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Mar 12, 2016

US Pay TV subscribers down 385k in 2015

Following 150.000 subscribers lost in 2014, and 100.000 subscribers lost in 2013, according to research from Leichtmann Research. The annual study shows a clear and accelerating trend. The statistics count cable, satellite and telco TV as "subscribers" (most Europeans do it differently), so coming from 94 million "subscribers" overall, 385k does not seem much. But the trend accelerates, and my interpretation is that this is not good news for pay-TV as we know it in Europe. Clearly, OTT services with Netflix leading will, at some point in time, substitute our cable, telco or whatever subscription, and will offer the same or even better programming with the cost of internet connection plus OTT service, in most cases much less than cable TV plus packages with exclusive content. If OTT providers are cash-rich and bold enough to outbid traditional pay-TV on sports rights, the avalanche will start.  

Mar 10, 2016

There are sites with 9digit numbers of monthly visits, and you can't track down their owners

Of course it's about adult sites. I find it strange that you cannot include them in any analysis about trends or UX or web developments for obvious reasons, but clearly porn sites are in probably the most competitive area of the web and therefore adapt to change quicker than any other industry. However, isn't it strange that a site with more than 500 million visits in December 2015 has an owner who is very, very hard to track down? But my text messages are saved, stored and analyzed by multiple agencies in a variety of countries?
Interesting piece about adult websites and how they mnage to hide their owners:

Facebook and Amazon bid for NFL live streams

I thought this would take a bit longer, especially after Yahoo's NFL experiment did not go so mega-great, with 2,3mn viewers on average (per minute) and 15mn reach overall - but these would include "tune ins" from autoplay homepage stream. On the other hand, video is the advertising future and both Amazon and Facebook don't really have a cash (or performance) problem, so why not? Keen to see whether this will affect TV rights prices and/or ratings. My guess is: not much. 

SEO experiments and new developments in Google's algorithm

Super-interesting SEO experiments reveal stuff that most people don't know (at least I didn't) about search. For example that CTR, reminds me of Facebook-style engagement metrics, seems to have very high impact on ranking, and the quality of the clicks (session duration etc.), too. Also, outbound links help your ranking (I once learnt the opposite) and many more findings.

Supercell numbers are crazy

Most people may not know Supercell, but their titles "Clash of Clans" or "Clash Royal" should ring a bell, because they are always among most downloaded and, more importantly, top-grossing apps in any appstore. With less than 200 employees and basically 3 games titles, the company based in Helsinki makes 2.3bn USD in revenue in 2015 - and almost a billion of that is profit. Made from 100mn people who play their games every day. Amazing.

Read more here:

or check their funny video (Tuvalu!!) here:

Mar 7, 2016

Some Netflix resources

Every now and then it makes sense to collect numbers on Netflix - because they change so quickly. There's an article where the some VP of NBC says that OTT services like Netflix would not be a threat to traditional TV - I don't think he is delusional, it just shows how many new narratives TV needs to be taken seriously. And the NBC way of doing it is to reveal numbers. Apparently, Amazon's most watched streaming show, "Man in the High Castle", reached 2.1mn viewers (USA). Jessica Jones on Netflix reached 4.8mn viewers per episode, and Narcos 3.2mn. But we should be careful - the numbers are not from Netflix, and not from Amazon, but from a third party using audio recognition on mobile devices (called Symphony), and according to NBC, 18-24year olds spend 62 hours watching linear TV and 12 hours watching YouTube (per month).... so, TV is greatest shape ever and everything will stay the same for the next few decades. Ahem. Here's more:

A bit more on how these numbers are perceived:

Going further, Netflix will spend 5bn on content in 2016, incl 60mn for a Brad Pitt movie. In comparison, HBO spent 2bn in 2015.

More interesting than that mere fact is how Netflix will spend all this money. Is it a myth that everything they produce in the creative department is still data driven? It is a really long read, but extremely interesting about the influence of data on the creative process.
Worth the time to go through.