Very interesting company, Lill!
I agree with you that SMT has been wise in not trying to attack traditional broadcasters, but rather to slowly make themselves indispensable partners to these powerful networks. Their tech creates value for the entire system, and it seems like they’ve been able to capture that in profitability (certainly not always the case with disruptive media start-ups!).
That said, I wonder if they will still sustain an advantage in a context where more people watch sports via YouTube TV or Amazon Prime. Do you think SMT’s tech will be as valuable to players like Google, whose engineers could surely replicate SMT’s graphics no sweat? Particularly as the world gets more excited about e-sports, I worry that Twitch (owned by Amazon) already has much more advanced capabilities. Let’s see if SMT can keep up the pace of innovation to stay relevant.
I loved this post, Leah! (Not just because I’m a Starbucks junkie and heavy user of the app.)
One thing that I think about whenever I use mobile ordering is the way my experience has changed in the store – I spend less time on the transaction, keep my headphones in, and don’t have to interact with anyone behind the counter. This is a huge positive for me (e.g., when I’m in a rush) and probably makes me lower cost-to-serve for Starbucks, but I wonder does the presence of in-and-out customers like me make non-mobile users’ experience worse? Are they served more slowly? Do they no longer enjoy lingering over a book in Sbux’s “third place” when there’s a constant stream of mobile customers with headphones in, coming and going? Maybe this is why Starbucks is doubling down on its Reserve Roastery high-end concept, to segment out the grab-and-go types like me from the coffee shop experience-seekers.
To generalize, it seems that greater investment in/growth of digital channels can negatively impact traditional channels if not addressed proactively.