Live Streaming Viewership Doubles Year-Over-Year

This week in social media news, Streamlabs and Stream Hatchet’s Q4 live streaming industry report finds viewers watched 12 billion more hours of content in 2020 than 2019, Twitter debuts a corporate brand refresh, Pinterest creates a row for Story Pins atop its home screen, LinkedIn lets users control who can see and comment on their individual posts and Instagram head Adam Mosseri says he’s not happy with Reels yet and is looking for ways to consolidate its video formats, and more.

Viewers Watch 12 Billion More Hours Of Content In 2020 Than 2019

According to Streamlabs and Stream Hatchet’s Q4 live streaming industry report, live streaming viewership doubled year-over-year, fueled by surges across YouTube Gaming, Facebook Gaming and Twitch.

Why it matters: In 2019, viewers watched 15.63 hours across Twitch, YouTube, Facebook and Mixer combined. That figure rose to 27.89 billion hours watched in 2020—a 78.44 percent increase—suggesting that the industry is sustaining the momentum it gained earlier in the year amid lockdowns.

The details: In Q4, viewership across all platforms reached 8.26 billion hours YoY, nearly double the 4.16 billion hours watched in Q4 2019. Quarter-over-quarter, hours watched grew 14.2 percent from 7.23 billion hours in Q3 2020.

Streamers broadcasted 916 million hours of content across all platforms in 2020, a 45.4 percent increase from 629 million hours streamed in 2019.

Twitch continues to lead the pack in streaming. In Q4, it set yet another record for most hours watched in a quarter with 5.44 billion hours, a 14.76 percent increase from 4.64 billion hours in Q3. In 2020 overall, Twitch viewers watched 18.41 billion hours of content—a 67.36 percent increase from 11 billion hours in 2019. Twitch now accounts for 65.8 percent of the market share for hours watched, a 2.2 percent increase from Q3. Twitch streamers broadcasted 761 million hours of content in 2020, up 76.2 percent from 2019.

Representing 23.3 percent of the market share for hours watched, YouTube Gaming viewers watched a total of 6.19 billion hours of content—a 96.5 percent increase from 3.15 billion hours watched in 2019. In Q4 alone, viewers watched 1.92 billion hours on YouTube Gaming, compared to the 1.68 billion hours watched in Q3. YouTube Gaming streamers broadcasted 54.9 million hours of content in 2020, indicating no material gain compared with the 55.4 million hours broadcasted in 2019.

On Facebook Gaming, hours watched in 2020 was nearly three times as much as the number in 2019—3.1 billion hours vs. 1.09 billion hours. Here, streamers broadcasted 33.5 million hours of content—a whopping 186 percent increase compared to the 11.7 minion hours broadcast in 2019.

Twitch’s ‘Just Chatting’ category was the most popular live stream category at 682 million hours watched, followed by the 2020 League of Legends World Championship at 485 million hours watched.

Pinterest Adds Row Of Story Pins To Top Of Its Home Screen

Pinterest has created a distinct row for Story Pins at the top of its home screen, similar to the interface of Instagram and Facebook.

Why it matters: Pinterest introduced Story Pins in beta in September. The publishing option, which isn’t ephemeral, gives creators a way to share more engaging stories with videos, voiceover and image and text overlay. The Story Pins can be saved to boards for later, and are distributed across home feed, search results and Pinterest’s ‘Today’ tab.

The details: According to The Verge, Pinterest’s updated interface will appear today on iOS and Android. Pinterest will suggest Story Pins from creators you aren’t following, a move that will encourage creators to create more stories, and increase engagement.

Twitter Debuts Corporate Brand Refresh

Twitter’s chief marketing officer Leslie Berland took to Twitter to announce the company’s new look, which includes a new typeface and slightly updated bird logo.

Why it matters: The new design won’t affect Twitter’s app or website, and its logo will remain the same except for some added design flare, reports AdAge. It will, however, appear in videos and posters, presentations, GIFs and banners, according to Berland.

The details: Berland tweeted: “We felt the brand expression we launched 5 years ago didn’t fully reflect the complexity, fluidity and power of the conversations today. So the team embarked on a unique challenge: to build a creative system for an iconic brand that’s complex and imperfect, by design.”

LinkedIn Gives Users Control Over Who Can See And Comment On Posts

LinkedIn has announced an update that lets users restrict who can see and comment on their individual posts.

Why it matters: Up until now, a user’s individual posts were visible to all their connections and followers unless they changed the visibility settings. With this new update, users can choose which audience sees their post. The options include: anyone, Twitter, LinkedIn connections only, group members and events.

The details: In addition to giving users visibility options for posts, LinkedIn has, for the first time, introduced a feature enabling users to restrict comments on public posts. When creating a post, they can choose who’s allowed to comment, including anyone, connections only, or no one.

Head Of Instagram Says He’s Not Happy With Reels Yet

During an interview with The Verge’s Decoder podcast, the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, said that although Instagram’s Reels is growing in terms of how much users are sharing and consuming they “have a long way to go” and “have to be honest that TikTok is ahead.”

Why it matters: Even despite the obstacles TikTok has faced in keeping its US operations afloat due to scrutiny from the government, it has fared better than Reels, which launched in August 2020. But the jury is still out—according to a study, nine in ten TikTok users who have used Reels said that it’s basically the same as TikTok, and 61 percent said they’ll be using Instagram more as a result.

The details: Mosseri told The Verge:

“I think we have to get better at building more powerful and creative tools that aren’t necessarily a meme or a sort of moment in a package but give people who are more creative than us and make content for a living the ability to make something that’s going to pop.”

Mosseri also said that most users don’t know the difference between in-feed Instagram videos and IGTV videos, adding: “That’s probably too nuanced a distinction to resonate with anybody, so we’re looking about how we can — not just with IGTV, but across all of Instagram — simplify and consolidate ideas, because last year we placed a lot of new bets.”

Instagram Launches Professional Dashboard To Help Creators Drive Business Goals

Instagram has introduced a central hub called Professional Dashboard, where business and creator accounts can track the performance of their content as well as access professional tools and education information curated by Instagram.

Why it matters: Instagram says that since launching products that help businesses and creators succeed, including badges, Instagram Shop, checkout and branded content, it has consolidated the tools into one area which has been visited by 82 million accounts.  

The details: Using the new dashboard, creators can access three key features. First, they can track insights and trends based on their account performance. Next, they can find tools to help build their business and check monetization status and eligibility. Lastly, they can access educational resources including tips, tricks, guidance and inspiration.

Pinterest Debuts Augmented Reality Try-On Feature For Eyeshadows

Pinterest has launched another AR try-on feature, this time for eyeshadow products from brands including Lancome, YSL, Urban Decay and NYX Cosmetics. In addition, it will soon expand its product tagging beta to more advertisers, as well as enable creators to make shoppable story pins.

Why it matters: Pinterest first launched its AR-powered Try-on feature in January last year starting with lipsticks after it heard from Pinners who wanted a way to try on new looks for “happier purchases they won’t want to return while mobile shopping.’ Pinners are five times more likely to show purchase intent on try on-enabled Pins than standard pins, according to Pinterest.

The details: Users can try the eyeshadow experience from the iOS or Android app by clicking the Lens camera in search. Pinterest says Pinners can also filter product results by color, price range and brand, and save to a board for later.

In the coming months, Pinterest will open its product tagging feature in scene images to more retailers after finding that 70 percent of Pinners are more likely to show shopping intent on products tagged in scene images than on standalone product pins.

Pinterest will also launch product tagging to creators to tag in-stock products in their personal story pins.

Pinterest Test Stories Panel Atop User Feeds

Pinterest has been testing a panel of ‘Story Pins’ on top of user feeds with some users since early January, according to Social Media Today.

Why it matters: Unlike ephemeral Stories on other apps, Pinterest’s Story Pins live within a pin and don’t disappear after 24 hours. Their purpose is to add more content to regular pins.

The details: Pinterest confirmed to Social Media Today:

“We’re continuously testing new ways for creators to reach communities of people looking for ideas to try and for Pinners to discover and follow other people who share their passions and interests.”

What We’re Reading—Week Of January 25th

The Rising Value Of Industrial Brands

McKinsey & Company

Of the more than 5,300 industrial brands that McKinsey studied, the top five percent capture 95 percent share of voice, enabling them to charge price premiums of five to 10 percent, thereby generating a higher return on invested capital (ROIC).

Why it matters: The top quartile of companies that improved visibility the most grew five-year ROIC by about three percentage points more than the bottom quartile, namely those whose visibility decreased the most.

Finding Direction When You’re Feeling Lost

Harvard Business Review

According to executive coach and psychoanalyst Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries, when people transition from “time to live” to “time left to live,” a new sense of urgency emerges about identifying their purpose of existence.

Why it matters: The five pillars that define how we experience the meaning of our existence include: investing in affectionate interpersonal relationships, finding a clear sense of purpose, being utterly immersed in our unique talents, feeling like we have control over our choices and connecting ourselves purposefully to our community and society.

Skipping The Super Bowl, Budweiser Is Donating Its Ad Dollars To Covid-19 Vaccine Awareness Efforts


Budweiser is donating its Super Bowl ad dollars to the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative to raise awareness of the COVID-19 vaccines. In lieu of a game-day ad, it released a 90-second video set to the song “Lean On Me” featuring moments characteristic of lockdown life, including a dog appearing on Zoom, NBA players kneeling while wearing ‘Black Lives Matter’ T-shirts, masked grocery shoppers and people getting vaccinated.

Why it matters: Anheuser-Busch US chief marketing officer Marcel Marcondes says several of the company’s other brands will still air ads during the game, but they “won’t have quite the same tone as usual.”

Why Did Companies Take So Long To Divest From White Supremacy?

Harvard Business Review

Brands are speaking out or withdrawing funding to politicians and organizations that played a role in fueling the US Capitol raid because appearing to support a president who challenged the election could cut into earnings.

Why it matters: Many US companies proved they’re willing to profit off of racial inequality until the political costs of doing so were judged to be too high. To make good on their efforts to reduce racial inequality, businesses can rid their company of practices that help produce the very racial inequality they claim to disapprove of.

Consumers Trust UGC More Than Content Created By Brands


According to TINT’s ‘State of User-Generated Content 2021’ report, brand messages were reshared up to 24 times more when distributed by employees versus the brand.

Why it matters: To ramp up their UGC, 75 percent of marketers say they’re currently working with influencers who have less than 1,000 followers to create engaging content.

Premium Brands And Business Marketing With AMEX’s Clayton Ruebensaal

On this 244th episode of “Marketing Today,” I speak with Clayton Ruebensaal, executive vice president of Global B2B Marketing at American Express. Ruebensaal talks about his experience developing brand strategies for premium brands and his vision for the future.

We start our conversation with a dive into Ruebensaal’s world-travel experience as a child, having grown up with a father in the foreign service. Ruebensaal discusses how his time spent in so many different cultures shaped his view of the world and brought about his interest in all people.

We then speak on Ruebensaal’s journey to the present day and the success that he has had with Ritz Carlton and American Express, where he works now, and attributes that success to his teams’ ability to refresh the brand. “We reached into that history and found truths that we could bring to life,” Ruebensaal claimed. He then breaks down the challenges that brands face when attempting to revamp and how “the difference between success and failure is the change management.”

We then discuss how not only COVID but the death of George Floyd changed the mission at AMEX. Marketers “sit at this intersection between what the business needs and what the consumer needs.” Ruebensaal sees that as an opportunity to make a positive impact on the world.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Clayton was born in Georgetown to a military family that took him all over the world to places like Thailand and Israel. 2:19
  • With the traveling experience at such a young age, Clayton was still able to feel gratitude. 2:56
  • Clayton didn’t exactly have a path after graduating from college as a Creative Writing major. 3:45
  • After his first advertising internship at an advertising firm, Clayton knew precisely what he wanted to do. 4:30
  • Before going to the client side at Ritz Carlton, Clayton ran multiple advertising agencies, then ultimately moving to American Express. 5:10
  • At both Ritz Carlton and American Express, there was plenty of need for a refresh in the respective brands’ clarity. 5:55
  • Before Clayton arrived, the American Express brand and logo hadn’t been updated since 1975. 7:27
  • Clayton knew that with the arrival of the internet came the need to think bigger for American Express. 7:50
  • It takes effective change management to bring a brand to life after years of continuity. 8:47
  • Clayton and his team have spent time speaking to AMEX teams all over the world to understand how the brand could help them. 9:38
  • Having revamped two big brands, Clayton has found that it’s best to start with understanding the problem that needs to be solved. 10:59
  • Though the events of 2020 have accelerated things, they have not changed the fundamentals of marketing. 12:45
  • What started as a health crisis turned into multiple crises in the economic and cultural sectors. 13:27
  • When COVID broke out, Clayton and his team paused to examine where they could be of most assistance. 14:12
  • American Express launched its Business Class platform in an attempt to educated businesses on what they could do. 15:37
  • Every week, American Express tries to provide education in a different and attractive fashion. 17:16
  • Over the last 40 years, business has become sexy and something people love to be a part of. 17:58
  • It’s incredibly important for marketers to put out organic content that adds value to the company. 19:17
  • Useful does not have to mean uninteresting and useful content must be able to compete with everything out there. 21:06
  • After George Floyd was murdered, AMEX made sure they didn’t appear to be taking advantage of the moment. 22:34
  • AMEX started its 100 for 100 Program to provide education and mentorship to black female entrepreneurs and business owners. 23:40
  • The gap between the percentage of black-owned businesses and the percentage of revenue from those businesses is rooted in systemic racism. 25:28
  • Clayton attributes his experience in so many different cultures to his world view and interest in people. 29:03
  • Looking back, Clayton wishes he would not have stressed so much about little things. 30:00
  • The Lincoln Project is one of the brands that Clayton admires the most. 33:45
  • Clayton believes that marketers and their tunnel focus can be detrimental to their ability to change customer behavior. 35:45

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Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.

Gary Goodman’s Creative Picks: Visual Metaphor

Happy 2021 to everyone out there! I thought I’d start this year’s update with a few choice spots that use compelling visual devices or metaphors as the main driver for their messages. If you want to be making “breakthrough” creative for your clients, then there’s no better place to start than with the all-important “visual hook.”

Let’s take a look at a few examples of brands that got it right over the last 30 days.

IKEA: “Fortune Favors the Frugal”

Let’s kick things off with this amazing 1:00 film from Ikea that tackles the all-important issue of saving our planet from climate change. It’s a daunting message to champion for a company that makes massive warehouses filled with STUFF, but it’s a masterclass example of how a shift of perspective with the right creative execution can put a brand in the driver’s seat. 

Why it matters:  After four years of an administration that ignored the issue, Climate change will once again be a hot topic in 2021. Brands that align with the right issues and take causal marketing seriously have the opportunity to win allegiance and brand love from their audiences.  The key to successful causal marketing is to make sure that it organically aligns with the brand’s tenets and that the message feels authentic and comes from a human or product truth. In this case, IKEA wants us to consider changing our behaviors to prevent the collection of unnecessary waste. Luckily, they’ve got products to help us rethink how we reduce the use of plastic containers, disposable coffee cups, shopping bags, inefficient light bulbs and appliances like washers & dryers. The message feels honest and reminds us all that there are better ways to reduce waste. IKEA doesn’t own this message and none of the products they’re recommending are unique to their catalog, but that’s not really the point. Sure, IKEA would love for you to buy their products, but even if you don’t, they still win in the brand love department for taking a stand.

The details: At this point, you’re saying that’s great Gary, but what about the all-important “visual hook?” Yes, there are countless ways to talk about climate change, but how do you make it entertaining and sticky as a commercial? Well, in this case IKEA hired the very talented Tom Kuntz, who most of us know from those crazy Old Spice spots, to bring his unique creative voice into the telling. I can just see the pitch: a giant meteor (the visual hook) made up of all our trash is hurtling towards the planet like a Michael Bay movie. Sound uplifting and feel-good? Not really, but that’s because I didn’t tell you that the tone would be right out of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ replete with a vintage walkman and retro 70’s soundtrack. The key to the spot is that as each of the people we meet demonstrates a better way to reduce waste, we see those items in the meteor cease to exist until nothing is left. Threat averted and everyone feels uplifted about saving our planet with the potential of a better world.

Google Photos: “Look at Your Photograph”

Next up, let’s pivot 180 degrees from disaster movie to the power of memes.

Why it matters:  Over at Ayzenberg we always aspire to make content that is fan-centric and feels as if it could’ve been born right out of talented fans making stuff for each other and their communities. In this spot for Google Photos, the marketing team clearly shares this philosophy and took their aim at past memes targeting a band people love to hate, Nickelback. 

The song “Photograph” was released in the early 00’s and seems like it would be the perfect nostalgia-filled soundtrack to promote Google Photos. The kicker here is that instead of going down that somewhat predictable path, they put a 2020 tweak on it and asked the band to come back and re-record it with new lyrics that revisit all of the memes that have been created about the band over the years, especially those featuring their lead singer Chad Kroeger’s hair. Herein lies the visual hook. A photographic trip down memory lane with Nickelback. Who doesn’t love a celebrity with a sense of humor who is willing to poke fun at themselves and some of their questionable past decisions? The result is a piece that feels right in the bullseye of an authentic fan-made piece, but with the polish and resources to do it at the highest level.

The details:  According to the band’s lead singer, Chad Kroeger “fifteen years ago, we had no idea that the photos on our mobile devices would become such a ubiquitous part of all of our lives. When Google approached us with the idea about marrying the song with Google Photos, we felt like it would be a fun and nostalgic way to give the song a lyrical refresh and share some of our favorite memories.” Apparently the band sent over 500 personal images for Google to consider and bring to life with the re-written lyrics. Luckily, “ramen hair” was at the top of the list!

Volkswagen: “TheWheel: ID.4 Electric SUV”

And finally, I wanted to close this week’s article with a visually dazzling spot for Volkswagen using one of the earliest forms of animation called the ‘zoetrope.’

Why it matters: If you haven’t heard of a zoetrope, let’s start with a quick history lesson. It was created in the mid 1800’s as a device to produce the illusion of motion by displaying a sequence of drawings or photographs showing progressive phases of that motion.  And why should we care? Well, Volkswagen cleverly decided to announce their new electric SUV by showing the evolution of the wheel and the progress of humankind that got us to this point—all through the use of a series of exceedingly more intricate zoetropes. This visual hook is so compelling that you can’t help but be sucked into the magic of it all. Yes, these days with Visual FX and CGI we can make the impossible seem real, but there’s something awe inspiring when the illusion can be created in-camera using photos, drawings and physics. That ingenuity not only makes for a great spot, but also transcends the spot and carries into how we feel about the product. And that’s the real magic. To top it off, there’s an altruistic message that ties it all together that just feels right, “History is made, when it’s made for everyone.”

The details: The spot was apparently a “massive technical feat” filmed in a single shot in Prague. All of the zoetropes were built from scratch by a group of artisans and engineers. They had to hand-craft, test and build each unique machine with no CG or VFX to help create the illusion.

Socialbakers: US Social Media Ad Spend Surged 92 Percent In Q4

Despite COVID-19’s economic impact, social media ad spend surged 92 percent in the US during Q4 2020, according to Socialbakers’ latest social media trends report. Globally, social media ad spend saw a 50 percent increase during the 2020 holiday season compared to the same period in 2019.

Other insights from the study include a worldwide increase in cost-per-click (CPC), greater reach for advertisers on Facebook and a decline in the use of Instagram influencers over the holidays.

The average ad spend across industries in Q4 increased by 33 percent quarter-over-quarter (QoQ), with ecommerce fashion, auto and alcohol seeing the largest growth. Ecommerce ad spend grew by 25 percent QoQ, more than doubling from Q1.

Digital ad spend grew 56 percent year-over-year (YoY), with global CPC nine percent higher YoY ($0.180 VS. $0.165). The global average mostly grew throughout the holiday season, reaching a high in mid-December and dropping at the end of the year.

In the US, the Q4 CPC peak was identical to that of 2019, but at the end of the year, it increased by 15 percent ($0.506 vs. $0.441).

Worldwide CPC for brands on Facebook and Instagram ended 2020 nearly 36 percent higher than it started ($0.141 vs. $0.104).

Socialbakers found that nearly 74 percent of total ad spend went to the main feeds of Facebook and Instagram. Instagram Stories received nearly 11 percent of spend.

The Facebook News Feed comprised 57 percent of the relative ad spend in Q4, followed by Instagram feed and Instagram Stories, which collectively accounted for 27 percent of spend.

Among top five placements by relative ad spend in Q4 2020 vs. Q4 2019, the Facebook News Feed grew by 12 percent in CPC and 4.6 percent in cost per thousand (CPM). Facebook in-stream video increased by 16 percent in CPM QoQ, while Facebook video feeds increased by 29 percent.

Globally, Facebook ad reach increased by 23 percent YoY, while it grew by nearly 76 percent YoY in the US. In Latin America, it increased by about 42 percent.

Indicating the growing dominance of Instagram, Socialbakers’ data reveal that in Q4, the total audience size of the 50 biggest brand profiles was 39 percent larger on Instagram than Facebook. YoY, Instagram’s audience grew by 11.3 percent compared to Q4 2019, while Facebook’s audience decreased by 17.6 percent.

Though 55 percent of all brand posts were on Facebook, there were 21.4 times more interactions on Instagram than on Facebook.

Facebook Live in Q4 saw nearly triple the organic interactions that Facebook videos saw. For Instagram, carousels saw the most organic interactions.

As far as influencer marketing, Socialbakers found that the usage of #ad in posts decreased by nearly 18 percent YoY. Additionally, the only cohort among influencers to grow was those with more than 1 million followers. While marketers partnered with nano- and micro-influencers more than any other kind of influencer in 2020, by the end of the year, the number of collaborations with mega-influencers grew while others declined.

Socialbakers’ ad spend data is based on a sample size of more than 15,000 Facebook advertising accounts.

52 Percent Of Marketing Budgets Go To Location-Based Marketing

According to the Location Based Marketing Association’s (LBMA) fifth annual Global Location Trends report 2020, 52 percent of marketers globally say their budget went toward location-based marketing, with mobile, static billboards and digital out-of-home (DOOH) considered the top three media considered.

Amid a backdrop of increased application of location data to sell products and services, as well as drive public health awareness around COVID-19, 97 percent of North American respondents say they rely on location-based data—an increase in ten percentage points year-over-year (YoY). Overall, there was an 18 percent increase in the global use of location-based data and services between 2018 and 2020.

Among the location-based technologies that companies currently use, bluetooth beacon technology surpassed WiFi deployments for the first time, with global use of the technology growing 23 percent. Eighty-four percent of EMEA companies use bluetooth beacon tech, followed by 79 percent of North America companies and 75 percent of APAC companies.

A second priority after beacons is GPS-based technology, which LBMA found 52 percent of companies worldwide already using. Here, too, EMEA leads the way (56 percent), with an additional 36 percent planning to add GPS-based solutions later this year. Thirty-eight percent of US respondents aren’t currently using GPS, but plan to by the end of 2021.

As far as smart lighting, LBMA observed a nine percent decrease in investments in the area, which respondents attributed to pandemic-induced store closures and slowed construction of new locations.

Near-field communication (NFC) technology took the biggest hit in 2020, with a 22 percent decline in spend in the APAC region, and an 18 percent drop in EMEA. In North America, just 12 percent are currently using NFC, but an additional 41 percent will utilize it by the end of the year.

When asked what the most beneficial feature of location-based marketing is, 46 percent of respondents globally said the ability to target, followed by its role in increasing brand recall (21 percent) and driving sales at point of sale (17 percent). The benefit that saw the most growth was using location-based marketing to increase brand recall, increasing from just over one percent in 2019 to 21 percent in 2020.

LBMA noticed a 26 percent dip in spending on local search optimization YoY. Driving this shift were COVID-related business closures and advancements in voice and image-enabled search.

Thirty-three percent of companies noted that augmented/virtual reality and merging mobile and digital out-of-home, respectively, will be important topics in location-based marketing. Another 22 percent showed interest in connected car applications.

These findings are based on a survey of 871 companies worldwide.

Game Publishing 101 With Steve Fowler

A List Games‘ Steve Fowler leads a crash course in game publishing in our latest a.University educational sessions. First up, an introduction to the world of game publishing and an overview of what prospective viewers can learn from the series. Class is now in Session.

About A List Games:

When it comes to executing marketing and publishing campaigns, our leverage is 25 years of legacy and expertise in game audience building under our roof. With the Ayzenberg Group’s support, A List Games can tap into the Ayzenberg network to execute world class marketing executions.

We love breaking from convention and adore the unprecedented. We offer scalable publishing solutions and negotiate “win-win” deal terms based on total investment. Got localization and QA handled? Great. Need help with user acquisition and first-party promotion?

Yeah, we can do that.

Led by passionate people with backgrounds in marketing and development at both the developer and publisher level, we have more than three hundred hit game titles in our collective portfolio.

For strategic leadership, our brain trust hails from Xbox, EA, Blizzard, Riot Games and FoxNext. We also have strong relationships in place throughout the industry, including development services companies capable of Q&A, Localization, Customer Service, Monetization and Production.

Get in touch:

NBCUniversal’s Ad Sales Team Elevates Josh Feldman To Global Chief Marketing Officer

This week in leadership updates, NBCUniversal promotes Josh Feldman to global CMO of its advertising and partnerships division, and BetterUp hires Cindy Goodrich as CMO.

NBCUniversal Promotes Josh Feldman To First Global Chief Marketing Officer Of Advertising and Partnerships Division

Amid a restructuring, NBCUniversal has elevated Josh Feldman to global CMO of its advertising and partnerships division.

Feldman has been with NBCU for five years, most recently serving as executive vice president, head of marketing and advertising creative. Prior to NBCU, he was senior VP and sales manager at Turner Broadcasting System.

BetterUp Names Cindy Goodrich Chief Marketing Officer

BetterUp has announced the appointment of Cindy Goodrich to CMO.

Goodrich joins BetterUp from HubSpot, where she oversaw brand, social media, public and influencer relations, digital, events and creative.

COVID-19’s Impact On Travel Ad Spending

US air travel in Q4 was down more than 60 percent compared with the previous year, while overseas air travel was down nearly 90 percent through November compared with 2019 according to the International Air Transport Association.

The ongoing fallout of COVID-19, including travel bans and quarantines, has caused the airline business to bleed money and marketers to scale back ad spend. When the crisis hit, the travel industry reduced its ad spending by nearly 50 percent during the first two weeks of March from a year prior, according to MediaRadar. By mid-April, spend was down 93 percent year-over-year.

A resurgence in spending occurred in the summer months when travel’s TV ad spend gradually increased. For example, in July, data cited by Skift showed that the US travel industry spent $33.9 million on TV ads, more than double compared with the $15.4 million spent in June. Despite the slight increase, travel TV ad spend was still down 77.8 percent from the year prior.

In October, eMarketer revised its travel ad forecast to show that US travel digital ad spend would drop by 41 percent YoY to just $3.24 billion, making travel account for just 2.4 percent of digital ad spending. The $3.74 billion the researcher forecasted for travel ad spending in 2021 barely exceeds the industry’s spend in 2017, which was $3.64 billion.

Though the US Travel Association doesn’t expect travel spending to return to pre-pandemic strength until 2024, travel companies are now planning for the possibility that consumer demand will rebound amid the vaccine rollout.

According to Tripadvisor’s latest research, 77 percent of travelers worldwide say they will be more likely to travel internationally if they receive the vaccine, rising to 86 percent for travel domestically. In the US, those figures are 69 percent and 80 percent, respectively.

Twenty-six percent of respondents globally say that they would only travel to destinations that required visitors to be vaccinated before travel.

Vaccine or not, the data indicate the travel industry could see a sign of hope as 47 percent of travelers globally say they’re planning to travel internationally in 2021, including 45 percent of US travelers.

The road to recovery will be arduous as officials urge consumers to avoid travel and airlines’ debt mounts. Delta reported a $12.4 billion loss for all of 2020, the largest annual loss of the history of the airline. But as people start planning summer vacations, Delta’s chief executive Ed Bastian said the company expects bookings “to start opening up again.”

Bastian expects international travel will take another 12 to 18 months to fully recover, and  business travel to be only 25 percent to 50 percent of what it used to be by the second half of 2021.

Southwest Airlines Co. CEO Gary Kelly anticipates domestic business could be in the range of down 50 percent to 60 percent by the end of this year, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Transparency will be critical for rebuilding consumer trust. For companies, means continuously updating travelers with their latest health and safety measures in line with pandemic protocols, as well as encouraging them via special deals to travel locally.

“Transparency is the currency of character right now. We talk so much about consumer confidence, but really when you get right down to it it’s about trust and if we earn and maintain the trust of the consumer we’ll have their confidence when it comes time to travel, Brad Dean, chief executive of Discover Puerto Rico told Skift.

What We’re Reading—Week Of January 18th

Why Major Networks Are Investing In Streaming Services—And Advertisers Should Follow

Ad Age

According to an Advertiser Perceptions study by Tubi, advertisers now value streaming as much as or more than traditional linear television for a number of metrics, including total reach, quality of content and experience, measurement of metrics and demographics. 

Why it matters: The shift comes as major networks are responding to changes in viewership habits, leading them to acquire digital arms that already had the capability to quickly scale their streaming services. Now, more than two-thirds of advertisers plan to increase their streaming ad buys in the first half of 2021.

Shopping For Retail Media? Browse The Lessons Learned From Search Marketing First


Profitero CEO Bryan Wiener believes that amid a backdrop of surging ecommerce ad spend, solving for both ecosystem alignment and data connectivity could take retail’s search marketing to heights that Google can’t.

Why it matters: The best way brands can position to win is to align budgets and use advanced media buying strategies that leverage product and advertising analytics.

Wall Street Buzz: Trends On Balancing Purpose And Profit


The ability to grade, score, evaluate and assess companies based on their impact on the world and on people is becoming a key factor in the investment logic among some of the largest investment funds.

Why it matters: If brands lack an active sustainability and social responsibility strategy, they risk being left behind in terms of capital access. If they do have one, they must ensure they have enough disclosure around it so that it becomes a clear part of their story.

What Did David Droga Know At 36 That He Didn’t ­­­­At 34, And Why It Matters To Rob Reilly


WPP chief executive Mark Read poached another senior executive from McCann, creative director Rob Reilly, to serve as WPP’s global creative director—a position in which former creative director of Saatchi & Saatchi David Droga believes creative output can’t be influenced. 

Why it matters: Reilly’s appointment potentially indicates that WPP is rethinking its commitment to digital operations at the expense of traditional strategy.

Increase Mobile Game Revenue With Cross-Platform Functionality


Mobile developers will likely take a hit from Apple’s new privacy-focused IDFA rules, and in response expand to other platforms to offset any fallout.

Why it matters: Developers who have their own login system, and handle the commerce part of it so that transactions are going through their layer, will be able to target offerings much better and in turn, drive higher margins with their players.