Telstra sets $65 a month as minimum spend to get 5G access – Telco/ISP- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Telstra is set to reshape the way it sells 5G services once a year-long free trial wraps up today.
The telco had said last year that it would eventually allow users of its two most expensive mobile plans to access 5G at no extra charge, while users on smaller plans would be charged an extra $15 a month.
It has since decided not to charge a “separate fee” for 5G; however, it will put up prices on all mobile plans by between $5 and $15 a month, and the cheapest plan is no longer 5G-capable at all.
“Since we launched Australia’s first 5G network just over 12 months ago, our customers have really embraced more data intensive uses of their mobile connection such as streaming services, video conferencing, virtual reality and mobile gaming,” consumer and small business group executive Michael Ackland said in a statement.
“That is why following the conclusion of the 12 month 5G free trial period on 1 July 2020 we have decided not to charge a separate fee for 5G, and will now be including 5G access for customers on our medium plan as well as our top two tier plans.” 

(Above: Telstra’s new mobile plans)
Up until now, even customers of its smallest plan – with 30GB of quota for $50 a month – have been able to access 5G services under the free trial.
That plan will go up to $55 a month with 40GB of quota but will be 4G only.The medium plan, with 60GB for $60 a month, goes to 80GB for $65 a month and now includes 5G (whereas before it would have been a $15 a month add-on).
The two biggest plans were already in line to receive 5G services for the same price:

the 100GB ($80/month) plan moves to 120GB ($85/month)
the 150GB plan ($100/month) is now 180GB ($115/month)

Telstra said the increase in quota across all plans was made in recognition that “the lives of Australians had fundamentally changed in recent months.” 
“We know now, more than ever, with many of our daily routines quickly moving online for learning, work and entertainment, it is critical our customers have access to more data, and reliable, high quality connectivity both in-and-out of the home,” Ackland said. 
“That is why we are announcing that from 1 July, consumer and small business customers will benefit from a data increase of up to 30GB depending on their plan, with 5G access included on our medium plan and above.”
Ackland said existing customers would be “progressively” migrated over to the new plans “over the next three months”.
Those that moved by September 30 would be given “credit to help offset the increase for the first 12 months.”
“Eligible customers will be contacted by Telstra about this offer before this date,” Telstra said.

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Global Spend on IT Devices to Plunge by $108 Billion | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Sourced from Finance Monthly.

The global spend on IT devices is forecast to plunge by $108bn year-on-year, falling to $590bn in 2020, according to data gathered by LearnBonds.
This major decrease can be attributed to the COVID-19 outbreak which has caused IT spend to slip by 8% – thousands of companies are cutting their technology and service budgets and financing only essential IT costs. And although the entire sector is forecast to shrink, IT devices and data centre systems are set to witness the most significant drop in consumer spending this year.
Revenue Crashes 15.5% in 2020
In 2012, consumers worldwide spent $676bn on IT devices, including PCs, ultramobiles, tablets, mobile phones and printers – according to Statista and Gartner data. By the end of 2016, this value dropped to $630bn. Over the next two years, global spending on IT devices rose to $712bn, a six-year high.

Statistics show that by the end of 2019, this value slightly decreased to $698bn. However, the COVID-19 pandemic triggered an IT industry recession, with even the largest tech companies like America’s IBM and HP, or China’s Lenovo, witnessing falling sales and tumbling stock prices.
The Gartner data revealed that global consumer spending on IT devices is expected to plummet to $590bn in 2020, down 15.5% in a year.
VP of data firm Gartner, John-David Lovelock says “IT spending recovery will be slow through 2020, with the hardest-hit industries, such as entertainment, air transport and heavy industry, taking over three years to come back to 2019 IT spending levels.”
Computing Revenue to Tumble by $14.3bn This Year
Besides a significant decrease in the IT device consumer spending, statistics forecast a substantial fall in global computing industry revenue in 2020. The market, which includes retail sales of laptops, tablets, desktop PCs, storage units, PC monitors, and keyboards, hit $278.9bn in revenue last year. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, this value is expected to slump to $264.6bn in 2020, a $14.3bn drop in a year.
As the largest revenue stream of the entire market, laptops and tablets sales are forecast to decline by 9.7% year-on-year, falling from $171.6bn in 2019 to $161.9bn in 2020. Desktop PCs sales revenue is forecast to plunge by $1.6bn year-on-year, while storage unit revenue is forecast to fall by $1.2bn in 2020.
Statistics indicate that consumers worldwide are expected to reduce their spending on PC monitors and projectors by more than $1bn this year. Keyboards and printers follow with $200m, and $500m drop in revenue, respectively.

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Tech spend in India to shrink by 4.8% if lockdown extends beyond June- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Read Article
If the lockdown continues beyond June, tech spending in India may contract by up to 4.8 per cent this year, with only a mild recovery to 1.4 per cent growth in 2021, a new report has said. The sudden sharp contraction and slow recovery will entail contraction across all tech spending categories in 2020 and make even slow growth in 2021 arduous, according to the report by global market research firm Forrester.
“A real risk of tech spending contraction looms large. An inability to contain the outbreak in a timely manner will cause serious damage to economic activity in India due to reduced consumer spending and labor productivity,” said Ashutosh Sharma, VP and Research Director, Forrester.
In an optimistic scenario, where India comprehensively rescinds its lockdown in June and resumes full-tilt economic activity by July, businesses and governments in India will spend a bit more (1.2 per cent) on technology in 2020 than 2019.
The lower growth, however, will affect all spending categories but hit hardware, software, and IT consulting services the hardest.
“IT outsourcing will remain resilient. Most CIOs that we spoke with described the current state of tech activity as “suspended animation.” They have put their existing IT activities on hold and plan to recalibrate spending plans frequently,” Sharma emphasised.
An early recovery would put India Inc. in a good place to resume its tech spending in 2021, rising by 8.4 per cent over 2020.
CIOs and business technology budget-holders need to strike a balance between the dual objectives of conserving cash and investing in adaptability to help their firm not just survive, but also adapt and grow, according to the findings.
“Most firms we speak with have come to terms with the unprecedented nature of the pandemic and expect to be dealing with a different world once it’s over. Some firms are beginning to reprioritize initiatives and conserve and reallocate their IT budgets,” the report mentioned.
The pandemic will serve as an eye-opener for leaders rooted in traditional, conservative approaches to IT as they see their more digitally mature peers respond to changing environment better.
In the medium to long term, the pandemic will force Indian firms to become lean by moving away from manual work and expensive real estate and embracing digital and automation, said the report.

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This App Helps Parents Control How Much Time Their Kids Spend on their Phones | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Sourced from Microsoft

Microsoft is launching a new app called Family Safety – created to make a difference in how you monitor your family’s, and your own, screen time. Designed primarily to manage the screentime and app usage of children.
“Protect what matters most with physical and digital safety,” is how Microsoft describes the app on its official website.
The electronics juggernaut announced in a blog post on Monday that the app is available now in preview form on both Android and iOS.

Microsoft says in the announcement that “With families working and learning from home, many of us are spending more time on our computers and phones. Microsoft Family Safety helps you to facilitate a dialogue with your kids about the time they are spending on their devices. It also helps monitor the type of content they are viewing.”
Gadgets Africa writes that anyone can access the app, but to really begin to use its features you have to:

Create a family group.
Fill out a form here and specify how many family members you intend to have on the same preview account.

The app has features including:

Get reports on screentime and app usage of anyone in your family group
Set time limits and content controls
Turn on location sharing to see where your family is
Sync with Windows and Xbox devices

Full Control
If you don’t want your kids playing a game for too long on their phones, simply set the limit per game to 1 hour. Since it has connectivity to Windows and Xbox devices, It does not matter if it’s being played on a Windows PC, Xbox, or Android phone. Also, if the kids run out of screen time, they can ask for more. With this app, parents will have full control. They have the choice to add more time or not based on what is right for their children.
Microsoft has yet to say when the app will be widely available in the App Store or Google Play Store. However, the company states that those who participate in this preview will “gain early access” to the app.
Edited by Luis Monzon
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Global brands to freeze ad spend for at least 6 months amid Covid-19 crunch- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Large global brands are to cut ad spend harder – and for longer – in response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to fresh research from the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA).
89% of large multinational companies have deferred marketing campaigns this month, up from 81% in March, found data from the trade body’s Covid-19 response tracker.
52% of marketers at these companies said they’ll now hold back ad spend for six months or more, compared to just 19% who mulled taking similar medium-term action last month.
The WFA’s research was conducted in the last full week of April and attracted responses from senior marketers in 38 companies across 17 sectors with a total annual global spend of $46bn. 61% of respondents held global positions, with 39% in regional roles.
The data gives some insight as to what lies ahead for the remainder of the year as the industry grapples with the possibility of an ad recession. In the first three months of the year, the UK alone saw the slowest uptick to ad budgets since the 2008/2009 financial crash.
In line with advice to keep spending in a time of crisis, some 62% of respondents agreed it was critical for brands not “to go dark” during this period. However, there were still dramatic cuts to spend overall in April.
As already detailed by giants like ITV and Channel 4 in the UK, the squeeze is being felt hard by TV, traditionally the biggest media. US broadcasters such as ESPN, CBS, Turner and NBC – which rely on live sports to boost their ratings and advertising hauls – are also expected to take a hit.
Globally, the WFA says TV investment will be down 33% across the first half of the year. Print (down 37%), out of home (down 49%) and events (down 56%) are suffering the most, though.
Digital is boosting its share of ad spend by virtue of the fact that spend falls in this area are less dramatic, with online video down 7% and online display down 14%. Other channels such as radio (-25%), point of sale (-23%) and influencer marketing (-22%) are expected to experience significant cuts.
While 68% have some kind of crisis response campaign now running (up from 32% in March), this activity will not compensate for the cuts to other campaigns.
Global ad budgets are now expected to be down 36% in the first half of the year (up from 23% in Wave I) and 31% for the full year.
The global numbers fall in line with a recent report from E-marketer, which suggested that China – the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak and second-biggest ad market after the US – would see total media spend reach $113.7bn , down from a previous estimate of $121.13bn.
What does all this mean for agencies?
With the world’s biggest ad networks, including WPP, Omnicom and Publicis Groupe, continuing to make financial and staff cuts to safeguard their businesses against the impact of Covid-19, the latest data from the WFA shows those who service big multinational clients are set to face further challenges.
As global marketing teams take drastic action on the number of ads seen by their target consumer audiences, the global trade body says its members are also viewing the situation as an opportunity to make radical changes to the way they operate, both internally and in partnership with their agencies.
Some 92% agree that this crisis will have a long-term impact on the way they operate and 84% agree that this is an opportunity to ‘rethink everything in terms of our marketing organisation’, with the same number saying they have already accelerated digital transformation.
“Marketing leaders are fully aware that the crisis is having a major impact on their teams and their external partners,” said Stephan Loerke, the WFA’s chief executive.
“Many are making significant efforts to support their agencies by finding projects for their key people to work on while spend is low or by changing their payment terms when they can.
“Our research shows that such efforts are widespread and reflect how much brands value the contributions that agencies can make to their businesses,” he finished.

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AGL Energy predicts more spend on mobilising its workforce – Training & Development – Cloud – Software- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

AGL Energy saw a marked rise in idea sharing and collaboration in the lockdown period, which it attributed to heightened demand among staff to connect with each other and to the company’s broad adoption of Microsoft Teams.
Head of Business Applications & PMO Rishi Dhillon told an SAP virtual industry forum last week that AGL had also been well-placed technology-wise coming into COVID-19 lockdowns on the back of a three-year, $300 million investment in digital transformation.
“Our investment in our digital and mobile platforms over the past three years has been absolutely fantastic in servicing our customers,” Dhillon said.
“The investment in SAP and also our network and capability in our infrastructure has been reaffirmed with this position that we’re in now.”
In the past couple of years, AGL has overhauled its SAP core to S/4 HANA and taken an ‘extreme SAP’ philosophy to the way it augments the platform.
Stil, like other organisations, Dhillon said that AGL had faced some challenges in “mobilising an entire workforce” in a short period, and in keeping operations in India and the Philippines online.
“A lot of our corporate offices and our sales offices are in lockdown in different regions across Australia,” he said.
“We also have a lot of generation plants across a lot of geographical locations and they’re operating under their respective response plans. 
“We also have partner services out of the Philippines and India that operate under different jurisdictions as well. 
“So trying to mobilise an entire workforce in a situation that’s changing daily presented a lot of challenges along the way.”
Dhillon said AGL had worked with its service providers outside Australia and provided them with solutions “to be able to service our customers while they’re working from home as well.”
He said AGL had looked to Microsoft Teams to handle much of the collaboration needed during the lockdown.
“From an organisation perspective we’ve shifted a lot of our collaboration across to Microsoft Teams as our platform, and that’s working really really well,” he said.
The company is running most of its operations virtually, including “hackathons, planning/strategic days, and team days”, as well as company social events like virtual trivia and drinks.
This had “allowed people to stay connected and to share ideas,” Dhillon noted.
“What we’ve now discovered is the new way of collaborating has just accelerated,” he said.
“We’ve had a lot more people participate … wanting to make human connections has actually driven a higher rate of participation. 
“Some of the health surveys we’ve done across the organisation prove that a lot of people are a lot more engaged in some of the initiatives we want to try and drive and deliver.”
As lockdowns eased, Dhillon said AGL would need to take stock of what arrangements it kept and accepted as a new way of work.
“For AGL, there will be a time where we do a stocktake with regards to what the experience has shown us and what we’ve learned from it,” he said.
Dhillon said that AGL would continue to invest in mobilising its workforce.
“The investment is going to continue,” he said.
“It’s really underway [already] with being cloud-first in everything we do at the moment, and it’s going to continue to grow. 
“I think this is going to really show us a new way of how we come together as an organisation … and strike the right balance for a new breed of people and talent to be able to find a good work-life balance while they work for our organisation.”

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Love in the time of coronavirus: dating apps buck the downward ad spend trend- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Before the turn of the century, the thought of linking up with a stranger on a mobile app would have been unimaginable. Fast-forward to the present day, and platforms like Tinder, Bumble, Happn, Grindr and Hinge sit unashamedly on the phone screens of millions of singletons.
When the pandemic hit, many questioned how dating apps could survive with an estimated 2.6 billion people locked inside, date venues closed for the foreseeable future and casual hookups out of the question.
Yet while entwined hearts during the Spanish Influenza might have seen love blossom through the exchanging of letters, love in the time of coronavirus is ablaze through video calls and instant messaging, as people flock to dating apps to find that special someone.
With more and more people exploring this Black Mirror-esque world of ‘virtual dating,’ a new era of dating has dawned.
Where household brands are slashing ad spend, these modern matchmakers are making the most of their moment in the sun and being smart about their brand investment. Some are even reaping the rewards of an in-app ad surge of their own as advertisers look to reach switched-on audiences.
Using tech to power connections
Prior to the pandemic, online dating was already big business. Now as Covid-19 looms large and social distancing looks to continue throughout 2020 many are retuning their business models in response.
In 2019 the number of smartphone dating app users in the US was 25.1 million and Match Group, which owns Tinder, Hinge and Match.com posted revenues of $2.05bn, gleaned from subscriptions and advertising deals.
Tinder alone pulled in $1.2 billion in revenue over 2019; a 43% increase from 2018.
To continue this upwards trajectory, Tinder last week (6 May) announced plans to add a video dating feature in the second quarter of this year as a direct response to the threat posed by coronavirus in slowing its user growth.
Tinder is actually a bit late to the video dating party — its rival apps have been far less tardy when it comes to capitalising on the trend for face-to-face calls, thus rendering them more lockdown ready. Bumble, for instance, introduced a video and voice call feature last year, while Hinge launched its own ‘Date From Home’ feature at the start of lockdown in March.
“I imagine that we’re going to see far more dates than ever come out of this,” Hinge’s chief marketing officer, Nathan Roth tells Tempemail, explaining how through ‘Date From Home’ users can easily share when they’re ready for a digital date, to ease that often awkward and vulnerable transition from messaging to meeting digitally for the first time.
“This specifically came out as a response to listening to our customers and their needs during the quarantine, and figuring out a way how we could serve them best,” he adds.
“During social isolation, everyone has had to adapt their dating strategies to use virtual solutions, such as video dating,” explains Naomi Walkland, associate director for EMEA marketing at Bumble, a dating app, that boasts nearly 90 million users worldwide. It is singular in that women make the first move.
Walkland explains how physical distancing has shown us that in times of uncertainty, people seek meaningful connections and “that connections made online are just as meaningful as those made in real-life. People will always look for new ways to socially connect.”
She explains that overall: “data indicates a trend of increased use by our new and existing users, especially in regards to the chat, video call, and voice call features.”
“We have seen users spending more time speaking to each other on the app, with call durations averaging at 21 minutes as well as a 12% increase in messaging. This shows that people are taking the time to really get to know each other, even whilst apart,” she continues.
After introducing the ‘Date from Home’ feature, in March, Hinge experienced a 30% increase in messages among users in March (compared to January and February) with 70% of its members would be open for a virtual date.
Globally on OkCupid, there has been a 30% overall increase in messages sent each day since March 11. Matches have increased by 10%, conversations increased by over 20% – as singles turn to online dating for company.
Bucking the ad spend trend
Unprecedented numbers of users are turning to dating apps during lockdown, and as such, dating apps have admitted their ad spend has been largely unaffected.
“The coronavirus hasn’t actually changed our ad spend that dramatically,” says Melissa Hobley, chief marketing officer at OkCupid. “This is driven by the fact that OkCupid has seen a surge in activity since early March across the globe, and this continues, so we want to continue to be top of mind for the millions of singles who are connecting right now — albeit virtually.”
While broadcasters are scrambling to fill ad slots abandoned by the collapse of travel and leisure brands, dating apps have found they are able to buy on platforms that would have been out of their reach just months ago.
With brands retracting ad spend across the board, Global’s commercial agency director Katie Bowden tellsThe Drum that it is determined to retain its partners, alongside attracting new business.
“Initially, there was shock and uncertainty,“ she says of the pandemic rendering many campaigns obsolete, but she shares news of a new partnership with Bumble, who spotted an opportunity on Capital FM to talk about virtual dating.

OkCupid has also taken advantage of discount rates online. “Digitally, we’ve seen lower costs and greater efficiencies, driven by other categories pulling out and time spent on devices exploding,” Hobley continues. “Like many folks, we love out-of-home, but we have had to pivot some of the plans we had to support our ‘As Yourself’ campaign.
Hobley admits like while OkCupid doesn’t advertise on TV, we’re certainly looking at all the options that might help us reach the single, younger dater at this time.
And while OkCupid see podcasts as a perfect channel to tell its story, “not surprisingly, the costs with the bigger players here have not shifted that much.”
As for in-app ads, Happn’s chief exec Didier Rappaport says “advertising on our app hasn’t changed at all. Dating is a digital industry, therefore the impact on our industry has been small compared to other industries, as users keep using our services.”
Rappaport goes on to explain that because Happn’s marketing is already very digitally-oriented, the app has taken advantage of reduced costs.
“With other brands, from other industries, reducing their ad spend, this has enabled us to have a greater digital reach for our campaigns, with the same amount of budget,“ he says.
Hinge has also admitted that its ad spend has been unaffected by the outbreak.
Keeping advertisers interested
Usage is up during lockdown, and OkCupid’s chief marketing officer reveals that this surge has sparked an increase in brands looking to advertise on the app.
“One thing that is super exciting is the interest that OkCupid has seen from brands wanting to reach our daters and advertise with us,” Hobley shares. “Dating apps have exploded over the last 2 months and I think brands are interested in how they can reach these singles who are connecting and dating at twice the rate they were before corona.“
Given that many daters love watching a TV show together, she says there “have been a few entertainment partners who are tapping into this with exciting results.”
Happn has experienced the complete opposite. “Regarding advertising revenues, we have noticed a real decrease, which is easily explained,” its chief exec Rappaport admits. “Many brands have stopped or postponed their marketing expenses but advertising is a very small part of our revenue.”
Dating post-pandemic
While lockdown has provoked a new dawn of virtual dating, Bumble’s Walkland says it’s “too soon to state the expected impact” on matchmaker’s businesses.
On this new age of dating, she says her team suspects that users will continue to use its video/voice calling features as a way to get to know their matches before making the move to meet in person.
OkCupid, meanwhile, predicts there will be a boom in dating, post-lockdown.
“We’ll likely see a lot of people spending more time on OkCupid when things start to return to normal and more of a dependence on digital or virtual communication before actually going out on a date,” claims Hobley.
With the pandemic forcing people to truly embrace digital when it comes to dating, it’s fair to say that dating post-lockdown will look radically different than it did before. As for advertisers, they’ll have to figure out where they fit into this new virtual world to make connections with their audiences.

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Is esports prepared for the coming influx of freed-up marketing spend?- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

PwC’s global esports leader Andy Fahey claims that under lockdown esports is the “only competitive ‘sport’ in town”. So far, The Grand Tempemail, Formula 1, Moto GP, Spain’s La Liga and Nascar have all run digitally. There’s more to follow and an increasing likelihood that more esports will fill depleted broadcast schedules.
Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, sports revenues were predicted by PwC to rise from $980m in 2019 to almost $1.8bn by 2023, a prediction that is being revised upwards by the accounting group.
In esports, the live stadium spectacle is gone, but the competition endures. Some competitions are pivoting to play-from-home models. There is a swell of players too; in the first week of lockdown, telecom giant Verizon said US domestic peak-hour online gaming was up 75%. This trend is consistent across the globe.
Esports could also pull spend from other marketing channels. By the end of lockdown, Fahey says that new investors and commercial partners will likely be attracted to the space. Chester King, chief executive of the British Esports Association, is pinning his hopes on it happening. ”Sponsors who have taken their money out of live sports will have the revenue to invest with us,” he tells Tempemail.
The opportunity is clear. But it won’t be an easy jump for many when few decision-makers truly understand the space.
The opportunity
“There’s no rulebook yet,” one ad exec told Tempemail at the B2B conference Cannes Esports Bar earlier this year. Esports is no longer a sector in beta – but more work needs to be done to onboard partners and deliver results.
Some estimates claim that there are 2.2 billion gamers in the world today, and a slim – but growing – portion of those billions show an interest in esports. One Cannes attendee also said: “Most of us are gamer in some way. Advertisers must understand this.” Consequently, any brand investing in the space must first have a feel for the sheer breadth of gamers.
As a commercial entity, esports teams are building drastically different models to attract partners. Julien Dupont, head of partnerships at Team Vitality, a French esports team with a gaming base in Paris called The Hive and an apparel partnership with Adidas, has noticed the market maturing. Non-endemic brands are now piling in, (most recently BMW in League of Legends).

Before lockdown, Vitality had already started matching brand partners with specific teams. Given that the industry norm has been to plug brands into every team on a roster, this was a significant development for Dupont.
Now the market is enjoying a level of demand that enables sponsorship packages to be granular. Naturally, the medium appeals to some sectors more than others and Dupont has positioned Vitality so it can sign non-conflicting deals with rivals in the FMCG or beverages spaces without the risk of a clash.
But what do advertisers get in return? Currently, that’s open for debate. For some, is a chance to align oneself with competitive excellence and associated fandoms while others are, are Dupont puts it, are “buying our ability to make them cool and create a unique product”.
The former sponsorships exec, previously at Havas Sports & Entertainment, concludes: “Partners are not just buying a logo on a shirt.”
Glen Calvert, chief operating officer of esports team Fnatic, sees his organisation as an “entertainment company and talent agency”. The former adtech chief believes its easier to prove the value of a sponsorship that is tailored around engagement and reach of content, “If you can’t prove your value you will fail” he said.
Therefore, Calvert is now looking to build a lifestyle brand that has a voice beyond the competitive elements of esports, (which would help tide it through fallow periods between competitions).
However, work needs to be done across the channel in order to prove its worth. “We’re not at the level we need to be at yet… we don’t know that much about the fanbase yet. The more we focus on that, the more brands will buy-in,“ says Calvert.
Lyndsay Eckhouse, commercial director of German team G2, hunts for brands that can improve the fan experience. A recent flagship deal for G2 was a 2019 partnership with Domino’s Pizza, which allowed fans in Berlin to gather and watch the G2 team compete in Paris for the League of Legends World Championship.
“We don’t need full-blown brand partnerships, we are happy to do individual events,“ she says.

According to Eckhouse, performance metrics and outcome measurements need to be brought up to scratch to increase the sector’s value.
She said: “You cannot communicate value in the same way as traditional sports. We’ve renewed every partner we’ve had, but now we need the numbers to back that up.”
What do brands want?
Mathieu Lacrouts co-founded esports ad agency Hurrah in 2015, at a time when there were few marketers specialising in the space. The former TBWA and Darewin planner admitted that the “ad industry is just now starting to catch up”, though planners are still struggling to get creative ideas past stakeholders.
Its first-mover advantage is coming to an end as agencies pay more attention to gaming and teams themselves position as the creative solutions.
Right now, a lot of its attention is going towards consulting, with an influx of sports marketing budgets ready to experiment with esports spend. Budgets remain small and speculative to test the waters, but there’s a chance to build trust and effectiveness.
In recent years, Hurrah may be best known for its Esports Moments campaign that crammed Coca-Cola and Domino’s Pizza into a single combo spot for the US market. Both clients have a large investment in the space and were seen as natural companions in the spot.

The ‘Wildest Fans’ campaign it ran with Nestle capitalised on the fact there were no major tournaments held on French soil. It challenged fans to roar into their devices. The loudest French esports fans were taken to the European League of Legends Championships in Hamburg, and were noted for being the ‘wildest fans’ in the arena. Hurrah claims the work hit 40m impressions.
The agency also bought the media, leaning on its understanding of the fragmented and misunderstood ecosystem. Lacrouts says that working with esports doesn’t just mean agencies knowing what to run, but where to run it. Gamers can be a tough crowd to please and one slip up or badly judged meme can ruin a brand’s credibility in the space.
One difficulty he identifies facing esports is that many brands otherwise interested in getting involved would really prefer something fun in the gaming space. One of the reasons behind brands’ involvement with Fortnite is its broad appeal and reduced emphasis on competition, and even weapons are being phased out as it positions as a social space.
Nicholas Aaron Khoo has been in esports for 15 years. Last year, the Singaporean advised on the launch of the Global Esports Federation and runs gamer creator marketplace Yup.GG. He helps brands enter the complex esports ecosystem, from grassroots to pro gamers, content producers and influencers, teams, events, competitions and publishers.
“Everything initially looks so fragmented and messy,“ Khoo admits. “Brands can invest in everything from the top pros to the hundreds of thousands of aspiring players in the grassroots. A balance must be struck between the credibility of supporting top talent and the authenticity of supporting the masses trying to make it.“
“A lot of the value really is created in the center,” he says.
While some non-endemic brands don’t mind spending big, like Microsoft’s Mixer did for Ninja, others see the value in a long-term plan supporting years worth of 500-people events.
He concludes: “The truth is only there are only a few events actually filling up the stadiums, so it is important to have a broad view of the ecosystem.”
Broadcast potential
The tools to measure the impact and effectiveness of these partnerships are still being built. No matter which strategy brands adopt, the larger the audiences, no matter where they are, the larger the benefit.
For top esports events, multiple streams are simulcast on channels like YouTube Gaming and Twitch. Players can cast (that is, offer their own commentary channels) over these too, generating additional views and reach, while social and linear TV can boost viewership further. It’s a complex web of consumption and a bit more difficult than tracking the linear and catch-up viewership of live TV.
Michael Heina, head of esports Europe and Middle East at Nielsen, says: “Esports is definitely growing. Our research found that a fifth of current esports fans joined in the last year. In 2017 it grew by one third. The growth is decreasing but any traditional sports would sign a deal with the devil for this growth.”
And its not really had its TV moment yet. Early indications show that TV broadcasts of esports don’t cannibalise online views, but serve as an audience additive. “Esports is actually something that could draw a live audience towards the TV channels again,” he suggests.
The challenge for a firm like Nielsen is in ensuring that this growth isn’t being overstated, or that cursory views aren’t being missold as passionate fandom. Seeking to solve that conundrum, Heina’s team is building a product as close to TV audience measurement as possible as part of a joint project with the Association of Tempemail Advertisers. “We take concurrent viewers, take into account the length of the broadcast, and work out the averages,“ he explains.
The industry lacks formal standardised measurements, and tournament organisers have been less than keen to have their homework checked – although Heina credited the Overwatch League as one of the first to do so. Its not alone either, Comscore recently partnered with Twitch to do much the same.
He concludes: “We are trying to grow the sport sustainably with the audience measurement numbers that we have had on TV for 60 years. The industry is keen to help but you have to imagine the difficulty they’d have in going into a sales pitch with much lower numbers all of a sudden.”

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Westpac tech spend up 12 percent as new systems come good – Hardware – Software- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Australia’s economy might still be in lockdown, but when it comes to bank technology there’s still double digit spending growth as institutions pivot to cope with the pandemic.  
The nation’s oldest bank, Westpac, on Monday booked in a respectable 12 percent boost in technology spend, as the institution hit the accelerator on bank-wide upgrades of its heavily sweated systems that ultimately blew a $1 billion hole in profits courtesy of regulator AUSTRAC’s action.
Westpac on Monday bowled up what it described as “disappointing earnings” to deliver a H1 FY 20 cash profit of $993 million, a whopping 70 percent decline that was book-ended by the deferral of any interim dividend on the back of remediations and COVID-19.
The sheer size of the AUSTRAC crater took the gloss off an otherwise skilled and adroit pivot by Westpac to maintain smooth operations as 22,000 staff went to remote work on the back of a major Microsoft upgrade to Windows 10 and Microsoft 365.
Westpac also finally delivered Apple Pay to customers, with eftpos functionality embedded, the last major bank to offer the payments service because of what’s understood to have been complexities surrounding its Hogan core banking system.
Westpac pegged its tech expenses at $1.277 billion for the half year, a year-on-year increase of 12 percent over $1.139 billion at March 2019, but it was how the bank spent-up to extract major productivity boosts that stood out.
Data processing costs moved up 16 percent to $44 million for the first half, down from the previous half’s spend of $45 million, but well up year-on-year over $38 million compared to last March.
The elevated figure suggests that Westpac’s infrastructure is now chewing through a far greater number of automated and digitised transactions, including platforms like Panorama and its customer service hub that includes home lending.
The ability of banks to be able to digitally triage disrupted and distressed lending customers is critical for banks in the COVID-19 crisis because it affects their line-of-sight in terms of the state of their lending book and making provisions.
Importantly, costs for technology services – think outsourcing and contractors – continued to fall in double digits to land at $348 million for the half. Notably technology services costs fell 14 percent compared to both Mach 2019 and September 2019.
The laser-sharp focus on IT services costs suggests strongly that Westpac’s relatively recently appointed chief information officer Craig Bright is coming good on his mission to realign local software vendor pricing and shave back the premium many apply for contracts outside the US.
That was also reflected in Westpac’s software costs, which only edged up marginally despite very solid upgrade momentum and the deployment of new and automated platforms.
Software maintenance and licence costs landed at $193 million for this March, up 4 percent over both last September ($186 million) and last March ($185 million), a disciplined performance given Westpac’s historical challenges overcoming legacy infrastructure.
Westpac’s IT shop certainly came out a winner in the eyes of new chief executive Peter King, who suggested strongly the giant remote working push had taught the bank how distributed a workforce could be, especially when key applications and compute are in the cloud.
“We’ve certainly had a lot of people learn how to work from home [and] a lot of managers learn how to manage workforces that are distributed,” King said.
“We’ve got some great technology now that that we’ve recently put in in [the form of] Microsoft 365, and collaboration.
“Our IT team have done some great work to get that in, and get the network capacity up. So there certainly is the opportunity, I think, to have a more distributed workforce.”
Questioned on the effect that may have on commercial property and ways of working, King was frank, adding that whether it was working from home or branches, things will be different now.
“I think that’s all on the table,” the Westpac CEO said.

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Snap ad revenue strong – but spend concerns ahead- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Snapchat is on a high after reporting a 20% year-on-year increase in daily active users and 44% revenue growth, rounding off a strong first quarter performance for the social messaging app.
However, analysts speaking to Tempemail explained that the lockdown came too late in the quarter for a predicted ad spend drop to rock Snap. Year-on-year, its daily active users were up 20% to 229 million, a 5% increase on Q4 2019. Revenue was up 44% year-on-year to $462m with advertising slowing down further into the quarter.
Earlier this month, the app noticed that the pandemic was driving greater ad engagement. Snap reported a spike in video and voice calling usage, up 50% during late March, compared with late February. Snapchatters were communicating through texts 50% more and snaps were up 44%. Ad engagement on app installs increased 36%, while there was also a 19% increase in swipe-up rates overall during late March compared to late February.
However, ad spend slowed. In January and February growth was at 58%, before hitting 25% in March. There is cause to believe there will be greater shortfalls in March and beyond. Snap chief financial officer Derek Andersen admitted: “The economic environment has become challenging for many of our advertising partners.“
eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson attributes the strong usage boost to the fact people have been urged to shelter at home. “Snapchat is helping people stay in touch with friends and share their experiences via Snaps and Stories,“ she said.
“Snap’s revenue picture was much brighter than many analysts expected, considering that the global pandemic hit ad budgets hard toward the end of the quarter. If advertisers did cut budgets for Snapchat advertising, they may not have done so in large numbers before the end of the quarter. I believe quarter two will be a much more important quarter to watch.“
In the UK, the quarterly Bellwether report from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), which draws data from a panel of around 300 UK marketing professionals from the UK’s top 1000 firms, found that 25% of respondents reported a budget cut. Market research, events and PR were the worst-hit areas.
More broadly 74% of marketers recently told the Interactive Bureau of Advertising (IAB) that the pandemic will have a larger impact on ad budgets than the 2008 financial crisis.
Yuval Ben-Itzhak, chief executive at Socialbakers, offered a secondary warning: “Snap isn’t usually seen as the first option for brands to spend their big ad budgets, as it’s perceived as more of an experimental platform. As a result, the platform is more vulnerable to budget cuts than other social media platforms. Given the decline in ad spend we are seeing across social media in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, Snap needs to continue to focus on maintaining its user base, while attracting ad spend in what’s proving to be a difficult economy.”
Aaron Goldman, chief marketing officer of 4C Insights, explained that there are positives for the brand, chiefly growing revenue by 44% in the face of Covid-19: “It is a testament to how the platform has firmed up its place in the marketing mix. Brands are using Snap to reach passionate audiences that are hard to reach on other media platforms.”
Record usage does not equal record revenue if ad spend dries up. TV giants have documented an ad drought, despite drawing record audiences in many instances.
It may be that their fates are linked over the next few months. Goldman pointed out that many traditional television advertisers use Snap to extend their campaigns and drive engagement. “With people sheltering in place all over the world, the value of Snap and other closed ecosystems continues to grow. Monetisation will ramp even further on the other side of the pandemic,“ he said.
Furthermore, with social interaction temporarily conducted via video and chat apps, Snap’s pre-exsiting lenses and features could help it stand out. Goldman concluded: “Who doesn’t want to be a potato in the group chat?”

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