What will be back this year?
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Again this quarter, I was distracted as the election and Covid data took up my life. Back to my Q4 insights into the media world and finally to my positive outlook for 2021.

Here’s a pithy, curated round-up of what I saw in the quarter and my predictions for 2021. All of the following came from conversations, podcasts I’ve heard, and articles I’ve read. It only makes my list if I believe it and I’ve heard it multiple times.

overview

  • Longest year ever
  • However, 2020 could have been much worse
  • Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are now media companies. They are publishers alongside technical platforms and the referees of journalism.
  • The pandemic changed everything.
  • The big ones get bigger and the little ones get wiped out.
  • After Covid-19, consumers have shifted from buying services and experiences to buying products.
  • The great breakthrough technology has two phases: the first phase makes things better, and the second phase does things we never thought we could do before, like self-driving cars.
  • Amazon is the sun – it nourishes us and takes care of us, but if you get too close you will be burned.
  • Some career tips: quit Ad Tech and get into healthcare technology
  • I’m starting a SPAC [special purpose acquisition company].
  • Everyone is connected and nobody is responsible.
  • Right now it is not illegal to be a monopoly, but it is illegal to abuse your monopoly power.
  • A crisis is a terrible thing.
  • Google search was one of the most important new technologies in improving human life.
  • The federal government is a monopoly that cannot go bankrupt and has terrible customer service.

Big tech

  • Maybe the tech companies have data on Covid and know what’s going on, but they’re afraid to share because then we know how much data they’re really collecting.
  • Instagram will test the shopping functionality of Reels, a new TikTok rival.
  • Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet, and Apple all have monopoly power.
  • Google, Amazon or Apple are ahead of the curve and spun off an important asset in 2021.
  • Facebook dominates the media landscape and is largely untreated.
  • LinkedIn stories feel like a mismatch. Who cares?
  • Is Google Chrome the second most important asset after Google Search?
  • The Facebook acquisition of Instagram in 2012 is one of the best acquisitions of all time
  • Zero-click search is an answer to a user’s question at the top of the search engine’s search results page, so the user doesn’t need any additional information that would be obtained by clicking the link – far too powerful
  • Personalized advertising is under attack as Apple prepares a change that would limit the ability of Facebook and other companies to serve ads
  • The Facebook algorithm is slowly ruining democracy.
  • Facebook is purely an algorithmic reinforcement.
  • What’s next for iPhone after Apple launched its 5G phone? Foldable, multidimensional two screens?
  • TikTok is not acting like a company that may shut down in the US
  • According to reports, TikTok is experimenting with 3-minute videos in longer form.
  • Facebook said that only 6% of the content US users see is political, despite not saying how the company defines political content or a time frame for which the statistic applies.
  • Parler downloads rose as Conservatives flocked to the Twitter clone after the Biden win.
  • Instagram is cautiously considering paying publishers.
  • Amazon Pharmacy Today – Next, let’s see Amazon Minute Clinics within Whole Foods
  • Facebook employees say changes to their algorithm should be made permanent after the election
  • Amazon, Google and now Facebook are pushing for cloud gaming, which could finally give advertisers a way into this market.

Streaming

  • Disney is shifting its entertainment strategy to focus on streaming.
  • Comcast is in talks with Walmart to develop and distribute smart TVs as the cable giant is said to be dominant not only for TV channels but also for streaming apps.
  • Almost half a year after HBO Max launched in late May, AT&T’s WarnerMedia and Amazon have finally reached an agreement that will allow SVOD to be made available on 40 million Amazon Fire televisions.
  • The Queen’s Gambit is the largest limited series on Netflix to date.
  • Each film should be cut into eight 30-minute segments and converted into a series
  • Quibi died
  • Discovery + will be DOA
  • Warner Bros. announced that all of its 2021 movie panels will be streamed on HBO Max at the same time the films are in theaters.
  • AT & T’s WarnerMedia is considering two new streaming services: one based on CNN and one based on TNT, TBS and Warner Bros. films.
  • Disney + will have the same price as Netflix in a few years.
  • Disney + has 86.8 million subscribers as of December 11, 2020.
  • AMC, the world’s largest cinema company, said it could run out of money by the end of the year if it stops raising more money or bringing more people back to theaters.
  • What will happen to the cinema experience?

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Matthew Scott Goldstein Matthew Scott Goldstein is a versatile, hands-on, data-driven consultant with an extensive knowledge of the media business.

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