed a $1B private sector agreement

  • Economic reforms in Egypt have helped increase growth to 5.3% in 2018

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The World Bank and Egypt signed a $1 billion agreement to spur the country’s private sector. By supporting small businesses, the country’s largest source of jobs, Egypt’s government hopes to bring about sustainable economic reform from this second phase of support.

Why This Matters: Egypt’s economy is weighed down by a legacy of heavy bureaucracy and a lack of transparency which deters investors. However, this funding is intended to support the next phase of the country’s reform program and finance the government’s economic development program, “Egypt Takes Off”.

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Are Banks Risking Your Money?

Are Banks Risking Your Money?

By Tracey Goins

  • Exclusion from the Volcker rule could be good news for black-owned banks

  • New trading rules protect consumers from risky investments

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Regulators have proposed a new edict that would exclude some community banks from the Volcker rule. Banks with $10 billion or more in combined assets are most impacted by the new rules. Depending on what side of the issue you’re on, this is where black-owned banks may have caught a break.

Why This Matters: The banking system can be a bit intimidating, but the common principles are really quite simple. Most consumers are aware banks benefit financially from assessing fees and earned interest from depository accounts and loans, but the real money is in trading and investing. These strategies, long practiced by banks have recently come under a great deal of scrutiny and are more regulated than ever before thanks to legislation like the Volcker rule.

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The Next Hot Pot Stocks in 2019

The Next Hot Pot Stocks in 2019

By CultureBanx Team

  • Several U.S. cannabis and pot adjacent companies are expected to IPO in 2019

  • The hemp market could top $20B by 2022

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With the reality of recreational marijuana in Canada already set in stone, the next round of initial public offerings in the cannabis sector will likely come from U.S. based companies looking to raise cash. In 2019, we’re likely to see a plethora of cannabis companies and pot-adjacent technology businesses, that don’t actually handle marijuana take up the mantle of being publicly traded.

Why This Matters: Hemp Industry Daily projects the hemp-derived CBD retail market will reach between $2.5 billion and $3.1 billion by 2022. Some of the companies likely to go public this year include Pax Labs, a cannabis-focused vaporizer company that’s raised $20 million from investors could join the NYSE. Also, marijuana data companies like New Frontier Data and Headset, that do not directly handle the products but provide market intelligence on the industry could join either the NASDAQ or NYSE.

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Converse Leans on Culture to Lead Next Phase of Global Growth

Converse Leans on Culture to Lead Next Phase of Global Growth

By Sabrina Lynch

  • G. Scott Uzzell to lead Converse as its next President & CEO

  • In 2018, revenues for Converse were $425M

Nike’s (NKE +1.33%) stakeholders are investing in the strategic mind of G.Scott Uzzell to lead Converse as its next President & CEO. Following the brand’s positive sales performance in the first quarter of 2018, the number one athletic shoe maker’s endgame seems to be predicated on persuading culture to re-embrace Converse shoes.

Why This Matters: Investors may have been pessimistic about the strength of Converse’s platform as "America's Original Sports Company" following two years of declining sales that began in 2016. Uzzell’s brings a legacy of experience nurturing billion-dollar brands, insight which could significantly shape Nike’s approach to driving relevancy among its audiences. Uzzell joins Converse from Coca Cola’s (KO +1.13%) Venturing and Emerging Brands Unit.

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Blue Apron Cooks Up A Weight Watchers Deal

Blue Apron Cooks Up A Weight Watchers Deal

By CultureBanx Team

  • Blue Apron partners with WW on 6 recipes

  • 75% of African Americans prefer cooking with fresh food

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Blue Apron’s (APRN +2.34%) new partnership with WW (WTW 1.37%), formerly known as Weight Watchers is its last hope to make the company profitable this year. African Americans on the go looking for quick and efficient mealtime solutions are an attractive consumer group for Blue Apron, especially with the The Selig Center’s expected buying power of this group set to rise to $1.54 trillion by 2022.

Why This Matters: Meal kits like Blue Apron are showing healthy growth among African Americans, with 75% of them agreeing they prefer cooking with fresh food, according to Nielsen. However, winning a customer and retaining a customer are two different things. Unfortunately for Blue Apron, this partnership doesn't solve its customer retention problem.

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