Dec 23, 2015

State of Content Marketing 2016

Content Marketing has reached its tipping point in 2015 and will become mainstream next year. I even think we will see a few acquisitions where manufacturing or retail companies will actually purchase media companies. This article provides a good overview without focussing on native or social too much, but rather on the big developments: https://contently.com/strategist/2015/12/17/state-of-content-marketing-2016/?

Nov 23, 2015

State of the Nation: Buzzfeed

Very interesting article by Jonah Peretti about Buzzfeed's status quo and where they are heading. Every media executive should read this. Yeah, they serve 5bn content views a month now. Yeah, there was a story that went viral in Germany (Techniker ist informiert) and after that viral in the US (did that ever happen before?). For Buzzfeed, that's a sign of their globalization. But the most interesting sentence to me is this one:

"We help advertisers transform and evolve their advertising and marketing for a world where audiences have shifted to social and mobile media consumption, where disruptive and intrusive advertising is blocked or ignored, and where consumers expect branded content to earn their attention."

So is this video here - how to bake brownies with nutella + 2 ingredients - advertising or not? It achieved 75 million views in 5 languages. It sure was relevant. It made an impact. It entertained people. BuzzFeed is betting big on this as the future of advertising. Most publishers see social and mobile happening. But are they preparing for the according advertising world, where the golden rule of money following eyeballs still applies?

http://www.buzzfeed.com/jonah/2015memo#.jyEaA2DMX

YouTube embedded player - a hail Mary pass?

According to Wikipedia, a Hail Mary pass is a very long forward pass in American football, made in desperation with only a small chance of success. Seeing YouTube's numbers, you have to be reluctant to think of "desperation" and "small chance of success". Then again, you hear rumors about YouTube paying huge bonuses to their big channels to not abandon their platform as soon as Facebook is finished with suggested video. And Facebook announces they have 8 bn video views a day, doubled since April, and without even having really rolled ou the video news feed, the true product behind all this.
Who cares of FB counts three seconds of autoplay as a video view and that in minutes served, YouTube must still be far ahead of Facebook? How far, that is the question, and can they stop or reverse the dynamic? One step to do so could be the embedded player. News and video sites had to invest a lot of money in video display and delivery, content and asset management etc., just so that they could serve their own video pre- and midroll ads on their own video infrastructure. That time seems to be over soon since YouTube will offer their technology to them. As a side effect, their content is so easily published on YouTube, they won't abandon the site. Could be a hail Mary after all.

http://thenextweb.com/google/2015/11/06/youtube-offering-news-publishers-big-incentives-to-lure-them-back/

Strategy, not technology, drives digital transformation

Says me, the strategist. And says Deloitte, the strategy consultancy. Says MIT Sloan, the business school of the Massachusetts Insitutue of Technology. So yeah, there might be a bias. But the report is worth a read, interesting and inspiring thoughts come up, and from my experience with digitization (or digitalization), I agree with most points of their executive summary:
I also think that

- the digital agenda is driven from the top (and in most cases, that's a bad message)

- taking risks has to become a cultural norm (again, a bad message. I am accompanying a German company in trying to implement a "launch fast, kill fast" culture, and it is incredibly hard to collect the recognition someone deserves who kills a project fast instead of somehow managing to let it survive)

- employees want to work for digital leaders (see driven from the top) and that many skills have to be built within a company. There are not enough data analysts who have successfully done that exact data analysis that you will need in your company. And if they are, you can't pay them. "Bake them" instead of hiring them.

More here:
http://sloanreview.mit.edu/projects/strategy-drives-digital-transformation/

Facebook bets on three technologies

This article was shared by Mark himself and a bunch of employees. So I guess they won't be that wrong:

To further grow these services and any others that Facebook develops or acquires, Zuckerberg is betting his company’s future on three major technology initiatives. One is developing advanced artificial intelligence [...] The second is virtual reality [...] which Zuckerberg believes will be the next major technology we use to interact with each other. And the third is bringing the Internet [...] to the 4 billion–plus humans who aren’t yet connected.

We read this and it seems so logical and downright normal that we don't even realize what that actually means. But AI is not only M, facebook's answer to Amazon Echo and Siri and Cortana, but also really understanding people through advanced math, algorithms, their interests and their behaviours, running a lab that would probably make many universities proud, with bright minds who figure out academic, yet someday economic challenges. The second enables us as users and Facebook to use that intelligence not only for communication, but for immersive, full body-and-mind-experiences. The Oculus VR headset of today is just a start. Read this lengthy piece about Zuckerberg and his company to not only see the creepy, but also positive side of where we're heading.

http://www.fastcompany.com/3052885/mark-zuckerberg-facebook

Fantasy meets betting: money printing

I keep pushing for a legalization of betting in Sports, as I believe that as long as stuff like smoking isn't banned, gambling should be ok. And with some smart combination of legal age, pre-paid activities and maximum stakes across industry you should be able to track and influence the behaviour of 98% of sports fans, the 2% being those who will ruin their lives over gambling anyway, be it legal or not. As soon as you start betting on a game, it becomes more and more exciting. The most lame and boring, 3-0 standing soccer match from Sweden becomes fun when you can bet on which team will score next, who will have the next corner and so on. How great for any TV station showing sports! And when betting meets fantasy, the whole thing becomes even more exciting. If you don't believe me, look at the numbers from FanDuel and DraftKings. Any professional Sports league (or even clubs) should be very interested in their business models.

http://deadspin.com/damn-fanduel-and-draftkings-bring-in-shitloads-of-mone-1743825648

WhatsApp vs. Turkish Airlines

There's a picture going around in the web from a presentation, comparing Turkish Airlines and WhatsApp. There couldn't be a more apples-oranges-comparison, but it is bizarre and intriguing anyhow:

Founded 1933 (TA) vs. 1999 (WA)
Employees 23000 (TA) vs. 55 (WA)
Market Cap 4.3bn (TA) vs. 19bn (WA)
Assets Planes (TA) vs. Servers (WA)
Function transports people (TA) vs. transports messages (WA)

I disagree with the assets thing because I think that's an old-school, physical-asset-perspective for balance sheets, as the true assets for WA will of course not be servers, but maybe a) the address books of people and b) their 55 engineers who serve 900mn users. And whoever now thinks that "old economy" like airplane companies are dead and only software will survive is a naive weirdo. But it is still amazing to see how few people in how short a time can create something that we trust so much more to be creating value than transporting millions of people safely and comfortably around the globe.

https://www.facebook.com/interestingengineering/photos/a.139188862817493.25247.139188202817559/990038151065889/?type=3

Oct 24, 2015

Demographics of Social Media Properties

Very interesting overview by Verto Analytics about the distribution of users on social media properties and which target groups tend to use which social service more. Facebook again proves to be the great dominator, Google+ shouldn't be included at all, but then it is interesting to see how KiK, Snapchat, LinkedIn and other services are positioned vs. Facebook including its own messenger and What's app. These are numbers that are rarely found and are typically drowned in statements like "there are 400mn people on Instagram, I bet our target group is among them, so shut up".

http://vertoanalytics.com/2015/10/the-demographics-of-social-media-properties-looking-beyond-downloads/

Oct 21, 2015

(German) Deutscher Entertainment und Media Outlook von PWC

Einige hilfreiche Zahlen über den deutschen Markt 2014 und seine potenzielle Entwicklung bis 2019. Big Picture: Print leidet massiv, TV stabil, Online wächst, mobile Advertising ist die große Herausforderung - wissen wir alles, hier aber bekommen wir Zahlen dazu, die einen PWC Stempel tragen. By the way: Dort tut man immer noch so, als würde man mit einer Studie wertvollste Leads generieren. Also müssen wir alle uns als "Birol Ekmek" registrieren, mit irgendeiner Uralt-Hotmail. Dafür PDF und Excel-Export.

https://outlook.pwc.de/

Oct 7, 2015

[Infographic] The European Video Streaming Challenge

Great numbers I have not seen before in any article about Netflix or their competitors, compiled by Statista and published by Horizont, about Video on Demand and OTT offers in Europe. Some highlights include that Germany with less than 10% of population using SVOD (compared to approx 30% in US and Canada) shows a big potential, and that in 2015, German SVOD market reaches 175mn USD (projected 473mn by 2020) and the US has reached 4,7bn (!) in 2015.

Great infographic.

http://www.horizont.net/news/media/15/Stati-zei-die-weltwe-Entwickl-des-Videostream-Mar--142917.jpeg

Facebook video vs YouTube video

A few weeks ago, news headlines stated that both platforms are on par now with approx. 4 bn video views daily (and recently, Snapchat said they have 4bn views daily, too). Whenever I talk about these numbers, I always mention that Facebook counts a video view when an autoplay video has been going for three seconds, and that in "minutes delivered", YouTube ought to be way ahead of Facebook. Well, now we have some numbers. I will switch to "years delivered": The world spends 46,000 years (!) every day in front of YouTube. In the US: 8,000 years streamed daily. And on Facebook? 713 years.

So that's that.

http://venturebeat.com/2015/10/02/facebook-v-google-in-digital-video-battle-youtube-is-11x-bigger/

Facebook Atlas Value Calculator

Maybe I am over-estimating what Facebook Atlas is expected to deliver over the next years... but I think it will be huge. Like mega-huge. One small indicator for that: Openly targeting cookie-based delivery of ads (which basically the entire market does) and comparing it to people-based delivery (where Facebook is the grandmaster and no one can even think about competing). Imagine they will be able to lobby cookies away one day. Chances are not so bad - every normal user hates cookies.

http://atlassolutions.com/2015/09/28/introducing-the-atlas-value-calculator/

Google's AMP project aims to slow down or kill Facebook Instant Articles

At least that's my take on it. One of the key arguments for Facebook to persuade publishers into Instant Articles is that they load ast, offer a slick user experience, simplay work brilliantly - while most mobile publisher pages would not be optimized for Facebook browser, work slowly, etc.

So Google helps publishers in its DNI initiative with a huge open source project. When they launched the initiative, my interpretation already was that this was aimed to defend against Facebook (http://epapa100.blogspot.de/2015/05/my-take-on-googles-new-publisher.html), but now with the headline "Instant. Everywhere." it should become very clear where they are heading.

https://www.ampproject.org/

Ad Blockers on iOS can now also block ads in native ads

I always thougt a) Apple is planning to kill Google by making everyone build apps instead of websites, b) offer a a superior in-app-search-engine to Google, and to do so they would allow ad blockers on (mobile) websites so everyone moves to native apps and uses iAds as a service.
Now they even approved an app that blocks adds in native apps, even in their own.
Someone explain this to me, please. Because the TechCrunch article below does not.


http://techcrunch.com/2015/10/06/apple-approves-an-app-that-blocks-ads-in-native-apps-including-apple-news/#.nxx18u:EXtI

Homeland, full episode, in your Facebook newsfeed confirms FB's development to a media house

You need social networks to run a newsfeed, and Facebook has turned the newsfeed to Social Media, the biggest Flipboard anyone could imagine. So I guess the times when we describe FB as a social network should be over. With Instant Articles, Suggested Video and such they are showing a clear orientation towards becoming a media aggregator while user to user communication moves away to messengers and smaller groups. One more proof: watch the first episode of season 5, Homeland, in full length, without geoblocking, IN your Facebook newsfeed. Would love to get the stats. One day, a producer may not need a TV station to distribute their contents.

https://www.facebook.com/HomelandOnShowtime/videos/1080053292015240/

Vice Media's view of Content Marketing

Everybody and their mothers are doing content marketing currently, and I believe they are doing the right thing. Companies like Vox, Vice and BuzzFeed are considered leaders and are, even though overall with much smaller numbers, in a kind of "incumbent situation" compared to traditional media when it comes to content marketing, native advertising or branded entertainment. That's why they sound like an incumbent at times. Listen to Mark Adams, Vice Media's head of innovation, here:

http://www.thedrum.com/news/2015/10/07/vice-media-why-content-marketing-so-much-more-ad-smart-media-buy

Second Screen Tools for broadcasters by Facebook

Because of its newsfeed algorithm, Facebook is way more successful than other social networks. But the advantage to show users relevant posts that occured when they were away turns into a disadvantage when it comes to live coverage - some posts are only relevant in a very small, near realtime window. And since FB is chasing TV advertising budgets like crazy, becoming the preferred second screen (also in visibility, because in volume they probably are already) may also be a priority A objective.
To achieve that, Facebook just announced a new arsenal of second screen tools, like app voting and polling, a photo and video submission app and more. Event-, show- and sports-TV will love this.

http://techcrunch.com/2015/10/06/facebook-unveils-new-arsenal-of-second-screen-tools-for-broadcasters

Oct 6, 2015

User stats for Instagram Germany: 3.4mn, 35% u. 19yo

Facebook still does not release market by market numbers for Europe - not for Facebook, and certainly not for Instagram. But then again, they want to make money and let us use the ad planner, so we can at least make some... "educated assumptions". Instagram user statistics in Germany, some interesting numbers that should leave Twitter in the dust.

Sep 23, 2015

The Washington Post will publish approx 1,200 articles a day on Facebook Instant Articles

It was clear that Facebook would not give up on Instant Articles - we should expect the opposite, especially when after an initial phase of excitement the topic gets very quiet. The potential of this product is too big, and if you want proof that Facebook means business, think about what a blog post like this means:
https://developers.facebook.com/blog/post/2015/09/22/instant-articles-from-CMS/?__mref=message_bubble

But what about the publisher side? According to recode (link below), FB will now put Instant articles in more users' newsfeeds and expand the number of publishers who can use it, including the Washington Post, which goes "all in". It may be hard to understand that a few weeks after they announced that they will be integrated in Amazon Prime, they basically give away their full content of 1,200 articles daily in Facebooks newsfeed - but the overarching story remains the same: Can a newspaper produce quality journalism and survive on the advertising business models that run on their own platforms like apps and web? WP says: probably not. So prime integration as well as articles that become own little business cases floating around newsfeeds, attached to advertisements that the operators of the newsfeed sell, may be an answer.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/pr/wp/2015/09/22/the-washington-post-launches-instant-articles-on-facebook/

http://recode.net/2015/09/22/facebook-ramps-up-its-instant-articles-and-the-washington-post-is-all-in/

http://techcrunch.com/2015/09/16/amazon-prime-members-can-now-get-the-washington-post-for-free-for-6-months/#.nxx18u:poUR

In the US, apps (continue to) kill the mobile web

New numbers are in, and the trend continues. While in 2013 the split in the US was 80% apps and 20% mobile web (in time spent), we now have 90% apps and 10% mobile web. And the time spent, in the same period, has significantly increased from 2:38 (hours per day) to 3:40.

http://uk.businessinsider.com/time-spent-mobile-browsing-vs-apps-2015-9

The end of the ad supported web?

I dislike all these "This is dead"... "that will die"... "the end of xyz" headlines. But this article is worth reading since it at least points out which problems display advertising will face in future. And there are some huge ones: first and foremost, the mobile shift as such. Second, at least in the US, the mobile shift drives people into apps. Third, ad blockers on iOS.... and so on.

http://venturebeat.com/2015/09/22/hurrah-its-the-end-of-the-line-for-the-ad-supported-web/

Instagram grew 100mn users in the last 9 months to reach 400mn

In its 5th year only, it has reached 400mn MAU - monthly active users - and is officially bigger than Twitter. 75% of its users come from outside the US. Instagrammers create 80mn photos and 3,5bn likes daily. Some predict that in its first year, served through the Facebook advertising editor, Instagram can make around 600mn USD with ads (including video ads in a TV-style 30 seconds format), and surpass the billion in the year after.


http://blog.instagram.com/post/129662501137/150922-400million
https://business.instagram.com/
http://recode.net/2015/09/18/how-facebook-turned-instagram-into-a-5-billion-business/


Also see a comparison between Twitter and Instagram growth:
http://uk.businessinsider.com/instagram-is-leaving-twitter-in-the-dust-2015-9

Sep 8, 2015

Facebook tests new mobile ad format

It's kind of an instant article, only fopr advertising. with autoplay video and image carousels. See the demo video... advertising on mobile is still one of the biggest issues the publishing industry has to solve. Native will not be the answer to all problems, and real time bidding/programmatic will only work well with ... the right format. And I don't mean skyscraper versus medium rectangle, but rather targeting and media format. The only ones who seem to be seriously developing and testing new things are Facebook.

http://recode.net/2015/09/03/facebook-is-testing-its-fancy-new-mobile-ads/ 

US Mobile Apps top10: 8 of 10 owned by Facebook or Google

According to comscore, Facebook has the #1 and #2 spots with the social network and messenger, and Instagram on #9, while Google dominates the middle (positions #3 to #6, #8) with YouTube, Play, Search, Maps and Gmail, in order of popularity). Only Pandora Radio and Yahoo! Stocks, both probably very US-American phenomenons, make it on #7 and #10. Note that the comscore metric only counts distribution (downloads) and not usage.

http://time.com/4023369/facebook-app/ 

The whole model of search may change

Facebook challenges Google on so many levels. With most publishers, Facebook is already the #1 traffic source, unthinkable only a few years ago, and with instant articles and suggested video (in-stream) and atlas (destination) they will get into the value chain of virtually any publisher in the world. As they announced M for Facebook messenger, we could take it as a serious sign that Siri and Cortana were not pet projects or marketing gimmicks. Probably search will change (also consider Amazon's Dash & Echo activities), and who knows if Google is in a pole position here?

http://techcrunch.com/2015/09/07/facebooks-messenger-and-the-challenge-to-googles-search-dominance/

Will action sports overtake team/ball sports with millenials?

Interesting article in NYT about "2nd tier sports" - actions sports. Apparently, they are more popular than football (american & soccer), Basketball etc. if you look at the online consumption. This might have various reasons, the major one probably being the value of license rights that makes the popular team sports less present online, but would count for more rather than less popularity. But: Less presence may easily lead to a shift in interests. "Action sports" may not have the huge mega-events the way traditional sports work, so they are less interesting for linear TV broadcasting, but are much more suitable for highlight clips, on demand, activity that is taken out of the competitive context - something that makes 90-99% of traditional sports clips attractive. We will see that in other content categories, too: on-demand capabilities that we "overlooked" because we used to produce for traditional TV first. And with on-demand capabilities comes audience, with audience come new production budgets like with Red Bull or, popular example in this article, "We are blood", probably the most expensive Skateboarding film ever made.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/08/technology/for-online-sports-videos-the-action-is-no-longer-on-the-field.html?_r=0 

Sep 7, 2015

Everything you need to know about branding

Ok, not everything. But a lot. From 1969. In this pitch video to rebrand Bell Systems, later AT&T. You can actually feel the Mad men type of guys behind this video. They knew something.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=1168&v=xKu2de0yCJI

Jul 24, 2015

Benedict Evans: Mobile changes everything

Most people who work in this area have used Andreessen Horowitz' presentation "Mobile is Eating the World" as a resource and inspiration. Now there's kind of an updated version from a talk Benedict Evans gave, along with some nice explanations and interpretation. 26 minutes well invested:

http://a16z.com/2015/06/19/mobile-it-changes-everything/

Social Logins overview for Q2 2015

Great overview on the use of social logins. Identity providing is, in my eyes, an underestimated business. Given that Facebook leads globally in this area, and their ability to a) individualize (and "socialize") each page that has a Facebook-logged-in user and b) to play out targeted advertising to these users, based on their Facebook profile, once a site would integrate their ad server, I think this can be a huge business.

http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/q2-facebook-still-most-popular-social-login-provider-infographic/623914

Interesting Infographic on Social Logins:

http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/gigya-privacy-personalization/623408

NBA will offer live streaming of single games at 6,99USD

No reports on the availability of the offer internationally, but in the US, where the "League Pass" offers "out of market" games (not shown on national TV or by your local networks), these games can be now booked without a full subscription as "pay per view" for 7 US. We will see similar offers for all sports rights that are not sold to TV stations - or are sold, but not broadcasted.

http://time.com/money/3968843/stream-nba-games/

"Download our app" interstitials can be counterproductive

Many people seem to be annoyed by huge interstitials on mobile websites promoting the respective app of a provider instead of showing the content right away. Google plus has now puublished their results and they are stunning, showing more proof that the mobile user is even more impatient than we may have thought - with their interstitial, 9% clicked on "get the app" (the article linked below does not state how many of them ended up downloading the app) and an amazing amount of 69% of users abandoned the site without viewing the content they initially wanted to see at all.

http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/google-case-study-on-app-download-interstitials.html

PopularPays markets Instagram reach of Influencers

Just like with MCNs on YouTube, we will see more and more marketing services pool popular users and influencers with significant reach and connecting them to brands wanting to reach people in non-traditional ways. One of those services is "PopularPays". They have 25,000 Instagram influencers signed up and brands can choose among them which they would like to integrate in their campaigns - and pay them.

http://www.popularpays.com/

http://techcrunch.com/2015/07/23/popular-pays-funding/

Jul 2, 2015

Facebook Video gets serious

A 45/55 split, just like YouTube, is the offer Facebook gives content owners to capitalize on their video uploaded to Facebook. Given the crazy reach Facebook has and the huge amount of video views - the NBA had 100mn views during the finals - this will be attractive even for those who already have a running pre-roll business on their sites. And 45/55 is the negotiation base for those with premium content, like sports or MCNs (bizarre, but in their own way, both are premium).

Since Facebook will play the ads .- for now - in between video plays (before seeing a "related" or "suggested" video), wait for a new optimization discipline to come: how to hack the "Facebook suggests" code.

http://variety.com/2015/digital/news/facebook-video-ad-revenue-partners-1201532366/

Jun 25, 2015

News sites benefit from Google Search update

If you ask me, that is because social takes over more and more of referral traffic to news sites, and Google cannot like it if publishers optimize their content for social, and put their resources into shareability and newsfeed discovery.

http://searchengineland.com/report-last-weeks-google-update-benefited-news-magazine-web-sites-223717

The most installed app outside Google & Apple App stores: Popcorn Time

Imagine you make it really hard for consumers to install your app, because it's will not be available on the app store. And you won't make any paid advertising for it. When you reach more than 1 million downloads on iOS alone anyway, then you must have something that people really want. In this case: free content. But i doubt that Popcorn time is only popular because it's free, it also has a) new content that you would have to wait for and b) there must be room between ridiculously priced and free, Most digital prices for a season of anything go beyond what i used to pay for DVD sets (and I bought many of them). This may very well be another reason for people who would pay 10 dollars for a season of something to turn to popcorn time: because they think 35 dollars is BS.

http://venturebeat.com/2015/06/22/popcorn-time-for-ios-passes-1-million-downloads-on-non-jailbroken-devices/  

Hulu paid 160mn for 5 years of Seinfeld

Old news, but remarkable: Hulu reportedly paid 875,000 USD per episode of Seinfeld - for 180 episodes and 5 years of VOD rights. That makes a little over 14,500 USD for each episode each month. Not so easy to bring this money back, so, similar to sports rights, i guess their excel files will show assumed additional spill-over-effects (and the effect that Netflix won't have Seinfeld). If you spend this money on rights, you should also have a nice budget to activate those with marketing, so Hulu launched a Seinfeld apartment replica in NYC, which is pretty cool for a TV show advertisment to create ongoing buzz.


Apartment
http://venturebeat.com/2015/06/24/hulu-opens-seinfeld-apartment-replica-in-nyc/

Deal
http://variety.com/2015/tv/news/hulu-seinfeld-licensing-160-million-1201483537/

Google Study about App engagement (and re-engagement)

I assume the study is a bit biased towards search, but anyhow we can find a few interesting statistics in Google's research with over 8000 users here. For example, (a to me surprisingly high) 26% of installed apps on a phone are used daily. Social and messaging dominate. And yet, around 25% of apps downloaded are never (!) used. I don't see how these numbers go together unless users bother to uninstall more than to open an app, but again: the tendency is clear. Plus, I wonder how such a study can go on without mentioning notifications. See for yourself:

Full PDF:
https://think.storage.googleapis.com/docs/mobile-app-marketing-insights.pdf

20% swipe right on Tinder advertising

I have written about Tinder advertising before, and I think it's a great way of integrating advertising that does not heavily interrupt your experience and still can make Tinder a lot of money.
Apparently. one in five users actually "match" with a brand, opening a conversation, which is an amazing number. This will, with more and more brands and campaigns, very likeley fall below 10%, but considering the fact that you are more likely to survive a plane crash than to click on a banner ad, everything north of 1-2% is great anyway.

http://time.com/3931132/tinder-brands/

Infographic / Facebook vs. Youtube overview

Apparently YouTube serves around three trillion video views a year, and Facebook will probably reach two trillion (I read somewhere else they were on par, but hey - one trillion videos more or less, Facebook changed the online video landscape dramatically, and will continue to do so. Also interesting the monthly ARPU (average revenue per user) of 0,73USD (FB) versus 0,28USD (YT), without even tapping into preroll ads.

http://venturebeat.com/2015/06/22/facebook-is-nipping-at-youtubes-heels-in-the-race-for-video-viewers-and-advertisers/

Native advertising: WPP, Snapchat and Daily Mail team up.

Interesting combination here. "Truffel pig" is a cheesy name for a native ad agency, but the most interesting thing is Snapchat's participation. The more you think about native advertising, the more you realize that distribution of "sponsored stories" is the key thing, although for many ad agencies and journalists the creative challenge seems to be huge. But after that, it's finding the right audiences, and that's where Snapchat will ad something valuable to this agency.

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/jun/23/daily-mail-wpp-snapchat-launch-native-advertising-agency

Instagram's search & explore overhaul

One of the key issues for Instagram users is exploring and finding new accounts to follow since "reposts" can only be done via 3rd party apps and possibilities for one user to recommend another one are pretty limited. Plus, Instagram can deliver a lot more value than just a stream of feeds - anyone who played around with a few hashtags can imagine. So it was a matter of time until they added some features to their search, and interestingly enough, they focused on location based exploration tools, trending tags and added a curated section. Maybe it is not always and only algorithms that will do the job.

http://blog.instagram.com/post/122260662827/150623-search-and-explore

How Eater uses Facebook video

On Vox.com's food vertical Eater, people share video directly uploaded to Facebook 12x more than video-links. Eater posts videos several times in order to reach more fans with it, and timing seems to have a huge impact on performance.

Jun 16, 2015

Facebook news feed algorithm to factor in "time spent"

Facebook news feed algorithm, formerly the "simple" edge rank", reportedly (according to Facebook engineer Lars Backstrom) factors in more than 100,000 individual weights - not as easy to "hack" as it may have been a few years ago. Now Facebook has announced that they will factor in "time spent" on a story, although they say they do not expect major changes for Facebook pages story distribution.

http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2015/06/news-feed-fyi-taking-into-account-time-spent-on-stories/

How TV newsrooms are using native Facebook video

They are not reinventing the wheel, but with more than 70% of video on Facebook being uploaded directly (that number being well below 50% a year ago), and 4bn video views a day, Facebook has now a way better infrastructure to directly target your audience with moving images than YouTube. Some examples in this article:

http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2015/05/how-tv-newsrooms-are-pushing-original-video-on-facebook/

Site speed / performance is even more critical on mobile

"If you need Facebook to solve the page load problem, then as a media entity you need to be darwined."

As one major advantage of Facebook Instant articles the company promoted its way better performance compared to links opening in Facebook browser - that often take 8 seconds to load, an eternity on mobile. This article shows how critical this is,

http://om.co/2015/05/14/on-the-mobile-web-slow-speeds-kill/

more about performance and instant articles
http://www.wired.com/2015/05/instant-articles-facebook-shows-us-paper/





Apple to allow Ad Blockers on Safari for iPhone, iPad

Sounds to me like: Make apps, where iAds are already well established, or use iAds on mobile web, too, otherwise we'll let the users do the evil that we don't want to do officially. Native for the win!

http://www.niemanlab.org/2015/06/a-blow-for-mobile-advertising-the-next-version-of-safari-will-let-users-block-ads-on-iphones-and-ipads/

Facebook awards 2015

Great resource for Facebook campaigns that were remarkable or performed well - advertising and marketing on Facebook seen from a rather creative angle. Campaigns ran in between Feb 2014 to March 2015, and many include interesting performance figures, Including the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge with 17 million videos that led to 70 billion video views.

https://www.facebook-studio.com/awards


Apple hires human editors

But not to write news, but to curate them for Apple News. This will an interesting approach compared to Newsfeed-algorithms on Facebook or the algorithm-based selection you get on Google News. Apple News will be a Flipboard-style app launched insome markets with iOS9.

http://9to5mac.com/2015/06/15/apple-news-curation-editors/


Jun 4, 2015

Let the games begin: NFL regular season game live on Yahoo!

That's an interesting one. NFL has been very restrictive with digital in the past, but in 2014 they started testing to distribute highlight clips with Facebook and Twitter, closed a (reportedly huge) deal with YouTube over highlights earlier this year, and now announced that they will stream a regular season game on Yahoo! - the deal is said to be worth at least 10 million. It will also be interesting to see how many people will tune in, and how performance will be with 10, 15 or more million concurrent streams.


http://time.com/3907434/yahoo-nfl-bills-jaguars/

https://nfllabor.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/nfl-yahoo-2015-ott-final.pdf

http://www.wired.com/2015/06/yahoo-nfl/

Ericsson Mobility Report 2015

Ericsson's mobility study is available as PDF download. There are some interesting facts about mobile and smartphones in this research. Stat of the day: global mobile traffic grew 55% from q1 2014 to q1 2015 and is on exponential growth path: from 2014 to 2020, they predict a tenfold growth and 80% of mobile traffic coming from smartphones consisting 60% of video traffic (45% in 2014). Every region will grow significantly, but by far the highest growth rates are expected from Asia/Pacific - including India and China. By the way, for 2020, Ericsson expects 6.1 billion smartphones. More interesting statistics:

http://www.ericsson.com/res/docs/2015/ericsson-mobility-report-june-2015.pdf

Global entertainment and media outlook 2015-2019

PWC publishes an annual media outlook, and of course it is paid content and terribly expensive. However, they disclose the big trends and some key numbers:

http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/global-entertainment-media-outlook/global-data-insights.jhtml

German overview:
http://meedia.de/2015/06/03/pwc-studie-so-entwickeln-sich-tv-print-und-onlinewerbung-bis-2019/

Digital advertising according to PWC

PWC have "discovered" what we all knew, but for independent consultants it is good to be able to underline what you have been telling your clients for two years now with "approval" of a brand like PWC: Digital advertising changes. On the one hand, you have the three big topics of social, mobile, video (social is missing in the PWC), on the other hand advertising is polarizing: quantitative approaches (programmatic) and qualitative approaches (native) that are not mutually exclusive.

PDF with "four trends" mobile, video, native, programmatic here:
http://www.pwc.com/en_GX/gx/global-entertainment-media-outlook/hot-topics/assets/hot-topics-four-forces.pdf

70% of Facebook video are uploaded directly

Facebook serves 4bn videos a day. Although they - reportedly - count a video view after 3 seconds of autoplay, this is an amzing number (and also in this article, they say therer would be a 78% completion rate of Facebook video, but from my experience with Facebook insights for posted video, I doubt this). The major shift in newsfeed video is also visible in the amount of video that is uploaded instead of linked or embedded via YouTube.

The second link below says that in a survey among marketing executives in the US, Facebook seems to be more popular for video advertisers than YouTube now.

http://fortune.com/2015/06/03/facebook-video-traffic/

http://uk.businessinsider.com/marketers-are-more-excited-about-facebook-video-than-youtube-2015-6?


Funny story: Since autoplay works silently on Facebook, Hotels.com produced silent ads with subtitles.

http://www.clickz.com/clickz/news/2411440/hotelscom-both-plays-by-and-pokes-fun-at-facebooks-rules

Jun 3, 2015

Imgur introduces native ads

Here's another player going "native": Pic-sharing site Imgur. Especially one quote from this article is remarkable, and it could come from anyone who offers native ads: "We want Promoted Posts" to be just as good if not better than the other posts that have made your way into your stream. We hope they'll entertain you, inspire you and help you discover cool things you didn't know about". Ad tech, pricing/business models, turning native into leads and all this may be complex, but a creative that will meet the criteria from this quote will be the major challenge for native advertising and "sponsored stories".

http://techcrunch.com/2015/06/02/imgur-introduce-native-ads-and-new-mobile-apps/#.pmgbjp:wmOW





Instagram will get integrated in Facebook's ad-buying tools

According to this TechCrunch article, Instagram will be integrated in (or get its own version of) the self-service ad-buying we know from Facebook. I assume that the majority of Instagram users have integrated their profile/sign up with Facebook, so the interest targeting from Facebook can be used there for advertising, too. For younger target groups that skipped the whole Facebook thing, I am keen to see how a targeting can be achieved. Instagram ads will include "sign up", "buy", "install" buttons and the app gets its own in-app mini-browser, just like Facebook.

http://techcrunch.com/2015/06/02/adstagram/#.pmgbjp:ima2

http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/instagram-adds-call-to-action-buttons-more-relevant-ad-targeting/621159

Jun 2, 2015

Social media generates 25mn annual revenue for KLM

Dutch airline KLM has 150 social media agents running conversations from Twitter to Facebook and WeChat, and it is not only customer service they provide. The airline fields 70,000 queries a week, and some of them are turned into bookings as the agents can, directly from social conversations, provide flight details and links to booking pages. Every agent represents approx. 170,000 USD in annual revenue. Social is becoming a profit center, besides being a customer service tool.

http://venturebeat.com/2015/05/21/klms-150-social-media-customer-service-agents-generate-25m-in-annual-revenue/  

From the email sent to me after my last booking with KLM:


What information and connectivity does to economies

Here's a link to a tweet. It shows a picture from a paper that is available for download at 38$, so we'll have to live with that single image showing three graphs: three regions and how sardine prices developed when fishermen got mobile phones. The prices stabilized in a radical matter. The more "perfect" a market is (from economic theory: the more information is available to all participants), the more stability you can expect.

https://twitter.com/tukopamoja/status/604663617032736768

Facebook is the No1 news source

Nothing new, but at least now we have some more data from a new study. For millenials, Facebook is the No1 source for political news. All those who said "the newsfeed is the new homepage" and that you have to present there to reach out to target groups were right. Interesting research with some nice statistics:

http://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-networks/adhutchinson/2015-06-02/facebook-now-number-one-source-political-news-study

Integrators and metaservices

Apps do hardly communicate with each other, if at all, and their data is not under control for their users. We use them as silos but never really ask the question, what would happen to, let's say, a tripadvisor site when i could take my past open table reservations, google search profile and swarm checkins with me? Wouldn't it make the whole experience a lot better? John Batelle describes "metaservices" and their ability to integrate, and how that will be one of the abilities that will determine success for new services.

http://battellemedia.com/archives/2015/04/integrations-and-metaservices-for-the-win.php  

Mobile first? Focus on screens, not devices.

Intercom's blog becomes one of the nicest sources for digital strategists. Paul Adams has published a number of great articles, and here is one more. He sees "mobile first" (what everyone is doing right now) as a strategy that may not always be the right answer, and makes a compelling statement that mobile - or fragmentation of screens - forces businesses to understand "the job" first, and then figure out which screen is best suited to accomplish "the job".

https://blog.intercom.io/why-mobile-first-may-already-be-outdated/

More thoughts on this:
http://readwrite.com/2015/05/27/mobile-first-strategy-wrong-business-enterprise

Digital transformation: Lego launches digital game

Stories of digital transformation are the most inspiring and interesting to me. Here's Lego who will not stop selling their little plastic bricks at least until we can print them at home, and have moved a lot forward during the past years. Lego movies by users are popular on YT, StarWars and Simpsons editions were extremely successful, and also digital offers keep coming: They just launched a Minecraft style game. A 1:1 translation of their physical approach, actually.

http://time.com/3903779/lego-minecraft/


Interesting lego stories:
http://missinglink.newfrontier.eu/en/blog/Pages/lego.aspx

http://www.fastcompany.com/3027147/leadership-now/how-lego-survived-against-all-odds-and-you-can-too

I don't get the Wunderlist / Microsoft deal

Microsoft obviously acquired Wunderlist for a price between 100 and 200 million. Yes, it is a gorgeous app, and yes, it is more than a to-do list, but seriously: a tech company buys a service with 12 million active users and a technology that cannot be so complex that only a few people on earth would be able to rebuild? I always thought you either buy a team, a distribution (number of users) or a technology. For neither I can see a 100mn value. What am I not seeing there? Why did Sequoia bet 19 million on Wunderlist 18 months ago?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenbertoni/2013/11/12/why-sequoia-bet-19-million-on-berlins-wunderlist/

http://www.wsj.com/articles/microsoft-buys-german-to-do-list-startup-6wunderkinder-1433177558

Jun 1, 2015

Tinder advertising

After seeing a first serious advertising campaign on Tinder, I personally believe it could be bigger than their pay product.

http://epapa100.blogspot.de/2015/06/a-glimpse-into-tinder-advertising.html

May 5, 2015

How vox.com approaches publishing on Facebook

Somewhat older, and yes, biased - it is a Vox marketing blog - but very interesting to see the approach and especially the emphasis they put on Facebook publishing as the social network grows in importance as a traffic source and insights/data generator.

http://marketing.voxmedia.com/2015/3/23/8208013/vox-dot-com-facebook-case-study-2015

2015 tech trend report

A nice slideshare presentation by web media group including one-to-few publishing, bio-interfaces, 3d printing, etc. etc. What I like is not only that it covers trends, but how - with key insights in one sentence, examples, and a watchlist.

http://de.slideshare.net/webbmedia/2015-tech-trends

Facebook threatens YouTube through its superior distribution approach

In the article linked below, it's an example from the NHL playoffs. But it could be anything. Facebook announced it has 4 billion video views a day (although a video view is counted when it plays for 3 seconds, and with autoplay in newsfeeds, that has to boost numbers). But the massive reach Facebook has is only one side of the story - in monthly active users (MAU), YouTube is not far behind Facebook. But to discover content on YouTube, you need to a) be a subscriber to a channel and get (sooo 90's) an email with links to a new upload, b) search for a video or c) see it being shared on social media - mostly Facebook. With c) declining, Facebook has a superior distribution approach because of the newsfeed algorithm which will make it possible to distribute a video to an audience that didn't ask for it or actively tried to find it. And in most cases, this will make the majority of views.

http://recode.net/2015/04/25/why-youtube-should-fear-facebook-the-nhl-playoffs-edition/

It's only a matter of time until most companies optimize their videos for Facebook instead of YouTube. Just like many publishers already optimize their stories for Facebook instead of search. Interesting example is PopSugar's approach described here:

http://digiday.com/publishers/popsugar-went-zero-14-mil-facebook-video-views-month/

Search evolves into a personal assistant

We all know Siri, and Cortana, and yesterday, when I gave a talk, and I mentioned the word Google here or there, a "stray" mobile phone close to the stage was happy to listen to my commands. We are getting used to talking to our computers, just like in the movie "Her", and the change in interface also changes the way we interact with the respective services. More and more, we are not entering "search terms" or "keywords", but are issueing commands. Google introduces this change also to the web search engine. You can make the search engine "your slave" - just tell it what to do.

http://www.fastcodesign.com/3045429/googles-new-interface-just-tell-it-what-to-do 

How technology is changing storytelling

Very interesting and informative video essay about the influence of technology on storytelling. The video is actually named "Is technology changing storytelling?", but that's more of a rhetorical question. The video can be found here:

https://vimeo.com/122948501

and what I love (and see far too seldomly) is when an author also publishes a list of links & sources to a piece. That's what editorial work should always feature in our times:

https://justpaste.it/k3tb

Apr 30, 2015

Is Google Now heavily underestimated?

Google Now has a huge potential, even though it might look creepy at first when you are not sure where (the hell) it got all this information. But when it serves you your hotel reservation details just right before enetering a cab on the airport you just landed in, you get to see the advantages of letting Google read your travel emails. Google keeps adding partners to Google Now to make use of their cards, the list is now 110 apps strong.

http://www.google.com/landing/now/integrations.html 

http://techcrunch.com/2015/04/28/google-turns-on-google-now-cards-for-70-new-apps/#.pmgbjp:xg6K

10 years of YouTube

No one thought YouTube would kill TV when on April 23, 2005, the first video was upoaded there. In between, when YouTube had (and still has) insane numbers, many thought that would happen. For now, all we can say is that YouTube perfectly amplifies and supports what's happening on TV. Maybe the next generation, growing up with MCN's, will behave differently.

http://time.com/3828217/youtube-decade/

Apps & software win over hardware

That's what Microsoft had to learn obviously. Trying to establish their own marketplace, just like Samsung, Blackberry and others before, they now make it "ridiculously easy" to bring iOS and Android apps to Windows. A move that should have happened with the launch of the new Windows mobile anyway.

http://time.com/3840459/microsoft-windows-apple-android/

Fashion Commerce is still up for grabs

E-Commerce keeps growing and growing, and so do all the categories, like computers, media, electronics etc. There are major players like Amazon or ebay sominating their respective markets. But in fashion, both are comparably weak and besides Zalando, market share sits there waiting to be grabbed. Fashion marketplace Farfetch raised 86 million at a 1 billion (!) valuation, and LVMH invests in aggregator Lyst in an overall 40mn round.

http://techcrunch.com/2015/03/04/farfetch/

http://techcrunch.com/2015/04/29/lvmh-accel-and-more-pour-40m-into-fashion-e-commerce-aggregator-lyst/ 

Mar 17, 2015

How Apple will make the wearable market

Interesting article on stratechery about the Apple Watch, focusing on how the world will change, and along with it the Apple Watch.

http://stratechery.com/2015/apple-make-wearable-market/

The best interface is no interface

Interesting view that immediately reminds me of the movie "Her". Today Google announced an API for GoogleNow and there are rumors that Cortana may come to Android and iOS, so the question of where our interface developments are heading is more interesting than ever, and this article adds a new perspective (and gorgeous graphics).

http://www.theverge.com/2015/3/17/8103593/golden-krishna-best-interface-is-no-interface-excerpt

Ever heard of Sovrn?

Me neither. But it seems as if it's a service that provides analytics and monetization to many independent publishers - and the tools look better than many that I have seen at huge publishing houses. Clients include The Onion and The Chive (and around a million more). Plus, they have John Battelle on board. We should keep an eye on this one as it could empower smaller, native digital companies with a native digital cost structure, to compete with the bigger publishing houses.

http://battellemedia.com/archives/2015/03/meridian-sovrn-levels-playing-field-publishers.php

http://www.sovrn.com/

Open API for Google Now

Will it become a superior notifications platform, enabling third partys to use cards, and speech recognition?

http://readwrite.com/2015/03/16/google-now-open-api

Wired's take on it:
http://www.wired.com/2015/03/open-google-now-make-android-super-smart/

Instagram Inteligence Report

Unfortunately, you have to register to download the report and will get spammed for the rest of your life. ClickZ took one for the team and published key takeaways from the study. Interesting stats abuot the correlation of follower numbers and engagement rates in this research.

http://www.clickz.com/clickz/news/2399673/instagram-followers-dont-equal-engagement-study

Twitter goes second screen

Twitter has, because of its realtime delivery and lack of any relevance algorithm, always been a better second screen than Facebook. The only better ones may be group chats on messengers. And that's maybe where some pressure comes from. However, Twitter launches "TV Timelines" - a second screen product to accompany TV shows. Live.

http://mashable.com/2015/03/12/twitter-experiment-tv-timelines/

Facebook Atlas - early phase

To me, the coverage of Facebook Atlas is not nearly as big as its impact on the digital landscape may become - the promise of being able to deliver display targeted to your FB profile, on third party sites, sounds like Google before AdWords to me. At least, there is some coverage, comparing Atlas to Double Click on Social Times.

http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/adoption-of-facebooks-atlas-growing-quicker-than-googles-doubleclick/301782

http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/facebooks-atlas-vs-googles-doubleclick-whos-gaining-power/616981

Bonus: Facebook acquisition of "TheFind", immediate shutdown, integration into the Facebook platform for better shopping recommendations and retargeting abilities.

http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/what-facebooks-acquisition-of-thefind-means-for-the-ad-industry/617046

Live Streaming as the next big thing

Unlike basically everyone I know, I am not in Austin these days. But everyone says that SXSW is dominated by chatter about Live Streaming being the next big thing, and Meerkat had its share of buzz in the last weeks, too. Plus, Twitter bought Periscope and cut off some services from Meerkat, although not its core ability. Here's an overview on time.com

http://time.com/3745543/sxsw-livestreaming-apps-south-by-southwest/ 

Meerkat CEO says 20% of its users watch 2 hours of video daily:
http://mashable.com/2015/03/15/meerkat-2hours-video-daily/

Will Nintendo end up a software or hardware company?

They are not the only ones who are standing at a crossroads - will we be a software or hardware company? Software has more scale potential, but is also subject to highest competition because of pretty low barriers to entry. Hardware may be risky when smartphones can more or less substitute whatever it is your hardware does (who still owns a dedicated digital point&shoot camera?).
Nintendo at least explores the software side of things, brings its characters and games on mobile phones.

http://www.theverge.com/2015/3/17/8230477/nintendo-dena-mobile-games-announcement

Of course, the "next generation" of hardware is being developed, too
http://uk.businessinsider.com/new-nintendo-game-console-2015-3

Will the new Apple TV be a service?

Apple reducing prices - sounds silly. But they announced this for the Apple TV box. But maybe - there are rumors - this is based on a subscription TV / OTT service that Apple could provide. The likes of Zattoo or Magine merged into one with a hardware box, access on numerous devices plus on demand services from itunes. Could make sense. As always, with a hefty pricetag of 30-40 USD per month,

http://techcrunch.com/2015/03/17/apple-web-television-service-would-awaken-a-sleeping-apple-tv-giant/

Buzzfeed's new strategy

When you do not depend on real estate (display advertising) because all you do is native, content marketing and apmplification, there's no need to have people necessarily come to your digital destinations. It's sufficent if you can deliver eyeballs to your clients. That's what Buzzfeed does, and their approach to their industry is simply amazing. So they still talk about numbers like their 200mn monthly visitors, but more importantly, they talk about numbers others don't even consider: like their 11.3 billion (!) views generated on Facebook. Or 6.4 billion views on Pinterest. In January 2015 alone, by the way. A part of these views, Buzzfeed gets paid for. Here's your native digital business model in a time when destinations do not matter that much anymore.

http://recode.net/2015/03/16/buzzfeeds-new-strategy-fishing-for-eyeballs-in-other-peoples-streams/

Mar 12, 2015

Apple Watch interpretations

Ever since the Apple Watch was first introduced, there have been speculations about its impact not only on our lives, society or the wearables market as a whole, but also on how it may (or may not) affect the Swiss luxury watch market. No we know that Apple's watch will be offered in a 17k USD version, these thoughts have been fueled again. There are some interesting takes here:

1. This great Wired article points out that a company with a 700 billion USD valuation (that may want to reach the trillion) cannot focus on 400 USD products anymore, since it would have to sell its product to basically every middle class household in the world to achieve a measurable impact on its company value
http://www.wired.com/2015/03/apple-watchs-highlow-branding-insane-economies-scale/

2. This would mean that me may see some high end TVs, but will definitely see cars from Apple.

Business Insider shows how huge the market is
http://uk.businessinsider.com/one-chart-that-shows-why-apple-is-interested-in-the-car-market-2015-3?  
And reportedly Apple shareholders are pushing them to buy Tesla.
http://www.theverge.com/2015/3/10/8185517/apple-shareholder-meeting-tesla-acquisition-elon-musk-carplay

3. Personally I find it a very interesting experiment to go into a top luxury market with a product that will be outdated in 2, max. 3 years time. Since luxury watches last forever - boiled down in that wonderful Patek Philippe claim "You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation" - the Apple Watch cannot make a promise that would be even close. I didn't read about Apple providing the generation 2, 3, 4 and 5 technology to be somehow built into the 17k USD edition you may have bought in April 2015, so basically in 2018, you will get a Huawei, LG or Pebble watch for 150 USD that will be a way better piece of technology. You won't be the dude with the expensive watch, but the idiot who could also be playing games on a gameboy. For the first time, Apple (or any digital tech with a certain market impact) does not scale the price of a product by its technological features, but purely by materials, bound to a technology that will be obsolete in a very short period of time. Besides sheiks, oligarchs, rich kids of instagram, Floyd Mayweather and drug lords, it will be hard to find a market, but maybe that is already enough to achieve that huge margin uplift that is needed according to topic 1) of this post. The Verge provides a nice overview about the clash between what the Apple Watch is and does, and the reasons why people (at least up to now) spend fortunes on luxury watches.

http://www.theverge.com/2015/3/9/8176049/apple-watch-edition-vs-rolex-benjamin-clymer-interview

By the way, I have had a Pebble and an LG watch and sold them both. If I get a notification about something that's important, I take out my phone. If I get one that's not important, I am stressed by a vibrating watch and constant notifications. Unless I can (in Germany) actually pay with a smartwatch, unlock my DriveNow car and my hotel rooms (without being locked out because of a battery that runs out) and more of those "physical advantages", I don't think a smartwatch really adds a good user experience, a sense of luxury or freedom to my life. But that's me, based on experiences with stone age devices.

Feb 26, 2015

The state of global connectivity [PDF]

Interesting facts about access to the internet globally, provided by Facebook / Internet.org, gives a good overview about the gap between "developed" and "developing" countries.

https://fbnewsroomus.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/state-of-connectivity_2.pdf

Push notifications statistics

The ability to reach out to users is increasingly important; especially with apps, where "direct traffic" is comparably low if you're not among the top 5 most used apps on someone's smartphone - you best traffic sources are posts from social media with deep links to your app and push notifications. About email newsletters, just another form of push notification, we more or less know everything - opening rates, CTRs, behaviour of users who come from our newsletters etc. - but there are not many numbers on push notifications from apps. Here's an interesting article including an infographic based on 5 billion notifications sent to 150 million app users worldwide (btw I love those stats that are not based on 1000 people answering online panel questions).

http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/accengage-six-percent-of-users-respond-to-push-notifications-infographic/615791

Which one is the first screen?

TechCrunch delivers a good overview and some numbers on second screen habits. Unfortunately, the question raised in the headline is not answered at least with some theory - but it remains an interesting one: Surely, the impulse to connect may come from a TV show, but during viewing time, the attention might switch to the so-called second screen most of the time while the TV show just delivers background noise and some conversation starters here and there. 

Feb 17, 2015

Self-service analytics is growing fast

The hardest thing to find (my impression in the German market) is capable business intelligence employees / data analysts. Maybe there's another solution: make data avaialbe so easily that the average managers may be able to analyze data and discover relevant information by themselves. Nice GigaOM overview about how the three top business intelligence self-service-analytics vendors are doing: Microstrategy, Qlik and Tableau.

https://gigaom.com/2015/02/13/the-rise-of-self-service-analytics-in-3-charts/

Videos will get you the most organic reach on Facebook

Everyone could notice how the Facebook newsfeed got filled with video over the past 15 to 18 months. Some time before, photos would have been the best way to reach your fans, and it was advisable to even use images that would display a text instead of just publishing a text status update. New data from Socialbakers shows in detail how much organic reach videos bring - and how little photos achieve nowadays.

http://uk.businessinsider.com/facebook-photos-worst-for-organic-reach-socialbakers-video-text-2015-2


Mobile video advertising matures

Nice overview on mobile video ads. The US volume in mobile video doubled from 2013 to 2014, and a similar growth for 2015 is expected. This TC article expects an equivalent to GRP to be developed for mobile video, which will make it easier to shift from TV budget to online/mobile video.

http://techcrunch.com/2015/02/15/why-mobile-video-advertising-is-set-to-explode/

Feb 15, 2015

NYT's Instagram Strategy

Nice Digiday article about the Instagram strategy of the New York Times. In a nutshell: Instagram's demographic suggests that one day, long in the future, this audience could be well suited to become NYT subscribers. If you ask me - very optimistic. A) to think you could, inception style, start influencing a purchase decision like this at a very young age (could work in other industries, like automotive), B) to think that these people will read newspapers, C) to think the NYT will have an important print subscription business in 10 or 15 years. Anyway, I wouldn't say the shouldn't be on Instagram, depends on the cost side also, but I would look for alternative ways to justify the cost.

http://digiday.com/publishers/nytimes-instagram-strategy/


Feb 12, 2015

Under Armour buys MyFitnessPal and Endomondo

Under Armour, still not very popular in Europe, is a sportswear company that recently overtook adidas in the US. With regards to the internet of things and connected products, the sports wear companies - in my eyes - may be disrupted heavily since they all ventured into electronic hardware (remember the fuel band), but may have failed to extend their mission for the new digital era: besides fashion, sports wear always promised to support your performance in the best possible way. In our time, this may not only be achieved my the fabric of my shirt or the gel in my shoe's soles, but more and more with data and intelligent guidance based on data. I myself have lost 18kg during 2014 - wiuth the help of MyFitnessPal. Although I was wearing Nike and Asics shoes to run, I cannot credit them. It was the app all the way. Now UnderArmour bought MyFitnessPal (80 million registered users) for 475 million USD, and Endomondo, a fitness tracking app, as well. I can't have an opinion on the size of the transaction from the outside, but moving to become a performance supporter that accidentally sells equipment rather than being a sports equipment company that, just because others do it, also offers some tracking features, looks like a very reasonable strategy to me.

My own longer take on it:
http://epapa100.blogspot.de/2015/02/underarmour-buys-myfitnesspal.html

More info:
http://www.uabiz.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=894686

http://readwrite.com/2015/02/04/under-armour-myfitnesspal-endomondo


Native video on social networks

Twitter launched their native video upload & post features recently via the app, and everybody knows 2015 will be a video year for Facebook. For most brands, just as they reached a point where getting enough images to post on social media, this means they will need to create capabilities of creating relevant, brand-supporting short form video if they want to keep frequent relations with audiences. Here we go again; more and more people with rather journalistic than marketing skill will work for corporations.

http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/what-the-rise-of-native-video-on-facebook-twitter-means-for-brands/614827 

Content moderation: still a mainly manual work

Very interesting piece of Journalism in Wired reveals how Facebook (and others) employ a massive amount of people in the Phillipines, where employees have to look at the worst stuff one can imagine, in order to keep it out of newsfeeds.

http://www.wired.com/2014/10/content-moderation/

IKEA does emojis

Since iOS opened the opportunity for alternative keyboards, and messenger services keep growing like crazy, emojis are a great opportunity to connect to target groups. Although I don't specifically like that set that IKEA produced, I think that many brands - especially those that have anything 'iconic' - could benefit greatly from offering emojis, and that all of them are moving a bit slow. Similar to the early days of in-game advertising, this kind of engagement maybe not so visible publicly, but to those who engage with it, the impact must be huge.

http://techcrunch.com/2015/02/11/ikea-does-emoji/

Feb 4, 2015

Jersey cameras on Euroleague Basketball

Euroleague will start using jersey cameras on their match broadcasts, starting with the referees wearing them - on Barcelona vs. Real Madrid no less. They already announced that they may use them on players, too in the near future. The demo video featured does not necessarily look like the claim 'the future of sports broadcasting', but it is evident that we will see a lot more wearable technology integrated in professional sports, delivering live data or image feeds, enhancing the experience for viewers who are not on linear TV. Smaller sports will use this to get attention and attract audiences, maybe even integrate sponsors, bigger sports may leverage these new technologies to increase the price of online broadcasting rights.

http://www.euroleague.net/news/i/5qbstfxvnpucltv9

Feb 3, 2015

ESPN's future

Lengthy but great read on ESPN's strategy for the future on The Verge. This is an analysis where an entity that is "mostly a TV channel" but with great successes in the digital world tries to find a position that will secure current revenues (to pay off insanely expensive broadcasting rights) while at the same time building a foundation in which the company cana thrive without linear TV. Very interesting read for anyone interested in Sports Media.

http://www.theverge.com/2015/1/28/7878051/espn-sportscenter-studio-and-the-future-of-sports-tv

Viacom to launch Nickelodeon streaming service

Viacom, owning Comedy Central, MTV, VH1 and other channels, has lots of content that is perfectly dsigned for on-demand video. Interestng to see how much they will rely on 3rd parties like Netflix or even Snapchat to distribute their content, and how much they will be able to build direct relations to audiences by themselves. With Nickelodeon, heavily focused on mobile and very young target groups, this could be a "(rather) low hanging fruit".

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/29/viacom-results-idUSL4N0V85SQ20150129

GoogleNow integrates with 3rd party apps

Never been a big fan of GoogleNow - at least for me on both my Android phones, its signal to noise ratio is underwhelming. But I am excited about cards as such - the technical unnit that GoogleNow delivers its messages on. And integrating third party content in cards is an interesting development.

http://searchengineland.com/google-now-cards-integrated-third-party-developer-apps-213968

Tencent buys digital rights for NBA

Tencent, China's Internet giant with more than 800 million users on QQ alone (plus WeChat and some other services), grabs digital rights for the NBA, including live and on demand games. The NBA's global strategy is very interesting, partnering with local portals for language and content-adaption to the specifics of each market (Germany: Spox, Greece: sport24, Spain: AS and so on), but maintaining the "every game live and on demand" for League Pass in English.

http://venturebeat.com/2015/01/30/tencent-grabs-the-digital-rights-to-nba-basketball-in-china/

Deep links on mobile

Not only app stores are broken, but app to app interplay is also stuck somewhere in the stone age compared to desktop. However smooth Facebook and messenger switch to one another, deep linking into apps is still a big problem. But we're making progress.

http://readwrite.com/2015/01/29/deep-linking-button-urx-sdk-now-hot

Another view: why deep linking is not enough:

http://venturebeat.com/2015/02/01/why-deep-linking-isnt-enough-for-mobile-app-integration/

Social Logins Infographic

Not so long ago it seemed like a head-tohead-battle between Google and Facebook for social logins, but on mobile, Facebook has a staggering 77% of the market. Combine this with Atlas and the ongoing shift to mobile and you see why you should buy Facebook stock: It's like Google before AdWords.

http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/infographic-gigya-4q-2014/613589

Security updates for cars

That's how far we are in "the internet of everything" - I am always horrified by system updates for all my devices - often, something will afterwards not work the way it did on my ipad, Apple laptop or Mac Mini, and while everything remains working on windows, I hate the time it takes for downloading (and slowing down everything in the system) and installing apps. I see myself sitting in some car someday not able to start it because of a "critical security update". Someday?

BMW had to just update their cars:

http://uk.businessinsider.com/bmw-and-rolls-royce-cars-hacked-2015-2

Interesting overviews on connected cars, one positive, one negative:

http://techcrunch.com/2015/01/31/how-connected-cars-have-established-a-new-ecosystem-powered-by-iot/

http://readwrite.com/2015/01/29/connected-cars-not-happening-in-2015

App stores are broken

and must be fixed. Another evidence of why app stores are dysfunctional: 83% of apps are effectively invisible.

http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/report-83-percent-of-ios-apps-are-effectively-invisible/614050

Messaging apps will capitalize on their reach

We all are waiting for What's App's telephone feature. But if you look at all the other messengers, Viber, Kik, WeChat etc., you see that they are planning to become much more than messaging or communication tools. Line for example has an Uber-like service in Tokyo, and now launches grocery delivery in Thailand.

http://techcrunch.com/2015/02/01/line-groceries-southeast-asia/

Video on Snapchat

Snapchat with 100mn+ monthly active users (no exact figures available in the market) experiments with "Snapchat discover", a feature that brings you stories from National Geographic, Vice, Comedy Central and others. THere's an interesting quote in their announcement - do they really mean it or is it because they don't have the features to implement?

"Social media companies tell us what to read based on what's most recent or most popular. We see it differently. We count on editors and artists, not clicks and shares, to determine what's important"

Some insight: http://mashable.com/2015/01/27/snapchat-discover/

Original post by Snapchat:

http://blog.snapchat.com/post/109302961090/introducing-discover

In-Flight VR headsets

Everybody raves about VR, Oculus and Samsung at the forefront. And once you tried them, you immediately think "I have seen the future". As ridicolous as it may seem when others see you experiencing virtual reality (this picture went viral), I never thought of the great usecase on a flight. The guy in the middle seat annoys you? The flight is, as always, boring, and your phone's battery is nearly ampty after a long day? Get a headset and slip into a new world. Qantas launched a three months trial.

http://time.com/3687546/virtual-reality-airline/


Superbowl is big, but not as big as football

I refuse to say soccer, because it is played by foot with a ball, whereas American Football is played by hand with an egg. The Superbowl XLIX was the most facebooked, most tweeted Superbowl ever, but not as big as the football World Cup final or even the Brazil-Germany semifinal (on Facebook and Twitter with regards to conversation volume).

TechCrunch provides a good overview of numbers and activities, for example YouTube's own halftime show.

http://techcrunch.com/2015/02/02/social-networks-report-record-numbers-around-super-bowl-conversations/#Eg9Fop:JBv

Artificial Intelligence is coming

When I was in University more than 20 years ago, we read books from Ray Kurzweil. They were exciting, but we read them as some kind of Science Fiction - literally "fiction". It seems that this is not fiction anymore. Lengthy read, but worth it:

http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-1.html

Jan 23, 2015

Popcorn Time vs. Netflix in search

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings wrote in their (interesting) earnings letter that piracy becomes an issue again, mainly due to Popcorn Time. There's a stunning overlap of search terms, documented in the article here:

http://venturebeat.com/2015/01/21/netflix-ceo-shows-why-piracy-is-a-major-threat-again-in-3-charts/

The internet will disappear

Said Google chairman Eric Schmidt in Davos. Many see the internet of the future as a ubiquitous presence that you won't even notice - just like in the movie "Her" you can ask something into an empty room and some voice may give you an answer. I've linked to some of those stories here, mentioned Zuckerbergs view here, and the crazy patent drawings from Magic Leap here. And then, Microsoft just announced this. It's always a weak argument, but I guess all these people won't be wrong.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/google-chairman-eric-schmidt-internet-765989

Jan 18, 2015

Patent drawings from Magic Leap

Google 400mn+ funded augmented reality device gives us a glimpse into the future. Interesting interface to compute: your fingers in front of a camera built into glasses. Zuckerberg stated his opinion that in 10 years, augmented reality will be the normal interface to the web recently in his Colombia townhall Q&A, and Google is investing heavily. Augmented reality might really happen someday.

http://www.theverge.com/tldr/2015/1/17/7559473/google-magic-leap-patents-drawings

Search numbers by device (Q4 2014)

Google Search Ad spend is 50/50 between smartphones& tablets vs. desktop in Q4 2014, although when it comes to impressions, desktop has 66%, from conversions 69%.

http://searchengineland.com/smartphones-account-40-percent-us-search-ad-spend-q4-marin-212821

App stores must go

I have expressed several times how I think that App Stores are dysfunctional, and ultimately damaging to the internet economy. Great to see that someone like John Batelle expects 2015 to be the year where this will truly become apparent.

http://battellemedia.com/archives/2015/01/3-waves-mobile-revenue.php

Zuckerberg's Q&A from Colombia

Most interesting take-away from my side: He predicts that in 10 years, we will have "heads up, distraction free interfaces" to compute - basically what we call augmented reality today.

https://www.facebook.com/qawithmark/posts/869972729727170

In-game goal celebration selfie

We were used to see selfies of players after a match, having their cellphones on the pitch. But during a game? Celebrating a goal? At least for a major football league, this should be a new thing. At least it was later posted on the Club's Facebook page (player: Totti, club: AS Roma). If players start sending out posts in realtime from the pitch, it will change how we see football on TV.

http://mashable.com/2015/01/12/totti-roma-goal-selfie/

91.5% market share for Google - in an area different from search

Retargeting. According to this Infographic, Facebook has 0,7% in retargeting market share. Second biggest after Google is "Chango" with 2.7%.

http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/google-dominates-retargeting-market-infographic/612853

2 billion smartphones to be sold in 2015

And about 1.5 billion of them smartphones. By 2018, every cell phone sold will be a smartphone. Source is unfortunately not backed up in the linked text, but still an interesting information.

http://time.com/3663909/technology-disruptive-impact/

Jan 5, 2015

Instagram post data

Simply measured did a study on the Instamgram accounts of Interbrand's Top 100. Unfortunately, all these great accounts that do NOT come from huge brands are not part of the research, but we can still learn a few things. Use hashtag, location, mention other members, just to name a few.

http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/14-instagram-data-findings-every-marketer-needs-know-160969 

http://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/7-data-points-proving-what-works-instagram

John Batelle's 2015 predictions

I cannot emphasize enough how important this blog is for anyone who wants to deeply understand what happens in the digital economy. So if you want to prepare for 2015, read John's predictions. Most important one to me: Google will face existential competition from Facebook. Due to Atlas.

http://battellemedia.com/archives/2015/01/predictions-2015-2.php 

[German] Selbst die taz merkt die neue Zeit: social & mobile

In Ihrem Hausblog veröffentlicht die taz sehr interessante Zahlen zu 2014. Highlights:

- in 2013 hatte der meistgelesene Artikel 185.000 Klicks. In 2014 haben 9 Artikel mehr Klicks, der meistgelesene hat 1,3 Mio.

- Hintergrund ist social: Der Social- (fast synonym: Facebook-)Anteil stieg von 6% auf 28% des Traffics.

- Homepage-Einstieg auf die Seite fiel von 50% auf 41%

- Artikel-Seite Einstieg (meine Interpretation) via Google fiel von 31% auf 20%

Richtige Schlussfolgerung: Die Redaktion hat immer weniger Einfluss darauf, welche Artikel viel gelesen werden.


http://blogs.taz.de/hausblog/2015/01/01/klick-hitliste-2014-kommentare-ueberholen-recherchen/  

Social media in China

Often underrated are the huge numbers of users that social media shows in China. Here is a quick and nice overview to get to know the most important platforms:

http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/2383850/the-state-of-social-media-in-china

Best digital/social media studies from 2014

journalistsresource.org put a great selection online with 12 handpicked papers on digital & social media in 2014. Stats, numbers, researches and studies in a nice list with links and a paragraph explaining the content. Great resource!

http://journalistsresource.org/studies/society/news-media/whats-new-digital-social-media-research-some-greatest-hits-2014

Business usage keeps landline, email, desktop alive

We have seen many studies about how each device (and, consequently, media behaviour) has their own prime time. Obviously, business usage must have an effect on this. According to PEW research, 4% of American workers say that social media is important for their job, while 61% say email is.
And landline (35% "very important") wins over smartphones (24%).

http://socialtimes.com/american-workers-need-landlines-email-according-pew-study_b208917