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ABBA-tars to become virtual dancing queens

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Mamma Mia, here we go again – ABBA is alive and back after a 40 year hiatus but in the form of avatars to dazzle fans via a set of virtual concerts

The pop legends will release 10 songs in their album called Abba Voyage, teasing the new hits via a globally streamed press conference.

The first, I Still Have Faith In You, is a piano ballad that pays homage to the friendship formed by the four musicians.

ABBA’S First studio album for 40 years

“When Benny played the melody, I just knew it had to be about us,” said Bjorn Ulvaeus, a member of ABBA.

The group split in the early 1980’s and organically ended back in the studio recording together.

“At first it was just two songs, and then we said, ‘Well, maybe we should do a few others,'” said Benny Andersson.

My my! Abba avatars to take the virtual stage

The band’s new songs will be played during the band’s virtual concert, also titled Abba Voyage.

The four musicians will perform in a set of virtual concerts, where avatars of the four band members will play hits like Waterloo and dancing queen.

This virtual experience is set to open next year in a specially-built arena in east London.

The quartet who are now in their 70s, are transported back to the 1970’s.

Almost one thousand people worked to re-create Abba “in their prime” using motion capture technology that scanned “every mannerism and every motion”.

The clones of ABBA will appear in various virtual guises, from their satin-clad 1970s pomp to futuristic Tron-style space suits.

“Agnetha, Frida, Benny and Bjorn got on stage in front of 160 cameras and almost as many VFX geniuses, and they performed every song in this show, to perfection, over five weeks,” Ludvig Andersson, a producer said.

Why London? Bjorn said “London is the the best city to be in when it comes to entertainment, theatre, musicals… We have always felt that the Brits see us as their own.”

“There’s no real need for ABBA to be on TikTok because their music is all over it anyway, but it’s about making sure people connect their music with ABBA the brand, and that will feed back into other areas of the empire,” Sutherland says. 

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Streaming service shift and the award season snubs

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Netflix Introduces Changes to Subscription Model, Academy Award Nominations Spark Cinematic Buzz, and the Doomsday Clock Continues its Ominous Ticking.

Netflix is set to discontinue its ad-free Basic subscription in select countries, commencing with Canada and the UK in Q2 2024.

This strategic shift introduces a significant price increase for the baseline entry, signalling potential adjustments to Netflix’s global pricing structure.

Simultaneously, the 96th edition of the Academy Award nominations has stirred cinematic debates, with the prevailing question being whether the upcoming season will be dominated by “Barbie” or “Oppenheimer.” These contrasting narratives set the stage for a fierce competition, highlighting the diverse and compelling offerings in this year’s film industry.

Beyond the realm of entertainment, the Doomsday Clock, a symbolic representation of the likelihood of a human-made global catastrophe, continues its ominous countdown.

Maintained since 1947 by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the clock serves as a metaphor for threats arising from unchecked scientific and technological advances. As global tensions, environmental challenges, and technological risks persist, the ticking of the Doomsday Clock serves as a poignant reminder of the urgent need to address multifaceted threats to humanity.

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Adidas faces potential $320M Yeezy shoe write-off post-Kanye split

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Adidas is contemplating a significant financial blow as it considers writing off $320 million worth of Yeezy shoes following its separation from music and fashion icon Kanye West.

The sportswear giant’s decision to sever ties with West’s Yeezy brand has left a mountain of unsold merchandise, threatening to dent the company’s balance sheet.

The partnership between Adidas and Kanye West, which began in 2013, had been immensely successful, with Yeezy shoes becoming a highly sought-after fashion statement.

However, recent controversies and disagreements between West and Adidas prompted the sportswear company to distance itself from the celebrity designer.

The massive inventory of Yeezy shoes now presents a dilemma for Adidas, as it grapples with finding a solution to deal with the surplus stock. A $320 million write-off could significantly impact the company’s financial performance in the short term.

Adidas is currently exploring various options, including discounting, donating, or repurposing the unsold inventory to mitigate the financial hit.

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Warner Bros discovery warns of Hollywood’s ‘real risk’ post-strikes’

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Warner Bros Discovery, has issued a stark warning regarding the ‘real risk’ that Hollywood faces in the aftermath of the recent strikes that have taken a considerable toll on the industry’s financial health.

The strikes, which disrupted film and television production for several weeks, resulted in substantial financial losses for studios, production companies, and countless industry professionals.

Warner Bros Discovery emphasised the necessity for a resilient and adaptable approach to navigate the ongoing challenges and uncertainties facing the film and television sector.

The conglomerate stressed the importance of implementing measures to mitigate such risks in the future, which include fostering better labour relations and contingency planning to safeguard against potential disruptions.

The message underlined the need for the industry to adapt to the evolving landscape of content creation and distribution, particularly in the digital era.

This warning from Warner Bros Discovery highlights the need for the entertainment industry to recognise the ever-changing dynamics and economic challenges, and the importance of preparedness to maintain its prominent position in the global market.

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