Five on Friday: Ad Revenue, File Transfer and Social Media Tips
Featuring Amazon, Dropbox, Netflix, Apple and Hubspot
This week was nothing short of amazing, as we wrap up our very first Subscription Show. Thanks to our sponsors, keynotes, speakers, vendors and attendees for making this conference both useful and fun, chock full of great ideas and techniques to grow our subscription businesses. Here’s what else is happening in the subscription world: Amazon will earn close to $10B in net digital ad revenue this year, Dropbox is making its file transfer service available to all users, Netflix says it is compatible with certain Roku and Samsung devices, Apple plants seeds for subscription growth, and Hubspot shares social media marketing tips.
Amazon Will Earn Close to $10 Billion in Net Digital Ad Revenue in 2019
According to eMarketer, Amazon will earn close to $10 billion in net digital ad revenue this year, a 33% increase over last year. eMarketer estimates that Amazon’s digital ad revenue will continue to grow in the double digits in 2020 and 2021, perhaps beyond. Even at a double-digit pace, this only gives Amazon about 10% of total U.S. digital ad spending.
Other top ad sellers with significant growth include Facebook, Twitter and Google. Here is their projected growth over the next two years.
How is Amazon so successful? eMarketer said keyword-targeted, CPC-based placements (i.e., search ads) have done well for the retail giant. eMarketer estimates that 72% of Amazon’s digital advertising revenue will come from search ads this year, dropping to 70% in the next two years. In addition to search ads, Amazon has new opportunities for ad placement like on iMDB, an Amazon-owned, ad-supported streaming video service. Learn more about Amazon’s digital ad revenue estimates at eMarketer.
Dropbox Transfer Available to All Users
After a four-month testing period, Dropbox is rolling out its file transfer service, Dropbox Transfer, to all users. The tool allows users to transfer files with others, when they don’t need to collaborate on a file. It provides more control for the file owner than file sharing, explains Dropbox in their FAQs. For example, transfer owners can see how many times a transferred file has been viewed or downloaded. Transferred files don’t show up in the recipient’s Dropbox folder, and they automatically expire after seven days. Also, transferred files can’t be edited, and the file owner can revoke or cancel the transfer at any time.
When a user transfers a file, the recipient gets a link with the sender’s name, a list of file names and sizes, and the expiration date of the transfer. Recipients can share the transfer link, and they don’t need a Dropbox account to access or download a transfer.
There are limitations on the size limit of files a user can transfer, based on the type of the Dropbox plan they have. Free users are limited to 100 MB. Plus and Business Standard subscribers can transfer up to 2 GB; and Professional, Business Advanced, Enterprise and Education subscribers can transfer up to 100 GB.
“We introduced Dropbox Transfer in beta earlier this year to make delivering any file simple. People typically use Dropbox for collaborative sharing, but sometimes you need more of a ‘send-it-and-forget-it’ solution,” said James McNiece in a blog post for Dropbox.
“Transfer is designed for times when you need to turn over large collections of final files to clients and other people outside your company. We're excited to help everyone easily deliver files, so today we're rolling Transfer out to all Dropbox users, along with new features,” McNiece added.
Netflix Cuts Cords with Roku, Samsung TV
In a stroke of irony in the cord cutting movement, Netflix announced that it is cutting compatibility with certain models of Roku and Samsung TV devices. The streaming video service claims technical limitations are preventing them from being able to continue to stream on these platforms. These changes will take effect on December 1, 2019.
Thankfully, if you have more than one device you stream on, you may be in the clear. Devices from Roku that are no longer supported include the 2050X, 2100X and 2000C models, as well as the HD, SD, XR and XD players. Digital Trends notes these models are among the first generation of Roku players, dating back to 2009. These devices can still run other apps, so you’re not out money if you have an older device.
As far as Samsung, the affected list is currently not available. Market Realist notes that the page was taken down by Samsung, and Netflix is noting the same issue. There is currently no word for what devices will be affected, or what their limits are on Netflix’s end. Smart TVs have been increasingly popular in the last few years, however, with new technological advances in the TV market, older models are becoming outdated more quickly. Much like Roku, you can still run other apps on your older Smart TV with no problem.
Netflix has made checking compatibility easy with a list on their website. The big question is whether this is really one of technical limitations or more of a competitive one – or perhaps both.
Apple Plants More Seeds for Subscription Revenue Growth
Apple never stops churning out new ways to make money. This year alone, they have seemed to shift their business model to offer subscription products, from their News app, to Apple Arcade, as well as their new Apple TV+ model. Now, it looks like the iPhone could be Apple’s next subscription model.
This wouldn’t be the first time that something similar has been considered.
Apple currently has the iPhone Upgrade program, which allows users to shop with their cell phone carrier to help cover costs of their phone. This includes the hardware, as well as AppleCare+, their insurance for the iPhone. This spreads the cost of the phone out over two years. However, users will be able to upgrade their phone after making 12 payments. Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T also all offer iPhone upgrade plans, but AppleCare+ is not included in the carriers’ plans.
Market Realist says the iPhone hasn’t been as reliable a source of revenue for Apple as it could be, so turning the phones into a subscription service would certainly be a lucrative option. Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, even hinted at the idea during the company’s earnings call, reports CNBC.
Apple could offer bundles with their other subscription models, like Apple TV+. The company has even offered those who have purchased an Apple device after September 10, 2019 a free year of their new subscription video service. This could be to compete with the other new subscription video services like Disney+ that are launching in the near future.
5 Social Media Marketing Tips You Need to Try Now
1) Refresh and repurpose social media posts. You don’t have to start from scratch every time. Take evergreen posts and update them, try different hashtags, keywords and images.
2) Schedule posts for evenings and weekends. While you may work 9-to-5, your customers are often online when you aren’t. Track your stats to see what peak times your posts are getting attention and target those times. If you aren’t getting the desired engagement, test different times.
3) Post more than once a day. How often and what type of content will depend on your subscription business and the platform, but there are industry standards you can model your plan after.
4) Interactive content is engaging. Ask questions, post polls, use contests and other two-way communication methods to talk with your audience.
5) Always use visuals. Sure, it is easy to just type text and add a link, but it doesn’t work. Think about it. How many times have you stopped to read a text-only post in your Facebook or Twitter feed? Probably never.