All posts by Angela Tung

Inform Floating Video Player: Impact Since Launch

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Some companies are calling it “Sticky” or “Pinned” video. At Inform we call it the Inform Floating Video Player.

No matter what you call it, since unveiling our new video product a few months ago, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in both video views and ad revenue for participating partners, as well as, most importantly, a continued positive user experience, since viewers can scroll through content and watch video at at the same time.

Floating videos have also gone mainstream. The Wall Street Journal agrees that this new video product will play a vital role in boosting publisher video ad viewability and revenue in 2016.

There’s no doubt that the Inform Floating Video Player has had a dramatic impact. Specifically:

  • A 500% increase in video revenue on single embeds
  • A 65% increase in ad viewability

Want to see the Floating Video Player in action? Check out a live demo on the Inform Product Resource Center.

If you’d like to learn more, please visit our resource center for more details or contact your account manager at InformVideo@inform.com to get it live on your site today.

Data Tells a Story: Facebook for whales; legal data; catching health code violators

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We at Inform believe that data tells a story, across all industries, and every week we round up the most interesting ones. This week: Facebooking the whales; cutting down on legal bills; and catching health code violators faster.

Making Facebook for Whales

Keeping tabs on and identifying the 500 North Atlantic right whales left in the world is an arduous process. Researchers must take aerial surveys, then painstakingly comb through a database of images and identify each whale individually. One biologist, Christin Khan, turned to Facebook for a solution.

We all know that the social media platform can (creepily) identify us by face. Why not develop a similar algorithm to identify right whales by their distinctive markings? Khan held a contest tasking data scientists with creating such an algorithm.

The winning team’s algorithm is able to identify whales “with 87-percent accuracy.” Such a development is useful to scientists for multiple reasons. Those who study whales’ genetics will know right away if they’ve already taken a biopsy from a particular whale, and most importantly, it will “free up researchers’ time to do actual research.”

How Big Data Is Disrupting Law Firms And The Legal Profession

While the legal system generates huge amounts of data, little of it is used beyond billing, time management, marketing, and customer relations  — in other words, it’s not being used in the real practice of law. One legal research and analytics firm wants to change that.

LexisNexis and Westlaw provide a wealth of legal data. However, they are mostly used as search engines. The firm uses an analytical algorithm to draw often surprisingly insights. For example, they can scan through judges’ decisions and determine which might be the most sympathetic for a particular case. They’re also teaming up with Harvard Law School to digitize their entire U.S. case law library, and make it publicly and freely available by 2017.

Using data in such away may lead to greater efficiency, transparency, and accountability. Legal costs could be reduced, as well as the need for time-consuming appeals and retrials.

Foursquare’s Plan to Use Your Data to Make Money—Even if You Aren’t a User

While at 50 million monthly active users, Foursquare’s apps might lag behind social network behemoths such as Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, the company is still putting all that data to use by developing an ad-targeting and location data business.

While many apps can access your GPS coordinates, more difficult is matching those coordinates with real places. Foursquare is doing just that using the “massive database” users have helped to compile over the years. As a result, for instance, frequent fast food visitors could be identified and served up ads for fast food chains or “perhaps healthier alternatives or gym memberships.”

How big data can drive employee engagement

One software company is looking to help employers better track employee satisfaction and therefore more accurately predict when workers might be thinking about leaving.

While annual performance reviews are valuable to an extent, they may not paint a real picture of an employee’s happiness or lack thereof. The company suggests that their software, which collects employees’ self-reported moods in real-time, would be more accurate. In addition to recording moods, the software allows both employees and customers to give immediate shout-outs to colleagues.

Chicago Is Predicting Food Safety Violations. Why Aren’t Other Cities?

Like most U.S. cities, Chicago inspected its eating establishments in the traditional way: scheduling inspections by going down a list. However, this method didn’t allow for those most likely to violate health codes to be inspected first, and time is definitely of the essence in such a situation. The longer a potential violator is allowed to operate, the more of a chance diners will get ill.

To address this, Chicago’s Department of Innovation and Technology built an algorithm to analyze the city’s publicly available data and predict which eateries would be most likely to violate health codes. Not only did the algorithm identify violations faster than the traditional way — 7.5 days earlier, to be exact — it was designed in a way that made it easy for other cities to replicate.

However, only one city has followed suit so far. We should remember that even with Chicago’s model, such an endeavor requires a lot of work. However, making the code and method freely available is a vital first step.

Get Informed with the Inform Product Resource Center

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What if we told you we had a one-stop shop of all Inform products? Now we do.

We’re excited to announce the launch of the Inform Product Resource Center. Our Resource Center showcases our world-class technology that improves publishing operations and ad revenue for your sites, and provides a one-stop-shop for you on everything to do with products from Inform.

Housed right on our website, no additional log-in is necessary for you to get all the information you need on our video products, including overviews, product benefits, editorial features, real-life results, and implementation guides.

You can even see how some of our products work through live demos right on the page (check out InView and the Floating Video Player in action), and for all of our products, you can download the information in handy PDF one-sheeters.

Interested? Find out more about all of our products:

If you have any questions, please visit the resource center for more details or contact your account manager.

Inform: Platinum Winner at 2016 AVA Digital Awards

AVA-site-bug-Platinum-01We’re excited to announce that Inform is a Platinum Winner in the 2016 AVA Digital Awards!

Each year the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP) honors excellence by creative professionals responsible for the planning, concept, direction, design and production of digital communication — from audio and video production, to website development, to mobile marketing.

Inform is honored to be recognized in Digital Video for the Web: News & Information for our platform work and general distribution, which encompasses our suite of online video products, a vast library of brand-safe, pre-monetized content from top partners, and industry expertise. All of these work together to help potential digital partners increase ad opportunities, unlock new premium video dollars, find relevant video content, and much more — all at no cost.

Thank you to the AMCP for this honor and congratulations to all the winners!

Live Stream the State of the Union on Your Site!

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For President Obama’s final State of the Union address Tuesday night, our friends at FedNet and Livestream are offering Inform partners an embeddable State of the Union live stream player.

In 2015, there were millions of online views of the State of the Union with a 45% increase in time spent from the previous year (source: Whitehouse.gov). We expect that number to increase in 2016 with the influence of election-based discussions and media coverage.

In addition, Inform will be offering on-demand highlights and analysis of the speech in the Inform Control RoomPerfect Pixel, and through our Video Match WordPress plugin.

To get the Livestream embed code, just copy the below.

<iframe src="http://livestream.com/accounts/300260/events/4655746/player?width=560&amp;height=315&amp;autoPlay=true&amp;mute=false" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>

And here’s a sneak peek of the Livestream:

Questions? Reach out to your account manager at InformVideo@Inform.com.

Data Tells a Story: helping the poor, predicting a hit song, defining happiness

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We at Inform believe that data tells a story, across all industries, and every week we round up the most interesting ones. This week: helping the poor, predicting a hit song, defining happiness.

An Army Of Data Just Joined The War On Poverty

To get a better idea of the needs of the poor in real-time and to direct resources more efficiently, university researchers and the Salvation Army have partnered to develop the Human Needs Index.

The index goes beyond just income or unemployment rates by looking at several measures of poverty based on services used and requests for assistance at Salvation Army locations across the country.

As a result, the index can show changes in regional or seasonal needs. For instance, the researchers noticed a big spike in energy-related needs in April. This was because utility companies are often forbidden from shutting off power during the winter months and simply wait until springtime to do so.

Cities Using 311 Data in Novel Ways Discover Drawbacks

Somerville, MA, New York City, and Chicago are just a few cities leveraging data collected from non-emergency 311 calls to make public works improvements. Somerville used its call-ins about rat sightings to cut down on the rodent population while New York uses 311  data to target unauthorized uses of apartments. Meanwhile, Chicago is looking into restaurants with public health violations.

However, there are some gaps, and addressing the differing behaviors of varying demographics might address such gaps. For example, immigrants might be less likely to phone in non-emergency complaints; in some neighborhoods, people may choose to resolve conflicts themselves; renters are less likely to call in issues like damaged trees; and senior citizens might be more inclined to dial 0 as opposed to 311.

4 Ways Gyms Are Using Data To Drive New Members & Enhance the Workout Experience

Need help keeping that fitness New Year resolution? Some gyms are leveraging big data to help their members do just that.

Some customers are being encouraged to use wearable technology so that their stats can be reported back to their personal trainers while they’re not at the gym. Some gyms are creating their own apps, while others’ fitness equipment collects members’ data. Yet others are using their members’ habits and preferences to improve fitness programs, optimize resources, and better target ads and reward programs.

These Students Are Using Data Science to Predict Which Rap Songs Will Become Hits

Data science students at the University of California, Berkeley developed an algorithm to determine if there’s “a science to creating a blockbuster rap,” says Mic, and found that indeed there is.

The student researchers found that the biggest factor for a song’s success was the amount of profanity — the more the better. Another perhaps more surprising factor is variety in theme. A song that explores lyrical themes beyond the rapper’s lifestyle tend to be more successful.

The students also discovered the most popular locations, with New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Chicago topping the list, as well as the most popular brands, including Bentley, Porsche, Apple, and Twitter.

What is #happiness? One Brooklyn artist is using Instagram data to figure it out

For 12 months, a Brooklyn artist collected 100,000 Instagram photos with the hashtag #happy and came away with some interesting findings. One is that selfies “are enormously popular with the hashtag #happy,” while another is that #happy photos often have “warm, muted tones.” Finally, despite the popularity of Instagram filter names, the most common one is no filter at all.

Stay Informed: 14 Events in January to Maximize Engagement

As always, Inform is here to help you prep for your event coverage with our massive library of content. From local and trending to national and breaking news –- we have it all.

Check out the events to keep an eye on for January.

Wednesday, 1/6

CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, kicks off in Las Vegas and runs through Saturday, 1/9. Here’s what to look out for at the biggest tech show of the year.

A press event ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show offered an early glimpse into what could be the biggest trends of the four-day event, which will attract around 170,000 people. A gaming chair for virtual reality and a four-wheeled robot driven by a sm

Here’s what else to look out for at CES — Inform! If you’re at CES, definitely get in touch with an Inform team member.

Saturday, 1/9

Get into Super Bowl fever early with the NFL Wildcard Playoffs through Sunday, 1/10.

Sunday, 1/10

Host Ricky Gervais won’t be holding back with the jokes at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards, airing live at 5PM PST and 8PM EST on NBC.

Ricky Gervais addresses who he may or may not roast on stage at the Golden Globes, discusses his preemptive apology and more upon arriving in Los Angeles to host the award show.

Tuesday, 1/12

President Obama will be giving his final State of the Union address at 9 PM EST. Until then, revisit Bloomberg’s roundup of the good, the bad, and the ugly of from the 2015 State of the Union.

Jan. 21 -- Bloomberg's Trish Regan recaps President Barack Obama's annual State of the Union address. She speaks with Bloomberg's Mark Crumpton on "Bottom Line." (Source: Bloomberg)

Thursday, 1/14

Rise and shine! The 88th Academy Awards Nominations will be announced at 5:30am PST and 8:30am EST.

Meanwhile, Fox Business will be hosting the sixth Republican Presidential Debate in South Carolina.

Sunday, 1/17

The next Democratic Presidential Debate will be hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus Institute in Charleston, South Carolina, and moderated by NBC news anchor Lester Holt.

Awards show season continues with the 21st Annual Critics’ Choice Awards airing at 8 PM EST and 5 PM PST on A&E.

Monday, 1/18

The Australian Open Tennis Championships begins and runs through the end of the month.

Thursday, 1/21

The Sundance Film Festival starts rolling in Park City, Utah until January 31. As though movies weren’t enough, VR experiences will also be available.

Two years ago, virtual reality was the awkward new kid at the Sundance Film Festival. There were less than a half-dozen VR experiences in 2014. All that will change in January, when more 30 VR experiences descend on Park City, Utah. The influx of VR ex

Sunday, 1/24

The Conference Championships begin at 3:05 PM EST on CBS with AFC lower seed at AFC higher seed, and NFC lower seed at NFC higher seed at 6:40 PM EST on FOX.

Saturday, 1/30

The 22nd Annual SAG Awards Ceremony will be simulcast live on both TNT and TBS.

Sunday, 1/31

Super Bowl week officially kicks off with the NFL Pro Bowl broadcast live on ESPN from Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Les Shapiro and Woody Paige discuss free agents the Broncos should consider, on The Sports Show on Jan. 23, 2015.

Is the Pro Bowl a joke? You decide.

You can also catch the NHL All-Star Game airing from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN.

And as always, reach out to the Inform Content Team with any questions, comments, or concerns.

Get Informed at CES 2016

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Happy New Year from Inform! We had fun celebrating 2015 and are diving right into 2016. The first order of business? CES 2016.

CES is arguably the biggest tech event of the year, and Inform will be there talking about our technology and how it can help potential publisher, content, and advertising partners increase audience engagement, video views, and revenue.

We’re excited to have several Inform colleagues in attendance, including CEO Greg Peters and members of the advertising, business development, and publisher teams — and they are all excited to share with attendees all that Inform has to offer.

Whether it’s the latest in online video products; our vast library of brand-safe, pre-monetized stellar content from top partners; or our industry expertise, Inform can help potential partners increase ad opportunities, unlock new premium video dollars, find relevant video content, and much more — all at no cost.

Interested in talking with Inform at CES? Please email sthomas@inform.com to schedule a meeting.

Inform Dynamic Placement: Increasing Video Ad Opportunities

We at Inform believe in the power of technology and people working together to improve efficiency, increase revenue, and create a better overall experience for audiences. Our Dynamic Placement market-leading technology helps to do just that.

Inform Dynamic Placement_12-15Working in both desktop and mobile environments, Inform’s Dynamic Placement enables the active placement of engaging videos on publisher story pages without the constant manual efforts by editors, allowing a significant increase in video pre-roll ad opportunities on publishers’ sites.

At the same time, editors retain full editorial control, choosing where on the site to place the videos and having the ability to remove or change videos at any time.

So how does Dynamic Placement work?

  • First,  Inform’s Perfect Pixel would be implemented to connect publisher site templates and stories with Dynamic Placement technology.
  • Next, our semantic matching algorithm reads the text and automatically identifies from our vast library of high-quality, pre-monetized videos the most relevant and appropriate ones to place on the page.
  • All that’s left to for the publisher to do is to select the stories for which they’d like Dynamic Placement.

Interested in letting Dynamic Placement do some of your work for you? Reach out to your account manager at InformVideo@Inform.com.

Inform Year-Ender: Top News Stories of 2015

Happy almost New Year, and welcome to the latest installment of our Playlist Year-Ender series!

We’ve been spending all of December celebrating the last days of 2015 with special weekly emails to our partners. We’ve also been giving you a taste of those emails right here on the Inform blog.

We’ve already highlighted the top moments in sports and the biggest stories in entertainment. Today we take a look at some of the Top News Stories of the year.

Donald Trump has courted controversy during his campaign to become the Republican presidential candidate. Here are his 'worst' moments.

The Donald on Muslims, Mexicans, Syrians, and the disabled.

In wake of the shooting deaths of nine people inside a historic South Carolina church, some major department stores announced they would stop carrying the controversial Confederate Flag. Buzz60's Leig

In the aftermath of the deadly shooting at a historical African American church in South Carolina church, Walmart and Sears ban Confederate Flag products.

Social justice movements aren't supposed to look, sound and function like the status quo. Not when their very purpose is to upset it.

Comic and social commentator Felonious Munk speaks on the Black Lives Matter movement.

June 26 -- President Barack Obama calls Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the same-sex marriage case, after the ruling.

“Oh, you know, just the POTUS calling me on my cell phone.”

Pope Francis is in the middle of his first visit to the United States, meeting President Barack Obama, and even addressing Congress. While he isnt the first Pope to visit the U.S., how have previous Popes spent their visits? Watch to find out!

The history of Popes visiting America. Pope Francis was the only the fourth to do so.

Want more video? Contact the Content Team at content@inform.com