• 'Smart Tech' Found To Be Fastest-Growing Marketing Segment
    Smart technology marketing -- AI, AR, VR, IoT and voice assistants -- was by far the fastest-growing segment of investment by marketers in 2018, albeit on a relatively small base. That is the top-line finding of the first-ever benchmark on the burgeoning category from media industry economists PQ Media. While smart technology currently represents just 0.7% of marketing expenditures, it expanded 393% to $340 million in 2018 and is projected to rise to $7.086 billion in 2023, according to PQ's just-released U.S. Smart Technology Forecast.
  • Facebook Users Report Net Negative Usage, Abandonment
    Except for adults 18 to 24, all age groups had a net decrease in Facebook usage over the past 12 months, according to a user study released today by the Raymond James equities team. Overall, there was about a 15-percentage-point net difference between those reporting increasing their usage of Facebook (21.3%) and those reporting they decreased it (36.1%). In addition, 7.3% reported they have discontinued using Facebook altogether.
  • Two-Thirds Of Ad Blockers Installed Only On Desktop
    Two-thirds of consumers now use an ad blocker, but they are installed mostly on desktop/laptop computers, indicating that the probability of being blocked on mobile devices is much less likely. That's one of the top findings of the 2019 report on ad blockers released this week by Visual Objects.
  • Brand Social Engagement Improves In 2018, Thanks Mostly To Instagram, Twitter
    The social engagement (likes, reactions, comments, shares, fan growth, conversation volume) of brands expanded in 2018, despite some negative changes at Facebook -- especially modifications made to its News Feed in the first quarter of the year. The difference came from higher brand engagement performance on Instagram and Twitter, according to a year in review report released today by social media tracking and analytics firm ListenFirst.
  • News Bias, Fake News, False Equivalency, And The Problem With Anonymous
    Several months ago, I saw an interesting story on MSNBC. A new study had found that since 1994 the percentage of Democrats and Republicans who disapprove of the other party each rose from only about 15% to more than 50%. This is a staggering increase in polarization over the past 25 years. The anchor struggled to come up with a reason, seemingly oblivious to the obvious -- MSNBC and Fox News both debuted in 1996. In this week's report, I examine the impact.
  • P&G Embracing Radio, Data Reveals It's Fastest-Growing Among Major Advertisers
    Based on the number of ad units aired, Procter & Gamble is the fastest growing major radio advertiser by a wide margin, according to an analysis by ad tracker Media Monitors. While the analysis doesn't necessarily equate to ad dollars, it at least shows that P&G has been heavying up dramatically on the number of radio messages aired over the past two years, especially in recent months.
  • 42% Of Young Adults Surprised They Followed A Computer-Generated 'Influencer,' Many Angered
    Two-in-five young adults say they have followed a social media "influencer" that they ultimately learned was computer-generated, according to a study released this week by Fullscreen. The study, which surveyed a panel of persons 18-34 last fall, found that two-thirds (66%) felt "surprised" and/or "intrigued," 60% thought it was funny, but 42% felt "betrayed" and 41% felt "annoyed."
  • Fueled By Ecommerce, China Poised To Overtake U.S. As World's Top Retail Economy
    China is poised to overtake the U.S. as the biggest retail marketplace in the world this year. According to new estimates released this morning by eMarketer, China will take in $5.636 trillion in retail sales during 2019 -- $36 billion more than the $5.529 trillion eMarketer projects in U.S. retail sales this year. Not surprisingly, the balance shift is being driven largely by ecommerce, which has been fueling China's retail expansion. According to eMarketer estimates, China's ecommerce marketplace will expand more than 30% this year to $1.989 trillion.
  • Trust In Media Rises, More So For 'Informed Public' Than 'General Population'
    The gap between the informed and uninformed public has increased to an 11-percentage-point difference from just 10 points in 2018.
  • Amazon Remains World's Most Valuable Brand, Facebook Holds On To No. 7 Despite Backlash
    Amazon remains the world's most valuable brand, expanding its worth nearly 25% to an estimated $187.9 billion in 2019, according to the just-released Global 500 for 2019, released today at the Davos World Economic Forum by Brand Finance. Apple remained the world's second most valuable brand, albeit with a relatively moderate growth of 5.0%, and Google remained No. 3, expanding its value 18%.
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