Complex Unveils New Immersive Video Studio

by Jessica Klein

At its pseudo-NewFront event today at YouTube Space NYComplex announced that it’s partnering with 360, a virtual reality and 360-degree video company.

Through the partnership, the media company is launching Complex 360 Studios, which will let them publish 360-degree and VR content “day-and-date,” according to the company’s founder and chief brand officer, Marc Ecko. This content will appear across Complex’s Facebook page and YouTube channel in addition to the publisher’s own 360 video player.

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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.

Fiksu: Mobile Users Cost More Than Three Dollars Now

App downloads are a nice vanity metric for a mobile publisher, but it’s having users stick around and invest in apps that’s really the key business driver. Savvy publishers track the lifetime value (LTV) of users, and try to keep the cost for acquiring new users below the expected LTV of that user. Unfortunately, according to Fiksu’s latest numbers, that acquisition cost for loyal users is rising.

As reported by VentureBeatnumbers provided by Fiksu show that acquiring users for games and apps is up ten percent from the previous month, a rise of a whopping 113 percent over the previous year. As a result, the cost per loyal user has risen to $3.09, nearly twice the amount that it was last year at around $1.50. Check out the chart below just to see the contrast in these numbers — and how quickly they’ve risen.

In addition, the Cost Per Install Index (looking only at what it costs to get an app installed by a user) climbed to $1.53 on iOS, up 46 percent from the previous year. Another index, Cost Per Launch, showed increases on both iOS and Android, up to $.31 and $.24, respectively — that’s a 62 percent increase for iOS and a huge 135 percent jump for Android in year-over-year measurements.

That can be quite expensive for some companies as they seek out new players to join their folds, although some, like the developers behind DomiNations, have managed to find success. That doesn’t mean everyone is guaranteed success, however.

“One of the big issues here is that, according to John Koetsier’s recent Mobile User Acquisition study, mobile app and game developers prefer cost per install (CPI) user acquisition techniques more than any other,” said Stewart Rogers, an analyst for VentureBeat Insight. “CPI may enable cost management against lifetime value (LTV) but it also attracts low-spending, and low quality, users. That in itself is driving the CPLU index up, since that group is the least likely to stick with the vendor’s app.”

That said, demand for new apps continues to be on the rise, as the App Store Competitive Index from Fiksu shows shifting numbers with the average daily download volume for the top 200 free iOS apps. Although the recent month report for March 2015 shows a 16 percent drop, the overall numbers are still up 15 percent from the previous year. A total of 8.1 million downloads were calculated overall for the month.

“As we enter another record breaking month, brands must face the inevitable rising tide: mobile marketing is maturing and becoming more expensive,” said Micah Adler, CEO of Fiksu. “To stay ahead of this evolving market, marketers must continually adjust and take advantage of programmatic media buying methods to spend marketing budgets as wisely as possible. Sustainable success will be found by brands that use more precise forms of targeting to reach the right mobile users: those who will engage with an app and become loyal over the long term.”

70% Of Digital Marketing’s Spending Increase Is Concentrated In Mobile

With mobile continuing to show huge increases in revenues and attention, it should be no surprise that it’s become the hot spot for digital marketing.

Mobile Marketing Magazine reports that global brand and retail spend on digital marketing activities will reach an estimated $200 billion, which is an increase of 15 percent over last year’s numbers, according to numbers provided by Juniper Research.

Called Digital Retail Marketing: Loyalty, Promotions, Coupons & Advertising 2015-2019, the report shows nearly 70 percent increase on digital marketing spend this year, which will focus primarily on mobile and tablet peripherals. As a result, brand strategies should concentrate more on campaigns within an omni-channel digital environment.

The ability for smartphones and tablets to enable timely, targeted, personalized campaigns that enhance customer engagement are a huge focus of the report, as well as analyzing the relative success of certain campaigns in said market.

One part of the report focused on the use of mobile coupons, with redemption rates showing a much higher rate than before, and costs per redemption showing a much lower rate with traditional mechanisms, including direct mail and newspaper coupons.

Juniper’s study also shows the potential for predictive analytics to be used, based on the wealth of online data generated through consumer activities on both websites and social media. These analytics are used more often than expected, as retailers focus more on making advertising campaigns and promotions that cater more to websites when consumers visit them.

There are warning flags, though. Brands need to stick with marketing strategies that cater to an audience on a single-screen basis, as the use of multiple screens simultaneously for digital activities may not be related. Maximizing the potential of digital media through the entire retail lifecycle is also stressed, as a way to drive product awareness with their business, including physical stores.

Said research author Dr. Windsor Holden, “The beauty of mobile and online marketing channels is that they can play an active role throughout the retail lifecycle, from product discovery to product purchase, enhancing customer value through personalized promotions.”

The report can be found here.

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How Tencent Plans To ‘Turbocharge’ Glu’s Games

Mobile game revenue has never been better. Along with established hits like Candy Crush Saga and Clash of Clans, up-and-comers are enjoying the benefits of in-game sales as well, including DomiNations, which we talked about yesterday. But now Tencent wants to get a bigger part of the picture, as it made a recent investment in Glu Mobile that could mean a change for the better in its games division.

GamesIndustry International reported that the popular mobile company has invested $126 million in Glu Mobile, resulting in a 14.6 percent investment in it. As a result, the company intends to “turbocharge” Glu’s game line-up, with Tencent senior vice president Steven Ma serving on the team’s board.

“Tencent was attracted to Glu due to its five-year growth track record, high-quality entrepreneurial management, and unique approach to methodically building a portfolio of success in the shooter, action-RPG, narrative-RPG, time-management, sports and racing games,” Ma said.

Glu has had no problem seeing success in mobile, with a revenue of $248.1 million last year, led by the highly popular Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, as well as other popular titles like Deer Hunter 2014. The company also has a five-year deal with superstar Katy Perry, and just announced a five-year deal with Britney Spears.

With the Glu Mobile investment, Tencent will have more of a stake in the American market, as 71 percent of Glu’s revenues come from North America. “It’s a case of fewer, bigger, better and not a volumetric approach in either direction,” said Glu’s CEO Niccolo De Masi, speaking to investors. “We do believe we can grow our China business considerably given how large that market is now.”

Speaking with Re/Code, De Masi explained that, with the deal, potential games could be criss-crossed over to other markets. “Potentially, we have the opportunity to help take some of their games out of China to other markets, just as they might take games to China and turbocharge them. It’s quality over quantity. It’ll be one or two projects a year, not one or two a month. And we’re very excited about this. You couldn’t ask for a better partner if you want to make money off of the Android ecosystem in China than Tencent.”

But don’t expect a full buy-out of Glu, as the partnership is pretty well set. “There’s a cap on the amount of shares that they can ever own,” said De Masi. “They can go into the market and buy more shares, but they can’t deter anyone else from coming in to buy Glu. They don’t have a preferred position. Tencent has a track record of being willing to sell portfolio companies at a profit if someone else comes in and want to bid. But we’re in a great position now with a great board member (Ma), and an opportunity to run faster than we could have without them.”

Here’s hoping the partnership reaps great success for both parties.

Google Follows TV Ads Online

Until now, measuring the success of a TV ad’s online impact has been speculative and difficult to do. Google has now partnered up with Rentrak, a global media measurment and research company, to provide advertisers with the online impact of TV ads.

“For the first time ever, advertisers have the ability to see how search queries on Google are being influenced by their TV ads, in real time,” said Google’s Dave Barney to AdWeek.

What the partnership will do is to reduce the amount of time it usually takes for advertisers to understand the effectiveness of the TV ads.

“Traditionally, TV is evaluated on an annual, semiannual or quarterly basis, just because of the difficulty in getting the data, and so now we’re talking about giving them a seven-day lag in effectiveness.”

In the future, TV Attribution will look to include estimations for online engagement and audience reporting.

Nielsen Teams Up With Roku To Measure Digital Viewership

by Jessica Klein

Nielsen has been trying hard to measure digital video viewership the way it does for TV, and now it will be better equipped to do so via an agreement with Roku.

Per the agreement, Nielsen will be able to measure video ads across content on Roku streaming devices. Specifically, Nielsen will measure OTT viewing with its Digital Ad Ratings tool, allowing advertisers and publishers to use the company’s metrics and measure their audience through typical Nielsen demographics.

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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.


Glu Mobile Strikes Gold

As if mobile gaming isn’t hot enough as it is with three Super Bowl ads from Game of War, Clash of Clans and Heroes Charge to show for it, Glu Mobile, maker of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood announced today that it has sold 14.6 percent of its shares to the Chinese company Tencent for $126 million.

The deal values Glu Mobile around $863 million, making it one of the biggest mobile game companies around in a market that could hit $30 billion this year.

“I am proud to announce that we have entered into a strategic relationship with arguably Asia’s largest internet company and the world’s largest games company – Tencent. I consider their expertise in gaming to be unrivalled and we are excited to power ahead with the support of a fantastic partner that believes in our strategy and shares our vision,” said Niccolo de Masi, Chairman & CEO of Glu.

Tencent already has ownership stakes in Epic Games, Riot Games and Activision and this deal will allow the company to get an even bigger footprint in the US mobile games market as well as open doors for Glu Mobile in Asian markets.

It goes to show how important it is for mobile game companies to break new ground in the market. Using the likenesses of celebrities like the Kardashian-Jenners, Katy Perry and Britney Spears can reach new audiences.

Will we see Glu do a Super Bowl spot with one of these celebs in 2016

Instagram Launches New @Music Program

Music makes the world go ’round, as indicated by such popular apps as Spotify and Pandora. Now, Instagram is getting in on the musical action.

TechCrunch recently reported that the popular photo site has launched a new community on its site devoted to music and its creators alike, under the title @music. This marks a departure for Instagram, allowing it to focus singularly on a particular subject, as it explained in a blog post earlier this morning. Considering that about one quarter of the most popular accounts on the site are run by musicians, it shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s moving forward with such an initiative – and with over 300 million users using Instagram, it’ll certainly be able to generate an audience.

Said Instagram founder and CEO Kevin Systrom, “The music community is – and always has been – an important part of Instagram. For the past four years, we have become the home for artists big and small – a place where people across the musical spectrum come to share stories, reveal their creativity and connect directly with fans.”

In addition to being home to such popular artists as Madonna, Katy Perry, and top ten mainstay Justin Beiber, Instagram has also seen an increase in emerging artists looking to make a name for themselves, and share posts that relate to fans within their community.

Instagram music editor Alex Suskind will head up the project, which will cover a variety of music-related topics, including featured artists (like new performers, such as Tricot), instruments, lyrics, studio sessions, and even concerts. Fans can also take part as well, and get involved with their own posts.

Six posts per week will be dedicated to the @music channel, grouped by series designed by specific hashtags. For instance, #LocallySourced will cover unsigned acts that show promise, while #DoubleTrack will focus on the interests of artists outside of the musical scene. #15SecondLessons will also provide videos on how to learn more about music, including “everything from riffs to drumbeats,” according to the site.

A new music-themed monthly hashtag project will also be introduced, similar to Instagram’s previous Weekend Hashtag Project – but with a music focus, obviously.

The @music division is already going strong, with a piece that focuses on The Roots’ drummer Questlove, explaining his musical origins. With the right amount of success, it could diversify into even more coverage, for both up-and-coming and popular artists alike.

Don’t look for any other areas outside of @music for the time being, though. A spokesperson for Instagram said, “Creating content isn’t new for us. We think spotlighting the most talented and creative members of the music community on Instagram is a very strategic long-term.”

Facebook Revamps Video Ads With Game Installs

Video has proven to be quite effective to Facebook over the last year, as numbers indicate that it’s gaining popularity in the face of its main competitor, YouTube. Now, the popular social site is moving forward with some effective changes to its desktop video ads, allowing you to install a desktop game directly from a video ad.

Facebook announced in a recent blog post that it would introduce video functionality to desktop app ads, as a way to attract more people to install and play Facebook desktop games. This shows that the company remains devoted to the game medium, despite the growing presence of its video division. Games are an important category for Facebook, with 445 million people still playing games on Facebook across both the desktop and mobile devices.

“This means that selected partners can start using video creative for desktop app ads in Power Editor and Ads Create Tool,” said the blog post. “The video unit has similar functionality to our mobile app ads; it’s eligible to play automatically in News Freed, there is a persistent call-to-action over the video pop-up for ads rendering on the right hand side of the page, and all videos now have an end card that appears after they finish with options to replay it or install the game.”

With people viewing over four billion native videos on Facebook on a daily basis, there’s more consistency with the program – and a possible opportunity to increase the popularity of certain games. An early adopter to the program, Plamee, has shown excitement with the improvements. Said Michael Velkes, the company’s vice president of marketing, “The desktop app ad unit is the best converting non-incentive ad unit available in the industry. Adding this with video is a game-changer for the quality and loyalty of players.”

A select group of partners will be taking part in the program, but Facebook anticipates that it will be “available broadly soon.” Those companies that are interested in signing up for the program can do so here.

Periscope Goes Up For Twitter

Twitter’s streaming video app Periscope has presented a number of challenges since its release last month, which we’ve highlighted in a previous article here. But there’s no question that it’s picking up on popularity — and it’s just the good news that the social site could use right now.

Re/Code has reported that the live streaming app has managed to add a million new users in the app’s first ten days on the market — an unprecedented amount of sign-ups considering that more popular competitors, namely Meerkat, were already available.

By comparison, Meerkat was only able to generate 120,000 users in a three-week span, meaning that Periscope has rocketed to popularity much more quickly.

That said, there’s a question in terms of long-term sustainability for the app, as CEO Dick Costolo failed to disclose other terms surrounding Periscope — at least, for now.

But maybe that’s because Twitter has a lot more on its mind right now, as some new problems have emerged. Another report from Re/Code explained that Twitter was forced to halt its stock trade on Tuesday afternoon, following a leak that revealed the social site’s Q1 earnings for 2015 earlier than expected.

As a result, the stock quickly dropped by six percent before trading was halted, and once it did resume again, it dropped a total of more than 18 percent.

The numbers indicated that Twitter earned $436 million in revenue, short of the $457 million that analysts predicted. Q2 and full-year revenue projections also show smaller numbers, with around $470-$485 million for the quarter and $2.17 to $2.27 billion by year’s end — both of which are also down by previous numbers from analysts.

From this, the company did experience a setback — and this wasn’t the only one. VentureBeat recently released a report on social media management, which looks at tools, trends and social activity across all sites.

Measuring 250,000 tweets across 1,600 accounts over nine days, the report shows a low usage rate by popular brands for Twitter accounts. Only 839 companies accounted in the report, indicating that 47.6 percent of brands didn’t tweet over the nine-day period. While that means 52.4 percent still tweet consistently — and show the site is still of great use — that may be a slight cause for concern.

At least the brands that do consistently use Twitter are big ones, including the likes of American Airlines, Comcast, Royal Dutch Airlines and Chevrolet, among others. And the site still reports that it has 288 million monthly active users, with 500 million tweets per day. 80 percent also actively use mobile devices to post their statuses, while 77 percent of accounts are outside the U.S., meaning lots of international business.

Regardless, Twitter has some issues to bounce back from. Maybe Periscope could certainly help lead the way…

More data on VentureBeat‘s findings can be found here.

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