Monthly Archives: November 2015
By Staff WriterJune 17, 2015
Project Isizwe, in partnership with SES, a satellite operator, has launched a free Wi-Fi project in Lusikisiki and Mount Frere in the Eastern Cape.
The aim of Project Isizwe is to bring free WiFi to public spaces in low-income communities in South Africa and connect people for education, economic development and social inclusion.
The Eastern Cape launch follows on the success of the Tshwane network that was launched in November 2013 and has since grown to over 660,000 users at over 575 sites.
“Youth unemployment figures are very high in South Africa and specifically in the rural areas, due to lack of education and training. The best and quickest way to find information about education and training is the Internet,” said Zahir Khan, COO of Project Isizwe.
The free WiFi at the Ingwe TVET College’s Mount Frere and Lusikisiki campuses makes it possible for the Department of Education to deliver internet access on campus and surrounding areas.
Social & Demographic Trends
JUNE 11, 2015
Proud, Diverse and Growing in Numbers
Multiracial Americans are at the cutting edge of social and demographic change in the U.S.—young, proud, tolerant and growing at a rate three times as fast as the population as a whole.
As America becomes more racially diverse and social taboos against interracial marriage fade, a new Pew Research Center survey finds that majorities of multiracial adults are proud of their mixed-race background (60%) and feel their racial heritage has made them more open to other cultures (59%).
At the same time, a majority (55%) say they have been subjected to racial slurs or jokes, and about one-in-four (24%) have felt annoyed because people have made assumptions about their racial background. Still, few see their multiracial background as a liability. In fact, only 4% say having a mixed racial background has been a disadvantage in their life. About one-in-five (19%) say it has been an advantage, and 76% say it has made no difference.
While multiracial adults share some things in common, they cannot be easily categorized. Their experiences and attitudes differ significantly depending on the races that make up their background and how the world sees them. For example, multiracial adults with a black background—69% of whom say most people would view them as black or African American—have a set of experiences, attitudes and social interactions that are much more closely aligned with the black community. A different pattern emerges among multiracial Asian adults; biracial white and Asian adults feel more closely connected to whites than to Asians. Among biracial adults who are white and American Indian—the largest group of multiracial adults—ties to their Native American heritage are often faint: Only 22% say they have a lot in common with people in the U.S. who are American Indian, whereas 61% say they have a lot in common with whites.1 (more…)
How two former Broadway producers created an app that solves the biggest annoyance with buying theater tickets
Jun. 1, 2015
Walking past Times Square, it’s almost impossible to miss the winding lines of people waiting to purchase Broadway tickets.
It’s an odd sight to behold in the age of the internet and smartphones, and it speaks volumes about how trapped in time much of the theater industry is.
Two former Broadway producers, Brian Fenty and Merritt Baer, took notice of the theater industry’s overall lack of innovation when it came to ticketing.
Both men had a background in finance in addition to their work producing, so they decided to combine the two and create TodayTix, an app that lets you purchase theater tickets at the absolute lowest cost.
“We thought about how we wanted to sell tickets and the most cost effective way to sell tickets, and then as theater lovers, how would we want to buy tickets — what’s the easiest way to see a show?” Baer told Business Insider. “The industry generally made it harder to buy tickets. Our philosophy was the exact opposite: make it as easy as possible to get tickets into the hands of consumers, and in doing so, broaden the scope, availability, and access to theater events.”
Of course, competition already exists in the mobile ticketing space from big players like Ticket Master and StubHub, but mobile tickets still don’t exist within the theater industry itself due to union restrictions. So regardless of how you purchase a theater ticket, you’ll need to pick up or print out that ticket beforehand, which is the key area TodayTix wants to differentiate itself by creating a VIP-like experience where your tickets are already waiting for you at the theater in the hand of a smiling concierge. (more…)
MAY 29, 2015
While studies show that prospects for women directors are stunted in Hollywood, a program backed by a Saudi entrepreneur will create opportunities in the U.S. for Arab female filmmakers. In fact, according to the news from Cannes last week, Arab women are increasingly stepping out on the global stage in the business of moviemaking.
This story first appeared in the May 26, 2015 issue of Variety. Subscribe today.
On May 19, Saudi philanthropist and film producer Hani Farsi announced a partnership with UCLA to fund a program that will offer three full four-year scholarships to Arab women, through the school of Theater, Film and Television, to earn graduate degrees in directing.
“I think we can bring about social change through this,” Farsi said at Cannes where, as co-owner of French distribution and sales company Le Pacte, he had eight films for sale this year, including Nanni Moretti’s “My Mother.”
Since 2007, Farsi also has been producing and distributing movies with Arab and Muslim themes via his Corniche Pictures. The shingle financed Palestinian director Elia Suleiman’s “The Time That Remains” and Mira Nair’s “The Reluctant Fundamentalist.” (more…)
In the old days, developers only had to make apps for the iPhone and the Mac. The situation is trickier these days with multiple versions of software and devices, including the new iPad Pro.
Apple, known for keeping its products simple and elegant, may be getting away from the simple part, at least when it comes to developers.
It wasn’t so long ago that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs liked to point out Google’s Android “fragmentation” problem, with developers forced to make multiple versions of their apps to support the varying Android devices. It turns out Apple may have a fragmentation problem of its own, thanks to a product lineup that’s a lot more complicated these days.
Along with three iPhone screen sizes and features specific to each generation of its iconic smartphone, Apple now offers different size tablets, a smartwatch with its own software, a streaming-media player that supports apps, and nearly a dozen Macintosh computer models. Starting this week, the Cupertino, California-based company adds a third tablet size with the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which offers an optional stylus and a detachable keyboard. The lineup is a big change from the days of Jobs when Apple offered a much more streamlined group of devices and stuck with a standard iPhone screen size for the first five generations of the smartphone.
The new multitude of products — as well as the four different software systems running them: iOS for iPhones and iPads, Mac OS X for desktop and laptop computers, tvOS for Apple TV and watchOS for the Apple Watch — forces developers to pick and choose which apps to create first. The iPhone, which makes up about two-thirds of Apple’s sales, captures the most developer attention. But the increasing fragmentation of products and platforms means you may not find your favorite app on the new iPad Pro or the Apple Watch, or at least not a version of the app that can fully take advantage of the gadget’s unique capabilities.
If it sounds familiar, it’s a problem Google has dealt with since the early days of Android. Device makers released phones and tablets in myriad screen sizes, and developers weren’t sure which version of the operating system to build apps for. That led to early growing pains for products such as Android-powered tablets. Fragmentation continues to be an issue. Only a quarter of Android devices run the year-old release of the software called Lollipop. But Google has worked to mitigate the issue by pushing for apps that work well across the various versions of Android.
Why more Latinos than ever are speaking English
The number of Hispanics in the United States who speak English proficiently rose to a record high in 2013, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center.
Of Hispanics ages 5 and older, 68 percent — roughly 33.2 million people — spoke proficient English. That’s nearly a 10 percentage point jump from the year 2000.
At the same time, the percentage of Latinos speaking Spanish at home continued a gradual decline, going from 78 percent in 2000 to 73 percent in 2013.
The shift is largely fueled by young people. The number of Hispanics born in the U.S. now outnumber foreign-born Hispanics two-to-one. On the whole, they’re much younger than those born abroad and tend to learn English at a higher rate.
When you look at the percent of Latinos who speak only English at home or speak English “very well,” the biggest increases come from those born in the U.S.
English proficiency among foreign-born Hispanic children also saw a rapid increase.
The trend should be a dose of reality for adherents to the English-only movement, which fears the U.S. could be overtaken by Spanish speakers. Even if new immigrants don’t speak English well, their kids clearly pick it up pretty quickly.
Posted on 28 May 2015. Tags: streaming media
About 56% of all U.S. homes now have at least one TV set connected to the internet via a smart TV, a stand-alone player like Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV device, a gaming console or a Blu-ray player.
According to consumer research from the Leichtman Research Group, while 27% of all households have a TV set connected via one device, 29% of households are now connected via multiple devices.
Overall, 29% of adults watch internet-delivered video via a connected TV at least weekly, compared to 17% in 2013, and 5% in 2010 and one-third of adults now watch video on non-TV devices daily.
The findings show changing viewing patterns, indicating a preference for video on demand and streaming options. They also highlight how connected devices make OTT services a cheaper alternative to traditional pay-TV services.
The U.S. pay TV industry recorded a loss of 31,000 subscribers during Q1 of 2015. This is the first time the industry has ever lost subscribers in a first quarter. According to MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett, the loss is a result of cord-cutters tuning in to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video. “Cord-cutting has finally accelerated,” Moffett wrote in a research note earlier this month. “It’s not too early to get worried.”
The research also found: (more…)
Much like the “Rime (yes, that’s actually the correct spelling) of the Ancient Mariner” (“Water, water, everywhere; nor any drop to drink”), marketers are often faced with a similar conundrum when it comes to reaching Millennials: Their plentiful numbers are tantalizing but belie the fact that they can be quite difficult to engage.
Millennials (born 1977-1999) are 77 million strong, on par with Boomers, and represent 24% of the population. (1) However, more important than their sheer numbers is their purchasing power — $170 billion annually. Their spending will continue to grow and is expected to reach $1.4 trillion by 2020. (2)
Despite Millennials’ vast numbers, for most marketers reaching them is a challenge. More than any other generation, Millennials have been shaped by advances in technology and computing. A 2014 Pew study found that 25% of Millennials believe their relationship to technology is what makes their generation unique. This is a generation that has no concept of an Internet-less world. Their widespread ownership and usage of smartphones, tablets, computers and the Internet has changed how Millennials communicate and interact with each other and the world at large.
Media Habits (more…)
Touted as the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, multicultural consumers have another advantage in the marketplace: They’re young and living longer. With a growing youthful and receptive audience, marketers can cultivate and build relationships early—establishing trust and brand loyalty, according to Nielsen’s The Multicultural Edge: Rising Super Consumers.
In 2014, U.S. multicultural consumers collectively represented more than half of the population under age 9, versus 35% of those 45-50 and only 17% of those 80 or older, illustrating how each successive generation is showing a more multicultural skew. In a global economy, the youth of America’s population driven by a vibrant multicultural population will increasingly become an advantage for the long-term growth of many consumer goods and services for years to come. The median age in this country is 37.4, according to U.S. Census data, which is younger than the average adult in Russia (38.2), U.K. (40.1), France (40.4), Germany (45.1) and Japan (45.6). The substantial age difference between the median age of U.S. multiculturals (30.5) and non-Hispanic whites (42) shows how multicultural populations are driving the vitality of the nation’s economy.
Youthfulness isn’t the only driver of marketing opportunity. Coupled with longer life expectancy, multicultural consumers can be reached in a more cost-efficient manner over time as their effective years of buying power are substantially greater than non-Hispanic whites. The U.S. life expectancy for multicultural consumers is at its highest level ever, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The effective years of buying power for African-Americans (42.3 years), Asian-Americans (52.3 years) and Hispanics (56.5 years) all exceed that of non-Hispanic whites (36.7 years). Spending smart marketing dollars on multicultural consumers today will result in many more years of consumption and consumer loyalty throughout their lifetime, and it can increase the return on investment of those dollars spent.
For more detail and insight, download The Multicultural Edge: Rising Super Consumers.
Four Reasons Why Marketers Should Care About the Acquisition
By Rochelle Newman-Carrasco. Published on May 26, 2015.
When people asked me what I thought about Univision acquiring African-American news site The Root, I wanted to hit the mute button on my cynicism and stay focused on the positive. Here was an opportunity to celebrate the implied unity of communities of color — communities that, in spite of their differences, have a lot in common and a lot to gain by working together. I wanted to underscore the importance of this acquisition and address implications for agencies and clients alike.
Why should anyone care? Here are four reasons:
1. Because if it’s of interest to millennials, it’s of interest to you. Millennials are not color-blind. Quite the opposite. They are color-conscious and color-comfortable. In fact, because they are such a multi-ethnic cohort, many are themselves millennials “of color.” They consume massive amounts of content and are tired of how the multicultural story is being told, if it is being told at all.
Here’s an opportunity for both The Root and Univision to present a more dimensional and deeper multicultural story. For The Root, this could mean forging a more relevant connection to the broader black community, which includes, but is not exclusively African-American. For Univision, this means doing some work on its relationship with the U.S.-born Hispanic, particularly with the artistic community and thought leaders. In addition, Univision must update its cultural filters to eliminate outdated class-based racism carried over from Latin America. The work has begun. (more…)
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