Why Consumers Don’t Click Mobile Ads

Just because a mobile user sees an ad on their screen doesn’t necessarily mean a guaranteed click on said ad. In fact, most can easily be ignored in favor of more practical mobile uses.

A report by eMarketer indicates that not all mobile ads are successful. There is a strong circulation of them, with approximately 70 percent of mobile users in the United States that utilize smartphones and/or tablets see mobile ads during their browsing sessions. Out of those, however, 43 percent of smartphone owners polled said they clicked on an ad that was featured, compared to 37 percent of those that own tablets.

Another report by SSI, or Survey Sampling International, also had interesting numbers when it came to mobile ads. While a great deal of time is spent with applications, mobile device users were more likely going to click on ads within the mobile website, according to said report. A third of those polled had done so within the past few months, compared with the 26 percent who reported to have interacted with an in-app mobile ad. This covered devices across the board, including mobile phones and smartphones.

Most ads were ignored mainly due to lack of interest. Some 47 percent of smartphone owners and 43 percent of tablet users felt that the ads just didn’t offer anything interesting enough to click on, which could result in certain advertisers changing the way they present ads in mobile marketing. Relevance also played a vital part in why the ads weren’t getting clicked, with 38 and 34 percent, respectively, reporting said reason.

What’s even more startling is that some people couldn’t even see the ad. Out of those polled, 21 percent of smartphone users and 20 percent of tablet owners didn’t even look at the ad, simply getting to where they needed to go with their search instead.

Could this bring about a change in how certain advertisers do business with advertising on mobile devices? Only time will tell, but these numbers can be hard to ignore.

Source: eMarketer

Reddit App Available On Xbox One

Microsoft is always looking for new ways to innovate with its Xbox One console, especially when it comes to applications that play a tremendous part in the community. There’s no question that it’s managed to do so with the latest addition to its line-up, ReddX.

The app, which allows community users at Reddit to post through their console, is now live on the Xbox Live Marketplace, and is available free of charge. Larry “Major Nelson” Hyrb announced the debut of the app this morning, as well as what it’s capable of as far as posting messages and utilizing Xbox One services are concerned.


New Minecraft Mod Teaches Kids Coding

The education company ThoughtSTEM has created an educational add-on called LearnToMod that teaches children the basics of programming while creating tricks and tools that they can use within the Minecraft world.

While ThoughtSTEM isn’t the first company to use Minecraft for educational purposes, LearnToMod works differently than most. Instead of using Minecraft as a virtual classroom, ThoughtSTEM built its own interface that exists outside of the game. However, the coding skills kids learn through the web application actually helps them gain in-game advantages.

Using LearnToMod enables kids to quickly create things that would otherwise take a long time to build in the game, such as mountains or massive dungeons, or create custom types of blocks. Kids can also create special rules that enable them to do things like build their own games within Minecraft, such as capture the flag or Tetris.

Once youngsters draft their code in LearnToMod, the application connects to their Minecraft account to make the mods available in the game. By teaching kids to build their own Minecraft mods, ThoughSTEM is hoping to keep students motivated to learn some of the trickier parts of coding.

“Kids are already spending ridiculous amounts of hours on Minecraft,” said the co-founder of ThoughtSTEM Stephen Foster in an online piece with Wired.com. “So we thought this would be a good way to help them learn skills.”

ThoughtSTEM has also integrated a kid-friendly programming interface called Blockly (created by Google), which is based on MIT’s classic programming education system Scratch. Blockly allows students to create programs by dragging and dropping virtual blocks, instead of typing out a profusion of code. Foster hopes this will make the tutorials more feasible to younger programmers, while still offering more advanced options for older kids.


This Week’s [a]list Jobs – August 20

[a]listdaily is now your source for the hottest job openings for senior management and marketing in games, entertainment and social media. Check here every Wednesday for the latest openings.

Here are this week’s [a]list jobs:

For last week’s [a]list jobs, click here.

Tiltify CEO: Use eSports For Charity Fundraising

Tiltify CEO Michael Wasserman has been involved in charitable fundraising for the past decade. Four years ago at a Stiks Celebrity Video Game Challenge charity event in Hollywood that featured a THQ UFC Undisputed video game tournament with the likes of Zac Efron, Rampage Jackson, Cobi Jones, Snoop Dogg and Michael Strahan, Wasserman saw the power of video games raise $50,000 and draw over 800 guests. The growth of livestreaming the last few years has allowed Stiks Gaming to transition into Tiltify, a new platform that connects celebrities, athletes, eSports stars and YouTubers with gamers to raise money for charities.

Michael Wasserman

The first gaming campaign, “Race Against Cancer,” hopes to raise $50,000 for Teen Cancer America. As an incentive for gamers to donate money to the cause, they can win the chance to play Microsoft’s Forza 5 against Indy Car drivers Josef Newgarden and Justin Wilson on August 28 with the event livestreamed on Twitch.

[a]list daily: How powerful are video games when it comes to fundraising for a good cause?

Michael Wasserman: The event we did in 2011 was not meant to be nearly as big an event as it was. We had 800 people come by. But what was interesting is that a lot of the celebrities were the last to leave. As someone who has thrown a lot of galas and traditional charity events, that doesn’t normally happen. Celebrities appreciated doing something fun and unique and they play games in their own time anyway.

[a]list daily: When did you launch Tiltify.com?

Michael Wasserman: We did a soft launch on August 2 for our Beta version. We’re looking for feedback from the gaming community. It’s a new site, so we want help from the community on what features to continue to build out.

[a]list daily:What opportunities does Tiltify open up for the burgeoning eSports community?

Michael Wasserman: This has a huge opportunity for eSports. One of our focuses has been speaking to a lot of the eSports tournament organizers and asking them to get involved in the charitable side. You can create a campaign and fundraise, but Tiltify also creates a widget that can be put on your Twitch or YouTube page so you can campaign for whatever charity you love. If you’re having a big League of Legends or Pokemon World Championship, there’s an opportunity to add additional user interaction and put the charity button on the livestream page. Twitch has a lot of space below the stream to add simple buttons and we’re talking to them about increasing the functionality of those buttons for charity.

[a]list daily: What does the fact that many eSports stars already livestream practices regularly open up for charities?

Michael Wasserman: When you look at the number of people pro gamers reach, they could generate millions of extra dollars for charities. And it doesn’t impact what they’re doing. If anything, it could enhance their fan base because it brings new people to the stream as people watch because they want to support their charity. Over 80 million people in U.S. watch eSports. Having a button where you could touch the screen and donate — and potentially have cool rewards as a gamer like the Forza 5 digital game and DLC giveaways for the “Race for Cancer” — we have that game changer.

[a]list daily: What have leaders in eSports like Riot Games said about this new platform?

Michael Wasserman: We’ve spoken with Riot and have received great support from them since February when we first started talking about what our platform could do. They offered to connect us with tournament directors and they love to help out with charity. We’re talking to them about things like integration for the viewing parties you can organize through Riot site and potentially linking to our site through that. We’re talking to everyone from Riot to Blizzard to MLG to see if we can help everyone enhance their streaming experience.

[a]list daily:What opportunities do you see for Tiltify beyond the core eSports games?

Michael Wasserman: The Forza 5 campaign is a great example. We’d been speaking with Teen Cancer America for awhile. They saw the value of what we were doing. They had two Indy Car drivers who support their cause and we reached out to Xbox and they were very supportive. Once we had Josef and Justin wanting to battle each other Microsoft came in and gave us downloadable versions of the game and the Forza 5 car pass and also got Indy Car involved. That’s not your typical eSports community like League of Legends or DOTA 2. It’s a great opportunity for fans to interact with their favorite athletes or musicians or Youtube stars or gamers. Livestreaming has opened up the ability for fans to connect with their favorite celebrities in a way TV can’t do. Indy Car fans probably have no idea what League of Legends or Twitch is, but they can go and watch these cool experiences and help a good cause. Ultimately, it could bring more people into the eSports fold.

[a]list daily: How have charities come on board?

Michael Wasserman: We have over 10 as of this interview and I expect to have about 50 by the end of the month. It only takes 15 minutes to sign up. Charities have responded to this platform because in the past gamers had to contact a charity and figure out who to talk to, which could be difficult. Our platform makes it easy with a one-click contact. Also, before Tiltify charities were wondering how their branding and logo was being used. Now when they sign up on our platform, a charity like the Able Gamers Foundation know that the logo they’ve approved gets transported into their campaign.

[a]list daily: What opportunities does this platform open up for Hollywood celebrities

Michael Wasserman: Tiltify offers an opportunity for celebrities to get involved in a low time commitment threshold. Instead of flying to a golf tournament or going to a gala, they can play from home or anywhere they’re at and raise money any time they want. Seth Rogan has his Hilarity for Charity foundation and if he wanted to raise money he could do that and play games from home, which is better than asking him to commit to being at a gala and potentially having to do something more time-consuming. We’ve had great response, especially on the athlete side. There are a number of cool campaigns coming out within the next 30 to 60 days where we’re working with athletes and musicians and celebrities that are starting to put some campaigns together.

[a]list daily: EA Sports hosts the Madden Bowl every year during the Super Bowl. How easy would it be to add a charity element to a video game tournament like that

Michael Wasserman: You can take something like the Madden Bowl and athletes can take their favorite charities and we can build out a campaign in minutes. If EA is going to stream that event, they can turn it into an instant fundraiser and get the athletes more excited about the competition. Because they’re playing for their favorite charity, it means more to them.

PAX Prime Preview

The Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) gaming festival has become a fixture among gamers, with tickets selling out seemingly moments after they become available (this year tickets sold out in about an hour). PAX was created in 2004 by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, creators of the Penny Arcade webcomic, and has grown tremendously since then. PAX festivals now take place in Boston (PAX East), Melbourne (PAX Australia), and San Antonio (PAX South). The PAX Prime festival attracts over 70,000 gamers, along with scores of game publishers and developers eager to reach this motivated audience.

The festival itself covers a wide spectrum of games, from tabletop to console to PC to mobile, and celebrates gaming with speeches and panels from industry insiders, game-culture-inspired concerts, exhibitor booths, tournaments, and open gaming areas. The show is a deep dive into all things gaming for the moat dedicated gamers, and as such it’s a rich vein of concentrated marketing ore that many are eager to mine.

Golem Arcana

Companies relish PAX as a way to find the most motivated gamers who are likely to be key influencers, and so the show has become a place to debut new game demos, have customers playtest games, and announce new games and licenses. Marketers can also get a good read on what’s generating buzz for gamers — and what’s not.

This year’s PAX is shaping up to be another success, and the [a]list daily takes a look at what’s coming up at the show. The keynote speaker is Gearbox’s chief creative champion, Mikey Neumann. One of the most fun events every year is the Omegathon, where 20 randomly selected attendees compete in a three day marathon of games that span the spectrum of the gaming universe. After each round, some participants are eliminated. Each year, the final game is held secret until moments before the final two Omeganauts enter battle. This year, participants will be playing Johann Sebastian Joust and Mario Kart: Double Dash, among other games.

One of the interesting things about PAX is how it mixes classic tabletop games in with electronic games, and sometimes the games themselves are crossing over. Among the interesting crossover games being shown off at PAX you’ll find Golem Arcana, the latest game from developers Harebrained Schemes (who brought you the ShadowRun game). Golem Arcana is a Bluetooth-enabled tactical miniatures game that combines miniatures boardgaming with “digital enhancements” that work with your smartphone or tablet, along with a special stylus that connects the gameplay to your device by tapping the miniatures.

Another interesting crossover hitting PAX is Pathfinder Online from Goblinworks, a fantasy sandbox MMO based on the bestselling Pathfinder RPG. This promises to be a deeply engaging game, similar to EVE Online, where players build out the universe and much of the game emerges from their interaction.

Continuing the crossovers is Warhammer 40K: Eternal Crusade, a third-person massive combat RPG based on the hugely popular miniatures game by Games Workshop. “Players select one of the factions of the 41st millennium and fight other players for control of an open, persistent world. As they hack their way through content, players claim territory in massive battles and earn the right to customize and improve their characters in a deep progression system drawn from Warhammer 40,000 lore,” said developer Behaviour Interactive. A playable demo will be at PAX.

Hardware will certainly be among the things showcased at PAX Prime, and attendees will probably be seeing the latest Steam Machine prototypes being shown off. Valve may have delayed the arrival of this console competitor to work on the controller, but companies like Alienware will probably be showing off hardware anyway. Valve may use the opportunity to show the latest version of its Steam Controller, and perhaps get some feedback from attendees.

Oculus will be showing off the Oculus Rift at PAX, and it will be interesting to see the reactions from these hardcore gamers as they get to experience the latest in consumer VR techno0logy for themselves. Oculus will probably have some of the latest demos using the latest hardware, so the experience should be impressive.

Blizzard is planning a strong presence at PAX, with a brand-new demo for Heroes of the Storm at their booth where players can try three exciting new heroes. Gamers can also get hands-on with the live beta of World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, featuring updated models and the intro experience for the upcoming expansion. Of course, Hearthstone will also be getting plenty of attention, and Blizzard will be showing more about what’s in store for the popular card game.

Indie games, as you might expect, will also be featured at PAX Prime. The Indie Megabooth has dozens of indie games, plus 400 square feet dedicated to some of the most interesting tabletop games, like Cards Against Humanity. There will also be an educational space for indie games that can teach you something. This is an important way for indie game developers to connect with the most dedicated part of the audience, and hopefully gain some attention for their titles.

We’ll have more during and after PAX Prime, so be sure to head back to the [a]listdaily for the latest news on what’s happening at PAX.

‘Prank It FWD’ Campaign Comes Back In Time For The Holidays

by Jessica Klein

Break.com’s “Prank It FWD” will return with its inspiringly sneaky antics starting today, when viewers can begin nominating people deserving of kind acts during the holidays. The digital campaign garnered over 30 million views since it came out with a number of “positive” videos this past April Fools, encouraging people to use pranks to achieve something more than a laugh. “Prank It FWD” will build on this concept during the second season’s launch this coming holiday season.

“Prank It FWD” partners with DoSomething.org to draw attention to the problems of homelessness and poverty in the U.S. For every 1,000 views, Break.com will donate a dollar to the cause, along with an additional dollar for every social media mention and share.

Viewers can submit to the digital campaign at PrankitFWD.com, which will feature original video from Defy Media’s Break.com, SmoshScreen Junkies, and Greg Benson. Further talent contributing to the campaign has yet to be announced.

“’Prank it FWD’ gave the world a dose of positive pranks and was overwhelmingly embraced by viewers, confirming our notion that positive uplifting messages have incredible power to connect and impact the lives of others in a meaningful way,” Barry Blumberg, Defy Media’s EVP noted. “The outpouring of support and positivity we saw from our first iteration of ‘Prank it FWD’ was inspiring, and it was clear that we needed to move the effort forward and go bigger.”

Past “Prank It FWD” pranks came from high school seniors and vloggers like Manuela Baron alike. The first season’s most popular video, “Best Shift Ever,” showed Chelsea Roff, a California waitress, receiving tips that went from $1,000 to all the way up to a new car.


Canadian Clothing Retailer Gives Instagram Influencers Free Reign

In an effort to prove that, when it comes to fall fashion, it’s not all about the product, but rather the people who are wearing them, Canadian clothing retailer Aritzia has created a new fall collection is called #FallForUs.

#FallForUs is a big step for marketers and advertisers alike. Aritzia is giving star Instagrammers the creative reign to show off their own style with their products, proving yet again that marketers should take note to trust influencers with their own audience.

The collection is designed to inspire falling in love with a particular piece of clothing as opposed to what is going to fit or look best. The catch The campaign is utilizing Instagram as the platform for revealing these new styles. Each model participating in the collection gets to choose their own outfits based on what they like the most out of the new featured items. Some notable women taking part in #FallForUs include Samira Wiley from Orange is the New Black, Once Upon A Time regular Jamie Chung, DJ Alix Brown, comedian Chelsea Peretti and more, each showing off their own distinct style. Aritzia is also pushing to get the faces of women from all walks of life looking happy and carefree, promising wearers the same thing if they pick up these products.

“I think you can really see each woman’s individual personality come through. They let me go for this whole fuzzy Eskimo vibe that I was really feeling for some reason on an unbelievably humid day in New York,” said actress Greta Lee who, according to PSFK, told Style.com that the brand was more than willing to let her choose her own look, even if it was a tad bizarre.

Additionally, Aritzia is encouraging people to pick up these brand new items either in store or online and then post pictures of them wearing it on Instagram using the hashtag #FallForUs. Aritzia hopes this will usher in a collection that is more than just a catalogue of pretty pictures, but rather a growing lookbook of people who don’t just look good, but feel good, too.

Source: PSFK

EA CEO Andrew Wilson on Value

GamesIndustry International sat down with Electronic Arts CEO at the Gamescom show, and garnered some insights into how the company is aiming to provide greater value to customers. Asked about the early problems with Battlefield 4, Wilson noted: If I promised you that nothing would ever go wrong [on future projects], that would be very disingenuous of me. The reality is that we come to work every day and challenge ourselves and our teams to do creative and innovative things. What I can say, however, is that living up to that commitment to engagement and action I mentioned before means that we will make tough decisions in service of the player.”

Titanfall for Xbox 360 was coming in hot, it needed a few more weeks, and we moved it out of the fiscal year to get a great game. I don’t think we would have done that before. Need for Speed is a franchise we’ve released every year for 17 years – it’s as sure a thing as FIFA. But the team said that they couldn’t do what we challenged them to do in a year. It wasn’t possible, so for the first time in 17 years we decided not to launch a Need For Speed,” Wilson continued. “More recently, Battlefield: Hardline, moving out of the holiday quarter would traditionally be seen as catastrophic in this industry.”

GamesIndustry International asked: “Are you concerned that Access will alter your customer’s perception of value FIFA 14 is still a game that can be played all year whether the new one is out or not? That $60 has got to feel like a better decision than before, surely?”

Andrew Wilson responded: “It doesn’t matter whether you spend a $1, $10 or $100,000, as long as you’re getting value from what you’ve spent then you’ll feel good about that. EA Access feels like tremendous value, and whether you continue to feel good about paying whatever it is for a frontline product comes down to our ability to to deliver value.”

“The commitment that we’re making to those frontline products is that they will be bigger, more engaging, service oriented, with new and dynamic content every time you log in. People are now playing FIFA and Battlefield all year round. When I started a game would get played for four weeks, and then it was on to the next one. The value that we deliver today, we have games that can be the only thing you play for an entire year.”

See the entire interview at GamesIndustry International.

Source: GamesIndustry International

PlayStation Series ‘Powers’ Casts Stars

Sony’s foray into original video programing for the PlayStation Network took a big leap forward, as Powers will star Sharlto Copley as the lead. The 10 episode series is based on the popular Image Comics series by Brian Michael Bendis and artist Michael Avon Oeming.

Copley will play the role of Christian Walker, who once possessed superpowers but lost them in a battle with a supervillain. Now he’s a detective, using his knowledge of the superpowered community to help law enforcement. Michelle Forbes will play Retro Girl, the undisputed superstar of the Powers community. Others in the cast include Eddie Izzard, Noah Taylor, Susan Heyward, Olesya Rulin, Max Fowler and Adam Godley.

Sony is utilizing its knowledge and experience with Sony Pictures to create original programming for the PlayStation Network as a way to broaden the role of the PlayStation 4 from a game console into an entertainment hub. So far the console has been sold as a game-playing device, with its media capabilities barely mentioned. With ten million consoles sold so far, Sony should be feeling pretty confident of the console’s acceptance among gamers. The Powers series will allow Sony to explore how much interesting video programing might influence console sales.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has dialed back its efforts to create original video programing for the Xbox with the closure of Xbox Entertainment Studios. Still, company is continuing with some of its more high-profile development efforts, notably the Halo: Nightfall series produced by veteran director Ridley Scott. The series will be part of the Xbox content offerings as well as being included in the new Halo Channel, Microsoft’s just-announced way to help fans live a complete Halo lifestyle – or at least experience Halo content in every way, shape and form Microsoft can deliver it.

It remains to be seen if original video programs distributed through consoles can find a significant audience, or have an impact on console sales. Will one of these series have the same kind of effect for Sony or Microsoft that House of Cards had for Netflix

Source: Variety