Netflix is now worth more than Comcast

Screen Shot 2018-05-24 at 8.30.05 AMNetflix’s market value increased to about $150 billion today; it is now worth more than Comcast.

Comcast, the largest U.S. cable company, has been losing video subscribers as people cut the cord and move to streaming services … such as Netflix. Comcast had 22.3 million pay TV subscribers in the first quarter of 2018, down from 22.6 million a year earlier.

Meanwhile, Netflix has been gaining streaming users, adding more than seven million subscribers in the first quarter.

Of course, Comcast and Netflix have completely different businesses. Comcast owns a sizable broadband company in addition to cable. It also owns NBC and Dreamworks. It’s also planning on bidding on Fox’s movie and TV studios, cable networks and even a stake in Netflix competitor Hulu.

And most of Netflix’s growth is coming from its international expansion.

But the symbolism is hard to resist.

Starbucks’s mobile payments system is so popular in the U.S., it has more users than Apple’s or Google’s

Screen Shot 2018-05-23 at 5.51.38 AMBy the end of this year, a quarter of U.S. smartphone users — 55 million people — over the age of 14 will make an in-store mobile payment. More than 40 percent of those people will have done so through Starbucks’s mobile payments app, according to new data from research firm eMarketer.

The Starbucks app, which launched before the other three top payments apps — Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay — has long been the most successful payments app. It’s likely going to maintain that lead over the next few years.

The Starbucks app lets users pay with their phones and earn credits toward future purchases. That usage is significant: Starbucks said its mobile order-and-pay system accounted for 12 percent of all U.S. transactions in the quarter ended April 1.

By year’s end, Starbucks will have 23.4 million users in the U.S. who have made an in-store mobile payment in the previous six months, according to eMarketer’s estimates. That number is higher than the 14.9 million customers who are part of Starbucks’s rewards program, which only counts monthly active users; customers also don’t have to be rewards members to make purchases using the app.

Read full article here. 


Why Amazon and Google’s Global Share of the Smart Speaker Market Is on the Decline

amazon-decline-CONTENT-2018Amazon and Google’s grip on the voice-enabled device market is slipping, at least according to Strategy Analytics.

In a new report, the analytics firm found Amazon shipped 4 million smart speakers in the first quarter of 2018, accounting for 43 percent of the 9.2 million units shipped globally. But it also means Amazon’s global market share has been cut nearly in half since the same period last year, Strategy Analytics said.

Meanwhile, Google shipped 2.4 million units, putting it at No. 2 on the list of global smart speaker shipments, and Alibaba came in at No. 3 with 700,000 units. Apple was fourth with 600,000, followed by Xiaomi with 200,000.

In Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ annual shareholder letter, he said 2017 was Amazon’s best year to date for hardware sales. The company sold tens of millions of devices. But Amazon had a nearly three-year head start over some competitors, and it may be time to ask whether it can maintain its lead.

In the first quarter, Amazon and Google faced new competition from Apple, which released its HomePod in February. At the same time, Alibaba and Xiaomi are making waves in China.

A practical guide to the European Union’s GDPR for American businesses

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will take effect next week, on May 25, 2018. The GDPR’s impact extends far beyond existing data protection measures and affects business of all sizes — from solopreneurs to the largest corporations.

A recent survey conducted by Sage found that 91 percent of American businesses lack awareness surrounding the details of the GDPR, while 84 percent don’t understand the GDPR’s implications for their specific business. American businesses operating or serving customers in the EU need to understand what they need to do to prepare for a new reality.

The fact that the GDPR will impact companies far beyond the borders of the EU calls for greater understanding of how the regulation — and related protection of personal data — applies to organizations based outside the EU. In fact, the GDPR has direct implications for a massive amount of businesses worldwide, due to the EU’s vast trading partner roster. From May 25 on, the EU will effectively require all businesses to be compliant if they wish to operate in EU member states and serve individuals in the EU — either directly, or as a third party (read: at all).

Here are a few things American businesses should keep in mind leading up to, and through, the GDPR’s implementation:

Does the GDPR apply to every business with EU ties?

It depends. The GDPR will affect all companies, individuals, corporations, public authorities or other entities that offer goods or services to individuals in the EU or that monitor their behavior there. For example, the GDPR applies to an American company whose website is made available to people in the EU, or a Boston-based HR manager in an international organization that collects data centrally from EU-based applicants and employees. The GDPR even applies to charities and nonprofit organizations that collect information from individuals in the EU.

Will compliance to the GDPR be closely monitored?

Yes. Noncompliance can result in massive fines. In fact, if a company is not compliant with the GDPR by the May 25 deadline, it could face penalties as big as 20 million euros (around $24 million), or 4 percent of annual global turnover — whichever is a higheramount of money. Supervisory Authorities within the EU have “investigative and corrective powers” to monitor and impose these administrative fines. The Supervisory Authorities’ job is to closely observe corporate data practices and strictly enforce punishment if GDPR requirements are not met on May 25 — or any day thereafter.

How will the GDPR impact enterprise data collection and processing?

The GDPR will require organizations with any ties to the personal data of individuals in the EU to examine — and potentially change — how they collect, store and process the information for business operations. Chiefly, however, the law will set a new global precedent around the importance of personal information ownership and consumer protection. Ensuring the integrity of personal data for individuals — not organizations — is a top priority for the GDPR.

What can businesses do to prepare customers or users for the GDPR?

Communicate. Organizations should use all available channels — from websites to social media to email — to tell all customers and users that the organization is taking steps to improve consumer data practices in accordance with the GDPR. Emphasize the company’s commitment to compliance with the GDPR — and the integrity of customer data. Update privacy policies and put together a simple, easy-to-find online FAQ about what the GDPR means for customer data to cover bases.

What can businesses do to ensure that staff members around the world are compliant?

It is crucial for enterprises to review their methods of collecting personal data and their data processing systems in order to confirm compliance with the GDPR’s requirements. That requires the participation of staff across departments. It’s equally important to think about how outdated and irrelevant data will be disposed of, and how to safeguard the critical information that is still needed. A company-wide system for protecting personal data needs to be established and understood by every staff member. At Sage, we introduced a comprehensive GDPR training program for our employees to learn the basics of data protection law and to help our people understand the importance of safeguarding personal information.

Are there any other measures businesses can take to be GDPR-ready by May 25?

In addition to the internal actions profiled above, organizations should consider devoting resources to the following preparation activities: independent audits of all data processes across departments; modifications to current data operations such as the establishment of staff retraining programs and procurement of more compliant information technology platforms; appointing and training someone responsible for data protection matters, possibly a Data Protection Officer; and launching documentation processes that demonstrate ongoing compliance with the GDPR.

This New Report Shows OTT Isn’t Killing Cable … Yet

OTT-tv-star-CONTENT-2018TV viewing habits might be changing, but a new study shows that projected revenue from over-the-top (OTT) devices won’t come anywhere close to matching the billions of dollars in projected revenue from cable, satellite and telco TV in the years to come.

OTT revenue, based on 55 OTT providers led by Netflix, grew 41 percent in 2017 to $11.9 billion, according to findings by Convergence Research.

The group forecasted that figure to increase to $16.6 billion for 2018 and $27.6 billion for 2020. That’s still billions of dollars away from the projected revenue from cable, satellite and TV.

In 2017, revenue among them only grew 1 percent to $107.6 billion. But the research group still projected revenue to reach $107.4 billion for 2018, and $106.9 billion for 2020.

That’s more than a $79 billion difference.

Here’s what else the research group found:

  • OTT subscriber households will far surpass TV subscribers in 2020, however U.S. TV subscriber average revenue per user (ARPU) will be four times U.S. OTT subscriber household ARPU, down from six times in 2017.
  • 2017 saw a decline of 3.66 million U.S. TV subscribers and they forecast a decline of 3.72 million TV subscribers for 2018
  • Broadcast & Cable Network Online TV advertising represented 5.2 percent of 2017 U.S. TV advertising revenue and forecast 5.6 percent for 2018