If a country can be a winner in digital, South Korea is it. The government’s infrastructure investment created a booming digital ecosystem. The Chinese are freaked out by the cultural influence of Korean soap operas on impressionable teenagers. The country’s cultural power even extends to the beauty industry, with giants like L’Oréal and Estée Lauder imitating the packaging and positioning of popular Korean beauty brands. (L2 noticed the trend in the Digital IQ Index: Korea Beauty study.)
Kansas City Royals fans are another winner. A disproportionate number of Royals players joined the MLB All-Stars game, whose players are determined by fan votes. Every fan can vote up to 35 times, so the Royals seem to have done a great job getting out the vote.
An unlikely loser? App developers. With a thousand apps submitted per day and more than 1.5 million available, the odds of success are tougher than they used to be. In 2014’s fourth quarter, U.S. consumers spent an average 37 hours per month with 27 apps. That amount of time has doubled in the past three years, but the absolute number of apps has stayed flat – more evidence of our winner-take-all economy.
Another loser? The myth of viral videos. Videos are pay-to-play now. What about those Chanel viral videos? In fact, 50% of views were paid. The winners here are advertisers – as well as Facebook and YouTube, which are competing for video ad dollars.