Tech veteran Dan Ives talks television ‘content wars,’ major trends for investors


Top technology analyst Daniel Ives said a number of trends pose potential upside opportunities for shrewd investors, including shifts toward cloud workspaces and the advent of advanced cybersecurity.

CNBC’s Mike Santoli spoke with Ives, who’s been working in space for decades, in an exclusive interview for CNBC PRO

“The secular themes that we really think you’ve focused on – and this really continues to be our thesis – is the move to cloud: The secular shift to cloud that’s happening among enterprises,” Ives said. “Obviously, Microsoft and Amazon Web Services are sort of front and center, but that’s spawned a whole ecosystem of both small- and mid-cap names that we’re bullish on.”

The analyst said that, while Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella seems to have a “golden touch” for developing successful cloud technologies, the pivot toward internet-based computing remains in its “early innings,” highlighting smaller companies like Ultimate Software and as upcoming players in the industry.

He also discussed internet content providers, wading into a closely-watched debate.

Though he still sees Netflix as the dominant player, he told CNBC that companies like Roku could be contenders in the coming years as more companies venture into content.

“We’re going to see this content war play out. When you look a Roku, you look at Disney and Iger, you look obviously at Netflix. I think it’s going to spawn a lot of other players,” Ives said. “Ultimately right now, content’s king … And then the big question is: how aggressive does Amazon get into streaming? What about Facebook? Is this year [the year] Apple finally acquires a streaming player in the studios?”

Ives is chief strategy officer and head of technology research at GBH Insights, joining its executive team in October 2017. Prior to his role at GBH, Dan spent nearly 20 years in the technology space as a senior analyst for technology, media and telecommunications at FBR Capital Markets, earning a reputation for his work in enterprise software and mobile technology.

The tech veteran underscored social media, too, arguing that it isn’t “just a Facebook play.”

“Now you’ve started to see Twitter and Snap come back and that’s sort of been our theme,” Ives explained. “Facebook’s the sort of the pole in the sand, but really Twitter and Snap have been recovery names that we’ve really liked here. Just on the social media advertising, monthly active user sort of theme.”

See here for the full CNBC PRO report and the interview video.

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