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MoviePass terminated a 'small percentage' of its users for violating its terms of service — and people are freaking out

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 01:38 PM PST


  • MoviePass confirmed to Business Insider that a "small percentage" of accounts were terminated due to users violating its terms of service.
  • People have taken to Twitter to object in very vocal terms.

On Friday, MoviePass terminated the accounts of what it described as a "small percentage" of users who violated its terms of service. 

This was a shock to many users, who took to social media to object to being taken off the service. Many of them said they were confused as to why their accounts were deleted. 

Business Insider obtained an email that was sent out to members who MoviePass said violated its terms of service by purchasing part of a "premium ticket" on their card. However, multiple people who received the email denied they ever did that.

Here's the email:

"Your account has been cancelled effective immediately for violating the terms of service by using your MoviePass card to purchase part of a premium ticket. You cannot sign back up for MoviePass."

Customers who have inquired via MoviePass' customer support account on Twitter were then sent this via Direct Message:

"Thank you for sharing your concerns with us. Your account was cancelled due to Terms and Conditions violation. You should have received an email notifying you on this on February 09, 2018 with a description of the action that was in violation. Please remember to check your Spam or Junk folders for this email. Some email filters may prevent it from being delivered directly to your inbox. Terms and Conditions violations cannot be disputed nor can your account be reactivated. We appreciate your understanding."

Many took to Twitter to voice their frustration and confusion as to why they lost their accounts:

A spokesperson sent the following statement to Business Insider regarding the canceling of accounts:

"A small percentage of MoviePass users have been removed from the system, due to violating the terms of service. We diligently review card transactions to prevent fraudulent activity and take our Terms of Service agreement very seriously. If individuals abuse the service, we must take action so that our model continues to be sustainable for everyone. If customers feel there has been a mistake, they can feel free to reach out to MoviePass customer service via the phone number on the back of their card."

SEE ALSO: George Lucas directed a shot for "Solo" when he visited the set

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: What happens to your body when you start exercising regularly

Uber's new top lawyer, Tony West talked Waymo down from a $500 million payment to $250 million

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 01:32 PM PST

Uber Tony West

  • Waymo's settlement demands went from $1 billion last year, to $500 million this week to $250 million in stock.
  • Uber's new top lawyer hired by its new CEO is being hailed internally as the master of this deal.
  • Even though Uber paid Waymo hundreds of millions in stock, Uber's top executives and board views this settlement as a big win internally, a source says.

The top brass inside Uber are thrilled with the performance of Uber's new top lawyer Tony West. He was the key person who negotiated a deal with Waymo that ended an ugly lawsuit.

On Friday, a few days after the case had gone to court, both sides agreed on a settlement. Waymo asked for $1 billion in settlement talks last year. Uber's executives and boards rejected that. 

Once the trial began, Waymo offered a settlement price of $500 million. Uber's board rejected that deal, too, a person familiar with the matter told Business Insider. 

And it was West who worked with Waymo's general counsel to craft a counter offer the board would swallow: Less of a payment to Waymo coupled with more assurances and control. The stock offer was reduced to $250 million at a high valuation of $72 billion. But it included an agreement to that allows Waymo to make sure its confidential information is not being incorporated into Uber technology, Uber announced on Friday.

Uber's CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and the board view this as a win internally, this person tells us. It clears up the lawsuit prior to a planned IPO for next year and it turns Waymo into investors and, perhaps, an ally, rather than an enemy.

Waymo had sued Uber a year ago claiming Uber had stolen its trade secrets. The lawsuit caused a lot of damage and drama for Uber and cleaning it up was one of the top three priorities given to new Khosrowshahi when he took the job, someone familiar tells us.

Khosrowshahi's other top priorities included securing a massive investment from Softbank deal (which closed last month) and getting the company ready for an IPO. That IPO has been promised for 2019.

SEE ALSO: Uber and Waymo have reached a $245 million settlement in their massive legal fight over self-driving-car technology

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This personal airbag could help protect the elderly from hip injuries

We compared H&R Block and TurboTax for filing your taxes this year — and the winner is clear

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 01:01 PM PST

budget taxes couple family finances computer laptop woman man

• This year, Americans need to file their taxes by April 17, 2018.

• Both H&R Block and TurboTax provide free tax preparation services.

• Business Insider compared the two services to find out which one was easier to use.

Filing taxes isn't exactly my idea of a good time.

But tax season is here, which means I, along with the rest of America, now have until April 17 to file.

The good news is that some of us have the option of using free online tax services to file our 2017 taxes. If your income was less than $66,000 in 2017, many online tax services offer the option to file for your federal taxes — and sometimes state taxes — for free. You can check your options using the IRS Free File Lookup tool.

I took the liberty of testing out the free tax services of both H&R Block and TurboTax — two of the most well-known online destinations for filing taxes. H&R Block primarily deals in tax preparation, but also offers consulting services. TurboTax is an offshoot of tech company Intuit.


Keep in mind, I went through all the steps of filing my taxes with both services, but I didn't actually submit my tax return for this experiment. When our Insider Picks team tried out both services last year to see which one came up with better tax refunds, TurboTax ended up the victor in most cases.

While clicking through both interfaces, I took note of which one felt more user-friendly to me.

With that in mind, I'd declare H&R Block the winner.

For me, the competition was a toss-up in many ways. Both services offered a free file option, which is great. Both offered intuitive and easy-to-use interfaces. As you click through both TurboTax and H&R Block, the software actually takes the time to answer a lot of your questions and keep things moving. That's especially helpful if you're like me, and essentially have no idea what you're doing.

The services also had a similar affect, too. Both sort of lulled me into feeling pretty calm and good about the filing process.

So what set H&R Block apart?

It simply felt a bit more intuitive and seamless. H&R Block also spent less time trying to push me to upgrade. I mean, I get it, but TurboTax always felt a bit insistent in that respect.

But this all comes with one major caveat, because I'm probably not going to use H&R Block to file my taxes this year.

Last year, I used TurboTax to file my taxes. But first, I tried using H&R Block — and ended up quitting it in a rage. For whatever reason, I found it made it extremely difficult for me to file both my Business Insider income and income from my random side hustle. Meanwhile, TurboTax handled the extra income source with ease.

This year, I don't have to worry about my side hustle. But, even though I'll agree that H&R Block has the better service for me this year, I'll probably continue to use TurboTax because it already has all my information and I've already established an account.

All that being said, you probably won't go wrong with either free service.

SEE ALSO: How to use H&R Block to file your taxes for free in 2018

DON'T MISS: How to use TurboTax to file your taxes for free in 2018

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's what Trump's tax plan means for people at every income level from $20,000 to $269,000 a year

Apple's 'defining moment' is here — and it may mean moving past the iPhone (AAPL)

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 12:37 PM PST

Tim Cook with iPhone

  • Apple's slow quarter for iPhone sales may spell trouble ahead for the smartphone.
  • The age of double-digit growth in iPhone sales may be nearing its end, according to UBS Analyst Steven Milunovich. 
  • But Apple has found ways to monetize its installed base through software and new accessories.
  • See Apple's stock price in real time here.

The era of double-digit sales growth for the iPhone may be nearing its end.

Apple is reaching a "defining moment," according to UBS Analyst Steven Milunovich, as demand for the iPhone — the device which catapulted the smartphone revolution and the company's earnings growth — slowed this past quarter. The slowdown suggests that the iPhone" supercycle" is dead.

"The iPhone is now mature," Milunovich wrote. "A mature iPhone means that other categories, especially services and other products, will become material to growth."

The supercycle is marked by a fresh wave of customers and upgrades for a new device, like the iPhone X, which did not materialize in the past quarter. In Apple's first-quarter of 2018 earnings report, the company said it sold 77.3 million iPhone units, down 0.9% year-over-year, compared to analysts' estimates of 80.2 million units.

Some of the weakness in iPhone sales came from China, where the iPhone X has failed to woo consumers because it has been perceived as a smaller phone compared to its predecessors. 

But despite the slowdown in iPhone sales, Apple made a bigger profit this quarter from its installed base of users who bought additional hardware, software and services. Apple devices and accessories like the Apple Watch and AirPod grew 36% year-over-year, and its services segment grew 18.1% year-over-year.

"Not all is lost — the installed device bases are growing, loyalty is high, the iPhone is gaining share, and Apple is far ahead in wearables," Milunovich said.

Milunovich maintained his price target of $190 per share.

Apple was down 6.2% for the year.

Read more about why some analysts think Apple can move past slow iPhone sales and onto making money with other things.

Apple stock price

SEE ALSO: Apple proves it can still deliver profit growth despite slower iPhone demand

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Microsoft President Brad Smith says the US shouldn't get 'too isolationist'

Ripple’s XRP is up more than 50% from this week’s low

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 12:35 PM PST

Ripple XRP price

  • XRP, the cryptocurrency made by Ripple for international money transfers, is trading around $0.90 a coin, up about 60% from its low of $0.56 hit less than a week ago.
  • The third-largest cryptocurrency has had an exhausting February, beginning the month with a dramatic plunge. XRP is currently trading at less than a third of its all-time high of $3.31, set just after the new year.
  • Ripple, which uses XRP to power its cross-border liquidity and settlement products, has tried to quell some of the intense volatility through a three-part series about its vision and strategy. Still, speculative investment on cryptocurrency exchanges has continued to drive wild price swings for XRP.
  • Ripple now boasts 100 customers, with 75 deploying Ripple products commercially, according to its website, including banks like Santander and Standard Chartered, as well as payments firms like MoneyGram.
  • You can track the price of XRP in real-time here>>

SEE ALSO: Sign up to get the most important updates on all things crypto delivered straight to your inbox.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Microsoft President Brad Smith says the US shouldn't get 'too isolationist'

Prominent YouTubers slam controversial star Logan Paul, as YouTube strips ads from his videos

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 12:19 PM PST

Logan Paul

  • Controversial YouTube star Logan Paul, who faced scrutiny last month for uploading a video that showed the body of a suicide victim, is under fire once again.
  • YouTube has temporarily suspended ads on Paul's videos after he tasered dead rats in a recent video.
  • YouTube stars and Twitter users reacted to Paul's antics, with many furious and a tad confused, calling for YouTube to rid itself of Paul for good.


Not only has YouTube had enough of Logan Paul, but some prominent YouTubers have, as well.

Outside of those who follow YouTube culture, Logan Paul may have been a stranger to many before January. But after two controversial videos and action taken by the video platform itself, the YouTube star's antics are reaching the masses.

Paul rose to video prominence on now-defunct video platform Vine, and has over 16 million subscribers on YouTube. He made $12.5 million last year, accoriding to Forbes.

But now YouTube has temporarily suspended ads on Paul's videos following one in which he tasered dead rats. This comes after another controversial video he uploaded made headlines in January, when he appeared with a dead body in Japan's "suicide forest."

Many, including some big-time YouTubers, spoke out on Twitter and YouTube itself to talk about the Logan Paul situation.

Well-established YouTube star Casey Neistat, who has almost 9 million subscribers and sold a company to CNN for $25 millionposted a video to YouTube Friday titled "about Logan Paul," in which he announced that he'd interviewed YouTube's Chief Business Officer, Robert Kyncl, about the future of the platform in the aftermath of Paul's actions. He will post the interview on Monday.

"Back around the New Year when all the Logan Paul sh-- was going down, as a human being I was obviously frustrated and p---ed off and offended by his actions," Neistat said at the beginning of the video. "How I felt as a YouTuber, as somebody who depends on this platform, I was nervous and anxious as to how Logan's actions might negatively affect the entire platform."

Phillip DeFranco, another YouTube personality with over 6 million subscribers, who hosts a political news show, took to Twitter to voice his concerns with Paul. He sarcastically came to "Logan's defense."

"Who of us hasn't used a taser on dead animals, bragged about the 1 million new subs we gained during our suicide exploitation scandal, and made a video asking people about the suicide video so we could use our suicide video tags on a monetized video?" DeFranco tweeted.

DeFranco also tweeted that he hoped YouTube would post a specific policy regarding its move against Paul.

Now that YouTube has taken steps to punish Paul, other notable YouTube stars, along with plenty of Twitter users, are voicing their distaste for him

Catch some of the reactions from YouTubers:





And here are some of the other ways people are reacting on Twitter:








SEE ALSO: A creator with 4.7 million Facebook followers says her reach has been 'decimated' on the platform, and she fears Instagram is next

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why most scientists don't care about these incredible UFO videos

Astronomers have recorded telescope footage of Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster flying through deep space

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 11:41 AM PST

starman spacesuit tesla roadster car earth space last image elon musk spacex instagram

  • This week SpaceX launched Falcon Heavy, the most powerful operational rocket in the world.
  • SpaceX founder Elon Musk's Tesla was the payload, helmed by a spacesuit-wearing dummy.
  • The car was launched toward Mars orbit, but Musk said SpaceX had "no plan" to track it on its journey.
  • However, two astronomers managed to photograph the car flying through space more than 50,000 miles beyond the moon.

On Tuesday, SpaceX pulled off its first-ever launch of Falcon Heavy, which is now the most powerful operational rocket in the world.

On top of the 230-foot-tall launcher, company founder Elon Musk placed his red Tesla Roadster with a spacesuit-clad dummy named "Starman" in the driver's seat. Cameras in the car broadcast live video footage for about 12 hours, until the Roadster's batteries ran out. The car is currently headed out past Mars orbit.

spacex falcon heavy launch florida dave mosher business insider 52During a press conference after launch on Tuesday, Musk was asked if SpaceX had a plan to track the Roadster and help "Tesla tracker" citizen scientists keep tabs on the electric car.

"We don't have a plan. No plan," Musk said. "It's going to be out there for millions, maybe billions of years. Who knows, maybe [it will be] discovered by some future alien race thinking, 'What the heck, what were these guys doing? Did they worship this car?'"

However, two astronomers — Gianluca Masi of The Virtual Telescope Project and Michael Schwartz of Tenagra Observatories, Ltd. — managed to track down the Tesla using orbit data provided by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Here's an annotated photograph of the car as seen through their telescopes on Thursday:

falcon heavy elon musk tesla roadster telescope image spacex virtual telescope project

The roughly two-ton Roadster was about about 290,000 miles away, or a distance roughly 50,000 miles beyond the orbit of the moon.

But Masi and Schwartz didn't stop with still photos. On Friday, they posted what they called a "stunning" animation of the Roadster flying through space. According to Musk, the Roadster was set to rocket to a speed of roughly 25,000 miles per hour.

"We immediately spotted the Tesla Roadster, quite bright, around mag. 15.5," Masi wrote in a blog post. "We managed to take dozen of images, and we used a group of them to show the trail of the object across the stars."

Masi said he and Schwartz will continue to track the Roadster for as long as possible.

"The object is slowly fading: you can image it now with a 6" or so scope," Masi told Business Insider in an email. "In one month or so it will need a much larger scope to be imaged (16" or larger)."

SEE ALSO: I watched SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket thunder into space for the first time — here's what it was like on the ground

DON'T MISS: Elon Musk: 'We want a new space race — space races are exciting'

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Watch SpaceX launch a Tesla Roadster to Mars on the Falcon Heavy rocket — and why it matters

George Lucas directed a shot for 'Solo' when he visited the set

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 10:57 AM PST

Solo lucasfilm

  • George Lucas visited the set of "Solo: A Star Wars Story," but he did more than just say hi.
  • The creator of the "Star Wars" saga came up with a suggestion for a shot and director Ron Howard had the actors act it out.
  • Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy said Lucas' suggestion will "probably get a laugh."

It has become a treasured tradition — like the president throwing out the first pitch at a World Series game — when the creator of "Star Wars," filmmaker George Lucas, visits the set of a movie in the saga he sold to Disney in 2012.

He doesn't do it often.

The last time was during the making of "Rogue One." But it's a way of Lucas showing his approval of what Disney is doing, and laying out some Godfather-like advice to the filmmaker of that project. 

But it was a little different when Lucas came to the set of "Solo: A Star Wars Story." 

And it wasn't just because Ron Howard had taken over the project — following the firing of its original directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller ("The Lego Movie") — who Lucas has known since the 1970s when he directed Howard in "American Graffiti." It turns out Lucas wasn't shy about giving some directing suggestions on set.

George LucasAccording to a profile of Howard in Entertainment Weekly, Lucas showed up on set and "didn't offer a lot of advice except, 'You'll get this,'" Howard said. 

Usually that's when Lucas would head out and everyone would get back to business. However, Lucas didn't leave.

"He had intended to just kind of stop by and say hi, and he stayed five hours," Kathleen Kennedy, the head of Lucasfilm, told EW. "There's even one little moment in a scene that — I can't tell you what, sorry — but in the scene on the Millennium Falcon where George said, 'Why doesn't Han just do this.'"

Without giving anything away, Kennedy said that Lucas' suggestion is a "funny little bit that will probably get a laugh."

"Ron happened to be by the monitor and not inside the Falcon and he goes, 'Oh that's a great idea,' and ran in and said, 'George wants us to do this,'" Kennedy said. "So that was pretty cool. I think George felt pretty great about that. He could revisit these characters, and I think he felt so comfortable, obviously with Ron being there, that it was just fun for him."

"Solo" opens in theaters May 25.

SEE ALSO: The worst TV show of every year since 2000, according to critics

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why you shouldn't panic when markets tumble

The rise of Logan Paul, the 22-year-old millionaire who has 20 million followers — and keeps royally upsetting YouTube (GOOG)

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 10:45 AM PST

Logan Paul

The past few months have been a roller coaster ride for Logan Paul. 

The 22-year-old social media star has built a career off the now-defunct Vine app and later, off of two simultaneous YouTube channels. His Midwestern good looks, slapstick humor, and intricately planned and executed viral videos have earned him millions of dollars and legions of diehard fans. 

But Paul has become embroiled in multiple controversies in recent months, costing him advertising on YouTube and a movie deal with YouTube Red. 

Here's how Paul went from a 10-year-old making homemade videos in his backyard in Ohio to one of the most famous — and controversial — social media stars in the world:

SEE ALSO: 8 reasons you should buy a Google Home Max instead of an Apple HomePod

Paul got his start at age 10, posting videos to the internet using an app called Zoosh.

Source: Insider

By high school, Paul transitioned to now-defunct video sharing app Vine. He started sharing Vine videos that usually included him doing stunts, telling jokes, and playing pranks.

Paul amassed a huge following on the platform. By the time Vine shut down, he had 9.4 million followers.

The Vine app is obsolete now, but Paul's channel still exists online

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Consumers in China are spending the most time in apps

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 10:40 AM PST

China AppsThis story was delivered to BI Intelligence Apps and Platforms Briefing subscribers hours before appearing on Business Insider. To be the first to know, please click here.

China’s app economy outpaces most other markets in consumer spending, the number of apps used, and the overall time spent in apps, according to App Annie. 

Consequently, China’s app market is currently the largest app market globally, with revenues projected to reach $42 billion by 2020, up from $25 billion in 2016. Here are a few key findings from the report that demonstrate how China’s mobile app market looms over other markets:

  • China is the top country in terms of consumer app spending, and is set to remain in the lead with growth accelerating faster than other markets. Consumer spending in China through Google Play, the iOS App Store, and third-party Android stores in 2017 jumped 270% over the last two years to roughly $33 million. This equates to more than 38% share of total global consumer spending in 2017. Meanwhile, consumer spending in app stores in the US, the second-largest market by consumer spend, jumped only 57% in the last year to roughly $15 million.
  • Consumers in China download more apps than consumers in other markets.While the average smartphone user globally has 80 apps on their phone, the average smartphone user in China has over 100 apps stored on their phone.
  • And they spend significantly more time in apps than consumers in other markets.Chinese app users spend roughly 225 billion hours in apps in 2017. That’s more than 4.5 times the next largest market, India, which clocked in close to 50 billion hours in apps in 2017.

Notably, consumers in China spend the majority of their in-app time in chat apps. This makes sense, considering popular messaging app WeChat already hosts over half a million apps within the platform, which helps to keep the majority of users’ smartphone interactions within the chat app. For WeChat users, the app acts as a central hub to the digital world — consumers use it to perform tasks ranging from texting and calling friends, to paying bills for goods and services, to booking doctor appointments. The added convenience of having a chat app that hosts mini-app-like experiences could give WeChat an advantage over other app stores like Google’s and Apple’s.

In 2009, Apple coined the phrase “there’s an app for that,” and within six years, its prophecy had been fulfilled.

Apps had become the primary way people navigate the internet, overtaking mobile and desktop web browsers. And now they account for the vast majority of time spent on mobile devices.

But, despite this dominance, an intensifying engagement crisis is putting the ecosystem at risk. App usage is consolidating and once they've tried an app, users mostly aren’t coming back for more.

This shift could usher in a "post-app" era, which could transform the way consumers access the internet and digital services. Mobile tech giants Apple, Facebook, and Google have each put in motion strategies that best ensure they emerge not only unscathed, but ahead of their competition. At stake is the dominance of an industry projected to reach $102 billion in value globally by 2020.

Laurie Beaver, research associate for BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has written a report on the end of apps that assesses the evolving app landscape, examines how the existing app model is threatened by the decline of broad app usage, profiles the promising new tech in the space across Apple, Facebook, and Google, and explores barriers standing in the way of user adoption.

Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now
  2. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >> Purchase & Download Now

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Tesla's Model 3 is the millennial dream car (TSLA)

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 10:27 AM PST

model 3 interior

  • Tesla is the premier, aspirational car brand for millennials.
  • The company's appeal is rooted in its ability to create a narrative that extends beyond traditional cars to renewable energy, space exploration, and self-driving vehicles.
  • The Model 3's tech features make the car particularly appealing to millennials.

Forget Mustang and Corvette. Tesla is the premier, aspirational car brand for millennials. 

But unlike traditional, aspirational car brands, millennials aren't attracted to Tesla because it implies wealth. They like Tesla because the company cares about more than cars.

"I think Tesla, to a lot of millennials, is more than just a car brand. It's a lifestyle," Kelley Blue Book executive analyst Akshay Anand told Business Insider. 

Tesla's vision reaches beyond traditional cars

Anand said Tesla's appeal to millennials is rooted in the company's ability to create a narrative that includes renewable energy, space exploration, self-driving vehicles, and other developments that could produce wide-ranging benefits for the human race. Anand said millennials "tend to be very cause-centric" and "care about what companies stand for," which makes Tesla CEO Elon Musk a perfect cult figure, and could explain why Tesla was ranked as one of millennials' favorite brands, according to a 2017 survey. 

Musk's ambitions, which include revamping global energy grids and starting colonies on Mars, may reach further than those of any American business executive. He represents the potential for a business culture that cares about more than profits — though it doesn't hurt that he makes beautifully-designed electric vehicles that look like sports cars. 

But Tesla's early vehicles — the Roadster, Model S, and Model X — were expensive, starting above $70,000 and able to hit $100,000 with optional features. So in order to convert young Tesla evangelists into Tesla customers, the company had to make a car that was affordable to those whose salaries and savings accounts didn't justify the steep price tag of a Model S or X.

The Model 3's price makes it more accessible to millennials

Enter the Model 3, which starts at $35,000 and has received a "strong response from millennials," according to Anand. While Tesla is working through significant production delays with the vehicle, early reviews from customers who have received it tend to be positive. The car's handling and acceleration are appealing to owners of all ages, but the car's tech features have a particular appeal among millennials.

"I think that Tesla has a leg up when it comes to technology in the minds of people, and I think that's especially critical when it comes to millennials," Anand said. "We've grown up with smartphones in front of our faces."

For the Model 3, Tesla removed the instrument cluster to bring even more attention to a 15-inch touchscreen display that controls many of the car's interior features. The Model 3 also includes some of Tesla's standard tech features, like over-the-air updates and an Autopilot system with semi-autonomous features that can be used in some situations.

Now, all Tesla has to do is figure out how to make the Model 3 fast enough to keep up with demand. If the hundreds of thousands of pre-orders for the vehicle are any indication, the millennials are waiting.

SEE ALSO: Tesla created the world's best car commercial without spending a dime on advertising

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: VMware CEO reveals which tech will have the most impact on the world, and why Elon Musk is wrong on AI

Comedian Nicole Byer claims she made a disgusting discovery while flying first-class on Delta Airlines (DAL)

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 10:10 AM PST

nicole byer delta story

  • Comedian Nicole Byer said she found poop on her in-flight blanket while flying first-class on Delta Air Lines.
  • She said Delta told her it may have come from a disgruntled employee.
  • Byer said she received 600 Delta Dollars, 50,000 miles, and a refund on her ticket after reporting the incident to the airline.

Airlines put blankets in sealed, plastic bags to make it appear as if the blanket is new — or, at least, has been washed since its last use.

But comedian Nicole Byer found out the hard way that isn't always true. During a recent appearance on "Conan," Byer told a story about a Delta Air Lines flight on which she allegedly found poop on her in-flight blanket. Byer tweeted about the incident in March 2017.

Byer was flying first-class from Louisiana to Atlanta, when, during the descent, she became cold and unwrapped the blanket.

delta poop blanket

"I pulled out the blanket out of this sealed, plastic bag. Open it. A little brown crumble falls on me," she said.

"I open it more and I see this brown thing in it, so I drop it because I was like, 'Is it an animal? What is it?' So then I open it with my foot, this man's staring at me — I'm in first class, thank you — and the smell hits me and I was like, 'Oh my god! Oh my god I think that's a piece of poop!'"

delta poop blanket

After the flight landed, Byer said she told a flight attendant about the incident and asked for hand sanitizer. After the flight attendant inspected Byer's blanket, Byer said the attendant became excited.

"Oh my god, I got to get my phone!" the flight attendant reportedly said.

After tweeting to Delta about the incident, Byer said Delta told her it believed the incident resulted from a "disgruntled employee."

delta poop blanket

Byer then said she negotiated Delta's initial offer of 250 Delta Dollars to 600 Delta Dollars, 50,000 miles, and a refund on her ticket. But her troubles weren't over.

"I found a piece of poop in my phone a week later," she said.

Delta did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


SEE ALSO: A Spirit passenger claims employees suggested she flush her emotional-support hamster down the toilet — and she did it

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The CEO of $445 billion fund giant Principal Global Investors says everyone has the economy all wrong

Snap is trying to capitalize on its killer earnings by launching a direct assault on Instagram

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 09:45 AM PST

Evan Spiegel

  • Snap is trying to capitalize on its killer earnings by launching a direct assault on Instagram.
  • The company is offering free advertising credits worth "several hundreds of dollars" to attract new advertisers — specifically those buying vertical video ads on Instagram, Recode first reported.
  • The hope is that offering such credits would enable the company to attract more small advertisers,  and eventually jack up ad prices and eventually boost revenue.

Following a surprising strong quarter, Snap wants to keep the momentum going by wooing advertisers from its arch-rival Instagram.

The company is offering free advertising credits worth "several hundreds of dollars" to attract new advertisers — specifically those buying vertical video ads on Instagram, Recode first reported. A Snap spokesman confirmed the news to Business Insider.

Snap began offering the free ad credits to advertisers running vertical video ads this week, the rep said. Snap's sales team as well as partners are reaching out to advertisers to notify them of the offering.

They are directing advertisers to a web form called "Accelerate for Social," which requires brands interested to upload evidence in the form of a proof of purchase that they bought ads from a Snapchat competitor within the past three months.

While Instagram Stories unsurprisingly remains Snapchat's biggest rival in the mobile-friendly vertical video ad space, the format is also used by Pinterest and mobile publishers like AdColony, ChartBoost, and Vungle. So brands that have run ads on any of those platforms can participate.

The outreach is primarily targeting advertisers who focus on direct response (such as urging people to install apps or purchase items on the web) as well as other mid-market advertisers, the spokesperson said. Snap, in other words, is taking a page out of Facebook and Google's playbook, both of whom have racked up ad spending from millions of small advertisers using their respective automated platforms.

Snap doubled its total revenue from app install campaigns since the beginning of the fourth quarter, and also decreased cost per installs for its advertisers, chief strategy officer Imran Khan said on the earnings call this week. It also drove 15 times more app installs in December compared to April. So it's no wonder then that it is doubling down on these ad formats.

While Snap's 2017 fourth quarter earnings were a welcome relief for the company, it knows that it must continue to increase its roster of advertisers.

90% of all its ads are now programmatic, or are sold through automated software that auctions off ad spots to the highest bidder. But there aren't enough advertisers bidding for these spots, so the prices remains low. Offering such credits and bringing more brands on board would theoretically enable the company to jack up ad prices and eventually boost revenue.

This is not the first time that Snap has attempted to lure advertisers with free trials and credits. In October, for instance, it launched a dedicated benefits program called "Snap Accelerate" to incentivize startups to advertise on the platform. It has also been aggressively targeting smaller businesses in recent months, rolling out a number of self-serve platform and product rollouts.

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29 photos that show the US-Mexico border's evolution over 100 years

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 09:41 AM PST

us mexico border  1950s

President Donald Trump signed into law a budget deal on Friday morning, reopening the government after a brief shutdown. The deal, set to be revealed on Monday, is expected to increase defense and domestic spending by just under $300 billion over two years. One component is a request for $3 billion toward building a wall along the US-Mexico border, according to Reuters.

Late last year, four construction companies completed 30-foot tall concrete prototypes of the barrier. At the time, Trump insisted that Mexico would foot the barrier's estimated $21.6 billion bill "one way or the other," despite the country's vow that it will never pay for it.

The Trump administration hopes to further secure the border by eliminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows nearly 800,000 young immigrants who came to the US as children to stay and work in the country. Unless Congress finds a replacement, DACA will be phased out starting in March.

But the goal of establishing a firm physical boundary to separate the US from Mexico is nothing new. In the country that has the world's largest immigrant population, American presidential administrations have tried tightening security along the border for around a century.

Though the divide was formally established in 1824, the US didn't launch its official Border Patrol until 1924. Inspection and holding stations were created after that, followed by the construction of miles of fences with barbed wire and steel barriers over the next few decades.

Take a look back at the history of the US-Mexico border below.

SEE ALSO: A group of engineers just submitted this incredible proposal for Trump's border 'wall' that's actually a $15 billion hyperloop

The US established an official border patrol in 1924 with the goal of securing the US-Mexico border. In the photo below, American guards are patting down Mexicans who wish to enter the US.

The Mexicali border station (pictured below in 1929) was surrounded by a tall fence. Cars lined up to cross into California.

Much like today, people coming from Mexico were required to open their bags and suitcases at the border. In this 1937 photo, an agent inspects the possessions of shoppers going from Juarez, Mexico to El Paso, Texas.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

CRYPTO INSIDER: Bitcoin is doing even worse than stocks

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 09:36 AM PST

stock exhange sad

Welcome to Crypto Insider, Business Insider’s roundup of all the bitcoin and cryptocurrency news you need to know today. Sign up here to get this email delivered direct to your inbox.

Stock markets officially entered a correction this week, but bitcoin is doing even worse. It's down nearly 28% since US markets began their slide in late January — even including a rebound during most of this week.

Here are the current prices:

What else is happening:

Business Insider has officially launched its first ever Facebook group, Crypto Insider. Join today to discuss cryptocurrencies and blockchain with readers from all over the world, as well as Business Insider staff. 

SEE ALSO: South Korea's defense ministry is taking steps to keep soldiers from getting caught up in the cryptocurrency frenzy

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NOW WATCH: Microsoft President Brad Smith says the US shouldn't get 'too isolationist'

A new Netflix documentary shows a side of Gloria Allred the public has never seen — and it took the filmmakers years for her to agree to do it

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 09:28 AM PST

seeing allred sundance institute

  • The Netflix documentary "Seeing Allred" gives viewers a look inside the life and career of attorney Gloria Allred.
  • Filmmakers Roberta Grossman, Sophie Sartain, and executive producer Marta Kauffman told Business Insider how they worked in the #MeToo movement just before they had to hand the movie in.

Women's rights attorney Gloria Allred has spent a good chunk of her four-decade career getting in front of the camera. Her fight for women's equality has often seen her in the spotlight, holding press conferences with her female clients who, over the years, have alleged sexual assault by some of the biggest names in entertainment, politics, sports, and business.

But when filmmakers Roberta Grossman and Sophie Sartain approached Allred about making a documentary about her life and career, the media-savvy attorney wasn't very interested.

"We were persistent," Sartain told Business Insider at the Sundance Film Festival, where the movie had its world premiere (it's now available on Netflix), on how they pulled it off. "After about three years she agreed."

During that time, Grossman and Sartain began to build a friendship with Allred's law partners, who relayed to her that the filmmakers were sincere about doing a legacy piece on her. Grossman and Sartain had also brought on veteran TV producer Marta Kauffman (co-creator of "Friends") to executive produce.

Kauffman's involvement helped land Netflix. The streaming giant agreed to take on the movie after seeing some of the footage the filmmakers had shot in 2014, the most striking of which shows Allred holding press conferences with women alleging Bill Cosby sexually assaulted them after spiking their drinks. This news would become a huge media story around the world.

Seeing Allred Roberta Grossman Sophie Sartain Gloria Allred Marta Kaufman Michael Loccisano GettyAlong with looking at Allred's life, "Seeing Allred" also highlights the landmark moments leading up to the current #MeToo and Time's Up movements. Before the bombshell stories emerged about Harvey Weinstein, Allred was representing women willing to go on the record and allege they had been sexually abused by Cosby — and soon after, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The movie also looks back on Allred's history as a dogged advocate. In the 1970s, Allred, who had begun practicing law, was suddenly on talk shows and rallies being a vocal leader on women's issues like sexual harassment in the workplace and the wage gap. Women had someone they could turn to at a time when few lawyers would take on these issues.

The emergence of #MeToo

The challenge for the filmmakers came when the Weinstein allegations surfaced and the #MeToo movement went viral. Or when, as Kauffman put it, "The world changed."

"We thought the film was done," Grossman said.

"I had a day of panic," Sartain said, in response to a question of how the filmmakers approached the idea of including the #MeToo movement in the movie.

"We knew we had to get this moment in as we felt [Allred] in part is responsible for it," Grossman said. "It just reframed everything."

But with a deadline looming and knowing that Allred's constant work meant the film would have to end while she was still in the middle of cases — Allred represents numerous women who have come forward saying Weinstein assaulted them — they couldn't delve too heavily into #MeToo.

Then there's the fact that Allred's daughter, attorney Lisa Bloom, was an advisor to Weinstein when the story in The New York Times came out (Bloom resigned soon after the story ran), something that is touched on very briefly in the movie.

"That was all happening right as we were finishing, we didn't want it to hijack the film," Grossman said of Bloom's involvement with Weinstein.

The filmmakers ended up using the post-Weinstein allegations as a way to close out the movie, with Allred simply saying in a voiceover, "The fight has just begun."

What the movie does drive home is the shift in how Allred is portrayed now in the media. The lawyer, once the butt of jokes by late-night hosts and even portrayed on an episode of "South Park," is now being championed for her work.

"Gloria Allred is a metaphor for the entire movement," Kauffman said of #MeToo and Time's Up. "People look at her as strident, a loud mouth, you can list the adjectives, but people said the same thing about feminists. I think in the film, by deepening her it deepens the movement, and it lets you see beyond what most people think is a brashness. Also, if she was a man fighting for something she'd be portrayed as an incredible leader."

SEE ALSO: "The Tale" is an explosive look at its director's experience with sexual abuse that has Sundance audiences buzzing

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NOW WATCH: JIM ROSS: Here's who will take over WWE after Vince McMahon

Here's how the FAANGs are faring during the stock market's correction

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 09:19 AM PST

Google CEO Sundar Pichai

  • US stock markets are officially in a correction after Thursday's massive drop. 
  • Apple is the only FAANG stock to outperform the S&P 500 this week.

Stocks officially entered a correction Thursday, when the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 both saw the drops from their most recent highs extend to at least 10%.

The FAANG stocks — that is, the tech basket consisting of Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google-parent Alphabet — have been hit just as hard, with only Apple outperforming the S&P 500 this week. 

Over the past five trading sessions, the S&P 500 — a common market performance benchmark — has lost 8.27%. Here's how the individual FAANG stocks have fared: 

So far Friday, the major averages see-sawed between gains and losses before plunging deeper into correction territory. The S&P 500 is down about 0.9% just after noon ET. 

SEE ALSO: Stocks whipsaw after falling into correction

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NOW WATCH: Microsoft President Brad Smith says the US shouldn't get 'too isolationist'

TV measurement is a 'big fat mess' – and billions of ad dollars are at stake

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 09:17 AM PST


  • The TV-advertising industry is wrestling with a massive challenge: how to measure the audience for its shows on digital platforms.
  • Incumbent researcher Nielsen has been working toward a solution, but many network executives are dissatisfied. As more consumers watch shows on devices other than television sets, it only gets more complicated.
  • Having solid measurement is crucial is to keeping advertisers happy, and protecting the $70-plus billion ad market.
  • In the meantime, digital media outlets like Facebook and Google continue to be seen as far more sophisticated when it comes to data, whether that perception is fair or not.
  • There's also tension between the TV networks and digital giants over how video is reported and compared by advertisers and the press. 
  • For the Winter Olympics, NBCUniversal is going its own way, stitching together data from multiple sources to make sure it captures all of the people watching the games.

We're currently in the era of 'peak TV' – with 500 or more scripted series being produced — but nobody seems to have a good handle on how many people are actually watching them.

That may not matter so much if you're Netflix or Amazon, because your subscribers pay the same amount whether they watch one show or twenty. But it matters a lot for $70 billion-plus ad-supported TV industry, which is facing a relentless 'TV is dying narrative' and seemingly fragile advertiser support.

Measuring audiences is a problem because there are more ways to watch the shows than ever before. And the more that TV content is delivered via digital pipes – like say through a Roku device – rather than over the air or through cable, the harder it is proving to track. 

Yes, this is counterintuitive. After all, digital delivery generally leaves a data trail, which has long been one of the powerful differentiators for digital advertising. Who needs old-fashioned Nielsen households when you have real data?

But in reality, the more digital TV gets the more difficult it is to measure. And that potentially puts billions of ad dollars in jeopardy.

Take NBCUniversal, which is set to air 2,400 hours of the Olympics on TV and will stream 1,800 hours of events live. Between its library of networks (CNBC, SyFy, NBCSN) and the expanding number of outlets hosting its content (Roku, Amazon Fire, Xbox, Apple TV, DirecTV Now) the company has a whopping 750 avenues for its TV content to reach people.

"It’s a big fat mess," is how one top TV executive put the state of TV measurement.

It used to be so simple

The traditional way of measuring audiences by Nielsen, the industry's traditional third-party research firm, was to place a limited number of meters in peoples homes to track what channels they were watching, and to fill in the blanks with paper diaries in some parts of the country.

The company, after working to make sure its tracking devices were in enough homes to get a representative sample of the country (with the right balance of younger and older consumers, or men and women), then extrapolated the data from the homes it tracked directly to report on what hundreds of millions of people watch on TV. 

"It used to be so simple," said Mike Law, EVP, managing director, video investments at Dentsu Aegis Network. "'Friends' did a 15 rating and a 30 share. Boom. Done. Right now, there is no one solution."

The problem now is, every time you decide to stream "The Good Doctor" when you want it, where you want it and via whatever device, operating system and app you want – you make Nielsen's job hell.

And the industry is racing to keep up, even though there's not a ton of consensus as to how to proceed.

"It's like driving down a highway, and you need to change drivers and another driver is sitting in the back seat," said Jane Clarke, CEO of the ad industry trade group the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement, or CIMM. "The industry is ready for a change. The advertisers are ready, but the stakes are really high, and they don’t want to make too big a move. So it creates this really terrible look that nothing is happening."

movies streaming

For its part, Nielsen says a lot is happening. The company has been promising to track every screen for over a decade, and its Total Content Ratings product – which aspires to provide a single audience number for an episode of a show like "This is Us," regardless of when and how someone watches it – is being employed by networks like CBS and ESPN.

However, at the moment, measuring TV remains in a bizarre limbo, right at the time when the broader TV ad industry needs a better story than: "Nobody watches live TV anymore. Everyone I know just watches Netflix."

Several major TV companies remain in a something of a staring contest with Nielsen. People in the industry describe a state of measurement paralysis, where media players are pushing Nielsen to do more while also keeping the research company at arm's length.

The stakes couldn't be higher

The television advertising business has actually held up fairly well of late, as major marketers have been spooked by various scandals and crises in digital media like YouTube. The most recent TV upfront selling season was robust, in part because of "desperation" among some marketers, reported Variety. 

Basically, brands don't know where else to put their ads.

But many believe that dynamic won't last forever, given the declining ratings for live, commercial television and the growing trend among marketers of selling directly to consumers using digital channels and loads of data. Even viewership of the once invincible Super Bowl was down this year.

While TV advertising in the US was set to land at $72 billion in 2017, the researcher eMarketer lowered its TV ad spending estimate last September as people ditched cable TV at an accelerating rate.

2017 was also the first time that digital ad spending collectively surpassed TV, according to Recode.

"Unfortunately, sentiment towards the medium worsens as commonly reported or relied-upon measures such as adults 18-49 fall, especially by the significant levels observed recently," wrote Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser. "Negative sentiment ultimately leads to advertisers’ efforts to explore and encourage the use of alternative media vehicles, or otherwise establish marketing goals that are not necessarily awareness-driven,"

The industry is frozen and frustrated

"Measurement is not keeping pace with consumers, and it's a frustrating situation," said Ed Gaffney, managing partner, director of implementation research and marketplace analytics for the ad buying giant GroupM in the US. "Nobody knows where it's going, and they're all waiting for a first step." 

Gaffney says he's seen enough data from individual networks to lead him to believe that ad-supported TV viewing is healthier than you might think. But he wants a common standard and more transparent reporting to emerge – ideally from a neutral third party.

"We know the audience is there," he said. "TV is not dying, it's evolving. And we really want to evolve with it. We really want to count everybody. The problem is, everybody has their own data and nobody shares."

"There is a lack of consistency around data that is concerning," he said. "It's an incomplete picture. So the perception becomes, 'it's bad.'

Olympics Freestyle Skiing MogulsNBCU is going its own way for the Olympics

For the Olympics, NBCU will not rely solely on Nielsen data. It will pull in some data on streaming from Adobe as well as ad impressions data from FreeWheel (the ad tech firm owned by parent company Comcast), as well as other data from the Oracle-owned analytics firm Moat.

Similarly, in Europe, Discovery-owned Eurosport announced that it had developed its own proprietary methodology to help tell the world how many people watch the Winter Games on TV, the web and various devices and apps. 

"We are still measuring at the speed of the horse and buggy," said Jean-Briac Perrette, Discovery Networks International president and CEO. "The Olympics are probably the best laboratory for multi-screen usage. So we cannot just sit by. We’re not going to keep waiting for third parties to get this together."

Niesen says it's making steady progress

According to Jessica Hogue, Nielsen's SVP of Digital Client Solutions, 35 networks are using its Total Content Ratings product in some fashion. Some are using the data internally, while some are using it to report the performance of individual shows to the outside world.

However, Nielsen isn't publishing an industry-wide ranking of all the top TV shows like it long has for traditional TV. "Right now, it's still in limited commercial release," she said.

For instance, CBS said last summer that based on Nielsen's TCR data, its prime-time shows saw their audiences jump 53% when non-live viewing (like people watching "The Big Bang Theory" on demand or via their DVR) was factored in.

mayim bialik jim parsons melissa rauch big bang theory cbs

Other companies like Turner are using the product to measure specific viewer activities, such as when people watch shows on demand via their cable boxes.

"We actually feel really good about where we are," Hogue said. "We have a number clients who have done the real work, and many are sitting on live data."

There's an argument for having just one company track TV metrics

Simply put, the more sources of data you employ, the more chances that you'll have overlap in the data sets and won't know about it. You'll be using different denominators, so to speak.

"The most important thing about getting TV metrics right is, you just don’t really understand how best to serve your customers and advertisers unless you have a single source of measurement," said Cary Meyers, ESPN’s senior vice president, fan and media intelligence. "You can’t understand big things like, 'Is digital cannibalizing TV or not?' Really, this is bigger than just advertising – it informs how we produce, how we program and how we distribute."

Thus, ESPN is working with Nielsen to report the total number of people that watch games on its networks and digital outlets.

Yet at the same time, ESPN corporate sibling ABC has developed its own way of tracking the total viewership of its shows across its various apps.

"We've been pioneering on this front," said Brian West, Executive Director, Cross Platform Engagement & Analytics, Disney/ABC. "We actually have a good sense of what is happening on our owned platforms, but there’s a lot of viewing outside our own apps, like on services such as Hulu or the emerging digital MVPDs, which is more complicated to measure. Further, understanding the view across the landscape, and where we fit into it, is an essential part of the story but requires broad adoption of new measurement systems across the industry."

The famous NBCU letter to Nielsen

Nielsen was supposed to finally roll out its much-anticipated Total Content Ratings product widely in early 2017. It was meant to finally answer the industry's desire to be able to track the total audience for all TV shows, whether people watch live, on demand, on a networks' website, on Hulu, via a streaming service, via a network's app, and so on.

The hope among TV insiders was that TCR would serve as a precursor to being able to measure the total reach of ads tied to such shows (right now, TV shows don't always carry the same number of ads on digital platforms that they do on live TV). And that might keep more ad money in TV.

But back in December of 2016, NBCU rocked the TV ad world by issuing a letter to Nielsen saying TCR was not ready and needed to go back to the drawing board.

linda yaccarinoLinda Yaccarino, NBCU's chairman, advertising & client partnerships, called it "irresponsible" to release the product at the time, arguing that it would do more harm than good, Ad Age reported.

There are multiple theories out there as to why NBCU took the position it did.

1. The Nielsen is inept theory

There's no doubt that tracking TV is hard these days. Networks distribute content on every conceivable platform, and people consume it on their time frame.

And unlike digital media, content and advertising doesn't flow through a single system (such as Google's DoubleClick ad serving and publishing software).

Thus, to track total content ratings, Nielsen requires network partners to implement an SDK, or software developer kit, for each and every app they use. That's time-consuming and expensive, and feels never ending, network insiders say – since new platforms constantly emerge and existing apps have to updated regularly.

Could Nielsen have gone with a different, less labor intensive route to collect digital TV data? Some argue yes, some say no.

Then, there's the tech itself. Many TV executives who spoke with Business Insider say that Nielsen's SDK is deeply flawed. It's not only buggy, but there are regularly data discrepancies found, even for companies that have bought into using TCR. It's also just not easy to use, say some media insiders.

Some media companies say they've been pushing Nielsen to make fixes for years, and have yet to be satisfied.

"They are not a technology company," said one media executive. "And it shows."

Nielsen's Hogue defended the company's capabilities while acknowledging the dynamic nature of tracking TV measurement. She pointed to the fact that Nielsen is plugged in on several of the more cutting-edge TV services, like YouTube TV and Hulu's live streaming service, as an endorsement.

"The reality is, we don’t prescribe the market," she said. "Consumers are gonna do what they are going to do. Our job is to make sure we can measure it. For some networks, there’s real work there to be done. That's why we constantly beat the drum. Measurement is a team sport."

2. The networks have something to hide theory

Nielsen's tech may be imperfect. But even if it were, would TV networks like what they see? Many contend that TV networks have been complaining so much about Nielsen's product because they don't want to tell the world how few people have actually downloaded their apps.

After all, TV companies generally aren't shy about touting their hits. If millions of people were watching "Broad City" on the Comedy Central app every week, wouldn't the network be shouting about it?

Broad City3. The networks have no engineering talent theory

Another issue TV insiders bring up: big traditional media companies are not swimming in engineering talent like Facebook and Google. So these app implementations are tough.

"Let's say you’re CNN, and you've got 82 versions of your app out there," said CIMM's Clarke. "You’ve got to get a developer who lives in Norway or something. And you tell him, 'Hey you’ve got to put this code in.' It's not going to be fast."

"They you get the lawyers involved, and you ask them, 'Is this ok from a privacy perspective? Is it ok to give my data to Nielsen?' That can take a year. Then every time you update your app you have to change things. It’s really complicated. Then Nielsen turns to you and says, 'you owe me millions of dollars."

For example, Nielsen's asking price to fully implement Total Content Ratings for NBCU was $7 million, said people familiar with the matter.

4. The TV industry versus Facebook and Google theory

Here's where the tension thickens. A significant objection some TV networks have had with TCR wasn't its technology, but the way that data was going to be compared and contrasted with video viewing on Facebook and Google, and how it might be publicly reported.

For example, a big point of contention in TV land is how audiences for TV shows get compared – they think unfavorably – with various YouTube or Facebook videos, let alone the platforms entirely. An average of 10 million people watching "Empire" every minute for a full hour is way different than a cooking video getting 5 million views on Facebook, they'll argue.

tor cat videos on youtubeThe fear was that if an NBC or Fox fully and publicly participated in TCR, Nielsen would start pumping out reports showing that 12 million people watched one of their shows on a Tuesday night, and 90 million people collectively watched a few seconds of a Facebook video - confusing ad buyers and marketers.

“Getting TV networks and digital behemoths to agree on comparable metrics is no small task," said David Levy, EVP at Fox Networks Group. "This is a zero-sum game and the stakes are high. But the simple fact is if we are going to move to comparable metrics then the standards need to be the same. Measuring reach as a minute on TV and two-second views or visits in digital isn't apples to apples. "

"TV is incredibly transparent," Levy said. "Everyone else is incredibly opaque, and that hurts the TV business."

Nielsen said it has had multiple conversations regarding how duration of viewing should be factored into raw digital "view" numbers, and how audience numbers from different media should and shouldn't be compared.

"We are leaning in here," said Hogue.

As for its relationship with Facebook or the politics involved, Nielsen declined to comment. The research firm also doesn't talk publicly about its costs, but Hogue defended its value.

"Our business, what we do ... it underpins the 70 or 80 billion dollar TV market," Hogue said. "The quality of what we do, our clients have full confidence in it. We know the market expects quality."

5. The Facebook and Nielsen besties theory

Here's where it gets even messier, or more conspiratorial, depending on your point of view. Not only do TV guys think comparing web platforms with TV shows is as apples and oranges as it gets. In addition, for the past decade, Facebook has supplied Nielsen with data to help it track digital audiences and ads. This makes big media companies uncomfortable.

For instance, a big TV network may promise an advertiser it will deliver 5 million digital ad impressions aimed at women between the ages of 18 and 34 for a campaign. 

Then, after the fact that agency might come back to the network and say, 'Well actually, according to Nielsen, you only delivered 3 million ad impressions aimed at this target. You owe us more."

How does Nielsen know such a campaign under-delivered? Thanks in part to Facebook's data.

So from TV networks' perspective, Facebook is already making them burn extra ad space, courtesy of Nielsen. And now Nielsen wants to put out numbers that show how much bigger video is on Facebook and YouTube, so they can theoretically pull more ad budgets from TV.

And Nielsen is charging for this privilege. No thanks, say networks. Or so the theory goes

6. The agencies are dragging their feet theory

Even as all of the major stakeholders agree that TV viewership, and therefore TV advertising, will never be the same and that the industry likely warrants a total metrics and currency overhaul – ad agencies are still set up for the old way of doing things, some ad sellers contend.

Everything from the media spending recommendation programs they use, to the billing systems they employ, are all built for old-fashioned GRPs, i.e. gross TV ratings points. That's how TV ads have been bought and sold for decades. And changing that is a Herculean task. So inertia proves powerful.

The comScore letdown

In 2015, the digital research firm comScore acquired Rentrak, a metrics company that pulls data from cable boxes. The TV ad industry rejoiced – finally some real competition for Nielsen.

You don't hear that kind of talk much anymore. Since then, comScore has been besieged by accounting problems and an angry Wall Street. Few of the executives Business Insider spoke with were bullish regarding comScore's prospects for making a real run at fixing TV measurement.

"They are completely nowheresville," said one media executive.

comScore declined to comment for this story.

In the meantime, TV networks haven't exactly shut their doors. They are using whatever data they have to help advertisers navigate the new digital world. And since ad space on apps and other 'over the top' outlets is relatively sparse at the moment, they're often able to easily sell it out – at least for the time being.

"They scotch tape measurement together," said Clarke. "That’s what everybody’s doing."

Wait, do TV ratings really matter anymore?

In the past, what most advertisers cared about getting their commercials in front of people to tell their stories. 

Yes, they wanted to reach the right people, so they targeted ads to moms or young men. But what mattered was exposure. Which meant running ads on shows that got ratings.

Sheryl Sandberg Facebook shrugBut in the digital, big data, programmatic era, so much of the ad industry – driven by Facebook and Google's lead – is trying to track how advertising directly impacts business results, rather than how many people see ads.

So some in the industry wonder, why does it matter how many people in given week watch "Madam Secretary" on various platforms? Should advertisers still care if their ads reach a show's entire audience? Or will they be better off zapping different ads to different people on different devices, like on the web?

GroupM has urged the industry to take things one step at a time. Rather than blow up the current metrics and currency and entire they way TV is bought and sold in one fell swoop — let's measure how people watch TVs shows and ads for now, the company says.

Even if they are accused by some of being stuck in an old way of thinking.

"We hear that a lot," said Gaffney. "But you need to eat an elephant one bite at a time."

The outsider opportunity

It's worth noting that the list of companies NBCU is utilizing to track Olympic performance includes Adobe. Several ad industry executives predict that as more big marketers turn to marketing cloud software companies like Salesforce, Adobe, Oracle, and others to guide their decisions, they'll be natural contenders to track media research.

"The biggest reason it isn’t happening holistically is that no one buys this way right now," said Dave Morgan, CEO of the TV ad buying tech firm Simulmedia. "When you're trying to create a new currency that is based on shopper data, etc, enterprise tech is the real threat to Nielsen." 

So perhaps a company like Adobe or Oracle could emerge as the new Nielsen someday. Still, Morgan noted, "There’s a long history of Nielsen contenders that have come and gone."

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NOW WATCH: No one wants to host the Olympics anymore — will they go away?

A simple mantra has helped a $12 billion investor crush the market for the past decade (LVMH, BA)

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 09:07 AM PST


  • Oppenheimer Global Fund, a portfolio of large-cap US and international stocks, has outperformed its MSCI benchmark index since 2008.
  • Co-fund manager John Delano told Business Insider the fund uses a thematic approach that fits into the acronym MANTRA, which stands for Mass Affluence, New Technology, Restructuring, and Aging.
  • For example, mass affluence is based on the bet that the world is going to get richer. As such, the fund is invested in luxury brands including LVMH.  

The stock market may be going haywire, but John Delano has his sights set on 20 years from now.

He's the co-manager of the $12 billion Oppenheimer Global Fund, a portfolio of large-cap US and international stocks that has outperformed the MSCI All-country World Index (excluding the USA) since 2008 according to Morningstar data. 

Like many stock pickers, Delano and his team have a bottom-up approach that scrutinizes several companies to single out stocks with the highest return potential. But he also uses a thematic approach to find companies tied to economic trends he thinks would still be powerful many years from now.

The themes fit into a simple acronym: MANTRA, which stands for Mass Affluence, New Technology, Restructuring, and Aging.

"The stocks are driven bottom-up, are owned for five-to-ten-plus years, and are driven by these ongoing trends that have a very long life to them, Delano told Business Insider. "We're betting on the sustainability of the advantages the companies have to really garner outperformance and returns."

Delano used mass affluence to illustrate how MANTRA comes to life in the portfolio. 

Mass affluence is based on the view that, on aggregate, the world is going to get richer. 

"As the world continues to create more wealth and people are able to move from a 'needs' to a 'wants' category with disposable income, one of the things they naturally want is for luxury goods," Delano said. 

One of the fund's biggest holdings is LVMH, the parent of Louis Vuitton. Delano sees it as a company that's keen to buy out others for its growth, as the $13 billion deal with Christian Dior last year demonstrated. It's a company that "has the brands and economic moat that gives them a chance to earn sustainable returns," Delano said. 

Luxury retailers stand out from the broader industry that's in turmoil, he added. That's because they usually have full control over their distribution. "Other retailers are really just trying to distribute products that they don't own," he said. "So the margin opportunity is drastically different."

Other luxury brands the fund owns include KeringTiffany, and Brunello Cucinelli.

Mass affluence is also likely to increase the need and desire for travel, Delano said.

The market for makers of consumer aircraft is effectively a duopoly between Airbus and Boeing. Delano's pick is Paris-listed Airbus.

"For Airbus, the real opportunity has been it's evolved over time from being a company really controlled by the various countries in Europe to being more commercially oriented," he said. The company was created in an agreement between the governments of the UK, France, and West Germany in 1970. 

SEE ALSO: Meet the $12 billion investor who's beat the market since the financial crisis mostly by ignoring it

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