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Musk TV Venture Faces Heavy Headwinds from Incumbents

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TechNewsWorld interviewed pundits who said that the entrenched competitors will pose a strong challenge to Elon Musk’s new video venture.

Reports began appearing last week that the bête noire of social media is crafting an app to stream long-form videos to users of X (formerly Twitter). Musk announced via DogeDesigner that users will soon be able to watch their favorite X videos on SmartTVs.

The new service will launch on Samsung TVs, as well Amazon’s Fire TV. It will be similar to YouTube and allow you to watch longer-form videos on a larger screen. SamMobile reported Monday.

Musk stated that X was going to be a “video first” platform in the future. This new development shows this will translate to a large screen beyond the tiny content boxes available on feeds. Engadget.

Experts say Musk’s announcement was more than just bluster. “The probability that he will try this is high.” Rob Enderle is the president and principal analyst at the Enderle GroupA firm that provides advisory services in Bend, Ore.

TechNewsWorld reported that “This isn’t an area in which he shows a high level of competence.”

Formidable Ambition Versus Formidable Competition

Musk’s ability to disrupt industries with ventures such SpaceX and Tesla shows his boldness. Mark N. Vena is president and principal analyst at SmartTech Research San Jose, Calif.

He told TechNewsWorld that “Success will depend on Musk’s abilities to offer unique features and compelling content as well as seamless integration with Samsung televisions, while also addressing users’ concerns about privacy and security.”

“His vision and ambition is formidable, but the journey towards establishing a credible YouTube-alternative on Samsung smart televisions is fraught, making success uncertain, but not impossible,” He said.

Mike HorningMusk’s announcement did not surprise an associate professor at Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, Va. He told TechNewsWorld, “I knew he would move in this way when he appointed Linda Yaccarino CEO of X.” Yaccarino, a former executive at NBCUniversal who has deep ties in the advertising industry, is a former NBCUniversal executive.

Matthew Dolgin is a senior equity analysts with Morningstar Research Services Musk’s tweet was met with skepticism in Chicago. TechNewsWorld reported that he said it’s too early to expect the tweet to be true based on Musk’s past and the challenges at X.

Dolgin does not see any demand from consumers or content providers for what Musk offers. “From a consumers perspective, we do not see any.” He said that YouTube was free, easy-to-use, and accessible to all.

From the perspective of the content providers, he added, “we believe they benefit greatly from Google’s and YouTube’s network effects, so we wouldn’t expect them to look for an alternative platform.”

He said that any demand in this regard would have to be driven primarily by an expectation of a materially increased income for content providers.

A Better Storytelling Platform

Enderle also agreed that it doesn’t seem like there is any demand right now for what Musk sells. Musk is not a marketing person, so he won’t use Twitter for that purpose. “I don’t expect that it will end well given how many people have stopped using Twitter.”

Vena sees a potential market for Musk. He explained that as streaming grows in popularity, users want more options than YouTube. “A service that is competitive could offer niche content, exclusive content or a curated viewing experience.

He said that concerns over privacy and content moderation of YouTube also led to an interest in alternatives that prioritized user control and safety.

He continued: “Moreover, the proliferation of smart televisions has created an ripe marketplace for new streaming platforms that can be seamlessly integrated into home entertainment systems.”

“Overall, demand for an alternative to YouTube in the TV market reflects both a need for innovation and a search for alternatives that are better aligned with users’ values and preferences,” he stated.

Neil Chase, writer, actor and story coach as well a filmmaker and co-founder at Brimstone Pictures Edmonton, Alberta is located in Canada.

TechNewsWorld reported that he said “all streaming content is curated so much, the quality of informational and storytelling content has generally declined.” There are some things that people can say, and others they cannot. “This is a truth.”

Chase stated that “the one thing Musk brings to table that other don’t is that he gives storytellers, and content creators a platform to express their creativity in a less regulated space,” Chase added. This is appealing to a certain number of content creators, as well audiences.

Universal App is the Next Step

Musk might also believe that YouTube is spread too thin in order to compete against market upstarts. Ross Rubin, principal analyst at Reticle ResearchA consumer technology advisory company in New York City.

He said that Musk might see this as an opportunity. “YouTube is losing its focus on the short-form video and it’s a great opportunity to appeal content providers who are looking to produce more cerebral content or content that is more substantial,” he said.

Rubin said, however that Musk faces a significant challenge because X is losing momentum and not gaining in terms membership growth or advertiser growth.”

This was made clear in a recent report by Edison Research. The study found that 27% percent of the U.S. population will be using Twitter in 2022 or 2023. In 2024 only 19% (or 30%) of the U.S. population will be using X.

Musk’s decision to enter the TV market is part of his plan to make X a universal application, a place users can visit to satisfy their online needs.

Rubin replied, “I am sure that his engineering team will be able to accomplish whatever he desires.” “The issue isn’t functionality. It’s about making X a go-to service with multiple functions, like WeChat in China.”

He continued, “That’s a big order.” “In the U.S. we have the types of incumbents who weren’t in China when WeChat rose into prominence.”

“You can have all the elements in place but how will you attract people to your platform?” He asked. How do you introduce people to the integrated service offering?