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Indian music streaming services JioMusic and Saavn will merge

Merged company to be valued at $1 billion

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Reliance Industries (RIL) has inked a deal to combine over-the-top (OTT) music platform Saavn with its own digital music service JioMusic in a transaction worth over US$ 1 billion, the oil-to-telecom behemoth said in a statement on Friday.

The combined entity is valued at over US$ 1 billion, with JioMusic’s implied valuation of US$ 670 million, the statement added. RIL said that it will also invest up to US$ 100 million, out of which US$ 20 million will be invested upfront for growth and expansion of the platform into one of the largest streaming services in the world.


JioMusic will also acquire a partial stake from existing shareholders of Saavn for US$ 104 million. Shareholders of Saavn include Tiger Global Management, Liberty Media, and Bertelsmann, among others.

The three co-founders of Saavn — Rishi Malhotra, Paramdeep Singh and Vinodh Bhat — will continue in their leadership roles and will drive the growth of the combined entity.

“The integrated business will be developed into a media platform of the future with global reach, cross-border original content, independent artist marketplace, consolidated data, and one of the largest mobile advertising media,” Reliance said.

JioMusic currently has over 16 million HD songs in 20 languages. Saavn, on the other hand, has been around much longer than JioMusic and features 36 million tracks across 15 languages, with over 900 existing music label partnerships.

The deal comes at a time when music listeners in India are warming up to a palette of streaming services available in the country, including Gaana, Wynk, Saavn, Apple Music, Google Play, and now Amazon Prime Music. The number of music streaming users in India has more than tripled since 2015 to 87.6 million, according to an EY India report. The Jio-Saavn deal comes weeks after rival Gaana announced a US$ 115 million investment in a funding round led by China’s Tencent Holdings.

RIL launched its LTE mobile network operations under Jio in 2016. By November 2017, it accounted for a 14.5 percent share of India’s wireless telecom market for the second quarter of the year.

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FaceApp goes viral again, raises security concerns

Taking social media by storm

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FaceApp is taking social media by storm once again. The popular editing app which went viral two years ago has resurfaced after celebrities, YouTubers, and even NBA stars posted elderly versions of themselves.

Quick to jump in the bandwagon, people followed and started posting their aged version on Twitter and Instagram. Fancy seeing a glimpse of yourself in the future, as well? Here’s how you can do it.


Easy, step-by-step guide on FaceApp

Download FaceApp via Google Play Store or the App Store. Open the app and select the photo you want to edit. Pro tip: Avoid using selfies with caps, sunglasses, and other accessories on.

After choosing a photo, you can then pick from an array of filters: Beauty, gender-swap, or the old age filter that everyone is obsessing over, and many more!

Using the old age filter, you can see how you’d look like when you’re over 60 years old. If you want to see how you and your partner look when you’re old and wrinkly, just apply the filter first on your face since you can only apply it one at a time. Then, save it, and upload the saved image to apply the filter once again.

You can do this with group photos, too, except you’ll need more patience. It’s an excruciating process but isn’t it worthwhile?

Is our security compromised?

FaceApp’s sudden virality has raised major privacy concerns, just like when Zepeto went viral last year. This is almost always the case when the app in question appears to be collecting data from its unknowing users.

A report on Fast Company indicates that the Russian company behind FaceApp saves the photos uploaded by transmitting it to their servers back in Russia. While it’s all fun and magic on your end, the report supposes your security may be compromised.

Moreover, the US government poses the app as a threat to national security, prompting the FBI to investigate the Russian startup. Will this be a similar saga between the US and China trade war? Let’s hope it won’t escalate into a bigger issue.

FaceApp has responded to these allegations claiming that images are deleted from their servers within 48 hours from the upload date.

At the end of the day, FaceApp is pretty much similar to Facebook and Google, who have taken more information from us than we realize. If you’re still afraid, the best course here is to stay away from photo editing apps and resist the urge to try senseless features for the sake of fun and likes on social media.

 

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5 accredited Airbnbs you can book in Boracay

Life is always better at the beach

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Photo by Airbnb

Boracay is one of the Philippines’ most beautiful islands. Every tourist dreams of seeing its majestic sunsets and enjoy its heavenly white sands.

After Boracay’s rehabilitation in 2018, the Department of Tourism of the Philippines has limited the number of tourists arriving in the island, hence, every traveler must present proof of booking from an accredited accommodation.


Most Airbnbs in Boracay aren’t accredited yet. Thus, we prepared a list so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.

Bianca’s Garden Apartment

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If you’re looking for a safe haven away from the crowd, then you should stay at Bianca’s Garden Apartment! Located at the quiet side of Station 3, the apartment is situated on a peaceful hilltop side of Boracay. Despite being situated at a distance from the popular tourist attractions, it’s still just a few minutes away from the center.

Book it here.

Tropicana Ocean Villa

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Families can enjoy this entire villa by Tropicana Oceana. It’s a home perched gracefully on a slope, offering a beautiful and panoramic view. In addition, it’s situated in Din-i-wid beach, ensuring a serene and relaxed atmosphere away from the typical Boracay buzz.

Book it here.

Apartment 3, Sheridan Villas

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For those looking for a homey place, Apartment 3 in Sheridan Villas is the place to go. It’s suitable for groups, and it’s also just a few minutes away from the white beach area in Station 3. Furthermore, you can bring your friends and families to nearby restaurants and eat to your heart’s content.

Book it here.

Bamboo Bungalows Rest House

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Bamboo Bungalows screams tropical and nature, adorned with a little bit of sleek and contemporary. Located at Station 2, this place might be ideal for couples wanting an oasis surrounded by lush greenery, but it’s also great for solo travelers seeking tranquility. Nonetheless, Bamboo Bungalows are best for those who want to take a retreat whilst still near all the adventures Boracay has to offer.

Book it here.

Marrakesh Resort: Ocean View with Balcony

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Located at the picturesque Station 1, Marrakesh Resort offers a stunning view of the beach and breathtaking sunsets. It also lets you experience Morocco through its themed rooms, restaurants, and bar serving Mezze and delicious cocktails. Enjoy a romantic getaway in one of the most beautiful islands in the world.

Book it here.

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Friends is leaving Netflix for HBO Max

This is a huge blow to Netflix

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Friends is officially leaving Netflix. Earlier this year, there were rumors that Netflix will lose Friends. It was officially confirmed when WarnerMedia — who owns Friends’ distribution rights — launched HBO Max as the new home for the well-loved TV series.

Along with Friends, titles such as Pretty Little Liars, Batwoman, and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air will be streamed when HBO Max launches in spring of 2020. The streaming service is positioning itself to compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu.


The show won’t depart the streaming giant until later this year so you and your friends can still binge-watch until then. On the other hand, Netflix might take a huge blow from this since Friends is one of the most watched shows, according to research by Jumpshot.

More and more companies are capitalizing on video-streaming apps and services with paid video offerings. On a larger scale, this isn’t just a problem for Netflix but for the whole industry as well. Users might find it expensive to maintain multiple subscriptions and might resort to piracy instead. Sure as hell, we won’t pay three different subscriptions just to watch my favorite shows.

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