Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Pokémon Go generated an estimated $950 million in revenues in 2016

"Pokémon Go generated an estimated $950 million in revenues in 2016, according to a report by market researcher App Annie.
Niantic Labs launched Pokémon Go on July 6, 2016, and it became a smash hit. Within a couple of months, Niantic announced that it had been downloaded more than 500 million times.
The game got people off the couch and prompted them to walk around outside in search of Pokémon creatures. It flooded parks and other landmarks with players, and some of them made in-app purchases of items such as Pokémon balls so that they could keep on playing."

BBC iPlayer had nearly 300m requests in December 2016

"The week of New Year (December 26th – January 1st) saw 69.3 million requests, more than any other week in BBC iPlayer’s history. December was also BBC iPlayer’s best month ever, seeing 281 million requests across the month.
Half of the top 20 most popular shows on BBC iPlayer during the festive season were episodes of EastEnders, with the New Year’s Day episode the most popular, generating 1.3 million requests.
Of the top ten most-requested episodes per series, the first Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas Special was second, the Outnumbered Christmas Special third and the return of Sherlock fourth. Other top performing programmes include the Call the Midwife Christmas special, the Doctor Who Christmas special and the first episode of Witness for the Prosecution.
Connected TVs continue to be the device people use most to watch BBC iPlayer content, growing 7 per cent on 2015 to reach a weekly average in December of 7.48 million unique browsers. This was followed by tablets at 4.19 million, mobiles at 3.6 million, and computers 3.55 million."

Over half of US homes with smart thermometers would share their data in return for cheaper bills

"Parks Associates today announced new research showing roughly 50% of U.S. broadband households would share data from their thermostat or hot water heater to get discounts on their electricity bill. The data from a 4Q 2016 survey, featured in the upcoming 360 View:Energy Management, Smart Home, and Utility Programs,also reveal willingness to share is slightly less, but still strong, for data from clothes dryers and lighting. Industry leaders will examine ways to incentivize the smart home at the eighth-annual Smart Energy Summit: Engaging the Consumer, February 20-22, 2017, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, Texas."

Tesla's 'Autopilot' results in 40% fewer crashes

"Tesla’s driver-assistance features, known collectively as Autopilot, have been vindicated.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has closed its investigation into a May 7 collision with a tractor-trailer that killed a driver using Autopilot. The agency found no indication of a safety problem with it. In fact, the evidence provided by Tesla included crucial data that’s been missing from the safety debate surrounding automated cars: crash rates.
Tesla is in a unique position to determine the precise impact of Autopilot on crash rates, more so than any other car manufacturer. That’s because while all Tesla vehicles come with the hardware necessary for Autopilot, you need a software upgrade that costs thousands of dollars to make it work. Since buyers can add Autopilot features after purchase, this provides a perfect before-and-after comparison.
It turns out that, according to the data Tesla gave investigators, installing Autopilot prevents crashes—by an astonishing 40 percent. The chart below comes from the report NHTSA issued while concluding its investigation. Approximately one-third of the mileage on the cars was logged before the upgrade to Autosteer (the most controversial component of the driving suite), while the remaining miles were accrued after installation."
Source:  Bloomberg, 19th January 2017

Over 50m people in the UK accessed the internet in December 2016

"Over 50 million users accessed the internet via their desktop, smartphone and tablet devices in December 2016.
- Share of minutes to mobile devices (smartphones + tablets) continued to increase. They now account for two-thirds of adults’ time online, with smartphones alone generating 50% of all minutes.
- There is a strong relationship between age and platform usage – 65% of online time among 18-24s is via a smartphone and this decreases with increasing age to only 31% for 55+s.
- Despite mobile taking the lion’s share of minutes, the desktop still has higher adult online reach (90%) compared to smartphones (70%) and tablets (47%).
- 74% of adults are multi-platform but this is lower among social class A, who are more likely to only use the desktop and social class E who are more likely to only use a mobile. 1 in 10 adults are now mobile only but this is higher among females (12%) than males (7%).
- Google’s total audience increased by 5% to 95.9% of the UK online population between September and December.  Google shopping (+1.5m) and Youtube (+2.3m) contributed to this uplift.
Snapchat enters the top 10 for total ‘time spent’ among adults – visitors spend on average nearly 6.5 hours per month on the social networking site.
- Predictably, retail sites dominated the top 10 growth sites in December with Home Retail Group (Argos) being the main beneficiary - up by 4.5 million unique visitors compared to September. Dixons, Tesco, Debenhams and John Lewis also added over 3 million users."

Alibaba sites now have nearly 500m monthly active users

"Jack Ma’s online shopping empire now has 493 million users who access its China marketplaces every month on mobile devices, up from 393 million at the end of 2015, said Alibaba today in its latest earnings report.
The Taobao and Tmall marketplaces now have 443 million annual active buyers, rising strongly from 407 million 12 months ago. Alibaba makes the equivalent of US$35 in revenue from each shopper.
The new figures come amidst a strong performance for Alibaba in the quarter from October to December 2016 in which it pulled in US$2.5 billion net income from total revenue – up 54 percent in the past year – of US$7.7 billion. The ecommerce behemoth beat analyst expectations with plenty of legroom."

Over half of smartphone owners in the US, UK and China pay no money for apps

"Over half of smartphone users spend no money on smartphone apps (paid-for downloads and in-app transactions), according to a new survey by Gartner, Inc. (see Figure 1)*. However, end-user spending on in-app transactions continues to rise.
"Where users are prepared to pay for apps, spending on in-app transactions is on the rise — up 26 percent from 2015 — while spending on paid-for downloads only increased 4 percent in 2016," said Stéphanie Baghdassarian, research director at Gartner. In this year's survey, mean spending on in-app transactions was $11.59, while mean spending on paid-for downloads reached $7.67.
Paid-for downloads are more likely to be associated with smaller amounts of spending. Respondents who spent $15 or more over a three-month period were more likely to have done so through in-app transactions. "This is largely because the vast majority of paid-for mobile apps have a price tag of $1.99 or less, while the activation of in-app transactions usually means that the user has found value in an app and will be happy to spend more on it," Ms, Baghdassarian added."
Note - Research only covers US, UK and China

Premium publishers made approximately 14% of their ad revenues from distribution platforms like Facebook in 2016

"Publishers are receiving far less money than might have been expected from placing their content on the third-party distribution platforms owned by companies including Facebook, Google, and Snapchat, according to a new report.
The report, from premium publisher trade body Digital Content Next (DCN), claims that the (mean) average premium publisher generated $7.7 million in revenue from distributing their content on third-party platforms in the first half of 2016 — equivalent to around 14% of their overall revenues in the period."

in 2016 Google took down 1.7 billion ads that violated its advertising policies

"We have a strict set of policies that govern the types of ads we do and don’t allow on Google in order to protect people from misleading, inappropriate, or harmful ads. And we have a team of engineers, policy experts, product managers and others who are waging a daily fight against bad actors. Over the years, this commitment has made the web a better place for you—and a worse place for those who seek to abuse advertising systems for their own gain.
In 2016, we took down 1.7 billion ads that violated our advertising policies, more than double the amount of bad ads we took down in 2015. If you spent one second taking down each of those bad ads, it’d take you more than 50 years to finish. But our technology is built to work much faster."

Airbnb 'is Profitable'

"Late last year, as many technology startups were struggling to stay afloat, Airbnb Inc. quietly reached a milestone few of its peers had achieved: profitability.
Airbnb became profitable for the first time during the second half of 2016, according to people close to the company. The home and apartment-rental company anticipates it will maintain profitability in 2017 before interest, taxes and amortization, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing the private company’s earnings.
Reaching profitability puts Airbnb on a very different footing than its fellow upstart, Uber Technologies Inc. The ride-hailing company lost an estimated $3 billion last year, according to a person familiar with the matter. Uber was consumed with keeping fares low to compete with rivals like Lyft Inc. at home and with garnering market share in China, a country it finally abandoned over the summer by selling its local business there to homegrown rival Didi Chuxing."

Xbox Live has 55m monthly active users

"Microsoft’s Xbox Live platform continues to add more users as the company expands its gaming business across consoles and PC devices.
As part of its quarterly earnings report posted Thursday, Microsoft said Xbox Live monthly active users reached a record 55 million — up 15 percent from the same quarter last year.
Much of the growth was due to another busy holiday season for Microsoft, which saw Xbox One U.S.-based sales reach record highs in December, even three years after the console debuted. It was the top-selling console in the U.S. during the second half of 2016, beating out Sony’s PlayStation 4."

View counts for Snapchat stories has fallen 15-405 since the launch of Instagram Stories

"Good enough and convenient. That’s proved a winning strategy for Instagram’s clone, according to a dozen analytics providers, social media celebrities, and talent managers who told TechCrunch they’ve seen a decline in Snapchat Stories usage since Instagram Stories launched on August 2nd.
Most reported declines in Snapchat Stories view counts ranging from 15 to 40 percent, and a reduction in how often they or those they monitor post to Snapchat Stories. Meanwhile, our sources report rapidly growing view counts on Instagram Stories, and engagement-to-follower rates one social influencer talent agent called “Insanely f*cking high”.
The success of Instagram Stories, the decline in Snapchat usage we’ve heard from a wide array of sources, and Facebook’s relentless drive to compete with the startup could spell trouble for Snapchat’s IPO on the NYSE market that’s expected in March. Snap Inc declined to comment for this story."
Source:  TechCrunch, 31st January 2017

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

More than half of Uber driving is done by people who work more than 35 hours a week

"More than 1.5 million people all over the world drive for Uber. The company has won many court battles over its classification of them as contractors and not employees.  Over the last eight years Uber has upended the taxi industry and is credited with creating a new sector of the workforce: the “gig economy.” The company proudly proclaims that the share of drivers who work less than 10 hours a week has climbed to more than 60 percent.
In one recent TV commercial, a smiling actor playing a sometimes-driver quips, “These days, everyone needs a side hustle, and driving with Uber lets you go from earning to working to chilling at the push of a button.” The sound of a cash register chimes in the background.
What Uber has never said publicly is that half of the driving gets done by people who work more than 35 hours a week. Those workers generate about half of Uber’s revenue and are responsible for about half of Uber’s trips, Uber confirmed after Bloomberg analyzed a study of its drivers conducted by the company. A small number of those drivers will go to extremes, like sleeping in parking lots, to make a living."
Source:  Bloomberg, 23rd January 2017
Note - its possible for both 60% of the drivers to work less than 10 hours a week, and for more than half the driving to be done by people who work over 35 hours a week.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

6.8m people watched President Trump's Inauguration on Twitter

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Netflix has 89m paying subscribers; 47% are outside the US

"In Q4, global streaming revenue grew 41% year over year to $2.4 billion, while contribution profit rose 74% year over year to $470 million (20% margin). Operating profit totaled $154 million (6.2%
operating margin) against guidance of $125 million, while net income amounted to $67 million,
compared with our forecast of $56 million. Net income included a -$22 million foreign exchange
adjustment booked in other expense due to the strength of the US dollar. As a reminder, the quarterly
guidance we provide is our actual internal forecast at the time we report.
We added 7.05 million net new members globally in the quarter, against our forecast of 5.20 million
and last year's Q4 performance of 5.59 million. This was the largest quarter of net additions in our
history and was driven by strong acquisition trends in both our US and International segments.
Domestically, we added 1.93 million members in the quarter, exceeding our forecast of 1.45 million
and 1.56 million in the year-ago quarter. Combined with 15% ASP growth, revenue increased 27%
year-over -year to $1.4 billion. US contribution margin expanded 395 basis points year-over-year to
38.2%. Margin improvement was greater than expected due primarily to higher-than-forecast
revenue and the timing of content deals.
International membership grew by 5.12 million in Q4, against a forecast of 3.75 million and 4.04
million in the year-ago quarter. Over 47% of our total members are now outside of the US. This
growth was very broad based geographically as our original content continues to be well-received all
over the world. ASP for the international segment rose 13% year over year (excluding a -$21 million
impact from currency). International contribution loss was -$67 million, compared with our forecast of -$75 million, as content spend was slightly lower than expected owing primarily to timing."
Source:  Netflix' Q4 2016 earnings letter to shareholders, 18th January 2017

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

There are more than 100m paid subscriptions to music streaming services

"In streaming’s earlier years, when doubts prevailed across the artist, songwriter and label communities, one of the arguments put forward by enthusiasts was that when streaming reached scale everything would make sense. When asked what ‘scale’ meant, the common reply was ‘100 million subscribers’. In December, the streaming market finally hit and passed that milestone, notching up 100.4 million subscribers by the stroke of midnight on the 31st December. It was an impressive end to an impressive year for streaming, but does it mark a change in the music industry, a fundamental change in the way in which streaming works for the music industry’s numerous stakeholders?"
Note - this is 'subscriptions' not 'subscribers' - one person could subscribe to multiple services, so the total number of paying subscribers will be below 10m

Monday, 16 January 2017

WeChat has 768m daily users; 50% use if for more than 90 minutes a day

Source:  Blog post from WeChat, 29th December 2016

Chinese brands account for more than half of smartphone sales in India

"Chinese mobile phone brands are booming in India, for the first time ever making up more than half – 51 percent – of new devices in the world’s second largest smartphone market.
Meanwhile, Indian brands dropped below 20 percent market share of shipments in November, according to Counterpoint Research, plummeting from 40 percent in early 2016.
Local brands have been facing increasingly stiff competition from Chinese brands that are affordable.
Counterpoint research analyst Karn Chauhan says most Chinese brands are in the US$75-200 price segment. As per market share data for the September quarter, Xiaomi has pushed out local players and now dominates this segment, along with Samsung. Those budget phones have seen a growth of over 45 percent in the past year.
The biggest gainers were China’s Vivo and Gionee, making mid-range – US$250-450 – phones, a segment that soared by over 150 percent."

Time spent with mobile apps rose 69% in 2016

Source:  Report from Flurry, 12th January 2017
Data is global

Growth in mobile app usage by category in 2016

Source:  Report from Flurry, 12th January 2017
Note - 'Personalisation apps' include ones that crate backgrounds, ringtones etc
Data is global

14,500 Western brands have stores on Alibaba's Tmall

"The demand for overseas goods continues to drive cross-border e-commerce in China and, as a result, further growth for Tmall Global.
The B2C shopping site, which provides Chinese consumers with a direct sales channel to overseas retailers, saw the total number of international brands on the platform skyrocket 169 percent to 14,500 in 2016 from 5,400 last year. The number of product categories soared 85 percent to 3,700 from 2,000 over the same period."

More than 2m people stayed in an Airbnb over New Year 2016-7

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Amazon shipped more than a billion items during the Christmas shopping period 2016

"According to a new Reuters report by Mark Maketa, Amazon shipped more than one billion items worldwide this holiday season, nine times more than during last year's holiday season… “its best ever.” The Echo home assistant, and its smaller version Echo Dot, topped the best-sellers list, said Jeff Wilke, chief executive of Amazon's worldwide consumer division, in a press release.
Amazon likely sold between 4 million and 5 million devices this year to date, with Alexa, the voice-controlled assistant on the Echo, estimated Morningstar analyst R.J. Hottovy, says the report. Shoppers can command the Echo to perform a host of tasks, from playing music to turning on Christmas lights."

Apple paid more than £20bn to app developers in 2016

"Apple customers’ App Store spending jumped 40 per cent in 2016 — fuelled by games such as Pokémon Go and Super Mario Run — to provide a much-needed boost to services revenues, at a time when iPhone growth remains sluggish.
Payments to app developers, after Apple took its cut, rose to more than $20bn last year, the company said on Thursday, with growth accelerating in China.
“2016 was a record-shattering year for the App Store,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice-president of worldwide marketing."
Source:  FT, 5th January 2016

Monday, 9 January 2017

Ed Sheeran's new songs set records with over 6m streams each in the first 24 hours

"Reaching over a combined 13 million global streams in the first 24 hours, with "Shape Of You" amounting 6,868,642 and "Castle On The Hill" accumulating 6,168,395, Ed has now overtaken the previous 'day one' record holders, One Direction, who notched up 4,759,698 streams with "Drag Me Down" in August 2015, marking another record-breaking milestone in his career. "

14 billion WhatsApp messages were sent exchanged India on on New Year's Eve

"Fourteen billion Whatsapp messages were exchanged in India on New Year’s Eve, making it an all-time high from the country, the firm said on Friday.
Not just that, 32 percent of those messages were in the form of some sort of media: Whatsapp’s 160 million monthly active Indian users sent 3.1 billion images, 700 million GIFs, and 610 million videos.
Facebook-owned Whatsapp has made SMS in India all but redundant. Farmers to school students to businessmen use the service to communicate. Many in India use the English script to communicate in various Indian languages, so language is no barrier. Whatsapp also has local language support in the country."
Source:  Tech in Asia, 6th January 2017

Game of Thrones was the most pirated TV show in 2016

Source:  Data from Torrentfreak, reported by Advanced Television, 3rd January 2017
Note - It's interesting that there are no Netflix shows on the list, possibly because Netflix releases shows simultaneously around the world

TV programme & film rental and streaming has overtaken purchase in the UK

"Figures released by the British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE) based on data from The Official Charts Company and IHS Markit show that consumer spend in the video category rose by 2.2 per cent in 2016 bringing the total value of the category to £2.25 billion (€2.63bn).
While ownership remains vital to the category and represents a massive 49 per cent of category value, 2016 has also seen rental, or streaming overtake ownership, with 51 per cent of value coming from consumers choosing to rent or stream. Highlighting the truly multichannel nature of the category, and the flexibility of content delivery of distributors to consumers."

Christmas Day TV ratings in the UK fell to their lowest recorded level

"Christmas Day TV audiences on December 25th 2016 were at their lowest level since records began in 1981.
BBC1 period drama Call the Midwife was the most-watched programme attracting an audience of 9.2 million. BBC1 had eight of the 10 most-watched programmes overall on Christmas Day, while ITV had two.
Audiences for Christmas Day – which traditionally attracts big audiences – have been falling in recent years with the introduction of catch-up and on-demand services. No programme has attracted more than 20 million viewers since 2001, and the figure of 15 million has not been achieved since 2008. 2016 marked the first time no programme attracted an audience of 10 million."

Nearly half of US paid video subscribers subscribe to more than one service

Source:  Press release from Partks Associates, 28th December 2016

Mobile device activations over Christmas 2016

Source:  Blog post from Flurry, 27th December 2016
Note - Flurry says that this is global, but I'd suspect that apps that use Flurry tracking are more likely to be western ones

There were more music streams each day in the US in 2016 than downloads for the entire year

Source:  Buzz Angle US Music Report, December 2016