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Netflix and International Expansion

Netflix has quickly moved to the forefront of many major American homes over the last few years as consumers become more interested in content they can choose for themselves. A rising issue, however, has been a plateau in the growth of subscribers in the United States.

In order to remedy this Netflix is now focusing on international growth. Initially, international subscriptions made up only 30% of Netflix’s estimated value. These days Netflix has expanded into over 190 countries and grew its internation subscriber base by 5.12 million, considerably greater than the 3.75 million estimate. This is proof that by expanding internationally Netflix has accessed a previously untapped market and is poised for tremendous growth.

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Tencent Success Road

QQ, one of the most successful and essential product of Tencent, has an adorable penguin to be its logo. “Penguin” Empire, 15 years of after its birth, attracted 800 million users globally. Another top-rated “Penguin” Empire product, Wechat, soon accumulated 300 million users in a little more than two years. Wechat gives Tencent more dominance and control in internet and mobile internet fields.

When Tencent was listed on Hong Kong stock market in 2004, its market value was merely USD 1 billion. At present, Tencent’s market value has surpassed USD 100 billion, second only to Google and Amazon in global internet industry.encent’s revenue grew from 1.14 billion yuan (USD 186.77 million) to 43.89 billion yuan (USD 7.19 billion), with 158% compound annual growth rate. Although Tencent entered online leisure game market in 2003, two years later than SNDA and other Chinese online games enterprises, it now accounted for approximately 50% of Chinese online game market and 5 times more than SNDA.

Tencent started from a free online instant messaging software-QQ-gradually accumulating high quantity, activity and interactive frequency users as its core resource. Its products may vary in business model and in cash flow structure, however, strategically, Tencent always revolved around QQ and remained consistent in product top-level design. These different products all shared the core resource, which is QQ’s traffic distribution, and gained revenue in various ways such as game, portal websites, music, blog, and Wechat. For its successful top-level design of QQ, Tencent could always come to the first and make breakthroughs.

Since the launch of Wechat 5.0 on August 5 in 2013, Tencent’s stock price had been soaring. On September 3 in 2013, Tencent’s market value hit HKD 779.9 billion, this was the first time a Chinese internet company to break USD 100 billion. Tencent’s market value on that very day was second only to Google and Amazon.The emerge of Wechat drew much public attention both from investors and industry insiders on Tencent. The astounding growing speed and high user stickiness was said to challenge many traditional industries or even overthrow.

Tencent has developed QQ, QQ game, QQ music and QQ news for mobile to continue its success in PC end. Besides, Tencent also developed many mobile only apps, such as app store, QQ contacts, QQ reader and mobile end games. Though Tencent has developed almost 100 products in mobile end, they contributed few revenue to Tencent. Tencent tried to grasp the entrance to mobile traffic and cultivated another application like QQ. Wechat was the most extraordinary and unexpected application.


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April Fool’s Day From Your Favorite Internet Businesses

This year saw some interesting April Fool’s pranks pulled by major businesses. With the hype about fake news buzzing around the biggest prank day of the year, many businesses went the very-obviously-a-prank route to avoid confusion. Here are some of the highlights:

Netflix Live

Appearing on the home page a few hours before April 1 started, Netflix Live featured Will Arnett commentating for 48 minutes about normal items like a toaster, pencil sharpener, and an office copier. Some people (like myself) were initially excited – is Netflix finally jumping on the bandwagon of streaming live TV? Further investigation proved no, just a silly prank, resulting in a quality 48 minutes of wasted time.

Netflix Live


Amazon’s Petlexa

An Amazon Alexa update that allows your beloved pets to interact with your Alexa home device just like you – but watch out, your cat can now order sushi all on its own.


Google Gnome

A spoof on Google Home, this friendly outdoor Smart Gnome promises to help you with your gardening, tell you the weather, turn on outdoor tools, but don’t you dare ask it to complete an “indoor request.”

Zappos Unstealable Boxes

Zappos takes it’s customer service to the next level by announcing their new invisible, unstealable boxes to combat parcel theft. “With one touch of a button, your delivery goes from timely to transparent.”


This is a fun way to generate buzz around your business, but it can very easily go wrong, so if you decide to pull an April Fool’s prank on your customers next year, proceed with caution!

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Rooster Teeth – A T-Shirt Company in Disguise

When Rooster Teeth was founded in 2003 it was little more than a few friends making a non-sense video series called Red vs Blue, spun out of the Halo video game saga. RvB, as it was soon known, then became the house hold staple to many teenage and college aged young men. Over the next decade this small comedy study grew and began producing content such as Achievement Hunter (a video series of their friends playing games, think, The Know (an internet news source for all things gaming related), my personal favorite RWBY (a very well done cartoon series), and much more.

Now located is Austin, Texas this company has expanded it’s content offering and company size too. With the 2014 acquisition by Fullscreen Media they received the monetary backing to continue to grow their venture as a subsidiary. New animation engines and additional staffing were added to improve the already impressive body of content.

All of these entertainment accolades aside, one must wonder how the company makes money to exist. The answer is remarkably simple, through their loyal fans. Some subscribe to a membership model giving early, and sometimes exclusive, access to content. Most buy paraphernalia such as posters, sweatshirts, and t-shirts. The CCO (Chief Creative Office) laughably joked that they weren’t a content company at all, they were just a really well disguised t-shirt company.

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Well, this post was supposed to be written hours ago, but I got distracted by watching videos from the Ellen Show on EllenTube. With competitors like the online video-sharing king, Youtube, only Ellen Degeneres could have her own video website and somehow keep it afloat.

The website is a hub for all of the addicting clips from the Ellen show. Although EllenTube is a very similar concept as YouTube, it has set itself apart by the website layout, and video categories. The homepage layout consists of image sliders, featured videos, trending hashtags, most recent videos, best user uploads, etc. The color scheme is very colorful and bright, as is the logo, a tv with feet and a color striped screen. The video categories consist of: Kids, Scares, Dance, Cats, LOL, Studios, Celebrity Interviews, Oops, Talented Kids, Ellen’s Favorites and many more. Within each category, the video corresponds with a segment from the show. This makes the video search process for a user much easier because each category is distinct to the Ellen Show. When choosing a video, the website also pushes for the user to share the video on Facebook and Twitter, by placing two large share buttons below the video. By encouraging video sharing, EllenTube is spreading the Ellen Show brand internet-wide.

It is interesting to think about the reason behind this project. Why does Ellen need her own video sharing website? Is there a major difference between EllenTube and YouTube? At first, I was slightly turned off by the project. It seemed a little unnecessary to create an entire website for a television show’s video clips. As I started researching the website and trying it out for myself, I became much more open to the idea. The Ellen Show is known for its laughable segments, charming host, and generosity. EllenTube enhances the Ellen Show’s brand by portraying itself as fun-loving, entertaining and plugged in. And it is easier to get lost in a video binge when the they are all located in one place.

I think EllenTube has done an effective job of promoting the Ellen Show and it’s brand, along with encouraging it’s viewers to say, “just one more video…”

Now back to EllenTube!

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Settlers of Catan: Getting Creative with Long Distance Relationships

Towards the end of her junior year of college, my sister met her future husband. He was graduating, and had already made plans to go to Israel to get a masters for the next two years. Joanna and Mordecai kept in touch over skype for those two years, and were creative with how they spend time together. Sometimes they would cook dinner “together” or listen to podcasts and do work; other times they would invite my brother and me to play cards with them. We placed Mordecai cards on a stand, and he told us “second from the left” to select which card to play.

2012 083 A few of my siblings and I also played cards like this my freshman year of college while they were home for a break and I was still at school. (See image on left.)

Now my brother (a 2nd Lieutenant in the army) is dating a girl currently stationed in Germany. Instead of the usual cards over skype, we tried a new game: Settlers of Catan – the app! – while also using google hangouts to talk.

We had played Settlers before, but never online, so it took a while for everyone to get set up, purchase the app for $4.99 and then get to playing. All in all I thought it was a fun way to spend time together, and we will certainly be playing again (not to mention to get our $4.99 ‘s worth). If you’ve run out of fun things to do with your long-distance family or significant other, I’d recommend giving it a try.

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