Marketing Jobs for January 21st From DC Entertainment, Netflix, And More

[a]listdaily is 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.

Having trouble focusing Consider these five handy routines to declutter your train of thought.

  • DC Entertainment – Vice President, Marketing (Universal City, Calif.)
  • NBC Universal – Marketing Manager (Burbank, Calif.)
  • Netflix – Manager, Social Media (Los Gatos, Calif.)
  • Yelp – Senior Account Executive: Brand Solutions, Display and Mobile (New York, NY)

For last week’s [a]list jobs postings, click here. Have a position you’d like to place with us Email us at pr@ayzenberg.com.

Things We’ve Learned From NATPE 2015 (Thus Far)

NATPE 2015 is taking place at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach Resort this week, providing companies and individuals with the opportunity to break down the barriers between traditional and digital media with a number of ideas that could very well shape the future of technology as we know it.

Here are some of the stories we’ve learned about thus far from the event this week…

YouTube Set To Launch Originals Later This Year

Per a report from Broadcasting Cable, YouTube has begun preparing a number of original series – both reality-based and scripted – by year’s end, according to Alex Carloss, the head of originals for the channel, during NATPE this week.

However, users shouldn’t expect the traditional standards of broadcasting when the series do go live. “We’re not in the TV production game at a TV level, but we’ll fund beyond what (YouTube creators) would typically be able to realize,” said Carloss.

Episodes can run anywhere between five to 90 minutes each. Carloss continued, “I just heard the head of FX (John Landgraf) over the weekend opine that if you could remove restrictions of duration from 22 minutes or 44 minutes, you could rightsize your storytelling to what was appropriate.”

User-generated content will continue to be a focus on the channel, though. “I don’t think you would want to move too far beyond (our established) playbook,” said Carloss. “But you could imagine a series of sketches stitched together and working, or an unscripted reality show focused on wish fulfillment or a next generation talk show shot in someone’s bedroom. You’ll see us really try to work our playbook but then try to raise that bar.

“We want to be able to double-down on wins and fail fast on misses,” he added.

More details on YouTube’s plans can be found here.

Stations Like Their Programming Partnerships

During NATPE this week, station-based programmers voiced their support over their own programming, which provides better control over schedules and inventory, according to Broadcasting Cable.

“It’s not exclusively about owning a piece of content for the sake of a back end that may or may not come down the road, it’s more about having control and taking back control. For our groups, it’s more about having a say at the table,” said Sean Compton, Tribune Media president of strategic programming and acquisitions.

“We are trying more than ever before to control our time periods,” said Robert Sullivan, Scripps Media VP of programming. “We were handling those time periods over (to the studios) and saying program them for us.”

Three groups on the panel – Scripps, Tribune and Raycom, have each worked with syndicators in regards to partnerships with programming, and that’s bound to continue, although there’s better preference to off-net sitcoms, rather than first-run shows. “We’re never doing two year deals again,” said Sullivan. “Never. Katie killed our daytime time periods.”

High prices and long-term commitment have proven to be hindrances with some deals, according to the team. “We were a big buyer of sitcoms,” said Compton. “For the most part, deals were four or seven years. A sitcom that came out a couple of years ago had the potential of being 11 years. I freaked out about that. I want to be in this business for a while and I don’t want to be living with that down the road.

“It’s not just about owning a piece of the show, it’s not just about controlling your destiny, a lot of it has to do with having the freedom to program your stations.”

Sullivan added, “The culture has changed, industry has changed and we have to pivot. We didn’t get into it to have more leverage over the studios. We want to partner with the studios when the content is right at the right price. Studios are approaching us and saying let’s approach it from a multi-partnership standpoint – that’s glaciers moving in terms of how the studios have always run.”

More details on this panel can be found here.

Overstock.com Trying Hand At Original Content

As if enough teams aren’t producing original content, Overstock.com is getting into the action, according to this report from Broadcasting Cable. The company announced during a press conference that a video streaming subscription would be coming, tying in with the company’s Club O loyalty program.

“We have this tremendous traffic and we have a deep understanding of our customers,” said CEO Patrick M. Byrne. “We know what they are looking for.”

An unnamed third party will team up with Overstock, providing not only movies but also TV shows. A download (or to rent) system should be introduced sometime midway through the year, but a better subscription based video-on-demand program will be included down the road, with the possibility of original programming.

“We chose NATPE because as we’ve been spinning this effort out, we’ve discovered that NATPE is the place to go, it’s where the deal making happens,” said Byrne. “We are here to deepen our relationships in this industry. When this gets launched, we intend to be a player in original content.

“I travel around the world to meet people,” he continued. “There are opportunities to turn that into some original content.”

The Club O membership currently runs at $19.95 per year, although members would pay an additional per-download fee once content is introduced.

More details can be found here.

Big Winners at NATPE Reality Breakthrough Awards

NATPE isn’t just about big deals; it’s about providing awards to those that provide breakthroughs in reality television. And the inaugural Reality Breakthrough Awards allowed them to do just that, according to Variety.

Shark Tank, ABC’s show about people trying to launch business ideas, won the reality competition series categories, while USA Network’s Chrisley Knows Best – which features an eccentric patriarch and his family – won in the docu-soap category.

Other winners included Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown in the factual program category, NBC’s Hollywood Game Night for best game show, and Discovery Channel’s Naked and Afraid won for best reality format.

The show was strictly business, with no lavish dance numbers to be found, but it still recognized those that made huge strides forward in the reality TV department.

Look for more stories from NATPE tomorrow!

What EVO Means To Gaming And eSports

There’s no question that the face of eSports has changed quite a bit over the years, with games like DOTA 2 and League of Legends drawing millions of fans and getting special tournaments where large cash prizes are at stake. But there’s another arena where players are gathering and creating a large, robust community – fighting games.

A number of tournaments, like the Capcom Cup, celebrate the art form of the fighting game, but there’s no bigger stage for the medium than EVO, a yearly tournament that takes place in Las Vegas and brings the best tournament players from around the world to compete in a variety of games, including Capcom staples like Street Fighter IV and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.

This year’s tournament, which takes place from July 15-17 at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, should be bigger than ever. Not only are older favorites coming back to the tournament, but companies are bringing some of their biggest releases as well, including Bandai Namco’s forthcoming Tekken 7 and WB Games’ Mortal Kombat X, which releases in April.

Over the years, EVO has become quite big with popularity, not only with in-person attendees who get into the rhythm of each match and cheer on its combatants, but also with an online audience, as millions of fans flock to EVO’s Twitch channel to see the action happen live. And it’s getting bigger with each year.

Not only is the fighting community staying loyal to EVO, but also companies. Last year, the tournament was host to Bandai Namco’s initial Tekken 7 announcement, which created huge buzz in the industry. Nintendo has also turned around its thoughts on the tournament, at first not allowing organizers to use their Super Smash Bros. games, but later changing its mind and embracing the idea of competition. (This year’s tournament will include two Smash Bros. games, including the much-beloved Super Smash Bros. Melee for GameCube – a favorite amongst hardcore fighting fans.)

And, of course, Twitch makes an ideal business partner for a tournament such as this, allowing those who couldn’t make it in person to see each match as it happens, with live commentary from Joey “MrWizard” Cuellar and others. It’s a highly energetic experience that fans get into every year – with a larger growing base with each new tournament.

News outlets have also picked up on certain stories coming out of EVO, like in 2011, when an 8-year old named Noah (Child Prodigy) managed to work his way up the ranks. Considering the tournament is open to a number of players (and not just pros), it’s great to see such folks get their opportunity to shine.

So, yes, EVO 2015 will be a big deal when it takes place this summer, once again attracting the fighting elite and their loyal fans as they mix it up in a number of titles. You can bet companies will be on hand as well with their titles and accessories, as well as plenty of news generating from the event, including more on Tekken 7, which should launch for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sometime later this year.

Those interested in learning more about EVO can do so here. Key moments from last year’s tournament can be found below.

CREATIVE: Here’s Your Survival Guide To ‘Evolve’

Evolve takes place on a dangerous, terrifying planet named Shear, a location poised to become one of the biggest tourist attractions in the gaming community. But what exactly is there to do once you’re enjoying the harsh weather and unstable terrain that this world has to offer Never fear, because Ayzenberg is here with a glorious seven minute survival guide with everything you could possibly want to know about the game.

No detail is spared during this deep dive into what exactly Evolve is going to be. Focusing on the specifics of each class, monster, and game mode, even the newest of the noobs can (base)jump into Evolve feeling like a pro. The team at Ayzenberg wrote, edited, and captured all gameplay for the trailer.

For PAX South, Highlighting Independent Creators Is Key

PAX South is gearing up right now to take over San Antonio, Texas, this weekend, and it promises to be the first in another series of successful shows for the Penny Arcade crew. The PAX gaming festival began as a celebration of games and gamer culture in Seattle, WA and has since grown to four consumer shows and a developer event annually. The annual conventions include an expo floor filled with playable builds of upcoming tabletop, console, and computer games, a conference program of game industry speakers, music concerts, freeplay areas, industry parties, an independent games showcase, game tournaments and more. Since its inception in 2004, the show has experienced skyrocketing attendance, with tens of thousands of attendees at all four events.

The PAX South show looks like another good opportunity for game marketers to not only show their best games to attendees, but also to get some insights into the gaming enthusiasts in the region and what they are looking forward to playing this year. The region is home to plenty of gamers, as well as strong developer communities in the nearby Austin area and other parts of Texas. Check out the website at www.paxsite.com for more information.

The [a]listdaily spoke with Robert Khoo, president of Penny Arcade, to get some insights on the upcoming event.

Why did you choose San Antonio as the next place for expanding PAX?

There are a lot of factors that go into a city choice, logistically (hotel room capacities, infrastructure, airports, etc), but once those hurdles are cleared it really comes down to the vibe of the city. Truth be told, after a nearly three year search for a good central location, I flew into San Antonio for a site tour not thinking much of it, but in a few hours I was in l love with the place. The uniqueness of the city, the Riverwalk, the gaming culture in San Antonio and the surrounding cities — I knew we found our spot.

The exhibit floor from a previous PAX show

What are some of the exciting things at PAX South that attendees can look forward to?

I think having one roof in which to celebrate just the culture of gaming is a really amazing thing to be a part of. Everyone has their passion, right But how often to tens of thousands of like-minded individuals get to gather in one spot to participate and cheer on the thing they love the most It’s really a special feeling. But specifically, we’ve got panels, concerts, YouTuber autograph sessions, a giant exhibition hall, freeplay, tournaments, and more, all focused on PC, Console and Tabletop gaming.

What is the size of the audience you expect for PAX South, both in attendance and those seeing it online or through social media?

Although we don’t really track “numbers” these days, it’ll be comparable to our other shows in terms of size and crowds. I will say something important to note is that we only have a limited number of Friday and Sunday badges left, so if you planned on showing up onsite to buy tickets, follow @official_pax on twitter to make sure they’re still available.

What are some of the games that people will get an advance look at during PAX South?

I think one of the best parts to PAX is our push to highlight independent creators. So right along with some of the bigger names like Nintendo, Alienware, and Gearbox are a ton of smaller 1 to 2 person teams working on innovative and unique titles that you just wouldn’t find elsewhere. We also dedicated our show competition to tabletop games only, meaning we selected from a pool of entrants the best and brightest for those creating analog titles. So be sure to check out the PAX South Tabletop Indie Showcase on the floor as well!

What eSports are going to be at PAX South, and how big a draw do you expect them to be?

eSports aren’t huge at any of our PAXes, so if you see them at the show, it’ll be a smaller presence. We try to keep a good balance to all the different parts of the game community and culture.

AppsFlyer: Creating The Mobile Ad Measurement Standard

The rapid growth of mobile advertising, projected by market research firm eMarketer to hit $64 billion globally this year and reach $158 billion by 2018, has attracted a great number of firms seeking to help advertisers reach mobile users. The array of ad networks, numbering in the hundreds, is daunting enough. Of course, just placing a mobile ad is only the beginning — you need to measure its effectiveness and analyze the results. Trying to do that across dozens or hundreds of ad networks, then adding in the complexities of different ad formats, social media, analytics tools and much more . . . it’s mind-numbingly complicated.

So it’s not surprising that many advertisers remain cautious with mobile advertising. Who wants to spend a lot of money if you’re not able to truly measure the effectiveness of the spend . Enter mobile ad tech firm AppsFlyer, seeking to alleviate this problem by providing a complete suite of software tools enabling advertisers to measure, analyze and optimize mobile advertising across all media sources, including paid, organic, viral and social.

AppsFlyer announced today it has raised $20 million in Series B funding, in a round led by Fidelity Growth Partners Europe (FGPE), with participation from AppsFlyer’s existing investors, Magma Venture Partners and Pitango Venture Capital. With this funding, the company has raised $28 million to date.

AppsFlyer’s NativeTrack technology provides app marketers, brands and agencies with unbiased, independent measurement of campaigns across more than 800 mobile ad networks and media sources. The company has racked up some impressive statistics since its launch in 2011: Its universal software development kit (SDK) has been installed over 4 billion times and can be found in 9 out of every 10 smartphone devices; more than 4,000 advertisers currently use AppsFlyer software to measure and analyze over $1 billion in annual mobile ad spend; and the company tracked more than 2 billion app installations in 2014.

The company’s technology is being adopted by many companies, and it’s working with leading platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google as an official Mobile Measurement Partner. AppsFlyer also provides direct integration to many of the leading third-party analytics, automation and delivery providers, including Mixpanel, Swrve, Game Analytics, deltaDNA and many others. In December, AppsFlyer launched OneLink, a unique, all-in-one smart deeplinking solution to help marketers simplify app marketing across all platforms and mediums, including email, web, search, mobile and all other paid media sources.

AppsFlyer plans to invest the funds in R&D to accelerate development of its product offerings, including new tools to help marketers measure the impact of their advertising, marketing and retargeting campaigns. The company will also expand its international growth by opening new offices throughout the world to complement existing offices in San Francisco, Tel Aviv and Beijing. Additionally, the company will invest in its knowledge center to provide key insights and education that help the industry understand the rapidly evolving mobile advertising landscape.

“Our mission is to empower advertisers with unbiased information and to give them the marketing toolbox they need to conduct smarter, more effective mobile marketing,” said Oren Kaniel, AppsFlyer CEO and co-founder. “We are thrilled with this investment from Fidelity because it will allow us to maintain our platform neutrality and to further develop the mobile advertising SaaS platform the industry is waiting for.”

Oren Kaniel and Reshef Mann

The [a]listdaily spoke exclusively with Kaniel about the company’s ad technology and the future of mobile advertising.

The complexity of ad and marketing tech, and the number of ad networks out there, continues to grow. How does AppsFlyer help marketers cope with this increasingly complex market?

Simplifying the complexity is our mission. The AppsFlyer universal SDK supports 800 different ad-networks; additional ad-networks and functionalities are added without the need to update our SDK. Everything is available to our clients automatically from our dashboard. The AppsFlyer SDK also support retargeting with all the ad-networks that supports that without the need to add more SDK’s and in-app events/pixels. Users segmentation and targeting is set once, and can be streamed to Facebook, Twitter, Google and others for retargeting. AppsFlyer’s OneLink, smart deeplinking solution simplifies marketers work across any device, any platform and any scenario whether the required app is installed or not.

How hard is it for marketers to get up and running with AppsFlyer? How well does it integrate with existing technologies that they may already be using?

It is super simple. They need to drop our SDK and few lines of code. We also offer a great way to integrate with other 3rd party in-app analytics providers such as Mixpanel directly from our dashboard.

How well does AppsFlyer work for game publishers, and does it help track not just installs but longer term engagement and monetization of games, as well as cross-promotion of game titles?

AppsFlyer tracks installs and every user action that follows these installs, such as, engagement, in-app purchases etc. In addition, we offer retention and cohort reports. AppsFlyer’s NativeTrack can track any type of media sources: Paid, social, cross promo and user referrals. The OneLink solution is leveraged for user referral programs by utilizing the attribution capabilities.

Where do you see the mobile ad market growing the fastest, both geographically and in terms of brand types ? (consumer products, retail, services, games, etc.)

We see a hyper growth all around. We expect to see faster growth for apps that generates some kind of return/revenue. By leveraging the AppsFlyer’s measurement tools, marketers can identify their profitable campaigns and increase their budgets indefinitely.

What types of mobile ads are performing best these days, and what changes do you see ahead in mobile ad types? Will we see more video, interstitials, banners, other types of mobile ads?

Ad type is usually a sales pitch. In the end of the day, marketers are looking for ROI. Better ROI is usually achieved by better targeting. We expect ad-networks to improve their targeting and overall performance. We expect to see more CPA campaigns where the marketers are paying only for valuable actions.

Everything You Need To Know About Today’s Windows 10 Event

Free To Upgrade To Windows 10 In The First Year

The Windows 10 event began at 9 am this morning with Microsoft’s Terry Myerson giving an overview of what to anticipate from the latest iteration of Windows. Most exciting of all was learning that Windows 10 will be free to upgrade for those using Windows 8.1 and Windows 7. Same goes for phones, too.

Cortana Comes To PC

Cortana will no longer be relegated to mobile as she will bring a “new natural way of interacting with your PC,” says Joe Belfiore, Corporate Vice President, Operating Systems Group at Microsoft.

Windows PC and Tablet Will Have The Xbox App

Xbox One, meet the PC.

Gaming Shines

Gaming figures hugely in the Microsoft 10 experience. Beyond the Xbox App, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer talks about what these means for the integration of PC and console gaming. “Bringing more power to Windows 10 gaming is incredibly important to us,” he said. It becomes clear that they really mean it with Direct-X 12.

HoloLens “Brings Technology Into Our World”

Undoubtedly the most exciting announcement of the day was of course the HoloLens, a project that Microsoft has been working on for some time now “underneath everyone’s noses.” The device will allow its users to manipulate, create and interact with holograms, a futuristic tech that you’ve likely only imagined about.

Microsoft’s Alex Kipman shows how HoloStudio will do for holographic technology what Microsoft Paint did for the PC. The HoloLens truly allows us to bring technology into our world.

Social’s Purchase Influence Grows

“We’re finally seeing the correlation from social to sales that we’ve intuitively known to be true in our understanding of changing consumer behaviors. It’s only going to grow faster and the brands who’ve significantly invested in their social presence will be ahead of the pack,” says Suzy Ghov, Senior Strategic Planner at Ayzenberg, in light of a new social e-commerce report from Business Insider.

The report sheds light on what has been an as-yet difficult to quantify aspect of marketing and shows just where social lies in the e-commerce mix. While you can read the full report here, we’ve extracted the most important aspects of the report for marketers below.

  • As more retailers are utilizing social to promote products, they are seeing earnings from these efforts. As a result, social shopping has grown 60 percent from 2012 to 2013 while e-commerce as a whole only grew 17 percent in that same period. But that’s not all. These are only the quanitiable numbers that we can measure with direct referrals and doesn’t account for the journey in the purchase process.
  • “Buy” buttons only stand to improve these conversion rates. Facebook and Twitter are currently testing these utilities.
  • Facebook leads the way for referrals and sales. A share on Facebook averages $3.58 in revenue and a Twitter share is 85 cents. Facebook has spawned Facebook-native e-commerce businesses as a result.
  • Instagram AOV has increased from $51 to $128 per order in one year.

What Marketers Will Be Paying Attention To At The First PAX South Ever

For years, the Penny Arcade Expo events — or PAX, for short — have gained a huge following with the gaming community, with each one selling out of tickets in a matter of hours and drawing thousands of folks from around the world. PAX South, making its debut in San Antonio this week, should be no exception.

Although the event won’t be as big as PAX Prime or PAX East events — they’ve been established for years, and this is just an upstart — it will be a big draw for local developers and companies alike, and provide tons of stuff for attendees to be excited about.

With that, here are what is sure to be the biggest draws at this year’s event.

The debut of the New Nintendo 3DS

Last week, Nintendo announced that its newer model 3DS (cleverly named The New Nintendo 3DS) would be arriving at retail on February 13th for $199.99. PAX South will mark the first time that users will be able to go hands-on with the device, testing out its smoothed-over 3D and playing new games like The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. In addition, the Nintendo Store is rumored to be allowing for a few pre-orders of the limited edition Zelda model, though Nintendo has yet to confirm.

In addition, several Wii U games should be on hand as well, including forthcoming games like Kirby and the Rainbow Curse and Mario Maker, among others. It’s a great opportunity for fans to check out what’s coming up.

Gearbox Software

Since Gearbox Software is a Texas-based company, its presence at PAX South should be quite immense. The team already has a huge Community Day event planned for the entire weekend of the show, with a number of panels and the opportunity to meet-and-greet with certain members of the crew, including president Randy Pitchford.

Gearbox has a lot of energy going into PAX South, with forthcoming games like Homeworld and Battleborn in development, along with the recently announced Borderlands: The Handsome Collection, which will debut on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 this March with Borderlands 2 and Borderlands the Pre-Sequel in one convenient package. It’s possible that these games could be on the show floor as well, with 2K Games likely to be in attendance.

Regardless, game fans won’t want to miss what this team has up its sleeves — and they could win something for their trouble as well.

BioWare Base

Like Gearbox, BioWare has a huge following of gamers, mainly due to its highly successful Dragon Age: Inquisition, which debuted for consoles and PC late last year with flying colors. The BioWare Base will host a number of panels in its own right, along with special signings and giveaways of shirts and other goods.

In addition, educational panels regarding artwork and storytelling will also take place, and cosplay fans will be able to take part in a parade on Saturday.

Twitch.tv

Popular broadcasting channel Twitch will be on hand at the event, with a number of personalities hosting a Town Hall meeting for fans, as well as live gameplay sessions, which will of course be broadcasted over the company’s official channel. In addition, a special party on Friday night will feature plenty of playable stations for Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm, along with karaoke, dancing and giveaways.

Those who can’t attend PAX South will get to take part in the fun as well, as Twitch will line up a number of giveaways for folks watching at home. So, it’s almost as good as being at the event. Almost.

Independent Games Aplenty

As with any PAX-related events, South will be a huge spot for emerging independent game developers. Devolver Digital already has a number of promising projects lined up for its booth on the show floor, including Enter the Gungeon and Magnetic; and other small-group developers will be showing off their wares for PC and consoles, including Hive Jump, Titan Souls (pictured above), Sportsball, Moonrise, Stellar, Rebel Galaxy and others.

Plus, the way that the booths are set up, fans will be able to discuss these projects with developers while they play, gaining insight that will help them get better. It’s a great way to get to know the people behind the games.

CREATIVE: ‘Strafe’s’ Kickstarter Trailer Is Like A Missing Cronenberg Short

When it comes to Kickstarter campaigns, standout indie game developers are known for getting rather entrepreneurial. Few, however, can match the delightfully gonzo bag of tricks Strafe’s marketing team has at their disposal.

Strafe, a first-person shooter by Los Angeles-based indie developer Pixel Titans with an aesthetic recalling Doom, Wolfenstein, and other gloriously 32-bit PC games of the mid-1990s, is in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign seeking to raise just over $185,000 by February 19. Started just yesterday, the campaign is already seeing funding in the tens of thousands. Described by its creators as “the fastest, bloodiest, deadliest, most adjective-abusing, action-packed first-person shooter of 1996”, Strafe’s aggressive roll-out includes a trailer befitting of a Cronenberg film.

The trailer, as retro-campy as it is gleefully violent, mixes gameplay footage with a story of a boy’s obsession with the game, his younger brother’s fated desire to play, and their harried mother caught up in the unfolding madness. If ever there were a spot likely to make you think “Long live the new flesh!”, this would be it.

It would seem that Strafe’s developers are courting gamers with an offbeat sense of humor who might be jaded by gaming’s reliance on graphics as a marketing tool at times. Nostalgia is a powerful thing, something Strafe is aware of with its 90s-heavy aesthetic. As “core” gamers continue to be attracted to PC gaming, the fact Strafe was built for both PC and Oculus is notable. Oculus’ promise of a beautiful and immersive gaming VR future has inspired a huge base of fanboys and Pixel Titans is betting on them.

Strafe’s advertised features include “BILLIONS of level possibilities”, Oculus Rift compatibility, and “UBER-GORE Tech for ludicrously persistent gibs”. If their funding goal is reached, Strafe’s developers are offering silly incentives like customized AOL buddy icons and “EARLY SHAREWARE ACCESS”.