Content Channels Provide Alternative Monetization Models
THE STORY: This week, YouTube announced the launch of paid channel subscriptions, offering access to over 50 premium channels at the cost of $1 to $5 per channel per month. The move seeks to monetize video content outside the traditional rental and ad-supported model, helping YouTube finance a broader range of content, from original shows to films.
WHY IT MATTERS: Big platforms continue to experiment with monetization models outside of paid advertising. Another, perhaps more original example, video platform Vimeo recently debuted an ad product called the Brand Creative Fund which matches companies looking to publish original videos with filmmakers from Vimeo’s talent pool. The Fund’s first work paired auto brand Lincoln with filmmaker Eliot Rausch, to create the first in a series of films exploring the topic of distraction in a digital world.
What does all this mean? For brands, there’s an opportunity to explore alternatives to pre-roll spots, and to reach mass video audiences at scale. We’ll be watching how consumers respond to these changes on YouTube (key metric: subscriber numbers in the next 6 months) and the new array of branded content on Vimeo.
YouTube Launches Interactive Trends Map
THE STORY: This week, YouTube launched an interactive map that reveals the most popular videos being viewed and shared across the United States. The map is powered by the pre-existing Trends Dashboard and can be filtered by gender, age and location of viewer. This new tool currently gives users real-time tracking for the hottest and most popular videos on the platform.
WHY IT MATTERS: The world is watching around 6 billion hours of YouTube video every month, which suggests there’s culturally relevant information to be gleaned from viewer habits. Originally, YouTube had a comparison tool available that allowed you to view different sets of data from different markets, side-by-side. This update builds off of that and brings up the data in a more visually appealing way which might attract advertisers to dig deeper. Right now, this tool seems targeted towards users and helping them find what video’s are most popular. However, it seems that YouTube could be collecting this data to later reveal a version specifically for advertisers to better target their work around the world.
Foursquare Pitches New Ad Products
THE STORY: Following months of gloomy press and a questionable funding round, Foursquare has begun pitching two new ad products to marketers. The first, taps into the wealth of demographic and behavioral data Foursquare has been collecting over the past four years. Marketers will be able to purchase check-in data based on personas they would like to target and then serve ads to people matching those personas as they are browsing the web. For example, a diaper brand could target ads to people who match a parent persona based on their check-ins to baby stores, playgrounds and children’s museums. The second product is an in-app ad linked to recent check-ins. An example provided by Foursquare is an ad for vodka served to someone who just checked-in at a bar.
WHY IT MATTERS: It’s exciting to see Foursquare make use of the data they’ve amassed but disappointing that the end result is banner ads, albeit more relevant banner ads. Will it be worthwhile for advertisers to spend an additional 50-75K simply to access the data? The deck from Foursquare doesn’t provide any information on expected results or how KPIs might be improved. What we hope to see as a result of Foursquare pitching these products is renewed interest in their API. There are so many interesting applications brands could create on top of the Foursquare platform, but as co-founder Dennis Crowley admits, the API is underutilized. We will be watching to see how far to the “dark side” Foursquare goes to get to profitability.
Our Director of Content Strategy Frank Marquardt recently helped organize a SF Bay Area Content Strategy Meetup panel on emerging approaches to covering the news.
Check out his write-up on the organizations that are re-imagining news delivery in the Internet Age.
Shifting consumer behaviors are forcing news organizations to rethink how the news gets delivered. Emerging technologies offer new ways to tell stories. And the competition for people’s attention is forcing news organizations to devise new, creative and more compelling storytelling formats.
At “Re-making the News,” a panel hosted by the San Francisco Bay Area Content Strategy Meetup, panelists from Mother Jones, Circa and Newsbound shared how their organizations are responding to emerging consumer behaviors and new technological tools for delivering news.
Circa, a mobile app, atomizes a news story into essential points, such as quotes, facts and photographs, in order to make it easy to follow and track stories on mobile devices.
Mother Jones uses a variety of interactive tools to provide context for news stories. Its interactive map of the dark money universe and guide to mass shootings in America are experiences that can be acutely topical, because they detail problems that (unfortunately) aren’t going away anytime soon.
They have also created code that other news organizations can use to build content, such as a “choose your own adventure” plugin for interactive storytelling. Mother Jones uses this code for the excellent news quiz “Think You Can Beat the Immigration Maze”?
At the core of each of these organizations is an effort to understand effective, appropriate and meaningful news formats and delivery mechanisms for today’s news consumer. Using the multiple channels and technologies available, these innovative formats foreshadow continued investigation into communicating the news in richer, more engaging ways.
And that’s a good thing for the news.
We’re incredibly excited to announce that our most recent work for Pepsi NEXT, ‘The Extra Hour’, has been selected as a 2013 Webby award winner in the Native Advertising category.
TWITTER LAUNCHES MUSIC DISCOVERY APP
Twitter Music is a streaming service with a twist on discovery. Once connected to your Twitter account, the app suggests songs based on your activity and who you follow. There are four filters: Suggested, NowPlaying, Emerging, and Popular. Currently, music is provided by Spotify, iTunes, and Rdio, with additional providers being explored.
Why It Matters: Recently, Twitter has begun to branch out from its native 140 character platform to include partnerships that provide media options. While we wonder if a new platform can pull people away from their current streaming services, Twitter has had recent success driving people to Vine, now the number one social app on iTunes. Twitter has previously launched media partnerships with the Weather Channel LLC, ESPN, and Turner Broadcasting System, and is reportedly in talks with Viacom and NBC Universal. With the addition of Twitter Music, this is yet another example of Twitter’s path toward becoming a media company and creating new opportunities for a broader range of advertising.
THE RISE IN PRIVATE MESSAGING SERVICES
The Story: Two weeks ago, Facebook announced Chat Heads, part of their latest update to their mobile app. Chat Heads turns your entire device into a social experience, allowing you to carry on multiple conversations, regardless of which application you’re in.
Taking a cue from what other Private Messaging services are doing in Asia, Facebook is taking steps to capitalize on how younger users communicate. As opposed to automatic public sharing, they prefer a private setting for sharing with friends. This is just the sort of audience that has been flocking to peer-to-peer messaging applications like Kakao, WhatsApp, Kik, Viber, Skype, KakaoTalk, LINE and Zoosk, all boasting incredible numbers of users worldwide.
Why It Matters: Mobile messaging applications aren’t just attracting users, they’re also managing to bring in revenue. Reports have shown an increase in money generated by social apps in recent months. With these applications taking the lead in monetization, other western services are starting to take note. Path recently took a page out of the same playbook with the addition of a premium sticker shop in its 3.0 update. The private messaging trend opens the door for brands to experiment and connect with younger users on a more intimate level, while also spurring alternative digital marketing concepts.
NETFLIX AND AMAZON BATTLE OVER THE SECOND SCREEN
The Story: Amazon recently commissioned a series of big-budget, web-only shows, taking on Netflix in the battle to capitalize on consumers’ growing appetites for watching programs on smartphones, tablets and internet-enabled televisions.
This spring, Amazon will release 11 pilots on Amazon Instant Video, and then produce or shelve these series based on initial audience response, Their move follows the precedent set by Netflix, which premiered its first original program, “House of Cards,” in February.
Why It Matters: “House of Cards” shook up the model of TV distribution, completely bypassing the typical ecosystem of networks and cable operators. Now, Netflix and Amazon can smartly gain subscribers and tailor their advertising based on what they know about their users online. For brands, it remains to be seen what advertising options will be available, but there will no doubt be advantages to the new online model. No longer needing to market to entire families sitting around a TV screen — or passing through commercials on the DVR — there may be opportunity to reach more specific targets based on real-time feedback and demographic data to tailor ad offerings, ultimately providing a more custom experience for the consumer.
Helping the world’s Barbarians for over a decade.
Pepsi NEXT is a mid-calorie soda that actually has real cola taste and 60% less sugar - pretty unbelievable in a world cluttered with bland diet sodas and sugary drinks.
Since this cola is barely a year old, 2013 business goals remained the same - get the word out about the unbelievable taste of Pepsi Next and get people to try it. Especially because once you taste it, we know you’ll love it.
Go beyond the expected in-store sampling stations to get Pepsi Next into the hands of people in unbelievable ways.
(Wait for it…)
Pepsi NEXT and The Barbarian Group present The Wheel of Levy - an integrated campaign where Latin heartthrob William Levy seduces your tastebuds with the power of his acting skills and the unbelievable taste of Pepsi Next.
On this highly visual and game-like site, you’ll spin a wheel to watch a seductive performance by one of the many Levy characters - a hunky doctor, a romantic, a Rambo-esque action hero or more. If seduced, you’ll receive a free 2L of Pepsi Next so you can drink it to believe it. If not - which is highly unlikely - you can keep spinning to watch all 6 characters. We know you’ll be convinced.
Wheel of Levy is also supported by a :30/:15s TV spot, a paid digital and social buy (including Buzzfeed, YouTube, and E! online takeovers), some in-store goodness, and a large press day including William appearances on Good Morning LA, Extra!, Mario Lopez live, and more. Not to mention, the campaign is also running in Spanish, making it Pepsi NEXT’s largest Hispanic effort to date. Which is super bueno.
Some awesome news: our campaign with Pepsi + TaskRabbit, ‘Pepsi Next: The Extra Hour’, has been nominated for a Webby award in the show’s ‘Native Advertising’ category, huzzah!
We have it on good authority that this year saw no less than 11, 000 submissions, with just 7% of those making it through to nomination status. And we couldn’t be more excited to be included in that number.
Oh Hey, Here’s The Really Important Part:
Oh, and here’s a wonderful GIF designed to encourage mass voting behavior.
We’re nominated for a Webby! The Extra Hour, our campaign that teamed Pepsi NEXT up with TaskRabbit, is up for Best Native Advertising.
The Story: After widespread rumors of the coming Facebook Phone, Facebook unveiled a suite of apps that replace the home screen on Android phones. Designed to “keep you connected,” Facebook Home delivers a constant stream of photos and updates to your home screen. Home also features the unfortunately named Chatheads, a way to receive and respond to text messages that doesn’t require leaving the app you’re currently using (mail, maps, etc). Facebook Home will be available for download on Google Play April 12th for select phones. Facebook promised to roll it out to new phones and add new features every month following.
Why It matters: This was a smart move by Facebook after struggling with their IPO last year due to the lack of focus on mobile. Launching an app (for lack of a better word) makes it possible to turn any Android handset into a Facebook Phone (of sorts) without actually having to make one. If executed properly, Facebook Home will increase the amount of time people are spending on Facebook via their mobile phones and likely provide new opportunities for to monetize the experience.
Most interesting from a marketing perspective is the data that Facebook will collect from Home. During the the Q&A portion of the event Facebook shared that there will be analytics from Home that will be anonymized after a short period of time. Data on how people use their phones to connect with others is hugely valuable and Facebook will no doubt find a way to sell this information to marketers.
NEW CARDS IMPROVE ECOMMERCE ON TWITTER
The Story: Introduced last year, Twitter Cards allow tweets from partner websites to display expanded content when a URL is included. Last week Twitter rolled out 3 new cards giving developers an opportunity to create richer experiences on Twitter’s web and mobile platforms. For example, a tweet can now include a link that prompts you to download an app or opens the content in the app if you already have it installed on your phone.
Why It Matters: While the industry press is buzzing about the new App card, we’re most interested in the Product card that displays details like an image, description and price alongside the tweet. This may very well turn Twitter into a valuable resource for selling goods, digital music and much more. Retailers now have the opportunity to move further into ecommerce and stay ahead of the rapidly increasing mobile commerce market.
FLIPBOARD ANNOUNCES MINI MAGAZINES FOR INDIVIDUALS AND BRANDS
Building off its primary offering, to let users read through blog content and their networks’ social posts in one slick, mobile-friendly digital place, Flipboard has granted the power of curation to everyone. Just hit the app’s “new +” button to create a magazine, give your e-publication a title and description, and select a category. From there, as you browse Flipboard, you can add content to your magazine with the click of a button, and users can subscribe just as easily.
In addition, Flipboard announced that it will now be integrated with Etsy’s shopping cart, meaning users can buy items directly from Flipboard.
Why It Matters: Social media and the new wave of brands-as-creators are disrupting the publishing industry. And this new offering from Flipboard makes it easier than ever for brands to expand their media empires by setting up a publication on a niche topic.
That said, becoming a magazine editor isn’t a fit for all brands, but it’s still a platform worth paying attention to: as more users jump on the platform and take greater editorial power from established outlets, Flipboard will become a more essential place to monitor what’s being said.
- Multiple display support
- Better performance
- Option to only show your Liked photos.
- Option to display only tagged photos with your tag(s) of choice. Cats!