Elon Musk will allow Twitter users to put their tweets behind a paywall in the billionaire’s latest effort to shake up the social media site.
Mr Musk said Twitter will allow people to charge for access for their content, “from longform text to hours-long video”.
The tech chief said the company will not keep any of the money users make from subscriptions for the first 12 months. This means users will keep at least 70pc of their subscription revenues on mobile after accounting for app store fees, he said.
Twitter has been struggling in efforts to monetise its platform after a 50pc slump in advertising since Mr Musk took over last year.
The company is also hoping to drive new revenue through its premium version, dubbed Twitter Blue, though only 1pc of monthly users have signed up so far.
Read the latest updates below.
RMT considers new pay offer
Rail union the RMT has said it’s considering a new pay offer, raising hopes of an end to disruptive strike action.
An RMT spokesperson said: “We have received an updated offer from the RDG and our NEC is considering its contents. No decision on any next steps has been taken.”
The union called off strikes planned for March 30 and April 1 amid a long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions for staff working across 14 rail operators.
Union members at Network Rail have voted to accept a revised pay offer in a similar dispute.
However, hundreds of cleaners working on trains across the country are walking out today and tomorrow.
Gambling crackdown dents 888
Around £1 in every £6 made by betting giant 888 online was wiped out last year amid a crackdown on problem gambling.
The company, which bought William Hill last year, reported a 3pc fall in total revenue to £1.9bn in 2022. Online revenue slumped 15pc, “driven by proactive investment in enhanced player safety measures” in the UK, as well as the closure of its business in the Netherlands.
However, the online hit was largely offset by improved performance in its retail shops. The deal to buy William Hill’s non-US operations included around 1,400 betting shops in Britain.
888 reported a £115.7m pre-tax loss due to one-off costs, including some of those linked to the nearly £2bn acquisition.
But when stripping out one-off charges, 888 said it had made an adjusted pre-tax profit of £80.5m, down 10pc compared to the year before due to increased interest costs that the business had taken on after buying William Hill.
In January, the company said that it had investigated shortfalls in how it treated Middle Eastern VIP customers. It expects to take a hit of around £25m to £30m to revenue this year as a result.
Executive chairman Lord Mendelsohn said:
The group’s financial performance in the period primarily reflected the extensive actions being taken to drive higher standards of player protection.
While recent compliance issues in the Middle East were very disappointing, they have underlined the importance of our enhanced and proactive risk management framework.
Twitter to let users put up a paywall
Here’s the tweet from Elon Musk announcing Twitter’s new paywall option:
Apply to offer your followers subscriptions of any material, from longform text to hours long video!
Just tap on “Monetization” in settings.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 13, 2023
FTSE 100 opens higher
The FTSE 100 has nudged higher at the open as markets look ahead to US retail sales and bank earnings.
The blue-chip index gained 0.2pc as markets opened to 7,858 points.
YouGov taps former Meta executive as new boss
YouGov has appointed former Meta executive Steve Hatch as its new chief executive.
The London-listed polling company said Mr Hatch will take the top job at the start of August. It comes six months after the company said founder and chief executive Stephen Shakespeare will take up the role of non-executive chairman.
Mr Hatch has served as Meta’s head of northern European operations since 2016. Prior to this he spent 15 years at advertising giant WPP.
The leadership overhaul will also see Roger Parry step down as non-executive chairman, while Nick Prettejohn will take over as senior independent director.
Stephan Shakespeare said:
It is a pleasure to welcome Steve to YouGov. I am confident that I will be handing over the reins with YouGov in its strongest ever position and with a clear strategy to realising our vision of building the world’s leading marketing data and research platform.
It will be an honour to step into the role of Non-Executive Chair in August and continue my journey with the Company. I am hugely excited for what the future holds for YouGov.
Superdry to cut £35m in costs as sales dry up
Fashion chain Superdry has unveiled plans to cut costs by more than £35m as it slashed its sales outlook on the back on weak consumer spending.
The retailer blamed issues “outside the company’s control” – including cost-of-living pressures and poor weather weakening demand for spring and summer collections – for a downturn in sales in February and March.
Superdry said it’s decided to withdraw its previous profit guidance, which stated it would broadly break even in the 2023 financial year.
The company said it plans to make the cost savings through “estate optimisation”, suggesting it will close stores. It also plans to reduce its clothing ranges.
Julian Dunkerton, Superdry’s founder and chief executive, said:
The Superdry brand continues to evolve but there is no doubt that the market conditions we face are challenging, compounded by the issues we have previously disclosed and are working to address in wholesale.
As a result, while we continue to deliver like-for-like growth in retail sales, we need to ensure our business is in the right shape to navigate these difficult times, which is why we are looking hard at our cost base.
My belief in the Superdry brand is stronger than ever which is why I’m prepared to provide material support to any equity raise undertaken.
I am confident that we have the right plan and, working together as a team, the business will emerge from the current turbulence stronger than ever.
Elon Musk signs deal to let people trade stocks on Twitter
Elon Musk has inked a deal to allow users to trade stocks and cryptocurrencies on Twitter.
The social media firm has launched a partnership with eToro that will enable users to view market charts on an expanded range of financial instruments and buy and sell stocks and other assets, CNBC reported.
Twitter users can already see some real-time financial data on indices such as the S&P 500 and stocks including Tesla, using the platforms so-called “cashtags” feature.
But the new partnership will extend the service, while users will also be able to click through to eToro’s site.
It marks a rare business deal for Mr Musk since his troubled $44bn takeover of Twitter last year.
5 things to start your day
1) Britain’s heat pump rollout branded an ‘embarrassment’ | Flagship net zero scheme flops as installations fall far short of target
2) Pensioners should get better returns on their investment, Hunt warns | Britain’s diffuse and risk averse pensions industry may be holding back growth and stifling returns
3) EY’s UK chief warns of wave of resignations after split plan falls apart | Firm to shift focus toward addressing inefficiencies built up in advance of planned split
4) We will defeat strikers even if it means short-term pain, vows Hunt | Government prepares to face down pay demands to combat inflation
5) Holiday landlords fear fees of up to £1,000 a year under Gove’s ‘anti-business’ crackdown | Proposed changes draw criticism from former housing secretary and industry leaders
What happened overnight
Wall Street stocks advanced as new inflation data showed an unexpected reduction in producer prices and new claims for unemployment benefits, signalling a near-end to the Federal Reserve’s hawkish monetary stance.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 1.1pc higher at 34,029.69, while the broad-based S&P 500 jumped 1.3pc to 4,146.22. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite surged 2.0pc to 12,166.27.
The rally came ahead of the release of earnings reports from large Wall Street banks on Friday, which are expected to face heavy scrutiny following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and other lenders last month.
Treasury yields fell immediately after Thursday’s weaker-than-expected inflation reports, but later reversed these losses. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury rose to 3.44pc, while the rate-sensitive two-year Treasury held steady at 3.97pc.