Why ‘Kung Fury’ Is The Perfect Film For YouTube

by Sahil Patel

By now you have either watched or at least heard of Kung Fury, the 30-minute action short-film from Swedish filmmaker David Sandberg that has taken the online world by storm since its YouTube debut on May 28. It’s a comedic masterpiece, sending up ‘80s action-flick tropes left and right in an effort to out-do anything that has come before it.

On LaserUnicorns YouTube channel {link no longer active}, Kung Fury has generated more than 14.5 million views in less than two weeks — but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

According to social data provided by Tubular Labs, Kung Fury content (which includes the film itself, its trailer that was released prior to the film, and other videos posted by the filmmakers and fans across platforms such as YouTube, FacebookVine, and Vimeo) has been watched more than 50 million times.

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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 thevideoink.com for the latest news and stories, delivered right to your inbox.

Apple WWDC 2015: Growing Market Share

Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) for 2015, kicking off today, introduced a number of things — some expected and some a surprise. What’s clear from the news is that Apple is making major moves in music, and also that it’s striving to take what’s best from iOS and OS X and make sure that those benefits are widely available. More than that, Apple is exerting its leverage from its strong mobile presence to grow its computing market share, pile up its lead in wearables, and prepare the way for the eventual arrival of the new Apple TV.

Let’s run down some of the key pronouncements from Apple, and what they mean.

OS X 10.11 El Capitan: Putting the Pedal to the Metal For Gaming
Normally, you wouldn’t think a new version of Apple’s operating system for desktops and laptops would be all that important — but this time, it has meaning to the games industry. Apple announced that its Metal development platform, first introduced for iOS last year to improve graphics performance up to 10x, will now be part of OS X. “Metal is a core graphics technology that gives apps near-direct access to the GPU. This means faster and more efficient rendering performance across the system,” said Apple.


The Metal API for OS X was shown off on-stage by Epic as part of its upcoming game Fortnite, and Apple’s Craig Federighi, SVP of software engineeringsaid running a game in Metal instead of the standard Open GL graphics delivers 50 percent improvement in rendering performance, 40 percent improvement in efficiency (which gives a better battery life), and 10x improvement in drawing performance. Metal will be built into Unity, Unreal Engine, and is being utilized by 2K Games and Blizzard, among others. The result should be that playing games on Macintosh computers will be significantly better than before, and we should see an expansion of game sales on the increasingly popular Macintosh platform. The new OS X will be arriving in the fall as a free upgrade.

IOS 9: Six Gaming Upgrades
Apple wasn’t leaving iOS 9, officially announced now, out of the gaming announcements — not when some 75 percent of app revenue on iOS comes from games. The company announced three new frameworks that will help game developers. Gameplay Kit helps create artificial intelligence and pathfinding for games; Model I/O lights 3D models; and ReplayKit adds, effectively, a gaming DVR so users can record and share gameplay. As for the other three upgrades, Apple announced that its existing SpriteKit, SceneKit, and Metal have all been enhanced. There are also other enhancements to iOS9, too, including a low-power mode to lengthen your battery life by up to three hours, and new productivity options for iPads. The operating system will be released in a public beta in July, will full release scheduled for the fall.

Apple Music
The long-awaited streaming music service from Apple is here, and it’s going to be $9.95 per month with a $14.95 per month family plan that you can share with up to five people. “You can stream your favorite artists, watch music videos and exclusive clips in HD, and listen to curated playlists. There’s also a feature (called “Connect”) that lets unsigned artists upload their music. Apple’s even created a global radio station called Beats 1 and hired Zane Lowe to run it,” noted The Verge. The service arrives at the end of this month for OSX, iOS and Windows, and in the fall you’ll have it on Apple TV and Android as well.

The service looks like a solid competitor to Spotify, Pandora and others already out there, and Apple’s got big plans for it — looking for 100 million subscribers, which would make it more than twice as big as all the other streaming music services combined. Apple doesn’t have a free, ad-supported tier, but it will be offering a three-month free trial of the service to get you hooked.

Apple’s Secret Weapon For Developers
Perhaps the most interesting announcement from the WWDC, which has mostly been overlooked, is this: Apple is combining all of its developer programs into one. Now, instead of paying $99 to be an OS X developer, and another $99 to be an iOS developer, you can develop for both platforms for $99 per year — and develop for the Apple Watch, as well, which is getting a full set of development tools. Here Apple is cleverly building on its global success with iOS development to help boost OS X development, and thus the market for Macintosh computers.

Beyond reducing the barriers to development, Apple is also open-sourcing its new programming language Swift, which it announced last year and has already garnered strong support among iOS and OS X developers. This is a surprising development for Apple, not usually known for giving away key intellectual properties. But open-sourcing the language makes considerable sense, because it should lead to far more rapid improvements of the language and a broader base of adoption. That’s part of what has driven Android to its dominant position as the leading mobile OS – its open-source core means developers are free to add, extend, and modify it as they desire. Apple is looking to get the same sort of benefits now.

Apple’s Market Domination Strategy
As part of its presentation, Apple also noted that the iTunes App Store has passed 1.5 million apps, 100 billion app downloads, and handed out over $30 billion to developers. These new figures mean the App Store has now passed Google Play in the total number of apps available, as Google’s latest announcement was merely “more than 1 million apps.” The $30 billion figure is even more impressive when you realize that the overwhelming majority of that money (probably at least two-thirds, perhaps three-quarters) has gone to game developers.

Apple’s improving the performance of its hardware for games, and clearly showing how important games are by bringing them on stage at every major event. This is something that would not have happened just a few years ago. The company’s new Apple Music will bring the brand even farther than before for music, especially when Apple invades Android devices this fall.

The last major part of the entertainment strategy, the new Apple TV with games and bundles of TV channels, is yet to arrive. But this fall, if Apple can conclude all the deals it is working on, will see the debut of a device that can completely change the landscape for cable companies, set-top boxes, and consoles alike. We’re already seeing some of the shifts, with HBO and Showtime now providing options for their service that don’t require you to have a cable TV subscription. Get ready for the new era of television and big-screen gaming this fall, because it promises to be a compelling entertainment experience for industry watchers.

It’s Lights, Camera, Blockbuster Box For Pizza Hut

When someone catches sight of a pizza box, they get excited, mainly because of what’s inside. However, a new innovation by Ogilvy Hong Kong could change the way people look at pizza boxes forever.

Business Insider reports that Pizza Hut has teamed up with the Hong Kong marketing company to introduce a new promotion that turns a regular pizza box into a projector that works in conjunction with a customer’s smartphone. Titled the Blockbuster Box, it still contains pizza when consumers initially gets it, but can then be converted into a small projector, using a lens that’s included with the package.

The Blockbuster Box is relatively easy to put together. First, customers punch a hole into the side of the box, based on a perforated cutout that’s easy to punch out. Second, the lens (which doubles as the little plastic stand that keeps the top of the box from touching the pizza) is placed in the hole, where it can easily be secured. Then, users place the smartphone inside the box, in a space reserved for it. Then it’s a simple projection of whatever’s on the smartphone screen onto a wall, and consumers have an instant movie theater. You should probably eat the pizza first, though, or at least remove it from the box.

The service works with whatever programming is available on the phone, whether it’s downloaded movies, Netflix or whatever’s on YouTube, but Pizza Hut also includes a QR code that enables consumers to download a free movie.

Four differently themed Blockbuster Boxes are being introduced with the promotion, each based on certain themes of films – Fully Loaded for action, Slice Night for scary films, Hot & Ready for romance and Anchovy Armageddon for sci-fi fans.

It’s an ideal promotion – especially during the summertime, when movies are highly popular – but, for now, it’s only overseas, as Pizza Hut has only introduced it in Hong Kong. However, it probably won’t be long before we see it on our shores, considering how much American audiences enjoy dinner and a show.

Check out the video below to get a better idea of how the Blockbuster Box works. Time to load up Guardians of the Galaxy!

‘Angry Birds’ And Lego Team Up

Even though it’s lost a little steam over the past couple of years, Angry Birds continues to be a big name in mobile gaming. And, of course, Lego has taken off in its own right, between popular toy sets, the grand reception of The Lego Movie, and forthcoming projects like Lego Jurassic World (which releases this Friday) and Lego Dimensions. So why shouldn’t the two team up for a gargantuan project?

Rovio, the creators of the Angry Birds franchise, have announced that it has teamed up with Lego to make a series of toys based on the popular line, which is set to release next year alongside the forthcoming Angry Birds film, according to The Telegraph. They will feature a number of Bird and Pig characters from the games, as well as the ability to recreate popular stages, based on the builder’s imagination.

Although the sets haven’t been fully revealed yet, Jill Wilfert, vice president of the Lego Group, stated that “our designers are having fun developing building sets that leverage the engaging play and deconstruction found in the Angry Birds game.”

“We are excited to bring Angry Birds to life in LEGO form, given the popularity of the game and its characters with fans of all ages, which will only be amplified by the forthcoming film,” she added.

Pekka Rantala, chief executive of Rovio, added, “The Lego brand has an unparalleled ability to connect with people through products that spark creativity and imagination. We’re really excited to build experiences together with this amazing best-in-class partner.”

Rovio could certainly use the boost in sales. Even with all the hype going into the Angry Birds film, sales on its recent releases in the series have faltered, forcing it to lay off more than 100 people in the past year.

Meanwhile, Lego has flourished on its success, with over 62 billion brick sets sold, and more projects in the works, including a Lego Movie sequel set to arrive in 2018, as well as other media projects.

The team-up is sure to be a win-win for kids, as well as adult fans of the series that want nothing more than to set up elaborate stages, only to knock them down as they attempt to crush those dastardly pigs.

Mobile Users Watching Longer Videos

Mobile video consumption has come a long way over the past few years — and according to the IAB, its growth seems to be going in a specific direction.

TechCrunch reports that a new survey conducted by the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) takes a closer look at mobile video consumption around the world, showing that many respondents prefer to watch more video on mobile devices than they did a year ago. 50 percent of those surveyed in the United States, along with 42 percent in Canada, New Zealand and South Africa admit they want some form of video on their smartphones — and not just “quickie” clips, either.

36 percent of those polled stated that they watch videos that are five minutes in length or longer on a daily basis. Though that’s still just a portion of overall mobile users, it’s a very healthy portion nevertheless.

Viewers in China partake in watching both movies and TV episodes on their phones, with 37 percent of respondents in China and 35 percent in Singapore stating that they’re watching less TV because of mobile video consumption.

The image above indicates what kind of percentage of audiences prefer to watch smartphone video. Turkey shows the highest percentage with 60 percent, while Denmark and Argentina are on the “lower” end with 41 percent when it comes to five-minute or longer clips.

As for where the content is usually found, 62 percent of those polled say they turn to YouTube, while 33 percent stick with general social media, 20 percent use search engines, and 14 percent go through advertisements.

“Audiences around the world are overwhelmingly open to mobile video advertisements that relate to their context and viewing patterns,” said Joe Laszlo, senior director for IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence.

With sales of mobile devices increasing (particularly Android), we probably won’t see these numbers drop anytime soon, if at all.

Marketers Finding Challenge With Social ROI

When approaching social media with advertising, there’s always pros and cons to keep an eye out for. With the right campaign, a company can easily find great outreach with its product. However, on the flip side of that, there are challenges, such as making sure that something isn’t too promotional for its own good (thus losing the audience it was initially targeted for), or pushing too much in a certain direction.

Companies face these social challenges regularly, and a recently report conducted by SimplyMeasured and TrustRadius {link no longer active} across 600 social media marketers show just where these challenges lie, according to Social Times {link no longer active}.

Out of those surveyed, 60 percent believe that measuring the ROI of social media is the biggest challenge to overcome, followed by connecting social activities to business outcomes and securing internal resources. The chart below highlights just how high each one is specifically ranked.

Other difficulties brought up with social programs include developing for a specific marketing media strategy, securing internal resources, integrating a variety of social tools and monitoring the competition. Three different groups of marketers were polled, including those for small, mid-sized and enterprise-based companies.

Social Times believes that the reason social marketing teams may be struggling with trying to secure resources for social may be from using “vanity metrics” to measure success. 80 percent of those polled stated that “engagement” — including likes on Facebook, shares, comments, followers and other parts of a network — are the most important metrics when it comes to social programs, an indication that they’re getting some form of attention.

Meanwhile, 32 percent believe that leads were important, while 28 percent noted that revenue is a key metric with any campaign like this.

One respondent pointed out that connecting social aspects to sales can be “incredibly difficult,” saying, “Even with sophisticated programs and services like Eloqua, DemandGen, SFDC (Salesforce.com), etc., there is still the difficulty understanding what works and what does not. At the end of the day, social media is just one part of a greater whole than a customer is exposed to.”

Does that mean companies will stop trying on the social front? Certainly not. But don’t be surprised if they take a more cautious route while trying to gauge what kind of success it could bring.

The full report can be found here. {link no longer active}

Five Brands Killing It On YouTube

by Jessica Klein

It’s long been clear that having a YouTube presence helps brands reach younger and wider audiences. Certain ones, like Red Bull and Marriott hotels, have gone all out and started their own digital programming studios, releasing high-quality, original content on the regular.

However, brands don’t have to have dedicated digital studios to put together successful YouTube channels. As many of the following channels show, you don’t need much more than a playlist of your best TV commercials to get people watching your brand’s content on the video platform. Using its Emerging Talent Tracker tool, Openslate found that these five brands are successfully gaining a following on YouTube…without putting out any particularly fancy video content.

Still, these brands do seem to have some tricks up their sleeves. Celebrity appearances, for instance, will always bring in the views, as HTC and Nike know, while having some kind of series, even if it’s extremely short-form, will help keep viewers returning to your channel, which Marshalls has perfected…

See the list…

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.

Twitch Brings E3 Live To The World

The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is going to be coming to a screen near you this year, as Twitch announces its broadcast schedule as the official live-streaming partner of the show. In addition to broadcasting all of the E3 2015 press conferences and being the exclusive broadcasting platform for the PC Gaming Show, more than 30 publishers and developers will be showing games on the Twitch stage at South Hall, Booth #2803. Twitch will also have broadcasting partners from several countries providing localized content from the Twitch booth, the first time they’ve done this.

Expanding the range of content available, Twitch broadcasters will be allowed to co-stream all of the Twitch E3 content on twitch.tv/twitch to their own channels. “By providing their own commentary on the news, this gives broadcasters the opportunity to create a more personalized, social experience for their communities,” noted Twitch.

“The Twitch community is the single most active, socially engaged group of gamers in the world,” said Jon Carnage, Live Programming Director, Twitch. “They have a voracious appetite, especially for new indie and AAA games. With every press conference on Twitch and every major publisher being featured on the Twitch stage, we’ve got the fans covered. By having the industry’s most comprehensive collection of live streamed content, this is shaping up to be our biggest E3 to date.”

Twitch’s booth includes high-performance professional audio provided by Turtle Beach, Twitch’s official audio partner. Xbox is also partnering with Twitch by presenting the Xbox ESports Celebrity Challenge & Twitch Party. At this event—which is also sponsored by AlphaDraft and Turtle Beach—500 lucky Xbox fans get a chance to mingle with top broadcasters, celebrities and industry elite on June 16.

Among this year’s guests from the publisher and developer community will be 2K, Activision, Bandai Namco Entertainment America, Blizzard, Deep Silver, Devolver, Disney Interactive, EA, Konami, Microsoft Studios, Nintendo, PlayStation, Reverb, Square Enix, Tiny Build Games, Ubisoft, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and many more, including an array of content from the Indie Megabooth. All of the press events and booth broadcasts will be viewable from the Twitch E3 Portal.

Press Events Schedule (all PDT):

June 14
3:00 p.m. Nintendo World Championships
7:00 p.m. Bethesda
June 15:
9:30 a.m. Xbox
1:00 p.m. EA
3:00 p.m. Ubisoft
6:00 p.m. PlayStation
June 16:
9:00 a.m. Nintendo
10:00 a.m. Square Enix
5:00 p.m. PC Gaming Show (exclusively on Twitch)
Booth Schedule:
TBA on June 9th at www.twitch.tv/event/e3


Take A Breath With Virtual Reality’s ‘Deep’

With both the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus set to hit the market next year, virtual reality is ready to make a triumphant entry into consumers’ hands, giving current devices released by Google and Samsung a run for their money. And with them, we’ll see a number of new developments that take advantage of virtual space, sucking users into amazing new worlds that they can explore however they see fit.

PSFK has reported on a new game that will innovate the virtual reality field in a breathtaking new way – literally. Titled Deep, the game immerses a player into a magnificent-looking world, where they can reduce anxiety and stress simply by using their breathing to control their actions.

The game, made by Owen Harris, has been showing the concept art behind his game at various events last summer, slowly putting together an experience that users will find not only tranquil, but also helpful for calming their nerves.

Throughout the game, players will see various sights from the game, including various underwater landscapes, while learning ancient breathing techniques that will help them calm down, in a meditative sense. With breathing, the environment changes with the user, as it lights up while they breathe in, and then darkens when they breathe out. Through a custom controller, diaphragm expansion is also kept track of, to make sure the player is relaxed enough.

The video below provides a demonstration of how this works:


Stampy Cat Started Playing Minecraft When The Kids Did, Hence His Success

by Jessica Klein

Called “the Mr. Rogers of Minecraft” by Entertainment WeeklyStampy Cat creator Joseph Garrett stands out among the countless Minecraft video creators on YouTube for his family-friendly content. He told Rhett & Link about how he came up with his Mr. Rogers-esque routine on this week’s “Ear Biscuits.”

To give some background, Garrett posts multiple kid-targeted Let’s Play style videos a week, the most regular of which focus on Minecraft. His main Minecraft video series takes place “in his lovely world, {link no longer active}” and it always starts off with Garrett’s character, Stampy, in his bedroom, giving his token greeting, eating cake for breakfast, and then going to his “love garden,” which includes mentions of audience members who have created fan art for Stampy.

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 thevideoink.com for the latest news and stories, delivered right to your inbox.