How MailOnline is building an insights business

MailOnline is joining the ranks of a growing number of publishers keen to deepen partnerships with brands and agencies by offering more strategic — and valuable — services. The publisher has started offering key clients access to its live on-site surveying tool, Pulse, to help them make more sense of its digital audience of 29 million monthly uniques in the U.K. (over half of the U.K.’s digital population), according to comScore.

In the last few months, MailOnline has run hundreds of reader surveys on topics like views on brands or current events. The publisher will soon make its real-time analytics available to clients so they can see which articles are trending. It will also profile specific reader groups, so clients can ask questions like, “When are people most likely to read about mortgages?” or “What content are mothers reading apart from content about babies?” before spending money on campaigns.

“We’re pivoting our business; we want to be seen as a strategy and insights resource to clients,” said Bedir Aydemir, product marketing and insight director at MailOnline. “The idea is that we’re adding value before the client has spent any money.”

Digital advertising has been moving away from targeting based on broad demographic segments to more granular, interest-based targeting. Mail Advertising, the commercial division for Mail Newspapers and MailOnline within parent company DMG Media, is the driving force behind becoming an insight partner. According to SimilarWeb, over a third of MailOnline’s visitors come to it directly, making the publisher somewhat less vulnerable than others to the duopoly’s dominance. This also gives MailOnline a rich, enticing data set.

Speaking on stage at One Vizeum in London this week, Roland Agambar, CMO at parent company DMG Media said that the publisher has profiled 3.5 million of its readers. In this database, each customer has around 300 fields of data, including first-party data related to their viewing habits, engagement and transaction data — it sells everything from home goodsto travel cruises — enhanced with third-party data from partners like Netmums and Nectar. The publisher is close to having a single-customer view, and the business is starting to make use this database, said Agambar.

Database customers are separated into three segments depending on how valuable they are. MailOnline has a few thousand high-value customers, each of which spends about £4,000 ($5,400) a year with the publisher. It has a million customers in the low-value bucket. Messages are tailored to different levels accordingly; for instance, the publisher is in the process of understanding what message would nudge someone who visits the site infrequently to make a purchase or sign up to one of its newsletters.

Aydemir said MailOnline is starting to build what it calls a “next-best action engine,” which will automatically serve readers an action aimed to resonate best with them, whether that’s an ad from an ad client or an ad directing them to its property search service. “It might be serving them fewer ads, even though that’s counterintuitive,” he said, “but we want them to communicate with us more regularly.”

According to Aydemir, because MailOnline has scale, it offers guarantees of 1 million on-platform views for branded-content video, and it hasn’t had to buy traffic from social platforms or media distribution on other sites to match clients’ reach goals. Aydemir said clients are increasingly asking for more social distribution. This week in the U.S., it launched DailyMailTV, opening up another potential distribution channel for advertiser content.

Audience data is the backbone of any publisher, but using it for more commercial advantages is nascent, according to Dan Chapman, head of digital at Mediacom. “With a publisher’s understanding of their customers through analytics and research panels, they are in a great space to start stealing share in insight-driven creative concepting and production,” he said. A growing number of publishers are using this data commercially: Recently, ESI Media started delivering real-time article engagement data to advertising agencies.

MailOnline’s whole business is understanding the monetary value of customer data in ways that weren’t possible five years ago, said Agambar. One way this plays out is that Aydemir and memebers of his team now move around the company, collaborating with different departments to help them understand the value of customer data.

“We want to work in a partnership type of way with clients, but we need to be flexible,” said Dominic Williams, chief investment officer at Mail Advertising. “We’re a brand that still needs to evolve.”

[“Source-digiday”]

YouTube Unveils VR180 Format, Reveals Mobile Users Spend an Hour a Day on Average

YouTube Unveils VR180 Format, Reveals Mobile Users Spend an Hour a Day on Average

HIGHLIGHTS

  • YouTube’s VR180 video format to be supported by new cameras
  • Google working with YI, Lenovo, and LG for new camera
  • 1.5 billion logged in viewers visit YouTube every single month

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki at VidCon on Thursday announced an all-new video format VR180 that will make VR content creation slightly easier for creators. Google has also confirmed that the Daydream team is working with several manufacturers to build cameras from the ground up for VR180 video format.

The company says that the new VR180 video will ensure what’s in front of the user is high resolution, and “look great on desktop and on mobile.” YouTube’s main focus is to boost VR with the new video format as it can be seen on phones with regular 2D screens as well as VR headsets like Cardboard, Daydream, and other headsets which show images stereoscopically in 3D. The new video format will enable depth, where “near things look near, and far things appear far,” adds Wojcicki. Additionally, the VR180 format also supports live streaming videos.

Google has named some partners like YI, Lenovo, and LG who are working with the company to bring new cameras priced same as a regular point-and-shoot camera. Videos and live streams will be easy to upload to YouTube from these cameras. Google has revealed that the first cameras will hit shelves this winter. The new format is capable of delivering 3D video while capturing 180 degrees of vision.

Google has also opened a VR180 certification program for other manufacturers who want to join. Z Cam will be one of Google’s first partners under the program.

“We want to make VR more accessible and more affordable for viewers and creators. The reality is, filming 360-degree VR videos isn’t easy for most creators and some VR cameras are expensive. That’s why I’m thrilled that YouTube and Daydream have worked together on a new format, VR180, and new cameras, which make it easy and affordable for anyone to make VR videos,” said Wojcicki.

Wojcicki also revealed that now, 1.5 billion logged in viewers visit YouTube every single month and on an average, viewers spent over an hour a day watching YouTube on mobile devices alone. YouTube also announced an all-new change to YouTube app which will in the coming weeks “dynamically adapt” to whatever size users choose to watch it in. YouTube last month teased the new redesign interface which will come with a Dark theme as well.

The company will soon let user share a video with friends right from YouTube app and this will be available to users in Latin America and the US in couple of weeks.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

An eight-year-old reviews the Nintendo Switch

Editor’s note: Last week, Verge transportation editor Tamara Warren showed me a review of the Nintendo Switch by her eight-year-old son Benicio. Handwritten on ruled notebook paper, the critique showed gumption, vigor, and passion. As a craven and cynical editor, I was also struck by my good fortune: a Nintendo Switch review with custom art for nothing more than a box of popsicles. I simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity! So, I chomped on my Cuban cigar, spun on my fine leather swivel chair, pounded my mahogany desk, scribbled the page with absolutely vicious edits, and demanded a perfect revision by Wednesday. It’s my honor to now share the final draft. Chris Plante

The Nintendo Switch is the new-and-improved game system for gamers like me. When I’ve gone over to my friends’ houses, I explored the Xbox, and PlayStation 3 and 4. But these game systems are nothing compared to the Nintendo Switch. My grandmother just bought me the game system this summer, because I got a good report card.

If you have an Xbox or a PlayStation, you can’t bring it on a trip with you. You have to leave it at home. But if you have a Switch, you can take it on the airplane. If you really want to finish something in your game, you can bring the Switch instead of leaving it at your house. The Nintendo Switch makes me happy, because I don’t have to wait to go home to play.

You can use multiple controllers to play with your friends. I mostly play by myself, and sometimes I play with my friends or my parents. When I was on vacation, I played with my friend Evan and it was really cool to have competition. It was the first time I got to play with another kid. I can’t wait to play with my best friends Liam, Shrey, and Jackson when we all get back from summer vacation and have a sleepover.

My favorite part of the Nintendo Switch is the graphics. These graphics are the best graphics I’ve seen Nintendo make. They have really good-looking colors, and the ideas are presented in a clever way.

My favorite game is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Some stadiums represent where the characters come from, like Yoshi Falls. Sometimes, characters decorate the tracks they sponsor, like Wario Stadium. Mario Kart has many new game modes, surroundings, and characters like Metal Mario.

Inside Nintendo Switch games, there are so many choices. In Mario Kart, there are three Rainbow Roads that are used on different grand prix tracks. There are many obstacles, such as the Venus Fly Trap. The obstacles really challenge you to finish in the top three.

Benicio’s rough draft.

In the game Arms there are characters like Max Brass and Ribbon Girl. Max Brass is my favorite character. He has a lot of muscle, but he can even beat a guy who has more muscle than him, like Master Mummy, because he has a super strong double punch. He bounces his opponent’s head against his chest, and then he slams a hard hit into his face.

Arms lets you choose different modes. I prefer Party Match mode because it has mini games, such as Hoops. I like throwing the player I am playing against into the basketball hoop. When I play Arms, I feel energetic and start bouncing around the room and waving my controllers.

There are many more games besides Mario Kart and Arms, but these two are the ones that I want to talk about. I am hoping to get Zelda on my birthday in September. The games so far are appropriate for young gamers in the world, and they are more fun than shooting games.

I support Xbox and PlayStation, but the Nintendo Switch made me feel like I was inside the game. I also love the Switch because if your mother or father doesn’t like the TV being on all the time, you can take it to your room to play. One night I even stayed up till 11:30 at night playing in bed.

Please don’t tell my mom.

Source:-theverge

Boltt Wants to Be Your Digital Fitness Coach With an AI Play

Boltt Wants to Be Your Digital Fitness Coach With an AI Play

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Boltt is offering a range of hardware products
  • The companion app comes with AI-enabled coach
  • Boltt products now available to pre-order in India

Although the fitness wearable craze seems to be slowing down now, you’ll still frequently run into people wearing some kind of device on their wrist, which tracks data such as steps, heart rate, and so on. One of the big problems is that the user tends to be clueless about what this data means. An Indian company, Boltt, wants to address this, with a companion app that quantifies and measures the recorded data, and then uses an AI-enabled coach to guide the user on the next steps, in order to cut down the abandonment rate for wearables.

“We saw was that over time, people were buying wearables but they didn’t know what to do with the data,” says Aayushi Kishore, co-founder at Boltt. “What do you do with 10,000 steps a day or burning 500 calories a day? This is where Boltt steps in.”

Boltt’s AI-enabled personal coach is called ‘B’, and is analyses data gathered by the wearable, including sleep, fitness, nutrition, and activity, offering customised guidance.

boltt coach boltt

Boltt’s AI fitness coach is available in the app as a text- and voice-based coach, offering insights when any of the company’s fitness devices (a smart band, shoes, and stride sensor) is connected with the app. The AI-enabled coach can provide customised and real-time coaching to users without the hassles of time or geography. The company is also offering third-party integration, which means that if a user has been using a Fitbit then that data can be synced to Boltt.

“A company in wearable segment usually has three elements: hardware, software, and services,” says Boltt’s founder, Arnav Kishore, a former tennis player. “Within the hardware part, we have about three categories of fitness wearables. We have got a form of sensor which is on your wrist for 24×7 tracking, second is a bunch of heart rate sensors as well, which can be on your chest, and the third one is stride sensor which tracks user’s biomechanical data like how fast one runs, and similar data.”

“The Stride sensor can be clipped on to your regular shoe or it could be within the embedded solution which is the smart shoe product that we have in our portfolio,” added [Arnav] Kishore.

“The sensors on our wearables are fundamentally tracking biomechanical data in the raw form,” he said. “But, the real magic lies within the software. Once the data is transmitted to your mobile application, all the inference and intelligence is happening from there on.”

boltt shoes 2 boltt

By focusing on the software guidance, Boltt wants to address one of the bigger issues in the wearables market – many people buy fitness trackers with the best intentions, but then simply stop using them.

“The idea behind this is using the raw data to dig out patterns,” says Arnav. “We believe that the only way a user will improve – or at least try to improve – is with utilisation of the data.”

There have been companies in India like Goqii that have tried coaching routes where they offered human coaches, but then there are limitations. The human coach’s biggest limitation is that they can comprehend only so much data in limited time.

“If at a software level, we can connect all the dots and give you automated feedback in a fraction of a second that’s where we think the future lies,” says Aayushi.

“We have tried to replicate the process of human thinking in the form of an artificial intelligent coach,” adds Arnav. “How that works is all the data that comes is typically seen by an expert who would take into account your current condition and how well are you performing. What’s your current fitness level is. This is, however, very limited when it comes to human mind.”

“The more we have injected this intelligence in the form of AI, machine learning, and cognitive computing that’s the reason why we are able comprehend so much data in fraction of second and give a user guidance in return,” he said.

boltt app screen boltt

At the same time, the Kishores reiterated that user privacy is of the utmost importance, and all data is stored locally on your device. “We can assure that the data cannot be seen by anyone except the Boltt team, to prevent misuse in any way,” says Arnav.

The current lineup of products covers ‘connected sneaker’, with embedded sensors, a stride sensor, which can be clipped to any shoe, and a fitness tracker smart band, which can track movement, sleep, and give activity reminders.

Boltt recently started taking pre-orders for its products via the company’s site, Boltt.com, instead of other e-commerce channels. However, the Kishores say that Boltt will be opening channels both online and offline as it progresses and that there is also a B2B component to its go-to-market strategy.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]