December is just one week old, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, so it’s that time again—rewind time.
For today’s #TalkingTech newsletter: the numbers and highlights edition.
Drum roll, please:
—How many products we ordered from Amazon this year as Prime members: Over 2 billion. And they arrived in a day or two.
—The No. 1 best-selling item on Amazon: the Fire TV Stick ($39.99) for streaming video. Which helps explain why TV ratings are going down.
—The most binge-watched shows on Amazon Prime: Jack Ryan, from the series of novels by Tom Clancy and Homecoming with Julia Roberts, based on the popular podcast. The cities that consumed the most Amazon Prime Video: Santa Clara, U.S.; Norderstedt, Germany; and Tokai, Japan.
—The most downloaded Apple iPhone app: YouTube. Sense a trend? We love to stream video.
—The No. 1 trending video of the year on YouTube: To Our Daughter, by Kylie Jenner of the Kardashian family, with 76 million views. This is when she announced her pregnancy to the world.
—Drake rules. The hip-hop musician was the most streamed artist of the year on Apple Music and Spotify, generating a record 1 billion streams in his first week for his Scorpion album on Apple, and 8 billion streams overall on Spotify. And I remember when all you needed to get a “Gold” record was sales of 500,000 albums, or 1 million for “Platinum.”
—Most talked about event on Facebook: International Women’s Day for the second year in a row, per the Social Network.
—The free smartphone apps of the year. Google picked Drops, to help learn languages for Android, and Apple selected the art app, Procreate Pocket.
—Other Apple favorites: the Froggpedia science game for iPad and Sweat workout app for Apple TV.
Speaking of TV and video, if you’re thinking of quitting your day job this year and looking to strike it big in the world of online video, maybe this will inspire you. The No. 1 earner on YouTube this year is…..7-year-old Ryan from Ryan Toys Reviews. For all those unboxing videos and playing with toys—and his own new line of toys at Walmart—he and his family will pull in a cool $22 million, according to Forbes.
In other tech news this week:
—Apple released its ECG feature for the Apple Watch. The FDA-cleared ECG app, is reserved for the newest, and at $399 to start, most expensive Apple Watch, the Series 4. These new features may identify signs of atrial fibrillation or AFib, a common cause of stroke. To take advantage, you’ll have to update your watch software to watchOS 5.1.2 and iOS 12.1.1 on your iPhone.
—5G phones are coming. Verizon and Samsung said they will be working together to release a 5G smartphone in the “first half of 2019,” that can be used on Verizon’s ultra-fast 5G network. The wireless giant is currently testing 5G in Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Sacramento, California as a cable alternative, and looks to launch a mobile 5G network next year.
—This week’s Facebook scandal: Internal Facebook emails published online by U.K. lawmakers, some involving CEO Mark Zuckerberg, paint a picture of a company aggressively hunting for ways to make money from the reams of personal information it was collecting from users. Wednesday’s release of some 250 pages of emails from 2012 to 2015—a period of dramatic growth for the newly publicly traded company—provides a rare glimpse into Facebook’s internal conversations, suggesting the social media giant gave preferential access to some third-party app developers such as Airbnb, Lyft and Netflix, while restricting access for others. It also considered charging app developers for access to data, despite pledges that it would never do so. In a statement, Zuckerberg denied Facebook ever sold or considered selling the data of its more than 2 billion users.
This week’s Talking Tech podcasts
—We took the five major cable alternative services for a test ride. YouTube TV got the highest grade. Tune in to find out why.
—The Top iOS app downloads of 2018.
—Cutting the cord in South Dakota. Listener feedback with SD resident who can’t get YouTube TV in “Flyover Country.”
—Parents: Your kids are playing Fortnite even more than you think.
—The Epic Rap Battles guys return.
And that’s this week’s #TalkingTech wrap. Do yourself a favor and subscribe to the Talking Tech newsletter – http://technewsletter.usatoday.com, listen to the daily Talking Tech podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you enjoy fine online audio, and follow me (@jeffersongraham) on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.