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Feb 26, 2015

The state of global connectivity [PDF]

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

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

More info:

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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".

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.

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.

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.

Another view: why deep linking is not enough:

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.

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:

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

App stores are broken

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

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.

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:

Original post by Snapchat:

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.

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.

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: