Libra Facebook Cryptocurrency – Reuters Digital News Report 2019 + More! | Stories of Mobile Madness

Hi there, I’m Hans from Tappable. Welcome back to Stories of Mobile Madness. We have just returned from Athens, where we attended the Global
Editors Network Conference. We enjoyed three days of
presentations by media strategists and talked to many editors
and media innovators. So let me share already with
you a few of my main takeaways. But I also want to talk about the biggest news in
social media this week, and that is Facebook’s expected launch of its cryptocurrency. But before we start, you can really help us out
in producing these episodes. Just let us know what you think. Leave your comments below
and click like and subscribe. Every day, Facebook lifts
another tip of the veil that hangs over its GlobalCoin or Libra cryptocurrency launch. Yesterday, they confirmed that Visa and PayPal endorsed the project. More companies will follow. Rumors are mentioned that, MasterCard, Stripe,
and many more may join. Facebook expects that the
new currency will be overseen by a consortium of 100 companies, each paying $10 million to join. They will act as nodes that enable the financial transactions. Whatever its ultimate name, the Facebook cryptocurrency will be pegged to a basket of fiat currencies. And with its 2.5 billion subscribers, Facebook may just be the company that can truly make crypto a reality. So what’s it all about? In my view, it is essentially
about facilitating sales. Making it easier for Facebook users to transact with each
other across the globe without any obstructions. And anyone who has ever made payments in different currencies knows exactly what these obstructions are; exchange rates, huge transactions fees, delays of execution, and so on. Payments through Facebook
will be instantaneous, exchange-risk-free, and
probably, also, free of charge. Who will this new payment system benefit? In the first place,
Facebook itself, of course. Integrating payments into
their offer closes the loop. You can now do pretty much anything now within their platform; search, compare, communicate,
shop, and also pay. In countries like Kenya, where
more than 30% of e-commerce is done via Facebook groups,
this will be very important. Facebook will give the informal economy in developing countries a huge boost and I bet that the management
committees of mobile wallets, such as M-Pesa, will have
had emergency meetings all week last week. Every year, Reuters Institute publishes its Digital News Report. This year, the results come
from over 75,000 respondents from 38 different countries. So, what are the key insights
from this year’s report? First of all, monetizing
news remains an issue. Northern European readers
are twice as likely to pay for news as
their U.S. counterparts. People are now used to paying
for most services online. They do so on an ongoing basis. And for news sites, this can actually create
recurring revenues. At the same time, respondents say that they’re only willing to pay for one single
news source at a time. Reuters call this the
subscription fatigue. Publishers are also competing
with large tech companies, like Netflix or Spotify, for instance. They essentially provide
entertainment services. And they can keep their subscription rates very low because they can make
revenue from other sources. 2/3 of people around the world
are now using smartphones at least once every week
to access their news. Smartphones are gradually becoming the preferred gateway to
first contact with news. And if publishers want
to keep their audiences engaged on smaller screens, they will have to adapt the format of their content to suit
those smartphone users. And that is music to our ears because Tappable Stories
are the ideal format to create immersive
content on smartphones. And that’s exactly what
we have been telling all the editors that we
have met at the conference. And we got some very
good feedback from them. We’re making great progress
with the development and we are starting to put
together our very first pilots, so don’t forget to sign up for
early access on or simply reach out to me. One of the sessions that
particularly caught my attention is Steffen Damborg and
Cosmin Ene talking about the business models in media. Steffen is a Danish media consultant and Cosmin is CEO of LaterPay. In their own words, they
both repeated a comment that Rasmus Kleis Nielsen of Reuters made just a couple of hours earlier. He said that a lot of the
news is not worth paying for because there are sufficient
free alternatives. According to Steffen Damborg, publishers don’t pay enough attention to what users really want
and when they want it, even though they have the data, as well as the tools to
analyze customer behavior. His research shows that
only 25% of editors are evaluating user
behavior on a daily basis. And for journalists, that
percentage drops to less than 15%. In my book, this leaves plenty of room
for improvement in this area. Cosmin talked about the risks of the hard subscription models. People expect an enormous amount of value for their money they pay to publishers. And how do news publishers compete with entertainment providers, such as the Disney Channel, for instance? At $6.99 per month, their offer is definitely cheaper and more entertaining
than most publishers. Sticking to the subscription
model may not be the solution. In the subscription fatigue scenario, this will obviously lead
to a winner-takes-it-all. And by definition, this leaves an awful lot of losers behind. Not surprisingly, Cosmin
makes a very strong case for the contribution model backed up by in-depth data analysis and innovative customer
acquisition strategies. Want more of these
Stories of Mobile Madness? Like and follow us. Thanks for watching and see you next week.

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