Friday, 30 January 2015

App Marketing: What Channels Will Be Most Effective in 2015?
App Marketing: What Channels Will Be Most Effective in 2015?
At the beginning of each year we all read articles with predictions on pretty much any subject - mobile is 
no exception. Famous hockey player Wayne Gretzky once said, “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” 

As a guy who has been a part of an app marketing agency for the last 5 years, I constantly apply this principle to app marketing by analyzing patterns and predicting what will work tomorrow.

To be able to predict what app marketing techniques will work in 2015, we need to take a look at what techniques worked in 2014. We’re talking about a vast, mobile apps marketplace and it’s impossible for an app marketing channel to pop up from just anywhere. It needs time to mature and be adopted if it demonstrated its efficiency, or to be thrown away if it did not. So - what mobile user acquisition channels worked last year? 

Facebook Mobile App Install Ads

Launched by Facebook back in October 2012, over the course of 2 years Facebook Mobile App Install Ads grew from “jumping on the mobile ad networks bandwagon solution from Facebook” to the best mobile user acquisition tool of today. Will it continue to be the most effective app marketing tool in 2015? 

I believe so and there are several reasons why that will be the case. As time goes by Facebook gathers more and more information about its users to provide app marketers more efficient user acquisition tools. Yes - we’ve heard about the “youth leaving Facebook” trend, which was covered in a number of articles and there are reasons for this trend. Even though Facebook is trying to appeal to a wide range of different user profiles, it’s impossible to please everybody. 

On the positive side, what do several millions mean for a billion plus social network? Facebook is being very active with acquiring companies (some with a very large price tag) to diversify its services lineup, expand its mobile ads platform and reach new users. The only warning trend that I can see for Facebook ads is that this year the social media giant may face the same issue that web display began to suffer from many years ago - people will get sick and tired of Facebook Ads. 

A recent Fiksu study gives us an interesting insight on Facebook Mobile App Install Ads: “Essentially, Fiksu found that mobile app ads on Facebook don’t get as many people to respond (comparing with ads on Facebook Mobile Ad Network), but those that do are more valuable to app developers over time (e.g. these people shop more on these mobile apps, or buy more virtual goods in these mobile games, etc).”

App marketers should take advantage of this insight and take it into consideration during their app marketing campaign planning.

YouTube Video Ads

Do you know that Google has a publicly available solution to drive mobile app installs via YouTube videos? If you don’t - don’t worry, you are not alone. If we look at how Facebook or Twitter promotes their solution to drive mobile app installs, it’s obvious that these companies see this solution as a major profit generator in mobile space. Though Google doesn’t think about its solution this way, not yet anyway. 

Given the overall dynamic of the mobile app marketing space, I think in 2015 Google’s YouTube Video ads will take off and become a viable alternative to Facebook and Twitter app install driving solutions. Due to the lack of awareness of this solution, not many app owners have tried it in 2014 but they will in 2015. App developers publish apps for iOS first then for Google Play because the Apple’s iOS App Store brings more profit - Google definitely wants to reverse this trend. 

Twitter Ads

There are several reasons to believe that Twitter Ads will continue to grow and become an even more effective app marketing channel.

- Indian ZipDial startup acquisition: This is a big step in expanding its user base and overcoming Twitter’s growth struggle. Given how fast mobile has grown in India, it is fair to predict that Twitter ads reach will increase in 2015.

- More targeting options including Mobile Carrier setting and New Devices: In 2014 Twitter added several important targeting options for its app install driving platform. With the Mobile Carrier setting, app owners can launch ad campaigns for specific mobile carrier smartphone users in specific areas where reception signals are strong. With New Devices app marketers have the option to launch an app install driving campaign, reaching out to people who have bought their smartphone within 1-5 months. A quick example would be launching an app’s ad campaign, optimized for iPhone 6+, 2-3 months after Apple began to ship it.

- Industry buy-in: After Q1, 2015 we should expect white paper publications from companies like AdParlor about Twitter Ads efficiency and KPI’s app marketers will be able to use as reference points to estate their own mobile app installs driving campaign expenses. 

Ad Networks

According to app marketer feedback and the recent VentureBeat research, there are 5 leaders in the mobile ad network space in terms of its user acquisition efficiency (apart from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube). These leaders include NativeX, Fiksu, Chartboost, Flurry and AdColony. Given the level of funding required to build a mobile ad network and the time that is required for a new platform to be adopted, I don’t expect any surprising debuts in the ad networks field. 

App Store Optimization

As the ASO technique continues to grow, the number of mobile app installs acquired by the App Store/Google Play search continues to grow. Third party tools like SensorTower, MobileDevHQ and others evolve and provide more efficient solutions to perform a mobile app keywords optimization. 

On the other hand, Apple does improve the App Store search, though not as fast as mobile app marketers would like. Recently Apple introduced Trending Searches, Related Searches and a new section on the App Store called Discovery, which actually brought an extensive list of sub-categories to make the app store navigation easier.

How Starbucks became dominant in mobile payments

I don’t think there was a single person on the planet that thought Starbucks could be the model for mobile payments and yet they are. I’m also pretty sure that no one would have predicted that they would become the most pervasive and most used mobile payments app on the planet either, yet they are. How did they do it? Chuck spells out their strategy – the things they did do and, more importantly, the things they didn’t. Starbucks…who’da thunk it?

11 Things CMOs Need To Know About Mobile Marketing Strategy And App Development

I honestly cannot believe I actually have to write this but this just in, pretty much entire world is on a mobile device on pretty much the whole time they are awake. In other words, the world of mobile marketing and its ridiculously enormous benefits should come as no surprise to anyone.
I have written countless articles on the topic of mobile marketing going back years. I don’t say to imply I am some sort of soothsayer or anything like that. I merely bring that point up to highlight the fact that mobile marketing is not something someone in the marketing world should just be waking up to.
Ok enough about that.
I’ve put together a high-level list for CMOs or any marketer for that matter to consider when looking at their mobile marketing strategy.

1. Mobile App or Mobile Website?
Many companies rush forward and create an app just because their competitors have one. But not every company needs an app. Often a mobile-optimized site will meet most requirements. Mobile apps, however, generally allow for more creativity, and better interaction with your targeted users.
According to Janna Badalian, Director of Marketing at MobileSmith, “When it comes to customer engagement, native mobile apps can give your website a run for its money.You can engage various groups of customers and offer them a superior user experience – even without a reliable Internet connection.”
2. How Are Your Customers Using Mobile?
Use analytics to understand how your target audiences are using mobile. Are they transacting or using it to gather information? Are they mostly on Android or iOS; smartphones or tablets? Translating this data to your IT will help them make the right decisions and prioritize development plans. However, sometimes requirements can get “lost in translation.” Marketers usually know best what their customers expect from a mobile app, and they can get their idea to market quicker if empowered with the right app prototyping and development tools.

3. Get to Know ASO
What is ASO? App Store optimization. The App Store can be a great source of new customers or it can be a competitive nightmare where your app never sees the light of day. Getting to understand ASO is a critical part of gaining traction and maintaining traction in the App Store. Sites like offer great information on the subject.

4. Get to Know Your Competitors
Download your competitor’s apps. Not just you, but everyone on your team should get to know what’s out there and how the competition operates. Not only will you get some ideas, you will find out what they are not doing well which will give you an opportunity to identity ways to beat them.

5. Check Cost Per Download
This is a fundamental issue that hits the business side of marketing your company with an app. It’s one thing to develop an app, it’s entirely another to motivate customers or potential customers to download the app.

6. Consider In-App Advertising
CMOs should look at the app landscape and focus on popular apps with frequent usability. Popular apps like Twitter allow in-app advertising or mobile advertising, and that’s one way to quickly distribute your app.

7. Use Social Media to Acquire Users
You should consider every distribution point that you think is efficient, but certainly use mobile social media platforms. The technology offers an almost immediate access to download your app. Your creative plan to drive consumers to download must be spot on, or your app will fail.

8. Double-Down on Mobile
The future of marketing is mobile: Mobile is the most personal device we possess, which makes it the best device to market to. In addition, time spent in mobile apps has already surpassed time spent on desktop Web, and for some parts of the world, mobile devices are the first and only computer people possess.

9. Use Mobile App Marketing Automation
CMOs are already familiar with marketing automation on the Web; however, mobile apps present a lot of unique challenges and opportunities. On the Web, marketing automation is predominantly a B2B market, whereas apps are primarily for consumers. Also, the primary use case for marketing automation on the Web is lead nurturing, whereas with mobile apps it’s about engagement, retention, and lifetime value. Therefore, CMOs responsible for mobile apps should adopt marketing automation solutions specifically designed for mobile.

10. Take Advantage of Real-Time Location
Location is one of the great opportunities for marketers on mobile. CMOs should experiment with iBeacons and geo-fences, not only to be able to segment users based on where they’ve been in the past, but also to design marketing interactions for users as they enter or leave certain locations. For example, switch the user experience in the app to “in-store mode” once a user passes by the iBeacon at your storefront, or send a survey to hotel guests as they leave the geo-fence of the hotel.

11. Be Lean!
Mobile holds tremendous promise, but it’s also uncharted territory for a lot of CMOs. We can’t rely on gut feeling of past experience to build a successful mobile app. Instead CMOs should adopt a culture of data-driven decision making and build their app incrementally. That involves relying on A/B testing and analytics for optimizing both the in-app experience and all marketing interactions, such as push notifications.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

4 Ways Wearables will Change Marketing – and what you can do to be ready
Wearable tech hasn’t caught on and hasn’t caught on. On Friday, Google withdrew Google Glass from consumer testing, and Apple has continually stalled on the release of their watch.
GoogleGlass was ripe with possibility but you know… still looked lame. And if there’s any moral in the still upcoming wearable tech boom, it’s that looks DO matter.
Whether or not Apple eventually releases their watch to popular acclaim, wearable tech will eventually arrive in the mainstream. Probably during 2015. For marketers, this can be daunting. Comprehensive mobile and social media strategies are still hard to deliver, and here comes another, vaguely defined innovation that may turn marketing, again, on its head.
We don’t really know what wearables will look like, and we don’t really know what they will do. So how can you prepare a marketing strategy?
By relying on what marketers do best: creative thinking, looking for patterns from consumers, and a little bit of imagination. Here are four ways wearables will change marketing – and what you can do to be ready:

1. Location, Location, Location

Called by some “The Holy Grail of Content Delivery” – wearable tech offers marketers the opportunity to speak to their audience based on their location, in real time.  Location-based marketing, or “proximity marketing” already exists in mobile- Apple’s iBeacon and the image-based search of Google Goggles paved the way for marketers to offer product-specific information, discounts, and reviews as shoppers browse through a store.
Bringing this outside the store may be the next step – serving up a video of a creamy latte being poured as visitors pass a coffee shop, or offering an unbeatable discount on a sleeping bag at the moment they pass REI.
Location isn’t the only way to determine whose needs might match your product. The so-called internet of things is going to open even more doors.
Imagine offering a Jiffy Lube coupon the moment someone’s car needs an oil change. Or offering a coupon to a nearby ice cream parlour on a hot day.
Action Item: start thinking about what location-specific content you will want users to view – and try not to get too hung up on how they are viewing it (holograms anyone?). Do you want to provide product specs and side-by-side comparisons of inferior competitors? Do you want to provide “social proof” – product reviews and Instagram posts from consumers who love you?

2. Taking Advantage of Lifestyle Tracking

Lifestyle tracking gives you the opportunity define your ideal audience so you can serve personalized ads based on behavior.

Action item: Make a list of new metrics that can help define your ideal customer.

Previously, your ideal audience may have been defined something like this: Women, 30-50 yrs old, buy athletic gear, have school aged children. You’re used to defining your audience by metrics you can market to – who cares if they usually jog at 7 am every morning?
Well … now you do. Ask yourself this question:
If you could define your audience based on any metric – what would it be?
Your new audience might be defined something like this: Women or men, any age, who like to go jogging before it’s light out, sleep poorly, are often in noisy environments, but rarely go to stores.
(I don’t know what crazy product you’re selling in this hypothetical scenario – but probably some sort of noise canceling headphone that can be delivered via drone to very sleepy people).

In short: get ready for a more granular understanding of your customers and target audience.

Wearables will be able to measure so much: movement, stress levels, the sound in your environment, how frequently you go outside, whether you take the elevator or the stairs, whether you usually go to noisy bars or quiet cafes.
Let your imagination run wild – how would you like to micro-target your audience? It could be as simple as selling fitness gear to people who work out rather than people who read fitness magazines. Or as complex as noting inexplicable behavior patterns in your existing customer base, and targeting others that match that profile, even if the correlation to your product is not easily explained.

3. Rewarding Behavior with Auto-Rebates

So far, we’ve looked at how wearables will allow you to better target your messages, whether based on location or behavior. But after the ads, how will wearables influence buying behavior and purchasing decisions?
With auto-pay options that keep track of coupons and discount codes, marketers will need to think how they shell out deals– smartphones are already integrated with “tap-to-pay” options, and watches will offer easy payment options as well. Expect this to quickly be joined by solutions that help consumers keep track of all coupons and deals offered for a product, and automatically apply them at checkout.

Action Item: Figure out a new way to incentivize consumers to buy that won’t just result in giving away your product at a reduced price.

Rebates have long been the bane of the busy consumer. Who has time to mail receipts anymore? No doubt – the rebate is in need of a reboot. And wearables might be the answer. With the ability to track consumers’ actions, companies can incentivizing consumers to use a product after they have purchased it, with an automatic rebate after they have completed their goal.
For example: Nike could offer a 15% rebate on a pair of shoes after the consumer runs 50 miles total in them.

4. The Self-improvement Boom

Wearables are proliferating in the health space, and by nature, companies that want to target healthy (or not so healthy) people, may find a new channel in wearable tech. In its simplest form, this is an extension of targeting based on lifestyle tracking: consumers tracking sleep may be ripe for buying darker window shades.
But there’s something at the heart of the “self-improvement boom” that has less to do with targeting and more to do with your messaging. It’s up to you to focus out how your product can help consumers achieve their goals.
Expect the rise of wearables to be joined by apps that help consumers interpret that data. Instead of telling us how many steps we took, they will tell us which days are best for walking, or how much more active we ought to be. In these recommendations, there is a perfect space for product placement.
Imagine an app that, based on data from wearables, tells the consumer to eat more fiber. Including that with a recommendation to buy Quaker Oats has powerful potential for reaching new consumers.

Mobile banking apps still a challenge
Understanding your customer’s mobile banking behaviour and what they want out of their digital experience and tools is key to any bank wanting to compete in the digital revolution, where the pace of change is so rapid.
In February 2014, Nielsen confirmed that people use their mobile to access the web more than any other device, confirming that mobile really is first.
As mobile is one of the UK’s leading sectors, Adaptive Lab decided to focus its research of mobile banking apps from the financial industry to see how well customers are being served by their bank’s app.
Previous discussion around changes in consumer habits and behaviour has focussed largely on statistics around usage and attitudes. However we believe that this is the first full, comparative UX review of 5 top tier mobile banking apps, with the largest number of UK current account holders – HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds, Natwest and Santander.
Both quantitative and qualitative research was carried out to support our report, including a survey of over 400 nationally representative UK consumers, an expert heuristic review, user interviews and observations, and analysis of thousands of app store reviews from the iOS app store and Google Play.
Our research showed that 1 in 3 UK customers use their banking app at least once a week to manage their finances. Remarkably none of the apps we reviewed scored more than 75% on either functionality or usability. Our report contains compelling stats and findings that highlight how much further the banking sector has to go to be considered as leaders in offering an excellent digital customer experience. The report presents a detailed assessment of the current landscape of mobile banking apps, focussing on both functionality and user experience.
frequency of usage
A summary report can be downloaded for free here. This contains the high level results from our research, telling you which banks have the best apps and what makes them so good. It also includes new statistics showing just how big mobile banking has become.

WhatsApp’s desktop play could make big data bigger for Facebook
WhatsApp announced on its blog last week that it has unveiled a desktop version for Android users.  They can access it by scanning a QR code on a webpage with their phone, which must remain connected to the internet.
“Our web client is simply an extension of your phone: the web browser mirrors conversations and messages from your mobile device – this means all of your messages still live on your phone,” the post said.
The app has never sold ads, a philosophy which co-founder Jan Koum explains in this blog post.
One possible implication is that Facebook, which last year acquired the messenger service for US$19 billion, could collect more behavioural data to serve better targeted ads.
WhatsApp’s terms and conditions states it does not retain delivered messages and the only records of those messages are stored in the sender and the recipient’s mobile devices and can be deleted by the users.
In another blog post, Koum wrote, “Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA, and we built WhatsApp around the goal of knowing as little about you as possible: You don’t have to give us your name and we don’t ask for your email address. We don’t know your birthday. We don’t know your home address.”
“We don’t know where you work. We don’t know your likes, what you search for on the internet or collect your GPS location. None of that data has ever been collected and stored by WhatsApp, and we really have no plans to change that.”
Koyi Wu, associate director at Airwave, said it is illegal to collect data about people’s private conversations but this may not extend to behavioural data.
“Any mobile app can install a software development kit in the back-end that can track in which city the user was when they downloaded the app, what website they visited or banner they clicked on before downloading the app and after they installed the app, what website they visited before opening the app,” Wu said.
If Facebook matches user behavioural data from Facebook and WhatsApp, such as using cell phone numbers, it could create a wealth of data about user interests across the two platforms on mobile, and now desktop.
“WhatsApp is not recording the exact users’ conversations, which is illegal. What WhatsApp can do is understand users’ interests through their software development kits and ride on those interests to serve more relevant ads on Facebook,” Wu said.
The point of launching a desktop version for WhatsApp is to learn about users’ interests across screens.
“Facebook is able to do cross-screen marketing on the market because it has lots of login data – you would be logged into Facebook on your smartphone, tablet and desktop and you would rarely log out,” Wu said.
“This increases the scope of behavioural data they can collect.  For example, if I’m a foodie and I browse lots of food-related websites before opening or chatting on WhatsApp on desktop, then they could show me more food-related ads when I use Facebook.”
She added that desktop matters because people use different screens for various purposes.
In admanGo’s 2014 report, mobile’s share of adspend in Hong Kong stands at 2% compared to 8% for websites accessed on PC.
Kevin Huang, CEO of Pixels, agrees, saying multi-screen is the future rather than mobile-first or mobile-only.
“Ads are not on the deck for WhatsApp.  It’s possible that Facebook wants to collect behavioural data to inform Facebook advertising,” Huang said.
WhatsApp has begun introducing stickers.  Will they take the route as mobile apps WeChat and Line?
While Line charges brands for stickers and official accounts, WeChat allows brands to open official accounts for free but would charge for sponsored content and mobile payment solutions.
“My gut feeling is that WhatsApp won’t be like WeChat and Line.  Facebook’s way is more sustainable in the long run because any form of ads are very annoying in instant messaging apps.  Facebook probably wouldn’t give you ads directly on Whatsapp,” Wu said.
“It makes more sense to serve the ads on Facebook using learnings from WhatsApp because people are used to seeing ads on Facebook now.”

Localytics: App engagement up, retention declines

December 2014 saw the percentage of engaged app users reach an all-time high but user retention declined, according to new figures released by app marketing and analytics platform Localytics.

by Helen Leggatt

Engaged app users are those who use the same app ten times or more in a month. The percentage of such users rose from 25% in Q3 2014 to 30% in December 2014, according to the latest Localytics App Stickiness Index.
Localytics' index is based on two key app metrics - Power Users and Loyal Users. Power Users are those who use an app 10 times or more in a month and illustrates how many engaged users an app has. Loyal Users are those users who return to an app within 3 months of their initial app session and represents loyalty and churn.
Media and entertainment apps performed best for overall app stickiness, or being opened 10 times or more per month, rising to 26% in Q4 up 4% on the previous quarter. Technology and business productivity apps saw the most-improved stickiness in Q4 having begun with 15% at the start of 2014 and rising to 23% in Q4.
However, while mobile users are more engaged with their favorite apps, they are also less likely than ever before to revisit less-liked apps. The percentage of returning app users (retention) fell in December with only 12% of users revisiting apps within three months. Localytics puts much of this Q4 trend down to mobile users abandoning apps when switching over to a new device.
"The high volume of new device launches and increased marketing campaigns in Q4 presents both opportunity and risk for app engagement," said Raj Aggarwal, CEO of Localytics. "The winners were apps that invested in understanding their users' behaviors and then delivered personalized interactions and content. This type of smart marketing forges positive app 'habits,' ensuring the loyalty of users even as they upgrade to a new iOS or start using a new device."

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Bitcoin Poised To Revolutionize The Videogaming Industry
sarutobi image
The worldwide videogaming industry is expected to grow by approximately 59 percent this year, topping sales of $100 billion by 2018, according to market researcher DFC Intelligence.
According to research firm Newzoo, the free-to-play Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) market is expected to generate $14.4 billion in global sales during 2015. MMOs provide an industry segment ideal for disruption by bitcoin. The ease of transactions, the lack of age restrictions, and the low cost of utility, provide Bitcoin solutions with a distinct edge.
There are already a large number of companies utilizing Bitcoin to provide access to gameing products and services; Industry titan Microsoft accepts Bitcoin, through a Microsoft account; Zynga accepts Bitcoin payment for Farmvilles in game currency, Farm Bucks; Bigfish Games, Green Man Gaming and the German game developer Bigpoint all accept bitcoin for online gaming or in game upgrades. Collectively, these companies put products in front of more than a billion users.
Bitcoin has the potential to replace many traditional revenue streams in this field. The crypto currencys unique properties allow it to be used in-game, replacing in game economies, as well as for purchases and rewards.
SaruTobi, is the first video game available from the iTunes store to use Bitcoin, incorporating a Bitcoin faucet. The game is currently rated 4 ½ stars, and according to Developer Christian Moss, downloads of the game have been as high as 2200 per day.
Gavin Andresen originally pioneered Bitcoin faucets, with freebitcoins. Debuting in 2009, freebitcoins gave Bitcoins to people for free. Bitcoin faucets still exist, handing out varying amounts, with some requiring the recipient to view a video, or an advert.
SaruTobi includes a faucet style element, and is the first iOS game to reward users with Bitcoin for playing. The game disperses a prize pool to the players 0.0001 bitcoin at a time. Moss claims games like this can be great tools for encouraging bitcoin adoption.
- Moss
While iTunes already offers bitcoin wallets, price tickers, and other Bitcoin centered apps like the Coinding scavenger hunt, SaruTobi is the first videogame where users can accrue bitcoins. Moss explains, “the initial release and was largely a test to see if Apple would approve such an app.”
The prize pool for players relied on donations. Moss told BNC, “we received around $700 in donations which was great but due to the game's popularity it was used up in a week or two.”
Moss aims to address funding issues in a future version, “SaruTobi 2.0 will be released soon and will be partially funded by a large Bitcoin wallet service” He continued, “I am also replacing the in-app iAds with custom adverts. This gives Bitcoin companies ad space in return for donations to the purse/pot. I'm hoping that this model will help keep the pot full.”
Bitcoin utilization in game is not unique to SaruTobi. Minecrafts’ BitMines holds the title of being the first bitcoin using videogame of all time, and used bitcoin as an in game currency. It is similar to the current minecraft world of BitQuest.
In both of these worlds bitcoin 'bits' were represented as emeralds, and could be earned and traded for other items. To get bits out of BitQuest, players have to take the emeralds to a bank in their realm and put them into an enchanted chest. BitQuest then sends the same amount of Bits to an external Xapo Bitcoin Wallet, through the Xapo API.
A flappy bird style game, Coinflapper also provides bits for playing. There is a constant supply of bits during normal gameplay, and an element of competition. In tournament mode 3 players contribute bits, and the winner receives the prize pool.
Besides Coinflapper's tournament mode, Gambit desktop games include bitcoin prize pools, “If you want to make it a little more exciting, deposit Bitcoins and make a wager!” -
Gambits Bitnopoly board is similar in style to the classic Monopoly, replacing properties like the Boardwalk with famous bitcoin companies like Coinbase. All games on Gambit can be played for free.
Currently in development, Spells of Genesis (SOG) aims to take Bitcoin integration one step further. By including bitcoin and blockchain technology into both its game economy and its storyline. SOG provides the combination of a trading card game and arcade game, with Gems as its in game currency.
“Mines are tradable assets which produce gems, the premium currency in the upcoming game Spells of Genesis. You can use these gems to enhance your gaming experience, or you can choose to sell them to other players and in this way get your investment back.” -
LeetCoin aims to corner a separate corner of the market, claiming to be ,”the first skill-based eSports platform where players can compete against each other in their favorite video games for bitcoin.” LeetCoin's slogan on its steam page is "Beat your friends and take their money".
LeetCoin is attempting to offer video game prizefights across many different platforms. Their focus is on popular games like League of Legends, Team Fortress and Counter strike in multiplayer mode, where players put their bits in at the start of a round and the players with the most skill takes home the prize pool.
Founder and CEO Kingsley Edwards, told BNC that they now have over 1,500 players signed up, “Our team worked hard last year to support League of Legends on our platform. This year we are focused on user acquisition.” Edwards continued, “Some other things we are working on include tipping (or gifting) in-game and possibly even trading digital game items on the blockchain.”
The last thing he told BraveNewCoin was, “One of [our] goals is to make bitcoin THE gaming currency.” To help with this LeetCoin offers a free API to game companies, providing quick integration of LeetCoin services.
“It helps developers attract a competitive playerbase, and monetize their games. Players are able to compete against each other for bitcoin in real-time with immediate payouts.” states, “There are many possibles with our API: team based per-match rewards, per-round rewards, per-frag rewards, 1v1 matches, weekly leaderboard payouts, etc. The implementation is completely up to the developer.”
Oddly, a few Bitcoin games out there don't use bitcoin in any way, but are about the subject of bitcoin nonetheless. BitcoinBillionaire is a game for iOS and has become an extremely popular mobile game, rating 5 out of 5 stars on gaming review sites.
According to SaruTobi's Christian Moss, independent gaming is embracing bitcoin, but there is still a long way to go. “I can definitely see the use of micro-transactions having a strong place in video gaming,” he says. “Whether this will be Bitcoin or some other type of cryptocurrency I'm not sure. I can say I have been [contacted] by a few companies who are exploring this space, specifically whether they can use Blockchain technology.”
He went on to say that we should look forward to a time when grassroots efforts put pressure on the larger game manufacturers;
- Moss
While the majority of the games in this article are age restricted, Bitcoin provides a unique aspect for financial disruption. Touched on by Moss; Before Bitcoin, children required access to bank accounts, or credit cards to make online purchases. With bitcoin, kids are empowered to spend money all across the web and even earn some back doing what they want to do more than any other demographic: Playing video games.

Gartner predicts 250 million connected vehicles with automated driving capabilities by 2020

The connected car is already a reality, and in-vehicle wireless connectivity is rapidly expanding from luxury models and premium brands, to high-volume midmarket models'
By 2020, there will be a quarter billion connected vehicles on the road, enabling new in-vehicle services and automated driving capabilities, according to Gartner.
During the next five years, the proportion of new vehicles equipped with this capability will increase dramatically, making connected cars a major element of the Internet of Things.
Here are Gartner’s other predictions regarding the Internet of Things.

1. 4.9 billion connected things will be in use in 2015 (up 30% from 2014), 25 billion by 2020

“The connected car is already a reality, and in-vehicle wireless connectivity is rapidly expanding from luxury models and premium brands, to high-volume midmarket models,” said James F. Hines, research director at Gartner. “The increased consumption and creation of digital content within the vehicle will drive the need for more sophisticated infotainment systems, creating opportunities for application processors, graphics accelerators, displays and human-machine interface technologies.
“At the same time, new concepts of mobility and vehicle usage will lead to new business models and expansion of alternatives to car ownership, especially in urban environments.”
Gartner forecasts that about one in five vehicles on the road worldwide will have some form of wireless network connection by 2020, amounting to more than 250 million connected vehicles.
The proliferation of vehicle connectivity will have implications across the major functional areas of telematics, automated driving, infotainment and mobility services.

2. The connected kitchen will contribute at least 15% savings in the food and beverage industry by 2020

The connected kitchen has received less attention and drawn less focus along the IoT value chain compared to other IoT use cases and digital business opportunities.
However, the connected kitchen will deliver significant benefits across industries spanning retail, healthcare and insurance, in addition to significantly addressing sustainability issues, Gartner predicts.
“The connected kitchen creates digital business opportunities at several levels in the food supply chain and retail food service,” said Gartner’s Satish R.M. “A real-time inventory data collection from sensors related to kitchen ingredients enables automated generation and ordering of shopping lists, resulting in a streamlined and efficient inventory and optimised supply chain management.”

3. Through 2018, there will be no dominant IoT ecosystem platform; IT leaders will still need to compose solutions from multiple providers

While companies are busy building out their IoT ecosystems, there is still no coherent set of business or technical models for the IoT. Standards remain nascent and most IoT projects will entail custom elements. This is further complicated by the lack of dominant technology service providers in the IoT.
“Many standards and ecosystems for the IoT are still in development and some of the vendors and ecosystems may fail during the working lifetime of current IoT projects,” said Alfonso Velosa, research director at Gartner. “CIOs will need to ensure their prime system integrator has a strategy to future-proof their project.
“This is especially critical if the project involves infrastructure that may be in the field for decades. A gateway-based architecture will be a key approach to future-proofing IoT projects.”