Weekly news round up 2 November 2017

Here’s a summary of interesting stories I’ve seen over the last week. I try to concentrate on the stories which aren’t necessarily mainstream.


There might be fewer [free] ATMs in the UK soon. Link, the banking organisations who fund 70,000 UK-based, free UK cash machines, want to cut their contributions by 20%. https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/31276/link-plans-could-slash-number-of-free-atms

McKinsey wrote a report about banks needing to create their own platforms and new business models as Alibaba, Amazon and Google start competing with them. McKinsey said that banks need to capitalise on their consumer trust and wealth of data. I agree and wrote a comment on the article which then spawned an online debate. https://www.finextra.com/news/fullstory.aspx?newsitemid=31251

Social networks

Facebook announced outstanding financial results this week, in excess of $10bn in the last quarter. To put this into perspective, I updated this US advertising market graph from PwC with Facebook’s results. It’s staggering.

How Facebook ad revenue compares to the entire US advertising market
How Facebook ad revenue compares to the entire US advertising market


An interesting article about the value of live sports. Live TV is extremely valuable because it doesn’t permit viewers to skip adverts. And it creates much bigger audiences. To put this into numbers, it is expected the English Premier League domestic TV rights will increase 45% (on top of the existing $4.2bn deal) for the next round of bidding. If this sounds a lot (which it is), consider the NFL currently earns $43.2 billion in its current 8 and 9-year deals from CBS, NBC, Fox and ESPN.

From 2021 it will be interesting to see how much the big technology platforms (Facebook, Google, Amazon and Twitter) will be willing to pay. http://www.sportcal.com/Insight/Features/113521


Maria Sharapova is a super brand, despite her drugs ban from tennis. This is a great article giving some insight into how she does it. http://adage.com/article/news/maria-sharapova/311055/


Kinect, the 3D technology from Microsoft, is being discontinued. I remember when Microsoft launched Kinect with the Xbox One in 2010. (The Kinect capabilities seemed to get lost in the strange naming convention of the third generation of the Xbox). It was totally groundbreaking at the time but always seemed to be confined to gaming. However, the company which first invented Kinect, PrimeSense, was acquired by Apple and is now used in Face ID in the iPhone X. Perhaps there’s something about the technology going hand in hand with strange naming conventions. https://www.engadget.com/2017/10/25/microsoft-closes-the-door-on-kinect/

Microsoft has several instant messaging tools, including Skype, Skype for Business (aka Lync) and now Teams (to compete with Slack). This array of messaging tools simply confuses everyone, so Microsoft released a roadmap for the various tools. In summary, Teams will start incorporating Skype for Business next in the next quarter. https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Microsoft-Teams-Blog/Roadmap-for-Skype-for-Business-capabilities-coming-to-Microsoft/ba-p/119636


We held our biggest ever internal hackathon this week. Over the last few months, we held local heats in our delivery centres around Europe and Columbia, and each of the local winners competed at a finals event in Belgrade, Serbia.

I went along as a judge and it was outstanding. Well done to the winners from Chisinau, Moldova who created an office environment sensor, complete with a moustache and spectacles (despite being called Wendy).

Thought for the week

I thought this piece about Harvey Weinstein was a great article in the Financial Times. Companies should publicly declare how much they spend on gagging contracts. In turn, this would raise flags to the public if a company exceeded certain thresholds. https://www.ft.com/content/ae7b2688-b8b2-11e7-8c12-5661783e5589

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