Toys Getting Upcoming Film Treatments

Toys and board games are equating to surprising box office results when it comes to big-screen films. The Transformers films have been performing notably well over the years, with the most recent entry, Age of Extinction, clearing over a billion dollars worldwide. And this weekend’s debut of Ouija, co-produced by Hasbro, brought in $19 million.

Now, several Hollywood studios are hopping on board for new projects based on toys, as reported by Variety. The following projects are in the works, though no release date has been given for them yet:

Barbie: The popular doll line will soon see a release in film format, in a partnership between Mattel and Sony Pictures. The live-action film will be produced by Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald.

Candy Land: Columbia Pictures and Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison production team will bring this board game to life for a film, with Sandler also set to star.

G.I. Joe: A third installment is in the works, following a $132 million debut of G.I. Joe: Retaliation. It will be directed by the same man behind Retaliation, Jon M. Chu, though no cast have been confirmed yet.

He-Man: The muscular intergalactic hero will return in a new production being worked on by producer Joel Silver and Warner Brothers. Hopefully it’ll be better than the hammy 80’s film Masters of the Universe.

Hungry Hungry Hippos: Emmett/Furia Films are producing a feature based on the popular multiplayer effort, where hippos try to eat as many marbles as possible.

Monopoly: Emmett/Furia Films is also hard at work on a Monopoly feature, with Sony and Ridley Scott co-attached. Production could begin next summer.

Monster High: Universal has a live-action film being planned around this popular toy line, featuring several “spooky” girls in their high school years.

Stretch Armstrong: Universal is supposedly working on a big-screen treatment for this stretchy star, with Twilight‘s Taylor Lautner reportedly attached.

It’ll be interesting to see how these films pan out in the years ahead – and if they can even come remotely close to Transformers’ success.

CREATIVE: Disney Villains Count ‘Scars’

The latest Disney hit is on Facebook. On all of Disney’s social channels {link no longer active} yesterday, a video of Disney’s infamous villains appeared with cleverly re-written lyrics to the song ‘Counting Stars’ by OneRepublic. Instead, the villians are counting ‘Scars.’ At the time this article was written, the video received over 2.1 million views with a day, nearly 30,000 shares and over 3,000 comments with largely positive engagement.

It’s fun and timely to showcase such villainry as Halloween approaches. It will be interesting to see what Disney does next to leverage Facebook as a video platform, making the most (fun) out of the auto-play feature as this one has gone over so, so well.

How do Jafar, Cruella, Ursula and so many other Disney villains sound when they sing? Pretty great, actually.

 

Mobile App Marketing Costs Rising

Applications remain more popular than ever with users across both the iOS and Android fronts, although marketing them can be risky business, according to a new report from Fiksu.

Native Mobile has posted the results from said survey, indicating that companies are spending a high volume on expenses in order to assure loyalty amongst certain application users. According to the report, companies were spending as much as $2.25 per loyal user, quite a bit of cash considering the popularity of certain applications.

“Reaching an all-time high in September, the Cost Per Loyal User Index increased 21 percent to $2.25, representing a 34 percent rise year-over-year,” stated Fiksu. “This new high-water mark reflects the enduring trend of increasing activity and competition to capture loyal, engaged app users.”

Adoption rate also plays a huge part when it comes to adding a new audience for applications. According to Fiksu, the release of the new iPhone 6 models have spurred a “flurry of activity,” as it indicates that the devices have undergone a much higher adoption rate than last year’s iPhone 5. The difference, according to the company, is a 116 percent increase.

The report, located here, also highlights some other interesting details. The daily download volume of the top 200 ranked iOS apps, for example, managed to increase four percent in September, bringing a total of 5,5 million daily downloads. However, that’s actually a four percent decrease year-over-year, but Fiksu believes that’s based on the lesser number of applications available through the store (down from 300 to 150).

The cost per install also wavers for both companies. For September, Android ended up around the $1 mark, which Apple was shown a bit higher, closer to around $1.50. As a result, iOS spending has gone up about six percent from previous numbers, while Android has increased approximately 14 percent.

It’ll be interesting to see where these numbers end up next year — as well as how much companies are willing to spend to keep their consumers.

Image source

Marvel Announces Epic Film Slate

Over the past few years, Marvel Studios has produced remarkable numbers with its big-screen films, including $1.5 billion for 2012’s The Avengers, as well as over $750 million for its newcomer Guardians of the Galaxy. Now, it’s about to take its film library to a whole new level.

During a press event today, Marvel Studios announced its “Phase Three” slate, and it’s got comic book fans excited, as it will bring about several big events that they’ve been expecting for several years. This includes the arrival of Thanos in the Avengers series (after he was teased at the end of the first movie in 2012), as well as new Captain America and Guardians of the Galaxy films.

In addition, the line-up will also introduce several new heroes to the fold, including 2016’s Doctor Strange, which will reportedly feature Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role; 2017’s Black Panther starring Chadwick Boseman in the lead role; and The Inhumans, which will debut in 2018. Captain Marvel will arrive in 2018 as well.

Perhaps the big news is that the third chapter in the Avengers series, Infinity War, will be divided into two films, with the first part coming in 2018 and the second arriving a year later. Word has it that stars from Guardians of the Galaxy could be involved somewhere in this story, though no confirmation has been given yet.

Mainstays Captain America and Thor will also get their own separate chapters in the Marvel Universe. Following the success of this year’s Winter Soldier, the Captain will return in 2016 with Civil War, which will also feature Robert Downey Jr. appearing as Iron Man; and Thor will return, with Loki as well, in Ragnarok, which will arrive in July 2017.

This is big news for Marvel, especially considering that its primary 2015 film release, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, has set a record number of views with last week’s trailer debut, cleaning up 32.3 million views in its first 24 hours of release. No doubt it’ll have no problem matching — or even surpassing — the original Avengers‘ $1.5 billion total. Ant-Man is scheduled to release next summer as well.

Indeed, big-budget blockbusters based on comic books continue to do big business for Marvel. Here’s hoping Phase Four is just as awesome.

 

 

YouTube Considers Paid, Ad-Free Subscriptions

by Sahil Patel

YouTube is mulling some type of ad-free subscription service in an attempt to diversify its revenue streams, according to CEO Susan Wojcicki.

The online video site, which is projected to make $1.13 billion in net video ad revenues in the U.S. alone this year, wants to go the way of the media giants — both video and print — that have come before it.

“We’re early in the process, but if you look at media over time, most of them have both ads and subscription services,” said Wojcicki, during an on-stage interview at Recode’s Code/Mobile conference in San Francisco. “YouTube right now is ad-supported, which is great because it has enabled us to scale to a billion users. But there’s going to be a point where people don’t want to see the ads.”

This isn’t the first time YouTube has considered making content available via subscriptions. As recently as last year, the company offered paid-channels from a variety of traditional and native content providers including “Sesame Street” and The Young Turks. That initiative fizzled rather quickly.

Wojcicki did not elaborate on how a new subscription service would function, including what it would mean for content creators generating significant viewership and ad revenue on the site.

Since coming on board as YouTube CEO in February, Wojcicki has made it a priority to serve the needs of the site’s creator community, which has long complained about how difficult it can be to make money on the site. YouTube takes a 45% cut of all ad revenue generated on the site, hamstringing creators who then need to find other ways to monetize their business.

This issue has opened a void that potential YouTube competitors, including Yahoo and Jason Kilar’s Vessel, are looking to fill. These companies are trying to poach some top YouTube talent by offering them multiple monetization options with better revenue-sharing agreements.

Sensing this need to reinvest in its creator community, YouTube has started to offer more revenue-generating options for creators, including a crowdfunding “tip jar.”

The company has also started funding original content, with a focus on developing projects with some of its top starsThis initiative is led by a new “YouTube Originals” team that includes division head Alex Carloss, head of scripted content Tim Shey, head of unscripted content Ivana Kirkbride, and head of comedy Ben Relles.

An ad-free subscription offering would join these efforts in providing YouTube creators with different sources of revenue.

It will be interesting to see how the service functions if and/or when it goes live — especially on mobile, which now accounts for half of YouTube’s viewership, according to Wojcicki.

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.

Mobile Advertising And Commerce Behavior Explained

Believe it or not, gender behavior can actually play a big part in predicting the success of both mobile advertising and commerce behavior, based on studies over at Applovin. The results of this research, which started back in July 2014, were posted this past week on the company’s blog page.

The first part of this report looked at Click Through ratio, which you can see in the chart below. Female Android owners were in the top reported percentile, with over 10 percent of users accessing the ads. Male Android owners were close behind in second place with 9.47 percent, while both male and female iOS device users fell around the six to seven percent ratio. While this is less than a one percent difference, it does show a bit of preference when it comes to female users.

Another chart showing such a difference revolves around conversion rate. With this, female iOS users took the lead with an approximate 2.36 percent, while female Android users were close behind with 1.75 percent. Meanwhile, males once again stayed in a one percent ratio, with 2.03 percent on iOS and 1.45 percent on Android.

But what about the average purchase amount Again, ladies are leading the charge, with the chart below. Female iOS users spend the most with $20.65, while female Android users are close behind with $18.65. Males spend a bit less, with iOS users spending around $15.73, and Android users down even further at $12.28.

Why do Android users have bigger numbers Applovin believes it has to do with the free ad-supported app system on those devices, “so it’s likely users are more conditions to accept ads and are more responsive to them,” according to the post. As a result, more popular apps with ads are utilized, thus the higher rate.

As for the major differences in gender, there are factors that weigh in with behaviors across mobile devices, although a side report from Flurry believes that loyalty and monetization can also play a part. Even though other sources like Business Insider Intelligence and RetailMeNot believe that men are more likely to shop on mobile than women, these charts tell another story.

 

Why Online TV Watching Is On The Rise

There’s no question that online TV viewing, either through direct channels or streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, is quite convenient. But, according to a new report from comScore, it could also provide ease of use when it comes to catching up on the things you love.

The report, posted through eMarketer, indicates that out of those U.S. Internet users polled, 56 percent believe they prefer online television because they can watch it at their own pace, and when their schedule allows it. Considering that most broadcast stations follow a pre-set schedule, it’s easy to see why this would be such a benefit.

Meanwhile, more than 50 percent of those polled believe that viewing television across the Internet is simply a more convenient option, even when a smaller screen is involved.

TV ads actually don’t play a big part in the online TV debate, as only 38 percent of those polled watch online programming to skip commercials. Meanwhile, 33 percent of users believe that it’s a better option because there are fewer commercials overall.

Other options in the poll include a less expensive way to view programs rather than with cable or pay TV packages (29 percent), needing a second outlet if someone else in a household is watching something (18 percent) or travelers (13 percent).

Out of the ages of users who prefer to watch online TV at their leisure, 18-34 year olds lead the pack, with 28 percent indicating they would watch a show within three days after its live airing. 35-54 year olds were close behind by 25 percent, while those 55 and older ranked at 18 percent. The numbers become lesser when it comes to viewing a program four days or later after its initial airing.

Meanwhile, paid digital video subscribers are more than likely to use their services for viewing online television, with 28 percent indicating they would do so within three days. Non-paid digital video subscribers are at a lesser count, at 18 percent.

eMarketer estimated that 142.5 million people in the U.S. use digital television means at least once per month this year, with an increase to the majority of users in just a couple years’ time, by 2016.

Indeed, on-demand viewing is on the rise.

SteelSeries CEO Explains How Pro Gamers Can Help Gaming Companies

 

Ehtisham Rabbani SteelSeriesEhtisham Rabbani, CEO of SteelSeries

In the competitive gaming peripheral space, which continues to see double digit growth, SteelSeries has wooed M. Ehtisham Rabbani away from Logitech. The former SVP and SMO of Logitech, who oversaw the company’s games division, is now the CEO of a company that has embraced eSports from the early days. SteelSeries is best known for its line of PC keyboards, mice and headphones. Rabbani explains why sponsoring teams like Fnatic and Navi has helped the brand and what opportunities bigger brands entering the space means for gaming companies in this exclusive interview.

What impact has the rise of eSports had on gaming companies?

It’s not been news to anyone that has been involved in this space that eSports is popular. SteelSeries has been involved in it for years. It’s news to mainstream outlets like the New York Times that have suddenly discovered the vibrant eSports scene. But people in the industry have been seeing this for years and we’ve been participating in this for years. The numbers are staggering with more people watching eSports’ League of Legends Championship last year than the Stanley Cup and NBA Finals. When you add all of that up, there’s a lot of passion around eSports and it’s only going to grow. It’s interesting to see more and more games coming into eSports, offering a greater set of diversity. The first breakout eSports game was StarCraft that really wracked up the numbers. That was an RTS game. Now there aren’t a lot of RTS franchises. There is a lot of development in different genres today because of eSports.

What impact has livestreaming opened up for brands like Logitech and SteelSeries?

The opportunities have been in better understanding and better appreciating what it takes to win. You see a lot of streamers talk about their strategies and their tools and what they’re looking for in a great gaming mouse or headset. It all comes together for a gamer to feel confident that they’re going to win. It’s changed the equation for the gaming hardware business and increased the appetite of gamers who want to learn more about what makes a great gaming mouse or headset. We see a lot more traffic to our website and more people who want to learn about our products. Brands interested in innovation and bringing tools to help gamers win get more respect, rather than those who release cool looking products that don’t enhance the gameplay experience.

What’s the value of working with pro gamers and eSports teams?

They’re valuable because they’re 100 percent focused on winning. They’re professionals. As pros, their entire career relies on having the right tools and winning championships. If we can help individuals win matches and teams win championships, it validates what we’re trying to do. They also have huge audiences — hundreds of thousands of people following them. They’re critical opinion leaders. We work closely with them at every stage in the development of new products. The teams we work with is not a relationship that’s only about giving them money only. It’s about them helping us with product development and design and providing feedback before a product hits the shelf. So by the time a new product is released, it’s been vetted by pro teams. That role for us is an important as them as spokespeople for our brand.

Is there a direct correlation between eSports teams and sales of your products?

I’d love to have an answer to that. We’re making great products and we do a lot of social media and advertising, so it’s hard to figure out what percentage of sales comes from eSports. It’s a bit of a leap of faith, but it’s very natural for us.

What are your thoughts on bigger brands entering the eSports space?

I think that’s a good thing. If eSports can become a place where young gamers can come in and make good money and have pro careers, that helps gaming as a whole. It helps all the businesses that are associated with gaming. I welcome deep-pocketed companies. We have pro gamers who are making six digit salaries today and it’s only a matter of time before that goes even higher. I don’t see a Coke or an AmEx as a threat. They’re not in the business of providing amazing tools to gamers and I don’t see them getting into our business. We have a unique role to play in eSports.

What’s the competition like in the crowded headphone space with new entrants?

There’s no secret that the gaming peripherals business — when you look at electronics in general, very few categories are growing by double digits — and gaming peripherals is one of those categories. A lot of companies are entering that business. They’ll learn that if you’ve been making traditional mice and headsets, the jump to gaming is not simple. You can’t put red flames on a product and call it gaming. There’s some real science that these companies don’t have and gamers see that. I don’t feel threatened by them. We have a decade-long lead in developing great gaming products.

ESports helps differentiate us. These days, major brands like SteelSeries have to be associated with eSports to be an established brand. All my major competitors are involved in eSports in one way or another. You have your brand logo on different teams, but at the end of the day comes down to how good are your products. Our emphasis is on using eSports relationships to make the best products possible.

What are your goals at SteelSeries moving forward?

It’s an authentic gaming brand. We have no ambitions of going beyond servicing gamers. There are very few brands now that can claim that. They’re in search of growth in all sorts of business. But for us it’s gaming, and gamers are our north star. We’re not moving away from that. Our whole organization is laser-focused in delivering things gamers need. We don’t put out products unless there’s a real need for it. That mission is what attracted me to SteelSeries. That purity of vision will grow the company. We’ve seen double digit growth for several years and we will accelerate that. We’re Number 3 in the world today and we hope to move up.

If you look at our history of headsets and simple things like the self-adjusting headband suspension design, gamers needed a different way to wear a headset that you could comfortably wear for hours. Now a lot of companies are trying to copy that. That’s the kind of innovation that we’re doing — it’s need-based. We were the first mouse with an on-board 32Bit Arm processor and that came out of a specific need. New products that we will be launching will address needs in the market.

 

CREATIVE: Oreo Creates A New ‘Nomster’ Each Day With Video Campaign

Oreo is no stranger to creating mobile-optimized video. Last year, the cookie brand created Vines that paid homage to some memorable

oreo lab, nomster‘Oreo Lab’ behind the scenes via Adweek

Halloween films. This year, they’re making the videos slightly longer– about 12 seconds– and making some irrepressably cute stop-motion animations.

The first video of the series, which will feature a new “Nomster” each day, was created with 100 handmade miniature props by designer Lori Nix. The campaign is a social one; Oreo is taking submissions for naming these “Nomsters” via their Facebook page, which unsuprisingly is getting great, positive engagement.

{video link no longer active}

Now That Microsoft Has Dropped The Price Of The Xbox One, What’s Next?

Microsoft already has a jump on the holiday season as November rolls around, with such exclusive titles as Forza Horizon 2, Sunset Overdrive and Halo: The Master Chief Collection under its belt, along with various bundles revolving around hits like Assassin’s Creed Unity and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Now, it may have just sounded its loudest warning call to its competition at Sony to date.

The company confirmed today that it would be launching a special holiday promotion starting on November 2nd and running through January 3rd that will introduce a $50 price drop for all of its Xbox One bundles. That means users can pick up bundles like the general Xbox One system, the Sunset Overdrive bundle and the Assassin’s Creed bundle for $349, while the Advanced Warfare bundle will be $449.

While it sounds like the price drop may be temporary, Microsoft may stick with it permanently if enough units are sold, according to sources.

This is a major strike against Sony, as it marks the first time that the Xbox One will be cheaper than the PlayStation 4 console, which launched at market last year for $399 — $100 more than what the Xbox One initially sold for at the time. Microsoft has since made moves to stay competitive, including removing the necessity of its Kinect device to make the hardware less expensive.

The video below goes into more detail about what value Microsoft is bringing to the holiday season, between key first-party releases, as well as third-party titles.