Year

Sprout Social’s Justyn Howard Named a Glassdoor Top CEO for Second Year in a Row

We’re proud to announce that Sprout Social founder and CEO, Justyn Howard, has been recognized as a Glassdoor Top CEO for U.S. companies with 1,000 employees or less in 2018. This is the second year in a row that Glassdoor has named Justyn to the list and it is especially exciting as the honor is based entirely on reviews from Sprout employees, who awarded him a 99% approval rating.

Justyn is a leader whose vision not only drives the growth of our business, but also inspires our team to do and be better each day. He is committed to a culture of openness and has worked tirelessly alongside our executives to create a workplace where team members are empowered to share their ideas, work collaboratively and embrace the diverse qualities and characteristics that make each employee unique. This has helped Sprout to maintain a close-knit, yet scalable culture that has developed organically over time.

“Being named to this list for a second year is a true honor and I am grateful to the team for their steadfast belief in our vision for the business and product,” Howard said. “I’m as excited about Sprout’s future as I was eight years ago when we started, and that is due in no small part to the nearly 500 team members that show up ready to tackle the toughest problems in the industry each day, while continuing to provide great value for our customers.”

So, what are employees saying on Glassdoor about leadership at Sprout?

“I have never worked with a more hard working, talented group of people! I look forward to coming to work every morning. It all starts with the leaders at the top who have been a consistent group from the very beginning.”

Anonymous Employee

“Sprout continues to foster a collaborative workplace. There’s tremendous opportunity to make an impact as leadership encourages feedback to shape company goals and processes. Sprout is routinely recognized as a best place to work for good reason.”

Account Manager

CEO approval ratings are gathered through Glassdoor’s online company review survey, which gathers current and former employee sentiment about job and company satisfaction, the work environment and the culture. Among the 770,000 companies reviewed on Glassdoor, the average CEO approval rating is 69%.

We are thankful to our team members who have taken the time to share their experiences on Glassdoor. And more than ever, we are proud to have a leader who is fiercely dedicated to team and customer success.

Want to join Team Sprout? We’re hiring.

This post Sprout Social’s Justyn Howard Named a Glassdoor Top CEO for Second Year in a Row originally appeared on Sprout Social.


Sprout Social

This pilot wants to wish you a Happy New Year

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Well here’s a creative New Year’s message. 

A pilot used his private aircraft — a Evektor EV-97 EuroStar — and approximately 20 minutes of his time, to trace a “Happy NY” message from the skies over Milton Keynes in the UK.

Flightradar24 — a service that allows users to track flight patterns all around the world — tweeted  the greeting. 

This pilot in UK is wishing everyone a Happy New Year! 🎆🎆🎆https://t.co/ZHmd7sUyfw pic.twitter.com/0ijemEKMAZ

— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) December 29, 2016

It reminds us of that guy who spelled “Hello” at the end of November: 

More about Happy New Year, Pilot, and Social Media


Social Media

Netflix vs. Amazon in 2016: A big year for 2 video streaming giants

Netflix vs. Amazon Video


If the year 2015 saw Netflix and Amazon go head to head in the video-streaming realm, this year we’ve seen more of the same, as the two companies ramped up their respective efforts to capture the cord-cutting video generation.

Here, we take a look back at some of the notable developments in the worlds of Netflix and Amazon in 2016.

Going global

In January, Netflix launched in 130 new markets, taking the service truly global and giving the company a serious leg up on rival Amazon, which was limited to just a handful of countries.

That remained the case for nearly a year, until Amazon revealed it was launching Amazon Prime Video in more than 200 markets for $ 6 per month. Amazon’s big international push was perhaps more notable, because its video-on-demand (VoD) offering had traditionally differed from Netflix in one key way — it was bundled alongside Amazon’s broader Prime subscription service, which costs $ 99 per year.

I’ve long argued that Amazon should spin Prime Video out as a standalone subscription service, like Netflix, and that’s exactly what it did in April. Prime Video was already available as a standalone service in the U.K. and Germany (though it was hard to find), but spinning out the video service in Amazon’s domestic U.S. market laid the foundation for what was to come — a global VoD service available to just about everyone, everywhere.

Content is king

Amazon: Top Gear chaps sign up to The Grand Tour

Above: Amazon: Top Gear chaps sign up to The Grand Tour

Image Credit: Amazon

For Amazon, going global was pretty much imperative, given its aspirations in the original content realm. The company had invested a reported $ 250 million in the talent behind the BBC’s Top Gear, and in November it launched a similarly themed show called The Grand Tour, starring Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond.

The Grand Tour represents Amazon’s biggest content investment to date, so to capitalize on the popularity of the trio of presenters, Amazon needed to get it in front of as many eyeballs as possible — and a global rollout of Amazon Video was inevitable.

Both Netflix and Amazon continued to boost their slate of original or exclusive titles throughout 2016. Shortly after Amazon announced its big arrival on the international scene, Netflix announced it had secured a major content deal in India, after signing up Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies for all past and upcoming films.

Elsewhere, Netflix extended its deal with DreamWorks Animation to add a ton of exclusive content to its global streaming service. But more than that, the company debuted a number of great original shows, including Stranger Things, The Crown, and The OA.

Netflix’s Emmy Award nominations grew from 34 to 54 this year, while Amazon’s grew from 12 to 16. But nominations don’t automatically convert into wins — Netflix scooped up a personal record nine awards, while Amazon took home five. So Netflix won more awards, but Amazon’s win-to-nomination ratio was higher.

However you slice and dice things, both Amazon and Netflix will continue to invest in original and exclusive content. It’s the only thing that differentiates one VoD service from another to any significant degree, so it’s something we’ll see both companies plowing cash into in 2017 and beyond.

Own-brand and exclusive content is also what gives both Netflix and Amazon an easier path into their expanded operations. With third-party content, owners of the rights can dictate things like whether content is available offline, as they normally negotiate terms on a market-by-market basis — a complicated process that consumes significant resources for VoD companies. But when the companies own the rights themselves, the problem vanishes — they can broadcast what they want, in whatever country they want.

Downloads

Netflix: Downloads

Above: Netflix: Downloads

Image Credit: Paul Sawers / VentureBeat

Arguably one of Netflix’s biggest pieces of news in 2016 was its decision to finally offer its users offline access.

The company had previously claimed that it would never allow users to download shows and movies for offline access, but with its decision to expand into new markets, Netflix was forced to reconsider. Wi-Fi and 4G internet aren’t omnipresent in many developing markets, so to fulfill its obligations to customers, Netflix had to start offering downloads.

Netflix is adopting the same approach Amazon did when it opened up to offline access last year — only some titles will be available to download, including its own slate of content, such as The Crown, Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black, and Narcos. There is some third-party content on that list, but it’s limited.

Other factors

Way back in December of last year, Amazon launched a new program allowing Prime subscribers to add additional VoD subscriptions to their annual membership — at an extra cost. Some notable brands were on board for the launch, including Starz and Showtime, but earlier this month HBO and Cinemax were added to the mix, for $ 15 and $ 10 a month, respectively.

This was a major scoop for Amazon and served as one more big reason for cord-cutters to sign up to Prime — they can garner contract-free access to their favorite channels without a cable subscription.

Building off the back of this development, in May of this year Amazon introduced a new platform that lets creatives and video-makers upload their own videos to rent or sell through Amazon Video. With Amazon Video Direct (AVD), Amazon is looking to increase the amount of content available through its service, giving creators the ability to make their titles ad-supported for free access or to earn royalties as part of Amazon’s $ 99 Prime membership.

With Amazon focused on becoming a platform for other subscription-based services, Netflix launched its Recommended TV Program globally, having introduced it to the U.S. a year earlier. It’s basically Netflix’s way of letting TV-makers align themselves with the video-streaming giant and letting customers know whether a TV supports Instant On and TV Resume functionality, features that let TVs “wake up” quickly and “remember” where you left off in an episode.

To the future…

Both Netflix and Amazon evolved in 2016, and it’s interesting to note the similarities between the two services as they increasingly converge. In 2015, Amazon gained offline access, and a year later Netflix followed suit. At the start of this year, Netflix launched globally in nearly every market; a year later Amazon did the same.

What is becoming increasingly clear is that Netflix and Amazon will continue to evolve in tandem from a features perspective. Where they will seek to differentiate themselves is in the realm of content, and this is where we’ll likely see some interesting developments in 2017 and beyond.

Word on the street is that Amazon is chasing premium sports packages and has been in talks with a range of sports leagues, with a view to acquiring broadcast rights. That would be a major game changer, as live sports is something that consumers are insanely keen to subscribe to.

But it’s also worth remembering that as both Amazon and Netflix continue to bolster their respective content offerings, their competition will serve to give viewers more reason to subscribe to both streaming services.

So for 2017, it may not be a case of “Netflix or Amazon Video?” but rather a case of “Netflix AND Amazon Video.”

Social – VentureBeat

Watch Google’s “2016 Year In Search” Review

The famous year in review from Google, with news coverage of some of the world’s most inspiring and shocking stories, this is Google’s “Year in Search” video for 2016. Starting slightly on the darker side, the film manages to find the brighter side of the world and highlights a message of hope for the future. […]


Digital Buzz Blog

Facebook released its annual year in review videos and they’re driving people crazy


Another year, another lame review video. I’ll admit it, I check my Facebook first thing in the morning. It usually leads to quite a few interesting tidbits I’ve missed while sleeping. Today however, I was greeted with a very sad year in review video. At first, I thought I was being too harsh – perhaps my life isn’t all that interesting. But it seems I’m not the only one disillusioned by the curated content: You’d think with all the information Facebook has on us that they could make more compelling year in review videos. — Lucas Sachs (@LucasOSachs) December 8, 2016 Dear Facebook,…

This story continues at The Next Web

Or just read more coverage about: Facebook
Social Media – The Next Web

Slack’s growth is insane, with daily user count up 3.5X in a year

Slack users paid seats chart Plenty of startups have tried and failed to make enterprise software sexy, but Slack made it viral. Its growth rate is unheard of. Both Slack’s daily user count and its paid seat count are up 3.5X in just a year. Tons of people have still never heard of it, but with this momentum, they probably will soon (it’s workplace chat). What the growth means for Slack is network effect. Read More
Social – TechCrunch