Weekly Roundup #40 – Apple, Snapchat Spectacles and Live Video

It’s October already, can you believe it? We’re hitting roundup number 40 now, you know the drill. If you don’t, then check out last week’s post.

Apple Patents Paper Bag

We’ll start off with some silly news this week. Apple, the market leaders in innovation have decided they’re going to patent another groundbreaking piece of ‘technology’: the paper bag. But it’s not just any paper bag!

“A bag container formed of white solid bleached sulfate paper with at least 60% post-consumer content.”

It’s the one they’ve been using in Apple stores for several months now. This special snowflake doesn’t stop there: “The bag may be formed entirely of paper,” Apple’s application states, “with the potential exception of adhesives for fixing together portions of the bag. This can help to reduce any environmental impact from production, use, and disposal of the bag.”

“Its reinforcement inserts can augment the strength and resistance to tearing of the bag container material to make it structurally suitable for use as a bag, thereby increasing the amount of post-consumer content usable in an SBS paper bag. This can help to reduce any environmental impact from production, use, and disposal of the bag.”

So basically it’s a bag for life. And in true Apple fashion, it doesn’t come with an earphone jack.



Live Video and Social Streaming on Marketers’ Radar

Video advertising is continuing to grow across the board and marketers are increasingly focussing on social media channels such as Periscope, Snapchat and Facebook. A study by Trusted Media Brands (TMB) back in June showed large percentages of US agencies and marketers increasing their budgets for video advertising overall. Agency respondents mostly stated that their programmatic video ad budgets would increase in the 12 months following the survey while the rest said their budget would remain the same. The numbers were a bit more modest among marketers, with most saying they’d keep their budgets at current levels.

In Q2 of 2016 a study by Videology showed that viewability was the most important campaign objective for US digital video advertisers (43%) and following closely behind were clickthrough and video-through rates. This isn’t surprising, but it’s worth noting that in the previous quarter VTR registered higher than CTR in Videology’s study. This indicates that advertisers are starting to prioritise direct-response objectives. The study also shows a growing amount of digital video advertising campaigns running across all screens: laptops, desktop, connected TV and mobile.

Along with their focus on extending ad buys across screens, advertisers are becoming increasingly more interested in social video. A May 2016 study by Animoto found that more than 70% of US marketers planned to use social video ads in the next year – Facebook being the platform leader, followed by Youtube and Instagram. Although their study was looking to the future, Animoto also tracked the current usage of paid social video ad platforms by US marketers and again found that Facebook leads by two-thirds representation followed by Youtube at 39% and Instagram at 21.7%.

Facebook’s Live Videos are also attracting attention from marketers. The majority of US marketing executives and agencies are considering investing in live streaming ads, and relatively few are ruling this out completely. The study didn’t specifically mention Facebook for this activity but it’s undeniable that Facebook are the current pioneers of live video.



Snapchat Spectacles: What You Need To Know

A week ago Snapchat unveiled Spectacles, a pair of sunglasses that come equipped with a video camera that records Snaps, or video clips of up to 10 seconds. They can then be uploaded to Memories, their recently-launched feature that allows users to store videos and photos for, well, memories.

The concept isn’t entirely new – Google Glass for example, and that didn’t exactly become trendy. Don’t underestimate the Spectacles though. At $130, these will be way cheaper than the Google Glass and their simplicity is a lot more appealing. You might think the design might be a bit childish, but these aren’t appealing to an over 30s market. They’ve been designed for Snapchat users, over half of which are 24 and younger.

Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snapchat tested a prototype of the spectacles back in 2015 when he went hiking with his fiance, and said:

“It was our first vacation, and we went to Big Sur for a day or two. We were walking through the woods, stepping over logs, looking up at the beautiful trees. And when I got the footage back and watched it, I could see my own memory, through my own eyes—it was unbelievable…It’s one thing to see images of an experience you had, but it’s another thing to have an experience of the experience. It was the closest I’d ever come to feeling like I was there again.”

The video that’s recording by Spectacles will no doubt be similar to the GoPro cameras as opposed to smartphone ones, but if they catch on then first person video could be a massive part of the Snapchat content experience. Some are speculating that Spectacles could be the trojan horse that makes individuals more familiarised with connected eyewear, which sparks a lot of privacy concerns. On one hand, the Spectacles offer a new way to connect with young consumers and encourage them to produce content, but they could also potentially alienate or drive away more privacy-conscious consumers so brands want to tread carefully with this one.



Internet Time: Is It All About the Apps

eMarketer estimated earlier this month that 85.7% of time spend on smartphones is spent on apps, compared to just 14.3% spent on mobile web. Mobile apps are dominant on tablets as well, with about three-quarters of tablet time being spent on them. Overall eMarketer estimates that the average US adult spends almost two and a half hours each day with mobile apps, or about 20% of their daily media time. Among mobile device users, the average time spent on aps is 3 hours and 18 minutes every day.

This is more than they spend on laptops or PCs/desktops, which is a finding echoed by comScore as far back as 2014. The users studied by comScore have continued to spend more and more time with mobile apps each year since, opening the gap between mobile time and all other digital media even further. Mobile web time spent has increased slightly from 118 billion minutes last year to 125 billion minutes this year. Smartphone apps still account for the larger share in time spent online since 2013 though.

Younger smartphone users over indulge on apps, while the same is true of older tablet users. For example the 18-24 year old users spent an average of 93.5 hours using smartphone apps in June compared to the 73.8 hours that were spent among the overall smartphone population. On tablets, those aged 55-64 spent the most time with apps that month at 28 hours. The average time spent on apps in tablets among users was 22.6 hours.



SmartHouzz London Pop-up: Houzz Fuses Digital and Physical

Houzz has created its very own pop-up living space as part of the London Design Festival. Located in Kings Cross, it’s a small, stylish and compact home packed with smart features designed for city living. According to Nikki Gilliland at eConsultancy, there’s 4 reasons why it was worth visiting, but here are the two we found most interesting:

Drives Consumer Awareness

“It’s hard to miss a large green house in the middle of Granary Square, and with its prime location, SmartHouzz ensures that it captures the interest of passers-by.” The popup was clearly directed towards those who are interested in interior design, but it also succeeded in driving general consumer awareness. Visitors were a mix of people who’d already downloaded the app (so were already interested in design tips for their own living space) as well as people just interested in finding out what was going on. The concept of SmartHouzz was based on the fact that “small kitchen”, “small bedroom” and “small bathroom” were the most searched terms of the site.

Combining Physical and Digital

Closing the gap between the physical and the digital world is one of the biggest challenges a company like Houzz can face. Customers using the app or website, despite newly integrated AI features like the ‘View in my Room’ feature can see there’s a big difference between viewing on a small screen and seeing a piece of furniture in the ‘flesh’, so to speak.

The physical nature of the pop-up is more effective at prompting shoppers to purchase, and what’s more is the interactive nature of the experience, such as the ability to speak to “design professionals” makes what is otherwise a faceless brand more personable.

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Sebastian Paszek

Marketing manager

Controlling the chaos of the digital landscape, Sebastian is a multiplatform executive, project manager and photographer.