Digital TV Ad Market Continues To Bloom

Television industry executives better pay attention, because the digital video market isn’t really “just a phase.” At least, not anymore.

A new report from video ad tech firm FreeWheel indicates that digital video operations are on the rise, with a 67 percent overall increase on their fall 2014 TV shows’ digital video ad views. That’s a huge bump from the same numbers in 2013, according to Digiday. That’s over 125 million video views measured by the company.

“That big, granular number shows what content is really driving growth,” said Brian Dutt, author of the report and advisory services director for FreeWheel. “A lot of the audiences coming into digital are coming over for the shows they would have watched on their TV or DVR.”

The overall industry has seen a 215 percent growth in video ad views for the fourth quarter of 2013. The charts below break down some of the finer details.

In this chart, you see that traditional television advertising is still popular, but not quite as strong as digital video, as the numbers show a slight difference by about three percent in both categories, including full year and Q4 breakdowns.

When it comes to ad revenue growth, total ad spend came to $68.5 billion, compared to just $6 billion for digital video the year before. Traditional networks are starting to find more of an audience, but, as you can see, AMC still rules the roost, behind such original programming as Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead.

Live sports really make a difference with digital video, and sports play a part in that, along with TV shows and feature films. “Long-form” content, as it’s considered, accounts for 52 percent of overall digital ad views – and, as you can see from the chart above, it’s been rising steadily over each quarter.

“There’s obviously still a long way to go for digital video to match the scale of (traditional television), but it can happen in pretty quick bursts,” said Dutt. “The growth in TV Everywhere and live really speaks to that.

“It starts with the Olympics or World Cup or Super Bowl, these big events where if you’re not near your TV and need to engage with the content, you’re going to do whatever you need to do to watch,” he continued. “Then it becomes a way people want to continue engaging with content.”

While tablets and mobile devices are key ingredients to digital viewing success, people still prefer set-top boxes and game consoles, like the PlayStation 4, to get their fix, according to this chart. 70 percent of overall views seem to come from a more stable desktop/laptop set-up, compared to only 15 percent for smartphones.

“A lot of the initial usage has been focused on subscription models, and also the download-to-own models,” explained Dutt. “The ad models have been a little bit slower to get into those environments, in part because of measurability issues… but, at the end of the day, the 50-inch screen in your living room has to be the place where people engage with premium content in an ad-supported environment.

“One day we’re all expecting that (over-the-top) devices will drive the lion’s share of the growth.”

You can learn more details about this report here.

There’s No Auto-Jump On Marketing Automation

Marketing automation plays a decent part in business these days, and, according to eMarketer, it’s only going to get bigger.

Of course, that’s because there’s plenty of room to grow. A report from Ascend2 held back in December indicates that only 24 percent of marketing professionals on a worldwide basis report using any form of marketing automation to an extent. However, there’s potential in growth in the years ahead, as 35 percent indicated they use it a limited amount, and 34 percent that weren’t currently using it stating that they would in the future.

CallidusCloud had equally small findings, with just under 13 percent of those polled stating they had successfully automated 75 percent or more of their sales and marketing processes. More than half also said that fewer than 50 percent of their processes were automated.

However, it’s a big part of business for future purposes. Ascend2’s poll indicates that 86 percent of respondents believe marketing automation can be successful to achieving certain objectives for their companies. However, only 25 percent believe this could be “very” successful, with room for improvement in the user department.

When it comes to a good marketing automation strategy, 47 percent of those polled believe increasing sales revenues and lead generation are key areas, followed by improving lead nurturing (44 percent), improving customer engagement (37 percent) and improving marketing productivity (33 percent).

However, only 20 percent of respondents stated that improving marketing-sales alignment was a top priority for marketing automation. This is a bit of cause for concern, but there’s always room to learn and, eventually, grow.

But spending is about to increase big-time with technology, as CIO reports that spending will jump by $120 billion over the next decade — a whopping jump from the $1.2 billion for this year. “This is unprecedented growth in any software category I’ve ever come across,” said Ashu Garg, general manager for Foundation Capital. “There’s a fundamental shift, an irreversible trend, of consumers living in a digital world” with a demand for more marketing technology.

That said, some marketers still need to figure out a way to master its tech, mainly in the social media department. Adweek reports that approximately 87 percent of business to business marketers use social media, but less than one in five (17 percent) can actually measure return on investment, or ROI for short. In the business to consumer market, the number is a little higher in both areas, but only by 87 percent for general social media use, and 27 percent being able to calculate ROI.

So, as you can see, there are still improvements to made all around with marketing tech — but the market will grow, and there’s no stopping it.

Google’s Jason Spero On Getting Mobile Marketing Right

Marketing doesn’t come easy – nor should it. Exploring new ideas and finding products that can connect easily with consumers are always a work in progress, as companies attempt to improve upon their practices and, as a result, pick up more business.

But paying attention to the consumer and understanding their path to purchase is a vital ingredient in this success, at least according to Google vice president of performance media Jason Spero. Sometimes the path to what leads to a purchase can be more important than the purchase itself, according to this VentureBeat article.

Spero talked at this week’s VentureBeat Mobile Summit in San Francisco, explaining the logic behind this thinking. “The more you can capture data” for said path, “the more you can have a one-on-one conversation” surrounding the consumer, according to Spero.

Data plays a key part as well, as the more data that’s captured about the consumer’s lingering for a product, “the more you can build attribution models for a multi-touch world,” he explained.

Engaging consumers – and making sure the right teams are doing so – is also important. “It’s going to be about who has the data,” he explained, “who understands the user.”

Knowing intent is above all else, no matter what other data comes into play, though. He believes that “layers of intent” make all the difference.

Spero’s thoughts come at a time when mobile marketers are having a struggle trying to figure out how to attribute sales to specific content and devices, according to this subsequent VentureBeat piece. Joe Megibow, chief digital officer at American Eagle Outfitters, gave his thoughts on this subject at the Mobile Summit conference in Sausalito, California earlier this week.

With multiple devices being used, ads can be seen in a more common way, although marketers could have a tough time figuring out which ones are successful. Word of mouth is also hard to track at times, especially if social media isn’t used.

Megibow explained through an IBM study that, although 50 percent of consumers use mobile devices for purchases, far more actually go through their desktop computers, where they outweigh mobile ones nearly three-to-one.

“If mobile is growing like crazy but it is converting only a third as well as on the desktop, you have a serious problem,” he said. “The data is saying ‘don’t spend any more marketing dollars on mobile,’ but that’s obviously wrong.”

Mollie Spilman, Critero chief revenue officer, had her own thoughts as well, believing that 27 percent of sales now take place on smartphones – and they’ll only get better. “More sales are going to happen on smartphones than tablets or desktops,” she explained.

To learn more on this research, check out this report here.

GDC 2015: What Lies Ahead

The Game Developers Conference is holding its 28th conference next week in San Francisco, which last year attracted over 24,000 game developers to the week-long mix of tutorials, workshops, lectures, exhibit hall, game awards, and networking. Any company that has any interest in the games industry will generally find a way to be there in some way, even if it’s only virtually.

The fascinating thing about GDC is that it covers the entire scope of the game industry. “We do make sure we have good diversity of companies and genders and such like within our board members and I think we’ve done a good job of reflecting a lot of the changes — the move from AAA to indie or at least the diversification that we’ve seen so I’m proud that we’re a show where Blizzard and Riot talk about stuff but also some of the smallest indies talk about stuff,” said UBM Tech’s Simon Carless.

There are seven different session tracks at GDC, including Advocacy, Audio, Business/Marketing/Management, Design, Monetization, Production, Programming, and Visual Arts. There’s also eight different summits, which include AI, Community Management, eSports, F2P, Game Narrative, Education, Independent Games, and Martphone & Tablet games. There is far more than any one person or even a team of people can take in, which is why it’s fortunate that GDC records most sessions for later review.

Consoles will, as usual feature heavily at GDC, with plenty of sessions devoted to talking about console games. There’s no doubt that Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo will be making an effort to sway more developers to working on their platforms. It’s quite likely that there will be some new tools and features unveiled by the manufacturers for their consoles, so keep an eye on the news.

Virtual Reality (VR) will be very much real at GDC, even if there may not be a lot of hard information to be had on tech specs, prices, and release dates. Sony will be offering up more experience with Project Morpheus, and we can expect to see a lot of the Oculus Rift in evidence. There are other VR/AR contenders as well, such as Microsoft’s HoloLens, CastAR, Magic Leap, Samsung’s Gear VR, and even Google’s new collaboration with Mattel on the ViewMaster. There will be plenty of discussions about VR, both formal, and informal, and you’ll see all these companies (and more)

Valve has just released the following statement to the press: “Valve will show a family of new Steam devices at next week’s Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, CA. Products being demonstrated at GDC include Steam Machines with the final Steam Controller, new living room devices, and a previously-unannounced SteamVR hardware system. Developers and publishers interested in experiencing the new SteamVR hardware may request to schedule a GDC demo at http://www.steampowered.com/universe.”

Valve also noted that it has surpassed 125 million active accounts worldwide in its 13 years. Steam now offers 4500 games, with 400 million pieces of user-generated content contributed by members of the Steam Community. It will be interesting to see what response Valve gets as it tries to make the Steam Machine into a competitive new console.

Mobile games, of course, will be in full attendance at GDC. The conference’s center of attention is swinging in that direction, right along with the way the majority of revenue in the industry is trending. Many of the sessions will be devoted to all aspects of mobile games.

 

GDC Strategy
It’s best to have a plan of attack before hitting the show and becoming overwhelmed by the array of choices ahead of you. There’s plenty of walking involved between the various sections of Moscone (North, South, and West), as well as other nearby venues — so you have to factor in transit time between events that you want to attend.

Don’t forget to plan for time to network. Schedule those important meetings well in advance, so you can avoid conflicts with things you really want to attend. Bring plenty of business cards, which are still useful even in this highly technological industry.

The Expo is also a key place to visit, where you can find hundreds of companies showing all maner of products and services aimed at the game industry — as well as very active recruting efforts by a number of companies. The Expo is also a prime source of information about where the industry is headed, and what things will be important in the coming year. After all, if there’s a dozen companies that have spent a lot of money to by booths to tell you about something, it’s probably going to be an important part of business to know about.

No mention of GDC would be complete without referencing the parties and other events that are going on throughout the show. There are cocktail receptions, massive musical events, and invitation-only gatherings for every variety of product, service, and company. There’s far more than anyone can attend, and even all the walking you’ll do won’t be enough to burn off the calories you could consume at these events if you’re not careful. Pace yourself, especially when it comes to the liquor – few things are worse than trying to follow a technical presentation while suffering from a hangover.

Reaching For the Stars With YouTube

Over the past few years, YouTube has been able to create some unlikely superstars who have managed to amass a large audience within a limited period of time. After all, PewDiePie started out small but has become YouTube’s biggest sensation, making millions of dollars a year through posted videos and partnerships with other companies.

A new article from Digiday points out that even the smallest of video creators can gain celebrity status on the channel, with just the right amount of creativity. Although that doesn’t mean they’re rolling in millions, they can create a large, suitable audience in which to expand even further.

Take, for example, The Kloons, a group of YouTube sensations that have gained quite a following. The team has been working nearly five years on creating comedy sketches for the channel, and it appears to be paying off, with over 217,000 subscribers following them, and over 460,000 monthly video views across the two programs they post on a monthly basis. (This is according to research from YouTube analytics platform OpenSlate.)

The article explains that the Kloons are not “rolling money,” or “living the high life,” but they are on the verge of creating full-time work from their dream project.

Co-Kloon Greg Washburn noted, “It was just the right amount of naivety. We had no idea how to do it, which was perfect. I think if we knew how much of a shitshow it was going to be, if we had a snapshot of the next five years, we may have said no.” Instead, the team simply decided “let’s make our own thing.”

With the right amount of equipment (including suitable cameras and other technical gear), the team has managed to evolve its work into something more, although keeping its comic focus in check. As a result, the Kloons channel has gotten more than 23 million lifetime YouTube views, as well as a push through The Ellen Degeneres Show, where episodes of Sisters have aired.

“While all of that is awesome, it also doesn’t matter,” says Kloons co-partner Mitch Lewis. “You go through peaks and valleys. The first time you have a viral video is amazing, but that lasts about 24 hours, and then you’re right back where you were 24 hours ago…we’re very grateful for our recent success, and we’re enjoying it, but it’s important not to get too attached to it.”

The Kloons don’t necessarily want fame and fortune, only stability enough to keep their work going. The team actually works on other stuff in the meantime, as Lewis managed the official YouTube channel for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and Washburn shoots video for clients.

The team decided not to join up with partners like Maker Studios and Fullscreen, instead trying to stay independent. “For some people, particularly if you have a massive following, you have to outsource some management aspects of all that, and you’re in a place to negotiate a deal that seems very fair,” said Lewis. “We’re a three-man team. We do have the resources to manage some of that stuff on our own. We’ve found that to be the best solution for us so far.

“We want to sell out; we just want to sell out smart. We want to work with companies where we can sleep all right at night.”

Check out The Kloons’ work on Sisters in the video below, in which a pair of 30 year old men lip-synch a conversation between two 60-year old women – with hilarious results. We certainly wish The Kloons the best of luck.

 

The Young Turks’ Cenk Uygur On Making Content for Facebook, Hulu And YouTube

by Jessica Klein

The Young Turks online news network is known for its huge YouTube presence — but, as with other creators on the world’s biggest video site, its future isn’t with YouTube alone. The network has started to distribute programming across other major online video hubs, including Hulu and, most recently, Facebook, with its latest series “Final Judgment,” which provides a spin on the biggest news stories from TYT boss Cenk Uygur.

Today, The Young Turks Network still make most of its revenue from YouTube, but according to Uygur, his strategy isn’t necessarily to keep things that way. Uygur spoke to us about making the online news network’s first series for the Facebook audience, and the network’s plans for news domination…

Why did you decide to produce your latest series, “Final Judgment,” for Facebook? What are the advantages of making the show for Facebook over YouTube (and vice versa)?

Facebook has shown an explosive growth in video and is probably number one in online news of any platform so it just made sense to make a news show specifically for that platform. Obviously, Facebook is king of sharing, so we wanted a platform for our brand that was built to share. YouTube, on the other hand, is wonderful for search and many other factors for online video.

“Final Judgment” is built for Facebook, but it airs concurrently on Facebook and YouTube.

Do you see Facebook as the most likely home to The Young Turks’ future video content?

We’re going to see how things develop. Obviously, there are several factors that will help determine this–view counts, scope of audience and community, and engagement, and then eventually revenue and sponsorship become deciding factors.

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.

YouTube Kids Focuses On Younger Demographic

Kids’ consumption of online media is certainly rising, as a report posted by Adweek indicates that children aged anywhere between 2 and 17 can spend a significant amount of time watching online media, along with typical television and other means of entertainment.

So, of course, it would make sense for a company like YouTube to launch a specific application that caters to kids — in this case, YouTube Kids. Available now for Android {link no longer active} and iOS, the app works as a hub for family-friendly content,” as the “first Google product built from the ground up with little ones in mind,” according to VentureBeat. A video showcasing the new app is featured below.

 

With the app, parents can rest at ease, as YouTube vows to provide programming for videos that are safe for kids to watch, without running into clips that aren’t suitable for them. This includes popular programming from Sesame Street, Reading Rainbow and other outlets. Match and science tutorials are included as well, providing an educational side of the channel, along with entertainment.

The shows are divided into four basic categories: Shows, Music, Learning and Explore, with an easy search engine that tracks down favorites, including Dreamworks shows and Mother Goose Club, among other popular types.

While YouTube is unsure of the app’s popularity, it did say that “the possibilities are endless as a child’s curiosity,” although it’s really up to parents’ judgment in terms of whether it will really take off.

However, if recent online viewing habits indicate anything, the channel has a great shot at success. Nielsen posted some numbers looking at the viewership habits of younger consumers, ranging across three different age groups. The chart can be found in full below, and reveals plenty of big numbers, such as how much kids’ TV viewing has changed by age over the years, and how they turn to a mobile device as a second screen.

In addition, the report breaks down popular web portals amongst age groups, including those of general interest, along with social networking, online games and kids’ entertainment websites.

YouTube should have no trouble slotting itself into this group — provided, again, that parents don’t mind letting their kids check the app out for themselves. However, the company is devoted to filtering the content so that it’s well-suited for younger viewers. “We’re as focused on kids’ safety as you are, so we’ve built the YouTube Kids app to be a family-friendly place to explore,” explained Shimrit Ben-Yair, YouTube Kids product manager — and a mother of two to boot.

Amazon Hires Former ABC Marketing Boss To Run Marketing For Original Series

by Sahil Patel

As its Amazon Studios arm continues to churn out more and more original series (and soon, movies), Amazon has hired a former ABC marketing executive to, well, market that content.

Mike Benson has been named head of brand marketing and creative development for Amazon Digital Video. In that capacity, he will oversee marketing and advertising for Amazon’s original series.

Benson has plenty of experience on this front, having spent 12 years as EVP of marketing for the Disney/ABC Television Group. There, he oversaw all marketing, advertising, and promotional pushes for ABC’s primetime, late-night, and ABC Studios-produced programming, including “Modern Family,” “Lost,” and “Desperate Housewives.”

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.

How ‘Community’ Stirs Up Excitement For The Show’s Big Return

Now that #CommunityLivesOn {link no longer active} Yahoo Screen, or at least it will coming up March 17 when the show embarks on its 6th season, fans have been engaging with the show on its social channels as the hype ramps up. Since the show will be getting a new digital lease on life, it only makes sense for the show to be experimenting with native video in creative and fun ways.

Most recently, they launched a #HappyValendeans {link no longer active} campaign which pushed out five videos throughout Valentine’s Day across channels with Community‘s Dean. The videos were emminently shareable for the show’s fans and a lucky few got personalized messages from the Dean himself. The campaign generated over 1.36 million impressions and 280,000 video views on Facebook alone.

We talked to David Torstenson, Yahoo’s Social Marketing Lead for Original Programming, about the campaign and the kinds of content he sees helping the promotional efforts around the return of the beloved show.

With Community’s sixth season coming up soon on Yahoo Screen, how have you been getting fans of the show excited for it on social?

We’ve been slowly teasing out news and content around Season 6: press about new cast members, a video of the cast announcing the premiere date (March 17th), stills from upcoming episodes, and – as of this past week – the season’s official key art. With the help of Ayzenberg, we’ve also started creating and releasing social-specific ancillary content from the set, offering the diehard fans insider access and in-universe experiences that further connect them to their favorite fictional community college.

Can you tell us more about the idea around your #HappyValenDeans activation?

We’re building a lot of our content around major cultural touchstones and holidays – and for Valentine’s Day, we wanted to offer our fans an interaction with the show and cast. Since the Dean (played by Jim Rash) is known for both his ‘dean’ puns and his general over-earnestness about everything, having him send personalized ‘ValenDeans’ to fans on social seemed like a no-brainer. We got some great entries on our social channels, and ended up recording five short videos from the Dean – all of which came out incredibly well, thanks to our Ayzenberg team members (and the ridiculously funny Jim Rash).

What types of content are you seeing do especially well?

Anything we post that’s related to the upcoming season is almost guaranteed to do extremely well on social. That said, we’ve also found a lot of success creating Community-themed content that ties into major social conversations and resonates with both the diehard and the casual fan. The Super Bowl post featuring Abed connected with a lot of people (a lot of people who know very little about football, apparently).

Do you have any plans to incorporate more native video?

Absolutely! The show is still in production, so we’re hoping to capture some more moments from the set that fans should really enjoy.

 

Metaps Helps Launch Apps

Launching a new app or game on the market can always be a risky move, as there’s always a question with outreach — or how well it could do on a global scale. However, Katsuaki Sato is here to help.

A new company called Metaps, founded by Sato, can assist companies with maximizing app downloads and monetization, according to its official blog page. Tech In Asia managed to simplify the terms with its own blog entry.

Said Sato about the service, “We used a scientific, data-based approach in determining which paths to success are available for app developers looking to expand globally.”

So how’s it work? The team utilizes the Google Play top grossing charts of 12 primary app markets, and then checks similarity based on the number of shared titles. In addition, genres that make up the top grossing charts are verified, and then checks in terms of similarities between countries.

Sato explains that the site also uses certain logic when it comes to determining the degree of crossover with the top grossing app charts across two markets. “If no specific apps are shared on the top grossing charts for country A and country B, then the two markets are to be considered similar,” he explained, delving right into the second point. “If all apps are shared, then the two markets are to be considered very similar.”

Sato’s team also put together a chart that breaks down these markets, with dark red markers that show similarities between the apps on the Google Play Top 100 chart, and dark blue posting a dissimilarity. As you can see, both are clearly marked on the chart, making it a little easier to understand.

An additional chart was also put together, highlighting what would happen when the top 10 and top 50 apps were isolated, in order to point out notable differences in terms of tracking a pattern with similar apps.

Sato also noted at the conclusion of the report, “Finally, if you are looking to make a worldwide hit, there is one last point to keep in mind. Non-game apps do not tend to chart high on the Google Play top grossing chart, a trend shared amongst all markets considered here.”

To get more specific market data and learn more about what Metaps has to offer, check out this article here.