Twitch Expands Music, On-Demand Possibilities

Twitch has done a good job establishing an audience over the years, as it currently has over 100 million monthly viewers, checking out everything from live events to gaming tournaments to devotees showing their skills in a number of games. Now, with a few new moves made this week, it hopes to expand this service even further.

First off, it’s pushing its music service a bit further through a new partnership with Boiler Room, a global broadcaster that specializes in underground music. The company has launched its official Twitch channel today, providing a 24/7 video broadcast of both live and archival music performances, featuring the best in underground music.

This could be beneficial for both the channel and the artists featured on it when it comes to audience expansion, as fans would flock to it to hear what’s up and coming, while the artists would get a better outreach.

“We’re really excited to launch our Boiler Room channel for music lovers within the Twitch community,” said Mazdak Sanil, CCO for the broadcast service. “The convergence between consumption of different forms of entertainment is a trend that creates great opportunities for partnerships like this one, between leaders in their respective scenes.”

Twitch’s Music Library has come a long way in attracting a variety of artists to the service since its launch earlier in the year, becoming a beta broadcast category in its own right. It’s sure to align with many more partners in the months ahead, expanding the offerings for broadcasters to use in the background of their gaming sessions.

The company is also introducing a new on-demand service, where mobile viewers can catch the best moments from past tournaments and select sessions however they please. VentureBeat has reported that, through Twitch’s own blog, the service allows users to look through past broadcasts and highlighted videos with ease, simply by browsing through the activity feed.

The videos are usually deleted after 14 days (or 60 days for those that sign up for the monthly premium service), but this is a great way to catch up on content that was missed during a live feed – and it’ll be beneficial next month, as a lot of companies will be utilizing Twitch to showcase its up-and-coming games, straight from the show floor.

This could also prove beneficial for potential advertising partners, since companies are taking more interest in teaming with Twitch. Old Spice’s previous promotion with the company, following “Nature Man” for three days while users controlled his actions, paid off big-time.

And for those who want to get a better understand of how Twitch clicks when it comes to the streaming business, check out his blog entry on the company’s official page, breaking down the science of streaming. “Twitch is the fourth largest stream of data on the Internet. Conclusion: People really like watching each other play video games,” the opening line reads.

The blog entry breaks down a number of areas where success has come into play for Twitch, including offline channels and how they can divert users to seek out live programming; browsing for new content that relates to the viewer; and overall engagement. “Understanding the path to video is foundational knowledge for anyone who wants to understand or improve Twitch,” the post concludes. “If data is your jam, we’re still making huge insights. Consider joining Science.”

The post can be found here, and is great reading for those who want to get a better understanding of the “streaming craze,” as it were.

What Spotify’s Expanded Services Means For Marketers

Streaming music service Spotify has proven in the past that its integration with an audience has been quite effective, between paid subscribers and free listeners alike. And it’s slowly been expanding this service, even reaching out beyond mobile and desktop devices with the launch of a new PlayStation app. However, its latest move – into new types of format – could be the biggest yet, both in terms of outreach and advertising possibilities.

Rolling Stone has reported will now include more original programming, enabling the integration of both video and podcast content. This includes content from a number of services, including Disney, ABC, NBC, ESPN, BBC News, Comedy Central and MTV, among other partners. A number of artists will be contributing to said content, including Icona Pop and Type, the Creator, and video from comedienne Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation). The move is meant to make Spotify more competitive with other services, like VEVO (a popular video channel on YouTube) and Vimeo. It should begin rolling out over the next month.

This will open up a number of new opportunities for advertisers, not only to sponsor certain shows (such as Spotify Sessions, which will focus on a variety of musical artists), but also ads to integrate with the video content. Spotify hasn’t laid these plans out just yet, as it’s focused more on the genuine experience that users will get from these new add-ons.

“We’re bringing you a deeper, richer, more immersive Spotify experience,” said Daniel Ek, Spotify founder and CEO. “We want Spotify to help soundtrack your life by offering an even wider world of entertainment with an awesome mix of the best music, podcasts and video delivered to you throughout the day.”

One advertiser is already on board, as Spotify will team with Starbucks for a new music “ecosystem,” with music programmed by actual baristas for play within their coffee shops. As part of the program, fans of the popular coffee shops will be able to earn loyalty points for using Spotify, although specific rewards haven’t been mentioned as of yet. (Free coffee, perhaps )

That’s not all, as Spotify mobile apps also have a new feature that detects the speed of someone’s running or walking pace, and provides music that’s around the same tempo. This will tie in with a new Spotify Running service to launch later this year, a collaboration between the music service’s RunKeeper system and co-sponsor Nike.

The company has recently been pushing to up its subscriber base, despite some certain bumps along the way (like Taylor Swift removing her music from the service, insisting it should be “free”), and this move should no doubt help it expand both its audience and advertising possibilities. The only question is to what extent ads will be used – and if it could attract consumers to give the premium service a try. Only time will tell.

Marriott Debuts Second Short Film, ‘French Kiss’

“When you delve deeper into the film, you discover the characters are taking you through a brilliant travel story as they navigate through the streets of the city through magical realism that can only happen in Paris,” said David Beebe, VP of Creative and Content Marketing at Marriott International, about their newest effort, French Kiss.

The short film takes viewers on a wild chase through the City of Lights for the main character’s laptop. On a business trip, he learns there’s more to life than work as he’s forced to enjoy the city’s charms.

French Kiss is now the content studio’s second short film, after Two Bellmen, which had featured another of Marriott’s hotels, the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE.

Endemol Beyond Launches in Singapore, Where YouTubers Happen to Thrive

by Jessica Klein

Endemol Beyond has gone even further beyond…into Singapore, where there happens to be a lot going on for digital video creators right now.

The launch of Endemol Beyond Asia marks the company’s first Asian hub. It will be led by Chirstopher Smith, who comes from working at Mindshare Singapore and will take on the role of head of digital and branded content. He will report to Fotini Paraskakis, the managing director for Endemol Shine Asia, and will also work closely with Georg Ramme, the managing director of Endemol Beyond’s international division.

Endemol Beyond Asia will largely serve to adapt Endemol’s global content to Asian markets (so far, the company has hubs in the US, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and more). This will include Michelle Phan’s recently launched lifestyle network Icon, which is now targeted to English-speaking countries, including the US and UK. The company’s new, Asian hub will also focus on branded content.

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.

AppsFlyer CEO On Getting The Most From Ad Networks

A mobile ad measurement platform called AppsFlyer, which we reported on earlier this year, recently released a new TV attribution tool capable of measuring the effectiveness of TV advertising for mobile apps.

AppsFlyer is launching the AppsFlyer Gaming Ad Network Performance Index, which tracks just how well the top 25 of over 1,000 ad networks tracked by AppsFlyer perform for game companies. The report provides a detailed review of each network’s performance, and looks at the all-important retention metric for games.

While every mobile game company would love to succeed using only organic installs, the reality is that smart use of an ad budget can help any game do better. Some of the key findings from the report are as follows:

  • Video proves to be the best bet when it comes to user acquisition — showing not only the highest retention rate but also the ability to drive scale. Video networks have a 130 percent higher overall retention rate compared to other networks in the index; video also has a 10 percent and 17 percent better overall retention rate compared to social network and in-app networks, respectively
  • iOS dominates app retention, widening the gap with Android over time. iOS also has a 26 percent higher retention for video networks, 28 percent higher for in-app networks, and 47 percent higher in social networks
  • On average, the drop in retention across all networks between days one to seven is 56 percent, and 80 percent between days seven to 30
  • Based on the quality and quantity of installs able to be generated, Facebook is number one on both iOS and Android.-Programmatic ad network AppLovin is the best ad network based on overall one-day, seven-day and 30-day retention. Vungle, AdColony, Facebook, Applifier and Chartboost are also high in rank.

AppsFlyer was careful to note that not all networks perform equally well for all clients. “Many of our clients are seeing the best ROI working with other networks from among our 1,000+ integrated partners.” The report further noted that “There’s a great deal of variance among campaigns and apps/developers. Just as companies are different, games are different as well and so are their marketing teams. Top notch marketers who put in the effort that’s required manage to beat their numbers through constant measurement, targeting, retargeting and applying deeplinking solutions such as OneLink.”

The full report can be found at AppsFlyer. The report is the first to ever analyze retention performance for all of the top mobile ad networks, and it also breaks down performance data by product type to help developers really understand which types of ad networks produce the best quality results.

AppsFlyer’s study is not a casual one. According to the report, “It is the industry’s most comprehensive study of its kind to date, covering over 50 million paid installs of hundreds of gaming apps running campaigns on hundreds of AppsFlyer’s integrated network partners.” Whenever you have such a rich source of information, there’s plenty of room to draw insightful conclusions.

Oren Kaniel, CEO of AppsFlyer, spoke with [a]listdaily to provide some more insights into how ad networks are performing for gaming apps, and ways that mobile game developers can use this information to their advantage.

Oren Kaniel

Some of your clients report the best ROI from networks other than the top 25. What is it about those networks, or the apps, or the companies, that leads to such high performance?

Many of the networks outside of the Top 25 are smaller networks, where a handful of top-quality publishers can significantly raise the performance of the entire network. Or in some cases they’ve got a great product but they just haven’t been able to scale it — yet. Or maybe they’ve got great targeting capabilities and the advertisers have gotten savvy about which specific audiences work best for their apps, so they’ve really dialed in their targeting and are achieving high ROI that way. In any of these cases, although the volume may be low, they’re worth paying attention to because they can grow very quickly.

It’s important to remember that this is a global report, while each app is a world of its own, with its own unique goals and target audience. So it definitely makes sense that some apps report better ROI with networks that didn’t make our top 25. That’s why the more networks a measurement partner is integrated with, the greater the chances that every marketer can eventually pinpoint and measure the optimal marketing mix from his own app’s perspective.

Why do affiliate networks perform so well relative to incentivized networks, and improve that performance gap over time?

Affiliate networks, by their very nature, get their inventory from a variety of sources. This includes incentivized networks, but also other, higher-quality networks, so it makes sense that retention rates of affiliate networks would be higher than incentivized networks.

Nintendo has gone on record as saying they don’t want to depend on a very small number of very high-paying players for their mobile games, but instead get a small amount of money from a very large amount of players. Is there any precedent in the mobile game market for this type of monetization?

I think a lot of gaming companies and other types of app developers are starting to embrace this strategy. More and more consumers are getting increasingly comfortable with the freemium model — a report from App Annie said that freemium apps contributed almost half of Google Play downloads — and as they do, they are coming around to the fact that a dollar or two here and there is a price worth paying for premium content in the games and apps they love. As an app developer, if you are only monetizing 5% of your userbase, your revenue potential is very limited. But with the massive audiences of some of these games, if you can monetize 20 percent or 30 percent or more — even at small levels — then your revenue potential becomes massive.

What general advice can you offer app developers to get the best ROI from ad networks?

Test, test and test some more. We encourage our clients to keep a close eye on their marketing campaigns and to continually test new networks, new products, new creative and every other variable that plays into performance. When you see that something is working, invest more heavily in those networks or campaigns, and either tweak the underperforming campaigns or cut them out altogether. This process of optimization is exactly what our product was built to enable our clients to do.

Mobcrush: Streaming Mobile Games

Livestreaming games has proven tremendously popular, as the over 100 million views on Twitch every month will attest. Yet, for all this immense popularity, livestreaming has been mostly a PC-centric pastime, though the new generation of consoles, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, both make it easy to stream game play. Still, livestreaming revolution has largely passed by the fastest-growing game industry segment, mobile games. Until now, that is.

Mobcrush, the live streaming platform for mobile games, has raised $4.9 million in seed funding to support, entertain and connect the world’s one billion mobile gamers. Mobcrush is currently in private beta for iOS and Android and has gained early traction with mobile gaming guilds and players of popular games including Clash of Clans, Vainglory, Modern Combat and Minecraft. “Gamers have been able to livestream from desktop for some time now, and that has created tremendous demand for streaming of native mobile gameplay without the need for a PC and additional equipment,” said Matt Mazzeo, Managing Director of Lowercase Capital and an investor in Mobcrush. “Mobcrush packs the passion and the talent to lead streaming games into its next natural evolution, on mobile.”

“We are humbled by the player reception to Mobcrush, and to have investors show the same love has been a strong vote of confidence,” said Mobcrush CEO Royce Disini. Early investors in Mobcrush span industry leaders in games, technology and media. Mobcrush CEO Royce Disini spoke with [a]listdaily about the mobile game streaming market and its potential.

What are some of the difficulties you’ve had to overcome in live-streaming games on mobile?

Given our background, we’re the right team to pull this off. We’re a mobile-streaming DNA team that happen to be gamers as well. We bring a lot of expertise and experience to this platform. The first task we had is how do you grab content from the mobile device and stream it out. The other challenge is moving from WiFi to cellular, to device constraints, to network constraints. We were able to solve them in a very short amount of time, given our background. I think we’ve managed to overcome the challenges to be able to livestream a mobile game natively from a mobile device.

Do you see eSports coming to mobile gaming in the near future, now that mobile games can be live-streamed?

I think it’s a potential growth market. In fact, we actually have been testing it. About two months ago we ran a tournament among us and area college students. When they first found out about us they thought we were a direct Twitch competitor, but when we told them we’re a mobile platform they got excited. I asked if the community would be interested in running a mobile eSports tournament, and they got back to us really quickly and said ‘yes, the community here would love to try out Hearthstone on mobile.’ We made history two months ago — we didn’t do any press around, but it was the first Hearthstone tournament that was played and livestreamed from mobile devices. The community loves it so much over there, they’re asking us to come back and do a larger tournament.

What do game developers have to do to enable Mobcrush streaming with their mobile games?

One of our value propositions for game developers, if they want to get integrated, is it’s a zero line of code to integrate. Meaning it’s just a library include, it’s about a 1MB file footprint that a junior developer can integrate in ten minutes or less. We figured out a way to livestream mobile games even before partnering with a developer. We went straight to the community and let the community help us. We are actually able to livestream any mobile game from the device. Strategically we cautiously avoided playing the SDK game. After solving for the platform, and building a mobile-first platform, it becomes a community play. Twitch is a platform and a community for core PC desktop games. When we set about to do this, we think there’s white space in a mobile first, mobile game streaming platform and community. That’s one of the reasons why we decided to focus on mobile.

How will you monetize Mobcrush?

The most obvious model is video advertising with high CPM rates, given that it’s a video format. But we thought about it deeply — what’s unique about mobile One of the different things we’re developing for the monetization side is what we’re calling participatory microtransactions. What that is is this: Let’s say you’re watching somebody play Clash of Clans. Instead of waiting for that person to level up in twenty or thirty minutes, hey viewer, why don’t we contribute 10 cents to a dollar each to be able to buy this broadcaster gems (for Clash of Clans) or a special ax to go after Level 12 for another game We basically open up microtransactions not just from a gamer perspective at the game level, but also include specatators, which hasn’t been done before in this space. We will need access to their microtransaction API, but that’s why we’re going to have conversations with the developers we’re going to target.

What’s your marketing strategy for making people aware of Mobcrush and getting them to use it?

It’s been organic. We’ve been getting success in our private limited beta by not having a marketing person or spending a dime on marketing. When we first started out private beta, we approached a Clash of Clans guild leader, who brought in the rest of his clan. When they started using Mobcrush they started shouting it from the rooftops to invite other clan leads. We did the same to bring in Vainglory guild leads. More recently we’ve been inviting influencers over to the platform. There are some game influencers who happened across Mobcrush and approached us if they could test out the product. When one of our private users tweeted about Mobcrush a couple of weeks ago, we had unplanned growth of about 10x on our private beta. From my perspective, I think that’s the right approach: Have the community members and the rabid users of the product invite their friends and other influencers to stream on Mobcrush and bring the audience along with them.

When we grew 10x the first time, we actually had to tell people that you cannot join at the moment. We kind of got caught with our pants down, it was unexpected and unplanned growth. We know there’s demand out there, we know that’s the right approach, so we’re slowly onboarding people into our limited beta to be able to manage growth.

Measuring The Effect Of Social Media Sales

Social media presence in business can be a big deal, as the ability to communicate with consumers and spread a message effectively can make all the difference in sales numbers. Recently, IAmWire posted an infographic, which can be found below, that breaks down which social media platforms are taking off when it comes to eCommerce sales.

According to the numbers, Facebook has the highest conversion rate and majority of orders emerging from sales. This is something the company predicted a while back, when Mark Zuckerberg had stated, “If I had to guess, social commerce is next to blow up.”

Facebook also has the biggest market share, with 63 percent based upon 23.3 million visits, followed by Pinterest and Twitter with smaller percentages. Reddit has the smallest count, although 4.5 percent is still nothing to scoff at.

As far as what kind of orders are placed on the Facebook site, a majority seem to come from photography with 98 percent, followed by sports and recreation with 94 percent, pet supplies with 94 percent, and dropshipping with 93 percent. Other categories that are high on the list include jewelry and watches (92 percent), clothing and apparel (87 percent) and food and beverage (86 percent).

The average order value seems to be highest on Polyvare, with $66.75 on average, across 436 orders. Meanwhile, close behind are sites like Pinterest ($58.95), Facebook ($55 even) and Reddit ($52.96).

Conversion rate plays a big part, and Facebook has the biggest out there with 1.85 percent, followed by Vimeo and YouTube with 1.16 percent each. Coming up low on the list, again, is Reddit, although it doesn’t have as big a video division as the other sites — though that is likely to change over the next year.

However, Facebook doesn’t dominate every single industry. YouTube has a strong hand with digital products, services, merchandise and automotive; Reddit has a good lead with electronics and appliances; and Twitter has home and office furnishings, home and garden, and gifts and specialty leads over its main social rival.

The full infographic is below, and also breaks down the top products that are big sellers across the board.


Mobile Game Highlights: ‘Jurassic World’, ‘Mickey’s Shapes Sing-Along’

We’re back with another round of mobile game highlights for the week, and there’s something for everyone, including singing and dancing, taking flight and goofing off with dinosaurs. Let’s get started!

Jurassic World Mobile MovieMaker (NBC Universal, free, available on iOS)

Although it’s different from the Jurassic World game that was introduced last week, the Jurassic World Mobile MovieMaker is sure to be a hit with fans of the forthcoming Universal film. With it, savvy consumers can actually implement themselves in photos and videos featuring dinosaur characters from the film, whether it’s being nearly attacked by a raptor or running from a pterodactyl. With a number of creatures to choose from, there’s no end to what kind of content fans can create — and it’s all free of charge, so everyone can download and enjoy.

Mickey’s Shapes Sing-Along (Disney, $2.99, available on iOS)

Although it’s aimed at kids, Mickey’s Shapes Sing-Along is an app that fans of all ages can enjoy. With it, players can listen to and sing along with songs revolving around different shapes, all while playing simple games that reinforce the content of the lyrics. While learning about new shapes, kids can also submit songs with karaoke, and have fun with music videos. Featuring a number of familiar and new characters, Mickey’s Shapes Sing-Along looks to be another big hit for Disney’s mobile division. And that’s worth singing about.

Let’s Go Rocket – Ultimate Endless Space Adventure (Cobra Mobile, free-to-play, available on iOS)

The endless flying game Let’s Go Rocket looks to be quite an addictive game from Cobra Mobile, forcing players to use their rocket-boosting skills as they avoid obstacles and try to fly the longest distance they possibly can. With out-of-this-world visuals and gameplay that’s easy to grasp, this game should have no problem, ahem, taking off. For good measure, there are also additional rockets available for purchase within the app.

Oddwings Escape (Small Giant Games, free-to-play, available on iOS)

For consumers who wish to take a more traditional means of flight, there’s Oddwings Escape from Small Giant Games. In it, players will control a number of different birds as they fly through trickily-designed levels, dodging obstacles and racing against friends for glory. Featuring a smooth touch-control system, a variety of birds to unlock and the ability to hop in to multiplayer sessions, Oddwings Escape soars.

Knights of Pen & Paper 2 (Paradox Interactive, $4.99, available on iOS and Android)

The role-playing series Knights of Pen & Paper makes its return, with a number of new additions that both fans and newcomers alike will enjoy. This turn-based retro-style role-playing adventure features a number of characters, taking part in a traditional pen and paper style battle system. Players can pick and choose their battles, while taking part in finding hidden treasures, battling goods and interacting with characters that can provide upgrades. For those who like games of this type, it’s certainly something to enjoy.

See you next time for more Mobile Game Highlights!

Newzoo: Global Games Market Hits $113 Billion In 2018

The upcoming 2015 Global Games Market Report by market research and predictive analytics firm Newzoo shows that the worldwide games market will reach $113.3 billion by 2018. This represents a 2014 to 2018 Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of +7.9 percent. The market for (smart)phones and tablets will rise from $30.0 billion this year to $44.2 billion in 2018, ultimately taking 39 percernt of the global games market. In 2015, China and the US are neck and neck for number one market, with China expected to outgrow the US by the smallest of margins: $22.2 billion versus $22.0 billion. By 2018, China and the US will grow to $32.8 billion and $24.1 billion games markets respectively, together claiming 50 percent of the world’s games revenues. Newzoo’s annual Global Games Market Report, to be launched on June 8th, is available for pre-order as of today. The report will include gamer and revenue projections by region, country and segment towards 2018, as well as the top trends that will define success several years from now.

Global Growth Per Screen Towards 2018

As the market has evolved and the boundaries between traditional market segments have disappeared, Newzoo’s Screen Segmentation Model, introduced in early 2012, has become the primary model for understanding and sizing growth opportunities. The Computer Screen (PC/Mac) with $41.2 billion will account for 36 percent of the market by 2018 and will remain the most revenue generating screen, growing at a robust CAGR of +6.9 percent driven primarily by PC/MMO games. The Entertainment Screen (TV/Console, VR) with $26.8 billion will have 24 percent of the market by 2018, down from 27 percent in 2015. Both the Computer Screen and the Entertainment Screen will lose a small portion of their share to the continuously growing Personal Screen (Phones, Smartwatches). In 2018, the Personal Screen with $30.2 billion will account for 27 percent of the pie, leaving 13 percent for the Floating Screen (Tablets, Handhelds). The decline of the handheld console market (CAGR of -22.5 percent) will be offset by the robust growth of tablet revenues (CAGR of +17.1 percent), resulting in the Floating Screen maintaining its market share towards 2018. This year, digital game revenues will account for 78 percent of the global market totaling $70.9 billion, up from a 74 percent share in 2014.

US & China Take 50% of the Global Games Market in 2018

As previously reported, China could move ahead of the US and become the world’s largest games market by revenues this year. In 2015, Chinese revenues are expected to reach $22.2, just surpassing US revenues of $22.0 billion. A notable difference in the two markets can be seen in digital games sales; in 2015, the share of digital to total revenues in China is expected to reach 97 percent (or $21.4 billion) versus 72 percent (or $15.8 billion) in the US. Comparing 2015 revenues per screen, the Chinese games market is dominated by the Computer Screen (PC/Mac), with 68 percent of total revenues, while the Entertainment Screen (TV/Console, VR) continues to prevail in the US, with 45 percent of the market. In both countries, mobile segments have been growing with huge impact, but while the US mobile market is showing signs of maturing, China’s is still on the uptake. This year in the US, smartphone games and tablet games will still see YoY growths of +13.4 percent and +17.8 percent respectively. In China, tablet games will see a YoY growth of +39.0 percent, while smartphone games will jump an outstanding +50.0 percent. Overall, China’s games market will grow at a CAGR of +16.1 percent to reach $32.8 billion in 2018, while the US will grow at a CAGR of +3.1 percent to reach $24.1 billion in 2018. Together, they will account for 50.1 percent of the global games market, up from 47.0 percent last year.

Newzoo’s Global Games Market Report & Service Methodology

Newzoo performs continuous analysis of the global games markets and individual public and non-public company performance. To generate reliable player and revenue data on a global level as well as for the top 130 countries in the world, we combine an array of data sources, including primary consumer research in 26 countries, quarterly revenues of public companies, transactional data and third-party research. Forecasting also involves market trending analysis and projections for macro KPIs, such as population growth, online/mobile connectivity and economic growth for all countries in the world.