2016.07.29 Last Week in Digital Media

The breaking news of last week was confirmed on Monday, when Yahoo! was sold to Verizon. Magna’s own David Cohen wrote an excellent piece on AdAge that this was the best possible outcome for the industry. If anything, the sale of Yahoo! is a solid reminder of how unforgiving the internet industry can be – about 10 years ago, Microsoft attempted to buy Yahoo! for almost US$45B, to see it sold for US$4.8B is a sobering reminder of how fortunes can change.

As for current industry titans, Google and Facebook. Their financial results came out this week and both reported strong results for the quarter. Facebook ad revenue was up 63% to US$6.2B, Google was up 19% to US$19.2B. Growth for both companies came from mobile and video. Facebook’s Investor relations site has a good PDF slide deck showing how their numbers breakdown with details on users by market.. Twitter also reported results during the week, posting their first growth in user numbers and revenue (1% respectively) While the growth missed wall St estimates, it was the first positive audience and revenue news from twitter in a while.

More broadly in the industry, Nielsen released some numbers this week about US media consumption by time-spent. TV still had the lead, although for the 18-24 demographic, TV is only 1 hour ahead of mobile/app usage. With new mobile devices from Apple and Google due this year, here’s to mobile finally overtaking TV usage in the next 12 months.

Finally, in one of the more research reports this year comes from Pew Research and their American’s Opinions on Privacy and Information Sharing. Published back in January, I recently came across this and it makes for an interesting read, especially when our industry relies heavily on data and targeting. Some of the interesting stats from the report include that just over half of people viewed it as unacceptable (response rates shifting to acceptable the younger the demographic) for social media sites to use your personal data; almost half of people (47%) view retailers using loyalty card data for targeting as acceptable; more than half of people saw workplace surveillance cameras as acceptance (54% – smile and wave ;-) and in the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) world, 55% did not find it acceptable for a smart thermostat to share data back. One of the interesting observations from the report is that there is a disconnect between people’s attitudes to privacy and  their acceptance and use of platforms that use their data.