Wednesday, 16 January 2019

$322m was spent in Apple's App Store on New Year's Day 2019

"Apple has revealed that App Store customers worldwide set new spending records over the holidays, wrapping up a record-breaking year. App Store spending topped $1.22 billion (€1.07bn) between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Customers also spent over $322 million on New Year’s Day 2019 alone, setting a new single-day record.
“The App Store had a record-breaking holiday week and New Year’s Day. The holiday week was our biggest week ever with more than $1.22 billion spent on apps and games, and New Year’s Day set a new single-day record at more than $322 million,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Thanks to the inspiring work of our talented developers and the support of our incredible customers around the world, the App Store finished off an outstanding 2018 and kicked off 2019 with a bang.”"

Fortnight has an estimated 200m players, and has generated an estimated $3bn in profits

"[In] September of 2017, Fortnite’s second iteration, “Battle Royale,” hit the web, and went on to spend much of 2018 going viral. The game’s concept is pretty simple: 99 players are dropped into a virtual battleground, at which point they gather weapons and digitally fight to the death until one player is left. That player wins.
As of today, there are an estimated 200 million Fortnite players worldwide, and the game can be played on consoles, PCs and iOS and Android smartphones.
“Fortnite is everywhere because the barrier to entry is so low,” said Jeff Gerstmann, editor-in-chief of Giant Bomb, a video game review site. “It’s available everywhere. Almost anyone can play it on a phone, anywhere they can play games. By virtue of it all over the place and free to play and a very popular type of game in terms of Battle Royale stuff, it’s kind of a perfect storm. It really all came together for them in a big way.”
A big way, and a lucrative way. Epic Games, the developer behind Fortnite, has not released official figures on how much revenue or profit the game has brought in, but according to sources with knowledge of the business, it’s roughly $3 billion."

Netflix won five awards at the 2019 Golden Globes

"Streaming giant Netflix came away with a leading five Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton ceremony on January 6th.
Netflix original Roma won best foreign language movie, and its Mexican-born filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron took the prize for best director. Its series The Kominsky Method won the award for best comedy while star performer Michael Douglas won best actor in a comedy series. British thriller series Bodyguard, which aired on Netflix outside the UK, also earned a nod with Richard Madden winning best actor in a drama series."
Source:  Advanced Television, 7th January 2019

More than 100m devices with Amazon Alexa have been sold

"More than 100 million devices with Alexa on board have been sold. That’s the all-too-rare actual number that Amazon’s SVP of devices and services, Dave Limp, revealed to me earlier this week. That’s not to say Amazon has finally decided to be completely transparent about device sales, however. While the company claims it outstripped its most optimistic expectations for the Echo Dot during the holiday season, Limp wouldn’t give a number for that. Instead, Limp says, Amazon is sold out of Dots through January, despite "pushing pallets of Echo Dots onto 747s and getting them from Hong Kong to here as quickly as we possibly could.""
Note - I'd assume that at least 95% of these would be Echo devices

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Video games account for more than half of UK entertainment market

"The video games sector now accounts for more than half of the UK's entire entertainment market, according to a new report.
The industry is worth £3.86bn ($4.85bn) - more than double its value in 2007 - said the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).
That makes it more lucrative than video and music combined.
The success is largely down to three games: Fifa 19, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.
The games market has grown, despite the fact that the physical console and PC games market shrank slightly in 2018, and digital also had a modest 12.5% growth.
Chief executive of ERA, Kim Bayley said: "The games industry has been incredibly effective in taking advantage of the potential of digital technology to offer new and compelling forms of entertainment. Despite being the youngest of our three sectors, it is now by far the biggest.""
Source:  BBC News, 3rd January 2019

45m Netflix accounts watched Bird Box in the first seven days

Note - Presumably this isn't 45m out of the 130m paying accounts but includes all the of the users of an account - e.g. many accounts have 5 user logins.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Ten Trends for 2019

Each year I write a trends report, trying to predict what the most important themes of the next year will be.  This year the underlying theme is the increasing speed of connectivity through 4G (& soon 5G), and how this is making services richer, data more useful, and ultimately leading many of us to try to rationalise our technology use.  Please take a look!

Monday, 19 November 2018

More than a million people have made financial contributions to The Guardian, including 500,000 ongoing

"More than a million people worldwide have contributed to the Guardian in the last three years, with 500,000 paying to support the publication on an ongoing basis, according to Guardian News and Media’s editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner.
She said the business model was showing a new way for journalism to “regain its relevance, meaning and trusted place in society”."

There are more than 10m apps ('mini programmes') on WeChat

"They may not be widely known outside of China, but Tencent’s mini program initiative to develop “apps” that live outside of app stores is bearing fruit after it clocked two notable landmarks: 200 million daily users and one million apps.
In recent years, Tencent’s WeChat  messaging app has blossomed into a universe of its own with myriad services that span from food delivery to getting loans. But the Chinese messaging app wants to lock users in for longer — and its mini program scheme appears to show promise.
Back in January 2017, Tencent introduced “mini programs,” which are essentially lightweight apps that run inside WeChat. When you need to hail a cab, for example, instead of downloading the standalone Didi Chuxing app, you can summon its mini program on WeChat in the blink of an eye.
WeChat now has over one million such mini programs, Tencent founder and CEO Pony Ma said today at the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, China. (Third-party analytics firm Aladdin mentioned this milestone in a June report.) That makes its ecosystem half the size of the Apple App Store, which recorded 2.1 million apps in April."

Nearly 6m people in the UK are invisible to the financial system

"Almost 6m people in the UK are “invisible” to the financial system, causing them to be excluded from mainstream financial products and services, a new report has found.
Analysis of user data by Experian, a credit reference agency, revealed that 5.8m people in the UK have little or no financial information linked to them. These so-called “invisibles” can find themselves barred from the services that most people take for granted, or paying higher costs to access them.
Experian said it was not just those on the poorest incomes who were affected. “These people come from a variety of backgrounds — including families on average incomes, middle-aged adults with low incomes and pre-retirement households,” said James Jones, head of consumer affairs at Experian for the UK."
Source:  NewsCabal, 9th November 2018
(Story was originally in the FT)

eBay's algorithms can identify 40% of credit card fraud transactions

"eBay scientists have published a report which says that it’s new AI algorithm can identify 40% of credit card fraud transactions with high precision. A significant finding for a sector which solely relies on technology for fraud detection.
As always there are two sides of the coin for any entity or method. In fraud detection also, the techniques and tools can either focus on good actors or bad actors. Till now it has been the former. Where the truth is that majority of transactions conducted are by good actors. So it was imperative to study the behaviour of good actors, in fact much more important than those of bad actors.
Hence eBay, rather than focusing on the changing patterns employed by bad actors to circumvent protective barriers, they decided to instead analyses instances of good behaviour.
San Jose-based eBay scientists Utkarsh Porwal and Smruthi Mukund noted that patterns of good behaviour do not change with time. The data points that represent this form of conduct have consistent spatial arrangements. Porwal and Mukund suggested a clustering method for identifying outliers and to later formulate a score, which would determine consistency and in turn, good behaviour."

Singles Day generated over $30bn in sales

"Another year, another gross merchandise volume record for Alibaba’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival.
At the stroke of midnight, when the rolling counter stopped, 2018 GMV was RMB213.5 billion ($30.8 billion), 27% higher than last year’s RMB168.3 billion. As 11.11 wore on, milestones from the previous 10 years fell, one by one. Just after 4:00 p.m., it was a foregone conclusion that this year would be the biggest 11.11 ever – something Alibaba Group executives had promised heading into the shopping festival.
But as they took the stage to speak to media, while satisfied with the record GMV, abundantly clear was how proud they were that the digital ecosystem they’d crafted over the past several years performed as robustly as anyone could have hoped."
Source:  Alizila, 11th November 2018
Also - Apple was the best selling mobile phone brand