Today Microsoft released invites for its pre-E3 Xbox event on June 10th. The vent will follow a first Xbox event on Microsoft’s campus on May 21st, which is widely expected to unveil the console itself.
The June event could have any number of purposes, including the revealing of more game-focused content, perhaps, if the May event is more developer and platform focused. That is TNW’s take, given that the first event is in the Redmond area, it will likely be more tech, and not content-focused.
TNW will be in attendance at both events. Here’s our redacted invite:
The event’s timing and existence are not a surprise, as they have already been hinted at and variously confirmed. The next month and a half are Xbox’s new summer. Whatever Microsoft announces and shows off over its next two events will set the tone for its living room strategy for the coming half decade.
E3 has in recent years shifted to a model whereby most of the keynotes are used to announce exclusive titles or showcase footage from upcoming games shipping later that year. Microsoft is expected to be going big on the multimedia functionality of the next Xbox (rumors of a subsidized console if you buy it in conjunction with an Xbox Live or cable subscription).
With such a large focus on media consumption, Microsoft is therefore likely to split its announcement into two sections; one selling it as a set-top box, the other pushing it towards the ‘hard-core’ gaming demographic.
Sony has already gone down this route with the PlayStation 4, although chose not to unveil the hardware itself during the initial unveiling. Nintendo has also announced that it won’t be doing an official E3 keynote at all this year, instead relying on its popular Nintendo Direct livestream presentations throughout the year.
Both these decisions mean that Microsoft now has a lot of room to experiment with how it wants to unveil the next Xbox, codenamed Durango, and communicate both the technical capabilities and overarching ‘message’ behind its new system.
Image Credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images
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AskYourTargetMarket, a market research firm which got its start in the demo pit at TechCrunch 50 (in the pre-Disrupt days), is rolling out its biggest update to its service ever. According to CEO Lev Mazin, the company has made several improvements across all fronts, which include an expanded consumer reach, the addition of market research experts available, better pricing, a redesigned website, and more.
The last time AYTM (as it’s known for short) provided details to its audience reach, the company was saying that it had access to 4.5 million respondents. Today, the company reaches 20 million users worldwide – a metric it grew by expanding its own proprietary panels, but also through closing less than a half-dozen strategic partnerships with panel providers through API integrations. Due to NDA agreements, however, Mazin can’t provide those names.
He explains, though, that this increased reach is important because the larger AYTM grows, the more use cases it can offer to potential customers. They can now drill down further into customer demographics in order to carve up more precise segments of a user population – for example, not just smartphone owners, but Android owners, who are male, who are in a specific age range, and who are also gamers.
The company has also now brought in its own market research experts to aid those who either don’t know how to or don’t have time to use the service’s still free DIY tools. Instead, starting at $995 and up, AYTM offers a turn-key service with a seven-day turnaround time. Mazin says that 80 percent of its research assistance is handled by its own in-house staff, while another 20 percent is outsourced to external experts, given the subject of the customer’s questionnaire. Depending on how AYTM’s customer base adopts this feature, he says the firm can quickly scale up either side of the expertise offered – internal or external – as the case may be.
There are a handful of other features which have been introduced as well with this new release, including support for video questionnaires and video responses, which is a fairly unique way to add a little jazz to what might otherwise be sometimes boring data presentations. The company also adjusted pricing – before you could only get 3 completed questions per questionnaire for 95 cents each, now you can get 10. And you don’t have to blow through those asking the demographic info (gender, age, etc.) – you also get up to 10 of those on top of the actual questions you want to ask. Delivery times are also now no longer estimated, but guaranteed, and can be viewed in advance using a tool found here.
To date, AYTM has worked with thousands of companies and has run 150 million questions through its service. The 15-person company hit profitability last year, Mazin adds. All the new features and services are live now on the redesigned version of the AYTM website here.
Aereo has been making headlines lately, not only for expanding its streaming cloud DVR service to 22 new markets in the coming months, but for being in active litigation with some of the nation’s biggest and most powerful broadcast networks.
But founder Chet Kanojia isn’t going to let anything get the company down, which is why he’s bringing Alex Moulle-Berteaux to the Aereo team as Chief Commercial Officer. Alex was head of marketing and PR at Rockstar and a former marketing exec at Apple before that, so he certainly has the tech-centric marketing game down pat.
I spoke with both Alex and Chet about the challenges of marketing a service like Aereo, namely attracting users who are content with their cable service and TV to jump ship in favor of Aereo.
“We’re going up against a bunch of legacy behaviors here,” said Alex. “The key for us over time is to prepare the market for this new way of experiencing TV and play off of some of the frustrations associated with what’s currently out there.”
The marketing efforts will begin here in NYC next month, and using the data from that campaign, Aereo will then begin marketing in the 22 new markets that will be getting access to Aereo soon.
So far, Aereo has done almost no marketing. The service has simply grown based on word of mouth and media publicity.
The company plans on adding new social features to the platform, which is where Alex’s supreme community building skills from experience at Rockstar will become very important, Chet tells me.
But the challenges of marketing in NY are very different from those of other, less dense markets.
For example, many young people in the big city are perfectly comfortable downloading (both illegally and legally) video content and watching on their internet-connected devices, rather than paying over $100 for cable and owning a TV. However, outside of NY the cost of living makes the cable expenses a little less painful.
But Chet reminds me that the new markets were chosen based on specific criteria. “What we’re finding is that all the expansion cities have a similar demographic to that of New York, though that population might not be quite as big as it is in New York,” said Chet. “But whether it’s Chicago or Boston, the same demographic of young professionals, adults and students still exists in every city we’ve chosen.”
Aereo plans on investing “several million dollars” into its New York campaign to help raise awareness of the service.
California’s experiment in fully online voter registration appears to have been a success. “Online registration contributed significantly to an increase in 2012 youth registrants and modestly to overall increases in general registration rates,” claims a University of California, Davis, study of the 2012 election, which finds that online voting boosted youth registration an entire percent (10.1 percent to 11.1 percent) in its short one-month existence prior to the election [PDF].
Researcher Mindy Romero of the Center for Regional Change tells TechCrunch that the study can’t identify for certain whether all of those extra registrants would have done so anyways in the absence of an online system, but the substantial boost is a good omen for states considering online registration in the future.
The boost in turnout might have indeed been due to the convenience of online registration, considering overall turnout actually declined from 2008 (57 percent to 50 percent), according to Pew in September of last year. Youth were by far the largest demographic of online registrants, comprising 30 percent of all those who used the system.
Also of note, most young adults declined to state a party preference (29 percent), making them the only demographic in California to fall below 40 percent. “Youth are driving the general electorate’s decline in major party registration,” explains the report. This jives with UC Irvine’s Russell Dalton’s work, The Apartisan American, which finds a growing movement of citizens who claim no party affiliation, and aren’t simply closet Democrats or Republicans who actually always vote along party lines.
It’s early days for electronic voting and registration, but it may very well cause a significant shift in political behavior.
[Image Credit: Flickr User erin leigh mcconnell]
PageWoo seeks to solve a number of problems for mobile marketers: It is at once a content-generation engine, as well as a multi-image testing platform. It can target ads based on location and even on the weather. Oh, and did I mention that it provides detailed analytics that can be used to better target those ads.
So a big part of the PageWoo platform is just aggregating digital assets that can be stitched together in ad units and optimized based on performance. That allows advertisers and marketers to create more effective campaigns without having to do a whole heck of a lot of work. That includes landing pages and banner ads, among other things.
But that would be nothing without the ability to target those ads based on a base of location awareness and demographics data. Without using cookies or device IDs, PageWoo can position ads to be seen by the right audience. Using mostly location data, PageWoo does predictive demographic targeting to reach users.
Pagewoo doesn’t work directly with publishers, but has tied into multiple mobile ad networks, giving it access to up to 10-15 billion monthly ad impressions. Since it’s working with remnant ad inventory, it can get those impressions cheaply, but can provide better performance than if an advertiser were just blindly placing ads wherever.
Founded by husband-and-wife team Jason Crilly and Holden Steinberg, Pagewoo has raised $500,000 from a few L.A.-based angels, including Applied Semantics founder Eytan Elbaz, former Atari CEO Jeff Lapin, Riot Games and Green Dot investor Brad Schwartz, and Rainforest LA founder Chris Hameetman.
See the article here: Mobile Marketing Startup PageWoo Launches To Make Mobile Ads Location-Aware