A live concert in Fortnite shows why Netflix is right to be worried

A live concert in Fortnite shows why Netflix is right to be worried

We recently published a Thematic Signal in which we discussed the comment from Netflix management why it isn’t so worried about HBO, but rather Fortnite. If there was any doubt it was put to rest in the form a recent live concert held inside Fortnite that drew “25 times as many people that attended Woodstock in 1969.”

According to reports, that four-day music event that spanned August 15-18, 1969 in the Catskill Mountains attracted more than 400,000 people. Some simple math suggests the live concert in Fortnite attracted roughly 10 million people.

10 million!

Watching a concert inside a game!

What were those 10 million people not doing?

Watching Netflix, HBO, Hulu or another streaming video service.

Yes, Netflix is right to be worried over competitive streaming services that take eyeballs away from its content.

This makes the much-rumored streaming gaming services from Apple, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft even more interesting as it could alter the Digital LIfestyle market shares and make for an even more challenging landscape for the existing video streaming services as well as those that are forthcoming from Disney, NBC, and Apple.

 

The wildly popular video game “Fortnite” made history yesterday with a live show by EDM artist Marshmello that reportedly drew millions of viewers — which, for context, would be 25 times as many people as attended Woodstock in 1969.

“It truly felt like a glimpse into the future of interactive entertainment,” wrote Nick Statt for The Verge, “where the worlds of gaming, music, and celebrity combined to create a virtual experience we’ve never quite seen before.

Source: Live Concert Inside “Fortnite” Drew More Viewers Than Woodstock

By 2022 Cisco predicts nearly 5 zettabytes of IP traffic per year 

By 2022 Cisco predicts nearly 5 zettabytes of IP traffic per year 

Over the last several years, we’ve seen an explosion in the number of connected devices people use. While the digital hub remains the smartphone, the growing number of tablets, e-readers, wearables, smart speakers and digital assistants, and various Connected Home applications have led to a surge in data traffic. With the deployment of 5G wireless technology beginning next year and going mainstream in 2020 alongside gigabit internet, we will see yet another explosion in data consumption as the Internet of Things (IoT), Machine to Machine (M2M) and other applications go from beta testing to commercial deployments.

As far as how much data will be created, Cisco Systems says more traffic will be created in 2022 than in the first 32 years since the internet started. That’s a powerful tailwind for our Digital Infrastructure investing theme that is being led by our Digital Lifestyle and Disruptive Innovators investing themes.

Cisco foresees a massive buildup of IP traffic – 4.8 zettabytes per year by 2022, which is over three times the 2017 rate – lead by the increased use of IoT device traffic, video, and sheer number of new users coming onboard.

The company also says there will be 4.8 billion internet users by 2022, up from 3.4 billion in 2017. Those predictions are from Cisco’s Visual Networking Index (VNI), its annual look at the state of the internet culled from actual network traffic reports and independent analyst forecasts.

Cisco says that since 1984, over 4.7 zettabytes of IP traffic have flowed across networks, but that’s just a hint of what’s coming. By 2022, more IP traffic will cross global networks than in all prior “internet years” combined up to the end of 2016. In other words, more traffic will be created in 2022 than in the first 32 years since the internet started, Cisco says. (Remember, too, that an exabyte is 1 billion gigabytes and a zettabyte is a thousand exabytes.)

One of the more telling facts of the new VNI is the explosion of machine-to-machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) traffic. For example M2M modules account for 3.1 percent of IP traffic in 2017, but will be 6.4 percent of IP traffic by 2022, said Thomas Barnett, director of service provider thought leadership at Cisco. By 2022, M2M connections will be 51 percent of the total devices and connections on the internet.

Source: Cisco predicts nearly 5 zettabytes of IP traffic per year by 2022 | Network World

Facebook’s Content is King effort Watch goes live… will you watch it? 

Facebook’s Content is King effort Watch goes live… will you watch it? 

 

We’ve seen a number of companies, like Netflix (NFLX) and Amazon (AMZN) look to position themselves within our Content is King investing theme. It’s a smart strategy as that proprietary content is a competitive moat that helps reduce customer churn. With Watch, Facebook (FB) is looking to push into streaming video and vie with Alphabet’s (GOOGL) YouTube as a home for longer-form video. And Facebook is hoping to grab a bigger chunk of money from advertisers’ TV budgets, by steering users toward content with more 15-second ad-break opportunities.

It’s worth noting that in addition to smartphones and desktops, Watch is available on several connected-TV platforms: Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Samsung Smart TV. We like the multi-platform approach, especially since Apple TV has yet to get Amazon’s Prime Video… perhaps we’ll hear more on that on Sept. 12 at Apple’s next big event?

Starting Thursday, Facebook’s Watch feature — essentially a programming guide to episodic shows hosted on the social platform — will become broadly available to users in the U.S., after a three-week limited beta run.

The Watch guide is stocked with several hundred shows, a mélange of scripted, reality, documentary and sports content of varying lengths from both traditional media companies and individual digital creators. (Here’s a select list of shows currently in Watch or coming soon.) The new Watch tab isn’t the only way to access the series: They’re also available through Facebook’s new “Show Pages,” which provide features specifically for episodic video content.

 

Source: Facebook Launches Watch Feature, Shows in U.S.: Will Viewers Tune In? | Variety

Alibaba to invest big time in entertainment taking on Netflix and Amazon

Alibaba to invest big time in entertainment taking on Netflix and Amazon

2016 was a year of marked investment in content from the likes of Netflix, Amazon and Alphabet. But there are more companies entering the fray including Facebook and even Apple. Given the global thirst for content, which both Amazon and Netflix are aiming to cater to, it comes as little surprise that Alibaba is looking to invest in Content, which we all know is King. If there is any question about that, we’d point you to the US box office and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group, the entertainment affiliate of Alibaba, plans to invest more than 50 billion yuan ($7.2 billion) over the next three years, the affiliate’s chief executive said.

In an internal email seen by Reuters and confirmed by an Alibaba group spokeswoman, the affiliate’s new CEO Yu Yongfu pledged to invest in content, saying “he didn’t come to play.”

Alibaba’s entertainment business underwent a major reorganisation in October, marking a total consolidation of the company’s media assets.

Source: Alibaba entertainment affiliate to invest over $7 billion over next 3 years

Facebook to copy Amazon and Netflix with original video programming

Facebook to copy Amazon and Netflix with original video programming

We’ve long suspected Facebook would eventually move past short video advertising into longer format programming to capture an even greater portion of the video advertising dollars that are fleeing traditional broadcast TV. It’s got the user base and aims to improve that monetization. Video content, especially outside the US, is a solid strategy to do so. As it does this and brings original programming to its users, much the way Amazon (AMZN) and Netflix (NFLX) are doing, Facebook starts to blur the lines between our Connected Society and Content is King investing themes.

Facebook wants to bankroll its own original video shows, the company’s global creative strategy chief, Ricky Van Veen, told Business Insider on Wednesday.

The videos Facebook wants to license will live in the new video tab of its mobile app and including “scripted, unscripted, and sports content,” according to Van Veen.

Source: Facebook wants to bankroll its own original shows – Business Insider

AT&T CEO puts DirecTV Now at $35/month, but…

AT&T CEO puts DirecTV Now at $35/month, but…

AT&T has been all over the news the last several days, and the news flow continues today when fresh from yesterday’s conference call to discuss the merger with Time Warner,  CEO Randall Stephenson shared its soon to launch DirecTV Now video streaming service will cost $35 per month. Details were rather sparse and we expect more when the official launch happens “next month.”

We expect many comparisons to offerings from Sling as well as pricing relative to Netflix and Hulu, but we suspect it will be far cheaper than the video services offered by Verizon’s FiOS, Comcast and others. As potential chord-cutters, we are anxious for the details!

Speaking at a Wall Street Journal conference today, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson reportedly told attendees that DirecTV Now will launch in November at a price of $35/month. That puts the service $15/month above the starting point for the competing Sling TV live-TV streaming offering, and about the same price point for the barest-bones versions of Sony’s PlayStation Vue service.Where DirecTV Now appears to be trying to compete is on content. According to reports — again, this has not been officially announced or confirmed — Stephenson says that DirecTV Now will offer 100 channels.

Source: AT&T CEO: DirecTV Now Streaming Service Will Cost $35/Month, Launch Next Month – Consumerist

#RumorHasIt Instagram Will Have Live Video Feature

#RumorHasIt Instagram Will Have Live Video Feature

As Facebook continues to flex and expand the offering on its platforms — Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp – and video becoming a driver of advertising revenue, we would not be surprised to find that yes, Instagram is indeed offering live video capabilities. Facebook already has it as does Twitter with Periscope, and it would be a nice way to fend off Snap (you know the company formerly known as Snapchat). To us, it’s another reason advertisers will flock to Connected Society applications over broadcast TV.

A report on a Russian news site T Journal shows the live feature embedded within Instagram’s recently-launched “Stories” function, The Verge reports, emblazoned with a “LIVE” banner.There’s also a user interface for accessing the live feature with a big red button proclaiming, “Go Insta!”

Source: Rumor Has It: Instagram Testing Live Video Feature – Consumerist

US Over the Top Video Users Approach Saturation Point

US Over the Top Video Users Approach Saturation Point

Streaming video continues to grow as does consumer spending on streaming video services. That trend has led Hulu to drop its free streaming service in favor of a subscription business model. Increasingly Hulu is looking more and more like Content is King company Netflix. How long until there is so much proprietary content that we’ll be thinking once again of Springsteen’s early 1990s song, “57 Channels and Nothin On”

According to eMarketer’s first-ever forecast of over-the-top (OTT) video viewership, OTT video services are nearing saturation. This year, 186.9 million people in the US will watch video via an app or website that provides streaming content over the internet and bypasses traditional distribution.

Nearly nine in 10 digital view viewers in the US already watch video content this way.

Overall, more US TV viewers are watching television shows and movies via subscription-based streaming services. A survey from Hub Research found that the respondents who chose streaming services were nearly double those who picked TV network sites or apps, and they were more than double those who picked free aggregators, such as Crackle or free content from Hulu.

Source: Hulu Drops Free Streaming Service as OTT Viewership Grows – eMarketer

Smartphone data usage to climb to 8.9 GB per month by 2021, driving demand for Connected Society companies

Smartphone data usage to climb to 8.9 GB per month by 2021, driving demand for Connected Society companies

No slowdown expected in mobile data consumption as more smartphones are sold and carriers deploy faster mobile networks globally. A rather compelling view for our Connected Society and its going global. Implication for smartphone vendors, RF chip companies, mobile infrastructure equipment and many more as newer mobile technologies are deployed.

According to the recently published Ericsson Mobility Report, the average smartphone user in 2021 is projected to churn through 8.9 GB of data every single month. In contrast, the average smartphone user today uses about 1.4 GB of data every month. This increase, the report notes, will result from an increase in the number of smartphones in use along with a broader 4G LTE coverage. Also worth noting is that some carriers will begin rolling out support for 5G speeds by 2020.

Source: Smartphone data usage to climb to 8.9 GB per month by 2021 | BGR