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Mobile Fix – November 4

It now seems routine when Facebook announce a huge increase in revenue and profits from mobile advertising. Their income was 166% higher than the same period last year and mobile ad revenue was $5.7bn - up 70% year on year and now 85% of all ad revenue. The only wrinkle we can see is that the ARPU for Europe didn’t grow whilst the US grew by 9%. At just 30% of the US ARPU, growing Europe from $4.72 should be low hanging fruit, as US brands export their marketing approach around the world.

With around 93% of their daily active users accessing via mobile (up from 89% a year ago) we expect growth to continue. Especially as brands lean in to the platform with creative that doesn’t treat people as strangers. To add some colour this example was mentioned in the results call;

Nestle-Purina Pet Care did an ad campaign with Germany, in Germany with Venus Optimedia and they defined five distinct cat owner personality types and created different creatives for each group. So that's kind of a big brand thing. There's the cat food category is big and they want brand awareness. But rather than just run one ad, they were able to run five based on the kind of interest base and personality targeting that really only we can do. And the results were amazing. They got an 89 percent increase in brand awareness and a 20 percent lift in sales. And so we think what we offer is the power of the broad reach of TV but an ability to target much more efficiently.

But as Facebook and Google grow their ad revenues what is happening to everyone else? US data shows a 89% increase in mobile ads.

 Someone in the US has played around with the data and reckons the rest of the industry is actually shrinking. Hard to say whether that’s accurate but we do believe there is a flight to quality – both in terms of viewability and fraud and also in the capabilities to use data to improve ads – especially from a creative angle

Facebook & Snap

Soon, we believe a camera will be the main way that we share. We're already testing this in our main Facebook app with a version that has a camera directly just one swipe away from News Feed with creative effects for your photos and videos. And in Messenger, we’re testing new camera and video features. We'll be experimenting with even more visual messaging tools over the next few months as well.

And Is Facebook  a Tech company or a Media company – this interview with Sheryl Sandberg is worth reading.


Recent Amazon results have beguiled the market, by (finally) delivering profits. But not this quarter - despite sales being up 29% the stock fell as earnings disappointed. Jeff Bezos was typically bullish though and focused on Alexa ;

Our US Echo has finally been coaxed into speaking English and we’re not surprised Echo customers spend more – around 10% more.

And Dash Buttons continue to work well – Amazon claim for some products the majority of their sales on Amazon come through a Dash Button. With a recruitment programme underway we should expect a lot more from Amazon. Could they try again with a smartphone?

Third Force

Talking about the WPP results Martin Sorrel predicted media consolidation deals to combat GAFA. There is an element of wishful thinking here but earlier in the year he welcomed the rumours of Verizon buying Yahoo, as the joint business would be the third biggest customer for WPP.

With the news AT&T are buying Time Warner, this trend is accelerating. And this piece picks out one key advantage – Mobile Network Operators can zero rate ads and other content, so users don’t have to pick up the tab for watching ads.

With huge reach, lots of data and increasingly smart talent who get advertising, MNOs are finally taking the opportunity seriously. Through working with our friends at Telefonica we have seen some wonderful innovation; Bradesco in Brazil doubled their mobile business through zero rating their app and a major mcommerce brand saw a spike in sales through a similar approach. The Telefonica team at Weve are doing some of the best mobile ads. In the US Verizon and AT&T are taking aggressive steps to compete – and their M&A obviously helps. Addressable TV ads is just one opportunity

With huge potential for app downloads and getting completed views on video, we think zero rating is a big shift.  At Adtech this week Three CMO ToM Malleschitz announced a project called Adstream++ where Three will push for ads that are zero rated (so they don’t cost the user anything) have privacy protected and ads that are relevant and inspirational. He mentioned that they are at an early stage but have started talking to agencies and trade bodies. Watch this space.


We enjoyed moderating a panel at a great event for Tubular Labs this week. Talking with the team from LadBible and Little Dot gave good insight into how smart businesses are blending the skills sets of content creation and data insight to create content that gets seen at scale. With lots of brands now investing in Branded Video Content money is up for grabs, but it’s not quite as easy as it may look.

Whilst trad TV continues to evolve so too does newTV and the gap between them is shrinking. A simulcast with NatGeo gained 3 million views through LadBible on Facebook. We suspect it was slightly less on the trad TV channel. And scheduled against Man City vs Barcelona a Table Tennis match got 2 million views on LadBible.

You can argue about comparing apples with apples, but that is real traction however you define a view. In our discussion we agreed that the divisions between AV categories are evaporating with Chromecasting, Amazon Firestick and the new – slightly underwhelming - Apple TV.

But who has the spare cash to reshape the industry? GAFA.

Leading to rumours that Apple will buy Netflix. You don’t get huge additional numbers of users but with $237bn and change in cash why wouldn’t you secure a vast amount of great content? And given Netflix have tended to hoard their IP you could make good money syndicating older content like House of Cards.

Vine has gone – they didn’t look after their Disciples well enough and many migrated to Snapchat and Instagram. This is a good take on how Vine helped Video evolve

Quick Reads

And a good piece on Google and AI – essentially Google Now on steroids

The latest deck from Activate is a must read  - lots of great data and some good insight – the thinking around audio and Gray music is really interesting

Les Binet and Peter Field, Two Dons of ad effectiveness were interviewed by Google - a teaser for the full interview

More evidence from Gucci that e(m)commerce works in luxury and fashion. Our own work in the space supports this  - buts it’s hard to get it right. At AdTech this week Fix friend Sean McKee gave lots of insight into how Schuh is finding mobile. All their growth in the last 2 years has been from smartphones – tablet traffic has had a pronounced decline over the same period. Smartphones now account for 65% of their traffic and 45% of sales. Like many retailers they see smaller basket size and poorer conversion on mobile but lots of anecdotal evidence that mobile is a big factor in store visits.

Good read on attention and reminds us the original ad blocker was the TV remote control

ChatBots that are actually helpful. We would add our friends at YourMD too

One of our favourite VCs is Chamath Palihapitiya and he has an idea on how to save Twitter. Given he was employee number 11 at Facebook, with a focus on growth, he is worth listening to.

Finally There are so many opportunities in digital – this a great story of someone seizing a new opportunity and making it work for them. How could that approach work for your business? Who is going to advise you on this sort of thing? Make sure you are not getting the Chauffeurs thinking.

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