Thursday, 18 May 2017

More than half US schoolchildren use Google education apps

"Today, more than half the nation’s primary- and secondary-school students — more than 30 million children — use Google education apps like Gmail and Docs, the company said. And Chromebooks, Google-powered laptops that initially struggled to find a purpose, are now a powerhouse in America’s schools. Today they account for more than half the mobile devices shipped to schools.
“Between the fall of 2012 and now, Google went from an interesting possibility to the dominant way that schools around the country” teach students to find information, create documents and turn them in, said Hal Friedlander, former chief information officer for the New York City Department of Education, the nation’s largest school district. “Google established itself as a fact in schools.”"
Source:  NYT, 13th May 2017

#NuggsForCarter is the most Retweeted Tweet of all time

"It’s official. Carter Wilkerson’s (@carterjwm) call for a year’s supply of free nuggets from @Wendys has become the Tweet heard around the world. With 3.42M Retweets, it has officially surpassed Ellen’s infamous selfie as the most Retweeted Tweet of all time."
Source:  Twitter blog, 9th May 2017
Top 3 - 
Nuggs For Carter - 3.6m
Ellen Selfie - 3.4m
Louis Tomlinson - 2.5m

A person with a million Instagram followers can get £3,000 per post

"“It’s the Kardashians who have trail-blazed, really. Everything they do is monetised,” Nicholls says, referring to the “royal family” of the reality television/social media kingdom. The result is a steady and largely effortless stream of cash for those with enough online “disciples”, as he calls them. A person with a million Instagram followers can get £3,000 per post, he explains, and another £2,000 to wear an outfit to an event. “Very quickly you’ve earned £5,000 just by going out,” he says.
Make-up bloggers Nic and Sam Chapman at a beauty and fashion festival in New York © Getty
The prices rocket as the number of followers increases. According to Captiv8, a US social media analytics company, payment for posts on Instagram can range from $800 for people with fewer than 250,000 followers up to $150,000 for those with 7m or more. The rates for Snapchat posts are broadly similar, Facebook carries a moderate premium and YouTube is the most expensive of all, with 7m or more followers resulting in an average fee of $300,000. And that is before you count the other branding opportunities available to social media celebrities. The new and old worlds are effectively one and the same, with fame in one spilling into the other."
Source:  FT, 4th May 2017

Snap has sold approximately 60,000 Spectacles

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Estimated ARPU from advertising for Google, Facebook, Twitter & Snapchat

"Following our recent analysis that Facebook is closing the gap on TV advertising, Ampere research also suggests that Facebook is also approaching Google. Across the various global online advertising players, Google is closest to TV on the ARPU measure, currently making about $7 each quarter for each monthly active user (MAU) from advertising on its sites. Thus, it really isn't far behind TV, where the average viewer is responsible for between $10 and $11 of advertising revenue per quarter.
In contrast, Twitter has been struggling to grow its revenue per MAU, which is fairly stable at about $2. Snapchat has been the big success story of recent quarters. Although it lags other players in terms of revenue per MAU, Snapchat been very active in beginning to monetise its customer base more aggressively. It has increased revenue from practically $0 per quarter per MAU to $0.70 in less than two years.
It may be in second position now, but when it comes to ARPU, Facebook advertising has been rapidly closing the gap on Google’s lead. In Q1 2015, Facebook made $2.3 per MAU. Google made about $5. By the end of 2016, Facebook had more than doubled its number to nearly $5 per MAU in advertising revenue."
Source:  Blog post from Ampere Analysis, 4th May 2017

Facebook has 1.94bn Monthly and 1.28bn Daily Active Users

"First Quarter 2017 Operational and Other Financial Highlights
Daily active users (DAUs) – DAUs were 1.28 billion on average for March 2017, an increase of 18% year-over-year.
Monthly active users (MAUs) – MAUs were 1.94 billion as of March 31, 2017, an increase of 17% year-over-year.
Mobile advertising revenue – Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 85% of advertising revenue for the first quarter of 2017, up from approximately 82% of advertising revenue in the first quarter of 2016.
Capital expenditures – Capital expenditures for the first quarter of 2017 were $1.27 billion.
Cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities – Cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities were $32.31 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2017.
Headcount – Headcount was 18,770 as of March 31, 2017, an increase of 38% year-over-year."
Source:  Press release from Facebook, 3rd May 2017

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Amazon is getting more than 4 orders from Dash Buttons a minute

""Just a year ago, orders via Dash Button were occurring more than once a minute, now that rate has increased to more than 4x a minute," Amazon said a statement. For some items, like Folgers coffee grounds and Glad garbage bags, Amazon says "more than half" of their orders are made via Dash Button."
Source:  Engadget, 25th April 2017

US digital ad spend rose to $72.5bn in 2016; >50% was mobile

"Mobile advertising accounted for more than half (51%) of the record-breaking $72.5 billion spent by advertisers last year, according to the latest IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report, released today by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), and prepared by PwC US. The total represents a 22 percent increase, up from $59.6 billion in 2015. Mobile experienced a 77 percent upswing from $20.7 billion the previous year, hitting $36.6 billion in 2016.
Other highlights from the report include:
Digital video hit a record $9.1 billion in 2016, a 53 percent year-over-year rise from $5.9 billion in 2015
On mobile devices, video revenue skyrocketed, more than doubling—up 145 percent year-over-year—to nearly $4.2 billion
Social media advertising generated $16.3 billion last year, climbing 50 percent over 2015’s $10.9 billion
Search revenues reached nearly $35 billion in 2016, up 19 percent from $29.5 billion in 2015
Digital audio, measured for the first time in this report, brought in revenues of $1.1 billion in 2016
Retail, representing 21.3 percent of internet ad spend in 2016, Financial Services at 13.3 percent, and automotive at 12.5 percent, continue to have the largest category share, with Media (5.2%) picking up speed, up 13 percent over 2015
“Mobile fueled the internet economy in 2016, with advertisers showing their confidence in digital to achieve their marketing goals,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB. “This increasing commitment is a reflection of brands’ ongoing marketing shift from ‘mobile-first’ to ‘mobile-only’ in order to keep pace with today’s on-the-go consumers.”
“In a mobile world, it is no surprise that mobile ad revenues now take more than half of the digital market share,” said David Doty, Executive Vice President and CMO, IAB. “Digital video’s powerful ability to attract engaged audiences is naturally attracting greater investments. Next week’s NewFronts presentations will showcase the latest in original digital video content, certain to spark even greater interest from marketers and media buyers.”
“Mobile, social, video, and programmatic trends combine to redefine the digital landscape, providing unprecedented access for advertisers to reach consumers,” said David Silverman, partner, PwC US. “Digital audio, generating $1.1 billion in 2016 speaks to the continued evolution of new formats that enable marketers to find audiences at home, behind their desks, or wherever they are.”"
Source:  IAB / PwC, 26th April 2017

Instagram has 700m monthly active users

"Instagram has doubled its user base, to 700 million monthly actives in two years, fueled by Stories, web signups and better onboarding on low-end Android phones. Instagram’s growth rate is actually speeding up. It took just four months to add the last 100 million users since hitting 600 million in December, while it took six months to go from 500 million to 600 million.
Here’s a breakdown of how long it took Instagram to add each 100 million users:
October 6, 2010 – Launch
February 26, 2013 – 100 million;  28 months
March 25, 2014 – 200 million; 13 months
December 10, 2014 – 300 million; 9 months
September 22, 2015 – 400 million; 9 months
June 21, 2016 – 500 million; 9 months
December 15, 2016 – 600 million; 6 months
April 26, 2017 – 700 million; 4 months
For reference, this makes Instagram more than twice the size of Twitter. Soon it might join Facebook’s other properties in the billion-user club, since WhatsApp and Messenger have 1.2 billion users and Facebook 1.8 billion."

60% of the Guardian's Google mobile traffic is from AMP

"Many publishers have scrambled to adopt AMP, Google’s answer to Facebook Instant Articles. As the Guardian’s experience showed, Accelerated Mobile Pages can be a success if publishers put the work in.
AMP has gradually been taking over the Guardian’s mobile traffic; today, 60 percent of its Google mobile traffic is AMP, well above the 10 to 15 percent that publishers have been getting from AMP, according to a recent estimate by SEO consulting company Define Media.
AMP pages are 2 percent more likely to be clicked on and clickthrough rates on AMP pages to non-AMP pages is 8.6 percent higher than they are on regular mobile pages, according to Natalia Baltazar, a developer for the British newspaper, who presented at AMP Conf, a two-day conference hosted by Google taking place in New York City March 7-8."

Monday, 24 April 2017

60% of US internet homes have at least one connected TV device

"Year over year, the number of homes with an installed connected TV device increased by six million, now totalling 60 per cent of US Internet homes, according to the NPD Connected Intelligence Connected Home Entertainment report. As the number of connected TV homes continues to grow, the devices used to make those connections have shifted. In January 2017, streaming media players were the most commonly installed internet-connected TV device. Thirty-five per cent of US Internet homes now have a streaming media player, up from 29 per cent in 2016.
“The average connected home has three devices installed and able to deliver apps to their TVs, but the mix of those devices continues to change,” advised John Buffone, executive director, industry analyst, NPD Connected Intelligence. “Shifts are also occurring in the industry as TV manufacturers migrate to operating systems from Roku, Amazon and Google. This benefits content owners, as they can reach a larger audience through distribution on fewer platforms, and viewers, as they’ll be able to find more of the programming they want in a single location.”"

80% of Snapchat users use the app in restaurants

"Snapchat, the disappearing messaging turned mobile storytelling app, released a new ad product Wednesday that is a quick swipe at Facebook's big offer to advertisers and retailers: online to offline conversions.
That's jargon for Snapchat's pitch to help retailers get more products off their shelves and prove to them that ads on Snap helped create the magic behind those sales.
The feature, released out of beta, is called "Snap to Store." Snap also reported new data, compiled by Greenberg Strategy (commissioned by Snapchat), on what percentages of Snapchatters use the app at particular venues:
80% at a restaurant
66% at a shopping mall
50% at a gym
49% at an airport
Wendy's was one of Snapchat's early beta testers, along with 7-Eleven and Paramount Pictures.
Wendy's created sponsored geofilters in its U.S. stores that promoted the Jalapeño Fresco Chicken Sandwich. According to Snapchat's internal data (that is verified by third-party platforms), the geofilter drove 42,000 visitors to a Wendy’s within seven days of viewing it."

Facebook Messenger has 1.2bn active users

"We now have over 1.2 billion people actively using Messenger every month. And I keep on hearing powerful stories about how our product is becoming a more important part of your daily lives. So from all of us here at Messenger, a heartfelt thank you to all of you for giving us a chance to build something good and more meaningful for you."
Source:  Post from David Marcus on Facebook, 12th April 2017

PetSmart bought Chewy.com for $3.35bn

"PetSmart has agreed to make the biggest e-commerce acquisition in history, putting a deal in place to snatch up fast-growing pet food and product site Chewy.com for $3.35 billion, according to multiple sources familiar with the deal.
The deal is a huge one by any standard — bigger than Walmart’s $3.3 billion deal for Jet.com last year — and especially for a retail company like PetSmart, which was itself valued at only $8.7 billion when private equity investors took it over in 2015.
But Chewy.com has been one of the fastest-growing e-commerce sites on the planet, registering nearly $900 million in revenue last year, in what was only its fifth year in operation. The company had been a potential IPO candidate for this year or next, but was taken out by its brick-and-mortar competitor before that. It was not profitable last year."

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

More than half of US broadband homes watch at least one OTT TV service like Netflix

"For many, this transition to watching over-the-top (OTT) content began with a subscription to Netflix. While Netflix can claim much credit for spurring this transition to OTT, there are emerging signs that the medium is now growing well beyond its largest player, as other services are now capturing the attention of viewers and staking out their respective positions in the market.
In December 2016, according to comScore data, more than 49 million homes – 53 percent of U.S. Wi-Fi connected homes – accessed at least one OTT service. Moreover, these households were active in viewing OTT content, doing so an average of 19 separate days during the month, and for 2.2 hours per usage day. OTT viewing mirrors linear TV with the highest concentration of activity happening during traditional Primetime hours.
While Netflix remains the clear leader in the OTT market, it’s also clear that other services are now establishing their own presence. Netflix reached an impressive 75 percent of OTT homes as of  December 2016, but YouTube had a large OTT footprint being viewed in 53 percent of those homes. Amazon Video was third with 33 percent reach, and Hulu was fourth at 17 percent. In fact, there are now 11 OTT services that reach one million or more homes in a given month.
While some may find it difficult to think of Netflix as second in anything, in terms of engagement, it’s number two with 28 hours of average viewing time per home. Sling TV, which makes a “skinny bundle” option that  features content from multiple networks, leads on a “per household” basis with 47 viewing hours per month.
Although three out of every four OTT homes do watch Netflix, it’s important to recognize that the remaining 25 percent of these homes watch only competing services. More than 30 percent of YouTube’s and Twitch’s TV audiences, for example, do not watch Netflix on the TV. For Hulu, it’s 14 percent.
Netflix’s dominance is also being challenged by Amazon Video, which appears to be growing the OTT pie through its tie-in to Amazon Prime and the Fire TV platform. At the time of this writing, Netflix is the top OTT service on every viewing platform from Roku to game consoles to Blu-ray Disc players, with one big exception: Fire TV. On the Fire TV stick/box, Amazon is first, followed by YouTube. Netflix is third.
OTT is a growing an increasingly important segment of the video viewing landscape, and the popularity of multiple services beyond Netflix suggests the market is poised for more growth. With 50 percent of households still yet to engage with OTT as of December 2016, there is a major opportunity for a number of services to help fill this vacuum. The question is whether – or to what extent -- Netflix can retain its leadership position in this space as that happens."
Note - I'm assuming that YouTube is just standard YouTube videos being watched on TV, rather than YouTube Red, the paid service.  

Facebook has over 5m active advertisers

"Facebook Inc plans to announce on Monday that more than 5 million businesses are advertising on the social network each month and that it is updating its suite of ad services to try to draw more small businesses onto its mobile platform.
Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said in an interview with Reuters that the number of ad buyers was an important milepost, showing that Facebook has room to grow despite its massive scale.
The company said in September that it had 4 million advertisers, and in March 2016 that it had 3 million. The world's largest social network, which is free to users, has 1.9 billion people on it.
[...]
Among the 5 million advertisers, the biggest industries are e-commerce, entertainment/media and retail, the company said. Some 75 percent of them are outside the United States, and its fastest-growing markets are India, Thailand, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, the company said.
Nearly 50 percent of the advertisers create ads on mobile devices, reflecting the increasing importance of smartphone-based usage to Facebook's future.
More than 90 percent of Facebook's users access the network through mobile devices, and mobile advertising accounts for 84 percent of ad revenue, the company said in February."

$20bn of rides were booked through Uber in 2016

"The ride-hailing giant more than doubled gross bookings in 2016 to $20 billion, according to financial information Uber shared with Bloomberg. Net revenue was $6.5 billion, while adjusted net losses were $2.8 billion, excluding the China business, which it sold last summer.
[...]
Uber’s business is massive and getting bigger. In the last three months of 2016, gross bookings increased 28 percent from the previous quarter to $6.9 billion. The company generated $2.9 billion in revenue, a 74 percent increase from the third quarter. Losses rose 6.1 percent over the same period to $991 million.
While the rate of sales growth compared with losses is encouraging, Uber is still losing a significant sum, said Evan Rawley, a business professor at Columbia University. “That’s a lot of cash to burn in a quarter,” he said. Jeff Jones, the company’s president of ridesharing who resigned last month, previously joked to staff that he joined Uber expecting P&L, meaning a profit and loss statement, but only found an L."

Instagram Stories has over 200m daily active users

"Today, we’re introducing new sticker tools that help you be even more creative, whether you’re sharing to your story or having conversations with your friends in Direct.
Over 200 million people now use Instagram Stories every day to keep up with friends and accounts they love. And with recent updates to Direct, it’s never been easier to have playful, visual conversations with close friends.
Now, with these new sticker tools, you have even more ways to turn your most casual, everyday moments into something fun to share."

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

UK Digital Ad Spend exceeded £10bn in 2016; Mobile up 51%

"17.3pc rise is highest annual growth rate for 9 years
• Mobile driving almost entire growth, up 51pc
• Mobile video the fastest growing ad format, up 103pc
Driven by advertisers’ need to tap into people’s rising use of mobile to watch content, digital advertising grew at its fastest rate for nine years – by 17.3pc to £10.3 billion in 2016 – according to the Internet Advertising Bureau UK / PwC Digital Adspend report. The last time annual growth was higher was 2007 (38pc).
As almost half (48pc) of UK internet time is now spent on smartphones, mobile ad spend rose 50.8pc to £3.87bn. Mobile now accounts for 38% of all digital ad spend, up from 4% just five years ago. However, it accounts for 63pc of video spend, 76pc of Content & Native (including social media news feeds) and 79pc of social media spend.
Mobile video is fastest-growing ad format
Spend on mobile video ads more than doubled (up 103pc) to £693 million – making it the fastest growing ad format. It accounts for 29pc of the total growth in digital ad spend.
The rise in mobile video ad budgets reflects online YouGov data showing that in the last six months, 54pc of British smartphone users watched video clips on their phone, with two-in-five of these saying they do more of this than a year ago. A significant number have also watched TV programmes (17pc) and films (11pc) on their smartphones. This behaviour is much more prevalent among 18-24 year olds, with 75pc watching short clips, 44pc watching TV and 33pc watching films on mobiles. Six-in-10 people who watched short clips, TV or Film on their phone did so whilst ‘out and about.’
The rise in people consuming mobile and video content has accelerated digital’s growth rate to its highest level for nearly a decade,” said the IAB UK’s Chief Marketing Officer, James Chandler. “Reaching the £10 billion threshold has been made possible by brands breaking the mould, trying innovative formats and making the most of video to reach and amaze people. It’s impossible to ignore the issues the industry is facing at the moment, but digital never stands still and these figures are testament to the long term strength and power of digital.”
Video – across mobile and PCs – is growing at 56pc, driven by outstream/social in-feed’s huge 234pc rise to £465 million. Outstream accounts for 43pc of all video spend but 56pc of mobile video. Pre- and post-roll video ad spend grew 12pc to £603 million (55pc share of all video).
Sebastien Bardin, Sony Mobile’s European senior digital marketing manager, added: "Online video is becoming a bigger priority, providing an impactful and cost-effective incremental reach. In particular, outstream video is great for engaging with our target audience in premium, trusted and viewable environments without disrupting their media consumption or being too intrusive."
Nearly three-quarters of display is traded programmatically
Display ad spend rose 26pc year-on-year to £3.77bn in 2016 – 72pc of which was traded programmatically (£2.71bn) – with significant growth coming from direct deals and private marketplaces.
“The biggest change in how display ads are sold is the rise of programmatic direct, which now accounts for nearly half of sales,” says Dan Bunyan, Senior Manager at PwC. "Right now, considerations such as brand safety mean the advertiser is rightly demanding more certainty in the placement of their ads and the industry is evolving quickly to find new solutions to address brands' needs in this dynamic environment"
Ad spend on social media sites grew 38pc to £1.73bn, accounting for nearly half (46pc) of display. Social media spend on mobile alone grew 54pc. Content & Native ad spend – which includes ‘advertorials’ and ads in social media news feeds – increased 28pc to £1.17bn (31pc of display).
Search and classifieds
Driven by mobile, which grew 48pc, paid-for search overall grew 15pc to £4.99bn – a 48pc share of digital ad spend. Classifieds, including recruitment, property and automotive listings, grew 8pc to £1.48bn (14pc share)."

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

dunnhumby's advice for FMCG advertisers on Facebook

"dunnhumby’s analysis shows that advertisers who planned campaigns with a relevant but broad reach, running for more than 6 weeks, at a frequency above 1 per person per week saw the greatest benefit from including Facebook on their media plans.
Combining these findings with those of the papers published last year, and applying the adjustment factors referenced, we are starting to see that for a campaign to achieve optimal sales lift, it should ideally be planned with a frequency ≥1 per person per week (not to be confused with f=1), across a duration of more than 6 weeks.
If an advertiser knows that people outside a core audience will not buy their products – perhaps due to them only being relevant to one life stage or one gender – then narrow targeting could be optimal, but more generally the rule is that a far greater return on ad spend will be achieved by aiming for as broad a relevant audience as possible."
Source:  Blog post by Facebook Business, 31st March 2017

Tesla 'spends less than $6 on advertising per car sold'

"Car makers spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year to promote their products. Anyone who has ever watched the TV series Mad Men got to see how aggressively ad agencies court the automakers to gain their business. One account can have an outsize effect on a firm’s bottom line.
A new report from Global Equities Research analyzes just how much each car company actually spends on selling its cars. Not surprisingly, makers of premium brands spend the most. For every Jaguar that finds a buyer,  parent company Tata Motors spends $3,325. Lincoln shells out $2,550 on advertising for every car it sells.
At the other end of the spectrum, Toyota and Honda spend the least, at approximately $250 per car. Keep in mind that those two companies sell a lot of cars. Any ad agency would be delighted to have their business. Also, those numbers are separate from their premium brands, Lexus and Acura.
A new study by Global Equities analysts Trip Chowdhry approximates that Tesla spends even less at $6 per vehicle. In an e-mail to investors this week, Chowdhry said “Tesla power and leverage is unprecedented. $6 of Ad Spent per Vehicle for the product generating more than $8 Billion in revenues and more than $14 Billion in bookings is unheard of in the Industry.”"
Note - I'm not sure of the full validity of this figure, but it's pretty clear that if you have a very famous and outspoken CEO, plus a product that people love you can rely a lot more on social media and PR.
(See also Brewdog, valued at £1bn, built on PR, social media, and events)

Monday, 10 April 2017

French digital TV platform Molotov has 1m users

"Suggesting it is bringing millennials back to TV, French OTT TV platform Molotov has reached 1 million registered users, a milestone achieved in just six months since its full-scale launch in November 2016, which took place after an exclusive introduction on Apple devices last summer.
Molotov says it offers a radical new way to watch television, to discover and to enjoy TV content across smartphones, tablets, PCs, OTT set-top-boxes and Smart TVs.
The Molotov app has been adopted by a particularly young audience with an average user age of 35, versus 51 in traditional TV.
Molotov users watch TV across multiple screens: 40 per cent on their smartphones, 40 per cent on their PCs/tablets and 20 per cent on their connected TVs. All screens included, Molotov users spend on average 80 minutes per day (1 hour and 20 minutes) on the service and up to 160 minutes per day (2 hours and 40 minutes) on their connected TV set."

Six of the world's 10 most valuable companies are tech companies


Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, Facebook, Exxon Mobil, Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan, Tencent
Source:  Bloomberg, 6th April 2017

One in five Facebook videos is live

"A year ago today, we made it possible for people around the world to share live video on Facebook. At our event in LA last year (video below), I met some of the first creators to use Facebook Live to connect with people around their content. I remember thinking that Live was already starting to enable something pretty special: communities coming together around shared interests, whether it was a passion for EDM, robotics, baking, snakes, or even hula hoop!
Since then, we’ve focused on making the Facebook Live experience more engaging, more fun, and more social. We’ve added live masks and new creative effects, built features that give publishers more control and flexibility over their broadcasts, and rolled out exciting new formats like Live 360 or Live Audio. And now, one in every five Facebook videos is a live broadcast – and over the past year, daily watch time for Facebook Live broadcasts has grown by more than 4x. Every day, we get to enjoy new use cases for Live that we would never have thought about.
A year after the event in this video, we’re still at the beginning of our journey and we’re excited for all the creativity that is yet to come."

Monday, 3 April 2017

Andoid has overtaken Windows to be the most popular operating system



Source:  StatCounter data for March 2017, noticed by Tech In Asia, 3rd April 2017
StatCounter data here
Note - Other sources may give different numbers

Mobile game Clash Royale is estimated to have generated more than $1bn in 11 months

"Supercell announced strong 2016 revenue and earnings today, but it didn’t break out the performance of specific games. Thankfully, mobile measurement firm Sensor Tower has done that for us, and it shows that Clash Royale generated more than $1 billion in less than a year on the market.
Supercell launched Clash Royale on March 2, 2016. With $1 billion in revenue, it accounted for a good chunk of Supercell’s $2.3 billion in revenue during calendar 2016. The chart below shows that the simple real-time strategy game on mobile devices has grown faster than Supercell’s other big hit, Clash of Clans, which launched in 2012.
Randy Nelson, the head of mobile insights at Sensor Tower, wrote that in its first 11 months of availability, Clash Royale has grossed approximately five times as much as Clash of Clans did during the same length of time.
“Even considering the lack of an Android version of Clash of Clans in its first six months, the difference is staggering — and shows how far not just Supercell, but the ability of free-to-play mobile titles to generate revenue from in-app transactions, have come in four short years,” Nelson wrote."

The trade-off between brand safety and the cost of digital video advertising


Source:  Chart from Enders Analysis, used in this article in Business Insider, 25th March 2017
Note that there is no scale on either axis, so the chart is purely illustrative

Average earnings for influencer posts on YouTube, Facebook & Instagram


Source:  Data from Captiv8, reported by The Economist, 17th October 2016
Note - I have no idea of the accuracy of this!

Human drivers need to take control of Uber's self-driving cars about once per mile

"Human drivers were forced to take control of Uber's self-driving cars about once per mile driven in early March during testing in Arizona, according to an internal performance report obtained by BuzzFeed News. The report reveals for the first time how Uber’s self-driving car program is performing, using a key metric for evaluating progress toward fully autonomous vehicles.
Human drivers take manual control of autonomous vehicles during testing for a number of reasons — for example, to address a technical issue or avoid a traffic violation or collision. The self-driving car industry refers to such events as “disengagements,” though Uber uses the term “intervention” in the performance report reviewed by BuzzFeed News. During a series of autonomous tests the week of March 5, Uber saw disengagement rates greater than those publicly reported by some of its rivals in the self-driving car space.
When regulatory issues in December 2016 forced Uber to suspend a self-driving pilot program in San Francisco, the company sent some of its cars to Arizona. Since then, Uber has been testing its autonomous cars along two routes in the state. The first is a multi-lane street called Scottsdale Road — a straight, 24-mile stretch that runs through the city of the same name. According to Uber's performance report on tests for the week of March 5, the company's self-driving cars were able to travel an average of 0.67 miles on Scottsdale Road without human intervention and an average of 2 miles without a “bad experience" — Uber’s classification for incidents in which a car brakes too hard, jerks forcefully, or behaves in a way that might startle passengers. Uber described the overall passenger experience for this particular week as "not great," but noted improvement compared to the prior week's tests, which included one "harmful" incident — an event that might have caused human injury."

Alfa Romeo sold 350 cars in 33 seconds on Alibaba's Tmall

"Luxury auto brand Alfa Romeo on Tuesday forged an exclusive strategic partnership with Alibaba’s Tmall to market and sell its cars online in China.
The two sides said at a press conference in Hangzhou that Tmall will serve as the sole authorized Internet channel for the Italian car brand owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) inside China. Tmall is China’s largest B2C online commerce platform. They spoke just before Alfa Romeo debuted on Tmall, selling out all of the 350 Giulia Milano car models it offered in 33 seconds during the “Tmall Super Brand Day,” an online marketing promotion held by the Alibaba unit.
Alfa Romeo isn’t new to China. It tested the waters here years ago and announced its return to the country last year.
The new partnership follows the success last year of Alfa Romeo’s sister brand, Maserati, on Tmall, which is also owned by FCA. Maserati opened its flagship store on Tmall on the same day last year and sold out its allotment of 100 Levante SUVs in a mere 18 seconds."
Source:  AliZila, 21st March 2017

12% of US broadband households have an Amazon Echo or similar device

"Parks Associates today announced new smart home research showing that the adoption rate of smart speakers with voice assistants grew from 5% of U.S. broadband households in Q4 2015 to 12% in Q4 2016. Voice Assistants and Technologies: Ecosystem and Market Leaders examines the growing market for these smart home devices and the impact of voice control as a major market transformation in both the user experience (UX) and user interface (UI).
“In the past five years, voice control and voice-based technologies have experienced massive growth in the consumer market, igniting the competitive landscape among current and emerging smart home players,” said Dina Abdelrazik, Research Analyst, Parks Associates. “Voice interfaces are advancing due to continued improvements in machine learning and natural language processing, paired with the prevalence of portable devices. Apple increased consumer familiarity of voice control with its introduction of Siri in 2011, but the later-to-market Amazon Alexa has taken a clear lead in this category.”"
Source:  Parks Associates, 21st March 2017

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Instagram has 1m monthly advertisers

"Instagram has undergone more changes in the last year than during the previous five. We introduced Instagram Stories – a new way for businesses to share everyday moments – and the use of video exploded. We welcomed a new brand identity and the community grew to more than 600 million globally. At the same time, we were building a thriving business. We now have eight million businesses using business profiles, with the greatest adoption coming from the United States, Brazil, Indonesia, Russia and the United Kingdom. We also have more than one million active monthly advertisers. – up from 200,000 this time last year. And in the last month, over 120 million Instagrammers visited a website, received directions, called, emailed or direct-messaged to learn about a business."

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Monday, 13 March 2017

The Guardian has more than 200,000 paying members

"I’m delighted to let you know that today we have reached an important milestone in our efforts to rebalance the Guardian’s business model to offset the dramatic decline in advertising: the Guardian now has the financial support of more than 200,000 members. In addition, we have 185,000 subscribers and people are buying the paper on newsstands more regularly than we expected. After responding to lots of feedback from readers suggesting they would be happy to give money to support the Guardian’s journalism, we have also now received more than 160,000 one-off contributions from around the world.
We greatly appreciate the role you all play in the Guardian. Thank you. Whether by joining as a member, taking out a print or digital subscription, buying the paper or giving a one-off contribution, you are providing crucial financial support for our independent journalism, and showing how much you value the Guardian’s fair and factual reporting, informed by our progressive and liberal values. This feels more important now than ever."

Thursday, 9 March 2017

More than 1m 360° videos and 25m 360° pictures have been posted to Facebook

"Today, Facebook is intertwining the real and virtual worlds of Facebook a bit by launching its first dedicated app, Facebook 360. The app will serve as a hub for the 360 video and photo content posted to the site. Facebook boasts that there have been more than one million 360 videos posted to the site alongside more than 25 million 360 photos to date. At launch, the Facebook 360 app will be available only for the Gear VR mobile headset. Users can download the app in the Oculus Store."
Source:  Techcrunch, 8th March 2017

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Apple Music has more than 20m paying subscribers


@Cue is Eddie Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, reporting to CEO Tim Cook.

3/4 of the UK population sometimes use a connected device when watching TV

"Three-quarters of the British population use a connected device while watching TV, a trend that rises to 93% in the under 25 age range, according to a new report from Google that highlights the rise of smartphone adoption.
The Google Consumer Barometer Report, a five-year study that includes 625 thousand interviews with consumers around the world, finds that in the UK three in four people now use a smartphone, a number that has nearly doubled in five years. The average Briton uses 3.3 internet-connected devices.
The proportion of daily internet users has increased from 56% in 2012 to 68% today. What's more, the public increasingly looks to the internet when they need information, with 84% of consumers choosing the internet over other mediums.
But the rise of smartphone usage has not eclipsed the use of desktop; 65% of respondents said they access the internet the same amount on smartphone as computer. That’s almost twice as many as in 2012, when the number was 35%.
Two in five Britons use a computer, a tablet and a smartphone, compared to one in ten people five years ago. On average, the British use 3.4 internet-connected devices, an increase from 2.3 devices in 2012.
More than half of the British public prefer to do a task digitally is they have a choice; with half of smartphone users choosing their phone as an alarm clock. For one third of the public the smartphone is their primary source of news and music."

More than 10 million google Cardboard viewers have been shipped worldwide

"We first launched Cardboard in 2014 as a simple and affordable way for everyone to try virtual reality. With only Cardboard and the smartphone in your pocket, you can travel to faraway lands, ride a roller coaster, or take a guided tour of the solar system. Today, more than 10 million Cardboard viewers have shipped worldwide. There have been 160 million downloads of Cardboard apps on Google Play—and 30 of those apps have more than 1 million downloads."
Source:  Google blog, 28th February 2017

More than 10,000 'skills' (apps) have been developed for Amazon Alexa

"If voice assistants really are the next big user interface, then Amazon is off to fantastic start — by the numbers, at least. As this chart from Statista shows, Amazon’s Alexa assistant now has more than 10,000 “skills” (i.e., third-party voice-enabled applications). That’s double the amount that was available just last quarter.
To be clear: That developers are interested in Alexa is good news for Amazon, and Alexa itself seems to be well ahead in the home compared to rivals like Google Assistant, the AI found in the Google Home speaker that competes directly with the Alexa-centric Amazon Echo.
But, as always, quantity isn’t quality. Calling up an Uber or ordering a pizza just by yelling across the room is convenient enough, but for every useful skill, there are 500 CorkOrnaments.com deal alerts or “Flat Earth Facts.”"

The top 5 markets for mobile game downloads



Source:  Data from App Annie, reported by Tech in Asia, 28th February 2017

One Bitcoin is now worth more than one ounce of gold



Source:  Techcrunch, 2nd March 2017

Monday, 6 March 2017

Sony's Playstation VR has sold nearly 1 million units

"The PlayStation VR was a risky prospect for Sony. As a relatively pricey (£350) add-on for the PS4, centred on technology that's still a niche to the mainstream, it could have been an expensive blunder for the gaming company. Instead, it's been a bigger success than Sony hoped.
Speaking to the New York Times, Sony Interactive Entertainment chief executive Andrew House revealed sales for the VR headset hit 915,000 on February 19.
That figure exceeds what already looked to be a warm reception for the PS4 peripheral. Earlier this month, analytics firm SuperData estimated the PSVR had shipped 750,000 units since launch.
In fact, the PSVR has been so popular, it even caught Sony off guard."

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

YouTube viewers are watching more than a billion of hours of video a day

"YouTube viewers world-wide are now watching more than 1 billion hours of videos a day, threatening to eclipse U.S. television viewership, a milestone fueled by the Google unit’s aggressive embrace of artificial intelligence to recommend videos."
Source:  WSJ, 27th February 2017

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Hashtags appeared in 30% of Super Bowl ads in 2017, down from 57% in 2014

Monday, 6 February 2017

WeChat users sent 46 billion 'Red Envelopes' over Lunar New Year 2017

"Users of WeChat sent around 46 billion electronic red packets - digital versions of traditional envelopes stuffed with cash - via the Chinese mobile social platform over the Lunar New Year period, the official Xinhua new agency reported on Saturday.
China has a long tradition of giving red packets during the Lunar New Year, which fell on Jan. 28 this year.
Internet giants such as Alibaba Group Holding have promoted the use of virtual red packets, also known as "hongbaos", to grow business in the country's booming mobile payment market.
The number of digital red packets sent via WeChat, owned by Alibaba rival Tencent Holdings Ltd, rose 43 percent in the Jan. 27 and Feb. 1 period compared with a year earlier, according to Xinhua.
People in the provinces of Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shandong and Hebei led the red packets mania, Xinhua said. South Korea saw the most spending using WeChat Pay by Chinese travelers outside of mainland China, a Tencent spokesman told Reuters by email."

A fan's live FA Cup video on Periscope had 139,000 viewers

"The Premier League have said they will take action against any fans broadcasting football matches on streaming websites via smartphones.
It is a new problem that is creeping into the game with fans inside stadiums filming the action on their phones and broadcasting it live on websites like the Twitter-owned Periscope platform.
One Manchester City fan who went to Selhurst Park on Saturday to watch his side's FA Cup clash with Crystal Palace decided to film and broadcast the entire match and pulled in an incredible 139,300 viewers."

Snapchat has 158m daily active users

"A daily habit. In 2012, Snap says it went from 1,000 daily users to 100,000. A year later, it was at 1 million daily users. Now 158 million people on average use the service and create over 2.5 billion Snaps -- short videos or images -- every day. On average, more than 60 percent of the company's daily active users create Snaps with its camera every day. Users visit Snapchat more than 18 times a day, on average, and spend 25 to 30 minutes on the app.
[...]
Slowing growth? Snap warned that its daily active user base may not continue to grow, and that its user growth showed a slowdown in the past couple of quarters of 2016. In the beginning of the September quarter, its base increased 7 percent from the June quarter. But in the latter part of the September period, its user base was "relatively flat," which resulted in an overall 4 percent sequential rise. It also added only 4.5 percent more users from September to December (before that, the user base had risen sequentially in the double digits on a percentage basis).
iPhone effect. The "majority" of Snap's users have iPhones. "As a result, although our products work with Android mobile devices, we have prioritized development of our products to operate with iOS operating systems rather than smartphones with Android operating systems." Sorry, Google."

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Pokémon Go generated an estimated $950 million in revenues in 2016

"Pokémon Go generated an estimated $950 million in revenues in 2016, according to a report by market researcher App Annie.
Niantic Labs launched Pokémon Go on July 6, 2016, and it became a smash hit. Within a couple of months, Niantic announced that it had been downloaded more than 500 million times.
The game got people off the couch and prompted them to walk around outside in search of Pokémon creatures. It flooded parks and other landmarks with players, and some of them made in-app purchases of items such as Pokémon balls so that they could keep on playing."

BBC iPlayer had nearly 300m requests in December 2016

"The week of New Year (December 26th – January 1st) saw 69.3 million requests, more than any other week in BBC iPlayer’s history. December was also BBC iPlayer’s best month ever, seeing 281 million requests across the month.
Half of the top 20 most popular shows on BBC iPlayer during the festive season were episodes of EastEnders, with the New Year’s Day episode the most popular, generating 1.3 million requests.
Of the top ten most-requested episodes per series, the first Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas Special was second, the Outnumbered Christmas Special third and the return of Sherlock fourth. Other top performing programmes include the Call the Midwife Christmas special, the Doctor Who Christmas special and the first episode of Witness for the Prosecution.
Connected TVs continue to be the device people use most to watch BBC iPlayer content, growing 7 per cent on 2015 to reach a weekly average in December of 7.48 million unique browsers. This was followed by tablets at 4.19 million, mobiles at 3.6 million, and computers 3.55 million."

Over half of US homes with smart thermometers would share their data in return for cheaper bills

"Parks Associates today announced new research showing roughly 50% of U.S. broadband households would share data from their thermostat or hot water heater to get discounts on their electricity bill. The data from a 4Q 2016 survey, featured in the upcoming 360 View:Energy Management, Smart Home, and Utility Programs,also reveal willingness to share is slightly less, but still strong, for data from clothes dryers and lighting. Industry leaders will examine ways to incentivize the smart home at the eighth-annual Smart Energy Summit: Engaging the Consumer, February 20-22, 2017, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, Texas."

Tesla's 'Autopilot' results in 40% fewer crashes

"Tesla’s driver-assistance features, known collectively as Autopilot, have been vindicated.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has closed its investigation into a May 7 collision with a tractor-trailer that killed a driver using Autopilot. The agency found no indication of a safety problem with it. In fact, the evidence provided by Tesla included crucial data that’s been missing from the safety debate surrounding automated cars: crash rates.
Tesla is in a unique position to determine the precise impact of Autopilot on crash rates, more so than any other car manufacturer. That’s because while all Tesla vehicles come with the hardware necessary for Autopilot, you need a software upgrade that costs thousands of dollars to make it work. Since buyers can add Autopilot features after purchase, this provides a perfect before-and-after comparison.
It turns out that, according to the data Tesla gave investigators, installing Autopilot prevents crashes—by an astonishing 40 percent. The chart below comes from the report NHTSA issued while concluding its investigation. Approximately one-third of the mileage on the cars was logged before the upgrade to Autosteer (the most controversial component of the driving suite), while the remaining miles were accrued after installation."
Source:  Bloomberg, 19th January 2017

Over 50m people in the UK accessed the internet in December 2016

"Over 50 million users accessed the internet via their desktop, smartphone and tablet devices in December 2016.
- Share of minutes to mobile devices (smartphones + tablets) continued to increase. They now account for two-thirds of adults’ time online, with smartphones alone generating 50% of all minutes.
- There is a strong relationship between age and platform usage – 65% of online time among 18-24s is via a smartphone and this decreases with increasing age to only 31% for 55+s.
- Despite mobile taking the lion’s share of minutes, the desktop still has higher adult online reach (90%) compared to smartphones (70%) and tablets (47%).
- 74% of adults are multi-platform but this is lower among social class A, who are more likely to only use the desktop and social class E who are more likely to only use a mobile. 1 in 10 adults are now mobile only but this is higher among females (12%) than males (7%).
- Google’s total audience increased by 5% to 95.9% of the UK online population between September and December.  Google shopping (+1.5m) and Youtube (+2.3m) contributed to this uplift.
Snapchat enters the top 10 for total ‘time spent’ among adults – visitors spend on average nearly 6.5 hours per month on the social networking site.
- Predictably, retail sites dominated the top 10 growth sites in December with Home Retail Group (Argos) being the main beneficiary - up by 4.5 million unique visitors compared to September. Dixons, Tesco, Debenhams and John Lewis also added over 3 million users."

Alibaba sites now have nearly 500m monthly active users

"Jack Ma’s online shopping empire now has 493 million users who access its China marketplaces every month on mobile devices, up from 393 million at the end of 2015, said Alibaba today in its latest earnings report.
The Taobao and Tmall marketplaces now have 443 million annual active buyers, rising strongly from 407 million 12 months ago. Alibaba makes the equivalent of US$35 in revenue from each shopper.
The new figures come amidst a strong performance for Alibaba in the quarter from October to December 2016 in which it pulled in US$2.5 billion net income from total revenue – up 54 percent in the past year – of US$7.7 billion. The ecommerce behemoth beat analyst expectations with plenty of legroom."

Over half of smartphone owners in the US, UK and China pay no money for apps

"Over half of smartphone users spend no money on smartphone apps (paid-for downloads and in-app transactions), according to a new survey by Gartner, Inc. (see Figure 1)*. However, end-user spending on in-app transactions continues to rise.
"Where users are prepared to pay for apps, spending on in-app transactions is on the rise — up 26 percent from 2015 — while spending on paid-for downloads only increased 4 percent in 2016," said Stéphanie Baghdassarian, research director at Gartner. In this year's survey, mean spending on in-app transactions was $11.59, while mean spending on paid-for downloads reached $7.67.
Paid-for downloads are more likely to be associated with smaller amounts of spending. Respondents who spent $15 or more over a three-month period were more likely to have done so through in-app transactions. "This is largely because the vast majority of paid-for mobile apps have a price tag of $1.99 or less, while the activation of in-app transactions usually means that the user has found value in an app and will be happy to spend more on it," Ms, Baghdassarian added."
Note - Research only covers US, UK and China

Premium publishers made approximately 14% of their ad revenues from distribution platforms like Facebook in 2016

"Publishers are receiving far less money than might have been expected from placing their content on the third-party distribution platforms owned by companies including Facebook, Google, and Snapchat, according to a new report.
The report, from premium publisher trade body Digital Content Next (DCN), claims that the (mean) average premium publisher generated $7.7 million in revenue from distributing their content on third-party platforms in the first half of 2016 — equivalent to around 14% of their overall revenues in the period."

in 2016 Google took down 1.7 billion ads that violated its advertising policies

"We have a strict set of policies that govern the types of ads we do and don’t allow on Google in order to protect people from misleading, inappropriate, or harmful ads. And we have a team of engineers, policy experts, product managers and others who are waging a daily fight against bad actors. Over the years, this commitment has made the web a better place for you—and a worse place for those who seek to abuse advertising systems for their own gain.
In 2016, we took down 1.7 billion ads that violated our advertising policies, more than double the amount of bad ads we took down in 2015. If you spent one second taking down each of those bad ads, it’d take you more than 50 years to finish. But our technology is built to work much faster."

Airbnb 'is Profitable'

"Late last year, as many technology startups were struggling to stay afloat, Airbnb Inc. quietly reached a milestone few of its peers had achieved: profitability.
Airbnb became profitable for the first time during the second half of 2016, according to people close to the company. The home and apartment-rental company anticipates it will maintain profitability in 2017 before interest, taxes and amortization, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing the private company’s earnings.
Reaching profitability puts Airbnb on a very different footing than its fellow upstart, Uber Technologies Inc. The ride-hailing company lost an estimated $3 billion last year, according to a person familiar with the matter. Uber was consumed with keeping fares low to compete with rivals like Lyft Inc. at home and with garnering market share in China, a country it finally abandoned over the summer by selling its local business there to homegrown rival Didi Chuxing."

Xbox Live has 55m monthly active users

"Microsoft’s Xbox Live platform continues to add more users as the company expands its gaming business across consoles and PC devices.
As part of its quarterly earnings report posted Thursday, Microsoft said Xbox Live monthly active users reached a record 55 million — up 15 percent from the same quarter last year.
Much of the growth was due to another busy holiday season for Microsoft, which saw Xbox One U.S.-based sales reach record highs in December, even three years after the console debuted. It was the top-selling console in the U.S. during the second half of 2016, beating out Sony’s PlayStation 4."

View counts for Snapchat stories has fallen 15-405 since the launch of Instagram Stories

"Good enough and convenient. That’s proved a winning strategy for Instagram’s clone, according to a dozen analytics providers, social media celebrities, and talent managers who told TechCrunch they’ve seen a decline in Snapchat Stories usage since Instagram Stories launched on August 2nd.
Most reported declines in Snapchat Stories view counts ranging from 15 to 40 percent, and a reduction in how often they or those they monitor post to Snapchat Stories. Meanwhile, our sources report rapidly growing view counts on Instagram Stories, and engagement-to-follower rates one social influencer talent agent called “Insanely f*cking high”.
The success of Instagram Stories, the decline in Snapchat usage we’ve heard from a wide array of sources, and Facebook’s relentless drive to compete with the startup could spell trouble for Snapchat’s IPO on the NYSE market that’s expected in March. Snap Inc declined to comment for this story."
Source:  TechCrunch, 31st January 2017

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

More than half of Uber driving is done by people who work more than 35 hours a week

"More than 1.5 million people all over the world drive for Uber. The company has won many court battles over its classification of them as contractors and not employees.  Over the last eight years Uber has upended the taxi industry and is credited with creating a new sector of the workforce: the “gig economy.” The company proudly proclaims that the share of drivers who work less than 10 hours a week has climbed to more than 60 percent.
In one recent TV commercial, a smiling actor playing a sometimes-driver quips, “These days, everyone needs a side hustle, and driving with Uber lets you go from earning to working to chilling at the push of a button.” The sound of a cash register chimes in the background.
What Uber has never said publicly is that half of the driving gets done by people who work more than 35 hours a week. Those workers generate about half of Uber’s revenue and are responsible for about half of Uber’s trips, Uber confirmed after Bloomberg analyzed a study of its drivers conducted by the company. A small number of those drivers will go to extremes, like sleeping in parking lots, to make a living."
Source:  Bloomberg, 23rd January 2017
Note - its possible for both 60% of the drivers to work less than 10 hours a week, and for more than half the driving to be done by people who work over 35 hours a week.


Tuesday, 24 January 2017

6.8m people watched President Trump's Inauguration on Twitter



Thursday, 19 January 2017

Netflix has 89m paying subscribers; 47% are outside the US

"In Q4, global streaming revenue grew 41% year over year to $2.4 billion, while contribution profit rose 74% year over year to $470 million (20% margin). Operating profit totaled $154 million (6.2%
operating margin) against guidance of $125 million, while net income amounted to $67 million,
compared with our forecast of $56 million. Net income included a -$22 million foreign exchange
adjustment booked in other expense due to the strength of the US dollar. As a reminder, the quarterly
guidance we provide is our actual internal forecast at the time we report.
We added 7.05 million net new members globally in the quarter, against our forecast of 5.20 million
and last year's Q4 performance of 5.59 million. This was the largest quarter of net additions in our
history and was driven by strong acquisition trends in both our US and International segments.
Domestically, we added 1.93 million members in the quarter, exceeding our forecast of 1.45 million
and 1.56 million in the year-ago quarter. Combined with 15% ASP growth, revenue increased 27%
year-over -year to $1.4 billion. US contribution margin expanded 395 basis points year-over-year to
38.2%. Margin improvement was greater than expected due primarily to higher-than-forecast
revenue and the timing of content deals.
International membership grew by 5.12 million in Q4, against a forecast of 3.75 million and 4.04
million in the year-ago quarter. Over 47% of our total members are now outside of the US. This
growth was very broad based geographically as our original content continues to be well-received all
over the world. ASP for the international segment rose 13% year over year (excluding a -$21 million
impact from currency). International contribution loss was -$67 million, compared with our forecast of -$75 million, as content spend was slightly lower than expected owing primarily to timing."
Source:  Netflix' Q4 2016 earnings letter to shareholders, 18th January 2017

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

There are more than 100m paid subscriptions to music streaming services

"In streaming’s earlier years, when doubts prevailed across the artist, songwriter and label communities, one of the arguments put forward by enthusiasts was that when streaming reached scale everything would make sense. When asked what ‘scale’ meant, the common reply was ‘100 million subscribers’. In December, the streaming market finally hit and passed that milestone, notching up 100.4 million subscribers by the stroke of midnight on the 31st December. It was an impressive end to an impressive year for streaming, but does it mark a change in the music industry, a fundamental change in the way in which streaming works for the music industry’s numerous stakeholders?"
Note - this is 'subscriptions' not 'subscribers' - one person could subscribe to multiple services, so the total number of paying subscribers will be below 10m

Monday, 16 January 2017

WeChat has 768m daily users; 50% use if for more than 90 minutes a day



Source:  Blog post from WeChat, 29th December 2016

Chinese brands account for more than half of smartphone sales in India

"Chinese mobile phone brands are booming in India, for the first time ever making up more than half – 51 percent – of new devices in the world’s second largest smartphone market.
Meanwhile, Indian brands dropped below 20 percent market share of shipments in November, according to Counterpoint Research, plummeting from 40 percent in early 2016.
Local brands have been facing increasingly stiff competition from Chinese brands that are affordable.
Counterpoint research analyst Karn Chauhan says most Chinese brands are in the US$75-200 price segment. As per market share data for the September quarter, Xiaomi has pushed out local players and now dominates this segment, along with Samsung. Those budget phones have seen a growth of over 45 percent in the past year.
The biggest gainers were China’s Vivo and Gionee, making mid-range – US$250-450 – phones, a segment that soared by over 150 percent."

Time spent with mobile apps rose 69% in 2016



Source:  Report from Flurry, 12th January 2017
Data is global

Growth in mobile app usage by category in 2016



Source:  Report from Flurry, 12th January 2017
Note - 'Personalisation apps' include ones that crate backgrounds, ringtones etc
Data is global

14,500 Western brands have stores on Alibaba's Tmall

"The demand for overseas goods continues to drive cross-border e-commerce in China and, as a result, further growth for Tmall Global.
The B2C shopping site, which provides Chinese consumers with a direct sales channel to overseas retailers, saw the total number of international brands on the platform skyrocket 169 percent to 14,500 in 2016 from 5,400 last year. The number of product categories soared 85 percent to 3,700 from 2,000 over the same period."

More than 2m people stayed in an Airbnb over New Year 2016-7




Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Amazon shipped more than a billion items during the Christmas shopping period 2016

"According to a new Reuters report by Mark Maketa, Amazon shipped more than one billion items worldwide this holiday season, nine times more than during last year's holiday season… “its best ever.” The Echo home assistant, and its smaller version Echo Dot, topped the best-sellers list, said Jeff Wilke, chief executive of Amazon's worldwide consumer division, in a press release.
Amazon likely sold between 4 million and 5 million devices this year to date, with Alexa, the voice-controlled assistant on the Echo, estimated Morningstar analyst R.J. Hottovy, says the report. Shoppers can command the Echo to perform a host of tasks, from playing music to turning on Christmas lights."

Apple paid more than £20bn to app developers in 2016

"Apple customers’ App Store spending jumped 40 per cent in 2016 — fuelled by games such as Pokémon Go and Super Mario Run — to provide a much-needed boost to services revenues, at a time when iPhone growth remains sluggish.
Payments to app developers, after Apple took its cut, rose to more than $20bn last year, the company said on Thursday, with growth accelerating in China.
“2016 was a record-shattering year for the App Store,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice-president of worldwide marketing."
Source:  FT, 5th January 2016

Monday, 9 January 2017

Ed Sheeran's new songs set records with over 6m streams each in the first 24 hours

"Reaching over a combined 13 million global streams in the first 24 hours, with "Shape Of You" amounting 6,868,642 and "Castle On The Hill" accumulating 6,168,395, Ed has now overtaken the previous 'day one' record holders, One Direction, who notched up 4,759,698 streams with "Drag Me Down" in August 2015, marking another record-breaking milestone in his career. "

14 billion WhatsApp messages were sent exchanged India on on New Year's Eve

"Fourteen billion Whatsapp messages were exchanged in India on New Year’s Eve, making it an all-time high from the country, the firm said on Friday.
Not just that, 32 percent of those messages were in the form of some sort of media: Whatsapp’s 160 million monthly active Indian users sent 3.1 billion images, 700 million GIFs, and 610 million videos.
Facebook-owned Whatsapp has made SMS in India all but redundant. Farmers to school students to businessmen use the service to communicate. Many in India use the English script to communicate in various Indian languages, so language is no barrier. Whatsapp also has local language support in the country."
Source:  Tech in Asia, 6th January 2017

Game of Thrones was the most pirated TV show in 2016



Source:  Data from Torrentfreak, reported by Advanced Television, 3rd January 2017
Note - It's interesting that there are no Netflix shows on the list, possibly because Netflix releases shows simultaneously around the world

TV programme & film rental and streaming has overtaken purchase in the UK

"Figures released by the British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE) based on data from The Official Charts Company and IHS Markit show that consumer spend in the video category rose by 2.2 per cent in 2016 bringing the total value of the category to £2.25 billion (€2.63bn).
While ownership remains vital to the category and represents a massive 49 per cent of category value, 2016 has also seen rental, or streaming overtake ownership, with 51 per cent of value coming from consumers choosing to rent or stream. Highlighting the truly multichannel nature of the category, and the flexibility of content delivery of distributors to consumers."

Christmas Day TV ratings in the UK fell to their lowest recorded level

"Christmas Day TV audiences on December 25th 2016 were at their lowest level since records began in 1981.
BBC1 period drama Call the Midwife was the most-watched programme attracting an audience of 9.2 million. BBC1 had eight of the 10 most-watched programmes overall on Christmas Day, while ITV had two.
Audiences for Christmas Day – which traditionally attracts big audiences – have been falling in recent years with the introduction of catch-up and on-demand services. No programme has attracted more than 20 million viewers since 2001, and the figure of 15 million has not been achieved since 2008. 2016 marked the first time no programme attracted an audience of 10 million."

Nearly half of US paid video subscribers subscribe to more than one service



Source:  Press release from Partks Associates, 28th December 2016

Mobile device activations over Christmas 2016



Source:  Blog post from Flurry, 27th December 2016
Note - Flurry says that this is global, but I'd suspect that apps that use Flurry tracking are more likely to be western ones

There were more music streams each day in the US in 2016 than downloads for the entire year



Source:  Buzz Angle US Music Report, December 2016