CREATIVE: Facebook’s Ode To Modern Love

Facebook’s latest spot titled “Say Love You Better” looks at messaging on the social platform with the same romance as any penned letter. This is communication and love in the modern age. The ad employs animated stickers and also highlights how Facebook Messenger is more than text– it’s music, videos, pictures and real-time video chatting.

This isn’t Facebook’s first foray into ads. There’s the “Chairs” ad and the spot to promote Facebook Home, but this one really gets to the root of what Facebook really is for us: network of those we care about.

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Total Digital Video Viewership Is Way Up (Study)

by Sahil Patel

Viewership for both online video and online TV is rising dramatically, according to new data released by Adobe — on the same day it announced a “digital content ratings” partnership with Nielsen.

Adobe Q2 2014 Video Data -- 1According to Adobe, US viewers started 38.2 billion “online videos” in Q2 2014, an increase of 47.3 percent when compared to the same time period last year. Even more stark was the growth in online TV viewership, which spiked 388 percent versus Q3 of 2013.

Adobe differentiates online video and online TV by designating the former as all free-to-access video content online, and the latter as videos (primarily TV episodes) that require cable or satellite authentication.

The data from the report is based on viewership across sites and apps using Adobe Analytics and Adobe Primetime. The sample size covers 165 billion online video starts and 1.53 billion online TV authentications during 2013 and 2014, said Adobe.

Among the other findings:

People are watching more online videos on smartphones than on tablets: Smartphones accounted for 13.6 percent of online video starts in Q2 2014; tablets accounted for 13 percent. (This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, considering how other reports indicate that tablets are increasingly being used to watch TV and other long-form content.)

Adobe US Video Data Q2 2014 -- 2

Ad views are growing, too — led by sports: Viewers watched 2.08 ads per video start, up 25.8 percent versus last year. The ratio of ad starts per video start was 66 percent higher for sports content versus non sports content.

Adobe US Video Data Q2 2014 -- 3

Unsurprisingly, online videos are more likely to be completed on desktops versus mobile devices: An online video that reaches 25 percent completion on a desktop was three times more likely to reach 75 percent completion, when compared to a mobile device. What’s more, only 16.6 percent of online videos watched on mobile devices reached 75 percent completion.

Adobe US Online Video Q2 2014 -- 4

Gaming consoles and over-the-top devices are the new desktops for watching your favorite TV shows:These devices have a share growth of 194 percent compared to last year. Comparatively, browser-based access dropped 41 percent year over year.


Online TV viewing is still dominated by live sports: Peak viewing of online TV content happened in months that held a major sporting event such as the Olympics, March Madness, or the recent FIFA World Cup.


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 for the latest news and stories, delivered right to your inbox.

This Week’s [a]list Jobs – October 22

[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.

Five Trends In Mobile Gaming

Eric Seufert, head of marketing at Wooga, gave a presentation at the Price Waterhouse Coopers Outlook conference in Amsterdam earlier this month on 5 Trends in Mobile Games. The Slideshare of the presentation is included here if you want to see all of the details of the presentation, including all of the charts.

Seufert led off by noting some salient facts about the current state of mobile games. Six out of the top 10 grossing apps are games, and four out of the top 10 top grossing apps (in the US) are published by two developers. These apps are, for the most part, not new — eight of the top 10 grossing apps were first published in 2012 or earlier, and Game of War and Farm Heroes Saga were first published in 2013. Part of this stickiness for the top apps may be explained by the fact that King Digital (publishers of Candy Crush Saga) and Supercell (publishers of Clash of Clans) are both said to be spending $1 million per day on marketing.

The growing footprint of major companies in the app space is a concern for Eufert. Four companies (Apple, Facebook, Google and Yahoo) own the apps responsible for generating 70 percent of the unique visitors to the top 25 mobile apps, Eufert pointed out, giving them an inordinate amount of sway in the app charts.

Eric Seufert – 5 Mobile Gaming Trends 2015 – PwC Outlook Conference October 2014 from Eric Seufert


One of the areas that should be of great concern for mobile game developers is the resistance of most of the user base to adding new apps. Eufert pointed to research showing that most smartphone users download zero new apps per month, and nearly half of all time spent in mobile apps is devoted to a user’s single favorite app. That makes the task of grabbing someone’s interest for a new game that much harder. The underlying implication here is that most users just aren’t actively looking for new games (or other apps), but only add them when they are prompted to do so for some reason. Figuring out a good reason for that is obviously a key task for game developers.

Some other aspects of the business for mobile game developers to consider, according to Eufert: Only 20 percent of brand advertiser’s budgets goes to mobile, and that is expected to hit 35 percent by 2018. Advertising opportunities are growing in low ARPU regions, Eufert pointed out, quoting Facebook as saying that the ARPU for an average user in the second quarter of 2014 in the U.S. and Canada is six times that of a user in Asia.

Overall, though, the mobile market is still growing, with mobile devices continuing to ship in huge number (1.5 billion in 2017, for instance). Mobile game revenues should exceed $22 billion in 2015, and growth is expected to continue strongly.

Acceptance of mobile advertising is also growing, opening up a significant revenue source for mobile games. It’s especially important for free-to-play games, which typically only monetize somewhere in the single digit percentages of their user base. Finding a way to monetize the other 98 percent of the audience would be a huge boost to the bottom line for game companies.

Here are the key trends Eufert highlighted in his talk:

1. Fundamental evolution of “App Install Ad” format
2. “App constellations” causing app store “chart position inflation”
3. Increasing overall monetization
4. Increasing platform lock-in
5. More franchise tie-ins

New verticals are beginning to move into mobile advertising, notes Seufert. He argues that improvements in technology like retargeting and deep linking will allow for better and more natural ad formats. Native ads are less intrusive, especially as they become more context-aware. Continued innovation in ad formats should improve the utility of advertising in games, and make them more acceptable to gamers.

Massive companies with several major apps (like Facebook or Google) are able to get their enormous audiences to download all of these apps, with these “app constellations” thereby causing “chart position inflation” and effectively moving most other apps down the chart. Where once those chart positions could potentially be acquired by advertising, that’s no longer an option at the highest levels.

Eufert notes that while tablet sales have been slipping, “phablet” shipments have been growing and may overtake both smartphone and tablet shipments eventually. This, Eufert argues, is a good trend for game developers, since gamers tend to spend more money on games that are played on bigger screens. Meanwhile, CPMs are trending upwards, which means more revenue from ads is in the future.

The trend towards platform lock-in, where operators are competing to keep developers in their proprietary tool chain, will continue, according to Eufert. Still, the way in which platform holders are competing is good for developers, since adding more tools and making platforms easier to use is a benefit for all.

Finally, Eufert sees the rising marketing costs and the chart position inflation trends as incentivizing developers to partner with existing, well-known IP to driver greater uptake on games. Examples include Kim Kardashian: Hollywood and The Simpsons: Tapped Out, which have both been highly successful due to the terrific audience base that the licensed IP brings to the game.


YouTube Stars Disappear For ‘Ouija’

Universal and Fullscreen joined forces to give everyone the jitters before Oujia hits theaters on October 24. Leveraging an array of YouTubers like Kian Lawley, a member from O2L, Ricky Dillon, Jc Caylen and others, the campaign translated the suspense from Oujia onto YouTube while taking the YouTubers’ followers on a cross-social-network hunt for the wearabouts of a missing YouTuber.

It begins with  the YouTubers posting a video playing with an innocent oujia board. On October 5 some “found footage” was released on Kian Lawley’s YouTube channel showing he might be in dire straits. While usually active on all his Twitter and Snapchat, Lawley had practically disappeared.


It wasn’t until five days later when his worried followers finally heard from Lawley, but his followers still didn’t know where he was, but not without 17.3 million impressions of tweets to find him with #oujiawhereiskian:

Kian Lawley Oujia Chicago PartyFans gather for YouTubers and Oujia party.

The remaining YouTubers got together once more to hold a seance. The oujia led them to a haunted house in Chicago where 600 of their fans were gathered to celebrate his return.

The stunt generated over 5.6 milliion video views and more than 500,000 social engagements, crossing multiple social platforms like YouTube, Twitter and Snapchat to tell the same story. In speaking to [a]listdaily, an executive from Universal said “These platforms were leveraged because of their over indexing against the target millennial audience for Ouija.  Promotions on these sites help to drive interest and awareness in the film.”

Indeed, Snapchat’s first ever ad was a promotion for the film as we reported yesterday. The focus on mobile-centric platforms was not an accident. “Mobile presence was critical for this film due to the high use and penetration of mobile devices for the film’s target audience,” said a Universal representative.

As the film is targeting the 12-24 year-old female audience, the inclusion of Snapchat was key. In speaking to Variety, Doug McNeil, Universal’s EVP of digital marketing spoke about the campaign’s focus on influencers and their cross-platform fanbases:

“It absolutely met our expectations, and it was the right execution creatively.”

Console Game Revenue Forecast Lowered

The latest video game consoles have been selling very well indeed, but as the latest NPD numbers show, software sales have been lagging far behind. Software for last generation consoles like the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 have been below expectations, while the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One titles have not reached the same blazing numnbers that the hardware has set. Based on the latest data about game sales on consoles and other game industry sectors, DFC Intelligence has revised its forecast for game industry software revenues through 2019.

A new report, posted via GamesIndustry International, shows the revised numbers for the report that DFC posted earlier this year, when it said that the worldwide video game software market would reach $100 billion by 2018. The new numbers show even greater strength in mobile games, but substantially lower the numnbers for console games. Total software numbers are still likely to come close to that number, but not quite pass over it until 2019, with an estimated $102.9 billion in sales.

DFC believes console game sales will rise over the next few years, only to drop back down to the same levels as we’re seeing reported for 2014. That’s a rather depressing long-term trend for those companies whose revenue depends on selling games in retail stores. Meanwhile, smartphone and tablet game software will rise in to $35 billion by 2019.

“The console market is still very robust for AAA products. The concern is losing that second tier audience that made products like Wii, PS2, Guitar Hero, Kinect, Singstar, etc. so successful,” noted DFC’s David Cole. “Basically the more casual audience now has so many low cost options.”

Portable console software will continue its steady decline, with an estimated drop down to $1.68 billion in 2019 from the current $3.55 billion.

When it comes to PC online games, however, numbers will continue to increase, with online consoles tripling to $15 billion in 2019, and PC’s lapping that with an estimated $35.45 billion by that time. Thus the two leading sectors of the game industry in 2019 will be PC online and mobile, and given the way mobile numbers have been revised upward repeatedly in the last few years, it seems like a good bet mobile games will be the single largest segment of the game industry in the future.

“Digital only console game sales are continuing to grow, as are digital sales of retail games, however in terms of overall units the former is still larger than the latter but big AAA retail games are steadily increasing their digital percentage of total sales,” observed DFC analyst Jeremy Miller. “Day 1 digital releases on Xbox One and PS4 are helping the digital shift, but we can’t overlook the value of strong catalog management on both XBL and PSN. Digital catalog game prices have to compete with greatest hits, used games and the bargain bin at retail. It takes smart curation of these digital stores not unlike on the PC with Steam, which has gone through many evolutions in its history and not always smoothly as catalog sales become mostly dependent on discounts. That said, Microsoft and Sony, as well as Nintendo despite the Wii U trailing in next gen hardware sales, recognize the importance of digital sales of AAA retail games though will still have to simultaneously make it convenient and competitive for consumers while keeping retailers happy.”

Brands also play a big part in the numbers, something that developers can learn from. “The biggest leverage area is strong cross platform plays. Think games like Angry Birds and Minecraft,” said Cole.

The DFC study provides plenty to think about for game company executives as they plan development budgets for the next few years.

Everything We Know About Millennial Consumption Habits

Figuring out the spending habits of millennials can be quite a task for certain advertisers. However, Digital recently reported on findings from comScore, Noise/TheIntelligence Group’s Cassandra Report and nScreen’s Media report “What Millennials Want From TV”, that could help clear a few things up.

First up was the question of social media being an important source for news and current affairs, compared to mainstream sites. Out of the over 3,000 millennials polled, 60 percent came back and said it does make a difference, while 21 percent said no, and 19 percent chose to neither agree nor disagree.

Next up was the question of what sort of communication method millennials prefer when it comes to divided countries, either by text or images. For the most part, they came out almost even in countries like Indie, China, Spain, and the United States, but moving on to Germany, Brazil, and South Korea, text showed increased popularity. Only Italy showed a greater preference to images over text.

The third survey highlighted the most popular apps amongst millennials, counting into the triple-zero digits. Out of the apps chosen, Facebook led the charge, followed by YouTube, Pandora Radio, Facebook Messenger and Google’s Play and Search services. Instagram and Gmail also made the list, though a little lower down.

Millennials also opted to explain how news and information sources are ideal for usage on desktop and mobile devices. Out of those polled, the Huffington Post Media Group News page took the top spot, followed by Yahoo-ABC News Network, CNN Network, Buzzfeed and Gannett Sites. Other networks also rounded out the top 10, including NBC News Digital, CBS News and Fox News Digital Network.

Lastly, despite different spending habits, millennials seem to have some interest in paid-TV subscriptions, with nearly 60 percent stating they still subscribe to services. Still, that’s a smaller number than casual viewers, and a whopping 20 percent never subscribed to the services at all.

Companies could learn from these statistics, and maybe try a little better to get into the minds of a millennial audience.

‘John Wick’ Joins ‘Payday 2’ Roster

Movie promotion tie-ins are pretty common with games, as you could see from the inclusion of Halloween‘s Michael Myers and the self-titled Predator in last year’s Call of Duty: Ghosts, as add-on DLC. This week, John Wick will get a turn in a video game role.

Wick, the lead character in the forthcoming Keanu Reeves film of the same name, will be added to 505 Games’ multiplayer shooter Payday 2, which is currently available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. The move is part of a partnership between Lionsgate, Thunder Road Pictures (in collaboration with Payday‘s development team Starbreeze Studios) and 505 Games.

In the add-on content, which will be available tomorrow, players get to control Wick as part of the Payday robbery gang. He will play his park with a new Hitman perk system, as well as a new custom pistol and knife melee weapon, as well as sunglasses and other customizable gear. The add-on will be free of charge, as part of the game’s latest update

“We’re big fans of Payday 2 and the team at Starbreeze, and we’re thrilled to kick off our partnership with such a cool movie,” said Lionsgate EVP of Digital Marketing Danielle DePalma. “The hyper-real action sequences in the film almost make you feel like you’re watching an insane video game, so we cannot wait to see John Wick in theaters as well as experience him in the game.”

“We continue working with great partners, this time with Lionsgate and their movie John Wick,” said Starbreeze Chief Executive Officer Bo Andersson Klint.  “We’ve finally got a real hitman on our team. Being able to play as John Wick in Payday 2 ahead of the movie’s release is a great reward for our loyal Payday 2 community, which reached the final milestone of 1.5 million members in our Payday 2 Steam group before our 12-day Crimefest event.”

“Lionsgate’s entry into the game space is continuing to build momentum with the addition of another great partner and a tremendous piece of IP,” said Lionsgate President of Interactive Ventures & Games Peter Levin.  “We’re delighted to capitalize on this opportunity to collaborate with a world-class partner like Starbreeze whose unique action community includes millions of our target fans.”

John Wick arrives in theaters October 24.

Online Video Viewing Zooms

There’s one thing that’s clear with today’s audience on the Internet — they sure enjoy watching videos.

A report from Adobe indicates that more users are watching videos than ever before, with an estimated 38.2 billion free videos viewed online during the second quarter of 2014. That’s a whopping 43 percent leap forward from the same quarter in 2013. In addition to that, the company reports that 60 percent of those videos were viewed via smartphones, rather than conventional computers.

Advertisers have been paying attention to these trends, though. Adobe reports that they have spent 25.8 percent more funds than the previous year, with an average of two video ads per free video shown, such as on YouTube. Unique visitors have also risen, increasing by 146 percent in the one-year period, according to VentureBeat.

Many would think that free videos would be the bounty of this survey, but, in fact, paid viewership, via “authenticated viewing,” also saw an increase, with a huge 388 percent leap over 2013, as well as an 85 percent increase in the number of people who actually watch the programming.

Meanwhile, Adobe also noticed another trend. While smartphones and tablets are quite popular with viewing, set-top boxes and game consoles have seen an increase over using a desktop computer, although specific percentages weren’t reported in this particular field.

With the report, Adobe gathered information from sites utilizing both Adobe Analytics and Adobe Primetime. That leaves many numbers unreported, so the audience could actually be bigger than what the company reported here. Specific sites like YouTube and Netflix weren’t mentioned, but they seem to weigh in on the overall factor of the survey. An Adobe spokesperson explained that “the report encompasses date from over 1,300 media and entertainment properties, including virtually all major ones in the U.S.,” stopping just short of confirming sites.

More specifics about the survey can be found here.

FX Launches ‘Simpsons World’ Experience

Ever since it broadcasted a full run of The Simpsons a few weeks ago, as part of a syndication deal for the popular animated show, FXX has been looking to make a big move to draw in even more fans of the series. Today, it’s taken that big step, with the launch of a new Simpsons World experience.

Using the online website (as well as the coordinating FX Now application for iPhone, IPad, Android phones, tablets, game consoles, Apple TV and Smart TV’s), viewers will be able to engulf themselves in a full Simpsons experience, including the ability to watch episodes from all 25 seasons of the hit animated show. In addition, new episodes will be added to the app, one day after their broadcast premiere on Fox.

In addition, the hub also contains an Everything Simpsons newsfeed, which covers the latest news surrounding the show, as well as social media updates from those involved, as well as little “Did You Know” facts with particular episodes in the series.

Along with recommendations from the Simpsons series, the video player included with the hub will also recommend other clips and episodes, as well as the ability to share comments right away via social media. This, in turn, should help generate a bigger online audience for it.

Best of all, Simpsons World will come with full user accessibility, enabling them to find favorite episodes, seasons and other video content with ease. A search function built into the hub will enable users to find their favorite characters and events from the show, as well as celebrity guest stars. Over 3,000 clips will be available, with more being added as new stars make their debut on the show.

This marks a huge move for FXX, and is likely to draw in even more popularity with the show. Interested viewers can learn more over at the Simpsons World web page.