MTV Launches Interactive Online Game to Promote ‘Scream’

As part of its social media push for the upcoming series “Scream,” based on the popular horror film franchise, MTV has created an interactive online game. In a unique promotional campaign, “Choose Your Own Murder” invites participants to enter their own horror movie scenario and try to escape a killer. Users are given options as the story unfolds and brief time limits to quickly make decisions that steer the action. Once murdered, users then have the option of playing the game again or sharing via social media. The series is slated to debut June 30. Continue reading MTV Launches Interactive Online Game to Promote ‘Scream’

Rentrak and ListenFirst Want to Measure TV Show Stickiness

Research firms Rentrak and ListenFirst Media are collaborating on a new data set designed to help advertisers identify TV shows that generate consistent viewing and high social engagement. While these programs may not always have the highest ratings, they may have some of the most impassioned fans and may be a better target for advertisers. The research combines Rentrak’s viewership data from set-top boxes with ListenFirst’s data collected from blogs, social media platforms and other sources. The companies presented the research at an Advertising Research Foundation event in New York. Continue reading Rentrak and ListenFirst Want to Measure TV Show Stickiness

Snapchat, Live Nation Partner to Offer Music Fest Live Stories

Snapchat is partnering with Live Nation Entertainment to bring its Live Stories feature to festivals and concerts. Starting today with the Electric Daily Carnival in Las Vegas (a popular electronic dance music festival), Live Stories will capture content at Live Nation events to share with specific communities through Snapchat. Live Stories, which provides video and photos from event attendees for a 24-hour period, has become a lucrative advertising platform for Snapchat. And its branded geofilters have become an added bonus for advertisers. Continue reading Snapchat, Live Nation Partner to Offer Music Fest Live Stories

Amazon Streams U.S. Premiere of British Comedy on Facebook

British comedy “Catastrophe” made its streaming debut in the U.S. this week exclusively on Amazon’s Facebook page. The move is a new approach to promoting Netflix competitor Amazon Prime Instant Video. Two days after Monday night’s premiere, the show will be made available for streaming only to Amazon Instant Video subscribers (the entire season will be available Friday). This is not the first time social media has been leveraged this way. Hulu has been posting select videos on Facebook, while studios have been offering movie rentals and purchases via social platforms. Continue reading Amazon Streams U.S. Premiere of British Comedy on Facebook

Nielsen: Consumers Spending More Time Engaged with Apps

Consumers typically use only a small percentage of available apps each month, but their time spent with these apps is dramatically increasing. According to Nielsen, the time spent engaged with these apps has increased 63 percent over the past two years. In Q4 2012, consumers spent a little more than 23 hours per month with apps, while that figure jumped to 37 hours and 28 minutes in Q4 2014. Meanwhile, the number of apps used has only marginally increased: 23.3 apps per month in 2011, 26.5 apps in 2012 and 26.8 apps in 2013. Continue reading Nielsen: Consumers Spending More Time Engaged with Apps

Pinterest Adds E-Commerce to Discovery with New Buy Button

San Francisco-based social bookmarking site Pinterest announced yesterday that it plans to introduce e-commerce to its platform with “Buyable Pins,” which could go a long way to justify the company’s $11 billion valuation. Pinterest, popular with users for discovering and sharing real world things through a digital scrapbook approach featuring “pinned” items, will allow interested sellers to add “buy” buttons to items they post. The product’s early retail partners include Cole Haan, Ethan Allen, Macy’s, Kate Spade and others. Continue reading Pinterest Adds E-Commerce to Discovery with New Buy Button

Instagram Unveils Plans to Open its Photo Feed to Advertisers

Facebook-owned Instagram announced that it plans to open its photo feed to all advertisers later this year. Aside from working with a few select brands to post commercial messages, the mobile photo-sharing service has remained largely free of ads to this point. Opening the feed to advertisers of all sizes will provide marketers with the ability to target the platform’s 300 million users by age, gender, interests, and other factors. The service also plans to introduce a new ad type that encourages users to click links to make product purchases or install advertised apps. Continue reading Instagram Unveils Plans to Open its Photo Feed to Advertisers

Now Live on Android, Periscope Part of New Social Strategies

Periscope, Twitter’s new mobile live streaming app (and Meerkat competitor), is starting to draw the attention of advertisers and programmers. The app, which Twitter purchased this year for a reported $100 million, allows users to live stream content directly to and from their smartphones. The app was initially released only for iOS devices, but went live on Android phones this week. VH1 recently used the social tool to promote the wedding of two stars on “Love & Hip Hop” by providing users access to the ceremony’s red carpet arrival. Continue reading Now Live on Android, Periscope Part of New Social Strategies

FOVE, a VR Headset with Eye-Tracking, Thrives on Kickstarter

FOVE, which claims to be the only virtual reality headset with built-in eye-tracking, has surpassed its Kickstarter goal by nearly $100,000 with 37 days left to go in the campaign. A $399 donation awards backers with a headset and development kit, and FOVE plans to deliver both by May 2016. Eye-tracking not only enables users to play games by aiming their eyes, it opens the door to foveated rendering, which reduces the computational demands on real-time processing and provides contextual feedback, avatar eye-mapping, and more. Continue reading FOVE, a VR Headset with Eye-Tracking, Thrives on Kickstarter

Pinterest Unveils New Animated Ads Called ‘Cinematic Pins’

Social bookmarking site Pinterest is bolstering its advertising strategy with a “cinematic pins” feature that adds motion to users’ boards. These special pins play short animations at the same speed that a user is scrolling. When the user clicks on an ad, the pin plays a longer version of the video. These new ads are part of a revamped strategy designed to compete with Twitter and Facebook. Advertisers will now have more targeting options and access to a new ad-creating service. Continue reading Pinterest Unveils New Animated Ads Called ‘Cinematic Pins’

Pandora Purchases Music Data-Tracking Firm Next Big Sound

Music streaming service Pandora announced this week that it has acquired Next Big Sound, a company that tracks how popular songs become online and via social networks. Next Big Sound has become a standard for measuring artist popularity through activity on Twitter, Wikipedia, YouTube and other platforms. Terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed. However, in similar data-tracking deals, Spotify paid about $55 million for the Echo Nest last year and Apple paid a reported $50 million in January for Next Big Sound competitor Semetric. Continue reading Pandora Purchases Music Data-Tracking Firm Next Big Sound

Broadcast and Cable TV Join Forces to Form New Trade Group

In the face of declining ratings and a shift in ad dollars to digital platforms, television networks are expanding their data and analytics capabilities. On Monday, leading broadcast and cable TV companies announced the formation of the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB), a new trade organization that plans to promote research and data that highlights the impact of TV commercials to Madison Avenue. The VAB intends to provide marketers with insights and measurement tools that help gauge whether video ads drive consumer purchases. Continue reading Broadcast and Cable TV Join Forces to Form New Trade Group

Alibaba Tests Dotless Visual Codes to Fight Counterfeit Goods

Alibaba is facing a growing problem with counterfeit goods that has led to some top brands taking legal action. The Chinese e-commerce giant is debuting a solution in the form of unique tags similar to QR codes. The company is working with Israeli startup Visualead to introduce dotless visual codes, which can be used to scan products to prove their authenticity and then automatically destroyed so they cannot be used more than once. Customers will use Alibaba’s Taobao mobile app to scan the codes when they receive their orders. Continue reading Alibaba Tests Dotless Visual Codes to Fight Counterfeit Goods

New Apple Music Service to Feature Ping-Like Social Features

Latest reports suggest that Apple’s anticipated Beats-based streaming music service will be called “Apple Music” and will feature social networking integration for artists. According to those briefed on feature plans, Apple Music will enable musicians to maintain pages within the service to post content such as photos, videos, sample tracks and concert info. Performers will also be able to cross-promote by sharing content from other artists. Additionally, users will be able to like and comment on the artists’ posts. Continue reading New Apple Music Service to Feature Ping-Like Social Features

New Wave of Interactive Ads Designed to Engage Mobile Users

According to Google, only 54 percent of online video ads are viewable (excluding those on YouTube). More companies are trying to get people engaged with their online ads instead of scrolling past them. Viewers may be prompted to talk back, swipe, or shoot targets in interactive ads. This new type of advertising is aimed at mobile users as people increasingly use their phones to access the Internet. Google and other companies hope interactive ads may help generate more mobile advertising revenue. Continue reading New Wave of Interactive Ads Designed to Engage Mobile Users

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