Automated Travel and Entertainment (T&E) Expense Management

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With rapidly expanding business, there is always a need for travel and entertainment (T&E). Domestic or international travel may be required to connect with your customers and suppliers. Along with travel comes the need to submit an expense report and get reimbursed for your expenses. Travel costs make up the second largest controllable cost for most organizations, after salaries and benefits.

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Saffron Digital

Saffron Digital is a best-in-class, cloud-based digital content management and delivery platform for providing premium multi-platform OTT services. The Company’s state-of-the-art OVP, MainStage, is an industry-leading end-to-end platform for the distribution of digital video, featuring content preparation including video transcoding, a backend content management system, storefront services coupled with a digital locker for consumer purchases, a secure DRM player for high-quality playback and a multi-platform application framework.

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MEDIA AND BROADCASTING

The new chair of the FTC and antitrust 2.0

Article | June 22, 2021

The appointment of Lina Khan on June 15th to chair of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is poised to be a transformational one in the history of the world wide web. Khan came to prominence with an article in the Yale Law Journal, Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox, which identified the paradox of hegemonic tech service providers which bypass the US’ strict competition laws by offering lower prices to the end consumer. Under US antitrust law, the driving indicator of market monopolies are higher prices for the consumer – under this strict definition, none of the tech majors which dominate the digital economy are monopolistic. Indeed, some such as Alphabet and Facebook do not even directly charge the end user for their services. So, while both Google and Facebook dominate the global digital ad market, making an antitrust case against them under the current 20thcentury era regulatory framework is nigh on impossible. However, the absence of meaningful competitive challengers to these two incumbents in search and social advertising over the previous 15 years, despite the lucrative high margin business opportunities, implies that the competitive market is not performing according to classical economic theory. Khan has built a subsequent career on trying to square this circle, and now the Biden Administration has empowered her as the key instigator of the sweeping regulatory update required for a digital-first century.

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VIRTUALIZATION

Instagram continues to perform strongly despite inconsistent brand identity

Article | June 30, 2021

Over the last few months Instagram has done its best to capitalise on the latest social media success tactics, often at the cost of its own original user proposition. The photo-sharing app for friends now offers Reels, imitating TikTok’s success. It has rolled out an option to hide Likes, the iconic feature which has characterised social media as a whole since inception. And it now is introducing ‘suggested posts’ to users’ feeds, sorted by topics a profile states they are interested in – potentially putting these ahead of photos and videos shared by profiles they actually follow. Directly mimicking TikTok, this seems to diverge very little in practice from hashtags, which are its original discovery feature. Instead, it seems to want to emulate the usability which younger users are familiar with from TikTok, in order to entice them to increase their Instagram engagement.

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MEDIA AND BROADCASTING

FILM PRODUCERS FLIP BARGAINING TABLE WITH UNIONIZING EFFORT

Article | May 21, 2021

Movie producers often find themselves negotiating with talent and crew members, and/or their production union representatives, over pay and benefits. But a group of 108 producers flipped the script Thursday in announcing they were looking to form a union of their own.Higher minimum pay and health benefits were cited as the two major reasons. While the group, called the Producers Union, boasts some heavy hitters such as Chris Moore (Manchester by the Sea) and Rebecca Green (It Follows), they made it clear that the traditional image of a Hollywood producer is misleading. Many are just getting by, project to project, looking for a breakout hit to up their quote. According to a survey released this year, 41% of producers made less than $25,000 in the pre-pandemic boom times of 2019. The Producers Union has developed a constitution with provisions for dues and diversity initiatives, with the aim of eventually negotiating a collective bargaining agreement with distributors and other film financiers. Previous efforts by producers to unionize have been thwarted by the courts and the National Labor Relations Board, according to Variety, as the NLRB saw them as supervisors and employers – which creates a high barrier to organizing.

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MEDIA AND BROADCASTING

The productisation of music rights

Article | June 4, 2021

News that New York-based Pershing Square Tontine Holdings is planning to acquire 10% of UMGis the latest in a wave of financial transactions in the music rights space. Alongside this, Believe’s impending IPO has the potential to be one of the biggest things to happen to the independent music sector in some time, and comes as part of a wave of IPOs (e.g.WMG,UMG), SPACs (e.g.Anghami,Reservoir) and no end of catalogue funds and acquisition vehicles. This trend, with good cause, has been referred to as the ‘financialisation of music’ but that only captures part of what is at play here. This is more than simply an influx of capital and debt; financial institutions are now becoming part of the plumbing of the music business, and in turn they are changing the definition of what constitutes success. This shift in objectives and desired outcomes has the potential to rebalance how the music industry operates.

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Spotlight

Saffron Digital

Saffron Digital is a best-in-class, cloud-based digital content management and delivery platform for providing premium multi-platform OTT services. The Company’s state-of-the-art OVP, MainStage, is an industry-leading end-to-end platform for the distribution of digital video, featuring content preparation including video transcoding, a backend content management system, storefront services coupled with a digital locker for consumer purchases, a secure DRM player for high-quality playback and a multi-platform application framework.

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