Tuesday, 29 January 2013

SMS usage per head is falling in China

"Chinese mobile subscribers sent 897 bln SMS messages in 2012, an increase of 2.11% YoY, according to China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). China's total mobile phone subs increased 12.8% YoY to 1.1 bln, meaning the average volume of SMSs sent per mobile sub decreased by 9.45% YoY. China's mobile internet users increased 18% in 2012 to reach 420 mln."

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Social media only drove 2% of American Christmas eCommerce traffic



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Source:  Adobe's 2012 U.S. Holiday Shopping Recap, 16th January 2013
Note - clearly this is just looking at where traffic comes from; social may have played a role in the decision making process

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Paypal handled nearly $14 billion in mobile payments in 2012, more than triple 2011's level

""We had a great finish to an excellent year, with fourth quarter results exceeding our expectations," said John Donahoe, eBay Inc.
President and CEO. "eBay Marketplaces in particular had a terrific fourth quarter, with growth in the U.S. accelerating three points, outpacing ecommerce."
"Mobile continues to rewrite the commerce playbook, and we continue to be a mobile commerce and payments leader," Donahoe said.
"eBay mobile finished the year with $13 billion in volume - more than double the prior year - and PayPal mobile handled almost $14 billion in payment volume, more than triple the prior year. In 2013, we expect each to exceed $20 billion.""
Source:  Ebay earnings statement, 16th January 2013

Mobile data traffic rose 39% Y-o-Y in Western Europe in 2012

"Data traffic on Western Europe’s mobile networks rose by 39% between 2011 and 2012, to 3,077 exabytes, according to a new report from ABI Research.
According to Marina Lu, a research associate at ABI, some 50% of subscribers in Western Europe are now on data plans and “making full use of it”.
With 4G “still attempting to find its feet”, 3G accounted for 64% of total traffic.
Despite the surging use of mobile data services, operators remain under serious pressure in other areas.
In most countries around Europe, says ABI, minutes of use have contracted by up to 4.5% between the second and third quarters of 2012, while text-messaging usage in the same markets fell between 0.5% and 7.8% over the same period."

Mobile payments of $12.8 billion were made in the US in 2012

"If this week's National Retail Federation "Big Show" in New York didn't demonstrate the growing interest in mobile payments, with its multiple panel discussions and vendor booths dedicated to omnichannel commerce, perhaps a new report from research firm Forrester will add to evidence that mobile payments is, indeed, set to take off. According to Denee Carrington, lead author for the report, U.S. mobile payments will reach $90 billion in 2017 — that's a 48 percent compound annual growth rate from $12.8 billion spent in 2012."
Source:  Mobile payments today, 16th January 2013

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Instant messaging is more popular than search in China


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Source:  CNNIC via Marbridge Daily, 15th January 2013

There are 564 million internet users in China including 420 million mobile users

"The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) issued its 31st Statistical Report on Internet Development in China today, in which it found a total of 564 mln internet users in China as of the end of December 2012, and a total of 50.9 mln new internet users for all of 2012. Internet penetration reached 42.1% by the end of 2012, up 3.8% YoY.
China has 420 mln mobile internet users, up by approximately 64.4 mln new users from the end of 2011.
70.6% of Chinese internet users access the internet from desktop computers, down nearly three percentage points from late 2011. 45.9% of internet users access the internet from notebook computers. The percentage of mobile internet users increased from 69.3% in late 2011 to 74.5%.
Rural residents accounted for 27.6% of China's internet users, or 156 mln people, up by approximately 19.6 mln new users from the end of 2011.
The majority of internet users in China are between the ages of 20 and 29, with the percentage of users in this demographic increasing from 29.8% in 2011 to 30.4% as of the end of 2012. The percentage of internet users over the age of 40 grew from 16.2% to 18.6%."
Source:  CNNIC via Marbridge Daily, 15th January 2013

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

5 of the 10 most followed accounts on Instagram are for Kris Jenner's children

"Rank. User (followed/following)
1. instagram ( 14,500,399 / 221 )
2. kimkardashian ( 6,258,835 / 56 )
3. justinbieber ( 5,712,242 / 19 )
4. badgalriri ( 4,343,855 / 512 )
5. kendalljenner ( 4,190,510 / 166 )
6. taylorswift ( 4,052,116 / 9 )
7. iputthedistrictonmyback (Kylie Jenner) ( 3,527,104 / 149 )
8. khloekardashian ( 3,320,433 / 46 )
9. kourtneykardash ( 3,029,192 / 25 )
10. arianagrande ( 2,342,896 / 285 )"
According to Wikipedia, Kris Jenner has 6 children - Kourtney Kardashian, Kim Kardashian, Khlo√© Kardashian, Rob Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner.  Rob Kardashian is the 15th most followed account on Instagram

Smartphone users consume more mobile data than tablet users

"For the first time, smartphone users are consistently consuming more mobile data than tablet users. Out of the top ten most voracious devices (excluding dongles) six were smartphones, three tablets and one a ‘phablet’. Tablet users placed 4th, 8th and 9th.
“This is pretty counterintuitive, but it seems the capabilities of the newest smartphones – not tablets - are unleashing even greater user demand. Once you move away from raw consumption statistics, the most remarkable finding is the way in which people use smartphones and tablets,” continued Flanagan. “Regardless of device type and operating system, there is very little variation in the usage ‘signature’ between smartphone users and between tablet users. From this we discover that voice-capable ‘phablets’ – like the Samsung Galaxy Note II - are currently being used like smartphones, not tablets. If you can use it to make a phone call, the ‘phablet’ won’t be much like a tablet at all.”
The ‘i’s still have it: but for how long?
From the 125 devices studied, users of the latest iPhone again proved the most voracious data consumers. But for the first time in three years, this dominance is being challenged.
Users of the iPhone 5 demand four times as much data as iPhone 3G users and 50% more than iPhone 4S users (the most demanding in the 2012 study). However, Samsung Galaxy S III users generate (upload rather than download – photos, videos etc.) nearly four times the amount of data than iPhone 3G users, beating iPhone 5 users into third place on uplink data usage behind the Samsung Galaxy Note II. And in the rapidly growing tablet market, Samsung Tab 2 10.1 users have asserted their dominance - demanding 20% more data than iPad users."
Note 1 - I think that the Samsung findings are really interesting, but I'm not too surprised about Tablets.  I think most tablet use is over wifi, not mobile data networks
Note 2 - Although it isn't explicitly stated, U think this is global data (the company is from the UK)

The top reasons American Twitter users follow brands



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Source:  Data from Compete, quoted in a blog post by Twitter, 10th January 2013

Monday, 14 January 2013

Instagram's monthly active users are rising, but daily active users are falling


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Important - The figures only show active users of the app on Facebook, not usage of the mobile app

Source:  Data from AppStats, retrieved 14th January 2013
Note - You can see a few things in the data:
1 - The drop in daily active users when Instagram announced the changes to their terms & conditions (which they then backed down on).  It has never risen to the peak it hit the day before this.
2 - The levelling off in the number of active monthlies at this point
3 - While the active monthlies are still growing it could be that these people are less likely to be hardcore users, and that a number (1m?  2m?) of the hard-core, daily users left in late December
Note 1 - Facebook have disputed the figures but not volunteered their own numbers

40% of Tweets in the UK during TV peak times are about TV

"First are sheer numbers: of the more than 10 million active UK Twitter users, 60 percent use Twitter while watching television, and a full 40 percent of Twitter traffic during peak time is about television. This breaks down further by age, gender, and form factor, with the semi-surprising result that teens tend to tweet from the desktop while viewers above 30 are more likely to tweet from mobile."
Note - Full report here (registration required)

Tablet search ads have higher conversion rates than mobile, and lower CPCs than desktop

"Advertisers investing in search ads through Marin Software and IgnitionOne spent more on tablets compared with smartphones during the fourth quarter of 2012, despite comScore's estimate that 120 million U.S. consumers own smartphones, up from 30 million in the past year.
Combined, smartphones and tablets accounted for a 22% share of clicks and 17% share of spend, according to Marin Software's quarterly study, Global Online Advertising Trends, released Thursday.
It turns out that tablet search ads have a higher conversion rate compared with smartphones, and a lower cost-per click in comparison to desktop ads, making them an attractive investment. Prior to the fourth quarter of this year, investment in tablet advertising had lagged that of smartphones. Now companies see a boom for search ads on tablets.
For Marin clients, click-through rates (CTRs) on tablets in the U.S. were 2.85% during Q4 2012, with a cost per click (CPC) of about $0.67. CTR on smartphones were 4.34%, with a CPC of $0.49. U.K. search marketers also spent more on tablet devices as a percentage of their total budget.
Mobile devices accounted for a 23% share of clicks and a 17% share of spend for the fourth quarter in the United Kingdom. Click-through rates (CTRs) on tablets in the U.K. were 3.58% during Q4 2012, with a cost per click (CPC) of about 0.29 pounds. CTR on smartphones were 5.55%, with a CPC of 0.15 pounds."

Facebook's visitor numbers fell by 600,000 in the UK in December 2012

"The number of Facebook's UK users dropped by 600,000 in December, according to data by social media monitoring firm SocialBakers.
Though representing a typical seasonal dip in use over the Christmas period, the UK was the only one of Facebook's 10 busiest territories that saw a seasonal fall, with user numbers dropping 1.86%.
On SocialBakers' index the UK ranks as the world's sixth most active Facebook user base, with more than 33 million unique users in December, although that figure duplicates users who access from multiple devices.
That user base would be equivalent to 53% market penetration last month, second only to the US with 54%. The US tops the list with more than 169 million unique users per month, followed by Brazil with 65 million and India with 63 million.
[...]
Data from comScore shows Facebook's UK monthly active users plateauing at just over 31 million between September and November, falling to 31,456,000 at the end of the three-month period."
Note - Social Bakers track users and brands that list the UK in their profile, so this should be both desktop and mobile users

Friday, 11 January 2013

$25 billion worth of purchases were made with phones and tablets in the US in 2012

"In e-commerce, the mobile revolution is here.
In 2012, people spent $25 billion on purchases made from phones and tablets, an increase of 81 percent from the year before, according to eMarketer, which compiles data from 120 sources that track commerce.
That is still a minority of total e-commerce sales. Mobile accounted for just 11 percent of e-commerce and is expected to reach 15 percent this year. But eMarketer predicts that by 2016, mobile will be $87 billion, or a quarter of all e-commerce."
Note - I'm assuming this doesn't include app purchases

It costs an estimated £15 to make a UK home grocery delivery in the UK

"According to research from Shore Capital Stockbrokers the estimated cost of delivering online shopping orders is £15. Customers of Sainsbury’s, Tesco and ASDA are currently used to free delivery or charges up to £7. If Morrisons makes its way online let’s hope they charge customers what it really costs.
The online grocery shopping model is a loss making one when viewed in its own right. Just look at Ocado and ask yourself why there aren’t multiple Ocados, in the same way there are plenty of online fashion retailers which pay homage to ASOS. There’s no money in it."

Walmart bought 50 million mobile ad impressions on Facebook in 72 hours

"Over the next 72 hours Facebook and Wal-Mart rolled out the social network's biggest mobile-advertising campaign ever, consisting of 50 million ads. Wal-Mart's discounted deals on toys and televisions popped up in the Facebook mobile news feeds of tens of millions of people.
Unlike previous campaigns, for which companies paid Facebook only after users saw their ads, Wal-Mart prepurchased the ads and edged out other retailers for space during the all-important kickoff to the holiday shopping season.
Facebook now is considering making the option available to other companies.
Wal-Mart's results from the Facebook advertising push ended up mixed. While Mr. Quinn said he "never saw this level of engagement" before with a digital-ad campaign, which attracted more than 100,000 comments, the retailer's Facebook page also was littered with comments from users complaining about unwanted ads, among other things.
Overall, Wal-Mart said it bought two billion ads on Facebook this holiday season, three times more than last year, but declined to say what it spent. Wal-Mart also declines to say how much of its $2.3 billion annual ad budget is spent on social media."

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Most UK online shoppers don't shop around for the best price

"The majority (57%) of online shoppers in the UK prefer to shop from a handful of their favourite websites rather than shopping around for the best price, according to research from  e-commerce and digital marketing solutions provider EPiServer.The report, which surveyed 1,000 UK consumers, also revealed that over a third have increased the amount of online shopping they do in the last year, and almost half (44%) have made purchases using a mobile device in the last six months. This is compared to 94% of UK consumers that have shopped on the high street during the same time frame. It’s therefore vital for retailers to offer the best possible experience, on every device, to capitalise on the hard-earned loyalty this Christmas.The research suggests that clothes and shoes are the most frequent online purchases (46%), closely followed by CDs/DVDs/video games (45%), and books/stationery (37%)."

13,000 British households have a black & white TV licence

"More than 13,000 households across the UK are still using black-and-white television sets, according to the TV Licensing authority.
London had the highest number of monochrome licences, at 2,715, followed by Birmingham and Manchester, it said.
The number of licences issued each year has dwindled from 212,000 in 2000. A total of 13,202 monochrome licences were in force at the start of 2013.
A black-and-white TV licence costs £49 a year, a colour licence costs £145.50.
TV Licensing spokesman Stephen Farmer said: "It's remarkable that with the digital switchover complete, 41% of UK households owning HDTVs and Britons leading the world in accessing TV content over the internet, more than 13,000 households still watch their favourite programmes on a black-and-white telly.""
Note - Each household in the UK needs a TV licence if they have a TV.  You can only get a black and white licence if you only have a black and white TV.  If you have a colour TV and a black & white TV, you need a colour licence.

Boxing Day 2012 was the busiest ever day for online shopping in the UK

"Christmas is traditionally a time when we meet up with our families to share gifts and overindulge on food and drink.
But new data shows it’s also increasingly becoming a time to go online and indulge in some retail therapy.
Stats from Experian Hitwise show that Christmas 2012 was the busiest ever for online retailers in the UK, with consumers making 84m visits to retail websites on Christmas Eve and 107m visits on Christmas Day.
This is an increase of 86% and 71% respectively compared to 2011.
Amazon came out on top in the battle of the retailers, leapfrogging eBay to become the most visited ecommerce site on Christmas Day with more than 12% of all visits.
However Boxing Day eclipsed the previous two days to become the busiest day ever for online retail. UK consumers spent 14m hours online and made 113m visits to online retail sites, an increase of 17% from 2011.
Experian’s stats show that early discounting was one of the key reasons for the increase in visits online, with one in every 125 searches conducted in the UK including the word ‘sale’ or ‘sales’.
The top sales search term was 'Next sale', 'Debenhams sale', 'Marks and Spencer sale' and 'John Lewis sale'. Experian’s stats are based on UK internet data from a sample that monitors a quarter of the UK online population.
IBM has also released retail data for Boxing Day which shows that online sales on Boxing Day 2012 increased by 44.95% compared to 2011.
There was also a large increase in mobile traffic with the number of consumers using a mobile device to visit a retailer's site reaching 30.72%, up from 19.8% on Boxing Day in 2011."

Mobile shoppers in China have a higher average order value than PC shoppers

"Liu Qiangdong, CEO of Beijing-based B2C e-commerce platform 360Buy, discussed the state of 360Buy's mobile business in a recent interview. According to Liu, the average price per transaction for orders from mobile clients is more than RMB 1,000 - three times that for orders from PCs. Mobile client sales account for roughly 5% of 360Buy's total sales volumes at present. According to Liu, mobile client sales of general items and clothes show much more marked and rapid growth than 3C items. PC terminals remain the chief source for 3C product orders."

Twitter made a profit of £17,000 in the UK in 2011

"Twitter, which is inching towards an $11bn (£6.8bn) US stock market flotation, posted profits of just £16,500 in the much-delayed maiden accounts for its UK subsidiary.
It is too early to tell, however, whether the microblogging website will adopt the kind of financial structures favoured by other internet firms such as Google, Amazon and eBay to lower their UK tax bills.
Very little is known about the finances of the San Francisco-based group, which is incorporated in the US tax and secrecy haven of Delaware. The business is estimated to have taken $288m in global advertising revenues last year, according to the research firm eMarketer – a figure that is projected to rise to $545m this year and $807m by 2014.
[...]
Abbreviated accounts, covering the first seven months of Twitter UK's life, were only signed off by Ali Rowghani, the US group's chief financial officer, last month. The three-person board consists of Rowghani, Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo and the site's group counsel Alex MacGillivray – all of whom are based in San Francisco. The UK firm's registered office is given as that of its solicitors, Baker & McKenzie."
Note - This was 2011; the UK operation only opened that year, so any profit is impressive

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

LinkedIn has 200 million members

"We recently crossed an important and exciting milestone for the company. LinkedIn now counts over 200 million members as part of our network, with representation in more than 200 countries and territories. We serve our members in 19 languages around the world."
Note - Click on the link to see a full infographic

The number of Twitter accounts by country


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Source:  Data & Analysis from Semiocast, published 30th July 2012
Note 1 - more data in the full article
Note 2 - These are obviously just estimates (from July 2012), not official figures

Mobile accounts for an estimated 20% of Facebook's ad revenues

"Based on an analysis of more than two million Facebook ad clicks and conversions, Kenshoo Social data show mobile now represents 20.3 percent of overall Facebook ad spend.
Other key findings presented by Kenshoo Social include:
Mobile ads on Facebook carry a 70 percent price premium over desktop ads
When comparing Apple iOS to Google Android on tablets, iOS had a 97 percent share of Facebook advertisers’ ad spend
When comparing Apple iOS to Google Android on smartphones, Android had a 71 percent share of Facebook advertisers’ ad spend"
Note - These are estimates

More than 50% of smartphones sold in the US are iPhones

"iOS remains the top selling smartphone platform sold in the U.S, with 53.3% of the market for the 12 week period ending November 25th, 2012, marking the first time the platform has surpassed 50% sales share, according to data released today by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
During the same period, Android sales share declined 10.9% to 41.9% of the market, while Windows positioned itself at third place with 2.7% of smartphones sold in the November period.
AT&T continues to see success due to the strength of the iPhone 5 and maintains its status as the top selling smartphone carrier with 35.4% of smartphones sold in this 12 week period. Verizon follows in a close second with 31.9% of smartphones sold. Sprint, in third, with 14.5% of sales, sees the largest decrease year on year, down 5%.
The data is derived from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech USA’s consumer panel, which is the largest continuous consumer research mobile phone panel of its kind in the world, conducting more than 260,000 interviews per year in the U.S. alone. ComTech tracks mobile phone behavior and the customer journey, including purchasing of phones, mobile phone bills/airtime, and source of purchase and phone usage."

10% of the films at Sundance in 2012 were funded through Kickstarter

"Let's begin with some numbers
In 2012 2,241,475 people pledged a total of $319,786,629 and successfully funded 18,109 projects
Backers pledged $606.76 per minute to projects in 2012
Of the 2.2 million people who backed a project in 2012 570,672 people backed two or more projects
50,047 people backed ten or more projects
452 people backed 100 or more projects
People in 177 countries backed a project in 2012
That's 90% of the countries in the world
Of Kickstarter's 13 creative categories Music had the most funded projects with 5,067
Games had the most money pledged at $83 million
Art, Film, Music, Publishing, and Theater each had more than 1,000 funded projects
17 projects raised $1 million+ in 2012
10% of the films at Sundance in 2012 are Kickstarter-funded
19 films selected; four win top prizes
63 Kickstarter-funded films open in theaters in 2012
(Total pledged $319,786,629 +221% from 2011
Total collected $274,391,721 +238% from 2011
Total backers 2,241,475 +134% from 2011
Pageviews 709 million +279% from 2011
Unique visitors 86 million +252% from 2011)"
Note - lots of great examples in the link

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

A UK courier company saw a 20% increase in Christmas parcel volumes Y-o-Y in 2012


"UK Mail Group has said its run-up to Christmas saw a 20% growth in its parcel volumes compared to the same period in 2011.
[...]
UK Mail said its parcels growth was partly the result of the continuing increase in popularity for Internet shopping, which is changing the company’s mix of parcel deliveries towards more business-to-consumer trade. Parcels make up about 39% of UK Mail’s turnover, which was GBP 225m in the first half."

36,000 people watched the Queen's Christmas Message in 3D on the BBC HD Channel

"The Queen's annual Christmas message had 8.7 million viewers across BBC1, ITV1 and Sky1 at 3pm, the vast majority of them (6.3m) watching on BBC1.
It was the first of the Queen's festive addresses to be broadcast in 3D, and 36,000 viewers watched it with the extra dimension on the BBC's HD channel. Figures for Sky's 3D broadcast of the 10-minute programme, produced by Sky News, were not yet available."

Online sales rose 18% Y-o-Y in the UK in December 2012

"Strong growth in online shopping stopped retail sales falling in December, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
Sales in December were up 1.5% compared with a year earlier, while like-for-like sales, which exclude new store openings, rose 0.3%.
Without a 17.8% jump in online non-food sales, total sales would have fallen."

There Are 181,000 self-styled social media 'Gurus,' 'Ninjas,' 'Masters,' and 'Mavens' on Twitter


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Source:  Data from FollowerWonk, reported in AdAge, 7th January 2013
Note - The largest number is actually for 'Social Media Marketing' so perhaps the headline (taken from the original article) is a bit harsh

There were 800 million social media interactions around TV shows on the day they aired in the US in 2012

"The second annual Year End Stats Report from Trendrr includes data tracked via Twitter, public pages on Facebook and applications such as Get Glue and Viggle. For the year (period covers through November), Trendrr measured more than 800 million social interactions around TV programs on their day of air; taking into consideration all the chatter surrounding programs when off air, that number would reach into the billions, the social TV analytics company said.
An early look at the data reveals August as the most interactive month -- thanks to 17 days of the Summer Olympics on the networks of NBC -- but every month of 2012 drew at least double the number of social interactions than the same month in 2011.
Overall, the year saw a huge 800% growth of social TV chatter on Twitter, and it more than doubled on Facebook and in Apps.
For a second straight year, Nickelodeon's "SpongeBob SquarePants" was the entertainment program with the most social activity, accounting for nearly 25 million social interactions. Also high on the list were Fox's "The X Factor" (about 17 million), NBC's "The Voice" (11.5 million), USA's "WWE Raw" (11 million) and ABC Family's "Pretty Little Liars" (10.5 million), which holds the record for a single episode (1.52 million interactions for its mid-season finale)."
See the original Trendrr Infographic here
Note - I'm assuming that this is US only, given that no UK shows (or Japanese shows, or Brazillian shows...) appear in the figures

Monday, 7 January 2013

40 billion apps have been downloaded from the Apple App Store, 2 billion in December 2012

"Apple® today announced that customers have downloaded over 40 billion apps (40 billion unique downloads excluding re-downloads and updates), with nearly 20 billion in 2012 alone. The App Store℠ has over 500 million active accounts and had a record-breaking December with over two billion downloads during the month. Apple’s incredible developer community has created over 775,000 apps for iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch® users worldwide, and developers have been paid over seven billion dollars by Apple.
[...]
The revolutionary App Store offers more than 775,000 apps to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users in 155 countries around the world, with more than 300,000 native iPad apps available. App Store customers can choose from an incredible range of apps in 23 categories, including newspapers and magazines offered in Newsstand, games, business, news, sports, health & fitness and travel."
Earlier - 

Chinese search share December 2012


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Source:  Data from CNZZ, via Marbridge Daily, 5th January 2013

Tencent accounts for over 40% of China Mobile's data traffic

"Wei Leping, director of the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology's (MIIT) Communications Science & Technology Commission, announced at the recent China Communications Industry Conference in Beijing that China Mobile and Shenzhen-based internet company Tencent are in talks to resolve issues over mobile traffic.
China's telecom operators have seen little upside in revenue from increasing mobile data traffic, said Wei, partly due to the effect of internet firms. "Currently, Tencent accounts for a single-digit percentage of China Mobile revenue, but Tencent accounts for over 40% of the operator's overall data traffic," said Wei, "how can the operator tolerate this situation?" According to media reports, Tencent's QQ applications account for approximately 40% of Guangdong Mobile's data traffic, but the operator only receives RMB 5 per 20MB of data traffic."

Nearly all of the top grossing iOS games and apps are free

"For every overpriced Final Fantasy re-release on iTunes there are dozens of free-to-play social games, refugees from a slowly fading Facebook love affair with microtransaction-driven casual titles finding new sources of revenue in the fertile mobile market. In this year's list of the top grossing iOS games and apps (available within iTunes), the free-to-play game is king.
Not one paid game in the top ten. In fact, the first paid game in the list, the Pictionary-inspired sensation Draw Something, comes in at number 16 on a list dominated by games you may have never heard of. Take Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North, a kingdom-building strategy game that took the number one position this year. The top in-app purchase is a bundle of 240 gems for $19.99. While others quibble over the $15.99 price tag of a remastered classic role-playing game, thousands are dropping more on virtual items within a game with a much less prestigious pedigree.
The top ten list includes a wide variety of free-to-play tropes. The gambling itch is scratched with slot machines and poker. Addictive gameplay earns big in Bejeweled Blitz. Compulsive collectors flock to my beloved Dragonvale and the herald of the new card game age, Rage of Bahamut.
There are some 81 games on this year's top grossing iPhone app list (that doesn't include iPad apps, but the results are similar). Of those 81, 17 are paid titles. Four of those are Angry Birds derivatives (Space, Star Wars, Bad Piggies). Four of the have "with Friends" in their names. There's a smattering of big-name mobile titles—Plants Vs. Zombies, Fruit Ninja, Minecraft, SongPop, Plague Inc.—and after that it's all free."

Friday, 4 January 2013

More than 50 million photos are shared each day on Snapchat

"It’s been a busy couple of months at Snapchat. With over 50 million snaps shared every day, we’ve had to do a lot of work to make sure our service can continue to support a growing community of snappers."
Source: Snapchat blog, 14th December 2012

Twitter is valued at approximately $11 billion

"A rough valuation for Twitter can be established through where its shares trade in online secondary markets, though a firm figure is difficult. “Using the secondary market for shares to mark enterprise value is a very difficult and opaque process. It is a rumor-rich and special-share-class soup,” says Greencrest’s Max Wolff. “That said, Twitter is up since the Facebook IPO and is now valued at northward of $11 billion. This makes sense as growth in users and new monetization efforts are both yielding fruit and pointing toward a good 2013 for Twitter.” A brief history of Twitter’s valuation: in July 2011, a funding round pegged it at $8 billion, up from a $3.7 billion figure that emerged seven months earlier. For perspective, Facebook currently has a market cap of $60.8 billion. Zynga ($1.9 billion) and Groupon ($3.4 billion) are much smaller."

UK Album downloads rose 15% in 2012

"A fifth successive record year for singles and strong performances from digital albums and streaming services demonstrated further consumer confidence in digital music formats in 2012, new Official Charts Company figures released today by the BPI confirmed.
British music fans streamed audio tracks more than 3.7 billion times during 2012, Official Charts Company figures showed for the first time, with Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye ft Kimbra, Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen and Titanium by David Guetta ft Sia the three most-streamed tracks of the year.   This is equivalent to 140 music streams for every household in the UK.
Digital album sales rose 14.8% to 30.5m, although sales of albums on CD declined 19.5% year-on-year to 69.4m in total.  Combined volume sales of digital and physical albums fell overall by 11.2% to 100.5m in 2012.
Digital album download volumes continued to show strong growth, with 16 albums selling more than 100,000 digital copies in 2012.  Despite the growth in digital formats, the CD remained popular with album buyers in 2012, accounting for more than two-thirds (69.1%) of total sales compared to a 30.4% share for digital albums and 0.4% for vinyl LPs.
It was another year of success for the UK singles market, with single track sales volumes continuing to break records for the fifth year in succession.  Total singles sales increased 6.0% to 188.6m in 2012, with the overwhelming majority (99.6%) accounted for by digital tracks and bundles. All the top 20 best-selling singles of 2012 sold more than 500,000 copies each.
The final week of 2012 proved to be the year’s record week for digital sales as consumers redeemed their Christmas music vouchers and downloaded more than 1.3m albums and 5.6m singles."

33% of American adults own either an eReader or a tablet



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Source:  Pew Internet and American Life Project, 27th December 2012

51% of all online actions in the US on Christmas Day were on mobile

"On December 25, 2012 Mixpanel analyzed 695 million actions, a 5% increase over the previous Tuesday (December 18, 2012). On Christmas day consumer activity was almost evenly split between mobile and desktop devices, with mobile devices taking the slight edge with 51% of actions. What this does not show is the spike in mobile activity on Christmas day. It becomes more apparent when we compare December 25 to the previous Tuesday, December 18, 2012 when mobile devices accounted for only 40% of actions.
Focusing in on mobile, it’s clear apps won the day. On December 25 the vast majority of mobile activity Mixpanel measured–fully 98%–took place inside Android or iOS apps. iOS apps saw slightly more activity from consumers on Christmas day, with 54% of actions coming from iPhone apps compared to 44% from Android apps."
Note - I'm assuming that this means 'and tablet'

Downloads account for a quarter of the UK entertainment market

"More than £1bn was spent on downloaded films, music and games in 2012, the highest annual total.
Sales increased 11.4% from 2011, meaning that a quarter of the entertainment market is now digital.
But figures released later by entertainment retailers will also show a big drop in physical sales - more bad news for high street shops.
Sales of CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray and video games fell by 17.6% in 2011 although they still make up most of the market.
Kim Bayley, director general of the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA), which will release the figures, said that breaking the £1bn barrier was an "incredible achievement" for retailers."
Source:  BBC News, 2nd January 2013

Screen size & resolution for popular mobiles and tablets


Click to enlarge

Source:  VentureBeat, 25th December 2012