POLITICO and Axel Springer, the owners of the POLITICO joint venture in Europe, announced today that they have acquired EUROPEAN VOICE and will rebrand the respected Brussels publication as POLITICO in the spring of 2015.
Bad news for Europe. Axel Springer, a big German publisher of among others the popular tabloid ‘Bild’, is the leading force behind the ‘Leistungsschutzrecht’. That is an ancillary copyright intended to make Google pay press publishers for showing snippets in search results and on Google News and got introduced last year.
Axel Springer is very aggressive in every imaginable way. (except for the innovative kind) Due to the popularity of Bild they have a lot of power in Germany. Expect them to try to influence the EU to very hardly regulate Google and other US tech giants.
It will be interesting to see wether Politico will allow that kind of instrumentalisation of the publication. The relationship could easily become contengious over this. Because while Politico does this to extend its business, Axel Springer does it to extend its power in the EU.
Ben Thompson articulates an opinion on the Apple Watch here that is very close to mine. Especially when it comes to the platform questions. Timing is important. Hence the watch comes next year not 2020.
Great listen. Recommended.
““Makeupaddiction,” for example, is a section dedicated entirely to beauty products and tips. Users post hundreds of conversation threads daily, often recommending different types of products to one another.
This is exactly where a brand wants to be, Reddit says. If a company like Estée Lauder bought an ad unit — a so-called “native ad” that looks similar to other Reddit conversation threads — at the top of the Makeupaddiction sub-Reddit, users in the thread would treat it less like an ad and more like content.”
“This is how one can really understand why Ballmer – over the objection of Nadella, among others – made the disastrously stupid decision to buy Nokia. We now know for a fact that my speculation at the time that Nokia was about to introduce Android phones was spot-on, and the terms of the deal suggest that Nokia was having financial difficulties as well; if Microsoft would have lost Nokia, they would have lost Windows Phone, and Ballmer saw that as a mortal threat. Never mind that Windows Phone is for all-intents-and-purposes already dead; the thing about culture is that it not only eats strategy, it washes it down with a potent mixture of selective facts and undue optimism.”
“Removing The Ability To Pull Friends’ Data
Facebook announced plans to stop letting developers pull data from users’ friends, such as their photos, birthdays, status updates, and checkins.
Why? Because the idea that anyone could give someone else’s data to a developer without their permission was always kind of shady. This should boost a perception of privacy on the Facebook platform, but also deny developers the ability to build apps like photo album browsers, search engines, calendars, and location maps that could compete with Facebook’s own products.”
Privacy leads to less data portability which in turn leads to potential monopoly rents.
“What Twitter has is a marketing problem. To be clear, while advertising is a part of marketing, marketing is about much more than advertising. It’s also about understanding your market, what their needs are, and how your product meets those needs. I continue to see little evidence Twitter has any idea, and I think their accidental success is largely to blame.”
Twitter was more or less an happy accident. Accidents don’t breed strategy, it seems.
(Twitter also is special in another regard: It is a simple product, meaning it always had few but important features. Every small change can bring with it significant consequences. Doesn’t make it any easier.)
“This view shows just how different the economic value of users can be. In the case of Apple, it’s growing its user base at (literally) exponential rates. The revenues per user does, understandably, decline. This is because new/later users don’t spend as much as early users. There might be some stability toward the later stages of adoption in revenue per user. The other point about iTunes data is how the mix of revenues has shifted from music to Apps and Services pointing out how users can be migrated across revenue sources over time.
In the case of Amazon it’s growing its user base at a linear rate (note equation). The revenue per account remains very steady however.”
“While Facebook’s ad network is, I’m guessing, broader than just app installs, the reality is that app installs dominate Facebook’s mobile revenue as well. And, the primary types of apps that advertise for installs are free-to-play games, looking for the specific customer type who will potentially spend hundreds of dollars on in-app purchases.
This, then, raises a frightening specter for both Twitter and Facebook: they are indirectly exposed to any changes Apple or Google may make in their policy with regards to in-app purchases”