Spotify enforcers are out to limit family plans to single household
Spotify appears ready to enforce its family plan agreement terms requiring that all family plan users reside in the same household. The company is asking users to confirm their addresses. Apparently the company plans to increase its revenues from its existing customer base by eliminating sharing across households. TheVerge
dis-rup-shun: If the Spotify police are successful at extracting more revenue from existing customers, Netflix, Amazon and streaming services could follow, but for the fact that we are in the early days of a years-long streaming video service subscriber war. Less successful streaming music services such as Amazon Music can leverage Spotify’s policy to entice youth and college students with no income to try alternative services with various new benefits and cast Spotify as the stuffy service for parents and older people. Be careful, Spotify, consumer sentiment can change in a heartbeat.
Alexa turns to humans to get smarter
Amazon will turn to humans to give them the opportunity to answer questions that Alexa cannot. Using a wiki-like crowd sourcing model, people will receive points for answering questions which will then be audited by algorithms and some human fact checkers for authenticity and accuracy. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: Amazon’s Alexa technology enjoys nearly double the market share of Google’s, according to Canalys. If you have used Alexa, you know that despite an amazing number of skills and integrations with other devices, Alexa frequently does not have the answer to even basic questions. Google Assistant, on the other hand, has Google’s search engine and almost always has answers. If only Alexa would use Google to search for answers. Amazon would be well-served to outsource Alexa’s search functions to a third party such as Bing that may be perceived as less of a competitor, then perhaps regulators would perceive Big Tech to be encouraging competition.
Is Nintendo Switch a serious fitness contender?
Nintendo’s RingFit game for Switch comes with an exercise ring and a leg strap. To win the game, the player must perform a series of fitness challenges to defeat enemies and slay an evil body building dragon. The game debuts October 18th. TechCrunch
dis-rup-shun: On the heels of Peloton and the rise of connected fitness machines, Nintendo provides the un-machine for connected fitness. For a fraction of the cost of connected bikes and treadmills, game lovers can immerse themselves in fantasy and get fit. If Nintendo can support this fitness game with diet plans, workout clothes, online communities, and even healthy snacks, it can build yet another Pokemon Go-like franchise around the title and contribute to the health and well-being of its customers.
Amazon’s hardware event follows Apple’s
Amazon continues to grow its arsenal of devices, building a larger product line on top of Alexa. And just like Apple, the company has its big reveal party of new products in September. Expected this year are more Alexa powered devices, including a wall clock. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: In a few short years, Amazon’s Alexa business has become an important engine of the company, beating even mighty Apple to the dominant position of voice standard in the home. Understanding the business model of Alexa is more difficult. Consumers are not purchasing products via voice, and search via Alexa is a poor experience. The business of data mining — knowing what songs people like, how often they are home, and what recipes they are preparing — is of incalculable value to Amazon. As Amazon competes for advertising and shopping revenues, Alexa provides a constant stream of consumer information from thousands of devices that are “listening.”