Monday, 30 July 2012

The 2012 Olympic opening ceremony generated more tweets than the entire Beijing Olympic Games

"Twitter said Friday’s Olympics opening ceremony in London sparked 9.66 million mentions on the short-messaging service, already topping the total number of Twitter posts during the entire 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
But in what many have called the first social media Olympics, Friday’s opening ceremony wasn’t even the most “social” TV event of all time. That record, according to social-media analysis firm Bluefin Labs, continues to be held by the 2012 Grammy Awards telecast, followed by this year’s BET Awards.
Twitter has made a big bet on the Olympics, striking a deal with NBC that meant the creation of a Twitter-edited Olympics events page with tweets from athletes, fans, NBC TV personalities and other people with an inside look at the Games. Among the most widely circulated Twitter posts was this one from Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the Web who had a star turn in Friday’s opening ceremony. (Cue the 9,000th joke here about Al Gore.)
Twitter said the 9.66 million worldwide tweets was measured from 8 p.m. London time, an hour before the kickoff of the opening ceremony, until the end of the tape-delayed U.S. broadcast on NBC."
Source:  WSJ, 28th July 2012

Friday, 27 July 2012

Digital subscriptions exceed print circulation at The Financial Times

"Today the FT's parent company Pearson revealed its first-half results for 2012 and highlighted the performance of its digital revenues at the Financial Times.
It said that digital subscriptions to the title – which operates behind a metered paywall – increased in the period by 31% year on year to more than 300,000.
The number of registered users climbed 29% to 4.8 million. Mobile devices now account for 25% of traffic to, while there are 2.7 million FT web app users.
However, the print circulation of the FT continues to fall. In June, its circulation was 297,225 copies, down more than 50,000 from a year ago, when its circulation was 356,194."

Facebook has 955m users, including 543m on mobile

"In its first results presentation as a public company, Facebook announced revenues of $1.18bn (£750m) for the three months ending 30 June. The results were just ahead of analysts' expectations and came after US stock markets had closed.
Facebook's shares had been falling all day on Thursday, ending down 8.5% at $26.84, as investors feared the company would miss analysts' projections. They continued to fall in after hours trading, dipping below $25 for the first time since May's initial public offering.
The company reported it had 955 million monthly active users as of June 30, 2012, an increase of 29% year-over-year. The number of mobile users reached 543 million as of June 30, 2012, an increase of 67% year-over-year. For the second quarter, Facebook posted a loss of $157m."
Source:  The Guardian, 27th July 2012

Instagram has 80 million users and 4 billion pictures

"The incredibly popular photo sharing service Instagram has hit 80M users, marking a 30M user increase since its acquisition by Facebook.
The announcement was made on the Instagram Blog, where the team announced the new numbers and also said that users have shared almost 4 billion photos.
Just after it was acquired, Facebook announced that Instagram had some 50M users. Shortly before it was acquired, it launched an Android app and said it had some 30M users, and marked The service surpassed 25M users in March of this year.
This is how Instagram has grown since October of 2010, according to Quora:
Oct 13 2010: 100,000
Oct 20 2010: 200,000
Oct 28 2010: 300,000
Dec 21 2010: 1 million
Feb 01 2011: 1.75 million
Feb 15 2011: 2 million
May 03 2011: 3.6 million
May 26 2011: 4.4 million
Oct 31 2011: 12 million
Dec 5 2011: 14 million
Jan 24 2012: 15 million
Mar 11 2012: 27 million
May 1 2012: 50 million"
Source:  The Next Web, 26th July 2012
Also - the slightly less informative blog post by Instagram

Next Generation Media Quarterly July 2012

Have a look at my latest quarterly presentation, filled with illuminating stats and great examples from the last 3 months.

Past presentations here

Thursday, 26 July 2012

75m reviews & opinions have been posted on TripAdvisor

Click here to see infographic
Source:  TripAdvisor blog, 26th July 2012
Note - I'm guessing any comment on the site counts as an 'opinion'

European mobile benchmarks May 2012

Click to enlarge

Source:  Data from comScore for the 3 months to May 2012, reported in a press release, 26th July 2012

Nearly 70% of China's internet users have a microblog account

"According to figures released today by the Data Center of the Chinese Internet (DCCI), nearly 70% of China's internet users have unique microblog accounts. 88.8% of Chinese internet users aged 19 or above have microblog accounts, and growth continues steadily."
Note - while I've used 'Twitter' as a tag for the post, Sina Weibo is the most popular microblog in China.
More on Sina Weibo here

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Amazon accounts for over a fifth of the UK's entertainment retail market

"Amazon now accounts for a fifth of the UK entertainment retail market, according to the latest stats from Kantar Worldpanel. As previously reported, according to the retail stats, Amazon overtook HMV as the country’s biggest entertainment retailer late last year, though in spring the two firms were more or less neck and neck.
But, according to the latest stats, Amazon has now grown its market share by 3.2% year on year, meaning it now accounts for 21.1% of entertainment product sales, giving it quite a lead over HMV, which now accounts for 16.6% of sales, down from 17.4% in the same period a year earlier."

There are 176m 3G subscribers in China

"Total telephone subscribers saw a net increase of 11.01 mln in June to reach 1.335 bln. Mobile subscribers grew by 11.26 mln to 1.052 bln, and fixed-line subscribers dropped by 249,000 to 283.31 mln. Broken down by traditional fixed-line and PHS, the traditional (i.e. non-PHS) fixed-line subscriber base increased by 180,000 to 268.75 mln, while the PHS subscriber base declined by 429,000 subs to 14.56 mln. 9.08 mln new 3G subscribers were added in June to reach a total 3G user base of 175.75 mln.
A total of 75.21 bln SMS messages were sent during the month of June, bringing the total for the first 6 months of 2012 to 450.76 bln, a 5.2% increase over the figure during the same period of 2011.
Broadband added 2.50 mln new registered users in June to reach a total of 164.03 mln. Dial-up decreased by 9,000 users, reducing the total dial-up user base to 5.74 mln."

In 7 years Digg received 350m Diggs

"Believe it or not, it's been seven years since Digg launched. To date, we've had over 350M Diggs, 28M Story Submissions and 40M Comments. We're extremely proud to have helped pioneer social voting on the web."

Apple sold 26m iPhones and 17m iPads in Q3 2012

"The Company sold 26.0 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 28 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 17.0 million iPads during the quarter, an 84 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. The Company sold 4.0 million Macs during the quarter, a two percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 6.8 million iPods, a 10 percent unit decline from the year-ago quarter."
(Even though it covers April - June, it's officially Apple's 3rd Quarter)
Last quarter - 35m iPhones, 12m iPads

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

American Spotify users listened to 13bn songs in the first year of operation

"Streaming music service Spotify has plenty of nifty stats to share on its first year in the U.S., including the fact that U.S. listeners have jammed to more than 13 billion songs.
Spotify launched in the U.S. on July 14, 2011, joining a wave of other streaming music services like Rdio and Mog that familiarized Americans with the concept of streaming music. Since then, the service has amassed more than 3 million users in the U.S., about 20 percent of whom are paying customers, according to April figures from the New York Post.
Spotify users in the U.S. have shared 27,834,742 songs since launch, with 55.3 percent shared through Facebook and 41.5 percent within Spotify itself. Those hefty Facebook numbers are due to Spotify’s extensive integration with the social network, as well as the fact that Spotify started forcing new users to use their Facebook accounts last September. Surprisingly, only 2.7 percent of Spotify shares occurred through Facebook.
Spotify’s transformation into a music platform last November, with the announcement of Spotify apps, has also been a smashing success. The company says that U.S. users have spent around 2,700 years (or 23.7 million hours) within its apps."
Note - click on the link to see a huge infographic from Spotify

The Guardian and the Observer lost £44.2m in the last financial year

"The Guardian and the Observer lost £44.2m last year as investment in digital publishing – including iPad, Facebook and Android apps – contributed to a deepening of losses at the national newspapers that could not be offset by double-digit growth in digital revenues.
Andrew Miller, the chief executive of Guardian Media Group, added that there was "much work to be done" but that the newspapers had seen a 16.3% improvement in digital revenues to £45.7m. Of that total, digital advertising was up by 26% to £14.7m, with other digital revenues stemming from services such as Soulmates dating.
The publisher said that with the help of its free newspaper websites, the number two on Fleet Street after Mail Online, Guardian News & Media reaches 5.8 million people a week via print and digital, 300,000 more than the Times titles. A further 17,000 people pay for the Guardian's £9.99 a month iPad app, while an unspecified number pay for the Kindle equivalent.
The Guardian sold 211,511 copies a day in June, the last month for which figures are available, down 10.7% on the year on a like-for-like basis, while the Observer sold 243,946, a reduction of 10%. Print advertising shrunk 4%, reflecting what Miller described as a "tough market", at £43.7m.
However, the historic high cost base relative to sales, coupled with the need for digital investments meant GNM operating losses before exceptional items and amortisation hit £44.2m compared with £31.1m a year ago. Executives said 2011/12 is intended to represent a high water mark for losses at the beginning of a five-year transformation plan that aims to bring the newspapers' losses down to a sustainable level. The cost of the exceptionals and amortisation were not spelled out but the figure contains a contribution to corporate overheads and software write-offs."

Ads for the iPad attract the highest mobile CPMs

"The evidence continues to stack up that Apple's iPad is an important marketing tool, with a new report from Opera Software showing that it generates more revenue per impression than other mobile devices.
Opera’s first State of Mobile Advertising report reveals that the average effective cost per thousand impressions on the iPad is $3.96 across the Opera mobile ad platform. Demand for tablet ad executions is already up 140 percent from 2011 and Opera expects them to become an even more important part of marketers’ strategies in the coming months.
“Our report shows that iPhone and iPad drive the best engagement, but Android phones are not far behind," Mahi de Silva, executive vice president of consumer mobile at Opera Software, San Mateo, CA.
“Bigger screen, great user interface make the iPad easy to interact with ads; gesture based controls appear to drive much better consumer engagement than mouse clicks,” he said. “Pagination of content and full-page interstitials in iPad apps and iPad optimized web sites - make for a more natural experience with advertising when compared to flash-based banners and side-scrapers."

Twitter's mobile ads deliver higher click throughs than Facebook's

"In the rush to compare advertising engagement levels between Twitter and Facebook last week, TBG Digital made a hasty and significant error. The social media marketing vendor originally reported that Facebook mobile ads outperformed Twitter by at least four times, but days later it reversed its finding, admitting that it was "not comparing like for like."
While the desire to juxtapose largely incomparable channels like Twitter and Facebook is understandable, the fact of the matter is that most brands already know that such guesswork is an effort in futility. In its report, TBG Digital compared the click-through rates of Promoted Accounts on Twitter with Newsfeed ads on Facebook. "A more comparable product for Twitter would have been Promoted Tweets," it later noted.
However, the end result still doesn't carry much weight for brands. If Promoted Accounts and Newsfeed ads are akin to comparing apples to elephants, Promoted Tweets and Newsfeed ads are like apples and oranges. Neither of those directly compare, so advertisers learn little in the process.
Based on those misleading comparisons, TBG Digital drew the wrong conclusions. Facebook isn't beating Twitter on mobile ad engagement. Indeed, it appears to be doing quite the opposite.
"With Promoted Tweets, we've seen engagement rates from 1 to 3 percent on average. On mobile, the engagement rates are even higher," said Twitter spokeswoman Carolyn Penner. Mobile Newsfeed ads on Facebook garnered a 1.14 percent CTR on average, according to TBG Digital."
Source:  Clickz, 23rd July 2012
TBG statement here
See the original story here

Monday, 23 July 2012

49% of US households own at least one gaming console

Click to enlarge

Source:  Entertainment Software Association, Essential Facts about the Computer and Video Games Industry 2012

The newspaper site Mail Online is now profitable

"News that the Mail Online, the site that includes content from the Daily Mail, and Mail on Sunday newspapers, has become a profitable operation represents a milestone for an industry battling with digital transition.
Mail Online has long been the most popular newspaper site in the UK and, according to comScore figures, overtook the New York Times to become the leading online English-language newspaper at the start of the year.
The source said: "We always knew we would achieve a monthly operating profit this summer, with total revenues up more than 75% year on year, but to do it in June was very welcome."
The site’s move into the black comes despite the publisher investing in expanding its US operation and providing specific content for India.
The site's unparallelled growth in vistors over the past five years has been achieved by fewer than 30 people in the UK, a team of 20 in New York, and 10 in Los Angeles.
Last year, Mail Online’s revenues were £16m, and in May, Mail Online publisher, Martin Clarke, forecast digital revenues will hit £25m this year, £45m next year, and £100m by 2017.
Such growth is in stark contrast to the fortunes of DMGT’s print operations, which posted a 26% fall in operating profits at its national newspaper division in the six months to 1 April.
Print losses overshadowed the digital performance and Associated, the national newspaper division that is home to the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, reported a 26% fall in operating profit to £34m and a 1% decline in revenues to £435m.
Mail Online attracted more than 5.6 million daily unique browsers in May, the last ABCs, and almost 92 million monthly uniques."

Samsung has sold over 10m Galaxy S3 phones in less than 2 months

"Samsung Electronics has sold over 10 million of its Galaxy S3 smartphone, less than two months after the handset was launched.
The revelation came from a senior executive at the company speaking over the weekend.
Samsung Electronics' President of the mobile division, Shin Jong-kyun told reporters that the phone has become a 10-million seller after it was first unveiled on May 29.
He did not give exact shipment volumes, but his announcement confirmed previous reports that the company had taken pre-sales orders from mobile networks for at least 10 million units."

Online educator Coursera has 680,000 registered students

"Coursera [...] recently raised $16 million to launch with 37 undergraduate and graduate-level courses.
Now, since starting off with the likes of Princeton and Stanford, Coursera is announcing 12 new university partnerships, $3.7M in equity investments from Caltech, Penn and existing investors, and a total of 1.5M student users from 190 different countries. Update: Coursea has clarified that 1.5M refers to the number of course enrollments, and that there are currently around 680,000 registered students."

Over half of all US mobile phone owners use their phones while watching TV

"Half of all adult cell phone owners now incorporate their mobile devices into their television watching experiences. These “connected viewers” used their cell phones for a wide range of activities during the 30 days preceding our April 2012 survey:
38% of cell owners used their phone to keep themselves occupied during commercials or breaks in something they were watching
23% used their phone to exchange text messages with someone else who was watching the same program in a different location
22% used their phone to check whether something they heard on television was true
20% used their phone to visit a website that was mentioned on television
11% used their phone to see what other people were saying online about a program they were watching, and 11% posted their own comments online about a program they were watching using their mobile phone
6% used their phone to vote for a reality show contestant
Taken together, 52% of all cell owners are “connected viewers”—meaning they use their phones while watching television for at least one of these reasons."
Source:  Data from Pew Internet & American Life Project, 17th July 2012

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Zaarly's has 500,000 members, who have completed $30m worth of tasks

"Most people who have heard of Zaarly know it as a service that allows users to posts tasks for others to fulfill, such as babysitting, odd jobs, errands and the like, as well as the price they're willing to pay. Now, the San Francisco-based startup is opening up its service to retailers and publishers, allowing visitors to the Los Angeles Times, Ikea Hackers, Everyday Health to post tasks to Zaarly without ever leaving those sites.
The service, "Zaarly Anywhere," is being pitched as an opportunity for publishers to earn revenue from the inspiration they create. Zaarly's half a million users have already completed $30 million in requests and some of these projects were no doubt inspired by content created by a publisher or online retailer."

Friday, 20 July 2012

Microsoft made it's first ever loss in Q2 2012

"Computing giant Microsoft has made the first quarterly loss in its history after it wrote off some of the value of its online advertising business.
The loss came after it wrote down the value of Aquantive by $6.2bn (£3.94bn; 5bn euros), which failed to bring the profits expected by Microsoft.
That led to a $492m loss in the three months to the end of June, compared with a profit of $5.9bn a year ago.
The company has not made a loss since it joined the stock market in 1986.
It took over Aquantive in 2007 but it struggled to compete with rival Google.
Microsoft paid $6.3bn for Aquantive.
Microsoft is doing well in other areas, despite the decline in popularity of its Windows operating system, which dominated the personal computer market for years.
Revenue for the three months to June rose by 4% to $18.06bn."
Source:  BBC News, 19th July 2012

Google's revenue grew 21% Y-o-Y in Q2 2012

"Google Inc. today announced financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2012.
“Google standalone had a strong quarter with 21% year-on-year revenue growth, and we launched a bunch of exciting new products at I/O – in particular the Nexus 7 tablet, which has received rave reviews,” said Larry Page, CEO of Google. “This quarter is also special because Motorola is now part of the Google family, and we’re excited about the potential to build great devices for users.”
Revenues and Other Information – On a consolidated basis, Google Inc. revenues for the quarter ended June 30, 2012 was $12.21 billion, an increase of 35% compared to the second quarter of 2011.
Google Revenues (advertising and other) – Google revenues were $10.96 billion, or 90% of consolidated revenues, in the second quarter of 2012, representing a 21% increase over second quarter 2011 revenues of $9.03 billion.
Google Sites Revenues – Google-owned sites generated revenues of $7.54 billion, or 69% of Google revenues, in the second quarter of 2012. This represents a 21% increase over second quarter 2011 Google sites revenues of $6.23 billion.
Google Network Revenues – Google’s partner sites generated revenues of $2.98 billion, or 27% of Google revenues, in the second quarter of 2012. This represents a 20% increase from second quarter 2011 Google network revenues of $2.48 billion."
Source:  Statement from Google, 19th July 2012

Thursday, 19 July 2012

18 month old video app SocialCam was bought for $60m

"There’s been a race on over the last year among mobile video sharing apps, many of which have sought to replicate the same type of success that Instagram had with photo sharing. We’ve seen a number of startups — like Socialcam, Viddy, and Klip — trying to attract new users by providing a platform for shooting interesting videos and then sharing them out to other social networks. Well, it’s not the same billion dollars that Facebook paid for Instagram, but Socialcam is one of the first to see an exit, as the app and team were just acquired by software company Autodesk for $60 million.
The Socialcam app launched about 18 months ago, then as part of live streaming startup Then, last August, it spun out from the larger organization, taking CEO Mike Seibel with it and operating as an independent startup with just a handful of employees. Over the past year, the lean team has continued to iterate on the product, first adding Instagam-like filters, and later giving users the ability to add themes and soundtracks to their videos."

Data on UK smartphone usage

"Four in ten (39%) adults now own a smartphone, a 12 percentage point increase on 2010. Forty-two per cent of these now say that their smartphone is the most important device for accessing the internet, with over four in ten (42%) regularly using social networking sites and half (51%) using e-mail.
Ofcom’s continued research also suggests that smartphones are leading to a substitution between devices. Owners say they are using PC and laptops less for a range of activities since getting a smartphone, including watching video clips (51%) and sending messages (47%).
Overall, the time spent using the internet on mobile devices is up by a quarter (24.7%) year on year, with the overall volume of mobile data consumed doubling in the 18 months to January 2012.
Smartphones are changing people’s shopping habits, encouraging online bargain hunting – or Robo (Research offline buy online) shopping.
Over half of smartphone users claim to use their phone in some way when out shopping.
This includes taking photos of products (31%), making online price comparisons (25%), scanning bar codes to get more product information (21%), reading product reviews online (19%) and researching product features (19%)."
Full report here

The international version of the BBC iPlayer has been downloaded more than 1 million times

"The commercial arm of the BBC has revealed that the launch of the iPlayer in 16 countries has seen the app's download figure just top the one million mark – meeting the internal targets set for the player’s international debut.
The app was launched last July and offers people outside of the UK “the best of the BBC’s content” for €49.99 (£44) a year, just under a third of the cost of the annual licence fee.
The app, which offers a mix of new and archived content, originally launched in 11 European countries and then rolled out to the US and Canada."

More people in China access the internet from mobile devices than desktop devices

"Mobile phones have overtaken computers as the most popular device for getting online in China, the government said Thursday, as it announced the number of web users had hit 538 million.
China has the world's biggest online population, with nearly four out of 10 of its 1.3 billion people now using the web, according to a report from the state-linked China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC).
Until this year, a majority of Chinese web users accessed the Internet via computers.
But smartphones have allowed more and more rural Chinese to go online in areas not covered by fixed-line networks, the report said. Nearly 52 percent of users who started to use the Internet this year are from the countryside.
"Mobile phones are a cheaper and more convenient way to access the Internet for (residents in) China's vast rural areas and for the enormous migrant population," said the report.
The number of people using mobile phones to go online rose to 388 million in the first half of this year, up 9.2 percent from the end of 2011, while 380 million used computers.
"Smartphones are more and more powerful and there is a new wave of mobile application innovation," the report said.
"Meanwhile, mobile phone prices continued to drop -- the emergence of smartphones under 1,000 yuan ($157) sharply lowered the threshold for using the devices and encouraged average mobile phone users to become mobile web surfers."
The 538 million people online in China was an increase of around five percent from the end of last year.
By the end of June, more than half of China's Internet population -- or 274 million -- used weibos, microblogging services similar to Twitter, which is banned in China."

The 15 most followed accounts on Instagram

Figures in brackets show number of followers / following

1. instagram - ( 5,873,278 / 0 )
2. kimkardashian - ( 2,909,899 / 39 )
3. justinbieber - ( 2,458,269 / 15 )
4. taylorswift - ( 2,164,354 / 9 )
5. kendallnjenner - ( 1,985,870 / 122 )
6. badgalriri - ( 1,858,054 / 178 )
7. kylieejennerr - ( 1,746,630 / 129 )
8. selenagomez - ( 1,569,136 / 42 )
9. barackobama - ( 1,107,559 / 11 )
10. eyemediaa - ( 1,047,964 / 3,515,609 )
11. fuckyopictures - ( 1,034,429 / 893 )
12. robkardashian - ( 1,012,731 / 47 )
13. snoopdogg - ( 995,851 / 207 )
14. kourtneykardash - ( 987,344 / 14 )
15. zooeydeschanel - ( 985,527 / 62 )
Source - Webstagram, retrieved 19th July 2012
Also - Harry Styles is the most followed Briton, with 850,000 followers

Chinese food recommendation app Shakey Shakey Food God has attracted 7m users in 8 months

"China continues to get a lot of flack, often fairly, for producing mere copycat apps and services. But Shakey Shakey Food God, a restaurants recommendation app, is straight-up innovation. And as far as playfully named, unique-to-China apps go, it’s hard to beat.
In just eight months since launch, the app has accrued 7 million registered users and captured nearly 7 percent of the restaurant-recommendations market-share, second only to the Yelp-liked Dianping, which after nine years in existence has close to 50 percent of the market.
The giant seems to have noticed. When I visited the Shakey Shakey office on Monday, CEO and co-founder Chaoren Chen claimed that, three months ago, Dianping tried to acquire the company for tens of millions of dollars. Chen’s company, Lehe Interactive, turned down the offer because of the app’s huge growth potential, and because they believe Dianping just wanted to kill its competition.
And then there’s the genius of the app. What does it do?
At its most basic, Shakey Shakey Food God suggests restaurants users might like to eat at, depending on their preferences, their location, and the time of day. But the user doesn’t have to tell the app any of that information. It learns it by recording and studying every user action. And the killer move? The user only has to shake the app to receive a new recommendation."

Dollar Shave Club's launch video cost $4,500 and has had 5m views

"Dollar Shave Club spent $4,500 on a video that's had more than 5 million YouTube hits and spawned dozens of response videos in the four-and-a-half months since it's gone live."
Video views were 5,159,318 on 19th July 2012

Facebook's mobile ads have 4x the click rate of Twitter's mobile ads

Update - 23rd July - TBG Digital have corrected the research - Twitter's mobile ads have higher click throughs than Facebook's
"Facebook yesterday saw a decline in share price on a report of falling user numbers in key markets like the U.S. and Europe, but in a sign of how it is firming up its business, Facebook is also making significantly more money and getting more sticky with its advertising, on the back of newer, more targeted ad formats like Sponsored Stores and mobile ads. The latest quarterly report from ad agency TBG Digital, out today, indicates that cost per thousand impressions (CPMs) on ads on the social network rose by 58 percent compared to the same period last year, with overall engagement also up by 11 percent, a reversal of the decline seen last quarter. And among Facebook’s newer units that target people more directly, Sponsored Stories saw 53 percent more engagement than standard ads, and mobile ads had four times the engagement of Twitter ads, says TBG.
Pointedly, TBG says that there is growing acceptance from brands and other advertisers of Facebook’s wider business model, blending more traditional digital advertising metrics with new metrics like social engagement to determine the value of paying to be on a platform like Facebook’s. “Our clients, upon our advice, are now willing to pay more for quality clicks and fans. Focus is shifting toward measurable engagement and the difference Social Media connections are making to their bottom line,” the analysts write.
The report takes into account 406 billion impressions, covering 190 countries and 276 clients, and as with past reports has been vetted by the Cambridge University Psychometrics Centre.
The 58 percent rise in CPMs looks to be part of a growing trend: Last quarter, the CPM was 41 percent compared to a year ago; the January report indicated that it was 23 percent up. Germany, it says, had the largest increase in CPMs, up by 31 percent, while the U.S. was second-highest at 25 percent. The UK saw only a 7 percent rise.
Breaking out the different categories of ad formats further, TBG notes that “desktop” ads — those that appear in the right column of the Facebook page, and news feed ads are performing significantly worse than mobile ads. Desktop had CTRs of 0.083 percent; with desktop news feed ads with CTRs of 0.588 percent. In contrast, mobile ads, which appear in a users’ news feed, were at 1.140 percent. TBG also took the step of comparing this to Twitter ad engagement, which it charted in a separate, recent study. In 24 million Twitter impressions the average CTR on its ads (across mobile and desktop) was 0.266 percent — four times lower than mobile ads on Facebook.
It should be noted, though, that so far Twitter doesn’t appear to have made much use of targeting those ads to specific users: I am just as likely to see an ad about a cruise as I am a new tablet right now, regardless of what I’m doing or who I follow on the site."
Source:  Techcrunch, 18th July 2012
Full report here
Update - 23rd July - TBG Digital have corrected the research - Twitter's mobile ads have higher click throughs than Facebook's

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Twitter has a higher percentage of mobile users in the UK than Facebook, G+ or LinkedIn

Click to enlarge

Source:  Ipsos Mori data, reported by The Wall blog, 10th July 2012

The demographics of UK Twitter users

Click to enlarge

Source:  Ipsos Mori data, reported by The Wall blog, 10th July 2012
Note - See the original data for demographics on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+

Instagram has over 50m users & over 1 billion pictures

"Two years ago today, we tested the first photo upload to an app we called Codename. Three months later, in October 2010, Instagram launched to the public.
Today, 1 year and 9 months later, over 50 million people have shared more than 1 billion photos on Instagram. We’re humbled by the amazing photos shared every day on Instagram and the incredible community that’s formed around the application."

GREE is the world's largest mobile social gaming network with 230m players

"Founded on the belief that a connected world is a better world, GREE set out to bring people together through the power of play. Today, GREE is the world's largest mobile social gaming network—with over 230MM players from Beijing to Boston—and we've only just begun. We believe that fun is a universal language, so we're inviting the world to come play."

Almost half of British music fans think that it's acceptable to download music for free

"Music equipment manufacturer Audio-Technica has conducted a national study into Britain’s music purchasing habits. A total of 1,000 music fans were asked about when they last bought a CD, what they thought of downloading free music and what effect music reviews had on purchases of concert tickets.
Audio-Technica - celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2012 - commissioned the study to investigate the effect technology is having on the way the UK consumes music and media, and to raise awareness of its “Music Reviewer Of 2012” competition.
40% of those surveyed couldn’t remember when they last purchased a CD, while in contrast more than 20% had downloaded music in the last week.
Nearly half (49%) believed that it was acceptable to download music free of charge.
Audio-Technica senior UK marketing manager Harvey Roberts said, “The portable nature of today’s music and its accessibility has made downloading much more common. Clearly this has had an impact on artists, with touring and live shows becoming increasingly important in replacing revenue lost from declining album sales. We’re currently in the middle of the festival season and it’s encouraging to see the level of interest in experiencing British and international talent live on stage.”"
Note - Treat the headline stat with caution as it depends entirely on how the question is worded.  For example I think it's totally acceptable to download music for free from sites like Chicago Mixtape, because they offer legal, free downloads from unsigned bands, who have sanctioned it.  But I don't think it's acceptable to download the new Killers album for free, because the band have not sanctioned it.  It depends entirely on how the question was worded.  Although I accept that most people's definition of free downloading would be the Killers example.

The average Briton has 26 online accounts, but only uses 5 passwords

"The average Briton now has 26 online accounts, yet uses just five passwords to keep them secure.
Remembering a huge number of different passwords is simply impossible for most of us.
But using the same password, for instance, across an email account and an online banking account can leave people terrifyingly vulnerable to hackers.
New research out on Monday revealed the spiralling number of internet accounts is behind a dramatic rise in online fraud.
Fraudsters in the UK illegally traded more than 12 million pieces of personal information online in the first four months of 2012 alone.
Figures from credit checkers Experian says online fraud has increased three fold since 2010, when 9.5 million pieces of information were traded illegally.
Online accounts cover everything from banking to utility bills to social networks, with 25 to 34-year-olds signing up to an average 40 accounts.
The number is set to grow, with nearly one in five people (17%) signing up to six or more new accounts every month.
One in four of the 2,000 people quizzed use a single password for the majority of accounts and one in 20 (four per cent) sticking with the same login details for all their accounts.
Experian says people are putting themselves further at risk by no longer using many of their accounts - meaning passwords are not changed regularly.
Six in 10 adults (66 per cent) admit to having defunct profiles that hold valuable personal and financial information, including social network profiles (26 per cent), email addresses (18 per cent) and shopping accounts (21 per cent)."

Monday, 16 July 2012

22% of web pages contain Facebook URLs

"Based on a study of ~1.3 billion URLs crawled by Common Crawl in 2012:
22% of Web pages contain Facebook URLs
8% of Web pages implement Open Graph tags
Among ~500m hardcoded links to Facebook, only 3.5 million are unique
These are primarily for simple social integrations"

13% of people in the UK say their smartphone is their main way of accessing the news

"There are significant differences in how regularly people keep up with the news across our surveyed countries. More than 9 in 10 Germans access the news at least once a day compared with only 3 in 4 people in the United Kingdom.
The rapid switch from print to digital in the United States is not being replicated exactly in European countries. Germany is showing the strongest allegiance to traditional viewing and reading habits and has the lowest levels of internet news use.
In the UK, news about politics is perceived to be less important – and celebrity news more important – compared to the other countries surveyed.
There is more interest in business and especially economic news in the UK and the US than in the European countries surveyed.
One in five of our UK sample (20%) share news stories each week via email or social networks – but in general Europe lags behind the United States in both the sharing of news and other forms of digital participation.
Rise of smartphones and tablets
Smartphones are starting to play a significant role in the consumption of news with more than a quarter of those in the US and UK accessing news via their mobile each week (28%) rising to almost one third in Denmark (32%)
In the UK, more than one in ten (13%) say their smartphones are now their MAIN way of accessing online news. This figure rises to more than a quarter for the 25–34 year old age group (27%). Over 55s show almost no interest in accessing news this way.
The tablet is emerging as an important device for news consumers. Of tablet owners, 58% use the device to access news every week in the UK. They are more likely to pay for news content and 44% say they find the experience better than a PC. In the UK, we find that some newspaper brands with paid apps do significantly better on a tablet than on the open internet – in terms of overall market share.
More widely, consumers remain resistant to paying for news in digital form. Propensity to pay for online news is lowest in the UK (4%) compared to the other markets and highest in Denmark (12%).
Digital natives show new online behaviours
Younger people are more likely to use social media rather than search to discover news – whereas for older groups it is the other way round. More generally, social media (20%) is now beginning to rival search (30%) as a key gateway to news in the UK – in terms of weekly access
Young people are more likely to make a news related comment or post a picture on a social network than on a traditional news site. For older groups the reverse is true.
The young also watch fewer traditional television news bulletins than older people, consume far less radio news and consume proportionally more news on a mobile phone.
Nearly 6 out of 10 young people say they used the internet ‘to get more involved in politics or express a political opinion’."
Source:  Summary from the 2012 Reuters Institute Digital News Report, 16th July 2012
Full report here.
Methodology:  "Based on a representative survey of online news consumers across five countries – UK, US, Germany, France and Denmark – the report is the start of an ambitious project to track changing digital news behaviour over the next decade.  
Polling was conducted by YouGov for the Reuters Institute across five countries in April 2012. This is an online survey – and as such the results will under-represent older people’s consumption habits, namely use of newspapers and TV. It also excludes people who said they are not interested in news at all which in most countries was more than 10%. All countries used the same methodology to allow for valid comparisons. Within our sample there were targets set on age and gender, region, newspaper readership, and social grade to accurately reflect the total population who are also online."

Streaming accounts for 89% of digital music revenues in Sweden

"Streaming music now accounts for 89% of digital music sales in Sweden, according to figures released by GLF, the local arm of music industry body the IFPI.
In fact, the entire music market in Sweden is buoyant. Overall music sales increased by 30.1% year-on-year in the first half of 2012 to SEK 446m (around $63.5m), with digital music accounting for 63.5% of all music sales.
So, while physical revenues fell by 2.2% in the first six months of 2012, digital revenues were up 60.5%. Streaming revenues rose 79.4% to SEK 252.7m ($40m), while ‘other’ digital revenues (i.e. downloads) fell 14% to SEK 30.7m ($4.4m).
Or, to put it a different way, streaming is cannibalising downloads in Sweden, but the growth of the former is far outweighing the fall of the latter. And, in fact, streaming growth is also more-than compensating for the ongoing slump in physical music sales.
The popularity of Spotify – while other streaming services are available in Sweden, it’s really Spotify we’re talking about – might be bad news for Apple’s iTunes, but it looks like good news for labels, publishers AND artists. With the caveat that this relies on artists getting their fair cuts of these streaming revenues through their labels – an ongoing debate."

2/3 of American mobile phone buyers are choosing smartphones

"During Q2 2012 smartphone penetration continued to grow, with 54.9 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers owning smartphones as of June 2012. This growth is driven by increasing smartphone purchases: 2 out of 3 Americans who acquired a new mobile phone in the last three months chose a smartphone instead of a feature phone.
Android continues to lead the smartphone market in the U.S., with a majority of smartphone owners (51.8%) using an Android OS handset. Over a third (34.3%) of smartphone owners use an Apple iPhone, and Blackberry owners represented another 8.1 percent of the smartphone market."
Note - Follow the link for some more stats and graphics on OS share

Friday, 13 July 2012

Digg was sold for $500,000

"Digg confirmed Thursday it sold its brand, website and technology to Betaworks. The price is a pittance for a company that raised $45 million from prominent investors including Facebook investor Greylock Partners, LinkedIn Inc. founder Reid Hoffman, and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen.
Digg received higher offers from bidders that included technology and publishing companies and start-ups but ultimately decided Betaworks had the best plan for reviving its brand, these people said. In May, Washington Post Co. hired 15 members of Digg's engineering team—more than half of the company's overall staff—for its SocialCode digital media subsidiary.
Betaworks is acquiring a website that still has a well known brand and sizable audience of more than 7 million visitors per month as of May, according to comScore.
Digg was once one of the most promising start-ups in Silicon Valley. The website was founded in 2004 as a way for consumers to put together their own collections of news and other Internet content, rather than relying on the choices made by newspaper editors.
Digg users would post links on the site's home page, then others would vote on their choices, determining the prominence of the stories they posted.
"They were one of the first social media sites," says Kristina Lerman, an assistant research professor at the University of Southern California who has studied Digg and other social-news sharing sites. "They introduced social components like having friends and followers."
The site quickly rose to prominence, in part due to telegenic founder Kevin Rose, a former cable television talk show host. In 2006, Mr. Rose landed on the cover of BusinessWeek with the now infamous cover line, "How This Kid Made $60 Million in 18 Months," referring to the company's valuation at the time.
In the fall of 2008, Digg raised nearly $29 million in venture capital from Greylock Partners, Highland Capital Partners and other financiers in an investment valuing the company at around $164 million, according to Dow Jones VentureSource.
Over the years, the company was rumored to be in negotiations to sell itself several times, including to Google Inc. in 2008 for a reported $200 million. The deal was never completed.
For early employees with equity stakes in the company like Owen Byrne, the site's first lead engineer, the failure to sell the company was a huge disappointment. Mr. Byrne, who left the company in 2007, said in an interview he never got to "cash out and go live on the Riviera.""
Source:  Wall Street Journal, 12th July 2012

180,000 'black box' car insurance policies were sold in the UK in H1 2012

"Sales of telematic, or ‘black-box’, car insurance will reach 500,000 in the next two years, according to the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (Biba).
The trade body for the insurance industry has recorded a five-fold increase in this type of motor insurance in the past two years.
The use of telematic technology is proving popular because it can reduce the cost of motor insurance, especially for young drivers who are often faced with unaffordable quotes.
Biba’s research shows a steady increase in the take-up of telematics policies, from 12,000 in 2009 to 180,000 in the first six months of 2012.
When the technology was launched it was offered mainly by Coverbox and ikube, but a wide range of insurers now offer this option including mainstream insurers such as the Co-op, Swinton, and the AA.
The technology may benefit female drivers when a European ban on using gender to assess risk comes into force later this year.
This is expected to lead to a significant increase in the cost of insurance for female drivers who have previously been considered a lower risk group."

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Tumblr has 17.5 billion page views a month

"Karp likes to talk about Tumblr less as a business than as a “platform for creativity.” And indeed, it has been used to make more than 60 million blogs — among them a visual scrapbook kept by Michael Stipe; silly meme-blogs like Hey Girl, It’s Paul Ryan; and the clever graphic analysis that became the recent book “I Love Charts” — drawing a combined 17.5 billion page views a month."

Mobile game Fruit Ninja generates $400,000 a month in ad revenue

"How much can a top mobile game make off of ad-network sales? If Fruit Ninja is any indication, about $400,000 a month.
That's the ad revenue that the popular video game grossed in April on the free versions of its iOS and Android games by selling its inventory on Mobclix, a mobile ad exchange. Mobclix's technology lets a bunch of different ad networks bid against each other to place ads on mobile apps. Phil Larsen, CMO of "Fruit Ninja" developer Halfbrick Studios, said that while the 60-person company wants to control what types of ads appear in its games, it doesn't have the time or resources to manage the process itself.
"We want as much control as possible, but the more control you have, the more micromanagement that is needed and we don't have the bandwidth in-house nor do we really want it," he said in an interview. Mr. Larsen said the game could bring in more ad revenue if Halfbrick didn't work with Mobclix to filter out what he described as "spam ads for dating sites and things like that...stuff that doesn't have value."
Mr. Larsen acknowledged that while $400,000 a month is a decent chunk of change, it's not an exorbitant amount for a game that is as popular as "Fruit Ninja." But luckily for Halfbrick, the majority of the game's revenue comes in the form of downloads of the paid versions of its games and in-app purchases -- not advertising. "People see ad content and free content rising and think it must be at the expense of paid [apps]," he said. "At this stage for us, it's not true.""

Android accounts for over half of smartphone sales in EU5, US & Australia

"The latest data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech shows that for the first time Android has taken at least half of smartphone sales in Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, US and Australia.* Android's share now ranges from 49.6% in Italy to a massive 84.1% in Spain.
Dominic Sunnebo, consumer insight director, explains: “We are seeing much of the Android sales growth being driven by consumers trading up from feature phones to smartphones. Android handsets currently offer an easier platform to enable these consumers to upgrade, as many first time smartphone consumers state ‘price of handset’ and ‘multimedia capabilities’ as their main reason for choosing an Android device. Our data shows that Android has a higher share of those consumers spending under £50 on buying their handset across the vast majority of countries we cover.”
In markets like the UK, smartphone penetration in the prepay market is increasing, with Android handsets such as the Samsung Galaxy Ace and Y performing well. These models are attracting younger first time owners, a group who have traditionally been loyal to BlackBerry.
Dominic adds: “It’s important to understand the added value that these first time smartphone consumers bring to carriers and brands. When consumers trade-up from a feature phone, they spend significantly more on their bills and on buying their device. The increase in monthly bill becomes even more important to the carriers, when we consider that most mobile contracts have a 24 month minimum term.
“Smartphone consumers are much more loyal to their brand of handset and carrier than feature phone consumers, highlighting the importance of capturing feature phone owners when they are starting to look to change their handset.
“It’s also interesting to note that although Android’s share is high in the USA market, it has decreased by 6.8% points over the year. This trend contrasts Apple’s growth, which is a reflection of a successful iPhone 4S release and the first time availability of the iPhone 4 and 4S on Sprint.”"

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

"Advertising creativity is linked to effectiveness"

"I have long been an absolute believer in the correlation between outstanding creative success and outstanding commercial success. In this year’s marketing platform for Cannes Lions I am quoted as saying ‘If Cannes has taught me one thing, it is that creativity drives effectiveness. You can not have one without the other. That knowledge has been instrumental to my career. I have been going to Cannes for nearly 20 years and can’t help but notice that the the client organizations recognized as Advertiser of the Year often enjoy periods of historic financial success at the same time. Let’s take a brief look at a few of them.
Volkswagen: Recognized as Advertiser of the Year in 2008. The same year that its share price grew 89% to 283 Euros. This most prolific period of stock market growth coincides precisely with its most prolific period of creativity.
P&G: Recognized as Advertiser of the Year in 2007 when its share price hit an all time high of $74.67, beating the S&P 500 by a country mile.
Honda: In 2006 Honda was awarded Advertiser of the Year for brilliant work like Cog and Grrr. During this time its share price was as high as $38.50 and its UK sales were up 28%. Wow.
Playstation: Was awarded Advertiser of the Year in 2005. Now, Playstation is a sub-division of Sony so we cannot isolate its share price. However, what we can do is isolate its sales. During that year it became the worlds biggest selling gaming console selling a record 100 million units.
BMW: Took the mantle of Advertiser of the Year in 2004. So rightly deserved when you consider the lasting legacy of BMW films (still held up by most as the breakthrough work taking advertising into long form content). As a result of this work, which ultimately landed them the award, BMW saw a sales increase of 12% and a stock price rise of 16%. This is huge, especially when you consider the turbulent, post 9/11 period.
Nike: In 2003, the same year that Nike was awarded Advertiser of the Year, Phil Night, CEO and Founder, wrote ‘’We decided to cross the threshold of 9/11. Eight months later we delivered a 14% increase in earnings and beat the S&P 500 by 45 points. Advertiser of the year was a defining moment. A Nike moment.”
Swatch: From 1999 – 2001 the S&P 500 did not grow a cent but Swatch reported it steepest growth period on record.
Clearly the correlation between winning at Cannes and winning in the market place is compelling. That’s one of many reasons why The Coca-Cola Company places a premium on creative excellence. It is simply makes sound business sense. The creative industries and client organizations are in a co-dependent relationship – we need each other. As Phil Thomas, CEO of Cannes Lions, puts it: ‘‘The Advertiser of the Year award is presented to advertisers who have distinguished themselves for the inspiring, innovative marketing of their brands and who embrace and encourage the creative bravery of the creative work produced by their agencies.’’"
Source:  Jonathan Mildenhall - VP Global Advertising Strategy & Content Excellence, Coca Cola, July 2012

One third of consumers use music streaming services

"Here are some of the key findings from the report (which of course, along with all of the opinions and interpretations are my own and are not, necessarily, EMI’s)
Streaming has a firm foothold. 32% of consumers across the globe are now using streaming services.  However, adoption is far from uniform.
Nordics lead the way. Norway and Sweden (the home of Spotify) are respectively the 1st and 3rd most active streaming markets globally.  Key to this trend is the relative sophistication of Internet users in these markets.  48% of Norwegians are now streaming music users, as are 43% of Swedes.
Streaming is a good fit for piracy riddled Spain.  Spain is the 2nd most active market with 44% streaming penetration.  But whereas consumer sophistication was key to Nordic adoption, in Spain piracy and the legacy of free were the most important drivers.
Free is a good fit for France too. The role of piracy and free have also been important in France.  French authorities have pushed through the controversial Hadopi legislation but the carrot of Spotify and local streaming success Deezer has delivered immediate results.  Translating streaming usage into purchases though is less successful: just 13%.
Purchase conversion rates are higher in lower penetration markets. The US, Canada, UK, Germany and Denmark have lower streaming penetration but these markets have much higher streaming-to-paid downloads conversion rates, averaging 23% of streaming users.
Streaming Drives Music Discovery and Consumption. Although it is still too early to draw definitive conclusions about exactly how much streaming impacts piracy and sales, the case for driving discovery and consumption is much clearer.  55% of global streaming music users state that they now discover new artists and new music as a result of streaming.
Usage is steady among existing users. Usage among existing streaming users is broadly steady with 19% using streaming more than 12 months previously and 20% more."
Methodology:  "This July EMI’s Insight division launched an unprecedented initiative to share data from their 850,000 interview Global Consumer Insight data.  This dataset covers 25 countries and over 7,400 artists, with twelve people being interviewed at any given moment, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."

Expedia increased their profits by $12m by deleting one field from their registration process

"The following test from Expedia shows how understanding how your users interact with your forms leads to conversion rate gains.
[In the Expedia experiment] they simply dropped the “Company name:” field and that increased their site PROFIT by $12 million a year according to
Why was changing this field so critical?
Because that single field broke the flow of their entire UI:
When visitors see the “Company” field, they were confused.
Visitors thought Expedia meant they should put in their Bank name.
Users then put their’s Bank’s address into the billing fields.
This led to failed transactions, which led to abandons."
Source:  Conversion Voodoo blog, November 2011
Note - I can't the Silicon article they reference - broken link
But...  Here's an earlier link, suggesting that the story is originally from late 2010

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Social media is the top news source for 16-24s in the UK

"The first Reuters Institute Digital Report has found that 43 per cent of Britons aged between 16 and 24 are now much more likely to access news through social networks, such as Facebook, rather than search engines.
However, the report, which is aiming to chart the consumption of news in the digital age, found that only 11 per cent of over 45s access news stories through social media while 33 per cent still favour search engines.
Facebook has been deemed the most important social network for news – accounting for over half of all news sharing in the UK (55 per cent), followed by email (33 per cent) and Twitter (23 per cent).
Google+ and LinkedIn are not popular sites for sharing news.
Nic Newman, editor of the report, which is supported by the BBC and YouGov, said: “One in five of our UK sample share news stories each week via email or social networks – but in general Europeans are less enthusiastic than Americans about both the sharing of news and other forms of digital participation.”"

95m smartphones were shipped in China in H1 2012

"China's national handset shipments reached 194.91 mln units in H1 2012, with 3G handsets reaching 106.87 mln, accounting for 58%, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology's (MIIT) China Academy of Telecommunication Research (CATR).
166 new 3G handset models were released in June, exceeding the number of new 2G handsets for the first time on record. GSM products accounted for 39% of total new products, followed by WCDMA (31%), TD-SCDMA (14%), CDMA2000 EV-DO (13%), and CDMA 1X (3%).
2,099 new handset models were released in China during H1 2012, including 1,298 2G handset models and 801 3G handset models. GSM handset models accounted for 1,272 (60.6%), followed by WCDMA with 476 (22.7%), CDMA2000 EV-DO with 174 (8.3%), TD-SCDMA with 151 (7.2%), and CDMA 1X with 26 new handset models (1.2%).
Of the 2,099 new models released in H1 2012, 822 were smartphones, accounting for 39.2%, 801 or 97.4% of which were Android smartphones. Domestic brand handsets accounted for 75% of total handsets shipped.
Total smartphone shipments reached 94.86 mln units in H1 2012, accounting for 48.7% of total handset shipments. Smartphone shipments first surpassed shipments of feature phones in April, with market share growing over 50% for three consecutive months and reaching 56.9% in June."

Friday, 6 July 2012

67m Xbox 360s have been sold since 2005

"In effect, the Xbox is Microsoft’s profitable Trojan Horse. The console’s latest version, the Xbox 360, is the top seller in the U.S. Worldwide, since the 360 debuted in November 2005, customers have snapped up 67 million units, generating $56 billion at retail. Its sales still outgrow those of all other rivals.
Once installed, Microsoft’s real game begins. The Live service has more than 40 million members in 35 countries. Microsoft makes money selling them points they can use to rent videos or download games. An estimated 17 million Live members pay about $50 a year for a Gold membership, which gets them access to Netflix, HBO Go, ESPN and multiplayer gaming."

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

TV viewers who use multiple screens are more likely to stay in the room for the ad break

"Multi-screening keeps viewers present for ad breaks
People in the sample were more likely to stay in the room or not change the channel during the ad break if they were multi-screening. Multi-screening viewers stayed in the room for 81% of ad breaks; viewers not multi-screening stayed in the room for 72%.
31% of people in the UK (with access to TV and the internet)** have chatted about TV programmes or ads on a second screen; this rises to 56% for 16-24s
22% chatted via text; 18% via social media; 10% via mobile messenger services.
Multi-screening encourages more TV viewing
On average, when only one person was in the room and was multi-screening, 64% of their TV viewing sessions lasted for longer than 15 minutes. This compares to 47% when watching with no accompanying activity.
When two people were present, as expected, due to increased interaction the figures were lower. 41% of viewing sessions were for longer than 15 minutes when multi-screening compared to 37% when watching with no accompanying activity.
Multi-screening does not affect ad recognition
In a laboratory test where participants were invited to watch TV and/or use a laptop without being made aware they were to be tested on TV ad recognition, there was no significant difference in the level of ad recognition between people when multi-screening or only watching TV.
Multi-screening brings people closer to TV
Participants in the Screen Life research reported that multi-screening – like other new TV technologies, such as digital recorders – makes them feel closer to TV as it enables them to research what they watch, share with online friends and participate.
Multi-screening appears to encourage more shared and family TV viewing
Interviews with households that took part in Screen Life showed that partners and children are more likely to keep a TV viewer company if they can multi-screen – whereas previously they might have not stayed in the room.
Multi-screening is establishing itself in the living room
People have always multi-tasked when watching TV; multi-screening is the latest accompaniment
86% of people in the UK (with access to TV and the internet)** have ever multi-screened
34% of the sample claim to multi-screen regularly"
Source:  Data from Thinkbox and COG Research, reported in a press release, 28th June 2012
Methodology:  "‘Screen Life: The View from the Sofa’ filmed the living rooms of 23 TV households in the UK for a week in order to gather extensive footage of TV viewing. The footage underwent a psycho-physiological analysis with a particular focus on any occasions where both watching TV and the use of a second screen – such as a laptop, smartphone or tablet – coincided. It captured real-time evidence of actual programme and ad break engagement, and enabled the researchers to test the implicit and explicit feelings about brands that had been advertised.
The study included the analysis of interaction around second screen activities such as activity on social network sites and mobile messaging services, as well as mobile eye tracking to provide a detailed account of how people attend when two screening. Homes will also self-report during the study process using COG’s award-winning digital ethnography technique (which won the New Consumer Insight award at the MRS in December 2011)."
* New Consumer Insight Award, MRS, December 2011
** As only individuals with TV and internet access were surveyed, this is not a nationally representative sample

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Microsoft has written off $6.2bn of the value of aQuantive, bought in 2007

"Microsoft has written off nearly the entire value of aQuantive, the ad tech company it bought for $6.3 billion in 2007.
The aQuantive deal was Microsoft's biggest acquisition until the company bought Skype for $8.5 billion last year. It came, too, at a heady time for tech acquisitions. Google had just bought DoubleClick for $3.1 billion, part of a years-long effort to build out the pipes of online advertising.
Microsoft reacted by buying aQuantive, and briefly held a formidable position in ad tech, with a leading ad network (Drive PM), an ad server (Atlas) and its own digital agency (Razorfish).
But while Google focused on display, and particularly the technology that enables it, Microsoft turned its attention to search. Today the company revealed what it really thinks the unit is worth by writing down $6.2 billion related to the deal.
"While the aQuantive acquisition continues to provide tools for Microsoft's online advertising efforts, the acquisition did not accelerate growth to the degree anticipated, contributing to the write down," Microsoft said in a statement.
It sold Razorfish to Publicis for $530 million in 2009."
Source:  AdAge, 2nd July 2012

The fourth goal the final of Euro 2012 generated 15,358 Tweets per second

"The final match resulted in 16.5 million Tweets from fans around the world. And during today’s match, total global traffic on the platform peaked at 15,358 Tweets per second during the 4th goal, a new sports-related record on Twitter."
Earlier - 13,684 Tps for Torres' goal against Barcelona in the Champions League in April

Update - it seems that a Japanese TV show generated the highest overall tps ever, but no one really knows why:

Insight from analysis of eBook reader data

"The perfect man, according to data collected by digital publisher Coliloquy from romance-novel readers, has a European accent and is in his 30s with black hair and green eyes.
Science-fiction, romance and crime-fiction fans often read more books more quickly than readers of literary fiction, according to Nook data.
Readers took an average of 20 hours to finish George R. R. Martin's 1,040-page novel 'A Dance with Dragons,' according to E-reading service Kobo.
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." The opening line of 'Pride and Prejudice' is the second most highlighted phrase by Kindle users.
'Because sometimes things happen to people and they are not equipped to deal with them.' | The passage was the most highlighted among Kindle readers—17,784 people highlighted the sentence. It's from 'Catching Fire,' the second book of 'The Hunger Games' series."
Source:  Taken from an article in the WSJ, 29th June 2012

Page views of sites showing pirated live TV streams rose by 61% in 2011

"New research from Google and PRS for Music reveals that unauthorised live TV streams are the biggest form of web piracy in the UK, and the fastest growing.
The study, which is the biggest of its kind to date, reveals that in the last year alone, illegitimate live TV streaming has shot up by 61 per cent with just over half of the sites examined by Google and PRS offering links to live TV streams.
The report notes that these sites reap a lot of traffic from social networks as well as offering robust mobile sites.
Premier League football streams seem to be driving this growth, prompting the FA to get involved in the research by providing a list of sites it suspects of infringement.
The British Phonographic Industry (BPI), Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), PRS, Publishers Association and UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE) all provided suspects for the examination which was carried out by BAE Systems Detica.
As well as the live streams, P2P file sharing is still on the up – page views of P2P sites are up 17 per cent from February 2011 to February 2012."
Note:  Terminology & definitions from the report:  
"This segment contains 33% of the sites examined and is the fastest growing segment, with an average increase in global page views of around 61% (in the twelve month period studied). The segment is mid-high in terms of volume when compared to the other segments with up to 1.1M unique UK users per month on one site alone.
• The sites offer links to streams of live free-to-air and pay TV. 
• These sites offer above average levels of games and eBooks, as well as other content in lower proportions, but their stand out feature is live TV. 
• The sites typically provide links to downloads or streams. The content is centrally hosted (as opposed to using P2P) in a different location from the site.
• Predominately advertisement funded with some donations. 67% have adverts with 86% of those ads served by networks not affiliated with the Ad Choices scheme.
• Typically free to the user.
• Rapid growth in last year.
• Most likely to have a mobile site and a social networking presence. 
• Compared to the other segments Live TV Gateway has very high levels of direct access and referrals from social networks. It also has the highest level of social network presence. Search referral, albeit to a lesser degree, is also above average in this segment.
• More of these sites are in the US than any other single country"
Full report here

Over 80 million people a month access Twitter on mobile devices

"Twitter also says its users are more active on mobile devices, which may explain why interaction with ads is higher, too. About 60% of its 140 million monthly users access the service on mobile devices."
Source:  Wall Street Journal, 28th June 2012

Making phone calls is the 5th most common activity that British smartphone owners do on their phones

"On average, smartphone owners now spend over 2 hours a day using their phones, according to O2’s “All About You” Report into the way customers are using their handsets. However, the research found that making calls comes just fifth in a ranking of things they are used for.
Smartphone users spend more time browsing the internet (25 minutes a day), social networking (17 minutes a day), playing games (13 minutes a day) and listening to music (16 minutes a day) than they do making calls (12 minutes).
How long we spend using our smartphones (by activity) each day:
Activity  Time/day
Browsing the internet  24.81 (minutes)
Checking social networks  17.49
Playing games  14.44
Listening to music  15.64
Making calls  12.13
Checking/writing emails  11.1
Text messaging  10.2
Watching TV/films  9.39
Reading books  9.3
Taking photographs  3.42
Total  128"
Source:  Press release from O2, 29th June 2012
(Click on the link to see the table formatted correctly!)

50 Shades of Grey is the first eBook to reach 1 million Kindle sales in the UK

"EL James's Fifty Shades of Grey has become the fastest adult paperback novel to sell one million print copies.
The first in the erotic trilogy passed the million mark in 11 weeks, smashing the previous record of 36 weeks set by Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code.
The book also broke the weekly record for paperback sales, selling 397,889 copies, according to Nielsen Bookscan.
It beat JK Rowling's The Tales of Beedle the Bard, which sold 367,625 copies in 2008.
Sequels Fifty Shades Darker sold 245,801, and Fifty Shades Freed sold 212,832 across last week, with the entire series outselling the rest of the top 50 by about two to one.
Fifty Shades of Grey is currently the 32nd bestselling book since records began in 1998.
Publisher Random House told The Bookseller it could not confirm exact digital sales for the trilogy, but said ebooks were "at a similar level" to physical sales.
However, online retailer Amazon said on Tuesday that Fifty Shades of Grey had become the first ebook to sell one million copies for Kindles."
Source:  BBC News, 28th June 2012
Note - While it doesn't explicitly say that these are UK-only sales they seem to be far too small to be global sales.  Also, Nielsen Bookscan only scans UK retailers (as far as I know)

Monday, 2 July 2012

Eventbrite has sold $1bn worth of tickets

"In the past few months, we’ve had several reasons to celebrate. In February, we sold our 50 millionth ticket. This spring, we took our iPad app, At The Door, on a whirlwind tour of the US. Last month, we welcomed Dave Morin, CEO of Path, to our Board of Directors. This time, however, the celebration is all about YOU.
Today we celebrate $1 billion in tickets sold, worldwide.  To put this into perspective, it took Bill Gates 24 years to make his first billion, it took Donald Trump 26 years, but you got it done in just 6! When we set out to democratize ticketing in 2006, we focused on bringing simplicity and full-scale functionality to the masses but without our incredible organizers, we’d have nothing to celebrate. So whether you organized one event or one hundred, whether you’re in London, Ohio or London, England, or whether you taught a yoga class or hosted a thousand-person festival, we raise our glass to you!"

Internet users & usage in Europe, May 2012

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Source:  Press release from comScore, 2nd July 2012

1 million Android NFC devices are being shipped each week

"During yesterday’s keynote, Hugo Barra, the director of Android product management, revealed that Google is now shipping 1 million NFC-enabled Android devices every week. That’s pretty significant.
For some context, the company said that 400 million Android devices have now been activated, with activations currently flying in at a rate of 1 million per day. This means that phones with NFC built in represent nearly 15 percent of all new Android devices."

Tablets drive more traffic to ecommerce sites than smartphones

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Source:  Data from Monetate, reported by GigaOM, 29th June 2012