Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Globaldata Plc 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% 830.00p 820.00p 840.00p 830.00p 830.00p 830.00p 1,957 07:45:12
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Media 157.6 -7.7 -11.0 - 849

Globaldata Share Discussion Threads

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a “few billion dollars” could definitely go a long way when it comes to streaming-only deals hxxps:// Facebook reportedly wants to spend a ‘few billion dollars’ for streaming sports rights Mark Zuckerberg already bid $600 million for a cricket deal. What’s next? By Peter Kafka Dec 4, 2017, 3:51pm EST Thing you knew but should keep thinking about anyway: The big tech companies are very interested in streaming live sports to you. Today’s reminder comes from Facebook, which wants to hire an exec to negotiate sports rights deals. The company has been interviewing candidates for a while, says Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand. More interesting: Ourand’s sources say whoever gets the job will have a budget of a “few billion dollars” to spend on global rights deal. No comment from Facebook comms on his story, but John is a very good reporter, so let’s assume the number is correct until we hear otherwise. Here is the thing about a “few billion dollars”: It is a lot of money! But it’s crucial to know what period of time that covers. And, in the context of sports rights deals, it may be less than you think. In 2014, for instance, DirecTV agreed to pay the NFL a reported $1.5 billion a year for the rights to its “Sunday Ticket” ticket package. (That deal is up in 2022, by the way.) ESPN and Turner are paying the NBA a reported $2.66 billion a year for their current deal. So: Unless the value of TV sports rights deals dramatically craters in the near future, Facebook won’t be buying any exclusive rights to any big-ticket sports anytime soon. On the other hand, a “few billion dollars” could definitely go a long way when it comes to streaming-only deals, sold alongside traditional TV deals. That’s what the NFL has been doing with its Thursday night games for the last couple years: Last year, it sold the digital rights to Twitter for about $10 million; this year Amazon got them for about $50 million. And Facebook itself just bid $600 million — $120 million a year for five years — to stream cricket matches in India. It didn’t get the deal — Star paid $2.6 billion for a combined TV-digital deal — but it was a good sign that Facebook is willing to spend significant money for sports. And now we have another.
13:58 GlobalData PLC Acquisition of MEED Media FZ LLC 08/12/2017 1:45pm GlobalData Plc is pleased to announce its agreement to acquire MEED Media FZ LLC ("MEED") from Ascential PLC for a cash consideration of $17.5m. MEED provides premium business information content with an industry focus on infrastructure and projects in the Middle East. The business services its growing client base principally through annual subscription contracts. Background to the Acquisition The acquisition of MEED supports the Group's strategy of expanding its premium subscription based services into global markets and adds a further vertical industry to the Group's offering. MEED has quality proprietary content and brings deep regional and sector expertise to the Group. For the financial year ended 31 December 2016, the revenues for MEED were $18.7m with an EBITDA of $1.7m and it had net liabilities of $1.7m, largely as a result of its deferred revenues. The cash consideration will be financed using the Group's existing bank facilities and the acquisition is expected to be earnings accretive in the first year of ownership. Commenting on the acquisition Bernard Cragg, Executive Chairman, said: "MEED gives the Group the opportunity to further expand into a key region and adds an additional industry vertical to our offering whilst maintaining our disciplined investment criteria of premium proprietary content and strong renewable subscription based revenues. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome our new colleagues to the Group and wish them every success for the future within GlobalData." About GlobalData Plc 4,000 of the world's largest companies make better and more timely decisions thanks to our unique data, expert analysis and innovative solutions delivered through a single platform. At GlobalData, our mission is to help our clients decode the future to be more successful and innovative. We are now one of the largest data and insights solution providers in the world.
At present the only way to short is to sell your bitcoin and exit the market, a bias that favours bulls hxxps:// 07 Dec, 2017 17:08 Bitcoin surges past $16,500 despite news of $60m heist "Neil Wilson at ETX Capital said he was running out of new things to say about bitcoin, only that the price action is exceptional and without any parallels. "It’s a bubble for sure in its dynamic, we just don’t know when or how it will collapse." He highlighted a couple of factors that he felt could do with further expanding upon. "Firstly, a regulatory crunch is coming. This is to be expected and the recent price action may in part be explained not just by the advent of regulated futures trading, but also bulls ramping up prices while the going is good. "For example, in the US, Senate Bill 1241 would require anyone dealing in bitcoin, whether issuing, redeeming or cashing it in, to be classed as a financial institution. Once you start hammering not just the Bitcoin exchanges with AML, KYC and all the other regulation, but also every investor and user, the appeal of cryptos as an off-grid currency is destroyed. In this sense, mainstreaming Bitcoin makes it less valuable, not more." Cryptocurrencies will not be regulated out of existence, as governments and central banks do not wish to stop blockchain technology, but Wilson said they can regulate "to a point where they destroy the value in any one version by taking control of it for themselves". As a regulated market with futures it "ought to behave more normally than it has done" but is likely so some "pretty major spasms" on Sunday night and Monday morning as the contracts launch, Wilson said, and will be bearish for bitcoin overall as it will allow proper shorting and hedging strategies. "At present the only way to short is to sell your bitcoin and exit the market, a bias that favours bulls. The ability to go short creates a new dynamic in the market and may result in a significant shock to prices. The problem is anyone shorting against this headwind of rapidly rising prices needs to be able to sweat out huge potential upside. As plenty before have noted, bitcoin might keep rising longer than shorts can stay solvent.”"
Naspers paid $34 million for its current stake .. that is now worth about $170 billion hxxp:// After $34 Million Investment in Tencent, Africa's Naspers Is One of World's Most Valuable By Alexandra Wexler Published November 29, 2017 JOHANNESBURG – Africa's most valuable company is now suddenly one of the world's most valuable companies, too. On Wednesday, Naspers Ltd. -- a media and internet firm little known outside South Africa and Silicon Valley -- reported a surge in half-year earnings, bolstered by its 33.3% stake in Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. The performance sent shares up 0.8%, bringing its gains over the last year to 84%. That has suddenly made it the world's 65th largest listed company by market value among the Stoxx Global 3000 index. Last year, it wasn't close to breaking into the top 100, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis. The stock market gains have been driven almost entirely by Tencent's own soaring share price. Back in 2001, Naspers paid $34 million for its current stake. Based on Tencent's current market capitalization, that is now worth about $170 billion. Investors have baked in a discount for Naspers shares, though, because of a dividend-withholding tax that would kick in should it ever sell out. Naspers market cap ended Wednesday at about $121 billion. Apart from Tencent, Naspers holds stakes in a host of other portfolio companies, including Group, a Russian internet company that runs two of the country's three biggest social networks, Delivery Hero, a food delivery company in Germany, and Flipkart, India's biggest e-commerce site. "The market is actually paying you to take on all these other great assets," said Philip Short, an analyst at Old Mutual Equities, in Cape Town. Naspers said net profit for the six months ended Sept. 30 rose 98% to $1.1 billion, while revenue rose 5% to $3.1 billion. That came from dividends it receives from its Tencent Holdings and profits at its e-commerce businesses, especially its global digital classified businesses. Its holdings in Tencent also gives Naspers an almost-unrivaled position as what has become essentially a silent partnership in some of the tech world's splashiest recent investments. Earlier this year, Tencent bought a 5% stake in Tesla Inc. and a 12% stake in Snap Inc. Last year, it bought Finland's Supercell, maker of the "Clash of Clans" mobile game franchise. Last year, Naspers opened a venture-capital outfit in Silicon Valley to be closer to the tech-innovation hub. Recently, the company has been quietly taking on much bigger rivals. The company launched a streaming service called ShowMax across Africa in 2015, just ahead of Netflix Inc. Naspers is also going toe to toe with Craigslist Inc. in the U.S., with a mobile app called LetGo.
Global tech stocks are up 42% this year .. Tencent surpasses Facebook in valuation Are the emerging markets and technology sectors beginning to converge? Below are the five largest holdings in one of my emerging markets collective funds which has increased in value by 42% over the past year. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd 7.56% Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd 7.38% Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd 4.79% Naspers Ltd Class N 4.74% Tencent Holdings Ltd 3.99%
Global tech stocks are up 42% this year Tech Rally Goes Global, Powering Major Stock Indexes to Fresh Records -- 2nd Update 21/11/2017 11:33pm Dow Jones News By Riva Gold Shares of global technology companies are outpacing other sectors this year by the widest margin since the height of the dot-com era, with a handful of key players dictating how markets are performing around the world. That dynamic was on display again Tuesday, when the Nasdaq Composite rose 1.06% to end at its 67th record close in 2017, the highest number of record closes in any year. Shares of Apple Inc. rose 1.9%, while International Business Machines Corp. added 1%. Microsoft Corp. was also up 1.4%, putting the three tech giants among the biggest contributors to the Dow industrials' gains on Tuesday. Tech gains boosted the broader market. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average also closed at record highs, rebounding after a rare down stretch during the previous two weeks. Blue-chip stock indexes in Europe and Asia closed higher. In a sign that the tech rally is going global, Chinese internet company Tencent Holdings Ltd. rose 2.4% after intraday gains briefly put the company's market capitalization at around $530 billion, larger than Facebook's $528 billion. Tencent hit $500 billion for the first time Monday. Just eight companies -- Facebook Inc., Apple, Inc., Netflix Inc., Alphabet Inc., Baidu Inc., Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent -- have increased by $1.4 trillion in market cap in 2017, a sum roughly equivalent to the combined annual GDP of Spain and Portugal. Tech giants' powerful user networks, large cash piles and access to consumer data have led many investors to expect the big will only get bigger. "You need critical mass to support continuing innovation," said Christopher Dyer, director of global equity at Eaton Vance. While there are exceptions, "China and the U.S. would be natural destinations for incremental dollar investment within tech," he said. While technology companies have helped take U.S. and some Asian stock markets to record highs, less tech-heavy bourses of Europe, Canada and Australia haven't enjoyed the same success. For MSCI Europe, roughly 85% of its underperformance relative to world stocks can be attributed to differences in the weight and performance of their technology sectors, according to Morgan Stanley. "There's no doubt the markets that have high tech components will have been the best performers this year," said Paul Markham, a global equities portfolio manager at Newton Investment Management, who has invested in many of the tech behemoths. "The narrow nature of this rally has to be seen as something of a concern...but these are cash-generative companies who are being seen as the bedrock of the new economy." Global tech stocks are up 42% this year, roughly double the gains of the broad-based MSCI AC World Index. So far in 2017, the tech sector is up 21 percentage points more than the next best sector, materials -- leading by the widest margin of any sector since 1999, according to analysis by Morgan Stanley. The sector's dominance could make leading markets vulnerable should investors' enthusiasm fade for tech or regulation hamper development of these companies, some analysts say. But most don't see that happening soon as the giants of this space continue to deliver on earnings, meaning tech could continue to be the differentiator among global markets in the years to come. Samsung Electronics, Tencent and Alibaba and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. make up a combined 17% of the MSCI Emerging Market Index, even more influential than Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Amazon and Alphabet, which make up around 11% of the S&P 500, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. MSCI Europe has a less than 5% weighting to technology companies, compared with a 25% weight in MSCI USA and a 17% weight in MSCI World. Tech isn't the only factor behind this year's global rally. A synchronized pickup in growth has buoyed earnings around the world, and a continued hunt for yield has left few alternatives to stocks. There are also risks for this year's winning sector, including the prospect of greater regulation or investors simply rotating out of areas that have already climbed a long way. But some analysts dismiss comparisons with the dot-com boom. Tech valuations in the U.S. are just a fraction of where they were during that era. In early 2000, the S&P 500 tech sector traded at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 52, according to FactSet. Today, that PE is 19, compared with 18 for the S&P 500 as a whole. In the third quarter of this year, S&P 500 technology companies beat expectations by the widest margin of any sector, with an earnings growth rate of 21% -- nearly double the next best performer outside the energy sector. Many market participants think this rally still has legs, pushing record weekly inflows into tech earlier this month, with U.S. and Chinese tech funds gaining particular traction, according to fund-tracker EPFR Global. "In 1999 [tech companies] were incredibly expensive and didn't yet have a lot of earnings," said Mark Phelps, an equities chief at AllianceBernstein. But today, not only are their earnings keeping up, "they've got more data, more processing power, and they're giving the consumer a really good product," he said.
Tencent went public in Hong Kong in 2004 .. since then, it has rallied over 11,000 percent. China's Tencent surpasses Facebook in valuation a day after breaking $500 billion barrier •Tencent becomes the first Asian technology firm to reach the $500 billion valuation mark •Its shares hit a record high on Tuesday •The tech giant has a sprawling business with the WeChat messaging app, content and games Arjun Kharpal Published 11 Hours Ago Chinese internet giant Tencent has surpassed Facebook in terms of market value just a day after it became the first Asian technology firm to reach the $500 billion valuation mark. Tencent shares hit a record high of 439.6 Hong Kong dollars during Asian trading hours on Tuesday, giving it a market capitalization of 4.17 trillion Hong Kong dollars ($534.5 billion). The Chinese firm's value overtook Facebook's $519.4 billion market capitalization, which was hit at the close of the U.S. markets on Monday. Also Monday, Tencent beat Alibaba to become the first Chinese technology company to hit the $500 billion market capitalization mark. Tencent is also within touching distance of Amazon's $542.7 billion valuation. Tencent went public in Hong Kong in 2004 at 3.70 Hong Kong dollars per share. Since then, it has rallied over 11,000 percent. Tencent's stock this year alone is up 126.69 percent. Still, the company is not well-known outside of China, but owns the country's most popular messaging service, WeChat, which has close to 1 billion users. Tencent is a sprawling business that spans gaming, social media, news and content. Online and mobile games are a key part of the business — the division brought in over $4 billion in revenue last quarter. In 2016, Tencent acquired a majority stake in Finnish smartphone maker Supercell, the company behind the popular "Clash of Clans" mobile game. Tencent has also been trying to move outside of China, but not necessarily through the expansion of its own products. Instead, it has been making investments across the U.S. and Asia. It has acquired stakes in both Tesla and Snap, and invested in numerous start-ups in Asia, including India's Uber rival Ola. Analysts were positive on Tencent's stock after it smashed past market expectations when it reported third quarter earnings earlier this month. Barclays raised its price target for Tencent from $49 to $59, and upped its revenue forecasts for 2018 and 2019. "We mainly attribute accelerating revenue growth to the continued monetization improvement across multiple key business segments, such as gaming, video, and payment services, and note that user growth is still strong," Barclays said in a note on Monday.
09:08*/share-news/Fear-of-Tech-Giants-Fuels-Deal-Boom-WSJ/76137876 Fear of Tech Giants Fuels Deal Boom -- WSJ 21/11/2017 8:02am Dow Jones News Amazon, Facebook, Google and Netflix prod slower-growing companies into takeovers By Dana Mattioli 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 (November 21, 2017). "Investment bankers have gotten used to being asked by worried retail-industry chief executives to pitch takeover ideas aimed at fending off Inc. Now the fear has spread to media, health care and many other sectors, where CEOs dread the breathtaking competitive advancements made by not just Amazon but also Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc.'s Google and Netflix Inc. The result is an explosion of mergers and acquisitions. So far this month, about $200 billion of deals have been announced in the U.S., according to Dealogic. November is on pace to be the second-biggest deal-making month since the firm began tracking them in 1995. Three recent deals, either under discussion or awaiting approval, show in especially dramatic fashion the impact of Amazon and other technology giants on M&A activity. CVS Health Corp. could reach a definitive agreement by the end of November to buy Aetna Inc. for more than $66 billion, uniting two businesses with little operational overlap, according to people familiar with the timing. The possibility that Amazon could enter the pharmacy business jolted CVS executives toward buying a health insurer, which could help CVS make better use of its retail space, people familiar with the matter said. The drugstore operator could sell insurance, draw blood and provide other services that Amazon can't easily replicate. AT&T Inc.'s planned purchase of Time Warner Inc. for about $85 billion would combine a huge but slowing mobile-phone business and the DirecTV satellite-television operation with a content machine that includes Time Warner, the owner of CNN and HBO. Randall Stephenson, AT&T's chief executive, said the point of the AT&T-Time Warner deal is to create a bulwark against Facebook and Google, which have built "incredibly strong" positions in the advertising market. "That's what this is about," he said at an event sponsored by the New York Times. In a statement to The Wall Street Journal, he added: "Tech companies are spending billions creating content and distributing it directly to consumers." AT&T's planned purchase "gives Time Warner the opportunity to do the same, across multiple platforms and with ad-supported models that cost consumers less." Here comes Netflix Walt Disney Co.'s expression of interest in a big chunk of 21st Century Fox Inc.'s assets was prompted in part by the success of Netflix, the fast-growing streaming video company, according to people familiar with the situation. Fox has a stock-market value of about $57 billion. Disney's cable channels are under pressure from cord-cutting. In August, the company announced it will launch two online subscription streaming services with sports, movies and TV programming directly to consumers. Disney said it would yank its future movies from Netflix. In the fall, Disney approached Fox about a potential deal that would provide Disney with more content and distribution assets to better compete against Netflix. (Fox and News Corp, the Journal's parent, share common ownership.) "Our goal here is to be a viable player in the direct-to-consumer space, space that we all know is a very, very compelling space to be in," Disney Chairman and CEO Robert Iger told analysts and investors this month. The Disney-Fox talks stalled, but they appear to have unleashed a wider auction for Fox assets, including its movie studio and international unit. Those assets have drawn interest from Comcast Corp., Verizon Communications Inc., Sony Corp. and possibly other potential buyers, according to people close to the discussions."
"Following more than a decade of relentless product development and recent high profile client wins, Forscene is now looking to develop its Sales organization" hxxps:// Strategic Account Director -EMEA Forbidden Technologies - London SW19 £60,000 - £80,000 a year hxxps:// Support Analyst Forbidden Technologies - London SW19 £25,000 a year hxxps:// Assistant Account Manager - Broadcast & Post Production Forbidden Technologies - London SW19 £20,000 - £25,000 a year
hxxp:// BBC "Reinvents" Free-to-Air Sports Online The BBC will produce and distribute an additional 1,000 hours a year of sports online, including rugby, tennis, swimming, and basketball By Adrian Pennington Posted on November 3, 2017 "In a bid to counteract the decimation of its sports coverage, the BBC has announced plans to produce and distribute an additional 1,000 hours a year of sports online. It has termed the move a reinvention of free-to-air sports broadcasting. In reality, though, it is a necessary reaction to the draining of top-tier sports from commercial and publicly funded channels. In recent years the publicly funded Corporation has been forced to shed prestigious contracts for Formula 1, football, cricket, and golf mainly to competition from pay TV operators led by Sky and, lately, BT Sport. While it still holds free to air rights to the Olympics in the UK until 2024, it will share coverage with subscribers to Eurosport. Consequently, the BBC's increase in sports will see it concentrate on currently niche sports in the UK including wheelchair tennis, women's Super League soccer, and British Basketball League. These will be seen through the BBC Sport website and BBC iPlayer. The service will allow for personalisation though details on this have not been revealed. The iPlayer is already on its way to achieving more viewers, as 2016 was its best year to date with 243 million monthly requests on average. In addition, more content from the BBC's remaining major sports rights will be streamed. These include Wimbledon, the FIFA World Cup until 2022, soccer's Euro 2020 and rugby union's Six Nations. Federations including The All England Lawn Tennis Club, the International Tennis Federation, British Swimming, and British Basketball back the plan to assist the BBC in move live production since they gain the oxygen of publicity to help grow their sports. Key to the BBC's confidence in being able to stream this volume of content—to audiences that for some of the marquee contracts will run into the millions—is the IP contribution and distribution infrastructure as well as the front-end iPlayer it has been building since London 2012. The Corporation's new £120m regional headquarters in Cardiff, Wales will be its first to be outfitted entirely with IP infrastructure. Due to open in late 2019, the building is part of a strategy to shift transport of all signals to IP. The aim is to make cost savings and pave the way for future digital innovation. Partnered with telco BT, the BBC has already laid an IP network linking all 21 UK broadcasting centres and local radio stations, as well as connecting to its main overseas bureaus and partners for playout of the BBC's TV channels."
Re post 129. hxxp:// Apple bought a startup that could make the iPhone X's amazing camera even better Kif Leswing Nov. 9, 2017, 4:55 PM •Apple has bought a small company that makes special image sensors that perform better in low light. •The company will most likely use this technology to make the cameras on its iPhones and iPads better. "Apple continues to collect technology and talent to make its already-advanced cameras even better. Apple has purchased a small image sensor startup, InVisage Technologies, the company confirmed to TechCrunch on Thursday. The news was first reported by Image Sensors World, a blog. InVisage was a California-based startup founded in 2006 that eventually grew to 53 employees, according to LinkedIn. It had raised $98 million form investors including Intel Capital, Nokia Growth Partners, and GGV Capital, according to Crunchbase. It's not clear how much Apple paid to acquire the company. Its primary product was called QuantumFilm, which promised better smartphone photo and videos in low-light. Here's how InVisage's website described the technology: "QuantumFilm is a photosensitive layer that relies on InVisage’s newly invented class of materials to absorb light; specifically, the new material is made up of quantum dots, nanoparticles that can be dispersed to form a grid once they are synthesized. Just like paint, this dispersion of solid materials can be coated onto a substrate and allowed to dry. The unprecedented light sensitivity and customizability of QuantumFilm set InVisage’s image sensor apart from traditional CMOS image sensors. Conventional sensors rely on a photosensitive layer made of silicon that also incorporates the circuitry necessary to read the electric output from the detected photons, as well as barriers isolating each pixel in order to prevent crosstalk. This means both less room for light sensing and less room for electric storage. InVisage has designed an innovative image sensor architecture with a dedicated QuantumFilm layer in order to maximize light sensing capability." Currently, Apple uses back-illuminated images sensors purchased from Sony and other suppliers in iPhones."
16:07 Google and Volkswagen to Work Together on Quantum Computers 07/11/2017 2:46pm Dow Jones News By Max Bernhard Volkswagen AG (VOW.XE) and Alphabet Inc.'s (GOOGL) Google said Tuesday that they will work together to research the use of quantum computers in mobility-related fields. Employees of Volkswagen's IT division and Google will cooperate to research the development of traffic optimization, new materials structures, high-performance batteries for electric vehicles and artificial intelligence for machine learning processes on a quantum computer provided by Google. "We at Volkswagen want to be among the first to use quantum computing for corporate processes as soon as this technology is commercially available," said Martin Hofmann, chief information officer of Volkswagen.
Today is the craziest behavior I have seen since early 2000 Tech Stocks Roar Again in Faint Echo of 2000 27/10/2017 11:58pm Dow Jones News By Chris Dieterich For one day at least, it felt like 2000 again in the U.S. stock market. A swell of enthusiasm for shares of America's best-known technology and internet companies carried the Nasdaq Composite Index to another record, up 2.2% in its biggest one-day point gain since August 2015. The headiest gains were in Inc., Google parent Alphabet Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp. The surge in those shares added a collective $146 billion in market value to the companies. That one-day rise eclipsed the entire value of International Business Machines, at $143 billion. Investors cheered buoyant quarterly earnings of each company, bidding up stocks on the hope that fast-growing e-commerce, cloud-computing and digital advertising businesses would continue to grow in importance. Eye-watering gains caught some seasoned market watchers off guard. Some said the huge advances could reflect confidence that is out of whack with even the most optimistic forecasts. "Today is the craziest behavior I have seen since early 2000," said Michael O'Rourke, chief investment strategist at JonesTrading Institutional Services, referring to the year in which the internet boom crested with the Nasdaq hitting 5000, a level it quickly relinquished and wouldn't regain for more than a decade. "It can only be described as euphoria." More days like Friday could signal the beginning of a new phase in the stock-market rally that has for months been characterized by a steady, persistent grind higher, albeit to record highs, Mr. O'Rourke said. This year, the Dow industrials are up 19% and the Nasdaq has climbed 24%. Big gains in tech stocks invite comparisons with the bubble that crunched the Nasdaq nearly two decades ago. Bulls say that the key difference between then and now is that whereas tech-stock gains then were premised on the idea that the internet would change people's lives, this one is based on the reality that these companies already are. "These big web giants are changing the ways people socialize, consume content, work and play," said Daniel Flax, senior analyst at Neuberger Berman. "You're seeing outsize revenue because they are at once going into new areas and disrupting industries." As the broader U.S. stock market continues to notch all-time highs, investors are showing an affinity for ubiquitous brands tied to the web. On Friday, the Nasdaq notched its 61st record close of the year, matching its 1999 performance and one short of its 1980 record. surged 13%, or $128.52 a share, to $1,100.95 in its biggest one-day gain in more than two years. The internet retailer's quarterly revenues hit a record, and its cloud-computing unit increased sales by 42% from the year earlier. Microsoft surged 6.4% to a record high as the software stalwart continues to reap the benefits of its cloud-computing business. Alphabet jumped 4.3%, also to a record high after its profits spiked 33% as the company's ads on the web and smartphones proliferate. Upbeat quarterly earnings routinely jolt stock prices higher, particularly in the technology and internet sector, but Friday's tech-focused buying rewarded recent market darlings and legacy contenders alike. Even Intel, a chip maker yet to regain its all-time highs reached in the heat of the dot-com bubble, darted up 7.4% to its highest level since 2000 after lifting its financial forecasts for the rest of the year, a broad show of strength for the sector. Optimism spilled into other big technology stocks as well, with Apple Inc., the hardware company that is the largest U.S. company by market value, rising 3.6%. Facebook Inc., due to report its next quarterly results Wednesday, rose 4.3% Friday to notch a high. All told, tech stocks in the S&P 500 soared 2.9%, their biggest one-day ascent since March 2016.
I should probably declare that I bought more FBT shares last week (though this is not a recommendation for others to do so). hxxp:// AI – FROM ZERO TO HERO October 24, 2017 by Stephen Streater Introduction Maybe the fear that AI was set to take over the world started with Mary Shelley’s monster – an intelligent human creation which got out of control. Nearly 200 years after this story was published, the goal of making a truly intelligent machine is yielding increasingly impressive results. Google’s recent success with AlphaGo Zero wasn’t just through better hardware; it was a better way of thinking about AI. With thousands of years of human knowledge sidestepped, and months of computer training compressed, AlphaGo Zero reached World Champion standard in just three days. Continuing onwards and upwards, a few weeks later it became the best player in the world. Why games Whenever a new milestone in game playing is passed, people ask what relevance this has to “real world” problems. For an AI writing poetry, it would be hard to measure its brilliance. But for a game, you can play AIs against people and each other to rank them. You can also measure ability and progress over time, using the handy ELO rating system. And there is abundant test data – the raw material of learning – which Google’s latest program even managed to generate by playing itself. Moving target As someone who has been playing with AI for decades, the change in attitude to AI is striking. For a long time, AI was defined as anything computers couldn’t do yet. As each new milestone was conquered, the goal posts were moved to the next unsolved problem. Like the Wizard of Oz, things only looked impressive if you couldn’t see behind the curtain. Once you could see how things worked, you could see the trick behind the magic, and the problem was no longer deemed hard enough to need intelligence to solve. An initial attraction of early simulated Neural Networks was their opaqueness. All sorts of nonsense was spoken at conferences as people confused incomprehensibility with ability. Not understanding how a system works risks ridiculous and unexpected errors – for example mistaking random objects for an ostrich. How an AI works needs to be understood or, like the Wizard of Oz, the “brilliance221; of the inscrutable AI can suddenly be shown to be a mirage. I will cover this subject more in a later blog post. Game playing, though superficially a narrow field, shows relentless like-for-like progress. As computers overtake people in harder and harder areas, the Wizard of Oz’s tricks become ever more sophisticated. When even the tricks behind the curtain are not readily understood, AI’s position is ensured. Applications I will discuss AI applications of direct relevance to our cloud video platform in later posts. Suffice it to say for now that Forbidden already uses AI elements in its Blackbird codec and has AI concepts for a range of internal tools. Third party AI video functions are well suited to the cloud, so are readily accessible to cloud platforms such as Forscene. Forbidden is working with major cloud providers to assist development and integrate with such tools. After years of technical progress, the disruption caused by AI is just beginning. As my Italian friend exclaimed following a particularly difficult general election: the trouble is, the system of disorder is breaking down. With practical applications poised to move from R&D to everyday life, hold onto your hats: widespread AI adoption is coming. Are you ready for the extraordinarily exciting times ahead? Stephen B Streater Founder and Director of R&D
hxxp:// Social media ad spend trends: Snapchat and Instagram lead global growth October 19, 2017 Snapchat and Instagram saw ad spend grow 73% and 55% respectively in the third quarter of 2017, as new offline features brought added value to advertisers, according to new data. The figures, from 4C, come from an analysis of nearly $250 million in media spend from more than 1,000 individual brands managed through its platform, 4C Social. The findings revealed: • 31% quarterly increase across the board in paid media spend on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Snapchat. • Instagram Stories continues to draw in brands, generating 220% Year-on-Year spend growth. • Facebook ad spend grew 27%, tracking in-store visits with their new Store Visits beta • Travel spend on Twitter surged 250% for the quarter during the late summer months • Ad spend on Pinterest, the intent-driven platform, grew 26% for the quarter and 33% over the year. Now more than 200 million users strong The findings revealed a 31% quarterly increase across the board in paid media spend on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Snapchat. Propelling Snapchat’s impressive growth, features like Snap Map and geofilters are enabling advertisers to understand how consumers shop. In particular, the measurement capability to track users as they go in-store via Placed is helping retail brands understand how Snap ads drive results. Meanwhile Instagram Stories continues to draw in brands, generating 220% Year-on-Year spend growth. “Vertical video provides brands with a full-scale canvas to test creative. Audience-driven optimisation becomes low-risk and high-reward, with lots of opportunity to scale learning across the media mix”, explains Emily Kramer, Senior Director, Media Services, Merkle. Elsewhere Facebook ad spend through 4C grew 27% for the quarter. Aggregated cost per thousand impressions (CPM) and cost per click (CPC) increased 9% and 18% for the quarter respectively as marketers placed a higher value on the inventory. Chief among the new features driving this investment is Facebook’s detailed targeting and measurement capabilities. Integrated video Another key source of investment in Facebook is the growing video capability. With Facebook’s Watch, Snapchat’s Shows, and Twitter’s 24/7 live-streaming programming, users are able to view a slew of content across the social media platforms “Twitter is pushing aggressively into the video space in efforts to keep themselves top of mind when promoting any video assets. Twitter’s Pre-roll placements and partnerships with television shows are emerging opportunities for brands,” advises Louis Guerrero, Supervisor, Social Media, Havas Media Group. Twitter ad spend grew on 4C grew 26% for the quarter as the platform cements its place on media plans for live moment amplification. In particular, ad spend on Twitter was boosted by the Travel industry. Travel spend on Twitter surged 250% for the quarter during the late summer months. Visual Insights Ad spend on Pinterest, the intent-driven platform, grew 26% for the quarter and 33% over the year as marketers prepare to head into the seasonal shopping season. New advertisers are being drawn to the platform, now more than 200 million users strong, as social content becomes increasingly visual. Scott Shamberg, President, Performics explains “Pinterest has made great strides on the tech side of visual search, with Lens, Shop the Look and Instant Ideas. All of these products have huge implications for retailers with an ecommerce presence. Lens is built for the visual search trend, but consumer and brand adoption hasn’t quite caught up.” Aaron Goldman, CMO at 4C Insights concludes, “Understanding visual content through Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will add a new level of consumer understanding and help brands be more relevant at the right time and place.” Source: hxxp://
hxxp:// To Cloud or Not To Cloud? Is That the Wrong Question? Look at function first September 28, 2017 By George Boath In under 10 years, the concepts of public cloud computing and virtualization of computing resources have disrupted all of the perceived wisdoms of IT system design. Engineers who design systems for media processing and production now have to consider where the computing resources for their system are located and how they want to pay for it. In other words, they have to consider much more than just signal paths and workflows. Solution architects now have choices of running their systems on various infrastructures, including dedicated “on-premise221; servers, virtual machines in private data centers, or on public cloud computing platforms. Then there is a choice of business models to consider… do you buy systems on CAPEX and depreciate them as business assets? Do you subscribe to software or do you pay for it according to usage? There are so many options to choose from and the cost/benefit comparisons can be very complicated, so it is understandable that many customers appear to be in a state of indecision. Perhaps it is time to suggest that we are looking at the system design problem in the wrong way. We should be looking at function first, i.e. what must the system do, then look at the required business model, then decide on the appropriate infrastructure, rather than letting the infrastructure form dictate the design process. To learn a lesson from another industry, classic architecture or design students are taught to get the balance right between form and function in a building or product design. They are taught that form without function is of little value, while function with form can be equally ineffective. Perhaps these factors should also be considered in media systems design? A classic broadcast system would be designed according to signal flow (typically “left to right”), with discrete boxes that each perform a single task. As we have moved into IP-based and file-based processing, we have had to adapt to thinking about a hardware/software stack, with applications at the top and infrastructure—;computing, networking and storage—at the bottom. Unfortunately, the infrastructure question has come to dominate too many discussions, when it should be software/system functionality that is decided first and infrastructure should be provided that suits the desired operational or business model. In other words, software function should come first and infrastructure form should be defined to suit the business needs. WHERE TO HOST YOUR MEDIA PROCESSING PLATFORM Having said that, the infrastructure decision is important, so when choosing where to host “heavy lifting” media processing, there are a few simple guidelines to consider. For the highest-performance media processing, the servers should be located topologically close to the file storage. In many cases, on-premise processing will provide the fastest performance, but if the files are already on a cloud storage facility, maybe that’s where media processing should be formed. Running most software on virtual machines is easy unless your vendor still relies on dongles for licensing. The challenging part is creating an elastically scalable license model that works on a customer’s private data center. Media processing tasks such as transcoding can use the full computing resources of a server, so one of the benefits of virtualization—;that of sharing computing resources—is not usually seen. All of the other benefits of virtualization apply. For the same reasons, containerization of software offers little benefit over virtualization for media-processing systems. If you plan to virtualize your software solutions, look for solutions that offer a single point of management. SaaS IS A SERVICE, NOT JUST A PRODUCT SaaS models for your media processing, used extensively, may cost more than provisioning your own servers and software but may be more aligned with your company’s financial and business models. SaaS on public cloud is typically chosen for reasons of cash flow, convenience, flexibility and easy scalability more than for cost savings. Modern enterprise class software should be capable of running on any of the major infrastructure models: on-premise dedicated server, virtual machines or on public cloud, and with a range of business models from CAPEX purchase to usage-based SaaS models. Workflow orchestration should allow customers to use any one or a combination of these infrastructure types and payment models according to their business needs. In summary, system designers should select the software and solutions that offer the functions their business needs, and vendors should be expected to make this available in any infrastructure form, and with range of business models. If your software vendor cannot answer all of these requirements, then perhaps your real question should be—“Is this a vendor that can help my business?” George Boath is the director of channel marketing for Telestream. hxxp://
hxxp:// Added 46 hours ago Facebook hunts live sports partnerships exec to lead on rights deals in Europe Facebook is looking for a sports executive to oversee a push into live sports programming amid speculation it will bid for Premier League football streaming rights this year. The social media giant is looking for a "live sports partnerships and programming" executive for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, where football commands multi-billion-pound rights deals for the Premier League and Uefa Champions League competitions. The person will "lead EMEA sports video partnership efforts with an emphasis on live sports events and original content", as well as "develop and maintain strong relationships with a broad range of EMEA sports rights holders and broadcasters". Facebook is planning to bring more live games from a variety of sports to fans through Facebook Watch, its new platform for video. Last week Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward told investors he expects Facebook and Amazon to "enter the mix" when the Premier League TV rights come up for new bids later this year. In March Facebook paid for rights to stream live Major League Soccer games from the US on its platform, and then in June signed a deal with Fox to stream selected Champions League matches through a partnership with Fox Sports. Meanwhile, Amazon agreed a £37m deal to live-stream Thursday night NFL games in April and is due to stream its first match tonight in the US.
voting control of the company even though he owned a minimal amount of shares And it's not Russia! Facebook cancels plan to change ownership share structure •Under investor pressure, Facebook is squashing a proposed ownership structure that would allow CEO Mark Zuckerberg voting control of the company even though he owned a minimal amount of shares. •The company was being sued by investors who claimed diluting shares would cause shares to lose billions of dollars of value. Michelle Castillo Published 4:10 PM ET Fri, 22 Sept 2017 Under investor pressure, Facebook is squashing a proposed ownership structure that would allow CEO Mark Zuckerberg to retain voting control of the company — even as he sold millions of his shares of company stock. Last year, some shareholders filed a class action lawsuit to block Facebook from issuing reclassified C shares, which would allow Zuckerberg to maintain voting control of the company even as he sold off most of his shares to support philanthropic causes. The proposed C shares would be publicly listed but come with no voting rights. Investors argued that the proposed ownership structure could cause them to lose billions of dollars of value when the shares traded. "Facebook's board determined that withdrawing the reclassification was in the best interests of Facebook and its shareholders," a spokesperson told CNBC via email. Zuckerberg said in a post on Facebook that the company's stock has performed better than expected, making it unnecessary for the company issue reclassified shares. "Over the past year and a half, Facebook's business has performed well and the value of our stock has grown to the point that I can fully fund our philanthropy and retain voting control of Facebook for 20 years or more," he wrote. "As a result, I've asked our board to withdraw the proposal to reclassify our stock -- and the board has agreed." He also said that we would sell between 35 million and 75 million shares in the company over the next 18 months to support philanthropic efforts. It was reported earlier that Facebook had settled the lawsuit, but the company announced it will abandon the plan instead. "We are gratified that Facebook and Mr. Zuckerberg have agreed not to proceed with the reclassification we were challenging," Lee Rudy, partner at Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check LLP which was representing the shareholders, said in a statement. "This result is a full victory for Facebook's stockholders, and achieved everything we could have hoped to obtain by winning a permanent injunction at trial."
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