Hitbox Opens Livestream Revenue to All

Hitbox is a livestreaming service reaching millions of gamers that’s competing with the likes of Twitch and YouTube for the fast-growing livestreaming audience. The web site is setting itself apart by its focus on gaming, and now Hitbox is taking a dramatic step to expand its audience. Starting today, all registered broadcasters on Hitbox, no matter the size of their viewing audience, can participate in revenue sharing through video advertisements and viewer subscriptions. All broadcasters will have access to exapnded tools to enhance their livestreams. Complete details about Hitbox’s new revenue-for-all model can be found here.

“There is so much varied and exciting content streaming live on Hitbox every day. For those broadcasters who are growing a smaller audience or choose unique, lesser known titles over the eSports giants, we wanted our platform to be just as rewarding.†said Martin Klimscha, CEO and co-founder of Hitbox. “Up until now, these broadcasters haven’t been eligible to benefit from the content they create, so we’ve decided to reward all of our streamers as we grow, and hope this will enable them to grow along with us.”

Hitbox CEO Martin Klimscha spoke with [a]listdaily about Hitbox’s new plans and its marketing strategy.

Hitbox in 4K mode

Opening up revenue sharing to all broadcasters is a big step. Was this something your broadcasters had been asking for?

Before our announcement today, only a small fraction of all live broadcasters had the opportunity to benefit from the revenues generated with their work and commitment, and we recognized the need to reward the smaller, growing broadcasters. We also see this as an opportunity to impact our growth. All broadcasters strive to grow and evolve their stream, and its important we provide proper tools for them. Sharing ad revenue and providing better ways for their audience to participate and show support is a big part of that.

The livestreaming market has been growing rapidly in the last few years. Do you think this will continue?

We absolutely feel the growth will continue. Gaming has long become a mainstream phenomenon, and eSports is on the way there, too, if it hasn’t arrived already. While eSports are an important part of our content strategy, there are many many other amazing living room streamers with loyal viewership. And there are still many gamers who haven’t even streamed yet, but are getting the tools to start doing it now. Most PC hardware can now handle a great quality stream and its becoming more affordable, and now we’re giving everyone an opportunity to monetize their content from the get go! Gaming is fun, but sharing your game experience with your friends and playing together is even more fun.

There’s lots of interest in watching livestreams, but there’s plenty of competition for viewers. What’s your marketing strategy for Hitbox?

Beyond talking to the press, our primary marketing strategy has been organic growth through word of mouth and community activities, while we have stayed focused on product development that enables amazing content from our community. We were first with HTML5 based feature-rich chat, first to offer 1080P at 60fps, and we’re the first to roll out 4K, our goal is to always be the first to bring new technologies and features to our users and keep them happy.

We want to make the experience on Hitbox the most fun, and the platform as easy to use as possible. Erasing the minimum viewership requirements to monetize your livestream was just the logical next step. We’re focused on supporting all our broadcasters, no matter their size, to let everyone grow and for us to grow along with them.

Now, we feel confident that our product speaks for itself, so we are working on getting the word out while at the same time always having something new and cool up our sleeves.

How important are chat and other social features to building a livestream audience?

It is the key. Gaming itself is inherently social and we see Hitbox as a virtual gameroom with all your online friends. A traditional one directional media experience doesn’t work here and the outdated concept of a basic text-only chat next to video doesn’t satisfy. This is why we launched with HTML5 chat and are always developing ways to get the viewers and broadcasters into the same space, an environment with the tools and options to make it easier to be social and expressive, so the viewer becomes a big part of the content creation.

Twitch continues to dominate the livestreaming market, and now YouTube is entering in a big way. How do you grow your audience with such big competitors?

For our community there is always some new feature or technology to discover on Hitbox. When we see audiences on other streaming platforms asking for innovations we have had for a while it gives us further confirmation that we’re on to something. Last month we released a League of Legends widget, that lets viewers see all details of the champion the broadcaster is playing, without leaving the live stream. Someone on our team wanted this feature for themselves so we just built it. It is our goal to always be the first to bring new technologies and features to our community.

We watch as this growing market is getting more diverse and is splitting up into many different interest groups, from dedicated eSports communities to ones focused on a single game or genre. Just as we don’t have a single global TV station or social network we will see multiple live streaming outlets catering to specific audiences or topics.

Bottom line, users have more fun on our platform. We’re working to build the most vibrant and innovative online community for gamers by pioneering technology that keeps gamers connected and engaged.

Mobile And Video To Reach New Heights In 2016

YouTube. Facebook. Snapchat. Vine. Meerkat. Periscope. Twitch. Has your brand mastered them all Get the insights and knowledge you need to succeed at [a]list Video Summit Aug. 19. Get tix: http://alist.ly/1EVLyyz

Mobile and video already go great together as it is, enabling millions of consumers to watch streaming videos and other content with ease from their smartphones and tablets. But according to a new report from Publicis’ ZenithOptimedia unit, both are going to get even bigger next year.

As reported by Mediapost, the company indicates that 2016 will be “the year” for both these mediums, where more people will watch video on a mobile device compared to a non-mobile device.

What makes this statement so significant, according to the company, is online video becoming one of the fastest-growing media outlets, on the verge of disrupting an even bigger platform: television. Of course, we’ve discussed earlier this week how streaming services are putting a dent in television’s considerable audience, but ZenithOptimedia sees an even more accelerated adoption of digital video consumption that will start to show a negative impact on traditional television next year.

“We forecast that the number of regular linear TV viewers will rise 3.1 percent in 2015, but then shrink by 1.9 percent in 2016 and 0.9 percent in 2017,” said the report, adding that “the amount of time people spent watching linear TV has been in slow decline for several years (and) we now predict that next year the number of viewers to start to decline as well.”

Spending from advertisers will also see a shift as well. “Advertising expenditures on online video will soon account for an eighth of total Internet ad spending,” said the report, with an estimate of $16.1 billion worldwide for this year, and an expansion to $23.7 billion by 2017.

Online video current represents about half the worldwide online video ad marketplace by $8.5 billion, according to the report. As far as how much time is spent watching these services, last year shows that nearly 60 percent preferred non-mobile devices, compared to just over 40 percent using mobile. These numbers, however, will shift over the next couple of years, seeing an increase in mobile and a drop in non-mobile.

It’ll be interesting to see where these numbers end up – and just where traditional television will be affected in the long run.

Kabam’s ‘Marvel: Contest of Champions’ Hits Big

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Mobile success stories are becoming quite rampant these days, with many games cleaning up in millions from in-app purchases and other tie-ins with brands. Well, add Marvel: Contest of Champions to the list, as Kabam’s latest effort featuring Marvel superheroes (and supervillains) is raking in the dough.

According to VentureBeat, Kabam chief executive Kevin Chou announced that the action-based mobile game Marvel: Contest of Champions has surpassed $100 million in gross revenue in just seven months’ time. That makes it the fastest growing title under the Kabam label ever. (Of course, having the Marvel name doesn’t hurt, since comic books still sell incredibly well and the films have no problem generating big revenue.)

With this, Kabam’s focus on AAA high-quality free-to-play mobile games appears to be paying off, as Marvel has achieved over 40 million downloads, becoming a top-grossing hit in over 106 countries. And those profits are bound to grow even bigger, as the game is set to release in China later this year – a big mobile market in itself.

“Boy, what a difference a single year can make,” said Chou on the game’s success, which lapped the previous $100 million record set by The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-Earth, which took 13 months to reach that figure. With Marvel, the company now has five games that have reached that landmark overall, keeping it profitable since 2012.

“We’ve seen many great companies fall in China because they did not hit the market appropriately,” said Chou, speaking about Marvel‘s launch this fall. However, the company has many partners that will assure it makes a smooth transition to that market, including Alibaba, which invested $120 million in the company. “I am so excited to bring Marvel: Contest of Champions to China,” he added. “I could not be more enthused.”

The game features a who’s who of Marvel superstars, including Wolverine, Hulk and many more. It’s instantly appealing to not only comic book fans, but also casual mobile players who are itching for a fight.

Kabam should have no trouble adding even more profits behind the strength of Marvel. Now the only question is what franchise could reach the $100 million mark next…

The trailer for Marvel: Contest of Champions is below.

Adult Swim Creates Spacious Rickstaverse With Instagram

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Instagram has been used many times before by advertisers, promoting videos and photos that they felt would be essential to the millions of users that visit the site daily. But Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim line wanted to go a little further than that, creating a Rick & Morty based universe for fans to explore.

Launched just in time for the second season of the humorous science fiction-adventure series, Adult Swim’s Instagram campaign, titled The Rickstaverse, enables users to click on photos of planets and find little factoids about the series, as well as some weird scenarios, such as high-fiving a naked man wearing a Santa hat, floating in space.

There are rules to follow, as dictated by this special instructions page. “What’s taking so long with Season 2 ” it reads. “Turns out we lost the tapes. Well, lost as in Rick left them in a bar after chugging a bottle of Plutonian Tequila. While we start from scratch, help Rick and his pal Morty traverse the universe to find the five bootleggers responsible. Follow their accounts and maybe they’ll send you exclusive Season 2 clips, since we sure-as-hell can’t.”

So users will explore each of the photos in the hopes of finding these items and unlocking exclusive clips from the show as a result. It’s a neat idea, and one with plenty of comedy for fans. One photo of a greenish planet reads: “That’s the Fantasy Planet Morty dragged me to. Still has that sweet pre-industrial Revolution smell. Tap-to-scan if that’s your thing.”

A couple of samples from the Instagram album are below, to give you an idea of not only what kind of planets are worth exploring, but also feedback from fans, which is mostly on the positive side.

The full album can be found here. Rick & Morty airs on Sunday nights on Adult Swim. The trailer for the series is below.