These are the most valuable brands in Sweden

IKEA today opens up its first India store in Hyderabad City. The Swedish furniture retail giant continues to be ranked the most valuable Swedish brand according to an annual survey by the brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance. In a new report listing the top 50 brands in Sweden, IKEA holds the number 1 position in terms of brand value, followed by H&M and Nordea.

“IKEA’s brand value dropped 5% over the last year to SEK197.1 billion, as the brand faces many of the same issues as other conventional retailers, especially increasing global competition from online-only sellers and digital home-improvement offerings.”

The top 10 list remains intact from 2017 but there are significant changes in value among the leading brands. For example, Nordea is the only brand among the top 6 that actually sees an increase in value, up 7% according to the metrics used in the report.

Top 10 most valuable Swedish brands:

  1. IKEA (-5%)
  2. H&M (-7%)
  3. Nordea (+7%)
  4. Ericsson (-15%)
  5. Telia Company (-12%)
  6. Volvo (-7%)
  7. Swedbank (+7%)
  8. Handelsbanken (+3%)
  9. SEB (+6%)
  10. Skanska (+7%)

Among the losers on the list is for example forestry and paper giant SCA which drops from number 18 to 38, with an estimated drop in brand value of 86%. The highest new entry on top 50 is hygiene and health company Essity which enters the list at number 20. The explanation for this dramatic shift (which the report fails to mention) is of course that SCA in 2017 split its business into two different brands: SCA and Essity.

The fastest growing brand is the e-casino B2B provider Evolution Gaming which increased its value by 82%.

See the entire list here.

Press photo: IKEA.

For travel tips about Sweden, check out my travel blog.

T-series is now the largest channel on Youtube

For years we have heard that Swedish gamer Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg has the largest channel on Youtube. He still has the highest number of subscribers by far, but there is reason to argue that he has been dethroned by a person you’ve probably never heard of – Gulshan Kumar. Kumar is the founder of an Indian music company called T-Series which also produces and distributes movies. T-Series is now India’s largest music label and movie studio (according to themselves).

T-Series has a Youtube channel that currently is the 4th most subscribed channel. With 27.4 million subscribers, it is still a long way from beating PewDiePie’s 57 million. But then again, a subscriber is what might be characterized as a vanity metric, which means that it’s a number that does not really add value to your business in itself. Sure, without subscribers it is much harder to reach an audience, so they are not at all meaningless, rather it’s a means to an end.

Even more interesting is looking at for example number of views of a channel, because that is actually a source of income for a youtuber. In other words, it is more important to get views than subscribers.

Most viewed channel on Youtube

The T-Series Youtube-channel is the most viewed on the entire network with a total of 25.6 billion video views. The second most viewed channel is WWE, World Wrestling Entertainment, with 17.9 billion views. PewDiePie is third with 16.3 billion views. That should by definition make the Indian company the largest Youtube channel.

If we look at the number of daily or monthly views to each channel, it is even more striking how much more popular T-Series is compared to the other channels. T-Series has about 46 million daily views compared to PewDiePie’s 6 million daily views (last two weeks):

Total views, last 30 days:

T-Series – 1.4 billion

WWE – 570 million

PewDiePie – 182 million

Estimated monthly earnings (estimates by Socialblade):

T-Series – 348K-5.6M USD

WWE –  142K-2.3M USD

PewDiePie – 46K-730K USD

T-Series get almost ten times as many video views per months as PewDiePie. And there are probably two main reasons to the success of T-Series on Youtube, apart from the quality of the content of course.

First of all, the channel publishes a large amount of videos and now has more than 11,000 videos. So they have a lot of content! Here is one example:

The second reason is that Indian audiences prefer to use Youtube for music and Facebook for news, according to a new study.

“Undoubtedly, Youtube is India’s default music player and the most popular source for accessing music content,” Subrat Kar, CEO at Vidooly Media Tech — a Video Intelligence platform, said in a statement.

With a userbase of over 400 million in India, Youtube is the biggest platform for video content, according to Indian Express. Further evidence of Youtube’s popularity in India is that there are at least two more Indian music channels with more than 11 billion channel views: SET India and Zee TV. That places them too near the top of the list.

It is quite possible that Youtube’s charts will be dominated by Indian music companies in a not too distant future.

Tweeting police in China and other social media news

Social media accounts of woman suing hospital to stay private
St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver and some of its doctors got sued by a patient who claims that she suffered a stroke due to malpractice during an operation. The stroke caused cognitive impairment of her thinking process and has negatively affected her social life, she claims. The defendant doctors applied to gain access to her Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as her laptop computer, iPhone and digital camera in order to probe her online and digital social life.

But in a ruling released on Tuesday, B.C. Supreme Court Master Grant Taylor dismissed the defendants’ application, saying the defendants should not be given “carte blanche to troll through the plaintiff’s correspondence.”

Delhi threatens crackdown on social media
Free speech is under pressure as India has threatened to take action against sites like Facebook, Google and Twitter, if they refuse to remove blasphemous and politically inflammatory material from their sites. Kapil Sibal, India’s telecommunications minister, has suggested that online content should be  pre-screened and that social media sites need to find mechanisms to monitor and block the release of “offensive material”.

The controversial suggestion sparked a frenzy of online comments, with the hashtag #IdiotKapilSibal becoming a trending topic in India on Tuesday. Read more here and here.


China’s tweeting cops blog to keep peace
Micro blogging is catching on fast in China. The local Twitter-like networks Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo now have some 250m and 300m registered users, respectively.

Sina Weibo has launched a government edition and, so far, close to 19,000 officials and government departments have started tweeting, according to a report published last month. With more than 5,000 accounts, the police have been the most enthusiastic adopters. The tweeting Beijing police found that even in China, broadcasting on micro blogs doesn’t work very well:

“In the beginning, we put our press releases out there in bits and pieces, but people found it was too official,” says Mr Yang. “We had to learn to come up with things closer to their lives.”

Twitter and social media in Mumbai

I followed the events in Mumbai yesterday with one eye on CNN and one eye on Twitter. It was both fascinating and horryfying to follow the stream of short reports from people on the ground in India, complemented by comments from fellow twitterers from around the world. I use a service called TweetDeck to follow Twitter and during most of the day yesterday the program flashed about 20-30 new tweets about Mumbai at a time (posted to the channel #mumbai), several times a minute, and it still does. Some estimated that there were 80 messages posted about the events every five seconds. The graph below shows the huge volume (I counted more than 5,000 tweets during the latter part of yesterday) of tweets about Mumbai during the last days.


Many eyewitness reports also came on for example blogs and photo sharing sites like Flickr. Blogs like Mumbai Help aggregated news reports and important phone numbers. And 27-year-old Vinukumar Rangnathan posted more than a hundred photos on Flickr which were viewed hundreds of thousands of times by people around the world. Some of them were even used by media outlets such as CNN.

“I have been getting mails from several news channels and websites who wanted to host my pictures. I agreed,” he said.

A search for photos tagged with “Mumbai” can be found here.

While there are many benefits of this kind of citizen reporting, one should also use them with caution. A lot of rumours are circulating and this morning I noticed two tweets following right after each other were the first said that there were probably no ties to Al-Qaida, the second said the ties to Al-Qaida had now been confirmed. At one point yesterday, many messages on Twitter suddenly reported that the Indian government had asked people to stop tweeting about military operations in the area. The source of these rumours seemed to be a message from Twitter user Mumbaiupdates.


Blogger Amy Gahran decided to try to track the source of this widely reported rumour and found out that the person behind the twitter account was not actually in Mumbai, but a high school junior based in Boston named Mark Bao. In an email to Garhan he explains the origins of his post.

“The rumour started on via another twitter post that retweeted from another person that was a trusted source IN mumbai. Later, it was confirmed on video that the police wanted live updates of the operations to be stopped, though they did not mention the hashtag #Mumbai, though they asked media outlets to stop reporting live.

The purpose of [the MumbaiUpdates] stream was to disseminate info from the CNN-IBN, NDTV and those twittering from Mumbai. With any news reporting and re-reporting it’s possible errors got in the way. I’m sorry if it caused any confusion.

If anything, even if NDTV and CNN-IBN were still reporting, it is best practice, and I think justified, to stop tweeting and disseminate more information on the operation that could be spread and could be useful to those that we don’t want to let know the info.”

So there is still no evidence that any Indian authorities have demanded that people should stop tweeting about specific stories in Mumbai. Read Amy Gahran’s full post, it is quite interesting.

More about the role of social media in the terrorist attacks in Mumbai can be found here:
India eNews
Ohsohightech (in Swedish)
Same Same but Different (in Swedish)

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