First of all, this is a non-technical approach to API’s, so if you want in-depth tech insights, I recommend you get in touch with Hitch — the API experts.

However, if you’re looking to get insight in why you should use API’s to strengthen and grow your business, and what metrics you should be aware of when taking advantage of an application programming interface (API), you’ve come to the right place.

A whole or core product?

To really understand how your company can utilize API’s we need to understand the concept of the core product and what many call the whole product.

Famous marketer Regis Mckenna that helped launch the first microprocessor for Intel and the first computer for Apple said it like this:

(…) A whole product is a generic product augmented by everything that is needed for the customer to have a compelling reason to buy.

So for example a computer is a core product, and the mouse, the software, the screen and any other necessity being part of the whole product.

It’s very important to understand these definitions, because having insight here will help you know how to approach your customers, potential partners and competitors.

Hacking partnership agreements

As your startup grow, you’ll probably be looking to form partnership agreements with other complementary products and companies.

This can be super valuable, but often takes a lot of time and effort, in other words, it’s often very expensive.

So to hack this time-demanding and expensive process of partnering up with other companies, and API can provide this kind of partnership without all the hassle, often at a fraction of the cost.

Bruno Pedro is the CTO of Barcelona-based API startup Hitch. He explain that many underestimates the cost connected with taking use of an API, especially the cost of support.

The thing with building or using an API is that it doesn’t matter if you consider yourself as a part of a whole or a core product. If you’re able to see through your customers (or potential customers) eyes, you’ll probably discover how your product can transmit value both as an integration into a bigger product, or as an integration to enrich smaller products.

The cost of integration

Integrating your product with other businesses through an API offers many possibilities, but also new costs related to integration.

Development costs start out high, but turns to zero as the product finishes. The maintenance costs remains low but stable with a few peaks around new releases with bugs attached. The big cost related to support which will be higher as your API becomes more popular.

Development costs: very high at first, but becomes zero when the API is launched.

Maintenance costs: high after the launch because of bugs, and for every iteration you do you’ll have peaks with your maintenance costs, as well as routinely maintaining the API itself.

Support costs: This will depend on how well your API is performing, but the more users you have, the bigger the support cost will be, so this is the really expensive one.

And remember, these costs need comes with each separate integration.

So, is your API worth the effort?

In other words, we need to understand the life time value (LTV) of our integration.

First you need to measure where your customers come from, then you need to identify the new customers that are using one of your integrations within a specific timeframe and estimate the lifetime value (LTV) of those customers.

Then, when you know the LTV of each particular integration, you can easily know which is giving you growth, and which that are only causing costs to rise.

The last thing you need to figure out to see if your integration is worth doing is the payback period (PBP), i.e if your integration or your API is earning you more money than what you’re spending on it.

To find this number you have to take all of your costs (as mentioned above) and divide it by your monthly recurring revenue (MRR), and again, you have to do this for each integration.

https://upscri.be/285782-2

Getting to the good stuff — growth!

Your product can be the core product which is the big one in the middle, or part of the whole product which is one of the smaller ones on the side. No matter where you are in the ecosystem, you’ll have costs related to the integration.

To be clear, with growth we don’t mean a profitable company, but a business that is multiplying their growth month over month, or year over year. It can even be unprofitable.

So what is growth for an integration?

  • In most companies it’s considered growth if the lifetime value of the integration is three times higher than the cost of integration. If not you’re loosing money. Some experts say that 4 times higher LTV than costs is the number to aim at.
  • And not enough with with a high LTV, it also considered necessary to have a payback period of less than 12 months. If not, you’re also loosing money.

So remember, if you think about how your company is used in a broader context, and not only how its used as intended, there may be many possibilities with using API’s.


This post was written by media manager itnig, Sindre Hopland based on the presentation of Hitch CTO Bruno Pedro.

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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