Snapchat Reaches 8 Billion Daily Video Views

While YouTube continues to thrive with a strong audience, and Facebook has managed to keep up with billions of views per day, it appears that Snapchat has finally caught up with its own level of viewership.

The social media platform, with its growing number of users and promotional partners, now gets eight billion video views a day, CEO Evan Spiegel told an audience at the Morgan Stanley technology conference. It’s a sizable increase over the six billion reported last year between May and November.

The company’s investment in heightened video content has paid off, attracting not only new consumers, but also brands and advertisers like Discovery, Story Explorer, and the recently announced Live Stories. They’re also looking to attract more desktop users. Those that do watch video don’t just engage for a few minutes. The audience, which now has over 100 million users, spend around 25-to-30 minutes using the service for views on a daily basis.

Viewership numbers have managed to increase five times over a 12-month basis, indicating that Snapchat has longevity to spare, despite earlier doubts about its advertising model.

Partners are also hard at work on new web content, including proposed film content from Fox and Dominos, although the format hasn’t been finalized yet.

These numbers put Snapchat in direct competition with Facebook and YouTube, and now it’s a matter of seeing what these companies do to stay competitive. Facebook recently debuted a new ad format called Canvas, which enables a mini-hub based around video content, like a website that caters to a particular product. Its effectiveness hasn’t been reported yet.

For now, it looks like it’s all about the Snap.

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5 Questions With Jim Louderback

The next installment of the [a]list summit is just around the corner on April 20. This year’s event heads to Seattle and focuses on the concept of Frontline Marketing and how listening, creating and sharing can lead to successful marketing campaigns. Set to attract marketing professionals from numerous brands, the event is being hosted by media and tech personality (and longtime friend of [a]listdaily), Jim Louderback.

We sat down with Jim right after he shot this video with us to chat about his involvement with [a]list summit and how Facebook is different than YouTube.

How excited are you to host [a]list summit this year?

The summit’s going to be a blast. I’m super excited because I’ve been to a bunch of them, I’ve moderated them and the audiences you bring together are so powerful that it’s great to be involved on an even deeper level.

What makes the event a unique one to you?

I think it’s the way you bring in such high quality people and real decision-makers and people who are really changing the world of marketing, advertising, technology and influencers. There’s just a sense that there’s a higher quality of conversation that happens at your events than at many others.

What does “Frontline Marketing” mean to you?

For me, “Frontline” means you’re out there, not just pushing things to consumers you think they’re going to want and messages that you think are going to resonate with them, but being out there actually interacting with them and listening to them and creating things that will be relevant to them, and then figuring out how to get to the right people with those relevant messages.

We used to do a show at Revision 3 called Diggnation and Diggnation was two guys sitting on a couch talking about the tech news of the day. We had this great audience — it was a video podcast — and we would constantly be talking to them. The topics came from Digg, so they were coming out of this groundswell of an audience and what they thought was most important. We would do a live Diggnation at SXSW and other places and there would be 3,000 people and everyone would get in, but there would be a line around the corner for hours to wait to get in, in part because they want to be with and interact with each other.

Some of the things I found most valuable was just walking around that line and talking to people and saying ‘Who are you? Why are you here? How far did you come? What is it about Diggnation that’s really interesting? What do you want to see?’ Getting immersed with people that are your fans and in your community was the best intelligence we could get about how to do new things.

You’re also curating the industry track at VidCon again this year. What can attendees expect from that?

It’s going to be a great mix of future technologies that are coming out in the online video space, influencers who are doing amazing things, brands that are doing amazing things — a lot of help and how-to about how to build bigger audience, drive retention and build your subscribers and how to work a lot of different platforms.

VidCon started out as YouTube-only, but there’s so many different platforms out there, from social streaming, Periscope, Meerkat, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. There’s all these different places where you can build and grow audiences and create value and really create deep connections with people. We’ll be exploring that at the industry track and VidCon this year.

Do you have a favorite video platform that you like to use?

I love my GoPro and my drone. I go out and shoot stuff and I put it on YouTube and I’m playing around with YouNow a lot, just because I am fascinated by the audiences and communities that are there. I’m also doing a lot of stuff on Facebook — Facebook is really interesting — it’s shorter, no voiceover, text overlays, the ability to do that surreptitious video autoplay. It’s a very different format than YouTube.

5 Reasons Why Pinterest Is Big For Marketers

Pinterest has gone through a lot of changes lately in the hopes of attracting marketers, including embracing native video advertising and finding better engagement through influencers. On that note, a WebPageFX infographic nails down several points when it comes why marketers should take pins seriously.

1. In just five years, Pinterest has become the third most popular social network in the United States, just behind Twitter and Facebook. The site has over 100 million users to its credit (with double the users over the past 18 months), and 80 percent of its overall audience comes from mobile devices. In that time frame, the site has generated more than 1.5 trillion recommendations, and managed to retain and engage with users two-to-three times better than Twitter.

2. Seventy percent of Pinterest’s overall users are between the ages of 16-to-34, and 56 percent of those are currently employed. Meanwhile, only 12 percent are unemployed, and 10 percent make up a student base. The big statistic is that 82 percent of Pinterest’s users are female. A majority of those users also share branded content nearly 150 percent more than those that are non-branded.

3. Pinterest has over one billion boards on its site, with 300 million – almost a third – devoted to fashion. Meanwhile, food and drink based board total 180 million; home décor has 130 million; and 30 million are devoted to education.

4. Purchasing is popular on Pinterest, as 89 percent of daily users said they bought something on the site , while 86 percent have used the site in stores to find specific products. Sixty-four percent of all users utilize Pinterest to see items they’ve pinned previously from store visits, and 33 percent of the overall user base follow some form of brand or business.

5. The hours between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. seem to be a peak time for reaching a core audience. The hours between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. is also a good time, considering most folks are either getting off work or relaxing at home. However, 5-to-7 p.m. is the worst time. There’s also a schedule as to when certain items should be posted on Pinterest, including food-and-crafts-related posts (Sunday), technology (Tuesday) and GIFs and humor on Friday.


The optimal posting time for holidays vary, but Christmas and Easter have the longest windows. Even smaller holidays like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day have about six weeks span in terms of advertising.




How Netflix Increased Video Viewing With The Power Of Imagery

Netflix has had no trouble amassing a sizable audience over the years using original programming that includes shows like House of Cards (which debuts its latest season this week), Fuller House and Daredevil. Success hasn’t stopped the popular streaming service from experimenting with new ideas, one of which recently paid off with a 20 percent spike in video viewing.

Variety reported on Netflix’s obsession with testing, which involves the images users see on their website, advertising various original series and hit movies. It doesn’t rely on traditional Hollywood art, but instead opts for more eye-catching material.

“We have 30 seconds, 60 seconds or 90 seconds to capture your interest,” Netflix chief product officer Neil Hunt told Variety. It’s best to catch the viewers’ attention with something that will draw them in, or risk losing them to another service.

It all began with a new interface that was introduced in 2013, opting out of the usual DVD box cover art in favor of livelier assets, including stills from the production. These can be seen not only in the menus (with titles), but also on the description screen, where they sit in the background as the viewer learns more about the program.

The company has increased its usage of these images, with around a half dozen utilized for each video. From there, they go through testing with users. Hunt noted that the simple move with these custom images has managed to push video viewing between 20 and 30 percent.

Personalization also goes a certain length with testing, using timing and context with programs to help make the experience more personal for consumers, instead of handing down recommendations that will be passed over. For example, just because someone really enjoys watching an action film like The Rock doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be interested in a comedy like The Ridiculous Six.

Hunt explained that it all comes down to drawing in someone with those images, and the binge factor goes a long way. “So much of Netflix is binging on a series,” he explained. “We don’t need magic for that.”

Breaking Down The Free-To-Play Gamer Personas

With games like Candy Crush Soda Saga and Clash of Clans cleaning up well into the millions, you’d think most players are willing to purchase premium in-game items. But for most games, revenue is supported by about 5 percent of its audience.

Tapjoy recently broke down players into different categories of play, called personas, and offers some advice on how to treat them.

Whales: These are the biggest spenders in a game, with the top 10 percent of an app’s spenders driving 70 percent of its IAP revenue, and nearly 60 percent of total revenue overall. Whales are usually known for having an average revenue per paying user (ARPPU) of $335, across 7.4 IAP transactions each month.

Dolphins and Minnows: Dolphins are known as mid-level spenders, while Minnows are on a lower level. Between the two groups, they spend around $26 in ARPPU, with less than two IAP transactions per month. They also don’t last as long as those in the Whales group, with only 33 average days spent on an app compared to 40.

Non-Spending Offer Takers: Generally, 95 percent of an app’s users won’t spent a cent on the game, and companies try their best to get them to engage with rewarded advertising offers. On average, these players complete eight offers per month, with an average revenue per user (ARPU) of $1.47.

Passive Players: 91 percent of overall users usually never pay for in-app content or take part in any promotional offer for a free-to-play game. That can result from zero-to-5 percent engagement in terms of monetization, and Tapjoy noted that most apps only generate 0.1 percent of revenue from Passive Players. However, they’re still vital, mainly due to their contributions to a daily active user base, and the ability to invite others to play.

Risk-of-Churn Players: Any player could run into churning, depending on length of time spent with an app. The median length of time is measured at 7 hours and 27 minutes, indicating a lot of churn opportunity. Push notifications can go a long way in bringing them back, as those that don’t open an app following a day’s worth of play aren’t likely to return.

New Players: Obviously, New Players play a big part with an app, as inviting – and keeping – them with engaging gameplay is a huge plus. However, it’s noted that players usually won’t make their first in-app payment with an app for about 16.3 days, and offer takers will usually wait 3.7 days before completing an ad offer. Patience is key here, and not bombarding them to the point that they will want to forget about the experience entirely.

To get more insight on these certain player types, [a]listdaily talked with Paul Bowen, Tapjoy’s vice president of global monetization.

Are personas generally fixed, or can developers hope to one day turn Passive Players into spending ones? What about the other personas?

No, personas are definitely not fixed, and it’s the developer’s job to help transition players from one persona to another more desirable one. While there are certainly some players that will never spend within a given game no matter what the developer does, there are many other players that, when presented with the right offer at the right time, will decide to act on it. Similarly, Risk-of-Churn Players can be re-engaged with the right offer or content and turn into highly active and loyal players. And it’s important to remember that developers can greatly impact the amount of Non-Spending Offer Takers by integrating rewarded ad offers into timely and contextually relevant moments within their game.

The report mentions that about 5 percent of players for any given game pay for in-app content. Are high profile games like Clash of Clans, Game of War and Candy Crush Saga exceptions?

There are certainly some games that are the exceptions to the rule, and it is often the successful games when you hear about it because these games monetize so well, they have more money to spend on user acquisition and they become big hits. We don’t know the monetization rates specifically for those games, but we can be fairly certain that they wouldn’t advertise so prominently if they didn’t monetize so well.

Do the types of premium goods offered, or their price, impact the types of personas that play the game?

Certainly. The more compelling and valuable the goods, the more likely they are to sell, and therefore the more paying players a game will have. Similarly, lower price points will attract more paying players. ‘Vanity goods,’ which allow players to personalize their profiles, are often popular, but virtual goods that offer some type of utility in the game will typically convert more payers. It’s just important to remember not do overdo it – players should still be able to have a fair and enjoyable experience even if they never buy anything in the game.

How important are Passive Players to the health of a game, and how should they be treated?

Even though passive players only account for a very small percentage of game revenue, they are extremely important to the overall health of a game because they help drive engagement, they keep the traffic levels up, and they can invite their friends to join them. Developers should do what they can to try and convert these players into payers or offer takers, but if they should choose to remain passive then it’s the developer’s job to accept that and do everything possible to make sure they have the best gaming experience possible.

Besides Passive Players, what is the most prevalent type of persona in mobile gaming?

New Players are clearly prevalent because all players fall into this persona when they first start playing, and if a game is growing fast then there will be lots of new players at any given point. It’s the same thing with Risk-of-Churn Players: all players fall into this category at one point or another, so it’s important to know how to re-engage them and stretch out their player lifespan as much as possible.

Evil Geniuses ‘Halo 5’ Coach Ryan Towey Talks X Games, ESports Growth

Microsoft has been investing a lot of time and money into Halo 5 eSports. The publisher, along with developer 343 Industries, has structured the Halo World Championship to attract a global eSports fan base. Part of this competition included the Halo World Championship Tour stop at the 2016 X Games in Aspen, Colorado. It marked the first time Halo 5 pro gamers competed for real X Games medals. Halo 5 juggernaut Evil Geniuses emerged victorious at the event, which featured eight top teams competing for $30,000 and the coveted medals.

Ryan Towey, the coach of Evil Geniuses, now owns an X Games gold medal. He talked to [a]listdaily about the role ESPN and the X Games plays in growing Halo as an eSport and addresses the global competitive landscape for the Xbox One sci-fi shooter in this exclusive interview.

What role do you see X Games playing in further legitimizing eSports in the mainstream?

X Games has an incredibly significant role for the mainstream success of eSports in the future. The greatest example is to look back on some other extreme sports that were either not nationally recognized as such or possibly looked down upon near the beginning of the X Games competition, such as snowboarding and skiing and similarly skateboarding events at the summer X Games. Whether or not eSports can be considered an ‘extreme sport’ worthy of the ‘X Games title’ is a separate debate entirely, but pushing through the initial response and including eSports consistently in both the X Games competition and live broadcast for years to come will absolutely popularize the competition, the title being played and eSports as a whole among a national audience that most likely would otherwise have no exposure to it.


How have you seen past X Games eSports coverage through MLG raise awareness of eSports?

Personally, after our X Games performance I can’t even properly illustrate for you how many notifications or messages I received across social media. People I never thought would be interested in eSports from my hometown and high school and college contacted me about how excited they were for our team and how exhilarating it was watching us compete. The viewership alone proves how significant the awareness for eSports was for our title and for past competitions such as Call of Duty and Counter-Strike, the same rings true as well.

Halo 5 X Games competition was aired on television. What role do you see TV playing for Halo and eSports gaining more attention?

Halo 5 appearing on national television is an incredible feat that we never thought even possible; it’s safe to say the gravity and significance of seeing our highlights alongside Stephen Curry and Dwight Howard has not quite registered with anyone in our community yet. The role of television is imperative to the long-term success and growth of not just Halo but eSports as a whole to increase exposure to an audience that may not otherwise be attracted to eSports and to educate that audience into becoming invested into teams and players within that eSports title. Creating that investment for fans is what all sports leagues strive towards and the type of recognition that television brings to both Halo and eSports as a whole in the mainstream is exactly what is needed to generate that type of investment in an entirely new audience for eSports.

What similarities do you see between these early days of eSports (from a mainstream acceptance standpoint) and the early days of extreme sports and X Games?

The similarities are pretty striking between early extreme sports at X Games and the current level of acceptance for eSports. Over time as those extreme sports were continually marketed, promoted and competed in at X Games competitions, they were accepted and praised by both mainstream media and the national audience that questioned them at first. In near identical fashion, eSports now sees a very similar story arc with the same reaction from a national audience in the early days of extreme sports and over time with consistent competition and national exposure the same evolution from confusion to understanding to invested viewer can occur.

What does it mean to be able to compete for gold medals at X Games? 

Competing for a gold medal at the X Games is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that none of us on our team took for granted. We know the path that Halo and eSports as a whole has had over the years and for us to be in a position to compete in a once in a lifetime tournament and environment with national exposure such as the X Games was a dream come true. Winning tournaments and prize earnings can fade over time, but the significance of becoming an X Games gold medalist stays for a lifetime.

How has Halo 5 improved the eSports product for pro gamers and teams?

Halo 5 is the first Halo game in the title’s lifespan to attempt to combine the casual and competitive community into one. When I say that, I mean in regard to competitive settings and including the same game that any player can pick up in stores and right out of the box be the same game they watch online and on TV being played at competitions around the world. This type of uniformity is critical to the success of Halo as we’ve seen other titles such as League of Legends use the same approach to cultivate a massive community that follows their game and all competitions worldwide. Strictly as a competitive title in comparison to former Halo titles, Halo 5 is incredibly well made. Aiming is difficult, the weapon system is incredibly balanced, the maps are efficiently and optimally designed, and as a competitive title, Halo has arguably never been more competitive.

How have you seen the global competition evolve with Halo competition?

Regrettably, I have not seen much evolution between teams globally. Halo was popularized by MLG through North American tournaments and as such the professional scene was cultivated in our country alone. That’s not to say that there aren’t successful and highly skilled teams from the United Kingdom and around the world but by and large they can’t stack up to the top teams from North America. With Halo 5 focusing extremely hard on a global landscape for all competition, it’s my hope that we see players and teams evolve in each country to rival the greatest teams in North America, having that worldwide competition increases the awareness and mainstream recognition for Halo 5 exponentially.  

What excites you about where Halo eSports is now heading?

What excites me most about where Halo eSports is heading now is the seemingly limitless potential we all feel it has. I’ve been around competitive Halo for over a decade and like I mentioned earlier, have watched it fall off the proverbial cliff as an eSports title into anonymity. With how much growth Halo has seen in the last 12-to-18 months alone it’s safe to say all of us competing never imagined how significantly things would change in this short of a time period and we’ve been blown away by 343’s success at pushing Halo eSports to the masses thus far. Only time will tell how far Halo can be taken as an eSport, but if the growth that 343 has already achieved is any indicator, there is ultimately no title that Halo eSports can’t rival in the future as the flagship competitive title on the Xbox platform.


How ‘Far Cry Primal’ Marketing Took A Fast Trip To The Stone Age

Unlike annual releases like Assassin’s Creed, the Far Cry series has much more flexibility in what it covers. Players have been taken to far-off locations like lush jungle islands, a fictional country in the Himalayan mountains and even a retro ’80s sci-fi universe where they combat a blood dragon. The newest installment, Far Cry Primal, transports players to a prehistoric time, where they must survive against both warring tribes and wild beasts using only Stone Age weapons.

With roughly five months between the announcement and release of the game, Far Cry Primal saw a fast-paced marketing campaign that readied players to travel back far before recorded history.

The writing on the wall


Last October, Ubisoft teased the announcement of a new game by livestreaming a video of a torch-lit cave drawing. Starting with an up-close shot of what looked like the drawing of man holding a primitive weapon, the camera incrementally zoomed outward to reveal a whole tableau complete with saber-toothed cats and wooly mammoths.

Although the Far Cry Primal image was leaked hours before the event concluded, Ubisoft stayed tight-lipped and let speculation stir. When the game was finally revealed, players discovered that they would have a chance to visit the Stone Age.

In an official statement, Ubisoft creative director Jean-Christophe Guyot explained why the Stone Age was the perfect setting. “Far Cry usually puts you at the edge of the known world, in a beautiful, lawless and savage frontier. The Stone Age is, in a way, the very first frontier for humankind; it’s the time when humans put a stick in the ground and claimed land for their own, the time when we started climbing the food chain. That came with conflict, against other humans of course, but also against nature itself.”

Unleashing the Beast Master


In December, fans were given a first look at some of Far Cry Primal‘s gameplay, and found out that they would not only have a chance to go toe-to-toe fighting against giant cats and mammoths, but also a chance to tame and control them. Given enough skill, players could explore the land while riding a deadly saber-toothed cat before unleashing it on unsuspecting foes.

To stir up hype even further, playable demos were available at the PlayStation Experience event in San Francisco, giving attendees a chance to go wild.

Crushing it in slow motion

In the months leading up to the Feb. 23 (March 1 on PC)  release of Far Cry Primal, Ubisoft released videos that revealed new details about the story, the enemies players will encounter and the primitive yet spectacularly effective weapons at their disposal. A number of YouTube personalities streamed early versions of the game to give viewers an in-depth look at living life in 10,000 B.C.E.

Among these is a video detailing how modern day objects would stand up against the crushing strength of a wooly mammoth, shown in slow motion. Spoiler: mammoth wins.

Gaming in the Stone Age

With less than one month before the game released, Ubisoft released a fantastic live-action trailer featuring a soldier that gradually moves from the future to the past across various battle scenarios before ending up in the Stone Age with nothing but a small bone to fight off a saber-toothed cat with.

This is also the time when marketing became a little more experimental. Going with a sort of Flintstones theme, a stone carving of a PlayStation 4 was commissioned. A video details how the console was cut from a single slab of stone, complete with a Far Cry Primal branded stone table, some stone controllers, flat screen TV and pizza slices and soda.

Not to be outdone, the official website promoted a video put together by Oz Modz, detailing how to build a custom Far Cry Primal-themed gaming PC to mark the March 1 PC release. It’s not carved from a slab of rock, but at least it works.

To further celebrate the game’s launch on the PC, the developers livestreamed the game on Twitch, the same as they did for the console release, giving fans everywhere a reason to give up on guns and pick up a nice, dependable spear.