The Five Zero Round-Up: five stories from the week


From internet delivered by balloons to Obama’s speech at Nelson Mandela’s centenary, this week has not been short of powerful news:


1. Netflix and Amazon subscriptions overtake pay-TV


An Ofcom Media Nation report published this week found that subscriptions to streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have overtaken traditional pay-TV services, for the first time. Subscriptions to Netflix, Amazon and NOW TV totalled 15.4 million in 2017. The report also highlighted how the viewing of broadcast television on TVs declined last year to an average 3 hours 22 minutes per day. The report credits the change to younger generations watching more non-broadcast content on alternative devices.


2. Google faces €4.3 billion fine


The European Commission fined Google a record-breaking €4.3 billion for allegedly using the Android mobile operating system to strengthen the tech giant’s market position. Google is accused of illegally compelling Android manufacturers to pre-load the Google search app on devices in order to access its Play Store app. As European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said, “These practices have denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete on the merits.”. Google will be appealing the fine.


3. Obama speaks at Nelson Mandela centenary


Barack Obama gave a speech in Johannesburg to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s legacy on his 100th birthday. In the lecture Obama discussed Mandela’s core messages of democracy, freedom and racial equality and the continued significance of this in current society. Obama’s speech condemned those today who abuse their economic power, those who do not accept opinions that differ from their own, and the rise of “strongman politics”. The speech has been noted for seeming to criticise American president Donald Trump.


4. AI to create 7.2 million jobs by 2037


A new PwC report is arguing in favour of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the positive impact it could have on the jobs market. Their research suggests that AI will create 7.2 million jobs by 2037, despite the rise of automation also cutting around 7 million jobs by the same year. Albeit narrowly, PwC’s research suggests that the technology will balance out the creation and displacement of UK jobs over time.


5. Kenya to receive internet by balloon


Loon, a subsidiary of Silicon Valley’s Alphabet Inc, has recently signed a deal with Telkom Kenya to deliver digital connectivity to the country’s inaccessible regions via balloon. Solar panels on the balloons will be able to relay WiFi signals from the ground to reach further distances. This will be beneficial in Kenya’s mountainous landscape. The partnership aims to roll out the internet connectivity in 2019.



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