上面三種 Fit，在我觀察創業者的過程中，都會是影響我投資決策的幾個面向。但我更看重人與人的關係，所以 Founder-Investor Fit 其實會是我快速篩選的一個方法。跟有些創業者聊了兩三句，可能會有話不投機半句多的感覺，那就會大大的降低我投資的意願。因為我都會問我自己，如果我投資這個人之後，我能否全心全意的來協助這個創業者？如果你只是把它當成工作，不管你喜歡或是討厭他，你還是會像機器人一樣的執行，我會認為少了一些溫度，而執行的效果也會比較差。
在前兩篇 <飽受威脅的老大哥>、<老大哥的手牌> 中，我們分析了崛起的線上串流產業對 Disney 獲利表現造成的衝擊。Disney 也不是只挨打不還手，利用其雄厚的資本實力持續擴張 IP 資產、投資串流技術。面對變革中的媒體產業，不僅傳統媒體巨擘力求轉型，其他產業的巨人也趁機而入。以下我們將分析值得關注的新競爭者，與當今 OTT 產業的龍頭進行比較，並嘗試預測誰會是這場戰役中的贏家。
線上串流平台的興起約為 2005 年後，其中 Amazon 甚至比 Netflix 還早一步開始線上串流事業，加上 2008 年成立的 Hulu（已為 Disney 持有 60% 股權），正是目前美國 OTT 的三大龍頭。以其他競爭者主要事業體的產業來看，有電商 Amazon、生產硬體設備的 Apple 與電信龍頭 AT&T（見下表一）。
表二、美國 OTT 產業競爭者簡介（基石創投製表）
除了不得不反擊的傳統媒體業者（Comcast 和 Disney），其他企業是看準什麼商業價值？
Amazon 最初想仿照其顛覆出版業的模式：開闢線上通路後推出電子書，並以硬體 Kindle Fire 閱讀器整合產品與通路，掌握龐大的用戶群與訂單使內容提供者不得不靠其生存。同理，最初和 Netflix 一樣郵寄 DVD / 錄影帶、發展成線上串流、再推出 Fire TV 機上盒與串流棒。然而平台的 IP 獨佔性、硬體裝置種類與品牌多樣化使 Amazon 並沒有再次成為 OTT 通路與 IP 整合的霸主，Prime Video 如今更像是 Prime Membership 的誘因之一。
過去營收以 iPhone 為主體的 Apple，近年受到新興中低階品牌的競爭不小。面對愈發激烈的硬體規格與技術競爭，Apple 開始投注更多心力在軟體事業群，像是今年宣布將推出影視、遊戲、報章雜誌串流平台（Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+）。因此 Apple TV+ 可說是 Apple 企圖以軟體來提高其硬體設備附加價值的手段，進而打造出一個完整的蘋果生態系。
IP 數量代表內容的豐富程度，傳統媒體業都有自己長年的內容庫。雖然查不到 Netflix 與 Amazon 平台上的總數量，但可預期的是隨著內容製作者加入 OTT 戰局，授權 IP 都將歸回原主，如 WarnerMedia 收回著名影集 Friends ，多部 Marvel 與 Disney 電影也將陸續從 Netflix 下架；Amazon 受到的影響則較低，因為平台上的授權內容有一部份本就是需要額外付費租賃或購買，但從下點可見二者都加重對原創內容的投資。
最後是推出 / 更新內容的速度。HBO Now 在 Game of Thrones 第七季開播期間用戶成長 91%，但結束後的六個月內這批用戶的留存率僅有 26%，可見速度是獲得新用戶與維持黏著度的關鍵。這裡因各競爭者黏著性資料不足，較難維持可比性，故以今年預計投入金額（包含授權與製作）或去年推出的新內容總時數代表。其中 Netflix 可說是卯足全力，原因除了授權 IP 正在流失外，更因為本身是高度依賴訂閱營收的單一事業體。相較之下美國 OTT 市占第二的 Amazon 在新內容的投入就不需如 Netflix 賣力，因為 Amazon Prime 還有諸多優惠使其留存率可高達 93%。
指 IP 內容以外的消費者體驗，在此分為個人化推薦技術（technology）、可觀看裝置（device compatibility），以及價格（price）等。
儘管在 IP 製作與資源豐富程度上比不過傳統媒體業者，但 Netflix、Amazon 與 Apple 從網路搜集分析使用者數據可說是佼佼者，如 Netflix 專精數據分析與客製化推薦，現在也開始測試向不同用戶推出演算後的個人化介面。而傳統媒體業者多透過併購來彌補技術上的不足（如 Disney 併串 BAMTech、NBCUniversal 併英國媒體巨擘 Sky，享有其技術平台）。
可觀看裝置數量的部分除了 Apple TV+ 外，其餘串流平台的可配對裝置種類都算多。在此，擁有自家硬體更像是一種防衛機制而非吸引用戶的優勢。如 Disney+ 可能不會於 Amazon Fire 機上盒（與 Roku 並列市場龍頭）上架；而要讓自有硬體用戶（如果粉）將推出的串流平台視為 must have 而非 nice to have 並掏錢，IP 還是比較重要的因素。
在即將推出的 Diseny+、Apple TV+、Peacock 與 HBO Max 中，筆者認為 Disney+ 最有可能達成其事業目標。除了現有 IP 的龐大受眾（再加上運動串流 ESPN+ 和 Live 電視串流 Hulu）將使其獲客成本低於其他後進者，Disney+ 也將解決過去只能從票房、授權數量來了解消費者的困境，有利於強化 IP 製作的綜效。
相較之下，要 Apple 現有的硬體用戶來嘗試新服務不難、但要非用戶為了新服務來購買其產品就沒那麼容易。眼前有兩條路可以選：1. 專心打串流，但價格勢必得調高到能回本 2. 不惜賠本推軟體與服務，就是要你成為蘋果硬體用戶； 目前 Apple 顯然偏向後者，但根據上方對於其 IP 內容的分析來看，Apple TV+ 要成為硬體銷售的成長動力有很大的挑戰。
與 Disney 性質相近的 NBCUniversal 也值得期待，但目前還沒有太多資訊披露；HBO Max 則有以下疑問待解：1. 與 HBO Now / Go 的重疊性 2. AT&T 集團與 WarnerMedia 在業務上所能達成的綜效。至於 Netflix 為何可以穩坐第一？Deloitte 相關報告指出美國用戶平均會訂閱三個平台，市占前三名中 Hulu 與 Disney+ 有套裝組合、Amazon Prime 會員制有更多其他誘因，可見 Disney+ 的出現不會造成太大的衝擊，Netflix 在 IP 製作與相關技術上的成熟度也能助其維持領先地位。
前一點在講美國市場，但國際市場的潛力更不可小覷，特別是在人口眾多且網路普及率快速成長的開發中國家，娛樂與文化的關聯也凸顯在地化能力的重要性。Disney 的一貫作風暴力又直接，如在併購 Fox 後獲得印度市占第一的串流平台 Hotstar。Netflix 則在科技與技術上下更多功夫，如理解消費者偏好、提高現有作品存量的利用價值（增加字幕與配音語種）。相較之下，Apple 儘管將於 100+ 個國家同步推出（遠多於迪士尼的五個），但以內容製作來看短期內的成長將來自美國市場。Peacock 與 HBO Max 則尚未公布明確的 global launch 計畫。
除了地理範圍，競爭領域也持續擴張。想遠一些，平台的終極競爭者其實就是用戶的時間分配。現在崛起中的娛樂型態還有線上串流遊戲、eSports。專營 OTT 平台的業者最受威脅，因為內容吸引力不再是用戶活躍程度的絕對保證，在外患四起的同時還得面對逐漸升溫的訂閱疲乏（subscription fatigue）。以下兩種策略有助於吸引用戶：
提供更多附加價值：Amazon Prime Membership 的各種優惠，又或者 Apple 未來讓用戶可一鍵式訂閱 Apple Arcade、News+、TV+，都將有助於提升黏著度
但絕大多數的創投、如 Union Square Venture，都會盡量避免投資兩家互相競爭的公司，這就是投資了一家公司後的機會成本，基石也是如此。因為我們一直認為投資是和創業團隊建立起長期合作關係，而創業者就是我們最重要的客戶，基石希望能百分之百的支持我們所有投資的公司，給予最大的協助，並希望創業團隊能夠百分之百的相信我們，任何有可能影響這樣關係的事我們都會盡量避免，包含投資他們可能的潛在競爭者，甚至是創辦團隊認為的潛在對手。
Samuel is an Indonesian graduate from National Taiwan University, studying economics. Fluent in Chinese, Japanese and Indonesian. His previous experience was in securities and banking for local financial institutions, but he has kept pace with current technology news and startup scene throughout the ASEAN region.
Taiwan has 3 big telecom companies, 2 smaller telecom companies and many other MVNOs, serving a population of 23 million people.
Internet usage in Taiwan is ubiquitous, and Taiwan’s digital life is relatively developed. However, the digital ecosystem in Taiwan is not the same as the ecosystem in the Southeast Asian region. In this article, we are going to take a look into some apps of choice for Taiwanese consumers in the realm of social media, online transportation, and food delivery service.
Internet users in Taiwan generally use Facebook as their main social media, with a growing number of users shifting their private profiles over to Instagram.
For forum-based discussion, the platform is fragmented depending on the topic at hand. For example, for discussion about electronic goods, mobile01 is the main place to go. Gamers flock to Bahamut to discuss everything about games and related topics.
However, PTT, a telnet BBS launched in 1995, is still one of the largest communities in Taiwan covering any topic, similar to Japan’s 2ch or the global 4chan in BBS form. Its impact is huge, generating many of the contents and topics currently in circulation in the Taiwanese parts of FB and Instagram, to the point that a Taiwanese movie was based on the board.
Moving on to other media, Taiwanese users generally use Youtube as their primary video source, similar to the US. However, more and more people are opting to use the video feature on Facebook. Similar to the current trend in the world, we see the internet moving to a more mobile environment with a more video-focused approach.
Lately, we have seen an uptick in the number of people trying to use Facebook Live to directly sell to consumers, similar to TV marketing but with added interactiveness with the audience. A potential customer would follow the link given by the broadcaster, or chat directly to buy the products. There have been a growing number of startups in Taiwan that are trying to support this part of e-commerce, working together with influencers and small merchants.
The above shows a new trend in the making, as the worlds of video, social, and e-commerce collide. However, traditional B2C e-commerce are still very strong with solid revenue numbers. Just counting the revenue of 3 public e-commerce companies (PCHome, momo and Kuo Brothers), all 3 add up to almost USD 3B.
Similar to Southeast Asia, there are also many merchants who are trying to make it through low-cost channels, mainly through social media (Facebook, Instagram) and chat-based applications. Some even sell on PTT or Facebook Marketplace, and do the transaction directly by bank transfer or through Shopee (for added security).
The first-choice messaging application in Taiwan is LINE. Out of 23 million people, LINE has about 21 million users in Taiwan, which approximately covers 91% of the country. As such, LINE has become a necessity of life in Taiwan, embedding itself into the fabric of everyday life. There are many theories about how LINE became successful in Taiwan, but a part of its early boom can be attributed to the attractiveness of stickers as a means to communicate, as it made chatting a bit less stiff. LINE increased its stickiness when they started releasing their own inhouse games in the same era where Facebook games were all the rage.
Besides their services, LINE has vigorously marketed its virtual point system, exchangeable as vouchers and products, or even cash in many merchants. A user can get LINE Points by using their payment services (LINE Pay), and they have made efforts to reach the population by working together with local banks to issue co-branded credit cards (CTBC Line Pay, Union Bank of Taiwan Line Points). LINE is also moving into the financial services sector after it was granted a virtual bank license in Taiwan, joining forces with local banks (including CTBC and Standard Chartered).
It is quite possible to think of LINE as a super-app for Taiwan, similar as to how Kakao and Naver are super-apps in Korea. As part of Naver, LINE can implement proven business models from its regions (including Japan, Thailand) and try to localize. LINE has already redesigned its UI in order to provide users with easier access to their services.
LINE has also expanded in Southeast Asia, notably Thailand. but in other Southeast Asian countries, LINE is losing ground to Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger. That is in contrast with Taiwan, where LINE is unquestionably the messenger application of choice, to the point that work communication as well as customer service are being done on the platform.
The Taiwanese internet market has a few quirks that are different with Southeast Asia, and startups that are considering Taiwanese consumers as a target market should be mindful of the different local consumer preferences compared to Southeast Asia.
Ride-hailing apps such as Uber has had a rocky history in Taiwan, as they play cat-and-mouse games with the regulator, as the regulator first rejected their claim to be a purely tech company and required them to register as a transportation company. After a few back and forth, the government finally issued an ultimatum to register as a taxi company or pull out of Taiwan. As of October 1 this year, they operate as a taxi company in Taiwan.
One of the reasons Uber has been relatively successful in Taiwan is that besides pioneering the ability to call taxis from an app, the cars are usually cleaner, and that the drivers are usually more professional compared to a random taxi you hail on the streets.
The entrance of Uber into the market meant that the traditional heavyweight in the taxi industry, Taiwan Taxi (台灣大車隊), has had to adopt and provide a call-on-demand function on their application.
Another upstart, TaxiGo, started out as a chatbot on Messenger and LINE to call taxis. It originally worked with existing taxi drivers, but gradually developed into its own taxi company.
Taiwan has a culture of eating out, and many apartments in Taipei don’t include a kitchen at all. In the last few years, food delivery has been a very big battleground between new startups in Taiwan, starting from the now bankrupt Honestbee, Foodpanda, Uber Eats, as well as the newest competitor in town, Deliveroo. Besides international competitors, small local upstarts are also trying to make it in this crowded space, such as Yowoo. So far, Uber Eats, Foodpanda and Deliveroo has been the current leaders so far.
Compared to Grab and Gojek being the two giants in both transportation and food delivery in Southeast Asia, the transportation and food delivery part is largely fragmented. Different players exist in both areas, with the exception of Uber.
In general, there are still a couple of spaces left for international startups to exploit, as can be seen from the proliferation of LINE and overseas food delivery companies, but the key thing is for startups to localize into Taiwan. Another key thing is to think of Taiwan’s digital ecosystem as completely separate from China, as consumer preferences and habits differ in both countries. In this case, one can lump Taiwan in as another one of ASEAN’s many countries with different cultures and languages. As long as localization is done right and the services benefit consumers, Taiwanese consumers are also open to new solutions, and Taiwan can really be a nice cash cow for a startup who is willing to localize.