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Twitter Fingers Turn to Trigger Fingers (The Bytes Newsletter #2)


The Bytes Newsletter

January 24 · Issue #2 · View online

All the tech worth reading about with @dnlshkh + @shubham

As always, make sure to check out the latest episode of our podcast, here.

The Streaming Media Industry Heats Up 🔥
What happened?: 
In summary, a lot.
Netflix released its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2016  last week. The streaming video pioneer reported $2.4 billion in profit and 7.05 million in new subscribers, representing growth of 41% and 26%, respectively. This thrilled investors, driving shares of the company up 8% shortly thereafter.
What does this mean?: 
Though investors were impressed with Neflix’s results, the stock price now takes into account their expectations for future growth (their expectations have been “priced in”). To satisfy its investors going forward, Netflix must continue to churn out bonafide hits. It hopes to do so by investing in original content (it expects to spend upwards of $5 billion in 2017). It is a high-risk, high-reward strategy that requires significant upfront investments with no guarantee of success.
Apple Music recently reached 20 million paying subscribers. However, that’s still a far cry from Spotify’s 40 million. The company hopes to make its service more attractive by bundling both video and music.
Sprint is hungry for subscribers and is hoping to attract customers with exclusive content.
Why should I care?:
Expect to see a lot more original programming from Netflix and its closest competitors (e.g. Amazon) as they step up their efforts to attract and retain customers. This is great if you’re a fan of high quality television. However, the emphasis on exclusive content has made it harder for television fans to cheaply access the shows they care about. It seems necessary that customers to subscribe to multiple streaming services to access to all the content they care for. 
Also, look out for news of Netflix’s first major flop. The company’s risky approach to investing in original content means that big bets that do not attract subscribers would have a significant negative impact on the company’s financials and market cap. 
Not #AlternativeFacts
What happened?: 
Donald J. Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States of America on January 20, 2017. It was the first government transition during the age of social media. Trump’s inauguration attracted record online audiences. 
What does it mean?: 
Live streaming become front and centre on both Facebook and Twitter in 2016. Though Trump’s inauguration attracted a record online audience, live streaming simply was not as prevalent during during past inaugurations as it is in 2017. 
However, Trump’s embrace of social media means we will likely see him take advantage of various platforms to interface with his constituents directly while entirely avoiding the traditional news outlets. Trump has even stated that he will not give up his Twitter handle (@realDonaldTrump). 
Why should I care?: 
Facebook and Twitter are slowly replacing traditional outlets as the primary source of news for many. Though having the ability to interact directly with their constituents can be great for politicians, it also means that they are able to avoid the scrutiny that they would have otherwise been subject to. Trump’s frayed relations with the media will continue to be at the forefront throughout his presidency. 
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