For those unfamiliar, Genius, née Rap Genius, is an annotation platform where users can make annotations to songs, books, speeches, or any website on the internet (although that is still in Beta). Think of it as a Sparknotes for the internet. And despite being founded in 2009 as a database for passing out double (and triple) entendres in rap lyrics, the company is still establishing its roots as something bigger. Their new additions and capabilities are building towards their goal to “annotate the world.”
How is it going so far? Well, the company has over 30 million monthly visitors, grown outside hip hop, and raised $40 million in its last round of funding. And it’s attracting even more attention and engagement by bringing in major artists to contribute to the site, like Eminem, Nas, and Pulitzer Prize winning non-rapper, Michael Chabon. (Check out a full list here).
Genius does not have any ads as of right now, but they will likely have to come up with some way to create revenue soon. And while there has been speculation that it could go the way of Wikipedia, the speculation only holds ground if their dream of plastering hidden annotations over the entire internet begins to come to fruition. And those are pretty lofty aspirations for a company created to help people understand Dipset lyrics.
It was only a matter of time before Instagram started fully utilizing the terabytes of data from Facebook’s 1.5 billion users. And, sure enough, in the last week they have bolstered their ad offering so as to appeal to potential advertisers. Currently, there are 2 million companies using Facebook ads whom Instagram would love see advertise on their network. Beyond incorporating highly specified data, Instagram has also allowed third party platforms like Salesforce to begin scheduling the ads within the platform. All of these changes should make for many, many more brands popping up in users’ feeds.
It’s been a big week for sports media. First, Twitter made a deal with the NFL to put the pro football highlights directly to the social network. The deal makes sense given Twitter’s emphasis on major live events and Twitter users’ emphasis on making fun of Tom Brady. This June, the platform revealed a new feature centered on big live events (much like football games), which looks a lot like Snapchat’s live stories feature.
The other news in sports media came from NBC, who just agreed to a six year, ten figure deal to keep the Barclay’s Premier League on the peacock network. NBC made headlines when it brought British soccer to the states a few years ago and has seen viewership grow 43% over the past year. It’s not a major sport in America yet, but NBC is hedging its bets that growth will continue.
Media Partner of the Week: Gameloft
Last week, I received an email titled, “Hello from the 8th Floor of Sansome!” My first through was Horatio. Turns out, the 7th/8th Floors of our building are occupied by Gameloft, the self-proclaimed “leading publisher of digital games” and they were asking to meet. What I learned” People spend the most of their in-app time playing mobile games (32%!) I also learned that Gameloft has 17MM monthly active users in the US and is #1 in downloads across iOS and Google Play. Their most popular game to date is Despicable Me: Minion Rush. From a paid standpoint, Gameloft can target its audience based on demo, contextual, behavioral, and location across ad units such as auto-play videos and branded mini-games in between play or in game credits.
In the words of Bill Nye, “Did you know that? Now you know.”
Mercedes came up with an interesting way of illustrating their storied heritage by having users turn their phones 90°.