Lights, Camera, Marketing: Top Video Platforms By The Numbers

According to a new study by Demand Metric and Vidyard, more than 90 percent of marketers said that video content is becoming more important. A recent Cisco study predicts that consumer consumption of video will constitute 80 percent of all global internet traffic by 2019. Marketers know that video should be part of the strategy, but which platforms are best? Let’s break it down.


  • Currently the top video streaming site in the world and second most popular website overall according to Alexa, YouTube hosts over 1 billion users, 1.7 million of which are from the US.
  • Global popularity can be attributed to no less than 88 local versions and being able to navigate YouTube in 76 different languages, covering 95 percent of the population.
  • Each month, users watch 3.25 billion hours of video and every day people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube, generating billions of views, according to the site.
  • More than half of YouTube views come from mobile devices.
  • Fifty-one percent of marketers say that video is the type of content with the best ROI and YouTube remains the king of social video platforms, even with Facebook Live, Twitch, Periscope and even upstarts like YouNow and rising in popularity.
  • YouTube overall, and even YouTube on mobile alone, reaches more 18-to-34 and 18-to-49-year-olds than any cable network in the US.

“YouTube remains the top destination for teenagers, who also rate it the ‘coolest’ social platform and they trust the creators on it much more than they do traditional celebrities,” said Caroline Collins, director of social media for Ayzenberg in the fourth quarter Ayzenberg EMV Index. (Note: [a]listdaily is the publishing arm of Ayzenberg.)


  • As of the third quarter of 2016, Facebook had 1.79 billion monthly active users.
  • Over half of the US population will log on to Facebook at least once per month, according to predictions by eMarketer.
  • Users watch 100 million hours of video per day on Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, and 500 million people watch Facebook video every day.
  • People spend more than three times more time watching a Facebook Live video on average compared to a video that’s no longer live, Facebook reported.

While the wildly popular social network claims to serve a staggering 8 billion video views per day, how accurate that is has come into question in light of recent miscalculations. Critics point out that a view is counted after three seconds on Facebook compared to 30 seconds on YouTube. Also, Facebook videos autoplay, leading to views being counted where, in many cases, the viewer wasn’t actually . . . you know, viewing.


Sketchy statistics aside, Facebook is the marketing elephant in the room—worth the investment for brands hoping to reach engaged consumers, particularly the young ones. “Facebook’s forays into video, particularly live video, have brought back younger audiences that have migrated to niche social apps,” says Erik Schmitt, a social media strategist at Ayzenberg. “Both the viewers and the creators are now coming back to Facebook.”


  • Over 9.7 million log on to watch streaming content—mostly game-related—every day.
  • Those users go on to watch 106 minutes per person, per day.
  • Twitch hosts over two million unique streamers per month.
  • Seventy-five percent of its users are male, with 73 percent of them between the ages of 18-to-49.
  • The site is a hub for influencer marketers—especially since over 17,000 thousand creators are part of the Twitch Partner Program to earn revenue for streams.

Twitch isn’t just for gamers, however. Brands are also turning to the platform to broadcast their own content, such as interactive scare sessions for Stranger Things and The Magnificent Seven. “We’re having tremendous success with non-endemic brands. The most significant shift we’ve seen is that gamers are now becoming an extremely attractive target,” Anthony Danzi, Twitch’s senior vice president of client strategy, told The Wall Street Journal.


  • This Facebook-owned platform has over 600 million monthly active users.
  • Instagram users share an average of 95 million photos and videos per day.
  • The Pew Research found that more women actively use Instagram than men (31 percent versus 24 percent, respectively).
  • A report from WebDam found that 60 percent of the top brands on Instagram use the same filter for every post.
  • Fifty percent of Instagram users follow at least one business, 60 percent say that they learn about a product or service on the platform and 75 percent of Instagram users take action, such as visiting a website.
  • Posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6 percent more engagement than those without, according to a study by Simply Measured.
  • While hospitality brands have the largest median audience on Facebook, interaction across the vertical on Instagram is almost 20 times higher.

Thanks to a plethora of new offerings like Stories, live video, business profiles and eCommerce, consumers and brands alike are discovering even more ways to connect and share.

“Because businesses play such a rich role within our community, we’ve seen they are the profiles that have led the way and really innovated in [the Stories] space,” Jen Ronan, Instagram’s brand development lead, told The Drum. “They’re telling stories of behind the scenes, of the day to day, and really building their brand in that way.”


Twitter (via Periscope)

  • Twitter hosts 317 million users, while Periscope reported 10 million within its first year.
  • As of last March, over 200 million broadcasts have been created on Periscope and over 110 years of live video are watched every day on iOS and Android.
  • A study by Research Now showed that 83 percent of Twitter users watch video content on the platform.
  • Ninety percent of Twitter video views are done through mobile.
  • Forty-one percent of Twitter users thought that the social site was a great place to discover videos.
  • Twitter gamers are 1.25 times more likely to spend over $100 on video games per year, compared to non-Twitter gamers.
  • Twitter users want to talk to you—82 percent of users interact with brands on Twitter.

The company announced the acquisition of Magic Pony Technology in June, a company that specializes in making novel machine learning techniques for visual processing. In addition to previous purchases, including Madbits (in July 2014) and Whetlab (in June 2015), this latest acquisition could build toward a bigger picture for Twitter’s future with video.


  • The disappearing photo-and-video app has over 300 million users.
  • Users upload over 100 million Snaps (photos) and videos each day.
  • Snapchatters watch over 10 billion videos per day, which is more than a 350 percent increase in the last year alone.
  • Vertical videos are watched nine times more than horizontal videos on Snapchat.
  • In a survey conducted last year, roughly 44 percent of Snapchat users between the ages of 13-to-24 who said they had used Live Stories and/or Discover reported doing so on at least a daily basis.
  • Snapchat reaches 41 percent of all 18-to-34-year-olds in the United States.

Once dedicated only to photo sharing, brands have taken marketing to a whole new level this past year with the first 360-degree video ad (Sony: Don’t Breathe). With the launch of video-capture Spectacles, Snapchat is poised to attract even more consumers and brand-created videos this year.



  • With just about 150 million users, Pinterest makes up for numbers with engagement. In just five years, Pinterest has become the third most popular social network in the US, just behind Twitter and Facebook.
  • Eighty-nine percent of daily users said they bought something on the site, while 86 percent have used the site in stores to find specific products.
  • Pinterest drives more traffic to publishers than Twitter, LinkedIn and Reddit combined.

With the introduction of native video, Pinterest has opened up opportunities for brands and creators, who get access to all the traditional metrics for video ads, as well as the option to stick featured pins below the video.

“In the last year alone, we’ve seen a 60 percent increase in videos on Pinterest,” product manager, Steve Davis said on the official Pinterest blog, “with workouts, home projects and hair and beauty tutorials topping the charts. With so many bloggers, brands and other experts using video to share their ideas, it’s more important than ever that the video experience be as seamless as possible, and we’ve got some big improvements in the works.”

Mission To Make ‘Apocalypse Now’ Video Game Begins

American Zoetrope, the film studio founded by Francis Ford Coppola, is traveling into the heart of darkness with an all new venture: a crowdfunded video game based on the iconic film, Apocalypse Now. The 1979 film, which stars Marlon Brando as Colonel Walter Kurtz and Martin Sheen as Captain Benjamin Willard (with memorable performances by Robert Duvall, Laurence Fishburne, Dennis Hopper and others), has become a classic in American cinema with near universal acclaim. The story takes place during the Vietnam War, and Captain Willard is sent into Cambodia to assassinate Kurtz, who has established himself as a god among a local tribe—discovering the horrors of war in doing so. An extended version of the film, Apocalypse Now Redux was released in 2001, and now it’s time to take things to the next level with an interactive experience.

“Forty years ago, I set out to make a personal art picture that could hopefully influence generations of viewers for years to come,” said Coppola in a press release. “Today, I’m joined by new daredevils, a team who want to make an interactive version of Apocalypse Now, where you are Captain Benjamin Willard amidst the harsh backdrop of the Vietnam War. I’ve been watching video games grow into a meaningful way to tell stories, and I’m excited to explore the possibilities for Apocalypse Now for a new platform and a new generation.”

Montgomery Markland, Apocalypse Now game director
Montgomery Markland, Apocalypse Now game director

To maintain creative freedom and to match the creative integrity of the film, the Apocalypse Now game is being funded through Kickstarter, which marks the first step in a three-year project. Its team of developers are industry veterans who have worked on games that include Battlefield, Gears of War, Far Cry, The Witcher, Fallout: New Vegas and more. The game’s director, Montgomery Markland, was the lead producer for two of the most successful crowdfunded games of all time: Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera.

Markland spoke with [a]listdaily about how the idea to create a psychological horror game based on Apocalypse Now came into being and how the developers were working with Coppola to make it a reality.

“We came to work with Mr. Coppola as we pitched his studio, American Zoetrope, several years ago about turning his motion picture into a survival horror role-playing game,” said Markland. “With the way the industry has progressed over the past few years, now seemed like the right time to realize our vision. To quote Captain Willard: ‘Everyone gets everything they want. I wanted a mission, and for my sins they gave me one.’”

In discussing the inspiration for making the game, Markland said, “This line did not make the final cut, nor the Redux, but Captain Willard does have the line in the narration script: ‘War is a game.’

“Obviously, war is not a game. War is about more than pulling a trigger. We believe trigger-pulling gameplay has driven most of the history of video games, and we’re going to create something fresh by relying on great things from our cultural history. Mr. Coppola has shown his vision for the future once again by trusting us to do so.”


When asked to list the challenges of making a video game based on one of the most iconic movies of all time, Markland said, “Specificity, authenticity, reality, and translating a unique point-of-view into a new format, on new platforms for a new generation. We want to stay as true to the motion picture as possible, while also giving players a new and unique perspective on the horror of war.”

As for how closely the game will follow the plot of the movie, Markland explained that “the critical path of the video game will follow the narrative of the motion picture—but we are building a role-playing game with moment-to-moment narrative decision making, so your version of the narrative of Apocalypse Now will vary from every other player’s version of that narrative. If you want to sit on the boat at Nha Trang, drop acid and ignore your mission, be our guest.”

Markland also discussed why the developers turned to crowdfunding, when many publishers would probably be very eager to back an Apocalypse Now game. “Mr. Coppola went outside the studio system to create a motion picture that was war, instead of just being ‘about war,’” said Markland. “We’re going outside the publisher system to create a video game that is Apocalypse Now, instead of just being a licensed consumer product.”

prototyp_still_lowrez_02We asked about how the developers are getting the word out about the campaign, and Markland said: “People first. Gamers first. Crowdfunders first. And then we have also been sharing the news with press and other influential people we hope will find this project interesting on a personal level. Apocalypse Now is a classic motion picture, and we will really be looking to the community to help us spread the word of the Kickstarter organically through their personal social channels, and world of mouth. The people will tell us exactly how much they want this video game; that is the beauty of crowdfunding.”

Markland then detailed some of the backer rewards. “There are fifty-two unique backer rewards that range from a digital copy of the game, to physical recreations of key motion picture narrative elements like the dossier Captain Willard reads about Colonel Kurtz, to actual props from the motion picture pulled from the Francis Ford Coppola Presents and American Zoetrope archives, with more to be revealed through the Kickstarter. We’re offering a diverse and compelling range of Backer rewards for fans at any level.”

Similar to his approach with the film, Coppola will be working closely with the game development team. “Mr. Coppola has been intimately involved in the creative decisions throughout the pre-production process,” said Markland. “Mr. Coppola retains his grand vision that helped him direct many of the greatest motion pictures of all time. At the same time, much like how he mentored and collaborated with filmmakers from John Milius to George Lucas, he is the ultimate collaborator and understands that any creative enterprise is a symphony, not a solo act.”


Markland also shared his thoughts on why the film and its dark themes can still captivate audiences, even though it has been almost 40 years since it hit theaters.

Apocalypse Now carries on a thousands-of-years-old storytelling tradition that begins with Homer’s The Odyssey, carries through Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, and found its most gripping expression in Francis Ford Coppola and John Milius’ screenplay and motion picture,” said Markland, “and will soon live again in an interactive form for a new audience.”

“I first watched it in high school in the nineties with my friends at my girlfriend’s house and we endlessly quoted the characters while shotgunning Miller Lites,” he continued. “Most of us weren’t alive when Apocalypse Now was released. None of us were alive when the motion picture was filmed. None of our parents were married when the script was first written. And yet, timeless stories are timeless.”

How Fox Is Using Samsung VR To Reboot “24”

Fox has pulled out all the stops to promote its new 24: Legacy series, including a takeover of the American Airlines Terminal 8 at New York’s JFK airport (with a similar installation using 19 digital screens at the World Trade Center), a prime post-Super Bowl LI debut and a virtual reality prequel on Samsung VR.


The VR prequel, called The Raid, was produced by Fox, 24: Legacy‘s executive producer Howard Gordon and Samsung, in partnership with Here Be Dragons.

Patrick Milling Smith, Here Be Dragons co-founder and president, told [a]listdaily that his team worked closely with Howard Gordon directly alongside director Henry-Alex Rubin and the Samsung VR team.

“After some initial conversations of possibilities and unknowns in VR storytelling, Howard came back with a great script that had everyone at Here Be Dragons, Samsung and Fox excited with its ambition for the medium,” Smith said.

In the six-minute short, which is set nine months before the new series, viewers are transported to Yemen in the midst of an action-packed raid led by Lieutenant Eric Carter (Corey Hawkins) against the compound of terrorist leader Ibrahim Bin-Khalid. Fans of 24 will also meet CTU director Rebecca Ingram (Miranda Otto), who is directing the mission—the culmination of a decade-long hunt for Bin Khalid, and Grimes (Charlie Hofheimer).

“VR requires truly skilled actors since there are none of the usual filmmaking tricks to hide behind,” Smith said. “It can feel like very nuanced theatre work at times. We were very fortunate to have such talent that ‘got it’ straight away. It was also a great privilege to work with Howard Gordon, who showed us all that ambition, strong ideas and story are what propel any form of entertainment, regardless of the technology. This is an exciting moment for us all in VR—not merely because of the fidelity and craft that went into this project—but bringing together some of the most prolific talents in TV and film into a new medium.”

Here Be Dragons worked with USA Network and executive producer Sam Esmail on a Mr. Robot VR experience last year, which explored the first date between Elliott (Rami Malek) and Shayla (Frankie Shaw).

“Everything is still developing when it comes to 360-degree storytelling, but I’d like to think opportunities like these have Dragons at the forefront—it’s a new muscle that people haven’t quite developed yet, and we’re excited to be a part of it,” Smith said. “The most powerful feeling about VR is that sense of presence and the nature of 360 video tricking your brain into making you feel like you are somewhere, which in turn becomes a very strong memory. For Legacy, which is an extremely action-oriented series, it was so important that we focused on that aspect.”

Smith said much like with Legacy, Mr. Robot was a benchmark in the language of VR storytelling for the company.

“Every shoot has elements of experimentation and we were able to move the camera in ways that added to the language of the mediums filmmaking,” Smith said. “It felt like one of the strongest examples of compelling cinematic narrative storytelling.”

One of the new elements 360 storytelling opens up for creatives is the ability to pack a lot of elements into a scene, encouraging viewers to explore the experience multiple times to take in all of the surroundings.

“You have total 360 freedom to view,” Smith said. “There are multiple characters in this experience and so many details were obsessed on to make it feel real so that the audience will be very satisfied doing multiple viewings.”

To guide viewers through 360 narrative, Smith said sound, lighting, choreography and points of interest are all extremely important in leading the viewers.

“In VR, 360 storytelling becomes more about introducing characters and environments, and creating worlds, while elegantly and intuitively guiding the viewer through the experience and story,” Smith said.

Fox will pick up the from The Raid‘s storyline in the TV show, 24: Legacy, which focuses on Carter and his team. Bin-Khalid’s followers have declared a fatwah against Carter, his squad and their families, forcing them into federal witness protection. But a recent attempt on Carter’s life makes it clear to him that his team has been exposed. Carter and Ingram uncover a sophisticated terrorist network that will force them to ask: “Who can we trust?” As they battle Bin Khalid’s devotees, they are forced to confront their own identities, families and pasts.

5 Live-Action Video Game Series To Light Up The Small Screen

Live-action video game to movie adaptations have a notoriously bad reputation thanks to gems like Super Mario Brothers (1993) and Street Fighter (1994), but as games have become more sophisticated through deep storytelling and memorable characters, the opportunity for quality film adaptations has been created. In recent years, game publishers have invited fans into their worlds through live-action films such as Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn but a new trend is emerging—turning the hottest games into digital TV series. Scripted series create a unique outlet for game promotion across channels that reach gamers and non-gamers alike, reaching a much larger audience.

The Division: Agent Origins

Ubisoft has tapped into the creative talents and audiences of three YouTube creators to make a 30-minute short film that tells the back stories of four Division agents ahead of launching the hit game, Tom Clancy’s The Division. The game publisher worked with RocketJump and devinsupertramp to develop Agent Origins, which was produced by Corridor Digital.

Agent Origins was released as four separate episodes on YouTube, each featured on the respective creator’s and Ubisoft’s channels, and also debuted in its entirety with exclusive scenes on Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service. Amazon Prime members are able to watch the 30-minute short film with five minutes of exclusive scenes via the Amazon Video app on TVs, connected devices and mobile devices or online.

“The reach of Amazon Prime and YouTube is huge,” Ann Hamilton, brand representative at Ubisoft told ION, “and it is where our consumers are going for their entertainment more and more in the future of our business. YouTube celebrities are just as influential now as TV and movie celebrities. Digital is now another way we put content in front of audiences to enjoy.”

Ghost Recon Wildlands: War Within The Cartel

Ubisoft continues its cinematic game promotions with War Within the Cartel—a prequel to the upcoming open-world tactical game, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands. The 30-minute video features the Santa Blanca drug cartel as they seek to flush out a traitor within their ranks—and its events will lead up to the opening moments of Ubisoft’s new game.

Starring rapper-turned-actor, Tip “T.I.” Harris, War Within The Cartel will be executive produced by Star Trek and Amazing Spider-Man writer, Roberto Orci. It will premiere on Ubisoft’s Twitch channel on February 16 and will then be available to watch on for free on Amazon for Prime subscribers.

Dead Rising: Watchtower and Endgame

Dead Rising: Watchtower and its sequel, Dead Rising: Endgame are two live-action short films based on the popular zombie-slaying games by Capcom, released exclusively for Crackle in 2015 and 2016, respectively. The films dropped fans right into the gory action with such stars as Jesse Metcalfe (Desperate Housewives), Keegan Connor Tracy (Once Upon a Time) and Billy Zane (Zoolander 2).

Following the success of both films, actor Jesse Metcalfe told Digital Spy, Maybe there’ll be a third installment of the Dead Rising [film] franchiseThey’ve even been throwing around the idea of a possible series. They like the idea that each episode would have a clock on it, similar to 24. It’d be an edge-of-your-seat, action-driven show—within the zombie genre, so it would have two really strong elements going for it.”


This past July, Paramount Pictures and Anonymous Content announced that they had plans to bring the Battlefield franchise to television with Academy Award winner Michael Sugar attached as one of the project’s producers. There’s no word on what form the series will take at this point, only that the two studios—which also produced Mr. Robothave picked up the rights to the Electronic Arts franchise with plans to turn it into a TV series.

“Paramount TV actively seeks smart content from all sectors that will resonate with audiences and translate to compelling programming,” said Amy Powell, president of Paramount TV in the press release. “EA’s Battlefield has an incredibly dynamic narrative, coupled with a loyal fan base, which will allow us to bring this exciting and unique property to the small screen. We look forward to working with EA and Anonymous Content and thank Michael Sugar for his tenacity in bringing us this exciting project.”

Above: Battlefield 1 (Source: EA)

Life Is Strange

Another game is reported headed to the small screen as a digital series—Life is Strange, the award-winning episodic game by Square Enix about a girl with the ability to rewind time.

“We’re proud and excited to be working alongside Legendary to realize a new version of Arcadia Bay and Blackwell Academy complete with our rich cast of realistic, believable characters and memorable events,” said Jon Brooke, vice president for brand and European marketing at Square Enix in the announcement.

The series will be developed and produced by Legendary Digital and DJ2 Entertainment. DJ2 is also producing Sony Pictures’ Sonic the Hedgehog film, scheduled to hit theaters in 2018. Legendary Digital’s projects include the aforementioned Dead Rising films for streaming network, Crackle. The production companies are “currently meeting with potential writers,” according to the press release.

life is strange show

How Virtual Beauty Is Changing The Fashion Game

Mobile beauty is a growing millennial mindshare changing how leading and indie luxury fashion brands are reaching makeup mavens looking to discover new products and looks.

As purchase and consumption habits evolve, so does the journey, and augmented reality is increasingly playing a larger role throughout a beauty brand’s core e-commerce strategies with its unobtrusive informational overlay to help drive conversions.


Looking for a new lipstick? AR is instantly adding true-to-life virtual tools to create individual looks for each user without having to sit in a chair at a brick-and-mortar. The omni-channel experience adds a strong social component allowing users to interact with each other through highly engaged communities.

One such leading app in the beauty sector is YouCam Makeup, which offers realistic “magic mirror” facial recognition that maps a user’s facial features so they can experience true-to-life makeup effects and virtually try on products from brands in real-time.

YouCam Makeup partnered with Elizabeth Arden last year to create a digital beauty experience that integrated a selection of Elizabeth Arden’s color cosmetics within its virtual makeover interface, with the option for direct purchase from the cosmetics company.

And it’s not only Elizabeth Arden aligning forces with partners like YouCam Makeup to seamlessly merge the real world with an animated one.

Sephora, L’Oréal Paris and CoverGirl are just some of the major key players in a space that is growing by the day. According to a Demandware study, 72 percent of US beauty brands are testing a form of “guided selling” to push sales, like Snapchat lenses and AR.

Alice H. Chang, CEO of Perfect Corp., the parent company of YouCam Makeup, joined [a]listdaily to discuss how they’re reinventing the traditional online cosmetic shopping experience and how they’re transforming how consumers, content creators and beauty brands interact together.

Alice H. Chang, CEO of Perfect Corp.

How does YouCam Makeup leverage AR in innovative ways to reach consumers?

In the future, we imagine that AR will be incorporated into all elements of the beauty journey, and virtual makeup try-ons are just the beginning. While it’s a long road to bring AR to its full potential, including developments in 3D beauty AR, we are committed to delivering the most true-to-life experience that is both natural and realistic. To give you an idea of the possibilities, we’re preparing to introduce a complete overhaul to our engine that will make it literally impossible to distinguish AR from reality, utilizing real-time video. We’re also interested in applying AR to skin care and continuing to push the barriers for more sophisticated color cosmetic effects. In the future, we see a democratizing of beauty as AR becomes an essential piece of the digital lifestyle and social identity.

How was YouCam Makeup’s activation received at the Golden Globes this year? What data can you share from the experience?

YouCam’s Golden Globes activity marked the first time YouCam ever released Golden Globes red carpet looks in real-time. By collaborating with InStyle’s editors to define the trending styles of the night, we were able to deliver a one-of-a-kind experience for our fans—allowing them to virtually try on beauty looks from stars like Chrissy Teigen, Kerry Washington and Lily Collins the morning after the event. We’ve gotten overwhelmingly positive feedback on this interactive content from the media and social media as well as in the apps with over 886,000 try-ons to date globally.

How did Perfect Corp. take part in the CES Fashion Tech Runway Show? What was your main takeaway from the show?

YouCam participated in the first-ever AR fashion show at CES BeautyTech in Las Vegas earlier this year. We showcased our unique virtual beauty looks on the runway by having models walk down the runway toward a YouCam Makeup kiosk in place at the end of the runway. Once at the kiosk, each model looked right into the makeup mirror and the model’s face with a complete makeup look was virtually projected through the app on a large screen above the runway. This made it possible for all to see the 3D AR technology live in real-time. Models’ looks were applied and changed quickly in real-time. Each model had four different looks in just eight seconds using the AR technology. This first of its kind high-fashion-meets-high-tech moment transforms the traditional catwalk experience by adding a whole new level of creativity and interactivity.

What is YouCam Makeup’s integrated marketing strategy for reaching your reported 370 million fans who’ve downloaded the app?

Our teams work tirelessly to identify and integrate the most innovative trending content into the YouCam Makeup app (iOS; Android), delivering a complete beauty experience for our users—discover, try, share and buy. From coding in the latest line of MAC lipstick shades to the red carpet unveiling, Halloween or fashion week exclusive beauty content and working with the hottest make-up artists, we keep a close reign on the latest and greatest to keep things fresh. Our multi-tiered strategy focuses on shared, earned and owned marketing efforts integrating our cosmetic brand partners and tier-one media outlets like InStyle, Glamour and many others.

Why has influencer marketing turned into a perfect pairing with fashion?

With the maturing of the millennial and Gen-Z audiences, influencers are stepping into the forefront since these younger user groups are much more inclined to trust feedback from influencers than from brands or traditional media outlets. We believe that authentic influencer voices create truly engaging experiences for our community of beauty lovers. YouCam works very closely with influencers in our apps since they are the ones defining the next big trends. Partnerships like our 2016 Fashion Week collaboration with Glamour showcased content from the runway defined by influencers and by select fashion world elite to give our audience the best of both worlds.

Why is it a smart move for luxury fashion brands to go big on AR?

As news headlines show more physical stores closing their doors, we believe integrating innovative mobile solutions—going brick-and-mobile—is one way for fashion and beauty brands to stay competitive. Mobile solutions such as in-store AR kiosks can help bridge the gap between digital and physical commerce by facilitating the discovery and product trial by alleviating obstacles of in-store shopping. Luxury brands should leverage the benefits of AR but know that not all AR experiences are born equal. With any digital adoption, the brands need to be very selective and bring real value to consumers, or else it is simply a gimmick. In the increasingly AR-driven world, the AR technology must be as close to the real thing as possible or it won’t meet the consumers’ expectations. AR must also be easy to use so that they don’t feel like they need a user manual to operate it. For beauty AR, it should be as effortless as looking in the mirror or taking a picture, and thus accessible to everyone with a smartphone.

What is on top of your marketing “hot list” this year? What emerging trends are you zeroing on in order to explore and innovate the brand? Is there a new product or service that you think will influence decisions?

AR and 3D are definitely at the top of our list and continue to redefine the industry from a content and e-commerce perspective. The release of a new 3D AR engine into our apps will be a huge deal because the power of next generation 3D modeling is so accurate you can try on hairstyles and intricate costume makeup that surrounds your whole head. The level of precision and fidelity of the new 3D AR tool will completely transform how the beauty industry uses mobile technologies to engage and interact with consumers across virtual channels, including e-commerce, social media and live casting, and even in brick-and-mortar stores with dedicated ‘magic mirrors.’ Next time you shop, don’t be surprised to see AR already on your screen.

How is AR changing the way consumers use mobile? How do you think mobile AR will further evolve in 2017?

AR is changing the way people shop and is making brands accessible to more people in more ways than ever before. People are interacting and engaging differently with a greater variety of products and experimenting with new styles, so that finding exactly what they’re looking for is easier than ever. YouCam Makeup has completely changed the way people can try and purchase makeup. Through visual recognition and the most accurate facial mapping, YouCam Makeup gives a true-to-life virtual makeover anytime, anywhere. Gone are the days where you go to a store, try on several questionably clean samples, buy a lipstick and take it home only to find out that it’s not the right shade. People can try on lipstick from top beauty brands in the comfort of their own home. When it comes time to purchase, they know exactly what it will look like. Looking forward to the future of beauty AR, new developments will bring about more sophisticated ways to enhance beauty with intricate effects and creative applications.

Follow Manouk Akopyan on Twitter @Manouk_Akopyan

Make Way For New Gods: ‘Smite’ Continues ESports And Console Growth

Although Hi-Rez Studios is finding great success with games such as Paladins, Smite remains the company’s flagship title. The Hi-Rez Expo held earlier this month was billed as the Smite World Championships in previous years, and fans come from all over the world came and sold out seats at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center in Atlanta, Georgia to watch pro teams take each other on in the MOBA game where gods from different pantheons team up to do battle. In fact, the game is so popular that the Hi-Rez Expo showcased two spin-off games, Smite Tactics and Smite Rivals, so that attendees could experience the game in different ways.

Chris Larsen, executive producer for Smite, Hi-Rez Studios
Chris Larsen, executive producer for Smite, Hi-Rez Studios

Chris Larsen, executive producer for Smite, spoke to [a]listdaily from the Hi-Rez Expo to discuss how the game has grown as an eSport and how greatly the player base has expanded since launching on consoles.

Larsen begins by talking about how new content is released every two weeks in the form of new gods and maps, in addition to how the rules for Conquest (the game’s most popular competitive mode) is changed. Season Four will see even more key changes to Conquest, with new objectives that give more positional advantages. Most notably, The Morrigan was added to the roster this month. She is the first god from the new Celtic pantheon, which will be a major focus of the game this year. However, that doesn’t mean that existing pantheons will be overlooked, as Hi-Rez will continue to expand them.

“More specifically, we’re going to go back to the Hindu pantheon,” said Larsen. “We didn’t release any Hindu gods in the last twelve months, so we’re going to go back and revisit that.”

We asked about how a game that has continually updated rules fits into the world of eSports, considering how traditional sports generally have more constant rules.

Larsen explains: “Obviously, eSports is different from football and soccer. Players expect that—since new gods and abilities are being added on a regular basis—the rules of engagement change. In eSports, changing the map and strategic elements of it adds more excitement, and it gives players something to do during the season changeover: figure out what the new meta is. It’s also good for players coming in for the first time after the season changes. The gaps in strategic knowledge of the game aren’t so big. In February, when we make changes to Conquest mode and add new things to Clash and other maps, new players won’t be at such a disadvantage.”

We asked Larsen if it was difficult for Smite to attract new players, after having been out for over two years, or if the company was putting its focus on existing and pro players. “It’s a balance,” said Larsen. “We have people who used to be in the pro scene who work for us now, and we’re also in tight communication with many of the teams. We take their input about changes to make sure the game is at the highest competitive level possible. At the same time, we have to have more casual elements to the game. We have to cater to people who don’t play Conquest at all. That’s why Smite has a number of different game modes, and some are supposed to funnel the casual audience and new players toward Conquest. For example, the new Clash map we have this year was re-arted to be Egyptian and we fixed some of the objectives that we thought were not helping players learn Conquest. Those things don’t help pro players, but it adds a fresh coat of paint for new or returning players.”

Larsen also discussed an issue that many competitive games face, where experienced players intimidate or drive away new players. “That’s going to be a big focus for this year,” he said. “Bad manners will always happen in the game, but we’re going to introduce something called team consumables. In the match lobby, you have a limited quantity of things that help the entire team, which are purchased using in-game supplies. If you’re someone who gives that team bonus, the chances of your team lashing out at you during a match may be lower. The other avenue is matchmaking and making sure that you’re with players that are of equal skill level. But we’re looking at other things, like the player reporting system. Last year, we added a feature where, if you reported someone that we suspended or took action on, you got a notification that thanked you for reporting the misbehavior. We don’t mention specific names or actions, but it’s usually enough to show players that their voices do matter.”

When asked about how Smite engages with its growing audience, Larsen said that it was primarily through social media. “We’re very active on Reddit, but not so much on Facebook—although the marketing team does interact on Facebook. We’re mostly Twitter, Reddit and our own forums.”

So, what is the key to growing a game as an eSport, compared to a traditional competitive game? “Prize money?” Larsen said jokingly. “For MOBAs, it’s just a shoo-in. Games like Dota 2 and League of Legends have forged the path to making MOBAs eSports games, and people like to watch them. For us, it’s also about structuring our LAN tournaments so that there’s a healthy new population of players that can grow into the game and get into the pro scene. The Challenger Cup is a very important avenue for nurturing new players and competitors into something that might be able to challenge the pro teams later on. We’ve seen a lot of people—entire teams—come up from the Challenger Cup. If they win there, they automatically get a spot to play against the pros, then they’re in the pro scene.

“The other avenue is—and this has happened more than once in Smite—ranked play in our league system. Ranked play is a small community, making up between three to five percent of the population, but you get a lot of visibility. You start playing against the best players through matchmaking, so they get to know each other through that indirect exposure and teams recruit from people doing well in ranked.”

With the inclusion of The Morrigan, there are 84 gods featured in Smite. We asked Larsen about when Hi-Rez would consider slowing down the introduction of new characters. “I think at some point, you ramp down the production of gods and start focusing on other things,” he said. “But our cadence is releasing a new god once a month, and we still feel that that’s an appropriate amount of effort. At some point, we might decide to pull back on that, but for now, I think we can still continue on to that magic 100 number and see where we’re at then.”

Smite-2Larsen also discussed how Smite has grown on consoles since its release on Xbox One in 2015 and the PlayStation 4 launch last year. “I’m really excited for 2017 because all platforms have been rolled out,” said Larsen. “The growth has been phenomenal. We have as many players on one of the console platforms as we do on the PC, so our player base has doubled. Smite fit easily into console play. League of Legends couldn’t launch an exact copy on consoles because the controls wouldn’t work. But Smite has a third-person perspective, and those that play games like Destiny are already familiar with it, so the game fit tightly in that environment.”

Larsen also stated that console players had a kind of hunger for the MOBA experience to come to their platforms. “When we launched on consoles, a lot of people said, ‘finally, we have Smite on Xbox.’ Smite was out for so long before coming to consoles, that there was a lot of knowledge about the game, even for people who didn’t play.”

However, there was some initial concerns regarding the console launch. “We were kind of nervous at first,” admitted Larsen, “thinking that players who owned both an Xbox One and a PC might migrate to the console and pull away from the PC population. I think it did in the first couple of months, but that was a very small percentage of people. Now console players see their friends on consoles, and new players come from that environment—they don’t get sucked in from the PC. We have seen some people go to console then return to PC.”

So, what is it about Smite that appeals to so many people across different platforms, leading to the launch of two spin-off games? “A lot of people are into the lore and mythology of Smite,” Larsen said. “The character development that we’ve done has spurred on interest in other people’s cultures and pantheons. Bringing those elements to different games with a different context has just been very straightforward, and people have been very excited about it. It’s an IP that we want to extend to other things. Tactics, which is a strategic card/board game has been great, and Rivals—which is more of a casual mobile game—is another avenue where we can take things that we’ve worked on for many years and translate it into a different context.”

Learn everything you need to know to invest in today’s fastest-growing media channel—Competitive Gaming and eSports on 2.16.17 in Los Angeles. Go to for more info.

From The Couch To The Stadium: 10 Amazing Facts About ESports

ESports has come a long way from talking smack at the pizza parlor and seeing who gets the highest score. From Atari’s Space Invaders tournament in 1980 to selling out the largest stadiums across the world, eSports is here to stay. Here are some facts you probably didn’t know about this growing phenomenon.

  1. Revenue from eSports reached half a billion dollars in 2016.
  2. This year, it’s expected to really take off. The industry is projected to reach $1 billion in 2017.
  3. Can you get rich playing video games? Absolutely! The total prize money of all eSports events held in 2015 reached $61.0 million, a 70 percent year-on-year increase.
  4. It’s not just for the boys—22 percent of women say they’re involved in eSports, compared to 18 percent of men.
  5. Take me out to the shooter game—22 percent of millennial males watch eSports, which is the same amount that watch baseball.
  6. Brands who become involved in eSports through sponsorship or advertising know it’s a great way to reach a young crowd—61 percent of eSports viewers are under the age of 35.
  7. Mobile games are getting in on the action, too. In fact, mobile game developers who added competition to their games are experiencing eight times more average revenue per daily active user than the industry standard.
  8. Go team! There are an estimated 131 million eSports enthusiasts, and another 125 million who watch occasionally.
  9. Over 213 million people watched competitive gaming in 2016.
  10. The industry is on track to reach a global audience of 303 million by the end of 2019. That means that if eSports fans were a country, it would be the fourth largest in the world.

The world’s best gamers are considered athletes—household names to this highly sought after segment of consumers. Today, traditional athletes are investing in the eSports industry, too. One star—Brazilian soccer player Wendall Lira—even quit to pursue his dream of becoming a professional FIFA gamer.

Dennis Fong, eSports Hall of Fame inductee and founder of Raptr, believes that eSports will inevitably become an Olympic sport.

“It’s going to happen,” Fong told [a]listdaily. “The question is just when, and how long is it going to take? Is it a legitimate sport? Curling is an Olympic sport. Why in the world should a virtual sport that fills stadiums, and has tens of millions of viewers watching the finals, not be in the Olympics? The Olympics is also about money and prestige, not just about sport. When you look at the young global fan base eSports has today, they’re going to find a way to make it happen at some point.”

Learn everything you need to know to invest in today’s fastest-growing media channel—Competitive Gaming and eSports on 2.16.17 in Los Angeles. Go to for more info.

Dell Expands ESports Investments With ELeague Partnership

Dell used CES 2017 to announce a new partnership with Turner and WME/IMG, and the company is now an official partner and exclusive PC hardware provider for ELeague. Alienware Auroras with Dell 24-inch gaming monitors will be used for all competitions, beginning with the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) Major taking place January 22-29 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Bryan de Zayas, director of Dell Gaming, told [a]listdaily that the company has been partnering with eSports organizations for the last five years.

“We’ve had long-standing relationships with Team Liquid and Team Dignitas and we’ve sponsored the Intel Extreme Masters and other leagues over the years,” de Zayas said. “What we helped to do is not just sponsor teams. Any brand can slap a logo onto a jersey or website. Our interest is in helping these teams and organizations become better at their craft.”

Just as a driver is tied to their car in racing, where they rely heavily on technology for performance, de Zayas said there’s a similar reliance on performance and power in eSports. “Sports teams that know how to market sports are buying into it,” he said. “It’s great for eSports teams and great for us because we helped to build and work with these teams over the years.”

The recent acquisition of Team Dignitas by the Sixers and Team Liquid by Axiomatic showcases that eSports is becoming mainstream. According to Newzoo, the global eSports audience will grow from 256 million to 345 million viewers and revenues will surpass $1 billion over the next three years.

“Gamers around the world are interested in what’s happening in eSports,” de Zayas said. “We see a synergy between what pro gamers are looking for in performance and what gamers are looking for. And eSports is reaching a wide range of gamers from those who want the best PC gaming hardware to those who want more affordable options.”

The Turner partnership will help Dell market its Alienware brand with both a television and digital audience.

“ESports tournaments have been online on Twitch or other livestreaming services for years and gamers around the world and in North America understand they can watch them,” de Zayas said. “That’s a key part of how ELeague is run. They stream over 90 hours of CS:GO for a tournament. What Turner is dedicated to doing is bringing this eSports tournament style gameplay to TV because there is a larger audience interested in it. It’s a natural expansion from digital online to a TV experience.”

While this sponsorship provides an opportunity to reach a lot of gamers around the world, what was most interesting to de Zayas were the opportunities to improve the experience for the pro gamers competing and the viewers watching.

“Turner wanted a partner to work with them on things like improving the analytics behind tournament gameplay, helping pros prepare for their game and tournament and helping them provide a better viewing experience for gamers,” de Zayas said. “It’s great for branding and playing on Alienware hardware, but for us, over the long term we’re interested in helping to build this industry overall.”

In addition to having Alienware hardware featured throughout tournaments, there will also be TV commercials and a digital ad spend. However, since the deal was just signed a few weeks ago, this first CS:GO Major won’t feature some of the new innovations de Zayas is interested in.

“But over time you’ll see more on the news around how Turner and Dell are partnering to make the pro gamer better at their craft through training programs and analytics, and making the experience better for the viewer,” de Zayas said. “You’ll start noticing this stuff in the second or third tournament this year.”

One example de Zayas provided, which hasn’t been solidified yet, would be working with eye-tracking company Tobii’s technology, which has been integrated into Alienware hardware.

“Their solution is unique because if integrated the right way it can bring a new level of analytics to eSports teams, including where their eyes are looking on the screen during gameplay,” de Zayas said. “It can track all of this information in real-time and convert it to data that players can use to get better at their craft. For the viewer, this type of real-time tracking of what pro players are doing and where they’re looking can help them get better at playing these games.”

The PC industry is currently seeing eSports and virtual reality drive renewed interest in upgrading hardware. These two popular segments are already beginning to blend with companies like Intel, Valve, ESL, NextVR and getting involved. “The opportunities for VR and eSports are endless,” de Zayas said. “It’s a natural progression for folks who have a VR headset to have a more integrated viewing experience.”

Looking further into the future, de Zayas believes VR arcades could open up new competitive gaming opportunities.

“Something that may come to fruition in a couple years is the advent of VR in backpacks like what we’ve done partnering with Zero Latency and their free roam arcade,” de Zayas said. “I could see that turning into a cool physical sport element of running around and diving around things while playing in VR.”

Learn everything you need to know to invest in today’s fastest-growing media channel—Competitive Gaming and eSports on 2.16.17 in Los Angeles. Go to for more info.

Ubisoft’s Brand Messaging Says, ‘We’re Here For The Long Haul’

You know the games—Assassin’s Creed, Rayman, Far Cry, Just Dance . . . but behind the popular titles and eSports competitions is a publisher with something to prove. In short, the company wants fans to know that it’s here to stay as a publisher, as a creator and as a service provider.

What’s Next In Tech

One of the world’s largest and most popular video game publishers today, Ubisoft has made tremendous strides from five brothers in a small French village to over 10,000 employees worldwide. With time comes technological and social advances—both of which the company has readily adopted. Ubisoft was one of the early supporters of the dual screen Wii U experience and it has announced three games for the new Nintendo Switch (Just Dance, Rayman Legends and Steep). The company has taken full advantage of motion sensing technologies like the Kinect and PlayStation Move with games like the popular Just Dance series and Child of Eden. Now the video game publisher is looking to help pioneer the VR era, which has gained over $1 billion in investment last year. Unfortunately for some fans, Ubisoft will no longer develop games for the PS3 and Xbox 360 in favor of next-gen consoles.

Even the publisher’s subject matter adopts the latest in current and future technology, such as hacking in Watch Dogs or advanced weaponry in The Division. This past January, the publisher announced a partnership with SpectreVision to create original interactive virtual reality programming, in addition to Ubisoft’s already growing list of VR products like Eagle Flight, Star Trek: Bridge Crew, Werewolves Within and the Assassin’s Creed Experience.

Assassins Creed Experience

Story Expansions

Video game movies have a bad reputation, but the Assassin’s Creed film starring Michael Fassbender has thus far been a moderate success, having opened at number one in the UK. Meanwhile, The Division film adaptation is already in the works, with Jake Gyllenhaal attached to star. While they can’t all be as financially successful as say, Resident Evil, Ubisoft is branching out into Hollywood to tell its stories in new ways . . . and hopefully, change the reputation of video game movies in the future.

Tie-ins for the small screen have also been an effective way to expand franchise lore—partnering with YouTube creators for The Division: Agent Origins, rapper-turned-actor, Tip “T.I.” Harris joined for a short film leading up to the events of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands. Meanwhile, Die Hard director, John McTiernan has signed on for a live-action commercial.

Stand By Your Game

Ubisoft doesn’t walk away once a game is released, Ubisoft’s vice president of live operations, Anne Blondel-Jouin told [a]listdaily, “whereas before, when games were launched, nearly all of the team transitioned to another project. Now the team continues to create and deliver new content, improve the game and maintain dedicated support should issues arise.”

“We don’t have an expiration date on a live game,” she said. “As long as we can keep providing the best experience to the gamers, and as long as they are still enjoying the content, it makes sense for us to continue our support. The Crew has been around for two years already and Rainbow Six Siege is entering its second season soon; we can’t wait to see how it goes but it is ultimately up to the gamers to decide! Our responsibility is to keep delivering the best quality possible in everything we do and continuing to listen to and engage our dedicated community.”

What It Means To Treat Games As A Service

A major trend to emerge in video gaming is how more games are being treated as a service. Whether it’s through eSports or continually adding content through free updates, premium DLC and season passes, the life of a game can be significantly extended when it is treated as a service.

Peter Warman, CEO at Newzoo, told [a]listdaily that “season passes tie players to the game longer by forcing them to make an initial investment.” He then followed-up by saying, “console developers are slowly breaking away from the traditional ‘pay once and you’re in’ model, though it’s proving to be slow going. Many console players have reacted negatively to the development of these models, due to their familiarity and satisfaction with the pre-existing model.”

So, it is becoming clear that publishers and developers need to find ways to maintain player engagement over the long-term, and in some cases almost indefinitely, in order for their games to survive in an increasingly service-driven market.

Nielsen’s director of games, Nicole Pike, believes that it’s a matter of timing. “One of the most important aspects to me is not only about understanding consumers’ wants and needs for games, but making sure the timing for that is right,” she told [a]listdaily. “I think timing is the biggest thing. It’s very hard for publishers offer up content to a diverse group of gamers within their fan base. Not all games are created equal, and not everyone is playing the same game. They (players) have different ability levels and different drivers and needs for why they play the game and what content they want. One of the big mistakes that can be made with that type of model is not having content out soon enough for early adopters because they’re the ones who are playing, buying more content, buying it earlier, and (most importantly) telling other people about it. So, if you don’t satisfy them with the content that they need, upfront and early, then you’re going to lose that recommending opportunity.”


Part of treating a game as a service is having a strong plan at launch. “‘Games as a service’ means having a plan when you launch your game and, even more importantly, being ready to make changes to your plan after you launch,” said Marcel Kuhn, associate producer for Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 at EA PopCap Games. “You can fine-tune your Live Service Plan by having open betas and looking at what other games are doing, however having your community play the final game and provide you with feedback is by far the best way to adjust the plan in a meaningful way.”

With high-profile games such as Tom Clancy’s The Division, Rainbow Six Siege and The Crew, Ubisoft has been steadily releasing live service games to engage its fan base. When asked about what treating a game as a service meant, Ubisoft’s vice president of live operations, Anne Blondel-Jouin, said: “Games as a service, or live games, refer to games that offer an evolving long-term, entertaining experience for our players. They often have a focus on online competitive multiplayer experiences such as Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege but they can also include other types of game experiences like The Crew. ‘Live’ refers to all the activities and interactions created for the game community including pre- and post-launch as well as regular updates, new content, and events both in-game and out-of-game, etc. throughout the game’s lifespan.”

Blondel-Jouin also expressed that the key to maintaining a game over and extended period of time is get feedback from the dedicated community. This is a strategy that is echoed by many developers that are looking to develop and grow a game as a service.

Hi-Rez Studios, makers of the hit free-to-play eSports games Smite and Paladins, is well versed in maintaining long-term engagement. The company’s co-founder and COO, Todd Harris, had this to say about what having a game as a service means:

“Number one, it (games as a service) means that you’re never done. Release is the starting line, not the finish line, and that’s a key part of it. It also means that the more community-driven your development approach can be, the better. The way we (Hi-Rez Studios) approach games as a service is to try to be transparent to the community about what we’re thinking and also take their feedback. It also means trying to be always on. You’re minimizing downtime, so there are a lot of technical and operational challenges that come along with that. That’s an area that we’ve continued to improve, as we have multiple games.”

Last year, icejam launched a game called Qurius (pronounced “curious”) for mobile devices, and introduced the term “connected reality” into gaming in doing so. In using real-time weather to determine the player’s experience, the game takes engagement with the real world to a new level. But, in order to grow, the company must continually engage with its expanding community and adjust its plans accordingly. When asked about what treating Qurius as a service meant, the company’s CEO, Stuart Duncan, told [a]listdaily that, “it’s kind of the premise from where you start. We consider the last two years of Qurius development to be the starting line. Once we deliver it, then we can have that interaction with a customer on a real-time basis. Anytime you’re having a real-time interaction with a customer, you’re providing a service. We take a customer service approach and try to make sure that everyone coming in to this [game] world has a great time and get the value for any dollar they may spend. With that regard, many features will be enhanced or brought into the experience and ones that aren’t working will be removed. It’ll be a constant tuning of the game.”


Meridith Braun, VP of publishing at Digital Extremes (makers of the free-to-play action game Warframe) explained how a constant feedback loop with the community was critical to a game’s long-term success.

“It’s like any other great service that you participate in as a consumer,” said Braun. “Games as a service is constant attention to the players—making sure that you’re making something great for them while giving them the attention that they need and expect. It’s also working with them to continually evolve the game over time. If you don’t pay attention to those things, you’re going to die off very quickly.”

Todd Harris will be speaking at [a]list summit on 2/16/17. Go to for more info.