Netflix, Shuffle play, 2021 Wed. 01/20 – A16Z To Get Into The Media Business?
Anthony lewandowski gets a pardon and jack ma resurfaces. Netflix is about to start printing money and they’re about to give you a shuffle play button and why ben thompson thinks intel is even more in trouble than everybody thinks here’s. What you missed today in the world of tech Music is andreessen horowitz about to get into the media business, and by that i don’t mean invest in a company that does media but actually become a media entity of its own. That might be too glib away to characterize this news, but the information is reporting that a16z is planning to launch an opinion section on its website that will publish articles related to technology and business from outside contributors quote. The firm currently has two editorial roles open to helm: the new efforts it is in search of an executive editor and an opinions editor. A recent job listing by the firm for the executive editor position said the firm wants to quote dramatically scale our editorial operation across coverage areas and across mediums, especially video to grow and lead a talented team of creatives producers, talent and marketers. End quote: andreessen horowitz’s editorial position is quote unapologetically pro tech pro future pro change according to one job listing on the firm site quote, but we are also informed optimists, not freewheeling futurists, making predictions without any skin in the game and quote andreessen horowitz is moving in The direction of owned media not earned media said a person close to the firm meaning that it wants to produce content rather than work with existing press outlets.
The firm wants a quote more formalized vehicle to get narratives and stories out there without having to go through the press. The person said: sono chokchi, a former editor at tech magazine wired, who joined andreessen in 2014, as its editor in chief will oversee the media. Expansion, which comes amid growing tensions between prominent venture capitalists and the news media chokshi works for margaret venamakers in andreessen, horowitz operating partner and co, founder of prominent tech, public relations agency outcast, who has long overseen the depiction of both andreas and horowitz and its portfolio companies. In the media, end quote, so this is one of those times where i need to do one of those disclosures for you. The disclosure is i’m friendly with both sonal and market and have had many conversations with them about podcasting over the years plus. When my book came out, you might remember chris dixon interviewed me for the a16z podcast and, of course, andreessen horowitz has made several of their folks available for this podcast over the years most recently connie chan a few weeks ago. Let me quote from eric newcomers sub stack which originally broke the news, because i think it sort of sums up the angle for andreas and horowitz here quote today. Roughly 10 of the 200 person firm works on its marketing team, the company is expanding. Its editorial operation talk to anyone around the firm and choke she’s in house. Media strategy is the future of the firm one communications person remarked to me: quote: they’ve become a media company.
Basically, and quote companies and venture firms have long tried their hands at content. Marketing that’s, what all those medium posts are for the thing that’s unique about venomocher’s and chokshi’s operation – is simply that they do it well and at a greater scale. Their podcasts are actually interesting and since the media has adopted an extremely negative posture toward the tech industry, there’s a big appetite for coverage with a more upbeat slant, andreessen horowitz can fill that market demand. End quote. Well, i suppose you could debate to what degree the media truly is negative about tech. I suppose, but i also think that this tweet from techmeme’s own founder, gabe rivera, is maybe the right way to think about all this quote. My guess is, rather than countering anti tech reporting. This could succeed in simply promoting ideas. The tech press, isn’t interested in or capable of conveying, which sounds potentially good to me, end quote once again. There is a tech angle to the political news of the day, because president trump has pardoned ex waymo and uber engineer. Anthony lewandowski, quoting engadget, a press release from the white house noted tech, billionaires, peter thiel and palmer lucky were among those supporting a pardon for lewandowski, and it makes the claim that this engineer quote paid a significant price for his actions and plans to devote his talents To advance the public good end quote: it also noted that his plea covered only a single charge.
Omitting mention of the 33 charges he’d been indicted on. He had been sentenced to 18 months in prison, but, as techcrunch reported at the time was not required to report until the covet 19 pandemic. Eased a court ordered lewandowski to pay google 179 million dollars to resolve a contract dispute. While his plea included 756 thousand dollars in restitution and a 95 000 fine, a settlement between uber and google subsidiary waymo handed over an equity stake worth about 245 million at the time, as well as a promise not to use the technology taken from google in december. Uber sold its entire self driving unit to another company aurora last year, anthony lewandowski pleaded guilty to one count of stealing materials from google, where he was an engineer for its self driving car efforts before leaving to found a startup that he sold to uber. The judge said during his sentencing that his theft of documents and emails constituted the quote biggest trade secret crime. I have ever seen and quote so i do wonder how folks inside google are feeling about this this morning and of course, i assume this pardon would have no impact on any civil liabilities right or has that already been settled as well Music over the weekend someone, I can’t remember who tweeted something along the lines of remember when jack ma disappeared and everyone was worried about him. But then one guy on cnbc went on tv and said: don’t worry, jack’s just laying low and then we all stop talking about it, but ma.
Never. Actually resurfaced so what about that well ma has officially made his first public appearance by addressing teachers on an online conference. Quoting bloomberg ma spoke briefly on wednesday during an annual event. He hosts to recognize rural teachers in one video of the event circulated online china’s. Most famous entrepreneur can be seen touring a primary school in his hometown of hangzhou ma who had stayed out of public views. Since regulators suspended the initial public offering of his fintech company ant group told the teachers he’ll spend more time on philanthropy. He didn’t mention his run. Ins with beijing ant confirmed the authenticity of the video first posted on an online blog, but declined to comment further shares of alibaba. The e commerce giant co, founded by ma that owns about a third of ant, jumped eight and a half percent in hong kong and shares were up almost the same level in pre market us trading and quote because we get so many messages and documents. Things start to blend together and sound the same so more effective. Writing is the key to making better connections. Grammarly premium gives you real time. Insights and guidance on tone word choice, clarity and more so you can communicate clearly and confidently. I’Ve told you, before i use grammarly premium every day to help produce this show and i’m. Certainly erudite and clear in my writing. Right don’t answer that maybe but seriously i lean on grammarly quite a bit for things like clarity, suggestions, a feature that makes your sentences clear, concise and crisp by cutting out unnecessary words and redundant words and vocabulary, suggestions which helps you avoid overused words and redundancies to Keep readers or listeners engaged improve your writing on all of your favorite sites and apps like outlook gmail, twitter, linkedin and more because grammarly works right where you’re already writing and you can elevate your writing with 20 off grammarly premium by signing up at grammarly.
com techmeme that’s 20 off grammarly premium at g r, a m m, a r l y dot com, slash tech, meme, start 2021 with fresh food that cooks itself, i’ve told you about how much i love tovalla, because it’s super convenient and it’s super tasty, but also it helped me Break my unhealthy take out food habit. Tavala is healthy. Food, fresh raw, real food, not processed stuff, healthy, stuff, tavala uses real carefully sourced ingredients, ingredients you or your grandmother good, feel comfortable stocking in your own kitchen. They leave artificial to the competitors. You can choose gluten free meals with tavala. You can choose vegetarian meals and hey. If your waistline has expanded during quarantine, you can also choose calorie, conscious meals, for example, as i’m recording this down in my kitchen in the tavala, my greek veggie lentil, salad, with crumbled, feta almonds and pickled red onions is cooking. It’S, delicious i’ve had it before and it’s only 320 calories that’s a satisfying but light lunch. If all the other reasons to try tavala haven’t convinced you how about healthy meals cooked for you go to tavala.com ride, to see what i mean and for 150 off that’s tovala.com ride brave has become the first major web browser to natively support the ipfs protocol. What is that? Well, if you’re, in a place where you might want to access censored, content on occasion, you need to get schooled about ipfs, quoting zdnet released in 2015. Ipfs stands for interplanetary file system.
It is a classic peer to peer protocol, similar to bittorrent and designed to work as a decentralized storage system. Ipfs allows users to host content, distributed across hundreds or thousands of systems which can be public ipfs gateways or private ipfs nodes users who want to access. Any of this content must enter a url in the form of ipfs. Under normal circumstances, users would download this content from the nearest nodes or gateways rather than a central server. However, this only works if users have installed an ipfs desktop, app or browser extension brave says that, with version 1.19 users will be able to access urls. That start with ipfs colon forward slash forward, slash directly from the browser with no extension needed and that brave will natively support ipfs links going forward. Since some major websites like wikipedia have ipfs versions. Users in oppressive countries can now use braves new ipfs support to go around national firewalls and access content that may be blocked inside their country for political reasons and is available via ipfs. In addition, brave also says that its users can also install their own ipfs node, with one click with version 1.19 and help contribute to hosting some of the content they download to view, and quote so. You might remember when i decided to abandon ship on chrome last year, and you all convinced me to give brave a try a year on, i continued to be thrilled with that decision, all the goodness of chrome without all the badness, and now all this added goodness.
As well, it sneaks up on me every quarter, but tech earnings season is kicking off once again, as always led by netflix, which last night reported q4 revenue up 21.5 year over year and global streaming paid memberships that surpassed 200 million. For the first time. All of this sent the stock up over 12 percent netflix first passed 100 million subscribers back in 2017, but maybe the real news was this: quoting cnbc netflix reported earnings for the fourth quarter of 2020. After the bell on tuesday, announcing it is quote, very close to being free cash flow positive and is considering stock buybacks this year, it expects to be around break even on cash flow. Netflix expectation of soon becoming free cash flow positive would bring to life. The bull case for the stock netflix said it would no longer need to raise external financing for daily operations and would even explore returning cash to shareholders. The company said it intends to pay down more of its debt as well. It’S raised 15 billion dollars in debt since 2011 and currently has 8.2 billion in cash on hand and quote so. What we’re talking about here is the financial flywheel that folks, like matthew ball, have always predicted would kick in at some point, for netflix is kicking into gear exactly as predicted and exactly when predicted too so good news for netflix come for. That netflix is about to really begin printing money news, but stay for news.
You can use like this netflix says it’s shuffle play feature which lets netflix’s algorithm choose what you’ll watch next will be rolling out globally to all users in the first half of this year. Quoting techcrunch shuffle play puts a big button right on the netflix home screen beneath your profile icon when clicked netflix randomly plays content, its personalization algorithms thinks you’ll like this could include a movie you’re currently watching something you’ve saved to your watch list or a title that’s Similar to something you’ve already watched, for example, a variation has also been spotted in the tv app’s sidebar navigation. More recently, we found this sidebar option relabeled as shuffleplay, instead of play, something as before. In addition, as you’ll start scrolling down through the netflix home screen on the tv, you’ll, eventually come across a screen that explains what the option is and points to the new button with a red arrow, not sure what to watch. This page asks before explaining how shuffle play works. The button has already appeared on some users netflix app for tv devices. Due to the ongoing tests. Netflix tells us. The feature is still being tested only on tv devices, not other platforms like web or mobile. It declined to say how many users, or what percentage had been opted into the test to date and quote Music and finally, today again we’ve only obliquely mentioned the trouble intel seems to be in. We haven’t really had the chance to dig deeper.
So in aid of that i point you to yesterday’s newsletter from none other than ben thompson at strategy ben says that intel is actually in more danger than its profits and bounce sheet suggests. At the moment he says, intel should immediately spin off its manufacturing business unless the u.s could somehow subsidize it in the interest of having a strong national semiconductor. Industry quote in short, intel is losing share in pcs, even as it is threatened by amd for x86 servers. In the data center, and even as cloud companies like amazon integrated backwards into the processor, i haven’t even touched on the increase in other specialized data center operations like gpu based applications for machine learning which are designed by companies like nvidia and manufactured by samsung. What makes this situation so dangerous for intel is the volume issue i noted above the company already missed mobile and while server chips provided the growth the company needed to invest in manufacturing over the last decade, the company can’t afford to lose volume. At the very moment, it needs to invest more than ever. Intel needs to be split in two. Yes, integrating design and manufacturing was the foundation of intel’s moat for decades, but that integration has become a straight jacket for both sides of the business. Intel’S designs are held back by the company’s struggles in manufacturing, while its manufacturing has an incentive problem. The only way to fix this incentive problem is to spin off intel’s manufacturing business.
Yes, it will take time to build out the customer service components necessary to work with. Third parties, not to mention the huge library of ip building blocks that make working with a company like tsmc, relatively easy, but a standalone manufacturing business will have the most powerful incentive possible to make this transformation happen, the need to survive. This also opens the door for the u.s to start pumping money into the sector right now. It makes no sense for the u.s to subsidize intel. The company doesn’t actually build what the u.s needs and the company clearly has culture and management issues that won’t be fixed with money for nothing. That is why a federal subsidy program should operate as a purchase, guarantee the u.s will buy a amount of u.s produced. Five nanometer processors for b price c amount of u.s produced three nanometer processors for d price e amount of us produced two nanometer processors for f price, etc. This will not only give the new intel manufacturing spin off something to strive for, but also incentivize other companies to invest. Perhaps global foundries will get back in the game or tsmc will build more fabs in the us and in a world of nearly free capital. Perhaps there will finally be a startup willing to take the leap. End quote. I would also point you to a tweet thread involving john masters and others, which is the final link in the show notes today. That includes this summation by at cynical security quote as i’ve been saying.
Over and over again, intel suffers from ptsd, which has been piling up over several failed processors and causes, in effect, internal panic towards any decision which deviates from x86, which is the only processor which ever made the money.