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Mobile Fix - May 31

Mobile First

The new Ofcom study Online Nation is a must read on how the UK population have gone digital. Lots of interesting data and this chart jumped out - showing how dominant mobile use is. We think the industry can still be a bit too focused on desktop thinking, because we all have our Macbook at hand the whole time. But in the real world people don’t have laptops - or if they do they are old Dells that take an age to boot up and have the parents social media loaded. For effective marketing everything needs to be Mobile First.

A new post by Benedict Evans supports this - calling the End of Mobile because the growth in users is almost over. Now it’s about what people do with Mobile.

Digital Transformation

For all the workshops and walls covered in post it notes, real Digital Transformation comes in big steps. As the world chooses to use their mobile to mediate their lives, business needs to respond.

newTV

The growth of SVOD subscribers in the US seems to be slowing and the congested market appears to be the problem. Research from Magid looks at 11 services and sees the bigger ones losing subscribers. Consumers don’t have the budget to pay for more and more content and no matter how good the next generation of services is (Disney, Apple etc) i think they may struggle.

One of the challenges is that users are happy to drop a service when a particular show is over - for example 16% of HBO subscribers say they will cancel now Games of Thrones is over.

Which makes forecasting the prospects for BritBox hard. Especially as the two parties appear to be bickering; ITV has committed to the project but the BBC seem reluctant to give up much on iPlayer, which is already very successful. But Ofcom are looking at some of the new changes the BBC plans for iPlayer to consider the effect on the market. So ITV will be asked to comment on the BBC plans. Oh, to be a fly on that wall.

The $billion question in new TV is how it gets measured. Everyone spending money on advertising is keen to see a standard across all devices and platforms. But getting agreement is hard. The US Media Rating Council are updating how they define a view and their adoption of 30 second as the standard and requiring 100% of pixels to be in view for 2 seconds is proving controversial.

How ads get bought and sold is clearly in flux in newTV and big events like the Olympics are a testing ground. NBC are right in the middle of talks on the 2020 Olympics and this interview on what they expect for 2024 and 2028 is fascinating.

Audio

The rapid rise in popularity of podcasts has been amazing and they are now a significant media channel. This deep dive from A16Z looks at the ecosystem, with a look at monetisation and what can be learned from China.

China

The FT broke the story that ByteDance - the company behind TikTok - plan to make their own smartphone. They have acquired some patents - and some staff - from a Chinese phone maker Smartisan ( No - I’ve never heard of them either). In the article the consensus is this won’t work but I think it’s likely they aim for emerging markets like India rather than the West. With lot of players producing cheap Android phones, their huge reach and the ability to pre load the phone with Bytedance Apps - including the rumoured music service we mentioned last week - could give them a chance

Adtech

A year on from the launch of GDPR and the general view is that Facebook and Google have done best - as many predicted. That call may be a little premature as the Irish in particular seem to be flexing their muscles; the Irish data regulator has launched 19 investigations - 11 of which focus on Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.

The press appetite for data scare stores continues too - a WSJ story on the iPhone having over 5000 ad trackers got lots of press

The dominance of Google and Chrome (even Microsoft browsers will soon be running on Chrome software) is causing some concerns.

The Apple initiative for attribution that doesn’t track the user is stirring up debate. The idea of Apple saving adtech seems unlikely but this does feel like a foundation that can be built upon.

Quick Reads

Facebook plans to launch its own crypto currency - lots to think about here but details are still scarce

A good reminder that the world moves at different speeds - soon NYC subway riders can pay with Apple Pay. London got this in 2014 (2012 for buses)

These speeds aren’t always predictable - lots going on in Africa

Twining case study with Amazon advertising - building the brand through people experiencing the product. Quite why people think branding and sales can’t be done together escapes me

Is the future of retail more about Ocado than Amazon? Lots of interesting things happening at Ocado

Remember Creative Technologists? This is where they went. An admission; I think creative technologist - all nice smart people - actually held digital back. They were always focused on the next shiny thing when they should have been building mobile sites and Facebook ads.

With the doctored Nancy Pelosi video still up on Facebook we have seen the start of Deep Fake videos. This demonstration of how easy it is to make DeepFakes is really worrying. Of course ads have been doing something similar for a while

Finally... Fix this week is coming from the beach in St Ives. One of the pleasures of being on the beach is great stars. But is Elon Musk about to spoil that with his plans for 12000 satellites?


 
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