Now Hiring This Week: July 22nd

[a]listdaily is your source for the hottest job openings for senior management and marketing in games, entertainment and social media. Check here every Wednesday for the latest openings.

  • NBC Universal – VP Marketing, Consumer Products (Universal City, Calif.)
  • Zynga – User Acquisition Manager (San Francisco, Calif.)
  • Pocket Gems – Director, Performance Marketing (San Francisco, Calif.)
  • Ayzenberg – Account Director (Seattle, Wash.)
  • Ayzenberg – Senior Tech Developer (Pasadena, Calif.)
  • Ayzenberg – Sr. Social Media Strategist (Pasadena, Calif.)

For last week’s [a]list jobs postings, click here. Have a position you’d like to place with us Email us at pr@ayzenberg.com.

 

Jukin Media Takes the Leash on The Pet Collective for Tiny Riot!

by Todd Longwell

Viral video purveyor Jukin Media announced on Thursday that it has partnered with FremantleMedia North America’s (FMNA) digital studio Tiny Riot! on joint a venture to manage the latter’s channel The Pet Collective.

The Pet Collective takes the ever-popular animals-do-the-darndest things genre a step farther, with clips ranging from a Batman-costumed pug playing tug-of-war to a makeover of Charlie the L.A. shelter dog, which accumulated more than 14 million views and led to his adoption.

Currently, content from The Pet Collective is distributed primarily on YouTube and Facebook. With the new joint venture, the companies are looking to further explore opportunities for branded integration, as well as new distribution options, including OTT platforms and linear TV.

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.

 

Chris Columbus Makes Video Games Funny With ‘Pixels’

This summer will see a pair of very different video game interpretations. There’s the 20th Century Fox action flick, Hitman: Agent 47, which opens Aug. 21, and there’s Sony Pictures’ comedy, Pixels, which bows July 24. Director Chris Columbus, who’s helmed a string of big budget Hollywood comedies featuring the latest visual effects, takes on video games in Pixels. The film, which focuses on an alien invasion in the form of life-sized 1980s video game characters, assembles a cast of former arcade champions to save the world for real. Columbus talks about entering the video game space in this exclusive interview.

Chris ColumbusChris Columbus

What attracted you to Pixels?

Reading the Pixels script felt so original, so unique, that I just had to do it. I loved the blend of comedy mixed with action, which gave me an opportunity to do something I hadn’t been able to do since Harry Potter. It enabled me to push the comedy as far as we could, but also create this very intense action adventure film. For me, it’s Gremlins meets Goonies meets Harry Potter – it gave me the opportunity to create something really fresh using the tools I had gathered over the years. It would be an original summer movie that took you back to the 80s in an evocative, nostalgic way.

What was it like working with Professor Iwatani?

Well, the guy in the trailer, interestingly enough, is an actor playing Professor Iwatani. However, Professor Iwatani came to the set on several occasions and he has a cameo at the beginning of the film. Getting to know him a little bit, I found out he initially started his career as an arcade game repair man. So his cameo in the movie is him repairing a Pac-Man game.

How did you go about choosing which arcade games to focus on and what characters to bring into Pixels?

When I read the script it had bounced back and forth between a few writers, and I had read a draft by Timothy Dowling which was really very good, and kind of close to what we ended up shooting. From my recollection, Centipede and Pac-Man were already in the script. There was a completely different finale at the end of the movie, and it just didn’t feel as unique as what preceded it. So we were told Donkey Kong will never be in this movie, and eventually we persuaded Nintendo with really beautifully illustrated artwork and story boards and pre-animated sequences. Nintendo was very impressed by what we were doing, so that’s how we ended up getting permission for that one. And then there were other moments that we wanted to get into the film, as well as other games.

Some of those classic games have a pretty high learning curve. They weren’t the easiest games to play.

Oh, no, not at all. In fact, I realize that now. Donkey Kong was a little easier than Galaga, which was a pretty tough game. I know them fairly well when you’re doing the movie version of them, the gaming companies were very explicit in terms of telling us that we needed to stick to the traditional gameplay. So no matter how we were portraying these characters, it had to be based on the actual gameplay. We were able to have some artistic license here, particularly in the design of the characters, but I had to know the games pretty well to design a sequence.

Bandai Namco is coming out with the Pixels mobile video game. Were you able to work with them on that?

I looked at a few things, but I haven’t had time, to be honest with you. I’ve been completely and utterly — and still am — bombarded with visual effects. When I get off of this conversation I’m going into the editing room to look at some visual effects.

Do you feel there’s further opportunity for Pixels as a video game?

Yeah. It’s funny because I’ve seen my son play those games. I tried to play games like the Madden football game, the FIFA soccer game and the MLB game. I was more drawn to the sports games, but I still couldn’t play. It’s like I don’t want to waste the hours with my son trying to learn how to hit a fake baseball. But in my office we have two arcade games. We have a Donkey Kong and a Pac-Man game in our editing room offices, and they’re they old-fashioned arcade games. Pac-Man is very impressive. It’s signed by Professor Iwatani, but I find myself walking over playing it. It’s really mesmerizing and it’s simple and it’s just beautifully done. It’s challenging and it’s a great way to relieve some tension. There are these arcade bars popping up in cities across America. I know there’s a couple here in San Francisco that just opened, where you go in and you have some drinks and you play arcade games. So that speaks to me because that’s how I started getting into these games.

What impact do you feel the broader acceptance of gaming today will have on the audience for Pixels?

Of course, the parents out there are going to remember playing these games at a video arcade, and their kids will be just as amazed by the characters — there are a hundred jokes in the movie that work for parents, and a hundred that work for their kids. But it’s more than that.  Theres a lot of nostalgia for these games and about the 80s in particular. I certainly hear it all the time — I talk to college kids and their favorite movie is The Goonies. There’s a lot of love for that era right now.

What was it like working with video game special effects for this film?

Most visual effects movies — including movies I’ve been involved with — set out to create extraordinarily realistic visual effects. Even if you’re creating a dragon or a monster, you try to give it the texture and skin of a real creature. On Pixels, we were aiming for something you’ve never seen before. When these videogame characters come to life, they take on this pixelated form with an aura lit from within, and constantly moving. It’s literally a three-dimensional version of the 8-bit games you used to see on your arcade screen.

Crackle’s Streaming Success With ‘Joe Dirt 2’

While Netflix and Hulu aren’t exactly spilling the beans about specifically how many people watch their original programs, Crackle has no problem spilling the beans about how well David Spade’s Joe Dirt is performing for it.

The Sony-owned streaming network recently added the exclusive film Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser to its line-up this past week, continuing the adventures of Spade’s hillbilly-ish character as he attempts to make right in his life. Crackle has indicated that the movie’s addition to the channel has been an imminent success, garnering more than one million views in its past five days, according to Adweek. In its first day along, it was viewed over 278,000 times, the largest for a streaming program to date (in terms of what numbers were revealed, anyway – Netflix still isn’t talking.

“Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser has garnered record-breaking viewership that we’re excited to share,” said Eric Berger, general manager of Crackle and executive vice president of digital for Sony Pictures Television, in a statement. “The reception we are seeing from viewers in such early stages of the film’s release bodes very well for our original movie efforts—we are looking forward to continuing to develop and produce quality content on Crackle.”

The company has also said it will continue to report ratings for its original content in the months ahead, though nothing was specified just yet.

18 million people use the service on a monthly basis, watching shows like Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee and others. It’s preparing to launch a new drama this fall called The Art of More, featuring Dennis Quaid and Kate Bosworth among others in its cast. Those could mean big numbers down the road as well…and we won’t have to play a guessing game in terms of how popular they are.

As Joe Dirt might say, “Daaaaaaaaang!” The trailer for the movie can be found below.

Digital Ad Market Growing In 2016

While worldwide advertising spending was originally projected to drop this year from previous estimates, U.K. based marketing research service Warc has changed its tune, mainly due to the shifting of online Internet advertising.

A report from Mediapost indicates that advertising spending is now expected to rise 2.3 percent for the year, mainly due to the U.S. and Chinese markets. Separately, the U.S. will grow 1.4 percent and China will increase even more by nine percent. India is expected to go even higher by 16.1 percent, while Russia will actually drop by 13.1 percent

In this report, Warc also details a drop in worldwide TV advertising, by 1.9 percent for this year, although it’s expected to pick back up again by next year, by 2.5 percent.

So where is the rise in this spending Online. The report shows that Internet advertising will actually become the biggest ad medium for next year, with 16.1 percent this year and 12.9 percent over the next year. Considering that the Internet is already the biggest ad platform in half of the world’s markets, this will expand this growth even further.

However, that doesn’t mean all the markets will thrive. With the big shift to digital, regular print – magazines and newspapers – will see a drop. Declines of 10.4 percent for magazines and 9.2 percent for newspapers are expected this year, and even more next year, by 7.4 and 5.8 percent, respectively.

As far as which markets will dominate in terms of advertising share, the United States will continue to have a hefty part of it, leading with 36.9 percent. Coming up in second is China by 19.3 percent, Japan in third with 8.9 percent, and the U.K. (5.6 percent), Germany (5.5 percent) and Brazil and India (5.2 percent each) rounding out the list.

These estimates aren’t likely to change, but considering the popularity of certain ad mediums – like in mobile – there’s always a possibility.

Crossing Games With Lighting Creates Marketing Heat

Gaming’s cultural and technological impact is so great these days that it’s reaching into unusual new areas. Immersive gaming is a key phrase you’ll hear from virtual reality proponents, and that’s something you can get now thanks to a partnership between Royal Philips, the global leader in lighting, and Frima Studio Inc., Canada’s largest independent game developer. Frima has made Phillips Hue lighting interact in real time with the gameplay of its popular title Chariot, exclusively on Microsoft’s Xbox One. It’s a combination that opens up a new market for Philips while adding some marketing heat to the Xbox One and Chariot. “Chariot has been a great title in our ID@Xbox portfolio since it launched into Games With Gold last year. We’re thrilled that Frima is pushing the boundaries with this new technology from Philips Hue and are really excited to see it come to Xbox,” said Chris Charla, director of ID@Xbox at Microsoft.

Chariot is a popular couch co-op platformer with rich, vibrant colors — and now it can control all the Philips Hue lights in the room to reflect in real time what is happening in the game. Different lights are connected together to create a unique ambiance with hundreds of colors for the ultimate immersion in the game universe. When enemies attack, Hue lights blink red. When colorful plants bloom, their colors are reflected in the room. From subtle shifts to sudden bursts, everything onscreen is reflected in a Hue-enabled space. “With its stunning art and mesmerizing environments, Chariot is a perfect fit to demonstrate the full potential of Philips Hue for games and Frima is the ideal partner to help us showcase a technological world premiere,” said Wout Verhagen, director of strategic alliances and partnerships at Philips.

Cyrille Jean, Associate Brand Manager at Frima Studio, spoke with [a]listdaily about the game and the cooperation with Philips and Microsoft.

This a fascinating and unique extension of gaming into the home. Where did the idea originate?

At Frima Studio, we have employees whose job it is to develop ideas and innovate. It’s the company’s philosophy to encourage initiatives and good ideas. In this case, Chariot was an internal initiative. Last January an employee saw the opportunity in the new technology developed by Philips — an opportunity to bring a game experience to another level. The studio gave the green light to the employee to approach Philips, and they believed immediately in the idea.

How difficult was it to implement the control of Hue Lighting within the game?

Luc Beaulieu, CTO at Frima Studio: Once the R&D portion was done, it was quite simple. It took about a month to implement the Philips Hue lights into Chariot and another month for it to be production ready on Xbox One. Balancing the lights with the gameplay so that it feels right was a good challenge.

Will Philips be using this connection with gaming in its marketing for Hue Lighting?

The Philips Hue Lights change the way we always used lights at home. Now, the consumer can control them (colors and intensity) as you wish via an app or other systems. The initiative came from Frima which had the objective of offering players a more immersive game experience. We can’t deny that both sides benefit from this partnership and the visibility that resulted, but the first objective was for Philips to offer many possibilities to the consumers with the Hue Lights, and for Frima to offer a better experience to gamers in their living room. This brings attention to Chariot and we appreciate it because we’ll keep surprising you.

Will we see other games connected to Hue Lighting?

The door is now open and the idea public. The experience is great, so I’m sure that other developers will make Philips Hue Lights compatible with their games.

What sort of response have you gotten from gamers about this connection?

We’ve had a very positive response from the community. The majority of players enjoy the new experience offered by the association with Philips Hue.

Here are some quotes from players:

“Seriously, this is like the coolest thing ever. I hope this gets seen by the Xbox team and they try to implement it as a system feature. The immersion factor is really impressive.” said one Reddit user, among many other laudatory comments on Reddit.

 

With Social Bluebook, Influencer Marketing Shows Signs of Maturation

When it comes to YouTube creation, would-be filmmakers and hosts prefer to get a good idea of just how well they’re doing – and it can be hard to gauge that on “likes” and “dislikes” alone. However, thanks to a new app called Social Bluebook, they may be able to get a better idea of just what they’re worth.

As reported by TubeFilter, Social Bluebook’s app is a tool that can help them determine what they should be paid for their content. The app has been running for six weeks in beta, under the guidance of former Maker Studios executive Chad Sahley.

So what exactly does the app do According to the report, it utilizes standards and valuation systems to give creators the power of determining their own bottom-line monetary worth, without the need to call upon a middle-man negotiator or general channel data. It asks various questions to determine this, including “What is my brand value or digital worth ” and “How much should I charge for brand deals ”

It works using a series of algorithms to reveal respective valuations, determining these numbers based upon digital reach, engagement and social profiles that are entered via registration. From there, numbers and values change according to the digital influence that the creator provides. A video explaining how to use the app is below.

“Our objective is to provide creators with a fair and accurate starting point for their negotiations,” said Sahley, CEO of Bluebook, in a press release. “The creators have united and we’ve engineered what the community has been asking for. There are amazing tools out there to accurately assess a variety of metrics, but none of them empower the creators to help them negotiate fair deals.”

The beta is still ongoing, but the existence of the app is a sign that influencer marketing is maturing.

“Brands will better understand their investment and return,” says ION’s executive director Jon Roth. “The quantification of what influencers get paid on these campaigns will rationalize the market for marketers. It will also create potential for long-term monetization relationships between brands and influencers.”

There are plans in the future for Social Bluebook to support and integrate various social networks including Twitter, Twitch and Snapchat, among others.

 

YouTube Doesn’t Fear Online Competition

With Facebook Video managing to get record results in just a short amount of time – as well as growing audiences for Snapchat and Spotify – one would think that Google’s YouTube execs would be concerned with hefty competition. However, that’s not entirely the case – despite its continuing success.

In a story reported by Fortune, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki stated that the company isn’t concerned when it comes to the competition in the online video market, recently speaking about the matter at the Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen.

Despite Facebook’s growing numbers, video views on YouTube are different than those on the social site, according to Wojcicki. Users tend to visit to watch clips, while on Facebook, they play automatically. “We want our users to engage,” she said. “We want them to not be channel surfing. We want them to say, ‘I saw a video, I cared about that video, I commented on that video, and I continued watching it.'”

But she also believes that all the competition can thrive from online video’s overall success. “Facebook, Twitter and everyone has recognized it as a big opportunity and they’re coming into the market,” she said. “I don’t think that’s a surprise because of the size of the opportunity.”

With a big number of projects – including “mobile, mobile, mobile,” as Wojcicki puts it, there’s no concern for this competition. “Overall, I feel pretty encouraged,” she said regarding its growth.

But when it comes to mobile ads, there may be a slight cause for concern over at Google. A report from Adweek indicates this, with a research report done by Adobe Digital Index. It highlighted various key shifts in the industry, including Periscope dominating Meerkat in live streaming (for the time being) and increased support for retailers on Reddit, despite recent CEO fallout.

However, the biggest story is Facebook’s display-ad success, which is sticking closer to users than anyone Google is currently offering up, according to Adobe’s principal analyst Tamara Gaffney. “There have been radical changes that Facebook has done and less radical changes Google has done,” she said. “And consumers in the marketplace are feeling ads on Facebook are more relevant.”

Although ad impressions were down 50 percent, clickthrough rates have doubled for these ads, with more valuable ad impressions, even though they’re lower in count. Meanwhile, Google’s clickthrough is up 24 percent on display ads, although it seems that more users prefer Facebook’s. 51 percent of users polled said the social site’s ads were more attuned to their interests, compared to 17 percent on YouTube.

Other findings on the report, including Periscope’s effectiveness and the power of Facebook retail referral, can be found here.

Nielsen Expands Ad Ratings to 7 New Global Markets

by Evan DeSimone

Rating organization Nielsen is expanding the reach of its digital advertising ratings service to seven new markets in Asia and Latin America.

The product, which tracks the performance of digital advertising across platforms and devices, is commercially available now in Singapore, Japan and Indonesia, and is expected to reach the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Mexico by the end of the third quarter. The move will bring the total number of global markets where digital advertising ratings are available to 16 by the end of the year.

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.

What To Expect From VidCon’s Industry Track

VidCon is set to take place this weekend in Anaheim, set to celebrate online video as a cultural force, with a number of sponsors, companies and video specialists in attendance. It’s a lot to take in, but a vital show for those looking to get the most out of the format.

Jim Louderback, editorial director for VidCon’s industry track, recently spoke to us about what makes the show stand out, as well as what’s different for this year’s event. “First, on the industry side, we have a track dedicated to seminars from experts that are focused on real, tangible strategies that can be put in place on Monday – from making better thumbnails to driving more viewership via Twitter and Facebook,” he said when asked about what’s unique for VidCon 2015. “Second, we have a demo track where we’ve invited the top new platforms and technologies to show off their stuff – including VR, analytics tools and new platforms. Finally, we’ve got 14 fireside chats that will blow everyone away. Oh, and there’s a new Creator track that’s chock full of great content and the show is taking over the entire convention center.”

The agenda, broken down here, has three events in general – community events, creator events, and industry events. There’s something for everyone in each category, from breaking down fan strategy and the basics of a brand campaign in industry, to workshops and finding ways to stand out in creator, to getting inside the heads of video makers with community.

Here are our recommendations:

 

  • Fireside Chat with Guillaume de Posch, Co-CEO RTL Group, led by Jocelyn Johnson, Founder, VideoInk – a global look at what the RTL Group, the leading European network, is up to. Those interested in overseas video markets would benefit from this panel. (July 23, 9:35 AM, The Ballroom)
  • Fireside Chat: How To Use Influencer Media To Reach Millennials – Ian Shafer and DJ Skee team up to discuss influencer media when it comes to reaching out to millennials. (July 23, 9:55 AM, The Ballroom)
  • Fireside Chat With Ze Frank, President of Buzzfeed Motion Pictures, and Katie Couric, Global News Anchor, Yahoo! – Couric brings plenty of star power to this panel, but this will cover the future of narrative media as a whole. (July 23, 10:15 AM, The Ballroom)
  • Mergers/Acquisitions – What Is the World Like Today – With online video companies being created on a nearly daily basis, this session will provide tips and proven strategies to help position a company into investment or acquisition down the road. (July 23, 12:30 PM, Room 304 CD)
  • Emerging Business Models for Creators – In this session, marketers can learn how much revenue a creator should expect from merchandise, mobile applications and traditional media, as well as crowdfunding plays a hand. (July 23, 2:00 PM, Room 304 AB)
  • Building Brand Campaigns Across Multiple Services – Social media campaigns are explored in this panel, as well as finding the right influencers for each platform that can deliver ROI. (July 23, 3:30 PM, The Ballroom)
  • Fireside Chat: What the Latest Research Is Telling Us – a general overview of the effectiveness of research. (July 24, 10:20 AM, The Ballroom)
  • Where Do We Go From Here Predictions For the Future – Where does the white space sit over the next few years, and what’s the next $100 million business This session takes a look into where the online video industry is going, and what trends are next. (July 24, 11:00 AM, The Ballroom)
  • Anatomy of a Brand Campaign – Mountain Dew Kickstart – Marketers trying to get the hang of a video campaign would be wise to check out this showcase, which discusses the fundamentals of what makes such a campaign work. (July 24, 11:00 AM, Room 304 CD)
  • Community Driven Platforms: Fandom and Fan Strategy – What is the value of a fan This session looks at the value and techniques for effective social listening, as well as how media can pay back. (July 24, 11:00 AM, Room 304 AB)
  • The Three Things To You Need to Do to Grow Your Audience On YouTube – the discussion of how to expand YouTube services is explored, with Head of Creator Growth Yury Polnar leading the charge. (July 24, 12:30 PM, Room 304 AB)
  • Content As Infleucner: How Traditional Media Can Build a New Media Audience – Expansion can be reached with the right methods in media, and with this panel, attendees can learn more about their effectiveness through a new crop of influencers. (July 24, 2:10 PM, Room 304 AB)
  • Using Facebook To Generate Web Video Revenue – There’s no stopping the power of Facebook video, and this panel looks at a number of case studies and quantitative experiments on where brands can take their biggest punch. (July 24, 3:50 PM, Room 304 AB)
  • Effective Strategies To Create and Promote On Twitter – headed by Global Media Partnerships Entertainment for Twitter, Fred Graver, this panel takes a closer look at said strategies for creativity and promotion. (July 24, 4:10 PM, Room 304 AB)

 

The full schedule can be found here for those who want to see what VidCon has to offer. The official show page is here.