In the run up to Christmas, two of my favorite video series went the way of the dinosaur. It was a disappointing way to end the year. They have been invaluable sources of insight and entertainment I would eagerly check out weekly.
The first was the Kermode Uncut movie vlog. Hosted by one of the UK’s leading film critics Mark Kermode, it gave a fresh angle on movies every week. But Mark does have a new podcast, so all is not lost.
The second, I only discovered this year and I’m glad I did. The “Winner & Losers” segment on Scott Galloway’s L2inc YouTube channel gave a personal take on the movers and shakers in the media and tech worlds and usually featured a prediction or two – a favorite pastime of Galloway.
For example, he correctly predicted that Amazon would buy Whole Foods (giving them a chance to disrupt the highly lucrative groceries market). And staying with Amazon, he also correctly called they would locate their HQ2 campus in earshot from where Jeff Bezos has homes in DC & NYC – “because that’s where a 53-year-old billionaire wants to spend more time”
If you’re new to Galloway, I suggest you look him up – he’s a brash, irreverent media and technology commentator. And you never come away from a piece of Galloway’s content without some nugget of insight, always delivered with his trademark humour.
Sadly “Winners & Losers” is no more, but happily, a couple of weeks into 2019 and a video dropped with a fresh set of Scott’s predictions for the year.
Here are the top predictions for 2019 in media and tech (according to the gospel of Galloway):
- AWS spins from Amazon – AWS will become one of the 10 most valuable companies in the world. Amazon has a new profit generator in Amazon Media Group, so they can afford to lose AWS.
- Instagram spins from Facebook – this is a tentative one. Arguably the best technology acquisition of the last decade, Facebook won’t split from Instagram unless they’re forced to.
- Antitrust – following on from the Instagram prediction, monopolies like Alphabet with 93% share of search, will feel the pressure of an antitrust action. One way to limit a huge market share like this would be to force the breakup of YouTube from Alphabet.
- Big Tech enters healthcare – the biggest market in the world yet to be disrupted is health care. Disruption might come from big tech or the retail sectors. For example, Amazon, JP Morgan, and Berkshire have teamed up to create a new company that promises to provide affordable and high-quality health care. Hathaway stated they want to provide health care that’s “free from profit-making incentives and constraints.”
- VR & Crypto – their decline continues and AI fails to live up to the hype.
- Sheryl Sandberg resigns from Facebook, with a stock surge on announcement.
- Woke as a business strategy – more brands will decide that their progressives. It’s a cynical view but these companies are following the money, not just principles. Factors like same-sex households being high earners, 70% of high school valedictorians being female and college grads making 2-3x more than average mean there’s a large affluent market with progressive values.
(In fact the day after he made this prediction, Gillette released its “The Best Men Can Be” campaign – one up already Mr. Galloway)
- Identity – this is already huge in China with their social credit system – will be a large debate around consumer identity.