Thursday, 23 November 2017

Amazon has sorta, kinda launched in Australia

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For years, many Australians have only been able to window-shop at Amazon.

Now, the Australian iteration of Amazon Marketplace has seemingly launched in the country on Thursday afternoon, although it's a very, very soft launch at that.

Rumours were abound that Amazon would launch its Australian store on Thursday at 2 p.m., leaving shoppers (but let's face it, mainly journalists) ready to check out the so-called next revolution in shopping.

There was slight confusion, as the alleged launch time was dated for Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST). Most of eastern Australia, except Queensland, is currently on daylight savings time (AEDT). Read more...

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K-pop group BTS just broke the world record for most Twitter engagements

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BTS has gone and done it again.

K-pop group BTS has broken the world record for most Twitter engagements, according to a report by HuffPost.

The seven-piece boy band will enter next year's Guinness Book of Records for having an average of 252,200 retweets per tweet on Twitter to date, notes the report.

They've also scooped up the more specific title of having the most Twitter engagements for a music group.

The South Korean group has over 10 million fans on its main Twitter account, @bts_twt.

Congrats to @BTS_twt on a stellar performance at last night's @AMAs! 🌟#DYK? The South Korean band has succeeded in earning a spot in this year's #GWR2018 edition for having the world's most @Twitter engagements for a music group! 🎵🇰🇷 #BTSxAMAs https://t.co/8kRrByat80 pic.twitter.com/u9mXcPVWDP

— GuinnessWorldRecords (@GWR) November 20, 2017 Read more...

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Indian home healthcare platform Portea Medical raises $26M Series C

 Portea Medical, one of India’s biggest platforms for home healthcare visits, has raised $26 million in Series C funding to expand its service range. The round was led by Sabre Partners and MEMG CDC, with participation from returning investors Accel (which led Portea’s Series B two years ago), the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation and Qualcomm Ventures. Read More

How vertical video is driving the BBC’s mobile traffic 

The BBC has been creating vertical video for the last year. Now, it has proof its efforts are paying off.

The broadcaster introduced a “videos of the day” vertical video section to its domestic and international news app a year ago. Since then, the number of visitors coming to the app to watch video has risen 30 percent, while the number of videos viewed per user has grown by 20 percent, according to the BBC.

Loyalty has improved, too: Those who watch vertical video typically visit three times more frequently than those who don’t. The BBC wouldn’t share exact numbers, but the BBC News app is one of the most widely used publisher apps. According to data from App Annie, the BBC News app had more than 20 million unique users globally in October this year.

In the news app, the “videos of the day” section hosts seven vertical video stories chosen by BBC editors, updated throughout the day depending on the news cycle. The Nov. 22 edition featured two stories about Zimbabwe after Robert Mugabe’s resignation as president, a mother defending her son amid terrorism accusations and the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai. Videos run for between 60 and 90 seconds with subtitles, so they can be watched without sound.

It’s easier for a broadcaster than a text-based publisher to draw from a large pot of video assets. As such, most of the BBC’s vertical video is adapted from existing horizontal video published elsewhere in the app, rather than shot vertically. A team of 20 people creates, sources and formats video for the BBC’s site, apps and third-party platforms.

But the BBC tries to ensure the videos that run in the vertical section of the app have a different style and tone than the rest of the app, aiming to appeal to younger audiences.

The BBC News app provides a finite vertical video viewing experience.

The BBC is looking to incorporate other formats into vertical video within the app, like livestreaming and 360-degree video. It’s also testing how to entice more app users who don’t view the vertical videos to visit that section. In the future, it will bring vertical video to its mobile website.

Offering vertical video opens up syndication opportunities, according to James Montgomery, director of digital development for BBC News. The recent Apple iOS 11 update allows vertical video content in Apple News, and the BBC distributes content there in the U.S. and plans to extend that to the U.K. next month.

Overseas, where the BBC can monetize with advertising, the BBC News app has run vertical video campaigns with a variety of brands, including an airline and a tech brand.

As traffic has migrated to mobile — the BBC said more than 60 percent of its traffic comes from mobile — publishers have been committed to improving the experience. A flurry of publishers touted vertical video capabilities in 2016, like Hearst, The Washington Post and News Corp, but the trend slowed because the format requires a change in shooting and editing, and the advertising opportunity is still nascent.

“The challenge we have, which is widely shared, is as video gets published to more platforms and environments, the amount of revisioning — from landscape, square, vertical, short, long — becomes an editorial overhead,” Montgomery said. To help manage its workflow, the BBC built tools to resize video formats through aspect ratios and translate captions into different languages.

There’s scant data around vertical video attitudes and advertiser spend, according to Bill Fisher, senior analyst at eMarketer, but in theory, vertical video ads should fetch higher CPMs. “Publishers hold quite a bit of the power as people are looking for premium video inventory, but there isn’t much of it around in the U.K.,” he said.

U.K. agencies still tend to put vertical video relatively low on the priority list when editing assets, and smaller publishers aren’t as interested in the additional upfront costs. The tide will turn when more inventory becomes available programmatically on exchanges.

But vertical video ads will only appeal to advertisers who aren’t hell-bent on scale. “[Vertical video] could be big for branded content,” Montgomery said. “Our app audience is our most engaged core audience. If you’re going for quality rather than volume, this would still be attractive.”

The post How vertical video is driving the BBC’s mobile traffic  appeared first on Digiday.

Crunch Report | Uber’s data breach and Apple’s self-driving cars

 Today’s Stories Uber’s big data breach Facebook to single out election trolls Apple’s self-driving car research FCC issues final draft of plan to kill net neutrality  Credits Written by: Brian Heater Hosted by: Brian Heater Filmed by: Veanne Cao Edited by: John Murillo Notes: That’s it for this week. And for me. Tito’s back on Monday. A very Happy… Read More

Roman Atwood’s Big-Hearted Series Of ‘Day Dreams’ Arrives On YouTube Red

Roman Atwood‘s collection of good deeds can now be witnesses through YouTube Red. The YouTube star has launched Roman Atwood’s Day Dreams, a series that brings heartwarming surprises to people who have been through hardships.

In each episode of Day Dreams, Atwood engineers a spectacle in order to uplift the spirits of a fan who could a positive moment or two. In the first episode, he helps a young man named Angelo, who is in a wheelchair, live his dream of participating in the action sports event Nitro Circus. He also works with his colleagues to acquire a new house for Angelo and his family. In short, Atwood’s efforts resemble those of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which has established its own ties to the YouTube community.

As with other YouTube Red shows, the first episode of Day Dreams is available for free. Additional installments are enclosed behind the subscription service’s $9.99-per-month paywall.

“This was an opportunity for me to do something different in partnership with YouTube Red and to focus on doing great things for some amazing people,” Atwood said in a press release. “I’m excited for the world to see the life changing results.”

Roman Atwood’s Day Dreams is produced by Studio71.

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How Nonprofit Marketers Can Break Through the Noise

If you’ve scrolled through Facebook lately, you’ve likely seen that a lot of our good friends have become amateur philanthropists. Facebook’s new fundraising feature, a huge improvement on their “causes” product, has created a flurry of nonprofit stories entering our lives.

And though the new platform still has infrastructure issues, you can’t help but feel optimistic at how Facebook has made it so easy to give. But with this ease comes proliferation. Facebook fundraising has the potential to be a powerful tool for nonprofits, but how do we sift through the noise?

Our digital lives have become so cluttered through the explosion of “always on” culture—always on mobile devices and always on social media. These crowdfunding tools, amplified by social media’s ability to distribute information, have only made it more and more difficult for nonprofits to get noticed amidst the noise.

On average, your brand story has to get its message across in a way that’s clear, compelling, actionable and aligned in about 6 seconds. So how do you get through the clutter to tell your story?

Here are five tips for creating an effective nonprofit brand story that will give people a reason to care, a reason to give and ultimately a reason to advocate on your behalf.

Keep it Simple

You only have 6 seconds, remember? So you need to grab the viewer’s attention as quickly as possible with a simple and clear brand story that spells out your mission. If you can convince them to stay to listen, there’s a greater chance they’ll want to learn more and join in your story. So make your story simple and easily digestible.

Make it Personal

People are more likely to engage with your nonprofit if you frame the interaction around real stories from real people. If your nonprofit is making a difference in people’s lives, capture those stories and find ways to talk about what you do within the context of their personal journeys.

Portrait of an old man laughing

Appeal to Emotion

Your Story needs to inspire the viewer to identify with your cause and motivate them to engage with your organization. To do that, you need to create powerful stories that engage with their emotions. The goal is not to manipulate the consumer or persuade them into thinking a certain way; it’s to make them feel something.

Rachel Bilson says "Feelings. So many feelings right now."

Make it Memorable

Make that connection. Make the user engage, remember you, and want to share your story. People can more readily relate to a story than fact-laden statements, so aim to make the message a memorable one. Remember that memorable doesn’t necessarily mean perfect. Find what’s unique about your organization and let that influence your brand story.

young woman smiling and blinking at camera

Have a Clear, Aligned Objective

With such a small timeframe to make an impression, your words have to work really hard. There’s no room for confusion, so clarity of language and objectives is key. What is the most important thing to convey to your potential donors? Make sure your story is aligned with this objective.

Make it Actionable

Six seconds. That’s all the time you have to get someone to care. And if the customer actually listens, what do they do next? It’s important to provide a call-to-action so the consumer doesn’t have to search in order to act. Make it something they want to do and can do as easily as possible.

You have a 6-second window to make a connection with prospective donors, volunteers and program participants. Just 6 seconds to give people a reason to care, listen, engage and give. We know it’s difficult to achieve all of that, especially in such a small window of time, but with a simple, clear and aligned brand story, your nonprofit can break through the noise.

Today you have the opportunity to create a compelling 6-second story that speaks to your key audience. Learn how to inspire collaboration and alignment in your nonprofit by downloading our latest whitepaper: Striking the Right Balance Between Nonprofit Marketing and Fundraising Teams.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

YouTube Star Jack Maynard Departs English Reality Show After Controversy Related To Old Tweets

If you ever plan to become a TV star, you should be careful about what you post on social media. Otherwise, you may end up like Jack Maynard. The 22-year-old vlogger and DJ had his stint on the British version of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! cut short after The Evening Standard unearthed several inappropriate tweets from his teenage years.

The tweets included several common slurs, The Evening Standard reported. Maynard posted his offensive tweets between 2011 and 2013 and has since deleted many of them.

Initially, the YouTube star offered a statement through a representative. “Jack was a lot younger when he posted them in 2012, but realises that age is no defence,” the statement reads. “He would never use that language now and realises that, as someone who was bullied himself, this kind of retaliatory, insulting language is completely unacceptable.”

Ultimately, the continued controversy swirling around Maynard led to his exit from I’m A Celebrity, which is currently in its 17th season on ITV. The reality show is filmed in the Australian wilderness and offers its contestants limited contact with the outside world while they compete. “Since it is only fair that everyone should be aware of any allegations made against them and should also have the right to defend themselves, it was agreed that it would be better to bring him out of the show,” reads a statement from Maynard’s agent. “Jack agrees with this decision which was made by his representatives and ITV and thanks everyone who has supported him in the show this far.”

Maynard has used music videos, challenges, and other formats to accrue more than 1.2 million subscribers on his YouTube channel. Before his departure, he was the first online video personality to ever appear on I’m A Celebrity.

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