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Bitcoin futures launch sends bitcoin up $1,000

traders cboe

  • Bitcoin futures went live on Cboe Global Markets, the Chicago-exchange group, Sunday night.
  • Liquidity appears to be thin and Cboe’s website has crashed.
  • The price of bitcoin soared by more than $1,000 after the contracts went live.

Bitcoin futures went live on Cboe Global Markets, the Chicago-based exchange group, Sunday evening and the price of the red-hot coin shot up.

Cboe’s future contracts, which trade under the ticker XBT, allow investors to bet on the future price of bitcoin. Bitcoin shot up over $1,000 after investors could start purchasing contracts at 6:00 p.m. ET.

According to data from CoinDesk, bitcoin soared from $14,509 a coin at 5:59 p.m. ET to $15,704 at 6:07 p.m. It gave up some of those gains and was trading at $15,178 at 6:11 p.m. The futures contracts were trading at $16,000 soon after the market went live, higher than where bitcoin was trading in the spot market at the time of print.

Trading in the early stages seemed to be muted, with only a couple hundred contracts purchased. Most trades were of just one contract.

Still, interest in the new market appeared to put pressure on Cboe. Its website experienced outages soon after trading of bitcoin futures was underway. Here’s Cboe in a tweet:

“Due to heavy traffic on our website, visitors to http://www.cboe.com  may find that it is performing slower than usual and may at times be temporarily unavailable. All trading systems are operating normally.”

“The launch is going as expected sans [Cboe’s website] crashing,” John Spallanzani, chief macro strategist of GFI Group, told Business Insider. “It speaks to the interest in bitcoin. There hasn’t been this much interest in something since the internet boom.”

Bitcoin futures are the latest evolution in the market surrounding the cryptocurrency, which has appreciated more than 1,400% this year. Two other exchange operators are also set to launch their own bitcoin futures contracts.

There are a number of reasons why bitcoin futures products are a big deal for Wall Street and the world of crypto. First, the launch of bitcoin futures by establishment firms is likely to to open the door to wider participation in bitcoin trading by other Wall Street firms. It could also pave the wave for an exchange-traded fund, which could bring more investments into the space. Most importantly, it could help dampen bitcoin’s spine-tingling volatility.

The first bitcoin futures depend on trading at the Winklevoss twins’ tiny exchange — and that’s a problem


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NOW WATCH: Cryptocurrency is the next step in the digitization of everything — ‘It’s sort of inevitable’

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How Mark Zuckerberg runs Facebook, the best place to work in America

Mark Zuckerberg Facebook CEO Harvard speech

• Business Insider took a look inside the daily routine of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

• Facebook is now the most desirable place to work, according to Glassdoor — and Zuckerberg is popular with reviewers, too.

• His typical schedule includes exercise, family time, and tons of travel.

Mark Zuckerberg has a lot on his plate.

The 33-year-old runs Facebook, the social media giant with a market cap of $505.63 billion. What’s more, Facebook just snagged the top spot in Glassdoor’s annual rankings of the most desirable places to work. Reviewers on the career site specifically pointed to Zuckerberg himself as a big draw.

While the tech CEO dedicates a ton of time to the company, Zuckerberg still makes the time to exercise, travel extensively, and spend time with his family.

He stays productive and balanced by eliminating non-essential choices from his life and setting ambitious goals for himself.

Here’s a look at an average day for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg:

SEE ALSO: Vladimir Putin’s hard-core daily routine includes hours of swimming, late nights, and no alcohol

DON’T MISS: A look at the demanding schedule of Elon Musk, who works in 5-minute slots, skips breakfast, and largely avoids emails

After waking up at 8 a.m., the Facebook founder immediately checks Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp on his phone, he told Jerry Seinfeld in a Facebook Live Q&A.

Sources: The Telegraph, Inc.

Once he’s gotten his morning updates, it’s time to work out. Zuckerberg typically exercises about three times a week.

Source: Business Insider

Sometimes he brings his dog Beast along. The tech CEO says running with his pet has the “added bonus of being hilarious” because it’s “basically like seeing a mop run.”

Sources: TimeBusiness Insider

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Amazon may be getting ready to go on a digital media buying spree

jeff bezos amazon

  • Amazon is looking to hire a Corporate Development Senior Manager to oversee potential digital acquisitions.
  • The job would seem to signal that Amazon is making a new push into digital media and advertising with deals.
  • It’s a high-level gig that would entail interaction with CEO Jeff Bezos.

Does Jeff Bezos want some digital media under his tree? A recent job posting may serve as the Amazon mogul’s list for Santa.

Amazon is seeking a Corporate Development Senior Manager who will be charged with managing and executing acquisitions across the company, according to a LinkedIn post.

“There will be a particular emphasis on supporting transactions in the digital media, digital products and emerging technology sectors,” reads that posting.

That’s an intriguing emphasis, considering that when it comes to digital media and advertising, Amazon has generally been a builder, not a buyer. Indeed, as the company has quietly amassed a formidable digital ad business over the past few years – one that may see as presenting a legitimate challenge to the dominant Google/Facebook duopoly – Amazon has focused on building its own custom suite of advertising technology.

And as it elected to stream 10 NFL games this year, and deliver and track some ads during those games, it largely took the same approach.

The glaring exception, of course, is Amazon’s nearly $1 billion deal to acquire the live gaming platform Twitch in 2014. Amazon has continued to run Twitch separately from its growing advertising portfolio.

Business Insider spoke to Amazon’s top advertising executive last week during the Ignition conference – and he was coy about the company’s broader advertising ambitions.

But there’s little question Amazon is getting far more serious about ads. The question is, how big do they want to go in terms of making deals. One clue: the job means face time with Bezos.

This role is a highly visible position that interacts with Amazon’s most senior leaders including frequent interaction with Amazon’s CEO and CFO.

He/she will be required to handle multiple projects across a variety of business categories including digital media and digital products.

Besides getting time with the big boss, candidates should be able to spot a good deal. “Proving you are an effective negotiator is a critical part of this job.” Hey, it’s Amazon.

The question is, what might this person be negotiating for? Could he or she be on the hunt for:

  • Ad tech startups?
  • A company in the TV/video sector that would help Amazon bring more dynamic, digital-like functionality to traditional TV ads?
  • Roku? (better hurry as the price keeps going up)
  • A giant rival asset in the vein of Pinterest (with its seemingly highly complementary shopping-centric use-case)?
  • Snapchat? Spotify?
  • A TV company like Viacom or Scripps/Discovery?

When theoretically spending from Jeff Bezos’ checkbook, the possibilities seem endless.

Amazon did not respond to a request for comment for this story.

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Auroras will soon be very rare — but scientists are predicting a big comeback

aurora australis nasa space station ex52 june 25 2017

First, the bad news for stargazers: Auroras are going dark in many parts of the world.

The number of these atmospheric light shows won’t bottom out for several years, which means locations far from Earth’s poles — such as the UK and northern continental US — may rarely if ever see the Northern Lights during that time. A study published earlier this year hints this dearth of auroras may last for decades.

But there’s plenty of good news.

This coming dip in auroras is normal and expected, due to what scientists know about a repeating 11-year cycle of solar activity. The sun just finished its last peak, called a solar maximum, in 2014, during which time researchers saw more sunspots, outbursts of solar particles, and auroras on Earth. Around solar minimum — in 2020 or 2021 — the reverse is expected to happen.

“My personal prediction is that, over the next couple of years, we’ll see a deep dive of solar activity into solar minimum, and fewer and fewer auroras will be seen,” Doug Biesecker, a physicist at NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center, told Business Insider.

The Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) is seen over the sky near the village of Pallas (Muonio region) of Lapland, Finland September 8, 2017.  REUTERS/Alexander Kuznetsov/All About LaplandThis doesn’t mean Earth will be devoid of auroras; anyone can make the trip to Arctic or Antarctic regions where auroras are persistent at night.

What’s more, Business Insider has learned that the next solar maximum, set to occur around 2025, should be as strong or stronger than the one we just saw, bringing an eventual boost in the number of at lower-latitude auroras.

“There will be a ramp-up in solar activity a couple of years after solar minimum, and auroras should increase in frequency,” Dean Pesnell, a solar physicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, told Business Insider. Pesnell and his colleagues just submitted an as-yet unpublished study about this prediction, which is based on magnetic activity at the sun’s poles.

The other good news? That decades-long void of auroras may never pan out.

The problem with predicting auroras

pumpkin sun coronal loops nasa sdo

The sun constantly spews protons and other particles into space, and when they reach Earth, the planet’s magnetic field grabs them and accelerates them toward the poles. As those particles slam into the atmosphere, they light up its gases like a neon light.

This happens every night close to Earth’s poles, but strong outbursts of solar particles, like coronal mass ejections, can sometimes expand auroras down to states like Maine, North Dakota, New York, and even Colorado. And during solar maximum, such particle outbursts are more frequent.

“The places where the aurora is common, it’s always going to be common. It’s more a case of, ‘is Colorado or North Dakota going to see it?'” Biesecker said, adding that an aurora’s intensity isn’t tied to the solar cycle. “Unfortunately, not as much during the solar minimum.”

Earlier this year, a January study in Nature Scientific Reports hinted that the next dip in solar activity might last for decades. The researchers examined the past 400 years of records of solar activity, and their computer model indicated we’re in store for a few extra-boring 11-year solar cycles — and a related famine of auroras.

Yet both Biesecker and Pesnell said that long-term predictions are devilishly hard to trust.

sunspotRecords older than 250 years aren’t very reliable, Biesecker said. Even the past 250 years of observations of sunspots — the hallmarks of solar activity — are hard to trust in part because it’s subjective; where one astronomer saw one solar blemish, another may have seen two. But solar physicists can always talk to whomever recorded previous observations.

“A new data point basically shows up once every 11 years. So very few people make it through two or three solar cycles in their research,” Pesnell said. “They either go do something else or they die.”

Then there’s the mystery and chaos of the sun itself.

A roughly 25-day-long rotation or “day” to the sun is what drives its activity. This gradually twists up the star’s magnetic field lines like a rubber band, forming kinks that can lead to sunspots and solar outbursts. But these surface contortions don’t appear to affect anything deep inside the sun — which means the star doesn’t have any kind of long-term “memory” scientists can exploit to predict its behavior more than a few years out.

“There’s no compelling evidence that the sun ‘knows’ it’s supposed to get weaker or return to normal at some future 11-year cycle,” Biesecker said.

For now, the researchers said, all we can do is wait to see if there are as many or more auroras as the sun winds up toward its next maximum in 2025.

“Eight years from now,” Pesnell said, “we’ll know if our prediction was right.”

SEE ALSO: Astronauts in space have recorded a breathtaking new video of Earth’s aurora

DON’T MISS: A NASA rocket blasted colorful clouds into space — here’s what they looked like

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NOW WATCH: There’s a place at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean where hundreds of giant spacecraft go to die

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Coyote Peterson explains what most people get wrong about sharks

Sharks often get a bad rap, but they aren’t necessarily out to make you their lunch. We spoke with Coyote Peterson, who hosts the popular YouTube channel Brave Wilderness, about one of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to sharks. Following is a transcript of the video.

Coyote Peterson: That sharks are just straight-up man-eaters, which they aren’t.

I’m Coyote Peterson. I’m a host of the Brave Wilderness Channel on YouTube.

Oftentimes, the only reason you’re attacked by a shark is because, A: you’re in the shark’s environment — if you’re out there swimming in the ocean — and sharks oftentimes mistake humans for prey.

So imagine yourself on a paddleboard or a surfboard. From underneath, you look like a sea lion or a sea turtle.  So that shark comes into the environment, and what it’s doing, it’s investigating, right?

Sharks never just grab onto something and tear it apart. Their method for catching their prey is actually to come in and do a test bite. Oftentimes, that test by can be so lethal, it ends up killing the prey.

And imagine how soft the human body is. If a tiger shark comes up and thinks, “Mmm … maybe you’re a sea turtle,” and takes a bite, swims away, you’re gonna to be in pretty bad shape.

So it’s oftentimes people die from shark bites, not so much being eaten by sharks.

So as long as you’re safe in the environment that you’re in, and you pay attention to the warnings on the beach, pay attention to the local media — if sharks have been spotted in the area — it’s actually rather simple to avoid sharks, if you’re paying attention to your surroundings.

If you are in the process of being attacked by a shark, the sensory perception organs that they have in their nose, specifically their noses and their eyes, that’s how they sense their environment.

So being able to hit an animal on its snout like that can oftentimes detur them from continuing the attack.

So if you’re in the position where you’re being attacked by something like a shark, obviously fight with your life no matter what you can do, to make sure that you can get away.

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Activity app Strava is about to become more like a social network


  • People have uploaded over 1 billion activities onto Strava. 
  • The company wants people to see its app as more than just an activity tracker. 
  • So it’s making some changes to the platform over the next year. 

Strava is planning to make changes to its platform over the next year that will make the fitness app feel more like a traditional social network, the company’s CEO told Business Insider.

Strava CEO James Quarles, a former executive at Facebook and Instagram, said that he wants Strava to become much more than an app for simply recording activities.

The company, which competes with the likes of RunKeeper, My Fitness Pal, and Nike+ Running, has already started making some initial tweaks. “We launched in October the ability to create a non-activity post so that can either be a text or a photo or a link with an embedded video,” said Quarles.

“That was all born from just looking at how people have been bending the product up to this point of commenting and asking questions. We thought how can we make this just a natural experience. If you wanted to ask your following base: ‘Hey, I’m going to buy a new watch, which watch do you prefer?’ that would be a good use of a question in a post.”

Since the changes were implemented Strava users have taken to posting photo montages of cycling races and sharing articles along the lines of “the top 10 tips for hikers,” Quarles said.

Founded in San Francisco in 2009, Strava is now used by tens of millions of people worldwide and over 1 billion activities have been uploaded onto the platform. Running and cycling are by far the most popular but the app also allows people to record hikes, swims, and gym sessions, among other things.

The US is the company’s largest market but 82% of Strava’s community are now outside of its home country, Quarles said, and London is the company’s most popular city.


More changes are in the pipeline for Strava, according to Quarles, who took over as CEO in May, leaving his role as VP of Instagram Business in the process.

“We want to also make it easier for people travelling to find the best places to ride, where’s a group of people or club I should join, [or the] best place to grab coffee,” said Quarles. “All that information exists in our product so we want to more things to help open it up for more of that discovery experience. So that’s a big part of what we’ll be focusing on in the coming year.”

Investors including Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia have backed Strava with $70 million (£52 million) but the company — which employs 150 people across San Francisco, New Hampshire, and Bristol in the UK — is not yet profitable.

“That’s a deliberate choice,” said Quarles. “We want to continue to grow the size of the community and invest in the experience and I think we will be keeping an eye on the financial markets.”

Strava has three main revenue streams

The three main ways that Strava makes money are:

1. Subscription: Strava charges users £5.99 or £44.99 a year for access to a premium version of its app, which comes with more insights and a “beacon” feature that allows friends and family to follow your whereabouts when you’re running or cycling in unknown areas. There’s also insurance on your phone for when you’re cycling and discounts at stores like New Balance. Quarles said:

“We’ve got the premium subscription service which people elect for as they want to get more statistics and analysis on their training.”

Quarles refused to say how many of Strava’s users are using the premium service or comment more generally about the company’s finances.

2. Metro: Strava charges transport authorities like Transport for London a fee to access the data that’s hosted on its platform. Quarles said:

“Metro is where we take the pedestrian and cycling data, we aggregate and anonymise it and then work with departments of transportation around the globe in order to use it for better impact analysis and planning of infrastructure and even safety measurements. “

3. Strava for Business: Strava partners with companies like Lululemon, and Rapha, and Oakley on “challenges.” The companies essentially sponsor a challenge that is seen and completed by Strava’s users. Quarles said:

“We’re starting to think about other ways in which businesses can enhance the community experience and participate to make Strava more fun and more interesting. We have a number of ideas there that we’ll be trialling over the next six months with brand partners being a more prominent part but I think a value added part of people’s experience.”

Chris Froome cycling Tour de FranceStrava has no plans to get into hardware

Quarles said that Strava has no plans to build any of its own hardware in the near future.

“I think one of our greatest strengths as a company is that we’re so independent and agnostic when it comes to devices,” he said. “We have partnerships with Garmin, Fitbit, Apple Watch, Samsung Gear. We’ve got 300 devices that can write to Strava.”

He added: “This open strategy of being the Switzerland within fitness has served us really well and I think we’re very committed to it. We don’t want’ to change that. I also think hardware is particularly hard — it’s a different business model. We’ve got software engineers, we’re really great at software and consumer experiences and I think that’s where our investments will continue to go.”

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Bitcoin wallet provider Blockchain had half a million new sign-ups in a week

Blockchain Nic Carey Peter Smith David Cameron Bob Wigley

  • Digital wallet provider Blockchain signed up half a million new customers in one week.
  • It now has 20 million wallets worldwide.
  • The surge in sign-ups comes after a wild week for bitcoin that has seen the price rise 40%.

LONDON — Blockchain, the world’s biggest provider of bitcoin wallets, saw a huge surge in new sign-ups last week as bitcoin’s price skyrocketed.

Blockchain CEO Peter Smith said in an email to investors seen by Business Insider that the company “added half a million new sign-ups this week alone.”

Smith told BI over email: “This week we’ve seen unprecedented growth across all of our products and platforms. Since Monday half a million new users opened a Blockchain wallet and we’re about to reach 20 million accounts, double from last year.

“Our teams are working around the clock to deliver the best experience possible. Regardless of the price movements, I’m excited to see more people engaged and actively participating in the digital currency ecosystem.”

Blockchain provides the software that lets people securely store bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on their devices. 

Smith said in his email to investors that Blockchain’s daily active user number “now exceeds last year’s monthly number,” although he didn’t disclose either figure. 

“We had 1M sessions on our Android wallet in the past 24 hours and we have as many daily active users on Android as we had across all platforms at the start of 2017. Same for iOS,” Smith wrote.

The surge in activity for London-based Blockchain comes during a wild week for bitcoin. Bitcoin jumped over 40% against the dollar over the last week amid growing consumer interest in the digital currency and ahead of the launch of bitcoin future contracts, pitched at institutional investors, on Sunday.

At one point, the digital currency rose by $4,000 in a 48 hour period. Some commentators have dubbed the surge “bitcoin mania.”

The increased interest has caused problems for many of the companies in the bitcoin space. Exchanges such as Coinbase and Gemini have crashed over the last week and digital banking startup Revolut experienced problems after launching a cryptocurrency feature. All three said they were overwhelmed with demand.

Smith said in his email to investors that Blockchain has “seen a 100% increase in the number of support tickets,” adding: “Our team is working around the clock to maintain the fastest response time across the industry.”

Blockchain is currently hiring and Smith told investors: “Please send us great people as fast as you can. Particularly user operations support.”

He added that the company, founded in 2011, is in the market for acquisitions. Blockchain has raised $70 million (£52.2 million), most recently raising $40 million (£29.8 million) in June.

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NOW WATCH: Economist Jim Rickards on gold versus bitcoin — intrinsic value is meaningless for both but the bitcoin prices aren’t real

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YouTube superstar Alfie Deyes is preparing to launch a new venture to collaborate with startups

Alfie Deyes YouTube

  • Alfie Deyes is hugely popular on YouTube, building up a following of 5.4 million subscribers over the last decade with videos of his day-to-day life.
  • Deyes earns an estimated £500,000-to-£1 million annually from advertising, plus book and merchandising sales, and income from his properties.
  • Speaking to Business Insider at Lisbon’s Web Summit, Deyes said he’s building a new company to strike collaborations with early stage companies with “cool” ideas.
  • Deyes said he isn’t necessarily interested in investing lots of money into startups, but wants to partner with projects which will play well with his millions of followers.

On the day Alfie Deyes is due to speak at Web Summit in Lisbon, there’s a gaggle of teenagers waiting outside the VIP area.

A Portuguese security guard explains to baffled guests trying to enter the conference: “They wait for YouTuber.”

Deyes — better known online as PointlessBlog — is 24 years old and probably unknown to anyone born before 1990. He has more than 5 million subscribers on YouTube, 5 million followers on Twitter, and gets 16 million views on average for his Snapchat Stories.

He is a superstar in his own right for his video blogs, or vlogs, about his day-to-day life. that fame is enhanced by the fact he is dating Britain’s most popular YouTuber, the fashion and beauty vlogger Zoe Suggs, also known as Zoella.

Deyes doesn’t disclose his earnings, but makes money from advertising against his YouTube videos, brand partnerships, merchandise, rent from his properties, and sales of his books. Estimates for his annual earnings range from £500,000 to £1 million, according to YouTube analytics site Social Blade.

Now he wants to harness his young audience, and everything he’s learnt from making popular videos on YouTube, to help launch startups.

Business Insider was given 10 minutes to catch up with Deyes at Web Summit in Lisbon, where he was meeting with startups that pitch him through the conference app, or in-person at the busy investor lounge.

Deyes said he’s in the process of building up a team for an as-yet unnamed new company, through which he’ll strike partnerships with other early stage ventures. A spokeswoman wouldn’t confirm a name for the new company, but said it would be open for business in the new year. So far, Deyes said, he’s been hiring for a project manager, brands manager, operations staff, legal and finance, and sales staff.

He told Business Insider: “I’m all about still doing YouTube and making videos, but it’s also about teaming up and working with really interesting people, great partnerships, and making cool new stuff that’s never been done before.

“And using my audience — having those guys all brought on board, because they follow my life every single day. It’s about doing bigger picture things, working on new companies and investing in cool new stuff that will benefit myself and my audience.”

Deyes doesn’t seem to have specific ideas in mind but, when pressed, says one investment he’d “love to make” would be to buy shares in a gin company.

“Or I’d love to work on a restaurant — something like that,” he said. He’s also willing to work with tech startups.

“It won’t be ‘Alfie Deyes’ [branded], just things I’ve helped shape,” he added.

Alfie Deyes Ariana Grande

All of this lends some credence to the rumours that Deyes has quit Gleam, the powerful talent management company which put Zoella, her brother Joe Sugg, Deyes, and many others on the path to YouTube stardom. Deyes’ spokeswoman wouldn’t comment on his status with Gleam. Gleam did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Fans have spotted, however, that Deyes does not appear on the front page of Gleam’s site alongside its other YouTubers.

Deyes said that he had been in a “bubble” over the last decade, building up PointlessBlog on YouTube and striking the occasional brand deal, but rarely thinking more ambitiously.

“Everything I’ve experienced in the last nine years has almost been like a bubble,” he said. “And I’ve done extremely well in this bubble, and I’ve had so much fun, but I haven’t seen what is [out there].

“It’s not that I want to hit any particular thing.”

With six minutes of the interview left, it’s difficult to wring precise details out of Deyes beyond the fact he wants to meet people with ideas.

We establish that Deyes doesn’t really want to invest lots of money into startups.

“If someone needs £1 million, there are people who can get £1 million more easily than me. I’m not that person to be chucking in big money early stage,” he said.

Business Insider explained the concept of Seedrs to Deyes, the crowdfunding platform which lets people invest in early stage startups. One of its most famous users is the tennis star Andy Murray.

Seedrs is a new concept to Deyes, but he said he would only invest or collaborate with startups or projects where there was a relationship.

“It would be hard, I don’t know if I would be feel comfortable investing in something without meeting the team and getting to know what I can bring to them and what they want to get back,” he said. “I feel like if it’s just monetary, someone else can provide that bit.”

Asked why he isn’t simply launching his own startup, Deyes said: “I’ve done that. I’ve got an ecommerce store called The Creator Store where we do merchandising for different talent, predominantly YouTubers, we do pop-up shops in London. We’ve done that and it’s great … But there are endless opportunities. I want to see what other people are up to.”

Alfie Deyes needs to diversify beyond YouTube

It makes sense that Deyes wants to diversify.

YouTube stardom probably isn’t a long-term career option and, if Social Blade’s metrics are correct, Deyes’ followers on his main PointlessBlog YouTube channel are strong but plateauing.

Deyes didn’t talk about his metrics with Business Insider, but here are two graphs from Social Blade that shows his subscribers growing quickly, then flattening out:

Alfie Deyes subscribers

Once a YouTuber hits a plateau, it may make sense to prioritise loyal, engaged subscribers over chasing new ones.

And an estimated maximum salary of £1 million a year, while out of reach of most British 24-year-olds, actually isn’t that much considering Deyes’ comparative fame. It’s not enough to put him on any rich lists, and it’s less than the BBC’s highest paid presenters.

Finally, there’s the risk of depending solely on a medium which is still popular with advertisers, but is increasingly running into trouble over inappropriate content, a magnet for predators, and terrorist videos.

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A Disney-Fox deal is not just about Netflix — it also has major ad sales ramifications

the bold type freeform

  • While Disney seems to want some of 21st Century Fox’s content assets primarily as part of its budding war with Netflix, don’t forget about ad sales.
  • The combined media entity would immediately boast a broader array of TV networks to sell to marketers, allowing it to command more clout in the market and deliver elaborate cross-network packages.
  • Fox’s ad team could also help nudge Disney ahead in data-driven ad sales, where it’s fallen behind, ad buyers say.

Investors, commentators, and stakeholders alike are watching closely as Disney closes in on a deal to acquire a collection of valuable assets from 21st Century Fox — a deal that would alter the existing media landscape as we know it.

It would help Disney battle accelerated cord cutting, give it an even bigger repository of content, and help prepare it to take on Silicon Valley giants including Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple.

But less examined thus far is the fact that the merger would make Disney all the more attractive in the eyes of media buyers purchasing ads on behalf of marketers.

Disney is expected to snap up not only Fox’s film and television studio but also cable channels including National Geographic and FX worth $8.7 billion. That represents a massive boost to Disney’s TV advertising portfolio, whose cable-channel assets have been limited to Freeform and the very niche (and mostly ad-free) Disney Channel.

“From a cable point of view, Fox brings in rich assets in the form of FX and National Geographic, an area in which Disney has so far been limited,” one TV ad buyer told Business Insider. “It sounds like a very synergistic compilation of companies and broadens its appeal to marketers.”

Jason Maltby, the president and co-executive director of national broadcast at Mindshare, agreed, saying that Fox presented Disney with a much broader range of networks to sell to giant advertisers. “From a marketplace standpoint, fundamentally what this does is that it allows Disney to become a bigger player in the cable arena,” he said.

The combined entity would also be able to provide advertisers more opportunities to purchase custom, complex ad packages that include a mix of TV and digital ads, said Jim Fosina, the founder and CEO of Fosina Marketing Group.

It also helps that the Disney-ABC TV Group reorganized earlier this year, laying the precedent for what comes ahead. The restructuring put ad sales for its entire portfolio, which includes ABC, Disney Channel, Freeform, and Radio Disney, under the company’s sales chief, Rita Ferro. Buyers expect Fox’s assets to be incorporated under Ferro as well.

“A consolidated Disney where they go to one place for all their needs is far more attractive to marketers,” a TV ad buyer added. “A broader portfolio and reduced competition also allows Disney to attempt to garner a higher premium.”

In other words, Disney could promise one-stop shopping and would set itself up to be one of the few big TV ad players left standing.

Ad buyers have been pushing for such streamlining for years, said Steven Piluso, the head of media and integration at Media Storm. He recalled having to go through numerous sales reps and silos within 21st Century Fox and News Corp, with it being common “to talk to eight to nine different reps to get a deal done.” Consolidation is welcome, he said.

A combined arsenal of Disney-Fox assets might also enable marketers to chalk out larger-scale ad programs that could tap into Disney and Fox’s intellectual property — and its data.

For example, recently the Nissan Rogue was promoted in conjunction with “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” across Disney’s networks, stations, and shows like “Jimmy Kimmel Live” — even on ESPN, which is typically run independently. Campaigns like that could become bigger and more common.

“They have more leverage in the marketplace, more insight into how budgets are allocated, and, ultimately, a tighter grip on the future,” Mindshare’s Maltby said.

That grip could be strengthened by more data. Advertisers have increasingly pushed the TV industry to embrace elements of digital advertising — in terms of audience targeting using data and software — an area where Disney has been seen as lagging.

Fox recently formed a consortium with Turner and Viacom to launch OpenAP — through which advertisers can mix and match data sets to be used for ad targeting on multiple TV networks.

The deal could bring Disney into that fold.

“Until this point, Disney could not have played in behavioral marketing,” Maltby said. “This really gives them the opportunity to play in that space and go beyond targeting based on gender and age and do it based on purchase behavior.”

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Box CEO Aaron Levie thinks going public helps enterprise startups compete with the big dogs (BOX)

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  • When Aaron Levie took Box public in 2015 — nearly a year after first filing — critics wondered if it was too soon for what was once the hottest startup in enterprise technology. 
  • Three years later, Levie said he’s “really happy” Box is public — particularly because enterprise clients like to know what’s going on at the companies they work with.
  • Also, he said, quarterly earnings reports have helped Box mature into a more financially disciplined organization.

Many corporate executives love to grouse about the difficulties involved in running a public company — from the regulatory red tape involved to the market’s intense focus on quarterly results to being at the beck and call of often short-term investors.

But don’t count Aaron Levie among the complainers. Instead, Levie, the founder and CEO of cloud service provider Box, is “really happy” to be running a public company. Among other things, being public has helped reassure Box’s big corporate clients.

“We have a lot more transparency, so our customers know exactly how we’re doing,” Levie said. “They see the underlying financial viability of the company. That’s often fairly opaque to large enterprise customers when you’re selling enterprise software.”

It’s not obvious that Levie would be a fan of running a public company. It took nearly a year for Box to go public after it filed to do so, thanks to concerns about whether it was ready for the public markets and worries about its spending and losses.

After its shares finally hit the public markets in January 2015, Box’s stock price has been on a roller coaster ride. It hit a high of more than $24 a share on its first day of trading, then fell continuously until it bottomed out near $9 a share little more than a year later — before heading right back up again.

But despite all that, Levie says going public has been great for Box. 

Being public has helped Box compete with Microsoft and IBM

When Box was still private, clients would often ask Levie whether it was financially stable. It’s really important to enterprises that their technology providers don’t suddenly shut down. Even for Fortune 500 companies, the failure of such a provider could significantly hurt their business, especially if they are sharing their data and proprietary assets with that provider.

“This is why, often times, for large enterprises it’s easier to just work with the big incumbents in the technology market,” Levie said. “It’s easier to just go to Microsoft or IBM or Google, because you know they’re going to be around.”

But going public helped quell customers’ questions and put Box in a better position to compete with the market giants, Levie said.

“By being public, we look a lot more like those bigger incumbents than we do startups,” he said.

Quarterly earnings reports have made his team more disciplined 

But being a public company has had other benefits for Box. It’s encouraged the company to be financially disciplined, he said.

“When you are public, every single quarter your numbers are going to be public, everyone’s going to see them, and Wall Street’s going to dissect every single element of them,” Levie said. “Having that many more eyeballs on your business just forces you to really, really run your company and operate in a different way.”

Public accountability has also prompted Box to be more strategic and efficient when it makes changes, he said.

“Because we know that in three months, we’ll have to show up again on Wall Street,” Levie said.

Having a publicly traded stock help with morale

Being public has had one other big benefit — it’s helps with employee morale, Levie said.

For many tech industry employees, stock options and other forms of equity compensation are a key component of their compensation. If a company stays private for too long, those options and stock holdings can become a point of frustration for employees, because it can be unclear what those holdings are worth, Levie said. Employees at public companies don’t have that problem.

“It’s helpful to just say, ‘Here’s what the stock-price is. We’re going to work really hard, and hopefully it will go up over time,'” Levie said. “‘But you at least know what the price is and there is no confusion about that.'”

SEE ALSO: Michael Dell doesn’t buy the hype about killer artificial intelligence and tech dystopias

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