Friday, June 21, 2013

Clearwire Big Winner As Sprint Raises Offer

Regardless of whether Dish or Sprint buy Clearwire, it is clear to me that Clearwire and its shareholders are the big winner.  Dish may have wanted the company but they also forced Sprint to raise their offer.  "Clearwire’s board of directors said it has endorsed the new Sprint bid, which values Clearwire at about $14 billion."  So what is Dish to do next, up their bid for Clearwire, go back and bid again for Sprint?  Should Sprint acquire the remaining shares of Clearwire, they will hopefully be able to utilize that spectrum to better compete against Verizon and AT&T in the wireless space.  And a bigger Sprint may be a better acquisition target.

Some rumors that Dish may follow up and partner with Google to raise its bid.  Certainly Google would also like to enjoy the uses of that spectrum for its broadband needs as well.  And Dish and Google might just find some other useful synergies as well.

Video On Instagram and Vine - Not A Fan

15 seconds or 6 seconds, fad or fancy, that's what strikes me as Instagram has added a slightly longer video feature to its photo sharing site.  I did not embrace Vine and I struggle to think that Instagram will be better served with its video feature.  I love sharing photos but find short form videos more kitschy then substantial.  But I am clearly the wrong demo.

My daughter is a big Instagram fan and I asked her opinion on video.  She seemed less than enthralled by it, but others may like sharing quick bite videos of them and their pets.  It may in the beginning create an overwhelming sense of clutter on the site, but  I see that fad interest quickly fading.   User generated content has great value and You Tube has certainly benefited from it; their appeal is that it is not limited by length so that messages can be fully shared, whether 6 seconds or 6 minutes.

At the end of the day, success must also be measured by the revenue that these videos produce.  Photos can be surrounded by a display ad but videos are ideally suited for pre-roll.  Are you really going to put a 15 or 30 second ad in front of a 6 or 15 second video?  Consumers will quickly revolt.  "On Thursday, (Instagram co-founder Kevin) Systrom dodged questions about how video on Instagram could represent new advertising opportunities, though said that Instagram  – which still does not sell any ads — will 'become a business over time.'” Let's hope they have something creative that consumers will accept.