What do 11, 15, -42 and 1 (and 5) have in common? They’re all big numbers from the past week in digital for Pandora, Apple, Facebook, and Chick-fil-A.
Back when we used do The Digital Download (you know, two weeks ago) there would almost always be a common theme. It was never planned; it just worked out that way. One week, it seemed like a lot of the big news items in digital were about video and the next, all the major platforms seemed to have algorithmic updates.
With that in mind, we decided to bring back another former Friday feature: Stats of the Week, which readers generally found more interesting than its cousin, Tweets of the Week. (Except for the week it was all Back to the Future-themed, obviously.)
The old Stats of the Week was pretty random, just a collection of numbers about anything from ad blocking to email open rates. From now on, when we do stats round-ups, they’ll have something tying them together.
Last week, it was all the Snapchat stats from Mary Meeker’s annual report. This week: apps.
Apple currently shares its revenue with developers at a 70/30 split. Earlier this week, the tech giant announced that it will soon decrease its own cut down to 15 percent, provided the developers can maintain a subscription with a user for longer than a year.
In January, the company said they’ve earned a collective $40 billion since the App Store’s launch eight years ago, though the overwhelming majority of that money has gone to game developers. The new revenue model can spread the wealth a bit more, giving developers of free apps the opportunity to charge for app subscriptions, rather than one-time payments.
That’s not the only change coming to the iOS App Store, which will also start putting search ads in its search results next week. Paid search works for marketers, something Apple knows better than just about anyone (except Amazon and maybe Etsy).
Facebook made one of the biggest leaps in value, according to the BrandZ Top 100 list that Millward Brown Digital released Wednesday. Part of Facebook’s rise was attributed to ever-changing nature, which now includes hosting publishers’ original content.
Though the quantity of these posts has increased month-over-month, its reach has decreased by 42 percent from January to May, according to research by social media optimization platform SocialFlow. The decline was particularly dramatic from January to February, likely as a result of an algorithm tweak that promised to deliver the most relevant articles to users via qualitative data.
Meanwhile, Snapchat – which sees more daily users than Twitter, as of last week – is working on courting those same publishers, some of whom aren’t happy with the traffic they receive from the app. Snapchat’s bold new redesign gives Discover and Live Stories subscribe buttons and creative headlines in order to make them more attractive and appealing.
Mobile ordering apps are still something of a novelty for restaurant chains. The strategy worked well for Starbucks and Taco Bell and now, Chick-fil-A, the latest fast food brand to go that route. One is both the name of Chick-fil-A’s app and its position in the iOS App Store.
The app hit the 1 million downloads milestone within three days, topping the App Store’s chart. A week after its launch, it’s still number five, beating out both Instagram and Facebook. Chick-fil-A’s top position is unprecedented; Taco Bell’s app peaked at 14.
It’s particularly noteworthy because Chick-fil-A is a comparatively small chain. There are 3.2 Taco Bells for every Chick-fil-A in the U.S., only three of which are in New York City. By comparison, there are more than three Starbucks locations within a five-minute walk from ClickZ‘s office; one of them is literally in our building’s lobby.
How was Chick-fil-A’s app able to make such a big splash? A deep analysis in The Atlantic pointed out that the chain focuses on families. It probably didn’t hurt that downloading the app gets you a free chicken sandwich.
Given the number of campaigns it runs during the typical month, Pandora has about 1,000 different audience segments. And all of them will soon see brand new ad formats on the music-streaming app.
Pandora’s current display ads are mostly the standard 300×250 rectangles, which will be replaced by muted video and responsive mobile display ads. The ads will also be pre-rendered for faster load times and better viewability, and refined to give listeners improved signals of intent to continue with an ad or dismiss it altogether.
The Visual Ad Experience, as Pandora is calling it, will be available later this year. From early tests with the responsive mobile display ads, the company has seen an 11 percent increase in time users spent on brands’ landing pages. Lexus and Express are among the brands who will participate in the ad format’s beta test in August.
Shell has switched its corporate marketing from 80% traditional advertising to 85% digital media, and has stopped blowing its own trumpet in order to focus on telling video-led stories about the alternative energy start-ups it helps.
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