In the past couple of months there have been several high profile mergers, acquisitions and agreements between top-tier companies in the digital and technology industry. With all these big announcements worth billions of dollars it’s important to stay on top of all the moves and more importantly understand how this could impact digital marketing. This week’s Friday5 will focus on five major announcements and what they could mean for digital marketers.
1. ATT and DirecTV
ATT has been trying to merge with other large service providers for years but keeps getting blocked by regulators—T-Mobile in 2011 and Vodafone earlier this year. In its latest attempt ATT has found a new focus, DirecTV. This past week ATT announced a potential deal that would merge the second-largest U.S. wireless carrier with the largest satellite TV provider. The deal—reportedly worth upwards of $50 billion—would allow ATT’s U-Verse streaming media to access DirecTV’s 70 million households with high-speed connectivity even in the most rural of areas. It would also provide DirecTV’s video content to more wireless users across the U.S.
What does this mean for digital marketers? Clearly everyone is aware that the demand for high speed and quality video streaming is a paramount concern for today’s consumer. This deal—among other implications including how and when people can access DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket package—would provide even more consumers access to bundled TV programming, deliver more video content to mobile devices and wireless service from a single company on mobile devices and tablets.
2. YouTube and Twitch
Although nothing has officially been signed, Google’s YouTube is looking to buy Twitch—a live streaming platform for video-gamers to watch others play videogames—for an estimated $1 billion. As many reports and analyses have figured out, this isn’t just about YouTube firmly planting itself in the video-gamer culture but capitalizing on Twitch’s live-streaming, social TV. This is a media model that Twitch has successfully figured out in the past three years. Twitch by itself does boast impressive stats—45 million monthly users streaming an average of 106 minutes daily, as well as recent integration with Microsoft’s Xbox One* and Sony PlayStation4. Some big implications to come from this deal could improve YouTube’s ability to live-cast events and incorporate a more social aspect to watching TV, events, or concerts.
3. Apple and Beats
Apple recently announced a $3.2 billion deal to buy Beats Electronics, the streaming service and consumer audio equipment maker co-founded by rapper Dr. Dre. A possible motivation for this deal is to boost Apple’s iTunes Radio’s floundering performance in the streaming music space. Pandora and Spotify have claimed the top spots in streaming radio and Apple is trying to remain a viable competitor. Not only could this deal bring iTunes Radio back to the competitor’s stage, but it would also increase Apple’s already robust product portfolio to include consumer audio equipment.
4. Facebook and WhatsApp
Back in February, Facebook announced a $16 billion acquisition for WhatsApp, an international messaging application with more than 450 million users. This purchase follows Facebook’s desire to remain the top social network, whether communicating one-on-one or to your entire network. Facebook will mostly likely continue to find popular apps and bring them into the fold to expand its reach and usage among users around the world, remember when Instagram was by itself before a $1 billion purchase in 2012?
5. Google and Titan Aerospace
Probably one of the most interesting acquisitions of late is Google’s purchase of Titan Aerospace for a reported $60 million. Early reports suggest that Google’s intention is to increase Internet connectivity to rural areas around the globe, allowing even the most remote people to have access to high-speed internet. What does this mean for digital marketers? It means even more consumers might be able to connect to the internet at a reasonable speed and interact with your content. This even has applications in disaster areas where internet connectivity is down due to flooding, wild fires, or other natural disasters.
How do you see these business deals affecting the digital media landscape?
*Microsoft is an Edelman client
Image credit: Hubble Heritage