Top Viral Videos Chart

Online video pusher Unruly Media, which based on their web site wallpaper just might be responsible for making you watch Evian’s Rollerblading Babies, has a great tool for tracking viral videos.  They have a site that charts top videos based on viewer traffic and provides metrics for each, such as online mentions in different languages and where the videos were included in blogs and Tweets.  Their top 100 chart tracks videos of all kinds, whether branded, user-generated or music videos.  Essentially it’s a list of whatever s drawing eyes.  But they have category charts, for instance to show only the top brand or game  videos, and also the ability to beak down what s been drawing the most traffic by day, week, month or year.

While the[a]listdaily will continue to feature Ad Age’s weekly chart of top ten brand videos, this is a great one to bookmark and keep track of the latest, greatest.  If anything, use it to spot a goodie and be the first to send it to friends. FTW.

Check it out at Unruly Media s site.

Slicing Up iPhone Habits

Financial services firm Morgan Stanley has conducted a study of usage habits for iPhone versus other mobile phones.  As reported in Business Insider, the study shows significantly more overall device usage as well as greater use of data services and other non-voice activities among iPhone users.  Morgan Stanley found that iPhone users spend an average 60 minutes per day using their device compared to 40 minutes for traditional mobile phone users.  The study showed the reverse trend for voice usage, where average mobile owners used their device for voice calls 70 percent of the time compared to only 45 percent for iPhone owners.

The study also broke down usage for specific activities such as internet, email, texting and gaming.  It showed for average mobile phone users all but voice calls and texting were minimal activities, each used for less than five percent of the time spent on the device.  For iPhone, time not spent making calls was broken down as fourteen percent texting, twelve percent email, ten percent music, nine percent internet, eight percent games, and three percent other.

Read more and check out usage comparison pie charts at Business Insider.

‘Six Wonderful Things About Games’

Tis the season when everyone from industry pundits to flavor of the month media columns decide it s time to compile a videogame list.  Best games of the year, worst games of the year, games for kids, games for parents, games for parents to buy their kids, games for kids to buy their grandparents

In the midst of the madness, Jon Radoff of GamerDNA has put together quite a different list in his blog, Six Wonderful Things About Games.   It’s a soothing piece of writing for fans of the medium, and a wonderful break from the glut of otherwise commercial to controversial coverage games get this time of year.  Truth be told, Radoff had the[a]listdaily at number one: Games can make you smarter.

Read the other five in Jon Radoff’s blog {link no longer active}.

Micro-Pay MMO Finds A Home On PS3

Sony’s PS3 community has its first micro-transaction driven massively multiplayer game, reports Gamesindustry.biz.  UK game maker Outso is releasing Sodium One, a MMO action game with its own community at PS3 PlayStation Home.  It’s a futuristic vehicular combat game that’s initially free to play but eventually introduces paid content to continue playing, along with upgrade items for sale.  The game is taking advantage of PlayStation Home by setting up its own community where players can buy  their in-game items to upgrade their vehicles as well as interact with other players’ avatars.

The community, called Sodium Home, even has a “bar” where players can hang out, and no doubt brag about war stories between battles.  Sony says more than 10 million PS3 users have logged onto PlayStation Home since its launch, spending an average of 60 minutes per visit.

Read more at Gamesindustry.biz.

Why Zynga Chose Funding Over IPO

Writing for Business Insider, Nicholas Carlson looks at social game maker Zynga’s decision to forego public offering, opting instead to raise money in a private funding round.  The company raised $180 million from Russian company Digital Sky Technologies in return for preferred and common stock.  Nicholas analyses the company s decision, and looks at how the money will be used, after talking to Zynga CEO Mark Pincus and Digital Sky CEO Yuri Milner.

Read Nicholas Carlson’s article at Business Insider.

Shell Shock

Eidos has a trailer for Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days that shows more like a scene from a traumatized war veteran film than a promotion for a co-op shooting game.  What’s more, the action scenes don’t exactly come across as anything related to the original game’s organized crime setting, instead seeming eerily reminiscent of real-life images of urban warfare.  Maybe it’s that empty soccer field, or the grainy footage.  That confusion of premise aside, and despite foregoing any glimpses of the game, it packs a punch.

Watch it at GameTrailers {link no longer active}.

Pachter Takes His Podium At Industry Gamers

Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter has his latest Pachter’s Podium column addressing reader questions for Industry Gamers.  This go-around, Pachter touches on a couple hot topics in Nintendo’s comments on the marketing of Rockstar’s GTA Chinatown Wars on DS, and the future of Activision Tony Hawk franchise after the latest title s critical and commercial drubbing.  Readers also asked Pachter to lend comment on Activision’s plans for annual Call of Duty game releases, the market potential for Microsoft’s Halo Reach, and possible game announcements at next month s CES.

Read Michael Pachter’s column at Industry Gamers {link no longer active}.

Honda’s Layers Of Expertise

Honda is promoting its Civic model in the UK with a nifty new spot getting a big kickoff, launching as a cinema ad running before the upcoming big budget film Avatar before moving to TV.  BrandFreak calls the spot a marvel of engineering, and rightfully so.  The outlet is playing in the message in the ad that Honda products like the Civic benefit from its expertise in engineering all manner of things motorized, from ATVs to Asimo the high-tech robot.  The spot is, however, a true marvel of engineering from a video editing perspective.  It s a collage of discordant scenes juxtaposed and layered together on the screen at the same time, and edited skillfully both audio and video to become harmonious.  BrandFreak provides a few details of the work that went into it.

No word on whether the ad is getting localized for the U.S., but the message in the spot seems a decent response to Chevrolet’s recent ads prodding Honda for not just being a carmaker, but cranking out lawn mowers too.

Read more and watch it at BrandFreak.

What Makes Croal Crumble

As a game writer and a notable analyzer of the medium, N Gai Croal has the distinct ability to put an expert lens on the most granular gamer matters.  Here in a piece for Edge-Online, Croal breaks down how action games have evolved in the way they treat player vulnerability, moments of danger, and finally loss of life.  For Croal, it s been a slide towards less difficulty and a greater embrace for the careless (read: casual or button-mashing) gamer.  The result has been a change in his own learned behavior, with much less tolerance for that most essential formula of earlier games in the genre: trial and error.

Read N Gai Croal’s article at Edge-Online {link no longer active}.

A Futurist’s View On Marketing Trends

Writing for Ad Age, Jim Louderback looks at predictions for 2010 from futurist Mark Anderson.  Anderson has made a name for himself as a bona fide forecaster of global trends affecting business.  He claims an accuracy rate of 97 percent for his wizardry in years past.  Louderback looks at which of his predictions for next year marketers need note, from augmented reality working its way into business applications to more content breaking free into the digital space, for a price.

Read Jim Louderback s article at Ad Age {link no longer active}.