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That's So Meta....
Friday, July 28th, 2023
1. Netflix's Ad Strategy: Just Ask for Patience, Please!
Netflix has restructured its advertising partnership with Microsoft and lowered ad prices in a bid to jump-start that fledgling corner of its business. The streaming company launched a $6.99 a month ad-supported option for consumers last year, and Microsoft won a competition to provide technology for the service and sell ads on Netflix's behalf, in part because it offered to pay a "revenue guarantee," pledging to deliver a large amount of money to Netflix. With the new ad tier gaining traction slowly, Netflix has had preliminary discussions to sell ads through other partners, in addition to Microsoft, people familiar with the matter said. Netflix is reworking its pact with Microsoft to reduce the revenue guarantee as Netflix is "seeing good demand" according to Greg Peters, co-chief executive officer. Well duh, Greg! We all need to watch "Sweet Magnolias" and "The Witcher"!
Tune in next week to see which pop culture references we can weave into tech news articles!
2. Meta's Facebook and Instagram Election Study: A Game-Changing Discovery That Facebook's Pages and Groups Shape Its Ideological Echo Chambers
Researchers have unveiled the shocking revelation that Facebook's Pages and Groups are shaping its ideological echo chambers! I mean, who would have thought, right? The studies, a collaboration between Meta and the scientific community, revealed that people on Facebook and Instagram actually express and engage with their political beliefs and that Facebook's political content is segregated along ideological lines, which is apparently more surprising than discovering that water is wet. Pages and Groups, those innocent little things, have been found guilty of contributing to misinformation, extremism, and online polarization. Meta, of course, is trying to put a positive spin on it if that's even possible. But really, thank you, Meta, for granting us this invaluable wisdom that we never asked for and didn't already know!
3. 7 on 1: E.V. Edition
In a challenge to Tesla, seven major automakers have formed a new venture to provide electric vehicle charging in the U.S. The group includes General Motors, Stellantis, Hyundai Motor, Honda, BMW, and Mercedes Benz—brands representing about half of U.S. vehicle sales but a small share of the E.V. market dominated by Tesla. Seems like a fair fight, no? The unusual coalition of competitors, that according to some lawyers might raise antitrust concerns, aims to roll out 30,000 chargers in North America, starting along major highways and in cities. The automakers didn't specify how much they would invest individually or collectively, but said they would be open to additional investment or participation from other companies, including outside the auto industry. A name for the venture was not announced, but industry executives familiar with the cost of chargers said establishing this venture could cost multiple billions of dollars.
4. Meta's A.I. Ad Sales Strategy: A Love Story for Wall Street
Meta's A.I. ad sales strategy has helped the social media giant boost engagement and ad sales even in an uncertain economy. The Facebook owner was set to add about $60 billion to its market value after strong second-quarter earnings encouraged 18 analysts to lift their target price on a stock that has already more than doubled this year. Meanwhile, smaller rival Snap disappointed on ad sales as advertisers stick to tried and true platforms. But hey, at least Meta and Google are on track to add around $160 billion to their combined market capitalization - a figure that is more than the individual market values of about 90% of the companies in the S&P 500 index. So, yeah, big flex for Meta!
5. AMD's $400 Million Investment in India
AMD, the U.S. chipmaker, has announced that it will invest around $400 million in India over the next five years and will build its largest design center in the tech hub of Bengaluru. AMD's announcement was made by its Chief Technology Officer Mark Papermaster at an annual semiconductor conference that started Friday in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat. Other speakers at the flagship event include Foxconn Chairman Young Liu and Micron CEO Sanjay Mehrotra. Despite being a late entrant, the Modi government has been courting investments into India's nascent chip sector to establish its credentials as a chipmaking hub. AMD said it will open its new design center campus in Bengaluru by end of this year and create 3,000 new engineering roles within five years. The China-India semiconductor tension is real!