Amazon is buying home mesh router startup, Eero

eero_and_beaconWhat are they up to now?

Amazon is about to expand its smart home offerings in a big way. The company just announced its intention to acquire Bay Area-based home mesh router startup, Eero. It’s a pretty clear fit for the online retailer as it pushes to make Alexa a feature in the connected home.

The move also makes sense for five-year-old Eero, which, in spite of being early to the home mesh router game and pulling in some high-profile investors, has struggled. This time last year, the company laid off 30 employees — roughly one-fifth of its work force.

Amazon’s certainly got the deep pockets, and the addition of Alexa to routers from Huawei and Netgear last year demonstrate that this category can be a viable one. It makes sense, as these coverage-extending mesh routers, like Echo Dots, are designed to be plugged into every room of the home. 

Amazon has been picking up a number of high-profile home automation startups in recent years, including Ring and Blink, as it looks to launch its own in-house Alexa smart home ecosystem. In many cases, Amazon has opted to retain the startups’ branding, which could bode well for the future of the Eero name — though the company admittedly doesn’t have the same sort of recognition as Ring. 

“We are incredibly impressed with the eero team and how quickly they invented a WiFi solution that makes connected devices just work,” Amazon SVP Dave Limp said in a press release. “We have a shared vision that the smart home experience can get even easier, and we’re committed to continue innovating on behalf of customers.”

The deal is still waiting for all of the standard regulatory approval. Details of the acquisition have yet to be disclosed.

Snap’s earnings sent its stock up more than 20 percent, but user growth remains a real concern

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Snap finally had a good day. You might even call it a great day.

That’s because, after a tough year in which Snap execs and investors watched the company’s stock price slowly bleed out because of government investigations, executive departures, and product issues, Snap reported better-than-expected earnings on Tuesday that shot the stock up more than 22 percent in after-hours trading.

The main reason: Snap’s business last quarter was stronger than anyone thought. Sales were up to a record $390 million, a 36 percent jump over the same quarter a year ago. And Snap is slowly moving toward profitability, a goal that CEO Evan Spiegel shared internally with Snap employees last year.

Read full article here.

Super Bowl Viewership Falls To Lowest Since 2008 In Historically Low Scoring Game – Update

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The CBS broadcast game out of Atlanta was seen by a total audience of 100.7 million, according to CBS Sports.

That number comes from when you add up everyone who watched on CBS the network, CBS Interactive, NFL digital properties, Verizon Media mobile properties, ESPN Deportes television and other digital properties. Besides being a very unique bundling spin on Super Bowl numbers that previous broadcasters haven’t shamelessly taken, that’s the first time the NFL’s big game on a network as fallen beneath 100 million viewers since 2009 when the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals 27-23 in Super Bowl XLIII.

Read full article here. 

SUPER BOWL AD REVIEW: YARD BY YARD AND YAWN BY YAWN

Screen Shot 2019-02-04 at 8.51.49 AM.pngIf you’re the kind of person who looks for patterns, you have a lot to work with in this batch of Super Bowl spots. Despite each 30-second commercial costing upwards of $5 million, on par with recent years, there was a lot of mediocrity. There’s also lots of jokes about robots. They’re in beer ads, potato chip ads, home security ads and, well, Alexa ads. It’s almost as if we’re afraid of something. Then there are the women: Advertisers appear to have glommed on to the fact that half the Big Game audience is female. Imagine that! Enter Serena Williams for Bumble and Sarah Michelle Gellar for Olay. Brands steered clear of any controversial issues or potential political hot potatoes. Which is for the best: Why fumble when you can blitz with gags? Well, we’ll get to that. Anyway, we heard there was a game on, too.

See all the reviews here.

Facebook Releases New Report on Evolving Sports Engagement on Social Platforms

Sports has always been a key element of our interactive process, a means to connect and engage over a common interest and participate in related events. Given this, it’s no surprise to see that sport also plays a significant role in how people engage on social platforms, and that can be a valuable consideration for brands looking for ways to increase brand awareness and connection with their fans.

In line with this, and in the lead-up to the 2019 Super Bowl, Facebook has published a new report which looks at how social media has changed the way people engage with sports content, and what brands need to consider in this shift. Facebook utilized the GlobalWebIndex “Sports Around the World” study, which surveyed over 90,000 internet users, in order to extract relevant insights about how digital consumers engage with sports.

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Read full article here.

The history of Netflix price increases in a single chart

Yesterday Netflix announced it will be raising its monthly subscription prices as much as 18 percent — but it has been steadily increasing rates since its first streaming jump in 2014.

The hikes will help Netflix pay for its ever-increasing content bill. Investors think that’s a good idea — the stock rose 6.5 percent yesterday and analysts released a bunch of optimistic ratings.

The price of premium service, which now includes Ultra HD streaming on up to four devices, jumped up $2 to $15.99, while a basic subscription price rose for the first time to $8.99.

Here’s what Netflix price increases have looked like over the years, according to data from investment research company Bernstein:Screen Shot 2019-01-29 at 9.10.25 AM.png