Hashtag Trending, April 19, 2021 – Apple reveals streaming payments; IBM unveils hybrid work plans unveiled; Rethinking business travel

The Wall Street Journal reveals that Apple Music pays a penny per stream, some tech giants like IBM are unveiling their hybrid work plans, and struggling airlines are concerned about businesses rethinking necessary business travel.

It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Thursday, April 19 and I’m your host Alex Coop.

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A recent document reported on by the Wall Street Journal suggests Apple Music pays artists double what its streaming competitor Spotify pays in royalties to rights holders. The news drops a couple weeks after Shopify outlined how it pays royalties in response to calls for more transparency and fairness when it comes to compensating artists. Spotify pays an average of about one-third to one-half penny per stream, though its larger user base generates many more streams. Apple’s payments come out of monthly subscription revenue from users.

Two companies on Fortune’s Best Workplaces in Technology list are approaching the shift from remote work to a hybrid model a little differently. The New York Times highlights how IBM is launching a “reorientation” program that includes an 11-minute video and an 18-page presentation featuring cartoon characters to explain safety protocols should employees return to the office. IBM expects 80 per cent of workers will mix in-office and remote work. Meanwhile, Fortune says workforce management tech firm Ultimate Kronos Group (UKG) is also planning a hybrid approach. Its CEO says he’ll keep communicating with staff virtually, and he “expects many employees to return” to headquarters when the pandemic fades.

And lastly, another piece from the Wall Street Journal is spelling trouble for struggling airlines and hospitality industries hoping for a quick bounce back. Some companies that used to consider in-person meetings an absolute necessity are shifting strategy, saving money and travel time while doing more business virtually. Meanwhile, airlines and hotels are anticipating the worst of the crisis is over, with Delta’s CEO expecting business travel to hit 70 per cent of pre-pandemic levels by 2023, and Expedia’s CEO predicting “hotels will come screaming back” post-pandemic. I miss attending those tradeshows but I’m definitely not comfortable enough to consider regular travel. Where do you all stand on it? Let us know in the comments.


That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire Newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Plus, episode one of Hashtag Trending in French, hosted by our own Catherine Morin from Quebec, drops this weekend. I’m Baneet Braich, thanks for listening!

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Alex Coop
Alex Coophttp://www.itwc.ca
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

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