👴🏻 Digital seniors are here to stay
Older consumers were forced online as the world shut down.
👋 Welcome to FWIW by David Tvrdon, your weekly tech, media & audio digest.
In this edition
Digital seniors are becoming an important consumer demographic
Samsung announced new phones and tablets
What's going on with Facebook in Europe?
Digital seniors, “AgeTech” and the next big opportunity
For years, I have been following closely what is going on in “AgeTech” - startups and technology companies aimed at developing services and solutions for older people to harness the power of the digital age.
A new report from Euromonitor listed "digital seniors" as a top-10 global consumer trend for 2022.
Older consumers were forced online as the world shut down. Now, familiar and comfortable with technology, Digital Seniors are empowered to make purchases and use services through this channel. Businesses have an opportunity to tailor their digital experience to target and meet the needs of this expanded online audience.
A few stats from the report:
82% of consumers aged 60+ owned a smartphone in 2021.
45% of consumers aged 60+ used a banking service on mobile at least once a week.
The global population aged 60+ will grow 65% from 2021 to 2040, reaching over two billion people. This relatively wealthy cohort is gaining more experience and confidence using online services and choosing to adopt more tech solutions that assist with their daily lives.
Over 60% of consumers aged 60+ visited a social networking website at least once a week, whilst 21% took part in video gaming weekly.
Top 3 online activities for 60+: browsing the internet, reading news, social media.
A survey by Ericsson's ConsumerLab from last year found that 7 in 10 seniors ages 65-74 were interested in trying out AR/VR headsets, primarily to pursue a skill or hobby, like cooking.
Put all this together and you get a fairly wealthy and savvy group of people with lots of free time who, according to the Euromonitor report, are seeking simpler lives.
In a story covering this report, Axios noted that technology aimed at seniors was getting more sophisticated before Covid, but the pandemic has given it a big push forward.
I remember when Facebook started to get more older users and everyone thought that is the beginning of the end. In some ways yes, but in other ways the social network never truly catered to that audience, instead always chasing the younger generation who are not really interested in it.
For example, the Euromonitor report also notes seniors are more likely to try out TikTok because their grandchildren are on it and are keen to show them the app and how it works.
Developing technology solutions for the older generation has never been sexy in Silicon Valley but maybe there is a place for it elsewhere as baby boomers are reaching that age.
Easy-to-use smart home appliances, wearables and VR are just a couple of technology solutions that are breaking through. There is also opportunity in all kinds of digital services.
📲 Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Unpacked event’s biggest announcements:
Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus - very similar to last gen, new colors, also new is the Gorilla Glass Victus Plus on both the front and the back, the cameras are improved with better night imagining and a better portrait mode. The Galaxy S22 starts at $799.99, and the Plus version starts at $999.99 — both with 128GB capacity and 8GB of RAM.
Galaxy S22 Ultra with an included stylus - starts at $1,199 with 128GB, has a 6.8-inch screen, a 108-megapixel main shooter, 3x and 10x telephoto cameras, and an ultra-wide, but the low-light quality and portrait mode with depth mapping are improved. RAW shooting is also now available on the device, and the device can fast charge at 45W.
Galaxy Tab S8 - Samsung introduced three new tablets in S8 - basic (11-inch, starts at $699.99), Plus (12.4-inch, starts at $899.99) and new Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra with a huge 14.6-inch OLED screen and starts at $1,099.99. All run Android 12 and can also connect to a Samsung PC as a second screen.
🤓 Apple news
Apple plans to introduce a new low-cost 5G iPhone and iPad in early March. In addition to announcing new devices, the company is planning to release iOS 15.4 in the first half of March, the people said. The software update will add Face ID support for people wearing masks to iPhones and iPads, making it easier for users to unlock their devices. It also has new emojis and Universal Control, which lets customers use a single keyboard and trackpad across multiple iPads and Macs. [Bloomberg]
Apple will charge 27% commission for app purchases made using alternative payment systems in the Netherlands, instead of its usual 30% for in-app purchases. [9to5Mac]
Apple announced plans to roll out Tap to Pay on iPhone, allowing businesses (US only for now) to use mobile devices as a payment terminal for contactless payments. The feature will work on on iPhone XS and later models. With Tap to Pay, Apple will also support Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and other contactless payment methods. Stripe will be the first payment platform to offer Tap to Pay on iPhone to their business customers, including the Shopify Point of Sale app this spring. Additional payment platforms and apps will follow later this year. [The Verge]
😳 What's going on with Facebook in Europe? The social media giant said in its annual report last week that it may break up with Europe if regulators there don’t come up with a fix for the legal ambiguity over transatlantic data transfers. Later, company had to publish a blog titled Meta is absolutely not threatening to leave Europe. It argues that the company was merely reiterating required disclosures to investors about the the uncertainty its business faces in the region. Though, the problem Meta hinted at in its disclosures is very real - US and EU regulators have for months been trying to negotiate a new agreement for data flows across the Atlantic. And a lot of business are waiting for them to finally work it out because meanwhile regulators around Europe are finding services like Google Analytics in violation of GDPR. [Bloomberg]
🤪 Nvidia calls off its efforts to acquire Arm. Since the deal is now off the table, Arm says it is exploring a public offering in lieu of the acquisition. The current plan is for the IPO to happen sometime within the next 12 months. [TechCrunch]
😲 Why this could be a critical year for electric cars Climate change pressure and the fact that automakers will begin selling electric versions of one of Americans’ favorite vehicle type: pickup trucks. [NYT]
🤑 A look at digital advertising in 2022 and how it increasingly run by a handful of companies. A deep dive into the current state of things. [Stratechery]
🤔 Since 2016, NSA has been looking for post-quantum algorithms for the Q-day, the day when quantum computers will break the internet. In the next couple of months, it will select a few winners, and then publish official versions of those algorithms. Similar organizations in other countries, from France to China, will make their own announcements. This is a pretty insightful longread if you are curious about cybersecurity in a post-quantum world. [Nature]
🤦♂️ How the feds caught Heather Morgan and Ilya Lichtenstein as they allegedly attempted, rather sloppily, to launder $4.5bn of Bitcoin stolen from a crypto exchange. [Bloomberg]
👻 Helium, a wireless network powered by cryptocurrency, hints at the practical promise of decentralized services. Possibly the first time I thought crypto and blockchain could be useful. Although there are still big open questions regarding Helium. [NYT]
😕 Researchers looked at nearly 3,000 native ads across five years at WSJ, WaPo & NYT. The results are not great, especially keeping in mind that several studies have shown how most readers do not distinguish between a news story and a native ad. In some cases the researchers found the outlet created a fancy / positive native piece that painted a different picture to reality. Also, in a few cases there were fewer stories about a company that ran native ads with the outlet. [NiemanLab]
👍 How can you judge the quality of a news outlet? A new study suggests that a news site that attracts a politically diverse audience is a pretty good sign that it’s not garbage. [NiemanLab]
😱 Google, Meta and Amazon will account for more than 50% of all ad money in 2022. In 2021, 74% of digital ad spend (which is 47% of all ad spend) went to the trio. So the expectation for 2022 is that they will cross the 50% mark. [Digiday]
📈 Disney+ ends 2021 with nearly 130 million subscribers, smashing growth forecasts. [Variety]
📖 International Press Institute has launched the Local Media Survival Guide 2022. It is featuring 21 case studies, which look at how journalists are innovating to build a new local media ecosystem. [IPI]
👊 Publishers are starting to ditch Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Subscription-focused publishers may prefer to ditch AMP as it offers a worse experience for paying readers who can find themselves being asked repeatedly to log in and missing out on personalisation. As of last summer, publishers are no longer required to use the AMP format for their stories in order to appear in Google’s Top Stories carousel that appears at the top of the results pages for news-related searches. [PressGazette]
FROM THE FIX
1️⃣ Big newsrooms have a problem with talent. What about the smaller ones? How to turn it around
2️⃣ Wordle and the crazy world of subscription marketing
3️⃣ The argument for listening to your audience
4️⃣ Reasons for optimism: Jared Diamond and other cautious optimists
5️⃣ How publishers are growing subscriptions with newsletters
[ 📬 Get The Fix newsletter delivered to your inbox every week with the latest insights, news, and analysis about the European media market. Sign up here > ]
🤬 The Spotify Joe Rogan controversy still lives on thanks to resurfaced videos with Rogan using the N-word. [NYT]
Good take: The Spotify-Joe Rogan debates are about social norms. Those norms, as they evolve, serve as the basis for policy change.
🤒 Google Stadia gets deprioritized within the company. [9to5Google]
🎮 The Nintendo Switch has now outsold the Wii. That brings the system’s lifetime total to 103.54 million units shipped, meaning it took just under five years to overtake the Wii’s 101.63 million. [The Verge]
😲 An ancient language has defied translation for 100 years. Can AI crack the code? Scholars have spent a century trying to decipher ancient Indus script. Machine learning may finally help make sense of it all. [Rest of World]
🙌 Paralysed man with severed spine walks thanks to implant. [BBC]
❓ Poll: How many video streaming services do you subscribe to? (at the moment)
🙌 Thanks. I used HandyPolls to create this poll (instructions).
Last poll results: What was a good thing about the pandemic for you? 26% answered the global switch to work from home and that they don’t ever want to go back to a daily commute to the office (plus another 15% WFH as well). For 20% there was nothing good and for 17% something else.
🙏 And big thanks to Celine Bijleveld who helped me edit this newsletter. You can follow her on Substack here.