Twitter Tries New Approach To Video Advertising

Periscope, Twitter’s online video streaming service, has managed to take off quite a bit in a short amount of time, with celebrities and other users utilizing the service for a number of means – some that might even be considered illegal. That said, Twitter has an interesting plan in place for advertising, according to a story from AdAge.

It’s not a traditional plan, however. Neither video platform has force-fed advertising, and, according to Twitter’s vice president of global brand strategy, Joel Lunenfeld, the social site will work more closely with brands in the hopes of promoting unique content for these platforms, all within its core network. Stars could also be brought on board, with Twitter acting as a “middle man” of sorts between them and the brands.

“As of right now, we don’t have plans for promoted Vines or promoted Periscopes,” said Lunenfeld, at this week’s Collision tech conference in Las Vegas. Instead, connections will be made through Niche, a company that works to bring brands and stars together. Twitter picked up Niche back in February for a reported $30 million.

Could this pay off in the long run, yes. Stars have massive followers on both the Twitter and Vine front, and a tie-in with branded content could be done quite easily. “A brand or an ad agency comes to us and says, ‘I’m launching a new product: it’s targeted to this audience,” said Lunenfeld. “Well say, ‘Okay, here’s 15 people (and) five of them, alone, have a combined audience bigger than BuzzFeed.”

HP has already put this plan to good use, creating Vines that promote the launch of a convertible laptop, featuring a number of users talking about the device in a number of ways. As a result, Twitter was able to create a 30-second ad from the Vines, which has gained its own popularity. “We knew there was something special there, and the backend metrics showed that purchase intent, brand awareness, all those things went up,” he said. (The ad can be seen below.)

Forcing ads into someone’s Vine or Periscope feed doesn’t appear to be a definitive answer for the social network, since such a strong community would immediately react – and negatively, at that – over the enforcement of such ads. So this does provide a new way to generate popularity – and revenue – while both the brand and star in question would come away successful.

“We’re really focusing on building the product, the experience and the community first,” said Lunenfeld. “Then we’ve got strong relationships with every advertiser to learn how to promote that through Twitter proper.”


eSports Continues Its Rise

We’ve talked at great length about the staying power of eSports in the past – from its being featured on an ESPN2 broadcast to the emergence of companies like Wargaming to the inclusion of major sponsors, such as Coca-Cola. But a new report from SuperData indicates that it has far greater staying power than anyone could’ve expected.

The company released a new report called the eSports Market Brief 2015, which indicates that the total market has reached $612 million for the year, with a tremendous growth for both North American and Europe in terms of both live attendance and watching tournaments online.

It’s easy to see why eSports would be so appealing, as a number of competitive games, from Hearthstone to DOTA 2 to League of Legends make it easy for players to get involved in match-ups between pro players. But SuperData believes that the emergence of competitive gaming presents publishers with a new avenue, to which it can advance the user experience and allow brands to take part – a way for new consumers to join the fun, even if they are “noobs,” so to speak.

The breakdown of the overall eSports market shows that Asia has a commanding lead with a whopping $374 million in revenue, while the U.S. follows closely behind with $143 million, and Europe is in third with $72 million. The rest of the world values at $24 million.

A number of key findings from the report include:


  • The global eSports audience is 134 million strong and growing. Investment in innovative business models, platform and derivative businesses further spurs growth in competitive gaming.
  • Competitive gaming is a marketing strategy, and not a revenue driver. In addition to traditional marketing efforts, organizing events and streaming content improves awareness and retention.
  • 13 percent of live-stream viewers watch eSports. Almost half of eSports viewers in the U.S. use Twitch services, while roughly half of eSports viewers participate in some form of competitive gaming, mostly through online platforms.
  • Corporate sponsorships total $111 million in North America. Brand owners and advertisers are expected to adapt to emergent forms of entertainment, which will grow sponsorship deals across the segment.


“In many ways, competitive gaming seems, at least at first glance, to resemble traditional sports. But to think that a new phenomenon like eSports can be described in terms of the old is to misunderstand it entirely. The intersection of technology, fandom and interactive entertainment is presenting us with new ways of sharing experiences on a global scale,” said SuperData CEO Joost van Dreunen.

“In the past year, we’ve been working together with both our publisher clients and brand owners to map out the market for competitive gaming and help them identify key areas and opportunities. By building our understanding on a variety of data sets, including merchandise sales, event participation and consumer insight, we’ve managed to go beyond the fluff and provide an in-depth look at this unique market,” he added.

The full report can be found here.

Measuring The Value Of Music

The power of music services is discussed often these days. While the amount of downloaded tunes seems to be dropping, Spotify and Pandora, amongst other streaming services, remain quite popular. However, Pitchfork recently posted an article that takes a closer look at the overall value of music, and how much it’s changed over the years.

Titled “How Much Is Music Really Worth “, the in-depth article takes a look at a number of factors surrounding music, and how much things have changed in terms of what consumers pay for it. “Putting the debates about artists’ income from Spotify, Pandora and their ilk in a broader historical context, it becomes clear that the money made from a song or an album has clearly decreased over the last several decades,” said the article. “What’s equally clear, though, is that the value of music is almost as subjective financially as it is aesthetically; the economics of music, it turns out, is more dark art than dismal science.”

The article then broke down certain stats. “While record sales have plummeted, concert revenues have soared (at least for the industry’s one percent) and corporate partnerships of one kind or another have become more common. Plus, the industry figures you see in articles like this one hardly ever factor in expenses, which — including anything from production, marketing and artist fees to venue costs and road crew wages — can add up to huge sums.”

A number of artists have chimed in on the subject. A few months back, Taylor Swift stated that “music should not be free” before unceremoniously yanking her tunes from the Spotify service. Bono of U2 also stated that listeners shouldn’t expect free music, despite the fact that the band’s latest album was offered free to iTunes users. And Jay-Z, speaking about his streaming Tidal service, stated, “Water is free. Music is $6, but no one wants to pay for music.”

Global revenues of recorded music have dropped dramatically as of late, down $15 billion last year, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. That’s a staggering drop considering that the peak of $60 billion was reached just under 20 years ago in 1996. The U.S. alone saw a big amount of that change, from a $20.6 billion peak in 1999 down to $7 billion for last year.

The above chart shows just how much people have been paying for music over the years, like $53.96 for an eight-track album cartridge from Jimi Hendrix back in 1968 to $91.30 for a deluxe physical version of Radiohead’s In Rainbows back in 2007. Lately, though, tunes seem to be running much lower, with albums on iTunes going for as little as $9.99, or as high as $16.99 — in some cases higher, depending on the offered tracks.

To go a little more in-depth, check out the chart above, which breaks down what an album has sold for over the years. Back in 1974, users had to pay as much as $24.45 to get their favorite band’s latest offering. However, these days, the average price runs about $11.97 — just under half of that.

Singles run even less. At one point, they went for as high as $5.87, mainly due to the collectible value and rare B-sides that were offered by some artists. However, these days, the general single goes for $1.17, with most tracks being offered on iTunes going for anywhere between $.99 and $1.29.

Again, though, the report was quick to state that live performances continued to be in high demand for certain bands. Sales for major concerts in North America managed to reach $6.2 billion last year, up from $5.1 billion the year before. The average ticket price for the top 100 tours at the time was $71.44, and it appeared that not a lot of people were scared off by that. (On a side note, One Direction had the biggest piece of that pie, with $127.2 million in performances and an average $84.06 ticket price.)

More details about the report, including more artists’ comparisons and other examples, can be found here. Those in the music industry will certainly want to make note.

YouTube Teams Up With Stan Lee’s Pow! Entertainment

by Sahil Patel

Stan Lee’s Pow! Entertainment and YouTube are coming together on a new global production program that will allow various YouTube stars and channels to create original superhero-themed videos.

As part of the deal between Pow! and YouTube, starting this week, select creators will get the chance to “develop an original superhero concept” and produce that content using unique sets and other production resources provided by YouTube Spaces in Los Angeles, New York, London, Tokyo, and Sao Paulo. Creators and channels participating in this program include The Brothers Riedell,  Adi Shankar,  Lana McKissack, and Machinima.

Keep reading…

This article was originally posted on VideoInk and is reposted on [a]listdaily via a partnership with the news publication, which is the online video industry’s go-to source for breaking news, features, and industry analysis. Follow VideoInk on Twitter @VideoInkNews, or subscribe via for the latest news and stories, delivered right to your inbox.

Reddit Launches New Video Division

Video-on-demand has been growing immensely over the past few years, with Netflix acquiring more than 40 million subscribers and other services showing impressive numbers as well. With all the original programming available, there’s certainly a lot for people to watch. And that’s exactly what Reddit is betting on.

VentureBeat has reported that the social page has launched a new video site, which provides original content based on stories that are shared throughout the site.

“Video is a pretty hot thing right now, and we wanted to get the best people we could to launch Reddit Video,” said Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, speaking at the TechCrunch Disrupt event in New York City earlier today.

The site has been home to millions of users, engaging in community discussions and content sharing, as well as celebrities, authors and others hosting popular AMA sessions. It’s gathered more than 160 million monthly views in its ten years of existence, and that’s exactly the audience the company is banking on to make its video side popular.

Reddit recently took $50 million to help get video off the ground, and brought in two former video leads from The Verge, Stephen Greenwood and Jordan Oplinger, to help lead the charge.

Not only will the videos provide content for users to get interested in, but it could also open up a new way to generate revenue, since video-on-demand has shown that there’s money to be made.

As for what kind of programming Reddit has in mind, it didn’t go into too much detail, although videos that focus on the AMA (Ask Me Anything) are likely to come first, since celebrities and other types are so eager to take part in them and communicate with the vast community. More programming is likely to be introduced in the months ahead, depending on how successful the service is.

One In Four US Adults Watch Original Online Video Monthly (Study)

by Jessica Klein

Original, digital content is gaining on its cable counterparts. According to IAB research, about one in four (24 percent) US adults watch the former at least once a month, which marks a 13 percent increase from the year before.

The IAB’s “2015 Original Digital Video Study” overall shows how much original online video influences cord-cutters/nevers in terms of pay TV. These viewers are roughly twice as likely to watch original digital content as other US adults, and while 53 percent of cord-cutters considered this content “very” or “somewhat” important to their decision not to have pay TV, 65 percent of cord-nevers felt the same way.

This sentiment comes with more viewing on connected devices than ever before in the US. Viewers are watching video on connected TVs, tablets, and smartphones about twice as much as they were two years ago, with connected TVs becoming increasingly popular.

Perhaps most significant, 65 percent if these viewers were tuning into digital content during TV’s primetime, between 8pm and 11pm. A majority of those in the IAB’s study say this is happening because the quality of digital programming has gone up.

Keep reading…

This article was originally posted on VideoInk and is reposted on [a]listdaily via a partnership with the news publication, which is the online video industry’s go-to source for breaking news, features, and industry analysis. Follow VideoInk on Twitter @VideoInkNews, or subscribe via for the latest news and stories, delivered right to your inbox.

Now Hiring This Week: May 6th

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

  • Dreamworks Animation – Manager, Interactive Marketing (Glendale, Calif.)
  • Daybreak Games – Global Brand Manager (San Deigo, Calif.)
  • The Walt Disney Studios – Manager, Social CRM & Digital Marketing (Burbank, Calif.)
  • Twitch – eSports Sales Director (New York, NY)
  • Ayzenberg – Account Executive (Pasadena, Calif.)
  • Ayzenberg – Director, ION Business Development (Pasadena, Calif.)
  • Ayzenberg – Media Coordinator (Pasadena, Calif.)

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Disney Infinity Enters the ‘Star Wars’ Universe

The Disney Infinity series has only been out less than two years and already it’s become a dominant force in the interactive toy/game market. VentureBeat previously reported that the game series has performed so well, it’s become a peak performer against its main competitor, Activision’s dominant Skylanders series.

Part of that success is due to the game’s tie-in with the Marvel universe, featuring such franchises as The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy. But now its reach is going even further, tying in with another billion-dollar Disney franchise – Star Wars.

Disney Interactive announced Disney Infinity 3.0: Star Wars earlier today, which will release this fall for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, with a starter pack at $64.99 and supplementary packs featuring additional characters and sets to be available as well. The game will feature a number of fan favorites from the original Star Wars, including Han Solo, Darth Vader and Princess Leia, as well as characters from other products, like Anakin and Ahsoka from the animated series The Clone Wars.

But since it’s Disney Infinity, there will be room for additional characters and franchises as well. Avengers: Age of Ultron will have a playset that’s compatible with the game (and previously released Marvel characters from Disney Infinity 2.0), Disney/Pixar’s forthcoming animated film Inside Out will have its own playset, and side characters from Quorra from Tron, Olaf from Frozen and Mickey Mouse, among others, will also be introduced, as part of the build-your-own-level Toy Box initiative.

This Disney Infinity promises to be the biggest yet for the series, with a number of developers, including Sumo Digital, Ninja Theory and United Front Games, hard at work on content for it. Playsets include “Twilight of the Republic” and “Rise Against the Empire”, both of which focus on the “classic” Star Wars characters, as well as a new set devoted to Clone Wars. Other characters could be introduced as well, especially with the first new Star Wars film in over ten years, The Force Awakens, hitting theaters in December.

Judging by sales of previous games, this could be the biggest selling Disney Infinity yet, as the Star Wars name has proven to be a hot commodity. The latest trailer for Force Awakens managed to garner 88 million views in 24 hours on YouTube, setting a new record; and the recently announced Star Wars Battlefront, set for release this November, has already made some big waves in the community, with new content consistently being revealed for the first-person shooter.

It’s safe to say that the Force is strong with this one. Check out the debut trailer for the game below.