Monday, 14 August 2017

Facebook carries out 4.5bn translations a day, all using machine learning

"Creating seamless, highly accurate translation experiences for the 2 billion people who use Facebook is difficult. We need to account for context, slang, typos, abbreviations, and intent simultaneously. To continue improving the quality of our translations, we recently switched from using phrase-based machine translation models to neural networks to power all of our backend translation systems, which account for more than 2,000 translation directions and 4.5 billion translations each day. These new models provide more accurate and fluent translations, improving people's experience consuming Facebook content that is not written in their preferred language."

86% of US adult broadband users take part in binge viewing

"According to new research from The Diffusion Group (TDG), binge viewing — that is, viewing more than one episode of a TV series back to back — is rapidly becoming universal, with 86% ABUs (Adult Broadband Users) binging at least occasionally. But the frequency of binge viewing skews strongly in favor of younger adults. These insights are from TDG's latest report, Binge Viewing - A Consumer Snapshot.
TDG's new analysis identifies and profiles three groups of adult broadband users in terms of their binge viewing habits.
Heavy Bingers (binge daily, comprise 14 percent of ABUs),
Medium Bingers (binge monthly but not daily, comprise 51 percent of ABUs), and
Light/Non-Bingers (21 percent of ABUs that binge less than once a month, 14 percent that do not binge at all).
Importantly, TDG analysts found that the frequency of binging is strongly correlated with the viewer's age. For example, 58 percent of Heavy Bingers are between the ages of 18 and 34, while 56 percent of Light/Non-Bingers are age 45 and older."

Xiaomi is the leading shipper of wearable devices

"The burst of the wearable bubble may have been overstated — on a global scale, at least. The category has been struggling here in the U.S., but internationally, it’s still seeing growth. Wearables are up eight-percent year-over-year, according to new numbers from Canalys — not exactly exponential, but at least things are trending in the right direction.
It’ll come as no surprise to anyone who’s been following the space with any regularity that Xiaomi is leading the way here. Last week Strategy Analytics noted that the Chinese company had taken charge of global shipments for the first time ever, following Fitbit’s middling financial report, and that assessment is reflected in these numbers.
Canalys’s numbers (which are a bit lower than SA’s) put Xiaomi in first place at 3.5 million shipments, just edging Fitbit’s 3.3 million. What’s more notable than the photo finish however, is Fitbit’s on-going struggles, which find the company dropping a full 34-percent year over year.  It’s an almost complete reversal of last year’s 36-percent year over year growth. Apple’s number also dropped in the report, with company’s smartwatch moving to third place at 2.7 million shipments.
Price has been the primary factors driving Xiaomi’s growth in recent years. The company sells trackers for as low as $15 here in the States — something Fitbit and Apple can’t come close to competing with. Fitbit’s lowest priced tacker, the clip-on Zip, retails for $60, and Apple essentially only sells a single product in the category."

Snapchat has 173m Daily Active Users

"Daily active users (DAU)(1) – DAUs grew from 143 million in Q2 2016 to 173 million in Q2 2017, an increase of 30.5 million or 21% year-over-year. DAUs increased 7.3 million or 4% quarter-over-quarter, from 166 million in Q1 2017.
Average revenue per user (ARPU)(2) – ARPU was $1.05 in Q2 2017, an increase of 109% over Q2 2016 when ARPU was $0.50. ARPU increased 16% over Q1 2017 when ARPU was $0.90.
Hosting costs per DAU – Hosting costs per DAU were $0.61 in Q2 2017, as compared to $0.55 in Q2 2016 and $0.60 in Q1 2017.
Capital expenditures – Capital expenditures were $19.4 million in Q2 2017, as compared to $16.4 million in Q2 2016 and $18.0 million in Q1 2017."
Source:  Snap's Q2 Results, 8th August 2017

Monday, 7 August 2017

A new algorithm reduced Deliveroo delivery times in the UK by 20%

"Food delivery startup Deliveroo claims it has reduced its delivery times by 20% with a new algorithm called "Frank".
The London-headquartered company, which is now competing with Amazon Restaurants and UberEats, announced on Wednesday that Frank has enabled it to reduce its average delivery time to 29 minutes in the UK.
A spokesperson for UberEats claimed the average time for one of its deliveries in the UK is 28 minutes but Deliveroo would likely question whether its couriers are indeed faster on average.
Deliveroo said Frank uses machine learning — a technology that allows software to become more accurate in predicting outcomes without being explicitly programmed — to evaluate the most efficient way of distributing orders based on the location of restaurants, riders, and customers.
The algorithm can also tell Deliveroo's 10,000 UK restaurants how long it will take them to prepare a meal based on the time of the day and the type of order, Deliveroo said. Deliveroo claims that its 15,000 UK riders are benefiting from Frank because it allows them to complete more deliveries per hour and earn more money."

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

App publishers make 55% of their revenue though ads

"Eighty percent of top publishers use both video and display ads to monetize their apps, according to a report by AdColony made available to Mobile Marketer. Its survey found that ads generate 55% of mobile publisher revenue on average, mainly from video ads (31%).
Publishers are most enthusiastic about playable ads, which let users engage with a videogame after tapping an ad, and immersive ads, per the report. Less than half of app publishers use playables now, with just 25% saying they view them positively.
Pre-roll video ads have the lowest ranking among best user experiences, AdColony found, while 87% of publishers said rewarded video offers one of the best user experiences. In-app purchases have the best effect on the user experience, while subscriptions have the worst."

In-App ordering accounts of 9% of Starbucks transactions

"Starbucks, the coffee chain with 27,000 stores in 75 countries, continues to ramp up mobile technology as a key part of its strategy to handle customer orders, payments and loyalty programs. The company plans to test a guest checkout feature for first-time users of its mobile application early in 2018, Matt Ryan, global chief strategy officer, said last week in a call with investors.
Payments made with a mobile device increased to 30% of transactions in the U.S. stores in fiscal Q3 2017, compared with 29% in the previous three-month period. The chain’s mobile order and pay feature that lets customers order with the Starbucks app and skip the line generated 9% of transactions. That’s nearly double the 5% from a year earlier.
While Starbucks’ mobile app has led to overwhelming foot traffic at some cafes, the company has added digital order managers to 1,000 stores to improve the ability to serve customers who order and pay through their phones."
Source:  Mobile Marketer, 31st July 2017

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Games of Thrones, S7 E1 achieved Sky's highest ever viewing figure of 4.7m

"The first episode of the seventh season of Game of Thrones has continued its unprecedented run by recording the biggest consolidated audience for a programme ever on Sky with 4.7 million.
The episode. entitled Dragonstone, almost doubled its audience in the week after it launched, adding an additional 1.85 million to the original 2.8 million who watched it on July 17th. This stand out performance also meant the episode secured the fifth biggest programme audience of the year in Sky homes, outperforming Sherlock, Call the Midwife and Line of Duty.
The 4.7 million figure is made up of those who watched the 2am simulcast (live or on demand) or the 9pm transmission on July 17th, those who have chosen to catch up over the past seven days through on demand on Sky Atlantic or online streaming service NOW TV, and customers who recorded the episode and watched it back. A further 729,000 downloads and streams of the episode were made via the Sky Go app, with this expected to increase further over the coming weeks. Sky Atlantic has seen a huge increase in Game of Thrones audiences year on year with a 31 per cent increase on the opening episode of season six last year (3.56 million consolidated)."
Note - I'm assuming that the numbers aren't completely de-duplicated - e.g. people watching at 2am but then also watching again later on Sky Go.

ITV's ad sales fell by 8% Y-o-Y in H1 2017

"UK commercial broadcaster ITV has reported its H1 results, with a decline in advertising revenue blamed on “ongoing economic and political uncertainty”.
Advertising revenue fell 8 per cent to £769 million (€862m) in the first six months of the year. However, that fall was offset by growth at ITV studios, which makes popular shows such as The Voice and Poldark. The broadcaster’s sales rose by 5 per cent.
Peter Bazalgette, ITV Executive Chairman, commented: “ITV’s performance in the first six months of the year is very much as we anticipated and our guidance for the full year remains unchanged. Total external revenue was down 3 per cent with the decline in NAR partly offset by continued good growth in non-advertising revenues, which is a clear indication that our strategy of rebalancing the business is working.  We are confident in the underlying strength of the business as we continue to invest both organically and through acquisitions.”
“ITV Studios total revenues grew 7 per cent to £697 million including currency benefit. ITV Studios adjusted EBITA was down 9 per cent at £110 million. This was impacted by our ongoing investment in our US scripted business and the fact that the prior year includes the full benefit of the four year licence deal for The Voice of China. We have a very strong pipeline of new and returning drama and formats and we are building momentum in our US scripted business. We continue to grow our global family of production companies and in H1 we further strengthened our international drama and format business with the acquisition of Line of Duty producer World Productions in the UK, Tetra Media Studio in France and Elk Production in Sweden.”

55% of email is opened on a mobile device

"The rise of mobile technology has transformed the world in many ways, including the way users interact with email. Mobile email opens have nearly doubled over the past five years and more than half of emails are now opened on mobile devices, according to a new research report from email solutions provider Return Path.
Released today, The Email Client Experience analyzes the breakdown of platforms and devices that people use to open email. The report also looks at when people are most likely to open email, as well as the length of time they typically spend reading an email. Data from May 2016 to April 2017 is compared with results from a similar study in 2012.
Following are a few of the report’s key takeaways:
Mobile is preferred nearly 2:1 over webmail. During the period analyzed, 55 percent of email was opened on mobile devices—up from just 29 percent in 2012. By contrast, webmail opens (meaning email opened on an internet browser like or dropped 26 percent over five years—from 37 percent to 28 percent. Desktop email (defined as email opened on software that is installed on a desktop or laptop, like Outlook or Apple Mail) had the lowest share of opens with just 16 percent—down from 34 percent in 2012.
iOS continues to dominate Android. While email opens on both iPhone and iPad have fallen slightly over the past five years, iOS still maintains a huge advantage over Android. Combined, iOS accounts for an overwhelming 79 percent of mobile email opens, compared to 20 percent for Android. In 2012, just 14 percent of mobile emails were opened on Android, while 85 percent were opened on iOS.
Gmail has overtaken Yahoo in the webmail race. Webmail still holds a significant percentage of email opens, and Gmail has emerged as the clear leader in the webmail space. In 2012, just six percent of webmail opens occurred on Gmail; that figure jumped to 59 percent during the period analyzed. Yahoo has experienced a precipitous decline over the same period, accounting for just 5 percent of webmail opens during the study period—down from 37 percent in 2012.
Mobile opens peak on the weekend; webmail and desktop gain during the workweek. Not surprisingly, the greatest percentage of mobile email opens occur on the weekend—60 percent on both Saturday and Sunday, compared to a range of 51 to 55 percent Monday through Friday. Accordingly, both webmail and desktop opens increase during the workweek, when people tend to be in front of their computers. Webmail opens hold steady at 26 percent on the weekend and about 29 percent during the week, while desktop accounts for just 13 percent of opens on the weekend and 16 to 19 percent during the week."

Percent of start-ups reaching different funding rounds

WhatsApp has 1bn daily users; WhatApp Stories has 250m

"Facebook is winning the race to bring Snapchat’s Stories format to the rest of the world before its originator. WhatsApp Status, its version of Snapchat Stories, now has 250 million daily active users. That’s despite it being relegated to a secondary dedicated tab in the app, opposed to being front and center on the home screen like Instagram Stories which also now has over 250 million users."
Source:  TechCrunch, 26th July 2017

Pokémon Go generated an estimated $5.8m in revenue in a single day

"Mobile hit Pokémon Go had its highest revenue in a day since its viral launch last July, according to market analyst Sensor Tower. It’s all thanks to Legendary Pokémon.
Players spent around $5.8 million on July 23 on iOS and Android, when developer Niantic debuted Articuno and Lugia, two of five highly anticipated Legendary Pokémon to catch. This is despite its snafu at Pokémon Go Fest, a celebratory event on July 22 that went sideways when 20,000 attendees couldn’t play the game because of technical issues.
Niantic has kept up a steady drumbeat of in-game events and earlier this year launched an overhaul of the gym battle system. These efforts have maintained the attention of core players, but it looks like the Legendary Pokémon have drawn the most interest. Sensor Tower found that Pokémon Go is now No. 1 in the Apple App Store top-grossing chart in 23 countries including the U.S.
Last month, Pokémon Go passed $1.2 billion revenue. If it keeps rolling out content with high demand, we might see it reach another milestone."

Spotify has 60m paying subscribers

"Spotify’s singular focus on music sees it adding subscribers faster than the iPhone company with a streaming app on the side. Spotify has added 20 million paid subscribers in less than a year, while it’s taken Apple Music more than a year and a half to make that progress. Spotify now has 60 million subscribers, compared to Apple Music’s 27 million (as of June).
Spotify’s ability to accelerate its growth rate despite competition from arguably the world’s most powerful company is a testament to the product and community it’s built."
Source:  TechCrunch, 31st July 2017
Earlier - 50m in March 2017
Earlier - 37m (estimated) in July 2016