Apple Fast-Tracks Plan to Move Some Production from China

The protests and riots in response to China’s restrictive COVID-19 policies have resulted in Apple accelerating plans to relocate a chunk of production in that country, according to news reports claiming that “turmoil” in a Zhengzhou area called iPhone City helped prompt the change. At peak output, the zone produced roughly 85 percent of the iPhone Pro lineup, according to The Wall Street Journal, which says the factory “was convulsed in late November by violent protests.” China has long been the primary manufacturing location for Apple products. Vietnam and India are reportedly high on Apple’s list of alternate sites. Continue reading Apple Fast-Tracks Plan to Move Some Production from China

YouTube Shorts Testing In-App Shopping, Affiliate Marketing

Google is stepping up in-app shopping, adding it to YouTube Shorts. “Doom scrolling is about to become doom shopping,” heralds the official blog of Nasdaq, where Google parent Alphabet trades. Now those parsing the YouTube feed of videos 60-seconds or less will have the option to purchase items instantly rather than through redirection to a third-party site. The move comes as Google and others saw digital ad revenue contract this year as a result of economic headwinds and increased competition — notably from TikTok, which is tracking to double its advertising income in 2022. Continue reading YouTube Shorts Testing In-App Shopping, Affiliate Marketing

Retailers, Big Tech Get Behind Live-Stream Shopping in U.S.

Live-stream shopping has been slow to take off in the U.S., but some feel the sector is at a tipping point. U.S. revenue from the format is projected to reach $20 billion this year and grow to $57 billion in 2025 says Coresight Research. However, that’s a drop in the bucket compared to the activity in Asia. McKinsey Digital says outlets like Alibaba can rack up more than $7 billion in 30 minutes. Estimates place the Asia-Pacific market at about $180 billion in live-streamed shopping for 2021. Now big players like Walmart, Target, YouTube and TikTok are getting serious about cracking open the U.S. market, too. Continue reading Retailers, Big Tech Get Behind Live-Stream Shopping in U.S.

YouTube Shorts to Enhance Ad Revenue Sharing for Creators

YouTube Shorts is preparing to unveil a new creator revenue-sharing plan designed to bury TikTok, according to recent reports. YouTube has rewarded creators with more than $30 billion in advertising revenue in the past three years. By contrast, TikTok pays creators not through a percentage of ad revenue, but through a Creator Fund, announced in 2020, that now stands at $2 billion worldwide. YouTube is said to considering for Shorts creators a 45-percent ad revenue share from their clip views in a program more aligned with the 55 percent payout for long-form video creators in its Partner Program. Continue reading YouTube Shorts to Enhance Ad Revenue Sharing for Creators

Ticketmaster Teams with TikTok on Event Discovery Feature

Ticketmaster and TikTok have teamed up for an in-app event discovery feature that will let the short-form video app share live event information and direct users to Ticketmaster’s site for purchase. Influencers can now link relevant Ticketmaster events to their videos. Initially, the new feature will only be available to select creators, with plans to scale more broadly over time. Acts that have signed on to use the ticketing mini app at launch include Demi Lovato, OneRepublic, Backstreet Boys, Usher and more. WWE is also participating. The pact follows a similar agreement Ticketmaster made with Snapchat in February. Continue reading Ticketmaster Teams with TikTok on Event Discovery Feature

Apple Posts Record Third Quarter but Major Decline in Profits

Surmounting inflation and supply chain delays, Apple posted revenue of $83 billion, up 2 percent year-over-year and a record for the company’s third quarter. However, profit declined 11 percent to $19.4 billion, the worst performance since 2020. Sales of iPhones were strong, generating $40.7 billion in revenue for the quarter, a 2.8 percent increase over the same period in 2021. But wearables did not prove as resilient, with revenue down 8 percent to $8.1 billion. On the earnings call to discuss Apple’s fiscal 2022 third quarter ended June 25, CEO Tim Cook said the results were “better than we expected.” Continue reading Apple Posts Record Third Quarter but Major Decline in Profits

Funding for Startups Faces Downturn After 10-Year Bull Run

Following a decade-long boom, funding for startups is in decline, according to PitchBook, which says investments in fledgling U.S. tech firms has dropped by 23 percent in Q2 to $62.3 billion, the biggest fall since 2019. In another dire indicator, startup sales and IPOs have fallen to $49 billion the first six months of 2022, plunging 88 percent compared to the same period in 2021. The slump comes amidst an overall stock market downturn that has seen the technology sector take a particularly brutal hit that appears to have affected private startup valuations. Continue reading Funding for Startups Faces Downturn After 10-Year Bull Run

FCC’s Carr Says TikTok Should Be Banned from App Stores

TikTok is facing blowback from the Federal Communications Commission, with one member asking Apple and Google to remove the social video platform from their app stores. FCC commissioner Brendan Carr warned in a joint letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai that “TikTok is not what it appears on the surface. It’s not just an app for sharing funny videos and memes,” but a sophisticated surveillance tool “that harvests extensive amounts of personal and sensitive data.” As a division of China’s ByteDance, TikTok is “required by Chinese law” to share data with the PRC government. Continue reading FCC’s Carr Says TikTok Should Be Banned from App Stores

YouTube Gains on TikTok as Top Choice for Short-Form Vid

YouTube is stepping up to fill what it perceives as a short-form video void in India, with a population of one billion, which is facing a ban on Bytedance’s popular video app TikTok. One New York-based creator says 80 percent of his views from a recent viral video short came from India, and YouTube, a division of Alphabet’s Google, is parlaying such information to take on short-form video phenom TikTok globally as video clips become the new battlefield for social media dominance. “There is a long game here,” said Todd Sherman, YouTube Shorts director of product management. “I think short-form video is here to stay.” Continue reading YouTube Gains on TikTok as Top Choice for Short-Form Vid

Apple Said to Be Exploring Production Options Outside China

During Apple’s Q2 conference call a few weeks ago, CEO Tim Cook admitted China’s new COVID-19 lockdowns would result in supply chain disruptions causing as much as $8 billion in lost sales this year. Although Cook tried to emphasize Apple’s supply chain as “truly global,” with manufacturing in the U.S. and elsewhere, the company’s reliance on China could be problematic, and reports are surfacing that sources at the company are saying Apple is now on the hunt for production locations outside China, with India and Vietnam, where Apple already has small manufacturing operations, mentioned as candidates. Continue reading Apple Said to Be Exploring Production Options Outside China

Paramount Global’s Streaming Subs Exceed 62 Million in Q1

Paramount Global’s worldwide streaming subscribers for Paramount+ and Showtime rose to more than 62 million in Q1, driven by Paramount+, which added 6.8 million for a total of close to 40 million, the company said in its earnings report. Paramount+ is poised to add the United Kingdom and South Korea to its global portfolio next month, Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish told investors Tuesday. Paramount+ plans to launch in Italy, Germany, France and Austria in the second half of 2022, and in India next year. Pluto TV also grew, launching over 102 new channels internationally, totaling more than 1,000 global channels. Continue reading Paramount Global’s Streaming Subs Exceed 62 Million in Q1

Streaming Battle in Asia as Locals Compete for Market Share

A strong showing by Netflix in Asia amidst an otherwise lackluster Q1 report has focused attention on the region, where streaming is just coming into its own in territories that house roughly half the global population. There are still potentially hundreds of millions of untapped subscribers in the Far East. But the area has its own challenges, namely local streaming services that offer a wide variety of regional content. Not to mention deep-pocketed domestic rivals, including Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video are also competing for market share. Continue reading Streaming Battle in Asia as Locals Compete for Market Share

Nimo Planet Smart Glasses Target Productivity During Travel

Nimo Planet is garnering buzz for its entry in the smart glasses field. Designed for productivity, the $799 Nimo mixed reality eyewear is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 processor that has been described as turning the spectacles into “a mini-computer that sits on your head.” Relatively light at 120 grams, the lenses can display up to six 720p screens, suggesting it as a potential laptop replacement for traveling workers. The frame arms feature touch support and support voice commands. The glasses aren’t designed for intensive apps like Adobe Photoshop, but for basic productivity like word processing and project management. Continue reading Nimo Planet Smart Glasses Target Productivity During Travel

Snap Notches First Quarterly Profits on $1.3 Billion Revenue

Snap Inc. ended 2021 with its first net profit on quarterly results since going public in 2017, with Q4 earnings of $22.5 million versus last year’s net loss of $113 million during the same period. The company’s Q4 revenue of $1.3 billion marked a 42 percent increase year-over-year, while Snapchat’s daily active users rose 20 percent to 319 million, beating analyst estimates on both counts, which sent Snap stock soaring last week. In 2022, Snap has to contend with Apple’s iOS privacy changes, something Meta Platforms forecasts will take a $10 billion bite out of its own earnings.  Continue reading Snap Notches First Quarterly Profits on $1.3 Billion Revenue

Consumers Downloaded a Record 230 Billion Apps Last Year

Consumer mobile app spending hit $170 billion in 2021, according to the State of Mobile in 2022 report released by App Annie. Charting expenditures across iOS, Google Play and third-party Chinese Android app stores, the figure represents 19 percent year-over-year growth, almost flat (down from 18 percent growth in 2020). While last year, consumers installed more apps than ever, the growth rate itself is slowing. Last January, App Annie reported year-over-year download growth of 7 percent from 2020, which has dropped to 5 percent for 2021. However, in all, consumers downloaded a record 230 billion apps in 2021. Continue reading Consumers Downloaded a Record 230 Billion Apps Last Year