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Millennials Block Ads on Mobile
Millennials are clearly not fans of ads on their smartphones, according to Strategy Analytics. In the US, the UK, France and Germany, around a quarter of mobile users between the ages of 18 and 34 block mobile ads. More than a third of mobile users in France between the ages 18 and 24 don’t want to see mobile ads, which is the highest percentage among the respondents surveyed. eMarketer predicts that one-third of US internet users will block ads in 2017.
Mobile Wallet Transactions in India Climb
MediaNama reports that the number of mobile wallet transactions in India shot up by 75 million in December 2016, citing data from the Reserve Bank of India. The total amount of money transacted via mobile wallets also increased by INR 41.43 billion ($616 million) in December, a sign that consumers are becoming more comfortable with digital payment methods in a post-demonetization world.
Apple, Android Roughly Even in US, UK Share
Findings from Kantar’s Q4 2016 Worldpanel ComTech reveals the intense competition between Apple and Android smartphones. In both the UK and US markets, Android hovered at about half of sales while Apple garnered 47.6% and 44.4%, respectively. However, in comparison to Q4 2016, Apple sales were up while Android sales declined. In other countries, such as China and Italy, Android clobbered Apple with about 80% of all sales. eMarketer expects there will be 2.4 billion smartphone users worldwide in 2017.
Films in China Bypass Theaters for Online Distribution
The number of feature-length films released on the seven major video-on-demand (VOD) services in China totaled more than 2,500 in 2016, according to data from research firm EntGroup cited by TechNode. In contrast, 423 films made it into theaters in China, among them 92 foreign titles. Many VOD platforms offer film studios revenue sharing programs as enticements to host their movies.
Amazon’s Alexa Now Multilingual
Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service (AVS) is now available for developers building voice-enabled products for the UK and Germany. As a result, Amazon Echo, Amazon Dot and other products that support AVS will be able to understand British English and German.
Classifieds Marketplace OLX Targets Women in Indonesia
OLX, a digital classifieds service, launched a new Android app in Indonesia with features aimed at drawing more women and millennials. According to the service, which served as an intermediary for an average of 1.4 million transactions each month in the country in 2016, its user base largely consists of men over 30 years old. OLX has found Indonesia to be a growing market—the company reported that users there posted 170,000 ads on its service in 2016, an increase of 41.6% from the previous year.
Gambling Site Bodog Offers Bitcoin Option
Gambling site Bodog.eu is now offering deposits and withdrawals using the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, making Bodog the first major gaming brand to do so, according to the company. Bodog says the option will benefit gamers by cutting out the “double-dipping” involved in traditional currency transfers via banks and credit card companies.
What India’s Demonetization Feels Like IRL
Writing for Tech In Asia, Kylee McIntyre had a boots-on-the-ground report on the practical effects of demonetization in India, in which the government took two high-value denomination notes out of circulation as a move against corruption. McIntyre reports that many people could not pay for basic services or staples, and that lines at ATMs lasted for weeks.
—Cliff Annicelli, Rahul Chadha, Rebecca Chadwick
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