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Jun 15, 2018

WhatsApp usage for news has tripled since 2014

Guess what doesn't have algorithmic orders (at least yet) and is great for sharing content? Messengers with groups and friends. A study based on 74,000 people in 37 countries has revealed a number of interesting stats published by Reuters Institute of Journalism - Digital News Report 2018. Obviously, the increase in messengers has happened at the expense of Facebook (from 42% usage for news down to 36%) and Twitter (in some countries fallen behind WhatsApp even).

Highlights here: https://www.theguardian.com/media/blog/2018/jun/14/whatsapp-popular-for-sharing-news-minus-the-toxic-debates

Full study: https://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/digital-news-report-2018.pdf


How the NBA built a winning digital strategy

Here's a comment from the Marketing insider on how the NBA managed to become the strongest sports media brand in digital. While I don't disagree with the points made there (a. the NBA is global and diverse, b) they embrace digital, c) they operate with transparency), I don't think these points are critical (check the article here: https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/320516/how-the-nba-built-a-winning-digital-media-strategy.html).

In my point of view, the NBA differs from most leagues (football, American football, hockey etc) in this point: They have 1230 games per regular season, plus extensive playoffs. There's so much content, it doesn't make sense to try and limit exposure outside live broadcasts. In fact, action from a minute ago is the ideal piece of content to tune into TV now, and yesterday's content is ideal to advertise a game on TV tonight. Plus: Basketball, by nature, produces highlight plays each game which can easily be compiled into spectacular highlight reels (try this with football/soccer - you need way more "minutes played" to get something spectacular, and in fact you have less minutes played in each league). So they can afford to flood all digital channels with amazing content, which is essentially advertising the next or current live game. Live, realtime, the NBA is as restrictive as anyone, because that's still where the money is made. But outside live, they just have more and better content to distribute than anyone else. In football/soccer, highlights are a media right worth millions. While I believe that using these to advertise live would still be a wise choice (strategically: in order to make fans for the future, tactically: in order to help the live rights holders achieve great numbers/new subscribers), all other leagues simply have other, worse preconditions.

The economics of Netflix

Bottom line: Netflix is currently losing a lot of money (in free cash flow). The stock still soars, because many people believe it's a marathon, and we haven't even crossed the 5km mark yet. That's impossible to know and a question of belief, but it is very interesting to see how Netflix follows a third model between film studios and TV networks.
In Hollywood, 6% of the films account for half the profit (what I always call casino business, basically), and that is sold tickets at the box office. TV is different from that, with better risk distribution, but still depending directly on how many people tune in, and how that slot is sold to advertisers. And then there's Netflix. Revenue is not directly linked to who watches how much of what, but more on attracting and retaining subscribers, so a series or movie that works fantastic in a small niche may be worth more than one that many people "like" to see, but don't love. A very interesting blog post about "Netflix economics":

https://taimur.me/netflix/

Google insights about mobile app users

Nice interactive insights from "think with Google" about mobile app users. 91% of smartphone owners use apps they downloaded. Some Germany highlights - 42% of games app users are in these while "watching" TV and spend a daily average of 55 minutes there, while news apps are used only 21 minutes a day, 44% while travelling - and 62% of news app users are men. Sports apps are 81% male, 39yo average (biggest bracket 25-35 years though), 12 minutes a day, 37% while travelling - supporting my theory that this quick "kill time" usage (i am somewhere waiting - let's see for a minute what happened in Sports) is on the rise.
Numbers are available for the US, UK, Netherlands, Italy, France and Germany:

https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/feature/mobile-app-user-demographics/

Facebook tracks just about everything

While I still don't believe Facebook listens to your conversations via microphone, the Senate hearing answers have revealed what else they track: everything. Mouse movements, file names on your phone, which other apps you have, the Wifi or cell network you're in, "nearby" devices in that network, your address book (if enabled) or you being other peoples' address books, available storage, connection speed... the list goes on.

Find an overview here
https://www.buzzfeed.com/nicolenguyen/here-are-18-things-you-might-not-have-realized-facebook?

or the entire document (222 pages)
https://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/9d8e069d-2670-4530-bcdc-d3a63a8831c4/7C8DE61421D13E86FC6855CC2EA7AEA7.senate-commerce-committee-combined-qfrs-06.11.2018.pdf