2016.11.04 Last Week in Digital Media

Here’s the news:

  • Spotify has started bundling subscriptions in parts of Europe with “Headspace” a meditation and mindfulness service. Bundled subscriptions start at €14.99. It’s an interesting move by Spotify. As the number of subscription services of all types grows, these kinds of bundled offerings may represent the future – especially when it comes to competing with the likes of Amazon who are bundling everything into the Prime subscription.
  • Facebook‘s quarterly earnings came out during the week.Globally Highlights of their earnings report include 1 billion people use Facebook on a mobile (and only mobile device). Earnings were higher but Facebook claimed growth would start to slow down with “ad load” (the number of ads on a page) starting to peak. Shares dropped by almost 7% in after-hours trading post the results but recovered in the back end of the week.
  • So where will Facebook’s future growth come from? A few rumors are circulating. One rumor is that Facebook will get into eSports in an attempt to take on twitch and YouTubeThis makes sense, as it would help grow Facebook’s video inventory and gaming is inherently social (even though Facebook has historically struggled with eSports).  The other rumor is that Facebook still wants to take the fight to Snapchat and made an offer for an Asian Snapchat clone called Snow. However, this rumor could be more than about taking on Snapchat, Snow is popular in China – a market where Facebook and Snapchat have no presence.
  • With so many of our clients involved in selling products and Holiday season upon us, Instagram has perfectly timed the beta-launch of a shopping product. Not yet a full commercial launch and more of a limited beta with some select partners (no UM clients). You can click to learn more about products and then click again to buy which deep-links to the retailers on site. This is definitely something you should be pushing your Facebook rep. to get access to in 2017.
  • You should know that Google’s parent company is now called Alphabet. What you might not know is that their investment arm (Google Capitalmade an investment in Snapchat recently. No details are available, but it’s a good way for Google to keep the pressure on Facebook’s (that’s before Snapchat starts doing something that competes with Google and then all bets are off).
  • Video site Vimeo announced plans to offer a consumer subscription video offering similar to YouTube Red. Vague on details, Vimeo may have an uphill battle as during the same week there were reports that YouTube Red isn’t getting paid subscribers as fast as expected. By some reports, YouTube Red reportedly has 1.5M subscribers (which is more than Sling)
  • The universe is catching up – last week I wrote about how I was surprised that Facebook wasn’t building Snapchat-like features into WhatsApp. It has now emerged (late last week) that Facebook is beta-testing Snapchat-like features in WhatsApp. If you have a hacker-bent you can test this yourself.
  • Lastly – need some updated IAB stats on the state of the digital advertising market? Well you’re in luck. The IAB  2016 internet advertising report is here (PDF link) The most interesting page is #16 which shows online video has grown at the fastest rate (up 51% from the same time last year).

Have a great week.

Joshua