All posts by Fletcher Maffett

February Events: From the Super Bowl to the Oscars, Inform Has You Covered

February might be the shortest month, but it’s not short on events. As always, Inform is here to help you prep for your event coverage with our massive library of brand-safe, pre-monetized content from top partners. From the Super Bowl to the presidential debates to Oscar night, Inform has you covered. Check it out.

Monday, 2/1

Super Bowl 50 festivities kick off with Super Bowl Opening Night (formerly known as Super Bowl Media Day) airing from the SAP Center in San Jose, CA starting at 5 PM PST / 8 PM EST. Interviews will run from about 5:15 to 6:15 PST (8:15 to 9:15 EST) and 7 to 8 PST (10 to 11 EST).

Also, don’t forget about the Iowa Caucuses, during which voters from all Iowa voting precincts come together to kick-start the presidential nomination process.

Tuesday, 2/2

It’s Groundhog Day again! The mayor of Sun Prairie, WI hopes not to relive last year’s Groundhog Day when Jimmy the Groundhog nipped him on the ear. See what WTVY has to say.

Groundhog Day With No Real Groundhog?

Saturday, 2/6

The winners of the 68th Annual Directors Guild Awards will be announced at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza.

Republican presidential hopefuls will debate in New Hampshire, hosted by ABC News.

Sunday, 2/7

It’s the Battle in the Bay! Super Bowl 50 matches the Denver Broncos against the Carolina Panthers.

Will this be the most expensive Super Bowl ever? KOLO takes a look.

Most Expensive Super Bowl?

And don’t forget about the commercials! CBS Sports Radio and WFAN talk about their favorite Super Bowl commercials of all time.

CBS Sports Radio and WFAN talent discuss their favorite Super Bowl commercials ever.

Monday, 2/8

Happy Chinese New Year! Apple is celebrating the year of the monkey with red and gold Apple Watches.

The difference between trend and tradition is that while red may be out of fashion this season, all of China wants to wear red for the Chinese New Year. After marking the lunar new year a few weeks ago China is ready to celebrate the new year, and Apple

Tuesday, 2/9

The New Hampshire Primary will select delegates to serve at the national party conventions. On the 100th anniversary of the first-in-the-nation primary, WMUR explores the traditions of the primary and the history of campaigning in New Hampshire.

A look at the traditions of the New Hampshire primary and history of campaigning in the Granite State.

How can you celebrate Mardi Gras? You might want to make like Emeril on Martha Stewart and make a King Cake.

Emeril prepares King Cake in celebration of Mardi Gras.

Or relive the glitter and glam of last year’s Mardi Gras parade with Reuters.

It's party time on the streets of New Orleans and the colorful characters are out in full force. ...Including Jazz Musician Pete Fountain AND Mayor Mitch Landrieu. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MAYOR

Thursday, 2/11

Democratic potential presidential nominees gather in Milwaukee for a debate hosted by PBS, and on the east coast New York Fashion Week struts its stuff.

Saturday, 2/13

The 8th Republican presidential debate will air on CBS from Greenville, SC, and be moderated by John Dickerson.

Meanwhile, don’t miss the highly-anticipated NBA Slam Dunk Competition airing at 8:30 PM EST on TNT.

Sunday, 2/14

It’s Valentine’s Day! Inform partners show you how to celebrate in style. CBS Chicago offers some romantic getaway suggestions.

Travel expert Kendra Thornton shares some romantic ideas that are close to home. For more information, visit

Cosmopolitan lets us in on 11 secret Starbucks drinks perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Valentine's Day is almost here & the only thing better than a Frappuccino is a festive Frappuccino. Between the secret menu, barista menu, and secret Valentine's Day menu, you can order a surprising number of them. Here are 11 Starbucks drinks that are ad

Single? Entertainment Tonight hasn’t forgotten about you. “How to Be Single” premieres just in time for the rom-com season.

If you don't have a date for Valentine's Day, Rebel Wilson and Dakota Johnson have you covered with their new comedy!

Also on Sunday is the NBA All Star Game in Toronto and the BAFTA 2016 Film Awards held in London.

Monday, 2/15

Woof! The 140th annual Westminster Dog Show airs on CNBC on Monday, 2/15. WPIX celebrated last year’s Best in Show winner, the adorable beagle Miss P.

Miss P is now a celebrity.

You can also catch the 58th Grammy Awards with host LL Cool J on CBS at 8 PM EST. Don’t miss rap legend Run-D.M.C. receive their lifetime achievement award.

Run-D.M.C. are among the artists who will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the GRAMMYs this year. The iconic rap group will be honored at a ceremony and concert to be held this spring. In addition to naming the Queens rappers, the Recording Aca

Friday, 2/19

Style sashays across the pond with London Fashion Week running through 2/23.

Saturday, 2/20

The Nevada Democratic Caucus will take place at 11 AM PST, and begins the process of registering preferences for Democratic candidates running for President.

Meanwhile, the GOP field narrows at the South Carolina Republican Primary.

Sunday, 2/21

Start your engines! NASCAR season begins with the Daytona 500 on FOX.

Tuesday, 2/23

It’s the GOP’s turn in Nevada with the Nevada Republican Caucus.

Wednesday, 2/24

Milan Fashion Week runs through the 29th, and the 2016 BRIT Awards, honoring the year’s best pop music, takes place in London.

Friday, 2/26

It’s the University of Houston’s turn to host a Republican presidential debate, along with NBC News and Telemundo. In Paris, the Théâtre du Châtele hosts the 41st César Awards, honoring the best in French cinema.

Saturday, 2/27

The Republicans had their turn on the 20th, now it’s time for the Democratic South Carolina Primary, just days away from Super Tuesday.

The Film Independent Spirit Awards 2016 airs at 2 PM PST and 5 PM EST on IFC.

Sunday, 2/28

It’s the biggest night in Hollywood: the 88th Academy Awards, airing live on ABC from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, beginning at 7 PM EST and 4 PM PST.

Will host Chris Rock rewrite his opening monologue? Inside Edition takes a look.

Chris Rock released a statement to ET via his rep on Monday following comments from Academy Awards producer Reginald Hudlin saying that the Oscar host was "writing a new show."

Want more video? Reach out to the Inform Content Team at And for even more on how we can help publishers increase engagement and monetization, visit the Inform Product Resource Center.

Inform Floating Video Player: Impact Since Launch


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 to get it live on your site today.

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


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.

12 Events for Digital and Video Platforms to Attend in 2016


We here at Inform believe in the importance of sharing and gaining knowledge, getting new perspectives, and enhancing our relationships with our partners and colleagues. That’s where technology and news events come in.

If you currently work in the digital or online video space, or simply want to enhance your knowledge and networking skills, you’ve come to the right place. 2016 has an amazing line-up of events in the U.S. which are sure to help you gain an edge professionally.

We’ve compiled a list of 12 events to consider attending in 2016 (and one in 2017) to give you and your company the chance to interact with your customers, experts in your industry, and your favorite influencers and peers.

OnMedia Conference

Dates: March 3
Location: NYC

OnMedia is an annual summit that gathers the brightest minds and top entrepreneurs, investors, and corporate players in social media, advertising, and commerce, and covers top trends and opportunities in Internet media, advertising, and commerce sectors. Past attendees and speakers include Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks; Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures; and Aileen Lee, Founder & Partner of Cowboy Ventures.

Another reason to attend this year: Inform’s VP of Business Development, Stephen Bach, will be delivering a keynote talk on Video Monetization and Viewability. Don’t miss it!

4A’s Transformation Summit

Dates: March 21-23
Location: Miami, FL

More than 800 attendees from Bank of America, AOL, and Chipotle attended the 2015 event which is organized by the American Association of Advertising Agencies. Transformation 2016 will take place in Miami and draw some 1,000 industry players to discuss the latest media platforms, creative innovations, digital trends, measurement tools, data solutions, and ad technology

Digiday Publishing Summit

Dates: March 30-April 1
Location: Vail, CO

This summit is part of a series of events produced by Digiday (always at a new and fresh location!) and focusing on how technology can drive creativity, content, and culture, and how the data captured with these new endeavors will better our marketing efforts in connecting with consumers.

Over the course of three days, attendees will discuss how publishers can regain control of their content and distribution through platform monetization, mobile, and video in picturesque Vail, CO.

SXSW Interactive

Dates: March 11-15
Location: Austin, TX

In its 24th year (yes, this has been on for 24 years!), this five-day festival promises to showcase companies and brands with cutting-edge technologies and digital creativity. Think A.I., smart watches, latest in social media, etc.

There will be presentations and panels from the brightest minds in emerging technology, scores of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders, and an unbeatable lineup of special programs showcasing the best new websites, video games, and startup ideas the community has to offer.

AdAge Digital Conference

Dates: April 5-6
Location: New York, NY

The focus of the 2016 Ad Age Digital Conference is the future of marketing. Marketers and agencies will hash out pressing industry issues such ad blocking, ad fraud, and kickbacks. Featured speakers include Evan Williams, Founder & CEO of Medium and co-founder of Twitter; Seth Farbman, CMO at Spotify; Andy Goldberg, Chief Creative Officer at GE; and much more.

NAB – National Association of Broadcasters Show

Dates: April 16-21
Location: Las Vegas, NV

Inform will be attending this annual show produced by the National Association of Broadcasters in 2016. The show’s tagline is “Where Content Comes to Life,” with over 100,000 attendees representing every sector of the industry including Broadcast, Digital Media, Online Video, Film, Entertainment, Telecom, Live Events, and more.

This six-day conference, which takes place in Las Vegas, is home to the solutions that transcend traditional broadcasting and embrace content delivery to new screens in new ways.

IAB – Digital Content NewFronts

Dates: May 2-13
Location: New York, NY

A first look at digital video announcements from the industry’s biggest digital publishers in New York City. Presenters in 2016 include The New York Times, Buzzfeed, Yahoo, Hulu, Refinery29, Vevo, Vice, Mashable, and many more.

Streaming Media East

Dates: May 10-11
Location: New York, NY

Streaming Media West

Dates: November 1-2
Location: Huntington Beach, CA

The only conferences and expos dedicated solely to the business, technology, and content of online video. Attendees will have access to more than 100 speakers and over 40 sessions including workshops, how-to sessions, case studies, and panel discussions, as well as the opportunity to try new products.

ONA – Online News Association

Dates: September 15-17
Location: Denver, CO

An event Inform attends every year, ONA is heavily news and journalism focused. Highly engaged digital journalists who are shaping the future of media gather to learn about new tools, techniques, and technologies in sharing their stories via video and other advancements in the digital space.


Dates: September 26-30
Location: New York, NY

This week-long conference in NYC that includes more than 95,000 attendees, 90 speakers, and 200+ events, brings together high-end players in the media, agency, brand, and tech space. Programming will include categories covering video, programmatic, mobile, and innovation with speakers and attendees from Facebook, Buzzfeed, and YouTube.

Business Insider: Ignition

Dates: December
Location: New York, NY

The Business Insider: Ignition conference explores “the future of media as it intersects with technology,” and how that influences all parts of our lives.  Seven hundred senior executives from a variety of industries, including tech, media, entertainment, and finance, will gather to explore the emerging business models of digital media.


Dates: January 5-7, 2017
Location: Las Vegas, NV

CES may have just passed but it’s never too early to look ahead! Once mainly a conference for electronics geeks, the event now also draws a diverse and plentiful crowd of brands, agencies, and techies alike to discuss and showcase futuristic innovations and ideas such as drones, A.I., wearables, and the latest and greatest in home goods including a talking refrigerator.

Attendees include the most highly sought out names in technology and innovation as well as consumer products such as LG, Samsung, Apple, Google, Facebook, Oculus VR, and Snapchat.

Interested in connecting with Inform at an upcoming event? Send an email to

Get Informed with the Inform Product Suite


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 Suite. 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.

Get Informed: State of the Union 2016 Top Moments

President Barack Obama addressed the nation in his final State of the Union Tuesday night — and Inform was there with up-to-the-minute, high quality content.

Here are some of the top videos from SOTU 2016.

Jan 12 -- During his seventh and final State of the Union address, President Obama spoke to the nation about the economy, the fight against the Islamic State and how to make Americas politics reflect whats best in us and not whats worst. The presiden

Obama promised to keep the SOTU short, and it ended at a tidy 58 minutes. Recap it in just three with this video from Bloomberg.

House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving announces the entrance of President Barack Obama to deliver his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress.

House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving announces the entrance of President Barack Obama to deliver his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress.

Obama boasts of recent economic success at State of the Union

Obama boasts of recent economic success.

U.S. President Barack Obama said he would launch a new national effort to cure cancer. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

Obama said he would launch a new national effort to cure cancer. Puts Joe Biden “at mission control.”

Obama discusses his biggest regret

Obama discusses his biggest regret.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley used a formal Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday to try to soften the tough stance toward immigrants embraced by some of the party's leading presidential candidates. (Jan. 12)

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley gave the formal Republican response.

That’s just a taste of Inform’s massive library of high-quality, pre-monetized content from top partners. If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to reach out to the Inform Content Team at

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!


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: 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=";height=315&amp;autoPlay=true&amp;mute=false" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>


Questions? Reach out to your account manager at

Get Informed: Golden Globes 2016

Awards season has officially begun! In case you missed it, the Golden Globes (otherwise known as the Oscars’ drunk cousin) aired last night with no lack of weird moments, from failing teleprompters, to bleeped speeches, to Lady Gaga shoulder-checking Leo.

Here are five more of our favorite Golden Globe moments.

The 73rd Golden Globes took place Sunday evening and Leonardo DiCaprio's latest film "The Revenant" was a big winner, Ali Lucia, Jason DeRusha, Kylie Bearse and Matt Brickman report (2:58). WCCO Mid-Morning Jan. 11, 2016

The Revenant wins big, with Leonardo DiCaprio taking home Best Actor, Alejandro G. Inarritu winning Best Director, and the film snagging Best Motion Picture, Drama.

The Golden Globes host takes aim at Sean Penn, Matt Damon, and himself.

The Golden Globes host takes aim at Sean Penn, Matt Damon, and himself.

The 'Mad Men' star reveals his shock when he won for Best Actor in a TV Series, Drama. Get the deets!

The Mad Men star reveals his shock over his win for Best Actor in a TV Series, Drama.

Hello dynamic duo. BFFs Lawrence and Schumer steal the show with their LOL-worthy punch lines.

Hello dynamic duo! BFFs Lawrence and Schumer steal the show with their LOL-worthy punch lines.

Amber Heard and Jaimie Alexander had quite the uncomfortable moment while presenting at the 2016 Golden Globes.

Amber Heard and Jaimie Alexander had quite the uncomfortable moment while presenting at the 2016 Golden Globes.

That’s just a taste of Inform’s massive library of high-quality, pre-monetized content from top partners. If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to reach out to the Inform Content Team at


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


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.