The Oban Blog

Digital World – Global Digital Marketing News: Thursday 14 May 2015

In this week’s roundup of international digital marketing stories: Yandex uses user data to map popular photography spots; Alibaba reports that mobile accounts for over half of its gross merchandise volume; Ad spending continues to fall in France, but more money is spent online; Sprout Social runs down the demographics of major social platforms; and Apple pulls ahead in Chinese smartphone market.

Yandex reveals where and when mobile Russians take photographs

There are 118 million mobile device users in Russia – around 83% market penetration – and as Russian Search Marketing observes, many of them are avid users of both device photography and Yandex.Disk storage. With impressive access to the photo collections of its users, Yandex has compiled an interactive map showing common locations for holiday snaps around the world.

With photographs taken most frequently on vacation, the (essentially literal) heat map provides insight into Russian holiday habits – urban areas flare up in Summer, spikes in activity in Southeast Asia come in Winter and Summer sees a lot of photos taken on the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. The post also observes the photo taking trends that peak on major public holidays and observances – 12% of all photos being uploaded on December 31 2014, for instance.


Mobile now 51% of Alibaba’s Quarter 1 2015 Gross Merchandise Volume

An increase of 37% year-on-year on annual active buyers and 40% year-on-year on GMV (Gross Merchandise Volume) across Alibaba’s Chinese retail marketplaces was announced in the group’s financial results for Q1 2015. The number of annual active buyers has reached 350 million, and the growth is attributed to an increase in numbers accessing Alibaba’s platforms via mobile devices. The Taobao App is the top e-commerce app in China, for example, and mobile GMV has reached RMB 304 billion ($49 million USD) – 51% of total GMV on Alibaba’s Chinese retail marketplaces.

Total Media Ad Spending down in France, but growth online

The total amount spent on media advertising in France during 2014 was down by 2.5% on the previous year, according to The €13 billion figure is part of a story of successive shrinkage in recent years, with the blame falling to slow GDP growth and 10.4% unemployment. Spending on cinema, radio and print media advertising is done – as it has been for several years – but a number of channels are thriving comparatively.

Online advertising is the main site of new expenditure. Internet ad spending is up 4.5%, and within the category sponsored links are up 4%, display ads 7% and mobile ad spending an impressive 35%. The easy measurability, tighter spending controls and growing audience for online advertising are likely to be major growth factors in this and every market.

Sprout Social reveal demographics across seven major platforms

In a recent post on their blog, Sprout Social reveals the demographic makeup of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Snapchat. In addition to age, gender, education, income, the insight into location will be particularly interesting for International marketers. For example, the top five countries list for Facebook isn’t necessarily what you’d expect – the US (14% of the userbase) tops a list ahead of India (9%) and Brazil (7%).

Apple China’s top smartphone manufacturer, and other APAC news

Econsultancy has rounded up a number of significant developments in Asia Pacific, including the fact that Apple now holds 27.6% of the smartphone market in China – putting it ahead of homegrown manufacturer Xiaomi (said to model itself on Apple, though chiefly a manufacturer of Android-based devices). The iPhone 6 was the best-selling smartphone between December 2014 and February 2015.

Elsewhere, contactless payment is up 49% year on year, India is set to have 550 million online by 2018 and 85% of Australian consumers are expected to use on-demand viewing services within the next two years. 65% of the Australian market already watch video content on-demand.

To keep up-to-date with the latest international digital marketing news, sign up to Oban’s newsletter, Trendspotter. Alternatively contact Oban on +44(0)1273 704 434 or email [email protected] for advice on how we can help leverage your global online presence.

Image credits

Black Sea photo by Flickr user Fr Maxim Massalitin

Mobile Chinese Netizens photo by Flickr user Cory M. Grenier

Art instead of advertising in the subway photo by Flickr user Gilles Klein

Apple Genius Bar in Shanghai’s Apple Store photo by Flickr user Wesley Fryer