Welcome to your daily tech newsletter, this Thursday, November 2, 2023. As the tech world spins at breakneck speed, we've condensed the top stories into bite-sized insights. Here’s what’s making waves today:
Ad Ban Impact - Meta's targeted advertising faces restrictions, stirring privacy practice debates.
Netflix Growth - Subscribers hit the 15 million mark, a nod to effective ad strategies.
Google's Goldmine - The big reveal of Google's top earning search queries.
Disney + Hulu - Disney set to acquire Comcast's Hulu stake, eyes streaming dominance.
AI Job Hunting - LinkedIn introduces a transformative AI-powered job search tool.
Roku's Earnings - Surpassing Q3 forecasts with a caveat; a deeper dive into their financials.
Airbnb's Upswing - An 18% revenue jump defies the forecasted shortfall.
Apple's Forecast - Upcoming earnings to test predictions against China sales performance.
Watch the Health - Apple Watch 2024 teases industry-shaking health features.
Microsoft's AI Email - Launching a premium AI email assistant for elite customers.
Keep reading for a closer look at today's evolving technology landscape—these stories and more, just ahead.
The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has issued an urgent ban on Meta's data processing for behavioral advertising. The decision comes after the request of Norway's data protection authority for a permanent ban effective in all EU member states. Consequently, Meta is introducing an ad-free subscription model for Facebook and Instagram in the EU. However, Meta's subscription initiative needs to be recognized as GDPR compliant by the Norwegian authority, while Ireland's Data Protection Commission is currently evaluating its acceptability.
💡 Why does this matter?
The EDPB's decision to ban Meta's targeted ad practices could herald massive changes in the ad tech sector, specifically around privacy and consent. This could impact any tech company involved in data processing for behavioral advertising. It may also open up opportunities for new privacy-compliant business models and advertising strategies. If you are an advertiser on Meta and target EU customers, expect to see fluctuations in effectiveness.
Netflix’s ad-supported tier hit 15 million montlhy active users, after its introduction a year ago to revive subscription growth. This mirrors an impressive upsurge from the five million monthly users recorded in May. The streaming behemoth recently ramped up its subscription prices in the US, UK, and France, following an unexpected Q3 spike in subscriber additions. Adventurously, the firm has shown interest in commercials since April 2022, aiming at driving more revenue per user.
Google's most profitable search queries were revealed during the ongoing US v. Google antitrust trial. These queries, including iPhone-related terms following a new release and terms related to sectors such as insurance which have high customer acquisition costs but high value over time, bring in significant revenues. The data also shows that many of these lucrative queries come from competitive industries that can afford high costs per click.
The Walt Disney Company has revealed plans to buy out Comcast Corp’s 33% stake in Hulu, LLC. The agreement, expected to see Disney pay approximately $8.61 billion by December, will progress Disney's streaming goals. The acquisition aligns with an initial agreement made in 2019.
Streaming-platform Roku reported a Q3 revenue of $912 million, exceeding Wall Street expectations. However, the company posted a net loss of $330 million (double the previous year) and advised caution amid an uncertain economic landscape. Despite a solid rebound in video advertisements, upcoming growth rate comparisons in content distribution and entertainment marketing are set to challenge platform revenue growth in Q4. As part of cost-cutting measures, Roku cut 10% of staff and reduced content on Roku Channel, leading to a $62 million write-down in Q3.
HubSpot, a customer relationship management platform, is acquiring B2B intelligence firm Clearbit to bolster its customer intelligence capabilities. Clearbit's data on over 400,000 users across 20 million companies and 500 million decision-makers will be integrated into HubSpot's artificial intelligence-driven platform. The collaboration is set to provide a comprehensive understanding of customers through enriched third-party firmographic, demographic, and technographic data.
DoorDash reported robust growth in Q3, posting $2.2 billion in revenues, up 27% year over year, and surpassing analysts estimates. Key growth drivers include efficiency and demand, with total orders increasing by 24% to 543 million. Significantly, marketplace gross order value rose 24% to $16.8 billion. Despite challenging industry conditions, the Q3 net loss narrowed to $75 million from $172 million. Improvements made to the consumer and dasher apps and merchant side reportedly drove this growth.
Electronic Arts (EA) surpassed quarterly forecasts for net bookings and profit, leading to a 4% increase in its stock. EA raised its annual earnings guidance, attributing this to its revamped soccer game ""FC 24"" which attracted over 14.5 million active accounts in the first month. The company saw a 4% rise in net bookings to $1.82 billion in the September quarter, outpacing estimates of $1.78 billion.
Airbnb shares dropped 3% after hours due to weaker-than-expected Q4 guidance, despite posting strong Q3 earnings of $6.63 per share and $3.4 billion in revenue. The firm’s Q3 net income was $1.61 billion, marking an 18% YoY growth. Airbnb bookings also bested expectations, totaling 113.2 million for the quarter. While the industry faces rising prices, Airbnb reported only a 1% increase year-on-year for a one-bedroom listing amidst efforts to reduce costs.
As Apple gears up to report its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings this Thursday, Wall Street analysts are keenly anticipating the performance of iPhone sales in China and the company's holiday quarter outlook. Increased smartphone competition in China and antitrust issues around Apple's search engine deal with Google are among key concerns.
PayPal has elevated its full-year adjusted profit forecast, expecting robust holiday season spending. The company's Q3 revenue hit $7.4 billion, while total payments volume scaled 13% to $387.7 billion.
Qualcomm surpassed Q4 earnings expectations despite year-on-year drops, foreseeing strong current quarter growth. The company's automotive business saw a 15% increase, while moving further into AI.
By 2040, technology advancements will enable seamless global connections, super-intelligent machines and integrated transportation systems. Foreseen include a hyper-connected world empowered by 6G, the evolution of artificial intelligence leading to technology singularity, and Industry 5.0, featuring human-robot collaboration. Energy transition, hinting at future free energy, and 'Innovation to Zero,' envisages a world without defects. Urbanization and the rise of 'baby-bust economies' will uncover new markets, while the future of mobility aims to eliminate transport issues.
💡 What can we learn from this?
The top Mega Trends defining our future include the hyper-connected world enabled through 6G and increased satellite connectivity, autonomous technology advancing to Super AI, Industry 5.0 emphasizing human-robot co-working, the transition to renewable energy, Innovation to Zero aiming for perfection, smarter mobility, changing demographic dynamics, and shifting economic powers. These insights apply to tech ventures innovating in AI, networking, industry automation, renewable energy, and mobility solutions and will shape their strategic decisions.
Apple Watch Series 10, slated for 2024, plans to incorporate health features like blood pressure monitoring and sleep apnea detection, developed over a decade by the tech giant. These additions aim to alert users to health trends and prompt medical consultations. Potential advancements include precise reading capabilities. Other upcoming health-focused tech includes AirPods functioning as hearing aids and Apple Vision Pro's full-body tracking system.
Microsoft has announced the release of Microsoft 365 Copilot, an AI feature for enterprise customers. Starting at $9,000 for 300 users, the product uses artificial intelligence for tasks in Microsoft apps like Teams, Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. It presently supports several languages with more being added in 2024. Future plans include integrating Copilot directly into Windows, possibly replacing the iconic Start button.
Anker has launched Prime 240W USB-C Charger, an effective power station for new M3 MacBooks and other devices, such as iPhone 15. It boasts dynamic power allocation, a devoted 140W USB-C port, and up to four device charging capabilities. With ActiveShield 2.0 and PowerIQ 4 technologies, the charger can adjust power allocation for plugged devices. It's currently available for $150, down from its original price of $200.