Meta & Alphabet- Less Dominance in Web Ads; YouTube Tests Song Lyrics on TV Screen; Retail Sales up 7.6% for Holidays; LG Unveils True Zoom Lens for Phones

Dating back to at least 2014, Meta and Alphabet have been the 800 pound gorillas of online advertising, but that grip has been gradually slipping. Now, reports that the two together have droped 2.5% and amount to 48.4% of the ad market…under half for the first time. Who’s getting into their drawers the most? Amazon, TikTok, Microsoft, and Apple. As recently as 4 years ago, TikTok and Amazon weren’t even on anyone’s radar as far as online ads. Amazon has zoomed from under a billion in 2015 to $38 billion this year. TikTok’s ad revenue is up 36%. The total digital ad market is estimated at about $300 billion dollars!

YouTube Music is trying out a new feature….casting lyrics to your TV screen. According to, the users in the test see album art and track details, as well as the lyrics on screen. It only works with Android 13’s new output switcher and compatible TVs so far. This feature is probably never going to be a Spotify killer, but if you are into karaoke at home, could be a cool feature. No word yet on when it might get wide distribution. 

Despite gloomy predictions of recession and the ongoing worries about inflation, US retail sales were up 7.6% over the holidays. says the year over year increase was tracked by Mastercard’s Spending Pulse Tracker for the period from November 1st to December 24th. Black Friday sales were up 12%, and online up 10.6%. As for online buying taking the lion’s share of spending, the story is still ‘not yet.’ E-commerce grew to 21.6% of total sales. Restaurant dining was up 15% year over year, too. 

Tim Cook recently visited Japan and appeared at Sony’s camera facility. Apple uses Sony cams in iPhones. We have reported for months that Apple may get a periscope type telephoto zoom in the next phones. Now, another Apple supplier is showing off a new periscope telephoto zoom. reports that LG Innotek has revealed a new true optical periscope zoom that has a 4-9 times telephoto range. LG’s zoom lens has actual moveable components, and can zoom in down to the micrometer. They also claim it uses less battery power than lenses that are a hybrid of optical and digital zooms. Whether from LG or Sony, it looks like iPhones could be getting a really cool zoom camera…and area where they have lagged behind Samsung.

I’m Clark Reid, and you’re ‘Technified’ for now. 


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