Monday, 2 March 2015

YouTube 'breaks even on revenues of $4bn a year'

"Google Inc. nurtured YouTube into a cultural phenomenon, attracting more than one billion users each month. Still, YouTube hasn’t become a profitable business.
The online-video unit posted revenue of about $4 billion in 2014, up from $3 billion a year earlier, according to two people familiar with its financials, as advertiser-friendly moves enticed some big brands to spend more. But while YouTube accounted for about 6% of Google’s overall sales last year, it didn’t contribute to earnings. After paying for content, and the equipment to deliver speedy videos, YouTube’s bottom line is “roughly break-even,” according to a person with knowledge of the figure.
By comparison, Facebook Inc. generated more than $12 billion in revenue, and nearly $3 billion in profit, from its 1.3 billion users last year."

Friday, 27 February 2015

'The Dress' generated record traffic figures for Buzzfeed

"After the furor over the escaped llamas died down late yesterday afternoon, BuzzFeed posted a very BuzzFeed post that aggregated a Tumblr post of a dress in which the color of the dress was in dispute. Basically, some people saw white and gold (it’s white and gold) and other saw black and blue (it’s not). It was the apotheosis of viral content. To use a technical term, the Internet lost its collective shit. The post was shared 16 million times just five-odd hours after it was posted, and BuzzFeed said a record 670,000 people were on the site at the same time. Neetzan Zimmerman, who the WSJ once panted had “cracked the code” of viral, treated it as a solemn moment."
Source:  Digiday, 26th February 2015
Update - 38m views on 2nd March, 4 days after posting

WeightWatchers 'is losing users to activity trackers'

"Revenue fell 10% to $327.8 million in the fourth quarter, Weight Watchers International said in a statement Thursday, declining for the eighth straight period as FitBit, Jawbone and other activity trackers lure dieters away.
Weight Watchers, founded in 1961, has built up an ecosystem of dieting programs, food products and support centers for people seeking to slim down. With consumers paying more attention to how many calories they're burning from exercise or everyday activities, fitness gadgets have surged in popularity, with 51.2 million American adults using applications to track their health, according to Nielsen. That's making it harder for Weight Watchers to justify subscriptions starting at $20 a month, since activity trackers can be paired with free mobile apps that make it easy to analyze caloric input and output.
"Weight Watchers really has to change what they're offering -- they have to get modern," said Meredith Adler, an analyst at Barclays. "People are just more digital now than they ever were.""
Note - This is not necessarily causal, or even connected...

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Drake's 2015 album broke streaming records on spotify

"Drake's surprise album has set records on Spotify.
The music-streaming service said Tuesday (Feb. 17) that the rapper's new album, If You're Reading This It's Too Late, set the record for most streams from an album in its debut week in the U.S. Songs from the album, released Friday, were streamed more than 17.3 million times in three days.
Drake Decoded: 10 Subliminal Shots on 'If You're Reading This It's Too Late'
Drake's 2013 album, Nothing Was the Same, previously had the record for most streams in a debut week with 15.8 million.
The new album also set a record for most streams in a single day for an album in the U.S. with 6.8 million streams on Saturday."

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

23% of people who listened to music on an iOS device in Jan 2015 listened to U2

"Annoyed as some Apple customers may have been over being "force-fed" U2's new album last fall, the impact of the free release is still visible five months later. Twenty-three percent of all music users on Apple's operating system listened to at least one U2 track in January-more than twice the percentage who listened to the second-placing artist, Taylor Swift (11%).
Apple teamed up with the powerhouse rock group to make its latest album, "Songs of Innocence," available to iOS users for free in the month following the smash debut of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. In the face of user complaints about not wanting the album, the amount of memory it consumed, etc., U2 publicly apologized and Apple posted instructions for how to remove the album from a user's device.
Loud as the complaints may have been, however, Kantar determined that nearly every iOS device user who listened to U2 in January - 95% of them - listened to at least one track from the new album.
23 %  of iOS-device music users listened to U2 in January
11 % listened to Taylor Swift
8 % listened to Katy Perry"
"The above results were derived from the Kantar panel of 2,510 iOS users and subset of 978 iOS-user panelists who listened to any music in January 2015"

Live TV viewing is falling among 18--34s in the US

"According to Larry Gerbrandt, the habits of ‘millennial’ viewers in the US are causing broadcasters to re-evaluate business models.
The viewing data has been piling up for months, but has turned into a potentially apocalyptic trend line: according to Nielsen viewing data, traditional TV viewing has dropped 10.6% between September and January among the 18-34 demographic so highly coveted by advertisers.
This isn’t a short-term trend either. The drop-off in viewing of traditional TV among these viewers has been going on since 2012 and tracks with the growth of SVoD services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime along with an intense focus on episodic TV series by premium channels HBO, Showtime and Starz."
Note - Larry Gerbrandt works for Media Valuation Partners

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The 2015 Oscars had lower viewing figures & fewer tweets than in 2014

"The 2015 Academy Awards on Sunday was full of moments that got viewers chatting: Lady Gaga’s stunning “Sound of Music” tribute, John Travolta being creepy, an amazing Tegan and Sara performance of “Everything Is Awesome” from “The Lego Movie,” and Benedict Cumberbatch sneaking in a hip flask. But despite a number of highlights, the Oscars this year were a bit of a flop in terms of hard numbers.
About 36.6 million people on average tuned in to watch the show on ABC in the US on Sunday night, down 16% from the 43.7 million people who watched the show last year, according to Nielsen figures reported by The Wall Street Journal’s CMO Today.
Over on Twitter, the picture was even bleaker. Nielsen’s Twitter TV ratings show that just 5.9 million tweets about the Oscars were sent this year, down 47% on the 11.2 million Oscars-related tweets in 2014.
Why the shocking performance? There are a few theories out there: There wasn’t an equivalent of a Samsung selfie (which sparked 3.3 million retweets), host Neil Patrick Harris didn’t live up to Ellen DeGeneres’ performance last year, and many of the nominees were not hits as the box office, unlike in 2014 when “Gravity” won seven Oscars and “12 Years a Slave” came away with Best Picture.
However, there was one bright spot: Facebook. In a blog post, the social network said 86% more users posted, liked, commented or shared Oscars-related content content. The number was up from 11.3 million people in 2014 to 21 million this year.
In terms of posts, that number was up 129% to 58 million."

Monday, 23 February 2015

Snapchat is estimated to have 170m users

"Now you see it, now you do not. The original appeal of Snapchat, a social messaging app, was disappearing photos that vanish after 10 seconds or less. There are plenty of ephemeral apps, but Snapchat is the biggest. Less than four years old, it has 170m users (Cowen estimates)- two-thirds as many as Twitter. And it is fending off investors who would buy in at a valuation of $16bn or more.
Snapchat is valuable not only because of its fade away photos. Snapchat has messaging features (for text, photos and video); socially shared posts; and even a professional news platform. Time spent by US teenagers aged 14-17 on the app rivals Facebook (30 minutes per session on Snapchat, versus 34 for Facebook, according to Magid Associates). Its young, engaged audience, most users are under 30, makes it popular with advertisers.
Whether Snapchat itself might be as ephemeral as its photos remains to be seen. It has grown fast. Snapchat has five times as many users as Facebook did at the same age (3.5 years old). It has also been faster to commercialise: Cowen estimates the app had $200m in revenues this year, mostly from ads. But it is early days; it could disappear just as quickly (remember MySpace?) Already users bemoan a clunky design as new features clutter the interface.
None of this has stopped investors. A $16bn valuation for Snapchat, roughly $90 per user, would be on par with Twitter ($95 per user), though less than Facebook ($145 per user). These valuations are as much a reflection of the cash sloshing around the tech sector as of real users and profits."
Note - Cowen seems to be The Cowen Group - but there's no information on whether the estimate is MAUs (monthly active users) or total downloads

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

80% of consumers time with apps is spent in just 5 apps

"Marketers’ rush to develop branded mobile applications overlooks how consumers are spending a significant portion of their app time with several high-utility apps, according to Forrester Research.
The new Forrester report, “2015 Mobile App Marketing Trends: Orchestrate Your Brand Presence, Beyond Your Own Apps, By Borrowing Mobile Moments,” explores marketers’ decisions to invest significant resources into building their own branded apps because research suggests consumers spend a majority of their mobile time on apps. However, new Forrester data shows that, on average, consumers in the United States and Britain use 24 apps per month but spend more than 80 percent of the time in their five most time-consuming apps.
“Marketers should borrow their way to their customers’ home screens by partnering with the few apps that command the majority of consumers’ mobile prime time,” said Thomas Husson,
 Paris-based vice president and principal analyst for marketing and strategy at Forrester Research, in a blog post about the report."

Monday, 9 February 2015

Pebble has shipped more than a million smart watches

"While Google and Apple have been getting the lion's share of attention for smartwatches lately, indie darling Pebble has been quietly soldiering on, improving its product and selling watches. In an exclusive interview, CEO Eric Migicovsky revealed that the company shipped its one millionth Pebble on December 31st of last year. That's more than double of what Pebble reported in March, indicating that price cuts and new feature additions later in the year successfully boosted sales figures."
Source:  The Verge, 2nd February 2015

Friday, 6 February 2015

Twitter had 288m MAUs in Q4 2014

"Twitter, Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) today announced financial results for the quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2014.
• Q4 revenue of $479 million, up 97% year-over-year
• Q4 net loss of $125 million and non-GAAP net income of $79 million
• Q4 GAAP EPS of ($0.20) and non-GAAP EPS of $0.12
• Q4 adjusted EBITDA of $141 million, representing an adjusted EBITDA margin of 30%
• 2014 revenue of $1,403 million, up 111% year-over-year
• 2014 net loss of $578 million and non-GAAP net income of $101 million
• 2014 GAAP EPS of ($0.96) and non-GAAP EPS of $0.14
• 2014 adjusted EBITDA of $301 million, representing an adjusted EBITDA margin of 21%
Fourth Quarter 2014 Operational Highlights
• Average Monthly Active Users (MAUs) were 288 million for the fourth quarter, an increase
of 20% year-over-year, which reflects a loss of approximately 4 million net Monthly Active
Users in the fourth quarter due to changes in third party integrations.
• Average Mobile MAUs represented approximately 80% of total MAUs.
• Timeline views reached 182 billion for the fourth quarter of 2014, an increase of 23% yearover-year.
• Advertising revenue per thousand timeline views reached $2.37 in the fourth quarter of
2014, an increase of 60% year-over-year."
Source:  Twitter's Q4 2014 Earnings press release, 5th February 2015
Earlier - 271m in Q3 2014

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Vevo has more than 10 billion views a month

"Vevo reached a landmark 10 billion monthly global views in January, which is an 86% increase YoY from 2014’s 5.4 billion views.
Two billion views were from the US alone, up from 1.2 billion in January 2014, marking the first time the service had recorded this number of views from its biggest market.
Mexico is Vevo’s second largest market and, since its launch in the territory in early 2014, has provided over 1 billion monthly views.
According to Vevo, mobile and connected TV views account for 49.5% of Vevo’s total views."