Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Axel Springer paid $343m for 88% of Business Insider

"German publisher Axel Springer, which lost out to Japan's Nikkei in the race to buy the Financial Times two months ago, is paying $343 million for 88% of the online publication.
Axel Springer already owned a stake of about 9%. Tuesday's deal values the eight-year-old Business Insider at $442 million, one of the highest sums ever for a standalone digital publisher.
Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) CEO Jeff Bezos, who invested in the startup several years ago, will retain a small stake. Bezos bought The Washington Post in 2013 for $250 million.
Axel Springer is a publishing giant in Europe, with holdings including the tabloid Bild and the newspaper Die Welt. It has been on the hunt for online properties."
Source:  CNN, 29th September 2015

More than 70 companies pay to let their ads be classified 'acceptable' by Adblock Pro

"After Marco Arment abruptly removed Peace, the first top-selling iOS 9 ad blocker, from the App Store, another app called Crystal has risen in its place. In fact, Crystal is now the number one paid app on Apple's mobile platform. The Wall Street Journal says reports that developer Dean Murphy has already earned around $75,000 (leaving out Apple's chunk) from sales of the 99 cent app. Not bad — but apparently it's also not enough. The Journal's piece also reveals that Murphy has entered into an agreement with Adblock Pro maker Eyeo GmbH that will allow other companies to pay so that their ads get through Crystal's filter.
Eyeo says its "acceptable ads" policy prohibits anything from being too intrusive or annoying. But over 70 companies (including Google and Microsoft) are already paying to be let through ad blocker technology — and there's potential for way more; Eyeo told the Journal that over 700 companies have ads that meet its criteria."
Source:  The Verge, 24th September 2015

The AA in the UK attends 17,000 warning light-related calls-outs a month

"Hundreds of thousands of cars will find new owners over the next two months but the joy of a replacement vehicle can be cut short when an unfamiliar warning light appears.
Help is now just a fingertip away with the AA app, which can help drivers identify warning light symbols and take appropriate action.
The AA alone averages around 17,000 warning light-related call-outs a month – including more than 4,600 red lights – which peaks when people change vehicle in the weeks following the new car registrations in March and September.
New car registrations trigger dashboard warning light confusion
AA attends 17,000 warning light-related call-outs a month
More men just turn ignition off and on and hope for best
Women more likely to phone a friend
More than 1 in 8 don’t have handbook in car
AA app has warning light information to help drivers"

33% of Buzzfeed's traffic comes from Facebook & 21% from Snapchat

"For starters, don’t think of BuzzFeed as a publisher of a single website that has great social media chops. It’s a “fully integrated social platform” whose Snapchat and Instagram channels are as important as — if not more important than — its natively hosted stuff. Want proof? Peretti read aloud BuzzFeed’s traffic proportions on the show:
23 percent: Direct to the site or apps
14 percent: YouTube views
2 percent: Google search to the site
6 percent: Facebook traffic to the site
27 percent: Facebook native video
4 percent: Images on Facebook
21 percent: Snapchat content views
3 percent: Other distributed platforms"

Pinterest has 100m active users

"Pinterest said on Wednesday that it had surpassed 100 million monthly active members, in a milestone for the digital scrapbooking start-up, which has faced scrutiny over whether the size of its user base and business growth can justify its huge valuation.
The company, based in San Francisco, has grown rapidly in the last five years, amassing a war chest from top venture capital investors and strategic partners, and gaining a valuation of $11 billion in the process. Pinterest’s highly visual interface — it is akin to a digital corkboard for saving pictures of places to visit and recipes to try — has influenced many other companies to make similar design decisions and rethink the importance of photos over text."
Source:  New York Times, 17th September 2015

Over 16m events per month are created on Facebook

"Luckily, many ticketing and social media platforms provide APIs, or feeds for events, where companies can aggregate a large event database. Last year Live Nation promoted 22,000 events, Brown Paper Tickets promoted 200,000, Eventbrite promoted 1.7M, and Meetup promoted 6.6M. Facebook reported that it was creating 16M events each month in 2014 and now has 450M monthly active users of Facebook events. Today, Facebook does not have a strong event discovery solution."

comScore's 2015 US Mobile App Report

Apple sold 13m iPhone 6s & iPhone 6s Pluses in the first 3 days

"Apple® today announced it has sold more than 13 million new iPhone® 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models, a new record, just three days after launch. iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will be available in more than 40 additional countries beginning October 9 including Italy, Mexico, Russia, Spain and Taiwan. The new iPhones will be available in over 130 countries by the end of the year.
“Sales for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have been phenomenal, blowing past any previous first weekend sales results in Apple’s history,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Customers’ feedback is incredible and they are loving 3D Touch and Live Photos, and we can’t wait to bring iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus to customers in even more countries on October 9.”"

Monday, 28 September 2015

Instagram has 400m monthly active users

"We are thrilled to announce that the Instagram community has grown to more than 400 million strong. While milestones like this are important, what really excites us is the way that visual communication makes the world feel a little bit smaller to every one of us.
Our community has evolved to be even more global, with more than 75 percent living outside of the US. To all the new Instagrammers: welcome! Among the last 100 million to join, more than half live in Europe and Asia. The countries that added the most Instagrammers include Brazil, Japan and Indonesia.
Instagrammers continue to capture incredible photos and videos from all corners of the earth (and even the solar system). We’ve seen inspiring moments like the first surface image of Pluto and Champions League celebrations, as well as striking locales like the white pools of Turkey and a Namibian desert ghost town. These are just a few of the more than 80 million photos per day shared on Instagram.
Also, a few notable names have joined Instagram in the last 100 million. The most followed accounts include David Beckham from the UK, Caitlyn Jenner from the US, Indonesia’s Raffi and Nagita, German soccer player Toni Kroos and South Korea’s T.O.P.
When Instagram launched nearly five years ago, 400 million seemed like a distant dream. Now, we continue to strive to improve Instagram — helping you experience the world through images and connect with others through shared passions."
Source:  Blog post from Instagram, 22nd September 2015
Earlier - 300m announced on 10th December 2014, 200m announced on 23rd March 2014

Friday, 25 September 2015

American smartphone users spend 80% of their app time with just 3 apps

"Time spent in smartphone apps continues to grow, according to comScore’s latest US mobile app report. Americans spent almost 70 hours in smartphone apps, on average, in June (excluding the web browser). Younger users, aged 18- 24, spent more than 90 hours. More apps are also reaching larger audiences: 60 apps had more than 10 million unique visitors in June, up from 44 a year ago, according to comScore.
But attention is still largely concentrated among a user’s top few apps. The average American spends 50% of their app time in their most-used app, and almost 80% in their top three apps, according to comScore.
The big winner, unsurprisingly, is Facebook. It’s a top-three app for almost 80% of users, according to comScore, and number one for almost half of them. (With 126 million US unique visitors in June, it’s the most popular app in the US by a solid margin. It’s also on almost half of users’ smartphone homescreens, according to the report.) And as Facebook goes deeper into mobile video, its share of time spent seems likely to increase."

Monday, 14 September 2015

17m people stayed in Airbnb accommodation in summer 2015

"Five years ago, in the summer of 2010, roughly 47,000 people stayed with Airbnb hosts. This summer, nearly 17 million total guests stayed with Airbnb hosts around the world. That means that in the last five years, summer travel on Airbnb has grown 353 times over."
Source:  Airbnb's Summer Report, September 2015
Note - 'Summer' means 'end of May to early September'

Only 2 of Amazon's 20 all-time best-selling were published before the Kindle was launched

"The importance of e-books to Amazon can be seen in a few different ways. Of Amazon’s 20 all-time bestsellers (in any format), only two were originally released prior to Kindle’s 2007 launch. (Another observation from the top-20 list is that all the titles are fiction except StengthsFinder 2.0). Second, in 2011, Amazon customers bought more e-books than print books for the first time, a trend that continues today. Despite an industry-wide slowdown in e-book sales, Grandinetti said Amazon continues to see a transition from print to digital, adding that “our Kindle business is growing.”"
Source:  Publishers' Weekly, 4th September 2015

Exposure to Tommy Hilfiger's Facebook ads on multiple devices increased likelihood to buy

"The approach has helped apparel manufacturer and retailer Tommy Hilfiger better understand how its online ads influence in-store purchases. The company ran a three-month campaign from March to May in Germany in which Atlas delivered ads across mobile devices and desktops via post-impression retargeting.
Tommy Hilfiger found that for every 1,000 consumers exposed to the ad on a mobile device, 0.3 made a purchase. Similarly, for every 1,000 consumers exposed to the ad on a desktop, 0.33 made a purchase. But for every 1,000 who saw ads across multiple devices, 0.86 made a purchase, which suggests that multiple exposures to an ad can drive shoppers to buy.
Moreover, comparing the company’s customer-relationship management data with impression and clicks generated through the campaign, Atlas found that 13% of members of the Hilfiger Club loyalty program saw at least one of the retailer’s digital ads.
That’s crucial information, says Avery Baker, Tommy Hilfiger’s chief brand and marketing officer. “The campaign not only supported online sales and engagement but drove a measurable increase of in-store purchases—a result that we’ve always found hard to measure.”"

Friday, 11 September 2015

Snapchat generates 4 billion video views a day

"Snapchat has joined an exclusive club: 4 billion video views daily.
The social media messaging app is showing strong momentum, doubling its daily video views in three months. The milestone was reported first this week by the International Business Times and confirmed Thursday by the Los Angeles Times.
The total daily views puts Snapchat in Facebook’s territory. Facebook reported in April that video on Facebook was getting more than 4 billion views a day. Facebook’s stat has drawn criticism from the video creators because Facebook counts a view after someone watches a minimum of three seconds of autoplay in the News Feed. YouTube, which reached the 4 billion daily views threshold in 2012, has stopped reporting that metric, instead focusing on watch time as its top measure of engagement.
Snapchat video views are counted on click, but since they play full screen and are only a maximum of 10 seconds long, it seems likely that people are paying attention."

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

'Every minute online' infographic

This is a new infographic from Domo showing what happens every minutes relating to services like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Uber and so on.

I generally hate infographics - badly sourced, out of date, irrelevant etc - but this one is good.

See it here - created in mid August 2015

WhatsApp has 900m monthly active users

"WhatsApp now has 900 million monthly active users"
Source:  Facebook update by Jan Koum of WhatsApp, 4th September 2015
Earlier - 800m announced on 18th April - 150 days earlier

Monday, 7 September 2015

35% of TV viewing is spent watching VOD

"The report reveals that VoD services are meeting consumer needs and enabling them to change viewing habits. Consumers now spend six hours per week watching streamed on-demand TV content – more than double the amount in 2011. With recorded and downloaded content added to the equation, today 35 per cent of all TV and video viewing is spent watching VoD.
Further findings highlight the significant growth in consumers watching video on a portable device: 61 per cent now watch on their smartphones, an increase of 71 per cent since 2012. When taking tablets, laptops, and smartphones into consideration, nearly two thirds of time spent by teenagers’ watching TV and video is on a mobile device.
At the same time, user-generated content (UGC) platforms account for a growing share of consumers’ TV and video viewing. Nearly 1 in 10 consumers watch YouTube for more than three hours per day, and one in three now consider it very important to be able to watch UGC on their main TV set in the home.
Anders Erlandsson, Senior Advisor, Ericsson ConsumerLab, commented: “The continued rise of streamed video on demand and UGC services reflects the importance of three specific factors to today’s viewers: great content, flexibility, and a high-quality overall experience. Innovative business models that support these three areas are now crucial to creating TV and video offerings that are both relevant and attractive.”
Other key findings include:
Linear TV remains key
– The popularity of linear TV remains high, mainly due to its access to premium viewing and live content, like sports, and its social value
– Linear viewing is linked to age: 82 per cent of 60–69 year olds say they watch linear TV on a daily basis, while only 60 per cent of millennials (those aged 16–34) do so
Binge viewing changes the game
– Bingeing, the watching of multiple episodes of TV and video content in a row, has rapidly become a key part of the TV and media experience
– This habit is prominent among SVoD users, where 87 per cent binge view at least once a week, compared to 74 per cent of non SVoD users"
Source:  Ericsson's TV & The Media 2015 Report, reported in Advanced Television, 3rd September 2015
Full report here
"More than 20,000 online interviews were held with people aged 16–59, and over 2,500 with consumers aged 60–69, across 20 markets: Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Russia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, UK, Ukraine and the US. All respondents have a broadband internet connection at home, and watch TV/video at least once a week. Almost all use the internet on a daily basis. This sample is representative of over 680 million people. "

Italians watch TV for longer than any other country in Europe

"Unlike the rest of Europe, Italians actually increased their average daily consumption of broadcast TV in 2014. Following a steep fall in 2007, traditional TV viewing grew by an average of four minutes and 42 seconds per-person per-day between 2008 and 2014 to reach four hours and 20 minutes. If we include online and pay tv viewing figures, the number of hours spent watching video in Italy rises to four hours and 37 minutes per day.
“Continued growth of viewing, in particular linear, can be attributed to Italy’s difficult financial situation, with high unemployment correlating to an increase in TV viewing time on a per-person per-day basis,” Cryan said.
Online viewing times are very low compared to the other countries in the study. “Despite investment, we are not seeing the kind of pick up or adoption in other European countries,” Cryan said."
Source: Report from IHS, reported by Advanced Television, 2nd September 2015

Using a mix of public transport and Uber can be cheaper than owning a car

"Consider a household that makes about 2,000 vehicle trips per year, in line with the national average. (If that sounds like a lot of trips, remember the figure is per household and not per person.) It can either spend $10,000 a year on car ownership,14 or it can use a combination of public transit (at a cost of $2.50 per journey15) plus Uber and taxis.
If the household can make all its trips by public transit, then that’s by far the cheapest option. But suppose it cannot. How many Uber rides can it afford to take before owning a car becomes cheaper?
If Uber costs about $20 per ride — about what an UberX costs now for a 5-mile ride in New York in moderate traffic — then the household can make up to about 15 percent of its trips by Uber and the combination of Uber and public transit will remain cheaper than owning a car. On the one hand, that figure implies that the household still needs excellent access to public transit since it must make 85 percent of its journeys that way. On the other hand, 15 percent of 2,000 trips is still 300 Uber rides per year."
Source:  FiveThirtyEight, 28th August 2015

UK Internet users spend nearly 3 hours a day online; mobile & tablets account for 56%

"IAB & UKOM publish “definitive” time people spend online - 2hrs 51 mins a day. Aims to clear up confusion around online media consumption figures. Mobiles and tablets account for over half (56%) of internet time.
The Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB) and UK Online Measurement Company (UKOM) today published a definitive figure on how long people actively spend online each day, to bring clarity to the market by removing any confusion around the conflicting sources claiming to measure time online.
UKOM, the official cross-industry standards body that measures online audiences using approved comScore data, revealed that the average Briton online spent 2 hours 51 minutes per day actively using the internet at home and work (during the first six months of 2015).
Internet time is split 1 hour 16 minutes (45%) on PCs/laptops, 1 hour 9 minutes on smartphones (40%) and 26 minutes on tablets (15%).
“There’s a lot of confusion when it comes to the various sources claiming to measure how long people spend on different media,” said the IAB’s Chief Strategy Officer, Tim Elkington. “So, we wanted to put a stake in the ground for internet time to remove this misconception and help advertisers understand how much time they realistically have to play with to reach people online. It equates to about 1 in every 6 waking minutes¹.”
The data comes from a combination of meters measuring the behaviour of 73,000 people (a panel) plus thousands of sites and apps being tagged (site analytics).
The resulting figures purely measure “active attention”, that is, only the time people are actively using the internet to do something. Elkington explains: “If I’m surfing the internet on my PC but then start using a word document, the internet time is stopped even though the web page is still open. A similar approach is applied on mobile when internet activity is interrupted due to calls or texting.”
Social media overtakes entertainment in share of online time
The UKOM/comScore data reveals that 16.7% of all UK internet time (1 in every 6 minutes) across computers, tablets and smartphones is spent on social media – up from 12% two years ago. Social media has overtaken entertainment, whose share nearly halved from 22.1% to 12.4%.
Games follows next at 6% share – double that of two years ago (3%). Together, these activities account for over one third of Britons’ time online.
Share of time differs dramatically by device
Social media accounts for over double the share of mobile/tablet internet time (21.4%) than it does of desktop internet time (9.8%). Games (8.6% vs 2.3%), Instant Messaging (6.7% vs 0.8%) and News (4.8% vs 2.2%) also take up a much larger proportion of mobile internet time than desktop time. In contrast, entertainment accounts for over double the share of desktop internet time (18.5%) than it does on mobile/tablet (8.3%); for email, it’s over six times the share (5.0% vs 0.8%).
“When trying to reach consumers, advertisers can’t afford to think of time online as a homogenous entity,” said UKOM’s General Manager Scott Fleming. “Mobile internet time is more heavily skewed towards social networking and games whilst desktop is more loaded towards email and entertainment such as film and multimedia. “The most effective digital ad strategies recognise and take into account how behaviour and mind-set differ dramatically by device.”"

A summary of UK boys’ and girls’ gaming habits and preferences

Core focus on game consoles because they are immersive
It’s all about completing the game and being the best
Tablets skew young or are more for casual gaming; they could be used to complement console games or promote conversation
YouTube is important for knowledge, discovery, and passing on skills—and should be embraced!
Gaming peaks at age 9-10, then migrates to smartphones in secondary school—social or puzzle games appeal the most
Don’t stereotype—racing and platform games are popular
Be inclusive
Mobile has opened up the market to girls – embrace the opportunity with this audience!"

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

40% of comments on Instagram mention another user

"Why is Instagram ramping up messaging? Brina Lee, a software engineer for the app, told that it's in part because 40% of comments on Instagram posts are @mentions which name-check another member, showing that users already like to bring cool photos and videos to each others' attention. The new features will help them do so in a more efficient manner."
Source:  Fast Company, 1st September 2015

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

21.4m tweets were sent about the 2015 VMAs in the US

"In the United States alone, 21.4 million tweets were sent about the ceremony by 2.2 million individuals. In turn, 11.8 million people received those tweets, which resulted in the VMA tweets themselves potentially being seen 676 million times. This is a significant increase over last year's social media effect, when just 12.6 million tweets were sent.
Also, not surprising, the minute after West's presidential aspirations were announced, Twitter exploded. More than 247,500 tweets were sent at roughly 10:49 p.m. Eastern.
Sources were unclear as to how many of those tweets contained the identical joke, "West/Minaj 2020.""
Source:  LA Times, 31st August 2015

Mobile-only audience of UK news outlets as percentage of total UK audience

Source:  NRS, quoted in Journalism.co.uk, 26th August 2015

8 companies from the Y Combinator accelerator programme are now worth more than $1bn

"Total "valuation" of all YC companies: >$65 billion
Total money raised by all YC companies: >$7 billion
Number of YC companies worth more than $1 billion: 8 [1]
Number of YC companies worth more than $100 million: >40
Number of companies funded by YC so far: ~940
Number of companies funded by YC that have dissolved: 177
Number of companies in the last batch: 107
Number of hardware + biotech + healthcare companies in the last batch: 32
Number of companies we offered to fund yesterday for the first YC Fellowship: 33
[1] This includes Twitch, which Amazon bought for ~970MM plus an earn-out."

450 million people use Facebook Events

"In the latest Facebook earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook Events now has 450 million users, a big jump in numbers that he says is now of "global scale." Of course, any Facebook user can tell you that this momentum with Events has been building for a while now. After all, why use sites like Evite and Eventbrite to organize parties if you can do so on a site that your friends and family likely already use? But the company isn't stopping there. In the coming weeks and months, Facebook is about to add even more features to Events, with a big push toward creating a bigger separation between public and private occasions."
Source:  Engadget, 17th August 2015
Note - I'm assuming the 450m is monthly active users

A Digital Snapshot of India