The U.S. installed base of smart-speaker devices nearly doubled to 66 million units in December from a year earlier, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. The installed base was 53 million units in September 2018 and 36 million in December 2017.

Amazon Echo has 70 percent of the installed base, followed by Google Home at 24 percent and Apple HomePod at 6 percent.

The percentage of smart-speaker owners who have more than device grew to 35 percent in December from 18 percent a year earlier.

CIRP surveyed 500 U.S. owners of Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod devices from Jan. 1 -11, 2019.

Source: CIRP

Google and Facebook Worsen Media Bias

Google and Facebook have gained editorial influence over the press with content guidelines for participation in advertising services, writes Mark Esptein in the Wall Street Journal.

The Stark Political Divide Between Tech CEOs and Their Employees

Media outlets have failed to differentiate the people who own the industry from the people who work in it is causing the media to misread the rising wave of rank-and-file rebellion, write Moira Weigel and Ben Tarnoff in the New Republic.

Jeff Bezos Protests the Invasion of His Privacy, as Amazon Builds a Sprawling Surveillance State for Everyone Else

Amazon’s extensive relationship with the NSA, FBI, Pentagon and other surveillance agencies in the west is multi-faceted, highly lucrative and rapidly growing, writes Glenn Greenwald in the Intercept.

UK Cairncross Report

Online news sites need ‘code of conduct’, says UK media review

Technology groups should be forced by a new regulator to ensure their platforms distribute quality news, according to a U.K. government report. “As long as tech giants continue to completely dominate the market it’s difficult to see how a sustainable financial footing for journalism can be achieved,” Tom Watson, Labour’s shadow culture secretary, said.

Public funds should be used to rescue local journalism, says report

Dame Frances Cairncross’s report on ways to support high-quality journalism in Britain concluded there should be a public investigation into the dominance of Facebook and Google in the advertising marketplace.

The percentage of cellular subscribers who have unlimited data plans rose to 37 percent in 2018 from 25 percent in 2017, according to a Deloitte survey of mobile subscribers.

60 percent of respondents said 5G is now “important” to them, according to Deloitte.

80 percent of respondents who use their smartphones to watch video content weekly said 5G is important to them.

73 percent of U.S. consumers said they were concerned about sharing their personal data online and the potential for identify [sic] theft, according to Deloitte.

69 percent said they believe companies aren’t doing everything they can to protect consumers’ personal data.

73 percent said they would be more comfortable sharing their data if they had some visibility and control.

About two-thirds of respondents use a voice assistant on their smartphones—a 20 percent increase from a year earlier.

Smart speakers are the most prominent platform for digital assistants: 69 percent of respondents use them weekly and 47 percent daily.

Mike Bloomberg: Amazon Deal Is Great for NYC

Amazon Is Getting at Least $1.7 Billion to Come to Queens. Now Comes the Fight Over Whether It’s Worth It.

Former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, praised the deal.

“Amazon’s decision to locate to Long Island City is an affirmation not only of N.Y.C.’s growing tech talent,” Mr. Bloomberg wrote on Twitter, “but also of all the investments — in housing, schools, parks, transportation and culture” made in Long Island City.

Mike Bloomberg Statement on Long Island City Chosen as Amazon’s Second HQ Location
NOV. 13, 2018

Following the Great Recession, we set out to make New York City the technology capital of the world. Today’s decision by Amazon to bring thousands of new jobs to Queens is the latest big step toward that goal. We always believed that the Applied Science competition would help catalyze the city’s tech industry, and that the birth of Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island would help make Long Island City a magnet for start-ups and big companies alike. Amazon’s decision to locate there is an affirmation not only of the city’s growing tech talent, but also of all the investments – in housing, schools, parks, transportation, and culture – that have turned Long Island City into such a thriving neighborhood. Congratulations to Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio and everyone in our administration and beyond who helped make this progress possible.

Mike Bloomberg: Amazon Deal Isn’t Great for NYC….um, someone help me make up my elitist…er, populist mind?

Bloomberg vs. Bezos: Ex-NY mayor knocks subsidies for Amazon

Bloomberg on Tuesday took issue with the $3 billion in incentives the city and state are providing the e-commerce giant, while celebrating Amazon’s decision to open a new headquarters in Long Island City, Queens.

“You read in the paper Amazon opened one of their new two headquarters, or are in the process of doing it, very close to here. It’s just right across the river,” Bloomberg said during a 15-minute address on higher education inside his financial news service’s Manhattan headquarters. “But the reason they came here was not the tax breaks they got, which I didn’t think they needed.”

Washington Post: Warren listed race as ‘American Indian’ on Texas bar registration

Elizabeth Warren apologizes for calling herself Native American

Elizabeth Warren’s ‘American Indian’ claim cuts to character

Elizabeth Warren is a fraud — Her lies about being Native American disqualify her from presidency, Senate

A 1986 registration card for the State Bar of Texas for Elizabeth Warren with her Race indicated as “American Indian.” Courtesy of the State Bar of Texas


Twitter for the first time reported monetizable daily active usage (mDAU) in its quarterly earnings report to show how its audience is linked to growing revenue. The social network said mDAU grew 1.6% to 126 million in Q4 2018 from the prior quarter and 9% from a year earlier. Read more…

Additional Reading:

Twitter is among the companies that will have to contend with growing competition from Amazon, the biggest disruptor in the digital ad market. The e-commerce giant’s fledgling ad business reported a 95% surge in revenue to $3.4 billion in Q4, easily dwarfing Twitter’s $791 million. Amazon is a newcomer to the digital ad market, but is already getting some of the blame for lost revenue among ad agencies. Its power to help brands in direct-to-consumer marketing means they have less need for media agencies. “The combination of consumer packaged goods and North America for us points to the rise of Amazon more than anything else, offering a brand new channel for brands to connect directly to consumers,” Mirabaud analyst Neil Campling said in a note cited by Bloomberg.