Netflix joins film association; Boring Co. fires employees; Pluto TV acquired by Viacom

Boring Co. Fires Five

Elon Musk’s Boring Co. tunneling firm fired five employees for Jan. 18, some of whom helped construct the company’s initial test tunnel unveiled a month prior. Since founding Boring Co. in 2016, Elon Musk has invested more than $100 million into the company and its roughly 80 workers in hopes of creating a “new transportation network to alleviate aboveground traffic,” Recode notes. A Boring Co. spokesman said the firings were strictly “for performance reasons” and not motivated by cost-cutting.

Viacom Buys Pluto TV for $340 Million

Viacom Inc. purchased Carthay-headquartered Pluto Inc. for $340 million Jan. 22, the Business Journal reports. Founded in 2013, Pluto TV reports it has 12 million monthly active users of its free streaming service, which generates a profit via advertising. Pluto TV Chief Executive Tom Ryan will remain the company’s leader under Viacom’s wing.

Netflix Becomes First Streaming Service to Join MPAA

In a historic move for the Hollywood-based streamer, Netflix Inc. became the first internet-based content provider to join the Motion Picture Association of America in 97 years. Netflix intends to be taken seriously among its legacy Hollywood counterparts, and departed from the Internet Association (which represents Amazon.com Inc., Google, and Facebook Inc.) prior to joining the MPAA. Engadget reports Netflix also recently brought on former MPAA Chief Strategy Officer Dan Garfield to lead its public policy initiatives as part of a push to better align its business with the MPAA’s mission.

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