woman reading her tablet

The latest in surveys, m-commerce, websites, acquisitions, metrics, the Internet of Things and downs and ups from the El Dorado State, the City That Works, the Heartland Province and Bat City, the Melting Pot and the Ham.

PC, Tablet Shipments Fall

Computer manufacturers got bad news from the International Data Corporation (IDC) this week. In two related Worldwide Quarterly Trackers, IDC released bleak forecasts for both PCs and tablets.

The firm expects PC shipments – including desktops, mini notebooks and portable PCs with non-detachable keyboards – to decline by 8.7 percent by the end of this year. And it predicts tablet shipments will decline 8 percent.

The only bright spot is the 2-in-1-computer segment. Also referred to as detachables, these devices are starting to gain traction, Framingham, Mass.-based IDC reports.

The 2-in-1-form factor is not new, but OEMs are getting more serious about this market. Consequently, IDC predicts this segment to grow 86.5 percent year-over-year in 2015. IDC said the devices appeal to an audience seeking an alternative "to pure tablets with smaller screens."

"With more OEMs offering devices in this segment, prices have started to come down significantly. We estimate that over 40 different vendors shipped 2-in-1 products in the second quarter of 2015, which is up from just 14 vendors two years ago. With the launch of Windows 10, the introduction of more Android-based products, and the possibility that Apple will unveil a larger, screen-detachable iPad, this is the space to watch," said Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker

As far as PCs go, the decline should stabilize in 2017. According to Jay Chou, IDC senior research analyst, “A silver lining is that the industry has continued to refine the more mobile aspects of personal computers.”

Interactive graphics for PC forecasts can be found here and for tablets and 2-in-1s here.

gShift Upshifting

Barrie, Ontario-based gShift has acquired tech startup SiteCondor, which develops website auditing tools for digital agencies and content marketers. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Krista LaRiviere, cofounder and CEO, gShift, called the deal a "significant step forward" in the company's efforts to help digital marketers maximize their investments in owned and earned media.

SiteCondor screenshot

Social Media Budget STRATAgem

Get ready for some number crunching. Media buying and selling software provider STRATA just released the results of its recent survey on social media advertising and the budgets are going up.

According to the survey by the Chicago-based company:

  • 20 percent of agencies will spend 11 percent to 25 percent of ad budgets on social media, up by 24 percent from earlier this year
  • 93 percent will use Facebook for ads
  • 57 percent will use YouTube
  • 52 percent will use Twitter
  • 29 percent will use LinkedIn

Other findings include:

  • 22 percent are more interested in spot cable than they were a year ago (up 55 percent from last quarter), while 22 percent are less interested (down 13 percent from last quarter).
  • 20 percent are more interested in advertising on spot TV than they were last year
  • 66 percent are more interested in advertising on streaming/online video than they were last year (up 45 percent from a year ago)
  • 39 percent expect their growth in the second half of the year to better than the first
  • 52 percent say they expect their future growth to be the same as it was in the first half of the year

 “When you consider that around 60 percent of digital media time spent in the US is on smartphones and tablets, then it makes perfect sense to reach the audience in the apps that they're already accessing,” noted Joy Baer, President of STRATA.

A YikeSite for Sore Eyes?

Jeff Ward and Arni Mikelsons, the co-founders of Guelph, Ontario’s YikeSoftware want website professionals to know their new YikeSite website dashboard won’t make you jump through hoops to manage multiple sites.

The dashboard allows site managers to “create a new website in seconds using pre-defined templates, allowing clients to review results immediately.”

In addition:

  • Existing websites can be duplicated, content and all, with a single click
  • The dashboard allows streamlined website maintenance workflow
  • Dashboard users can update site-specific permissions, gather usage statistics and log in and out of all sites with one master login

YikeSite

PredictSpring and the Beanstalk

Refraining from the obvious (and no doubt overused) historical quatrain, Los Altos, Calif.-based PredictSpring, backed by seed fund Beanstalk Ventures, this week released a new Commerce Gateway and Mobile Platform that officials boast “will help brands capture the $700 billion m-commerce market."

According to company officials, it will “power today’s ‘Buy buttons’” by “providing a unified API through its Commerce Gateway.”

Nitin Mangtani, founder and CEO of PredictSpring, stated, “We have arrived at a time when every form of mobile content will be ‘shoppable’ – whether via a retailer’s own app, social media platforms or publisher apps.”

“PredictSpring’s mobile platform provides split second page loads and one-click checkout with Apple Pay,” boasted Ken Seiff, founder and managing partner of New York City-based Beanstalk Ventures.

By the way — Fe fi fo fum… (With apologies)

Is PlaceIQ’s PVR an MVP?

PlaceIQ, an audience and insights analytics platform, released Enterprise Place Visit Rate (PVR), a new offering designed to help companies "quantify real-world visitation across all media buys.” The rollout is the first time the company has allowed third party open access to the PVR metric.

Duncan McCall, co-founder and CEO of New York based PlaceIQ, claims the attribution metric will enable users to “use PVR in tandem with any targeting tactic they choose. It unlocks a completely new way to inform marketing decisions outside of media, using location as the lens into consumer behavior.”

According to company officials, Enterprise PVR is the first in a series of PlaceIQ’s enterprise products.

1B Internet of Things After Another

So many things, so much to hack.

If figures from Gartner are accurate, more than 25 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices will be in use by 2020. And Symantec claims it has what it takes to keep those things protected from the inevitable.

Symantec announced this week that it's already securing more than one billion IoT devices.

As part of the effort to protect these always-on Internet-connected things, company officials noted they will be investing in and offering comprehensive IoT security solutions to help prevent cars, medical devices, industrial control systems and consumer electronics "from becoming hacked, tracked and electronically hijacked.”

Title image by Anna Demianenko.