YouTube video revenues reach Netflix level
As if we needed more evidence that cord cutting has reached mass market scale, YouTube announced advertising revenues for the quarter of $6 billion, up from $4 billion. At its current pace, Alphabet’s YouTube division will reach Netflix’s revenue size of $29 billion by year end. Netflix’s revenues are derived completely from subscribers, whereas YouTube relies on both subscriptions and rapidly increasing ad revenue. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: While the video entertainment market continues to change dramatically, the desire for advertisers to reach their audience and the need for advertisements to fund content does not. While Netflix has turned the video economy upside down, its reliance on subscriptions for revenue limits its ability to fund new content and new initiatives. Alphabet’s multi-channel approach to advertising — dominating on-line advertising and now gaining ground rapidly in the arena we used to call TV at home — places the company in a position to bypass Netflix and potentially build up an arsenal of original content. Does the viewing audience need more original content? Consumers says yes.
Microsoft crushes COVID
The long list of companies that had their best years continues, and Microsoft reports its best quarter since 2018. The company’s Azure cloud services unit continued firesome growth (50%) and the Xbox division reported 34% growth. All other divisions (there are ten) expect for Office Consumer reported double digit growth, resulting in 19% across the board. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: Microsoft is like a utility stock or a grocery chain — its products are staples that are required for our existence and while it has competition, it dominates the majority of its categories. Think of it as the new GE. Satya Nadella, with some support from COVID, deserves extensive credit for focus, execution and stamina. While people have been loading up on bitcoin, they may have overlooked the long game brought to investors by the no-longer-sexy Microsoft.
Musk’s next frontier — your home
Elon Musk, increasingly a voice worthy of your attention, is fixing his sights on people’s homes… their garages, to be precise. Musk is citing Texas’ recent winter grid failure and rolling blackouts in California as proof positive that utilities are not equipped for the future and that maintaining a constant and renewable energy supply depends on a combination of your electric car and your Tesla Powerwall (in-home battery) to stabilize energy consumption. TechCrunch
dis-rup-shun: It used to be fun to bash Musk and his brash claims, but after he has successfully sent people to space, is a prime supplier to NASA, and has opened a car plant in China, we have to listen closely. Energy providers have known for nearly two decades that they are standing on a burning platform, and hopefully are considering a progressive, eco-friendly future with Elon and Tesla paving the way.
Tertill — a Roomba for the garden
From the original designer of Roomba is Tertill, a similar device that, powered by solar, traverses the garden to whack any detectable weeds with its nylon weed whacker. Barrier devices can be located around tinder young plants in order to repel the roving weed whacking robot. At $440, the device is not an impulse buy, but can be obtained through CNET for a $90 discount.
dis-rup-shun: Robots — so much promise but such little success at doing the things we don’t want to do as well, or better than we can. Save for industrial robots used on an assembly line, robots, especially at home continue to fall short. The reality is that many home chores require the dexterity and nimbleness of the human body and machines just aren’t yet as good. No doubt, over time, robots will be equal to the task, but how long? Expect to wait another decade for really productive home robots.