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Instagram wants to be more like TikTok. TikTok is extend the duration of its videos look more like YouTube. Roku appears to be following Netflix’s playbook and investing in the original video.
The streaming wars are generally seen as a competition between the world’s major historical media companies – Disney, Comcast’s NBCUniversal, AT&T’s WarnerMedia, ViacomCBS, Discovery – and the historical players Netflix and Amazon. There’s a good reason for this: The products are similar, usually consisting of movies, TV series, and sometimes live news and sports.
But as television becomes primarily broadcast over the internet, the competitive boundaries between traditional media companies and online video services like TikTok, Google’s YouTube, Facebook’s Instagram, and Amazon’s Twitch are blurring. The differentiation that exists today (user-generated content versus script, free versus subscription, short form versus long form, gaming versus professional sport) is bound to dissipate over time as every business tries to attract l consumer attention.
“While it is still common for consumers and industry executives to view cable and video streaming services as’ television ‘and platforms such as TikTok, Facebook and Instagram as’ social media “They are one,” Kirby said. Grines, Founder and CEO of 43Twenty, a strategic consulting and digital marketing firm focused on the streaming video industry. “These binary tags are getting more and more obsolete every day.”
Netflix understood this last year when it entered TikTok as a competitor for the first time. In Netflix’s view, anything that interrupts Netflix use – even sleep – is competition.
But there’s a reason Netflix specifically called it TikTok. TikTok may have started as a user-generated music and dance video service, but thousands of creators are making salaries writing videos for the service. These influencers are already becoming Leading celebrities for teens, and the cross between TikTok and Netflix has already started. This is one of the reasons I suggested that Netflix seriously consider buying a stake in TikTok when it was temporarily forced to find potential buyers last year.
This isn’t the first foray into video for Instagram from Facebook, which launched IGTV in 2018 and TikTok-competitor Reels, an abbreviated video feature that allows Instagram users to create content with overlaid audio and an augmented reality effect, in August 2020. Switching to full screen video display in user feeds suggests that it wants to capture more video ad money while developing more opportunities for its creators and providing users with new entertainment options.
“We are no longer a photo sharing app or a square photo sharing app,” said Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri said in a video from June 30. “There is really serious competition right now. TikTok is huge, YouTube is even bigger, and there are a lot of other upstarts as well. People are looking to Instagram for entertainment. There is tough competition, there is more to do, and we must embrace this. “
Facebook, Google and other big tech companies are under intense antitrust scrutiny as Congress and regulators debate the appropriate ramifications in a sector that wields increasing power over the global economy. Only five US companies have ever been worth more than $ 1,000 billion, and all of them are big tech companies – Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet (Google) and, most recently, Facebook.
As traditional media companies shift their focus to streaming, competitors that don’t have enough content or global reach are already starting to consolidate. AT & T’s decision to merge WarnerMedia with Discovery and Amazon’s $ 8.5 billion deal for MGM were the last two examples, but Time Warner and Fox’s decisions to sell AT&T and Disney can both be prepared. to the final fall of linear television.
As TikTok, Instragram and YouTube become closer competitors to traditional media, it becomes easier for relatively smaller media companies such as ViacomCBS, NBCUniversal or even Warner Bros-Discovery combined to claim that they should be allowed to merge with each other or to be acquired by a competitor. It’s not clear whether setting up, say, two big movie studios will still matter to regulators if movies are only a fraction of entertainment viewing time.
The Federal Trade Commission’s treatment of the MGM acquisition by Amazon will be a test bed for how it views the evolution of the tech industry towards traditional media. If the FTC blocks the deal, it’s a sign the government has moved away from an antitrust definition based on competition and more towards a definition “we don’t like big, powerful corporations,” said Doug Melamed, professor of law at Stanford and former Acting Deputy Attorney General in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice.
New FTC President Lina Khan has a history of thinking this way, Melamed noted. Amazon has previously asked Khan to withdraw from ongoing antitrust investigations into the company, given its previous criticism of Amazon’s market power. Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., wrote a letter to the FTC this week urging it to conduct a “broad and careful review” of the MGM deal, arguing that it could have anti-competitive effects in the streaming industry.
But from a strict antitrust standpoint, increased competition among large companies should be good news for companies looking to strike deals, Melamed said.
“If you have 10 competitors who are forcing you, competitors who could steal your customers, you are less worried as a regulator than if there are only two or three,” he said.
Ironically, regulators may decide that a more realistic approach to tackling big tech dominance is to support their expansion into non-core areas, Melamed said. That is, regulators could ensure that Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft do not dominate an industry by promoting competition against each other and against other big companies, such as TikTok, Disney or Comcast.
“This is something academics are starting to talk about,” Melamed said. “Perhaps the best way to make sure Google doesn’t dominate search is to compete with other big players, be it Facebook, Apple or Microsoft. True, the government should help these companies expand their reach. “
It’s also likely to be a topic at this year’s Allen & Co. annual media and technology conference, which attracts top executives from nearly every major company in the world. This conference is just coming to start this weekend.
Disclosure: NBCUniversal, owned by Comcast, is the parent company of CNBC.
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