- At its simplest, competitive advantage depends on doing something well, and minimising competition from others. This piece is a thorough look at potential competitive moats, or barriers to entry and is a fantastic resource for anyone thinking about how to analyse and defend a competitive position.
- There’s a superb use of interactivity in this FT piece on Netflix: the final chart allows readers to enter their estimates of future subscriber growth and pricing and see the effect on valuation. It’s really effective at showing how much Netflix depends on growth, and why the recent miss on quarterly subscriber numbers led to markets taking $17 billion off the company’s stock.
- While everyone watches the rivalry between the big streaming platforms, there's a bitter war being fought further up the media value chain between screenwriters and their agents, and a fresh conflict brewing between the screenwriters and the studios. (If you're interested in the origins of the dispute, David Simon's brilliantly splenetic account is hard to beat.)
- For founders, investor due diligence should be a two-way process, and this is particularly true where the investor is a corporate venture arm where goals and incentives may differ from purely financial investors: there are some excellent questions in this piece to ask of a potential corporate/strategic investor.
- Only 5% of Chief Marketing Officerss in a recent study were highly confident that they impacted strategic decision making and the overall direction of their business. By coincidence, I read that statistic about five minutes after this piece on fashion brands ditching the CMO role in favour of senior roles focused on digital and customer experience.
- An interesting data point on the growth of podcasts: NPR’s CFO announced that next year sponsorship revenue from podcasts will exceed traditional broadcast sponsorships.
- Instagram dominates influencer marketing, attracting nearly as many campaigns as Facebook and YouTube combined. This piece looks at how brands using the platform are looking for more granular metrics beyond simple Likes.
- This piece on Lego has some sensible practical suggestions on corporate innovation, but I was most interested in a comment made by the company’s entrepreneur-in-residence on declining creativity: “[He] worries about children becoming too passive through watching pre-packaged entertainment on computers and mobile phones. Torrance test scores, a standardised way of measuring creativity, have been declining since the 1990s… and he believes there is a connection between this and the growth of digital media.”