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Latest research and digital marketing trends

April 2013

Mobile ad spend leaps, taking 10% of all digital spend in the UK - one of the world's laboratory markets for digital. Smartphones outsold feature phones globally for the first time - and Facebook's 'Home' software for Android saw the social network declare the mobile gateway as their single biggest priority.

For brands, the key to successful engagement is still in having brilliant conversation and content ideas, but as the landscape changes expect Facebook, Google and Apple to all try squeezing more paid media budgets out of the marketing plan. Good news for brands as competition in the app store sector grows with Google's "Play" store rapidly catching up to Apple. Meanwhile Twitter lands a multi-agency deal that unlocks hundreds of millions of dollars of ad space, blurring the divisions between social paid, owned and earned media.

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Top stories this monthTop stories this month

The biggest stories that show how your markets and audiences are changing.

Smartphones outsell feature phones globally for first time

Smartphones accounted for 51.6% of global mobile phone sales in the first quarter of 2013, outselling feature phone for the first time as consumers worldwide switch on to web access on the move, according to new data. 26/04/2013 | Full story...

Mobile ad spend triples as UK digital sector soars

Mobile ads now account for 10% of all digital spend in the UK, growing by a massive 148% compared to last year, according to the latest figures. 10/04/2013 | Full story...

Facebook unveils 'Home' software for Android mobiles

Facebook has launched 'Home', a new app that that puts feeds from the social network on the home screen of Android phones.
Watch this presentation video from Mark Zuckerberg:

Digital Intelligence - Facebook unveils 'Home' software for Android mobiles

05/04/2013 | Full story...

App store wars: Google Play 'growing 3 times faster than Apple'

Google's Play Store grew three times faster than Apple's rival App Store globally in the first quarter of 2013, according to new research. 23/04/2013 | Full story...

Apple profits drop 18%- first decline in 10 years

Apple has posted its first fall in profits for nearly 10 years, dropping 18% as the electronics giant struggles to keep up with growing competition from the likes of Samsung and Google in the smartphone and tablet market. Watch this video from the Daily Telegraph's Matt Warman, discussing the challenges Apple faces ahead.

Digital Intelligence - Apple profits drop 18% - first decline in 10 years

24/04/2013 | Full story...

Apple to ditch Google for Yahoo on iOS?

Apple and Yahoo are reportedly in talks over extending the level of co-operation amongst the two companies on the iPhone and iPad, as Apple looks to reduce its dependence on rival Google's web services. 11/04/2013 | Full story...

US display ad trends: Google retakes lead from Facebook

After coming second to Facebook in 2011, Google outsold the social network in terms of US digital display ad revenue last year, earning $2.26 billion, according to new data. 05/04/2013 | Full story...

Twitter's biggest ad deal yet - SMG clients get top placement on social network

Twitter has secured a sponsorship deal with Publicis' Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG), in a deal that could be worth several hundred million dollars in extra ad revenue for the social network. 24/04/2013 | Full story...

The value of a mobile ad: Google debuts calculator for advertisers

Google has launched a mobile ad calculator, designed to help advertisers predict the return on investment for their smartphone and tablet campaigns.

Digital Intelligence - The value of a mobile ad: Google debuts calculator for advertisers

02/04/2013 | Full story...

Twitter fail: Microsoft director leaves after Xbox 'deal with it' outburst

Microsoft Creative Director Adam Orth has resigned after posting flippant remarks on Twitter over the Xbox 720's controversial 'always-online' rumours, telling frustrated customers to "deal with it". 12/04/2013 | Full story...


When videos go viral they cut through the communication clutter. Getting messages forwarded from friends is the most powerful marketing, and this is the best of what our friends sent us. Send us what impressed you!

Video viral of the week: Zuckerberg (and goat) star in Facebook Home launch ad

Facebook Home is the social network's boldest mobile move yet- so much so that founder Mark Zuckerberg himself is starring in one of the launch ads (alongside a screaming goat naturally).

Digital Intelligence - Video viral of the week: Zuckerberg (and goat) star in Facebook Home launch ad

16/04/2013 | Full story...

April Fools' day round-up: Top 7 internet pranks

April Fools' day has become a big event on the internet, as the web is flooded with pranks (and companies try to get a bit of free publicity). We've rounded-up some of the best spoofs to hit the web this year - including YouTube 'shutting down', Twitter charging for vowels and Sony's tech for pets.

Digital Intelligence - April Fools' day round-up: Top 7 internet pranks

02/04/2013 | Full story...

Video viral of the week: Carlsberg spoofs Apple store hype in Cider ad

Swapping electronic Apples for edible ones, this commercial from Carlsberg brand Somersby Cider has become a YouTube hit, racking up over 1 million views within a week and plenty of social media shares.

Digital Intelligence - Video viral of the week: Carlsberg spoofs Apple store hype in Cider ad

02/04/2013 | Full story...

Harlem Shake videos hit 1 billion views

YouTube dance phenomenon The Harlem Shake has generated over one billion video views in just 40 days.

Digital Intelligence - Harlem Shake videos hit 1 billion views

05/04/2013 | Full story...

Back to the future: Webby Awards honours all winners since 1997

The Webby Awards, commonly called the 'Oscars of the internet', has launched a site showcasing previous winners from its 16 year history.
03/04/2013 | Full story...


Mobile advertising investment is giving a significant boost to the digital ad marketplace. In the US the latest IAB / PwC report claimed that mobile investment rose 111% year-on-year helping total spending to grow 15% in 2012. Behavioural targeting is also helping increase the value of online advertising. eBay is the latest platform to begin sharing the browsing habits of its users with third party advertiser, as the online marketplace looks to rival Amazon, Facebook and Google in the lucrative practice of behaviourally targeted ads.

Top 6 US sites by display revenue ad growth

This chart shows the percent change at the major US display ad companies. By 2015, Google is forecast to report 36.9% growth, this is largely attributed to the display ads on YouTube. Twitter's growth has slowed dramatically since 2012, dropping from 93.8% to a forecasted 34.7% by 2015.
Digital Intelligence - Top 6 US sites by display revenue ad growth

26/04/2012 | Full story...

Top 5 sites by digital display ad revenue

This data shows the leaders in US digital display ad revenue in billions (USD), and the predictions for revenue over the next two years.
Digital Intelligence - Top 5 sites by digital display ad revenue

18/10/2012 | Full story...

US internet ad spend 'grew 15% in 2012'

Internet ad revenues in the US hit record-breaking double digita growth in 2012, reaching nearly $37bn, with mobile ad revenues leading the growth, according to new figures.
17/04/2013 | Full story...

eBay begins targeting ads based on user browsing habits

EBay has begun sharing the browsing habits of its users with third party advertisers, as the online marketplace looks to rival Amazon, Facebook on Google in the lucrative practice of behaviourally targeted ads.
12/04/2013 | Full story...

The most annoying ads on the internet (infographic)

Online advertising is soaring worldwide, but some formats work better than others to get the message across to consumers. This US-based infographic from InsightsOne looks at those ads that cause the most irritation - and the negative impact on the brands behind them.
19/04/2013 | Full story...

More top Advertising stories from this month:

 - AOL revamps parenting site Parentdish with Comfort as ad partner
 - Gmail turns 9 - how Google's email tool has evolved (infographic)
 - Digital marketing in South Africa: Consumers ditching TV for mobile and web


The rapid growth in search activity via mobile devices was highlighted this month with data from the digital marketing technology provider Kenshoo. According to their research over a quarter of UK paid search clicks and spending is now mobile. Evidence that you still have to be careful what you advertise via paid search came with the blocking of MoneySupermarket ads. And the power Google holds to influence the results of its competitors was apparent when iTunes search links suddenly vanished from the results pages.

Mobiles 'now account for 25% of UK paid search spend'

The role of mobile phones and tablets in UK paid search advertising has continued to increase and now accounts for roughly 25% of total spend and 28% of total clicks, according to new research.
24/04/2013 | Full story...

MoneySupermarket ads blocked from Google search after AdWords breach

Finance site has seen its search ads pulled from Google's search results due to a 'lack of transparency' over its payday loan adverts.
09/04/2013 | Full story...

iTunes search links vanish: Google blames 'technical issues'

Google has denied penalising rival iTunes on its search engine, after it was revealed that links to the Apple store were 'hidden' from results pages.
04/04/2013 | Full story...

 - Google forced to offer clearer search labels after EU probe
 - Google and EU 'reach deal' over search monopoly case


The big news in the world of Facebook this month was the launch of their new Home mobile app. Available on Android phones, this app 'takes over' the operating system by pushing your Facebook content onto the phone's home and lock screens. Despite mixed reviews the app received 500,000 downloads in the first 2 months - although only representing 0.05% of global users. Whilst it is only currently available on Google's Android platform discussions are in place with Apple for a version to be made available on iOS.

Facebook Home gets 500,000 downloads in 2 weeks (despite mixed reviews)

The Facebook Home interface for Android phone was downloaded half a million times in the first two weeks of its launch, according to new data.
23/04/2013 | Full story...

Facebook wants 'Home' interface on Apple devices

Facebook is in talks with Apple to offer its 'Home' interface on iPads and iPhones, less than a week after launching on the Android platform.
18/04/2013 | Full story...

General Motors returns to Facebook (on mobile)

General Motors is returning to Facebook after a high profile decision to pull its $10m per year social media ad budget last year.
11/04/2013 | Full story...

SocialSocial - beyond Facebook

Driven largely by investment in its mobile channel, Twitter continues to see its global ad revenues growing (to over $580 million in 2013 and forecast to reach over $1bn by 2014). The platform is actively promoting its advertising opportunities to business - through a dedicated site and video.
Google has launched its Map Maker in the UK, enabling users to place additional information onto maps 'Wikipedia style'. And using Falcon Social's social media management platform the beer brand Carlsberg goes global.

Facebook fatigue? Millions of UK and US users desert social network

Facebook fatigue is setting in across some of its biggest markets, with users across North America, Europe, Japan and Australia leaving the social network despite the reported growth in overall active users, according to new data.
29/04/2013 | Full story...

Twitter global ad revenue 'to reach $1bn by 2014' - mobile leads growth

Twitter is forecast to earn as much as $582.8 million in global ad revenue this year, going on to generate over $1 billion in 2014 according to a new report.
03/04/2013 | Full story...

Twitter offers tips for businesses

Twitter has revamped its business resource section with marketing tips, a glossary, and ideas on how to promote on the micro-blogging site.
Twitter also released this video to give businesses an overview of what Twitter can do for them:

Digital Intelligence - Twitter offers tips for businesses

03/04/2013 | Full story...

Google lets users edit maps 'Wikipedia-style'

Google has launched its Map Maker in the UK, letting users add their favourite places, in a similar style to user contributions on Wikipedia.
12/04/2013 | Full story...

Carlsberg launches social media platform in 44 countries

Enterprise software provider Falcon Social has completed the rollout of its social media marketing platform across 44 countries for brewery group, Carlsberg.
11/04/2013 | Full story...

More top social media stories from this month:

 - Nokia adds Whatsapp button for $72 Asha mobile
 - Twitter #Music app offers social recommendations
 - UK social media use drops slightly- but shopping soars

MobileMobile and tablets

With the mobile and tablet marketplace essentially being a two horse race between Android and iOS it helps to understand the difference between user profiles and behaviour on the two platforms - whether you're developing apps for, or marketing on, these channels. Comscore recently developed an infographic to highlight the differences and a report from Canalys showed how revenue was generated by different app stores. And in an attempt to win back market share the previous smartphone leader Blackberry has launched a new tool to demo its new operating system.

Android vs. iOS: Differences every marketer needs to know (infographic)

With Android and iPhone now combining for nearly 90% of the U.S. smartphone market, many app developers and marketers are concentrating their efforts on serving the majority of smartphone users through these two platforms - but as this comScore infographic shows, there are some key differences.
02/04/2013 | Full story...

App trends: Android gets most downloads, but Apple makes most money

Just over half (51%) of all apps downloaded during the first quarter of 2013 were from Google Play, but Apple generated 74% of all app revenue, according to new global data.
12/04/2013 | Full story...

Android shifts focus on 'engaged' users to attract marketers

Google has adjusted the way it counts an active Android phone user, in a bid to provide developers and marketers with a more accurate measure of its audience.
08/04/2013 | Full story...

BlackBerry woos rival users with in-browser demo

Blackberry has launched a new tool that lets iPhone and Android users test its new mobile operating system, as the former smartphone leader looks to reclaim market share from its rivals.
08/04/2013 | Full story...

 - Samsung hits record sales - smartphones lead growth
 - Microsoft shares tumble after PC sales drop
 - Google Glass: No ads or paid apps allowed
 - Google Glass specs revealed: Android app sync, 12GB storage and 5mp camera
 - Full Google Glass SXSW presentation posted online
 - Rise of the second screen: 83% of tablet owners 'use device while watching TV'
 - Samsung developing 'mind-control' for tablets

Multimedia contentMultimedia content

The changing nature of TV production was demonstrated this month as the online retailer Amazon, which already has an Instant Video channel to rival YouTube, asked their online audience to feedback on which of their TV show pilots should go into full production. The growing importance of the digital channel for songwriter royalty revenues was shown in the latest PRS report. And the shift to brand content marketing was illustrated by IPC's new Amplify format as well as an interesting infographic from Content Amp.

Amazon puts 14 TV pilots to public vote

Amazon has produced 14 pilot episodes for potential new TV shows, letting viewers have their say on which ones should be turned into a full series.
22/04/2013 | Full story...

Songwriters 'now make more money from digital than radio'

New licensing deals with the likes of Google Play, Vevo and Microsoft Xbox have helped to boost UK revenues from online music services by more than 32% in 2012, overtaking royalties from the radio industry for the first time, according to new data.
05/04/2013 | Full story...

IPC 'Amplify' format combines editorial with ad creative

IPC Advertising has launched a new digital ad format Amplify to run across its roster of magazine sites, featuring a mix of editorial content and sponsored ads in the same unit.
10/04/2013 | Full story...

The content marketing landscape in 2013 (infographic)

As consumers become more savvy and demanding when it comes to online ads, with content marketing growing in importance as a result.
16/04/2013 | Full story...

More top multimedia content stories from this month:

 - Mail Online tests paid content with 'Daily Mail Plus'
 - UK publishers expect 15% growth in digital 2013
 - Yahoo teams up with Dropbox
 - BlackBerry axes BBM Music service


The continuing success of the Angry Birds series of mobile games was highlighted this month as the producer Rovio announced that sales had doubled year on year. The enhancement of live sports through mobile apps is clearly gaining popularity as the app from Major League Baseball, At Bat, achieved over 6 million downloads in the US. And social games are getting serious as Zynga announces a real money gambling app.

Angry Birds maker Rovio doubled sales last year

Rovio has posted sales of €152m, more than double its revenue for 2011, as the Angry Birds reator continues its success as one of the world's biggest mobile games makers.
04/04/2013 | Full story...

Baseball app gets 6 million users in 24 hours on 'Opening Day' relaunch

The official app for Major League Baseball got an update on the first day of the new US season- getting 6 million players accessing the tool within 24 hours.
08/04/2013 | Full story...

Zynga brings real money gambling to UK

Zynga has launched its first real-money online gambling games in the UK, through a partnership with bwin.
04/04/2013 | Full story...

More top gaming stories from this month:

 - Nintendo gets social with Miiverse online
 - Microsoft sells web TV arm to Ericsson - focuses on Xbox
 - Report: Gamification success relies on culture, not technology


Another month and more news of how our shopping habits are becoming increasingly digital and mobile. Whilst total retail spending has declined between 2008 and 2012 across Europe, e-commerce sales have grown rapidly, driven particularly by younger consumers (aged between 25 to 34). Also shopping research is increasingly being conducted via tablet devices, with retail search volumes increasing 198% via the channel in the first quarter of 2013. As a result of this trend some retailers are now predicting that showrooming will become the future of the high street.

'Clicks outpacing bricks' for younger shoppers

Despite coming of age during hard economic times, younger European consumers that are 25 through 34 years old are more likely to engage in online spending than other groups, and are helping propel the growth of e-commerce in the region, according to an ecommerce expert.
23/04/2013 | Full story...

UK retail searches on tablets up 198%

UK search volumes on tablet devices outpaced those on any other device, increasing 198% in the first quarter of 2013, compared with growth on smartphone devices of 66%, according to new research.
24/04/2013 | Full story...

Is showrooming the future of the high street?

One in four retailers now expect physical stores to become more like showrooms in the future, where consumers can sample products instore to buy online, according to new research.
17/04/2013 | Full story...

More top ecommerce stories from this month:

 - Top mobile shopping websites in the UK
 - 5 tips for FMCG brands using coupons in social media
 - Amazon to buy social network Goodreads


Google got its knuckles rapped this month in Germany, receiving a fine of €145,000, for inadvertently gathering personal data through unsecured wireless networks whilst Street View image gathering. They were asked to defend themselves over their low corporation tax payments in the UK. And they were accused of using Android as a 'Trojan horse' to secure a mobile Internet access monopoly. This accusation being led by Microsoft, in a case of defendant becoming prosecutor!

Google fined €145,000 for German Street View privacy breach

German regulators have fined Google for collecting massive amounts of personal data including emails, passwords and photos illegally via its Street View mapping service.
23/04/2013 | Full story...

Google chief defends tax record (radio interview)

Google's executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, has defended his company paying just £6m in UK corporation tax, saying the firm was playing a key role in the UK's high-tech growth.
22/04/2013 | Full story...

Is Android a 'Trojan horse'? Microsoft consortium accuses Google of mobile monopoly

Microsoft is leading a consortium of 17 companies to petition a European antitrust investigation into Google's dominance of mobile Internet usage on smartphones.
10/04/2013 | Full story...

More top regulation stories from this month:

 - Bitcoin virtual currency loses half its value amid panic selling
 - Data after death? Google grants 'digital wills' to users
 - Google tackles phone spam for US contest

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