Hello, and welcome to the newsletter.
This week we have a look into Apple’s trillion dollar valuation, how people in the UK are dependent on digital technology, and how Metallica found a new use for Spotify’s analytics.
Apple is the world’s first $1 Trillion Company
Apple hit this milestone after its best ever Q2 results, which showed that the company was progressing even better than experts had thought. Remember how people thought that the iPhone X was too expensive and that Apple had mis-judged the market? Phones and Macs are flying off the shelves, and, they are also doing extremely well in newer areas like the Apple Watch, Earpods, and especially payments. Tim Cook revealed that there were over a billion Apple Pay transactions in the last 3 months, a three-fold increase in a past year. Well done to Apple for hitting the ‘12 zeros’ milestone, but it’s now about far more than just the hardware.
The UK has become dependent on digital
The new Ofcom Communications Market Report includes a look at how the UK has become dependent on digital over the past 10 years. Now 78% of adults have a smartphone, and half of adults say that their lives would be boring without the internet. The average amount of time spent online on a smartphone is now 2 hours 28 minutes a day, rising to 3 hours 14 minutes among 18-24s. See the full report here
Twitter saw its share price fall after it reported a fall in monthly active users
At the end of last week Twitter saw a similar percentage drop in its value to the one Facebook saw after also reporting a faltering in user growth. I think it’s worth looking beyond the headlines and into some of the contradictory detail - the daily users are still rising strongly, and as a regular user, Twitter feels more useful and engaging than ever. It’s also worth looking at how much their focus is on video, with everything from World Cup goals to this tweet about a dog with a Go Pro…
As with Facebook, you need to look beyond the headlines!
Spotify says that Metallica uses its data to devise set-lists
Metallica regularly uses Spotify data to create set lists - helping them choose which tracks to play when they tour, based on what the fans in that city are streaming. I’m assuming that this actually means making a couple of changes per show (maybe the 2nd encore?), but it’s a great example of creative use of data for personalisation.
Another creative use of Spotify data - new clothing start-up Eison Triple Thread uses a shopper’s listening data (with their permission)as one of the inputs into its system that helps suggest wardrobe choices for them. I love these examples - will try to find more...
WhatsApp is starting to introduce charging for corporate accounts
WhatsApp has made its first move into charging companies to use the service - but initially to encourage them to be faster in responding. The Business API will start to charge companies if they take more than 24 hours to respond to a message. It’s probably not going to bring in much revenue, but it has the added advantage of making the service better for the companies’ customers, and to encourage companies to treat the platform more seriously.
& finally - Snapchat lets Domino’s try AR pizza ordering
The sponsored lenses, both for selfies and looking out from the phone, used AR to add sunglasses (showing pizza in reflection), and also to show an opening pizza box on a table in front of the user. (Pics here) People could then tap to order, without having to leave Snapchat. Snap is a real innovator in its push into commerce, and I’m sure we’ll see a lot more of these (and also soon see this sort of technology on Instagram).