It's a plane! It's a drone! It's a... six-wheeled delivery bot?
If you happen to live in Germany or the Netherlands, you may see a whole new delivery method whizzing by. Only this time, it won't be in a drone in the sky. Instead, it will be a six-wheeled robot on the ground.
Domino's Pizza (DPZ) - Get Domino's Pizza, Inc. Report has partnered with Starship Technologies to help with its futuristic delivery plans. In select cities, customers who live within one mile of select Domino's shops, may have their deliveries brought to them by this high-tech looking cross between a martian rover and an R/C car.
Domino's insists that over the next 10 years, it simply won't have enough delivery drivers to handle the demand. That's as the company expands not only in the U.S., but also in Europe and Asia.
As a result, the company is looking to the ground and air to help with the task. It's already used drones in New Zealand and a ground-based self-driving method in Australia.
With a slew of companies testing out drone delivery in the U.S., one would expect both methods to play a larger role going forward. As for the test with Starship, the little robot can go 4 mph and travels only on sidewalks, not roads. Thus, the stringency with what shops and what cities will allow for the testing.
The bot can carry up to 20 pounds and operates autonomously.
Shares of Domino's close at $182.77 Wednesday, down 1.7%.
Earlier this month, we looked at how Spotify is crushing the competition when it comes to signing up paid subscribers.
In just 12 months, Spotify grew its number of paying subscribers 66%, from 30 million to 50 million. Subscribers pay anywhere from $5 to $15 a month. The company now boasts more than 100 million paying and free subscribers.
Those number crush the competition, with Apple Music boasting just 20 million paying subscribers at last count and Pandora sporting only 4.3 million.
However, new reports suggest that Apple is actually the leader when it comes to monthly unique users. In fact, Pandora topped Spotify in this regard too. In February, Apple Music brought 40.7 million users to its service, while Pandora attracted 32.6 million monthly unique users. Spotify came in third, with 30.4 million.
The reason Apple has attracted so many users comes from its three-month free trial, according to Verto, the firm responsible for collecting this data. Of course, it helps that Apple Music comes pre-loaded on an iPhone, encouraging new listeners to give it a shot.
The real question will be, can Apple convert those trial users to paying users and will it impact Spotify's growth?
Shares of Apple closed at $144.12 Wednesday, up 0.2%.
Facebook (FB) - Get Meta Platforms Inc. Class A Report and Twitter (TWTR) - Get Twitter, Inc. Report have hinged much of their future growth on the prospects of video. For the former, it seems to be panning out nicely. For Twitter though, the jury is still on whether video will be the catalyst to propel the stock out of its funk.
Facebook Live is a live-streaming service that can be used to broadcast live video to a user's friends and followers. The company just announced an enhancement to that feature, making 360-degree video easier to broadcast.
If using the 2017 Samsung (SSNLF) Gear 360, the Insta360 Nano, or other devices, users can show 360-degree video to those watching. With additional support and easier navigation on Facebook, 360 video is surely to gain more traction.
Facebook Live may be making improvements, but so its Twitter's live-streaming property, Periscope.
Twitter was really the first major social media company to realize the power of live-streaming. Or at least, it was one of the first to act on it. Unfortunately though, that didn't put it ahead in the social media race.
Still, the company is trying to get it right. Now the company is adding a new analytics dashboard to Periscope. The new feature will track "video duration, number of viewers, hearts and time watched per user," according to TechCrunch.
It will also make Periscope sessions available within news stories and on its Moments feature, in an effort to broaden its live-streaming platform's reach.
Shares of Facebook closed at $142.65 Wednesday, up 0.6%. Shares of Twitter closed at $15.04, up 0.7%.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.