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Why Analysts are Flying Blind on Forecasting New Markets

News reports last month of Apple’s latest attempt to launch an online video service prompted Wall Street firm Nomura Research to publish two research reports. One said any new Apple service wouldn’t be attractive to current “core pay TV customers.” The other implied that Apple’s new service could sign up at least 18.5 million consumers by 2017, and maybe millions more.

The difference? One came from Nomura’s media analyst and the other from a Nomura technology analyst. Each looked at the service from the perspective of the industry they cover. And they presented somewhat contradictory conclusions.

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Savvy investors may treat these numbers with a grain of salt. But there are plenty of investors who aren’t specialized in industries who won’t, not to mention reporters and others who’ll magnify their impact. And this is a problem that is only going to get worse. Anyone assessing a tech company’s prospects in a new field may want to get a range of opinions.

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Joe Lonsdale
Joe Lonsdale
Founding Partner, Eight
Chamath Palihapitiya
Chamath Palihapitiya
Founder & Managing Partner, SocialCapital
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Tina Sharkey
CEO, Brandless
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Jonah Peretti
CEO, Buzzfeed
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Adam D'Angelo
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Brit Morin
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Dustin Moskovitz
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Max Levchin
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Director of Product, Facebook
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The Athletic
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Martha Josephson
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James Murdoch
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Andrew Kortina
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Ben Chestnut
Co-Founder & CEO, Mailchimp
Ruchi Sanghvi
Ruchi Sanghvi
VP Operations, Dropbox
Differences in outlook between the tech and media industries are mirrored by the analysts who cover those industries on Wall Street and, for that matter, the press.