Politicians turn to in-game campaigning
Biden’s campaign has released a “Build Back Better with Biden” roadmap within the popular computer game, Fortnite. This placement follows an in-game voting station and Biden yard signs found in Animal Crossing New Horizons. The Verge
dis-rup-shun: Meeting your target market on its own turf remains a timeless saw within marketing, and the Biden crew has done just that, further blurring the borders of real life with the alternative realities of gaming. Just when you retreated to computer and console games to escape the barrage of political ads — you find yourself back to reality.
Ford hints of $20,000 electric car
The future of the auto industry is electric, and with Gen Alpha’s less likely to own cars, Ford is gearing up for a new kind of car experience. Current electric vehicles (sedans and trucks) are targeted to a luxury buyer, but the future calls for highly affordable electric vehicles, according to Ford’s new CEO, Jim Farley. CNET
dis-rup-shun: Car makers are scrambling to reinvent themselves as it appears that the industry will revolve around fractional use (transportation-as-a-service) of autonomous, electric vehicles — three key elements that are missing from the majority of offerings today. Electric vehicles require little maintenance and few moving parts, threatening the service revenues of the auto dealership. Given that many consumers will give up auto ownership for transportation service subscriptions, the sales department of the dealership also faces an uncertain future. Which elephantine auto maker can tap dance the best to avoid the endangered species list?
Netflix strategy — increase price and value indefinitely
Last week’s increase in subscription prices for Netflix is baked into the long term strategy of raising prices each year, along with increasing the value of the service each year. The company has veered away from its strategy of becoming a low-cost HBO replacement, to one of becoming a low-cost replacement of the entire cable package. As the quality of the cable bundle degrades, given that providers will reserve the best content for streaming services, Netflix will increase the quality and price of its offerings. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: Netflix continues to create a new price tier for streaming services in the range of $13 to $20 per month. Because the company is not seeking price parity with cable bundles that easily average $100 per month, it leaves room for consumers to add 2 or 3 services to the household mix. Even with several streaming services, the new bundle is priced far below cable, forcing traditional cable providers to meet streaming TV packages such as Hulu, Sling and YouTube TV at a $50 to $60 per month price level. If you haven’t already, it’s time to restructure your TV bundle.
A man’s hatred of printers
Wired’s Simon Hill asks why, in the 2020s, do printers still suck? Describing the awkward relationship most homes have with their inexpensive devices that consume semi-precious ink cartridges and the ferocity of ink subscription services at insisting the printer stay on and connected, Hill hits home.
dis-rup-shun: The cost of printing, unlike the rest of consumer technology, seems to have hit a floor beyond which it will not fall, despite the ridiculously low prices of printing devices. Leave it to Amazon to deliver printed documents to our doors in about an hour after hitting the “Print to Amazon Prime” button.