BofA: Facebook and Instagram Could Reach 12 Million Paid Subscribers by 2024

BofA: Facebook and Instagram Could Reach 12 Million Paid Subscribers by 2024

The Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC), of BofA, has stated that Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ: META) could reach as many as 12 million paid subscribers for Facebook and Instagram services by 2024. According to the research note released by BofA, paid subscriptions and benefits offered by Facebook and Instagram were created with the purpose of attracting influencers and content creators rather than regular users. As a result, this might “help them increase visibility and reach with a badge and potentially higher positioning in search and content results.”

BofA explained:

“Given a broader audience reach and bigger revenue opportunity for creators, we believe Meta could outperform the subscriber ramp (as a percent of users) of peer subscription offerings (the service will likely be refined and improved over time).”

According to BofA analyst Justin Post, the paid subscribers could help Meta generate as much as $1.7 billion in high-margin revenue in 2024.

Justin Post commented:

“Given a broader audience reach and bigger revenue opportunity for creators, we believe Meta could outperform the subscriber ramp (as a percent of users) of peer subscription offerings (the service will likely be refined and improved over time). However, we note some potential audience size limitations above.”

The research follows Meta’s launch of a new paid subscription service called Meta Verified. The service aims to improve security and authenticity across Meta products by enabling users to verify their account with a government ID, get a blue badge, receive extra impersonation protection against accounts claiming to be someone else, and get direct access to customer support. The first countries to get access to Meta Verivied will be Australia and New Zealand. The subscription starts at $11.99 per month on the web and costs $14.99 per month on iOS.

The service is similar to Twitter Blue, paid monthly subscription that Twitter Inc brought back in December 2022. The service adds a blue checkmark to a user’s account and offers early access to select new features, like Edit Tweet. Since the launch of Twitter Blue, roughly 300,000 subscribers agreed to pay for the transition as of the middle of January.

Justin Post believes that Meta’s offering follows the demand for similar service as the top requests from creators on Meta-owned platforms were related to broader access to verification and account support.

“We are intrigued by this offering, which follows Twitter Blue and likely reflects demand for more services by Facebook’s creators. However, audience size could be limited by the number of creators and influencers on Meta’s platforms (Linktree estimates that there are over 45mn Global content creators with over 10k+ followers), and Meta’s release suggests that those already verified can keep their status, ” stated the post.

Following the announcement, Meta stock was up. Its shares have been on the rise since the company reported its fourth-quarter financial results, and analysts believe the new service might further boost the Meta stock price. Currently, Meta shares are trading at $172.08, but the average price target offered by Wall Street analysts is $215.20.

BofA: Facebook and Instagram Could Reach 12 Million Paid Subscribers by 2024

Russian Search Engine Yandex Adds Cryptos to Its Currency Converter

Russian Search Engine Yandex Adds Cryptos to Its Currency Converter

Yandex, a Russian tech giant the Yandex search engine, has announced adding cryptos to its currency converter. Now, in addition to the data about the various national currencies, users can also see information on as many as 143 of the most popular cryptos, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Binance USD (BUSD), and more.

Cryptos on Yandex Currency Converter

Once you enter a search query that contains keywords related to a particular crypto, you will see the price chart and a quick conversion tool right above the search results. According to Yandex, the software used by the search engine is able to recognize even slang or imprecise language in the query.

Yandex relies on Coingecko, a cryptocurrency ranking platform that provides a fundamental analysis of the crypto market, to source the crypto-related data. For now, the value of cryptos can be displayed in Russian rubles, US dollars, euros, and other fiat currencies. In the future, Yandex is planning to add more pairs, as well as offer the option to see the price of a particular coin in another cryptocurrency.

The initiative has followed a boom in crypto-related search queries on Yandex in 2022. According to the company, the top five cryptos have been Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin (LTC), Dogecoin (DOGE), and Solana (SOL).

Earlier, a similar feature was launched on Twitter. Starting in December 2022, Twitter users can search for listed company stocks and cryptocurrency prices by typing crypto or stock tickers into the search bar to generate the current value and a price chart. The result also includes a link to the trading app Robinhood. Notably, the feature is not available in Russia since Twitter was blocked in the country as the Russian government passed a bill that criminalizes “fake” reports against the Russian-Ukranian war.

How Is Crypto Regulated in Russia?

Back in January 2021, a law “On Digital Financial Assets” entered into force. The law defined cryptocurrency as “an aggregate of electronic data capable of being accepted as the payment means, not being the monetary unit of the Russian Federation or a foreign state, and as investments.” It legalized cryptocurrency transactions but prohibited their use as payments for goods and services.

Further, in 2022, Russia’s Ministry of Finance was pushing forward with its plan to regulate cryptocurrencies in the country. In July, Russian President Vladimir Putin approved a law prohibiting the use of digital assets as forms of payment in the country. However, the approach differs slightly when it comes to mining. The Bank of Russia has supported the idea of legalizing cryptocurrency mining in Russia, but only on one condition: miners need to sell their crypto only on foreign exchanges and to non-residents of Russia.

Besides, there is also a possibility of Russia approving cryptos for cross-border transactions. This brings in a lot of questions since the stance of the country towards crypto is quite ambiguous. However, in 2023, Russia is expected to provide more clarity on industry regulation.

Russian Search Engine Yandex Adds Cryptos to Its Currency Converter

OpenSea Delists NFTs Featuring Rihanna’s Music

OpenSea Delists NFTs Featuring Rihanna’s Music

OpenSea, the world’s first and largest digital marketplace for crypto collectibles and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), has delisted the NFT collection that features royalty rights from Rihanna’s song “Bitch Better Have My Money” released back in 2014.

As OpenSea representatives have said, sales were halted because Rihanna’s NFTs went against its terms of service, “appearing to promise fractional ownership and future profit based on that ownership.”

The delisting follows the offering of the hit’s producer Jamil “Deputy” Pierre to sell his rights to the song to another NFT marketplace that specializes in music royalty rights, AnotherBlock. As many as 300 NFTs were minted, and all of them sold out within a few minutes of their release. Each NFT was priced at $210, which means the team generated a total revenue of as much as $63,000. Those who managed to buy the collectibles (209 people) got ownership of 0.0033% of the streaming royalties per NFT.

According to AnotheBlock, the song’s NFT holders will receive their initial payouts on February 16. The investment is expected to generate between 6.1% and 6.8% in revenue per annum.

AnotherBlock is a startup that provides a blockchain-based platform to decentralize music rights connecting non-fungible tokens to royalty rights. Founded in 2021 by Michel D. Traore, Sebastian Ljungberg, and Filip Strömsten in Stockholm, the company was built upon the idea that accessing music rights should be easy, accessible, and democratic. By connecting music rights to NFTs, AnotherBlock aims to create a smooth and easy way to both buy and sell music rights – a community of music lovers building rights catalogs together with artists.

Before selling Rihanna’s hit an an NFT collection, AnotherBlock sold other music NFTs, including Ric Flair Drip by Offset and Metro Boomin, Alone PT. II by Alan Walker and Ava Max, Acquainted by The Weeknd, and Weekend On A Tuesday by R3hab & Laidback Luke.

How Can NFTs Transform the Music Industry?

Music NFTs are a new trend in the NFT space that represents a novel way to collect, sell and share music. They can help musicians monetize their work by creating unique digital assets, which can be traded on NFT marketplaces, as well as allow fans to become token holders with proof of ownership for a song they like.

Music NFTs help to create a more direct connection between artists and token holders. In other words, instead of going through an intermediary, like a record label or streaming service, fans can directly promote the artists they love by purchasing their music NFTs. This leads to an intimate, direct relationship between artists and their fans and the creation of a vibrant and supportive music community.

In general, music NFTs have the potential to positively transform the music industry for both creators and listeners, boosting artist incomes, reducing piracy, and creating a direct and supportive relationship between musicians and fans.

Among the most popular and reliable music NFTs marketplaces are OpenSea, Rarible, Nifty Gateway, LimeWire, and Catalog.

OpenSea Delists NFTs Featuring Rihanna’s Music

Charlie Munger: BYD Is ‘Much Ahead of Tesla’ in China

Charlie Munger: BYD Is ‘Much Ahead of Tesla’ in China

Charlie Munger, the longtime investment partner of Warren Buffett, as well as vice chairman of the famed holding company Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE: BRK.A), has named a major Chinese automaker BYD Co. Ltd (OTC US: BYDDF) as his favorite stock ever. According to Charlie Munger, BYD is doing so well and is so far ahead of the US electric vehicle giant Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) in China that “it’s almost ridiculous”.

Speaking at the Daily Journal’s virtual annual meeting on Wednesday, Munger stated:

“Tesla last year reduced its prices in China twice. BYD increased its prices. We are direct competitors. BYD is so much ahead of Tesla in China, it’s almost ridiculous.”

He further added:

“BYD last year made more than $2 billion after taxes in the auto business in China. It’s incredible what’s happened. If you count all the manufacturing space they have in China to make cars, it would amount to a big percentage of the Manhattan island, and nobody had ever heard of them a few years ago.”

In 2022, Tesla saw a 37.1% growth in sales in China, with over 439,770 units sold. The company cut prices on its China models a few times last year in an effort to shore up sales and seems that the initiative helped. As we have reported, the price reductions resulted from Tesla’s low delivery count in December 2021, the lowest in more than 5 months. And that was the first time when Shenzhen-based EV manufacturer BYD surpassed Tesla in global sales of electric vehicles. For comparison, for the first six months of 2022, BYD sold a total of 640,000 vehicles while Tesla sold a total of 564,000 vehicles.

In January 2023, BYD sold 151,341 vehicles, including 71,338 pure electric vehicles. The company has been ranking first in the sales of pure electric vehicles in China for ten consecutive months. Besides, BYD has been actively expanding its presence in international markets in recent years. BYD exported 10,409 pure electric vehicles in January 2023, which marks a significant increase of 31 times year-on-year. It has become the sales champion of pure electric vehicles in Israel and New Zealand.

Berkshire Hathaway’s Investment in BYD

BYD has grown significantly over the past few years and with top investors like Warren Buffett, the company has enough reserve for research to debut its own unique products. Berkshire Hathaway made its first move to acquire BYD shares after the global financial crisis of 2008, stacking up $230 million worth of the stock at the time at an average price of HK$8 ($1.02).

Now, BYD stock is the favorite one of Charlie Munger. When asked if he would prefer Tesla or BYD, Munger said the answer is obvious. Even though Berkshire Hathaway recently sold a part of its BYD shares, Munger has “never helped do anything at Berkshire that was as good as BYD”.

Currently, Berkshire Hathaway owns 153.3 million shares of BYD, which represents a 14% stake.

Charlie Munger: BYD Is ‘Much Ahead of Tesla’ in China