PC Market Grows Due To Apple, Chromebooks

The explosive sales growth of tablets, “phablets” and smartphone has raised concerns about the future of PC sales, especially with PC sales showing declines for the past two years, according to the Gartner Group. The declines flattened out in the second quarter of this year, according to Gartner, and many were wondering which way sales would go from there. New sales numbers indicate that the PC market has started to grow again, but in interesting new directions.

A study by the NPD Group Weekly Tracking Service indicates that, from the period of July 4 through the beginning of September (roughly half the summer), sales of PC’s in the consumer retail channel have managed to increase by three percent over the previous year. This is across many retail channels, including Apple stores, online retailers and other outlets, big and small alike.

Out of those numbers, NPD’s Stephen Baker said that Apple was “one of the star performers,” with sales increasing to 16 percent over the same period in 2013.

Meanwhile, Baker also pointed out the strength of Chromebook sales, with device utilizing Chrome OS accounting for more than five percent of notebook sales overall, and nearly one in five units sold under the $300 price category.

Meanwhile, Windows PC actually show a bit of decline. Two years ago, it dominated the market with no problem, earning a share of more than 75 percent overall. Nowadays, it’s down quite a bit to 68.4 percent of the market, making more room for Apple and company. Meanwhile, Windows-based notebooks showed more of an increase, with 37 percent year over year.

Two-in-one devices are also thriving, accounting for 13 percent of all Windows compatible devices sold in the period, six times the previous year’s numbers. The same couldn’t be said for the older Windows-based clamshell notebooks, which were the clear loser thanks to aggressive pricing and solid competition from other computer manufacturers, according to Baker.

So classic PC sales are still declining, but the rise in Apple computers and Chromebook sales have more than offest this. It’s still not great news for traditional PC game publishers, but it points towards the utility of making games available through browsers whenever possible, or porting to Mac OS X. Many hold out hope that the PC situation might change with the arrival of Windows 9, which may boost the desire to upgrade an old PC. What do you think

Source: ZDNet

NCompass Explains How ESports Arenas Will Change The Game

Marketing and production company NCompass has worked behind the scenes on some big eSports events over the years with major publishers and brands. The NCompass-produced Call of Duty XP in 2011 was a groundbreaking initiative for eSports which, in turn, inspired the celebrated Call of Duty World Championship in 2013 and 2014. Last year, the Best Buy Ultimate Gamers Showdown culminated at the Dallas Cowboys’ Stadium making Madden 25 larger than life on the biggest screen in the country. Additionally, NCompass has executed a global tournament for Kinect Sports Rivals with a live culmination at San Diego Comic Con.

Now NCompass has partnered with Major League Gaming (MLG) to further integrate brands and sponsors into global events. As part of the new deal, NCompass is working with MLG to design new eSports arenas in China and Columbus, Ohio in an effort to increase the production value for fans and open up new opportunities for mainstream brands. This partnership will introduce new opportunities for brands to tap into the massive worldwide gaming audience through events and sponsorships, on-site activations, broadcast integrations and 360° marketing campaigns for the retail, QSR, beverage, CPG and automotive industries. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Vice President, Lifestyle Marketing and Branded Entertainment, NCompass International, explains what’s in store in this exclusive interview.

How have you seen eSports grow over the years

The growth has been exponential since NCompass got involved about seven years ago. It’s grown in such a way that we’re seeing massive amounts of content that these programs are creating. We’ve gone from live audiences of 500 people to 10,000 people to online viewerships in the millions online.

What role has livestreaming played in this success?

Livestreaming has been the ultimate reason we’ve seen such success. We did Call of Duty XP in 2011 and the Call of Duty Championship the last two years as well. The broadcast component does change these things. We’re trying to push for an experience that’s like a show. In the past you’d do an eSports event and put a camera in front of it. We’re trying to create an eSports event for broadcast and work with Hollywood professionals on production design so it feels like a big entertainment event.

What role will stadiums play in eSports moving forward?

Stadiums play a big role because those are the only real places where we can do these massive on-site spectator events. We have the more controlled studio environment with set pieces for smaller events without the complications of 8,000 to 15,000 people. One of the key elements of our MLG partnership is opportunity to work with them on developing and designing the MLG Arena in China. We’ll be able to give some direction on what an eSports arena needs to have and see it built from the ground up.

How will the Chinese arena compare to these eSports Arenas we’re starting to see in the U.S., including the MLG one being built in Columbus, Ohio?

An eSports arena like the MLG Arena in Ohio and the Irvine Arena are really broadcast studios where we can highlight gameplay and competition. In China, we’re talking about something on the scale of a Staples Center designed exclusively for eSports. It will be the coolest LAN Center 80 percent of the time and then turn into a place where it can be a production studio for events. It’s pretty massive. It’ll be in this heavy entertainment destination with a lot of foot traffic, but the initial numbers will be massive.

How big is massive compared to eSports events we’re seeing now in soccer stadiums?

It’d be massive compared to soccer stadium, which are typically one to three day events. With this arena we’re talking about an actual multiyear agreement where we’re doing programming 365 days a year. About 20 percent of the time will be these massive events for 10,000 to 20,000 people. We have the support of the Chinese government. Working together to make sure the programming is consistent throughout the year.

How do you see the U.S. catching up to what’s happening in China and Asia?

The eSports world has been driven by what’s been happened in Asia over the last 10 to 15 years. Our goals and hopes with MLG Arena in China and in the States and throughout Europe and South America is that it becomes more of a unified global phenomenon.

Where do you see eSports five years from now?

Five years from now, eSports will continue along this trajectory. Over the next two to three years we’ll see a pretty massive spike. Look at MLG this winter and the exposure with Summer X-Games on ESPN with a more mainstream audience. When you look at some of the numbers in the U.S., eSports has become a more socially acceptable thing. It’s not as much as a surprise when you say you’re going to an event with 10,000 to 20,000 other gamers.

How do you see new games entering eSports?

In the past, the room for new games has been dictated by leagues like MLG and ESL and what they do. We bring the creative, content and production resources to MLG to expand the Pro Circuit and start incorporating other titles into their league and ranking system.

How do you see established stadiums impact sponsors and advertisers?

Sponsors will be huge for the right brands to get on board eSports at the right time. Some brands are already dabbling with it, while others are going deeper. There are opportunities for non-gaming endemic brands to align themselves with what is national pastime. What helps big brands is when people in power positions with brands have kids and they see how they consume eSports online — usually through gaming consoles and gaming content. That’s what makes conversations easier. Plenty of people are savvy enough to see the huge growth opportunity with gaming.

How does the concept of eSports spectacles at stadiums help with mainstream growth?

The spectacle impacts what people see on site in the audience as well as view online. We’re drawing on our experience of event production and experiential marketing. We’re bringing in top rock and roll and Hollywood set designers, pulling people in from other worlds and bringing new technology from both Hollywood and the music touring industries to raise the bar for esports productions.

How does having a dedicated arena help stage eSports spectacles?

With arenas like China, a lot of that is tied to budget and going back to a space repeatedly and having the time and budget to make the production much bigger and better. When we start establishing more arenas, the level of production is going to skyrocket.

What opportunities do eSports arenas open up for sponsors?

With connected stadiums, that’s where a forward-thinking brand partner is going to come in — like a telecom partner to power the arena. ESports is different than traditional sports because the action is on the screen and not really tied to the 11 competitors playing. I think we’ll see new ways to connect fans to the players through these connected arenas.

BuzzFeed To Keynote At The 10th [a]list Summit On Dec 3rd

BuzzFeed with its 150 million monthly unique visitors and its millions of dollars in revenues from mostly mobile traffic has captured the attention of investors, advertisers and the entire media industry lately.

We are now really excited to announce that we have Terry City, Buzzfeed’s VP, West Coast keynoting out next [a]list summit focused on Mobile Marketing at the W Hollywood Hotel on December 3!

In case you missed the memo, Buzzfeed is doing some pretty innovative things right here in the heart of Hollywood.

Coming off their recent $50 million investment from premier Silicon Valley VC Fund Andreessen Horowitz, Terry will tell us specifically about the company’s plans for it’s Los Angeles and Bay Area operations as it relates to moving the needle for its marketing and advertising partners.

The company has made a series of interesting key hires here in Los Angeles including online video visionary Ze Frank and Pulp Fiction Producer Michael Shamberg.

“I don’t think there’s ever been a Hollywood R&D model like we have here,” said Shamberg in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, who has been spending about two days a week at BuzzFeed’s 100-plus-person Hollywood campus.

What Shamberg is referring to is Buzzfeed’s obsession with data and thus is takes the internet and computer science seriously when looking at what content users are clicking on and sharing online on mobile devices mostly, information advertisers certainly can relate to.

However, what BuzzFeed is truly doing differently than many online media companies is working with editorial as well as sponsored content side-by-side as lines are blurring the line between news and advertising.

The company’s focus on mobile-friendly “native advertising” created in-house is something that now also traditional media companies like The New York Times and Washington Post are getting into.

“What we’re all about, the special sauce, is the intersection of technology and editorial,” said Greg Coleman, BuzzFeed president in a presentation at Advertising Week in New York yesterday. “How can we create content, and in our case in advertising, that people want to share As a point of differentiation, that’s where we are.”

Silicon Valley VC Fund Andreessen Horowitz has proclaimed that they believe Buzzfeed will emerge as a preeminent media company in a mobile age. Those kind of statements from some of the world’s smartest investors makes one pretty curious to find out more what Buzzfeed has in store, don’t they


3 Ways for Brands To Turn Viewers Into Subscribers On YouTube

By Jessica Klein

YouTube statistics show that subscribers watch a channel’s content for double the time that non-subscribers do, according to the YouTube Playbook for Brands.

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 12.23.25 PM

Knowing this, brands hoping for increased viewer engagement should seek to convert these viewers into subscribers. Here are a few simple ways to determine who your brand’s most likely subscribers are and how to get them to click that famous button.

1. Make a List

Figure out who’s been watching your brand’s videos and who’s already subscribed. Subtract the latter from the former, and that’s who you should be remarketing to. You can create a custom list on your brand’s channel so your ads target viewers who have yet to take the plunge and subscribe.

2. Whip Up a Channel Trailer

Channel trailers create a perfect opportunity to showcase all of your brand’s best video work in one place. Viewers tuning into the channel will see all the most engaging moments in rapid succession, followed by a call to action encouraging them to subscribe and see more. If you’re going to ask viewers to subscribe, this method helps you provide some compelling reasons for them to do so.

3. Turn Your Trailer into an Ad

You went through the trouble of making a channel trailer, so why confine it to only your channel Using TrueView, you can easily spread the wealth, converting your brand’s channel trailer into an in-stream advertisement that can be seen by all! (Well, not exactly “all,” but you catch my drift.) To call viewers to subscribe through the ad, the Playbook suggests using this destination: www.youtube.com/subscription_center add_user=[your channel name].

This article was originally posted on VideoInk and is reposted on [a]listdaily via a partnership with the news publication, which is the online video industry’s go-to source for breaking news, features, and industry analysis. Follow VideoInk on Twitter @VideoInkNews, or subscribe via thevideoink.com for the latest news and stories, delivered right to your inbox.

Nintendo’s Limited Edition Promotion Backfires

Sometimes offering a limited edition of a product can come back and bite a retailer in the rear end, especially when so many fans are in demand of it in the first place.

That’s the case with Nintendo of America, which held a Hyrule Warriors launch event at its Nintendo World Store last week in New York City. During the event, the company offered a special edition of the hack-and-slash game with a special scarf and other goodies. However, the item was extremely limited, with only 300 to 500 copies available.

That wasn’t enough of satisfy the throng of over 600 fans that gathered at the store, with the line starting as early as 3:30 AM that morning and getting a wristband entitling them to a copy of the game.

While many fans missed out on snagging a limited edition version of Hyrule Warriors, several profiteers managed to grab one, and wasted no time in putting them up on eBay for sale. So far, the bidding is paying off, with the $100 item receiving more than $200 in bids. Others, however, are a little too high in demand for getting their money’s worth, pricing said items at around $500 to $1000.

Some fans expressed their disappointment over the extremely limited launch. “Fun. Didn’t get a Hyrule Warriors limited edition…Got here early for nothing,” said one disappointed tweeter. “I thought I wouldn’t have to camp out to get Hyrule Warriors limited edition. Boy was I wrong,” said another. “I am baffled at how Nintendo apparently thinks the proper amount of units for a limited edition of a Zelda game is 300 for the nation,” said Wired gaming editor Chris Kohler in a tweet.

And Kohler is exactly right. At a time when Nintendo is trying to win back the favor of the gaming world with its staggering Wii U, such a promotional event turned into a major backfire, with not nearly enough copies of the limited edition available. After all, Europe and Japan has plenty of copies of the game to offer, even though some go for a rather high price on eBay.

Nintendo hasn’t responded on the matter, but, with future releases like Super Smash Bros., here’s hoping it offers a little more generosity for its audience. Especially if it hopes to keep up with the likes of Sony and Microsoft, whose systems are far outselling the Wii U in the U.S. market.

Source: Ars Technica

AMD Looking To Expand India Gaming

Over 100 million PC’s have been sold in India, making it one of the more thriving computer markets out there. However, despite most of those units running with integrated graphics, only a small chunk of those PC’s are being used in terms of gaming. Chandrahas Panigrahi, director of AMD’s Channel and OEM, recently spoke at the company’s Future of Gaming conference in Goa, addressing how the company can change that around.

First off, Panigrahi touched on awareness, believing that a lot of gamers simply aren’t aware of the kind of power PC’s possess when it comes to gaming, particularly with the GPU and the performance it can deliver. Most users prefer to run a system as is without having to upgrade to a new card, creating a suboptimal experience in the process. Panigrahi says that AMD will soon launch a program that will effectively communicate to consumers the benefits of having a suitable video card, as well as the performance that comes with it.

Next up, user mentality came into play, with Panigrahi believing that mobile gamers could play a part in the process. ” If you look at it, mobidensity (mobile cellular subscribers per hundred inhabitants) is 65 to 70 percent (of the entire population of one billion Indians),” he said. “PC penetration is 7 to 9 percent. Right now, lots of gaming is on smartphones and tablets. Many of these gamers are graduating from casual to serious gaming. Even if it is 2 percent from a 65 percent mobidensity is a huge number but 2 percent or even 5 percent is a small number. That base is building up.

Social will also play a huge part with the PC push, as AMD wants to get India numbers right up there with South Korean and Chinese audiences – not an easy number to reach. ” In Korea, 85 percent are gamers because it’s source of livelihood. It’s not the case here. We’re working with key partners to build an ecosystem which helps to create social acceptance and source of livelihood. We’re in early stage discussions with key partners, like monitor manufacturers, HDD manufacturers, eSports companies to get the ball rolling. It will take time,” said Panigrahi.

Digital disruption is also a key component, since awareness of point of sale can be a concern that needs to be addressed. “The internet is changing everything. Consumers are understanding. Retailers are forced to understand as well. Earlier they looked at it as a trading opportunity. Now a lot more system integrators are looking to come in. As India moves towards a more “make in India, made in India” mentality this will change,” said Panigrahi.

Consoles and mobile have their own audience to generate, but Panigrahi believes AMD’s outreach can still be huge. “Console gaming is not very big. India is more about desktop and PC gaming. More than that it’s casual gaming on mobile devices followed by PC gaming. Console is the last one,” he concluded.

What do you think Can AMD turn the gaming market around for India

Source: Games In Asia

Grey Goose Teams With Virgin Galactic

The first commercial spaceflight, headed up by Richard Branson’s pioneering Virgin Galactic, isn’t too far off, and now it appears that it has a major new sponsor – Grey Goose Vodka.

During the Virgin Disruptors event last week at the Rose Space Center and Hayden Planetarium in New York, Branson announced the partnership, which will introduce a new leadership series supported by the Virgin Group. With it, the panelists will debate “The Future of Travel: Are We Moving Fast Enough ”

With the partnership, Grey Goose will team with Virgin to bring “out of this world” experiences to those on the commuter flight, including exclusive content and a series of special promotions. The vodka maker will also support advertising at the launch location at Spaceport America, New Mexico, when the first flight takes off sometime next year.

“This is a marriage of two brands who share values and a true sense that if you can imagine it, it can be done. Not only do we both follow the same long-term vision that the extraordinary can be achieved from acting on your beliefs, but we also look forward to celebrating this iconic cultural moment in time with those on the ground,” says François Thibault, the developer of the recipe for Grey Goose.

“We are delighted that Grey Goose is joining us as a partner on our incredible journey. This evening of disruptive and rich debate about the future of travel, a wonderful celebration of human achievement, is at the heart of the Virgin Galactic Grey Goose partnership. We share a passionate pursuit of the extraordinary which we look forward to celebrating together as the world’s first commercial spaceline builds and grow,” says Branson.

What do you think Is Grey Goose an ideal partner for the launch of commuter space travel Or does the “out of this world” promotion sound a little . . . spacey

Source: Virgin Galactic

CREATIVE: Starbucks’ New Video Campaign

An ambitious new campaign for Starbucks Coffee shows how people deal with the uber-popular coffee chain on a daily basis. Not incidentally, Starbucks hopes that this gets more people heading into its locations.

The campaign, called “Meet Me At Starbucks,” is focusing more on the consumers that visit its locations, rather than the products. That’s an interesting change of direction, showing visitors enjoying Starbucks products through a mini-documentary style presentation. The campaign builds on the idea that Starbucks is more than just the products it sells, it’s also a place for people to go and meet people, relax with a friend or get a little work done in a comfortable environment.

“Meet Me At Starbucks” was shot across 59 different stores spanning 28 countries, with 39 local filmmakers, 10 local photographers and one director at the helm.

The footage was shot within the same 24 hour time period, resulting in 220 hours of footage and featuring a number of subjects, including a hearing impaired group, several women discussing scrapbooking, and other users of all ages, from elderly coupes to teenage friends.

Starbucks spokeswoman Linda Mills believes that many people find connection through technology in the locations, but ‘we’re not really connected unless we’re face to face.”

The documentary begins with the introduction, “Every day around the world, millions of people gather at Starbucks, but it’s never been just about the coffee.” From there, various subjects are shown talking about different subjects and, as you might guess, enjoying Starbucks.

The films have begun debuting on the official Starbucks Coffee YouTube channel, with several more parts set to make their debut in the weeks ahead. We’ve embedded one of the videos below, so you can get an idea of what to expect from the documentary series.

What do you think Is this a bold move for Starbucks in terms of focusing more on users and their experiences at their locations instead of just product Could other advertisers learn a thing or two putting its attention on its consumers


See How Price Affects Consumer Journey To Purchase

It makes sense that one would be much more methodical about a larger purchase than a smaller one, putting in some more research and comparing prices on the item from one site to another, but there are other interesting differences between those two faraway price points that we don’t necessarily think about as much.

For example, on items with a higher price point, consumers are much more proud and excited about the purchase that they share it on social media while a $10 item is by comparison of little note. It also appears that bigger purchases are more and more often made online while smaller purchases are much more likely to have been made in stores.

Source: AdWeek

Facebook’s Atlas: The Ad Network Utilizing Facebook User Data Everywhere

Speculation has been high this past week about Facebook launching an ad network in the near future and today we find that Facebook is rolling out another ad network that will allow advertisers to buy ads through Facebook that will expand the ad’s reach across the web. It’s called Atlas and it’s a platform that Facebook had purchased last year from Microsoft.

While Facebook stresses that these ads are not “Facebook ads,” they do utilize Facebook’s data to target and track effectiveness of ads. The only difference is these ads will be served on places other than Facebook like mobile apps.

Facebook is anonymizing user data so neither advertisers nor publishers will be able to know identities. In a blog post, head of Atlas Erik Johnson discussed the relaunch of the ad platform.

“We’ve rebuilt Atlas from the ground up to tackle today’s marketing challenges, like reaching people across devices and bridging the gap between online impressions and offline purchases.”

On the difficulty of capturing data across devices, Johnson talked about the inaccuracy of current methods.

“Cookies don’t work on mobile, are becoming less accurate in demographic targeting and can’t easily or accurately measure the customer purchase funnel across browsers and devices or into the offline world,” said Johnson.