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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.

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.  

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.



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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

How Eater uses Facebook video

On'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.

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:

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,

more about performance and instant articles

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!

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.

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.

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.

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:

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:

German overview:

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:

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.

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

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".

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.

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.  

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.

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:

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.  

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".

More thoughts on this:

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.

Interesting lego stories:

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?

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.