May 3 2017 Ryan Manchee Blog Retail & E-commerce Video Industry News DIAL: Digital Innovations Awesome List (May) At Centro, we know that keeping up with the trade pubs and latest trends can be tough and time consuming. To make that easier, we’ve compiled all the articles, reports, and other bits of awesomeness you may have missed, but should definitely read. Enjoy our latest list below! What in the World Is Causing the Retail Meltdown of 2017? While overall retail spend continues to grow steadily, hundreds of shops and malls are shuttering. But several trends — including the rise of e-commerce, the over-supply of malls, and the surprising effects of a restaurant renaissance — have conspired to change the face of American shopping. Amazon Will Stream NFL’s Thursday Night Games The NFL has reached an estimated $50 million agreement with Amazon for Amazon Prime customers to stream 10 “Thursday Night Football” games. Will this be a touchdown for both the NFL, who has faced declining ratings in recent years, and for Amazon, who continues to invest in content to grow and retain their user base? Instagram’s Growth Speeds Up as it Hits 700 Million Users Instagram has doubled its user base, to 700 million monthly actives in two years, fueled by Stories and an improved desktop web experience. While it’s now twice the size of Twitter and on pace to be double the size of Snapchat (375 million), it’s still shy of the billion user club that includes Facebook (1.8 billion) and WhatsApp (1.2 billion). Also, important to note that Instagram has over 1 million active advertisers, and has plans to add more data, targeting, and measurement. Desktop and Mobile Ad Revenue Surpasses TV for the First Time The IAB/PwC’s 2016 Internet Advertising Revenue Full-Year Report was released, and it recognizes some impressive growth numbers for the industry. Digital advertising pulled in $72.5 billion revenue in 2016, a 22% upswing from the previous year, surpassing TV’s $71.3 billion. Mobile took the lead over desktop – accounting for roughly 51%, or about $36.6 billion, of all digital ad revenue reported in 2016. Mark Zuckerberg Just Signed the Death Warrant for the Smartphone At this year’s F8 conference, Zuck doubled down on the company’s ambitious 10-year master plan, where Facebook plans to turn artificial intelligence, ubiquitous internet connectivity, and virtual and augmented reality into viable parts of its business over the next decade. Google Home Solves Major Flaw for Advertisers Google is looking to solve for a flaw that many advertisers have seen in the smart home advertising: The device’s inability to separate voice queries for the various people in a single household. Google is now offering the ability to identify up to six different Google accounts in a single household that will enable advertisers to attribute voice searches to specific users of the home. Creating a More Human Conversational UX With voice assistants liked Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google Assistant rapidly growing, brands need to learn how to craft conversations that feel natural and authentic. This article discusses three critical concepts in mastering the art of humanizing these conversations. Neuroscience Says Listening to This Song Reduces Anxiety by Up to 65 Percent In collaboration with sound therapists and a UK instrumental group, “Weightless” incorporates carefully arranged harmonies, rhythms, and bass lines to help slow a listener’s heart rate, reduce blood pressure, and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. And for everyone working in this industry, I’d highly recommend you follow the Spotify playlist of the Top 10 Most Relaxing Songs. May’s DIAL is also available as a PDF. Download here!