Twitch’s Power Merchandising With Teespring

Twitch has become a popular source for broadcasting superstars to show off their stuff to millions of viewing fans – but now the channel wants to step its game up a notch by allowing them to sell their own merchandise.

The company has announced that it has partnered with Teespring to create a new custom integration that will enable its broadcasting partners to create one-of-a-kind shirts through Teespring, which in turn will be sold in Twitch’s official store.

The partnership will be beneficial for Twitch broadcasters, as over 8,500 members are already on board, attracting a large and beneficial community of players and fans alike. This program has already paid off for them – literally – through subscription services, via monetization. Some have even managed to turn their hobby into full-time paying jobs as a result, and the introduction of merchandise could take their popularity even further.

“The Twitch community is fervent about supporting the broadcasters they love,” said Brooke Van Dusen, Director of Business Development, Twitch. “By working closely with Teespring, we are able to offer our partners a fun and creative way to connect with their fans and further establish their personal brand, all while providing an additional source of income.”

The program appears to be rather painless, as it’ll be easy for broadcasters to go in and create their own custom designs, which in turn will be shown through Twitch’s store front for customers to buy.

“Our goal at Teespring is to empower people to engage and delight their communities through custom products,” said Jack Altman, Teespring’s Head of Business Development. “By bringing custom merchandise to Twitch, we hope to create new opportunities for broadcasters to connect with their fans in meaningful ways.”

Several hundred designs are already in production, and a few offerings are already in place over on the Twitch store, with more likely to be added over the next few weeks.

Here’s Apple’s Attempt to Attract Core Gaming Audiences

A new Apple ad featuring two of America’s biggest entertainers dropping stereotypically geeky “gamer” lingo is the electronics giant’s first major attempt at attracting gamers to their mobile devices.

The thirty-second commercial, designed to tout the new iPhone’s processing capabilities for mobile gaming, finds Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon remarking that the iPhone’s A8 chip “brings gaming to the next level — I mean, if you’re into that kind of thing.” Friend and collaborator Justin Timberlake joins in on the fun, launching into a hard-fought session of new Super Evil Megacorp multiplayer offering Vainglory that sees Fallon demanding the Suit & Tie singer “stop playing like a noob”.

For Super Evil Megacorp’s part, they’ve made no bones about their desire to keep the mobile gaming revolution going; Vainglory, a self-described “unapologetically core” title, has its sights set on “core” gamers committed to console and PC offerings.

It would be easy to dismiss this an ill-advised attempt by a business to connect with younger audiences, were it not for Apple’s long and storied history of tongue-in-cheek and subversive advertising. This is, after all, the company that brought you 1984, Think Different, the Burn Baby Burn campaign, and Ellen Feiss’ Switch ad, just to name a few examples.

Regardless, it seems as if many have taken the ad to heart and reacted accordingly, as the spot has been upvoted by 95 percent of Redditors on sub-Reddit /r/fellowkids, a message board for poking fun at corporate attempts to connect with younger consumers. One Redditor, in his own words, “cringed [him]self into a black hole that destroyed the Earth.” The reaction on YouTube is markedly better, however.

Apple stands at a serious crossroads in the mobile market, as their long-held supremacy for tablets and smartphones is facing its greatest challenge to date from Android-aligned manufacturers led by Google. If Vainglory can replicate even a portion of chief inspiration League of Legendsrecord-busting revenues, Apple will have plenty to be thankful for this holiday season.

 

CREATIVE: McDonald’s Creates The World’s First French Fry Security System

McDonald’s Canada is looking to inspire laughs with a new app that defends the franchise’s much-beloved fried potato product. The Fry Defender is, yes, a real app which you can download here.

The YouTube video campaign feels like nothing we’ve seen from McDonald’s before, looking to target millennials in a way that feels curiously similar to something that Burger King or Jack in the Box would employ. McDonald’s brings the digital campaign to life with an interactive website and Tumblr, corralling the campaign with the hashtag #stopfrytheft.

Maker Studios Signs Toy Reviewers

There’s a growing trend on YouTube where some folks go to extremes to review the latest toys on the market, whether they’re dolls, action figures or some other form of child’s play thing. Some of the videos are delightful, others can be a bit weird – but in a likable sort of way. The Frozen dress-up doll kit review below should give an idea of just what people are up to.

These videos are getting a great deal of attention – and Disney’s Maker Studios is certainly award of this. The network has signed up five of these “toy review” programmers to join its fold, according to Re/code.

The likes of such channels as DisneyCarToys, among others, have grown quite a bit in popularity, with over 140 million views in a month’s time, as well as one million subscribers for that one unique channel alone.

“Unpacking” videos have grown in popularity over the years, to the point that some, like StyleHaul, have created a lucrative business from it, as that company’s equity has reached around $150 million.

The companies involved – DisneyCarToys, HobbyKidsTV, TheEngineeringFamily, ToysReviewToys and AllToyCollector – will receive a major push from Maker, allowing them to get bigger distribution. As a result, the company will benefit with greater ad revenue.

From a press release, Maker has vowed that the company is “working to incorporate new and existing partners into creator empowerment and access programs across Disney divisions.” So it could possibly sign up even more partners in 2015 if this program comes to financial fruition – including the popular DC Toys Collector, who used to go under the name DisneyCollectorBR. There’s no official word on this just yet, though.

For now, Maker definitely wants to keep the unpacking trend going – especially with a larger, beneficial audience that may be interested in picking up said toys. Hey, Christmas is coming, after all.

 

3 Reasons Why YouTube Gadgets Don’t Work For Brands

By Jessica Klein

For the most part, brands can find success on YouTube in the same way as regular creators — by making compelling content and wisely populating their channels with playlists and strategic annotations. Custom “YouTube gadgets” may seem like one of those smart channel additions, but, according to a recent white paper from Tubular Labs, “Are YouTube Gadgets Worth the Investment for Brands,” they seem to hurt rather than help.

In case you didn’t know, gadgets often substitute the usual YouTube landing page for brands that use them, making the overall layout look unique and highly brand-specific. Perhaps viewers get deterred by the unusual image Whether that’s the cause or not, these statistics, gathered from the 23 most-subscribed brand channels with gadgets and the 23 without, should help brands figure out why gadgets are doing them wrong.

Read more…

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.

 

Asian Mobile Games Are 48% Of The Global Market

The mobile games market continues to thrive, and the region where it’s growing the fastest is Asia. A new overview of the rapidly growing Asian market was prepared by mobile game marketing firm Applift in conjunction with Newzoo, and the report offers a valuable look at some of the key statistics for mobile games in China, South Korea, and Japan.

The report sets the stage for its revelations early. “Asia Pacific is the world’s largest mobile games market with $12.2 billion total revenue in 2014. This amounts to 48 percent of the total global mobile games revenue.” noted the introduction. “Asia is a continent where Android is king, localization of Western games is of paramount importance, live in-game events and support are not only nice to have but expected, and local players sometimes take precedence over the status quo people are used to in Western markets.”

The three top Asian markets are (in order of total revenue) Japan, China, and South Korea. The countries have very different markets, yet there are some commonalities. For one thing, despite the outsized success of titles like Supercell’s Clash of Clans and King’s Candy Crush Saga, games from publishers of that country tend to populate most of the best-selling title lists. It’s clear that a strong understanding of the local markets and culture is important to success in each country. Publishers from other countries either need to get lucky with a title that happens to

All three countries are dominated by Android smartphones, yet the breakdown of market share between iOS and Android is quite different in each country. South Korea is dominated by Android with 85 percent market share, which is due in part to the local presence of Samsung and its massive line of bestselling phones. Japan has a strong iOS market share with 37 percent of the market, while China is slightly behind with only 34 percent of the market owning an iOS device.

It would be a mistake to assume that the gamers in these three Asian countries are interesting in the same type of games to the same degree. The list of the most popular game genres are quite different for each country, though there is some overlap. The top game genres in China are Race, Strategy, RPG, Poker, and Brain Training. The lineup is quite different in Japan, with RPGs as the #1 genre of game, followed by Puzzles, Simulation, Action/Adventure, and Card Games (excluding Poker). South Korea has Puzzles as the #1 genre of game, followed by Race, Simulation, Action/Adventure, and Strategy.

Major differences are seen in the population and the prospects for these three countries. China already has 383 million active mobile gamers out of its 1.37 billion people, with smartphone penetration of the general population at 46.9 percent. The monthly average revenue per paying user (ARPPU) in China is $23.50, and the vast majority (73.6 percent) of payers spend only a small amount. Smartphones are by far the device of choice in China, with 94.4 percent of users employing smartphones to play games — but 51.7 percent also use tablets to play games.

China is poised to take the #2 position in the list of the world’s biggest mobile game markets, right behind Japan, passing up the US sometime in the next year. Clearly there is also plenty of upside expansion left in China, as the penetration of smartphones is still less than half the population. Average cost per install (CPI) levels are at $1.81, much less than Japan or Korea. One obstacle facing China, though, is the absence of the Google Play store (since China prevents Google from operating there) and the consequent fragmentation of the app stores, with dozens competing to be the place where gamers can find games.

Japan’s smartphone penetration is now over 60 percent, according to the report, and 37.9 percent are very active players with an average monhtly ARPPU of $50. That also helps explain the average CPI of $3.14, making it expensive to get your game established through buying installations. Japan has 54 million players out of its 126 million population, so there’s nowhere near as much upside as China posesses.

One of the interesting aspects of the Japanese market is the ‘live events’ that are popular in mobile games. “Live in-game events and gambling hooks are widely used and very successful in order to foster engagement, retention and above all high player revenue in Japan,” the report noted. “Live events are special happenings that show special graphics, characters, etc. for a limited period of time, thereby creating a feeling of urgency and excitement for users.”

One of the classic mechanisms in Japan for attracting users and elevating spending is the gatcha. “Gatcha are gambling mechanisms whereby users pay a certain amount to get an unknown, random virtual item (card, unit, coins, etc.) within a wide value range, for instance through a wheel of fortune. This technique creates a lot of excitement and provides a thrilling gaming experience,” the report stated. No doubt, any resemblance to the English term “gotcha!” is purely coincidental.

South Korea has only 50 million people, but almost half the population (24 million) are players of mobile games, and smartphone penetration is at 73 percent. The monthly ARPPU is a small fraction of Japan’s ARPPU at only $5.27, but the CPI is almost the same at $3.09. The unusual feature of South Korea’s market is the dominance of messaging app KakaoTalk, and its overwhelming power to market games. “Messaging app KakaoTalk is installed on 93 percent of smartphones in South Korea,” the report states. “Its dominance as a mobile games publishing and discoverability platform makes it difficult for publishers to shine through outside of it. Developers should consider publishing here for the viral potential. 9 out of the top 10 grossing apps on Google Play are Kakao published.”

The report concludes that China is the most appealing of the three markets right now. “China’s CPI levels are low in comparison to Japan’s and South Korea’s; one of the reasons behind us crowning it the most globally appealing market out of Asia’s big three,” the report concluded. All three of these markets are good targets for mobile game publishers, but the right approach — and the right partners — are vital to success in all of them.

 

BGR Rounds Up Black Friday Deals

It’s three days until the biggest sales event of the year (well, two for certain retailers), and many shoppers are already getting prepared to deal with the onslaught of midnight madness and other sales to get the best deals. BGR has taken the liberty of making shopping a little more convenient for folks by setting up a Black Friday 2014 cheat sheet, which keeps all the ads and deals in one convenient place.

Through the cheat sheet, all the major retailers are listed, including Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop and others. Although individual deals aren’t listed (that would take an immense amount of space), the cheat sheet does include links to all of the retailers’ Black Friday pages, as well as other notable items when it comes to shopping. For example, with Amazon, Prime subscribers have additional access to special days, up to 30 minutes prior to other consumers.

On BGR’s main page, there are also separate listings for special deals being offered by retailers, including Amazon and Best Buy. These are more detailed than the cheat sheet, and provide a better idea of what retailers may have – in case the sites may be overrun with traffic or all the deals can’t quite be seen.

In addition to store chains, a variety of online retailers’ deals have been included as well. Newegg, for example, will offer deals starting from November 27th at 12:01 AM PDT through the weekend. In addition, Microsoft has also launched a week of special sales for both Xbox One and Xbox 360 games. The full list can be found here, although it should be noted that consumers need an Xbox Live Gold membership to take advantage of most of these deals.

This year’s shopping event is looking to be just as crazy as previous years. In fact, some people have already begun camping out for these special deals, in the hopes of getting the jump on the midnight and Thanksgiving crowds that usually gather. It’s sure to bring in big sales numbers for retailers, but also a little bit of chaos, as some people will apparently get out of control to get the best bargain on a television or another item.

Your best bet Be part of an exclusive shopping program. As stated, Amazon Prime members will have early access to deals, and members of Best Buy’s My BestBuy program can already get select deals that will be handed out to the public this Friday.

Last Day To Enter For A Free Ticket To [a]list summit

[a]listdaily is giving away 2 free passes to our upcoming [a]list summit on Dec. 3rd at the W Hotel in Hollywood, California!  This time, we’re focusing on the most important isses on mobile marketers are facing this year and we have quite the lineup. Interested You have nothing to lose!

Rules and guidelines are outlined below.

To enter the contest, follow [a]listdaily on LinkedIn. All contestants must then send an email to pr@ayzenberg.com with first name, last name and the email address and link to your LinkedIn profile. We’ll verify that your email address receives our newsletter and that you follow us on LinkedIn.

Deadline to enter is 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on Monday, November 24th, 2014.

Two winners will be chosen at random the following day. The winner will be notified by the email address provided along with instructions to claim their tickets.

We’ll see you there!

More details and official rules below.

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WINNERS WILL BE ABLE TO REGISTER ONE NAME FOR PASS TO GO TO  [A]LIST SUMMIT. FOR DETAILS ABOUT THE PASS GO HERE. WINNER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR TRAVEL, ACCOMODATIONS AND ANY OTHER EXPENSES ASSOCIATED WITH CLAIMING THE PRIZE. PRIZE HAS NO MONETARY VALUE. ONCE WINNER HAS REGISTERED NAME FOR STANDARD PASS, THE PRIZE IS NON-TRANSFERABLE. MUST BE OVER 18 TO ENTER. ALL FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL AND MUNICIPAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

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Reservation of Rights: By participating in this giveaway, the contestants agree to be bound by these official rules and the decisions of the giveaway sponsor shall be final in all respects. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify persons found tampering with or otherwise abusing any aspect of this giveaway solely determined by sponsor. In the event that the fairness, security or proper administration of the giveaway is compromised by tampering, fraud, technical failures or other causes beyond the reasonable control of sponsor, sponsor may suspend, modify or terminate the giveaway. Sponsor reserves the right to modify these Official Rules at any time and sponsor will not be responsible for any typographical or other inadvertent errors in these Official Rules or in other announcements or materials relating to the giveaway.

Sony Set To Improve PlayStation Plus

The PlayStation Plus service has been a huge boon for both Sony and consumers since its introduction a few years ago, offering a number of exclusive game releases for download, as well as special deals on other titles that practically make them a steal.

So it should be no surprise then that the user base for the Plus service has quadrupled in size since its introduction, according to DualShockers. A total audience number hasn’t been provided, but considering that over ten million PlayStation 4 units have been sold, it’s no doubt playing a huge part. (PlayStation Plus is required to access online multiplayer with more popular titles, although some believe that isn’t as limited in service as Xbox Live’s Gold program.)

With that, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America Andrew House has explained that there will be a number of improvements to the PlayStation Plus service moving forward, as the company vows to add a number of benefits and features that give consumers the most bang for their buck.

The three areas where Sony plans to improve the service are as follows:

-Strengthening the online multiplayer line-up to drive adoption of the subscription and membership service

-Strengthening the free content delivered to subscribers every month, increasing the value of their subscription package

-Enhancing the community-based features of PlayStation Plus, to make it appealing not just to core gamers, but also to a broader audience

Sony is also looking to provide more alpha and beta access to select titles, just as it did with Evolve and The Crew earlier this month, and also looks to improve the server infrastructure on its PlayStation Network service, although specifics were, again, not mentioned.

PlayStation Plus subscriptions are available for purchase both online and through activation cards that are sold at retailers, so it’s likely to be a big holiday seller alongside PlayStation 4’s this holiday season – especially considering that the console is more readily available than it was last year.

iPad Sees First Ever Decline In Growth

When it comes to tablet sales, many have usually considered Apple’s iPad models to be the cream of the crop, mainly due to their convenience and accessibility. However, with an ever-changing market that introduces a number of competitors, it was only a matter of time before someone came along to shake things up.

A report from IDC indicates that, for the first time since its introduction, full-year iPad shipments have dropped in numbers. This is even with all the iPad models that have been introduced to the market, including the new iPad Air 2 that came out earlier this year.

iPads shipped show a total number of 64.9 million, which is a drop of 12.7 percent on the total number of shipments from last year, according to TechCrunch. That’s still a decent portion in the overall 235.7 million units that shipped in this year’s tablet market – a growth of 7.2 percent over last year.

Nevertheless, this is still bad news for Apple, as the growth between 2012 and 2013 in Apple shipments were much greater, to the tune of a 52.5 percent increase. Meanwhile, Android-based tablets are beginning to dominate the market, with a 68 percent hold overall, totaling almost 160 million devices shipped for the year.

Regardless, Apple continues to be the single-biggest brand in the tablet market with a 27.5 percent share overall, although that comes down to 22.1 percent considering the Q3 performance of iPads on the market. This could open up a big opportunity for Android to take over in 2015, if the right models come out.

“The tablet market continues to be impacted by a few major trends happening in relevant markets,” Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers, writes. “In the early stages of the tablet market, device lifecycles were expected to resemble those of smartphones, with replacement occurring every 2-3 years. What has played out instead is that many tablet owners are holding onto their devices for more than 3 years and in some instances more than 4 years. We believe the two major drivers for longer than expected tablet lifecycles are legacy software support for older products, especially within iOS, and the increased use of smartphones for a variety of computing tasks.”

The report also noted other factors in terms of the market, including replacement cycles having an effect on sales. “Significant advancements have been made recently by hardware manufacturers to advance the 2-in-1, or detachable, product category,” IDC notes, along with thinner and less expensive devices. “Despite these advances, shipments of 2-in-1 devices are only expected to reach 8.7 million units in 2014, which is just 4% of the total tablet plus 2-in-1 market,” it notes.

Consumers can also be hesitant when buying a tablet, according to the report, as newer models are released all the time – particularly with Apple’s cycle.

What does this mean for marketers While Apple will continue to have a hefty hold on the tablet market, some may consider shopping around on Android services, especially considering that it’s slowly but surely taking a strong hold of its own. 2015 will definitely tell a big story when it comes to these devices. Still, Apple holds a dominant position in revenue for tablet apps, especially with games. Will Apple find ways to sell more tablets in 2015, or will Android tablets garner even greater market share