The headline on 09 Apr 2020
Quibi will reportedly begin streaming episodes of “Punk’d” inside of Fortnite. Source: Forbes > ‘Fortnite’ Is About To Start Airing Quibi Shows At Risky Reels In Leaked ‘Now Playing’ Mode
Nielsen and E.W. Scripps reached a new multi-year agreement. Source: Nielsen And Scripps Reach Multi-Year Agreement For Measurement Services
In Malaysia, Huawei is using AI solutions to help select the best and spiciest chilis. Taste buds are being tantalized in the #AI era. Using Huawei ModelArts, HEXA is selecting the best chilis to preserve the heritage of Malaysian cuisine while putting a smile on generations to come.
B2B marketers face the same issue as B2C marketers in today’s environment — creating an impression of valuing people over profit during a global disaster (hopefully they believe it as well). B2B marketing needs to help customers navigate through economic uncertainty. It’s time to forget long-form approaches and focus on agile content like short blog posts or webinars. Helpful and easy to consume.
What about B2B buyer behaviour? Uncertain times change B2B buyer behaviour, especially when there’s a fear of recession. Businesses will be looking to cut their spending and non-essential spending will be the first to go. B2B marketers need to listen and focus on the long term relationship with their customers.
Tony Thompson, CMO for IT group Kemp, believes the core message during this time has to be around helpfulness. This could mean technical support for an IT business or accurate stock levels for supermarkets. Most importantly, “customers have little patience during this time as they navigate their own business challenges”. Brands need to be part of the solution.
Mailchimp shares the business success story of AdHoc. Originally a musical publication, then an events business, it is now a creative agency. AdHoc Presents began in 2012 as a magazine dedicated to bringing attention to underground musicians and overlooked communities. We spoke with Co-Founder Ric Leichtung and Marketing Manager Morgan Schaffner to learn how AdHoc turned a passion for documenting the ever-changing shape of the music scene into a successful, growing business.
According to Asia streaming pioneer and now CEO of content venture group Next 10 Ventures, Benjamin Grubb, there’s been a growing demand for streaming services since the widespread outbreak of COVID-19. In fact, live streaming appears to be peaking. On March 22, YouTube hit a record 175,000 live streams and Facebook hit its peak on March 25 with 130,000 streams. News & Politics views are also peaking on YouTube, with Health and Kids content also on the rise.
Live streaming offers an affordable marketing channel to brands who simply don’t have the budget for digital advertising. It’s early days yet but it looks like COVID-19’s impact on the advertising industry will be big. The latest figures from the US shows spending on digital ads for March and April is already down 38%.
See how Iceland keeps 8,000 miles, nearly 13,000 km, of its roads clear from snow with IBM cloud. Iceland sees some pretty extreme weather. Fannar Sveinsson is part of the team that’s using data on the IBM Cloud to help continuously maintain 8,000 miles of roads, so people can safely get where they need to go—no matter how crazy it gets.
The headline on 08 Apr 2020
Cable One donated $150,000 to the Meals on Wheels America COVID-19 Response Fund and $150,000 to local food banks in the markets it serves. Source: Cable One Donates $300,000 to Support COVID-19 Relief
Comscore’s brand safety and contextual categorization segments are available for activation across the 12,000+ media sites that use JW Player for their digital video playback. Source: New Comscore and JW Player Partnership Delivers Contextual Targeting for Video Advertising
Neustar will make iSpot’s TV ad measurement data available within Neustar’s Identity Management (IDMP), Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA) and Unified Marketing Analytics platforms. Source: Neustar and iSpot.tv Partner to Unify TV and Digital Attribution
Synamedia secured a multi-year contract with Vodafone Group that includes the Infinite video platform, security solutions and end-to-end integration services. Source: Vodafone Group taps Synamedia for unified global TV platform
If you’re in the business of creating media products, make sure you document the process as well as just the results. Here’s a product case study out in the wild that is as close to what all media product case studies should look like. (The fact that it’s for a food delivery service is one hundred percent beside the point.) Immediate slam-dunk — it begins with the problem it’s trying to solve. Then it outlines user and business goals. It has moodboards. Research insights. A competitive analysis. A user persona. Low- and hi-fidelity product mockups. User flows and wireframes. Two exhaustively comprehensive product approaches to a solution. TWO. And all the branding you could ever dream of — including a design system. This is the way forward.
Snapfont allows you to preview any local or Google font on a live website. One cool thing is that it matches font-weight and style to the original CSS so you get the best preview possible. Oh, and the best thing? That it’s just a simple Chrome extension!
Have you ever met a contact form you liked? Let’s face it: they suck. This is an amazing designer diatribe against that lowliest of Web 1.0 holdovers. “We fill out forms not because we want to, but because we have to.” Forms also bring up issues of control, format, agency, and ownership: “When you fill out a contact form, you have little control over the formatting of your message. You can’t link anything up or break your message into paragraphs for easy reading. Your message will likely arrive in one heavy block, making you appear unprofessional and making it even less likely anyone on the receiving end wants to read it. Not only that, but your message won’t be in your outbox, so you can’t follow-up or find history later.” The alternative? Email.
Successful design comes from iteration. You start with the basics and improve incrementally. But why? Here’s why: when you do a thing over and over, you make it better. This is a great quick read on why iterating the way you design — or write or edit or develop strategy — based on feedback enhances focus on the problem at hand and can make for a world-class user experience. “Your first design should solve the business problem. No more, no less.”
Outline closes down. Ex-Outliner makes website with a single button that calls up a random Outline story every time. It’s a pretty great way to do an archive. Or a memorial.
Guy tweeted at Instagram with a product tweak idea. Instagram turned it into a feature — the next day. “Instagram has a feature called Questions that lets users post a sticker to their Instagram Story. Though users can change the sticker’s text, it reads “Ask me a question” by default, inviting your followers to do just that.” The product tweak was this: how about turning the default text into “How can I help?” Musa Tariq’s point was that it would “spread more kindness in the world than most of us could ever dream of.” Adam Mosseri, the Instagram top dog, said he liked it, and put it into play. Win for Insta, win for Idea Guy, win for user.
Outline closes down. Ex-Outliner makes website with a single button that calls up a random Outline story every time. It’s a pretty great way to do an archive. Or a memorial.
“If masks are going to be the new normal, Apple has to ship an improved FaceID unlock feature that works with just the eyes.” Yup — there’s a feature for that.
The UN has released an open brief asking creatives to “produce work that captures one of the coronavirus key messages below, in a clear, impactful and shareable way.”
- Personal Hygiene
- Physical Distancing
- Know the symptoms
- Kindness contagion
- Myth busting
- Do more, donate
Are you a designer or tech person? This is a great list of ways you can help out.
The headline on 07 Apr 2020
Vizio launched 30 new free linear TV channels on its SmartCast Home screen. Source: VIZIO Launches New 24-Hour Free Streaming Channels on Award-Winning SmartCast™ TV
Zingo TV will partner with Streaming Global to increase scalability and reduce costs for its platform after acquiring the rights of For The Fans/Eleven Sports US. Source: OTT Platform to Stream Live Sports Faster than Cable and Satellite
The headline on 06 Apr 2020
Damone Jones joined the CuriosityStream leadership team as Senior Vice President of Corporate and Education Partnerships. Source: Multi-faceted Executive Damone Jones to Head Corporate and Education Partnerships at CuriosityStream
Brightcove launched Brightcove Continuum, a new business continuity suite to support business communication functions across the enterprise. Source: Brightcove Launches Business Continuity Suite to Help Securely Manage Business Communication
National Geographic launched NatGeo@Home, a centralized digital resource for families. Source: National Geographic Launches NatGeo@Home Digital Hub to Support Families and Educators During COVID-19
The headline on 03 Apr 2020
HBO is making almost 500 hours of programming available to stream for free for a limited time on HBO Now and HBO Go services without a subscription, starting this Friday, April 3. Source: Variety > HBO Will Stream 500 Hours of Free Programming, Including Full Seasons of ‘Veep,’ ‘The Sopranos,’ ‘Silicon Valley’
Sinclair is updating the content lineups for its Comet, Charge! and TBD networks. Source: Sinclair Broadcast Group Upgrades Digital Channels Comet, Charge!, and TBD with Additional Programming
YouTube is reportedly going after TikTok. It’s building its own short-form UGC app called Shorts.
New York Times acquired a subscription-based audio app. Audm allows people to listen to longform journalism read to them by audiobook celebrities.
Zoom needs to get a number of things right if it’s going to ride this wave of demand. It’s now paying the price of popularity by attracting scrutiny of its privacy and security practices. There’s no end-to-end encryption, email addresses are leaking, and it’s apparently sending data to Facebook about a user’s Zoom habits… even when that user doesn’t have a FB account.
So if you’re looking for alternatives to Zoom, The Verge has a list of great options. Pick your new favorite way to say, “Can you hear me?” here.
Facebook is giving out $25 million in cash grants to U.S. news organizations financially affected by covid-19. Facebook says it will add another $75 million in the way of ads running in publications in the U.S. and virus hot spots in Europe to inject a quick infusion of cash to news publications.
Internews launched a rapid response fund to help small community media. They’re immediately providing $100K in support and are calling on donors to “significantly increase” the amount.
GIJN put together a list of global grants for journalists and media. Keep this handy.
Everyone is hungry for covid information. News consumption is up — but the monetary value of media continues to drop.
As covid hits Myanmar, Frontier put out an urgent call for financial help to keep their coverage going. “COVID-19 has had a massive impact on our revenues and it’s not clear when they’ll recover.” Please consider buying a membership or offering a donation.
News Corp Australia will stop printing 60 of its local newspapers next week. Local papers, already suffering a decline of readers and advertisers, now have covid to contend with. Jobs will be lost. “The suspension of our community print editions has been forced on us by the rapid decline in advertising revenues following the restrictions placed on real estate auctions and home inspections, the forced closure of event venues and dine-in restaurants in the wake of the coronavirus emergency.” (This is another important point: local newspapers didn’t make their money by selling news. But that’s another conversation.)
The sad thing is that, like everywhere else, audience numbers have been surging in Australia. The Guardian put together this roundup.
Ten top venture capitalist firms wrote a set of guidelines to Indian startup founders. It offers best practices to survive the next year. Useful guidelines here for all of us. “Good time to focus on cutting down on extra costs that might have built up during the inefficient, high growth phase. Burn FAT not MUSCLE.”
Financial Times has a Telegram channel for covid updates. Join here.
Substack, the email subscription platform, is leading the way. They’re donating $100K in cash grants to independent writers and trimming their cut of subscription revenues.
Netflix assembled a $100 million relief fund to support the creative community. The entertainment industry is grappling with at least 120,000 unemployed crew members in the U.S. “This community has supported Netflix through the good times, and we want to help them through these hard times, especially while governments are still figuring out what economic support they will provide.”
In a rare collaboration, 7NEWS Australia, South China Morning Post, and The Straits Times will be co-hosting a corona special today on Facebook Watch. It features reporters from the three organizations discussing lessons from the epidemic.
The headline on 02 Apr 2020
SLING TV is donating 100% of its movie rental profits to Good360 today through April 5. Source: SLING TV TO DONATE 100% OF ITS MOVIE RENTAL PROFITS TO PURCHASE HEALTHCARE SUPPLIES THROUGH GOOD360 AND ITS COVID-19 RESPONSE EFFORTS
Apple Inc said on Wednesday it would stop taking a cut of some sales for “qualifying” streaming video services on iPhones and other Apple devices, including Amazon.com’s Prime Video. Source: Reuters > Apple will stop taking cut of some Amazon video purchases on App Store
AMC Networks’ Acorn TV will be available in the UK starting Wednesday, April 29. Source: North America’s leading streaming service for British and international television will feature the Exclusive UK Premiere of Emmy-nominated British series QUEENS OF MYSTERY And a compelling catalogue of recent and classic series including FOYLE’S WAR, KEEPING FAITH and Agatha Christie’s AND THEN THERE WERE NONE
StarzPlay is now available on Roku devices in the U.K. (Pocket-lint > Roku adds StarzPlay streaming channel to all UK devices
The headline on 01 Apr 2020
Get lost in sneaker culture with the history of the iconic Nike Air Max.
Panasonic uses its 4K technology to find the best imagery Japan has to offer.
In the era of work from home, Cisco has created a unique in-house/work band.
It’s also the era of home delivery, and Amazon is thanking its frontline staff, although they may be ignoring worker welfare.
While you’re now spending a lot more time at home, it might be worth investing in a new mattress — Caspar invites customers to its design labs.
COVID-19 social distancing and work-from-home measures mean more people are online and searching for news — or purchases. To capitalize on this trend, Verizon Media is focussing on shoppable content, essentially creating a “customer journey from content and discovery to transactions”.
How to create shoppable content. The trick for businesses is to produce content that leads the consumer to its website to make a purchase rather than a bigger retailer like Amazon. It’s best for brands to use unique videos and product media to share on social channels and incorporate a simple purchase function. In doing so, merchants are able to create sales channels beyond the big e-commerce platforms.
Finding the right social channel. Shoppable content does come with some drawbacks. Merchants are relying on the user experience of the social platform and can lose access to customer data. With the amount of traffic on social media though, it’s obviously a lucrative sales channel. The trick is finding the channel that offers real value to you, so do your research.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has seen a massive rise in the use of mobile. In South Korea, mobile phone usage has been used to determine who to test for the virus. In the UK, a robust mobile network has meant virus messaging has been largely successful as more people shift to mobile-first usage patterns. Unrelated to the virus, Google has announced mobile-first indexing will become the default from September 2020.
Why this matters? This change in behavior means content marketers need a mobile-first strategy, especially when it comes to writing for mobile. Keep in mind that the headline is basically the only thing customers will read and visuals are vital. If you’re not sure, Google has created a mobile-friendly test tool.
An overall mobile strategy. It’s not just content that needs to be re-imagined for mobile, advertising needs a mobile-first strategy too. In-app advertising practices are being developed which take into account the context of ad placement. Your ad placement needs to mirror user behavior. Optimizing for mobile user behavior is just one part of the puzzle. Resources also need to be directed to social engagement and voice search keywords. If you want to see the gold standard in mobile-first everything, have a look at Axios.
Comcast/NBCUniversal and Telemundo are working together on a Census 2020 awareness campaign. Source: Comcast NBCUniversal and Telemundo Announce Comprehensive Campaign to Support the 2020 Census
Verimatrix introduced Verimatrix Embedded DRM, a new toolkit to support the implementation and integration of embedded video security solutions. Source: Verimatrix Introduces Embedded DRM to Offer Point-to-point Protection for Online and Offline Video Playback on Any Device
When the spike in unemployment claims is nearly the height of a broadsheet newspaper front page, it means two things. 1. You’ve got to find a way to visualise bad news in effective ways. 2. You have a truly great design team. Here’s a quick look at the evolution of a recent New York Times front page. The curious, cool thing is that the designer “tom bodkin conceptualized the front page several days ago when it was clear how this was all going to go down”.
A newsroom is much like a fish market — yelling, buy-ins, pitching, opinions, and chaos. But publishing workflows are changing around the world, and the NYT newsroom is no different. I like this investigation into the tools and workflows they tried, tested, threw out, and adopted — just like we’re all doing in this anxious, weird time. They hated Slack (those damn knocking notifications drive me batty — “It was like somebody knocking at your door for eight hours straight”) and switched to the relative peace of Google Hangouts. At least you’re back to simulating fish-market mode.
It’s hard enough trying to design news for people who love news. Try designing for people who don’t care. The Wall Street Journal pivoted their election news products into coronavirus news products. It turns out they translated well into products for people who just want to be caught up on the facts quickly. The new products — or tools — “include a clickthrough module to quickly catch readers up on political news, redesigned live update presentations for election nights and debates, and Q&A features”. They know what they’re doing — WSJ crossed 2 million paying subscribers last month, and they get that higher engagement reduces churn. The adapted catch-up module is testing well — you don’t have to leave the homepage to click-through it — even for specific use cases like this: “an illustration on the first card drew readers into clicking through the catch-up module better than a photo did”.
Here’s how you design a FAQ page. Q&A pages are deceptively hard to design well. The old accordion design is a solid, tried and tested device, but questions pop up: should you close the previous one when you open the next? Robin Kwong is the news innovation boss at the Wall Street Journal for a reason, and their designer Andrea Pappas can design the heck out of a coronavirus Q&A page. See it here.
Everybody takes notes. And everybody has their favourite way of taking notes. Meetings, briefs, debriefs, feedback, critique, audits… all these things were arguably born from notes. Note-taking is the ur-app, especially if you’re taking notes by hand. Fortunately, there are tools out there that make it easier.
I’m enjoying this first look at Pitch, a new presentation platform in the works. It works with your branding, connects to live data (this is potentially a game-changer), works with teams, has templates, and…and I want it. (Even though I love you, Google Slides — way better than Keynote and PeePeeTee.) I’ve signed up for early access.
You’re a designer. Where should you work? At a company that isn’t known for great design. “Being the first designer at a company isn’t going to be easy. You’ll be fighting windmills and it will be tiring. But it’s here you have the potential to see the effects of your work. You’re not just a cog in an already established system. You’re defining that system. Every conversation you have, project you lead and task you do is an opportunity. You’ll also have less competition for these jobs, as other designers simply don’t have these companies on their radar.”
Netflix needs a “UX/UI Designer for our Design System”. You need to get design systems, design tools, and libraries. “Remote OK!”
What font does Discord use? And why? Odd article that walks us through the whole thing.