Posts Tagged ‘youtube’

Habbo says: MySpace and YouTube are more popular that Facebook

Friday, June 5th, 2009

According to a recent survey released by Habbo, MySpace and YouTube are more popular amongst the 11 – 19 year old age group than facebook.  The study was conducted in April 2009, and surveyed 112,000 teens from over 30 countries.  Conspicuously, only 4%, or 4,500 teens were from the US.

According to the Global Habbo Youth Survey brand update 2009, facebook now holds the number 3 spot, up from number 5 last year with US teens.  However, globally, YouTube and facebook take the number 1 and 2 spots, respectively, with MySpace coming in at number 4.

Sulake, Finland based parent company of Habbo, which claims close to 12 million unique users globally, with comScore data tallying Habbo at 3 million monthly users in the US, also surveyed teens on their attitudes towards brands.  Sulake deliberately excluded Habbo from the response list in order to keep the dataset impartial.

The results are not surprising, with 50 percent of American teens being more brand conscious than any other global group surveyed.  American teens felt it’s important to express their individuality, and expect their brands to help them out.  Conversely, only 38 percent of global respondents shared the same attitudes towards brands as their American counterparts.

While Habbo makes the vast majority of it’s revenues from the sale of virtual goods via microtransactions, some $74 million in 2008 according to Sulake, the virtual world has stepped up their real world marketing tie ins.  In January, the company signed a deal with Fox and Freemantle Media to provide a virtual version of American Idol, complete with in-world avatars of AI contestants.

So here’s the thing.  MySpace’s parent company is Fox Media.  As mentioned above, conspicuously, only 4 percent of those surveyed were American teens.  Granted, while this data is all encompassing, and not solely from the dataset surveyed, a quick search clearly has facebook blowing both YouTube and MySpace out of the water.  Sulake surveyed 112,000 teens from 30 countries.  We’re not given specific country by country breakdown numbers, but I would hope that one of the largest consuming countries in the world, not to mention home of all three mentioned, would get a slightly larger slice of the pie than others. And even if American teens were under represented in the numbers, what’s the survey pool?  Do all 4,500 of these teens have YouTube, MySpace, and facebook accounts?  Again, just looking at the overall data, something seems a bit skewed here.  I’m not saying the Sulake and Habbo data is dead wrong, but given the rise of facebook, and the gradual decline of MySpace, something just seems out of place here.


mEgo lands another cool $2.5M in second round of funding

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

Based on the simple premise of making managing and sharing your online personality a more coherent and fun user experience, Los Angeles based mEgo has just closed another round of funding, bringing home a cool $2.5M to fund further development.

Launched at the 2007 TechCrunch40 conference, mEgo has quite a bit to celebrate as of late.  Not only have they just refueled the dev. machine, but also recently reached the 1 millionth registered user milestone, with a twenty percent growth rate month over month.  Not too shabby.

mEgo’s concept is centered around a portable you that ties all your social connectivity together in one simple flash based widget.  Popular social sites like Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are easily and painlessly integrated into your mEgo just by using your username.  No fancy RSS feeds or API keys to hunt down.  Just plug your basic info in and mEgo takes it from there.  Each info pull can then be assigned to a user-selected button, which can then be placed on the avatar anywhere the user so chooses.  For example, in the my mEgo below, hover over the ears and you’ll see updates from my account.  Likewise, hovering over my chest reveals my vital statistics.  If you’re feeling generous, shake my hand and have a view of my wishlist.  A hover over the eyes should reveal thumbnails of my most recent YouTube favorites.  Personally, I’d like to see this default to my uploaded videos, but this feature is no further than a drop down menu away.

mEgo can be embedded on a wide variety of social networks and blogs, and reports that they’re seeing around 30M impressions per month.

A pretty neat concept, tying all your social activities into one avatar that not only looks cool, but is incredibly easy to set up and publish.


Google makes good with AdScape promise

Friday, October 10th, 2008

The day has finally arrived: Google is now going gaming.  A recent post at the AdSense blog made the official announcement of the new “AdSense for Games”, the new Google advertising platform in development for over a year that takes aim at monetizing the vast amount of currently under-utilized browser based Flash game market.  However, Christian Oestlien, senior product manager for the AdSense for Games beta project said that Google has not ruled out testing with some larger titles.  For the larger testing ground, the big G has already signed deals to work with PlayFish, Mochi Media, Demand Media and Konami.

Advertisements will collect revenues through the number of cost-per-impression and cost-per-clicks divided between Google and the developer.

According to ComScore, Flash games garner an estimated 25% (or roughly 200+M worldwide) of all internet users attention.  This group plays at least one game per week, and has show a 17% growth rate year after year.  Last year, the Yankee Group reported that the overall video game advertising market reached a staggering $77.7M mass, and projects almost $1B by the end of 2011.

Google’s been making waves in the in-game advertising market ever since acquiring AdScape over a year ago.  But they’re not alone in the quest to successfully monetize games via in-game advertising.  Microsoft has also been quite active, purchasing Massive in early 2006, perhaps setting the stage for Google to get in the game.  Literally.  Google snatched up AdScape Media for a cool $23M shortly after Microsoft’s Massive buy.

Based on the video below, it looks like developers will have full flexibility as to exactly where, when, and how their ads are displayed in-game.  In other words, integrating Google’s AdSense for games looks as simple as inserting a line of code into flash content to deliver targeted ads.  Some of the advertisers already included in the program include eSurance, Sprint, and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

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Google is NOT however making this a wild west, free for all.  Developers have some strict requirements to me including a minimum 500,000 plays per day, an 80% US or UK based traffic composition, and can SDK integrate, amongst others.

Double Fusion, a prominent in-game advertising network, CEO Jonathan Epstein spoke with Daniel Terdiman of CNET explaining,

It confirms for all parties [...] that this space is of interest to one of the largest media companies in the world. Google does not enter into markets that don’t have billion dollar-plus potential for them [...] The battleground here is not between ourselves and Massive and Google [...] it’s getting games their rightful share of the ad dollars, as opposed to TV, print, and [traditional] online ads.”


Rocketon releases new features to alpha testers

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

Private alpha phase virtual world Rocketon has announced a number of new features via an email dispatched to alpha testers.  The new developments can be split into two distinct areas.  First up, more activity please.  ‘Quests’ have now been introduced whereby players must stumble across quests in order to solve puzzles to receive in-game rewards.  Players can now also grow their own monster pet and fight in ‘Monster Fights’ against other players.  And now for a dash of goo – Players are now able to cover other avatars in slime, goo, and various non-niceties.

Rocketon goes social

Rocketon’s second upgrade comes via a variety of social features.  First and formost, users may now create their own personal rooms and invite other players over to take advantage of the virtual worlds main focus at the moment.  Within these rooms, players can aggregate content from all over the web including pictures and images from Flickr and videos from YouTube for example.  Rocketon has also included profile pages for it’s users, making it easier for others to find other players with similar likes and interests.
Rocketon is a virtual world that exists on top of a 2D web.  Third party websites make up the ‘landscape’.  Users can watch online videos together in a ‘screening room’ format, play Rocketon’s games, or simply visit other pages together.

The site currently features cartoonish avatars that are fully customizable via a microtransaciton mechanism.  No updates as of yet as to how and where the microtransaciton customizations will come into play, but hey…they’re still in alpha.  Let’s just keep our eye on these guys for a bit.

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Second Life shows strong growth in the UK

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

According to new Nielsen Online figures, Second Life scored a strong third place when measured by total minutes spent engaged on/in a web activity/website.

Neilson Online tracked Facebook and YouTube as numbers one and two, but a surprising third place was won by Second Life.  Second Life clocked in at an impressive 125 minutes of total usage from the Queens dominion in May 2007, but showed a 137% increase to 296 Million minutes in May 2008.  Maybe living on an island with an 80% chance of rain, beer with no foam, and bad food leads perfectly to wishing for a Second Life?  Who knows…but either way Brits are Mad for Second Life.

Disney’s Club Penguin clocked in in ninth place with a growth of 23 million minutes in 2007 to 42 million minutes in 2008, an 82% increase.

It goes without saying that it’s a bit ‘odd’ that Nielson Online would rank Second Life as a ‘game’ but either way…clearly Linden Lab is on the right track by engaging more and more fans of colours, humour, and organisation.

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Diablo III revealed!

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

I’m not even going to pretend that you didn’t hear about this already.  :)   The gaming world pretty much did a backflip on itself today, when Blizz dropped the clams and officially released Diablo III today.

Blizz made the announcement at the 2008 Blizzard Entertainment Worldwide Invitational with only a tad bit of fanfare.  Here’s a peak at the cinematic trailer:

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It appears as though Blizzard has put the fears to rest that they would massively change the play style/structure of the game.  They’ve already got the super (not so) secret recipe of loot dropping, blitzkrieg attack, slash and burn play that’s made them the success that they are today formula perfected.  Why mess with it?

Naturally in Diablo III we’re presented with the norms we’ve come to expect: mobs of zombies and minotaurs, a dungeon, gore, and a dash of magic thrown in for good measure.

Following the release, the Blizzard team confirmed that Diablo III will be available in PC and Mac platforms, also saying it had “no plans” for console versions, and added that it was too early to talk about a release date.  Frank Pearce did however add, “as much as possible it will be our goal to release simultaneously worldwide”.

Lead designer Jay Wilson took to the stage and gave viewers a walkthrough and introduced the barbarian class.  Using a new streamlined interface, Wilson took his barbarian cross water covered walkways in a dark table, slaying hundreds of demons along the way.  Quick skills are now an addition to the mouse wheel and tab key, along with left and right mouse buttons.  Wilson said, “It will all be so simple that you can play it with just the mouse”.

A nice nifty new drop is included in Diablo III, red globes that allow a speedy return to full health.  The environment is also fully destructable, with Wilson taking out tens of demons with his barbarian smashing down a destructible wall over their heads.

….and that was just the beginning.  Our mouths are certainly watered…what are your thoughts on Diablo III?

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New Sonic Unleashed High Europe trailer released

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

Whoa…Sonic who? Sonic the what? You’ve probably asked yourself the same question after reading the headline. But yes, Sonic is back. Sonic and Sega are back in a big way.

After the Dreamcast factory doors closed, it was pretty much the last nail in the coffin for what once was one of Sega’s most successful games: Sonic the Hedgehog. Or at least the one we all played before we got any other games, as Sonic was included.

Well it seems as though Sega is bringin’ back the old skool with some new skool skillz. Check out the trailer:

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OMFG! Did you catch that? Daaaang! THIS my friends, is what a good Sonic game should be! Super fast, almost to the point of “RUFKM? I can’t see what’s going on!” levels, brilliantly worked 3d graphics and environments (I can’t wait to see Sonic blaze through the colleseum) and the music! Yay for Sega for getting the soundtrack right (Think “I want to fly high”). Oh, and did you catch the context sensitive buttons popping up during that alley run? W00t!

Hopefully this isn’t just another Intelliscope/Microsoft, “hey let’s leak it to the public and see if they’re interested, and then deny the whole thing” ploy. Although it doesn’t look like it as the trailer teases with “Holiday 2008” at the very end.

Note to self….clear at least 3 days after Christmas to dedicate to a fury blue erinaceomorpha with his incredible speed!

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