Business Development Entertaintment

Streaming Balkanization

2020 has heralded a further maturing and fragmentation of streaming content options. The era of TV content being delivered via a dedicated device such as a coax cable or a satellite dish is truly over. Everything is delivered your regular internet connection. It’s a tribute to the inventors of the IP protocol stack to make this possible.

Finally, Netflix is getting attacked from multiple directions. It’s both a exciting as well as a dizzying time for consumers. They have to figure out the right choice for themselves and in a few short months, a new one comes along. Let’s list the various choices today. We list the ad free offerings and non Live TV options only.

ProviderCost /monthContent
Netflix$9-$19 based on number of screens per account Independent. Features content from most studios and spends $ to create original content
Amazon PrimeCost included in Prime membership of $12/month. For simplicity let’s attribute $9 as Prime VideoPart of Amazon. Features content from most studios and spends $ to original content. Also allows content from HBO to be streamed by adding the channel for $15/month. Not sure if all content from HBO Max will be available in this platform
Hulu $12 (the ad free version)Part of Disney now.
Disney+$7Content from Disney Studios only
ESPN+$13Part of Disney. Sports programming only
HBO Max$15Part of AT&T now. HBO is the original content producer
Peacock$10Offering from NBC Universal. Only content from NBC Universal studios
Apple TV+$5Part of Apple. Requires a separate hardware device that connects to your TV. The rest don’t require it.
Streaming Options compared

Except Netflix, the other streaming platforms are part of a bigger organization. Netflix and Amazon Prime have a global reach featuring original language content from various countries.

Cable TV invented the model of offering packages of channels. Streaming has disrupted that and forced the customer to go to various destinations to piece together the content for themselves. In addition, one has to fire up and interact with different interfaces and it’s quirks.

Based on the pricing today. it costs a family about $100/month if they want to satisfy demands of all the viewers in their household.

Can we expect consolidation in this space? It doesn’t seem likely in the next few years given the entrenched positions of the players at the moment.

My prediction is that HBO Max gets spun off from AT&T and gets acquired by Netflix.

Overall, I think it will be a big battle between Disney and Netflix.

Business Business Development Gaming

Who Got Game?

Gaming is enjoying a hot streak. Even without the Pandemic, the gaming industry was doing quite well. With people forced indoors and schools shut down for most of Spring and beyond, gaming has become a critical entertainment option. The recent fracas between Epic Games and Apple has also created a buzz around gaming, although for the wrong reasons.

In this environment, a gaming platform company Unity Software is going public tomorrow. It’s like AWS for Gaming. They provide infrastructure to create gaming content and also host the content on their platform. In this aspect, they compete with Epic Games (creator of Fortnite and the Unreal Engine).

Revenue growth has been impressive. In 2019, they had revenue of $542M. In the first six months of 2020, they made $351M. They are also a profitable company with impressive margins of 78% in 2019 and 79% in first six months of 2020.

While Games is a leading offering, the company positions itself as a platform for creating and hosting 3D content for verticals such as Architecture, Media & Entertainment and Auto, Transportation, Manufacturing segments.

We estimate that in 2019, on a global basis, 53% of the top 1,000 mobile games on the Apple App Store and Google Play and over 50% of such mobile games, PC games and console games combined were made with Unity.

Unity S-1

I like how this company is taking advantage of secular trends of explosion of Compute power, proliferation of platforms and devices, cloud based distribution, and ubiquitous broadband connectivity.

A true public SaaS company for Gaming is finally here.

Game on!