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 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