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10 essential media stats from August 2018

This month we kick-off a new feature on What’s New in Publishing; a digest of the most important research and earnings information from the past four weeks.

Our goal is to help busy WNiP readers navigate the latest data and research about our industry, so that you can stay up to date as efficiently as possible.

Here’s 10 key numbers from the past month which caught our eye:

145 million users

This is the monthly user base for Flipboard, up from 100 million at the start of the year. The app, which first rose to prominence eight years ago when tablets were the next big thing (remember that?) has proved remarkably resilient in the smartphone age.

According to, “Flipboard was the big independent (read: not Google or Facebook) traffic source growth story of 2017,” with mobile referrals from the app growing over 300% last year.

They’ve maintained that momentum in 2018, with growth driven by a recent $3-4 million ad campaign and a desire among many publishers to be less dependent on Facebook.

As Digiday noted, 11,000 publishers have applied to add their content to Flipboard’s app since the start of the year.

38.6 million engagements

Despite Flipboard’s growth, publishers – of course- haven’t given up on Facebook altogether. Analysis from NewsWhip highlighted the most engaged publishers on Facebook in July 2018, with Fox News leading the way.

“Fox News and its affiliates grew engagements by around 6 million from June to July,” they note, ahead of CNN (32.1 million) the Daily Mail (30.9 million) and the BBC (30.5 million).

Engagements in this context as measured by including “total likes, shares and comments to English-language web content” published during July 2018.

Fox has grown its rate of monthly engagements on Facebook by 10 million interactions in the four months since March. Their involvement in Facebook Watch may grow that further still.

-3 million

In contrast, Snapchat suffered its first ever decline in user numbers, TechCrunch’s Josh Constine wrote. Daily active users dropped from 191 million to 188 million over the past quarter.

However, despite this, August was a relatively good month for Snap financially.

The company reported revenue is up 44 % year-on-year, and last month they also agreed a $250 million investment from the Saudi Prince Al-Waleed Talal. These monies netted the Prince a 2.3 % stake in the ephemeral messaging network.

+300 million

The mixed messages about Snapchat’s future are further reinforced by this startling conclusion from Business Insider which highlighted how:

Each app in the Facebook empire — comprised of Instagram, WhatsApp, and the core Facebook app itself — added more new users in the past year than Snapchat’s total user count of 188 million.

The plateauing of Snapchat and Twitter’s user numbers is no doubt a driver for new strategies – including Snap’s pivot to eCommerce and Twitter’s live streaming of major sporting events – as the networks seek to attract new users at a faster rate, whilst at the same time endeavouring to drive engagement, stickability and secure new revenue streams.

Every 12 minutes

This is the frequency with which people in the UK check their smartphones, according to Ofcom, the UK Communications Regulator.

Underlining our dependence on these devices, Ofcom also observed that: “two in five adults (40%) first look at their phone within five minutes of waking up, climbing to 65% of those aged under 35. Similarly, 37% of adults check their phones five minutes before lights out, again rising to 60% of under-35s.”

Looking back at how mobile went mainstream in the past decade, Ofcom notes that only 17% of people in the UK owned a smartphone in 2008. The figure now stands at 78%.

As a result:

Seventy-two per cent of adults say their smartphone is their most important device for accessing the internet, 71% say they never turn off their phone, and 78% say they could not live without it.

And with 62% of online minutes in the UK now spent on a smartphone, mobile’s importance to publishers – as well as consumers – could not be clearer.

More than 1 in 3 experiencing mobile fatigue

Given this, it’s perhaps not surprising that a survey by GlobalWebIndex of 2,300 UK and U.S. mobile phone users , revealed that “more than one in three respondents felt their mobile phone usage had a negative impact on their health and wellbeing.”

Those subscribing to this point of view tended to be younger (57%) and male (52%) with little difference between heavy and less-heavy smartphone users.

“In a related study,” Erik Winther Paisley, Insights Content Manager at GlobalWebIndex noted, “24% of U.S. and UK respondents said they’d taken action, like uninstalling apps or unsubscribing from services, to moderate their phone usage for health and wellbeing reasons.”

“If this continues,” he wrote, “brands and app designers may need to think beyond user friendliness in the moment of usage and consider the overall friendliness to their users’ lives.”

Other stats worth noting:

29.7 million – the number of UK users to The Sun Online, meaning the tabloid has topped the Comscore’s rankings for UK newspaper sites for three months in a row. Read more in The Drum.

59% – how the general U.S. population discovers new video content, as revealed in Nielsen’s U.S. Video 360 Report 2018. This remains the most popular method of content discovery.

25.9 – Average Minutes per Visit by Desktop users in the UK. In contrast mobile visits average 6.5 minutes, comScore’s UK Digital Market Overview – Q2 2018 disclosed.

76% – the percentage of Americans, according to the latest Poynter Media Trust Survey from across the political spectrum who have “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of trust in their local television news. 73% have confidence in local newspapers. Trust in national media is lower, with 55% expressing similar levels of trust in national network news, 59 % in national newspapers and 47 % in online-only news outlets. Read more how local news publishers in Europe are responding to digital in this What’s New in Publishing feature from last month.

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