For The First Time Netflix Name Checked TikTok As a Major Competitor


Netflix acknowledged Disney, WarnerMedia, and NBCUniversal are among its main global competitors. But it reserved its praise only for TikTok.

In a July 16 letter to shareholders (pdf) tied to the company’s second-quarter earnings report, Netflix mentioned TikTok as a serious competitor for the first time. Then it offered plaudits for the Chinese-owned video app—something Netflix does not typically do for its traditional rivals in Hollywood.

“TikTok’s growth is astounding,” the letter stated, “showing the fluidity of internet entertainment.”

Since launching worldwide in 2018, TikTok has become one of the most popular apps in the world. It was the most downloaded app in the Apple App Store in both 2018 and 2019. Nearly half of its users are between the ages of 16 and 24—and about 90% of those users say they use the app every day. Last month, TikTok hired Disney’s head of streaming, Kevin Mayer, as its new CEO.

Netflix has long included a section in its earnings reports on competition, providing a window into the company’s thinking about which competitors it views as potential obstacles to growth. In 2014, the streaming service said its primary competition was traditional TV (including networks like CBS and HBO). A year later, Netflix began listing Hulu and Amazon in that group of rivals.

Over time, Netflix’s idea of its competition has expanded to include pretty much anything that takes place on screens: YouTube, Facebook, and even video games. “We compete with (and lose to) Fortnite more than HBO,” the company said in 2018.


But, other than YouTube, Netflix has not considered the most popular social media and video apps to be threatening enough to single them out. It has never name-checked Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitch in its earnings reports, for instance. (Nor has it ever bothered to acknowledge the existence of Quibi. Poor Quibi.)

That makes it all the more significant that Netflix is now lumping TikTok with Disney and other entertainment behemoths.

As of now, all of TikTok’s bite-sized, shareable videos are user-generated. There is no scripted Hollywood content made exclusively for the service. But Mayer’s hiring, coupled with the app’s immense popularity with young people around the world, means it could eventually compete directly with Netflix for access to the top talent.

Even if it decides to stick with only user videos, TikTok is still occupying a big chunk of consumers’ finite screen time—time Netflix would much prefer they spend watching Stranger Things or Floor Is Lava.

The good news for Netflix is TikTok definitely will not be making any deals with Hollywood studios if it is banned in the United States. Because of its ties to China, the app has already been blacklisted in India, while the US is now mulling a similar ban over security concerns.

Also positive for Netflix is that it is still winning its original crusade: the streaming TV wars. In the same earnings report, the company announced it added another 10 million subscribers this quarter to go along with almost 16 million last quarter—its two best quarters ever. Its stock is vastly outperforming those of its Hollywood television and film competitors, who are hamstrung by the coronavirus-induced theater and theme park closures.

But another global entertainment war has already reached Netflix’s shores, and it poses an even bigger threat to its quest to become the world’s go-to source for all things entertainment. Every minute the next generation spends TikTok-ing instead of binge-watching is more time their media consumption habits change.

By Adam Epstein



Sony Invests $250 Million In Fortnite Maker Epic Games


Sony has paid $250 million to acquire a 1.4% stake in Epic Games, maker of the smash-hit online videogame Fortnite, a few months ahead of the planned launch of the Japanese company’s next-generation video game console, the Playstation 5.


Under the deal, Sony and Epic will broaden their partnership, engaging Sony’s portfolio of technology and entertainment assets and Epic’s growing social entertainment platform and digital ecosystems — like Fortnite’s various virtual events and digital storefront.

Prior to Sony’s investment, Epic had raised a total of $1.58 billion in three previous funding rounds, including investment from Chinese tech major Tencent back in 2012, Venturebeat reported.

The Sony deal is reportedly separate from Epic’s plan to raise $750 million from multiple investors at a valuation of about $17 billion, which Bloomberg reported about in June.

Epic said its video games will continue to continue to be available on platforms that compete with Sony’s Playstation devices, Venturebeat added.

Epic’s Fortnite is one of the world’s most popular multiplayer games, boasting around 78.3 million monthly active users at one point.Epic has been leveraging Fortnite’s popularity by expanding into a social platform, by holding concerts and movie screenings in-game.


In April, nearly 28 million fans gathered to watch a concert by rapper Travis Scott that was held virtually in the game.

Big Number

3.2 billion. That’s the total number of hours that players spent playing Fortnite in the month of April, Epic tweeted. The total number of registered players for the game rose to 350 million that month as most people were forced to stay indoors due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Key background

Sony’s investment comes just months before the planned release of the company’s next-generation console the Playstation 5 which will launch alongside its competitor Microsoft’s Xbox Series X. Apart from Fortnite, Epic builds Unreal Engine, a game development toolset that is used by many other publishers to develop their own games. The company’s upcoming Unreal Engine 5 will be compatible both with Sony and Microsoft’s upcoming devices. It is unclear if Sony’s investment in Epic will render it any advantage on this front.

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I am a Breaking News Reporter at Forbes, with a focus on covering important tech policy and business news. Graduated from Columbia University with an MA in Business and Economics Journalism in 2019. Worked as a journalist in New Delhi, India from 2014 to 2018. Have a news tip? DMs are open on Twitter @SiladityaRay.



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Hey Netflix, The Real Problem Is You’re Too Damn Expensive

Credit: Getty Royalty Free

Credit: Getty Royalty Free

So is Netflix the Napster of streaming entertainment? Remember Napster? It allowed fans to download music for free, and illicitly. Apple helped smash the upstart by launching iTunes, which allowed people to download songs legally, cheaply and easily.

The theme music around video streaming company Netflix is ominous of late. After some unwelcome news, Netflix stock is down almost 10%. Well, it’s about time.

The company has been an investor darling for a long while. Too long, in fact. Yes, Netflix has turned out great original programming (starting with “House of Cards”) and shown some fine films and beloved TV reruns. But the recent potholes it has hit reveal the unpleasant truth: The stock is way overvalued.

Netflix’s scorching growth rate was responsible for putting it into the same exalted tier as its tech betters.  The streaming outfit belonged among the other members of the FAANG group as much as a scrappy 5-6 junior varsity point guard would among 6-10 NBA superstars.

Despite the inflated stock price, Netflix’s market cap still is dwarfed by the tech titans’ value: $142 billion versus $573 billion for Facebook, $973 billion for Amazon, $946 billion for Apple and $795 billion for Google parent Alphabet.

In revenue terms, the contrast is as stark. Netflix garnered just under $16 billion last year. At the same time, the other four’s revenue ranged from Apple’s $266 billion down to Facebook’s $57 billion. Netflix’s sales look puny in comparison.

But then check out their trailing price/earnings ratios. Netflix sports a towering 127 P/E. Amazon has the largest multiple, with 82. The rest are higher than the S&P 500 yet hardly stratospheric, with Facebook at 30, Apple at 17 and Alphabet at 29.

How in the name of Benjamin Graham and the other investing gods does Netflix deserve such a towering P/E, far in excess of the Big Tech quartet’s? Maybe the stock’s current downdraft is the start of a long-overdue reckoning.

Netflix’s stock slide started last week when the company announced it had lost the rights to two of its top-watched shows, reruns of “The Office” and “Friends.” AT&T subsidiary WarnerMedia has the rights to “Friends,” which it can put on its HBO Max, while Comcast-owned NBC Universal will play “The Office” on its planned streaming service. Meanwhile, Netflix is burning through cash at an unsustainable pace of $3.5 billion this year.

Then came a second groin kick, during Netflix’s second quarter earnings release Wednesday: Subscriber numbers came in weaker than expected—the company added just 2.7 million paid subscribers, down from its own projection of 5 million. Not helping was its recent price hike, which surely had a role in tempering the growth rate. In the U.S., it saw 130,00 subscribers quit.

That’s why a lot of people are wondering whether Netflix is the next Napster, a disruptive business that paved the way for others but could not last itself. Among them is the ever-thoughtful Stephen Paternot, CEO of Slated, the online film financing marketplace and a streaming expert.

“Netflix is learning the hard way what old school studios have known for a long time: to be competitive and cash-efficient, you’ll need to build a solid library of original content with fewer, bigger projects,” he said in a statement. “Everyone is moving to the subscription model, so start finding—and owning—those blockbuster projects and binge-worthy shows if you want to stay afloat.”

Certainly, on one level, the comparison to Napster is strained. The now-defunct music company’s dubious business, based on swiping copyrighted content, is nothing like Netflix’s subscription model. Napster was sued out of existence. The broader question is: Will Netflix end up in the graveyard as others pass it by? Probably not.

Netflix still has a lot going for it. When the third season of its hit “Stranger Things” landed recently, the viewership was huge. Expect a similar result when the latest (and final) season of “Orange Is the New Black” drops net week. True, some big dogs are getting into its arena. But joining Netflix for viewer, unlike buying its stock, isn’t that expensive, and certainly is less than cable: $12.99 monthly for its most popular plan.

All of which is to say that Netflix has likely carved out a place for itself in the video landscape. It just doesn’t belong in the lofty company of Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google. And the stock drop may be the market’s waking up to this reality.

Good investing ideas, often contrarian, constitute my brief, here at Forbes. com. Key to that is helping you to build a solid financial future.

Source: Hey Netflix, The Real Problem Is You’re Too Damn Expensive

Louis Armstrong – What a wonderful world ( 1967 ) – Letecheur Christophe

Louis Daniel Armstrong (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971), nicknamed Satchmo, Satch, and Pops, was an American trumpeter, composer, singer and occasional actor who was one of the most influential figures in jazz. His career spanned five decades, from the 1920s to the 1960s, and different eras in the history of jazz. In 2017, he was inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame.

Armstrong was born and raised in New Orleans. Coming to prominence in the 1920s as an “inventive” trumpet and cornet player, Armstrong was a foundational influence in jazz, shifting the focus of the music from collective improvisation to solo performance. Around 1922, he followed his mentor, Joe “King” Oliver, to Chicago to play in the Creole Jazz Band. In the Windy City, he networked with other jazz musicians, reconnecting with his friend, Bix Beiderbecke, and made new contacts, which included Hoagy Carmichael and Lil Hardin. He earned a reputation at “cutting contests”, and moved to New York in order to join Fletcher Henderson‘s band……



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$400M Fiction Giant Wattpad Wants To Be Your Literary Agent – Hayley C. Cuccinello


It took a less than an hour in 2013 for Anna Todd to change her life. The Army wife and part-time babysitter had spent a lot of time reading fan fiction, stories by amateur writers about existing fictional universes and real-life celebrities. So her erotic tale about Tessa and Hardin—a wholesome college freshman and a tattooed bad boy who is a thinly veiled stand-in for singer Harry Styles—came together quickly when she sat down to typed the first chapter of After on her phone. Todd posted it to Wattpad, one of the world’s largest destinations for online reading and writing……

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