There’s a whiff of AI and automation in this week’s digital stats roundup, as well as a bit of World Cup crowbarred in.

Of course, there’s more available in Econsultancy’s Internet Statistics Compendium.

WPP revenue down 3.4% for Jan-April

The figures (revenue at $6.43bn) were revealed ahead of the first AGM since the departure of chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell.

The state of digital news

The Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2018 has been released. The YouGov survey of 74,000 people in 37 countries has some really interesting findings. Here are my favourites…

The use of social media for news has started to fall in a number of key markets after years of continuous growth. Usage is down six percentage points in the United States, and is also down in the UK and France.

use of social for news

This decline in social for news is almost entirely down to decline in Facebook usage for news consumption.

social networks for news

The chart below shows the impact on Facebook referrals to news websites.

Facebook referrals to news

There is an ongoing rise in the use of messaging apps for news. WhatsApp is now used for news by around half of online users in Malaysia (54%) and Brazil (48%), for example.

Politics is still impacting news and digital news, with last year’s ‘Trump Bump’ for news subscription in the US has been maintained.

And finally, growth in ad-blocking software is on the increase again, thanks to privacy concerns. More than a quarter now block ads (27%) globally, from 42% in Greece to 13% in South Korea.

Paid social the most popular for of online advertising?

Marin’s State of Digital Advertising 2018 report has revealed that paid social is the most popular form of digital advertising. Nine out of 10 respondents said they are investing in paid social media in 2018.

What’s more, advertisers allocate more digital marketing budget to paid social (30%) than any other paid media channel, with search coming in second with 26% of the budget.

98% of UK marketers admit some of their work is repetitive

That’s according to Wrike’s Digital Work Report 2018. 25% of survey respondents say that between 61-80% of their work is ‘cognitively routine’.

Despite these stats, only 33% of marketers say they are considering automation, with 34% saying “they do not believe it would give their company a competitive edge.”

Interestingly, 27% said they felt work is done across too many systems, creating duplication of work and communications, for example.

So, what would marketers spend their extra time on, once automation takes away reptitive tasks? The respondents replied:

  • focus more on creative work (32%)
  • team management (26%)
  • developing strategic projects (21%)
  • listening to customers (20%)
  • and creating a better work culture in the office (19%)

One in four Brits (25%) believes a machine could do their job now

An interesting counterpart to that Wrike automation study, global intelligence platform Streetbees has surveyed 3,400 people worldwide on the impact of AI.

25% of Brits and 37% of Americans believe a machine could do their job right now. That figure is nearly 60% in India and Nigeria.

role by ai

Strangely, a lower proportion of Americans (32%) agreed it is likely a machine could make their role redundant over the next 20 years.

role replaced by robot?

Industries seen most at risk of job losses because of AI and machines are manufacturing (53%), finance (43%) and IT (28%).

Nearly four in 10 of respondents think AI should not be designed to do the jobs of humans (presumably they are unaware of its existing uses). Sadder still, one in three Brits worry robots will get too smart and take over the world.

morals of ai

World Cup shows power of TV for live events

94% of those UK football fans watching the World Cup will do so on a TV, according to a study of media habits by growth marketing comapny DCMN.

A little fuzzy on World Cup sponsorship?

The same DCMN study shows that almost as many UK fans (19%) associate Nike with the event as they do with official sponsor Adidas (20%), even though Nike is not an official event partner.

Zara owner Inditex sees profit up after digital investment

Inditex has reported gross profit margin up to 58.9% from 58.2% in Q1. Sales grew by 2%.

The biggest selling retailer in the world recently invested in Zara’s multichannel retail technology. Online sales for Inditex increased 41% in the quarter.

zara store