Numlock News: November 9, 2022 • Music, Splatoon, Tár
By Walt Hickey
Record labels are gunning for TikTok hard, trying to get the application to increase the amount paid out to artists when their songs are used on the platform. On YouTube, for instance, 1 million views of a song will get an artist anywhere from $500 to $2,000. On TikTok, according to an independent label that shared royalty data, that’s only about $8 per 1 million views. Artists are becoming frustrated that after their songs appear in hundreds of thousands of videos and rack up billions of views, they’re netting only a couple thousand bucks.
A ticket sold in Altadena, California, has won a record-setting $2.04 billion Powerball lottery jackpot, the largest lottery prize ever. The 1 in 292.2 million odds were ever in their favor, and led to substantial turnout. In 2015, the organizers of Powerball deliberately tweaked the odds to make it harder to win the jackpot in the interest of creating the conditions to foster bigger and bigger jackpots.
FTX, the third-largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume in the world, will be bought by Binance, the largest crypto exchange in the world, after a run on withdrawals that caused a liquidity crisis. On Tuesday, CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said that $6 billion in net withdrawals were taken out of the platform over the past 72 hours, vastly more than the usual flows that number in the tens of millions. Their net crypto asset holdings fell by 83 percent over the previous two days and their reserve of so-called stablecoins saw a drawdown of 93 percent. It’s the latest situation in which decentralized finance has attempted to speed-run the past 150 years of traditional finance’s crises.
Nintendo’s got a new hit on its hands, reporting that Splatoon 3 has sold 7.9 million copies since release in September. It moved 3.45 million units in Japan in its first three days of release, which is the best-ever start for a Nintendo title. That even beats out the 2.68 million Animal Crossing: New Horizons games sold in the first three days of its release in 2020. The company has also seen its fortunes buoyed by the relatively weak buying power of the yen. Since 80 percent of its sales are outside of Japan, that’s managed to boost earnings a bit on the top.
The Whole Internet Loves Mahler Duck
It’s not uncommon for a hit movie or show to revitalize interest in a song catalog or single, a powerful way to reintroduce hit music of a different era to a new generation. That’s sort of happening with Tár, the Cate Blanchett movie about a conductor who is monomaniacally focused on preparing for a highly anticipated performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. According to Apple Music, streams of Mahler’s Fifth are up 150 percent from the previous month, and compared to the same month of last year streams have tripled. I’m personally holding off for the Deutsche Grammophon Tár vinyl box set.
A research team in the United Kingdom has experimented on developing lab-grown blood for patients with specific needs. The process takes about three weeks and results in 50 billion blood cells, starting from a normal donation of a pint of blood, extracting stem cells capable of becoming red blood cells, facilitating that growth in lab conditions and then filtering them down from 50 billion to 15 billion ideal cells. In a first, that blood has been put into human subjects in a clinical trial to see how it performs. If it works, it could help people with particularly rare blood groups get access to a steady supply.
In the oil tanker industry, the metric of ton miles measures the volume of cargo moved multiplied by the distance it sailed. Next year, the ton mileage of gasoline and diesel is expected to surge 9.5 percent, as Russian oil is cut off from much of the rest of the world. That would be the largest increase since 1993, and mostly means that oil is going to have to travel further and more often by ship in order to get where it’s needed.
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