CNET UK Podcast 548: Taylor Swift's Spotify deal and Samsung's six-camera superphone
Taylor Swift argues for a better deal for more Spotify artists, Samsung S10 may be absolutely massive, and we find out how good a Netflix Christmas really is.
It's all coming up on the CNET UK podcast episode 548.
Hello, and welcome to the show.
I'm Andrew Hoyle, and joining me today is Rich [UNKNOWN] Wait, no, it's not Rich.
No, wait, it's Katie Collins.
No, it is Rich.
It is Rich.
Was very good at disguising myself.
As Katie Collins European correspondent.
Yes exactly that's me.
[INAUDIBLE] in here.
Just confirm for me that you are actually Katie Collins.
Okay then fine I am Katie Collins.
Well that's good because I've tailored the show a little bit around you and I do mean that pun.
To be as good as it was.
I have tailored the show in that I'm talking about Taylor Swift, your BFF, your fave.
What a very natural segway that was into our first news story.
I thought so too.
It is our first news story.
You're absolutely right to say it in those precise words because Taylor Swift has got a new record deal.
And you may be thinking, well, what the hell's that got to do with CNET?
And you'll probably still be thinking that at the end of the story.
But we're gonna try anyway because you think this is relevant and you're gonna tell us why, aren't you?
Absolutley, so the background to this story is that Taylor Swift has signed a brand new record deal.
It's the first time in her Career, since she first signed her record deal at the age of 14 that she's done so.
She's beein in that deal since she was 14?
Yes, she has.
I wonder if her terms have changed.
That she's got, you know?
I don't think that they have, particularly.
An international megastar.
But this new deal, the one that she's had, obviously had all of the big record labels kind of bidding for her.
But the thing that kind of literally has sealed the deal for her is that she wanted to make sure that there was a specific clause to do with Spotify front and center.
She never wants to be on it again, is that right?
[LAUGH] That's not it at all.
So Effectively all of the big record labels have shares in Spotify since the company went public.
Now there are sort of rumors that Universal Music Group is gonna sell its shares next year.
In Spotify and what Taylor wanted was for all of the artists that are assigned to Universal to get a share of the money should Universal meets a group cash in on its equity.
That seems like a good positive move on Taylor's part.
And Universal has agreed to this also to make sure that it's It's not recouped, it doesn't kind of collect un-recouped money through the share.
So effectively, if artists owe outstanding money to the label for For whatever reason, it's not going to offset the money that it gets from these shares against that amount.
So no matter what happens, no matter what the kind of financial situation is between the label and the artists.
They get a nice bonus.
Every single artist will get money.
You know what, I'm not entirely sure I Agree with that or may be I just dont understand in quite the right [UNKNOWN].
Because in a nut shell the way recording contracts tend to work is a record label will effectively up From the cost of a band's music production, or the tour around.
You know they basically give them this upfront amount of cash whether that's te grand or 100 grand or whatever.
And the band basically earns money by releasing albums or by touring and they pay that money off.
That is effectively a law now.
I'm not really.
Like, the label is owed that money by the band.
So I'm not sure if they were to sell those shares and then say to the band.
Well, here is effectively, I don't know.
You would get 20,000 pounds from the sale of its Spotify money.
But we're keeping that and knocking it off your debt.
That's still money that they'd be paying back.
I don't necessarily see that.
As long as it is knocked off in some way.
As long as it isn't just more profit for Universal.
But if If it is still knocked off that debt, that's still money, effectively money for the artist.
I think the whole point of this is that streaming as a kind of way of making money for artists has been extremely volatile.
A lot of artists feel like they're being very much undercompensated.
It takes ages for the money to get between from when we, as consumers, are streaming a song for the money to arrive in the bank kind of the artist.
There are so many hands in that pot.
Yeah, it takes a long time.
And often they're not compensated the way that they should.
And I think that this is a way of
Investing in creators long-term.
Saying to writers, to artists, to producers, streaming is an incredibly volatile, difficult industry for you.
But what we want is for you to keep doing what you're doing.
We want you to keep whatever your kind of
Talent is and your skill is, and whatever kind of music you're making.
We want you, in the long-term, to feel like this is a profitable industry for you.
That you can keep making this amazing music that we're all effectively profiting off.
So I think that that's basically-
It's a nice gesture, effectively then, isn't it?
It is it is, and it's It's an important, it's a show of support to the artists.
It's a show of, it's a real, because a lot of artists struggle with this, and it's okay for big artists like Taylor Swift, who, Taylor has got a long history with Spotify, where she pulled all of her music off.
For three years-
Yeah, for three years, it was a long time.
She didn't have any of her music on Spotify, that's a big deal.
Yeah, but when she rejoined the service, the terms were slightly renegotiated, slightly, but-
But we don't know how, do we?
We still don't know exactly what those terms are.
But it's hard for smaller artists, and more Independent artists and whatever to make that kind of stand to say, you know.
To, to throw it, cause they don't have as much weight to throw around.
And I think the point of this as well is that it's about bigger artists saying you know, it's not just about getting money for themselves.
But it's about making sure that across the whole of the industry, that
You know, the artists are ultimately treated fairly.
And it's effectively like a big artist standing up for all of the smaller artists out there.
And I think that that is a really, you know?
When it comes to negotiating, how things kind of pan out in this brand, brave new world of streaming.
That the people who do have clout effectively using it to ensure that the future of the music industry.
Yeah which is good and that's really positive.
And in fact Universal aren't the only major label doing this.
Sony In the summer of this year sold half of its Spotify stakes/g.>> Mm hm/g.>> That was valued at $768 million.
And I believe shared it with, did share it with it's artist.
Yes so it sold half its stake and it half again it shared it with its artists.
Warner, which is the other kind of-
Other major one
Yeah, other major label has also
Sold some of its stake in Spotify and said that it would allocate money to the artist, but it is off setting it against money that the money that the artists owe them.
Which I, again, don't necessarily think is unfair.
That money is owed and the artist is effectively getting that money.
If you If you won 10,000 pounds now, whether you got that in cash or whether they loped it off, pay, your student loan.
That's still money that, in the long term, is coming back to you.
I guess it's about the label saying to the artists, We respect what you're doing and we respect the fact that this is not an easy industry for you to produce the kind of work that is making us money and that is allowing this industry to be sustainable for the future.
So it's a show of support really and maybe they don't have to do it.
At all, but maybe they should be doing it.
I mean, it's one of those cases, and ultimately the labels have agreed.
The have said yes, actually, we do think we should be doing this.
They don't have to, but they've made that call and have said that actually And that they can see that this is really important for the future of the music industry.
So it's not like it's just artists against the labels and like fighting over who should own, you know, who should get that money.
The labels are in agreement here, ultimately.
But this was, this was a real, it's interesting that.
This hard fought over record deal, that this is one of the, we don't know many of the details about this record deal.
We rarely do.
But all we know is it's a multi-album agreement.
This is one of the stipulations.
The other is that Taylor Swift will own all of the masters that she makes for all of the music that she makes from now on.
Or they'll revert back to her five years after they've been released effectively.
Sure that's good for her but.
So there's one thing there that's good for her and one thing there that's good for all of the artists.
So I'm sure there are lots of artists at Universal Music Group who will probably be incredibly grateful to her-
For making sure that that was in there.
Because it is something that has been rumored and that they've been talking about thinking about and that artists have, you know.
Unless somebody uses their leverage to ensure that that happens.
And she has leverage.
And that's good.
The issue is now she recognizes Is that she is a big deal, and not that she's, she's not trying to hold them over a barrel or anything like that.
She's not trying go in with these big demands that would be negative on the industry.
This is the whole idea, that it is about making a good step in the right direction for more artists.
And the fact that they have supported that is good and, cuz you're right if it was a small artist coming on, they have to fight to get with a good-
A good label.
And often they don't get the terms that they wants and therefore they can't turn around and say we wanna do this and that.
That's why we're seeing a lot of artists who are coming in on much smaller labels or even launching their own labels, and launching their own music independently.
Because they just can't make the money when Spotify doesn't pay.
I don't know what the figure is.
But I know it's a really shockingly poor amount.
If like per stream.
Like it's such a zero point zero zero zero percent.
Per stream they have to have However many thousands of streams in order to get even any money at all.
But that's not what we want to talk about cuz we don't, a lot of this is very so behind closed doors [UNKNOWN] and the labels.
Generally don't talk openly about how much money is made
And so it is sometimes difficult to work out exactly how much is changing hands with a lot of things where we only kind of hear when certain band or certain labels will basically try and get a little bit of publicity by kicking up a fuss about it.
But Justine [UNKNOWN] has, because she has very publicly gone out against Spotify, she also has criticized apple music.
For the amount that it was paying.
Fans and Apple, but Apple and Spotify worked to rehash their terms in line with kind of what she wanted.
But for all artists she wasn't just trying to do this for her own music.
It was also for other artists.
I feel like the The Spotify thing, obviously, that was a good three years of going back and forth and negotiating there.
But the Apple Music thing was quite extraordinary, because that was a turnaround of around 24 hours when that happened.
Effectively, it was when Apple said it was gonna be launching its music service, and during the trial period, when people can use the service for free in order to design whether they want to sign up.
And pay for it or not.
They weren't gonna be paying artists for streams that happened during trial periods which is kind of outrageous given especially given that they are one of the wealthiest companies in the world to say that actually that they were not going to be paying artists for their streams during a free trial that they were giving away.
It was really, I mean, now, when you think about it, I mean at the time, but now in retrospect, that seems totally out of order, and they let her-
I actually didn't know that was the case.
That is absolutely bonkers.
And the fact that Taylor Swift wrote this letter, and then 24 hours later, Eddy Cue, who was in charge of Apple Music when
We hear you.
Fine we'll pay you.
Yeah but that seems a bit of a knee jerk.
It's almost like they've been caught red handed and they knew they had to make this quick decision.
So I don't see that as a good thing.
That wasn't like they sat down and negotiated over a period of time.
That was like yeah we tried to get away with this and we can't so let's change it.
But again it just shows that it really is It's difficult for people to create that kind of change in the music industry.
And to make stuff happen unless they are a big name and they can guarantee a certain amount of publicity.
And it is up to the bigger artists out there to stand up and to take a stand in these situations.
And that is not It's great that when you see artists doing that, but it's a terrible precedent to set for the music industry on the whole though.
The only way that things will ever get better for artists and change is if one person really takes it upon themselves, or perhaps, a group of people.
Take it upon yourselves.
I think if the balance was more fairly distributed in the first place then it wouldn't be necessarily to do that.
It's almost like the labels want the most money for themselves.
That's not surprising news.
Thanks for joining us on the Cnet UK podcast where we bring you The biggest tech scoops.
Mooving swiftly on, see what I did there, we're gonna talk a little bit about theSamsung Galaxy S10, Katy.
Is it that time already?
We're getting close to that time and we have mentioned this phone a couple times already on the podcast.
But we're coming back to it now because we have a new report.
This is coming in from the Wall Street Journal Credible source we might say.
And those guys say that the S10 is gonna come in an immense 6.7 inch size.
That it will have six cameras and it will have 5G.
What do you think of that?
[LAUGH] Well I mean it's a tablet.
That's an oversize.
And it's, this whole thing about more cameras on the back of phones reminds me of a few years ago when phone manufacturers were having that battle to kind of Who can put the most megapixels.
It's exactly the same battle, yeah.
In the same set.
And it, so like, so like, I thnk it's one of those things that it makes people.
It's probably, I'm not saying that there's no technical benefit to having those six cameras on a phone.
But I think it's almost one of those things where it's a massive one up-manship.
And almost trying to persuade people that more is better.
It certainly is.
And what we spend a really long time as tech journalists doing during that mega pixel battle with explaining to consumers Actually more isn't or is better.
It's not that simple.
Like it's not the only thing that you need to look at when you're deciding on a camera.
Well it's not even as simple as that because it's gonna be four on the back, two on the front.
So I'll have two front facing cameras and they'll be four cameras on the back at the moment.
I think the most we've seen on the back in a flagship mainstream phone.
I'm not including things like the Amazon Fire phone which had a billion cameras.
The Huawei Matte 20 pro and the P20 pro, they have three cameras and, they probably have this.
So yeah, four would be quite a lot.
And most certainly we will see different things in terms of zoom.
Like telephoto zoom and there will almost certainly things like 3D depth recognition for a better Portrait mode, pictures, or even 3D scanning objects and that sort of thing.
So that'll be interesting.
Yeah, 6.7 inches, that's going to be very, very, very big.
That's again in line in the Note range.
So we're expecting this to be the only Ask the ten [UNKNOWN] will probably be the biggest in a range of S10 phones.
There's also have rim as well, we may have a whole range including like a budget option.
Almost like an S10 Lite going through to you the flagship.
And this maybe like the max version, the biggest
Hyper powered phone of the range.
5G isn't surprising because next year in the UK is when we're gonna start seeing 5G launching.
EE and Vodaphone have both said that next year we're gonna see 5G launching to consumers.
Right now we have already got trials going on.
Trials don't count.
It's when it actually goes on sale and that is gonna be.
Next year in, I think, starting in 20 cities in the country, but it will start to spread.
So that's gonna be really interesting, because it will be at MWC in Barcelona, and that's the big mobile showcase where we see all the big brands showing off their new wares.
We're gonna start seeing a lot more talk about 5G phones, and a lot more phones actually going on sale.
So it'll be interesting to see 5G launching in that phone but not surprising.
That's in line with what we expected to see.
I mean, so when it comes to 5G phones, I expect actually we might start to see some announcements over the next few weeks.
And the reason that I say that is because a lot of the 5G will contain Qualcomm's seven nanometer chip sets that it's been developing for 5G.
And Qualcomm's due to make some announcements, I think Over the next few weeks.
I don't know specifically what they are, but I imagine, they might not announce these specific phones, but they might announce some partnerships, and sort of say, we will be seeing 5G phones from these manufacturers specifically next year.
I don't know if Samsung will be among them.
But they definitely will, we know that they will be.
I suspect that it will definitely be a lot of the Chinese manufacturers.
But yeah I expect that we will start to see these first 5G handsets in the flesh hopefully that app mobile will congress next year.
The one thing that is gonna be really interesting for Samsung specifically I think is that Often Samsung is at the top battling it out with Apple to see who can have the most exciting flagship phone of the year and-
Hence six cameras.
Yes, and as far as we know, Might not be getting a 5G iPhone next year.
And in accordance with the life cycle, the release cycle of iPhones.
So we could be getting a 5G flagship phone from Samsung but not from Apple.
So if you are one of those people that always wants to get a flagship phone every year,
And you're agnostic when it comes to operating system, then this could be a really crucial thing if you see yourself as an early adopter of new technologies, because it's possible, we don't know for sure.
I'd just like to caveat that.
But it might be a choice between getting a 5G phone and an iPhone next year.
Yeah, but also, I think it's gonna be worth Remembering that 5G is exciting as a concept but 5G doesn't necessarily mean you're gonna have suddenly super-charged speed.
It's not suddenly everything's gonna be faster and better quality and 5G goes a little bit beyond that.
The way, and I'm not gonna get too technical cuz a lot of this is still a little bit surprisingly theoretical
But it's about, the way it uses the networks is more, it's talk about bigger bandwidth.
So connecting a lot more internet of things, devices.
So as everything you have in your house, your car
Your office place is connected from not just your phone and your laptop, but fridges and light bulbs and everything else in your house.
There's a lot more bandwidth in 5G to support those devices.
So it's not just about suddenly you can stream YouTube 4K even faster, We can already do that now.
So things like that isn't gonna make a lot of difference.
So I think at the moment it's important not to get blown away by what inevitably will be that hype around 5G is bigger and better.
You have to have 5G, almost certainly EE, Vodafone, the other networks, when they launch 5G, it will be targeted as this is the fastest, the best thing to have.
And there's gonna be a lot of rhetoric going around about that.
But realistically, certainly in the early days, that isn't necessarily going to mean you have got the best service.
There's a lot of things we don't know about how well that signal is going to penetrate into rural areas, some things that apparently 5G will help with because of the way that the signals work.
So there's a lot of unknowns, but basically what I'm saying right now is like, if that battle between Samsung on potentially 5G and Apple potentially not being on 5G is not necessarily one is going to be faster.
This is very true and I think that for the majority of people I don't think that a 5G contract will necessarily be something that you will either want to pay for.
All that you will feel that you need maybe for another two to three years, realistically.
And it's important to remember that 5G is built on a base of 4G.
You can do The 4G is also improving.
And 4G is getting better all the time.
And the LT advanced contracts are the ones that have offering really, really, high speeds, probably are gonna be equally as desirable for a while as 5G.
Yeah, and the services that you use won't immediately catch up to demanding those speeds in the same way as
Netflix now on the go it's support you can now get much better quality video and you can stream it very comfortably.
But those service weren't really designed for phones and apps when 4G first launched anyway.
It's only as its developed and more people have it that those services become available.
The same thing will happen so it's one of those.
Things that isn't.
You may not necessarily need to be an early adopter.
Back to the phone, though, will it fold?
Because, of course, we were talking last time about Samsung's foldable phone which it showed off and will be an official product.
We believe, no, that is gonna be a second product line.
We're not gonna see the S10 as the first [INAUDIBLE] that a foldable line of smartphones.
Inside the fallible phone will probably be the Galaxy X or the Galaxy F.
And that will almost certainly be a product line launching alongside the Galaxy S line of phones.
Which makes sense because that is another one of Samsung's.
I'm gonna say, gimmicks, I don't necessarily mean that in a disparaging way.
I was going to say, experimental concepts.
Experimental concepts is fine.
Again, like we talked it about last time, with the Galaxy K Zoom, their camera phone.
And they have their That curve, not bendy, but curved phone before an out.
Was that not LG?
Samsung did want to, Samsung, LG, I think HCC may have had one.
There are a few and thankfully they went away pretty quickly.
But yeah, so we're going to obviously keep our eye very, very closely on Samsung's galaxy S10 the foldable phone and of course At 5G developments.
I would be interested actually to know how excited our audience is, podcast listeners or watchers, how keen you are to get 5G and how you think it's gonna make a difference?
So if you do have any thoughts, On that.
Please do let us know.
The email address is email@example.com.
Or you can tweet Katie Collins or Battery HQ if you'd rather do it that way.
I genuinely do wanna know what you think about that, so please do Tell us, but I think we should move on to something a little bit more festive, and that of course is Netflix.
Who apparantly have a good line in soppy Christmas films.
Some of them have already been released, some of them are still to be released over the coming weeks.
For example, if you were a fan of last year's The Christmas Prince, I think that there is a sequel lined up that should be coming out sometime over the next week on that.
But there are also a whole range of other Christmas movies that should be Should be either available to you now or coming soon.
The big one that they're plugging at the moment.
Is the Princess Switch.
Now we watched that over the weekend with ex of the show Luke Westway and I'm gonna say it's not exactly a calker of a film.
[LAUGH] I mean, I would say it's deeply flawed and.
You should have on that on the poster.
But I do think, you know?
I'm currently writing my review of this.
And I have said that I think, while it's kind of a botched attempt at a Christmas rom-com.
And it has many faults.
I do think that there is a strong argument for maybe stick notes on the tele on Christmas Day as a sort of cross generational people pleaser.
I don't think, I think for kids I think that they might not notice a lot of the Inconsistencies and [LAUGH] weirdness that adults might pick up on.
Adults, we, as we were watching it we had a really good time just laughing at some of the ridiculousness.
The whole concept, is flawed.
As a basic spoiler-free premise, it's a baker attending a baking competition in a [INAUDIBLE] Town or a country?
It's a small European country called Belgravia.
Yeah, which is effectively supposed to be like Monaco, I think.
Where it's basically a principality and in this town where That.
If this baker competition is happening, there's a princess due to marry a prince.
But she's not a princess, she's a duchess.
Or she's a duchess.
So the princess as a title is not actually a princess.
Yeah, no, she's actually a duchess.
And the princess and baker find out they look identical and decide to switch.
Now, yeah, I did say that this is, it is charming in that it's just.
It's very nice and it's just a bit silly.
Vanessa Hudgens gives a great performance in both of the led roles.
Yeah, but the whole.
Neither a [UNKNOWN] or a Princess.
It's just very, I don't know if it's poorly done or if it's intentionally done to be a little silly.
For example, they go to Wembley Studios to film things, and Wembley Studios, try and make it English, even though it's not supposed to be England.
And there's bad English accents all over the place, and weirdness.
It It's all over the place.
I really think that this is one of those shows, one of those films, sorry, that in the age of made for TV specials, that the Disney Channel would have got away with this and nobody would have questioned it.
Because it would have been made for American audiences and A lot of Americans might not have been to Europe, so they might not know what Europe's like.
But in this age of streaming where they're pushing as hard to European audiences as American audiences, and there's more international travel going on these days as well, I think their depiction of Europe is totally overblown and ridiculous.
And it's the most It's so America and [UNKNOWN] that it's just very kind of hard to believe.
It is, we said at the time, one of the main house where they stay in, it looks like they've just taken one of their Western sets, one of their Western movie sets, and just blasted it with a snow cannon for 20 minutes.
[LAUGH] And hung some candy cane.
Yeah, because it's a total American ranch house sort of thing.
But they just dressed it up to try and look like like some Swiss mountain town chalet.
And it doesn't work.
That's one of, but frankly, the least of my concerns with the film.
But it is charming.
I highly recommend giving it a watch because it's funny in its awfulness in a sense.
But I do suggest watching it with a group of friends when you wanna feel a little bit festive If you're a student in the halls and you wanna get everyone together and watch a movie.
And you've all see Home Alone too many times and like me, you don't agree that Die Hard is a Christmas film, pop this on.
But have a good few drinks with it.
It's definitely one that I think A certain amount of beer and wine will improve it dramatically, it did for us anyway.
I think if you're a family and you're watching it on Christmas Day, like I said, I think the kids will like it, I think the parents will laugh at it.
And the grandparents can happily fall asleep during it and won't have missed anything.
Yeah, can't have sherry too many with this one.
But what about a different film?
You've been to see Fantastic Beasts 2 recently.
Yes, so while I suspect that the Princess Switch was something of a low budget effort for For a Netflix film this is the opposite end of the spectrum.
You think more money was spent of this?
I'm not sure.
Fantastic Beasts Two has got a real epic sense to it.
Before we go on, sorry to interrupt you, we're going spoiler free here, aren't we?
Just in case anyone is switching off.
It's spoiler free.
Cuz I haven't seen this, either.
I will need to be careful.
I will concentrate on what I'm saying.
She's spoiling this for me again with debt.
And we've got, so on CNet, we've got a spoiler-free review that you can read.
And then we've got a piece of Ivoratin, which is.
All of the outstanding questions that the film threw up for me, which, there were a lot of things that I was left wondering about at the end.
Does contain spoilers, so if you have seen the film,
Then maybe check that list out and see if you agree.
Because I was left feeling a little bit confused and frustrated at the end of it.
So if you are a Harry Potter fan and also felt like that, then you might find some questions on those lists.
What frustrated you the most, if you can say without?
Can you not say?
No, I think I probably can say.
So I feel like actually can I?
Let's not risk it.
Let's go a different way then and did you enjoy it?
Did you enjoy it as a Harry Potter fan and would you enjoy it as someone new?
Like would you recommend it to anyone who's new to the franchise?
No I wouldn't.
Because I think that it relies on a lot of knowledge of like.
I also don't think that it, I think if you've watched the first one I think you should probably be fine and you have a vague idea of Harry Potter then you're probably okay watching it, but don't watch it on its own.
And I think that that is probably, I did find it enjoyable, I did enjoy the process of watching it.
But it's not one of those films that you would ever just be like, we'll stick Crimes of Grindelwald on the tele.
You just watch it as a standalone thing.
And I think that actually, if you are gonna create a film like this, Spend that much money on it.
I actually don't.
I think that you should be able to watch it as a standalone thing.
And I do that with the other Harry Potter films.
Yeah, yeah, I do as well.
Less so with the Death of the Hallows one and two, but with some of the other ones I'll happily pop.
Certainly Prisoner of Azkaban because I think that one out of all of them is the story that stands up on its own the most.
But the other ones, I mean, yeah, it's obviously still following the same general overarching plot, but it's still got its own distinct beginning, middle, and end.
Exactly, and I think it also really helps that the stories are very distinct, and they had different directors for each of the different films.
So that you kind of have like a different thing kind of going on an actually that inconsistency doesn't really matter because, you know, if you know anything about Harry Potter you know how much the story changes and how it gets really How it gets much darker.
As it goes on and so the kind of the more child like qualities of the first two films have both in terms of the storyline and the production values.
I think really Really, really shifts later on, and it allows the stories to stand up on their own.
This is not a film that will stand up on its own.
I don't think.
I would like to be proved wrong, in future.
I genuinely, I wanted to like this more than I did.
And I think I enjoyed it but fundamentally it is not a good film.
Damning thoughts so we shall leave it on that note.
Obviously Fantastic Beast II is out now I believe?
Yes it is, it's out now.
And I mean I think some of those things even if you're a Potter fan already.
Eve being told it's not a good film, you're still gonna go and see it because [CROSSTALK] why wouldn't you unless-
Unless you've been told for some reason it's so terrible it's not worth your money.
But you'll still see it at some point.
And it's beautiful.
It's [UNKNOWN] The sets, the costumes, the creatures, there's still a lot to admire in there.
Is there another cute, stealy sort of moley?
The nifflers from the first Fantastic Beasts film make a return and kind of play a crucial role in the plot.
And I think the-
Go and watch it to find out what that is.
The nifflers are a highlight.
All right, that's good to know.
Let's move on very quickly before we end on a little talk about our favorite iPhone games.
Now, I don't want to talk about this because we got chatting about this earlier in the day.
And maybe realize that we don't really talk about iPhone games at all on the podcast.
I talk a great length, as you'll know, about some of the triple-A console titles like.
Dead Redempion II which I've now talked about three episodes in a row.
And it's still brilliant by the way and My Horse Mary Coppins is fantastic.
But I wanted to talk about mobile games a little bit because we've both had our noses stuck in a couple of games for weeks and weeks and weeks now.
Months in fact for me.
But why don't you start and tell us about your game?
Yes, so I've been playing a game called Home Design.
And I found out about this because one of our editors in the US, Leslie Katz, wrote a brilliant piece about how she'd become Really obsessed with it and it sounded great and so I decided that I would download it and also have a go.
And I will link to the piece in the story and in the show notes.
Do you mean I will?
Yes, but ultimately, this is a game that is, it kinda does what it says on the tin.
You design homes.
I mean, you design specific rooms.
Not a creative name, is it, for a creative game?
No, and it's very descriptive, I suppose, but yeah, there's a competitive element to it.
So you design a room.
And it's judged against other rooms that you've been given a kind of blank slate, as it were.
And a concept, a little storyline about people that, perhaps, live there.
So it's gonna be a alpine chalet retreat or Manhattan stylish apartment?
I might try and pull some of the descriptions up, actually, because they are Really rather good.
Well, you place furniture and you place art and you place other decorations in.
And those I believe, all the decorations, all the furnitures and stuff, they are actually real products of real designers-
So everything you're creating could be made.
Yeah, this is correct.
But it's not sponsored by any, it's not like he is getting-
No, it's not created or sort of officially sponsored.
But I think certain challenges are sponsored by certain interior decor companies and there's a very amature home decor enthusiast.
I don't actually know a lot about the company.
So I couldn't really.>>No.>>Tell you.>>But theorectically,>>I'm, I'm new to interior design, but.>>Maybe like a habitat challenge where habitats, are you know.
You know, decorate this room all, but without anything from our catalouge.>>Yeah.>>Um.>>Um.>>Habitat is like the only Place I could think of that wasn't John Lewis.
He was one of them.
He was one.
And you had to design a kid's room in Queensland in Australia and the briefest is a designer giraffe themed bedroom for a little girl.
You'd like that.
Which was one of my favorite challenges.
Here was another one, they can get quite specific.
So this one was you need to design a living room in Edinburgh, Scotland So a modern study for a lepidopterist.
I think that's how you say it.
Moving into her new home in Edinburgh, Scotland.
I had to Google that and I think it's somebody who studies butterflies.
So yeah they can get really like specific.
So I really like this game.
I find it really kind of meditative.
I usually like one or two challenges a day.
You get like a daily reward for kind of going in.
How do you win then?
What's the game?
So people will vote to like decide whether you and overall you got a score out of five stars.
And if you get over four stars you get certain prizes.
You get more furniture.
If you get five stars you get even bigger prizes.
And for each-
You get five stars every time?
I've only had a couple of five stars.
It's really hard to get five stars.
For each of the challenges you also earn money for your duties.
For your services.
As an interior designer.
You know I am not one for gaming that much but when there is something like this Then I quite take to it.
It's more of a creative challenge than a game.
It is, yeah.
The gaming element is pretty minimal.
You just want to design a really nice-looking room.
I think that's cool.
And I do like that it's brand diagnostic in the sense that it's not.
It's not a game that I can really see IKEA have made given that they do basically have that technology already.
They use it so you can design your-
Yeah they have the augmented reality.
Yeah and you can design rooms using their stuff so you can see what things look like.
But gamifying it seems like a really cool idea.
It's free isn't it?
It is free.
It's on iOS and it's on Android.
You can obviously pay to buy more stuff.
Within the game, I've paid a little bit.
I would say no more than ten pounds, maximum, and I've been playing it for a few months.
So yeah, you've definitely got that value.
I think it's good, with any game that's free to play like that, On one hand I'm always loathe to give in to any pop-ups and anything like that.
It basically means pay to win.
If you wanna actually play anymore then you gotta pay.
But on the other hand, when I find a game that I enjoy and I sink a lot of hours in, I will pay what I believe I Should have paid, or maybe would have paid if I had have bought this, for the amount of hours I've played.
There are games like True Skate, like a skateboarding game on the iPhone, which I play
I would love to know how much I've played, because I reckon I played that certainly in the hundreds of hours, if not thousands because I would play that at least an hour every single day on my commutes and have done for the last several years.
Is that the game that you wanted to tell us about?
No, it isn't that game that game, that's another game, I wanted to talk about Asphalt 9.
Which is Gameloft's, it's their big, high profile racing series, and Asphalt 9 came out, Asphalt 9: Legends, I believe it's called, came out a good few months ago now, but I've been playing it pretty solidly since it came out, and it is brilliant.
It's so much fun.
I did like the Asphalt series before, but not as much as I've enjoyed this one.
It's I don't know what it is.
I mean, one looks brilliant, but the game play is a little bit easy cuz it has these auto-drive functions.
Basically, it's a car racing game [CROSSTALK]
I was gonna ask.
It's a car racing game.
But there is these auto-drive functions where instead of having to focus on tilting the phone to get it just right, which can be a little difficult to do if you're playing on your commute
It does the driving for you, and you sort of decide the routes you wanna take.
There's all these different routes, and if you wanna sort of take this route, which will take you on a particular jump, and you earn basically extra speed for the tricks.
Or if you wanna go and get a bottle of nitrous which will make you faster.
It's a bit more tactics rather than it is about skill at racing.
But it is a game which, it's free to play, and it fundamentally revolves around the money making part of it, is do you wanna buy card packs to get new cards?
Do you wanna pay to upgrade certain cards?
But you can do all of that without paying a penny, should you want to.
It's more difficult and certainly more time consuming, But you can do it.
And I actually think they've got a really good balance in not blasting you constantly with, buy this and it's this much money.
I think they've got a good balance.
I've played plenty of games, which certainly EA games, Who've historically been really bad at this sort of thing where it's really like if you wanna do anything in this game, you've go to pay money.
They're real suckers for the whole if instances for example you wanted a building to be built immediately, then spend like five quit or whatever for it to be done.
Or wait three days in real time for it to be done.
So I think they have really done really good.
Its a lot of fun to play and you really kinda of for me I feel committed to want to unlock more cars.
And when you do I want to actually play, I wanna build them up.
And as good multiplayer as well matches you with other real players around the world.
And I think that's good as well because.
I often I don't have that in a lot of games.
There isn't a lot of a multiplier element but a racing game obviously makes a lot of sense.
And I think they've got a good balance of how they match you up with other people.
I tend to be able to come first or second on some and some I will come seventh or eighth.
And it's almost got that Mario Kart thing where you can be doing really, really well the whole race and then someone takes you down cuz there is that you can crash into people.
Take them out of the race.
And then suddenly, you're in the last place.
And it is really annoying, but in a way that you kind of want to keep playing, again, like Mario Kart, where two laps, you're in first place.
And right as you're about to cross the finish line, someone hits you with a shell.
And you're back at the end, which is annoying.
But it's kind of fun in the same way.
Yeah, I guess it's just like, there's always everything to play for.
Which is a nice feeling.
Yeah, but it's great, and I want to say it's free, it's on ios and it's on android, it looks great.
I think it's probably quite demanding, I'm playing on an iPhone X, and I've been using it as my benchmark game on a lot of the other flagships, and it plays really, really well.
I haven't played on a really low end android phone, so I'm not sure if it will run particularly well because it is so glossy, there is so many Whooshing effects and light things and all kinds of other things going on so I suspect this is probably for higher end phones only but it's definitely worth checking it if you are after a racing game.
The only downside that I do have is [UNKNOWN].
And that same for design home.
Same for that.
I find that a little frustrating if you're on the [UNKNOWN] but I don't tend to go underground as much anymore.
Because I'm not a [UNKNOWN].
So there we go, two games that are great and if you wanna spend some time away from your family, and just having a bit of gaming, then those are good ones to go for.
But that does bring a To a close, thank you very much Katie for joining us.
Do remind us where people can get into contact with you should they want to directly.
You can tweet me to chat about tech or other things, I don't really mind.
I've got a wide variety of interests.
@KatieCollins on Twitter.
Yeah, you can find me on Instagram @anunfamiliarsky
An unfamiliar sky, and unfamiliar's guy.
Or not, you can find me with @batteryhg on Twitter and Instagram.
Give me a Follow on Instagram, I prefer it on there, I tend not to use Twitter all that much these days But of course you can get in touch with the show with firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please do we would love to hear your thoughts on all of todays topics or in deed any other topic you wanna chat with us about.
We will read out your email if you want us to or as we both So yeah do keep conversations coming.
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