The weekend review: TV goes mobile, Softbank + Sprint = ?

This week, we kicked into high gear for our first conference of the year: Structure Data will take place in New York City on March 19-20. We’re excited about the entire show, of course, but we’re especially thrilled to be welcoming a great lineup of speakers to the stage (including leaders from McLaren, Palantir and the FTC), and of course, we’ll be hosting another one of our signature Mapping Sessions during the conference. But in the meantime, our analysts are taking a look at how data impacts the tech sector at large – including the consumer and cloud sectors. Some of this week’s most popular research includes reports on the infrastructure of the internet of things, the future of TV, and what’s going on with the SoftBank/Sprint merger.

First, in “Mobile disruption in the living room in 2014,” Paul Sweeting looks at the increasing use of mobile devices in conjunction with TVs. While the second-screen apps trend has largely dissipated, Sweeting instead focuses on the shift from fixed to mobile platforms, spurred by “the development of communications protocols for connecting and syncing mobile devices with the TV…gradually pulling TV viewing and TV content deeper into mobile ecosystems.” The use of mobile devices also provides greater opportunities for content and data personalization – a prime space for advertisers and behavioral targeting. Mobile also provides a different data trail that traditional distribution channels, and Sweeting provides a nuanced analysis of traditional targeting advertising, and how the shift to mobile stands to disrupt these models (and their associated ad budgets) accordingly.

Next, in “Further impacts from the SoftBank-Sprint merger,” Michi Kaifu takes a look back at the six months that have passed since Sprint merged with Japan’s SoftBank. She rightfully notes that international telecom mergers and acquisitions have had a rocky history, and as a relative unknown in Silicon Valley and the US, SoftBank is an especially challenging partner for Sprint to work with. While SoftBank has dominated the Japanese mobile market by executing aggressive strategies around smartphones and the iPhone, the company has issues with cultural communication and clear messaging that could adversely affect their future in the US. Kaifu delves into SoftBank’s corporate background and historical business strategies, especially as they align (or conflict) with Sprint’s own ambitions.

Last, in “Enabling IoT,” Jon Collins considers current business use cases and strategic options for the manufacturers and developers of the embedded devices, sensors, networks, and cloud platforms that comprise the backbone of the internet of things. Citing Moore’s law and the continued decrease in manufacturing costs, Collins focuses especially on how “more actively responsive sensory network[s] driven by cloud-based analytics” could be adopted and used across a wide range of use cases, and provides a detailed look at the infrastructure necessary for IoT architecture.

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