Monday, 24 April 2017

60% of US internet homes have at least one connected TV device

"Year over year, the number of homes with an installed connected TV device increased by six million, now totalling 60 per cent of US Internet homes, according to the NPD Connected Intelligence Connected Home Entertainment report. As the number of connected TV homes continues to grow, the devices used to make those connections have shifted. In January 2017, streaming media players were the most commonly installed internet-connected TV device. Thirty-five per cent of US Internet homes now have a streaming media player, up from 29 per cent in 2016.
“The average connected home has three devices installed and able to deliver apps to their TVs, but the mix of those devices continues to change,” advised John Buffone, executive director, industry analyst, NPD Connected Intelligence. “Shifts are also occurring in the industry as TV manufacturers migrate to operating systems from Roku, Amazon and Google. This benefits content owners, as they can reach a larger audience through distribution on fewer platforms, and viewers, as they’ll be able to find more of the programming they want in a single location.”"

80% of Snapchat users use the app in restaurants

"Snapchat, the disappearing messaging turned mobile storytelling app, released a new ad product Wednesday that is a quick swipe at Facebook's big offer to advertisers and retailers: online to offline conversions.
That's jargon for Snapchat's pitch to help retailers get more products off their shelves and prove to them that ads on Snap helped create the magic behind those sales.
The feature, released out of beta, is called "Snap to Store." Snap also reported new data, compiled by Greenberg Strategy (commissioned by Snapchat), on what percentages of Snapchatters use the app at particular venues:
80% at a restaurant
66% at a shopping mall
50% at a gym
49% at an airport
Wendy's was one of Snapchat's early beta testers, along with 7-Eleven and Paramount Pictures.
Wendy's created sponsored geofilters in its U.S. stores that promoted the JalapeƱo Fresco Chicken Sandwich. According to Snapchat's internal data (that is verified by third-party platforms), the geofilter drove 42,000 visitors to a Wendy’s within seven days of viewing it."

Facebook Messenger has 1.2bn active users

"We now have over 1.2 billion people actively using Messenger every month. And I keep on hearing powerful stories about how our product is becoming a more important part of your daily lives. So from all of us here at Messenger, a heartfelt thank you to all of you for giving us a chance to build something good and more meaningful for you."
Source:  Post from David Marcus on Facebook, 12th April 2017

PetSmart bought for $3.35bn

"PetSmart has agreed to make the biggest e-commerce acquisition in history, putting a deal in place to snatch up fast-growing pet food and product site for $3.35 billion, according to multiple sources familiar with the deal.
The deal is a huge one by any standard — bigger than Walmart’s $3.3 billion deal for last year — and especially for a retail company like PetSmart, which was itself valued at only $8.7 billion when private equity investors took it over in 2015.
But has been one of the fastest-growing e-commerce sites on the planet, registering nearly $900 million in revenue last year, in what was only its fifth year in operation. The company had been a potential IPO candidate for this year or next, but was taken out by its brick-and-mortar competitor before that. It was not profitable last year."

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

More than half of US broadband homes watch at least one OTT TV service like Netflix

"For many, this transition to watching over-the-top (OTT) content began with a subscription to Netflix. While Netflix can claim much credit for spurring this transition to OTT, there are emerging signs that the medium is now growing well beyond its largest player, as other services are now capturing the attention of viewers and staking out their respective positions in the market.
In December 2016, according to comScore data, more than 49 million homes – 53 percent of U.S. Wi-Fi connected homes – accessed at least one OTT service. Moreover, these households were active in viewing OTT content, doing so an average of 19 separate days during the month, and for 2.2 hours per usage day. OTT viewing mirrors linear TV with the highest concentration of activity happening during traditional Primetime hours.
While Netflix remains the clear leader in the OTT market, it’s also clear that other services are now establishing their own presence. Netflix reached an impressive 75 percent of OTT homes as of  December 2016, but YouTube had a large OTT footprint being viewed in 53 percent of those homes. Amazon Video was third with 33 percent reach, and Hulu was fourth at 17 percent. In fact, there are now 11 OTT services that reach one million or more homes in a given month.
While some may find it difficult to think of Netflix as second in anything, in terms of engagement, it’s number two with 28 hours of average viewing time per home. Sling TV, which makes a “skinny bundle” option that  features content from multiple networks, leads on a “per household” basis with 47 viewing hours per month.
Although three out of every four OTT homes do watch Netflix, it’s important to recognize that the remaining 25 percent of these homes watch only competing services. More than 30 percent of YouTube’s and Twitch’s TV audiences, for example, do not watch Netflix on the TV. For Hulu, it’s 14 percent.
Netflix’s dominance is also being challenged by Amazon Video, which appears to be growing the OTT pie through its tie-in to Amazon Prime and the Fire TV platform. At the time of this writing, Netflix is the top OTT service on every viewing platform from Roku to game consoles to Blu-ray Disc players, with one big exception: Fire TV. On the Fire TV stick/box, Amazon is first, followed by YouTube. Netflix is third.
OTT is a growing an increasingly important segment of the video viewing landscape, and the popularity of multiple services beyond Netflix suggests the market is poised for more growth. With 50 percent of households still yet to engage with OTT as of December 2016, there is a major opportunity for a number of services to help fill this vacuum. The question is whether – or to what extent -- Netflix can retain its leadership position in this space as that happens."
Note - I'm assuming that YouTube is just standard YouTube videos being watched on TV, rather than YouTube Red, the paid service.  

Facebook has over 5m active advertisers

"Facebook Inc plans to announce on Monday that more than 5 million businesses are advertising on the social network each month and that it is updating its suite of ad services to try to draw more small businesses onto its mobile platform.
Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said in an interview with Reuters that the number of ad buyers was an important milepost, showing that Facebook has room to grow despite its massive scale.
The company said in September that it had 4 million advertisers, and in March 2016 that it had 3 million. The world's largest social network, which is free to users, has 1.9 billion people on it.
Among the 5 million advertisers, the biggest industries are e-commerce, entertainment/media and retail, the company said. Some 75 percent of them are outside the United States, and its fastest-growing markets are India, Thailand, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, the company said.
Nearly 50 percent of the advertisers create ads on mobile devices, reflecting the increasing importance of smartphone-based usage to Facebook's future.
More than 90 percent of Facebook's users access the network through mobile devices, and mobile advertising accounts for 84 percent of ad revenue, the company said in February."

$20bn of rides were booked through Uber in 2016

"The ride-hailing giant more than doubled gross bookings in 2016 to $20 billion, according to financial information Uber shared with Bloomberg. Net revenue was $6.5 billion, while adjusted net losses were $2.8 billion, excluding the China business, which it sold last summer.
Uber’s business is massive and getting bigger. In the last three months of 2016, gross bookings increased 28 percent from the previous quarter to $6.9 billion. The company generated $2.9 billion in revenue, a 74 percent increase from the third quarter. Losses rose 6.1 percent over the same period to $991 million.
While the rate of sales growth compared with losses is encouraging, Uber is still losing a significant sum, said Evan Rawley, a business professor at Columbia University. “That’s a lot of cash to burn in a quarter,” he said. Jeff Jones, the company’s president of ridesharing who resigned last month, previously joked to staff that he joined Uber expecting P&L, meaning a profit and loss statement, but only found an L."

Instagram Stories has over 200m daily active users

"Today, we’re introducing new sticker tools that help you be even more creative, whether you’re sharing to your story or having conversations with your friends in Direct.
Over 200 million people now use Instagram Stories every day to keep up with friends and accounts they love. And with recent updates to Direct, it’s never been easier to have playful, visual conversations with close friends.
Now, with these new sticker tools, you have even more ways to turn your most casual, everyday moments into something fun to share."

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

UK Digital Ad Spend exceeded £10bn in 2016; Mobile up 51%

"17.3pc rise is highest annual growth rate for 9 years
• Mobile driving almost entire growth, up 51pc
• Mobile video the fastest growing ad format, up 103pc
Driven by advertisers’ need to tap into people’s rising use of mobile to watch content, digital advertising grew at its fastest rate for nine years – by 17.3pc to £10.3 billion in 2016 – according to the Internet Advertising Bureau UK / PwC Digital Adspend report. The last time annual growth was higher was 2007 (38pc).
As almost half (48pc) of UK internet time is now spent on smartphones, mobile ad spend rose 50.8pc to £3.87bn. Mobile now accounts for 38% of all digital ad spend, up from 4% just five years ago. However, it accounts for 63pc of video spend, 76pc of Content & Native (including social media news feeds) and 79pc of social media spend.
Mobile video is fastest-growing ad format
Spend on mobile video ads more than doubled (up 103pc) to £693 million – making it the fastest growing ad format. It accounts for 29pc of the total growth in digital ad spend.
The rise in mobile video ad budgets reflects online YouGov data showing that in the last six months, 54pc of British smartphone users watched video clips on their phone, with two-in-five of these saying they do more of this than a year ago. A significant number have also watched TV programmes (17pc) and films (11pc) on their smartphones. This behaviour is much more prevalent among 18-24 year olds, with 75pc watching short clips, 44pc watching TV and 33pc watching films on mobiles. Six-in-10 people who watched short clips, TV or Film on their phone did so whilst ‘out and about.’
The rise in people consuming mobile and video content has accelerated digital’s growth rate to its highest level for nearly a decade,” said the IAB UK’s Chief Marketing Officer, James Chandler. “Reaching the £10 billion threshold has been made possible by brands breaking the mould, trying innovative formats and making the most of video to reach and amaze people. It’s impossible to ignore the issues the industry is facing at the moment, but digital never stands still and these figures are testament to the long term strength and power of digital.”
Video – across mobile and PCs – is growing at 56pc, driven by outstream/social in-feed’s huge 234pc rise to £465 million. Outstream accounts for 43pc of all video spend but 56pc of mobile video. Pre- and post-roll video ad spend grew 12pc to £603 million (55pc share of all video).
Sebastien Bardin, Sony Mobile’s European senior digital marketing manager, added: "Online video is becoming a bigger priority, providing an impactful and cost-effective incremental reach. In particular, outstream video is great for engaging with our target audience in premium, trusted and viewable environments without disrupting their media consumption or being too intrusive."
Nearly three-quarters of display is traded programmatically
Display ad spend rose 26pc year-on-year to £3.77bn in 2016 – 72pc of which was traded programmatically (£2.71bn) – with significant growth coming from direct deals and private marketplaces.
“The biggest change in how display ads are sold is the rise of programmatic direct, which now accounts for nearly half of sales,” says Dan Bunyan, Senior Manager at PwC. "Right now, considerations such as brand safety mean the advertiser is rightly demanding more certainty in the placement of their ads and the industry is evolving quickly to find new solutions to address brands' needs in this dynamic environment"
Ad spend on social media sites grew 38pc to £1.73bn, accounting for nearly half (46pc) of display. Social media spend on mobile alone grew 54pc. Content & Native ad spend – which includes ‘advertorials’ and ads in social media news feeds – increased 28pc to £1.17bn (31pc of display).
Search and classifieds
Driven by mobile, which grew 48pc, paid-for search overall grew 15pc to £4.99bn – a 48pc share of digital ad spend. Classifieds, including recruitment, property and automotive listings, grew 8pc to £1.48bn (14pc share)."

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

dunnhumby's advice for FMCG advertisers on Facebook

"dunnhumby’s analysis shows that advertisers who planned campaigns with a relevant but broad reach, running for more than 6 weeks, at a frequency above 1 per person per week saw the greatest benefit from including Facebook on their media plans.
Combining these findings with those of the papers published last year, and applying the adjustment factors referenced, we are starting to see that for a campaign to achieve optimal sales lift, it should ideally be planned with a frequency ≥1 per person per week (not to be confused with f=1), across a duration of more than 6 weeks.
If an advertiser knows that people outside a core audience will not buy their products – perhaps due to them only being relevant to one life stage or one gender – then narrow targeting could be optimal, but more generally the rule is that a far greater return on ad spend will be achieved by aiming for as broad a relevant audience as possible."
Source:  Blog post by Facebook Business, 31st March 2017

Tesla 'spends less than $6 on advertising per car sold'

"Car makers spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year to promote their products. Anyone who has ever watched the TV series Mad Men got to see how aggressively ad agencies court the automakers to gain their business. One account can have an outsize effect on a firm’s bottom line.
A new report from Global Equities Research analyzes just how much each car company actually spends on selling its cars. Not surprisingly, makers of premium brands spend the most. For every Jaguar that finds a buyer,  parent company Tata Motors spends $3,325. Lincoln shells out $2,550 on advertising for every car it sells.
At the other end of the spectrum, Toyota and Honda spend the least, at approximately $250 per car. Keep in mind that those two companies sell a lot of cars. Any ad agency would be delighted to have their business. Also, those numbers are separate from their premium brands, Lexus and Acura.
A new study by Global Equities analysts Trip Chowdhry approximates that Tesla spends even less at $6 per vehicle. In an e-mail to investors this week, Chowdhry said “Tesla power and leverage is unprecedented. $6 of Ad Spent per Vehicle for the product generating more than $8 Billion in revenues and more than $14 Billion in bookings is unheard of in the Industry.”"
Note - I'm not sure of the full validity of this figure, but it's pretty clear that if you have a very famous and outspoken CEO, plus a product that people love you can rely a lot more on social media and PR.
(See also Brewdog, valued at £1bn, built on PR, social media, and events)

Monday, 10 April 2017

French digital TV platform Molotov has 1m users

"Suggesting it is bringing millennials back to TV, French OTT TV platform Molotov has reached 1 million registered users, a milestone achieved in just six months since its full-scale launch in November 2016, which took place after an exclusive introduction on Apple devices last summer.
Molotov says it offers a radical new way to watch television, to discover and to enjoy TV content across smartphones, tablets, PCs, OTT set-top-boxes and Smart TVs.
The Molotov app has been adopted by a particularly young audience with an average user age of 35, versus 51 in traditional TV.
Molotov users watch TV across multiple screens: 40 per cent on their smartphones, 40 per cent on their PCs/tablets and 20 per cent on their connected TVs. All screens included, Molotov users spend on average 80 minutes per day (1 hour and 20 minutes) on the service and up to 160 minutes per day (2 hours and 40 minutes) on their connected TV set."

Six of the world's 10 most valuable companies are tech companies

Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, Facebook, Exxon Mobil, Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan, Tencent
Source:  Bloomberg, 6th April 2017

One in five Facebook videos is live

"A year ago today, we made it possible for people around the world to share live video on Facebook. At our event in LA last year (video below), I met some of the first creators to use Facebook Live to connect with people around their content. I remember thinking that Live was already starting to enable something pretty special: communities coming together around shared interests, whether it was a passion for EDM, robotics, baking, snakes, or even hula hoop!
Since then, we’ve focused on making the Facebook Live experience more engaging, more fun, and more social. We’ve added live masks and new creative effects, built features that give publishers more control and flexibility over their broadcasts, and rolled out exciting new formats like Live 360 or Live Audio. And now, one in every five Facebook videos is a live broadcast – and over the past year, daily watch time for Facebook Live broadcasts has grown by more than 4x. Every day, we get to enjoy new use cases for Live that we would never have thought about.
A year after the event in this video, we’re still at the beginning of our journey and we’re excited for all the creativity that is yet to come."

Monday, 3 April 2017

Andoid has overtaken Windows to be the most popular operating system

Source:  StatCounter data for March 2017, noticed by Tech In Asia, 3rd April 2017
StatCounter data here
Note - Other sources may give different numbers

Mobile game Clash Royale is estimated to have generated more than $1bn in 11 months

"Supercell announced strong 2016 revenue and earnings today, but it didn’t break out the performance of specific games. Thankfully, mobile measurement firm Sensor Tower has done that for us, and it shows that Clash Royale generated more than $1 billion in less than a year on the market.
Supercell launched Clash Royale on March 2, 2016. With $1 billion in revenue, it accounted for a good chunk of Supercell’s $2.3 billion in revenue during calendar 2016. The chart below shows that the simple real-time strategy game on mobile devices has grown faster than Supercell’s other big hit, Clash of Clans, which launched in 2012.
Randy Nelson, the head of mobile insights at Sensor Tower, wrote that in its first 11 months of availability, Clash Royale has grossed approximately five times as much as Clash of Clans did during the same length of time.
“Even considering the lack of an Android version of Clash of Clans in its first six months, the difference is staggering — and shows how far not just Supercell, but the ability of free-to-play mobile titles to generate revenue from in-app transactions, have come in four short years,” Nelson wrote."

The trade-off between brand safety and the cost of digital video advertising

Source:  Chart from Enders Analysis, used in this article in Business Insider, 25th March 2017
Note that there is no scale on either axis, so the chart is purely illustrative

Average earnings for influencer posts on YouTube, Facebook & Instagram

Source:  Data from Captiv8, reported by The Economist, 17th October 2016
Note - I have no idea of the accuracy of this!

Human drivers need to take control of Uber's self-driving cars about once per mile

"Human drivers were forced to take control of Uber's self-driving cars about once per mile driven in early March during testing in Arizona, according to an internal performance report obtained by BuzzFeed News. The report reveals for the first time how Uber’s self-driving car program is performing, using a key metric for evaluating progress toward fully autonomous vehicles.
Human drivers take manual control of autonomous vehicles during testing for a number of reasons — for example, to address a technical issue or avoid a traffic violation or collision. The self-driving car industry refers to such events as “disengagements,” though Uber uses the term “intervention” in the performance report reviewed by BuzzFeed News. During a series of autonomous tests the week of March 5, Uber saw disengagement rates greater than those publicly reported by some of its rivals in the self-driving car space.
When regulatory issues in December 2016 forced Uber to suspend a self-driving pilot program in San Francisco, the company sent some of its cars to Arizona. Since then, Uber has been testing its autonomous cars along two routes in the state. The first is a multi-lane street called Scottsdale Road — a straight, 24-mile stretch that runs through the city of the same name. According to Uber's performance report on tests for the week of March 5, the company's self-driving cars were able to travel an average of 0.67 miles on Scottsdale Road without human intervention and an average of 2 miles without a “bad experience" — Uber’s classification for incidents in which a car brakes too hard, jerks forcefully, or behaves in a way that might startle passengers. Uber described the overall passenger experience for this particular week as "not great," but noted improvement compared to the prior week's tests, which included one "harmful" incident — an event that might have caused human injury."

Alfa Romeo sold 350 cars in 33 seconds on Alibaba's Tmall

"Luxury auto brand Alfa Romeo on Tuesday forged an exclusive strategic partnership with Alibaba’s Tmall to market and sell its cars online in China.
The two sides said at a press conference in Hangzhou that Tmall will serve as the sole authorized Internet channel for the Italian car brand owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) inside China. Tmall is China’s largest B2C online commerce platform. They spoke just before Alfa Romeo debuted on Tmall, selling out all of the 350 Giulia Milano car models it offered in 33 seconds during the “Tmall Super Brand Day,” an online marketing promotion held by the Alibaba unit.
Alfa Romeo isn’t new to China. It tested the waters here years ago and announced its return to the country last year.
The new partnership follows the success last year of Alfa Romeo’s sister brand, Maserati, on Tmall, which is also owned by FCA. Maserati opened its flagship store on Tmall on the same day last year and sold out its allotment of 100 Levante SUVs in a mere 18 seconds."
Source:  AliZila, 21st March 2017

12% of US broadband households have an Amazon Echo or similar device

"Parks Associates today announced new smart home research showing that the adoption rate of smart speakers with voice assistants grew from 5% of U.S. broadband households in Q4 2015 to 12% in Q4 2016. Voice Assistants and Technologies: Ecosystem and Market Leaders examines the growing market for these smart home devices and the impact of voice control as a major market transformation in both the user experience (UX) and user interface (UI).
“In the past five years, voice control and voice-based technologies have experienced massive growth in the consumer market, igniting the competitive landscape among current and emerging smart home players,” said Dina Abdelrazik, Research Analyst, Parks Associates. “Voice interfaces are advancing due to continued improvements in machine learning and natural language processing, paired with the prevalence of portable devices. Apple increased consumer familiarity of voice control with its introduction of Siri in 2011, but the later-to-market Amazon Alexa has taken a clear lead in this category.”"
Source:  Parks Associates, 21st March 2017