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May 30, 2020

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.


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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 Amazon.com. 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.


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