AT&T confirms deal to combine its WarnerMedia subsidiary with Discovery Inc in ‘pure play’ $43B deal

Another major telco in the U.S. is making a big move away from being a full player in media services, and specifically content creation. Today AT&T said that it is combining its WarnerMedia division with Discovery Inc.
The deal is being structured as a “Reverse Morris Trust” transaction that will give AT&T $43 billion in a combination of cash, debt securities and WarnerMedia’s retention of certain debt. The deal will see AT&T shareholders receive stock representing 71% of the new company, while Discovery shareholders will have 21%, the companies said in an announcement.
Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav will lead the new, combined company. It’s not clear what role Jason Kilar, the CEO of WarnerMedia currently, will have, but his name is not mentioned in the press release. He is currently the CEO of Warner Media, AT&T CEO John Stankey confirmed in a press conference today..
The deal confirms rumors over the


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Apple to add lossless audio to Apple Music at no additional cost

Apple has announced that it is adding some new features to its music streaming service Apple Music. Starting next month, users will find some new options, such as spatial audio with support for Dolby Atmos as well as lossless audio files.
Spotify recently announced a new high-end subscription tier with CD-quality, lossless audio files. But Spotify HiFi isn’t included in Spotify Premium by itself. You’ll have to pay a bit more money to stream lossless audio. Pricing hasn’t been disclosed yet.
Apple’s move is a bit different, as lossless audio is going to be included in the basic Apple Music subscription tier. For $9.99 per month, you’ll be able to choose between various audio quality settings. By default, Apple and other streaming services compress audio files so that it doesn’t require a lot of bandwidth.
You can also choose CD-quality, lossless streaming — 16 bit at 44.1 kHz. In that case, you’ll receive lossless


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AT&T Merges Media Assets With Discovery in Blockbuster Deal

AT&T has agreed to spin off its media operations in a deal with Discovery that will create a new entertainment company, merging assets ranging from CNN and HBO to HGTV and the Food Network. From a report: AT&T will receive $43 billion in cash, debt securities and debt retention, with AT&T shareholders getting stock representing 71% of the new company, the companies said in a statement Monday. The deal is structured as a tax-advantaged Reverse Morris Trust. Discovery Chief Executive Officer David Zaslav is to lead the new entity. WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar’s future is to be determined, AT&T CEO John Stankey said on a conference call discussing the deal. The plan, first reported by Bloomberg News, would combine Discovery’s reality-TV empire with AT&T’s vast media holdings, creating a formidable competitor to Netflix and Walt Disney. It marks a retreat for AT&T’s entertainment-industry ambitions after years of working to assemble


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Amazon makes its lossless music streaming service a free upgrade

On the heels of this morning’s announcement of Apple’s next-generation music service featuring lossless audio and spatial audio with support for Dolby Atmos, Amazon is making a move likely aimed at retaining its own streaming music subscribers. The company says that going forward, its high-quality streaming tier, Amazon Music HD, will be made available to all eligible Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers at no extra cost.
Amazon first announced Amazon Music HD in fall 2019 with access to over 50 million songs that would stream in what Amazon is calling HD, with a bit depth of 16 bits and a sample rate of 44.1kHz (around CD-quality). It also promised “millions” more songs that would stream in Ultra HD, or 24-bit, with a sample rate of up to 192kHz (or better than CD quality).
Today, Amazon Music’s HD catalog has grown to more than 70 million songs and there are over 7 million Ultra


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Apple Music is Getting Lossless and Spatial Audio Support

Apple Music subscribers will find a big chunk of the catalog sounds better next month: The service is adding support for high-quality, lossless and spatial audio through Dolby Atmos at no additional cost, it said Monday. It’ll have 20 million lossless audio songs to start, with 75 million available by the end of 2021. From a report: To try out lossless audio, you should make sure you have the latest version of Apple Music and go to Settings, Music, then Audio Quality. You can choose different resolutions for cellular and Wi-Fi connections, or just download the track. The lossless tier starts at CD quality, which is 16 bit at 44.1 kHz, and goes up to 24 bit at 48 kHz and is playable natively on Apple devices. If you use external audio equipment, you can crank the quality up to 24 bit at 192 kHz. Further reading: AirPods Max, priced


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