Wednesday, 4 September 2019

US smartphone owners are keeping their devices for an average of 33 months

"U.S. consumers are holding onto their smartphones for an average of 33 months as a lack of innovation gives them reason to upgrade less frequently, a survey by Strategy Analytics found. The firm said consumers are very interested in next-generation 5G mobile service, although high smartphone prices will be a significant barrier to entry.
The average Apple smartphone has been active for 18 months, longer than the 16.5-month average for Samsung devices. The two companies remain dominant with brand loyalty of more than 70%, while other device makers like LG and Motorola see repeat purchase intentions of less than 50%.
Just 7% of U.S. consumers said they would spend over $1,000 on a new phone, while "wow features" are important to only about one-third of those surveyed. One out of four people said 5G will be important for their next mobile device, per Strategy Analytics."

74% of US households subscribe to at least one SVOD service

"New consumer research from Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) finds that 74% of all U.S. households have a subscription video on-Demand (SVOD) service from Netflix, Amazon Prime, and/or Hulu – up from 64% in 2017, and 52% in 2015.
Among those that have an SVOD service, 69% have more than one of these services – up from 51% in 2017, and 38% in 2015.  Overall, 51% of U.S. households now have more than one SVOD service, an increase from 33% in 2017, and 20% in 2015.
These findings are based on a survey of 1,116 households nationwide and are part of a new LRG study, Emerging Video Services 2019. This is LRG’s thirteenth annual study on this topic.
Other related findings include:
64% of all adults stream an SVOD service at least monthly, and 41% stream more than one SVOD service at least monthly
33% of adults stream an SVOD service daily – compared to 29% in 2017, and 16% in 2015
51% of ages 18-34 stream an SVOD service daily – compared to 34% of ages 35-54, and 15% of ages 55+
27% with Netflix agree that their subscription is shared with others outside their household – compared to 19% with Hulu, and 10% with Amazon Prime
51% of adults watch video on non-TV devices (including mobile phones, home computers, tablets, and eReaders) daily – up from 43% in 2017, and 31% in 2014."
Source:  Press release from Leichtman Research Group, 27th August 2019

More than 50% of browser-based Google searches don't result in a click



Source:  Data from Jumpshot, reported in a blog post by Sparktoro, 13thaugust 2019

Smartphone payment services have 80% adoption rates in China but only 10% in the US

"According to new statistics from management consultancy Bain, some 80% of Chinese consumers used some form of smartphone payments service last year, far higher than a U.S. adoption rate of 10%, reports CNBC.
Broken down by service, the Chinese market is dominated by local systems like WeChat Pay and AliPay, both of which enjoyed over 80% adoption rates in 2018. Cash, bank cards, credit cards and bank apps follow, with Apple Pay listed as the most-used foreign service with 17% adoption.
Gerard du Toit, partner and head of Bain's banking and payments sector, notes countries like China and India are ripe for penetration due to their reliance on cash.
"China and India have been very cash-based economies — that has a pretty high hassle and friction factor," du Toit said. "Mobile payment is a dramatic improvement versus having to manage a whole bunch of cash."
Whereas Alibaba and Tencent offered attractive alternatives to traditional payments in a bid for Chinese consumer favor, India pushed the use of mobile payments to dissuade unrecorded cash transactions and thus reap consumption taxes.
The story is different in the U.S., where Apple Pay has a 9% adoption rate. By comparison, PayPal is used by 44% of American consumers, while credit card and cash boast respective adoption rates of 80% and 79%.
There is little incentive for consumers to ditch credit cards, the top form of payment in America, for a mobile payment alternative, du Toit notes. In some cases, swiping or inserting a credit card into a point of sale terminal is easier than pulling out an iPhone, unlocking it and tapping it on an NFC reader."

TripAdvisor's share of UK hospitality reviews fell from 34% to 25% in one year

"Feed It Back’s latest social review tracker reveals a significant drop in TripAdvisor usage, with its market share falling from 33.9% in August 2018, to 25.1% in August 2019.
The data, taken from thousands of reviews left of the restaurant, pub and bar and quick service industries, shows that, over the same period, Facebook experienced a positive year-on-year increase, of 3.1%, with the platform now accounting for 10.3% of reviews.
Google remains the biggest player in the industry, with its percentage of reviews in August sitting at 64.3%.
The rise in prevalence of Facebook and the decrease in TripAdvisor usage has impacted the average social review score in the industry, which has risen from 4.0 out of 5 in August 2018, to 4.3 in 2019.
This increase has been driven by a spike in review scores across all platforms over the past year, with Facebook rising from 3.9 out of 5, to 4.1 over the same period. TripAdvisor grew from 3.9 to 4.1, and Google increased from 4.1 to 4.3.
Looking at the split between the sectors, the average social review score for the pub and bar industry rose from 4.1 to 4.3; while the restaurant industry increased from 4.0 to 4.3.
The main driver behind the spike in positive reviews for both sectors was the Facebook channel, where the average review score for restaurants rose from 4.0 to 4.6 out of 5, while pubs and bars experienced an increase from 4.4 to 4.6."

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

The Boycott of The Sun in Merseyside 'has led to lower levels of Euroscepticism'

"The report, authored by London School of Economics behavioural political scientist Florian Foos and Zurich University’s Daniel Bischof, says the long-standing Sun boycott lowered Euroscepticism among the “unskilled” working class who “made up a large share of Sun readers before the disaster”.
The report said “attitudes towards the EU got significantly more positive in Merseyside during the boycott”.
Liverpool, The Wirral and Sefton in Merseyside all voted Remain.
The study, which used data from the annual British Social Attitudes survey and is available online, added: “…the boycott of the most important Eurosceptic newspaper – The Sun in Merseyside as a consequence of The Sun’s reporting on the Hillsborough sporting disaster – led to a decrease of Euroscepticism in Merseyside, which we estimate to amount to around 11 percentage points.
“Moreover, our results suggest that The Sun boycott in Merseyside might have decreased the Leave vote share in Merseyside in the 2016 EU referendum.”
The authors said the study showed “sustained media campaigns on emerging issues can have large, lasting, and ultimately, consequential effects on public opinion, and public policy”."
Source:  Press Gazette, 27th August 2019

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Addressable TV advertising is more engaging and more effective

"To understand the impact of addressable TV on both consumer viewing and ad engagement, Sky Media partnered with BVA BDRC, Differentology and Affectiva to measure the impact of addressable TV campaigns using AdSmart. The extensive study included ground-breaking facial coding and emotional analytics. Findings are based on more than 130 campaign effectiveness projects, in which 300,000 Sky subscribers were interviewed. The research reveals:
Addressable drives ad engagement. Facial recognition analysis revealed that when addressable ads are on TV, viewers’ attentiveness to the screen can be as a third higher (35%) and on average 21% more engaged.
Addressable cuts channel switching during ads. An analysis using 52,000 ad breaks showed that channel switching was halved (reducing by 48%) when addressable ads were in the first three positions of a break, compared to standard linear TV ads.
Addressable increases spontaneous ad recall. Viewers of addressable TV ads are 10% more likely to spontaneously recall an ad compared to linear TV advertising.
Addressable is amplified when combined with linear. Combining linear with addressable TV advertising increases ad awareness by nearly a quarter (22%). When the frequency of addressable ads is equal or higher to linear exposure ad recall is boosted by half (49%).
Addressable works. Higher engagement and relevance have clear business results, increasing purchase intent by 7% overall and by as much as 20% for new to Tv advertisers who benefit more from the exposure and credibility TV delivers.
Tangible business results for new to TV brands. Local brands like Gasway (35%) and Richardson’s Garden Centre (17%) among 100s of businesses seeing significant business growth through the use of addressable TV advertising."
Source:  Data from Sky, reported in a press release, 15th August 2019

More than 500 hours of content are uploaded to YouTube each minute

"Your average person could spend their entire lifetime trying to watch all the content uploaded to YouTube in just one day.
The platform’s users upload more than 500 hours of fresh video per minute, YouTube revealed at recent press events. That works out to 30,000 hours of new content per hour, and 720,000 hours of new content per day.
Divide 720,000 out, and you’ll see that 82.2 years — yes, years — of new video are uploaded to YouTube each and every day.
This is the first per-minute upload amount we’ve gotten from YouTube since VidCon 2015, where CEO Susan Wojcicki revealed that 400 hours were being uploaded every minute. (That works out to 65.7 years’ worth each day, FYI.) In 2013, a third-party report from Tubular Labs estimated 300 hours were being uploaded.
While these upload amounts are staggering, they’re actually slim compared to the watch time stats YouTube’s also revealed recently. At the NewFronts last week, the platform said more than 250 million hours of content are watched just on TV screens each day. That works out to 173,611 hours being watched per minute — compared to the 500 being uploaded. And that 250 million hours doesn’t even include browser and mobile viewing, for which YouTube hasn’t broken out exact numbers."
Source:  TubeFilter, 7th May 2019

Monday, 5 August 2019

4.7m people in the UK work in the gig economy

"Last month, new data on the U.K.’s gig economy surfaced from the University of Hertfordshire, concluding that the number of gig workers in Britain has more than doubled in the last three years, now reaching 4.7 million professionals.
Experts say the explosion of technology platforms like Uber and Deliveroo ushered in waves of opportunity for professionals to have greater control over when, where and how they work. The U.K.’s Trades Union Congress, however, sees this surge in gig workers from a different angle."
Source:  PYMNTS, 1st August 2019

Over 2.1 billion people use Facebook's apps on a daily basis

"Facebook said over 2.1 billion people now use its family of applications—Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger—on a daily basis, and more than 2.7 billion do so on a monthly basis.
Facebook reported an average of 1.59 billion daily active users at the end of the second quarter, up 8% compared with the year-ago period. Wehner said gains in India, Indonesia and the Philippines helped drive growth."

The median age of golf fans is 64, EPL is 43, and eSports is 25

"The median age of golf fans is 64, for English Premier League football it is 43 and for eSports it’s 25. Fortnite skews even younger, for both fans and participants: the average age of the players on stage is 16."

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

All of the top 100 players at the Twitch World Cup were male

"This weekend the best Fortnite players in the world gathered at Flushing Meadows in New York to compete in the game’s first ever World Cup Finals for $30m (£24m) in prize money. Tens of thousands of spectators packed the famed Arthur Ashe stadium to watch the action live, and many millions more viewed on Twitch and YouTube. Fortnite is, after all, one of the biggest entertainment brands on the planet, played by hundreds of millions. Amid all the hype and fanfare around the finals, however, one depressing fact remained unavoidable: not a single one of the 100 finalists was female."

Twitch accounts for 70% of US live-streamed video

"Twitch is the No. 1 platform for streaming live video, accounting for 70% of all livestreamed hours watched during Q2 2019, per a study by StreamElements. The Amazon-owned platform experienced its first decline in viewing time with a 2% drop to 2.72 billion hours in Q2 from Q1, but still had a greater share of the market than YouTube Live (20%), Facebook Gaming (5.3%) and Microsoft's Mixer (3%).
Most of Twitch's viewing time was centered on the platform's top 5,000 streamers, which collectively generated 2 billion hours of viewing time in Q2. Popular streamers Tfue, Shroud and Ninja were in the top five every month during the quarter, while LIRIK, Asmongold and xQcOW appeared in the top five for the first time in 2019, per the study.
Streamers generated 76% of the viewing time among the top 200 channels on Twitch, compared with 24% for esports events such as the Overwatch League, ESL and Riot Games. Most viewers tend to watch popular esports games like Overwatch and League of Legends outside of a professional setting like a tournament, StreamElements' study found."
Source:  Mobile Marketer, 15th July 2019
Note - It doesn't specifically say US viewing, but I think that this is implied

31% of US households don't have broadband

"Over the past several years, many have suggested that broadband internet should be regarded as a public utility, like water or gas. Staying connected has become an essential part of nearly every facet of life, but according to a new report, high-speed connections may not be as prevalent here in the States as you may think.
In its new Rural America and Technology study, NPD notes that 31% of U.S. households don’t have broadband (25Mbps downloads and up) internet connections. The number works out to roughly 100 million per the report. That figure, unsurprisingly, is highly concentrated in rural areas — less than one-fifth of that population has a broadband connection.
While broadband was considered something of a luxury in the not so distant past, it’s grown into an increasingly essential aspect of modern existence, from work to health to entertainment. The concentration of access to the technology in urban versus rural areas has been a major aspect in what analysts have referred to as the “digital divide.” Rural areas make up nearly 97% of the total U.S. land."

8.3m people in the UK watched England win the Cricket World Cup

"Sky and Channel 4’s shared FTA coverage of the Cricket World Cup final on July 14th – which saw England beat New Zealand in the competition’s first ever ‘super over’ – drew a combined TV audience of 8.3 million.
Sky’s Chief Executive UK and Ireland Stephen van Rooyen said: “Congratulations to England and everyone who has been part of the journey at the ECB. The ICC put on a terrific tournament. We’ve been proud host broadcasters of a home cricket World Cup, dedicating a channel and showing every single minute, which has been absorbing from the first ball to the unforgettable final delivery. Sunday saw a peak across Sky and Channel 4 of 8.3 million – a huge audience for a huge moment for British sport. On Sky’s channels our peak was 3.5 million alone, a fitting way to cap a terrific tournament.”"
Source:  Advanced Television, 15th July 2019

WhatsApp has 400m MAUs in India

"Messaging service WhatsApp has been in the middle of a number of controversies since last year, ranging from the proliferation of fake news to storing data locally, even as it looks to expand into digital payments.
These controversies come at a time when its parent company Facebook, which also owns Instagram and Messenger, has been under scrutiny across the world over privacy of user data, and also agreed to pay a $5-billion fine to US regulators earlier this week. But even as it tackles these challenges, WhatsApp is bullish on prospects in India as it revealed that it has 400 million monthly active users here out of a global base of 1.5 billion."

Facebook's revenues grew 28% year on year in Q2 2019

"Facebook reported a 28% revenue gain to $16.9 billion in Q2 from a year earlier, as the social media giant shook off negative headlines and a record-setting fine for its data-sharing practices this week. Mobile ad revenue hit $15.6 billion, or about 94% of total ad revenue, COO Sheryl Sandberg said in the Wednesday conference call with analysts. The figure was 12% higher than the $13.9 billion reported in Q1, highlighting the importance of mobile ads for Facebook.
Mobile-first video accounted for more than 50% of video revenue for the company, Sandberg said. Brands are working to develop "thumb-stopping" creative that hooks mobile viewers faster than 30-second TV ads. "The best mobile-first ad or ad on Facebook gets to the main point or gets to the product in the first three seconds," she said.
Facebook's "blue" app, its oldest and biggest product, boosted its user base by 8% to 2.41 billion in Q2 from a year earlier, making it the largest social media platform worldwide. Daily active users (DAUs) rose 6% to 1.59 billion from a year earlier. The figures generally don't include users of Instagram, WhatsApp or Oculus, per Facebook's report."
Source:  Facebook Q2 2019 Results, reported by Mobile Marketer, 25th July 2019

Friday, 12 July 2019

Stranger Things season 3 broke records on Netflix

Monday, 8 July 2019

Netflix has roughly 75 brand partnerships for Stranger Things

"A limited supply of [New Coke] will be available starting on Thursday as part of a robust promotional campaign related to the coming season of “Stranger Things,” the supernatural thriller set in the 1980s. New Coke will also appear in several episodes of the show. Representatives of both companies said no money changed hands in that product-placement deal.
The return of the failed drink comes as Netflix ramps up its corporate partnerships and merchandising deals in an effort to recruit even more people to the streaming service, which has 149 million paid subscribers worldwide. Netflix said it had reached agreements with roughly 75 brands to spread the word about one of its biggest hits.
Because of the new push, which rivals the campaigns for summertime blockbusters, “Stranger Things” may be hard to avoid in the coming weeks. H&M and other retailers will sell clothes that replicate what the show’s characters wear. Baskin-Robbins will serve new flavors referencing the program’s Scoops Ahoy ice cream parlor."

"2018/19 saw the steepest year-on-year drop in the amount of broadcast TV watched by under 35s [in the UK] on the TV set"



"Changes in how people consume media continue to be rapid and profound, especially so among younger audiences.
2018/19 saw the steepest year-on-year drop in the amount of broadcast TV watched by under 35s on the TV set – down around two hours per week in a year to ten-and-a-half hours. By contrast, the time they spent using the TV set for purposes that include SVOD, YouTube and gaming increased again – up an hour a week to eight hours weekly. Music streaming by young adults also rose by around an hour a week to almost six hours weekly. Around the same proportion of under 16s now use YouTube each week as use the BBC (81%).
While these changes have so far affected young audiences the most, increasingly they impact the media behaviours of older audiences. For example, in 2018/19 more than half of over 35s used the TV set for purposes such as SVOD, YouTube and gaming and one in six used music streaming services each week.
Within this changing landscape, the time people spend with the BBC is trending downward year-on-year for both BBC TV and BBC Radio. The BBC is still the media provider that UK adults overall use the most, and audience performance for the year was within the target range set out in the 2018/19 BBC Annual Plan*.
91% of online adults used the BBC each week in 2018/19, in line with the target of 88-93%. UK adults spent 18 hours on average per week consuming BBC services, down on the year but within the target range of 17:15-18:45. They rated the BBC at seven out of ten, on average, in terms of their general impression, scored the quality of programmes and services at seven out of ten and value for money at five out of ten, all within target."
Source:  BBC Annual Report, July 2019

Friday, 28 June 2019

There are nearly 350m paid video subscriptions in China

"The number of paid subscriptions on China’s online video platforms reached 347 million in 2018 as the market continued to expand rapidly, according to a report released at the Internet Film and Television Summit, part of the Shanghai International Film and TV Festival.
Lu Di, director of the Center for Audio-visual Communication Research at Peking University, said the number of online video users totalled 612 million, accounting for 73.9 per cent of the total Internet population in China.
Since 2015, the online video market has expanded rapidly, reaching 187.13 billion yuan (€23.8bn) in 2018, tripling in size in three years."
Source:  Advanced Television, 12th June 2019

Facebook Watch has 140m DAUs & 742m MAUs

"Facebook says bigger audiences are revving up revenues for publishers and creators on Watch, its rival to YouTube.
On Wednesday, Facebook revealed updated audience stats on Watch, the video platform it launched in 2017 to drive viewers to longer video programs where they would be more inclined to watch commercials, and it now has 140 million daily active viewers and 720 million monthly active viewers. Facebook, like YouTube, splits ad revenue with video creators; Facebook gives them 55 percent of the haul.
At the end of last year, Facebook said that 75 million people viewed Watch shows daily and 400 million each month. Viewers are counted if they only spend one minute watching videos, so Facebook is not measuring the audience in the same way as, say, a TV network would."
Source:  AdAge, 12th June 2019

Nearly 20% of bitcoin traders have been hacked

"A new survey has found that 19 percent of bitcoin traders have been the victim of a hack on cryptocurrency exchanges, while 15 percent of consumers have been hit with crypto fraud.
The report, “Uncharted Territory: Why Consumers are Still Wary about Adopting Cryptocurrency,” also found that only one in ten people truly understand how cryptocurrencies work, and 29 percent have “some knowledge” of digital currencies, with that lack of knowledge stifling mainstream adoption.
In fact, 81 percent of respondents reported that they have never purchased cryptos, while 18 percent believe they are too complicated. In addition, 31 percent say that cryptocurrencies are too volatile, and 35 percent think they are nothing more than a fad."
Source:  PYMNTS, 24th June 2019

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Digital ad spend across Europe grew to €55bn in 2018

"IAB Europe, the leading European-level industry association for the digital advertising ecosystem, announced at its annual Interact conference today in Warsaw that digital advertising grew 13.9 percent in 2018 to €55.1bn, driven by strong growth in video, mobile and social spend. This is the fastest growth since 2011 and has seen the market more than double in size since 2012.
The AdEx Benchmark study is the definitive guide to the state of the European digital advertising market, covering 28 markets, and is now in its thirteenth year. In 2018, a total of twenty-one markets saw double-digit year-on-year growth
Out-stream video and mobile both dominated results in 2018, as they both grew by double-digits in all twenty-eight markets in the study. Out-stream video grew by 44.7 percent on average, compared to in-stream at 19.7 percent. Overall, video grew by 30.9 percent, to €7.6bn, accounting for 33 percent of the display market.
Search remains the largest online advertising category in terms of revenue with a growth of 12.5 percent and a market value of €25bn.
Social is fueling display growth across Europe, growing 33.7 percent year-on-year and now accounts for 49 percent of display.
Total mobile ad spend grew by 31.4 percent in 2018, to €22.8bn, and now accounts for 41 percent of all digital ad spend across Europe.
[...]
The IAB Europe AdEx Benchmark study divides the digital ad market into three categories: Display, Search and Classifieds and Directories. Growth in these advertising formats has been underpinned by shifting uses in devices and changing consumption patterns. In 2018, Display has closed the gap with Search, growing by 17.5 percent to account for 42.2 percent of all spend.
[...]
In 2018, the top five largest growth markets all came from the CEE region:
Ukraine – 26.9 percent
Russia – 24.9 percent
Belarus – 23.6 percent
Czech Republic – 20.9 percent
Serbia – 20.1 percent
Norway entered the top 10 in 2018, with further gains by Spain and Sweden.
Top 10 rankings (by market size)
UK – €18.4bn
Germany – €7.2bn
France – €5.2bn
Russia – €4.1bn
Italy – €2.9bn
Netherlands – €2.2bn
Spain – €2.2bn
Sweden – €2.1bn
Switzerland – €2.0bn
Norway – €1.1bn"

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Avengers: Endgame has generated over $1bn in 3D ticket sales

"Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame, the  critically acclaimed epic conclusion to the historic 22 film superhero franchise, has now generated over $1 billion in 3D ticket sales worldwide since the film debuted on screens, according to data from ReadD.
The film is only the third in history to reach this milestone along with Avatar and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. To date, approximately 45 per cent of the film’s box office has been generated from 3D ticket sales. Avengers: Endgame is the fastest film to ever hit the $1 billion mark in 3D box office."

18.6m people in India watched an IPL game live on Hotstar

"Indian video streaming giant Hotstar, owned by Disney, today set a new global benchmark for the number of people an OTT service can draw to a live event.
Some 18.6 million users simultaneously tuned into Hotstar’s website and app to watch the deciding game of the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament. The streaming giant, which competes with Netflix  and Amazon in India, broke its own “global best” 10.3 million concurrent views milestone that it set last year."

China accounts for over 50% of smart speaker shipments

"China has surpassed the United States to lead the smart speaker market.
According to new data from Canalys, China’s smart speaker shipments grew by 500 percent in Q1 2019 to achieve a 51 percent market share. The U.S. has dropped to a 24 percent market share in the same quarter, down from its 44 percent share in Q4 2018.
Baidu, for example, shipped 3.3 million speakers, bolstered by an exclusive sponsorship deal with China’s national TV channel, CCTV, on its New Year’s Gala on Chinese New Year’s Eve. The promotion prompted users to download the Baidu app, which handed out more than 100 million coupons. The company is now in third place in smart speaker shipments, behind Amazon at 4.6 million and Google at 3.5 million. Alibaba and Xiaomi each had 3.2 million shipments, with both benefiting from Chinese New Year promotions."

The final episode of Game of Thrones had 19.3m live viewers on HBO in the US

"Despite the lukewarm reception to the eighth and final season, the last ever episode of Game of Thrones drew19.3 million viewers for HBO in the US on May 19th, making it the most-watched live broadcast in the network’s history
Season eight of the fantasy behemoth averaged 44.2 million viewers per episode when accounting for catch-up viewing.
Prior to Game of Thrones, HBO’s record audience belonged to the finale of The Sopranos which aired way back in 2007."
Source:  Advanced TV, 21st May 2019

Thursday, 2 May 2019

The Guardian has 655,000 regular monthly supporters

"The Guardian and the Observer have broken even for the first time in recent history aided by record online traffic, reduced costs and increased financial contributions from readers.
Guardian News & Media recorded an £800,000 operating profit for the 2018-19 financial year – compared with a £57m loss three years previously – ensuring the business is existing on a sustainable basis following the culmination of a turnaround programme put in place following years of substantial losses.
The company said it had 655,000 regular monthly supporters across both print and digital, with a further 300,000 people making one-off contributions in the last year alone.
The Guardian has taken the decision to keep its journalism outside a paywall, while asking readers to contribute in order to subsidise its reporting into topics such as Cambridge Analytica, the Windrush scandal, and the Paradise Papers.
Total monthly page views increased over the last three years from 790m in January 2016 to 1.35bn in March 2019."
Note - it's not clear whether the 'regular monthly supporters' includes subscribers - I assume that it does.

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Spotify has over 100m paying subscribers

"More than 100 million users worldwide now pay for Spotify Premium, the company has announced. Spotify reached the milestone by growing paid subscribers by 32-percent year-on-year. Including free subscribers, Spotify now has a total of 217 million monthly active users worldwide. That includes two million Indian users who joined after the company launched its service there in February.
Globally, the numbers put Spotify well ahead of Apple Music, its closest competitor, who reportedly had 50 million paid users worldwide at the beginning of April. However, in the US Apple’s music streaming service in winning, according to the Wall Street Journal, with 28 million subscribers compared to Spotify’s 26 million."
Source:  The Verge, 29th April 2019

Earlier - 70m announced in January 2018
Earlier - 60m in July 2017
Earlier - 50m in March 2017
Earlier - 37m (estimated) in July 2016

Friday, 26 April 2019

A Global Digital Snapshot April 2019


Over 400,000 homes 'cut the cord' in the UK in 2018

"Declining pay-TV subscriptions in the UK suggest that cord-cutting, which is well established in the US, is now beginning to affect the European market, according to findings from research firm Strategy Analytics.
Its report, European Pay TV Index, found that the UK saw a net decline in pay-TV households of 424,000 in 2018, the largest decline of any European country. Other countries with falling subscriptions include Denmark, Switzerland and Germany, although the rates of decline are less significant."
Source:  Advanced Television, 26th April 2019

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Mobile accounted for 51% of UK digital ad spend in 2018

"IAB UK, the trade association for digital advertising, has today announced the results of the latest IAB UK and PwC Digital Adspend study, which reveals UK advertisers spent £13.44billion on digital advertising in 2018.
The total ad spend figure is a 15 percent year-on-year increase and demonstrates continued confidence in the power of digital advertising.
For the first time ever, ad spend on smartphones has exceeded desktop accounting for 51 percent of the total spend, up from 45 percent in 2017. This is a year-on-year increase of £1.65bn.
These latest figures show that advertising spend now better reflects consumer behaviour, with recent UKOM audience data showing that people spend two thirds of their online time on smartphone1.
Beyond mobile, an additional driver of growth continues to be video, which accounts for 44 percent of the total display market. For the second year running, outstream (which includes social in-feed video) has exceeded pre-roll video2, accounting for 57 percent of all video advertising."
Source:  Press release from IAB UK, using data from the IAB & PwC, 24th April 2019

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Apple Music has more paid subscribers than Spotify in the US

"Apple Music has reportedly surpassed Spotify in terms of paid subscribers in the US, holding around 2m more paying users. According to the Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, Apple Music had 28m paid subscribers at the end of February compared to Spotify’s 26m.
Spotify is said to be adding subscribers at a monthly growth rate of between 1.5 and two per cent in the US, while Apple Music is growing at between 2.6 and three per cent.
Though Apple Music has captured the lead in paid subscribers, Spotify still more overall users than Apple in the US, due to offering a free, ad-supported tier in addition to its premium tier.
It’s also reported that Apple Music is also outpacing Spotify’s paid subscriber growth globally – with Apple growing at a rate of between 2.4 and 2.8 per cent versus Spotify’s between two and 2.3 per cent."

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

There are 25m businesses on Instagram; half don't have a website

"We have 25 million businesses on the platform, half of whom don’t list a website. So Instagram is their digital platform. And so they’re already engaging with their customers in Feed and in Stories and through Direct (messaging). And so being able to turn that discovery and consideration mechanism into an actual purchase is something that I think is great for businesses, great for people, and truly could be good for our business."
Source:  Interview with Vishal Shah, Instagram's Head of Product, on Chaddar's Medium blog, 21st March 2019

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

There were 495 scripted series on TV in the US in 2018, one third from streaming services

"The number of scripted TV series on offer in the US edged up to 495 in 2018, according to estimates from FX Networks, with a big increase at streaming services offsetting declines at basic cable and broadcast networks.
The company’s annual survey of scripted series – everything from long-running hits like Game Of Thrones to new additions like Homecoming and Killing Eve – shows the overall total rising from 487 to 495, a little short of the 500 that FX Networks CEO John Landgraf had predicted at the start of 2018.
Streaming services, however, boosted their scripted offerings from 117 in 2017 to 160 this year, continuing a trend that has seen the streaming total escalate 385% since 2014.
Broadcast networks offered 146 scripted series this year, down from 153 last year, and pay cable networks expanded from 42 to 45, continuing a 32% increase over the past four years. The volume on basic cable networks dropped from 175 to 144.
Streamers now offer 32% of all the scripted series available to US viewers, according to the FX estimates, up from 24% last year and only 8% in 2014. Pay cable networks remained at 9%, while basic cable networks dropped from 36% to 29%."

National Geographic is the first brand to get to 100m followers on Instagram

"National Geographic ventured into uncharted territory last week, this time on Instagram, where it became the first brand to top 100 million followers. But the publisher’s success is more than organic. Its revenue from social advertising was up 80 percent in 2018 compared with the previous year."
Source:  AdWeek, 19th February 2019

Yelp's US restaurant booking service managed 5.6m diners in Valentine's week 2019

""Yelp Inc. (NYSE:YELP), the company that connects people with great local businesses, today announced strong growth and momentum in its restaurant services offerings, with a record-setting Valentine's Day week in which Yelp’s reservation and waitlist software handled 5.6 million diners. This comes on the heels of the company closing out 2018 by managing 22 million diners in December, driven in part by rapid growth in diners booking directly through the Yelp app, which tripled year over year in the fourth quarter compared to Q4 2017."
Note - this is number of diners, not number of bookings; a table for four is four, not one.  Still, big numbers!

The WWE Channel has 40m subscribers on YouTube

"WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) has hit 40 million subscribers to its official YouTube channel, and exceeded 30 billion overall views, as they continue to expand and grow on the video streaming platform.
The WWE Youtube channel is ranked 7th (as of end of Jan 2019) on the channels with the most subscribers, above the likes of music artists Ed Sheeran and Eminem."

Music streaming revenues have overtaken physical sales in the UK

"New digital services are turning the UK into a country of subscribers rather than entertainment buyers as music follows video and games to become a majority ‘rental’ market for the first time, according to figures revealed in the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) Yearbook, published today (March 5).
Revenues for paid-for music subscription services rose 38% in 2018 to £829m with the result that subscription now accounts for 62% of total recorded music revenues. Ownership formats like CDs, vinyl LPs and downloads now only account for 38% of revenues.
Key to the growth in people paying for access to music rather than ownership in 2018 was the work of streaming retailers like Spotify, YouTube and Deezer who continued to convert their free-tier users into paying subscribers, while Amazon introduced many more of its customers to its music streaming service - not least through the success of the Amazon Echo smart speaker.
Games first became a majority access rather than ownership market in 2016.  Video followed suit in 2017 with the rise of Netflix, Amazon Prime and Sky’s NOW TV.  This Subscription-Video-On-Demand (SVOD) sector grew by 31% in 2018 and is now responsible for over 55% of total video revenues.
Now music has joined the party to become a majority rental market."

Monday, 25 February 2019

The number of homes with only one paid video subscription is falling

"The number of people with more than one online streaming service is continuing to grow according to the latest consumer research from Ampere Analysis. In a survey of 33,000 Internet users across 16 countries, more than half (50 per cent) of respondents in 13 of those countries had at least one SVoD service, while in 10 of the 16 markets, more than half of SVoD homes were SVoD Stackers – those taking more than one service.  As more major players – such as Disney – enter the SVoD marketplace in 2019 and beyond, the billion-dollar question is, just how many services will consumers pay for?
The Facts
Netflix continues to be the dominant service, leading in almost all countries surveyed in terms of the number of subscribers
Amazon Prime only beats Netflix adoption levels in Japan and Germany – and even here, Netflix is the second choice
This is not just a marketplace where just two global SVoD giants battle for supremacy. Local players perform well in Sweden, Turkey and the Netherlands, and elsewhere, others are eyeing the market opportunity."

The Super Bowl caused Netflix viewing to drop by 30%

"Super Bowl 53, which saw the New England Patriots defeat the LA Rams in a poorly received contest, had a profound effect on Netflix usage on Sunday evening – with data surprisingly being released by Netflix themselves.
During the game, Netflix posted on its Twitter account: “So apparently this Super Bowl thing is kind of a big deal … looks like Netflix viewing in the US is down about 32% compared to a normal Sunday.”"
Original Tweet here

Amazon spent $8.2bn on marketing in 2018

"Amazon hiked its marketing spend by 30% to $8.2bn (£6.3bn) last year, making it a serious challenger to Procter & Gamble and Unilever as the world’s biggest advertiser.
The tech giant said in its annual report that its marketing costs "primarily consist of targeted online advertising, payroll and related expenses for personnel engaged in marketing and selling activities, and television advertising".
Amazon added that its marketing spend also includes promotional costs such as "commissions to third parties when their customer referrals result in sales" and "co-operative advertising arrangements with certain of our vendors and other third parties"."

450m people played a CNY game on Alipay in February 2019

"Chinese tech giants reported more user participation in the digital "red envelopes" during the Spring Festival holiday as Chinese zealously snatched lucky money for good fortune.
Some 450 million people participated in the game of collecting "five blessings" on payment platform Alipay to receive lucky money offered by Internet giant Alibaba, up 40 percent year on year, according to Ant Financial, Alibaba's finance arm.
WeChat, a popular instant messaging app by Tencent, another prominent player in the mobile payment realm, saw the number of red envelopes sent or received increase by 7.12 percent year on year to 823 million from Feb. 4 to Feb. 9, a report carried by the Economic Information Daily.
Giving cash in red envelopes (hongbao) is a traditional practice during the Spring Festival, which has been shifting online thanks to the increasing popularity of mobile payments in which people use apps to send, collect and draw virtual hongbaos on their smartphones."

Burger King's 'Whopper Detour' campaign drove 1.5m app downloads

"Burger King boosted downloads of its mobile app by 1.5 million with its "Whopper Detour" stunt campaign that offered 1-cent Whoppers to smartphone users who were near rival McDonald's locations. José Cil, CEO of Burger King's parent company Restaurant Brands International (RBI), revealed the results as part of a quarterly earnings call with analysts on Feb. 11.
Customers had to download the upgraded Burger King app and get within 600 feet of a McDonald's restaurant to activate the offer. After customers placed an order, the app navigated them away from McDonald's and toward the nearest Burger King to pick up their food within an hour.
The campaign made the Burger King app the most downloaded app in Apple's App Store for several days in a row and the most downloaded QSR app in the U.S. among direct competitors in December, Cil said. RBI also owns Popeyes and Tim Hortons."

Spotify spent nearly $340m to buy podcasting companies Gimlet and Anchor

"Spotify  doubled down on podcasts last week with a double deal to buy podcast networks Gimlet and Anchor. Those acquisitions were initially undisclosed, but Spotify has quietly confirmed that it spent €300 million, just shy of $340 million, to capture the companies.
That’s according to an SEC filing — hat-tip Recode’s Peter Kafka — which reveals that the transactions were “primarily in cash,” Spotify said. Kafka previously reported that Spotify paid around $200 million for Gimlet, which, if correct, would mean Anchor fetched the remaining $140 million."

Peppa Pig 'is teaching American kids to speak with an English accent'

"A British show for children is allegedly warping American toddlers’ speech toward “Mummy” and “to-mah-to,” according to several parents who have recorded their children speaking with an English inflection. But according to linguistic experts, the Peppa Pig effect, first reported by the parenting website Romper, is less a soft-power victory for anglophilia than a normal toddler tendency to mimic new words.
Peppa Pig, which first aired in 2004, features a town of animals speaking in Britishisms such as “zeh-bra” or “straightaway”. In the Romper post, Janet Manley reported that her two-year-old daughter started calling her Mummy after binge-watching Peppa Pig on a 21-hour trip to Australia.
Other parents have shared similar observations online: “The most entertaining aspect of my life right now is that my toddler has been watching Peppa Pig and now speaks with a British accent,” wrote Twitter user Jess Steinbrenner. NBC Charlotte posted a video of a young girl calling a car “wei-ard” instead of “weird”. Several parents said their kids were pronouncing “tomato” as Peppa would."
Source:  The Guardian, 14th February 2019
Note - The article partly denies the story later one - saying that you learn accepts through interaction, but that the kids may be imitating some words. 

Friday, 22 February 2019

A campaign on Spotify increased visits to Baskin-Robbins by 12%

"Baskin-Robbins saw a 12% lift in store visits — 4.3-times industry benchmarks — from an ad campaign on music streaming service Spotify, according to data verified by Placed. The offline attribution firm joined Spotify as a measurement partner in the United States, per an announcement.
Baskin-Robbins attributed 430,000 U.S. store visits to people who heard the "Baskin-Robbins Got Me Like" ad last summer. The campaign also drove 47,000 incremental store visits and a positive return on investment. Each ad urged listeners to "Find A Shop" and directed them to click and see the nearest Baskin-Robbins store, per a Spotify case study.
Dave Nagel, senior director of consumer engagement at Baskin Robbins, said Placed helped the ice-cream chain to make more efficient decisions about its media spend on platforms such as Spotify. Placed joins Comscore, Digitalist LeanLab, Foursquare, Integral Ad Science, Moat, Nielsen and Nielsen Catalina Solutions as a Spotify measurement partner."

Friday, 8 February 2019

97% of US smart speaker households only own one brand

"New research from Parks Associates finds smart speakers inspire strong brand loyalty among owners—97% of smart speaker households own only one brand in this device category. 360 Deep Dive: Consumer Demand for High-End Entertainment Devices reveals two-thirds of smart speaker households own an Echo device, while almost one-third own a Google Home. Low-end models such as the Echo Dot and Google Home Mini are the most common products owned, but the trend of brand loyalty in this early market creates opportunities for device makers to upsell premium products.
“More than 50% of U.S. broadband households bought at least one CE product in the past year, and close to one-third (16% of all U.S. broadband households) spent more than $1,000 on CE purchases in that time,” said Kristen Hanich, Research Analyst, Parks Associates. “These top and high spenders are willing to pay a premium for high-end products and can be drawn to products that will impress their friends and neighbors. Ownership of many high-end devices overlaps, particularly among newer product categories such as smart speakers or high-end tethered VR systems, so device makers can follow the demographics to target these top-dollar consumers when designing and promoting their premium-tier products.”"

1/3 of American Millennials joined a boycott in 2018

"In the past year, 33% of millennials and 35% of Gen Xers boycotted a company or product they had previously spent money on, according to a new report from CompareCards.com. Overall, 26% of Americans are actively boycotting a product today.
Men and parents with young kids are most likely to be boycotting a product or retailer, according to the report.
Nearly six in 10 said they're more likely to buy from a retailer or brand that gives to charities or is associated with causes they support. The report compiled survey answers from 1,034 U.S. respondents between Jan. 14 and Jan. 16."
Note - Compare Cards probably isn't the greatest source, but this stat is pretty eyecatching!

The New York Times made profits of over $50m in 2018

"Today’s news that The (failing?) New York Times reported net income of $55.2 million, after losses a year earlier — and that its digital business raked in $709 million — is just one indicator that some of the nation’s oldest media properties are finally crossing the bridge into the 21st century.
The Times managed to turn a profit while employing 1,600 journalists — an all-time high. Fourth-quarter digital advertising revenue increased 22.8 percent, while print advertising revenue decreased 10.2 percent. Digital advertising revenue was $103.4 million, or 53.9 percent of total advertising revenues, compared with $84.2 million, or 46.1 percent, in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to the company.
Those numbers, added to a newly robust Washington Post, a consistently profitable New Yorker and the erection of paywalls  at sites across the vast reaches of the internet, point to a very simple lesson learned — people will pay for quality reporting, videos, personal writing and exclusive information."
Source:  Techcrunch, 6th February 2019

Plus - 'More than 3.3m people pay for NYT digital services, inc news, crosswords and food apps'
"The New York Times Company generated more than $709 million in digital revenue last year, growing at a pace that suggests it will meet its stated goal of $800 million in digital sales by the end of 2020.
The results prompted the company to set another lofty target: “To grow our subscription business to more than 10 million subscriptions by 2025,” Mark Thompson, the chief executive, said in a statement announcing the company’s fourth-quarter financial results.
More than 3.3 million people pay for the company’s digital products, including its news, crossword and food apps, a 27 percent jump from 2017. The total number of paid subscriptions for digital and print reached 4.3 million, a high.
Online subscription revenue gained nearly 18 percent to reach $400 million in 2018, while digital advertising rose 8.6 percent, to $259 million. In the last three months of the year, digital subscription sales grew at a slower pace, about 9 percent, to $105 million. That slowdown was partly the result of an extra week in the fourth quarter of 2017 and partly the result of marketing efforts such as introductory discounts for online access. Those offers attract new readers who bring in less revenue — but the company expects many of them to become full subscribers over time."

Thursday, 7 February 2019

BritBox has more than 500,000 subscribers

"BritBox, the US SVoD service from BBC Studios, the commercial arm of the BBC, and ITV, the UK’s biggest commercial broadcaster, has surpassed 500,000 subscribers, doubling year-on-year, as it ends its 22nd month in the US and 11th month in Canada.
The service, home to a library collection of British streaming content, was considered the fastest growing subscription on-demand streaming service in the US from Q4 2017 through to Q3 2018"
Source:  Advanced Television, 18th January 2019

Twitter has 126m monetisable daily active users

"Q4 was a strong finish to 2018 with revenue up 24% year-over-year, reflecting better-thanexpected performance across most products and geographies. We delivered GAAP net
income of $255 million, net margin of 28%, adjusted EBITDA of $397 million, and adjusted
EBITDA margin of 44%.
Our focus on improving the health of the public conversation on Twitter delivered promising results in 2018, with a 16% year-over-year decrease in abuse reports from people who had an interaction with their alleged abuser on Twitter, and enforcement on reported content that was 3X more effective.
We made a number of product improvements in the fourth quarter, including making it easier to see the latest Tweets when people want to see what’s happening in the moment.
Average monetizable DAU* (mDAU) were 126 million in Q4, up 9% year-over-year, with double-digit growth in five out of our top 10 global markets."
Source:  Twitter's Q4 & Fiscal Year 2018 Letter to Shareholders, 7th February 2019

'Unidentified viewing' - including streaming services like Netflix - accounts for nearly 20% of UK TV viewing

"In the 12 months to September 2018, time spent on unidentified viewing – where the TV set was being used to do something other than watch a BARB-reported channel or on-demand service – increased to 19 per cent of all TV set activity, up from 16 per cent in the preceding 12 months. In minute terms, that is a rise from 40 to 46 minutes a day on average."

Songs are getting shorter - probably as a result of streaming

"Popular music is shrinking. From 2013 to 2018, the average song on the Billboard Hot 100 fell from 3 minutes and 50 seconds to about 3 minutes and 30 seconds. Six percent of hit songs were 2 minutes 30 seconds or shorter in 2018, up from just 1% five years before.
[...]
Why are songs getting so much shorter? Streaming is one the most likely culprits.
Payments from music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music made up 75% all US music revenues in 2018 (pdf), compared to just 21% in 2013. Streaming services pay music rights holders per play. Spotify doesn’t say the exact amount it pays artists for each stream, but reports suggest it is somewhere between $0.004 and $0.008. Every song gets paid the same. Kanye West’s 2010 five-minute opus “All Of the Lights” gets the same payment as West’s two-minute long 2018 hit “I Love it”.
“[T]here has never been this kind of financial incentive to make shorter songs,” tweeted Mark Richardson, the former editor of the music criticism site Pitchfork. Stuffing more diminutive songs into an album is simply more remunerative than having a bunch of long ones.
Still, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how much streaming has contributed to the recent shortening of songs. The length of pop songs had already been falling through the 1990s, before accelerating in recent years. Some music industry observers blame shortening attention spans—but there isn’t much rigorous evidence that our ability to focus has changed (paywall). Others believe that shorter songs may be a result of more consumer choice—songs need to be more compact and catchy to stand out in the crowd."

Instagram Stories has 500m daily users

"Roughly half of Instagram’s  1 billion users now use Instagram Stories every day. That 500 million daily user count is up from 400 million in June 2018. 2 million advertisers are now buying Stories ads across Facebook’s properties.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg called Stories the last big game-changing feature from Facebook,  but after concentrating on security last year, it plans to ship more products that make “major improvements” in people’s lives."
Source:  Techcrunch, 30th January 2019

China has nearly 100 'unicorn' start-ups

"China’s startup market had a good year in 2018, with close to 100 technology companies garnering a valuation of more than $1 billion.
Known as unicorns, the companies were led by eCommerce and video streaming services, the Financial Times reported, citing data from Hurun’s ranking of China’s top tech companies. According to the report, Hurun, which also produces the annual rich list for China, found there are 186 Chinese tech startups that have valuations of more than $1 billion. In first place is Ant Financial, the digital payments affiliate of Alibaba. Among the video streaming startups, the Financial Times said ByteDance made the list. It runs the Toutiao news video and short video streaming company Douyin. ByteDance, Tencent-backed short-video app Kuaishou, and Meicai, an online platform for farmers selling vegetables, were ranked the fastest-growing startups, with valuations that jumped 400 percent in 2018, reported the Financial Times. The report noted that internet services, medical and health companies, and education were the fastest growing sectors from a valuation perspective."

The main social media site used by UK kids 12-15



Source: Ofcom's Children & Parents:  Media Use and Attitudes Report 2018, 28th January 2019
PDF here
Long PDF with much more data here

Facebook has 1.5bn daily active users; 93% of ad revenue is mobile

"Daily active users (DAUs) – DAUs were 1.52 billion on average for December 2018, an increase of 9% year-over-year.
Monthly active users (MAUs) – MAUs were 2.32 billion as of December 31, 2018, an increase of 9% year-over-year.
Mobile advertising revenue – Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 93% of advertising revenue for the fourth quarter of 2018, up from approximately 89% of advertising revenue in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Capital expenditures – Capital expenditures were $4.37 billion and $13.92 billion for the fourth quarter and full year 2018, respectively.
Cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities – Cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities were $41.11 billion at the end of the fourth quarter of 2018.
Headcount – Headcount was 35,587 as of December 31, 2018, an increase of 42% year-over-year."
Source:  Facebook Q4 & full year 2018 results, 30th January 2019

Mobile accounts for 77% of time online in the UK

"Mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) now account for 77% of time online, up from 73% a year ago.
Females spend the greatest share of time on mobile devices at 84% compared to only 71% for males.
The ‘mobile only’ audience has grown by 7% points over the last year, up from 25% to 32% of the UK online adult population.
Platform share differs greatly by category. For example, smartphones account for over 85% share of time for instant messenger, coupons, maps, fitness trackers, books, social media, dating and online gaming categories. PCs and laptops account for over 50% of time spent on Education, Family and Automotive sites."
Source:  UKOM, January 2019

Marshmello played a concert for 10m people in Fortnite

"Yesterday (February 2), DJ star Marshmello played an exclusive in-game concert in Fornite at 2pm ET. Fortnite players could watch the virtual show for free, so long as they made sure their avatar was available at the concert’s location (Pleasant Park).
The numbers are now coming in on the event’s audience, and they’re mighty impressive: according to reliable sources, over 10 million concurrent users witnessed Marshmello’s virtual concert. These people’s in-game avatars were all able to hit the virtual dancefloor in front of Marshmello’s own avatar and show off their moves.
Fans now can, and no doubt will, buy official Marshmello X Fortnite merch – with a hooded sweatshirt setting you back no less than $55. (Youth sizes are, of course, available.) And the official extended mix of the Fortnite set is available exclusively on Apple Music."
Source:  Music Business Worldwide, 3rd February 2019

Fortnite 'is making more than $300m a month in revenues'

"To start, consider one of Fortnite’s signature achievements to date: its extraordinary revenue generation. In May 2018 (i.e. when the registered userbase was 38% smaller than today), SuperData estimated Fortnite was pulling in $318MM per month. To put this in perspective, The Avengers: Infinity War (the highest grossing film of 2018) did $2.1B in lifetime revenue at global box office, Candy Crush (which, unlike Fortnite, is available in China) peaked at around $150MM per month, and the biggest opening in gaming history, Grand Theft Auto: V, saw $1B in sales in its first five days (notably, the game was sold via the upfront/one-time payment model). No game has ever pulled in Fortnite’s sales figures, let alone month after month.
Except that last point isn’t true. Games generating billions of dollars per year have been around for a decade – it’s just that few of them have been big in the West. 2012’s Puzzle Dragon and 2013’s Monster Strike each grossed more than $7B to date, with League of Legends not far behind. 2016’s Honor of Kings (AKA Arena of Valor) is approaching $4B in gross revenue. Fate/Grand Order is at more than $2B (and was developed by DelightWorks, which is 100% owned by a single individual Akihito Shoji), and in 2018 – the year of Fortnite and PUBG – Fate/Grand Order was the year’s most tweeted about game. Disney’s Tsum Tsum, a mobile title based on a Disney line of plushies, has grossed more than $1.5B. And notably, most of these games generated almost all of this revenue from just two markets: Japan and China (though to be fair, Fortnite is yet to launch in China). Still, there have been some record-breaking titles that, like Fortnite, were also hits in the West. Pokémon Go, for example, has grossed more than $2B to date, while Candy Crush Saga is at more than $5B."
Source:  Redef, 5th February 2019

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

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

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

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

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

Netflix won five awards at the 2019 Golden Globes

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

More than 100m devices with Amazon Alexa have been sold

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

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Video games account for more than half of UK entertainment market

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

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


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