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Aug 31, 2018

13% of Germans own a smart speaker

This is more than I thought. According to statistics from Bitkom and Deloitte, 84% have heard of the technology (also more than i thought). Given that Amazon Echo was launched less than two years ago, this is an amazing speed.

German article with more stats: https://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Alexa-Co-Jeder-Achte-hat-schon-einen-smarten-Lautsprecher-4149631.html

Wikipedia may be a model for society

At times where news companies have to tell what is an apple, we know that we simply started to cancel the most important contract there is: sharing a reality based on facts. Different narratives become "alternative facts" and so on. I remember a time where you couldn't refer to Wikipedia because "some guy on the internet wrote that" and it wasn't taken seriously as a source - now, its mechanics may be a model for how to maintain shared reality - the very foundation societies are built on.

https://medium.com/the-atlantic/wikipedia-the-last-bastion-of-shared-reality-b1e48595a65d 

Humanity spent 85 billion hours Whatsapp in the last three months

Facebook "only" 31 billion (but with Instagram & Messenger the company has 4 of the top 10 apps in "time spent globally"). Clash of Clans 3.8 billion, Fortnite 3 billion. WTF??? We might be underestimating what humanity does - living in front of screens.

Research/study by Apptopia: https://blog.apptopia.com/these-are-the-apps-taking-up-most-of-your-time

Good article with more details on Forbes:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkoetsier/2018/08/20/people-spent-85-billion-hours-in-whatsapp-in-the-past-3-months-versus-31-billion-in-facebook/#50d0b4571725

How Tripadvisor changed Travel - the problem of scale

I am, and was, a big fan of Tripadvisor. I don't know how many travel decisions, be it destinations, hotels, or even restaurants on site, have been influenced positively by that site. In the past years, I started skipping the top 10 recommendations (like restaurants for example) - there is a "being on top of tripadvisor" business logic that doesn't necessarily mean you will get a great experience - only one that is created to "hack" the platform. In essence, it is a similar problem that Facebook faces - too much scale. As a million member service, Tripadvisor worked great. Now, with half a billion people on it, this scale is a problem - network effects take over. Lenghty, interesting article, especially if your try to transfer the content to any other industry / service that might "scale too much".

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/aug/17/how-tripadvisor-changed-travel

What algorithms do

"God is in the machine" is the name of this great article that raises the question how we as societies may deal with the rising power of algorithms. A year ago I published a lengthy post about that question, and one of the options I saw (and still see) is that we may have to create a religion-like narrative around AI and algorithms in order to make their decisions and actions "acceptable" to societies. This piece goes in the same direction, only much better written:

https://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/public/ridiculously-complicated-algorithms/

And here's another view on the same topic with more insights - I am glad this discussion seems to take off:

http://behavioralscientist.org/what-to-do-when-algorithms-rule/ 

YouTube Boxing Match brings 8mn revenue

This was too small in sports media - probably because it wasn't really sports. Two influencers/YouTube stars that you (reading this) probably never heard of - Logan Paul (18 million subscribers) and KSI (19 million subscribers) - had a box match and charged 10 USD for the live feed on YouTube - and 784,000 people from 45 countries paid (plus 20,000 in the Manchester Arena). Even if you believe they don't have common subscribers - 37 million people in total - >780k paying customers means a ratio of something around 2%, and that's fantastic.

More here:
https://www.wired.co.uk/article/who-won-the-ksi-logan-paul-fight-analysis

Aug 15, 2018

"Hearables" may power Voice business

As a new class of hardware, "hearables" may be one of the catalysts and accelerators that will give voice its next uplift. Great piece by Fast Company entitled "the future is ear" about how hearables can do more than talk to you, like a wearable Alexa - with the right sensors, they could even know what you are looking at (a shelf in a store for example) and act accordingly.

https://www.fastcompany.com/90212065/the-future-is-ear-why-hearables-are-finally-techs-next-big-thing

Another nice read about voice from InVision about how basic rules of UX can (have to) be applied to voice:

https://www.invisionapp.com/blog/design-voice-user-interfaces/

Aug 14, 2018

Esports in 5 charts

Nice article in Digiday. Maybe esports fans are nerds? They tend to enjoy being by themselves (73% vs 63% in general population) and consider themselves to be an introvert (70% vs. 48%). However, esports healthy distribution of revenues continues, with sponsorship being the biggest single stream (40%) and media rights (with room for growth) at 18% of the overall volume.

More here:

https://digiday.com/marketing/state-esports-advertisers-five-charts/

New Numbers on the drop in Facebook engagement

If you need to explain to someone why your Facebook engagement has been declining, you can use these stats & research to show that you are not alone: Buffer and Buzzsumo analyzed 43 million posts during Q2 2018 and compared their results with Q1 2017. It's a massacre. Total drop in engagement for media/news sites is 64%, for TV shows 61%. This is due to algorithm changes, and subsequently increased activity & competition: The top 20.000 Facebook pages increased their post frequency by 24% over the past year. Another interesting aspect is that in overall engagement/interactions, you're probably better of with approx. 5 posts per day as engagement per post is best when you just post once, but absolute number of engagement will add up to the highest when you post around 5 times - after that, engagement declines rapidly.

A ton of interesting numbers & also good advice on post/page strategies here:

https://blog.bufferapp.com/facebook-marketing-strategy 

Facebook buys bigger sports rights

Facebook will show Premier League football - every match - in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia from 2019 to 2022. Reportedly, the deal is worth 265mn USD. Additionally, they partnered up with Eleven Sports to show a weekly game of Serie A or LaLiga live on Facebook in the UK. Eleven Sports sells subscription packages and uses free-to-air coverage to generate exposure for their content and their partners. This will now happen on their Facebook page.
Slowly but surely Facebook establishes a global sports rights portfolio and will probably continue to expand it; it will be interesting to see their approach in advertising and sponsoring around these products.

http://smartseries.sportspromedia.com/news/premier-league-rights-facebook-thailand-vietnam-cambodia-laos

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/european/facebook-free-stream-real-madrid-barcelona-juventus-cristiano-ronaldo-eleven-sports-a8479326.html


Aug 13, 2018

Apple has made 300 mn subscription contracts

One underestimated area of Apple's business is its service area, which includes subscriptions (and customer service and other fields with 9.5 bn USD revenue past quarter and 31% growth YoY). Roughly 30,000 apps sell subscriptions (incl. Apple Music and others) in their App Store, and Apple adds approximately 10 million subscribers each month - with staggering growth: 60% in the past year. Especially media companies, but also adjacent businesses (games, fitness apps, Headspace and such) seem to come to the conclusion that "direct to consumer" subscription is a more sustainable business than ads. Here's the thing: instead of "direct" to consumer, there's Apple in between, taking a toll for everyone who passes through. I am convinced these types of businesses will be more and more important in the coming years.

https://digiday.com/media/apple-tops-300-million-paid-subscriptions-reportedly-preps-new-subscription-services/