Monday, 14 August 2017

Facebook carries out 4.5bn translations a day, all using machine learning

"Creating seamless, highly accurate translation experiences for the 2 billion people who use Facebook is difficult. We need to account for context, slang, typos, abbreviations, and intent simultaneously. To continue improving the quality of our translations, we recently switched from using phrase-based machine translation models to neural networks to power all of our backend translation systems, which account for more than 2,000 translation directions and 4.5 billion translations each day. These new models provide more accurate and fluent translations, improving people's experience consuming Facebook content that is not written in their preferred language."

86% of US adult broadband users take part in binge viewing

"According to new research from The Diffusion Group (TDG), binge viewing — that is, viewing more than one episode of a TV series back to back — is rapidly becoming universal, with 86% ABUs (Adult Broadband Users) binging at least occasionally. But the frequency of binge viewing skews strongly in favor of younger adults. These insights are from TDG's latest report, Binge Viewing - A Consumer Snapshot.
TDG's new analysis identifies and profiles three groups of adult broadband users in terms of their binge viewing habits.
Heavy Bingers (binge daily, comprise 14 percent of ABUs),
Medium Bingers (binge monthly but not daily, comprise 51 percent of ABUs), and
Light/Non-Bingers (21 percent of ABUs that binge less than once a month, 14 percent that do not binge at all).
Importantly, TDG analysts found that the frequency of binging is strongly correlated with the viewer's age. For example, 58 percent of Heavy Bingers are between the ages of 18 and 34, while 56 percent of Light/Non-Bingers are age 45 and older."

Xiaomi is the leading shipper of wearable devices

"The burst of the wearable bubble may have been overstated — on a global scale, at least. The category has been struggling here in the U.S., but internationally, it’s still seeing growth. Wearables are up eight-percent year-over-year, according to new numbers from Canalys — not exactly exponential, but at least things are trending in the right direction.
It’ll come as no surprise to anyone who’s been following the space with any regularity that Xiaomi is leading the way here. Last week Strategy Analytics noted that the Chinese company had taken charge of global shipments for the first time ever, following Fitbit’s middling financial report, and that assessment is reflected in these numbers.
Canalys’s numbers (which are a bit lower than SA’s) put Xiaomi in first place at 3.5 million shipments, just edging Fitbit’s 3.3 million. What’s more notable than the photo finish however, is Fitbit’s on-going struggles, which find the company dropping a full 34-percent year over year.  It’s an almost complete reversal of last year’s 36-percent year over year growth. Apple’s number also dropped in the report, with company’s smartwatch moving to third place at 2.7 million shipments.
Price has been the primary factors driving Xiaomi’s growth in recent years. The company sells trackers for as low as $15 here in the States — something Fitbit and Apple can’t come close to competing with. Fitbit’s lowest priced tacker, the clip-on Zip, retails for $60, and Apple essentially only sells a single product in the category."

Snapchat has 173m Daily Active Users

"Daily active users (DAU)(1) – DAUs grew from 143 million in Q2 2016 to 173 million in Q2 2017, an increase of 30.5 million or 21% year-over-year. DAUs increased 7.3 million or 4% quarter-over-quarter, from 166 million in Q1 2017.
Average revenue per user (ARPU)(2) – ARPU was $1.05 in Q2 2017, an increase of 109% over Q2 2016 when ARPU was $0.50. ARPU increased 16% over Q1 2017 when ARPU was $0.90.
Hosting costs per DAU – Hosting costs per DAU were $0.61 in Q2 2017, as compared to $0.55 in Q2 2016 and $0.60 in Q1 2017.
Capital expenditures – Capital expenditures were $19.4 million in Q2 2017, as compared to $16.4 million in Q2 2016 and $18.0 million in Q1 2017."
Source:  Snap's Q2 Results, 8th August 2017

Monday, 7 August 2017

A new algorithm reduced Deliveroo delivery times in the UK by 20%

"Food delivery startup Deliveroo claims it has reduced its delivery times by 20% with a new algorithm called "Frank".
The London-headquartered company, which is now competing with Amazon Restaurants and UberEats, announced on Wednesday that Frank has enabled it to reduce its average delivery time to 29 minutes in the UK.
A spokesperson for UberEats claimed the average time for one of its deliveries in the UK is 28 minutes but Deliveroo would likely question whether its couriers are indeed faster on average.
Deliveroo said Frank uses machine learning — a technology that allows software to become more accurate in predicting outcomes without being explicitly programmed — to evaluate the most efficient way of distributing orders based on the location of restaurants, riders, and customers.
The algorithm can also tell Deliveroo's 10,000 UK restaurants how long it will take them to prepare a meal based on the time of the day and the type of order, Deliveroo said. Deliveroo claims that its 15,000 UK riders are benefiting from Frank because it allows them to complete more deliveries per hour and earn more money."

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

App publishers make 55% of their revenue though ads

"Eighty percent of top publishers use both video and display ads to monetize their apps, according to a report by AdColony made available to Mobile Marketer. Its survey found that ads generate 55% of mobile publisher revenue on average, mainly from video ads (31%).
Publishers are most enthusiastic about playable ads, which let users engage with a videogame after tapping an ad, and immersive ads, per the report. Less than half of app publishers use playables now, with just 25% saying they view them positively.
Pre-roll video ads have the lowest ranking among best user experiences, AdColony found, while 87% of publishers said rewarded video offers one of the best user experiences. In-app purchases have the best effect on the user experience, while subscriptions have the worst."

In-App ordering accounts of 9% of Starbucks transactions

"Starbucks, the coffee chain with 27,000 stores in 75 countries, continues to ramp up mobile technology as a key part of its strategy to handle customer orders, payments and loyalty programs. The company plans to test a guest checkout feature for first-time users of its mobile application early in 2018, Matt Ryan, global chief strategy officer, said last week in a call with investors.
Payments made with a mobile device increased to 30% of transactions in the U.S. stores in fiscal Q3 2017, compared with 29% in the previous three-month period. The chain’s mobile order and pay feature that lets customers order with the Starbucks app and skip the line generated 9% of transactions. That’s nearly double the 5% from a year earlier.
While Starbucks’ mobile app has led to overwhelming foot traffic at some cafes, the company has added digital order managers to 1,000 stores to improve the ability to serve customers who order and pay through their phones."
Source:  Mobile Marketer, 31st July 2017

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Games of Thrones, S7 E1 achieved Sky's highest ever viewing figure of 4.7m

"The first episode of the seventh season of Game of Thrones has continued its unprecedented run by recording the biggest consolidated audience for a programme ever on Sky with 4.7 million.
The episode. entitled Dragonstone, almost doubled its audience in the week after it launched, adding an additional 1.85 million to the original 2.8 million who watched it on July 17th. This stand out performance also meant the episode secured the fifth biggest programme audience of the year in Sky homes, outperforming Sherlock, Call the Midwife and Line of Duty.
The 4.7 million figure is made up of those who watched the 2am simulcast (live or on demand) or the 9pm transmission on July 17th, those who have chosen to catch up over the past seven days through on demand on Sky Atlantic or online streaming service NOW TV, and customers who recorded the episode and watched it back. A further 729,000 downloads and streams of the episode were made via the Sky Go app, with this expected to increase further over the coming weeks. Sky Atlantic has seen a huge increase in Game of Thrones audiences year on year with a 31 per cent increase on the opening episode of season six last year (3.56 million consolidated)."
Note - I'm assuming that the numbers aren't completely de-duplicated - e.g. people watching at 2am but then also watching again later on Sky Go.

ITV's ad sales fell by 8% Y-o-Y in H1 2017

"UK commercial broadcaster ITV has reported its H1 results, with a decline in advertising revenue blamed on “ongoing economic and political uncertainty”.
Advertising revenue fell 8 per cent to £769 million (€862m) in the first six months of the year. However, that fall was offset by growth at ITV studios, which makes popular shows such as The Voice and Poldark. The broadcaster’s sales rose by 5 per cent.
Peter Bazalgette, ITV Executive Chairman, commented: “ITV’s performance in the first six months of the year is very much as we anticipated and our guidance for the full year remains unchanged. Total external revenue was down 3 per cent with the decline in NAR partly offset by continued good growth in non-advertising revenues, which is a clear indication that our strategy of rebalancing the business is working.  We are confident in the underlying strength of the business as we continue to invest both organically and through acquisitions.”
“ITV Studios total revenues grew 7 per cent to £697 million including currency benefit. ITV Studios adjusted EBITA was down 9 per cent at £110 million. This was impacted by our ongoing investment in our US scripted business and the fact that the prior year includes the full benefit of the four year licence deal for The Voice of China. We have a very strong pipeline of new and returning drama and formats and we are building momentum in our US scripted business. We continue to grow our global family of production companies and in H1 we further strengthened our international drama and format business with the acquisition of Line of Duty producer World Productions in the UK, Tetra Media Studio in France and Elk Production in Sweden.”

55% of email is opened on a mobile device

"The rise of mobile technology has transformed the world in many ways, including the way users interact with email. Mobile email opens have nearly doubled over the past five years and more than half of emails are now opened on mobile devices, according to a new research report from email solutions provider Return Path.
Released today, The Email Client Experience analyzes the breakdown of platforms and devices that people use to open email. The report also looks at when people are most likely to open email, as well as the length of time they typically spend reading an email. Data from May 2016 to April 2017 is compared with results from a similar study in 2012.
Following are a few of the report’s key takeaways:
Mobile is preferred nearly 2:1 over webmail. During the period analyzed, 55 percent of email was opened on mobile devices—up from just 29 percent in 2012. By contrast, webmail opens (meaning email opened on an internet browser like or dropped 26 percent over five years—from 37 percent to 28 percent. Desktop email (defined as email opened on software that is installed on a desktop or laptop, like Outlook or Apple Mail) had the lowest share of opens with just 16 percent—down from 34 percent in 2012.
iOS continues to dominate Android. While email opens on both iPhone and iPad have fallen slightly over the past five years, iOS still maintains a huge advantage over Android. Combined, iOS accounts for an overwhelming 79 percent of mobile email opens, compared to 20 percent for Android. In 2012, just 14 percent of mobile emails were opened on Android, while 85 percent were opened on iOS.
Gmail has overtaken Yahoo in the webmail race. Webmail still holds a significant percentage of email opens, and Gmail has emerged as the clear leader in the webmail space. In 2012, just six percent of webmail opens occurred on Gmail; that figure jumped to 59 percent during the period analyzed. Yahoo has experienced a precipitous decline over the same period, accounting for just 5 percent of webmail opens during the study period—down from 37 percent in 2012.
Mobile opens peak on the weekend; webmail and desktop gain during the workweek. Not surprisingly, the greatest percentage of mobile email opens occur on the weekend—60 percent on both Saturday and Sunday, compared to a range of 51 to 55 percent Monday through Friday. Accordingly, both webmail and desktop opens increase during the workweek, when people tend to be in front of their computers. Webmail opens hold steady at 26 percent on the weekend and about 29 percent during the week, while desktop accounts for just 13 percent of opens on the weekend and 16 to 19 percent during the week."

Percent of start-ups reaching different funding rounds

WhatsApp has 1bn daily users; WhatApp Stories has 250m

"Facebook is winning the race to bring Snapchat’s Stories format to the rest of the world before its originator. WhatsApp Status, its version of Snapchat Stories, now has 250 million daily active users. That’s despite it being relegated to a secondary dedicated tab in the app, opposed to being front and center on the home screen like Instagram Stories which also now has over 250 million users."
Source:  TechCrunch, 26th July 2017

Pokémon Go generated an estimated $5.8m in revenue in a single day

"Mobile hit Pokémon Go had its highest revenue in a day since its viral launch last July, according to market analyst Sensor Tower. It’s all thanks to Legendary Pokémon.
Players spent around $5.8 million on July 23 on iOS and Android, when developer Niantic debuted Articuno and Lugia, two of five highly anticipated Legendary Pokémon to catch. This is despite its snafu at Pokémon Go Fest, a celebratory event on July 22 that went sideways when 20,000 attendees couldn’t play the game because of technical issues.
Niantic has kept up a steady drumbeat of in-game events and earlier this year launched an overhaul of the gym battle system. These efforts have maintained the attention of core players, but it looks like the Legendary Pokémon have drawn the most interest. Sensor Tower found that Pokémon Go is now No. 1 in the Apple App Store top-grossing chart in 23 countries including the U.S.
Last month, Pokémon Go passed $1.2 billion revenue. If it keeps rolling out content with high demand, we might see it reach another milestone."

Spotify has 60m paying subscribers

"Spotify’s singular focus on music sees it adding subscribers faster than the iPhone company with a streaming app on the side. Spotify has added 20 million paid subscribers in less than a year, while it’s taken Apple Music more than a year and a half to make that progress. Spotify now has 60 million subscribers, compared to Apple Music’s 27 million (as of June).
Spotify’s ability to accelerate its growth rate despite competition from arguably the world’s most powerful company is a testament to the product and community it’s built."
Source:  TechCrunch, 31st July 2017
Earlier - 50m in March 2017
Earlier - 37m (estimated) in July 2016

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Twitter's Q2 ad revenue fell 8% Y-o-Y; Ad engagements rose 95% Y-o-Y

"In Q2, product contributions to Twitter’s engagement and audience growth continued to increase. Monthly active usage (MAU) increased 5% year-over-year [to 328m] and daily active usage (DAU) increased 12% yearover-year, marking the third consecutive quarter of double-digit growth.
• Underlying business fundamentals also improved. We saw an improvement in the year-over-year growth rate for total revenue (relative to Q1), driven by accelerating year-over-year growth in our data products, continued strong growth in video with a very strong debut at the 2017 Digital Content NewFronts, and an improvement in the yearover-year growth rate for owned-and-operated (O&O) revenue.
• Finally, we achieved greater operating efficiency. Our GAAP net loss was $116 million. Excluding a $55 million cost-method investment impairment charge, we would have made progress toward GAAP profitability and further reduced our GAAP net loss. We also delivered better-than-expected adjusted EBITDA margins in Q2, despite the yearover-year decline in revenue.
Specifically, in Q2, we achieved the following results:
• Q2 revenue totaled $574 million, a decrease of 5% year-over-year.
• Advertising revenue totaled $489 million, a decrease of 8% year-over-year.
• Data licensing and other revenue totaled $85 million, an increase of 26% year-over-year.
• US revenue totaled $335 million, a decrease of 7% year-over-year.
• International revenue totaled $239 million, a decrease of 1% year-over-year.
• Total ad engagements increased 95% year-over-year.
• Cost per engagement (CPE) decreased 53% year-over-year."
Source:  Twitter's Q2 Letter to Shareholders, 27th July 2017

Facebook has 1.32bn daily active users; Mobile is 87% of ad revenue

"Daily active users (DAUs) – DAUs were 1.32 billion on average for June 2017, an increase of 17% year-over-year.
Monthly active users (MAUs) – MAUs were 2.01 billion as of June 30, 2017, an increase of 17% year-over-year.
Mobile advertising revenue – Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 87% of advertising revenue for the second quarter of 2017, up from approximately 84% of advertising revenue in the second quarter of 2016.
Capital expenditures – Capital expenditures for the second quarter of 2017 were $1.44 billion.
Cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities – Cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities were $35.45 billion at the end of the second quarter of 2017.
Headcount – Headcount was 20,658 as of June 30, 2017, an increase of 43% year-over-year."

Friday, 21 July 2017

BBC Worldwide's profits rose 18% in 2016-7

"BBC Worldwide – the commercial arm of the Corporation – has revealed its financial results for 2016/17, showing an increase in both headline sales and headline profits, and sustaining cash returns to the BBC above £200 million (€226m) for a third successive year.
Tim Davie, CEO of BBC Worldwide and Director, Global, said: “By concentrating our efforts around core areas of growth and being bold in our transformation ambition, BBC Worldwide has delivered another strong year of results. Ever-closer relationships with producers, driving excellent content, along with acute customer focus, creative deal-making and strategic partnerships, are together enabling us to navigate the rapid shifts in the markets where we operate.
Headline sales of £1.0599 billion [€1.1977bn] (2015/16: £1.0294bn) and headline profit of £157.3 million (2015/16: £133.8m) were up 3.0 per cent and 17.6 per cent respectively. Organic headline profit growth was 6.4 per cent and all four regional segments reported growth in headline profit. These results reflect good Content Sales, with sales to SVoD services remaining buoyant; an excellent performance from Branded Services, including the UKTV and BBC AMERICA channel JVs; and beneficial foreign exchange movements.
Strong demand from VoD clients helped BBC Worldwide pass its internal revenue target of £400 million in content sales one year early, at £422.4 million (2015/16: £384.2m), up 9.9 per cent, maintaining its position as the leading global distributor outside the US studios."
Source:  Advanced Television, 19th July 2017

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Netflix has 104m members; over 50% are outside the US

"Our quarterly guidance is our internal forecast at the time we report and we strive for accuracy. In Q2, we underestimated the popularity of our strong slate of content which led to higher-than-expected acquisition across all major territories. As a result, global net adds totaled a Q2-record 5.2 million (vs. forecast of 3.2m) [to a total of 103.95m members] and increased 5% sequentially, bucking historical seasonal patterns. For the first six months of 2017, net adds are up 21% year-on-year to 10.2m. Our Q3 guidance assumes much of this momentum will continue but we are cognizant of the lessons of prior quarters when we over-forecasted and there was lumpiness in net adds, likely due to demand being pulled forward (into Q2 in this case).
Domestic net additions of 1.1m represented the highest level of Q2 net adds since the second quarter of 2011. For Q3’17, we project that we will add 0.75m US members, compared with 0.37m in Q3’16, which was impacted by un-grandfathering.
Our international segment now accounts for 50.1% of our total membership base. International revenue rose 57% year over year, excluding a -$23 million impact from foreign exchange, while international ASP grew 10% year over year on a F/X neutral basis. International contribution profit of -$13 million vs. -$69 million was better than our -$28 million forecast due primarily to higher-than-forecasted paid members."
Note - the figure of 104m is total members - paid members is 99.04m

Monday, 10 July 2017

Students and other 'pre family' adults in the UK watch nearly 3 hours of non-broadcast video per day

Source:  Ofcom's Public Service Broadcasting Annual Report 2017, 7th July 2017
Full pdf here

TV screen time in the UK is constant, but live viewing is falling

Source:  Ofcom's Public Service Broadcasting Annual Report 2017, 7th July 2017
Full pdf here

Watching on-demand television is increasingly popular in the UK, especially among younger viewers

"Television viewing is changing, but the PSBs remain at the heart of the overall audience experience
The television landscape is changing; people are increasingly viewing content in a variety of different ways, both on the television set and on other devices. Young adults are watching a substantial amount of non-PSB content, and behavioural changes are happening not just in this group, but among those up to the age of 45.
Despite the changes in the ways in which people watch television, overall viewing on the TV set is resilient; each week 85% of people in the UK who have a TV in their household watch PSB channels. Public service broadcasters remain at the heart of the UK’s television viewing experience.
There is a widening gap between the viewing habits of the youngest and oldest audiences
Individuals in the UK watched 3 hours 32 minutes of measured broadcast TV on a TV set in 2016. This is 4 minutes a day (2%) less than in 2015. However, there are big differences between age groups, and these gaps are widening. Viewers aged 65+ watched an average of 5 hours 44 minutes in 2016, just three minutes less than in 2012; in contrast, 16-24 year olds watched an average of 1 hour 54 minutes in 2016, 43 minutes less than in 2012.
Between 2015 and 2016, average daily viewing among children and 16-24 year olds each fell by 10 minutes, whereas viewing by over-64s increased by 2 minutes.
Watching on-demand television is increasingly popular, especially among younger viewers
Measurements of broadcast television viewing and reach are based on the official industry BARB data, which measures the viewing of scheduled TV programmes on TV sets, and includes time-shifted viewing of these programmes. However, a substantial amount of viewing is not covered by BARB, and this type of viewing is highest among younger people. GfK survey data estimate that there are large daily amounts of time of non-broadcast viewing of video/TV content, especially among viewers in the pre-family life stage, who watch an average of about 2.5 hours per day of non-broadcast content, on any device."
Source:  Ofcom's Public Service Broadcasting Annual Report 2017, 7th July 2017
Full pdf here

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Netflix gets more viewing time in the US than Amazon, hulu and YouTube combined

"A ComScore report has revealed that Netflix gets more viewing time in the US than rivals Amazon, Hulu and YouTube combined.
The data shows Netflix holds a 40 per cent share of total viewing hours of an OTT service, with YouTube ranking second place with 18 per cent, Hulu third with 14 per cent and Amazon Video at 7 per cent – a combined 39 per cent.
The report also notes that Netflix’s prime viewing hours are in-line with what many expect from traditional TV consumption — 8pm to 11pm. Additionally, people watch Netflix for an average of one hour and forty minutes a day per household. Netflix is the standard TV choiec in 54 per cent of US homes."

Monday, 3 July 2017

Google Home is 6x more likely to be able to answer a question that Amazon Alexa

"New York-based 360i has developed software to determine how well Google Home and Amazon Alexa execute exchanges with human beings. The initial results from the agency, which is part of Dentsu Aegis Network, are intriguing.
So far, Google Home is six times more likely to answer your question than Amazon Alexa. It’s relatively surprising, considering that RBC Capital Markets projects Alexa will drive $10 billion of revenue to Amazon by 2020—not to mention the artificial intelligence-based system currently owns 70 percent of the voice market.
360i’s proprietary software asked both devices 3,000 questions to come to the figure. While Amazon Alexa has shown considerable strength in retail search during the agency’s research, Google won the day thanks to its unmatched search abilities."

The most missed media device in the UK by age, 2017

Source:  Ofcom's Media Use & Attitudes survey, June 2017
Pdf here

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Facebook has two billion monthly active users

"Facebook Inc said on Tuesday that 2 billion people are regularly using its flagship service, marching past another milestone in its growth from a college curiosity in the United States to the world's largest social media network.
Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg disclosed the number to his followers in a Facebook post. "It's an honor to be on this journey with you," he wrote. (
The user base is bigger than the population of any single country, and of six of the seven continents. It represents more than a quarter of the world's 7.5 billion people.
Facebook defines a monthly active user as a registered Facebook user who logged in and visited Facebook through its website or a mobile device, or used its Messenger app, in the past 30 days. It does not include people who use the Instagram or WhatsApp networks but not Facebook.
The company said in May that duplicate accounts, according to an estimate from last year, may have represented some 6 percent of its worldwide user base.
The social network's user population dwarfs that of similar companies. Twitter Inc reported in April monthly active users of 328 million, while Snap Inc's Snapchat had 166 million daily users at the end of the first quarter.
WeChat, a unit of Tencent Holdings Ltd and a widely used service in China, said in May that it had 938 million monthly active users in the first quarter.
Facebook had 1.94 billion people using its service monthly as of March 31, an increase of 17 percent from a year earlier. It reached 1 billion in October 2012."
Zuckerberg's original post is here

Monday, 26 June 2017

YouTube has 1.5bn logged in users each month

"This year at VidCon, YouTube shared some new metrics that really drive home how much it’s dominating mobile video usage and how quickly its service is gaining viewers on TVs.
The highlight was the fact that there are now 1.5 billion logged-in users visiting the site every month. The distinction is important as there are undoubtedly still quite a few folks hopping on YouTube that aren’t necessarily using Google Accounts to do so.
The site announced it hit 1 billion monthly active users in 2013, though that number assumedly related to all visitors, logged-in and not.
Logged-in users spend an average of more than one hour per day watching YouTube just on mobile devices, a pretty daunting number that showcases just how pervasive video has gotten on the mobile web.
“When we compare that [metric] to TV, people — in some countries like the U.S. — watch up to four hours per day, so we think there’s lots of room to get people to watch even more YouTube,” CEO Susan Wojcicki said onstage.
On that note, the company said that the TV screen was their fastest growing medium of consumption, noting that the category was growing 90 percent year-over-year, something that the company’s new YouTube TV service is undoubtedly going to add to. The company didn’t have any new details to share on desktop video viewing habits."

Americans spend more time alone as they get older

Source:  The Atlas, June 2017

Cutting ad load times boosts ad revenue

"Cutting down the amount of code on its webpages has helped Meredith make more revenue per visitor.
Meredith, which publishes women’s lifestyle titles including Better Homes and Gardens and Family Circle, began an audit of its code a year ago. This led it to remove several vendors and shift code from browsers to servers. The code audit helped Meredith speed up its ad-rendering times by 15-20 percent across desktop and mobile, which, along with an increase in native advertising, contributed to a 20 percent increase in revenue per visit, said Matt Minoff, Meredith’s chief digital officer.
The results were especially dramatic on mobile, where Meredith gets about 60 percent of its traffic and where speed is especially important: There, getting ads to load faster helped drive a 74 percent increase in revenue per visit. Meredith wouldn’t share raw numbers."

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Mobile screen size correlates to mobile gaming session lengths

Source:  Blog post from Flurry, 20th June 2017

Most time spent watching video is for content over 20 mins

Source:  Ooyala's Video Index Q1 2017, June 2017
Note 1- This is time spent, not number of videos
Note 2 - Ooyala can only measure what is in its network, so as far as I know this does not include YouTube or Facebook.  If it did 'short' videos would surely be much higher

Instagram stories has 250m daily active users

"The company reported Tuesday that Stories, the feature that lets users share videos and posts that disappear after 24 hours, is now used by 250 million people every day. That means Stories added 50 million new users in two months, one month faster than its jump from 150 million to 200 million users.
Instagram is also changing its live video feature so users can now share those live videos to their Stories. Originally, live videos on Instagram disappeared as soon as the broadcast ended, but now they could exist for up to 24 hours."
"The new milestone means almost 100 million more people use Instagram Stories than use Snapchat, the actual inventor of the Stories format. That’s a bummer for Snapchat, because they clearly invented something that people want to use — Instagram has just scaled it more quickly."

Monday, 19 June 2017

The revenue from eSports is expected to rise to over $450m in 2017

"The revenue from eSports is expected to rise from $130m (£100m) in 2012 to $465m (£365m) this year, according to Newzoo, the eSports data expert. The global audience will reach 385 million this year, made up of 191 million regular viewers and a further 194 million occasional viewers. ESports stars such as the South Korean player Faker, who has just turned 21, are already paid up to £2m a year, and that’s not including bonuses and sponsorship. But will they ever compete with, say, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo? And should we be worried if they do?"

'TV advertising is 5 times more effective at driving KPIs than online display'

"In a study published by Neustar commissioned by Turner and Horizon Media, TV remains the most effective way to advertise. The research, which extensively examines the effect of advertising across the major marketing channels, showed that dollar for dollar, TV provides the most scale and delivers the highest return on ad spend from both a sales and awareness perspective.
“This research reaffirms that television continues to be the biggest driver of marketing success today, yet there remains a lot of room to grow even further as the industry and consumer habits shift,” said Beth Rockwood, ‎VP, Portfolio Research and Chief of Staff, Turner. “Recognizing that growth opportunity, Turner has been one of the industry’s biggest proponents for reimagining the experience of television – developing new audience targeting methods, as well as forging innovative content partnerships, to deliver highly engaging, unexpected experiences to fans.”
The insights were derived from Neustar’s advanced analytics software, which ran thousands of models spanning key advertising categories — automotive, financial services, CPG, retail, telecom, theatrical movies, QSR and consumer electronics — and used seven years’ worth of data. Ultimately, the research found that for a $1 million investment, television’s lift is consistently 7 times better than paid search and 5 times better than online display advertising."
Click the link to download the full report.  KPIs included measures like sales and new account opens.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Pokemon GO has sent more than 500 million visitors to McDonalds in Japan

"Pokémon GO-maker Niantic says it has driven 500 million visitors to sponsored locations like McDonald’s Japan where gamers can score a special virtual good. But it never said how much those sponsors paid per visitor delivered by the game.
But in an interview published yesterday by Brazil’s Globo newspaper, Niantic VP of strategic partnerships Mathieu de Fayet said (translated), “The idea is to offer players items at certain locations, and partners pay $0.15 for each visitor attracted to the game. And we’ve already attracted 500 million visitors. In Japan [at the game’s peak last summer], each activated McDonald’s store attracted 2,000 visitors a day.”
However, we followed up with Niantic, and a spokesperson claimed that $0.15 number is incorrect, possibly due to a translation error. The company says “Niantic’s cost per visit (CPV) model visit has partners spending less than $.50 / daily unique visit to sponsored locations.”
At $0.15 per visit the math would indicate that the sponsorships could have racked up $75 million in revenue for Niantic, while the high bound of $0.50 would have generated $250 million.
Given that McDonald’s Japan activated 3,000 stores in the country, that price would mean that at the game’s peak, the fast-food giant would have paid out roughly $900,000 per day to Niantic for the Pokémon GO sponsorship at $0.15 per visitor, or $3 million per day at $0.50 each."

How the 5 biggest tech companies make money

Source:  Yahoo Finance / Business Insider, 26th May 2017

Sony has sold more than 1 million PlayStation VR headsets

"Sony has now sold more than 1 million PlayStation VR headsets, the company announced today. The news follows a reveal back in February that the PSVR had topped 915,000 units sold since its debut last October. It puts PSVR ahead of direct competitors like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift — according to research firm SuperData, the two sold 420,000 and 243,000 units respectively by the end of 2016 — but still well back of Samsung’s Gear VR, which has sold more than 5 million units globally. Shawn Layden, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment America, admits there’s still plenty of work to be done, especially given the large install base of PS4 owners, which is approaching 60 million. “It’s still just a million units,” he says."

Visitors spend approx 35% more time with pages that use Google AMP

"Chartbeat says visitors to web pages that load with Google AMP are spending 35 percent more time with that content on average than with standard mobile web pages.
On average, visitors spend 48.2 seconds with pages found through Google search that load with AMP, compared to 35.6 seconds on average with standard mobile pages found through search.
That means pages that load with accelerated mobile pages software (that’s what AMP stands for) are more valuable to advertisers, because visitors that spend more time with content spend more time scrolling through ads."

Apple users take a trillion photos a year

Source:  Stat announced at Apple's WWDC, June 2017

17% of Daily Mail readers who voted in the June 2017 General Election voted for Labour

Source:  YouGov, 13th June 2017

Mobile Subscriptions as a percent of Population by Region, Q1 2017

Source:  Ericsson's Mobility Report, Q1 2017

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Mary Meeker's 2017 Internet Trends

It's always good, but this year Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins has really excelled herself

A quick key:

1) Global Internet Trends = Solid…Slowing Smartphone Growth 4-9
2) Online Advertising (+ Commerce) = Increasingly Measurable + Actionable 10-80
3) Interactive Games = Motherlode of Tech Product Innovation + Modern Learning 80-150
4) Media = Distribution Disruption @ Torrid Pace 151-177
5) The Cloud = Accelerating Change Across Enterprises 178-192
6) China Internet = Golden Age of Entertainment + Transportation 193-231
(Provided by Hillhouse Capital)
7) India Internet = Competition Continues to Intensify…Consumers Winning 232-287
8) Healthcare @ Digital Inflection Point 288-319
9) Global Public / Private Internet Companies… 320-333
10) Some Macro Thoughts… 334-351
11) Closing Thoughts… 352-353

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

The iPhone has a 92% loyalty rate in the US

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

66 App Publishers had their first $1m year on Apple's App Store in 2016

"When it comes to building a successful business, Sensor Tower’s Store Intelligence data reveals that more app publishers are achieving an important milestone on Apple’s App Store than on Google Play. Based on our analysis of in-app revenue—not inclusive of advertising revenue—nearly double the number of publishers made their first $1 million in annual revenue last year on the U.S. App Store compared to Google Play. In all, 66 publishers met or surpassed this benchmark figure on Apple’s store in 2016, which was 1.7 times more than the 39 that managed the same degree of success on Google’s platform."

The Grand Tour was the most sought after VOD programme in Q1 2017

"A non-Netflix show – The Grand Tour – was the most sought-after digital video-on-demand title available globally for the first time in the quarter to March, according to the latest Global On Demand Report from Parrot Analytics.
Parrot Analytics analyses the demand for 30 recent popular US digital titles across 10 markets, based on the application of artificial intelligence to expressions of demand across social media, fan sites, peer-to-peer protocols and file-sharing platforms.
According to Parrot, the top shows in the US in the three months to March were Stranger Things, with 10.5 million average ‘demand expressions’ and The OA, with 9.1 million – both from Netflix. Amazon’s The Grand Tour and The Man in the High Castle came third and fourth, followed by Netflix’s Marvel’s Luke Cage.
Overall, 16 of the top 30 titles came from Netflix, while Amazon accounted for seven and Hulu for four. Crackle (Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee) and Seeso (Bajillion Dollar Propertie$) had one title each near in the top 30 list. Stranger Things enjoyed a 257% spike in popularity after the release date for Season 2 was announced during the Super Bowl.
In the UK, The Grand Tour, which topped the list in five of the 10 markets studied, led the way with 6.3 million expressions of demand, followed some way behind by Stranger Things with just over 2.6 million and The Man in the High Castle, also with 2.6 million.
The OA and The Crown made up the top five. The Grand Tour aside, the list was largely dominated by Netflix, followed by Amazon, a pattern that was repeated in Australia, where The Grand Tour topped the list, with Netflix occupying the remaining four of the top five slots."

Android has more than 2bn active monthly users

"Onstage at Google I/O in Mountain View, CEO Sundar Pichai announced that earlier this week the company surpassed 2 billion monthly active users on the Android platform, continuing its reign as the world’s most popular mobile operating system.
The company has added nearly 400 million users to its mobile operating system since September of 2015 when it last gave an update. By comparison, Apple announced in January of last year that there are 1 billion devices running iOS.
Pichai also detailed that the company has quickly grown its Google Photos platform. Google has been tweaking the service constantly, and is continuing to see some major traffic on the platform. The product now has over 500 million monthly active users that upload 1.2 billion photos onto the service every day.
A lot of numbers are being voiced in the billions today, Google currently has seven unique products with over one billion monthly active users each."
Source:  TechCrunch, 17thMay 2017

35 creators on Patreon make more than $150,000 a year

"Patreon’s novel idea of fans just directly paying the artists they love is having its hockey stick moment. Patreon tells TechCrunch that in a year, it’s doubled the number of monthly active paying patrons to 1 million, and the number of active creators to 50,000. It’s now on track to pay out $150 million to creators in 2017, which would make its 5 percent cut equal $7.5 million in revenue. That’s after paying out $100 million total since 2014.
Videographers, musicians, writers, illustrators, animators, podcasters, game developers and more artists are finding steady income through Patreon at a time when other platforms look shaky for creators.
After the PewDiePie scandal alerted advertisers that they were appearing alongside objectionable content, YouTube has started letting them filter out certain channels. The result has been a decrease in monetization for YouTube stars. Vine died. Snapchat has neglected creators, refused to offer them direct monetization options and now has seen view counts fall due to ditching auto-advance and competition from Instagram.
Meanwhile, Instagram doesn’t offer ad revenue splits with creators. Facebook has begun to give some video makers 55 percent of the revenue from ad breaks they insert in their clips, but the program has yet to scale. Ad-supported platforms often pay merely $0.10 to $0.0005 per view, so creators have to be broadly popular to earn a living.
Yet on Patreon, contributors frequently cough up $5 per month to each of their favorite creators, who make 50X to 10,000X more per fan than on ads. In exchange, creators offer the art they’ve made that month, reserving premium access and rewards to those who pay more. Thirty-five creators made more than $150,000 in 2016, and thousands earn more than $25,000 a year."

'About 60% of a programmatic campaign budget should be spent on media'

Source:  Campaign article written by Dan Gilbert, Chief Executive of UK agency Brain Labs, 16th May 2017

Over 20% of funds raised on Kickstarter are for games

"The numbers behind gaming’s growth on the site are striking. In total, fans have pledged over $580 million (£465m) to in excess of 20,000 successful campaigns – more than 20% of all funds raised on the platform. Tabletop games have done particularly well; in 2016, a six-month study found that board, card and roleplaying games had attracted six times as much funding as their digital counterparts.
Crane attributes this success to a range of benefits the site offers creators.
“With Kickstarter it’s really easy to make your games look nice,” he says. “You can show off your minis, really zoom in to the gorgeous details of a game in a way that’s difficult to do on another platform or on Amazon.”
He adds that the open nature of the service gives creators a level of creative freedom that might not be on offer from established, traditional publishers, pointing to the horror game Kingdom Death: Monster 1.5, which recently raised over $12.3 million (£9.9m), making it the highest-funded games project in the site’s history."

European digital ad spend rose to over €40bn in 2016

"At its annual Interact conference today, IAB Europe announced that online advertising grew 12.2% in 2016 to €41.8bn establishing itself as the dominant advertising medium in Europe.
The AdEx Benchmark study is the definitive guide to the state of the European online advertising market and is now in its eleventh year. The research demonstrates that online advertising continues to surpass TV advertising. All markets participating in the study recorded positive growth, a total of twenty markets grew double-digit for the third year running (three markets recording 30%+ growth. Mobile continues to drive the growth with both mobile display and mobile search seeing 50%+ growth in 2016. Mobile dominates across all markets with a 100%+ growth rate in some markets.
Mobile display now accounts for €5.4bn and continues to grow its share of the display market to 33.3%, with a growth rate of 53.3% compared with 2015.
Video which is considered as a key channel for delivering brand advertising campaigns, according to IAB Europe’s Attitudes to Digital Video Advertising report, continues to experience strong growth to a share of 18.2% of the total display market.
The IAB Europe AdEx Benchmark study divides the online ad market into three categories: 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 for the third year in a row with a growth rate of 13.8% and a value of nearly €16bn.
Search continues to be the largest online advertising category in terms of revenue with a growth of 12.9% and a market value of €19.1bn. It continues to be the largest online advertising format in terms of revenue.
Top 3 Individual growth markets were:
Romania – 36.9%
Slovenia – 32.2%
Ireland – 31.4%

Top 10 Rankings
UK – €14.2bn
Germany – €5.9bn
France – €4.2bn
Russia – €2.6bn
Italy -€2.3bn
Netherlands – €1.7bn
Spain – €1.6bn
Sweden – €€1.6bn
Belgium – €0.9bn
Switzerland – €0.9bn"

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 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 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 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 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