It is that point of the week once more – time to choose our winners and losers of the final seven days within the tech trade we dwell and breathe. It has been every week dominated by Black Friday, however we’re swerving the topic for our weekly opinion piece. This week, there was excellent news for Spotify, and dangerous information for residence employees utilizing Microsoft software program.
As ever I am going to begin with a few honourable mentions. Amazon was within the highlight this week, and never solely due to its annual Black Friday celebrations of capitalist consumerism. Information broke this week that employees in 15 nations world wide had been staging protests to demand the web retailer respect employees’ rights to take part in union exercise, cease circumventing tax legal guidelines, and decide to larger environmental requirements, in response to the occasion’s organizers. The hashtag #MakeAmazonPay was used.
In the meantime, over at Google and Fb issues weren’t so rosy this week because the UK authorities introduced a brand new tech regulator to restrict the US giants’ powers. A brand new devoted Digital Markets Unit or the Competitors and Markets Authority (CMA) has been fashioned to particularly goal the world’s largest tech firms.
The enterprise secretary, Alok Sharma, mentioned: “Digital platforms like Google and Fb make a big contribution to our economic system and play an enormous function in our day-to-day lives – however the dominance of only a few massive tech firms is resulting in much less innovation, larger promoting costs and fewer alternative and management for shoppers.”
Winner of the week: Spotify subscribers soar
Spotify grew its paid subscriber base by 27% in Q3 2020 as much as a whopping 144 million. The music streaming service’s month-to-month lively customers additionally elevated by 29% year-over-year to 320 million. In line with the analysis information analysed and printed by Comprar Acciones, the variety of Spotify customers was solely 18 million in Q1 2015. It doubled to 36 million by Q2 2016 and once more to 71 million in This fall 2017 earlier than reaching the present determine. In brief, individuals love Spotify, until they’re artists in fact!
In Q3 2020, Spotify’s subscription income elevated by 15% year-over-year to €1.79 billion. Total income was €1.98 billion, marking a 14% year-over-year enhance. Advert income, however, grew by 9% year-over-year and 41% quarter-over-quarter to €185 million.
Regardless of the expansion although, Spotify made a lack of €101 million, down from a €241 million revenue in Q3 2019. The loss resulted from the truth that Spotify is rising its person base by providing discounted plans. Income per person dropped by 10% year-on-year throughout the quarter to €4.19.
The rise in paid subscribers is more likely to lead to Spotify additional rising its market share. In line with stories at first of the 12 months, Spotify was on the helm of the market with a 35% share. Apple Music was second with 19% whereas Amazon Music was third with 15%. Collectively, the three managed 67% of the market. We’ll be eagerly awaiting an replace to these numbers come January 2021.
Loser of the week: Microsoft’s new ‘Productiveness Rating’
This week, Microsoft introduced a brand new instrument for its laptop software program that can permit employers to trace particular person staff far more intently. Naturally, this has been dressed up and packaged as one thing much less Nineteen Eighty-4 and extra ‘constructive rewards for productiveness’. Microsoft described its new Productiveness Rating system as “a brand new service that may assist speed up your digital transformation by offering insights into how your organisation works”.
Primarily, the instrument will monitor and analyse actions comparable to how many instances particular person staff ship emails or use the chat operate, whether or not or not they’ve their digital camera on throughout conferences, and the way a lot work they do after hours, amongst different issues. The instrument is out there within the Workplace 365 enterprise plan as an add-on.
Privateness advocates have, understandably, been up in arms on the information. As increasingly more firms are opening as much as permitting employees to work remotely, the concept of accumulating this type of information and utilizing it to rank particular person staff in opposition to their friends in a kind of league desk, doesn’t sit effectively with those that really feel our privateness is already being stripped away from each angle.
Microsoft explains within the video above that its Productiveness Rating contains insights, peer benchmarks, and actions they’ll take to assist the individuals of their organisation be extra productive. “Fairly thrilling stuff,” they declare. I believe not! The worst factor about this complete saga is that the function is enabled by default, which means firms would wish to actively opt-out to permit staff to work in peace with out being topic to intense monitoring.
Exhibiting information on people might be turned off, nevertheless it’s activated *by default*. This normalizes intensive office surveillance in a approach not seen earlier than.
I do not suppose employers can legally use it in most EU nations. I am positive they can not legally use it in Austria and Germany. pic.twitter.com/V2LiypDMzE
— Wolfie Christl (@WolfieChristl)
November 24, 2020
Questions have been raised in regards to the legality of the brand new Productiveness Rating instrument, too. With researcher, author, and activist Wolfie Christl writing on Twitter that it’s virtually definitely unlawful in Austria and Germany. Both approach, I believe it stinks!
Who had been your winners and losers of the week simply gone? Share your ideas in beneath the road.