CBS’ New On-Demand Ad Program

In an attempt to boost revenue for those who don’t view live TV programs, CBS has announced that it will sell new commercials for NCIS, The Crazy Ones and other programs through on-demand services.

The commercials will appear three days after a show originally broadcasts, and CBS has already begun taking orders for the ads, according to Jo Ann Ross, CBS’s head of advertising sales.

NBC and Fox already used this method, dubbed “dynamic advertising,” which puts spots into on-demand programming. “Our clients have been asking for this,” said Ross. “Some clients want to take advantage of being able to update or change their messaging.”

CBS has been a quality source for on-demand programming, especially for younger and more affluent viewers. Among the most popular shows from the network are The Good Wife and highly rated comedy The Big Bang Theory.

Source: AdAge

Image source: Red Carpet Crash

Affordable Motion Device In Development

Gesture recognition devices are becoming more commonplace as of late, especially with game consoles, thanks to Microsoft’s Kinect technology. However, the University of Washington is hard at work on a more affordable alternative.

The company is hard at work on a new gesture recognition device that works with TV signals, enabling users to input commands simply by moving about. Better still, the technology appears to be dirt cheap, costing less than a dollar to make.

The technology, known as AllSee, is a tiny quarter-sized sensor that pairs up with pieces of technology to create a gesture-based user interface. Using hand gestures – waves, closing of hand, etc. – to communicate as a result. It tracks your movement through TV signals, converting it into a readable signal based on your motions.

Gaming applications are obvious, especially with the cost of the technology being so low. More information on the technology can be found in the video below.


This Week’s [a]list Jobs – March 5th


  • Game Loft, Game Monetization Manager –  New York, New York
  • GSN, Marketing Director – Santa Monica, Calif.
  • Kabam, Director of User Acquisition Marketing – San Francisco, Calif.
  • Google, Partner Manager, Retail Marketing – Mountain View, Calif.

[a]list daily is your source for the hottest job openings for senior management and marketing in games, entertainment and social media.


To see last week’s jobs, click here.

Throwing The Digital Gauntlet

The trend in the past few years has been growth in digital sales and a reduction in retail sales of games. Certainly, much of the digital sales growth can be attributed to downloadable content, subscriptions, and sales of virtual items. For the most part, that’s the sort of digital sales the console industry relied upon, since the Xbox 360, the Wii and the PlayStation 3 didn’t allow the digital download of full copies of games sold in retail stores, with minor exceptions.

That picture changed last year, as both Sony and Microsoft noted (without much fanfare) that full digital downloads of all games would be available on their next-gen consoles, and those copies would be available on the same day as the retail copy. GameStop seemed serenely unworried by this development, confident that this wouldn’t really affect their sales. After all, if you buy a digital copy of a game, you can’t resell it to GameStop for credit towards a new game, and you can’t lend the digital version of the game to a friend.

The future may have revealed itself with a move Microsoft made recently, one which didn’t get much notice in the press. Microsoft revealed a sale on the digital full version of Ryse: Son of Rome with this tweet from Microsoft Studio manager Mike Ybarra: “2/18 through 2/24 you can get Ryse: Son of Rome off digital marketplace for $39.99!” GameStop had been selling the used version of Ryse for $55, but following Microsoft’s sale the price was reduced to $38.

This may not seem like much until you remember that GameStop derives the majority of its profits from the sale of used games. Is this a sign that Microsoft will be cutting digital prices more in the future, and trying to drive more direct sales at GameStop’s expense Or is this just a response to Ryse not selling so well . . . but if that’s the case won’t Microsoft employ that any time a title slows down. Will Sony follow suit?

Certainly digital sales are increasing, but does this point to a faster shift towards digital that GameStop in particular should be worried about If Microsoft and Sony begin regularly discounting full digital versions of the games, and perhaps bring back some of the digital permissions that Microsoft briefly offered for the Xbox One (sharing your digital games to some extent), could this cause problems for GameStop On the consumer side, if digital games become more popular will the 500 GB hard drives in next-gen system start to seem too small. Is Microsoft throwing down the digital gauntlet and challenging GameStop to a duel over game prices. The [a]list daily consulted some digital experts to get their take on the situation.

David F. Cole of DFC Intelligence sees this as just a further move in the struggle over digital versus physical sales. “This is an ongoing battle,” Cole said. “Publishers will continue to look to drive direct digital sales but they also have to balance not upsetting retailers too much. I think this is just part of a trend that is underway and digital will grow at a steady pace.”

As far as Ryse: Son of Rome goes, Cole believes this is something particular to this game. “I don”™t think the Ryse issue is that big a deal,” Cole said. “Ryse was a title that had a lukewarm reception and as of February 22 it was three months on the market. That is a time when sales start to cool and prices start to drop.”

Overall, Cole sees retail continuing to shrink its share of sales. “Retail is not going away even as digital sales continue to grow. Nevertheless, DFC Intelligence is forecasting that sales of new products at retail will be lower this generation than they were the previous generation,” Cole said. “However, with the growth of online sales DFC Intelligence predicts overall console game software sales will reach record levels. Combined online and retail sales of game software are forecasted to reach $29 billion in 2017 compared with around $22 billion at the peak of the last generation.”

“GameStop has a leg up on other retailers because of their used game business,” Cole pointed out. “So the play for them is to build market share in the retail business.”

Joost van Dreunen of SuperData doesn’t think this represents a major battle between Microsoft and GameStop. “I don’t think Microsoft is trying renegotiate its relationship with GameStop in such an indirect manner,” said van Dreunen.”It’s likely a minor decision in their larger digital games experiment.”

“GameStop continues to play a vital role in marketing games to consumers,” van Dreunen said. “Their ability to generate pre-orders and create buzz for new titles will not be replaced by digital distribution any time soon. Ask yourself why else people insist on standing in line at midnight to get their hands on a copy at retail that’s also available via download. That said, publishers and platform holders do have more options available, which weakens GameStop’s position long-term. Chances are that GameStop will have to reduce its footprint, but since we’re currently in the first year of a new console cycle, that isn’t likely to happen until 2015.”

As for the capacity of next-gen consoles, van Dreunen thinks the problem is solvable. “For the dedicated gamer audience it’s no problem to expand their storage capacity. External drives are cheap today and easy to connect,” van Dreunen noted. “Sony’s announcement of its streaming services might bypass the issue of limited storage, but let’s wait and see how that plays out first. The hardware manufacturers will, ultimately, have to make the digital experience seamless and fast if they want to plug into a mainstream audience. Nintendo’s 3DS approach of using standard hardware like a 4Gb SD card fits well with this, and, I expect, will continue to drive digital download sales.”

Mini Pepsi, Mini Hollywood

Pepsi debuted an ad for Pepsi Mini during the Oscars that showed various movie sets and actors uttering famous lines in slightly different circumstances that their original utterances. It’s a fun and frenetic piece, and hey, there’s Cuba Gooding Jr.!


Electro Rises

For Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker will face off against a whole bevy of super-villains in order to prove his worth. This latest trailer proves how much of a bombastic deluge of explosions and effects that the movie will be.


Facebook Ads Make It Personal

Facebook’s first attempt to advertise itself by comparing itself to chairs was odd and didn’t send quite the message the social network wanted, so they’re taking a different tack. With this new series of ads, they’re showing the personal ways that Facebook affects our lives, humanizing the hugely popular service.



Zynga Introduces New Games To Mobile

Zynga is about to make some moves on the mobile front with various forthcoming games, based on some of its most popular franchises.

A new blog post from the company highlights a number of these releases, all of which are set to launch on mobile markets “soon.” These games include the follow-up to FarmVille, aptly named FarmVille 2: Country Escape, as well as a new edition of the popular Words With Friends, simply called New Words With Friends.

In addition, Zynga Poker will also debut on mobile devices soon, considering its popularity in previous releases with over 350 million players. Words With Friends isn’t too far behind, with 100 million players thus far. Both of the new versions will feature additional features, which allow users to interact better with on another.

“You have allowed us to become a part of your daily routine through our games like FarmVille, Zynga Poker and Words With Friends,” wrote COO Clive Downie in the blog post. “We know these games in particular have struck a chord with many of you. You’ve not only spent time playing and sharing in these games, but you have also shared incredibly valuable feedback, helping us evolve these games over time in order to make them better for players around the world.

“These new mobile games are for you, by you,” he continued. “We listened closely to all of your feedback over the years and leveraged your insights to create new experiences that honor the games you’ve come to love, yet deliver the fresh unique features and gameplay you’ve been asking for.”

FarmVille 2: Country Escape, the New Zynga Poker and New Words With Friends will launch in the coming weeks in select markets and will be available worldwide by the end of Q2 2014.

Source: Polygon

iPad Loses Market Share Lead

Smartphones aren’t the only advancing technology when it comes to Android support. Apparently, lower-end tablets that utilize it are on the rise – and putting the hurt to Apple in the process.

Research firm Gartner has reported that worldwide sales of tablets managed to rise 68 percent to 195.4 million units over the last year, a big increase from 2012’s 116.3 million. However, out of those, Apple tablets have seen a decline in market share, dropping from 52.8 percent to 36 percent in that time. By comparison, Android-based tablets have risen, going from 45.8 percent to 61.9 percent. The key point, it seems, is pricing of lower-end models.

“In 2013, tablets became a mainstream phenomenon, with a vast choice of Android-based tablets being within the budget of mainstream consumers while still offering adequate specifications,” said Garnet analyst Roberta Cozza. “As the Android tablet becomes highly commoditized, in 2014, it will be critical for vendors to focus on device experience.”

Regardless of dwindling numbers, Apple continues to be an effective seller, with 70.4 million units shipping last year. “Apple’s tablets remain strong in the higher end of the market and Apple’s approach will continue to force vendors to compete with full ecosystem offerings, even in the smaller-screen market as the iPad mini sees a greater share,” said Ms. Cozza.

Remember, these market share numbers represent the share of tablets sold in that period of time, not the total installed base of tablets.

Source: Wall Street Journal