By admin - August 14th, 2017
As cable viewership crumbles and mobile video soars, the battle for where stuff gets streamed is intensifying. Andrew Tolve reports.
In the news
Disney gave Netflix users and shareholders a jolt when it announced plans to remove all of its Netflix content as of 2019 and launch a new Disney direct-to-consumer streaming channel in its place. The channel will be based on the live streaming service BAMTech, which Disney recently acquired a majority stake in for $1.58 billion, and will include a channel of live streamed sports via ESPN. Facebook meanwhile launched a new platform for streaming original videos on social media. The platform will live in the Facebook app under the new Watch tab and play host to an array of original content from daily and weekly shows to live streamed sports courtesy of Major League Baseball. Tack on the fact that Netflix made its first-ever acquisition last week, of famed comic book publishing company Millarworld, and the fact that Amazon struck a deal with Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman to produce original comic TV for Amazon Prime’s streaming service, and last week paints the most compelling picture yet of just how fierce the mobile streaming wars have become.
In the money
Snap shares plunged 15% after a dreary Q2 earnings report. Snap's revenue of $181.6 million came in lower than the $189 million projected, and every other metric from user growth to average revenue per user came in under expectations. That included a 35% reduction in sales of Spectacles, Snap's eyewear product that is starting to feel more like a repeat of the spectacular failure that was Google Glass than a credible path toward profitability.
In other news
Need money from a friend? Now you can collect on Skype in the midst of a conversation. The app partnered with PayPal to launch a new mobile peer-to-peer payment feature called “Send Money.” All users have to do is select the amount of money they want to send and, so long as both people have PayPal accounts, the sum is instantly transferred over. The service currently works in 22 countries and handles international transfers amongst them.
Facebook says it’s finally getting serious about cracking down on the proliferation of fake news on its site. The company launched a “related articles” tab that offers additional links to news stories to corroborate or debunk any particular piece of news. This is in addition to increased fact-checking of individual news items via fact-checking experts Snopes.com.
Intel is jumping head first into the race for self-driving cars. The company announced that it’s set to deploy a global fleet of autonomous vehicles based on technology from Mobileye, which Intel purchased for $15.3 billion back in March. The fleet will be active in the US (starting in Arizona this fall), Israel and Europe.
Eighty percent of organizations now spend at least $1,000 annually per sales rep on mobile technology and 50% of them spend at least $2000, according to a survey of 400 sales executives in the US and U.K. conducted by CITE Research. CRM was rated as the most popular tool.
The Uber in-fighting continues, as board member and venture capital firm Benchmark sued former CEO Travis Kalanick for allegedly withholding information from the board to increase his power. Benchmark now wants Kalanick kicked off the board and out of the company he founded altogether. A group of prominent Uber investors responded with a letter requesting Benchmark to be removed from the board and to divest the majority of its shares in the company. Oh what fun!
In the meantime, Uber launched an in-app messaging service that allows you to see your driver's profile and quickly send text messages to facilitate pickups. Drivers can reply with one-tap thumbs up emojis to keep distraction to a minimum or can write full texts when the smartphone accelerometer senses that the car is stopped.
Google announced that enterprises will see a 63% reduction in price for high speed storage on the Google Cloud Platform. That's tantamount to about $0.10 per gig of data per month and an indication of just how badly Google wants to ace out its competitors in the cloud storage market. Your move next Microsoft Azure.
Finally, on the device front, as the mobile world waits with bated breath for the new iPhone 8 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Motorola snuck into the headlines with a low-cost phone called the Moto G5S Plus. What’s most notable here is the $230 price point, some 500 bucks cheaper than the high-range phones that Samsung and Apple are about to unveil. The device still manages to deliver all the smartphone basics and some cutting-edge features to boot, like hand gesture recognition to initiate core functions such as the camera and email.
The Mobile Digest is a biweekly lowdown on the world of mobile, combining Open Mobile Media analysis with information from industry press releases.
Andrew Tolve is a regular contributor to Open Mobile Media.