Smart parking is one of the easiest ways humans can make cities more sustainable.

The term smart city has become quite popular the last years. The expression indicates an urban area that, thanks to the use of advanced technology, isable to deal with a wide range of the citizen problems and needs in an innovative way. The purpose is to improve radically the quality of life, opportunity, health, social and economic development of the city.

However, a smart city is more than a digital or technologically advanced place. According to a group of researchers of the Vienna University of Technologies, the essence of a smart city is defined by six parameters: Smart Economy, Smart Mobility, Smart Environment, Smart People, Smart Living and Smart Governance.

Parking smart

One of the main problems for all big cities, and that touch on several of the six “smart parameters” are the lack of parking lots. Often, the public car parks built by the authorities, are not able to comply with the real needs of a city, defacing the landscape, with insufficient functional results.

That’s why different ventures have been launched the last years to reduce traffic and pollution in cities and make public transportation cheaper. For example, booking a parking spot online, allows you to avoid unnecessary queues, which again causes less pollution.

Parking is a central point of a Smart City, because a smart city informs people about available staging points in real time and enables them to build the best accessibility path with buses, trams, bikes or scooters, pedestrian areas, car sharing, taxis.

And to make the parking experience both more seamless and smarter, it’s also vital to allow people to pay for the parking service through their connected devices.

Even though the government or local authorities are the biggest owner of parking spots in most cities, they lack the flexibility to make concrete choices, investments in technology (for example for geo-referencing all the road staging points and therefore the possibility of informing on availability), but also directing and integration capacities whenever they are needed. This needs to be handled by a private company to work properly.

Not convinced?

That smart parking saves people a lot of time, instead of looking for a free parking spot, is alone extremely beneficial for society, making it much more efficient.

But if you’re not convinced by the arguments presented already, there are countless others showing how beneficial smart parking actually is for the cities of the future:

  • In the long run it would be possible to offer incentives to motorists for parking in low-demand areas to reduce congestion in areas with a lot of activity.
  • Set higher prices on blocks with low turnover and reduce prices in nearby areas with little or no parking activity.
  • Increase parking pricing during peak hours of the day and reduce it during off-peak hours to encourage drivers to run errands within off-peak hours.
  • Smart parking lets drivers reduce stress (according to a 2015 study)

50.000 cars

Parkimeter, a Barcelona grown startup, have since 2013 parked over 50.000 cars, becoming a leader in the booking market for parkings in Barcelona and Spain.

“How parking has been changed through technology, is similar to how the travel sector was disrupted 15 years ago,” explains co-founder of Parkimeter Jordi Badal.

There is hundred of choices for people choosing to park smart in Barcelona.

Our app allows users (local private, professionals and tourists) to find available parking spots, to choose (and pay for) the most convenient parking spot for them and determine the shortest route to get there. In other words, it’s a way to connect users with parking spaces and payment services thanks to modern mobile technology.

Climate changes, a fast growing urban population, limited energy and water resources, economic and technological changes are just some of the challenges cities have faced the last decades. Smarter parking solutions will not solve all these issues, but it’s an easy way to start, and a way all of us can contribute.

After all, the goal of smart cities are to address these challenges, big and small, and exploit the opportunities offered by these changes, and try to create new projects and services to improve quality of life, respecting the environment and future generations.

………………………….

This post was written by Braggion Martina at itnig startup Parkimeter.

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T.

The reasons why Disney will dominate the media industry

The perception that Disney is only a producer of children’s content is long gone. The company has managed to multiply by 10 its market capitalization in 10 years and I believe it will do it again in the next 10 years based on 3 factors: content, the entry in new businesses and spillover effects on current businesses.

CONTENT

Disney has been making movies for almost a hundred years. They have been movies for all the family but targeted to kids, which are the ultimate decision-makers when going to the movies. This is an example of the classical content they were producing up until the last 10 years.

Found in Pinterest https://www.pinterest.es/pin/129548926755761740/

Despite having a powerful content library, Disney has amassed the most impressive collection of content in the world via acquisitions:

  • 21st Century Fox: 71B
  • Lucasfilm (2012): 4B
  • Marvel (2009): 4B
  • Pixar (2006): 7B
  • Hulu (2009): ??. They acquired 30% and an additional 30% with the acquisition of Fox

With the recent acquisition of Fox, there are only big four other movie studios left in the market: SonyWarner BrosUniversal, and Paramount.

Just to give perspective. This is the list of the top 3 grossing movies for the last 3 years. Spoiler, they are all from Disney:

  • 2017: Star Wars The Last Jedi (rubbish if you ask me), Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (not great) and Beauty and the Beast.
  • 2018: Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Incredibles 2.
  • 2019: Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel and Aladdin (Still not counting with Toy Story 4, Spiderman, The Lion King, Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The rise of Skywalker)

Having content as an asset in the movie industry is relevant because of the fact that over 90% of every year’s Top Box Office Hits are not original. Notice that the 9 hits mentioned above are not original content, including Captain Marvel which is a character well known despite debuting in theaters. Moviegoers are risk-averse and showing characters the public is familiar with is synonymous of success in a market where the production of a movie can cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Another essential part of the content are the actors. They give credibility to a movie and top talent can’t wait to appear on a superhero movie. Just look at the roster of Avengers Endgame with cameos from the likes of Robert Redford, Rene Russo, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Douglas, Natalie Portman, William Hurt, Samuel L Jackson or Ken Jeong, the Asian character on The Hangover. All of this without accounting for the main characters. Where else can you see this?

Source: https://www.editorchoice.com/avengers-endgame-cast/

NEW BUSINESS

One of the acquisitions mentioned is Hulu, a streaming platform in the US which also allows watching live content. I believe this is the future. Cable TV operators are doomed. The number of subscriber to Cable TV in the US has declined over the past years.

Source https://www.statista.com/statistics/536356/cable-shopping-networks-revenue-usa/

It’s clear the consumers are opting in to streaming on-demand platforms such as Netflix, HBO, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. That’s why Disney is launching Disney +.

This is a global trend. People across the world may not own a TV, but they have smartphones and internet connection. Netflix has launched a 3$ monthly cell-only subscription in India. Check this relentless growth of subscribers by Netflix.

Take a look at the last Shareholders report by Netflix, a public company that is burning billions every year -3,5B$ in 2019- and is expected to invest 15B$ in 2019 alone in new content. In my humble opinion, Netflix has by far the best streaming platform and the content is remarkably good, just look at the masterpiece Stranger Things season 3.

Source: https://s22.q4cdn.com/959853165/files/doc_financials/quarterly_reports/2019/q2/Q2-19-Shareholder-Letter-FINAL.pdf

Netflix will be the main competitor of Disney, who will claw back its content from other platforms over the next years, reducing the earnings of licensing rights, but attracting customers to their platform. I believe there will be a time where platforms won’t share much content, but eventually, this will rise opportunities for multiplatform viewing apps and some years from now, platforms will reshare content once they settled a loyal customer base. Users will be subscribed to multiple platforms and they would still like to watch what’s best in every one of them. It’s not a winner take it all market.

My final bet is that there’s another big piece of content that is currently slipping away from streaming platforms, live sports. This is the last resort of traditional TV and cable TV operators who have been able to tell customers when and where to watch TV. This is no more, TV is dead.

SPILLOVER EFFECTS

Let’s get some perspective here. Disney is a corporation that currently (2019) has annual revenues of around 70B$ and a net income of around 13B$ (15–20%). Where do they make money from? This is a comparison YoY between the fiscal years ended on September 30th. of 2018 vs 2017. All areas grow except for merchandising. Figures in B$.

Source: company reports

MEDIA

The main source of income is Media Network, which comes from ESPN, Disney Channel, ABC… Here’s the evolution of this revenue stream fro the last decade.

Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/193211/revenue-of-walt-disneys-media-network-business-since-2008/

With the acquisition of Fox, this chart is going to experience a huge vertical shift.

PARKS AND RESORTS

Parks and resorts are the second biggest revenue stream of the Mickey Mouse company.

Walt Disney World Resort (Flick: Atiq Nazri)

This is a chart with the number (in millions) of yearly by visitors by each park. Around 150 million people go to a venue managed by Disney somewhere on the planet. This can only be achieved by a great hospitality experience and the best content:

Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/194247/worldwide-attendance-at-theme-and-amusement-parks-since-2010/

STUDIO

This is the revenue that comes from the distribution of movies and music.

The chart below displays the Box Office market share evolution. Disney has managed to multiply by 2,5 in ten years, and now with the inclusion of Fox, the market share could get just shy of 50%, which is ridiculous. This is a major spillover effect from the massive content acquisition.

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/14/disney-on-pace-to-earn-9-billion-at-the-global-box-office-in-2019.html

DIRECT TO CONSUMER

This is where the new platform Disney + will come into play. Disney + is a SVOD (Subscription Video on Demand) as far as we know. Other alternatives are AVOD (Advertising Video on Demand) where the users access for free but get adds (Youtube) and TVOD (Transactional Video on Demand) which is what Google is doing among others.

One of the first screenshots Disney shared for Disney +

So far they have had Hulu in this category, but with the introduction of Disney +, this will become of the main revenue streams for Disney. Eventually, the main one if you ask me. My guess is that in one year, Disney + can produce revenues of about 20B$ and grow from there. This is what Netflix is doing right now.

The advantage of Disney + is that they already have the content and they would only need to produce specific content for the platform such as The Mandalorian or the Marvel spinoff series with Black Widow and more. That would imply big operating profits since most content has already been amortized. The downside, however, will be the loss of the licensing revenue they get from streaming onto other platforms included in the Studio section. I’m betting this will be a money-printing machine.

CONCLUSION

Disney is a company that has endured through decades and over the last years has taken on a path of content acquisition and generation that pays off very well. This is why I am “hodling” on its stock.

Disney’s stock price evolution over the years