Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Globaldata LSE:DATA London Ordinary Share GB00B87ZTG26 ORD 1/14P
  Price Change % Change Share Price Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  +0.00p +0.00% 570.00p 565.00p 575.00p 570.00p 570.00p 570.00p 1,484 07:53:05
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Media 100.0 -2.5 1.1 522.9 582.75

Globaldata Share Discussion Threads

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In the last year the amount of time people spend watching live video on Facebook has grown four-fold hxxp:// Facebook Primes Watch for Video Explosion in IBC Keynote The social network pitches its new video service as the community-based OTT platform broadcasters have been waiting for. By Adrian Pennington Posted on September 14, 2017 "Facebook expects video traffic on the internet to grow from 50 percent to 75 percent by 2022. “That’s a huge amount of data which has a huge impact on the behaviour of viewing.” Danker shared these online video stats: •40 percent of total video viewing on Facebook is driven by people sharing content and not from the original video post. •One billion people use Facebook Groups each month. “These are people who aren’t necessarily your friends, but you share a connection,” Danker explained. “Increasingly, there are groups built around video.” •5 percent of all Facebook Live broadcasts happen inside Groups—and that figure represents 20 percent of all Groups' time on Facebook. •1 out of every 5 videos on Facebook is live. In the last year the amount of time people spend watching live video on Facebook has grown four-fold. Facebook Watch is dedicated to shows, which is a new format for Facebook. “Content tends to follow a theme or stories over a few episodes,” Danker said. “We see a future where any publisher can make a video and find a loyal audience.” “The [social media] comments around the show are as important to the experience as the video itself,” Danker said. “We think Watch will become a home to shows from reality to live sports, from self-creators to broadcasters.” To give one example, La Liga giant Real Madrid has 105 million Facebook followers and has a show on Watch—Hala Madrid—which is a behind-the-scenes (non-live) community promotion for the club."
companies with high capital spending tend to underperform New Amazon Headquarters Should Alarm -- WSJ 12/09/2017 8:02am Dow Jones News By James Mackintosh This article is being republished as part of our daily reproduction of articles that also appeared in the U.S. print edition of The Wall Street Journal (September 12, 2017). The list of warning signals for shareholders includes diversification into new industries, changes of business model, massive hiring programs, unfettered CEO power, distracted management, and high capital spending. But top of the list for many is the construction of a new headquarters. Hubris, meet Amazon has achieved extraordinary feats, most notably in speed of expansion. It hired more than 30,000 people in the last quarter alone, and in the past three years has tripled its head count to 382,400. It appears to have managed this without a hitch, even as it spent billions of dollars on Hollywood productions, launched a hit gadget and ramped up its spending on research and development. Investors are betting that CEO Jeff Bezos will keep his magic touch, and that money plowed into expansion today represents big profits to be made some time in the future. History and human nature are against Mr. Bezos -- and may eventually prove a headwind for much of the rest of the market too. The lesson from the long term is that companies with high capital spending tend to underperform. Kenneth French, a professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, calculates that shares in the 30% of U.S. companies with the lowest investment returned six times as much as those with the highest investment since 1963. Human nature provides a story to back up the findings. CEOs like to expand (not coincidentally, CEOs of bigger companies earn more), like to chase new ideas (putting them on the front of popular magazines) and like to do what shareholders want (boosting the value of their stock options, at least in the short run). The three come together when a company or sector is in vogue, as shareholders give it cheap capital and cheer on plans for growth. Often it turns out that the premise for the expansion was mistaken, and much capital spending is wasted. Remember peak oil, the race to dig new mines to satisfy forecasts of endless emerging-market growth, or the vast overinvestment in shipping to prepare for global trade's inevitable expansion? Those early in the expansion are right to invest, but as more capital is deployed it can drive down prices and destroy the very opportunity shareholders hoped to exploit. Other times CEOs just fritter the money away, as in the dot-com bubble. If you exercise little control over management and actively encourage them to spend money as quickly as possible, you shouldn't be surprised if much of it is wasted. The rise and rise of Amazon has come as the patterns of the past seem to have been suspended. Since the start of 2009 the runaway success of big tech stocks and big dividend payers have helped companies with the most and least investment do well, while middling companies underperformed. Calculations by Goldman Sachs' chief U.S. equity strategist David Kostin suggest shareholders have shifted again in the past 18 months, rewarding capital spending with bigger share-price gains than for dividends and share buybacks. If it continues, CEOs will get the message and corporate investment will pick up. Amazon shareholders might argue that the company won't fall victim to misplaced capital spending because it is exploiting disruptive technology, investing in growth and spending heavily on R&D. If the past is any indication, these offer up only a glimmer of a hope. History offers plenty of examples of disruptive technologies leading to investment booms, but those caught up in the spending spree usually lose out horribly. The British "railway mania" of the 1840s is a classic example: money poured in from excited shareholders, railroad companies found ways to spend it and were rewarded with ever-higher share prices, until investors discovered just how much of the capital had been wasted. The winners were the broader economy and those who entered early or sold out in time. But much capital had to be written down as profits were competed away or overestimated. Investing in growth is more plausible. Academics have shown that higher R&D spending on average is followed by better stock performance than for companies with lower R&D spending. For this to justify further increases in Amazon's stock price means assuming investors are once again underestimating the future profits from its R&D spending. Given how hard it is even to work out how much the company is spending on R&D -- it is lumped in with "technology and content," where $5.5 billion was spent in total in the second quarter -- it's impossible to come up with a firm view of how well it is spent, or what profits might result. The share price might well be underestimating future products, but might equally be extrapolating the past successes of the web-hosting division or the voice-controlled Alexa device to unknown future products. Amazon expects to hire another 50,000 staff earning on average more than $100,000 a year at its second HQ over a decade and a half, adding $5 billion a year of pay to the more than $5 billion capital cost of "HQ2." Amazon shareholders betting on it bucking history have to hope that by the time HQ2 is completed the company has both grown enough to justify its vast scale and found a way to profit from all its capital and R&D spending.
I must admit that I have recently been watching quite a lot of Blaze programmes on Freeview (completely independently of the FBT news). A&E Networks "On September 19, 2016, A+E launched Viceland. The next day, A+E UK launched Blaze, its global brand free to air channel, in the British Isles, its first market."
He is leaving a large media company to join a small technology company (though possibly he just wants to spend more time with his family). hxxp:// Top broadcast executive, Ian McDonough, joins Forbidden Technologies plc as CEO September 7, 2017 hxxp:// Forbidden Technologies plc, a media SaaS business, announced the appointment of senior broadcast executive Ian McDonough as CEO. McDonough will be focused on driving commercial growth and continued development of their cloud video platform and related applications. He previously held board level roles at Turner (part of Time Warner Inc.) where he was the managing director for Northern Europe and BBC Worldwide as EVP and general manager of the CEMA business. McDonough brings a wealth of experience in media sector commercial innovation and business growth. Examples of his key achievements include directing the development of the Sky Kids app where Turner is a key partner and the company’s presence on Now TV and Virgin Media’s OTT services. He also led development on large scale new products for Turner. At BBC and A&E he launched multiple branded services across EMEA, including BBC World News, CBeebies and History. Ian McDonough says: “With the exponential growth in video use – rights holders, broadcast and OTT companies need more sophisticated capabilities to increase the use of their content across any device. I am extremely excited to be leading a business with this focus, and its huge potential for growth in this ever-evolving new media landscape.” Chairman of Forbidden Technologies, David Main, said: “We are delighted that Ian is joining the Board of Forbidden Technologies as the company’s CEO. Ian brings fantastic experience and understanding of our customers. In addition, he brings energy, a strong track record of commercial innovation and a clear ability to drive business performance. “ Forbidden Technologies transforms the capabilities of traditional video production capabilities in line with the growing requirements of the new media world. Uses of their platform include rapidly generating and publishing clips, highlights off live content, viewing, logging, shot selection, editing and captioning remotely.
19:41 Paris 2024 Olympic programme could include video gamers as the meteoric rise of eSports continues •eSports has seen a meteoric rise in popularity over the last 12 months •Discussions will now take place over video gaming taking place at the Olympics •Paris 2024 could be the first year that eSports players can earn Olympic medals •Co-president of Paris bid committee Tony Estanguet says they will speak to IOC By Rob Harris, Associated Press Published: 10:27, 9 August 2017 | "Video gamers could be competing for Olympic medals by 2024, according to Tony Estanguet, co-president of the Paris bid committee. The explosion in popularity of eSports events, drawing large crowds of youngsters to arenas for tournaments, has already seen gaming embraced by the Asian Games, and talks will be held about the possibility of it joining the 2024 programme. It will become a full sport by the 2022 edition, although details of which games will be contested are yet to be provided."
Faster publishing of live events into social media ... is vital for us hxxp:// Wednesday Papers: Britain softens Brexit stance on EU court by Himanshu Singh on Aug 23, 2017 at 04:41 •Daily Mail: Britain’s booming video game industry received a double boost yesterday as two AIM-listed companies announced major partnerships; Cambridge-based Frontier Developments revealed it had struck a deal to make a game based on the Jurassic Park films, with London’s Gfinity also announcing it was set to launch a virtual motor racing championship with Formula One. hxxp:// Gfinity chooses Forscene to help grow their eSports fan base Jovana Posted On May 22, 2017 Forbidden Technologies plc (AIM: FBT) is pleased to announce it has won a contract with Gfinity plc (“Gfinity”), a leading electronic gaming promoter (eSports). Gfinity will use Forscene to help grow their fan base through faster and improved use of video in social media and exploitation of archived video content. eSports is a sports category that is going through rapid growth. Newzoo, the leading provider of market intelligence covering the eSports market, predicts that in 2017 eSports will generate global revenues of $696 million, up 41 percent from $493 million in 2016, and is expected to have an audience of regular and occasional viewers of 385 million people. Today, a major eSports event may attract 40,000 people watching live and tens of millions watching over the Web. Beyond its own tournaments, Gfinity provides a full turnkey solution for any brand wanting to create their own eSports tournaments and has staged premium eSports events for leading publishers and brands including ‘Call of Duty’, ‘FIFA’. ‘Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, “Rocket League’, Street Fighter V, and ‘Forza Racing Championship’. Gfinity plc Chief Gaming Officer, Paul Kent said: “Gfinity requires a solution that will help us grow our fan base and improve our engagement with them. Faster publishing of live events into social media and better overall use of the video content we produce is vital for us. Forscene fills a gap in capabilities that we have been looking to solve.” Forbidden Technologies Chairman, David Main, said: “The eSports market is an exciting new high growth sports category for us. Our Forscene cloud video platform provides a range of core capabilities, including live clipping for social media and exploiting the value of archive content for this innovative and demanding new sector. Our range of applications helps address the range of video requirements for fan engagement.” Forbidden Technologies Head of eSports, Sal De Parres said: “Forscene will deliver the fast and flexible workflow that eSports requires. eSports is about worldwide distribution and speed – Forscene provides both.”
Sports are the biggest draw on television hxxp:// Iconic New York venue extends agreement with Forbidden Technologies Fri, 18 August 2017 (ShareCast News) - Video editing specialist, Forbidden Technologies announced on Friday that it had extended an existing agreement with an "iconic sports, music and entertainment venue in New York". Forbidden, which had previously signed a deal with Madison Square Garden to help them reduce live sports clips editing and publishing down from 25-55 minutes to under five minutes, said its professional software as a service (SaaS) solution, Forscene was already in use by the unnamed venue to improve its time to market for digital clips. Chairman of Forbidden Technologies, David Main, said "Expanding the scale of our relationship with this iconic venue is clear validation of the value we can bring into the live sports and entertainment market. Our Forscene cloud video platform provides the venue with the capability to outperform competition in terms of speed to market for the highlights of live events." As of 1225 BST, shares had moved ahead just 0.83% to 6.05p. Market Cap (m) £11.05 hxxp:// "But cloud software blows restrictive standards out of the water."
Well, I personally greatly enjoy "the old British TV series of the same name" (it's available most nights on Freeview). hxxp:// By Jeff Berman HITS August 14, 2017 AWS Unveils Machine Learning-Powered Security Service at Summit, Adds Hulu "Challenges that Hulu faced when developing the new live service included dealing with the huge amount of metadata that accompanied all the new content it was handling, Soltanovich said. Making sure that the correct description of a program or movie is attached to that content is one necessity, he pointed out, noting that it’s important to make sure that, for example, the Marvel movie “The Avengers” is correctly identified as a superhero action movie and has the right accompanying images so that viewers can see it’s that movie rather than the old British TV series of the same name or the movie of the same name that was based on that show."
hxxp:// By Jeff Berman M&E Connections August 15, 2017 AWS Exec: Machine Learning’s Undergoing a ‘Renaissance’ "NEW YORK — Machine learning is undergoing a “renaissance” now thanks to the increasing shift of data storage to the cloud, according to Matt Wood, Amazon Web Services (AWS) GM-artificial intelligence (AI). That’s because “the cloud has enabled machine learning and customers to overcome the single largest point of friction, which is almost always around scale,” he told the AWS Summit Aug. 14 during a keynote in which AWS also introduced the new machine-learning based security service Amazon Macie and announced new cloud service client wins that included Hulu. “When you’re working with machine learning and training machine learning models, you need tons and tons of data — the more the merrier,” Wood said. The concept is simple. “The more data you put in, the more likely it is that your model is going to be accurate,” he said. When you have all that data, you then “need to be able to train it at scale – typically using high-end” graphics processing units (GPUs), he said. “Once you train those models, you need to be able to perform predictions against them, also at scale, both in the cloud” and “at the edge through connected devices or on mobile apps,” he said. AWS has been “addressing these challenges for customers for over a decade,” he went on to say, noting that its customers have been “aggressively migrating everything out of their data centers up to AWS as quickly as they can,” and nearly all the new data “has been generated in the cloud by default.” Earlier in the keynote, Wood pointed out that “it’s never been cheaper, easier or more cost-effective for customers to be able to pull data from their program applications, their web applications, their IoT applications – even their data centers – and load it up onto AWS.” Once that data is in the cloud, “customers typically want to be able to get some value out of that data,” he said, explaining: “They want to be able to analyze and they want to be able to compute against it. They want to be able to ask questions and get answers back in a reasonable time.” Before, “inside the constrained walls of the data center” on premises, that was “extremely challenging” because companies were “stuck with a fixed set of resources unless” they wanted to make large capital investments, he said. So, customers typically “ended up being crammed inside that same box,” inside the walls of their data centers, he said. However, he said: “In the cloud, those data center walls – they just disappear. And so, customers can start to collect the data that they need, aggregate it at the right level and ask the questions which are truly important to their data.”"
hxxps:// Aug 6 Tech giants could beat out TV networks for sports deals Charlie Riedel / AP "TV's Sports Problem: Amazon, Facebook, and Google could soon challenge the networks for big-time sports. And they've got deep, deep pockets" — Barron's cover story by Jack Hough: * Amazon "Agreed to pay NFL "$50 million for streaming rights to 10 Thursday Night Football games... five times what Twitter paid last season." * "For now, streaming is a mere sideshow to television in sports... But Amazon's encroachment should give media investors pause. Viewership trends in television are weak, and they're worse without sports." * Why it matters: "As those rights come due, the networks could enter an unwinnable bidding war with Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet." 1 stat says it all: By 2020, "Wall Street predicts, the big four TV networks and their parent companies — with their theme parks, movies, and other ventures — will generate a combined $30 billion in free cash flow. Alphabet, Facebook, and Amazon... more than $100 billion." .... "Sports are the biggest draw on television. Among last year’s 50 most-watched telecasts, 44 were football, basketball, baseball, or the Olympics. Sports viewers are also particularly attractive to advertisers. They skew young, and thus have plenty of years ahead to spend on their favorite brands, and they like to watch games live, which means they catch more commercials instead of zipping through them on their digital video recorders. TV networks have increased the number of hours devoted to sports by 160% since 2005." "Alphabet, which owns YouTube and Google, and Facebook, which owns Instagram, are a mirror image of broadcast TV. Their audiences are vast and growing. Consider: Various Super Bowls dominate the list of the most-watched U.S. telecasts ever. But there are more than 40 YouTube videos that have each been watched 10 times more than any Super Bowl. Advertisers are quickly shifting dollars online. Digital ad spending passed advertising outlays for TV for the first time last year. This year, the gap will widen to $10 billion—with $83 billion for digital, and $73 billion for TV, according to industry forecaster eMarketer. By 2021, the gap could be more than $50 billion. And while TV is in a spending race for content, YouTube and Facebook get free content created by their users. Meanwhile, Amazon seems to be trying—and failing—to spend money as fast at it makes it. This year, it is likely to generate $10.5 billion in free cash, more than any television network’s parent company. And Amazon’s free cash flow could triple by 2020. By then, Wall Street predicts, the big four TV networks and their parent companies—with their theme parks, movies, and other ventures—will generate a combined $30 billion in free cash flow. Alphabet, Facebook, and Amazon are seen combining for more than $100 billion."
I come to the party via IBG (shares possibly bought when IBG was valued at less than £1m). hxxp:// IBG (Affiliate Future) sells to TMN for no premium Posted by Azam Editorial Team as Performance Marketing Some shareholders in IBG, parent company of AffiliateFuture, have expressed concern about the decision to effectively sell the network to direct marketing company TMN Group (formerly The reason is because the acquisition values each IBG share at a miserable 12.75 pence and the whole of IBG at a mere £9.84 million. This compares to a share price of 28 pence six months ago on 20 June, 2007 and talk of IBG shares looking to hit the 40 pence mark. “I think what has happened over the past 6 months is a bloody disgrace”, says a shareholder who goes by the name Omlaysause on the stockmarket forums. “First off we get that ridiculous RNS saying we MAY have a problem with profits and then to say it could be effected for 2 years, which as we all know, killed the share price there and then. Coupled with the strategic review which turned out to be a complete waste of time. We are then told, don’t worry lads, we’ve got some great ideas and you’ll all reap the benefits if you stick around for the next 2 years. Then a few months later, do you know what, we’re just going to sell up with no benefit to the IBG shareholders in the deal, it’s a simple swap of IBG to TMN.” Most IBG shareholders have expressed similarly negative views on as they’ve felt that, by selling when the share price is at its lowest point in years, and by selling without a premium, they’ve been let down. However, some of the biggest losses will be incurred by IBG Directors who hold substantial holdings in the company. As recently as 7 August 2007, Non-Executive Director Nicola Costa and CEO Maziar Darvish bought £99,755.84 of shares between them at around 16.5p. The buyout/merger ends a year which has seen a number of affiliate networks and what could be more or less described as affiliate companies come together. Examples of notable tie-ups include TradeDoubler and The Search Works, and Lightstate, Linkshare and as well as and AffiliateFuture and NetFreeStuff. The two CEOs, Maziar Darvish and Mark Smith, are both astute businessmen and will have made the decision with the best interests of their ‘babies’ at heart: the greater size will bring cost savings and there will be the potential to cross-sell services. With email marketing companies always hungry for campaigns and with affiliate networks always desperate for means to market their advertisers, this could be the perfect marriage of convenience… even if there is discontent about the amount of dowry paid. You can read the full buyout/merger statement below: “TMN – Nil Premium Merger with IBG 14 December 2007 .... •TMN’s services include email and website marketing (TMN Media), full service digital advertising (EDR), online fieldwork solutions (iD Factor) and research analysis (ICD Research). For the year ended 30 April 2007, TMN reported revenue of £16.1 million and operating profit of £3.3 million. For the six months ended 31 October 2007, TMN reported revenue of £9.0 million, and headline profit before tax of £1.4 million.. •IBG’s operations are divided primarily into the following three divisions: AffiliateFuture (a Performance Marketing network), IBG Media (brokering traffic as well as publishing a variety of websites), and E-commerce (websites retailing product lines across several sectors within sports and lifestyle). IBG is today announcing its preliminary results for the financial year ended 31 October 2007, reporting revenue of £16.4 million, profit before share based charges, interest, taxation, depreciation, amortisation IFRS share based charges and movement in investments of £1.6 million, and profit before taxation of £0.92 million."
Yes, and I started with the too :)
I'm also here for historic reasons - although my holding is showing +146% - its too small to make a significant difference!
Nice steady increases in revenue and a dividend increase too - more than happy with the way this company is managed and future prospects. Assuming it'll be looking for more acquisitions over the next 12 months.Anyone else in Globaldata? (I'm only here from a long history with the
Is there any evidence that consumers are being harmed? Tech giants Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft generate £74BN revenue in just three months: Is it time to break up the Silicon Valley oligopoly? By Matt Oliver Published: 22:51, 28 July 2017 | Updated: 09:26, 29 July 2017 The world’s biggest tech companies face being broken up as they toast a formidable set of sales figures. This week, Google, Facebook and Amazon – and Microsoft last week – reported huge growth in advertising sales, cloud computing services and internet video revenues. The total revenues of the four for the last quarter were £74bn. That has renewed political feeling in Washington that the Silicon Valley titans are at risk of becoming monopolies – and should be split into several different companies. President Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, is among those reportedly pushing for them to be considered utility companies, like power firms, so they could be more closely scrutinised. It is not unprecedented to break up US firms – giants such as Standard Oil, AT&T and IBM have been separated in the past. Professor Jonathan Taplin, a US academic who studies tech companies, said: ‘Something has definitely changed in the past month. You now have people on both sides of the political aisle saying maybe we should be regulating these firms as utilities. ‘They are becoming natural monopolies. Breaking them up, as was done with Standard, would be an extreme option but there are lots of smaller actions that could be taken first.’ US Senate Democrats have outlined plans for a ‘better deal’ that proposes breaking up monopolies across a number of major industries. The dominance of the tech giants has been underlined by their results this week. Google, owned by Alphabet, accounts for 90 per cent of all web searches. Google and Facebook command 99 per cent of all new internet advertising revenues. Alphabet this week posted revenues of £19.8bn for the second quarter. However, it was hit with a £2bn fine by the EU for manipulating search results, which wiped out an increase in profits. Facebook, meanwhile, has grown to 2.1bn users, of which 1.3bn use it every day. Its other services, such as WhatsApp, now have 1.3bn monthly users. WhatsApp Status, its version of Snapchat Stories launched six months ago, now has more than 250m daily users. Rival Snapchat has 166m daily active users. Total revenue rose 44.8 per cent to £7.1bn from the same period in 2016, and Facebook posted a profit of £2.9bn – up 71 per cent. Adverts on mobile phones accounted for 87 per cent of its total advertising revenue. The boost came from cashing in on video within its Facebook news feed, as well as the growth of its Instagram photo app, which now has 700m users. Amazon shares sank after it announced a fall in profit to £29bn, but below this bottom line revenues were soaring. Its growth was spurred on by ‘other’ services climbing 51 per cent, which analysts have interpreted as being Amazon’s own advertising business as well as its credit card arm. The firms have also been accused of killing off rivals. Amazon’s bid for organic supermarket chain Whole Foods is expected to be closely examined by competition officials. Also, the 49.5 per cent share dive of Snap, the parent company of photo-messaging app Snapchat, has been partly blamed on Facebook, which has been accused of taking features from Snapchat and duplicating them in its rival Messenger and Instagram apps. Apple reports its results on Tuesday. Amazon did not comment.
$9.3bn in revenue earned a $3.9bn profit hxxp:// Facebook may print money but thirsty Wall Street wants more Monetising video... RU serious, Zuck? By Andrew Orlowski 27 Jul 2017 at 10:13 Anyone asking why there hasn't been a major new technology company to rival the likes of Facebook for a decade should take a good look at... Facebook. It's a reasonable question. If you exclude Uber as a technology company – it's really a casual labour arbitrage play that just happens to involve cars, other people's cars – then what are you left with? Slack? Snap? Now you're joking. Facebook is one half of the online advertising duopoly that scoops up almost all new internet ad spending. It reported its earnings yesterday, booking $9.3bn revenue in the quarter. It employs barely a third of the staff of Audi, and a fifth of the staff of SAP. So that $9.3bn in revenue earned a $3.9bn profit. Supermarkets and ISPs are envious of such a return for so little investment (remember that, like Uber, other people do all the work). The growth has been astronomical, thanks to mobile, with sales increasing at 50 per cent or more for five consecutive quarters. Mobile now accounts for 87 per cent of Facebook revenue. That amazing quarter-on-quarter growth dipped to 45 per cent in the quarter reported yesterday. But that's not enough for a thirsty Wall Street, and there are only so many adverts you can put in front of people on Facebook feeds. So Facebook spent much of the call talking up how to squirt adverts into video, and also your IM chats (Facebook also owns WhatsApp of course). Twitter, Spotify and Snap are also dabbling in video (your TV concepts for Spotify were rather better than Spotify's own). Facebook has just bought a DRM company to show it's really, really serious. But compared to Netflix, which outspends HBO and the BBC, the moves look tentative. Facebook will reportedly pay a paltry $35,000 for short projects and $250,000 for longer projects, keeping the rights for itself. Ads will interrupt the show, which we're not used to in the Netflix era. And the revenue split isn't attractive for talented people in a competitive market place. Only students, desperados and exhibitionists accept such money for a good idea. Doesn't the internet have enough desperados and exhibitionists already? Apparently not. If Facebook was a startup media company and pitching for investment with this prospect, this video proposition wouldn't attract much smart money. Most people would laugh it out of the room. Which brings us back to the opening argument: Facebook already dominates the attention share for 2 billion users, so it doesn't have to do anything brilliant, or experiment, or take any risks. It seems an eternity ago, but it's only four months since Snap went public with ludicrous talk of heralding in "a new era" of human communication. It was also a camera company. Really. Snap had the ability to make intelligent people say really stupid things – so much did they yearn for "media disruption" and the fizzle of the days. Facebook has simply copied Snap's features and carried on serenely. Snap's growth has been slowing for months. Snap's shares are now below its launch price. That's disruptive innovation in new media for you.
"Azure was the primary source of our outperformance in the quarter" Microsoft Forges Ahead In Cloud -- WSJ 21/07/2017 8:02am Dow Jones News By Jay Greene This article is being republished as part of our daily reproduction of articles that also appeared in the U.S. print edition of The Wall Street Journal (July 21, 2017). Microsoft Corp. continued its rebirth as a force in cloud-computing, posting stronger-than-expected gains in its business of selling web-based services to corporate customers. The software giant has been working to expand the business selling web-based services to corporate customers, and now has solidified its spot as the No. 2 provider of on-demand computing processing and storage behind market pioneer Inc. In its fiscal fourth quarter, Microsoft notched gains in its Azure cloud-computing business and Office 365, the online version of its widely used productivity software. The Redmond, Wash., company said Thursday that its Intelligent Cloud segment, which includes Azure, rose 11% to $7.4 billion. In the Productivity and Business Processes segment, which includes the Office franchise, revenue climbed 21% to $8.4 billion. Microsoft doesn't disclose revenue figures for its Azure and Office 365 businesses, but it said Azure revenue jumped 97% and Office 365 revenue rose 43%. "Azure was the primary source of our outperformance in the quarter," Microsoft finance chief Amy Hood said in an interview. "It's higher than I was expecting." Overall, Microsoft posted $6.51 billion in fourth-quarter net income, or 83 cents a share, compared with a profit of $3.12 billion, or 39 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding the impact of revenue deferrals and other items, adjusted earnings climbed to 98 cents from 69 cents a year earlier. Per-share earnings in the most recent quarter included a 23-cent tax benefit related to Microsoft winding down its mobile-phone business. Revenue rose 13% to $23.32 billion and was $24.7 billion when adjusted to reflect Windows 10 revenue deferrals. Analysts surveyed by S&P Global Market Intelligence expected Microsoft to report adjusted per-share earnings of 71 cents, a figure that didn't include the 23-cent tax benefit, on $24.29 billion in adjusted revenue. Shares rose 3.1% to $76.50 in after-hours trading after results beat expectations. The software giant's shares closed at a record on Thursday, after setting its previous high a day earlier. Microsoft's growth in the so-called hyperscale public cloud market was faster in the quarter than investors anticipated. The cloud unit is still smaller than Amazon in the market but appears to be pulling away from its nearest rival, Alphabet Inc.'s Google, said Stifel Nicolaus & Co. analyst Brad Reback. "They are the undisputed No. 2 in the hyperscale public cloud market, and it will be extraordinarily difficult for anyone to catch them," Mr. Reback said. Two years ago, Microsoft forecast its commercial-cloud run-rate -- the last month of sales of its Azure and Office 365 products, multiplied by 12 -- would top $20 billion in the 2018 fiscal year that began July 1. At the end of the fourth quarter, the run-rate stood at $18.9 billion. "Obviously, we're feeling pretty confident about hitting" the target, Ms. Hood said. The strides Microsoft has made in the cloud come as its legacy Windows operating-system business shrinks. Revenue in its More Personal Computing segment, which includes Windows as well as the mobile-phone and gaming businesses, slid 2% to $8.8 billion. Last week, International Data Corp. reported world-wide PC shipments fell 3.3% in the second quarter, while Gartner Inc. estimated the drop at 4.3%. Revenue for Microsoft's Surface line of computers also fell 2%. Three months ago, that business was hit hard, registering a 26% revenue decline, which the company attributed to older Surface computers in the market, as well as increased price competition. Since then, Microsoft has introduced a new Surface laptop for the education market and an update to its Surface Pro tablet-laptop hybrid device, though those products made their debut with just a few weeks left in the quarter. LinkedIn Corp., the professional social network Microsoft acquired last December for $27 billion, added $1.07 billion in revenue and posted a $361 million operating loss. Microsoft is working to connect its business products to LinkedIn, giving sales representatives using its Dynamics software, for example, tools to easily mine the professional social network to prospect for leads. Like its cloud rivals Amazon and Alphabet Inc.'s Google, Microsoft is spending lavishly to build giant and expensive data centers around the world to deliver its cloud services. In the quarter, Microsoft spent $3.3 billion on capital expenses, with much of that money going toward its data center expansion. A year ago, Microsoft had $3.1 billion in capital expenses. In the current quarter, Microsoft expects revenue in its Intelligent Cloud business of between $6.9 billion and $7.1 billion, up from $6.38 billion a year earlier. Revenue in its Productivity and Business Processes segment should land between $8.1 billion and $8.3 billion, including about $1.1 billion from LinkedIn. A year earlier, that segment posted $6.66 billion. Microsoft said the More Personal Computing segment's revenue will be between $8.6 billion and $8.9 billion, compared with $9.29 billion a year ago.
10:41 Tech Is No Bubble, But the Stock Market Might Be 20/07/2017 7:04pm Dow Jones News By James Mackintosh U.S. technology stocks have finally passed their 17-year-old bubble-era high, and the speed of this year's rally has many -- including me -- concerned. The S&P 500's information-technology sector is up 23%. Of the 10 stocks adding the most market value, eight are tech stocks, when is included. Those who missed out surely regret it. But take a step back, and a lot of the gains look more like catch-up than bubble. There might be an everything bubble, but neither tech stocks nor mega-capitalization companies stand out as particularly frothy when looking at performance. In the past froth was obvious. In the dot-com bubble of 2000 the tech sector produced clearly unsustainable returns -- annualized at 53% including dividends for five years -- that were miles ahead of everything else. In the "peak oil" bubble of 2008 the energy sector had similarly unrealistic five-year annualized gains of 31%. There's been nothing like this in recent years. It's true that tech stocks have been wonderful for investors this year, particularly the big names of Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft. But they were mostly just catching up with underperformance in the aftermath of the election, when Silicon Valley was obviously out of favor with the new president, and hopes of tax cuts boosted companies that actually pay U.S. tax. Look instead at one-year or five-year performance and the tech sector is in line with the financial sector. Or go all the way back to the stock market low of March 2009: Since then financials and tech stock prices have both risen a bit more than 390%, as bank failure risk was priced out; including dividends, real estate, financials and consumer discretionary stocks are all ahead of tech over the period. It's true that some tech stocks are in other sectors, distorting the measure. Amazon is classed as retail, and its stellar performance generated about a fifth of the consumer discretionary sector's gains since the 2009 low -- and half this year's gains. But the financial sector rally has been about traditional banking and insurance -- not fintech, while real estate is as offline as a stock can be. Another way to judge excessive enthusiasm for disruptive companies should be to look at the losers. Old-style retail stocks, owners of U.S. malls and more recently stocks such as Zillow facing rumors of competition from Amazon have all been hammered. Have they been driven down too far? Taking the gap between the best and worst performing sectors offers a measure of how powerful investment fashions are, and it is wider than usual at the moment. Yet, it doesn't back up the disruption theory. Over the past year the best sector has outperformed the worst by more than 50 percentage points, the second-widest gap since the recovery from the crisis in 2009. In the 2000 bubble the gap reached 124 points, and in 2008 energy was 66 percentage points ahead of the worst sector (real estate, where the property-price crash was already under way). Yet, if this wide gap between the best and worst sectors is a reason to worry, it isn't a reason to worry about tech, since financials edged it as the best-performing over the past year, just. The worst performers were telecom, disrupted by an old-fashioned price war, and energy, disrupted by OPEC and shale. Perhaps enthusiasm for disruption doesn't show up between sectors, though. Amazon is disrupting retail, and new technologies are being deployed in many other sectors too. If investors were betting on the disrupters and against the disrupted, we should expect to see a big gap between the best and worst performers within sectors. We don't. Tim Edwards at S&P Dow Jones Indices calculates a measure known as dispersion showing how much variation there is in stock performance. Only in the industrial and financial sectors is it higher than the long-run average, and even within consumer discretionary the effect of Amazon isn't visible, with dispersion slightly below average. I think investors give Amazon and Tesla way too much credit as disrupters, but being overpriced isn't the same thing as being in a bubble. There could be an everything bubble lifting the entire market, but stock performance doesn't suggest over-enthusiastic investors have inflated a tech bubble or even a broader bubble of disrupters. Yet.
hxxp:// Google opens first London cloud data centre as competition with Amazon and Microsoft heats up Renae Dyer 13 Jul 2017 Google is playing catch up with Amazon and Microsoft in the cloud computing services it offers, according to a study Google has responded to mounting competition in cloud computing by opening its first data centre to support the internet-based service in London. The data centre for the cloud computing services it rents to third parties is the second in Europe after Brussels. The search engine, owned by Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL), is the third most capable cloud computing service provider after Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), according to a study by Gartner last month. In terms of sales of cloud infrastructure services Google’s market share is also a “distant third”, the report added. Most of Google’s cloud platform data centres have until now been based in the US and Asia, including Singapore, Taiwan and Tokyo. Google to open more cloud data centres in Europe Responding to the growing demand for cloud computing services, Google announced that it also plans to open facilities in Finland, Netherlands and Frankfurt. “GCP [Google Cloud Platform] customers throughout the British Isles and Western Europe will see significant reductions in latency when they run their workloads in the London region," said product manager Dave Stiver, referring to processing delays caused by the distances data has to travel. "In cities like London, Dublin, Edinburgh and Amsterdam, our performance testing shows 40% to 82% reductions in round-trip latency when serving customer from London compared with the Belgium region." Google says decision to build London centre made before Brexit vote The new London centre has been built amid speculation that the UK’s data privacy laws may diverge from the European Union’s after Brexit. But a spokeswoman for Google said the decision to build the centre was taken before the UK voted to leave the EU last June. The data centre will allow clients to offload processing tasks and information storage to support mobile apps they may offer to the public. Google charges its customers, who include The Telegraph newspaper and Coca-Cola, for the amount of compute time rather than a flat rate in order to provide cheaper alternative to other cloud computing services. "Google uses deep discounts and exceptionally flexible contracts to try to win projects from customers that are currently spending significant sums of money with cloud competitors," Gartner said. Gartner said at the moment Google’s cloud platform offers fewer features than Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure but it is improving.
Worth more than £15m? A good month for broadcast and a new app. It's been a good month for broadcast :-) 4:19 am - 30 Jun 2017 Jens Wikholm Hello from our new app 4:06 am - 30 Jun 2017
total addressable market of the cloud IT spend is $1 trillion hxxps:// Amazon Just Hired a Computing Legend Who Could Take AWS to the Next Level Amazon made a big-time hire that may further boost its Amazon Web Services division. Billy Duberstein Jun 15, 2017 at 7:38AM Many people know Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) for its dominant retail operations and smart-home speaker Alexa. However, the company's fastest-growing and most profitable segment is Amazon Web Services. AWS is the company's cloud computing division, which allows businesses to store their data and applications in Amazon's massive data centers. "Renting" space from Amazon is far cheaper and more flexible than traditional on-premise solutions, which is why cloud computing is turning the enterprise IT world upside-down. AWS grew a whopping 42.7% in the most recent quarter while posting a 24.3% operating margin. Synergy Research Group puts AWS at 40% cloud market share, almost double that of Microsoft, Alphabet, and IBM combined. According to IDC, the cloud market is set to grow 25% this year, making it one of the highest-growth industries today. Still, with so much going right, Amazon is never one to stand still. In fact, the company just hired a computing legend who could take AWS to an even higher level. James Gosling On May 22, Amazon announced the hiring of James Gosling, the 62-year-old inventor of the ubiquitous Java programming language, which Gosling invented while working for Sun Microsystems in the 1990s. Gosling left Sun Microsystems after it was acquired by Oracle in 2010, then worked briefly at Alphabet, before moving on to a start-up called Liquid Robotics. Liquid Robotics makes the Wave Glider, an autonomous ocean robot that operates without fuel, and serves the defense, surveillance, environmental assessment, and oil and gas industries. Liquid Robotics was acquired by Boeing in late 2016. In a May 22 Facebook post, Gosling said he was starting a "new adventure" with Amazon Web Services as a Distinguished Engineer. In hiring Gosling, Amazon not only scored his big talent, but potentially much more as well. Former skeptic Interestingly, Gosling had actually spoken recently about Amazon and the cloud industry, and not in a positive light. At the 2016 IP EXPO in Seattle, he warned of the dangers of "cloud lock-in," meaning that once you choose a cloud provider for your infrastructure, it may be very hard to move: "You get cloud providers like Amazon saying: "Take your applications and move them to the cloud." But as soon as you start using them you're stuck in that particular cloud... In my case [at Liquid Robotics] there are no providers I'm happy with. Lots would make my life hugely easier, but convincing coast guards from random countries that they should trust Amazon is really hard." Gosling is not alone in his concern. Mary Meeker's recent Internet Trends report revealed that companies are increasingly wary of cloud lock-in, with 22% being very concerned, up from only 7% in 2012. Since Gosling has now agreed to go to AWS, he could play a vital role in convincing wary customers that the cloud is safe to embrace. AWS, the largest cloud player, is still only at a $15 billion run rate, while Gartner estimates the total addressable market of the cloud IT spend is $1 trillion. If Gosling can help Amazon convince the holdouts to come over to the cloud, AWS could potentially win an even larger share of this massive market. Internet of Things Gosling is also an interesting hire because at Liquid Robotics he worked in both database programming and the Internet of Things (IoT); the IoT is another huge market forecast to reach $7.1 trillion by 2020. AWS's IoT platform was first unveiled in 2015, and Amazon has been rumored to be in talks with DISH Network (NASDAQ:DISH) regarding a possible IoT network based on Dish's spectrum holdings. Clearly, Amazon is looking to be the big player in this market, by linking its massive storage and data-processing capabilities with "smart" devices. Amazon had recently inked deals with appliance company Whirlpool to embed Alexa in refrigerators and other home appliances, revealing its consumer IoT ambitions. However, Gosling's cross-disciplinary experience could help AWS make further inroads in the industrial, corporate, and public IoT sectors that were served by Liquid Robotics. Foolish takeaway AWS is already the leading cloud computing platform, but it's still early innings in the cloud revolution. The recent hire of James Gosling is a coup that could bring AWS to an even higher level.
Amazon Web Services alone making almost 90% of operating profit in the first quarter Blind Faith in Bezos May Sting Investors -- WSJ 23/06/2017 8:02am Dow Jones News By James Mackintosh This article is being republished as part of our daily reproduction of articles that also appeared in the US print edition of The Wall Street Journal (June 23, 2017). Investors think Jeff Bezos has the magic touch. Few companies other than Inc. could announce a nearly $14 billion takeover of a mature firm, give no details of why they are buying the very business model they're trying to disrupt, and have their market value rise by more than the takeover price. Since Amazon said last week that it would buy upscale grocery chain Whole Foods Market Inc., multiple theories have circulated about what it is up to. Some think it is about convenience shopping. Some that it is about customer data. Some suggest logistics, the grocery supply chain, or an extra distribution channel for the company's growing range of own-brand electronics. Still others think Amazon hasn't really got a strategy yet. What all seem to agree on is that Amazon will make it work, and other grocers should be cowering in the their freezer cases. Amazon doesn't inspire the near-religious fervor found among Apple's true believers, but the online-shopping-to-movie-studio conglomerate does depend on faith, hope and charity. Faith in Mr. Bezos's inventiveness provides the essential underpinning for Amazon shares, while investors hope that he doesn't really think of the company as a charity to finance wacky new ideas. Amazon -- like Google and Facebook -- has a successful core business, pays little heed to shareholders and plows its spare cash back into expansion and research and development rather than dividends. In the 20 years since it listed, it has made a total of $5.7 billion in net income, more than half of that in the past two years. It has spent $64 billion on R&D in the same period, including $4.8 billion in the first quarter alone. Mr. Bezos set out his principles in 1997. "We will continue to make investment decisions in light of long-term market leadership considerations rather than short-term profitability considerations or short-term Wall Street reactions," he told shareholders. Investors have bought in to the idea that by not maximizing profit in the short term, Amazon can maximize profit in the long term -- even if, 20 years later, the long term still hasn't arrived. At most listed companies, the exact opposite is true, with management under constant pressure to boost dividends and buybacks. "It's become easier to invest as a private company than as a public company," says James Anderson, a partner at Edinburgh-based Baillie Gifford & Co., whose biggest holding is Amazon. "There's a small number of companies that appears permitted to do this, and it's very difficult for most other public companies." Holding shares in Amazon requires the belief that Mr. Bezos will find enough good investments to offset the mistakes -- such as cash Amazon put into, the epitome of badly-thought-through dot-com bubble catastrophes. So far, just one of his successes would cover a lot of mistakes, with Amazon Web Services alone making almost 90% of operating profit in the first quarter. Investors also need to believe that eventually Mr. Bezos will start paying out some of the cash. The value of a company ultimately comes from future dividends -- and Amazon has yet to pay a cent. The long-term danger is that instead of paying dividends, the cash is wasted. History is littered with examples of chief executives indulged by shareholders who become so enamored of their own brilliance that they fritter away shareholder money on wasteful expansion. So far, the founders of the big tech stocks have mostly made good decisions, and while they aren't exactly humble, hubris isn't apparent either. But their secrecy -- on display again with the lack of explanation of the Whole Foods deal -- shows a degree of contempt for investors. The short-term danger doesn't involve Amazon, but its shareholders. Investors seem to have suspended disbelief. However brilliant Mr. Bezos is, it is extraordinary that he is able to launch a big takeover without offering any strategic or financial rationale. The same glass-half-full attitude was behind shareholder acceptance of nonvoting shares in Snap Inc.'s initial public offering. When doubt returns, as it always does, Amazon shares will suffer. In many ways, Amazon is an exemplar for investors. In most companies, shareholders should encourage more R&D spending, worry less about quarterly targets and tell managers to focus on the business, not the share price. In Amazon's case, the willingness to accept no explanation at all for a $13.7 billion purchase suggests faith has run too far.
a final ruling could take years Good news for the lawyers. Google Faces EU Antitrust Fine -- WSJ 17/06/2017 8:02am Dow Jones News By Natalia Drozdiak BRUSSELS -- European Union regulators in the coming weeks are set to hit Alphabet Inc.'s Google with a record fine for manipulating its search results to favor its own comparison-shopping service, according to people familiar with the matter. The antitrust penalty against Google is expected to top the EU's previous record fine levied on a company for allegedly abusing its market position: EUR1.06 billion (about $1.2 billion) against Intel Corp. in 2009. Under EU rules, the fine could reach as high as 10% of the company's annual revenue, which was $90.27 billion last year. Google faces additional, and perhaps more painful, consequences from the European Commission's action, including possible changes not only to its handling of its shopping service but other services as well. The antitrust watchdog's decision could also embolden private litigants to seek compensation for damages at national courts. The EU is likely to instruct Google to put its comparison shopping service on equal footing with those of its competitors, such as and Ltd. Such companies rely on traffic coming to their site from search engines like Google's, and the equal-treatment requirement could lead to greater visibility for rival services on the tech giant's platform. The EU has been in talks with some of the complainants about how Google should change its search results, though the precise remedy would likely be hammered out only after a decision is announced. Google general counsel Kent Walker has previously argued that forcing the company to place competitors' product ads in its search results "would just subsidize sites that have become less useful for consumers." The regulators' move would come as welcome relief to a range of web companies -- large and small, European and American -- that have been urging the EU for years to take antitrust action against Google. News Corp, owner of The Wall Street Journal, has formally complained to the EU about Google's handling of news articles on its search service. The EU watchdog opened its investigation into Google's practices in 2010. The former competition commissioner, Joaquín Almunia, subsequently drafted various settlements with Google over more than two years of talks, but the steps offered by Google were rejected in 2014 following criticism from competitors, as well as from politicians in Germany and France. That led the way for Mr. Almunia's successor, current EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager, to file formal accusations against Google -- the first regulator in the world to do so -- by issuing a so-called statement of objections in the comparison shopping case in April 2015. An EU decision against Google would set the regulator apart from authorities in the U.S.; they closed their own investigation into Google's search practices in 2013 after the company agreed to voluntary changes. The divergence could reflect in part Google's greater presence in search on the continent, where it holds about 90% of the market. Google can appeal any decision by the European Commission in the shopping case to the bloc's top courts in Luxembourg, dragging out the legal battle as a final ruling could take years. A decision in the case could set precedents for how the U.S. technology company operates in other domains, including with its local and travel services -- areas the EU has also been investigating. Meanwhile, EU antitrust cases against Google over its Android mobile-operating service and its advertising service Adsense remain open.
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