Spring officially began and cherry blossoms are starting to bloom in Japan. April proves to be a busy month for travelers and tech enthusiasts alike, as OPPO unveiled their latest flagship, and Samsung concluded the Galaxy A launch with BLACKPINK. Marvel fans are ready for a treat with Avengers: Endgame coming to theaters two weeks from now. (Who’s excited?)
We need to take a break so we can serve the latest updates in the tech realm. For now, sit back and enjoy what’s Now Playing:
Movies to see
Rodneil: Shazam! is an indication that the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) is ready to leave its dark and brooding past *coughs* Batman V Superman *coughs* behind. It’s a nice coming of age film that families can enjoy together. My main man Zachary Levi killed it as the titular character. It seems as if he was born to play Shazam much like Ryan Reynolds is to Deadpool.
Dan: Here’s another remake of a classic horror film adapted from Stephen King’s creations. Pet Sematary was also one of the popular Stephen King movie adaptations in the 80s, but it’s not as good as fans like it to be. Fast forward to 2019, and it’s still not a great film. It can pass as your next horror movie to watch in the cinema with good scares and horrific images, although it’s just not memorable enough.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Kevin: It’s not the latest movie to come out, having been released towards the end of last year. But The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, to me, is an underrated but genius piece of cinema. In case you still haven’t seen it, the movie is about six different stories of life back in the Old West. It shows how people lived and how they settled their problems — presented with a good dose of drama and dark humor from the Coen brothers. It’s an enjoyable movie that might take you on a roller coaster of emotions.
TV shows to binge watch
Rodneil: This isn’t the Ultraman I expected but for the most part, it didn’t disappoint. The story picks up 40 years after the events of the Ultraman most people are familiar with. This version puts the spotlight on the original Ultraman’s son as he finds his way through a role he inherited but didn’t exactly ask for.
MJ: In early celebration of Earth Day, Our Planet is a must-watch documentary on Netflix about nature, addressing issues about conservation and the future of life on Earth. More importantly, you’ll appreciate the show better if you’re watching on a 4K TV, as this show is filmed in Ultra HD.
Your Lie in April
MJ: It’s been years since Your Lie in April (also known as Shigatsu Wa Kimi No Uso) was released but animé lovers never forget how this show struck a chord in their heart. It’s the most emotional anime I’ve ever seen, and fans re-watch this show every April to commemorate this masterpiece. Your Lie in April is full of valuable lessons in life that will definitely inspire you to let go of the past, take chances, live in the moment, and have faith in what the future will bring.
Santa Clarita Diet (Season 3)
Dan: The small suburb of Santa Clarita has more undead people! Zombie and comedy go well together in this latest season of Santa Clarita Diet. If you haven’t seen the first two seasons, I strongly suggest them for your next binge-watching sesh. The latest season continues where the previous season left off, and it finally brings a bit of action plus more dark humor. Don’t think of Santa Clarita Diet as just another zombie flick. I also think season three is the best so far.
Games to play
Honkai Impact 3
Marvin: Honkai Impact 3 has been available on the App Store and Google Play for over a year already, but it’s only now that I’ve gotten around to playing it. (Thanks, Rodneil!) It shares a lot of traits with action games Devil May Cry and Bayonetta, but with anime girls and JRPG-style dialogue. It’s free to play and gets updated with new events constantly!
Far Cry New Dawn
Kevin: If you’re into first-person shooter games, trusty animals fighting by your side, and making things explode, the latest installment of Far Cry will be an enjoyable addition to your library. It was released early this year and is a narrative sequel to last year’s Far Cry 5. This is the first time Ubisoft did this continuation for the series and Far Cry New Dawn takes place years after Far Cry 5 happened. Although receiving mixed reviews, it basically has the same exhilarating gameplay that made players love the previous installations.
So get your armor on, pick up that sawed-off shotgun, and take on the new bad guys of Hope County!
Albums/Songs/Podcasts to listen to
Kill This Love by BLACKPINK
Vincenz: I had mixed emotions when I first listened to this song but the odd music arrangement got addictive when I listened to it on repeat. The rapping and vocals are lit, plus most of the lyrics are in English which makes the song singable enough. They even low-key promoted the Samsung Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Buds in the music video!
Apps to download
Facebook for Android
Marvin: April Fools’! This app sucks. Facebook changes its Android app as often as my Viber groups send corny memes. Each update makes it worse, to the point that I can’t even comment or react to posts on my feed at times. Trust me, I’ve tried on different phones already and I only get consistent results on desktop. Use this dumb social network on the Chrome app instead.
Money Pro for iOS
Vincenz: This app is helpful for those who keep listing expenses in a day. Once you input how much you’ve spent for transportation, food, and whatnot, it sums up everything. Getting the free version is handy but the paid version conveniently syncs data on your other Apple devices (Macs and iPads). There’s also a Plus version that syncs data even on Android and Windows devices. The Gold version can do online banking.
Trends to try
KFC Double Down
Vincenz: As someone who loves eating chicken, Double Down makes it better with two fried chickens squishing the bacon, cheese, and right amount of mayonnaise in the middle. Unlike burgers, it cannot totally fill the void in your stomach — but it’s still worth trying out.
Jollibee Amazing Aloha Burger
Dan: It’s a beef burger with a slice of pineapple and bacon inside. That might sound weird, but the Amazing Aloha from Jollibee is one of the best summer-themed fast food burgers. If you love bacon and pineapple, this is for you. It used to be a staple item on the menu, but it’s now available for a limited time only. I love pairing this with a peach-mango pie to truly feel the tropical vibe of the Philippines — in fast food form.
Books to read
Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
Isa: I watched the Phantom of the Opera’s second run in Manila and yet again, I’m captivated by the haunted story of the Opera Ghost and Christine Daaé. Left wanting more, I ended up rereading the original French thriller novel — the same book Andrew Lloyd Webber based the award winning musical on.
The story follows a more detailed narration of the Phantom’s obsession for his young student and budding opera star Christine to almost catastrophic results. If you thought the play was thrilling, this morbid story of love and lust may just be a must read. So many details from the book escaped the play and it’s a definite eye opener to what supposedly went on in the Palais Garnier.
Now Playing is the GadgetMatch team’s favorite games, movies, TV shows, and more each month. If you’re curious to know what we’re into at the moment, this is what you should check out. So grab your popcorn, get some drinks, and enjoy what’s now playing!
Hundreds of K-Pop songs by KakaoM removed from Spotify
Including songs from IU, LOONA, Dreamcatcher, GFRIEND, SEVENTEEN, MAMAMOO, and more
K-Pop has been making waves both in South Korea and outside their homeland. And with the recent launch of Spotify Korea, international fans are expecting it to be recognized by major Korean music shows as an additional attempt in making more underrated artists and groups succeed without totally relying on Korean streaming platforms and Korean fans alone. But the recent feud between KakaoM and Spotify put everything to a screeching halt.
What is KakaoM?
KakaoM is a large co-publisher of K-Pop albums by Korean artists. Other than being a music publishing house, they’re also a music and concert production house, events management agency, talent agency, and even a record label. This basically means they can handle everything from handling K-Pop trainees and talents, up to pre-production, production, and post-production phases of a single, EP, mini album, or even a full album.
Other than KakaoM’s in-house artists like IU (under EDAM Entertainment), Apink, VICTON, and Weeekly (under PlayM Entertainment), as well as non-KakaoM talents such as LOONA, Dreamcatcher, MAMAMOO, GFRIEND, SEVENTEEN, HyunA, and (G)-IDLE, this long Twitter thread shows the full list of K-Pop groups, duos, and soloists that are handled and/or whose albums were published by KakaoM:
artists that had their stuff on spotify deleted, a thread
— ً (@lemonphobic) February 28, 2021
Explaining the fiasco
In an article published by the Korean site NAVER, Spotify has informed that KakaoM was unable to extend the validity of the agreement. Thus, effectively ending the contract today, March 1, 2021. Spotify also reported that they’ve been keeping in touch with KakaoM for a year but to no avail. They even said that KakaoM never informed the artists nor their respective agencies prior to the cancellation.
KakaoM isn’t totally a stranger in such issues. This already happened in 2019 when KakaoM failed to mass produce LOONA’s “[X X]” albums despite the large volumes of album pre-orders. That hindered LOONA from getting their first win in a music show. It even came to a point where they failed to renew LOONA’s songs listed under them in Spotify.
FIRST YOU RUIN LOONA’S SALES AND THEIR CHANCE FOR A FIRST WIN IN 2019, NOW YOU REMOVE HALF OF THE SONGS I LISTEN TO ON SPOTIFY……THIS IS IT…….YOU WILL NEVER SEE THE END OF ME KAKAO M I WANT YOU GONE FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!
— nina! (@jeonsbits) February 28, 2021
This also has a massive effect among international K-Pop artists and fans in general. With the large number of groups and artists alone, Spotify not only helps them get on a larger scale outside Korea, but it also contributes records to music charts such as Billboard.
Streaming charts have always been a big deal among K-Pop fans. With Spotify’s recent entry in the Korean music industry, fans have speculated that this unsettled agreement between Spotify and KakaoM was due to the fact that they don’t want to lose Melon, which is Korea’s top and largest music streaming platform with 28 million subscribers.
Other than the reliance of chartings and rankings by music shows such as Mnet’s M Countdown, KBS’s Music Core, SBS’s Inkigayo, MBC’s Music Core, and more, the streaming platform is owned by none other than KakaoM. This is a speculation all along but the fact that Spotify has 345+ million subscribers in 170 markets dwarfs Melon alone.
Stan Twitter memes everywhere
Some fans were able to make humor out of this controversy.
kakao m: removes their artist’ songs from spotify
kpop stans: lets boycott spotify
— ً (@jjkpremacist) March 1, 2021
With KakaoM’s Melon ownership, international fans have joked around that signing up to Melon will never happen.
Lmao Kakao M thought people gonna go to Melon after they remove their content from Spotify but instead we all went to YouTube music and apple music pic.twitter.com/lAQe330xgt
— ☁⁷ ¦ SEOKJIN’S VOCALS ARE HEAVEN ITSELF (@millkygyuu) March 1, 2021
The fury of the K-Pop international fanbase might have made KakaoM realize their wrong action.
Kakao M after realizing removing songs on spotify is a stupid move: pic.twitter.com/6oT9zDWXbu
— minwon ; \⁷ D-2 (@Meaniethepooh) March 1, 2021
Orbits aren’t late to the meme party
— TEAMLOONA (@loonateams) March 1, 2021
It seems like every K-Pop fan is transferring to YouTube Music (not even Apple Music)
Spotify and Kakao m issue
Meanwhile youtube music: pic.twitter.com/QEtPv0D9EL
— JunHoshi 1+🐯 (@YeyHuihuiii) March 1, 2021
KakaoM as Thanos, anyone?
Kakao M, which holds the streaming rights to many South Korean artists (and owns Melon), have pulled out of their license agreement with Spotify causing many Korean songs and artists to be unavailable on Spotify worldwide.
When you can’t handle the competition … pic.twitter.com/no13lEpUb6
— Nuice Media (@nuicemedia) March 1, 2021
Memes aside, Spotify has re-assured fans that this issue is temporary and can still be resolved once KakaoM reaches a new global deal. Fans (like me) are hoping that KakaoM will settle this as soon as possible or this might be a huge loss not just to them, but for fans, artists, and their respective agencies as well.
Globe’s Virtual Hangouts: Music, campus, K-Pop, and esports
More coming this year
Last year, Virtual Hangouts brought you music festivals, concerts, youth summits, K-fan meets, and esports tournaments with the #OLTogetherNow. Well, strap up because they’re back.
Globe launched their Virtual Hangouts return with a virtual 360-degree view launch event last February 18. They, of course, had to tease us with sneak peeks of GoJAM, GoCAMPUS, GoKOREAN, and GoESPORTS this year.
Jumping off of last year’s GoJAM, Virtual Hangouts partnered with Karpos Live to bring a concert series featuring local and international acts from Paradise Rising, a music collective born out of Globe and 88rising’s partnership. Talents such as Jason Dhakal, Claudia Baretto, Leanne and Naara, and more are in this year’s line-up.
In light of circumstances last year, GoJAM brought you virtual Wanderland Music Festival 2020 and the Double Happiness: Winter Wonder Festival. So, tune in and wait for any new updates on this year’s events. While on the wait, GoJAM is stepping up their virtual immersive experience with virtual 360 concerts and choose-your-own-adventure interviews in this year’s plans.
GoCAMPUS is bringing in another virtual youth summit and Future Reinvented. Students will be challenged to put theory into practice through a 5G Hackathon where teams make real-life applications of 5G technology.
With these events, GoCAMPUS hopes to reinvent school and learning experiences for students. While, empowering them to eventually bring to life real-world applications of 5G technology in society, industries, and smart cities.
Globe and K-Pop sensation BLACKPINK’s partnership and the recently concluded THE SHOW virtual concert aside, GoKOREAN has even more in store.
With GoKOREAN, K-fans get to enjoy interactive activities, like the design-your-own cup sleeves event as a way of celebrating the birthdays of BLACKPINK members. Virtual Hangouts will be having the Kmmunity Fest where fans can have a safe space to mingle and share their love of all thing K-Culture. Kmmunity Fest will be new platforms such as SHOOR, Upstream, as well as Vlive and VLive+.
Globe’s ongoing efforts to improve the Philippine esports scene by developing and discovering new esports talents and athletes was loud and clear with their VH UltiCup last year. How? Well, they opened both professional and amateur gamers to the competitive scene and giving them the opportunity to represent the country at the SuperGameFest 2020.
With its recent partnership with Riot Games Southeast Asia, it is no surprise that Globe is paving way for new opportunities for local gamers and enthusiasts. GoESPORTS has a few tournaments on their line-up for this year so keep your eyes peeled for any announcements.
If you’re interested in music, campus learning, K-culture, and esports, you can be part of these upcoming events on Virtual Hangouts simply through the GlobeOne app. On the app, just click on the Virtual Hangouts tab to view the events and join.
Disney+ now streaming in Singapore
Have you subscribed yet?
The wait is over. Disney+ is now finally available in Singapore.
If you’ve been longing to stream Disney classics, new shows like The Mandalorian in the Star Wars universe, or just want a feel good flick from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you can now do so via the streaming app.
The subscription costs SG$ 11.98 per month or SG$ 119.98 for a year. With it you’ll have access to a library of 500 movies and over 15,000 episodes of some of your favorite shows from Disney Channel.
You’ll also gain access to content by other major entertainment companies like Pixar, National Geographic, and Star.
To sign-up, users need to go to the Disney+ website and you’ll be asked to input your email address so they can keep you updated on how to subscribe. A subscription plan lets the user stream on four different devices at the same time. There are also different profiles for each subscription just like Netflix. However, instead of just five, Disney+ gives you up to seven profiles.
GeekCulture put together a list of supported devices so check them out to see if you have any of them.
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