So now Alphabet and Netflix will have to become ISPs, quickly.
The video industry was turned on its' head this week, and the ramifications of this will take many months to fully play out.
Firstly, the district court decided to allow AT&T and Time Warner to merge. This will produce one of the world's biggest content creation firms, once it goes through. Also, it is predicted to push Comcast to offer a similar proposal for Twenty-first Century Fox, to consolidate the market further. Chip Pickering, who is the CEO of INCOMPAS - an advocacy organisation that supports competition - said: "AT&T will get a merger that nobody supports, but will have to pay for".
However, the second big story is the last repeal of the FCC rules on Internet neutrality, which will enable telecom firms, such as AT&T, to promote their content instead of their competitors. Previously AT&T did not have a lot of content, but now they have acquired Time Warner, they have a huge library including Warner Bros, TNT, TBS, CNN and HBO. All of a sudden, that ruling about prioritization is looking extremely lucrative and potent.
The executive chairman for News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch, is asking for Facebook, Twitter, and even Google to subsidize the news websites that show up on people's newsfeeds. Essentially, Murdoch wants someone to pay him for the news that his company, and others like his, would put out on people's feeds.
This change comes right after the announcement of Facebook's updated newsfeed policies that prioritize friends and family first over the likes of news sites and advertisement pages.
This effectively puts news corporations at an extreme disadvantage for having their news seen at all. As anticipated, Wall Street did not take well to the news at all. They expect users will spend less money overall making their market shares decrease over time.
Newsfeed Chief for Facebook, Adam Mosseri, did not really have much to offer in the way of a compromising solution. He was quoted in the press announcement as telling news and advertisement companies to "experiment" and see what "content gets more likes." A very shunted answer when announcing that they are basically cutting off the toes of news companies.
Would you like to work out and earn some coin at the same time? If so, you will be interested to learn about Sweatcoin, one of the newest crypto-currencies to hit the market.
This exciting new startup has already accumulated over five million users in the past year alone and increased its revenue by more than 250% in the last quarter of 2017. The Sweatcoin app has more two million users weekly, making it one of the fastest growing fitness apps available.
Users can download the Sweatcoin app and then connect it to their health and fitness data contained in their smartphone. The app tracks the number of steps you take each day and rewards the user with coins. Users can earn 0.95 sweatcoins for every 1,000 steps taken, which can be traded for fitness gear, gym classes, gift cards and other offers.
Launch of the new Harry Potter game anticipates big Go with $200 million boost
From a fascinating story from the Wall Street Journal we find the creator of Pokémon Go, Niantic, raises $200 million in new funding. There's noted participation from Javelin VC, Founders Fund, Meritech, Megan Quinn from NetEase, Inc. Spark and You & Mr. Jones are all joining in the Series B venture that's raising eyebrows on Wall Street.
Many know Niantic as a key player in games of augmented reality, notably Ingress, the sci-fi spy multiplayer game that came about during its startup days within the Google empire. Niantic then spun away as its own entity in 2015, and shortly afterward launched the much lauded Pokémon Go which attracted all kinds of interest at its launch. Massive gatherings of real-world players came together as part of a very exciting incentivization program which spiked the in-game success of the Pokémon AR game.
A new Nintendo Switch dock accessory from independent hardware developer YesOJO gives the mobile gaming console the ability to project a screen as large as 150 in. on any flat surface. It's been hard to get a genuine big-screen console feel from the Switch so far, so this represents a major step forward for the platform.
The so-called OJO Nintendo Switch dock add-on comes with an onboard micro-projector as well as a battery that provides around four hours of screen time. The width of the projection differs depending on the focal distance of the projector from the surface, but it always shines at a fairly bright 200 lumens no matter how far you are away from it.
You can also sue the OJO as an additional battery even if you're not using the projector module at all times. It can charge any USB device, including Android phones and tablets.
Now that Super Mario Run is available on the App Store, your mobile gaming experience is all about moving forward. You can slow down Mario and Luigi if your timing is on point, but you can't stop them from taking down everything in their paths. Of course, this means that Mario leapt right through Nintendo's original plans for release, crashing expectations down in his path.
Mario fans have waited months for Super Mario Run, which was supposed to come out around 10 a.m. Pacific Time today. Available on iPhone and iPad, this platforming app is simple enough for casual gamers to play with just one hand. A $10 price tag makes this game more expensive than most, but likely worth it for the hype. Plus, Nintendo offers an end-of-world castle's three levels as a free trial to anyone who's on the fence.
The streaming service, VidAngel, may be getting shut down for federal violations.
VidAngel is a company in Ohio that has been streaming various videos after filtering out all of the nudity, violence and foul language. Organizations such as Fox, Disney and Warner Bros. have gotten together and sued this small business. The reason for the suit is that the business took their copy written material, altered it and then streamed it to customers who paid them. In all fairness, that is not a legal process. VidAngel would have needed a special license to do what they did, and they did not have such a license.
Netflix plans to increase original content by 20 shows in the next year.
Netflix has been slowly releasing original content in recent years. The company has been doing it to rave reviews. They have stated that their long-term goal is to have half of the streamable content be comprised of original material. The goal is 1,000 new hours of content each year developed by Netflix. The first year for this will be 2017.
For comparison, Netflix offered 600 hours of self-produced content in 2016 and 450 in 2015. As you can see, the increase in incremental, but the increments are aggressive. They plan to spend $6 billion on original programming next year.
There are a few reasons they are planning on doing this. The first is competition. Streaming entertainment companies are getting more competitive. Netflix used to stand out from Hulu and other similar services in their offerings. This is not true anymore. They believe by increasing their own content they will distance themselves from these other companies.
Fake news sites dot the landscape on platforms like Facebook and Google. Unfortunately, such sites play a dangerous game of misinformation. They've even proved lucrative for the perpetrators. Facebook and Google recently took efforts to ban fake news sites, though. With these efforts, perhaps the flood of fake news will lessen in a noticeable way.
On social media, fake news rose to popularity with the US election more so than ever before. Such sites found their way into Google search results and Google News. This type of news spreads inaccurate information on purpose rather than pushing a particular opinion or belief.
Google's policies now state that sites cannot misstate or misrepresent information. If a site breaks the policy, then it could lose Google AdSense privileges. Of course, fake news sites depend upon Google AdSense revenue in order to turn a profit from misinformation.
Twitter recently signed a deal with the National Football League that might help social networks finally take on major broadcasters.
The mainstream media has long been concerned with the idea that major technology firms would take on TV companies in order to acquire the rights to premium content rather than relying on original material.
Software companies have so far strayed away from these plans, saying that they're platform companies that don't create original content.
Now, however, it's become clear that statements about not acquiring major content were just smoke and mirrors to hide the true motives of these companies.