Tech Weekly Overview — July 7th

Intro: as part of role as a managing partner of KDC Media Fund, I provide a bi-weekly overviews to the team of Keshet (Israel’s leading broadcaster), of the big tech stories happened during the past two weeks. This will be the online version of it.

So without further due, here are the top stories of the past couple of weeks with some of my takes.

  1. Autonomous Cars:

This wasn’t a great week for Tesla. The first person riding the automaker car in auto pilot has died in a car crash. Moreover, the company behind the auto pilot technology, Mobileye, which happened to be an Israeli company provided a worrying statement to the press that the technology cannot even prevent an accident as such will only be introduced by 2018.

Mobileye is in the spotlight this week

Sounds like every side is preparing for the lawsuit of the victim’s family.

The flip side of the coin for Mobileye was the announcement about the agreement Signed with BMW to provide a fully autonomous car based on the technology of the Israeli company.

Last (and awkward as well) was the patent that Toyota revealed for its (drum-roll) Flying Car!

Toyota flying car’s patent

2. Facebook:

A lot of news from Facebook this week.

Algorithm: first, the algorithm was changed again to expose more stories from family and friends and less from commercial pages. There are two different and reasonable explanations for that:

  1. There has been a decrease in the viewership and Facebook wishes to reverse that
  2. A great way to grow revenues from publishers who would have to pay more for the exposure. And they REALLY don’t like it

Slideshow: since Facebook tries to conquer the video space, understanding that video is a more powerful medium than text (hmmm…) or images, they introduced Slideshow which takes your photos and automatically turn them into a video

Facebook Slideshow

MSQRD: Facebook will soon integrate its latest acquisition of MSQRD into its live broadcast feature and provide a sort of competition to the amazing success of Snapchat lenses. Btw, both companies are from former USSR (MSQRD is from Belarus and Looksery, that provide Snapchat lenses’ technology is from Ukraine), makes you wonder why…

3. Ad-Blocking: so Ad-Block-Plus (ABP) the most popular ad-blocker was blocked by the German court. Well, sort of… The court decided that ad-blocking is legal however, adding sites to white-list and by that generating revenues (and yes, that’s the business model of ABP) is illegal. I find it more as a victory to the ad-blocking industry than a defeat since the bottom line is that ad-blocking is legal, and publishers will need to find ways to fight this phenomenon

(Disclaimer: we have invested in an anti ad-blocking company)

4. Netflix: two important stories from Netflix:

Binge Viewing Habits: Netflix published some very interesting insights about the subscribers binge viewing habits. There are three types of bingers based on content categories. here they are:

Netflix’s Binge Viewing Habits

Family viewing: Netflix identified family viewing as a category with no intriguing content such as Harry Potter. So Netflix is signing up YouTube/Vine stars to handle this task

5. TV Viewership: Nielsen has published its quarterly viewership habits of the US population.

Many insights there:

  • TV is still, by far the most popular medium with a very slight decrease of 1% within the passing year:
Total Media Consumption — Q1 2016
  • SVOD (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime etc.) & Time Shifted TV are now even in their HH penetration for the first time ever. Take a look at the change:
SVOD and DVR over the years
  • However, the younger generation is moving away from TV at a much higher rates. See below the comparison:
Live TV viewership Q1 2015 / Q1 2016
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