You’ve likely heard of cord cutting, the trend toward cancelling cable TV in lieu of streaming video or no paid TV service at all. This trend, which is becoming more mainstream, is no longer just a behavior of innovators who test the waters of new technology. In fact, it’s so pervasive that media companies such as Disney, CBS, and HBO, have or are in the process of decoupling their programming from the traditional pay-TV distribution machine, now offering streaming services that don’t require you to buy a large bundle of channels, but rather subscribe to the core content they offer.
The lady sitting in front of me on the tram was clearly into her music. She was using headphones, but it didn’t really make much of a difference. The tram driver came back with the request for her to turn her iPhone volume down, which she did. In the relative quiet that followed, I realized that there were two tech issues addressed by that single moment. Firstly, in a future (or in some places, current) world where there is no tram driver anymore, we would have continued to listen to the tinny echoes of Eric passing through the headphones; and secondly, tech smarts can (at least for now) be ignored at will by the consumer.
LeEco’s vision for the U.S. was bright and promising, but a bit more fleeting than some anticipated. The company started that way, with a spectacular launch event that promised an array of hardware (from TVs and VR, to a connected bike and self-driving car) as part of a much broader vision to be the ultimate content ecosystem. But its strategy quickly started to show flaws, with little positive news following the initial hurrah, and a slow trickle of doubts and rumors about if it was possible to turn the LeEco dream into reality.
If there was any doubt that we are entering the post-mobile era, this year’s CES ratified the fact. The absence of mobile integration as a core discussion, and “must show-off” checkbox, demonstrates that the ground has shifted. Where iOS and Android integrations were the must-have stamp of approval in previous years, this year the badge of honor was to show-off Alexa integration.
As we embark on the holiday season, two distinct dynamics tend to converge: chaos; and new technology. Is your work done? Are you ready to take the week off between Christmas and New Year’s Day? Have you even started your holiday shopping? As you read on, I hope you spot a gift idea for that tech-crazed special someone on your list.
We find ourselves among a new generation, one that is redefining the technology that will shape their lives. Not the often publicized Millennials, but their successors, Generation Z. While no dates squarely define their age and few characteristics evoke imagery of who they will become, one thing cannot be argued: they were born into an always-on, always-connected world.
AT&T announced its intent to purchase Time Warner this weekend in a move that is sure to raise a few eyebrows at the FCC and DOJ. In theory, it’s a “vertical” acquisition, meaning that there is (almost) no overlap between the AT&T and Time Warner assets, and, typically, vertical deals meet with regulatory approval. But there is vertical, and then there’s the layering of content on top of mobile and fixed networks to form a competitive advantage. And that is where the fear sets in.
LeEco unveiled most of its U.S strategy yesterday, announcing four TVs, two smartphones, a VR headset, a connected bike and the concept car that it previewed at CES earlier this year. The overall hardware strategy is to focus on high-end products with mid-tier pricing - in addition to the $2 billion Vizio acquisition the company announced this summer. But don’t mistake LeEco for a hardware company, as it is much more...
Rut: The simple, three letter, somewhat crude word has a pervasive impact. I find myself in a rut each October; it’s a pattern I’ve come to identify, manage and eventually break through. Maybe it’s prompted by the end of the beach season, the back-to-school hustle, a shift from vacationing to business trips, or the shorter days. Indeed, it’s a dull and unproductive pattern that impedes productivity. However, the break through tends to be game changing. Businesses are not immune to this cycle; the TV and mobile industries fall into and, occasionally, pull out of similar doldrums.
Living in an always-moving ever-connected city, it’s easy to expect that connectivity is as accessible as a picking up a pack of smokes at the gas station. But the reality is there remain numerous places across America where the dream of a connected world is merely a vision of the future...