By CultureBanx Team
CBx Vibe: “F.U.B.U.” Solange
Netflix (NFLX +2.63%) is continuing its ascent to the top of living rooms across the U.S. particularly with the highly coveted 18-34 year old demographic. The streaming service is outpacing Google’s (GOOGL +1.22%) YouTube service specifically when it comes to young people consuming video content. Is this lead going to increase as black content becomes more of a mainstay for the platform?
Why This Matters: Cowen’s research highlights the importance of Netflix in the home, particularly among millennials. The company found 39% of survey respondents age 18-34 use Netflix most often to view video content on their TV’s. This number far outpaces YouTube at 17%. Basic cable came in at 13% and Amazon Prime Video received a little over 3% of the action.
Streaming services which have a much broader reach than traditional TV have a lot to gain by betting on black content. Cowen analysts wrote the company’s investment in high quality episodic content across all genres and feature films likely ensures Netflix will retain the top spot in the living room over time, in their view.
The streaming company is amping up its push to put out content for younger black audiences which is exactly the demographic Cowen sees Netflix having a strong connection to. They are rolling out shows or specials with strong black leads like Kevin Hart, Zendaya and Rashida Jones.
While Netflix is leading the race Google has very deep pockets and could easily outpace its top competitor in this space. They may also need to keep an eye on tech giant Apple (AAPL +1.39%), since it just inked a deal with media mogul Oprah Winfrey. Apple has also stated its willing to invest up to $1 billion in original content this year. Read More
By Lamar Johnson
CBx Vibe: “California Love (remix)” 2Pac
LeBron James is undeniably the best player in the NBA, and will take his talents to the Los Angeles Lakers after spending his first 15 years in the Eastern Conference. Due to the sheer gravity of James’ presence, wherever he goes, economic development follows. The startup shopping app Wish will directly benefit from him donning the purple and gold, after signing a three-year jersey sponsorship deal with the Lakers last year.
Why This Matters: James was the NBA’s most influential free agent on the market yet again, and capped the excitement by inking a four-year deal with the Lakers worth $154 million. It’s been proven James adds economic value to whatever market he’s in, and it should be no different in the City of Lights.
By moving to Los Angeles, James is expected to bring around $397 million in additional revenue and tax income over a five-year period, according to a study by Formswift. The same study anticipates an additional 2,989 jobs to be created by James’ arrival. Wish’s sponsorship deal is estimated have cost between $36 million to $42 million for three years, according to ReCode, and the shopping app is all but assured a boost in visibility with the James signing.
The startup gained the fourth-most value from free social media impressions, about a $5 million value, despite the Lakers never being in contention for the playoffs. That number should skyrocket as the sponsor of James’ last team, Goodyear, earned a league-high $21 million in social impressions with their brand on King James’ jersey. Read More
By CultureBanx Team
CBx Vibe: “WIFI LIT” Future
Byron Allen made waves across the media industry when his company Entertainment Studios acquired The Weather Channel for $300 million earlier this year. What does his approach to the media business signal about the direction of the rest of the industry?
Why This Matters: Entertainment Studios takes a formulaic approach to spurring the growth of its media properties. Film crews shoot content for multiple shows at the same time rather than just one. They also film and shoot on a 24-hour schedule in order to increase the efficiency of their channels. This is the approach the company takes with its eight broadcast networks including Justice Central, Comedy.tv, and Cars.tv. In 2017, Allen claimed Entertainment Studio’s investments were valued at around $1 billion. That figure is sure to have increased after the Weather Channel acquisition which Allen plans to leverage to open up distribution opportunities for his other assets.
Television’s transition to digital is another key consideration in Entertainment Studio’s strategy. He started securing digital media properties like .tv domains in 2006 after following suit. Disney (DIS:US +1.18%) plans to launch a mobile app in 2019 that would distribute its content directly to subscribers. Amazon (AMZN +1.66%) averages over 950,000 viewers on its Twitch platform at any given moment, according to Streamlabs.
Instagram TV is in its third week and analysts will be watching to see how many of Instagram’s one billion users watch content on the platform. A Morgan Stanley (MS +2.80%) survey found that 40 percent of respondents viewed Facebook Watch content on a weekly basis and video accounts for half of Twitter’s (TWTR -5.38%) ad revenue. Whether Allen keeps his platforms independent and puts up a fight with these platforms or figures out a way to partner will be interesting to watch. Read More
By CultureBanx Team
CBx Vibe: “Growing Pains” Alessia Cara
Putting Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill continues to remain at a stand still within the Trump administration. Tubman, a former slave and abolitionist who is a civil rights hero, has caused the Treasury Department to become noncommittal as to whether she would one day be the new face of the $20.
Why This Matters: Images of Tubman, which were featured prominently on the Treasury Department’s website at the end the Obama administration, were removed when Trump’s Treasury Department overhauled its website last year. In 2016, former Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced the currency was being redrawn, adding Tubman to the front and moving President Andrew Jackson to the back.
The new currency designs were expected to be unveiled in 2020, now that’s not happening ensuring Andrew Jackson will be around a lot longer. “The redesign of the next currency series is still in the early stages… it would likely be more than 10 years before the new $20 note is released,” wrote Drew Maloney, the Treasury’s assistant secretary for legislative affairs.
Treasury Secretary Mnuchin has the final say on all currency redesigns and has historically shown a reluctance to make the changes a priority. The ultimate timeline would be dictated by the agency’s ability to design security features needed to prevent counterfeiting. Read More
By CultureBanx Team
CBx Vibe: “Woke” Yoshi Flower
Black designers still face challenging roadblocks as they struggle to rise to the pinnacle of the American fashion industry. The $3 trillion global fashion sector continues to struggle with whitewashed runways. Is it imperative to include black fashion designers in order to keep the industry relevant?
Why This Matters: There continues to be a massive gap between a post-racial fashion industry and today’s reality. Black designers are at the very center of popular culture, yet they rarely reach the same level of success in terms size and name recognition as others in their generation, such as Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren (RL +0.36%) and Diane Von Furstenberg.
Industry veteran Tracy Reese, one of the most well known black designers in the world has managed to sustain her business for 22 years. Her company is now majority-owned by a consortium of investors. “We have to approach this from a different perspective, because it does come down to money. You pretty much have to buy a seat at the table, especially if it’s a white table, or a white-run table,” Reese told Business of Fashion.
Fashion has also had several landmark moments in the past couple of years. A black man has been appointed editor-in-chief of British Vogue and a black woman is at the helm of Teen Vogue. Most recently, Virgil Abloh became the first African American man to lead a major European fashion house when he was named head of menswear for Louis Vuitton. All of these strides should help black designers who are struggling to build sustainable businesses despite their increased notoriety in the industry. Read More
By CultureBanx Team
CBx Vibe: “Twofifteen” Black Thought
The Baltimore Museum of Art is rebalancing its permanent collection by selling seven pieces where they’ve had a deep representation in their collection in order to build enough capital to purchase works by artists of color. The museum is trying to rebalance systematic underrepresentation of black artists in its collection. What does this mean for the strategy other museums have in developing their collections?
Why This Matters: The contemporary art market is waking up to the strength of African American artists posthumously or who are developing work now. The recent purchase of Kerry James Marshall’s “Past Times” for $21 million shifted the market and further highlighted the increased competitiveness of the market. Collections have not typically held these sorts of works and are facing the reality that the art world isn’t made up entirely of white male artists.
Traditionally, collections have been driven by a relatively small network of dealers and galleries. They may or may not have networks that give them access to black artists. That is pushing collections to expand their networks to get a better finger on the pulse of who’s next in the art world. To increase their effectiveness at this, museums may to asses their staffing to ensure they have people who have broad networks that include artists who have been historically excluded from museums’ collections. Read More
By Colette Jones
Camel milk market expected to grow by 7% in the next 4 years
African ranchers choose to invest in camels, rather than cows
CBx Vibe: “Drip” Cardi B, Migos
After experiencing more severe droughts in recent years, Kenyan ranchers are trading in their cows for camels. Since camels require less maintenance under extreme weather conditions, they have become a more sustainable source of milk in East Africa.
Why This Matters: Unlike female cows who depend on copious amounts of water daily to produce a steady milk flow, female camels can produce milk for about a week without consuming any extra water. This makes them a better investment for ranchers whose income relies on their consistent milk production.
Due to this increase in production, East Africans are capitalizing off of camel milk in many different ways. It’s replacing cow milk in chocolates and ice creams and is even sold fresh by the liter in vending machines.
Research from a study conducted by Technavio, a market research company, expects the camel milk market to grow by approximately 7% in the next four years, but the company admitted that plant-based milk alternatives are still their biggest global competitors.
“[Plant-based] drinks have low-fat and low-cholesterol levels. Medical benefits, rising health consciousness among consumers and increasing vegan population are driving the demand for such products.” Read More
By CultureBanx Team
CBx Vibe: “2 Phones” Kevin Gates
Kenya is mostly credited with drawing millions of unbanked people into the formal financial sector. Now the country is pioneering a new path beyond digitizing money where non-tech companies can use the Kenya’s robust infrastructure.
Why This Matters: Silicon Savannah, the nickname for Kenya’s fast growing technology sector, has grown past moving money and data over mobile networks. Now product-based companies from farming to pharmaceuticals are the new big tech companies in the region.
Kenya has been able to easily move beyond digital money to other types of businesses. This is primarily due to the high smartphone penetration in the region where 9 out of 10 adults own a mobile device.
As for farmers, they currently have poor logistics for getting food to markets where people can buy their products. Kenyans spend on average $0.47 of their income on food, according to the World Economic Forum. By going digital farmers can create a marketplace that cuts out layers of intermediaries.
When it comes to pharmaceuticals companies inefficiency raises the price of drugs, often beyond the ability of ordinary Kenyans to afford them. This industry going digital not only cuts out the middleman, it also decreases the risk of fake medicines entering the supply chain. Read More
By CultureBanx Team
CBx Vibe: “Reverse” Vic Mensa
Another day equals a new problem for Facebook (FB +1.56%) as the company tries to reign in the misuse of its user data by outside apps. Ime Archibong, vice president of partnerships for Facebook has been tasked with being the chief sleuth, to discover where the data went after it left the platform or figure out where it is now. Does this internal investigation point to a larger cultural shift within the organization?
Why This Matters: Facebook has said its probe starts with apps that have user bases of around 100,000 people or more, or apps that pulled extensive data about a smaller group of people. Specifically the social media giant’s app investigation is a response to criticism from issues earlier this year around the Cambridge Analytica scandal. When it comes to data breaches they are often more problematic for people of color living on fixed or low incomes, or from other marginalized communities.
Back in May it suspended 200 apps for potentially violating its rules. However, when describing the developers involved in the investigation Archibong told the Wall Street Journal they “are going to be the same developers that we’re going to be working with five years from now on the newest and latest and greatest stuff and I want them to be excited about our platform.”
The internal investigation has run into some major problems including app developers that gathered excessive amounts of data are out of business. Facebook is still searching their system to find developers and get to the bottom of how they used the information between 2007 and 2015. Read More