Trending this month

July 28, 2020

coming soon : bean shaped wireless charging Galaxy earbuds

Bean Shaped Galaxy Earbuds

Wireless Charging Module

With the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series being just around the corner, the company is apparently planning on also launching other peripheral electronics as well. Reportedly, Samsung is planning on releasing new smartwatches and bean shaped truly wireless earbuds as well, both with wireless charging.According to a new ETNews report, industry sources have claimed that the South Korean tech giant will be strategically launching two new smartphones along with new wearable devices in the second half of August 2020. 

The two handsets in question are the Galaxy Note 20 series and the company’s Galaxy Z Fold 2. Furthermore, the new TWS earbuds are likely to be a new model within the Galaxy Buds series with a bean shaped design.The charging case for the earbuds will feature the wireless charger and so will the upcoming smartwatch. Notably, this is also indicative of the new trend with new wearable generations featuring wireless charging. Apple AirPods Pro was one of the first to support this technology and have seen great success worldwide; so much so, that Apple had to turn to Chinese companies to double the earphone production.table border

Similarly, Samsung is also reportedly planning on producing 500,000 bean shaped wirelessly charging TWS earbuds per month. Wireless charging has become a new and emerging demand within the market and the suppliers of such technology have been seeing an influx of orders for the relevant components from various vendors. Additionally, Samsung is even hinted at bringing the technology to mid to lower end smartphones as well. Although, this is still an unconfirmed report, so take it with a pinch of salt for now.

US Smartphone sales in Q2,2020 falls by 25%

US Smartphone sales  : Q2,2019 vs Q2,2020


During the second quarter of 2020, US smartphone sell-through fell 25% year-over-year, according to Counterpoint Research’s preliminary US Smartphone Channel Share Tracker. 

Prepaid channels were hurt the most during the COVID-19 outbreak despite a higher percentage of stores remaining open compared to postpaid. Postpaid channels declined 20%, a steep fall but one partly offset by an almost doubling of the percentage of devices sold online. Commenting on Q2, North America Research Director, Jeff Fieldhack, said, “Mid-March through mid-April saw the weakest sales as it was the height of the first COVID-19 lockdowns in the US. April was the weakest month for smartphone sell-through as about 80% of smartphone sales channels were closed; sell-through volume was down over 50%.

 Smartphone sales for May through the end of June grew week-over-week. June 2020 sales were stronger than June 2019 sales, which shows the US smartphone market is resilient.” Fieldhack added, “US smartphone sales picked up when the first stimulus checks were received by consumers during the back half of April. Soon after, carrier stores and national retail began opening again which further helped the recovery. There was also a bit of pent-up demand created by the weeks of store closures. Many consumers who may have wanted a new device but still had a functioning phone simply put off their purchase. Finally, US operator net additions will probably not be as disappointing as smartphone sales due to spikes in sales of hotspots, other connected devices, and used smartphones being connected again.”

Talking about OEMs, the sell-through declined for all the major players, however, Samsung remained the strongest with only 10% drop followed by Alcatel at 11%. Whereas, sales of Apple and LG decreased by 23% and 35% respectively. On the other hand, ZTE was the most affected company with 68% dip. Similar story for Lenovo-owned Motorola (62%) and OnePlus (60%), both of which launched their most expensive flagship smartphones in the second quarter of 2020. Further, Samsung Galaxy S20 series activations were 38% less than that of Galaxy S10 series in the first four months. But Apple iPhone SE 2020 sold well as over 30% of buyers upgraded from either iPhone 6s or older models. Interestingly, 26% of new users were one who switched from Android, which happens to be higher than normal Android to iOS

July 17, 2020

Indian smartphone shipments falls by 48%, Xiaomi is no 1

India's Smartphone Market Share :(Counterpoint Research)

Smartphone shipments in India fell 48 per cent in Q2 2020  this year to 17.3 million units as the country faced an unprecedented shutdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, research firm Canalys said. 

In a report, Canalys said smartphone vendors faced a "diabolical situation", dealing with both low supply due to a complete halt in production and diminished demand, as online and offline retailers were prohibited from selling smartphones.a diabolical situation, dealing with both low supply due to a complete halt in production and diminished demand, as online and offline retailers were prohibited from selling smartphones.

Xiaomi was the market leader in India, capturing 31% of overall market share, shipping 5.3 million smartphone units in the quarter. Vivo maintained the second position, shipping 3.7 million units, and grew its market share to 21.3% from 19.9% in Q1 2020. Samsung was third, with 2.9 million smartphones shipped, and also saw exports impacted as its largest manufacturing plant outside of Vietnam shut down for most of Q2. 

Oppo edged out Realme to take the fourth position as it shipped 2.2 million units, compared to Realme’s 1.7 million. As local production suffered through the early stages of Q2, vendors like Xiaomi and Oppo imported smartphones to meet pent-up demand. “It’s been a rocky road to recovery for the smartphone market in India,” said Canalys Analyst Madhumita Chaudhary. “While vendors witnessed a crest in sales as soon as markets opened, production facilities struggled with staffing shortages on top of new regulations around manufacturing, resulting in lower production output.

The fluidity of the lockdown situation across India has had a deep-rooted effect on vendors’ go-to-market strategies. Xiaomi and Vivo have undertaken an O2O (offline-to-online) strategy to support their massive offline network. Online channels, too, while seeing a positive effect of the pandemic on market share, have seen sales decline considerably.” India is also battling floods in parts of Eastern India, and a stand-off with China in the Northern borders. “Luck is not on the side of the Chinese vendors,” says Canalys Research Analyst Adwait Mardikar. “There has been public anger directed towards China. The combinations of this and the recently announced ‘Aatmanirbhar’ (self-sufficient) initiatives by the government have pushed Chinese smartphone vendors into the eye of the public storm.” 

Canalys estimates that over 96% of all smartphones sold in India in 2019 were manufactured/assembled locally. “Vendors are driving the message of ‘Made in India’ to consumers and are eager to position their brand as ‘India-first.’ Despite the sentiment, the effect on Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and Realme is likely to be minimal, as alternatives by Samsung, Nokia, or even Apple are hardly price-competitive,” added Mardikar. 

Apple was the least impacted among the top-10 vendors as shipments fell just 20% year-on-year to just over 250,000 in Q2 2020. The vendor has recently announced its plans to diversify its supply chain and is pushing its major partners Foxconn and Wistron to increase its investments in India. “The transition to 5G is the next big opportunity, and Jio’s announcement of readiness to deploy 5G, as soon as spectrum is made available, has provided a ray of hope to most vendors who have been beaten by the current pandemic,” 

July 16, 2020

Streaming services subscription exceed pay tv for the first time

Online Streaming Services exceeds Pay TV in United States


Online Streaming Surpasses Pay TV In U.S. Households For The First Time.

More users in United States  are paying for online streaming and OTT services like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu as compared to pay TV or cable television. With more digital media and entertainment options on offer to consumers than ever before, new research from Deloitte has shown just how mainstream Netflix and co really are across the U.S. today. 

On average, American households subscribed to three paid streaming services in late 2018, and notably, more U.S. households subscribed to a video streaming service than traditional pay TV for the first time ever. Taking a closer look at the state of the shifting media landscape, 69% of households said they had a subscription to a streaming video service when the survey was conducted while 65% were paying for traditional TV. 41% were also subscribed to a music streaming service while 30% paid for access to a gaming service. 

In another ominous sign for cable TV, 88% of millennial households reported a video streaming subscription compared to just 51% for pay TV. One of the primary reasons consumers are cutting the cord and flocking to video streaming is access to shows and movies they can't get anywhere else. Deloitte also found that 57% of paid streaming video consumers subscribed to access original content and that figure is even higher among millennials at 71%.

Around 60 percent of U.S. based adults  currently have a  Netflix subscription and around 77 percent of all VoD users subscribe to Netflix. Netflix has 182.8 million subscribers globally , making it one of the world's largest entertainment services. It added 2.3 million in the United States and Canada in the first quarter of 2020 for a total of 69.9 million, and added 13.5 million internationally. The US, UK, Canada and Greece makes up for the the biggest content library of Netflix. started as a DVD rental service in 1998; an online rival to the then dominant Blockbuster Video. Founder Reed Hastings had claimed that he was spurred to found Netflix after being fined $40 by Blockbuster for the late return of Apollo 13, though he later revealed the story was a fiction intended to help foster a creation myth. 

Netflix's  The Office streamed for 52 million minutes in 2018.Bird Box most-viewed original film in 2019, (80 million views) Stranger Things was the most viewed original series in 2019 (64 million views)

July 15, 2020

walmart pumps in $1.2billion to flipkart to take on Jiomart

Amazon vs Flipkart Market Share ( SP Global Intelligence )

Walmart is pumping in more money into Flipkart . Flipkart is infusion a new $1.2 billion financing round including a majority-stake in Flipkart in the Indian e-commerce giant. The fresh equity round led by Walmart, which acquired majority stake  of  77% in Flipkart for $16 billion two years ago, values Flipkart at $24.9 billion.

Walmart is raising more capital that  would help Flipkart, which was valued at $20.8 billion two years ago, further grow its e-commerce marketplace in India as the world’s second largest internet market begins to recover from Covid-19 crisis. A group of other existing investors also participated in the new financing round, a Flipkart spokesperson told TechCrunch but declined to identify them individually. “We’re grateful for the strong backing of our shareholders as we continue to build our platform and serve the growing needs of Indian consumers during these challenging times,” said Flipkart chief executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy in a statement. 

Flipkart, which competes with Amazon in India, said its monthly active customers figure surged 45% in the financial year that ended in March this year, compared to the year before, and these customers are making 30% more transactions. Flipkart recently surpassed 1.5 billion visits per month. 

According to Market intelligence firm SP Global Flipkart is the largest online retailer in India, with a 31.9% market share in 2018, followed by Amazon at 31.2%, according to Forrester. After adding the market share of its fashion specialty sites Myntra and Jabong, Flipkart controls a 38.3% market share.

The new capital infusion comes at a time when a new powerful player has started to make inroads in the Indian e-commerce market. JioMart, a joint venture between Reliance Retail (India’s largest retail chain) and Jio Platforms (India’s largest telecom operator), launched earlier this year in select sub urban areas of Mumbai and has since expanded to more than 200 cities and towns across the nation

Over 2,500 games removed from Apple's China App Store


More than 2,500 mobile games were removed from Apple’s China app store in the first week of July, four times as many in the same period in June, after Apple closed a loophole to comply with Chinese license requirements, data from SensorTower showed.  

Apple had given publishers of revenue-generating games a deadline of end-June to submit a government-issued licence number that allows them to make in-app purchases, a requirement that Android-based app stores in China have long had. It was not clear why Apple had allowed the loophole to exist for so long. 

 Notable games removed from China’s App Store in July so far include Supercell’s farming hit “Hay Day”, “Nonstop Chuck Norris” from Flaregames and “Solitaire” from Zynga,  Supercell’s farming hit “Hay Day”, “Nonstop Chuck Norris” from Flaregames. 

It’s possible these games will be available again in future, however, but have been gone from the storefront for more than five days,” said Randy Nelson, head of Mobile Insights at SensorTower. The app-analytics firm was not able to determine each game’s individual reason for removal, but the sharp tick up was notable, he added. The games removed in the first seven days of July had generated a combined $34.7 million in lifetime gross revenue in China, and had accumulated more than 133 million downloads in the country.

China has tightened its control over the world's largest video-game market in recent years and online games seeking to monetise often face a lengthy approval process to obtain a licence. In February, video game "Plague Inc", which surged in popularity amid the coronavirus outbreak, was removed from Apple's China app store after regulators said it contained illegal content. The game did not have a proper licence and analysts say it was unlikely to get one.


July 13, 2020

Google launched G4India, $10 billion fund to digitize india


A new Rs 75,000-crore fund has been announced by Google to help accelerate India's digital economy, its Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said today, asserting that "we are proud to support" Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision. "Today at #GoogleForIndia we announced a new $10B digitization fund to help accelerate India's digital economy. 

We're proud to support PM @narendramodi's vision for Digital India - many thanks to Minister @rsprasad & Minister @DrRPNishank for joining us," the 48-year-old Google CEO wrote in a tweet. 

Meanwhile G4IN was trending on Google today . A majority of India's digital population accessed the internet via their mobile phones. In 2018, about 29 percent of the country's total population were mobile internet users, and this was expected to grow to over 35 percent, or approximately 500 million users by 2023. India's internet users registered double digit growth to reach 627 million in 2019, driven by rapid internet growth in rural areas, according to market research agency Kantar IMRB

Internet usage in the country has exceeded half a billion people for first time,driven by rural internet growth and usage. India continues to be the world’s second-largest internet market after China. But what makes it more irresistible to Silicon Valley companies is that it also happens to be the largest untapped internet market in the globe. 

With close to 900 million people without internet connectivity still, there’s little doubt that the Next Billion Users are going to come from India.The introduction of the government’s Digital India initiative hand in hand with the increasing internet penetration over the recent years, resulted in the country’s digital population amounting to approximately 688 million active users as of January 2020

The traffic in the world’s second largest internet market at this stage was largely dominated by mobile internet users.The arrival of Reliance Jio services in 2007, provided people in the country with schemes and subsidies that were not only attractive, but easily affordable, irrespective of their income levels and socio-economic classes. The impact was almost instant, with over 60 percent of the mobile data traffic coming from Jio services in less than ten years of its launch. 

The future holds greater promise The number of internet users had increased over the years in rural as well as the urban areas . It seemed likely from previous trends that the launch of the Jio fixed line broadband service, called Gigafiber might aid in the already increasing internet penetration across the country. Along with the demonetization in late 2016, digitization penetrated the country at a staggering rate, nearly 50 percent in 2019.

June 18, 2020

Former Kleiner Perkins general partner Mary Meeker on the state of the global technology markets

Internet Trends 2019 by Kate Clark on Scribd

Mary Meeker, former former Kleiner Perkins general partner and present founder of Bond capital is back with her slide on global technology trends. Mary highlighted some of the emerging disruptive forces that will impact technology business in 2020. 

Her research highlighted slowed growth in e-commerce sales, increased internet ad spending, a quantum leap in data growth, as well as the rise of freemium subscription business models, telemedicine, photo-sharing, interactive gaming, the on-demand economy and more.Mary Meeker is often referred as the Internet Queen for her deep insights and research data  on the global internet and technology market since 2009.

Her presentation had references to emerging technology disrupters like Slack, Stripe, Spotify, Dropbox, Discord, Twitch, Zoom, Stitch Fix, Instagram and Canva .

Mary Meeker also addressed the growth and clout of chinese technology market, US immigration and online education and digital transformation. 
Here are some of the highlights from the presentation 
  1. Some 51 percent of the world — 3.8 billion people — were internet users  in 2019 up from 49 percent (3.6 billion) in 2017. 

  2. Growth slowed to about 6 percent in 2018 because so many people have come online that new users are harder to come by. 

  3. Sales of smartphones — which are the primary internet access point for many people across the globe  are declining as much of the world that is going to be online already is. As of january 2020 seven out of 10 of the world’s most valuable companies by market cap are tech companies, with only Berkshire Hathaway, Visa, and Johnson & Johnson making the Top 10 as non-tech companies:  The top 10 companies are led by Microsoft, Amazon ,Apple ,Alphabet, Berkshire Hathaway Facebook Alibaba Tencent Visa Johnson & Johnson 

  4. E-commerce is now 15 percent of retail sales. Its growth has slowed — up 12.4 percent in Q1 compared with a year earlier — but still towers over growth in regular retail, which was just 2 percent in Q1. 
  5. Internet ad spending accelerated in the US, up 22 percent in 2018. Most of the spending is still on Google and Facebook, but companies like Amazon and Twitter are getting a growing share. 
  6. Some 62 percent of all digital display ad buying is for programmatic ads, which will continue to grow. 
  7. Customer acquisition costs — the marketing spending necessary to attract each new customer — is going up. That’s unsustainable because in some cases it surpasses the long-term revenue those customers will bring. 

  8. Meeker suggests cheaper ways to acquire customers, like free trials and unpaid tiers. It’s been a busy past year for the former Morgan Stanley analyst, who since releasing the 2018 internet trends report last May exited Kleiner Perkins and raised more than $1 billion for her debut growth fund, Bond.


May 31, 2020

world no tobacco day: behind the marketing machine

Infographic: Smoking Also Has Serious Financial Repercussions | Statista infographics via Statista

31st may is world no tobacco day.  On this day  we present you with some facts and figures on how global Tobacco industry has generated into a mean marketing machine and the top 10 most appalling Facts about global tobacco Company Misdeeds from the Famous Federal Court Ruling (source :american lung association)
On August 17, 2006, federal judge Gladys Kessler found the major tobacco companies—including Altria (Philip Morris) and RJ Reynolds—guilty on civil racketeering charges (i.e., organized criminal activity). On that day, she issued a final judgment and 1,683-page opinion that found the companies had been covering up the health risks associated with smoking and marketing their products to children for decades. And, finally, after many years of delay the tobacco companies were required to issue the "corrective statements" in newspapers and on TV in 2017 and 2018 that were originally ordered by Judge Kessler's decision.
Here are 10 of the most troubling facts the judge found in her ruling against these tobacco companies: 
  1.  The tobacco companies "concealed and suppressed research data and other evidence that nicotine is addictive." 
  2. . The tobacco companies "falsely marketed and promoted low tar/light cigarettes as less harmful than flavour cigarettes in order to keep people smoking and sustain corporate revenues." 
  3.  The tobacco companies own internal records showed "that smokers switch to low tar/light cigarettes, rather than quit smoking because they believe they are less harmful."
  4.  The tobacco companies "recognised that smokers choose light/low tar cigarettes for a perceived health benefit defendants internally recognised that smokers rely on the claims made for low tar/light cigarettes as an excuse/ rationale for not quitting smoking. 
  5. The tobacco industry spends billions of dollars each year on cigarette and smokeless tobacco advertising and promotions. In 2018 $9.06 billion was spent on advertising and promotion of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco combined—about $25 million every day, and more than $1 million every hour in the united states 
  6. Price discounts to retailers account for 73.3% of all cigarette marketing (about $6.16 billion). These are discounts paid in order to reduce the price of cigarettes to consumers "

7. Starting in the 1950s and lasting at least through 2006, different tobacco companies "at different times and using different methods, have intentionally marketed to young people under the age of twenty-one in order to recruit 'replacement smokers' to ensure the economic future of the tobacco industry." 
8. The tobacco companies "youth smoking prevention programs are not designed to effectively prevent youth smoking." 
9. The tobacco companies "have publicly denied what they internally acknowledged: that ETS [secondhand smoke] is hazardous to nonsmokers." 
10. The tobacco companies' internal records "recognised that ETS [secondhand smoke] is hazardous to nonsmokers." 
 11. The tobacco companies' "marketing is a substantial contributing factor to youth smoking initiation."

May 30, 2020

top 10 noteworthy marketing facts for today:

  •  About eight million people around the world earn their living making cars and trucks. 
  •  The Champions League final, hosted by UEFA, European soccer’s governing body, draws more viewers globally than the Super Bowl each year. 
  • The Final of Champions League Will Reportedly Be Relocated From Istanbul
  • In its early days, Daughters of Reykjavik, a feminist rap group from Iceland, had 21 members. 
  • The New-York Historical Society invested heavily in touch-screen stations in 2011. Now, it is considering replacing touch navigation with voice activation.

  • It is not legal for a nonprofit to help you transfer money directly to specific individuals if you want the amount to be a tax deductible donation. 
  • Unlike commercial airlines, the private jet industry sells its services by the hour. 
  • At a Sotheby’s auction on June 29, in which bids will be taken remotely
  • Francis Bacon’s 1981 three-part oil painting, “Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus,” is expected to sell for at least $60 million. Sotheby’s to Hold ‘Live’ Auctions, Remotely ( source : nytimes)

SpaceX finally succeeds in putting NASA astronauts into space

 SpaceX  Final launch 
Elon Musk’s SpaceX and NASA blasted two astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley into orbit, marking the first human launch from U.S. soil in nearly a decade and a new partnership between industry and government aimed at revitalising the country’s space ambitions.
This was SpaceX's second attempt to launch two NASA astronauts on a mission to the International Space Station . This is the first crewed spaceflight to take off from US soil in nearly a decade. This is an important milestone in space travel for three reasons 
1)This is first time that astronauts launched into space from US soil since 2011. 
2)This is the first-ever crewed mission for SpaceX. 
3)This is also the first time ever that a privately developed spacecraft launched humans into Earth's orbit. In an early interview with CNN in 2004, SpaceX founder Elon Musk explained how he could work with NASA and his vision for the future of space travel.

The Crew Dragon capsule, carrying astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, is now flying free through Earth's orbit. The capsule uses tiny thrusters to stay oriented and help steer the spacecraft toward the International Space Station. It's a slow and precise journey. Behnken and Hurley will spend about 19 hours in the spacecraft as climbs toward the ISS, where they're expected to dock around 10:30 am ET tomorrow.

visualisation of global trade ,economic activity vs gdp growth

In today’s global economic system, countries exchange not only final products, but also intermediate inputs. This creates an intricate network of economic interactions that cover the whole world. Over the last couple of centuries the world economy has experienced sustained positive economic growth, and over the same period, this process of economic growth has been accompanied by even faster growth in global trade. In a similar way, if we look at country-level data from the last half century we find that there is also a correlation between economic growth and trade: countries with higher rates of GDP growth also tend to have higher rates of growth in trade as a share of output. This basic correlation is shown in the chart here, where we plot average annual change in real GDP per capita, against growth in trade (average annual change in value of exports as a share of GDP).1 Is this statistical association between economic output and trade causal? Among the potential growth-enhancing factors that may come from greater global economic integration are: Competition (firms that fail to adopt new technologies and cut costs are more likely to fail and to be replaced by more dynamic firms); Economies of scale (firms that can export to the world face larger demand, and under the right conditions, they can operate at larger scales where the price per unit of product is lower); Learning and innovation (firms that trade gain more experience and exposure to develop and adopt technologies and industry standards from foreign competitors)

Over the last couple of centuries the world economy has experienced sustained positive economic growth, and over the same period, this process of economic growth has been accompanied by even faster growth in global trade. In a similar way, if we look at country-level data from the last half century we find that there is also a correlation between economic growth and trade: countries with higher rates of GDP growth also tend to have higher rates of growth in trade as a share of output. This basic correlation is shown in the chart here, where we plot average annual change in real GDP per capita, against growth in trade (average annual change in value of exports as a share of GDP). 

RIP Globalisation: welcome Snowbalisation

RIP Globalisation : welcome Snobalization :

Even before the pandemic, globalisation was in trouble. The open system of trade that had dominated the world economy for decades had been damaged by the financial crash and the Sino-American trade war. Now it is reeling from its third bodyblow in a dozen years as lockdowns have sealed borders and disrupted commerce

The number of passengers at Heathrow has dropped by 97% year-on-year; Mexican car exports fell by 90% in April; 21% of transpacific container-sailings in May have been cancelled. The pandemic has already politicised travel and migration and entrenched an inward looking nationalism towards self-reliance which is bound to leave the economy vulnerable and spread geopolitical instability.

The world has had several epochs of integration, but the trading system that emerged in the 1990s went further than ever before. China became the world’s factory and borders opened to people, goods, capital and information

After Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008 most banks and some multinational firms pulled back. Trade and foreign investment stagnated relative to gdp, a process which economist magazine called snowbalisation.

The flow of capital is also suffering, as longterm investment sinks. Chinese venture-capital investment in America dropped to $400m in the first quarter of this year, 60% below its level two years ago. Multinational firms may cut their cross-border investment by a third this year. America has just instructed its main federal pension fund to stop buying Chinese shares, and so far this year countries representing 59% of world gdp have tightened their rules on foreign investment. As governments try to pay down their new debts by taxing firms and investors, some countries may be tempted to further restrict the flow of capital across borders ( source : economist )

May 17, 2020

top 10 marketing noteworthy facts

  • George Washington survived smallpox, malaria (six times), diphtheria, tuberculosis (twice) and pneumonia.  source :She Cannot Tell a Lie BOOK REVIEW, PAGE 14 

• ReFrame, the largest drug-repurposing library in the world, houses 20 milligrams of nearly every drug that has ever undergone safety testing in people, whether or not it proved effective for its original use.
• A large plant of the weed garlic mustard can disperse 7,900 seeds that can lurk in soil for as long as 10 years. 

  • The overall collection of Funko Pops, those vinyl figurines with saucerlike eyeballs and oblong heads, includes 34 distinct figures of Conan O’Brien. source :Finally, Funkos for Female Directors ARTS & LEISURE, PAGE 12

  •  In air travel, zeppelins, not airplanes, were the first to offer passenger flights in Europe and the first to transport passengers across the Atlantic Ocean. ‘From Now On Our Place Is in the Sky!’ source BOOK REVIEW, PAGE 9

 • According to a 2019 YouGov survey, 45 percent of U.S. adults believe in ghosts. source Violating Spectral Distancing Rules SUNDAY STYLES, PAGE 6 

  •  Because of low interest rates, the payout on commercial annuities has dropped by more than 50 percent over the last 30 years. Dealing With the Dark Side of Low Interest Rates  source:SUNDAY BUSINESS, PAGE 5

December 17, 2019

looks who's talking : alexa vs google Assistant vs siri

Smart Speaker Market Share : 2018 vs 2019

US Voice Assistant User Share 

According to India Mobile Broadband Index report 2018, there has been an 270% increase  in growth of voice searches in India.With the consumers now taking to voice in a big way , voice is being seen as the new frontier of  digital marketing . A decade ago  it would have been impossible to imagine a world where a human being would be able to talk or converse with a machine on a device . As best this was restricted to science fiction. Today thanks to Google Assistant, Amazon's Alexa , Apples Siri ,Microsoft's Cortona and Samsungs Bixby, a world of opportunities  has opened up, not only for tech companies who are looking to elevate their consumer experience but also for brands that needs to be present wherever consumers are in  a multi platform world.

The Global Speech and voice recognition market size is estimated to reach USD 31.82 billion by 2025 according to  a new report by Grand View Research Inc exhibiting a CAGR of 17.2% during the forecast period.According to emarketer ,it estimates that in 2019, 111.8 million people in the US will use a voice assistant at least monthly, up 9.5% from last year. This is equivalent to 39.4% of internet users and 33.8% of the total population. According to Dentsu Aegis Network exchange4media  digital report, Digital Ad spends stood at Rs 10,819 crore  and is expected to grow with a CAGR of 31.92% to reach Rs 24,920 crore by 2021. The report stated that the surge in digital ad spends will be lead by 3 main factors including voice based search technology , vernacular as well as video content . This growth is  further enhanced by engaging mobile experiences based on augmented reality ( AR ) Virtual Reality ( VR) Technologies . So how are marketers looking at Voice based search technology and where  are they at the implementation curve ? 

So the Question is Why Voice ?Voice enables  an intimate and conversational relationship between brands and people . In theory it helps brand communicate stronger bonds with their customers. To ensure it happens it has to support the brand purpose , solve a real and genuine problem for people and be something that is uniquely suited for voice. Successful voice marketing means understanding how people like to use voice  recognition technology  and catering  marketing to those habits . 

According to Google nearly 20% of the searches on Android devices are done through voice.On their part companies have also undertaken a 360 degree marketing blitz showcasing their benefits of using voice assistants from playing a song to checking the latest cricket score to setting the alarm.This has resulted in Amazons digital voice assistant Alexa becoming a household name  along with  Google Assistant.When it comes to the household  Amazon's Alexa rules  as America's most favored Artificial Intelligence based voice assistant which controls between 60-70% of the smart speaker segment   and has more integrations with third party smart home devices than either Google Home or Apples Home Kit Products . As such the majority of smart home consumer controls the majority of smart home functions via voice with Alexa despite the fact that nearly 100% of Alexa users have a smartphone with either Apple's Siri or Google Assistant on it.

However  when it comes to the car the story is a bit different . In the smart speaker segment  Amazon has the great advantage of being the first in the field  by about a year . Google has been playing catch up with its assistant and  devices since 2015, and Apple  has struggled to figure out which direction it wants to run  this race, despite the fact that Apple's Siri was technically the first voice assistant to break out in the market . But in the realm of the car voice assistant, both Google and Apple  have managed to successfully connect themselves to the automobile mobile experience. But despite  being behind Amazon is racing avidly for a crack at becoming the consumer's most favored navigator

July 21, 2018

28.4 billion Mobile app downloads in 2018, q2

"mobile app consumer spending"

Mobile App Consumer Spending

Q2 2018 –has set new  records for global mobile app downloads and consumer spend. Topping the record-setting Q1 2018 levels, there were over 28.4 billion mobile app downloads globally across iOS and Google Play in Q2,2018  up 15% year over year according to the report by AppAnnie

This number is particularly staggering all the more because the numbers reflect  new downloads and does not include re installs or app updates.

Furthermore consumers spends on mobile apps exceeded  $18.5 billion across iOS and Google Play combined – a growth rate of over 20% year over year. 
Most of the downloads came from Google play as it  significantly widened its lead over iOS , exceeded 20 billion in Q2 2018, up 20% year over year and widened the gap between itself and iOS by 25 percentage points to 160%. However global consumer spend on iOS App store grew 20% year over year. 

The mobile app download on Google Play was led by India which was the largest driver of mobile app downloads in terms of growth and market share.On the iOS, ,United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia saw the largest growth in mobile app downloads year over year.Most of the the mobile app growth was led by FIFA World cup 2018, as , Video Players &  Sports apps drove growth in Google Play downloads quarter over quarter in Q2 2018.

The impact of Sports downloads was even more pronounced on iOS where Sports apps were the largest driver of growth in global iOS downloads, followed by Finance and Travel apps. According to AppAnne out of  the top 10 Sports apps in the US by time spent on Android phone during the first 3 weeks of the World Cup  were (June 10-30, 2018), Telemundo Deportes, FOX Sports GO, and FOX Sports ranked 1st, 2nd and 3rd, respectively, for average megabytes per user – an indication of users live streaming World Cup matches on mobile.FOX Sports downloads increased by 95x for the same period, while Telemundo Deportes En Vivo grew 444x,

In the UK, over 6 million hours were spent in the top 10 Sports apps by time spent on Android phone during the first 3 weeks of the World Cup, up 65% from the 3 weeks directly prior. Sports streaming service fuboTV saw the largest impact, growing at a whopping 713 percent and adding 309K new users in the U.S., while Hulu saw the smallest impact at 18 percent growth. for example.

Sports apps on iOS were the third largest contributors to absolute growth in consumer spend and in market share in Q2, while Entertainment and Productivity apps were numbers one and two, respectively.In-app subscriptions for both Sports and Entertainment apps drove the consumer spending increases. On Google Play, Games, Social, and Music & Audio apps saw the largest download growth, quarter-over-quarter.


January 9, 2018

voice asssistant war between google and amazon hots up

According to a Google  blog post this morning, “The Google Assistant is now available on more than 400 million devices.” When Google says “devices” it’s including Android smartphones, tablets, TVs, headphones and Google Home smart speakers. However its not clear how many Google Home, Mini and Max speakers were sold in 2017.

In terms of numbers Four hundred million is huge  but that includes mostly Android smartphones. Based on a review of data from NPR, Strategy Analytics and Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, it appears that Google Home has roughly a 25 percent share of the US smart speaker market.Specifically, Strategy Analytics estimated that Google’s share of Q4 smart speaker sales was 24%.Walker Sands (“Future of Retail 2017“), in a survey of 1,622 US adults, found that about 23% respondents owned a smart speaker. If the results can be generalised to the broader population, then something like 56 million assistant-powered speakers are in US homes today. The survey was conducted in late Q3 or early Q4, before Christmas.

Meanwhile Rival Amazon is also making announcements at CES with a range of device makers. Alexa is being integrated into a set of expensive augmented reality glasses ($1,000) from Vuzix. More significantly, it will be added to PCs and laptops from Acer, Asus and HP. This represents a significant potential challenge to Cortana. Meanwhile data suggests that Amazon has now taken over from Apple as the virtual assistant leader, if not in absolute device numbers then in terms of visibility and momentum.

According to a range of third party estimates, Amazon has roughly three-fourths of the smart speaker market to Google’s 25 percent.Suggesting that it’s gaining on Alexa, last week Google said there was robust demand for Google Home. The company asserted it “sold more than one Google Home every second since Google Home Mini started shipping in October.” That means, since approximately October 19, Google has sold nearly 7 million devices. That’s not all of Google Home sales but suggests the totality of devices sold is below 10 million.

Last year, Alexa was the clear winner of CES, with companies like Ford, Huawei, and LG agreeing to integrate their products with Amazon's virtual assistant. Since then, Alexa has only gotten bigger - Amazon says that it sold " tens of millions " of Alexa-enabled products, led by its own Amazon Echo Dot, over the holiday season. 

Among the list of devices the Google Assistant is being integrated into are “smart displays”.They will initially come from JBL, Lenovo, LG and Sony. Google was rumoured to be working on its own answer to the Amazon Echo Show, which will have a screen.It’s not clear if a Google Home branded smart screen device is still in the works or if the company will rely on these and other third parties instead. The screen creates a range of obvious new user experience possibilities as well as new marketing and commerce capabilities for brands, publishers and marketers. That same potential with the Echo Show has to date been mostly unrealised.

The new smart screen Google Assistant devices will make video calls, access Google Photos and show YouTube videos.Amazon’s Echo Show and Fire TV have been blocked from showing YouTube for allegedly violating Google’s terms of service and not offering Google products reciprocity on The Google Assistant is also coming to more smart TVs this year In addition to existing offerings from Sony and NVIDIA, introduced last year, TV makers integrating the Assistant include including TCL, Element, Hisense, Westinghouse and LG.

While Alexa for screens works exclusively with Amazon's own echo hardware,Google Assistant  is compatible with devices made by other companies including new models from Sony ,LG,Lenevo, and JBL, a brand of Samsung's Harman division.

As of now Amazon seems ahead of the competition as got in on the smart speaker market early, and has moved quickly to ensure its stays out in front. Now, by most measures, the Amazon Echo is dominating the smart speaker market . The company has built on the lead with an avalanche of new hardware released in the last year: The tablet-like Echo Show, which has a screen; the Echo Look fashion camera; the Echo Plus home hub; the Echo Spot alarm clock; the redesigned Echo.

Plus, partners like Sonos and Ecobee have released their own products with Alexa built in, so you can talk to (and shop from) Amazon from an ever-increasing number of places. And with 30,000 skills, or apps , now available for Alexa, customers can do a lot more with those devices - giving them fewer reasons to switch. This is all a part of Amazon's ongoing playbook to get Alexa everywhere. Now, with its market share established and its position looking to be firmly entrenched, Amazon is entering a new phase in its master plan.