1. Programmatic ad viewability outperforms direct buys for the first time
Viewability rates for programmatic ads outperformed direct buys across desktop and the mobile web for the first time in the second half of 2018.
More than two-thirds (69.1%) of programmatic desktop display ads met minimum viewability standards, up from 63.4% in the first half. By comparison, 67.7% of publisher direct ads met the standards, up only 3.9 percentage points compared to the previous six months.
On mobile, viewable impressions on programmatic ads reached 62.4%, while for direct buys that figure was 60.4%.
An ad is deemed as viewable if 50% of the ad unit is in view for at least one second as per the Media Ratings Council standards.
Source: Integral Ad Science
2. New car sales drop in March as uncertainty undermines buyer confidence
New car sales fell by 3.4% year on year in March as political and economic uncertainty, and concerns about diesel emissions hit demand.
A total of 458,054 cars were registered in the month, down from 474,069 in 2018. So far this year, sales are down 2.4% compared to 2018, to 701,036.
March is a crucial month for the car industry because plate changes drive buyers to showrooms. Demand for new cars is seen as a bellwether for consumer confidence and the health of the wider economy.
Demand for private cars was down 2.8%, while business sales slumped 44.8%. Declines were seen across almost every vehicle segment except superminis, where there was a 4.3% increase in demand.
Diesel registrations fell 21.4%, while petrol demand grew 5.1%. Demand for ‘alternatively fuelled vehicles’ was up 7.5% to 25.302, the biggest March volume on record.
Source: Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders
3. Snapchat losing users after redesign
Snapchat’s user base in the UK is expected to decline for the first time in 2019 after an unpopular redesign and as more consumers favour Instagram and other competitors.
Snapchat’s user numbers are predicted to fall from 14.8 million in 2018 to 14.5 million in 2019, a decline of 2.3%. That decline is expected to continue through 2023, when it will drop to 14.1 million users.
Snapchat will lose users in every age group this year, with the biggest declines among users aged 12 to 17, down 2.8%, and those aged 25 to 34, down 2.7%
Rival Instagram is expected to pick up many of those leaving Snapchat. It user base will grow 8% in 2019, reaching 21 million, and continue growing through to 2023 when it is expected to have 23.3 million users.
4. UK suffering ‘crisis of confidence’ in the digital economy
The UK is suffering a crisis of confidence in the digital economy amid mounting concerns about issues such as privacy, jobs and quality of life.
Some 60% of UK consumers do not trust businesses will protect their privacy, compared to 55% globally. Eight out of 10 say they would stop doing business with organisations that misuse data, while 40% have taken steps to reduce the amount of data they share online, from installing ad blocking software (27%) to limiting the amount of time they spend online (21%) and deactivating a social media account (14%).
60% of people also feel the benefits of digital technology are only being felt by a select few and not everyone.
Just 24% believe emerging technology will create jobs within the next 10 years, compared to 36% globally. Similarly, only 34% believe that education provides the skills and knowledge required in the digital workplace in stark contrast to some other countries, such as Thailand where this figure is 76%.
There is also rising concern about the impact of digital on health and quality of life. 30% in the UK and 33% globally believe they have been negatively affected. However, the UK is less worried about the pace of change, at 44% compared to 56% globally.
The research is based on a survey of 46,000 consumers globally. It found that the UK has fallen from first to fifth in an annual ranking of how major countries are building a digital economy that works for everyone in society.
Source: Dentsu Aegis
5. Food inflation hits five-year high
Shop price inflation accelerated in March, rising to 0.9% compared to 0.7% in February and marking the highest inflation rate since March 2013.
Non-food prices were stable compared to a year ago, with increases in DIY, health and beauty, books and furniture offset by decreases in clothing and electrical.
Food inflation accelerated to 2.5%, the highest growth since November 2013. This was mostly caused by ambient food, where prices were up 3.4%. Fresh food saw inflation of 1.9%.
The price rises have been caused by an increase in global commodity prices and bad weather hitting UK crops such as onions, potatoes and cabbage. The data suggests consumers will have less disposable income as they are forced to shell out more on essential items such as food.
Source: British Retail Consortium