Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The Chinese 'wifi stealing' app Skeleton Key has 270m monthly active users

"Wifi Skeleton Key, an app for quickly connecting to wifi hotspots without a password or sign-in, has raised US$52 million in series A funding, according to QQ Tech. The investment came from Haitong Securities, Northern Light Venture Capital, and others. QQ Tech’s sources say the company gave up 5.2 percent equity in return, which, if true, puts the company’s valuation at around US$1 billion.
Wifi Skeleton Key (named WiFi万能钥匙 in Chinese) allows users to establish a connection to millions of hotspots across China without the need for credentials. It works very similar to Wifi Companion, a likeminded app that raised US$9.75 million in series A funding in December. All ChinaNet hotspots, of which there are 8 million littered throughout the country, are available to Wifi Skeleton Key users. Those hotspots are run by China Mobile, the world’s largest telecoms operator.
The app also crowdsources login credentials, so when one user logs into a hotspot, his or her credentials are added to the database so that everyone else on the app can also use that hotspot. Users cannot actually view these credentials so as to protect user data.
Wifi Skeleton Key boasts 270 million monthly active users, making it one of the most popular apps in the country. The company claims that makes it the third most popular app in China after Tencent’s duo, WeChat and QQ Messenger."

The global pay TV market grew to $237bn in 2014

"The global pay-TV services market, including cable TV, satellite TV, telco TV and OTT video, totalled $237 billion in 2014, up 7 per cent from the previous year, according to the 2015 IHS Infonetics Pay-TV Services and Subscribers report.
Report highlghts include:
Global pay-TV subscribers ballooned to nearly 800 million in 2014 (up 5 percent); for the first time, the OTT pay-TV segment provided the strongest growth
Over the 5 years from 2014 to 2019, OTT pay-TV services are forecast by IHS to have the highest compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of any pay-TV service
Cable pay-TV revenue growth slowed to 1.8 per cent in 2014, largely due to sluggish subscriber growth in North America, where net video subscribers are declining around 1 to 3 per cent annually"

Shared usage of paid streaming services in the US

"Digital media consumer research from Parks Associates reports 57% of U.S. broadband households access an OTT video subscription, but account sharing is a lingering challenge. According to a 3Q 2014 survey of U.S. broadband households, 8% are using a subscription OTT video account held by someone outside of their home, and 6% are exclusively using shared accounts to access subscription OTT video content. This finding equates to 11% of all households that are relying exclusively on shared accounts when using subscription OTT services."

Source:  Parks Associates, 15th May 2015

The BBC has a global weekly reach of 308 million across all platforms

"Figures reveal the BBC has a weekly global audience of 308 million people. This represents the combined measured reach of international BBC content – both news and entertainment – for the year 2014/15 and is the first time this figure has ever been measured in this way.
In 2013 Tony Hall, Director General of the BBC, set a target of 500 million for the BBC’s global reach for 2022.
The figures – the BBC Global Audience Measure (GaAM) – reveal that the BBC’s weekly global news audience, which is measured each year, has increased by 18 million people, or 7 per cent since last year, to a record-breaking 283 million.  This means that one in every 16 adults around the world uses BBC News.
For the first time, television (148m) overtook radio (133m) as the most popular platform for BBC international news, and it is also the first time since we tracked audiences for all three platforms – radio, TV and online (55m) – in English and 28 other languages – that they’ve all grown in the same year.
The BBC World Service’s audience has increased by 10 per cent in its first year of licence fee funding and now stands at 210m, with the biggest boost coming from new World Service TV news bulletins in languages other than English."

Germany has gone past 'Peak Telephony'

"In 2014, fixed line networks saw 154 billion outgoing minutes in Germany which is 9 billion minutes less than last year. On the mobile side they've been observing an increase of 1 billion minutes. In total that's 8 billion minutes less than the previous year, which is about -3%. The trend has been going on for quite a while now. In 2010, combined fixed and mobile outgoing voice minutes were at 295 billion compared to 265 minutes in 2014. That's 11% less over that time frame."

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Digital Ad Spend hit €30.7bn in Europe in 2014; Mobile is 17% of display spend

"At the 9th edition of its annual Interact conference IAB Europe today announced that online advertising grew 11.6% to a market value of €30.7bn in 2014.
The AdEx Benchmark research – the definitive guide to the state of the European online advertising market – revealed that online advertising achieved double digit growth for a fifth consecutive year.
All markets participating in the study recorded positive growth and twenty markets grew double-digit. Mobile and video ad spend continued on their strong growth curves and are now a significant proportion of display and search ad spend.
Townsend Feehan, CEO of IAB Europe, commented “The AdEx Benchmark results highlight the importance of digital advertising for growth in Europe’s economy. We need to ensure that digital advertising enables the European digital sector to compete across the world.”
Display, Search and Classifieds
The IAB Europe AdEx Benchmark study splits the online ad market into 3 broad segments: Display, Search and Classifieds and Directories. Growth in these online advertising formats has been underpinned by shifting uses in devices and changing consumption patterns.
Display advertising outperformed other categories with a growth rate of 15.2% and the pace of Display growth further accelerated versus 2013. In 2014, the total value of the Display ad market was €10.9bn.
Search showed growth of 10.8% - and a market value of €14.7 billion. It continues to be the largest online advertising format in terms of revenue, but has recorded a deceleration in its growth rate in the last three years.
The 2014 Classifieds and Directories market grew 5.8% to €4.9bn showing growth of 5.8%. Classifieds & Directories benefitted from the improvement in the economy, but is increasingly challenged by Paid-for-search and Data-driven Display to compete for advertising budgets.
Mobile and video are driving growth 
Mobile now accounts for 17.7% of the display market, with a growth rate of 72.5% compared with 2013.
Online video advertising also showed strong growth, now representing 15.1% of the display market.
Eleni Marouli, a Senior Analyst at IHS and author of the report, “The sustained double-digit growth in online advertising in the last five years demonstrates the continual evolution of the online advertising market. The two formats driving this growth in 2014 were mobile and video. The rise of mobile and video is a reflection of the investment and innovation of the online advertising industry to meet advertiser needs, not just a reaction to shifts in consumption trends”
Regional and national pictures
Daniel Knapp, Director of Advertising Research at IHS Technology and author of the research, said, "Our study shows that even the most mature online advertising markets in Europe sustain double digit growth, clearly indicating the economic vibrancy of the sector. This growth is primarily enabled by the proliferation of intelligent data infrastructures. Data is the growth engine behind advertising that serves as a connective tissue between consumers, media and brands.”
The CEE region grew strongly as online advertising is still benefitting from the improvements in broadband infrastructure and the increase in broadband penetration in these markets, which brings more addressable audiences online. However, growth in European online advertising continues to be driven by the most mature online advertising markets in Europe. This is a direct result of investment in formats and targeting capabilities and developing data strategies in a cross-device environment.
As Europe exits the double-dip recession, advertising markets will benefit from increased optimism from brands. Provided that publishers continue to improve their offerings, online advertising spend is well-placed to be the main beneficiary of the larger advertising budgets. Mobile and video will be the primary areas of interest for these brands.
Top 3 Individual growth markets were:
Slovenia 43.1% growth
Ireland 33.3%.growth
Belarus 32.8%growth
Top 10 Rankings
UK - €8.9bn
Germany – €5.4bn
France - €3.7bn
Italy – €1.9bn
Russia- €1.8bn
Netherlands - €1.5bn
Sweden - €1.0bn
Spain – €0.9bn
Denmark - €0.7bn
Norway - €0.7bn"
Full presentation here

90% of new visits to Guardian content in 2014 were from mobile

"Lee Fels [The Guardian] then told delegates that the Guardian saw 500m new visits to its digital content during 2014, 90 per cent of which were from mobile.
“The gap in visits from mob to desktop is widening,” said Felds. “It’s not reversible, it’s going to be exacerbated and we all need to gear up for it…We are following where the user is.”
Earlier today at the event, the IAB’s resident psychologist, Dr. Simon Hampton, offered a cautionary note around the Internet of Things, telling delegates that if connected household appliances started collecting data on every aspect of people’s lives and feeding it back to them, people would start tuning out if the data told them things they don’t want to hear."

Data Volumes vs SMS Volumes in various countries

Source:  Tweet from Benedict Evans, 21st May 2015

Monday, 18 May 2015

Google & Facebook account for 49'% of US digital ad spend & 52% of mobile ad spend

"In the battle for digital ad dollars, it's Google, Facebook and then who?
That's the question marketers are asking as they try to spend effectively on the Web, and even more so on mobile, where traffic is shifting.
Heading into quarterly earnings reports next week, Google and Facebook utterly dominate digital advertising, according to eMarketer.
The two alone control 49 percent of the U.S. digital advertising market and 52 percent of mobile ads.  Way below them, the No. 3, 4 and 6 players—Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL—are losing market share, and nobody below them claims even 2 percent. Twitter ranks fifth at 2.3 percent."

WeChat has 549m monthly active users

Source:  Tech in Asia, 12th May 2015

More American households have a smartphone than a desktop computer

"More U.S. households now own a smartphone than a desktop, according to new research that Parks Associates will discuss at the 19th-annual CONNECTIONS™: The Premier Connected Home Conference, May 19-21, in San Francisco. In the last five years, desktop adoption declined from 90% to 69% among U.S. broadband households, while smartphone adoption increased from 36% to 78%. Tablet adoption increased from 7% to 63%.
“The U.S population has made a dramatic shift to mobile devices and services, which they are using to access content in the cloud and check the smart devices in their connected home,” said Stuart Sikes, President, Parks Associates. “At CONNECTIONS™, we will analyze the implications of this new post-desktop world.”"

A quarter of app users discover apps through search

"A Google study has found that mobile search is a growing method for app discovery, suggesting app downloads will increase as mobile search surges.
Google’s finding that one in four app users discovers an app through search comes after the search giant announced a revamping of its AdWords online advertising service with a focus on interactive mobile ads. The developments highlight Google’s recent initiatives aimed at keeping the company relevant as mobile becomes the dominant search medium.
"Discovery has always been a critical element of app usage and it remains so today,” said Jeff Hasen, founder/CEO of Gotta Mobilize, a Seattle-based marketing consulting firm. “One can spend weeks looking at all the millions of apps available, but, of course, no one has the interest or time to do so."