The 11th Hour Dispatch – Monday, May 7, 2018

| May 7, 2018

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The BBC, ITV, and Channel 4 are reportedly exploring a potential joint streaming service in the U.K. in an attempt to take back their country from Netflix and Amazon. Details are scarce, as this is in early talks, but two sources close to the matter called the potential service a “true defence for the UK creative industries” and a “public service broadcaster domestic competitor to Netflix.” This is the third time the three companies have attempted to join together on a digital TV project, and others have not worked out very well because of the complicated intersection of the principle of public service and the commercial end of a platform such as this. While the BBC has typically reigned dominant in the region with its iPlayer service, it has admitted that viewers in the 16-24 year old range spend more time on Netflix than with all of BBC TV as a whole (including iPlayer). Netflix boasts 8.2 million subscribers in the U.K. and Amazon comes in with 4.3 million. 


Nestle, the company behind our office rocket booster/Nespresso machine, has poured $7.15 billion into a deal with Starbucks that will give it the right to market Starbucks products. This is the third biggest transaction in Nestle’s history, but the company will pick up nothing physical from this deal. It strictly gives Nestle some very expensive marketing rights in the form of Starbucks’ incredible brand power. It will likely take advantage of this to hawk its own coffee-related products like Nespresso and Dolce Gusto. Nestle’s sales grew at their weakest rate in two decades last year, so this move couldn’t have come sooner. Nestle S.A. closed the day up 1.57% while Starbucks dipped a mere 0.4%.


Stories may become the dominant content sharing method very soon. Facebook’s chief product officer Chris Cox announced at its F8 developer conference last week that the Stories format common on Instagram and Snapchat is on track to replace feeds “as the primary way people share things” by next year. Facebook, Instagram, and Whats App — basically Facebook’s entire social media portfolio — have all ripped off Snapchat’s claim-to-fame. And like it or not, this makes sense. We never put our phones down, and this format fits perfectly into the framework of those fragile little palm-sized computers.


Microsoft has committed $25 million over the next five years to help people with disabilities through AI. The program, AI for Accessibility, will be funded through investments, grants, and expert assistance when necessary. It will focus on “accelerating the development of AI for help with employment, human connection and modern life.” According to Microsoft’s chief legal officer and president Brad Smith, only one in 10 people with disabilities has access to AI-engineered technologies that could potentially make their lives easier.


We should all aspire to have the heart of this kid.

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