About Monty

Monty Munford has more than 15 years' experience in mobile, digital media, web and journalism. He is the founder of Mob76, a company that helps tech companies raise money and exit. He speaks regularly at global media events with a focus on Africa, writes a weekly column for The Telegraph, is a regular contributor to The Economist, Wired, Mashable and speaks regularly on the BBC World Service.

25% of young UK people happy to date a robot

Tech Me Out: a new survey says a quarter of young people would happily date a robot


The future looks as if it’s going to be weird. A new report to mark from ComRes research to the launch of FutureFest 2016 says that 26% of young people (aged 18-34) in the UK said that they would happily date a robot – provided their android partner looked just like a real-life human being.

There may be more digital shocks in store. One third (34%) of people in the UK say they would be microchipped at work if their privacy was 100% guaranteed, but more than half (62%) say that they would not swap an analogue meal for a digital pill.

Moreover, 50% of Brits who already use contactless bank cards say that they would be happy to have microchips implanted under their skin to open doors or log on at work, and a third (32%) of all British adults believe that in 50 years’ time the sale of fizzy drinks to under-16s will be as tightly controlled as tobacco is today.

Such research naturally has an agenda when promoting a conference that will discuss the future, but the Generation Gap is likely to become much wider as the proliferation of robots

“As humans, we are all born with our own in-built crystal ball about the future. It’s in our nature to have dreams and schemes about better and more exciting worlds to come. We’re exploring playful, emotional and working futures – using world-class speakers, new commissions and installations, and a range of opportunities for our super-smart audiences,” said Pat Kane, Curator of the Play theme at this year’s event.

Since its inaugural event in 2013, FutureFest has hosted Dame Vivienne Westwood in conversation with Edward Snowden, legendary funk musician George Clinton, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales, author Jon Ronson, social entrepreneur and model Lily Cole, amongs others.

I, meanwhile, have yet to receive my speaking invitation. Still, they can always use a robot, nobody would be able to tell.

Hootsuite launches social media video Integrations

Hootsuite integrates video via YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram


Social media platform Hootsuite has announced video integrations with YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Now organisations can manage their videos from a single platform, reducing complexity and increasing reach across social to improve customer engagement..

According to the company, ‘in the ever-changing digital landscape, video has shifted from a nice-to-have tool for marketers to an integral communication channel for businesses’. It cites that in 2015 Facebook more than doubled its video view sto eight billion, tweets containing video receive more than twice as many RTs as those without and the time users spend watching videos on Instagram has soared 40% in the past 6 months.

From the Hootsuite platform, users can approve, schedule, and publish videos across social networks. The video integrations also allow users and companies to monitor comments and collaborate to manage multiple accounts so that they can respond faster to customers’ enquires.

While investing in videos is a good first step, just posting videos is not enough to make an impact with audiences. To truly get the most out of video, businesses need to use social to increase its reach and credibility. According to a new online survey conducted by Hootsuite, 58% of respondents are more likely to watch a video if it has been shared by friends or family on a social network.

“Our new video integrations with YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram underscores how crucial video is to organisations as they evolve their digital transformation strategies. These integrations will better support our clients who are investing in video for broad appeal, promotion and education to really engage and grow their audience,” said Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite.

All of this is very interesting, but I prefer TweetDeck to Hootsuite, but if it wasn’t for either platform, then Twitter would not be the so-called force it is today. The future is clearly video; brands and companies need to start acting quickly or they will be left behind.

Emerging markets are worth $70 billion to digital brands

The 2016 Developing Markets Mobile Commerce report says that tech brands need to address these markets strategically.


A new report has revealed that engaging consumers in high growth markets could offer a $70 billion revenue opportunity to digital services providers. The findings, however, also show that tech brands need to address the intricacies of each market and adjust their strategy accordingly.

The 2016 Developing Markets Mobile Commerce report, commissioned by Upstream, a leading mobile commerce accelerator in high growth markets, reveals that if cost wasn’t an issue, Netflix is the brand that consumers across the markets questioned would like to access most via their mobile device.

More than a quarter (26%) named Netflix, ahead of Apple Music (25%), BBC News (20%), Amazon Prime (17%) and Spotify (13%) as the biggest mobile brand. The report reveals that the top factors which influence the decision of consumers in emerging markets to purchase a digital mobile service are pricing adjusted to local currency (88%) and low data charges (87%).

The data also reveal that 61% of consumers in the markets questioned feel unsatisfied with their current mobile connection, with 25% stating it is unreliable and 36% stating it is slow. As a result, over a third of consumers (40%) want brands to provide ‘lite’ versions of their digital services.

The findings highlight that localisation of content is key for consumers in emerging markets; with more than 75% wanting the digital services they consume to have a substantial local feel. In Brazil, video services are used by 62% of consumers, with 92% of respondents requiring at least a balanced mix between local and international content in their preferred streaming services.

* The study was carried out in January 2016 by YouGov on behalf of Upstream and was based on 5,215 consumers in Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Nigeria and South Africa. The survey sample was age and gender representative of each of the markets covered.

Video banking passes the tipping point

Survey says more than 90% of banks expect customer satisfaction to improve if they implement a high-quality video banking service.


A new report, co-sponsored by Efma, a not-for-profit association of 3,300 retail financial services companies and Vidyo has unearthed some intersting data. The research reveals huge support for video banking among financial organizations, with 80% of all banks planning to offer video-enabled banking services.

The research from Vidyo and Efma also found nearly 70% of banks prioritise video banking availability via mobile and desktop over in-branch or ATM availability. Moreover, more than 60% of banks find private banking, wealth management, mortgage and loan services to be best suited for this technology.

“The findings show that there is a strong appetite for video-powered banking worldwide, and we firmly believe in the power of the technology to maintain and improve the personal connection between the customer and the bank. We support widespread adoption by providing a scalable technology that addresses the needs of financial intuitions and end users alike,” said Vincent Bastid, CEO, Efma.

Around 25% of respondents currently have or are piloting a video banking service (not that they’ve offered it to me at any time). Additionally, 24% will begin planning for a similar banking service within the next 12 months, with 30% intending to begin planning sometime in the near future.

Although many current video banking services are offered within the branch, research indicates that the next phase of is expected to be in direct-to-consumer online and mobile banking channels. Most likely is that corporations or the wealthier of banks’ clients will be (or are already being) offered this technology.

All of this is to welcomed. Current banking technology, not least its antiquated and voice-activated telephony services should have gone out when Fred Flintstone worked out what a wheel was. Widespread adoption, however, is likely to take time.

Basically, if they offer it to me, they’ll offer it to you. I’ll let you know.

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