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Sony launches immersive media experience with New York pop-up

Visitors to Sony’s ‘Lost In Music’ pop-up space in New York are being invited to create a personalised song as they move through the immersive experience.

Now in its third year, Lost In Music – produced by creative agency Ralph – unites Sony Music artists with Sony technology to produce creative, unique and shareable music experiences.

Through a weekly online show as well as the physical pop-up, Lost In Music showcases various innovative Sony technologies combined with exclusive interviews and performances from multiple Sony Music artists.

The groundbreaking Lost In Music experiential installation analyses the way each attendee moves and interacts with the cutting-edge technology throughout the space, combining it with the rhythm of their own heartbeat and adding musical components to create a unique, downloadable track.

Within the space, located at 201 Mulberry St. in New York City, visitors can get creative with:-

Heartbeat Chamber– This sets the BPM of the track by taking your heart rate.

Interactive Dancefloor Sequencer– You can dance over the LED floor to create a looping rhythm.

Drum Spheres– Hitting these will record drum loops based on your movements.

Vocal Booth– A microphone records, autotunes and loops your vocals.

Theremin– Your motion is captured and used to bend the pitch of your track.

– A camera on stage will record your movements. This is then combined with your finished track to create a shareable, personalized music video.

Also demonstrated at the Lost In Music pop-up is Sony’s latest multi-dimensional audio technology, which enables visitors to be entirely immersed in a track as it plays around them.

Additionally, guests will be able to get hands-on with the latest Sony products.

Finally, fans can tune in to the Ralph-produced ‘Lost in Music’ weekly online show to watch exclusive sets, interviews and tech highlights. Each episode of the show is available at www.sony.com/lostinmusic.

“It’s been tremendously exciting to work on this year’s Lost In Music campaign, which builds on previous years to really push the limits of what’s possible in terms of creating an immersive, interactive experience for music fans,” said Chris Hassell, Founder at Ralph Creative. “Combined with the live performances and complementary YouTube channel, Sony is able to connect with an extremely wide audience across multiple content and technology types.”

Video now accounts for 25% of US digital ad spend

Services such as Facebook Watch have driven US digital video advertising to new heights in 2018, with spend increasing by almost 30 per cent to $27.8 billion.

The latest figures from eMarketer also indicate that video will make up 25 per cent of all digital ad spend for the year, with Facebook (including Instagram) taking 24.5 per cent of video spend at $6.8 billion.

Moreover, eMarketer says Facebook takes 87 per cent of all US video ad spending on social networks, having experienced particular success with in-feed video ads.

eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson said Facebook will likely experience further success with in-stream video ads in Facebook Watch, which appear within the video player in the same way as TV commercials.

Perhaps most interestingly though, YouTube is well behind Facebook in terms of video ad spend, generating ‘just’ $3.4 billion in the US in 2018, up 17.1 percent from 2017.

Twitter is very much the poor relation, generating $633 million from video ads in 2018, while Snapchat will generate $397 million.

Online video viewing to exceed an hour a day this year

The average person will be spending 84 minutes a day watching videos online by 2020, according to the latest forecasts from Zenith.

In that year, China will have the keenest viewers, with the average person spending 105 minutes a day watching online video, followed by Russia (102 minutes) and the UK (101 minutes).

Zenith says this rapid rise in consumption is leading to a significant shift in the way brands plan campaigns across both television and online video.

The research covers 59 markets and encompasses all video content viewed over an internet connection, including broadcaster-owned platforms such as Hulu, ‘over-the-top’ subscription services like Netflix, video-sharing sites, e.g. YouTube, and videos viewed on social media.

Global online video consumption grew by 11 minutes a day in 2017, and we expect it to grow by an average of 9 minutes a day each year to 2020.

It accounts for almost all the growth in total internet use, and is growing faster than media consumption overall, so it is taking consumption time from traditional media.

Although some of this extra viewing is going to non-commercial platforms such as Amazon Prime and Netflix, Zenith says plenty of it is going to commercial platforms, so the supply of commercial audiences is rising rapidly.

In fact, the firm estimates that online video adspend grew 20% in 2017, to reach $27bn. Growth peaked at 36% in 2014 and has fallen steadily since then, but still remains high. It forecasts 19% growth in 2018, and an average of 17% annual growth to 2020, when online video adspend will reach $43bn.

Video’s share of online display advertising is rising steadily: it accounted for 27% of display adspend in 2017, and Zenith expects it to account for 30% in 2020.

Online video advertising is still only a fraction of the size of television advertising, but because television is stuck at 0% to 2% annual growth, this fraction is rising rapidly. The online video ad market was 10% of the size of the television ad market in 2015, and 14% in 2017. By 2020 Zenith expects online video adspend to be 23% of the size of television adspend.

“Online video is driving growth in global media consumption, as smartphones with high-speed data connections make high-quality video available to people on the move, and smart TV sets give viewers unparalleled choice in the living room,” said Jonathan Barnard, Zenith’s Head of Forecasting and Director of Global Intelligence. “The rapid rise in video viewing makes online video the world fastest-growing advertising format, creating new strategic and creative opportunities. Brands that do not currently have a strategy for online video need to think about getting one.”

UK adults consume almost 8 hours of media a day

New figures from the IPA Touchpoints 2017 report show that the average British adult consumes 7 hours and 56 minutes of media a day, with figures showing an increase of 9% from 2016 and 13% from 2005.

2005 saw 79% of adults consume two or more media in the same half hour one a week; that has now risen to 92% in 2017, with 26% of all adults consuming more then three different media in any half hour.

TV and video scored highest with British adults at 4.35 hours, following out-of-home placements at 3.28 hours, and radio and audio coming third at 3.9 hours. Following these came social media (2.53), cinema (2.16), internet (2.14), newsbrands (1.1) and magazines (0.5).

Discussing the report, Sarah Golding, president and chief executive of CHI & Partners, said: “This latest TouchPoints 2017 data proves, unequivocally, that our media consumption patterns are continuing to grow and fragment as technology, new platforms and media channels are delivering an ever wider choice of content, available to us on a 24/7 basis.

“The knock-on effect on our lives – both personally and professionally – cannot be underestimated. As such, this data is invaluable in helping our industry to recognise the most appropriate ways to approach consumers – one that improves lives rather than interrupts.”

TV and video was lower in the 15-34 age group at 98.9%, with figures for social media almost identical.

19% of adults watch Netflix for an average of two hours a week. 38% of adults listen to Spotify each week, this rises to 55% of 15-24s.

Social media accounts for an average of 4.43 hours a week.

The TouchPoints Daily Life data is based on a representative sample of 6,000 adults aged 15+, living in Great Britain. Each respondent keeps a diary detailing their activities on a half hourly basis over a seven day period and completes a questionnaire covering attitudes, product ownership, shopping, media behaviour.

LIFE IS STRANGE: BEFORE THE STORM

Square Enix uses emotive viral video to promote Life Is Strange: Before The Storm

Video games publisher Square Enix has eschewed traditional video games marketing strategy for a disruptive new approach, creating an emotive promo video for its latest game Life Is Strange: Before The Storm.

The three-minute video, entitled An Open Letter, was created by London-based brand experience agency Ralph, which was charged with delivering a creative that reflected the game’s themes of friendship, loyalty and devotion.

The result is an unexpected piece of games marketing far removed from the traditional approach of in-game footage and cut scenes – with the video featuring real people, with real stories of friendship and devotion.

The creative team at Ralph spent many weeks reaching out to pairs of best friends, asking for stories and insights into how their friendship had lasted through even the toughest of times. They were then invited to participate in interviews in New York where they were encouraged to open up about each other on camera.

However, there was a twist. Before coming to the interview, each friend was secretly urged to write a letter to their best friend. Once cameras started rolling, the recipients were asked to read their letters aloud for the first time.

“We took a risk with this strategy and we wouldn’t have achieved the emotion within the video had we not chosen some extraordinary people willing to open their hearts on camera,” admitted Ralph’s Creative Director Gregor Stevenson. “The raw intensity of their reactions as they read their best friends’ innermost thoughts is what we wanted to capture from the start. And that’s what we got. Our goal was to portray each friendship in an engaging and empathetic way, whilst reflecting the authenticity and uniqueness of the characters in the game.”

Square Enix’s Vice President for Brand Marketing Jon Brooke added: “I wanted to capture the emotion and spirit of Life is Strange in a way that you don’t usually see in video game advertising. As a game, it braves to be different, harnessing emotions rarely seen in video games and I wanted the advertising to match this. I am really pleased with how it turned out. It’s designed to remind us that life is all about our relationships and a strong friendship can change everything. I hope everyone can relate to that”.

Life Is Strange: Before The Storm is the next game in Square Enix’s award-winning, multi-million copy selling, episodic franchise. The eagerly-anticipated game was released on August 31 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Windows PC.

Short videos not always the best for engagement

Video marketing platform TwentyThree has published a new study detailing how people consume video content, with surprising results.

Perviously, many followed the rule that short, concise videos offered more engagement than longer videos.

However, the findings by TwentyThree show that while 80% of the videos produced and shared on social media are under five minutes long, they actually account for less than a third of video engagement.

The study found that videos over 15 minutes in length accounted for 50% of all engagement recorded – but are only 8% of all video content produced.

Sixty-six per cent of people watch an average of 03.56 minutes of video, compared to 23% of people watching videos with an average length of 00.58, and 14% watching videos of an average length of 00:20 on Facebook.

The study also revealed that click-through rates increase by 62% when a video is laced in the thumbnail of an email campaign.

The study was based on feedback from  300 marketing teams, 1.5 million videos, 1.7 billion impressions and 650 million video plays.

Red Bull named 2016’s most sharable brand

Energy drink giant Red Bull has been declared last year’s most sharable brand, according to new figures by Unruly.

As part of Unruly’s annual round-up, the video ad tech company has compiled a list of the top ten video campaigns to be shared on social media throughout the year.

Red Bull failed to even reach the top ten most shared single ads of 2016, with that accolade being awarded to John Lewis’ Buster The Boxer Christmas Campaign.

Instead, the global drinks manufacturer was able to secure first place through a constant stream of released content as the company reportedly uploaded hundreds of videos over the course of the year.

The top three brands shared also included Samsung, followed by McDonald’s. From last year’s second place, Red Bull soared into first this year, beating Samsung’s shares by around 15 million.

“The winners hit the mark by creating highly emotional ads that resonated with viewers,” according to Unruly’s SVP Insights and Marketing, US, Devra Prywes, “we have a truly global list of top brands, many of which created videos specifically for and released in individual territories topping the list.”

Unruly held a ‘virtual award’ ceremony live on Twitter, announcing the winners for a number of categories, including Emotional Ad and Most Inspiring Video, all of which can be viewed here

 

Industry Spotlight, Apple iOS 10: What do brands need to know?

Product marketing manager for Urban Airship Engage, Diana Laboy-Rush looks at the implications for brands following Apple’s recent iOS 10 release , with its support for Rich Notifications, where images, video, audio, GIFs and interactive buttons are embedded directly within push notifications.

For businesses, iOS 10 brings massive changes to Apple’s operating system that place better and richer app engagement front-and-centre. If past adoption rates hold steady, it won’t be long before all of your iPhone app users gain richer experiences that offer deeper insight into what they care about. Here are some key points that businesses should be aware of…

 

Reap before you sow with key improvements

iOS 10 solves existing barriers that will make current engagement efforts more effective. A Raise to Wake feature means TouchID users won’t blow past lockscreen notifications when unlocking their phones. Notifications are immediately visible as users pick up their phones. Notifications also become the default view for the Notification Center, a chronologically-ordered archive that makes messages easier to find later.

 

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then a GIF or video could be worth more

Rich Notifications can include images, GIFs, audio, video and interactive buttons embedded directly within push notifications. Grab the attention of your audience with notifications that inspire action. Recent Android data analysis found a 56 per cent higher response rate to notifications with pictures versus those without.

 

Better visibility for richer, actionable notification experiences

With iOS 10, users get visual and written cues that there’s a richer notification experience awaiting them. Lockscreen notifications arrive with rich media thumbnails and an instruction to either “Press for more” or “Slide for more” depending on whether Force Touch is available on the device.

That’s in stark contrast to previous Apple operating systems, which had businesses building these instructions into notification text to help ensure interactive buttons were discovered.

 

Mind your media, or risk ruin with too much of a good thing

Apple provides maximum file sizes for images, audio and video that would be best to undercut dramatically. Rich media will impact consumers’ data plans, ranging from barely noticeable with judicious use of images, to potential reasons to delete an app for sending files that are too large or too frequent. These files will impact your bandwidth costs too. Think about opt-in campaigns where users can get a taste and choose to receive these richer, more immersive and data-heavy experiences.

 

Don’t be a blockhead with Rich Notifications

With brands running to emojis for a quick if quirky engagement hit, it would be easy but wrong to approach Rich Notifications in the same manner. When rich media is tailored to specific users’ interests it adds immersive depth not interpretive color to messaging campaigns.

Remember also that not all users will immediately upgrade to iOS 10, so messaging should be made to work without reference to embedded rich media or sent specifically to the segment of your users that have adopted iOS 10. Some solutions will allow you to provide alternative text if the rich media successfully downloads.”