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Adapt or die in the face of online piracy

google+ : users are spent less than seven minutes on Google's social network in marchThe internet age and an ongoing battle with copyright infringement has left many music and entertainment companies struggling to survive. In an industry increasingly ruled by Darwinism, firms must ‘adapt or die’ in the quest for success.

In its annual piracy statement published earlier this month, Google pledged to take further action to combat online piracy, promising to list legal and reputable sites such as Spotify and Amazon Prime in drop-down boxes at the top of searches for music and film content.

It has also promised, after initial reluctance, to take measures to penalise sites that link to illegal content, reducing their prominence in search results. However, take a closer look and it becomes clear that the legal services listed in drop-down boxes will be adverts, with firms having to pay for the privilege to confirm their legitimacy.

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What does the Candy Crush lifecycle mean to mobile marketers?

Candy Crush by m01229:FlickrOne of the most popular games over the last two years, Candy Crush, reduced its 2014 forecast in August after reporting lower-than-expected second-quarter revenue. This caused some unwarranted hand-wringing in the press about the future of mobile games.

To analyse this lifecycle trend, we gathered our own data from five mobile games that have been out for over three years, with over 20 million downloads each, including two simulation games, a trivia game, a card game, and a family game. What we found is that Candy Crush is experiencing a completely normal cycle of usage. Read More »

Top take-outs from this year’s MIPCOM

Simon Cowell mipcomThe 30th edition of the annual MIPCOM TV market set a couple of records last week with 112 countries and 13,700 delegates attending – both all-time highs. Furthermore, of those who attended it has been reported that 1,300 were acquiring digital and VOD rights.

Many themes were explored over the four days but below are my main takeaway points for those who didn’t get to attend.

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Will VR take off as a mass consumer product?

VR by Adi SetiawanThere’s been a wave of positive press for virtual reality (VR), which is driving momentum of interest in this new medium. The promise of engaging consumers worldwide with mind-blowing personal experiences is closing in. But we won’t be able to mesmerise on a macro scale until VR headsets become a mainstream product. So the crucial question is – does VR have a chance of reaching mass adoption, when all the naysayers insist it’s limited to gaming geeks?

Let’s face it, we’re all inherently escapist. Watching TV is a universally accepted form of escapism. So 125 years after the first moving images, isn’t it time for a medium that delivers more than the passive entertainment of traditional TV and film? Now that a user-friendly and well-functioning version of VR has finally emerged, I firmly believe it will crash into public consciousness… especially as it’s gaining so much early positive exposure. Read More »

Six vital ad:tech themes for 2015

ad-techThis week, I attended ad:tech London, which was celebrating its 10th birthday. It was a packed two days; here are the trends that stood out for me as we plan for 2015…

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Pinterest: its popularity, power and potential

pinterest's new Look: More Ways to Discover What You LovePinterest, the world’s visually-led social network, is a self-expression engine, sophisticated visual search tool and virtual pin-board all rolled into one. It launched early 2010, has 57.9 million monthly users, women and 25-34 year olds are the dominant gender and age group active on the platform. It’s a mobile-popular platform, with three-quarters of sharing taking place on a mobile device.

Recently, Pinterest has been working hard to make its community even happier with a range of new features. These include the ‘News’ feature on mobile, so users can receive updates about friends and accounts they follow; the Vevo video integration, for users to enjoy music on the platform, and a new messaging feature, so users can discuss and share interesting Pins without leaving the site. Read More »

5 dos and don’ts of native advertising

nativeWhile the marketing industry struggles to precisely define native advertising, it is widely accepted that this format presents an exciting opportunity for brands. Native advertising currently accounts for over 20% of digital display ads in the UK with spend reaching £216 million, while global native advertising spend on social media alone is expected to reach $5 billion by 2017.

Put simply, native advertising is paid content used to increase brand awareness and user engagement without being as disruptive or obstructive as other ad formats. Native ads are designed to be cohesive with page content, and are consistent with the style and voice of the publication, allowing users to feel the ads are an integral part of the content. Native ad types include in-feed ad units, sponsored content units, paid search units or promoted listings, and sponsored articles – also known as advertorials. Read More »

We need new news

Reading newspapers on SubwayI’m going to start with a confession.

Until just over a year ago, I wasn’t interested in ‘the news’. I may now be the co-founder and editor-in-chief of a news company, but I’m pretty new to the news thing. Read More »

5 tips for a cross-device Christmas

ScreensThis year, technology and communications devices are undoubtedly due to top Christmas wish-lists in the developed world. With the September launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and October launch of new iPads, Apple is hoping that larger screens, faster internet connectivity and greater product variety will see the US company dominating the Christmas market.

Competition will come from Samsung’s Gear Fit and Google’s Chromecast, with Amazon Fire TV and the low-cost Tesco Hudl also making their way onto the list – while Xbox One and Playstation 4 fight it out to be this year’s must-have games console. Read More »

Mobile advertising: Why blending in is the new standing out

yahooChanging content consumption habits, driven by the proliferation of devices means brands are having to innovate the way in which they communicate with consumers, particularly on mobile devices. At Yahoo, we looked at how consumers are reacting to brands’ new efforts to engage with them, what they like already and what they want in future.

Our study looked specifically at mobile native advertising and reveals that, when consuming a stream of content on mobile, users don’t filter ads specifically from the stream – in the way that they do through ‘banner blindness’. Read More »