Millennials mostly watch TV after it’s aired

Older people still watch more live TV, but that’s changing.

Millennials don’t watch live TV most of the time. People aged 18-34 spend 55 percent of their video-watching time consuming content after it has already aired on live TV, according to a new study from the Consumer Technology Association. Only 45 percent of that time is spent with live television.

Of the video millennials do watch, 35 percent comes from streaming services like Netflix or on-demand video from a pay TV. They spend 20 percent of their viewing time watching recorded shows off their DVR.

The switch to time-shifted TV puts further pressure on TV networks that are struggling to make their shows attractive to advertisers and retain audiences — audiences that are increasingly seeking out entertainment elsewhere, such as on Snapchat and Facebook. That’s one of the key reasons why advertisers still pay a lot of money to be next to sports content like the NFL despite its flattening audience: Sports still compel people to watch live.

People older than 35 do spend a majority of their viewing time, or 66 percent, with live TV.

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But even so, live TV has been losing ground across all demographics. The share of consumers who watch live TV at least once a week, according to the CTA study, has shrunk from 92 percent in 2014 to 80 percent in 2017.

That viewing time has been supplanted by an increase in TV watching through paid and free websites as well as network websites and apps.

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Source: recode.net; 9 Sep 2017

How Instagram and Snapchat Are Benefiting From Facebook’s Declining Teen and Tween Numbers

Teens and young adults are drifting away from Facebook.

eMarketer released its latest forecast on U.S. mobile and internet usage, and the research company sees double-digit gains for Instagram and Snapchat in 2017, while the opposite is true for the parent company of the former.

According to eMarketer, although monthly Facebook users will rise 2.4 percent in 2017, the 12-17 age group will slide by 3.4 percent, marking the second consecutive year of decline for that age group (it fell 1.2 percent in 2016).

Facebook users under 12 and between 18 and 24 will also see slower growth, according to eMarketer.

As for Snapchat, eMarketer sees 2017 user growth of 25.8 percent in the U.S., higher than its previous forecasts, with users between 18 and 24 rising by 19.2 percent.

Snapchat will overtake Facebook and Instagram in the 12-17 and 18-24 age groups for the first time, according to eMarketer, with its share of U.S. social network users surging to 40.8 percent.

Emarketer also upped its 2017 user growth projection for Instagram to 23.8 percent in the U.S., saying users under 12 will jump 19 percent, and 12- to 17-year-old users will go up 8.8 percent.

In the U.K., eMarketer projected a 34.8 percent jump in monthly users for Instagram, with Snapchat climbing 20.2 percent and Twitter’s slight gain in that country edging that of Facebook.

eMarketer senior forecasting analyst Oscar Orozco said of Facebook’s declines in teens and tweens, “We see teens and tweens migrating to Snapchat and Instagram. Both platforms have found success with this demographic since they are more aligned with how they communicate—that is, using visual content. Outside of those who have already left, teens and tweens remaining on Facebook seem to be less engaged—logging in less frequently and spending less time on the platform. At the same time, we now have “Facebook-nevers”—children aging into the tween demographic who appear to be overlooking Facebook altogether, yet still engaging with Facebook-owned Instagram.

Source: adweek.com; 21 August 2017

Well now: Mobile usage is even bigger than you think

Study: Time spent on smartphones has double in just the past three years

We laughingly say we’re addicted to our phones and joke about finger injuries caused by too much texting.

But do you know exactly how much you use your phone? Do you know how much we all do?

It’s become a shockingly dominant pastime. In fact, Millennials spend more time on mobile than they do watching live TV, and TV’s big advantage among adults 35-49 is shrinking.

That’s according to a new report from comScore, which examines cross-platform media consumption.

It finds that smartphone usage has not simply grown over the past three years. It’s actually doubled.

In that same period, tablet usage is up 26 percent, while desktop usage is down 8 percent.

Interestingly, time with smartphones doesn’t seem to be replacing desktop – it’s not shrinking fast enough to draw that conclusion. Instead, smartphones offer people additional time on the internet when they wouldn’t have otherwise been going online, such as when they’re out of the house or watching television.

The study found the average person spends two hours and 51 minutes a day on mobile. Per month, that translates into more than a trillion minutes of smartphone usage across America.

ComScore notes that’s roughly double the usage for desktop at its peak.

Mobile now accounts for 70 percent of all digital media time. It’s little wonder, then, that advertisers are rapidly moving their dollars to mobile. They need to be where the eyeballs are.

A recent forecast from ZenithOptimedia predicted that worldwide mobile spending will top desktop for the first time this year, and eMarketer puts mobile at nearly one-fifth of overall U.S. ad dollars.

Catching up to TV
Among young people, mobile has already caught up to TV in time spent. Millennials spend 23.1 hours per week on their smartphones, compared with 19.1 hours watching live TV.

By contrast, adults 35-54 remain more devoted to live TV (26.6 hours) than their phones (18.5 hours), but the gap is getting smaller.

This is, in part, why digital overtook TV as the No. 1 advertising medium last year. Advertisers want to reach young people, and the place to find them is now online rather than via TV.

Mobile vs. desktop
Perhaps another question is how long until desktop disappears entirely—will that ever happen? ComScore notes almost one in eight internet users currently are mobile-only. The number’s much higher among younger users, with nearly a quarter of women 18-24 mobile-only.

Does that mean desktop will someday die out? Probably not entirely. Desktops remain practical options for work, and some people simply don’t have the desire to be connected 24-7.

Still, that number is clearly dwindling—and the people who do use desktop are of less interest to advertisers than the Millennials who are chained to their smartphones.

Source: medialifemagazine.com; 23 March 2017

‘INFLECTION POINT’: Renewables will be the ‘cheapest form of new power generation’ by 2020

Renewable energy sources, like solar and wind, are quickly becoming as cheap-even cheaper-than their carbon-intensive counterparts like coal.

New research from Morgan Stanley estimates that renewables will be the cheapest source of power in the world in less than three years.

“Numerous key markets recently reached an inflection point where renewables have become the cheapest form of new power generation,” the bank said in a note.

“A dynamic we see spreading to nearly every country we cover by 2020. The price of solar panels has fallen 50% in less than two years (2016-17).”

Even if President Trump succeeds in withdrawing the US from the 2015 Paris climate agreement, the country could still cut more emissions than it had previously pledged to alongside 194 other countries.

“For example, notwithstanding President Trump’s stated intention to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement, we expect the US to exceed the Paris commitment of a 26-28% reduction in US 2005-level carbon emissions by 2025,” the bank said.

What’s behind the sudden drop in renewable costs?

Wind turbine blade lengths have increased dramatically in recent years thanks to stronger materials and design. Even a small lengthening of the windmill blades can increase output exponentially, as the “swept area” is a function of the square of the turbine’s radius. Remember that high school geometry?

On the solar front, Morgan Stanley says there has been oversupply of solar panels, which is pushing production prices down. Solar installation grew 50% last year, but capacity is still 28% above installations.

The bank sees two possible benefits (beyond helping the environment) for utility companies that invest in low-cost renewables:

“First, the ability to lower customer bills from utilizing low-cost renewables can improve utilities’ regulatory environment and provide related investment opportunities in grid modernization initiatives,” writes the bank.

“Second, for utilities with large, competitive renewable development businesses, investment in renewable energy projects can generate attractive risk-adjusted returns.”

Source: businessinsider.my; 8 July 2017

Three game changers for energy

New sources, mobility, and industry fragmentation are set to disrupt the system.

Change is afoot in the energy system. Soaring demand in emerging markets, new energy sources, and the likely growth of electric vehicles (EVs) are just some of the elements disrupting the status quo. It is hard to discern how the aftershocks will affect the extraordinarily complex network of sectors and stakeholders. New research by McKinsey and the World Economic Forum has identified the game changers for companies and policy makers, as well as their implications.

Click here for full article

Source: mckinsey.com; April 2017

Battery storage: The next disruptive technology in the power sector

Low-cost storage could transform the power landscape. The implications are profound.

Storage prices are dropping much faster than anyone expected, due to the growing market for consumer electronics and demand for electric vehicles (EVs). Major players in Asia, Europe, and the United States are all scaling up lithium-ion manufacturing to serve EV and other power applications. No surprise, then, that battery-pack costs are down to less than $230 per kilowatt-hour in 2016, compared with almost $1,000 per kilowatt-hour in 2010.

McKinsey research has found that storage is already economical for many commercial customers to reduce their peak consumption levels. At today’s lower prices, storage is starting to play a broader role in energy markets, moving from niche uses such as grid balancing to broader ones such as replacing conventional power generators for reliability, providing power-quality services, and supporting renewables integration.

Further, given regulatory changes to pare back incentives for solar in many markets, the idea of combining solar with storage to enable households to make and consume their own power on demand, instead of exporting power to the grid, is beginning to be an attractive opportunity for customers (sometimes referred to as partial grid defection). We believe these markets will continue to expand, creating a significant challenge for utilities faced with flat or declining customer demand. Eventually, combining solar with storage and a small electrical generator (known as full grid defection) will make economic sense—in a matter of years, not decades, for some customers in high-cost markets.

Click here for full article

Source: McKinsey & Company; June 2017

The tablet market just keeps on falling

It seems safe to say that tablet sales have peaked.

According to the latest preliminary figures from research firm IDC, the global tablet market shipped 36.2 million units in the first quarter of 2017, a decline of 8.5% year-over-year. As this chart from Statista shows, that is the lowest total since the third quarter of 2012, and the tenth straight quarter of declining growth.

As IDC notes, the drop here is coming from traditional “slate” tablets, like the standard iPad. Those appear to have dipped for a number of reasons — the rise of big-screen smartphones, the rise of “convertible” touchscreen laptops, samey designs, certain tablets being good and/or not-used-enough to require regular upgrading, and so on.

On the other side are “detachable” tablets, like the iPad Pro or Microsoft’s Surface Pro, which come with a keyboard. Those are growing with each passing quarter, but they tend to be pricey. We’ll soon see if the launch of Apple’s more affordable iPad affects things, but for now, the tablet seems to have settled into a spot of influencing the PC more than supplanting it entirely.

Tablet

Source: businessinsider.my; 9 May 2017

Marketing to Gen Xers? Here’s What They’re Watching on YouTube

Generation X, born between the mid-1960s and late ’70s, bore witness to the technology revolution. Its members are old enough to remember a time before the internet, but young enough to have adapted quickly to the changing technological landscape.

The incentive for brands to engage this generation on YouTube is, in a word, massive. According to Pixability, Gen Xers account for over 1.5B views every day on YouTube.1

To better understand Gen Xers’ priorities relative to their YouTube engagement, Google conducted qualitative and survey-based research in partnership with Ipsos Connect and Flamingo.2

The findings? Gen Xers’ behaviour on YouTube reflects broadly held assumptions about the generation: their ability to self-start, their love for nostalgia, and their desire to be in the know, just to name a few traits.

Below, check out the stats behind the YouTube behaviour of Gen Xers.

Click here for more on the research article

Source: thinkwithgoogle.com; Jan 2017

The Future of Digital Media: More Video, Smaller Screens (Report)

Internet users consume more video than ever on an average of two or more devices.

Digital content marketing has grown increasingly complicated, a result of more dynamic audiences and a general shift toward video as a primary focus. A report from content marketing and distribution agency Valnet examines what’s coming for content marketing and content in general in 2017.

It’s not enough to just create content for the web anymore. With the proliferation of devices, content needs to be both mobile-focused and platform-agnostic to meet the needs of a diverse audience. 88 percent of consumers surveyed by Valnet report reading and viewing content on multiple devices and use on average 2.42 devices simultaneously.

Indeed, multiple devices has become an integral part of how people consume content. What’s more, video consumption is higher than ever, but screens are getting smaller and smaller, which creates a strange dichotomy for video streaming services. 51 percent of all video is now viewed on mobile, and 50 percent of U.S. households used streaming services for the first time during 2016.

Speed is vital for maintaining the attention of viewers, for whom switching between service and device has become second nature. Another defining result of this behaviour is the creation of niche networks and services. Content suggestion methods and algorithms have created siloed audiences, and audiences have responded positively to these changes.

For more insights on the impact of virtual reality and information on the proliferation of niche audiences, download the report.

Source: valnetinc.com / adweek.com; 4 Jan 2017

State Farm Is Targeting Location-Based Ads at Gas Stations

18,000 locations are getting equipped with digital screens

If you regularly fill your tank at a gas station, chances are you’ve spent a few minutes standing idly by your car. Now, advertisers want to serve you ads while you wait.

State Farm is running video ads on digital screens built into the pumps at 18,000 national gas stations as part of a partnership between Gas Station TV and payment company Verifone. The screens loop through a four- to five-minute segment featuring content from ESPN, CNN and Bloomberg that run alongside short national and local commercials from brands like State Farm. Each station’s screens can be customized to pull in either local or national content.

“State Farm has an interest in reaching the driving public,” said Edward Gold, advertising director at State Farm. “While we can do that on television and online video, when you have somebody who is actually driving a car, experiencing their car, taking care of their car and therefore thinking about their car, it’s a great opportunity for us.”

GSTV and Verifone claim their network of digital screens reaches one in three adults and 75 million unique monthly viewers. According to David Leider, president and CEO of Gas Station TV, 69 percent of that audience is between the ages of 18 and 49, a group of cord-cutting consumers who are increasingly watching video in ways other than linear TV. “We like to say that the audience is tied to that screen with a rubber hose for about five minutes—it’s a very captive, locked-down audience,” Leider said.

State Farm bought ads through GSTV in 2015 and ran a study through Lieberman Research in which 48 percent of respondents recalled seeing a State Farm ad, and 69 percent said they’d consider the company the next time they shopped for insurance.

State Farm’s Gold said the new work is part of a bigger plan to beef up the brand’s location-based advertising efforts, which also include piloting sponsored promos in online community platform Nextdoor.

“Local advertising is always something that we do, but then our ability to target people whether we know that they’re in a specific area—let’s say the northern suburb of Chicago—might be a little better market for us than the downtown area of Chicago,” Gold said. “Then when you start looking at location-based advertising opportunities, even from where the cell phone is at, and how we can target someone who has been standing on an auto dealership lot for five minutes, which means they’re either getting their car fixed or they’re shopping for a new car, we’re definitely getting more into very specific location-based opportunities.”

Source: adweek.com; 19 Apr 2017