Covid-19 has changed a lot of things, including how we communicate. Zoom meetings have become the norm, but many do not know how to use some of the most helpful features. Earlier this year, I recorded this video demonstrating the Zoom screen sharing function:
According to a recent article on Reuters, Google has a plan in play to move British Google users away from EU regulations, which provide one of the world’s most comprehensive data protection structures through the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The change would be another result of BREXIT, the UK’s exit from the EU, which occurred last month and could potentially leave millions of users without the benefit of GDPR.
The switch would be accomplished by moving the UK from Irish jurisdiction, which provides for the EU-backed protection, to another jurisdiction, perhaps to that of the United States, which has some of the weakest privacy protection in the entire world. It would be formalised by a new Terms of Service agreement that would be floated out soon and required to be approved for continued use of most Google services.
There is more to this story than meets the eye, because when talking about privacy, we are also talking about law enforcement. The EU law severely restricts the ability of law enforcement agencies to collect private information about users, but this change would make it easier for those agencies to collect such information. Without delving into political consequences, we will leave it to the reader to decide if this is a benefit or a detriment.
Small business lending may get a boost soon if reports are correct that Goldman Sachs (GS) is looking to team up with Amazon.com (AMZN). According to a report in the Financial Times, a partnership is reported to be under discussion between the two companies under which Amazon would provide Goldman Sachs access to their online small business lending platform. This could be a win not only for Goldman Sachs, who could offer small business loans over the platform, but it would open a new and easy to access source of funds to small businesses in need of financial products.
We are honored to be working with the international award winning Indian author and chef, Mridula Baljekar. We have known Mridula for several years, meeting her when she had her hugely successful restaurant, “Spice Route” in Windsor, England. We are assisting her with marketing efforts and working in conjunction with her social media team to help build her brand as she introduces a new line of chutneys and other prepared Indian dishes in the UK. You can learn more about Mridula here…
Gaming has been enjoying a significant growth curve, and we believe we may have just seen the next step. There are a number of interesting venues featuring exciting and entertaining exhibits, but this new trend is an actual immersive game.
Imagine being transported into a totally immersive game, the world’s largest – right in the heart of London! That’s Variant 31, a live-action gaming experience like nothing you have ever seen. It puts you in the shoes of your favourite action character, allowing you to choose which direction to go, what rooms to explore and how to survive in this narrative-driven game where the player with the most points wins.
This show has now completed, but it was unique, the largest in London and pushed the creative envelope.
For the first time since 2014, Amazon is raising the price of their popular Prime membership from $99 to $119. The change goes into effect on May 11th for new subscribers, and renewing members will see the new price beginning June 16th, 2018. Earlier this year, the company announced similar changes to their monthly subscribers, those who do not wish to commit to an annual subscription, moving the price from $10.99 to $12.99 per month.
While this sounds like a big increase, we believe Prime still represents an unbelievable bargain for the online shopper. Why? Just look at what’s included with Amazon Prime:
Prime Video: Unlimited access to tens of thousands of movies and TV shows
Prime Music: More than two million songs and thousands of playlists and stations
Prime Photos: Unlimited photo storage to preserve family memories
Prime Reading: A rotating selection of free e-books and magazines
Audible Channels for Prime: Premium original podcasts, audio series and audiobooks exclusively from Audible
Kindle First: A free pre-release e-book each month
Twitch Prime: In-game loot on Twitch and 20 percent off pre-release digital games
Early Access: Exclusive early access to select Lightning Deals
Savings: Discounts on select products including 20 percent off diaper subscriptions
Prime FREE Same-Day Delivery: One million products, order by noon and get them today in eligible zip codes
Prime Now: Free two-hour delivery on tens of thousands of items in eligible zip codes
That’s a lot for your $119 annually. Less than a Netflix subscription plus a lot more! Those receiving Medicaid or EBT benefits will continue to have access to Amazon Prime for just $5.99 a month.
In a unique blending of the online with brick and mortar, Amazon is looking for larger Whole Foods stores to support their delivery plans. According to Bloomberg, their objectives include wider aisles that could accommodate more traditional Amazon purchases as well as possibly converting some outside parking space to stalls that could be used by their delivery partners for loading. Read more at bloomberg.com…
Private equity giant KKR announced plans this morning to buy internet health information giant WebMD Holdings for $2.8 billion, a revenue multiple turning heads in the industry and proving once again the increasing value of revenue generating websites.
The company has just announced preliminary financial results for the three months ended June 30, 2017 showing that second quarter revenue is expected to be approximately $176 million, an increase of approximately 5% from the prior year period. Prior financial guidance for the quarter was $170 million to $173 million. First quarter revenue was $154.1 million, bringing the projected total results for the first half of the year to a projected $330 million, meaning that the deal should be valued at multiple of between 4 to 5 times revenue.
We have always held WebMD as an example of a great revenue generating website. Today’s announcement is just another strong indication of the increasing value of such sites as the market begins to better understand this new asset class.
In yet another indication of the growing power of online over bricks and mortar, it was announced today that Amazon is buying buying Whole Foods in a deal worth about $13.7 billion. Only a month ago, problems started becoming evident that resulted in a board shake-up and the implementation of cost cutting measures due to falling sales.
What to expect next? Maybe ordering your groceries through Alexa and having them delivered by drone? Only time will tell, but the move provides further evidence of the tremendous shift from traditional sales channels to online.