BigTech gaining increasing share of wallets
Tech firms have been seeking to replace our wallets with electronic payment methods which are very popular in many countries, but slow to catch on in the U.S. Apple’s credit card, along with payment services from Google and Samsung are increasingly accepted and 15% of Starbucks orders are now mobile. McKinsey found, in a 2019 survey, that only 35% of people trust Facebook to handle their finances, compared with more than 50% who trust Apple and 65% trust Amazon. BigTech firms know that direct access to consumer spending data is a treasure trove of marketable information. CNET
dis-rup-shun: Banks are sitting ducks. While BigTech cannot take over all capabilities of banks, and while banks exist under charters issued, in the U.S., by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), many of their services will disappear. BigTech will take more transaction fees, annual membership fees, small loans, and yet to be created financial services. Currently big banks are forming close relationships with BigTech, which is a competitive strategy, but will also accelerate the displacement of traditional banking as tech firms acquire both ownership and knowledge of the industry.
Facebook accelerates gaming with dedicated app
Facebook is launching a dedicated app, Facebook Gaming, that allows users to watch live game play or to share live their own game playing. This release is timely, given the uptick in gaming as a result of the global pandemic. The app positions Facebook against live game playing platforms of YouTube, Amazon’s Twitch, and Microsoft’s Mixer. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: Game playing is up by more than 20%, according to some sources, and Facebook is simply accelerating a plan that was already in testing in Asia. Facebook continues its wise moves to diversify and enrich its platform, as the core service is mature and losing many of its followers to alternative social media platforms that are seen as more trendy and relevant, as Facebook becomes, for millennials, like the phone book of their parents’ generation.
Apple Music now available without iTunes
Apple Music is now competing with Spotify, allowing streaming directly from a web browser for those with a paid subscription. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: We can thank Apple for reinventing the music business and igniting a round of innovation with the coupling of iTunes and the iPod. Apple, however, botched iTunes and the Apple experience when it made moving and authorizing owned music from device to device, complex. Apple’s failure to keep iTunes as the most friendly music experience pushed consumers to streaming platforms such as Real Audio, Pandora, Spotify and many other competitors. Now Apple is doubling down on services and trying to capture more of the market it gave away a decade ago.
Mendel air sensor critical for indoor growers
Mendel has manufactured a $99 air sensor that tracks temperature, humidity, VPD, and Lux (lumens). Data is refreshed every 15 minutes and displayed on an app. Mendel, reportedly, was encouraged to develop this technology by cannabis growers whose margins are thin and investments high. TechCrunch
dis-rup-shun: Self-sustainability is more interesting than ever, with trips to the grocery store being dangerous and disappointing as a number of products, including produce, in short supply. Growing things indoors is challenging and the air sensor critical. With large numbers of people entering the cannabis business, demand for “smart gardening” products will remain strong.