Friday, 6 April 2018

Chinese manufacturer Transson accounts for 30% of African phone sales

"No matter how many phones you sell, Yu Weiguo has learned, it’s tough to keep to a schedule when the government declares martial law. During his eight years in Ethiopia, Yu has helped turn little-known Transsion Holdings, owner of the sleepy Chinese brand Tecno Mobile, into Africa’s leading mobile device maker. Having sold at least 200 million phones on the continent, he picked the outskirts of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, as the site for a 280,000-square-foot factory. It was supposed to be pumping out as many as 2 million phones a month by July, but things aren’t working out as planned.
Ethiopia’s ruling coalition declared a state of emergency in mid-February after the surprise resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn destabilized the rest of the autocratic regime. For Transsion, the fallout has been a lesson in risk. The company profits from China’s checkbook diplomacy in Africa but now faces the downside: public outcry against worsening inequality and repression. “There are many things that can’t be controlled in Africa,” Yu says. “Sometimes your plans don’t work.”
To say Transsion and its phones are little-known outside Africa is an understatement. Tecno has never cracked the top-10 smartphone brands in China and doesn’t sell in the U.S. or Europe. Yet its parent accounts for 30 percent of African phone sales, compared with 22 percent for second-place Samsung, according to researcher Canalys. Reclusive founder Zhu Zhaojiang controls the private company via a string of related backers and funds, as well as some government-backed investment. Zhu, 44, has said he plans to go public at some point through a reverse merger with Shimge Pump Industry Group, a Chinese manufacturer of stainless steel pumps."

The US self-storage industry generated nearly $40bn a year

"Despite recessions and demographic shifts, few building types have boomed like self-storage lockers. In fact, they’ve proven to be one of the surest bets in real estate over the last half century, while malls, starter homes, and even luxury commercial space in big cities, once safe and steady investments, have struggled. Behind the combination locks and roll-up doors lies a $38 billion industry.
One in 11 Americans pays an average of $91.14 per month to use self-storage, finding a place for the material overflow of the American dream. According to SpareFoot, a company that tracks the self-storage industry, the United States boasts more than 50,000 facilities and roughly 2.311 billion square feet of rentable space. In other words, the volume of self-storage units in the country could fill the Hoover Dam with old clothing, skis, and keepsakes more than 26 times.
Though the adage “sex sells” is hard to dispute, the decidedly unsexy self-storage industry made $32.7 billion in 2016, according to Bloomberg, nearly three times Hollywood’s box office gross. Self-storage has seen 7.7 percent annual growth since 2012, according to analysts at IBISWorld, and now employs 144,000 nationwide."

13m ARKit apps have been downloaded in 6 months

"iPhone and iPad users worldwide have installed more than 13 million augmented reality apps built expressly using Apple’s ARKit framework since they debuted on September 19 of last year, Sensor Tower Store Intelligence data shows.
As the following charts reveal, these downloads have been heavily concentrated around a few key App Store categories, including Games, Utilities, and Lifestyle. In addition to this, we’ve put together top 10 rankings of the most downloaded free and paid ARKit-only apps and games, along with the highest grossing offerings so far in this growing space."
Source:  SensorTower, 28th March 2018

Online alcohol delivery revenue grew by 33% in the US in 2017

"New data shows that online alcohol-delivery revenue grew almost 33 percent last year, increasing at an average rate of 3 percent month over month. According to Slice Intelligence, the growth of alcohol-delivery service Drizly helped give the market a boost, with revenue that grew by a whopping 62 percent in 2017.
Drizly is an eCommerce marketplace for consumers who want alcohol delivered to them the same day, connecting them with local retailers who are part of Drizly’s marketplace, available in over 40 markets across the U.S. and Canada.
“We have been collecting great data as a result of selling beer, wine and spirits online,” Drizly Co-founder and COO Justin Robinson told PYMNTS last year, “and for an interesting customer base — a base that everyone wants to know more about, one that skews toward millennials with an average consumer age of 33 — those are the consumers who are starting trends.”
The Slice data also shows that December is the highest revenue-earning month in 2017, comprising over 12 percent of annual sales, thanks to the holiday season."

Apple's app store shrank for the first time ever in 2017

"The Apple App Store endured its first ever contraction in 2017 — dropping from 2.2 million published iOS apps in the beginning of the year to 2.1 million by year-end.
The news comes from a new report from Appfigures, according to TechCrunch. The App Store’s contraction was paired with the Google Play stores’ expansion — in 2017, it reportedly grew 30 percent to around 3.6 million apps.
The drop off, according to Appfigures, comes as a result of a few issues. Apple has begun pushing for stricter enforcement of app guidelines — meaning more apps were categorized as spam and removed. There were also technical changes to the App Store that required developers to adopt 64-bit architecture.
The change also reflects a purge of apps that were considered abandoned, outdated, or those that were out of step with current app-development guidelines. That clean-up began in 2016, but analysts suspect that purge may well have continued into 2017.
Other explanations for the great app thin-out include a temporary move to template-based apps, but that policy was relaxed over SMB complaints that the requirement made the App Store inaccessible for smaller businesses."

Amazon 'isn't as appealing to Gen Z as to Millennials'

"Though Amazon’s retail stronghold continues to pose a threat to companies both large and small, there’s one demographic the e-commerce giant has yet to crack: Gen Z.
According to a report by Yes Lifecycle Marketing, Gen Z consumers, more than any other generation, choose to shop at other retailers besides Amazon, with 31 percent citing that they prefer the in-store shopping experience. Additionally, in a survey of whether individuals made a purchase on the platform in the last month, 79 percent of millennials reported they had, while just 62 percent of Gen Z said the same.
Ed Kennedy, senior director of commerce at Episerver, said Amazon isn’t appealing to experience-driven Gen Z shoppers, in large part because the platform’s main value proposition — namely convenience and cost — doesn’t speak to them. While older generations are busy managing careers and families, Gen Z has time and disposable income and is seeking unique retail experiences."

VR & AR start-ups raised $3.6bn in the 12 months to March 2018

"AR/VR startups raised a record over $3.6 billion from VCs and corporates in the last 12 months to the end of Q1 2018. Over three-quarters of a billion dollars was invested in the first 3 months of this year alone. A fundamental transition in the fundraising market towards AR from VR, as well as the very early-stage dynamics of mobile AR, are driving an acceleration of fundraising trends anticipated at the start of the year. As expected in a transitional year, overall deal volumes declined slightly in the short-term as VCs and corporates look to medium-term mobile AR and long-term smartglasses growth.
The investment dollar figures for the last 12 months and first quarter are impressive, but digging beneath the surface reveals what is really going on. As has become more expected in early-stage tech markets, mega-rounds take the lion’s share of dollars invested. In the last 12 months Magic Leap raised nearly $1 billion ($502 million in Q4 2017 and $461 million in Q1 2018), Improbable raised $502 million, Niantic raised $200 million and Unity did another big round."

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Half of British children watch Netflix; only 29% watch BBC iPlayer

"This generation of children embody the digital transformation. They are the audience group that are changing fastest. Although TV continues to be the main platform for children’s viewing, what they consider to be ‘TV’ and how they access this is rapidly evolving.
As the trend shifts towards on-demand viewing, the BBC risks being overtaken by competitors. 82% of children go to YouTube for on-demand content, half to Netflix and only 29% use BBC iPlayer. Children aged 5-15 now spend more time each week online (15 hrs 18 mins) than they do watching TV (14 hrs).
43% of 12-15s now use their mobile phone to watch TV. At the same time, the market has become much more competitive. The number of specialist children’s TV channels has increased markedly in recent decades, from four in 1998 to more than 35 in 2016. Most of these additional channels are driven primarily by imported content, the majority emanating from North America, and much of it consisting of animation (Cartoon Network; Nickelodeon and Nick Jnr; Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior).
As a result, there has been a steady decline in the usage of our children’s services. The average weekly reach of CBBC among 6-12 year olds has fallen from close to 40% in 2011/12 to under 25% in 2016/17."
[...]
"The BBC’s output on TV and Radio is uniquely distinctive in its breadth and range, and in its focus on British content from across the UK. But sustaining the quality that audiences demand is increasingly difficult in a world where inflation in some genres is running at unprecedented levels. The BBC continues to seek out investment from other providers to reduce the demand on the licence fee, but these deals are not as available or as attractive as they used to be.
At the same time, maintaining the reach and time that audiences spend with our output is equally difficult, when they have so many other choices at their disposal. This challenge is most acute for young audiences. Our most recent estimates suggest that 16-34s spent similar amounts of time with BBC One, ITV and Netflix a week – around two hours a week for each. 16-24s spend more time with Netflix than all of BBC TV (including iPlayer). Similarly, for the first time, in October-December 2017 we estimate 15- 34s listened more to streaming music services than all BBC Radio (5 hrs vs. 4 hrs 30 mins a week)."
Source:  The BBC Annual Plan, 28th March 2018
PDF here - The text is from page 9 and page 11

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Mobile devices account for 60% of video views

"Mobile devices were responsible for 60% of all video views worldwide in Q4 2017 as audiences were more likely to watch programming on a smartphone or tablet than a PC or TV, according to a study by video technology company Ooyala. As more premium sports programming moves online and can be viewed on mobile, this number may top 70% soon.
Smartphones (55%) topped PCs (36%) in Q4 for the percentage of pre-roll ad impressions shown on broadcaster platforms that distribute TV content online. Smartphone pre-roll impressions were highest on publisher platforms at 69%, which Ooyala defines as including news and media organizations. Broadcasters saw mid-roll impressions on smartphones rise to 28% in Q4 from 16% in Q3, while publishers experienced a jump to 51% from 44% for the same periods.
Mobile video plays have increased by about 20% in North America over the past two years as more carriers offered unlimited data plans to attract new users and younger consumers use mobile devices as their primary screens. New, high-tech phone models helped smartphones snag an additional 7.2% of video plays in the past year."
Note - data is taken from sites that Ooyala serves ads to - and does not include YouTube or Netflix for example

35% of American adults use Instagram



Source:  Pew Internet & American Life Project, quoted in Adweek, 1st March 2018
Link to full report here

26% of US adults are online 'almost constantly'



Source:  Pew Internet & American Life Project, 14th March 2018

YouTube is the top-grossing iPhone app in the US, thanks to YouTube Red

"YouTube  just became the Top Grossing iPhone app in the U.S. for the first time on Tuesday, after flirting with the top spot a number of times over the years, but never reaching higher than No. 3. The milestone was first spotted by the app store intelligence firm Sensor Tower, which notes that the U.S. is the only country where YouTube’s iPhone app has ever hit No. 1.
The app has been climbing up the Top Grossing charts for years, however, thanks to the launch of YouTube Red in-app subscriptions in fall 2015. In fact, YouTube Red’s arrival almost immediately pushed the app into the Top Grossing charts. The month after Red’s launch, the YouTube iPhone app jumped all the way up to No. 6, we noted at the time. It was then estimated to be bringing in more than $100,000 per day — and perhaps as high as $300,000, excluding iPad.
YouTube’s iOS revenue has grown remarkably since then, of course, as YouTube Red itself grew in popularity, combined with other trends, like the rise of cord-cutting, YouTube’s youngest users finally getting their own phones, streaming plans from mobile carriers that don’t count YouTube’s data or those offering cheap unlimited data, the growth of live streaming and the launch of other features to engage YouTube viewers — like messaging, Community, Reels and more."