Scott Monty

Scott Monty


Apple had this little event, television is still on top, Twitter and Google join forces, Facebook gave journalists the power of celebrities, which social networks you're most likely to find college kids on, Instagram brings back the 30-second spot, Uber had its ups and downs between the Late Show with Stephen Colbert and legal developments, how mobility-as-a-service will change your lifestyle, the State of American Podcasting report, consumers don't trust retailers with their data, the future of virtual reality and storytelling, our weekly trivia question and more, it's The Week in Digital.

A roundup of relevant links affecting our industry.

Each Monday we publish a newsletter that includes a series of links about current events and trends in the worlds of technology, business, digital communications and marketing in order to keep leaders up to date on changes, newsworthy items and content that might be useful in your job. A new issue is available every Monday morning. Please subscribe to keep up to date on developments.

News items are in regular text; additional commentary has been added in italics.

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This week, we tried something new using Facebook Mentions: 10 minutes of commentary and previews of what to expect from today's newsletter. If you follow me on Facebook and tune in every Sunday night, you can get a preview as well.

A preview of some topics in The Week in Digital for September 14, 2015.
Posted by Scott Monty on Sunday, September 13, 2015


  • Perhaps you heard there was an Apple event last week. As usual, Apple dominated the tech news, particularly with its larger iPad Pro, the interactive Apple TV and its updated iPhones. Of particular interest was what is essentially a phone leasing (loyalty?) program that guarantees customers a new phone every year for a perennial $32 a month. Plenty more was announced as well. But it did seem to drag on as it entered its third hour.

  • One of the bright lights behind Apple's continued success is former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts, who holds the title of SVP of retail at Apple. There's a lengthy profile on her and her leadership style in Forbes that includes this killer quote about the importance of people in your strategy that more marketers need to grasp:

“The more technologically advanced our society becomes, the more we need to go back to the basic fundamentals of human communication.” 

  • Despite the longtime prediction that digital would kill television, it seems to have made it stronger. What are the driving forces behind the continued success of TV? Money is one. Between advertising revenue and owning the content that appears on its channels, television is still poised to do well in the future. And digital media was forced to adopt television's advertising model when it began. Not to mention that when you start with a dominant and ubiquitous medium, it has the advantage, even if it lags a bit in adopting new technology; most mainstream consumers aren't early adopters either.
  • We have a discount code available for Christopher Penn's ebook series on digital marketing: Marketing White BeltMarketing Red Belt, and Marketing Blue Belt. Just $9.99 each. Use discount code monty20 to get 20% off of any single title. Highly recommended (and one of our affiliate partners).


  • Google
    • Android Pay — Google's answer to Apple Pay — is rolling out. A number of major retailers are on board, including Rite Aid, Walgreen's, Toys 'R Us, GameStop, Whole Foods and more.
  • Twitter
    • Google and Twitter are joining forces to create their own version of Facebook's Instant Articles. The program will launch this fall, but unlike Facebook, will not host publishers' content directly on its site; the articles will be a cached snapshot of a webpage and readers will go directly to publishers' sites. This is a significant difference and one that may attract many more publishers — certainly smaller ones that can't afford or don't want to commit to the kind of arrangement that Facebook is offering.
    • But with all of the data available to Facebook and its global domination, Knowledge@Wharton still had to ask: will Twitter remain in Facebook's shadow?
    • If Twitter's CFO can't answer the question "Why Twitter?" the answer is yes.
    • Twitter is getting more serious about iOS as it is creating a responsive product for a more seamless experience between desktop, iPhone and iPad.

Collaborative Economy 

  • With fewer companies contributing to early stage research that can benefit an entire industry, they're waiting to see how practical the applications are and are creating their own heavy-hitting research teams themselves. Therefore it's more likely than ever that you'll see something like Uber luring away a staff of 40 researchers and engineers from a university. Of course, this was after Uber and Carnegie Mellon University announced a partnership for its Advanced Technologies Center.
  • The most funded segment of the collaborative economy is transportation. It shouldn't be a surprise with Uber, Lyft, Via, China's Didi Kuaidi and dozens of other entrants. Imagine then the ways that mobility as a service can change your life — everything from the decreased need to own a vehicle, to auto repair and car washes that come to you, to changes in the legal and insurance industries. The ripple effect will be felt in many industries.
    • We had the opportunity to attend Techstars Mobility Demo Day in Detroit last week. It's the 18th city to operate a Techstars accelerator, and 10 companies presented - many of them in the automotive space. Two in that caught our eye: SPLT, a commuter ridesharing solution for employers; and Classics & Exotics, a kind of Airbnb for owners and would-be drivers of collectible automobiles. 


  •  Westwood One has released its State of American podcasting report, a comprehensive look at the industry using studies such as Edison Research's Share of Ear report and a custom study by Ipsos. It indicates that it's a younger and more educated audience, with a proclivity toward mobile devices and an interest in spoken word:
    • It's a Millennial-driven medium: Podcast listeners' median age is 30, versus 45 for radio and 57 for broadcast television networks.
    • 61% of podcast listeners work part or full-time, and 55% have some college education or are college graduates.
    • Half of total time spent listening to podcasts occurs on mobile phones, followed by one-third on computers. In contrast, half of total audio consumption time occurs on AM/FM devices.
    • Personalities and talk shows are the leading content consumed by podcast listeners, taking up 66% of total podcast listening, followed by news podcasts with 22%
  • Is your company doing anything about podcasting? As a podcaster myself with nearly a decade of shows under my belt, I'd be glad to consult with you on putting together a strategy of your own. Please get in touch.


Trivia question: What three industries will be most immediately impacted by virtual reality, according to Wired?*

Metrics / Measurement / Data

Privacy / Security / Legal

When You Have the Time: Essential Watching / Listening / Reading 

  • If you get a chance to check out the cover story of Fast Company, it's all about what makes Uber run. Of interest are the big bets that Uber is making: UberPool, an arrangement that competes more with mass transit than taxis), China and India, and driverless cars. It's an in-depth piece that gets to Travis Kalanick's drive to succeed that has permeated the entire company.
  • We mentioned attention above. In terms of paying attention at work, there's been a recent trend toward the practice of mindfulness through meditation. However, recent studies have shown that mindfulness can wreak havoc with your memories, confusing the brain between real and false memories.
  • The Vanity Fair piece on Facebook's plans for Oculus Rift is worth slogging through. When the virtual reality headset goes on sale to the general public next year, it's going to change the way people use the Internet.

* Answer to the trivia question above:

According to Wired, the three industries that virtual reality will impact next are: real estate, mental health and design and engineering.

I consult with agencies and brands to help them improve their corporate and digital acumen. Please get in touch if you'd like to put my experience and digital smarts to work on a project, to advise your group, or to address an audience at your next corporate or industry event.

Top image credit: DoctorButtsMD (Flickr)


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