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Why Consumers Continue to Shift Away from Pay TV/eMarketer


Price is still the top factor

According to a Q2 2017 study by TiVo, more than 85% of cord-cutters said that pay TV services were too expensive, and that cost was one of the main reasons they chose to cancel their cable or satellite service.

In fact, a higher percentage of those surveyed named price as a factor than said the same in Q1.

Aside from price, many respondents also said they cancelled their pay TV service because they’re using an internet streaming service like Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Video.

Appealing Features of Netflix According to Netflix Users in North America, Q2 2017 (% of respondents)

User behaviors more conducive to subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services, like binge-watching, also reflect the decline of cable—as does these services’ original content. Indeed, 7.5% of cord-cutters said they cancelled their pay TV subscription because the bulk of their TV viewing consists of original content on streaming services, like Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black.”

And when asked about the features that attract them to Netflix, over half said price plays a key role in why they use the service.

By and large, consumers are gradually shifting to digital video subscriptions and away from pay TV services.

This year, 176.4 million US adult internet users will stream or download video content at least once a month, eMarketer estimates. That number is expected to increase to 190.2 million by the end of 2020.

Monica Melton

Mobile payments ‘to overtake credit cards’ as preferred ways to pay online by 2019: NZH report


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Mobile and digital currency systems are set to overtake credit and debit card payments by 2019. Photo / 123RF

Online, mobile and digital currency payment systems are set to overtake credit and debit cards as the most popular ways to pay in e-commerce worldwide by 2019, a report by a United Nations body on international trade and development said.

The share of credit and debit cards in global payments is expected to drop to 46 per cent by 2019 from 51 per cent three years ago, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said in its “Information Economy Report 2017: Digitalisation, Trade and Development“, citing figures from payment processing company Worldpay.

So-called e-wallet systems like Alipay, run by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, and Tenpay, run by Alibaba rival Tencent, as well as the US-based PayPal service have spread rapidly, driven by the explosive growth of e-commerce.

In China alone, the size of the mobile payment market had reached 23 trillion yuan (US$3.5 trillion) by the end of the second quarter, up 22.5 per cent from the previous quarter, according to Analysys International, an internet research firm.

Alipay recently signed up coffee chain Starbucks to allow e-payment at all 2,800 Starbucks locations in China, while at a KFC fast food restaurant in China, diners can pay via Alipay using facial recognition technology.

The UNCTAD report said that in developed regions, digital payments are dominated by credit and debit cards, followed by e-wallets. But in some developing countries, where credit cards are rarely the most important payment method, new online and mobile payment methods are catching on.

It noted that in China, the preferred payment method for business to consumer e-commerce was Alipay, which is used by 68 per cent of all online shoppers in the country, while in Kenya, mobile money, or accessing financial services via a mobile phone, is more common than credit cards for e-commerce, although cash on delivery remains the main method.

For cross-border purchases, e-wallets appear to be “particularly popular” as a method of payment, the UNCTAD said.

Other surveys have noted the rise of e-payment systems.

In 2016, the International Post Corporation, an association of 24 national postal services, said that 41 per cent of e-commerce shoppers across 26 countries used e-wallets, while 33 per cent used credit cards and 18 per cent used debit cards or bank transfers.

Looking into the future, UNCTAD said that payment systems based on distributed ledger technologies such as blockchain are likely to be more widely used.

“This technology can make online payments safe, and being peer-to-peer, it is less expensive than intermediated payment platforms,” the report said.

“While few internet users currently prefer this method of payment, it is gradually being adopted as it improves security, accelerates settlement, reduces the size of the minimum viable transaction and executes digitised versions of traditional contracts (so-called smart contracts).”

The properties of blockchain technology enable smaller cross-border transactions, including remittances, which would otherwise not be made due to high fixed costs or a lack of trust among parties, the report added.

Like It or Not, Smartphones with Biometrics Will Soon Be the Norm/eMarketer


Apple’s Face ID is riding a wave of security technology offered by manufacturers

This week Apple unveiled a facial recognition feature called Face ID to be included on its high-end iPhone X. The company explained that the device uses a combination of light projection and an infrared camera to create a 3-D map of a user’s face.

Apple has used biometrics on its devices since 2013, when it announced the iPhone 5s would include a fingerprint scanner to support its then-new Touch ID security protocol.

But Apple is actually a bit late to the game with Face ID. Rival manufacturer Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S8—which was released in the US in April—includes facial and iris recognition technology, along with a fingerprint scanner, something noticeably absent from the iPhone X.

The announcement sparked more than a few responses that raised some potential security pitfalls of Apple’s facial recognition technology. Unfortunately for those wary of the supposed infallibility of biometrics, there’s some bad news.

New research from Acuity Market Intelligence found that biometric technology will soon be ubiquitous on smartphones. The firm projects that nearly two-thirds of smartphones shipped worldwide this year will feature some sort of biometric capability. But it also estimates that by 2019, all smartphones worldwide will ship with biometric technology embedded in them.

Share of Mobile Device Shipments Worldwide with Biometric Capability, by Device Type, 2016-2020 (% of total)

Fingerprint scanners are now a commonplace feature on Android devices, where the technology has migrated downmarket from flagship devices to midtier offerings. In fact, Acuity Market Intelligence kept track of smartphone models that offered biometrics, but gave up on the practice in January 2017 after the number topped 500.

Wearables and tablets will be slower to adopt biometric technology, however. Acuity Market Intelligence estimates that just 41.2% of tablets will have biometric capabilities this year, while 54.5% of wearables will host the technology.

But the research firm expects biometric technology will become ubiquitous on those devices by 2020.

In many cases consumers leery of using biometrics to unlock their devices can opt out of the feature by relying on a pin code or some other security protocol. And there’s some data to suggest that a sizable number of smartphone users might do just that.

A recent survey from online payments firm Paysafe found that 40% of respondents in the US, UK and Canada thought biometrics were too risky to be used to process payments. Another 24% were uncomfortable with biometrics, but expected some merchants would compel their use.

Understanding Teens and Their Smartphone Habits/eMarketer


Many say they could not go more than a day without using one

Yes, teens are digital natives. But that’s just half the story of what makes teen life so different now from a generation ago. Coming of age at a time when smartphone ownership is the norm, today’s teens are mobile natives as well. The constant connectedness a smartphone enables—or imposes—is a central fact of life for them.

Length of Time that US Teen Internet Users Think They Could Go Without Their Smartphone, by Gender, May 2017 (% of respondents)

Though teens still lag behind young adults, a large majority now have smartphones. And for those who have one, it drives their daily digital activity, as explored in eMarketer’s latest report, “US Teens and Their Smartphones: The All-Purpose Device for Liking, Snapping, Ad Avoiding, Shopping and More.” (Subscribers to eMarketer PRO can access the report here. Nonsubscribers can purchase the report here.)

eMarketer estimates that 78.9% of 12- to 17-year-olds in the US will be smartphone users this year. That puts them on par with the total adult population, for which smartphone penetration is expected to be 77.1% this year. But teens still fall short of adult millennials in terms of smartphone penetration.

Older teens are more likely than younger teens and tweens to have a smartphone, so penetration is higher if one excludes 12-year-olds. December 2016 polling by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research identified 89% of 13- to 17-year-olds in the US as smartphone users.

Then again, as feature phones fade from the marketplace—and as hand-me-down phones from parents have become more likely to be smartphones—the age at which youngsters first get a smartphone is declining. In a March 2017 report by Think with Google (based on August 2016 polling of US internet users by Ipsos), respondents ages 13 to 17 who have smartphones reported getting their first one at a median age of 12. “Now they have established habits by age 13,” said Jason Dorsey, co-founder and millennials and Gen Z researcher at The Center for Generational Kinetics.

Once they get a smartphone, teens are true to stereotype in becoming very attached to it. A YouGov survey in May 2017 illustrated this when it asked 13- to 17-year-olds in the US how long they could go without using their smartphone. Nearly four in 10 said they could not make it through a single day.

Select Social Media Platforms on Which US Social Media Users Have Accounts, by Age, May 2017 (% of respondents in each group)

The smartphone camera has become central to teens’ social interaction, as reflected in the rise of camera-centric platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. Teens have not abandoned Facebook, but the time and emotional energy they spend on it has declined. And Facebook penetration among US teens is on a slightly downward trajectory.

Underlying teens’ extensive use of smartphones for social networking is the scope of their overall engagement with social media. eMarketer estimates that 70.8% of 12- to 17-year-olds in the US will use social networks at least once a month this year.

As with smartphone penetration, the proportion of teens counted as social network users varies depending on the exact age group a survey employs. In Deloitte polling conducted online in November 2016, 93% of 14- to 19-year-olds in the US identified themselves as social network users.

emarketer Report – Asia-Pacific Retail and Ecommerce Sales: estimates for 2016–2021


Preview from eMarketer PRO

Executive Summary

Retail sales in Asia-Pacific will increase 7.7% this year to $9.254 trillion, driven by an expanding middle class and growing ecommerce activity. Ecommerce will represent 14.7% of total retail sales in the region, or $1.365 trillion. By 2021, that number will more than double to $3.001 trillion.

  • China is far and away the largest contributor to Asia-Pacific’s retail market, accounting for more than half of the region’s sales. Widespread internet access in urban areas and Alibaba’s investments in logistics and shipping centers have encouraged digital buying. Ecommerce will account for 23.1% of retail sales in China this year and will continue to be a main driver of overall retail growth.
  • Multinational ecommerce companies Alibaba and Amazon are expanding their reach across Asia-Pacific by acquiring local retailers and investing in shipping centers. These efforts, along with individuals gaining internet access, will drive ecommerce growth over the forecast period. eMarketer estimates ecommerce will make up 25.4% of total retail sales in Asia-Pacific by 2021.
  • Retail sales growth will be fastest in India throughout the forecast period. Though the demonetization of the rupee in 2016 caused concern for consumer spending, India will still rank as the third largest retail market in the region, generating $1.033 trillion this year. Japan will produce more sales than India, at $1.283 trillion, but growth will be flat due to its shaky economy.
  • Approximately 924.8 million people in Asia-Pacific will make at least one digital purchase in 2017. China will account for 53.4% of the total, with 494.1 million buyers. Consumers’ growing familiarity with ecommerce platforms is expected to encourage online purchasing in the region.

“Retail ecommerce sales in Asia-Pacific will total $1.365 trillion in 2017, a 29.6% gain over 2016. Annual double-digit growth will persist through the forecast period, as ecommerce uptake continues to expand throughout the region.”

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Asia-Pacific Overview

Country-by-Country Review

8 charts are included in the full report:

Asia-Pacific Retail and Ecommerce Sales: eMarketer’s Estimates for 2016–2021

Retail Ecommerce Sales in Asia-Pacific, 2016-2021 (trillions, % change and % of total retail sales)

Asia-Pacific Overview

Retail Sales in Asia-Pacific, 2016-2021 (trillions, % change and % of worldwide retail sales)

Total Retail Sales in Asia-Pacific, by Country, 2017-2021

Retail Ecommerce Sales

Retail Ecommerce Sales in Asia-Pacific, 2016-2021 (trillions, % change and % of total retail sales)

Retail Ecommerce Sales in Asia-Pacific, by Country, 2017-2021

Digital Buyers

Digital Buyers in Asia-Pacific, 2017-2021 (billions, % change and % of worldwide digital buyers)

Digital Buyer Penetration in Asia-Pacific, by Country, 2016-2021

Country-by-Country Review

Retail Mcommerce Sales in China, 2016-2021 (trillions, % change and % of retail ecommerce sales)