A much shorter update this week, but here’s all the digital media news you may have missed.
- App research and analytics firm AppTopia report that TikTok is now outranking Facebook, YouTube, and Snapchat in US app downloads (US downloads are up 25%). Usage still lags that of other apps but it gives context to why Facebook is now looking to clone the app. with lasso.
- Spotify has hit 191MM Monthly Active Users (MAU) and 87MM paid subscribers. 31% of the MAU base comes from the US. Spotify’s quarterly report (PDF) forecasts user growth (paid and ad-supported) will continue.
- CBS has launched a new OTT streaming channel called “ET Live” an entertainment offering built off the Entertainment Tonight franchise. ET Live is ad-supported, will feature new original content, and is separate to the CBS All Access subscription offering.
- Snapchat is bringing more TV-like content to the UK with 25 Snapchat shows (last 3-7min in length) launching in the coming weeks from partners like the Guardian, Channel 4, and Culture Trip.
- Ads are coming to WhatsApp. The news comes from India, where a WhatsApp VP was speaking at an industry event. The plan is for ads to appear in the “Status” section of the app. No timeline has been announced.
- Facebook’s Q3 earnings results were surprisingly upbeat given the recent security incident. Daily Active Users (DAU) were up overall, but the US was flat and Europe decline slightly. The big call out on the earnings call was that Facebook is seeing more activity moving to chat and that monetizing the stories format will be key to future growth. There’s a great chart on TechCrunch that shows just how well Facebook has done executing stories vs Snapchat.
- Instagram has launched a beta Instagram analytics offering, where you can measure the business impact of Instagram pages. The offering, available through Facebook analytics, can also measure the overlap of Facebook and Instagram audiences.
PRIVACY, TRUST, AND SAFETY
- PBS series Frontline ran a 2 part investigative piece on Facebook and the global impact the company is having on privacy and democracy. The episodes are available to watch free (US Only).
- Sen Ron Wyden has released a discussion document for GDPR-like privacy and data protection legislation in the US. The proposal includes giving the FTC authority over data use, fines of 4% of annual revenue, up to 20-year criminal penalties for senior executives, a National Do Not Track system and more.
- CUNY and TrustMetrics have received funding from Facebook’s Journalism Project to provide score new sites based various signals of journalistic quality as well as additional criteria. There is a detailed post on medium that outlines all the steps that are being taken to help filter out fake and unreliable news.
Have a great week.
PS. The fun not a distraction of the week is this game called MarsCraft. MarsCraft is a game you play by not playing the game. You set a timer and for that period of time, if you use your phone, you lose. No, you can’t cheat by only playing when you’re asleep. Stay focused and have fun!