By David Oslin
Evil corporations battling it out and the like. Wow sounds like a script doesn’t it? Well, I don’t know about Evil. But yes. World War Four will be two corporations going at each other. Because these two corporations pretty much affect every aspect of first world humanity you can think of.
This did not start innocently or kindly. You could say that Amazon fired the first shot, and you might just be right. Could you say Google fired the first shot? I’ve found that one harder to figure out. From a millennial perspective it traces back to a very infamous commercial by Amazon just as the drone craze started.
A prime user hits the very infamous ‘Prime Air Button,’ an object goes to a quadcopter drone, takes off and lands at the buyer’s house. Demand for this was outrageously high and everyone was saying ‘Make it Happen!’ What Amazon was thinking making this ad, I’m not sure. But the effects were not small. It focused the entire conversation on drones and what commercial shipping could become. It sparked a bunch of questions on the business level that generally went unanswered by Amazon.
In 2014, just after the Drone Commercials we started hearing rumors of Amazon Grabbing its own shipping company. If it ever did, USPS UPS and FedEx would be in some significant trouble. All of them take huge parts of the Amazon Shipping.
On the other side because this is a dance worth noticing. Google has been making moves of their own. Several years ago it began an internal startup called Niantic. That name has effectively reached household status and is under the Umbrella Banner of another move Google made with Alphabet. Niantic is the horsepower behind the game Pokemon Go. A game that has not passed like a fad. Its just waiting for more Content. When that Content Arrives, you can expect numbers to spike once again.
Another Google Startup? Android.
Amazon refuses to be outdone on the gaming front however and if you’ve been a follower of their Kindle Fire tablet, you know that Amazon has a growing Game Division. With a lot of major tablet games on its Fire System. They’ve been working towards much bigger things however, which makes what happened earlier this month; a pivotal moment. Enter: Twitchcon
Amazon and Google both vied to buy the service known as ‘Twitch.Tv’ As most of you don’t know what that is, Twitch.tv was the first and currently the biggest live streaming service. All of the streaming tech you know about today was pioneered by these guys and it is still one of the larger websites out there. It shows no signs of slowing down. The majority of content on Twitch.tv is Video Game streamers. But it is growing into new areas. Two years ago back to 2014 all over again Amazon beat out Google and bought twitch.
On the weekend of 9/30-10/2 The company held a major convention. A meeting of gamers, streamers, and celebrities and a major announcement was made. The announcement that made me realize what was coming.
See Amazon’s Prime service has been expanding, it was originally just about better shipping, then it added TV show streaming to compete directly with Netflix. It has its own Music Platform, taking on Spotify , Googleplay, and iTunes. It started its own PHONE to try to compete with Android. On that it didn’t do too well. The announcement? ‘Twitch Prime’ It officially rolled the services of Twitch into the Prime Banner. Giving millions of gamers across the world another reason to look at Amazon Prime.
House of Cards main character Frank Underwood is notorious in early seasons for playing on a PS4 in several shooters to relieve some of the stress. I point this out because people vastly underestimate gamers and the millennial population of that group. For a Gamer, Amazon Prime may have just become one of the best values out there.
Over the past several years if you look at it, you can track a tit for tat approach between Alphabet and Amazon. Google Partnered with Microsoft to get Cortana (The best part of windows phones) onto Android. She’s not fully integrated yet. If she ever reaches that status android fans will understand WHY people loved windows phones so much. Speaking as one of those people I cant wait. However this partnership happened in no small way because of the introduction of the Amazon Echo. The first real attempt at smart home technology. Which just got a huge expansion with the new Echo Dot.
So now that you have a bit of a primer, on the goings on between the two companies why did I call what most would consider general competition world war 4?
Because general competition does not begin to describe two world wide corporations going at each other. One of the biggest rumors coming out of TwitchCon was the possibility of Amazon Pursuing its own video hosting service. This would be a direct competitor to Youtube. Youtube who if you’ve been following things like Millennials have, has had huge issues lately. Major changes to their policies and enforcement of archaic ones has lead to people looking for other options that can be considered ‘more free’
Now this one is pure rumor but if it were to happen, this would be a ground shifting event. Youtube is the only big player in town and powered by Google no one ever really expected a competitor to show up. Disgruntled youtubers over recent events would flee in droves to a service with an Amazon flag.
Up till this point Amazon and Google have not taken direct aim at each other. That is set to change thanks to events of TwitchCon. The competition between these two emerging Mega-Corporations will affect every aspect of life on this planet. Google’s startups include AI Research, and much much more. Remember the now Defunct Google Glass? Augmented Reality was their Goal. But too many people were naively worried about them being constantly recorded.
I say naively because you already are being constantly recorded. Apple Products cant be fully shut off, android products do the same thing recording damn near every move you make. They just disguise it in the way apps are used. So what about Microsoft and Apple? Will they sit this out? For now I think they will. But Microsoft is more likely to be pulled in than Apple. Microsoft has Partnered with Google for a few things. And it even gets more complex if you consider Google is potentially Partnering with Nintendo with the upcoming Next Gen System known as the ‘NX’
What does this mean for all of us? Well for Millennials it means our money may sit on the sidelines as we await developments. Google does not have a service like Prime yet, that is in no small way what YoutubeRed was supposed to be the start of. Google Sees this coming as well. The competition of this will eventually affect every Man Woman and Child across the globe. Until the weekend of twitchcon it was a cold war.
The introduction of twitch prime, was in my opinion the match that lights the fuse on turning this competition into a hot war. The result will be tech like you could not believe, corporate espionage is almost a certainty. The end result will be a whole new landscape in the world of tech and the internet. And its effects will be greater than a world war. Companies this large, will greatly effect governments.
The Millennials, the generation that will have to fix all of the problems of the day. Will be most affected by this. This will not be mere competition. Both are making plays and have plans to become the equivalent of Omni Consumer Products. As basic human nature wants only one person to be left standing the clash of these titans of tech industry will likely result in one survivor over an extended period.
I would hope that this outcome does not occur. A monopoly would only make things harder. Youtube is in a position of power because of its Monopoly on video streaming. There are other services but no one else currently comes close and everyone knows it. Youtube where anyone with the proper message can be listened to. And if you’re willing to commit? You can become a star in your own right. Well you could until recent changes to their terms of service.
Competition is what drives us forward but it must have an end. Humans are not able to sustain permanent competition. Which is why most businesses engage in passive competition rather than direct competition. You don’t see companies typically trading shots at each other even at the fast food stage. And then its only for short periods. The stage however is being set for something that has not been seen in the modern age. Two modern Companies going directly at each other an interesting thing to be sure. And something the Next President whoever the heck it is. Will have to come to terms with.