Uplify: Next Gen Advertising for Gaming Marketers

The streaming and live-streaming market were projected to reach $70 billion by 2020, and gaming consumers spent on average $216.64 per year in 2018. It's no surprise that marketers are looking to capture the attention of gamers on livestreaming platforms.

As streaming becomes more mainstream, streaming platforms are helping push the marketing industry in a new direction. The next generation of advertising augmented in real-time for marketers to directly target their ideal consumers.

The structure of livestreaming is built on the foundation of previously recorded video uploaded to the internet for on demand consumption. The term streaming can be often conflated amongst people trying to describe the difference between Video On Demand services like Netflix, HBO Max, and Disney+ and Real-Time Broadcasting over The Internet like Twitch, YouTube Live, and Facebook Live. Throughout this article, we will define our terms so as not to confuse readers.

When lifestreaming was first introduced to the public in 1991 by David Gelernter, it was a futuristic concept that most households throughout the world lacked internet access to view. Now, colloquially referred to as livestreaming, it has become part of our cultural vernacular and is being used by livestreamers, also known as streamers, across all genres to entertain online viewers through their gaming sessions via livestream. Advertisers seeking to capitalize on this market, must keep up with innovations and improvements made by streaming platforms such as Twitch (Which retail giant Amazon acquired for $970 million in 2014). (Statista, 2014)

Pictured: Selected acquisitions by Amazon from 1999 to 2014 - Amazon acquires Twitch in 2014 for $970 million in cash

We can thank Steve Mann, Chairman of Mannlab, and Josh Harris, Former CEO of Pseudo, for innovating & pioneering the combination of livestreaming and live chat room enabling streamers, advertisers, and chatters to engage. Subsequently, streaming platforms have been a growing market in which advertisers, streamers, and viewers spend more time engaging with their streaming audiences. One of the main reasons streaming viewing is at an all-time high is because streaming channels can offer a place for streamers to engage on a deeper level with their viewers about gaming anytime, anywhere. In 2022 gaming content holds 40% of the over market share of broadcast content, while the other 60% is non-gaming content.

There is a high demand for streaming viewership for streaming platforms, and marketers are willing to spend money to market their products through streaming channels. One of the main problems streaming platforms have been facing from a marketing standpoint is while the market has been growing exponentially, advertising technology tracking their advertising spend has faced difficulties in development. In fact, currently, streaming companies rely on secondary sources such as Google Analytics and Twitch Metrics to track their first-party advertising spend with Twitch ad campaigns which suggest a lack of transparency in terms of real user engagement with ads.

Though technology has helped digital marketing come a long way, brands and creator’s audiences in gaming have struggled to find a valuable and meaningful instrument for brands to place ads in streamer’s livestreaming content in a transparent, scalable, and automated way. Consequently, marketers are missing out on a number of important data points in order to maximize ad budget spending because streaming platforms cannot provide additional insights into streaming viewership without impacting stream quality or adding an excessive amount of load times. In addition, current options, such as Twitch Advertising, present barriers of entry as not every advertiser can commit to a minimum ad spend of $50,000 USD per campaign.

That is until now…

Introducing Uplify, a next-generation advertising platform that provides services and tools for advertisers to reach livestreaming viewers. Uplify allows brands to get real-time data around advertising spend and engagement on live streaming ads including impressions, view-through rates (VTR), video completion rates (VCR), and survey data. Uplify is disrupting livestreaming advertising by providing real-time streaming analytics to the media buying industry. Uplify allows advertisers, such as game developers, streaming companies, consumer goods manufactures, food and beverage, and many other types of business the ability to plan advertising campaigns, upload content marketing brand assets, and use advanced analytics from campaign results to understand their streaming impressions, audience demographics, and ad engagements.

The implementation of advertising through livestream video is an integral part of online video advertising. Historically, we can look back at online video advertising as a reference to the success of online video viewership over the purchasing decisions implemented based on user trackable metrics. Technically speaking, here are a few different ways we can track advertising via cookies, promotional codes, offline geofencing, connected finance, and loyalty programs. Uplify for Advertisers takes this to the next level by adding never before seen features over-the-top of the existing ad delivery methods on livestreaming platforms. Feel free to schedule a consultation with the team at Uplify for Advertiser by following the link below, don’t forget to mention Esports Business Network sent you to unlock $300 USD Ad Credit after you spend $1000 in advertising. https://join.uplify.app/ebn_adv

The problem with many advertising campaigns is that advertisers are taking a blanketed approach to obtain advertising impressions that are disconnected analytically from their consumer engagement results. Throughout this article, we are going to showcase to readers how utilizing Uplify for Advertisers resolves the accuracy issues of the blanketed advertising approach, while giving advertisers insight to Uplify for Advertiser highly detailed tactical level of precision. Contextually speaking we’re implying that Uplify for Advertisers not only increases impressions, but it increases engagement through technology that offers accurate retargeting in the event that a purchasing decision isn’t made on first impression.

Andrew Samoylov, CTO & CEO, Constantine Shishkin, CPO, and Pasha Medvedev, CBDO, the three co-founders of Uplify sat down with Esports Business Network to discuss how their company is changing streaming advertising for gamers and going beyond streaming analytics to deliver more profitable results, engagement, and increased monetization for streaming audiences. Uplify platform is revolutionizing data around live video advertising, how they are maximizing data points for advertising budgets, and the innovation in ad delivery and formatting having increased advertising engagement. Below is a transcript of our interview with the Uplify co-founders.

Enjoy the interview!

Greden Camacho: Hey guys, my first question, I’m just curious how did y’all meet?

Andrew Samoylov: We worked together on a lot of different projects in Esports & Gaming. We worked for different companies, then we came together to work on Uplify.

Pasha Medvedev: Yeah, we worked together for an Esports company with Constantine for more than three years, we delivered projects for companies like Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo for 5 million USD. So yes, we are buddies.

Andrew: So these platforms (YouTube & Twitch) really grew up with the gamers and the way to monetize them was to take advantage of their audience and not offer access to advertisers right away. It’s all about the data and there’s a lot of value in streaming data. Twitch has so much information about what kind of people are streaming what kinds of games, how often they are streaming, and even what time is most popular to stream. Constantine was an avid streamer; maybe he could speak to the experience.

Constantine: I came from streaming backgrounds where we saw that this platform could be used for monetization but it was really sub-optimized because streaming platforms were using old technologies like third party cookies which just doesn't allow marketers to engage livestream audiences well enough.

Pasha: I tried streaming myself and I noticed several issues with the technology available at the time including lack of transparency around how many views you’re getting on your channel, no way to see your top live streaming games, and a lack of access to streaming data.

Andrew: So we started streaming ourselves just to better understand the issues that other viewers were having with streaming and we noticed that there was no central place for gamers to keep track of things like their stream views, number of followers, etc. As streaming technology evolved and monetization became an important part of how gaming broadcasters make money online, the technology available didn’t evolve fast enough to track all those metrics in real time so ads could be targeted accurately and streaming platforms could pay out based on viewer counts instead of clicks--which is what Google Adsense currently does. We wanted to take that to the next level by showing advertisers sophisticated viewer data.

Constantine: When we built Uplify, it was originally aimed at streaming platforms because streaming is its own ecosystem for viewership, streaming it's own content, streaming its own advertising formats.

Pasha: To better target ads, we wanted to measure viewer engagement in real time so advertisers could be sure that the ad was being watched before counting the view toward payment metrics.

Greden: How do these streaming services bridge the gap between old style demographics and new style demographics? Is that where Uplify comes into play?

Constantine: We basically put all that data in one place, unified it so it wasn't fragmented across different sources. It made lives easier for broadcasters so they can manage their channels better with this snapshot of streaming data right there at the click of a button.

Video Gaming Industry, more specifically the live streaming of video games, has transformed into an integral and valuable tool of social activity and business in recent years. It is a rapidly growing entertainment market and vast demographic with an estimated 3.24 billion gamers across the globe (Statista, 2021), 8.07 million active streamers (Statista, 2021), and roughly 200 million month active viewers across platforms in 2021 alone, with no signs of stopping (StreamHatchet, 2021). As a result, advertising via online livestream video has gained exponential value amongst marketers comparatively to its terrestrial broadcasting counterpart. The gaming space, unlike other networks, has deep roots in live streaming offering valuable opportunities for brands, including non-endemic brands, to reach their target audience through this engaged demographic. If Twitch’s success alone is any indication of future results, it shows that the market for livestreaming is only going to continue to rise in the years to come. Although past performance does not guarantee future results, yesterday’s price is not today’s price, and anyone interested in deploying financial resources toward livestream marketing should do their own research.

Pictured: Number of video gamers worldwide in 2021, by region (Statista, 2021)

As we progress further into the future, there are many ever-so-changing technical innovations, culture, enterprises, and experiences. As a result, it's a fast-paced marketing landscape that challenges marketers to keep up. While actively staying current with changes, advertising and marketing experts have turned to the increasingly popular Video Gaming Industry to adapt their approach in an effort to increase their Return on Investment (ROI) during campaign marketing initiatives. This was evident when we saw brands like Lexus and Honda utilizing platforms like Twitch during the economic injury of the pandemic leveraging the relationship between the gamers, the audience, the collective nature of livestreaming, and the opportunities that present themselves throughout.

From PUMA, SteelSeries, NIVEA, and Epic Games, trusted & recognizable companies have called upon Uplify to reach audiences on one of the biggest livestream ad networks with the purpose of building meaningful campaigns and relationships with viewers along the way. You see, Twitch has been innovating its advertising program since acquired by Amazon, but continues to present considerable challenges for users, brands, and the gamers that are aiming to maximize spending and intentionally engage with their ideal audience. Some of the considerable challenges include, but are not limited to, lack of media planning, budget estimation, inadequate tools to scale and maximize campaigns, and little to no reporting on data and ROI.

Pictured: The 2021 advertising campaign “SteelSeries’ Powered by Uplify exceeded KPI by 150%

With Uplify, on the other hand, advertisers have access to channel-specifics, audience interests, brand affinity, demographics, and more! Through Uplify, brands can work with gamers and influencers in categories like music, communication, anime, interactive, and esports to create a unique, more valuable experience for the audience to integrate into the content, and of course, leverage video ads throughout. More specifically, in a fully programmable manner that encompasses in-depth campaign reporting, payment, and non-blocking/non-skipping formats with 100% visibility. In fact, brands using Uplify have reported a 30% increase in engagement rate in comparison to other advertising competitors in the market. This is attributed to their one-of-a-kind engagement tools that help scale and enrich campaigns for users.

Pictured: Uplify offered an all-in-one media solution for managing in-streaming multi-format ad tools.

Creating a campaign with Uplify’s engagement tools has never been easier. With their three-step system, advertisers can select, approve, and manage everything to ensure they leverage their ads. First, advertisers create a campaign and establish their budget, creatives, and target audiences. After that, the campaign will be delivered to multiple channels simultaneously directly via live stream. To leverage these campaigns, Uplify offers different options for ad creatives. These options include highly viewable mid-rolls placed in live stream on full screen, custom ad formats with tailored branding, interactive options, or sponsorship packages, and options for mid-rolls in a separate window. Lastly, while the campaign is live, advertisers can review their campaign analytics at any time, in real-time. This not only fully programmable approach not only saves the advertisers time, but it makes sure that bookings and returns are efficient and worthwhile. Advertisers following Esports Business Network are taking advantage of the $300 ad credit when mentioning EBN during activation at sign up when they spend a minimum of $1000 on a campaign.

While Twitch is leading the gaming livestream market right now, Uplify works with other competitors in the livestream market, such as YouTube and Facebook Live, supporting a versatile group of creators. This accessibility in multiple channels not only presents opportunities for an array of brands and markets, as previously mentioned, but it also allows for a wide variety of influencers and streamers to grow and earn doing what they love to do most - stream! These influencers can build meaningful relationships with their audiences while working with offers such as fixed fees, sponsorships, and affiliate deals. Influencers and streamers looking to monetize their streams can start earning and supporting their live stream business by seamlessly integrating Uplify into their streaming software, such as OBS, XSplit, and many others. Once integrated into the streaming software, influencers and streamers can begin earning money each time their viewers see offers and start making passive income.

Pictured: Uplify makes it easy for streamers to monetize their content as the audience grows.

In conclusion, what we’ve found is that streamers are excited to adopt new monetization tools to increase their income revenue from live video game streaming. As a byproduct, the utilization of these tools by streamers increases the impressions video game marketing campaigns are seeing in their data analysis. Advertisers are able to use this more precise and accurate data to better serve their consumers at a higher frequency. They are able to use this data that they collect from streamers to create lookalike audiences for better retargeting. Advertisers are excited to learn how Uplify for Advertisers provides them with a user-friendly dashboard to interpret this data conveniently. Follow the link below to learn more about Uplify for Advertisers: