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Democrats, fact-checkers deem Trump op-ed on Medicare for All 'misleading'


Power Forecast Briefing: Fleet Transformation, Under-Powered Markets, and Green Energy in 2018

Trading Of US Linear TV Advertising Shifting To Programmatic Trading

Every Industry Is Now A Technology Industry

Online Video Bolstering Consumer Home Video Spend, Spearheaded By Subscription Streaming

Democrats, fact-checkers deem Trump op-ed on Medicare for All 'misleading'

Democrats and fact-checkers were quick to respond to an op-ed by U.S. President Donald Trump, noting that nearly all of his statements contained misleading information about proposals for universal healthcare coverage.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., even offered up a nearly line-by-line edited version of Trump's article, telling the 45th president his op-ed "needs some work."

"All of the false and misleading words in the world can't cover up how your administration and Republicans in Congress are forcing millions of Americans to pay more for healthcare," Schumer wrote on Twitter.

In an article published Oct. 10 in USA Today, Trump said the Democrats intended to "outlaw private healthcare plans, taking away freedom to choose plans, while letting anyone cross our border."

He said Democrats were "uniting around a new legislative proposal that would end Medicare as we know it and take away benefits that seniors have paid for their entire lives."

Trump included a link to a bill introduced a year ago by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the Medicare for All Act of 2017, which proposed to replace the U.S. private insurance structure with a single-payer program that would be run by the U.S. government.

Sanders, however, is not seeking to end the government's Medicare health insurance program for seniors and the disabled, as Trump alleged.

Rather, Sanders' bill calls for expanding it for those beneficiaries by adding dental, vision and hearing aids — services currently not covered by Medicare.

The program would be implemented in stages over four years. In the first year, the Medicare eligibility age would be reduced to 55 years and children and young adults 18 and under could become eligible to enroll.

Sanders' legislation also calls for the government to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies for lower prices, something Medicare is currently banned from doing for its prescription drug program.

Trump noted that one analysis from George Mason University put the cost of a national single-payer program at $32.6 trillion for its first 10 years.

But others, including the Congressional Budget Office, which provides nonpartisan financial analyses to Congress, have yet to estimate the cost of Sanders' bill.

Trump also failed to acknowledge that Sanders' legislation is not the only universal healthcare proposal and it is not embraced fully by the Democrats, though he has 16 members of that party in the Senate as co-sponsors and former President Barack Obama last month called the single-payer concept a "good idea."

Officials from the nonpartisan, nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation noted that there are at least another half-dozen bills that have been introduced in the House or Senate aimed at creating either a national healthcare insurance program for all Americans or some that provide a blend of public and private coverage options.

In March, Kaiser reported that nearly 60% of Americans favored a national health plan, with that number rising to 75% when those respondents were asked if that approach could be made optional, with people being able to keep their current form of coverage — a concept backed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

The Center for American Progress has also proposed a structure that would guarantee universal coverage, but the so-called Medicare Extra For All program would also allow employer-based insurance.

More distortions

In his op-ed, Trump also accused the Democrats of already harming seniors by "slashing Medicare by more than $800 billion over 10 years" to pay for the Affordable Care Act — an argument that was long-ago discredited.

The funds were used to extend the solvency of Medicare, not harm it.

Trump, however, sought to trim Medicare spending by as much as $500 billion, Sanders said in an Oct. 10 statement.

The president also claimed that he has kept his promise to protect coverage for patients with pre-existing conditions and create new healthcare insurance options that would lower premiums.

But Trump and almost all of the House Republicans supported a bill in May 2017 to repeal and replace the ACA, which would have permitted states to receive waivers that would allow insurers to charge more for patients with pre-existing conditions — legislation that was never adopted by the Senate.

Republicans are now backing away from their repeal-and-replace legislation, claiming on the campaign trail ahead of the 2018 midterm elections they now support keeping the pre-existing condition protections, which were created under the Democrats' ACA.

Not only did the Trump administration decline to defend the ACA's pre-existing conditions protections in a lawsuit filed by 20 Republican state attorneys general, it sided with the plaintiffs who brought the challenge and argued in court that those protections should be invalidated.

The short-term health plans, which Trump expanded access to and critics call "junk" coverage, provide no protections for patients with pre-existing conditions.

All Republicans but one in the Senate voted on Oct. 10 against a measure that would have blocked that expansion.

While the Democratic-sponsored measure was defeated — dying in a 50-50 deadlock — the vote gave the party more fodder to argue that their rivals failed again to take action to protect patients with pre-existing conditions.

Watch: Power Forecast Briefing: Fleet Transformation, Under-Powered Markets, and Green Energy in 2018

Steve Piper shares Power Forecast insights and a recap of recent events in the US power markets in Q4 of 2017. Watch our video for power generation trends and forecasts for utilities in 2018.

Technology, Media & Telecom
Trading Of US Linear TV Advertising Shifting To Programmatic Trading

Oct. 08 2018 — Both buyers and sellers of traditional linear TV advertising, not including connected TV or over-the-top video, are moving toward the adoption of programmatic trading. In 2017, Kagan estimates that $690 million or 0.9% of total linear TV spend was traded programmatically. Within the next five years, that figure is expected to climb to $9.76 billion or nearly 12% of total linear TV advertising revenue. MVPDs are forecast to trade the greatest percentage of their ad inventory programmatically in 2022 with 30% of ad revenue from programmatic trading.

Kagan defines programmatic trading as being automated and data-enhanced, not just one or the other. Trading may be through a private or open marketplace and does not have to be through an auction, which is more common in digital video advertising.

There are several issues holding participants back from programmatic trading. Unlike digital programmatic marketplaces, where there is a seemingly unending supply of ad inventory, linear TV has a finite supply. Demand for TV inventory exceeds the supply, so there is still an attitude of "If it isn't broken, don't fix it." TV ads are also bought well in advance, not immediately.

While many agencies have experimented with the programmatic trading of linear TV, not all are on board. Many of the advertisers and agencies are interacting directly with the supplier platform rather than going through a demand-side platform, or DSP, today. In their experiments, the agency needs to use separate platforms to aggregate inventory and tie it together, which is a lot of work.

The lack of inventory is one factor holding back programmatic trading. The only way it takes off is to make linear TV inventory available in some type of buyer platform that can combine the various supply platforms. It is even more complicated when the buyer wants to bring in connected TV (OTT).

Agencies do like the automation capabilities of programmatic, particularly where the process takes a lot of time. An algorithm may do better in areas such as weighting estimation, the first pass at scheduling and the negotiation process as well as postings and billings. The process of buying inventory is not difficult, but computing where a buyer will be able to find its preferred audience is. Therefore, interest in automating the planning and analysis to find an optimal audience is high.

We forecast a gradual uptake for programmatic trading with continued testing in 2018. Broadcast stations and networks, cable programmers, and MVPDs need to add more inventory to programmatic platforms before agencies begin using it in earnest. It will take time for all parties to feel comfortable transacting in a new way.

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Every Industry Is Now A Technology Industry


And every company is now a technology company.

Sep. 28 2018 — As machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and robotics become commonplace and enter the operations of mainstream organizations, leadership teams are finding that failure to harness and leverage AI puts them behind the competition. Repeatable tasks are carried out by bots in a fraction of the time and employees are more focused on adding value, which means companies on the forefront of technology can be more reliable, more user-friendly, and faster to market.

In this highly disruptive environment, one traditional truth of business has withstood, or has perhaps even guided, these technological advances: above all, the customer experience is king. More than ever before, businesses have effective technologies at their fingertips to quickly and effectively address customer pain points, while at the same time dramatically improving their internal operations.

At S&P Global Market Intelligence, we strive to get beyond the buzzwords and truly deliver essential insight. And second to this, we strive to adopt real operational efficiencies into our delivery that are paralleled by the workflow efficiencies we promise to our customers. To that end, we are committed to remaining on the cutting edge of emerging technologies, first through optimization, then automation.

Download a recent analysis of how we’re applying new technology like natural language processing to structure data, robotic process automation to deliver insights faster, and predictive analytics to stay ahead of the market.

You can also view this analysis in Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, and Japanese.

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Natural Language Processing – Part II: Stock Selection

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Natural Language Processing, Part I: Primer

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Technology, Media & Telecom
Online Video Bolstering Consumer Home Video Spend, Spearheaded By Subscription Streaming


The following post comes from Kagan, a research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence.

To learn more about our TMT (Technology, Media & Telecommunications) products and/or research, please request a demo.

Sep. 20 2018 — Spending on home entertainment is rising toward levels not seen since 2004, when consumers spent $24.37 billion building massive home-video libraries of DVDs and VHS cassettes. Since then, the optical-disc market saw more than a decade of significant declines as consumers shifted to digital entertainment. By 2012, total spending on home entertainment was down to $20.13 billion, with $4.13 billion coming from online video while DVDs and Blu-ray discs accounted for $12.88 billion and multichannel PPV/VOD contributed the remaining $3.13 billion.

Fast forward to 2017 and the mix of consumer spending has changed significantly. Consumers spent a total of $22.62 billion on home entertainment from multichannel, online and disc retail/rental sources. Online spending accounted for $13.00 billion of that total while spending on discs dropped to $6.84 billion and multichannel PPV/VOD shrank to $2.79 billion.

While the data might seem like good news for traditional providers of home entertainment, a key component of the growth in digital spending is the rise of subscription video on demand. The majority of online spending is going to over-the-top services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime, which increasingly have focused on creating original programming (mainly episodic TV) rather than licensing content from Hollywood studios.

Removing subscription streaming from the consumer spending pool paints a less favorable picture for traditional content providers. In 2012, consumers spent just $1.43 billion on non-subscription online video purchase/rental, and a total of $17.44 billion excluding the SVOD component. By 2017, while consumer spending on online video overall had risen to $13.00 billion, some $10.47 of that came from streaming subscriptions versus $2.53 billion from online video purchase/rental, and total home-entertainment spending was just $12.16 billion excluding SVOD.

Spending on sell-through home video peaked in 2006 when consumers shelled out $16.53 billion for DVDs and VHS cassettes. Since then spending has declined by hundreds of millions (sometimes billions) each year. In 2017, consumers spent $6.50 billion on DVD and Blu-ray sell-through and electronic sell-through. This seems to suggest that people are becoming less and less interested in adding to their home-video libraries and are turning to the more affordable streaming options. The story is similar for the home-video rental segment, which saw consumer spending peak in 2001 at nearly $8.45 billion before dropping to $2.87 billion by the end of 2017.

This has to be a somewhat unsettling trend for the major film studios, and is likely a key factor in shifting their strategy to focus on major franchise films and low-cost genre fare. The former tend to have broad worldwide appeal and can still move enough video units to help offset their high production and distribution costs. The low-cost genre fare, on the other hand, may be more risky and not sell as well internationally, but has a fair chance to break even. If the latter films lose money, the successful franchise films typically cover the losses.

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US Online Video Outlook To Eclipse $15B In 2018

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DVD, Blu-ray Spending Down $1B-plus For 11th Year In A Row

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