The Gift That Keeps on Coding: CodeNow

Over the last two years, we have been supporting an organization that aligns closely with our commitment to innovation, technology and fostering talent. That organization is CodeNow, a non-profit that teaches young adults to code at no cost. In 2015, our donation on behalf of our clients and partners helped CodeNow reach more than 1,000 students, and we are pumped to see what’s next in 2016.

CodeNow Founder Ryan Seashore took time to share his thoughts on the non-profit’s past, present, and promising future.

1.   How were you inspired to start CodeNow?

“Years ago I wanted to learn to code myself. This was before learn to code schools or online tools existed. I had trouble finding resources that would allow me to learn in a way I felt comfortable – hands-on, project-based learning. At the time I was living in DC, which has one of the worst education systems in the country. It hit me that if I had trouble finding resources, then it was probably even more difficult for young adults and students to find them. That lack of resources could impact them a lot since they’d be missing out on what could be invaluable job skills.  It was a problem I thought I could help solve, so I quit my job and started CodeNow in February 2011. We’re celebrating our 5-year anniversary next month.”

2.   What’s one student or volunteer story you love to tell?

“An amazing example of the promise of CodeNow put into action is one of our first students, Wilfried. In 2011, Wilfried was 14 years old and participated in one of our first CodeNow workshops in Washington DC. By the end of the weekend, he was passing out business cards that  said, “future engineer.” After the workshop, he went on to practice his skills five days a week. Within a year he came back as a student trainer. And that was just the beginning.

In 2013, he was honored by President Obama at the White House for winning a national video game challenge. The following year he was accepted to Rochester Institute of Technology to study Computer Science, and just this year he placed second at MHacks and earned a trip to the global hackathon in South Korea. He’s also spent summers as a Google Computer Science summer intern and last year he received a paid internship through CodeNow to work at Bloomberg.

Through his early exposure to computer science, Wilfried found his path. It wasn’t something his school could provide him with though. Nonprofit programs are important and CodeNow is proving that they can work.”

3.   Whether it’s building games, apps, or websites, what technology are your students most excited to build?

“This depends on the student — there is such a vast mix of interest and backgrounds and you never know what a student is going to really take to. That’s part of the fun! For us, though, we get excited about the ‘a-ha’ moment when a student has been struggling with a hard problem and the moment they are able to solve it. At that moment it all makes sense.”

4.   What do you think has made CodeHow, your peer-to-peer learning interface, so successful?

“We found that there was no online content teaching coding that our students could relate to. Most of the online learn to code videos were made by adults for adults. This caused us to create CodeHow, learn to code videos by students for students. These videos are reflective of the student population we are serving which makes the content more relatable.”

5.   What are you & CodeNow excited about in 2016?

“We just announced through the White House that we’re committed to helping 1,000 underrepresented high school students learn to code this year. We’ve got great partners to help us do this – including Opera Mediaworks – and it’s a major goal for us. It’s also a significant jump from the 600 students we worked with in 2015.

We’re also really excited for the second year of our internship program, which places 25 CodeNow alumni now in college with paid internships over their summer. Last year, our alumni interned at companies like Bloomberg, Infor and Microsoft among others.  To learn more about our internship program please go to http://codenow.org/internship/.”

Will mobile be the first screen during Super Bowl 50?

Nikao Yang is the SVP of Business Development and Marketing

This Sunday, hordes of football fans will gather together to eat nachos and watch the Denver Broncos take on the Carolina Panthers at Levi’s Stadium (whose stadium is just in spitting distance from our Bay Area headquarters!)

However, for many people, football is not the reason to watch the game. That’s right, we’re talking about the ads. And this year, all eyes watching ads are not going to be on the TV screen.

Mobile, which has now eclipsed TV to be the medium where we spend the most amount of time per day (and that’s just in apps), is poised to break out of its “second-screen” status this Sunday at the Super Bowl.

Here’s what we’re expecting to see this weekend in the world of mobile advertising.

A virtual explosion of Super Bowl mobile content

Digital companies like Science-Inc, owners of the hugely popular Wishbone app, are already planning to serve up  all sorts of Super Bowl goodness, such as team and player comparisons, polls about common American Big Game traditions, and side-by-side favorite recipes for those hosting parties. Their editorial teams have been preparing for this moment for months, and on Sunday they will unleash the content in the app with partners like People Magazine and adolescent fan magazine Tiger Beat in tow.

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With all eyes on social, that’s where the brands will be

While some of this Super Bowl content will be delivered on news and entertainment sites and apps, the vast majority will be generated by users. Big brands will be taking advantage of the large volumes of viewers who are more interested in what their friends are s(pr)aying about the game than what the sportscasters are commenting about on TV. We’re going to see plenty of native ad campaigns in mobile news feeds, and likely short-form, like the Carl’s Jr campaign that did so well last year.

Watch, rinse and repeat – Super Bowl ads on mobile

See an ad you like during the game? If you want to watch it again, you’ll have to Shazam it or find it online. This year we’ll be seeing plenty of brands proactively gaining incremental reach on their airing by distributing the same spot via mobile, perhaps with some exclusive, made-for-mobile variations or more immersive, interactive  content that TV cannot support. There are no end cards or interactive calls to action on a TV commercial, but brands  can integrate special features incorporated with their  mobile video campaigns to drive actual customer conversions and measurable results.

Forget football, let’s play mobile games

Last year, three mobile games – Game of War, Heroes Charge and Clash of Clans – ran major national television spots as well as complementary in-app video campaigns during the Super Bowl. Will there be more this year? Or will gaming companies  stick with mobile-only CPI  campaigns during the Bowl expecting to see an increase in gaming interest over the weekend, as consumers turn to their phones for entertainment ? We’ll see how many developers invest in the Big Game in a big way.

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A warm welcome to beacons

Levi’s Stadium has been lauded as a next-generation stadium, with 40-gigabit wifi and 2,000 beacons installed throughout. There’s even a dedicated app that serves as the entry point for everything you when you’re there. What does this mean for advertisers? Well, the obvious use case is for advertisers to serve personalized ads to fans based on their location and timing, such as a coupon for $1 off a Coors Light at the concession stand during halftime. However, there’s a far greater opportunity for marketers to use beacon data over the long term to understand the habits and behavior of those fans and build long-term relationships with them – one that goes further and deeper than just a single beer. (More on this to come!)

 The conversation picks up on (mobile) Monday

Although we tend to focus on game-time as the window for conversation about brands, studies have shown that most of the online conversation about the game — and, more importantly, about the ads, comes the day after the game.

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This year, brands that have foreseen that organic increase of conversation and engagement will be running their campaigns in full strength on Monday, and well into the week after. Millennials might be more “in the moment,” but we can see that Gen X and Baby Boomers — also valuable demographics — have a longer Super Bowl “brand hangover” that lasts through the entire week.

Source: http://venturebeat.com/2016/02/04/in-an-era-of-super-bowl-50-marketing-firsts-brands-fumble-with-email

 

4 trends for performance advertisers

Bryan Buskas is the SVP of Sales, Performance Advertising

In a recent article, we mentioned seeing mobile app developers like SuperCell, MachineZone and Eat24 run ads in the Superbowl. This kickstarted a trend where mobile performance advertisers have expanded off-platform to channels like TV and OOH (out-of-home) to accelerate their success. We expect this growth to continue throughout the year.

Here are 4 trends for performance advertisers that we’ll see as the year progresses:

1. Budgets will increase.

The writing is on the wall: Performance advertising on mobile is working. US mobile app-install ad revenue is projected to grow to $6.8B by the end of 2019, and as we told Digiday, accounts for a little over 50% of revenue on our platform.

4 trends performance advertisers_app install revenue_opera mediaworks 2. They’ll keep testing.

Unlike brands, who often have a preconceived notion of what works and what doesn’t, performance marketers will try nearly anything, and if it works, they’ll do more of it. Look for more experimentation in the coming year.

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3. Performance campaigns stretch across the globe.

Rather than just focus on one market or language, companies will still buy centrally from one point, but encompass as many as 120 geographies and 20 different languages.

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4. Dollars will continue to flow into video. 

As we told VentureBeat last year, video ads are now the #1 way for the top-grossing app developers to acquire new users. And as technology continues to improve around serving high-quality mobile video ads in high-value formats (native, in-feed), we know that ad spend will follow.

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In fact, a recent survey of Top 100 grossing app developers on iOS and Android revealed that 76% of developers have shifted more of their app-install spend into mobile video over the last six months – and they expect this trend to continue into 2016 and beyond.

 

 

Opera Mediaworks named finalist for the 2016 GLOMO Awards

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We are thrilled to announce that Opera Mediaworks has been shortlisted for the 2016 Global Mobile (Glomo) Awards!

Opera Mediaworks is nominated as a Glomo finalist for the Best Use of Mobile for Advertising or Marketing category for the Rexona — Who Does More? campaign, a campaign Opera Mediaworks’ mobilike division, alongside Mindshare Turkey and Wanda Digital, worked on with Rexona.

“Do More” with second screen integration

Through Rexona’s partnership with Turkey’s most popular TV show, Survivor, the campaign aimed to inspire the target audience to play into the brand’s “Do More” philosophy. This was done through engaging activities between the Survivor contestants and users on the official Survivor app, which we integrated with.

The integration with the Survivor app allowed Rexona to create an effective second screen experience for viewers. Through this integration, data was collected on contestants’ performance, such as calories, movements and performance data — all of which were metrics that users and fans of the show could track.

Engaging with the user

Each Survivor contestant was provided a Rexona wristband to track performance, which was linked to the Survivor app. Leveraging the ability to track and share contestant performance, Rexona urged users to compete with the contestants and share their own progress and details on social media. Additionally, using digital watermark technology, users’ TVs sent audio signals to their smartphones before each Survivor competition during the show, allowing Rexona to interact with viewers in real-time, asking their thoughts on contestant performance and potential winners.

Click here or check out the video below to view the campaign.

The Glomos

The Glomo Awards, formerly known as the GSMA Awards, is the mobile industry’s longest established awards platform that recognizes everything from game changing mobile devices to applications, technologies, apps and services, showcasing the ever growing value that mobility brings to users, industries, businesses, communities and economies.

Glomo Award winners will be announced during Mobile World Congress 2016, on Tuesday, February 23rd in Barcelona, where many will come together to celebrate excellence, innovation and effectiveness in mobile marketing.

Opera Mediaworks’ nonstop holiday party: #24HourPartyPeople

There’s no doubt that this year has been quite a busy one for us here at Opera Mediaworks. The holiday season is upon us and what better way to unwind and reflect on a successful year than with a nonstop party, documented using the hashtag #24HourPartyPeople.

Our global offices from our North America, EMEA and APAC regions each held their holiday parties on December 10th. Check out some of the moments we captured from our global team!

We kicked-off the nonstop party with our APAC offices in Singapore, Seoul, Beijing and Mumbai. Though we have a number of offices spanning the APAC region, our Managing Director, Vikas Gulati, made sure the entire team could toast to a successful year in mobile together.

The party baton was then passed over to our EMEA teams in the UK and South Africa, where they kicked off celebrations with team gifts followed by some games, drinks and go-karting.

 

 

 

Our EMEA counterparts dressed to impress for the evening’s holiday soiree later that day, with some #24HourPartyPeople survivors continuing the celebrations into the wee hours of the morning.

Our SoCal team proudly concluded our 24 hour party, dressed to the nines at a classy, beautiful venue in Santa Monica.

 

A little early to the #24HourPartyPeople game, our HQ in NorCal couldn’t wait to party a few days earlier than everyone else:

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There’s no better way to have celebrated the holidays and a successful year in mobile than with our #24HourPartyPeople. Happy holidays!

To see everything that went down at our nonstop holiday party, check out the full #24HourPartyPeople collection on Twitter. Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for our latest updates.

Video, Apps & Ad-Blocking: Mobile’s Biggest Trends in 2016

It’s that time of year again…

Holiday campaigns are in full swing. Financial planning for 2016 is underway. Now comes the inevitable review of what drove the industry forward this year, and, of course, the predictions on how things will be different next year.

We’ve taken a year’s worth of insights from across our network of more than a billion mobile users worldwide, mixed it with some sharp commentary from sales, product development – and our new CEO Will Kassoy – then distilled it into short, snackable highlights. No need for lengthy exposition here — let’s get right into the five things you need to think about for mobile in 2016:

1) All video, all the time

If there’s just one trend to point to in 2015, it’s the non-stop growth in mobile video. Driven by consumption across operating systems, carriers and countries, the video onslaught gave advertisers new ways to connect with users and boosted publishers’ revenues. Expect more of the same next year, with a nod to exclusive, new video formats:

(Will Kassoy, CEO): Mobile video is a natural complement to more “traditional” marketing efforts like TV for brand advertisers — and those are the companies that will drive the most growth in mobile video next year. 

(Nikao Yang, SVP of Business Development & Marketing): It’s still in the early innings, but native video ads are gaining momentum, largely due to the heavy weight of platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. In 2016, we’ll see increased adoption of these native video formats amongst premium publishers and advertisers.

(Vikas Gulati, Managing Director, Asia): Mobile is now the first screen, surpassing both the TV and the desktop in terms of time spent — and video became the mobile ad unit of choice for both brand and performance marketers Video will continue to explode. In fact, consumption and spending will get bigger than anyone can even imagine.

2) Mobile apps lead — the mobile web follows

In case you forgot, the amount of time people in the U.S. spend on mobile devices — and specifically, in mobile apps — is now greater than the amount of time spent watching TV. 2015 is the year that mobile apps took the lead vs. the mobile web, and the implications for next year are huge:

(Larry Moores, VP, Consumer Mobile Analytics & Reporting): The trend of mobile apps getting more traffic than standard browsing on the mobile web will accelerate. There are too many websites that still don’t perform well on mobile devices — and advertising integrations are a major part of the problem.

(VG): Think about how virtual assistants like Google Now, Cortana, M and Siri are all directly accessing app content without opening the apps. I think we’ll see even more creative and deep integrations of in-app content moving forward.

(NY): Given the ability to leverage both the software and hardware of a device, mobile apps have richer ad formats and superior ad experiences than the mobile web. Mobile web inventory is also susceptible to ad blocking — so if mobile ad-blocking takes off, publishers will be forced to focus more on making better content and ad experiences for their in-app inventory.

3) Regulations, restrictions and customer reactions

Ad-blocking took center stage this year — and for good reason, because the entire content and advertising ecosystem could potentially be at stake. At the very least, the ultimate consumer pushback against intrusive ads is a wake-up call, one we can expect advertisers, publishers and even industry regulators around the world to heed. We can also expect some government scrutiny around ad quality, data usage and whether the U.S. is unfairly dominating the mobile ad market:

(Jon Williams, Marketing Director, EMEA): Consumers and advertisers are demanding less disruption and more relevancy, and Adland needs to pay attention. If we do not treat ad-blocking as an opportunity then there will be only losers, non-more so than the publisher community who will no longer be able to provide “free” news and journalism. We’ll have to see if the industry can come together to better inform consumers on the practices and impact of ad blockers on the economy of the Internet.

(WK): I believe the need for ad-blocking goes away if companies focus on delivering a high quality user experience. So I expect to see brands, agencies, industry trade groups and first parties like Apple and Google continue to focus on holding the industry to the highest standards.

(VG): I think we’ll see an increased push for transparency in everything — not only in terms of the quality of media that’s being bought, but also around data. I think companies will need to be far more explicit about how they’re using consumer data. 

(LM): This is a bigger threat to desktop than mobile — but content companies will start blocking access to users if they detect ad-blocking tools. But an even more pervasive challenge next year will be the EU attempting to exert more control over the mobile market — and counter dominance by U.S. companies — using privacy legislation as the key weapon. More regions will try to jump on the EU bandwagon and use regulation in an attempt to force companies into building infrastructure within regional markets.

4) It’s not brand or performance — it’s brand AND performance

The distinction between “brand” and “performance” advertising strategies is slowly becoming harder to detect — and this is especially true when it comes to mobile. In 2016, we’ll see the lines between these two ad disciplines continue to blur:

(Bryan Buskas, SVP of Sales, Performance Advertising): This year we saw companies like SuperCell, MachineZone and Eat24 run ads in the Superbowl. These are some of the largest and most savvy mobile app developers in the world when it comes to user acquisition – and they chose to invest one of the most traditional ad platforms. It shows that mobile performance advertisers are expanding off-platform to channels like TV and OOH (out-of-home) to accelerate their success, and I expect this trend to continue and grow in 2016.

(JW): The hybrid area of “brand performance” represents the most interesting opportunity in 2016. Brands will adopt performance advertising tactics in search of performance-style metrics – think app installs and increased spend per user – but they’ll target more “brand-friendly” mobile inventory to get it.

(VG): The performance business in mobile is rapidly evolving, and next year the biggest shift will be that developers focus less on just driving installs, and more on finding and targeting quality users. Similarly, I think more mobile branding campaigns will incorporate some sort of direct response element. Brand performance will become mainstream.

5) New formats, new pastimes, new tools

And what would a look ahead be without predictions for the new tools, tactics and devices that will dominate mobile in 2016? Connected devices, smarter artificial “intelligence” and seamless mobile payments are all on the horizon:

(VG): Mobile payments will become mainstream. And we’ll also see an emergence of new players when it comes to audience data; expect a wealth of data from telcos, banks, commerce and retail providers to get consolidated on a common platform to create actionable mobile audiences next year.

(WK): Next year we’ll see mainstream adoption of the connected “everything” – that includes wearables, cars and other everyday devices. It’s far more than just smartphones.

(JW): In the U.S., we’ll see beacon deployments go from experimental to mainstream. In the APAC market, smartphones will cross the chasm and begin to significantly outnumber feature phones. We’re already seeing mobile roaming charges disappear in Europe – driving stronger growth in mobile data services. Overall, mobile will provide the best measurement and attribution for advertising across all screens.

That’s the Opera Mediaworks year-end wrap-up and rundown of the five trends that will dominate mobile in 2016. We crunched the numbers, sifted through the headlines and went out on a few limbs with our own predictions. Now it’s time to hear yours. Share your thoughts with us on why you see coming down the pike next year in the comments.

Change of leadership at Opera Mediaworks

As Opera Mediaworks continues to grow and extend its leadership position in mobile advertising, we are announcing a change in management to support our continued alignment, integration and commitment to customers, employees and investors.

Effective today, Will Kassoy, Chief Marketing Officer for Opera Mediaworks and CEO of its AdColony business will assume overall leadership of Opera Mediaworks as CEO.

Mahi de Silva, who has served as CEO since 2010 and been instrumental to the growth and success of our business, will assume a strategic advisor role. Under Mahi’s guidance, Opera Mediaworks has continued to evolve into an international mobile player competing against the largest companies on a world stage. We are honored to work with Mahi in his new role to support our long-term strategic growth initiatives.

Will and his leadership team will continue to secure growth in the coming years.

This news has been shared with employees and customers and we are extremely proud of the leadership and contributions Will, Mahi and our entire global team deliver.

- Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera

Opera Mediaworks featured in eMarketer’s “Mobile Advertising and Marketing Trends Roundup”

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Each month, eMarketer releases their “Mobile Advertising and Marketing Trends Roundup”, featuring articles, insights and interviews to help keep marketers updated with the latest mobile marketing trends. This month, our study with comScore is featured at the #1 spot. Our comScore Native Mobile Video Ad Effectiveness Study is referenced to demonstrate how mobile video continues to grow, and how brands are creating video ads specifically for native mobile environments.

Other articles featured in this month’s round up include:

  • What’s going on with programmatic advertising on mobile

  • Why marketers are looking to mobile games

  • Interviews with ESPN and Zynga about reaching mobile consumers

Download the complimentary copy here.

 

Behind the scenes: A day in the life at Opera House

Creative Masterminds. These are the people that make up our award-winning global creative studio, Opera House, responsible for the creative partnerships between Opera Mediaworks and client agencies and brands.

Comprised of more than 60 inspired innovators around the world, Opera House prides itself on delivering the best mobile ad experiences to clients and plays a big role in providing unique, mobile-first, data-driven creative insights for our advertisers. With teams set up around the world, their inspiration comes in all forms, shapes and sizes. It is the variety of inspiration that helps put together creative that resonates within each of our global markets.

Ever wonder what it’s like to be part of a truly global creative studio? Meet Opera House, where #ArtMeetsTech:

 

We want to know: What are marketers thankful for this year?

Opera Mediaworks_What Marketers Are Thankful For

Friends, family, loved ones: all things we give thanks for every Thanksgiving. As we take time this week to give thanks for the personal blessings in our lives, we remember that as mobile marketers and publishers, we have a lot to be thankful for as well.

We asked some of our clients and partners what they were thankful for this year. Check out what they had to say:

Time. “My team at Horizon Media works incredibly hard, and I’m thankful that our company gives us a leisurely four-day long weekend to celebrate and spend time with our families this Thanksgiving.” – Sarah Bachman, VP of Mobile Strategy at Horizon Media

Innovation. “This Thanksgiving, I have so much to be thankful for.  A larger family, smart clients and football! With DIRECTV now part of the AT&T family, I am so excited about what AT&T AdWorks brings to the table.  It’s invigorating to be at the forefront of industry-changing technology like our addressable advertising with unparalleled national scale.  While this may sound great (and it is!), we must offer clients a bang for their buck.  ROI is king, of course, but clients also expect end-to-end campaign measurement and full reporting transparency.

It’s a marketer’s dream to offer such a unique and compelling product.  (The opposite, of course, would be like putting lipstick on a turkey.)  I’m thankful for the opportunity to work at AT&T AdWorks during this high-growth and innovative time.”

- Maria Mandel Dunsche Vice President – Head of Marketing at AT&T AdWorks

Community. “This year, all of us here at Science Mobile are most thankful for the millions of dedicated users on our apps ‘Wishbone’ and ‘Slingshot.’ We thank them so much for downloading our apps, using them daily, sharing them with their friends and family, and voicing their feedback through reviews and emails. We’re extremely proud of the Wishbone and Slingshot communities we’ve built in 2015 and can’t wait to unveil to them all that’s to come in 2016.”

- Benoit Vatere, GM of Science Mobile

Progress. “As a marketer, I’m thankful for the industry’s progress towards responsibility. Maybe it’s the tryptophan talking, but I feel good whenever I see someone challenge the assumptions of what it means to be responsible, and we’re seeing that more and more. Whether it’s publishers guaranteeing results at the register, brands embracing the science of buyergraphic audiences, or even an entire medium like TV shifting to addressability, the ad industry has made strides in 2015 that many weren’t willing to consider a decade ago.”

- Mitch Turck, Marketing Manager at Nielsen Catalina Solutions

Stories. “I’m thankful for the way mobile has indelibly changed storytelling for all of us. I’m thankful for our brilliant product and engineering teams who create the platform by which a time-treasured oral & print tradition can be revolutionized on the mobile screen.  From my Snapchat stories with my friends and family to the brand stories our advertisers tell to billions of people, mobile has forever changed the way we connect with one another. I’m thankful for the brands, publishers, and people who make it happen. Everyone loves a good story!”

- Nikao Yang, SVP Business Development and Marketing at Opera Mediaworks

We are extremely grateful to our clients and partners for sharing their words of gratitude. Here’s to a happy and healthy Thanksgiving, and a spectacular remainder of the year with you.

What are you #thankful for this Thanksgiving? Tweet us at @Omediaworks to share what you’re grateful for this year.