Monday, 10 September 2018

Amazon Alexa works with 20,000 devices

"Amazon executive Daniel Rausch stood onstage before a crowd of hundreds at Berlin's IFA tech show Saturday to share a few big numbers about Alexa.
"Just this year," he said, "Alexa has sung Happy Birthday millions of times to customers, and she's told over 100 million jokes."
Maybe Alexa, Amazon's voice assistant, hasn't sung Happy Birthday to you just yet, but -- considering the way things are going -- there's a good chance it'll get invited to your next birthday celebration.
At the start of this year, Alexa worked with over 4,000 devices. Rausch, Amazon's vice president of smart home, said Saturday that Alexa is now integrated with over 20,000 devices -- a fivefold increase in just eight months. The number of brands using Alexa shot up to over 3,500 from 1,200 during the same time."

17% of US broadband homes don't subscribe to multi-channel TV services

"The number of wireline broadband homes not subscribing to traditional multichannel in the US reached a new record high in the second quarter, according to a Kagan report.
Overall, an estimated 16.9 per cent of US occupied households were “broadband-only homes” in the second quarter, up nearly 3 percentage points year-over-year.
The boom in broadband-only homes is a boon for broadband ISPs. Assuming that the vast majority of those households fill their video needs with online services, this intimates an increase in data consumption."

PayPal has over 250m active accounts

"We want to be a company that shows up and fights every day for our customers; that is never afraid to have the tough conversations or challenge conventional wisdom or legacy processes if we think we’ve found a way to better serve our customers. That’s our responsibility every day. And it’s also our privilege.
PayPal is certainly not the first company to strive to be customer-centric, nor will we be the last. But there’s a critical difference: our impact and success as a business is directly proportionate to the engagement and success of our customers. If our customers do well, we do well. If they grow, we grow. We need to always stay relentlessly focused on serving our customers, and if we do so, we can create magic for everyone.
Well, magic just happened. The total number of active accounts on our platform recently surpassed 250 million. This is an important milestone for our company, and a key marker on our journey to fulfill PayPal’s potential. On February 27, 2017, we announced that we had surpassed 200 million active accounts. The fact that we’ve added an additional 50 million accounts in a little more than 18 months – nearly 3 million accounts per month – is a testament to the tireless work you’ve done on behalf of our customers to add more and more value to our platform."

Nike's online sales rose 31% following its 'Colin Kaepernick' ad

"Talk of Nike Inc. sales taking a hit from the company’s decision to put ex–NFL player Colin Kaepernick at the center of its latest “Just Do It” campaign is looking overblown, based on data from a Silicon Valley digital commerce research company.
After an initial dip immediately after the news broke, Nike’s NKE, +1.93% online sales actually grew 31% from the Sunday of Labor Day weekend through Tuesday, as compared with a 17% gain recorded for the same period of 2017, according to San Francisco–based Edison Trends.
“There was speculation that the Nike/Kaepernick campaign would lead to a drop in sales, but our data over the last week does not support that theory,” said Hetal Pandya, co-founder of Edison Trends."
Note - (1) It's unofficial data, rather than from Nike itself, and (2) it's really too soon to see an effect from its new ad.

Monday, 3 September 2018

More than 70,000 Twitter users are blocking major brands on Twitter

"More than 71,000 Twitter users have started blocking hundreds of major brands, including Nike, Pepsi, Uber and McDonald's, in a boycott aimed at putting pressure on the social platform to permanently ban Alex Jones, the far-right conspiracy theorist and InfoWars host, according to a report in Adweek.
Blocking brands could limit the reach of their promoted tweets and other ads from showing up on users' timelines. Other brands being blocked include Red Bull, Starbucks, IBM, Cisco, Microsoft, Wells Fargo, Visa and Capital One."
Note - If you block someone on Twitter you won't see their tweets, even their paid/promoted tweets.

The FT has 930,000 paying subscribers

"The Financial Times believes it will complete its “march to a million” journey to 1 million paid subscribers next year after a positive response to a change in its access model.
The FT revealed it now has 930,000 paid subscribers, with 740,000 of those (79.6%) being digital subscribers and the remaining 190,000 having a print-only deal. Digital subscription is up 11% year-on-year and overall subscription by 7%.
The realisation of the longstanding 1 million target would be a significant vindication of a paywall strategy that began with its first digital subscriptions in 2002 and continued in 2007 with the introduction of the FT’s first metered-paywall. Its chief executive, John Ridding, recently recalled how that decision met with a “pretty hostile” response from digital futurists, who warned the paper that “the internet wants to be free”.
In reality, that 16-year quest behind the paywall has been conducted without a definitive map. The FT has tweaked and re-tweaked its navigational dials as evolving technology has given it new insights into reader behaviour and the paths it must travel to find new audiences."
Source:  The Drum, 30th August 2018

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Over 850,000 people paid to watch the Logan Paul / KSI fight on YouTube

"At its peak, more than 860,000 people paid $10 to watch Logan Paul and KSI’s months-in-the-making fight, but that was nothing.
A number of illegal streams on Twitch gathered more than 1.2 million viewers. These were people interested in watching the YouTubers pummel each other, but didn’t want to spend $10 to do so. In the realm of streaming and YouTube, a few hundred thousand people may not seem like a big deal, but at $10 a person, that works out to $4 million.
It’s a huge loss — not just for KSI, but for YouTube. The company is taking an unannounced percentage of the proceeds as a hosting fee. Even lowballing an estimate of 30 percent, which is just under the company’s normal 40 percent cut it takes from creators’ AdSense revenue on videos, that’s approximately $1.2 million in losses."
Source:  Polygon, 26th August 2018
Note - not too sure of their maths - the 1.2m people watching on Twitch are independent of the 800,000 paying on YouTube, so the potential loss of revenue is 1.2m x $10, not 400,000 x $10.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Amazon''s share of smart speaker shipments has fallen from 76% to 41%

"According to the latest quarterly research from Strategy Analytics, Amazon’s global smart speaker share of shipments fell to 41% in Q2 2018 from 44% in Q1 and 76% in Q2 2017. By contrast Google has increased its share to 28% in Q2 2018, up from 16% during the same period last year. Alibaba finished third with Apple and rounding out the top five. Strategy Analytics’ latest smart speaker report “Smart Speaker Vendor & OS Shipment and Installed Base Market Share by Region: Q2 2018” provides detailed quarterly metrics for the top twenty smart speaker vendors and leading fourteen voice operating systems worldwide."

$300m has been raised through Facebook Birthday Fundraisers in one year

"Today we’re sharing some major milestones for the first year of birthday fundraisers on Facebook and announcing plans to help people more easily find nonprofits to support in the year ahead.
People raised more than $300 million for the causes they care about using birthday fundraisers.
St. Jude, Alzheimer’s Association, the American Cancer Society, Share Our Strength – No Kid Hungry, and the ASPCA are among the top beneficiaries of birthday fundraisers."
Source:  Facebook's newsroom, 15th August 2018

1/3 of the largest US newspaper sites are blocking European visitors due to lack of GDPR compliance

"Websites had two years to get ready for the GDPR. But rather than comply, about a third of the 100 largest U.S. newspapers have instead chosen to block European visitors to their sites."

Monday, 13 August 2018

Over 120m smartphones were sold in India in 2017

"About 124m smartphones were sold in India last year, according to IDC, making it the world’s third-biggest market. Sales were galvanised by disruptive new entrant Reliance Jio, with a mobile data price war making smartphones more appealing than ever.
Jio has made its own contribution to onshore manufacturing, selling more than 40m units of the $20 JioPhone — a basic “feature phone” targeted at lower-income Indians."
Source:  Financial Times, 31st July 2018

Monday, 6 August 2018

Music piracy has fallen in the UK

"The number of Britons that are illegally downloading music is decreasing, according to new custom research from YouGov.
YouGov’s Music Report reveals that one in ten Britons (10 per cent) download music illegally, down from 18 per cent five years ago.
This number looks set to decrease. While 63 per cent of those that illegally download music expect to still be doing so in five years, 22 per cent do not. Added to this, 36 per cent say that using unverified sources to access music is becoming more difficult.
This decrease can be in part attributed to the rise of streaming services. Over six in ten (63 per cent) that have stopped illegally downloading music now use streaming services."