- Why is free so attractive?
- Why Samsung will never give up on Exynos
- Three strategies for the streaming market
- Instead of a conclusion: insurance against coronavirus
Why is free so attractive?
A funny thing happened in China. The app of the Luckin Coffee coffee chain has become the leader in terms of downloads. You might think that this is either a very good or very fashionable coffee shop. But the reason for the popularity is different.
A little about Luckin Coffee. It’s a Chinese competitor to Starbucks, offering to download the app and order coffee delivered to your home or office. You can also pick up coffee yourself at retail outlets. Luckin Coffee launched in 2017 and has gone wild, spending three times as much on development as it earned. The partnership with Internet giant Tencent, which brought the brand online, also helped. The popularity was also promoted by the fact that the prices at Luckin Coffee were 2 times lower than at Starbucks.
Luckin Coffee has an interesting business style. For example, there are no cashiers. You can only pay through the app. And the consumption format does not imply the option of sitting for a long time in a coffee shop. The principle “grab and run on business” operates here. According to experts, the coffee is average in quality, but decent. The Chinese like it: fast, cheap, convenient.
Last year, the company was listed on the stock exchange, and in early April it became known that the financial statements were fake and the company’s sales were not as rosy as they were told to investors. And on the Internet there were rumors about a possible bankruptcy, which worked better than any advertising campaign. The Chinese began to massively download the application, since each new user is entitled to a free glass of coffee. Even those who do not like coffee are pumping it. Logic: well, it’s a pity if the company goes bankrupt and something free is lost.
There is no morality in history. I just couldn’t understand why free is so attractive. For some reason, it is believed that if it’s free, then you must definitely take it, even if you don’t need it. From a relatively recent trip, I extremely puzzled the seller when I took 2 scoops of ice cream, and the third (gift!) Asked not to put it. He was not even lazy and opened Google Translate, thinking that I did not understand what happiness fell upon me.
How do you feel about free? For example, here you can take a smartphone for free, which so costs 20 thousand. You already have a good phone, and your friends and relatives too. Will you refuse, saying that you do not need it, or will you take it just in case?
Why Samsung will never give up on Exynos
Each year Samsung introduces two versions of its flagships. Some of them work on Samsung’s own developments – Exynos chipsets, and some – on solutions from Qualcomm. Typically Qualcomm versions are sold in the US and China, while Exynos are sold in Europe, Latin America and Asia.
For a long time, there has been a confrontation between chipsets from Samsung and Qualcomm, when supporters of Qualcomm chipsets attack Samsung with a call to stop releasing their flagships on Exynos, which, according to legend, get hotter and more aggressively consume the battery. Although wrestling is the wrong definition. It’s more like a siege, since Exynos has no fans. There are those who don’t like Exynos and those who don’t. For many years now Samsung has been repeating like a mantra that there is no difference between the chipsets.
The year before last, the S9 on the Exynos 9810 was heavily criticized. Samsung managed to make a powerful 2.7 GHz chipset, which, however, in real-life scenarios sucked the battery at an impressive rate. This was a software problem, as the processor was “overclocked” where it might not. The situation was similar with the Galaxy S10.
Now we are witnessing a new round of siege. After the release of the Galaxy S20 series, the Internet was flooded with comparisons of models on the Exynos 990 and Snapdragon 865. And there is a reason – unexpectedly, in the home market of Samsung smartphones first came out on Snapdragon. And even 5G modems were used from Qualcomm. Along the way, the story was adorned with details that the decision was made because the Exynos chipsets “did not meet expectations”, and the Exynos engineers were humiliated by this outcome of the case, and the shareholders also harshly asked for this at the next meeting. According to the same rumors, this was a surprise decision for all Samsung employees.
And, apparently, the situation has reached such a level that Samsung, usually silent on the topic of chipsets, commented, stating that in real life both chipsets give the user the same experience. Maybe.
Why are synthetic test results so important to users? The answer is simple. We are talking about flagships, that is, devices of the highest price, which at the current stage of smartphone development are clearly overvalued in terms of price / quality ratio. Such devices are bought with the aim of getting the very best, without compromises. And the situation is somewhat similar to elite sports or Formula 1, when the gap between cars at the finish line is hundredths, or even thousandths of a second.
However, Samsung cannot abandon Exynos. Exynos is needed to, firstly, competently negotiate with Qualcomm, which, if Samsung is left without its own developments, will be able to dictate its will. And so Samsung manages to skillfully maneuver, bargaining for the best conditions for working in the US market, which occupies the honorable first place in the company’s portfolio. Secondly, Exynos chipsets – as an in-house development – are an additional opportunity to recoup R&D costs in markets where users are less fixated on technical characteristics, and the press is not as tough and corrosive as in the United States.
Three strategies for the streaming market
This topic was prompted by the events of the past week – Apple entered into a rather unexpected agreement with Amazon. In Russia, Amazon is better known as an online retailer, but for Americans it is also one of the main streaming services, competing on equal terms with Netflix.
All streaming services are fighting a stubborn struggle with Apple and Google, as the latter strive to charge up to 30% per transaction for access to their platform. That is why, for example, Netflix for any interactions with the account opens the page in the browser, and not in the application – the company does not want to pay. So on Android. In the case of iOS, where Apple prohibits such tricks, you need to open the browser yourself and go to the site.
Apple has a powerful Apple Tv platform that includes a set-top box, an iPhone, iPad, macOS app, and a streaming service subscription. Being inside this system is not only displaying on the title screen, but also search results, as well as support for Siri queries, that is, the user can ask: “Siri, what to see?”. And if a third-party video service is inside the system, then Siri can offer something from its range, but for this you will have to share money with Apple.
Amazon was able to negotiate with Apple in such a way that now Amazon content is integrated into the Apple ecosystem, but it will not pay. Rather, they will pay something, but definitely not 30%. So far, Amazon has only negotiated videos for books in the Kindle app.
A win-win situation for both companies. Apple has been able to offer its users more entertainment options, enhancing their lives. Amazon, like any other business, loves Apple customers very much, since they are well-trained users who pay for content, and do not rummage through the garbage dumps of torrents (by the way, appreciate the clear balance in the offer: some will be offended that they are named trained, others will be offended by the garbage torrents).
However, this kind of partnership situation is not possible with Netflix. The reason is that Apple is a competitor with Netflix, while Amazon is not. Amazon’s business is all about reselling goods. And in the case of video content, it is exactly the same. While Netflix invests significant sums in creating its own unique content, Amazon is more involved in distribution. Amazon both sells individual films and series of third-party and its own production (you can, for example, buy one episode or all season at once), and in the Amazon Channels product resells packages of other streaming services (HBO, Showtime, etc.). Thus, having reached an agreement with Amazon, Apple, as it were, virtually reached an agreement with everyone at once. Along the way, Apple has significantly painted its application, since the company currently lacks its own content to satisfy customers.
This situation is amusing from the point of view that all companies, in fact, can be divided into something creating and those who are engaged in distribution, that is, aggregators. Netflix is among the first, and it has been losing money for years.
There is a profit, but the cash flow is negative, as Netflix is spent on making films and TV shows. In turn, Amazon produces its own content on a much smaller scale and is profitable. And here the question arises which way is more correct. Every year Netflix invests more and more, driving itself into big minuses. And a reasonable but banal conclusion suggests itself, applicable, it seems, to any area of life: balance and moderation are important in everything. And Amazon’s path is strategically more correct.
There is one more curious moment. For Amazon, video streaming is a by-product. A kind of additional bonus for clients. This is Netflix’s core business. And here it is interesting to see how Disney works, which recently debuted with The Mandalorian with its own streaming service. Disney has its own approach to business, introduced back in 1957 and drawn by Walt Disney himself. Take a look at the diagram below. In the center is the production of films, but note that the arrows to additional businesses go in both directions (by clicking the image will open in a new window). Disney achieves synergy across all types of businesses. Films and cartoons should stimulate trips to Disneylands, which, in turn, due to interesting attractions should make you want to watch or revise cartoons, buy a record (there were records in 1957!) With themed music, buy books, comics, toys with your favorite characters … Also, Disneylands should help promote themed shows on television, that is, sell commercial breaks. Of course, today this scheme would be much more extensive and with more arrows. But there would be no cardinal differences.
Disney’s approach is unique, and at the moment, no one can repeat it. The company works closely with its clients, monetizing them as much as possible. By the way, Disney’s approach cannot even be called diversification in the literal sense, since all areas have the same foundation.
And sadly, Netflix has the most vulnerable position, and Disney and Amazon will be profitable, content, and well-fed.
Instead of a conclusion: insurance against coronavirus
Alfa-Bank has sent an offer to insure against coronavirus. For 2, 5 or 10 thousand rubles, you can receive a payment of 20, 50 or 100 thousand rubles. And in case of death, they will give a whole million! Terribly profitable! But remember, you need to die from coronavirus and pneumonia with a doctor’s opinion. If you get sick with coronavirus, but die from something else, it will not fire. So I recommend that you pre-train before the conclusion!
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