The 11th Hour Dispatch – Monday, March 5, 2018

| March 5, 2018

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BINGE WATCH

Kobe Bryant’s short “Dear Basketball,” which was distributed on Verizon’s Go90, won an Oscar for Animated Short Film at last night’s 90th annual Academy Awards. This is the first time an Oscar winner in that category has been distributed on a digital platform. Netflix also scored its first Academy Award for its original documentary about the Russian doping scandal, Icarus. Streaming services still haven’t had the impact on the biggest night in cinema that they have had on the Emmys, but they are creeping closer, and we’ll probably see more films competing in the space as streaming services grow and creators continue to demand recognition.

YOUNG MONEY

Amazon is reportedly in talks with major banks like JPMorgan Chase and Capital One to continue its crusade to take over your life with Amazon-branded checking accounts. Talks are only in initial stages, but it wouldn’t be a surprising next step for the company that’s looking to deliver your packages inside your front door and creating stores where you don’t have to speak to anyone. It would be an easy way to allow customers to pay for all the things they get from Amazon, including books, groceries, and Prime Video, with one account. Next on Amazon’s radar? Probably your first-born child, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there, I guess.

BIG BUSINESS

Chinese domineer Tencent’s WeChat has hit 1 billion worldwide users. The messaging app is used for everything from talking with family and friends to booking travel arrangements. While 1 billion is an impressive number, it’s important to note that this number encompasses individual accounts not individual users. Many WeChatters have multiple accounts including personal and professional. Regardless, WeChat user accounts are growing at a rate of 15.8% annually with 902 million daily users and around 38 billion messages sent every day. Most of that growth comes from Southeast Asia, Europe, and the US, and it is the dominant platform in China after the government banned competitor WhatsApp last year. 

COLORING OUTSIDE THE LINES

If you’re looking for some creative inspiration or just want to see how close we actually are to becoming the Jetsons, check out Time’s list of the best inventions of 2017. The list includes everything from airless tires and glasses that help the blind “see” to ice cream that won’t make you fat and, yep, fidget spinners.

NOTHIN’ BUT ‘NET

Don’t let Brooklyn fool you into thinking this is BBQ, but do let me fool you into thinking this new Brooklyn meme is gold.

ICYMI

Our very own Founder and CEO Karam Hinduja answered five and only five questions for VideoInk. Don’t you dare ask him a sixth question, okay?

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