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IDB Financed a Record $4.5 Billion in Climate Change-Related Activities

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IDB Launches 2021 Sustainability Report Focused on Integrated Climate Action

Last year, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) financed a record $4.5 billion in activities related to climate change, according to its 2021 Sustainability Report. These resources, which account for 30% of the Bank’s total annual approvals, are benefiting the region through loans, grants, technical cooperation, guarantees, and equity investments.

The report highlights IDB’s unique integrated approach to sustainability in its governance, strategy, policies, and project cycle, leading climate action devoted to jobs generation and socioeconomic benefits, disaster-risk management and resilience, biodiversity, and innovative financing tools under a gender and diversity-inclusion focus.

“In today’s IDB, we believe in the urgent need to move past climate change diagnosis and significantly ramp up our efforts to tackle it. If we and our member countries do so, Latin America and the Caribbean is poised to become the world leader in addressing an issue that knows no borders,” IDB President Mauricio Claver-Carone said.

The report showcases projects and publications on sustainable development in the region financed and coproduced by IDB. It highlights the consistent decrease in the greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint of the Bank’s lending portfolio, among other metrics, its projects’ disaster and climate change risks, and the application of its environmental and social policies.

In 2021, the IDB achieved important milestones under its sustainability framework. At COP26 (United Nations Climate Change Conference) in Glasgow, the Bank announced its commitment to align all operations with the Paris Agreement starting in 2023, and to provide $24 billion in climate and green financing during the 2022–2025 timeframe. Additionally, multilateral development banks (MDBs) led by IDB at COP26 released a Joint Statement on Nature, People, and Planet. The document commits to mainstream nature into policies, analysis, and investments.

Likewise, IDB’s new Environmental and Social Policy Framework (ESPF) took effect on November 1, 2021, setting ambitious new standards to help clients tackle environmental and social issues. IDB is leading the development of a regional platform on climate change for finance ministries, a network to promote a shared understanding of their role in the climate agenda.

The Bank’s Board of Directors also approved the Amazon Initiative, devoted to mobilizing public and private resources to forge and implement sustainable development models based on human capital, natural wealth, and the cultural heritage of the Amazon region.

The report includes a Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) annex that sets global standards for sustainability reporting, relying on best practices for reporting on a range of economic, environmental, and social impacts.

Climate change action is one of the priority areas of Vision 2025: Reinvest in the Americas, IDB’s blueprint for Latin America and the Caribbean’s post-pandemic recovery and sustainable and inclusive growth.

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social, and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance, and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.

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Social Media Copycats – Short-form video is the hottest thing on the internet right now!

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“Short-form video is the hottest thing on the internet right now, and the market leader in monetizing the format is TikTok. The platform, owned by Beijing-based Byte Dance Ltd., has more than 1 billion active users of its AI-curated content. Its success is compelling competitors to copy its formula.

But imitation is proving hard, Parmy Olson discovered in a conversation with social-media consultant and industry analyst Matt Navarra. Facebook-owned Meta Platforms Inc., for example, has spent years delivering content to its users based on their social networks, and is now shifting to letting algorithms decide what people might like. Parmy argues that the pivot to video will make content moderation much more difficult, because it’s harder for computers to scan moving images for nasty content than text. Matt reckons that users will remain stuck in their silos and resistant to alternative viewpoints. “It’s one of those problems that social media is never really going to solve,” he says.”

Source: Bloomberg

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Netflix Could Open A New Chapter For Streaming

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“We rely on transparency. We can’t control what we can’t see. We require persistent identity.” – Josef Kenik, “Anon,” K5 Films, 2018
In California, where we live, people bid on the average of seven homes before they finally get one they want/can afford.

When we visit Puerto Vallarta and see something we kinda like at the mercados, we’ll visit at least four stalls before mutually agreeing on a price we’re willing to pay … one we feel is good for us, good for them.

And that, my friends, is how most people choose their entertainment services.

O.K., there’s a segment of the viewing public that can only enjoy something if it is free (pirated) but there’s a pretty easy way to stop/slow the thieves. MESA (Media & Entertainment Services Alliance) has a whole group of folks who have developed solutions to protect content from beginning to end – https://tinyurl.com/4zp3rap2 – “because we want you to make it difficult for the ‘totally free’ folks.”

If those users dislike streamers capturing/using their info, what do they think the Torrent sites do? … jeezz!

As for the industry, we’ve never figured out why services brag about how many times a movie/series is pirated. It’s not only money out of their pockets but it also means the rest of us foot their bill!

Piracy costs streamers an estimated $30B plus every year and password sharing (freeloading) costs about $6B.

It’s not free advertising!

Every streaming service is saying enough is enough.

Despite Netflix’s miserable numbers for the 1st quarter, the bottom didn’t fall out of SVOD…far from it.

But SVOD has reached a point where it has to evolve.

No one really knows what the next phase will look like, but everyone has an opinion.

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Change – Netflix started the change in home entertainment back in ’97 when it bypassed the box stores to send folks DVDs direct to their home. Now it’s time for the next phase.
In August 1997, Netflix sent out its first red envelope (which started out white) and at their peak were sending out 12M DVDs a week.

In 2007, the company turned on the streaming spigot. Demand for new, unique content grew to 221M plus.

There are still 2M plus folks out there who want the envelope.

When they were “the only game in town,” studios fell all over themselves to have them distribute their film/series titles … until executives figured out they could do that too and make even more money.

In a little less three years, nearly all of the studios have reshaped their theatrical priorities and networks, moving from the day/time TV bundle to their own any time, any place, any screen service.

They all want to be the place where a subscriber will go so they can charge a fee based on “the value” of their content (translation … as much as they can get).

After all, $20/mo. is a lot less than the old $200/mo. subscribers used to pay for that overweight cable bundle.

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Content Spend – Consumers don’t just want movies and shows to watch; they want original content. People in different countries also want different content which has stimulated greater opportunities for content creators to develop material for home and abroad.
There are more than 300 SVOD/OTT services around the globe and that is expected to grow to 600 by 2025. All are focused on capturing their share of the 2B subscriber market by spending billions on “new, unique” content because … content is king.

Streaming investments led by Comcast, Disney and Netflix saw the global spend on content reach $220 billion in 2021 with the pot set to exceed $230 billion in 2022, according to a new report from Ampere Analysis.

In the US, 80 percent of TV households or 122.4M, have at least one SVOD service while the average number of services per household is four, according to Ampere Analysis.

In addition, the average churn rate is 35 percent.

Tough but tolerable.

Consumers will spend about $82.5B this year for subscription video content or $69.49 ARPU (average revenue per user).

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It’s Not One Form – Contrary to what some folks would like you to believe, the world isn’t all about streaming. In every country, there are a variety of ways people get their entertainment and that will continue.
But around the globe there are home/personal video entertainment options available that people can spend money on for ad–free services as well as less expensive and ad–supported services.

To entice folks to its service, Netflix set the bar high by signing multiyear contracts with leading content producers/developers and then funding/controlling the resulting projects.

That worked great by serving up popular shows like Ozark, Orange is the new Black, House of Cards, Stranger Things, The Crown and more. They’ve even shown the industry that regional shows have global audience appeal.

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Time for Change – Netflix, and the entire content distribution industry, has quietly tolerated people sharing SVOD passwords. However, it’s impacting everyone––even though folks have said, “hey if it wasn’t so easy, we’d change.” Now, it’s time to take back control.
Netflix took a page from Hollywood and bragged about how many Torrent downloads – free word of mouth advertising – projects it had.

They really wanted to recover some or all of that revenue but …

While Netflix has tiptoed around the password sharing issue for a long time, most recently by offering phased pricing for friends and family viewing.

The test program was a resounding failure coming at the same time the company increased monthly fees which after years of overlooking password sharing didn’t go over well … to say the least.

Went over like a lead balloon.

Long time content producers/servers like HBO Max, Disney, Hulu, Amazon, Apple have had password protection capabilities and enforcement from the outset, so password sharing is minimal and aggressively discouraged.

Netflix, the globe’s leading SVOD by a wide margin, invested heavily in local content development which has helped them grow nicely in 190 countries in regions like the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), SEA (Southeast Asia) and LatAm.

But the service has always been a lot like Henry Ford’s Model T observation, “You can have it in any color you want, as long as it is black,” or in their case, all the content at one set fee.

Have they been considering growth options?

Sure!

The most tangible action has been its video game acquisitions (Next Games, Night School, Boss Fight) to tap into the lucrative, constantly connected Gen Z (10–24 years) $6B download and streaming gaming market.

It has worked … the games have attracted the younger crowd to its platform and its shows.

But offering tiered pricing options is something Hastings has resisted for years.

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Oh Yeah – It’s fun – and deadly – to believe that people hate ads which is why they click away. But they don’t hate ads … they hate bad, moronic, boring, repetitive, sloppy ads.
Snobs have been drinking the Kool–Aid … people cut their cord to escape advertising.

BS! Study after study has proven that’s not the case.

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Bad, Too Many – Consumers have consistently said they are willing to exchange their time to watch ads with their content as long as there aren’t so many and that they’re relevant. All services and marketers have to do is listen/act.
We’re not a reverse snob but we like ads … good ads.

We don’t like 20 minutes of ads an hour.

We don’t like the same stupid ads again … and again … and again …

That’s probably why advertising exploration/explanation was such a hot topic at NAB (which we covered earlier); and Hastings is right … there’s a lot of work to be done! And people want choices.

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Value – People are clearly willing to watch good advertising along with their content as long as ads don’t dominate the content airtime.
But Hastings and Netflix now have the opportunity to take the lead again not only with the content creation industry and the consumer but, more importantly, in helping the ad folks clean up the crap and do things right.

Netflix has the richest (most valuable) database of global viewer information (followed closely by Amazon and Apple) which can be used by the company to educate, assist marketers in developing more effective ads, understanding the best balance of ads and how to create ads people interact with as much as they do with the firm’s entertainment content.

Much as advertisers would love to have access to that data, it shouldn’t be shared.

The company needs to use the information to help advertisers give viewers a better experience when they view and interact with the ads.

Of course, it starts by Hastings making good on one the company’s founding precepts – giving consumers choice.

Sure, it will undoubtedly be expensive in the short term as an unknown number of subscribers shift to the lower–cost options.

That will only give Wall Street yoyos who only a short time ago were pushing folks to buy their stock to say, “See, we told you they couldn’t do it.”

However, many will stick with their ad–free status, others will “adjust.”

More importantly, it will increase the number of people/households using the service and mitigate churn.

Hastings has already signaled that the company will examine its options over the next year or two and make decisions that are right for the content creation industry, global consumers and last, but not least, investors.

Turning the industry leader won’t be easy or free of pain but in putting a positive spin on the change of heart Netflix COO Greg Peters said adding ad tiers, “is an exciting opportunity for us.”

The ceiling for Netflix isn’t 222M subscribers.

The ceiling is really 1B plus folks around the globe who want their entertainment when they want it, where they want it and, on the screen they have in front of them.

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Market Share – Netflix has clearly established itself as the benchmark for watching original content around the world. It’s possible for the company to maintain that leadership and develop content delivery solutions that will satisfy everyone … including shareholders.
Tiered service options that include efficient, effective, intelligent ads will give folks the opportunity to watch what has clearly been the most sought–after content in a way that is budget friendly and treats them as intelligent individuals instead of targets.

Netflix has the data, infrastructure, experience and understanding of UI as well as recommendation and integration capabilities.

They offered something totally unique that people came to want/expect back in 2007; and now, they have a chance to do it again.

They enriched the content creation/distribution market before and now they have a chance to repeat it in the years ahead.

There was certainly plenty of interest at NAB on how content providers and marketers could improve the quality and effectiveness of advertising.

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Netflix might have the opportunity to take it to the next level.

The goal for everyone is to understand and interest folks, keeping in mind what the Girl in Anon said, “It’s not that I have something to hide. I have nothing I want you to see.”

Imagine getting ads in your content that you stick around to watch instead of running to the kitchen or bathroom.

It could happen, but it’s going to take time.

It’s not an end to original content creation, but it could improve ads.

Think about it … sitting there watching original content advertisements.

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Andy Marken – andy@markencom.com – is an author of more than 700 articles on management, marketing, communications, industry trends in media & entertainment, consumer electronics, software and applications. An internationally recognized marketing/communications consultant with a broad range of technical and industry expertise, especially in storage; storage management and film/video production fields; he has an extended range of relationships with business, industry trade press, online media and industry analysts/consultants.

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Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi Outlines New Road Map To Achieving Profitability On A Free Cash Flow Basis

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Read the email CEO Dara Khosrowshahi recently sent to employees

Team Uber —

After earnings, I spent several days meeting investors in New York and Boston. It’s clear that the market is experiencing a seismic shift and we need to react accordingly. My meetings were super clarifying and I wanted to share some thoughts with all of you. As you read them, please bear in mind that while investors don’t run the company, they do own the company—and they’ve entrusted us with running it well. We get to set the strategy and make the decisions, but we need to do so in a way that ultimately serves our shareholders and their long term interests.

1. In times of uncertainty, investors look for safety. They recognize that we are the scaled leader in our categories, but they don’t know how much that’s worth. Channeling Jerry Maguire, we need to show them the money. We have made a ton of progress in terms of profitability, setting a target for $5 billion in Adjusted EBITDA in 2024, but the goalposts have changed. Now it’s about free cash flow. We can (and should) get there fast. There will be companies that put their heads in the sand and are slow to pivot. The tough truth is that many of them will not survive. The average employee at Uber is barely over 30, which means you’ve spent your career in a long and unprecedented bull run. This next period will be different, and it will require a different approach. Rest assured, we are not going to put our heads in the sand. We will meet the moment.

“Investors finally understand that we are a completely different animal than Lyft and other ridesharing-only platforms”

2. Investors finally understand that we are a completely different animal than Lyft and other ridesharing-only platforms. They are incredibly excited about the pace of our innovation, how quickly we are rebounding, and huge growth opportunities like Hailables and Taxi. While they acknowledge that we are winning, they don’t yet know the “size of the prize.” Their questions run the gamut from, “Has anyone other than you made money in on-demand transport?” to “Ridesharing has been around for awhile, why isn’t anyone else profitable?” They see how big the TAM is, they just don’t understand how that translates into significant profits and free cash flow. We have to show them.

3. Investors are happy with Delivery’s growth coming out of the pandemic and see that we have performed better than many other pandemic winners. I must admit that was a bit of a surprise for me because I firmly believe Delivery should be growing even faster. The primary questions were: “Is Delivery a good business and why?” and “What happens if we enter a recession?” We need to answer both of these questions with undeniably strong results.

4. Investors who asked about Freight love Freight. However, less than 10% of them asked about it. Freight needs to get even bigger so that investors recognize its value and love it as much as I do.

5. Meeting the moment means making trade-offs. The hurdle rate for our investments has gotten higher, and that means that some initiatives that require substantial capital will be slowed. We have to make sure our unit economics work before we go big. The least efficient marketing and incentive spend will be pulled back. We will treat hiring as a privilege and be deliberate about when and where we add headcount. We will be even more hardcore about costs across the board.

“The market is experiencing a seismic shift and we need to react accordingly.”

6. We have started to demonstrate the Power of the Platform, which is a structural advantage that sets us apart. As you know, our strategy here is simple: bring in consumers on either Mobility or Delivery, encourage them to try the other, and tie everything together with a compelling membership program. The advantage here is obvious, but we have to show the value of the platform in real dollar terms. We are serving multi-trillion dollar markets, but market size is irrelevant if it doesn’t translate into profit.

7. We have to do all of the above while continuing to deliver an outstanding and differentiated experience for consumers and earners. Whether someone is booking rides for a summer trip with friends, or a new parent relying on Uber Eats for everything from groceries to dinner and diapers, it’s on us to make every interaction excellent. The same goes for anyone who comes to Uber to earn. We responded to the pandemic by becoming earner-centric in a way we’d never been before. We are innovating for earners, thinking deeply about their experience, and putting ourselves in their shoes—literally—by driving, delivering and shopping ourselves. Because of hundreds of improvements in this area, people who want to earn flexibly are now coming to Uber first, where they benefit from our scale, diversification, and commitment to treating them with respect.

I’ve never been more certain that we will win. But it’s going to demand the best of our DNA: hustle, grit, and category-defining innovation. In some places we’ll have to pull back to sprint ahead. We will absolutely have to do more with less. This will not be easy, but it will be epic. Remember who we are. We are Uber, a once-in-a-generation company that became a verb and changed the world forever. Let’s write the next chapter of our story, working together as #OneUber, and let’s make it legendary.

GO GET IT!

Dara

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Tesco Teams Up With Uber To Deliver Groceries

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Supermarket Tesco has teamed up with ride-hailing company Uber to expand its grocery delivery service.

Deliveries will come from 20 stores across the UK, including Edinburgh, Bradford, Portsmouth, Norwich, St Albans and Letchworth.

Uber Eats couriers will deliver products ordered via the supermarket’s Whoosh service.

The retail giant has been keen to cash in on the demand for rapid delivery which grew during the pandemic.

Tesco launched its Whoosh service, which aims to deliver food and drinks in under 60 minutes, in May 2021 and now covers 200 Express Stores across the UK.

Many supermarkets have signed up to food delivery platforms, including Uber Eats and Deliveroo, and Tesco hopes the partnership will help reach its target of offering the service from 600 stores by the end of the year.

 “It’s clear that the needs of businesses and consumers have been rapidly evolving in recent years and that trend is accelerating. This exciting new partnership will harness the best of Uber’s technology to power superfast Tesco deliveries across the UK.” Alex Troughton, Uber Eats UK

Fees for deliveries will be higher than those made via Tesco’s traditional online grocery service.

Source: BBC

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Businesses Buying More Internet Infrastructure To Fill Up Their Own Server Farms

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The latest earnings season was a mixed bag for major global tech companies, and many of them took a beating on Wall Street last week. But there was one consistent bright spot in the results: Demand for cloud services and chipmaking. In a quarter blighted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, spiking inflation and China’s Covid Zero lockdowns, businesses kept buying internet infrastructure, whether as a service or as physical memory to fill up their own server farms.

Microsoft Corp.’s Azure revenue rose 46%, Alphabet Inc.’s cloud unit sales increased 44% and Amazon.com Inc.’s AWS scored a 37% increase plus, importantly, a 68% jump in future AWS purchase commitments to $88.9 billion. Contrast that with Amazon’s worries in e-commerce around oversupply and inflating fuel and labor costs or YouTube reeling from the war that’s taken an “outsized” toll on its European business, in the words of its chief financial officer.

Source; Bloomberg

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