How Much Did It Cost To Make ‘Video Game High School’ Season 3?

by: Jessica Klein

For the third season in a row, Rocket Jump has released the financial breakdown behind the production of Video Game High School. The aim of doing this, in part, is for the creators of the YouTube series, Freddie Wong and Matt Arnold, to show viewers that putting out such a polished series isn’t cheap…even if it is a series on YouTube.

How not cheap is it The total cost of VGHS season three came to $2,435,434. That’s over $1 million more than it cost to produce season two (at $1,339,558) and way more money than went into season one ($636,010).

This in partially because VGHS got longer as the series progressed, increasing about an hour from last season’s run time, with each episode lasting about 40 minutes. Still, the cost per episode looks like nothing next to network TV shows of similar lengths. While VGHS costs about $415,000 per episode, shows like The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad go for about $3 million per episode (well, $2.8 million for the former), not to mention HBO’s Game of Thrones, which requires a hefty $6 million per installment.

Ultimately, the increased spending on VGHS season three looks like it paid off. Viewership went up since the last season by about 200,000, and average audience retention was solid—85 percent of viewers stuck around after the 50 seconds of each episode.

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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.

Twitter Tries New Approach To Video Advertising

Periscope, Twitter’s online video streaming service, has managed to take off quite a bit in a short amount of time, with celebrities and other users utilizing the service for a number of means – some that might even be considered illegal. That said, Twitter has an interesting plan in place for advertising, according to a story from AdAge.

It’s not a traditional plan, however. Neither video platform has force-fed advertising, and, according to Twitter’s vice president of global brand strategy, Joel Lunenfeld, the social site will work more closely with brands in the hopes of promoting unique content for these platforms, all within its core network. Stars could also be brought on board, with Twitter acting as a “middle man” of sorts between them and the brands.

“As of right now, we don’t have plans for promoted Vines or promoted Periscopes,” said Lunenfeld, at this week’s Collision tech conference in Las Vegas. Instead, connections will be made through Niche, a company that works to bring brands and stars together. Twitter picked up Niche back in February for a reported $30 million.

Could this pay off in the long run, yes. Stars have massive followers on both the Twitter and Vine front, and a tie-in with branded content could be done quite easily. “A brand or an ad agency comes to us and says, ‘I’m launching a new product: it’s targeted to this audience,” said Lunenfeld. “Well say, ‘Okay, here’s 15 people (and) five of them, alone, have a combined audience bigger than BuzzFeed.”

HP has already put this plan to good use, creating Vines that promote the launch of a convertible laptop, featuring a number of users talking about the device in a number of ways. As a result, Twitter was able to create a 30-second ad from the Vines, which has gained its own popularity. “We knew there was something special there, and the backend metrics showed that purchase intent, brand awareness, all those things went up,” he said. (The ad can be seen below.)

Forcing ads into someone’s Vine or Periscope feed doesn’t appear to be a definitive answer for the social network, since such a strong community would immediately react – and negatively, at that – over the enforcement of such ads. So this does provide a new way to generate popularity – and revenue – while both the brand and star in question would come away successful.

“We’re really focusing on building the product, the experience and the community first,” said Lunenfeld. “Then we’ve got strong relationships with every advertiser to learn how to promote that through Twitter proper.”


Google Still Dominates Global Media; Facebook Ups The Ante

Google and Facebook continue to fight over a number of social categories these days, including general media posts and video, but when it comes to a defined leader, it appears that Google continues to hold the lead.

That’s according to a new Top 30 Global Media Owners report, posted by Publicis’ ZenithOptimedia. The report indicates that the company is the best major media supplier, despite Facebook’s rapid growth, according to Mediapost.

Google holds a sharp lead in the top spot, with a 136 percent growth over the previous year. Meanwhile, Disney is in second place, holding a 115 percent increase. Comcast is in third place with an unreported percentage, but all three appear to be ahead of Facebook, despite its increase in video business and users. (It’s in the number ten position.)

The top 30 are reported below, and a number of companies have presence on the list, including Time Warner, CBS Corporation, iHeartMedia and Discovery.

“Google has benefited from the rising sales of smartphones and tablets, making its central search function available to consumers on the move — especially useful for shoppers looking for price comparison — and allowed consumers to view content at times and places most convenient to them,” said the report. It also added in regards to Google, “This has created new opportunities to target them with display ads, another important component of Google’s business. But the main beneficiary of the transition to mobile has been Facebook, which is the fastest growing of our top 30 media owners. Facebook’s media revenues grew 63 percent over the past year.”

Will these numbers stay the same next year Disney continues to show dominance in the retail and producing front, and with Star Wars gaining more ground, it could easily take the lead. Meanwhile, Facebook’s video division continues to grow, and could move it up the top ten rather handily. That said, Google still has a large grip, and isn’t likely to loosen it anytime soon. Next year’s numbers could certainly be interesting.

Report: 46% Of Video Ads Are Never Seen

On-demand video is on the rise, with channels like Hulu, YouTube and other services reporting record subscribers. This, in turn, has attracted a number of advertisers to shift more towards video ads, in the hopes of reaching an audience more effectively than in print.

That said, the results can still be somewhat mixed. Mediapost recently reported the findings of a recent study that indicate just how successful some video ads could be. And while YouTube continues to have a strong average viewability with 91 percent (compared to the rest of the Internet with 54 percent), some ads never really find the exposure that advertisers are looking for.

The study shows that, even with popularity rising on mobile devices, 46 percent of video ads are never seen, and 76 percent of non-viewable ads never have the chance to be seen by an audience. The study, released this past week, indicates that video ads that aren’t seen tend to run in the background, hidden behind another open web page. The remaining 24 percent of ads apparently scrolled off-screen, or were left abandoned in a time frame of less than two seconds.

Google has measured a lot of these ads as of late, placing them strategically so they have some form of exposure, and determining the length of time that they run so they can effectively be seen by viewers.

According to the study, a viewable video impression takes place when at least 50 percent of an ad’s pixels are visible on-screen for at least two seconds. This comes from the Media Rating Council and Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) standard.

However, player size and position really make all the difference when it comes to exposure. Video ads are more viewable on mobile devices compared to desktop, with 83 percent of videos accounted for on said devices, 81 percent on tablets, and 53 percent on desktops.

Meanwhile, more than half of YouTube’s overall views come from mobile devices, with a high count of 94 percent on mobile and 87 percent more viewable on desktop.

It just goes to show that some companies may need to find a way to make their video ads more effective, in the hopes of gathering a user’s attention instead of simply running in the background. With the rise in video popularity, it’d probably help to find a way sooner rather than later.

‘Disney Infinity’ Sets Sail On Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line continues to add video games and interactive experiences to its fleet of four ships. This fall, the Disney Dream cruise ship will undergo a dry dock overhaul that will introduce the first Disney Infinity interactive play area to any ship. Set in the Oceaneer Club, the Disney Infinity Toy Box area will feature exclusive new gameplay that kids can unlock and bring home to their own consoles.

In addition, special activities will bring the virtual gameplay experience to life in the real world. For example, a life-sized Disney Infinity Base sets the stage where kids take the place of character figures for a group gaming experience. Lighting up in response to gameplay on a large screen, this interactive floor will allow kids to be immersed in the Toy Box. While this technology is currently being developed by Walt Disney Imagineering and Disney Interactive, Jennifer Haile, manager of marketing strategy at Disney Cruise Line, talks about what’s in store for kids on the re-imagined ship in this exclusive interview.

What’s new on the Disney Dream this fall?

The Disney Dream is getting all new enhancements to that beautiful ship. It’s been just a couple of years since she was first born, but we’re always learning from great guest experiences and great enhancements we made to other ships to really raise the level. So this time we’re bringing an all-new Sweets and Treats shop, some cool adult poolside fun and we’re bringing some really cool enhancements to our kids’ spaces on board.

One of the new area for the kids is going to be Disney Infinity, a very popular video game out there. How are you turning that into an actual experience on the ship?

Disney Infinity is such a fun game.  It has really taken the country by storm. Kids love using their imaginations to create new worlds, and so we’re bringing that into a larger-than-life space where kids can play with each other as well as on a giant screen, where they can create lands and unlock worlds to really enter those story books and have characters who are typically not in the same world together interact.

Can you talk about the interactivity and what they can unlock and how they can bring that home with them?

What’s really cool about this space is that Disney Interactive is developing some proprietary characters and lands that you’ll only be able to unlock onboard Disney Cruise Line. So kids using their Oceaneers bands, which they use in the youth spaces, will be able to take that technology home on their bands and use it with their gaming systems by swiping it on their base.

What gaming systems are you focusing on in this experience?

Everything is being locked down right now, but I believe that we are using Wii U and Xbox systems.

Right next to the Disney Infinity play space will be Star Wars. What’s in store for fans there?

As you know Star Wars is hot. This year we’re coming out with Episode VII, which will really reinvigorate the franchise. Everybody is super excited about Star Wars and the new movie. So we are bringing Star Wars to life on board with a space where we are transforming it to the Millennium Falcon. Kids will be able to pilot that ship and go through different light fields and lands and experience Star Wars in real life. The experience will feature footage from a variety of planets from the different films.

What’s the video game portion of that room?

We will have all new computer gaming systems that will allow you to play Star Wars games both from past episodes and future episodes. Also, Star Wars Rebels will have a presence in this space. So kids will be able to game on their own or become a part of live action experiences like Jedi Training Academy.

What is Jedi Training Academy?

We have people who are from the Star Wars family teach kids how to wield a light saber and fight with their favorite Jedis.

The Disney Magic cruise ship introduced an Avengers interactive experience with Iron Man and features live super heroes like Captain America. Will there be Star Wars characters on the ship?

On-going we don’t have Star Wars characters in this space permanently, but we are offering for the first time Star Wars Day at Sea on eight select sailings in 2016, so we will have everybody from Darth Vader to Chewbacca to Storm Troopers on board for a whole day of fun entertainment on those eight sailings on January 9 and 23, February 6 and 20, March 5 and 19 and April 2 and 16.


BRIC Mobile Gaming Market Reaching New Heights

The mobile market continues to boom, as a new report from OneSky and Newzoo shows that growth of the market has skyrocketed.

Speaking specifically about the BRIC mobile gaming market — which covers Brazil, Russia, India and China — the companies report that the market will reach a year-over-year growth of the market will rise 91.7 percent over the coming year, with a total of $9.4 billion reported for 2016, according to Newzoo’s site. The regions involved — and the mobile growth within each — are in the infographic below.

“We are very excited to team up with OneSky for this eBook and infographic on the BRIC market. BRIC already represents the largest mobile games market globally, driven, of course, by the huge revenues in China,” said Peter Warman, CEO for Newzoo, about the report. “The data presented aims to offer valuable high-level insights into this market, and the growth potential of the individual countries involved.”

The infographic, titled The BRIC Mobile Gaming Opportunities of 2015, covers quite a bit of data for each region, including English proficiency, mobile gamers population, revenue forecast and mobile gamers forecast. A number of facts came up with the report, including the following:

-The BRIC mobile gaming market obtained $5.1 billion revenue in 2014, a year-over-year growth of 91.7 percent, hugely exceeded global YoY average which is 38.9 percent.

-This revenue growth is backed by an increase in the number of gamers, payers as well as a higher average spent per gamer.

-Ranked first in the Latin America mobile gaming market, Brazil expects $415.5 million in mobile games revenue for the next year.

-Despite the currency risk, the Russia mobile gaming market still managed to reach 49 percent growth for 2014, year-over-year. Major setbacks are expected this year, with only a growth of 0.6 percent, but the market is expected to bounce back with $379.1 million earned in 2016.

-With 135.7 CAGR towards the coming year, India shows a great deal of rapid expansion with higher mobile gamer penetration. Improvement of its basic infrastructure will help the nation reach $571.6 million by next year, behind 208.2 million mobile gamers.

-China has managed to contribute 87.9 percent of BRIC’s overall mobile gaming revenue for last year. Continuous growth is expected, with next year’s numbers rounding $8.1 billion – six times the sum of other BRIC markets.

-The uniqueness of each BRIC market requires game publishers to have separate localization strategies in order to reach the potential growth with their products.

Greg Sung, CEO and co-found for OneSky, added, “BRIC is definitely the highlight of the mobile gaming industry in the next five years. In order to catch this terrific opportunity, it is important for publishers to understand not only overall development of BRIC, but also the in-depth knowledge of each market, that ultimately leads to revenue growth. This is where our co-operation with Newzoo, our eBook on BRIC trends, prospects and strategies plays an important role.”

The eBook can be downloaded here, and the infographic is below.

The Pros and Cons Of The Major Online Video Platforms

by Jean-Charles Lacoste

The power of online video is huge. According to comScore, a provider of user engagement statistics, 45.4% of internet users view at least one video per month, with average users viewing approximately 32.2 videos per month.

As a business, you have to make the most of the growth in online video in order to expose your brand to the maximum number of potential customers. There are several online video providers (OVPs) you can do this with. The question is, which one offers the best provision for you In order to make a decision, it’s important to look at the pros and cons of each provider.

What are the attributes of end user platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo, and DailyMotion?

The major positive of using YouTube as a platform for your brand’s videos is that it’s free, making it appeal to small and medium-size businesses. This free video hosting includes a limited amount of customization. Of course, YouTube is the largest OVP, with approximately 450 million unique global visitors each month, meaning it offers a huge potential audience. It’s also easy to use. Uploading content to the site is a simple process, as is sharing the content across your social media platforms.

Keep reading…

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.


GTA V, Others Shake Up PC Gaming Chart

It’s hard to believe that Grand Theft Auto V is nearly two years old, as it initially released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 back in September 2013. It continues to flourish, though, mainly due to its advanced re-releases on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and, most recently PC. We recently reported on the game’s initial impact on the PC front, but now Newzoo has supplied new numbers that indicate just what kind of strength it really has, with some help from overlay platform Overwolf.

According to the chart above, Riot Games’ League of Legends continues to be a dominant champion, while Mojang’s Minecraft, now under the ownership of Microsoft, continues to be a popular favorite. However, Grand Theft Auto V made a notable debut in the top ten for April 2015, comfortable slotted in the seventh position. That’s a pretty good position to be in, although most of that success is attributed to GTA V’s advanced features for PC, including 60 frames per second animation and the inclusion of a new video editor.

Surprisingly enough, another game, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, had been building in popularity leading up to GTA V’s release on PC. “As we pointed out in both March and February 2015, we predicted that the steady increase in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Multiplayer was due in part to the eager anticipation of GTA V‘s release,” says the report. It’s since dropped back down since the arrival of the new game, although it still remains in the top 20 – an impressive feat for a title that’s well over a decade old.

Other games have made some major moves on the chart as well. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive continues to be a big hit for Valve in the third place spot; Blizzard’s forthcoming Heroes of the Storm has built enough momentum to jump up seven spots to number 12, mainly due to the success of its recent stint on ESPN 2; and other games like DOTA 2, Star Wars: The Old Republic and World of Tanks continue to shift around, while remaining high in popularity.

So what does this mean in the long-term for popular PC games Well, League of Legends isn’t likely to go anywhere, despite ongoing pressure from Valve’s DOTA 2, which continues to be a hit during International tournaments. Minecraft is likely to be the same way, since Microsoft isn’t set to remove any of that game’s momentum anytime soon. As for GTA V, it’ll probably get better from here, moving up the chart as more and more creative gamers post videos from their gaming sessions, drawing in additional players as a result.

Nintendo Set For Big Turn-Around

Nintendo has seen a woeful past few years, mostly due to the problematic performance of its latest game console, the Wii U. However, it appears that, after struggling for a while, the company has finally come back to profitable days.

Following our previous report on Nintendo’s slow but steady turnaround, The Verge has followed up with even more good news for the company. It has made a slim operating profit of 24.8 billion yen ($207 million) and a net profit of 41.8 billion yen ($350 million). Sales were reported down 3.8 percent year over year, but the bottom line shows a 39.5 percent increase over what was initially forecasted. While that’s far from what Nintendo was making years ago with the original Wii, it’s still good news, considering the rough few years it’s had beforehand.

The Wii U continues to show struggles at retail, with only 340,000 units sold over the last three months, just under 10 million units sold overall. While that’s 10 percent up from the previous year, and although great new software like Super Smash Bros. and Bayonetta 2 has brought more gamers on board, it can’t quite keep up with the likes of Xbox One and PlayStation 4. That won’t stop the company from posting a profit, where it expects to make 50 billion yen in operating profit and 35 billion yen in net profit over the next year, with 3.4 million Wii U units sold.

Nintendo may be able to reach that goal, based on recent business decisions that could work in its favor. Its recent mobile deal with DeNA, which will bring popular favorites like Mario and Yoshi to handheld devices (outside of the company’s 3DS line-up), should gain momentum as the first games prepare for release in 2017; and, most recently, the company launched a new promotion-heavy campaign for its upcoming shooter Splatoon, which looks to be a big hit for shooter fans of all ages.

The Wii U will also get a heavy focus next month during the Electronic Entertainment Expo, and even though Nintendo’s highly anticipated Legend of Zelda sequel won’t be present, several other titles, like StarFox and Mario Maker, will be. In addition, surprise announcements could come in the form of a new Nintendo Direct special.

Speaking of Nintendo Direct, a new one arrived earlier this week, posted above, which highlights a number of events for the forthcoming Splatoon, including a timed beta test, called the Global Testfire, which will take place during certain hours this weekend, as well as free post-launch content, gifts with purchase of the game, and upcoming “Splatfest” events, where gamers can let loose with their creative paint-spraying skills. Other promotional events are being planned over the summer as well, leading up to the game’s release later this month, on May 29.

Last but not least, the company will soon have theme park presence, bringing its iconic characters – and game franchises – to life. Quartz has reported that the company has signed a deal with Universal Studios, which will put its many franchises into theme park related rides in its parks all over the world. Nintendo states that “this is an exciting project that will be unlike any other either of our companies have ever done.”

It’s still got some work to do, but it’s safe to say Nintendo finally has things going its way again.