When Dell acquired EMC in 2016 for $ 67 billion, it created a complicated consortium of interconnected organizations. Some, like VMware and Pivotal, operate as completely separate companies. They have their own boards of directors, can acquire companies and are publicly traded on the stock market. Yet they work closely within Dell, partnering where it makes sense. When Pivotal’s stock price plunged recently, VMware saved the day when it bought the faltering company for $ 2.7 billion yesterday.
Pivotal went public last year, and sometimes struggled, but in June the wheels started to come off after a poor quarterly earnings report. The company had what MarketWatch aptly called “a train wreck of a quarter.”
How bad was it? So bad that its stock price was down 42% the day after it reported its earnings. While the quarter itself wasn’t so bad, with revenue up year over year, the guidance was another story. The company cut its 2020 revenue guidance by $ 40-$ 50 million and the guidance it gave for the upcoming 2Q 19 was also considerably lower than consensus Wall Street estimates.
The stock price plunged from a high of $ 21.44 on May 30th to a low of $ 8.30 on August 14th. The company’s market cap plunged in that same time period falling from $ 5.828 billion on May 30th to $ 2.257 billion on August 14th. That’s when VMware admitted it was thinking about buying the struggling company.
Spotify has ended a test that required its family plan subscribers to verify their location, or risk losing accessing to its music streaming service. According to recent reports, the company sent out emails to its “Premium for Family” customers that asked them to confirm their locations using GPS. The idea here is that some customers may have been sharing Family Plans, even though they’re not related, as a means of paying less for Spotify by splitting the plan’s support for multiple users. And Spotify wanted to bust them.
Of course, as these reports pointed out, asking users to confirm a GPS location is a poor means of verification. Families often have members who live or work outside the home — they may live abroad, have divorced or separated parents, have kids in college, travel for work or any other number of reasons.
But technically, these sorts of situations are prohibited by Spotify’s family plan terms — the rules require all members to share a physical address. That rule hadn’t really been as strictly enforced before, so many didn’t realize they had broken it when they added members who don’t live at home.
Customers were also uncomfortable with how Spotify wanted to verify their location — instead of entering a mailing address for the main account, for instance, they were asked for their exact (GPS) location.
The emails also threatened that failure to verify the account this way could cause them to lose access to the service.
Family plans are often abused by those who use them as a loophole for paying full price. For example, a few years ago, Amazon decided to cut down on Prime members sharing their benefits, because they found these were being broadly shared outside immediate families. In its case, it limited sharing to two adults who could both authorize and use the payment cards on file, and allowed them to create other, more limited profiles for the kids.
Spotify could have done something similar. It could have asked Family Plan adult subscribers to re-enter their payment card information to confirm their account, or it could have designated select slots for child members with a different set of privileges to make sharing less appealing.
Maybe it will now reconsider how verification works, given the customer backlash.
We understand the verification emails were only a small-scale test of a new system, not something Spotify is rolling out to all users. The emails were sent out in only four of Spotify’s markets, including the U.S.
And the test only ran for a short time before Spotify shut it down.
Reached for comment, a Spotify spokesperson confirmed this, saying:
“Spotify is currently testing improvements to the user experience of Premium for Family with small user groups in select markets. We are always testing new products and experiences at Spotify, but have no further news to share regarding this particular feature test at this time.”
Adding real-world diversity to emoji is a work in progress, but with platforms spanning the entire glove, it’s clearly important to big companies like Facebook. The social network just rolled out a set of new “family” emoji that, while they don’t yet capture the full spectrum, at least let your partner and kids have something other than yellow skin. Read More
Social – TechCrunch
On her personal Facebook account Tuesday, COO Sheryl Sandberg announced an update to the company’s employee benefits, which are newly enhanced to ease the lives of new parents and grieving employees alike. Sandberg noted that the decision intends to lead the charge for policies that help new parents as well as families that are grieving the loss of a loved one. In the post, Sandberg… Read More
Social – TechCrunch
Feeling Nostalgic? Shoebox Lets You Scan Old Photos With Your Phone, Update Your Ancestry.com Family Tree
Shoebox, the mobile photo archiving app Ancestry.com acquired from San Francisco-based 1000memories last fall, has now gone live at its new home. The updated version of the app, Shoebox 3.0, still allows users to scan in their old non-digital prints – you know, those things the old folks still refer to as “photographs” – while also cropping and auto-flattening the images for the correct perspective. But now, those photos are no longer in their own, more isolated social networking site, as they were when hosted by 1000memories. Instead, the photos can be mapped, tagged and added to your family tree at Ancestry.com.