Academy Award Filmmaker & Facebook To Keynote [a]list Video Summit

Two new keynote speakers and one new fireside chat have been added to the schedule for [a]list video summit taking place on August 19 at W Hollywood Hotel. We’re excited to welcome Academy Award-Winning filmmaker Morgan Neville, Facebook’s Head of Film and Television, Jonathan Murtaugh and Snapchat-focused network Naritiv’s Co-Founder and CEO Dan Altman.

Keynote Interview

Morgan Neville’s film 20 Feet From Stardom premiered at Sundance 2013 and became an instant hit that won the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2014. His latest film, Best of Enemies, premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and will be released theatrically by Magnolia Pictures later his summer. Morgan’s talent for capturing authentic moments has attracted companies like Bose and Microsoft seeking to enhance the relatability of their brands with short behind-the-scenes docs and use case studies.

Currently, he is working with Ayzenberg on a documentary series on Microsoft HoloLens, which may be screened now at {link no longer active} and on the HoloLens YouTube channel. In this keynote interview, Morgan will discuss branded documentary content and how it differs from traditional documentary films — and how it is the same. In a landscape of ever more abbreviated platforms for communication, marketing docs are unabashedly rich, cinematic and traditionally narrative. Ayzenberg VP and Creative Director Matt Bretz will explore Morgan Neville’s insights into where his work fits into a big brand’s communication portfolio.

New Keynote

As Facebook is emerging as a real force in online video and even tougher contender in the battle for digital ad dollars, we are excited to also announce a new keynote with Jonathan Murtaugh, who leads Facebook’s team that works with entertainment marketers to help them successfully leverage both Facebook and Instagram as marketing platforms. He also is the head of Facebook’s Los Angeles office. Prior to Facebook, Jonathan has also served in a range of marketing and brand development roles in sports and manufactured goods.

Fireside Chat

Naritiv’s Co-Founder and CEO Dan Altman joins the summit for a fireside chat. Naritiv is a startup which is helping shape the way brands utilize Snapchat. The company has raised a total of $1.2 million in seed funding so far from the Disney Accelerator, Greylock Partners, Mucker Capital, and more. This fireside chat will focus on what works for brands on Snapchat and how Naritiv was able to leverage native talent to help Disney’s Pretty Little Liars Snapchat account amass more than one million followers on the platform. The chat will be moderated by Jim Louderback, Brand Strategist and Venture Partner at Social Starts.


Finding The Right Influencers Is More Critical Now Than Ever

Social media has brought about a major shift for brands brands with respect to what constitutes truly effective brand messaging. The importance of peer recommendations versus other forms of marketing has risen to historical levels driving influencer marketing as the preferred way to reach young audiences.

In an increasingly fragmented digital world, peer recommendations are now doubling the effectiveness of campaigns and boast a 37 percent retention rate.  It’s easy to see why: consumers, particularly millennials and gen Z, have banner blindness.

For brands, developing a relationship with influencers is critical to brand growth as digital audiences look for authenticity. Put simply, the equation for the level of influence itself is widely acknowledged as:

“Influence = Audience Reach (# of followers) x Brand Affinity (expertise and credibility) x engagement”. 

Given that there are already 400,000+ influencers and growing with millions of followers, brand marketers must find and develop relationships with the right influencers to generate desired social recommendations and amplifications while maintaining brand integrity. As is the case with most areas of marketing, this is not easy to scale nor is it easy to repeat.

For each campaign, influencers must be discovered, cultivated and managed and the results of these influencer marketing campaigns must be analyzed and optimized constantly.

ION, an influencer marketing agency with Ayzenberg has been drawing upon 25 years of brand management brand expertise to create an optimized matching platform for brands and influencers. In applying hundreds of social graph data attributes and 31 dimensions, ION identifies the parallels between a brand’s story and influencers’ audiences. It’s a brand new social science-based approach to influencer marketing that gives brands a long-term and scalable way to activate social content in one platform, the ICN, of Influencer Channel Network.

Unlike working directly with individual creators or MCN’s, an ICN provides custom and comprehensive subscription channels for brands. Brands achieve via ICNs the right mix of content and activations, with unlimited ROI potential.

Brand marketers can now benefit from a business-grade platform to manage their influencer efforts with ION’s proprietary tech stack and managed service.

This sponsored post is produced by Ayzenberg.

The Next Mobile Game Star? Demi Lovato

There’s big money to be made in the mobile market, especially if a company finds the right tie-in with a big-name celebrity. Glu Mobile, for instance, has been raking in millions of dollars from its promotional tie-in with Kim Kardashian, with her Kim Kardashian: Hollywood game; and it’ll soon be doing so again with singer Katy Perry, who will be getting her own mobile game soon, also through Glu.

Now, add one more sensation to the mobile mix. Billboard recently reported that singer Demi Lovato has signed up with mobile game developer Pocket Gems to star in a new mobile game, one that follows the “choose your own adventure” style of play as users make decisions to create their own music careers.

Set to be released this summer, the yet-unnamed game will run on Pocket Gems’ Episode platform, and will be available for both iOS and Android platforms.

Considering the popularity of Kardashian’s project, as well as the hype building for Perry’s, it should be no surprise that another AAA superstar will soon be joining the mobile world, according to Pocket Gems’ Jameel Khalfan. “If you incorporate an artist with Demi, it becomes more real,” Khalfan tells Billboard. “You get to see things that have helped her along the way. We wanted to come up with a compelling story our users will love. They’re all aware of her story.”

Pocket Gems pays close attention to its userbase, including female players, in terms of what kind of content they’re looking for, and Lovato easily fit this bill, according to Khalfan. Through a discussion with the CAA (Lovato’s agency), they discovered that she was interested in jumping on board the project.

Lovato also has heavy involvement in the game’s development, providing a great deal of authenticity with crafted dialogue, as well as clothes and outfits for her digital avatar. Her dog Buddy will also be featured in the game, as well as a number of her original recordings, which will be involved “in a few different ways,” according to Khalfan.

Considering the imminent success that Hollywood produced, Pocket Gems and Lovato could certainly be onto something.

Inside Mobile Advertising’s Potential

VentureBeat recently posted a report with a flow chart that breaks down how one typical mobile ad event can break down in terms of effectiveness. It starts with how a mobile user first visits a site or opens an app, then goes through a number of steps, including ad exchange, bidding for a real-time auction for ad space, user interaction, and, eventually, moving on to the next thing, although the user remains unaware in terms of just what’s going on with the deliver of said ad. According to the chart, we’re talking multiple transactions that occur within milliseconds.

According to VentureBeat, 2.1 billion mobile users downloaded over 350 billion apps over the last year, spending around 76 percent more time on their device than in previous years. That said, despite all this attention, the industry still isn’t spending enough on ads. Numbers reported by Mary Meeker indicate that they spend around $25 billion — and that just isn’t enough.

This other chart, included in the report, indicates the percent of time spent in media compared to money spent within advertising — and some of the contrast differences are worth nothing. Print has an incredible amount of difference, with only four percent time spent compared to 18 percent spending. Meanwhile, other numbers are just about even, with radio reporting 11 percent across the board, followed by TV with a small difference between 37 percent time spent and 41 percent spending, and Internet only showing a one percent difference.

The real shocker, though, is mobile. 24 percent of overall time is spent on media using mobile devices, yet companies only spend about eight percent of funding on advertisements — and they’re missing out as a result.

“The mobile ad ecosystem is like a giant Plinko game,” said John Koetsier, the author of the report and VB Insight head of research. “Advertisers toss in $100 at the top, and after going through data management platforms, ad agencies, networks, and supply-side platforms, they’re lucky if $60 actually gets spent on true placement of their ads.”

Meanwhile, the supply side of the industry is getting more support, and, as a result, brands may see more confidence with investing in ads. “There are something like 1,000 ad networks, adding to the immense complexity of this space, so the biggest opportunity for vendors is to consolidate the stack — ad network, data, supply aggregation, demand aggregation, attribution, and fraud detection — so that advertisers just have to deal with fewer vendors,” Koetsier said.

VentureBeat has a more extensive report on the project, which can be found here.

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Nintendo: Despite What’s Coming, It’s Not A Transitional Year

Nintendo has a lot happening these days. It’s about to make its long-awaited foray into mobile with some help from DeNA; it’s working on a new NX platform that could be announced as soon as next year, with Android support; and it’s got a full slate of titles coming over the next few months for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. That said, the company is still keeping the norm when it comes to business, as indicated by Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of sales, Scott Moffitt, who recently spoke with GamesIndustry International.

“I wouldn’t view it as a transitional year at all for us,” he said. “At least, I don’t think of it that way. We’re bringing a plethora of great games to the market this year. We have 14 games we’re launching between now and the end of the year, eight of them on Wii U and six of them on 3DS. They’re great, bold, imaginative, transformational games… Our company is always moving on many different dimensions, but E3 is probably not the place to talk about a theme park experience, it’s not a mobile game show. So a lot of those things are really better talked about and discussed at other times of the year. We focus on games, games, games. We make great games and we want to showcase those here and allow fans to play them.”

The company’s feedback from its E3 presentation was mixed, with anticipation of some games being incredibly high (like Yoshi’s Woolly World and StarFox Zero), and some games leaving a slightly bitter taste in gamers’ mouths (such as the redesigned Metroid Prime: Federation Force). “It’s always a balancing act. You want fans to be enthusiastic about what’s coming, but the focus is on what’s going to be here-and-now,” said Moffitt. “We have meetings with retailers where all they care about is, ‘What am I going to be selling in my store this coming holiday ‘ They don’t really care about a game that’s going to be three years down the road. Those buyers may be on different desks; they’ll be buying deodorant by then. That’s an important constituency here at the show, as well as game fans and media.”

As for the controversy surrounding Force, Moffitt said that Nintendo isn’t turning an ear away from its audience. “We love our fans. They’re the most passionate, vocal group of fans I’ve ever seen, and we listen carefully to their opinions,” Moffitt said. “We respect their opinions and their right to share those opinions with us. We try to make the best decisions we can with them in mind, but also with our content in mind, with our franchises in mind. A lot goes into the decision of which games to produce and which games not to produce. I don’t pretend to know how all those decisions are made, but we certainly appreciate our fans’ enthusiasm for the Metroid franchise. It’s a franchise I love as well, and I hope they will find other games in the 14 we’ve announced at this E3 that they can play in the meantime while we all wait for the game we’d like to come out in the Metroid franchise.”

Moffitt is also aware of the high demand for the company’s amiibo toys, since most of them sell out quickly, leaving some users high and dry when it comes to collecting their favorites. “We’re aware of the frustration game fans have had, and I’m empathetic with how difficult it’s been to find some of the amiibo,” Moffitt said. “We would love to be able to make enough for everyone that wants an amiibo to be able to buy it. And we are making them in greater and greater quantities. Every wave we release, we’re trying to do a better job estimating the demand and producing enough to satisfy it.”

He also assured that amiibo figures will be better provided, especially later in the year, when Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival makes its debut for the Wii U. “It’s really our third platform,” Moffitt said of amiibo. “Certainly, creating great games is what we’re best at. But it’s added an important new dimension to gameplay that our developers have really embraced. It’s still not our core franchise, not our core business, but it’s a nice third platform that allows us to innovate and bring new ideas to satisfy creativity in our developers, but also allow our game fans a new kind of gaming experience. But I wouldn’t say it’s our core platform.”

The amiibo figures are just a small part of an ever-expansive interactive toy/game market, one that will reach a peak this year with such entrants as Skylanders Superchargers, Lego Dimensions and Disney Infinity 3.0: Star Wars. “Certainly as new entrants come in, it tends to grow a business to a point, and then it gets over-crowded,” Moffitt said. “But what we’re seeing with amiibo is we’ve expanded the big demographics of the typical toys-to-life consumer to be older, and that’s a good thing for the whole toys-to-life category. The second thing we’re seeing is retailers are continuing to expand the space that’s dedicated to toys-to-life. That’s all good for the category, and I think it will continue to have a good holiday. The thing I would point out to your readers is that the Wii U is the platform of choice for toys-to-life gaming. It’s the only place you can play all of the platforms. That’s exciting and I think we want to continue to be the destination for toys-to-life gaming.”

Finally, Moffitt discussed the value of software, which remains a key point with Nintendo’s business. “Our developers work hard on games,” Moffitt said. “It’s expensive to develop games, and the value of software needs to be respected and kept high. It’s a concern with everything we do, all the way through to creating hardware bundles for the holidays. It’s a factor in all of those decisions. It’s very important for us to keep the value of software high.”

Twitch Increases E3’s Marketing Impact

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, which took place earlier this month in Los Angeles, was a tremendous success for a lot of game companies. However, it was also big for the streaming channel Twitch, which provided a lot of live coverage from the event over its three day span. We previously reported that it drew big numbers, with up to 700,000 to 800,000 concurrent viewers for the pre-show press conferences alone.

However, since then, the company has released more official results from its coverage, per the included infographic below.

According to the data provided, over 21 million unique viewers tuned in to the event in one form or another, with up to 840,000 concurrent viewers at given points in their broadcasts. This is 16 times more than the actual attendees for the E3 event, which reached more than 50,000.

In addition, nearly 12 million hours of content from the show was watched overall, either live or through rebroadcasts. According to Twitch, that’s the amount of time for a person to travel to Pluto and back, an estimated 72 times.

Twitch broadcast 41 hours of live E3 content, including eight press conferences and 85 gaming segments. Out of those segments, 11 were exclusive to Twitch, giving people a reason to tune in. Twitch has turned into an enormous marketing booster for E3 and for the exhibiting companies, amplifying their messages and engaging millions more consumers than previous media coverage of the event.

Partners to the Twitch program around the world also benefitted from E3 coverage. Co-streaming support was at an all-time high during the show, with just over 1,800 unique channels participating with rebroadcasts in German, French and Dutch. They made up 35 percent of total E3 viewership overall, indicating that the show has a popular following overseas, just as much as it does in the U.S. gaming community.

Finally, as a participating partner in Twitch’s coverage, Humble Bundle offered a special “E3 Digital Ticket” program, enabling users to not only watch programming, but also obtain exclusive goodies, including games and other items. The partnership turned out to be a huge success, as more than 174,000 bundles were sold, raising $390,000 for charity.

Even with the competition from YouTube with its recently announced Gaming channel, Twitch had no problem dominating E3. And with other big video game events around the corner — including PAX Prime in August and Gamescom later in the year — there’s no stopping its momentum.

Image source

A Peek Into Reuters Live Video Syndication Play With Mirror Image

by Jocelyn Johnson

The business of “live” content on the Internet is no easy task. Despite the hype around Periscope and Meerkat, and now most recently “HuffPost 24”, live viewing digitally has consistently faced challenges to seize the type of sustainable audience supports its logistical overhead.  Not to mention the quite obvious conundrum that Live content can become obsolete and difficult to monetize seconds after it airs.

So, try for a moment to wrap your head around the risk-reward of live video being syndicated across the Internet instantly, to maintain real-time relevance for hundreds of publishers and journalists.

But just when master content syndicator Reuters identified that most news outlets grapple with servicing live breaking news, it decided to develop and roll out “Reuters Live Online,” which became available earlier this spring.

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.

For Brands, #LoveWins


Posted by Community on Friday, June 26, 2015

Redbox Takes PS4 and Xbox One Titles Nationwide

While attention has focused on new console games in retail stores and as digital downloads, there’s another very important retail channel that’s becoming much more important for console game publishers: the rental kiosks found in so many places across the USA. Redbox, America’s destination for new-release entertainment, has announced plans to expand the availability of new generation games to all kiosks nationwide in 2015. “We believe that now is the time to make new gen content more accessible to mainstream consumers,” said Mark Horak, president of Redbox, “and through our 35,000 kiosk locations, digital network of 90 million touch points, affordable price point and content recommendation engine, we are committed to accelerating the adoption of both new gen hardware and software for the industry.”

“We look forward to partnering with publishers to execute title-specific marketing plans as we expand new gen nationally,” said Bill West, vice president of games at Redbox. “Research tells us that our customers rent titles to help inform game purchase decisions. As our offering expands, we’re helping publishers reach their goals of raising awareness and making trial more convenient and affordable for consumers nationwide.” West spoke exclusively with [a]listdaily about the importance of Redbox to game marketers.

Tell us about Redbox’s latest move and what it does for the newest generation of consoles — what does it mean for marketers?

Redbox entered the game space in 2011, and has since expanded with the last generation, PS3 and Xbox 360. About two years ago we started the entry into new-gen, when Xbox One and PS 4 launched. What we announced last week was that we are expanding our new-gen offering, where we had been at 5,000 kiosks, we are expanding nationwide to all of our kiosks, some 42,000. We think we canb really help the industry with the transition, really drive our mainstream consumers to new-gen, as well as help our consumers who have already transitioned to offer them the convenience of all of our locations and all of these new-gen games that they might want to try before they buy.

What have you learned from the way people rent games, and about the people who rent games from you?

What I can say is we see a very similar demand to what you would see in what people purchase. I think a lot of that goes to our wonderful stat that 73% of our consumers are trying the game before they buy it — they’re trying to gather information on do they like this game, is this a game that I want to invest in You can look at what’s popular in the industry and see that we have similar popular games in our kiosks.

We have more mainstream consumers, we don’t have a majority of hardcore gamers. We have mainstream consumers who want to play more games, who want to try more, and then eventually convert them into purchase.

How many games do you carry, and how quickly do you get new games into your kiosks?

There’s a lot of new-gen console games, and we give our consumers a lot of options. We will carry at any given time about15-20 games. We follow the publisher release schedules, so as publishers are releasing games we’re putting new games into the kiosks. We can have it day and date, whenever they release it to us.

How do you reach consumers, and how many can you touch with your marketing?

We have a great network of consumers. We actually have 40 million emails, a total of 90 million touch points between our emails, our apps, our text club. We have a lot of communication with our consumers so we can see what they want us to carry, what they’re interested in trying.

What kind of marketing opportunities do you offer to publishers?

Having those 90 million touch points, and having the 42,000 kiosks, we get 350 million impressions per week. There’s a lot of opportunity. We’re really looking forward to talking about specific marketing plans with each of our publishing partners so we can help drive that mainstream gamer that is just now starting to come into that new generation, that is obviously key for publishers. We think we can drive that push — yes, you have to spend on purchasing a console, but we give you a lot of opportunities to come to our kiosk, try all these different types of games and play it for the weekend. We’re looking at multiple types of promotions with our publishing partners that we can really encourgae our consumers to rent specific games.

What’s next strategically for Redbox in the rest of this year and beyond?

I want to spend the next twelve months growing the new-gen business on our end, making games a larger percentage of our business, and as we do that we are looking at other strategic opportunities that I can’t talk to, that we can continue to grow the business from a games perspective in the overall Redbox portfolio.

Fatal1ty Discusses Monster eSports Deal

Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel, 12-time world champion gamer and founder of Fatal1ty Gaming Gear products, has partnered with Monster to bring a new line of eSports and video game headphones to market this fall. In a market dominated by companies like Turtle Beach, Astro Gaming, Razer, and other gaming companies, Monster hopes Wendel’s brand can connect with a much younger gaming demographic.

“Monster has been interested in bringing its technology to gamers for quite some time and partnering with Fatal1ty brings us front and center into the gaming community and enhances our understanding of the technology and products that a World Champion gamer needs to win,” said Head Monster Noel Lee. “I will drive my product development teams to deliver even beyond that criteria, and will be an integral part in designing a range of audio solutions and headsets for gamers. Many of the Fatal1ty Monster headsets will incorporate Pure Monster Sound technology, while remaining at a price point gamers can afford.”

The collaborative design process between Monster and Fatal1ty is under way and all products designed under this partnership will be co-branded as Fatal1ty by Monster.

“There are many choices for gamers and many good headsets available,” Wendel said. “Without tipping our hand about our development roadmap, let me say that each and every product we bring to market for gamers to consider will be built to give them an advantage. From our Performance Series to our Champion Series, we will bring product built for gamers, again at price points they can afford.”

Wendel said his professional record of success allows him to know what he needs from gaming products to gain the advantage. That will translate to today’s booming eSports business.

“Fatal1ty Gaming Gear has been bringing award winning hardware to gamers worldwide for over 10 years,” said Wendel. “We understand gaming hardware — motherboards, soundcards, power supplies and related — and with our collaboration with the Head Monster, we are committed to the same for audio and related peripherals and accessories.”

Wendel said over time this partnership will provide solutions for all platforms and genres of gaming.

“Noel has created countless innovations in consumer electronics and knows what it takes to win and how to bring winning products to market,” said Wendel. “Of importance to me is that Noel is also on the same page when it comes to supporting gaming events and the gaming communities that make all this possible.”

Wendel’s range of award-winning Fatal1ty/ASRock motherboards are currently in the Top Three in global sales.

“In time, I’m confident that gamers and tech consumers will come to understand that Fatal1ty means gaming,” said Wendel. “With my passion and respect for what gaming has afforded me, I also want the gaming community to know that with Noel Lee’s & his Monster’s full support we will continue to magnify and expand our efforts to give back to gaming in the way of Pro Am tournament and sponsorships.”

With the type of marketing budgets Monster traditionally has had with past audio products, their entry into the eSports space is good for the industry. Monster has hired musical groups like the Steve Miller Band and Alicia Keys to perform at their CES party. The technology company also works with celebrities like Nick Cannon and Tyson Beckford and athletes like Drew Brees and Marshawn Lynch on lines of audio products. Now they’re doing the same thing with gaming and eSports through Fatal1ty, who helped pave the way for mainstream acceptance of eSports in the early days.