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Fix/Friday - August 21

Apple

As well as the Epic battle over the appstore Apple are making the news for other reasons. For one they are the first business to ever achieve a $2 trillion valuation.

And their business is evolving to more of a services model. The much anticipated Apple One (their Prime) where access to content is bundled into a variety of monthly subscriptions - is rumoured for October.

And more people see the Apple ambition for advertising growing. This Forbes piece argues that Apple have a distinct advantage over Facebook, Google and everyone else as they have a separate permission at the OS whilst everyone else needs to ask.

newTV

It’s not often new hardware launches to a lukewarm reaction, but eventually succeeds. Portal was not liked by many when Facebook launched it in 2018, but it now gets great reviews. The idea of an easy to use, large screen has captured the behaviours that Facetime owned and the marketing has positioned it as a home device. But with WFH ubiquitous, their latest partnerships make sense - compatibility with the main video call apps - Zoom, BlueJeans, Webex and GoTo. No Google Hangouts though.

More evidence of the surge in newTV advertising. SpotX see a 60% increase comparing the first week of August with April of this year. There is a lot of money in motion from linear TV and smart Agency people see the inevitability of advertising growing in newTV, as subscription fatigue kicks in.

It will not happen overnight but it will happen. Money follows audience.

Quibi have ramped up their marketing - both with paid TV ads and more clips on YouTube.

Search

Over familiarity with search leads to it often being underestimated. Many brands underspend - and are hence invisible to the queue of potential customers. And lots waste a chunk of their budget on buying their brand name and pay for traffic that could have been free. To be fair, most firms with a good digital team do a pretty good job. But for those brands that still have a more traditional mindset, there is lots of potential.

So it’s encouraging that more people are seeing the potential. This piece on the most important metric you have never heard of is a good start on how to think about search. And this econsultancy piece shows how a marketer can get real insight really easily (Our friends at Google have been evangelising this for years but because the end result is usually more revenue for Google, many have yet to convert.)

My go to guy on search is focused on SMEs but his thinking and tools on organic search are good for anyone.

TikTok

The TikTok turmoil rumbles on. The 45 day deadline is now 90 days, but as the clock ticks down I wonder whether this may end up in the long grass; the 90 days expire a week after the US election. The TikTok team are being more vocal - with their US general manager saying;

And they have launched their biggest ad campaign to date - scheduled to run globally until October.

So let's look at their business rather than the politics. They are sharing lots of content on how to make the most of the platform. This Creative Review promotion looks at Why Tiktok’s Fully Sound-on Platform Is The Next Creative Frontier and this tweet reminds us that the creative possibilities are immense.

This did take her 27 hours but it’s not that long since you would have needed Barnsley at the Mill to work his magic on a Flame - costing tens of thousands.

The new Tutorials section on the TikTok site has some good resources - and in the newsroom we found this good analytics tutorial.

And in the second edition of our new weekly newsletter on Good TikTok Creative we looked at the latest Hollister campaign. Sign up.

Gaming

Learning more about the Epic AppStore dispute I listened to this Matthew Ball podcast on the metaverse. It is nearly 2 hours long but there is so much good stuff on media, business models and games. (And this transcript is gold dust)

His thesis is that gaming is growing so fast but the barriers to entry are low compared to other types of media. And that is very poorly monetized compared to any other media - in terms of money versus time spent.

In this NYTimes Opinion piece, the chief global strategist at Morgan Stanley summarises the state of gaming and forecasts;

This opportunity is why Tencent is so busy investing in games. As well as significant stakes in Snap, Spotify and Tesla they have been busy buying stakes in a number of European games studios. This Sifted article lists 11 - from small to big.

For more background read this FT piece on both Epic and Unity - the two key players in game engines.

And this is a great insight into Tencent - long but worth the read.

Merchant

In this Wednesdays midweek Fix we went deep on Merchants with a look at the Covid effect on ecommerce and grocery, lifetime value, acquisition and QR codes. Catch up here.

New research on online grocery from Waitrose shows that 25% of people now get a weekly delivery and over 75% use it occasionally. In the over 55s it is used by 27%.

O2 have a new survey of UK shoppers and this highlights the importance of digital and gets quite granular around where it works well and where there is more potential.

The latest US Commerce data is out, showing a similar surge with ecommerce as a share of total retail growing from 11.8% in Q1 to 16.1% in Q2.

AI/ML

Algorithms have been getting bad press this week. The problem with artificial intelligence is so many people talking about it, personify it.

The FT covers the subject well and in this piece argue that recent events show a sudden breakthrough. The TikTok recommendation algorithm seems to be next level - and explains why Microsoft believes it could help their AI focus. And the attention that GPT- 3 is getting has legitimised and accelerated conversations around Machine Generated Content.

A GPT-3 written blog topped Hacker News - and took just 2 hours to produce.

Plus

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