[1] Zynga logo


In 2007, Mark Pincus founded Zynga, the first social gaming company. Named after his dog Zinga, the company was created in order to make gaming more accessible and turn it into a more interactive, friendly experience [2]. Zynga has created some of the most successful social games to date, including Words with Friends, FarmVille, and Zynga Poker. Over one billion users have played Zynga games and connected via the company’s franchises.

[3] A sampling of Zynga games

Additionally, in 2009, Pincus formed Zynga.org, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that allows the success of social gaming to give back to those in need by connecting revenues from gamers to other non-profits around the world. One of Zynga.org’s biggest projects was the creation of co.lab, a gaming development technology program that gives underprivileged San Francisco kids the opportunity to learn about game design hands-on.



The creation of Zynga spawned the entire social gaming industry, an industry of which Zynga continues to be a leader. According to IBISWorld, the industry has grown rapidly ever since its conception in 2007 [4]. Growth peaked during the 2008 recession, when many companies were downsizing and left unemployed Americans with more leisure time. In recovery from the recession, customers are slowly investing more and more in social games in order to unlock achievements and progress more quickly in the game (for example, while playing FarmVille, a user could pay a few dollars to expedite the growth of their crops and thus move on to bigger and better tasks).

[5] FarmVille 2: Country Escape

Before social gaming, those interested in playing interactive games were required to own some form of external console, such as an Xbox or PlayStation. With Zynga, users can play games and connect with other gamers all across the globe as long as they have an internet connection and an account on a social networking site. The number of broadband connections in households has grown steadily each year, widening the potential market of social gamers. The social network aspect of gaming has introduced new customers that were not previously active gamers, namely females over 40.



[6] Mark Pincus – Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board

[7] Frank Gibeau – Chief Executive Officer and Board of Directors Member










Earlier in March, Mark Pincus stepped down as CEO of Zynga and was replaced by Frank Gibeau [8]. Pincus still sits as the Executive Chairman of the Board and oversees the company. Frank Gibeau is a 20-year veteran of Electronic Arts, one of Zynga’s leading competitors, so he is expected to bring positive change and expertise to the company and allow it to progress financially.



Zynga is a publicly traded company, listed on the NASDAQ under the ticker ZNGA. The stock price currently sits at 2.48, a relatively high number since averaging 2.15 over the past three months [9]. Zynga stock took a tumble in early and mid-February after the publication of a disappointing fourth quarter and annual report. After bringing in $185 million in revenue, the company’s operating income and net income amounted to losses of $55 million and $51 million, respectively. These numbers were a stark contrast to the third quarter, when Zynga brought in $10 million more in revenue and net income was $3 million. Zynga has two main revenue streams: advertising, namely video and banner ads, and the sale of “virtual goods” from in-game purchases [10].


One big change for Zynga that will bring in more cash flow is its future sale of real estate. Currently, Zynga operates out of a 670,000 square-foot office in Silicon Valley, a space that is now too large for its 2,300 employees [12]. Downsizing and liquidating their current office space could lead to a $300 million profit, given the astronomical increase in San Francisco properties since 2012.

[13] Zynga Headquarters


In January, Zynga announced a partnership with The Rubicon Project in developing SponsoredPLAY, a new form of native advertising that allows political candidates to take advantage of what mobile ads have to offer [14]. SponsoredPLAY beta ads have seen six times the engagement rate of normal mobile advertisements, a metric that is incredibly important in today’s age of distracted consumers. With these ads, players connect with brands through mini games that incorporate a piece of the brand’s image. Specifically, The Rubicon Project introduces political candidates as the brands, and encourages the candidates to use the technology to engage voters in a fun and educational way. The SponsoredPLAY ads are also linked to Twitter to create a social buzz around the political issues that the user finds compelling. Ads are expected to be finalized and placed in the games later this year, just in time for the presidential election.

[15] SponsoredPLAY Mockup

One of the two new Zynga games that launched on March 31, 2016 was Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory Slots. This was the first game of many to be licensed from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, thanks to a multi-year agreement signed in mid-2015 [16]. The partnership allows for a realistic representation of the characters, sounds, and visuals from the original film. Willy Wonka Slots provides the player with nine different slot machines to begin, in addition to a special “High Roller World” with more levels that unlock after the player has earned over 24 million credits. The basic format of the game is similar to other Zynga games, where the user can play completely for free but has many opportunities to progress further with small increments of in-app credit purchases. The game can be downloaded for free on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon or played on Facebook.

[17] Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory Slots

The second game that debuted at the end of March is Crazy Cake Swap, a variation on the wildly popular Match-3 genre [18]. Crazy Cake Swap is a mix of Candy Crush and Diner Dash, taking place in a bakery and offering different sets of goals for each level. The essentials are similar to other Match-3 games; of course, there’s the concept of matching three or more identical cakes to gain points. A player also only gets five lives and must wait or pay for more when they run out, and a similar wait-or-play model when the end of each “world” is reached. However, it provides a fun element of personalization by allowing users to upload their own photos or avatars, and has more of a storyline than other similar games. Crazy Cake Swap is distributed through the same outlets as Willy Wonka Slots and is free to play with the exception of optional in-app purchases.

[19] Crazy Cake Swap


Zynga has been promising investors two high-development games for awhile, CSR2 and Dawn of Titans, that are finally set to debut later in 2016 [20]. These games could bring in major revenue for Zynga if they become anywhere near as popular as Words with Friends or FarmVille. A recent trend with Zynga has been the overall decline in players, but huge increase in bookings for some of their popular games [21]. Essentially, this means that while there are fewer players, these players are spending a lot of time gaming. If Zynga can successfully recruit more of these avid gamers and grow their user base back up, they will continue to be a force to be reckoned with in the social gaming world.

[22] Dawn of Titans


[1] “Zynga Logo.” Pop Culture Blog. Dallas Morning News, 3 June 2013. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.

[2] “Zynga Leadership.” Zynga. Zynga, n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2016.

[3] “About Game Cards.” Zynga. Zynga, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.

[4] “Social Network Game Development.” IBISWorld. IBISWorld, n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2016.

[5] “Farmville 2: Country Escape.” Google Play. Google, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.

[6] “Mark Pincus.” Catchafire. Catchafire, 25 Sept. 2013. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.

[7] “Frank Gibeau.” Live Geek or Die. Disqus, 29 Mar. 2013. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.

[8] Takahashi, Dean. “Mark Pincus and Frank Gibeau Talk about the Future of Zynga and Social Mobile Gaming.” Venture Beat. VentureBeat, 2 Mar. 2016. Web. 20 Mar. 2016.

[9] “Zynga, Inc. (ZNGA).” Yahoo Finance. Yahoo!, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.

[10] Gobry, Pascual-Emmanuel. “How Zynga Makes Money.” Business Insider. Business Insider, 28 Sept. 2011. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.

[11] “Zynga’s Opening Day.” Gigaom. Knowingly, 16 Dec. 2011. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.

[12] Bruno, Alessandro. “ZNGA Stock: This Is Why the Bears Are Wrong on Zynga Inc.” Profit Confidential. Lombardi Publishing, 26 Feb. 2016. Web. 20 Mar. 2016.  

[13] “Zynga Headquarters.” Games.com. AOL, 12 Nov. 2012. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.

[14] Pakula, Kelly. “Zynga & Rubicon Project Announce New SponsoredPLAY Custom Mobile Advertising Product for Political Campaign Advertisers.” Global Newswire. Nasdaq, 7 Jan. 2016. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.

[15] “Zynga Mockup.” Adweek. Adweek, 7 Jan. 2016. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.

[16] Shaul, Brandy. “Zynga Launches Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory Slots on Facebook, Mobile.” Social Times. Adweek, 31 Mar. 2016. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.

[17] “Willy Wonka Slots.” Zynga Blog. Zynga, 31 Mar. 2016. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.

[18] Allen, Jennifer. “Crazy Cake Swap Review: Sweet, Familiar, and ‘Friendly’.” GamezeboGamezebo, 5 Apr. 2016. Web. 25 Apr. 2016

[19] “Crazy Cake Swap.” Google Play. Google, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.

[20] Morris, Chris. “What Will It Take To Turn Zynga Around?Fortune. Fortune, 11 Feb. 2016. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.

[21] Nusca, Andrew. Here’s Why Changing CEOs Won’t Fix Zynga. Fortune. Fortune, 2 Mar. 2016. Web. 20 Mar. 2016.

[22] “Dawn of Titans.” NaturalMotion. NaturalMotion, 5 Mar. 2015. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.



About the Company

Viacom is an American global mass media company. The company and its content reach audiences in over 160 countries with content produced nationally and internationally [2]. It is the sixth largest broadcast and cable company as far as revenue but has the largest portfolio of ad-supported cable networks in the United States. Viacom’s cable networks are among some of the most popular and most watched channels by families across the world. This includes BET, VH1, MTV, TV Land, Comedy Central, Spike TV, Nickelodeon including all of its spin-offs, amongst many others [3]. In fact,Viacom has been rated the number one family cable network for numerous years.

Key Executives

Phillippe Dauman serves as President, CEO, and the Executive Chairman [4].


Wade Davis serves as Executive Vice President and CFO.


Thomas E. Dooley serves as Chief Operating Officer.


Sumner M. Redstone [5], is a majority owner of the company and also serves as Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Directors. However, his unstable health conditions [6] have decreased his ability to be present in the flesh during meetings as he is currently struggling with physical and speech mobility [7].


The Deal on Dish

Tensions between Viacom and Dish, a satellite-TV provider, had been brewing for quite a while before the issue was publicized nearing the Wednesday, April 20, 2016, deadline for a new carriage contract [8]. The root of the problem was a supplier-distributor disagreement in which Dish felt the carrier fees being charged by Viacom was unreasonable and overpriced. They stated that they only wanted to sign a contract that took into account the significant changes in the TV landscape and the way media is consumed. The company threatened to drop Viacom’s channels if Viacom didn’t compromise on the new deal [9].


Viacom however, suggested that they had offered Dish a best-of-its-kind deal for its very popular channels and explained that they have extended the deadline multiple times for Dish [10]. Refusal to come to an agreement would have resulted in a blackout of Viacom channels at midnight-eastern standard time. This would have been bad news for Viacom who has suffered low viewership with media being consumed in non-linear ways and would certainly impact ad revenue if it lost Dish’s 14 million viewers. The situation caused Viacom stock to drop nearly 10% on Tuesday with the fate of Viacom and Dish’s partnership still in the air [11]. However, the share prices increased the next day after CEO Charlie Ergen hinted in a conference call on Wednesday, that he would be interested in pursuing a new deal with Viacom should the company adhere to their conditions [13].


In efforts to boost awareness on this issue, Viacom launched a website under the name www.keepviacom.com. The site broadcasted Dish’s plan to get rid of a total of 18 Viacom channels and allowed concerned visitors to learn more about the situation under a tab called “Get The Facts.” Other important tabs featured on the web page included “Shows You Will Miss” outlining viewer favorites and other shows that would have been gone forever. Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 3.30.09 PM

One of the most important features on the site was a link titled “What People Are Saying” which provided a live feed from a discussion board of distressed Dish users and other Viacom supporters that spoke out against Dish threatening to drop the channels. Many Dish users openly expressed willingness to leave the cable provider should they drop the Viacom channels. The website also provided direct access to Dish’s Facebook page encouraging viewers to “make their voice heard” by posting on the page and urging them to join in the conversation on both Facebook and Twitter in which the hashtag #KeepViacom was trending. People of all ages used the hashtag to support Viacom and prevent Dish network from dropping the channels. The site made sure users of Dish network were able to voice their opinions by including Dish’s phone number on the digital protest site along with tips on how to get through to the company via phone [14].

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 3.37.09 PM


Within the 24 hours leading up to the fate of Viacom and Dish’s relationship, hundreds of thousands passionate consumers reached out to Dish. Their voices proved to have been heard as the network did not drop the channels. Instead, Dish rose to the occasion meeting the deadline and renewing a multiyear deal with Viacom. The “keep Viacom” site has since been taken down, replaced by a message expressing gratitude and assuring users that an agreement with Dish had been met [15].

Fortunately, an agreement was reached putting both Viacom and Dish in a better position. The renewed multi-year deal includes plans for bringing select Viacom content onto Sling TV, Dish’s single and multi-stream service, as well as keeping all Viacom channels available for Dish subscribers [17].

Viacom in International Markets

Viacom has made an imprint in international markets through both acquisitions and expansions. Viacom’s acquisition of channel 5 in the United Kingdom has contributed to the company’s continued growth with a 20% growth in operating income in the country. With the acquisition of channel 5, Viacom was able to garner 23 others crucial networks allowing the company to gain access to 100% of the UK’s television audience. Viacom also has assets in India’s television market [18]. With a recent launch of VOD digital streaming service VOOT that gives India exclusive rights to consume over 17,000 hours of content through the service that is available on Android, and iOS devices for free with lots of kid-friendly content from Nickelodeon and MTV readily accessible [20].


Financial Plans

Despite ratings revealing that Viacom may be experiencing trouble with viewership, considering the decrease in ad revenue by 1% year over year and a decrease in overall revenue by 6% year over year, the CEO Phillippe Dauman assures everyone that Viacom will bounce back soon and see a growth in both ad revenue and overall ratings. They are making strides to accomplish this by using other tools of measurement aside from Nielsen in order to get advertisers acclimated with new ad formats. In addition to allowing them to make use of other platforms more frequently used to consume Viacom content such as laptops and tablets. One such tool is a service called Vantage which allows advertisers to place their ads more accurately along a variety of different platforms using varied consumer data as a catalyst [22].

Social Media

Viacom maintains communication with fans and investors via social media outlets such as Facebook  in which the overall company has close to 150,000 likes and Twitter where it has over 23,000 followers. These numbers do not include the subscriber base for Viacom’s individual channel networks such as MTV and Nick for example, in which the numbers would soar much higher.


Looking ahead Viacom’s future looks promising [23]. Many of its networks have plans for renewing shows for additional seasons after audience viewership numbers soared. The networks have also green-lighted lots of original content that will be introduced that should certainly garner some positive feedback. As of Friday, April 22, 2016, Viacom’s share price is $43.78, an increase of 2.87% [24]. Leading into May, the stock is now at the highest it’s ever been since the beginning of February.

Viacom’s 2nd Quarter Earnings Conference call is set to release on April 28, 2016, which will provide additional information into the company’s future and finances [25].




[2] “ABOUT VIACOM.” Viacom. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2016. http://www.viacom.com/about/pages/default.aspx.

[3] “Viacom Brands.” Viacom. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2016. https://www.viacom.com/brands/pages/default.aspx.

[4]”SENIOR MANAGEMENT.” Viacom. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2016. http://www.viacom.com/about/pages/seniormanagement.aspx#.

[5] “BOARD OF DIRECTORS.” Viacom. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2016. http://www.viacom.com/about/pages/boardofdirectors.aspx?bioid=1.

[6] Ackner, Daniel. “Inside the Viacom “Brain Drain”” Vanity Fair. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2016. http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/04/inside-the-viacom-brain-drain.

[7] Person, and Vanity Fair Magazine. “Read Sumner Redstone’s E-mails About His Succession Plans.” Vanity Fair. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Feb. 2015. http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2015/05/sumner-redstone-retirement-health-viacom-future.

[8] Ingram, Mathew. “Dish vs. Viacom Fight Is All About the Shifting Balance of Power in TV.” Fortune Dish vs Viacom Fight Is All About the Shifting Balance of Power in TV Comments. N.p., 19 Apr. 2016. Web. 20 Apr. 2016. http://fortune.com/2016/04/20/dish-vs-viacom/.

[9] James, Meg. “Dish Network CEO Charlie Ergen Threatens to Permanently Drop Viacom Channels.” Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 20 Apr. 2016. Web. 20 Apr. 2016. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-dish-charlie-ergen-viacom-dispute-20160420-story.html.

[11 ]Lieberman, David. “Viacom Warns That Its Networks May Go Dark On Dish Network.” Deadline. N.p., 19 Apr. 2016. Web. 20 Apr. 2016. http://deadline.com/2016/04/viacom-dish-contract-negotiations-impasse-1201740218/.

[12] “Charlie Ergen.” About DISH. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2016. http://about.dish.com/leadership/executive-leadership/charlie-ergen.

[13] Littleton, Cynthia. “Viacom Stock Plunges as Dish Renewal Fight Heats Up.” Variety. N.p., 19 Apr. 2016. Web. 20 Apr. 2016. http://variety.com/2016/tv/news/viacom-dish-stock-drop-renewal-deadline-1201756655/

[14] “Viacom and DISH Agree to Multi-Year Renewal.” Viacom. N.p., 21 Apr. 2016. Web. 22 Apr. 2016. http://news.viacom.com/press-release/viacom/viacom-and-dish-agree-multi-year-renewal.

[15] Frankel, Daniel. “Dish Deal Shows Viacom Channels Haven’t Lost Their Value, Analysts Say.” FierceCable. N.p., 22 Apr. 2016. Web. 22 Apr. 2016. http://www.fiercecable.com/story/dish-deal-shows-viacom-channels-havent-lost-their-value-analysts-say/2016-04-22.

[21] “1st Quarter ’16 Earnings Presentation.” (n.d.): n. pag. Viacom. 9 Feb. 2016. Web. 1 Mar. 2016.

[17] Perez, Sarah. “Streaming Service Sling TV Will Add MTV, Comedy Central, Nick Jr & More, following Viacom deal.” TechCrunch. N.p., 22 Apr. 2016. Web. 23 Apr. 2016. http://techcrunch.com/2016/04/22/streaming-service-sling-tv-will-add-mtv-comedy-central-nick-jr-more-following-viacom-deal/.

[18] Pelts, Shirley. “Welcome to Market Realist.” India: Why Is It Viacom’s Valuable Asset? N.p., 24 Mar. 2016. Web. 1 Apr. 2016. http://marketrealist.com/2016/03/india-viacoms-valuable-asset/?utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=feed&utm_content=read-next-a&utm_campaign=viacoms-acquisition-channel-5-stronghold-uk.

[20] “Voot Video-on-Demand Service Launched in India.” NDTV Gadgets360.com. N.p., 30 Mar. 2016. Web. 1 Apr. 2016. http://gadgets.ndtv.com/tv/news/voot-video-on-demand-service-launched-in-india-819555.

[21] “1st Quarter ’16 Earnings Presentation.” (n.d.): n. pag. Viacom. 9 Feb. 2016. Web. 1 Mar. 2016.

[23] Lazaroff, Leon. “Viacom Could Go Higher Even after Dish Deal Removes Overhang.” TheStreet. N.p., 22 Apr. 2016. Web. 24 Apr. 2016. http://www.thestreet.com/story/13541284/1/viacom-could-go-higher-even-after-dish-deal-removes-overhang.html

[24] “Viacom, Inc.” Yahoo! Finance. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2016. http://finance.yahoo.com/q?uhb=uh3_finance_vert&fr=&type=2button&s=viab.

[25] “Events & Presentations.” Viacom Inc. -. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2016. http://ir.viacom.com/eventdetail.cfm?eventid=170845.

Pictures (not cited above):

[1] “Voot Image Logo.” Viacom18. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2016. http://www.viacom18.com/viabuzz/viacom18-digital-ventures-voot/.
[2] “Viacom Brands Logo. “Whoever Controls the Media, Controls the Mind.”  N.p., 25 Dec. 2014. Web. 24 Apr. 2016. http://annesmedia.blogspot.com/.


Corinna Vong
[25] Zynga logo, source: Dakota Financial News

Source: Dakota Financial News, Zynga logo [25]


[26] source: Forbes.com

Source: Forbes, Mark Pincus, CEO [26]

[27] FarmVille logo, source: Logopedia

Source: logos.wikia.com, FarmVille logo [27]

Zynga, a video game development company, has been creating and providing popular games for social network and mobile platforms since its founding in July 2007.  The company headquarters are stationed in San Francisco, California [1].  Co-founder Mark Pincus is the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors at the company [2].  Zynga’s online social games can be accessed through Facebook and the Zynga game website.  Two of the company’s most popular social games, FarmVille and FarmVille 2, have reached a total of more than 400 million users.  Another, Zynga Poker, is played by more than 130 million people daily.  Some of the social games are also available on mobile devices, while select games are exclusively offered as mobile applications.  One well-known mobile-only video game is Draw Something! [3].  The company’s games are “Freemium”, meaning users can install and play them for free but have the option to upgrade and excel higher through in-app purchases [4]. With offices in locations around the world, such as India, Ireland and Canada, the company’s hope is to connect the world through its games [5].


[28] Zynga goes public, source: gigaom.com

Source: Gigaom Research, Zynga goes public on NASDAQ [28]

Zynga (ZNGA) began trading publicly on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange on December 16, 2011 [6]. The company released its third quarterly financial report for 2015 on November 3, 2015. The company reported a revenue of $196 million, a 2% decrease from the 2015 second quarter. Its profit of $3 million was unexpected due to the $27 million loss during the second quarter in 2015 [7]. The mobile game bookings made up 69% of the $176 million in total bookings, an increase from 66% in the second quarter and an overall 26% year-over-year growth from the third quarter 2014 results. Zynga’s three main mobile game franchises were the cause of this increase; these games include Words With Friends, Zynga Poker and Slots [8]. The majority of these franchises are social casino games, showing progression in social casino revenue [9]. As Zynga expands into the mobile game market, it competes with other top mobile game development companies, such as Electronic Arts [10]. Two of Zynga’s social casino games, Wizard of Oz Slots and Hit It Rich! Slots, are ranked among the top 50 grossing mobile apps of 2015 [11][12].


[29] Rising Tide Games logo, source: blog.zynga.com

Source: Zynga Blog, Rising Tide Games logo [29] 

Zynga previously broke into the growing social casino game market as it has developed multiple popular social casino games throughout the years [13]. In order to expand in the thriving market, Zynga acquired Rising Tide Games, a social-casino-game development company, in September 2015. With this acquisition deal of $22 million, a number of former Zynga executives will return to the company, as they originally left to start Rising Tide Games [14]. According to the 2015 third quarterly earnings report, Zynga’s three casino games (Zynga Poker, Hit It Rich! Slots and Wizard of Oz Slots) altogether made up 45% of its online game revenue, encouraging the company to move forward with more social casino game development [15]. After success with the previously-released Wizard of Oz Slots, themed after the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, Zynga realized the powerful draw of user interest to games that correspond with certain films; usually fans of the film will be drawn to the game as well. The Wizard of Oz fans increased user traffic to Wizard of Oz Slots and the company saw an increase in downloads for the social casino app [16]. In November 2015, Zynga launched the free-to-play Princess Bride Slots game, an addition to its Social Slots franchise. Like Wizard of Oz Slots and The Wizard of Oz film, this new release incorporates the characters, settings and plot lines of the film, The Princess Bride [17].


The popularity of Zynga’s social games on Facebook is waning; due to complaints about the constant notifications that users receive from the games, such as FarmVille and Bubble Safari, Facebook has made policy changes in order to stop the bothersome notifications. As a result, user traffic to these online games has decreased, forcing Zynga to draw away from developing online games for the social network and push toward developing for the mobile game industry [18]. The mobile game market is growing rapidly and has constantly increased from 2013 onward. For 2015, market sales are estimated to reach above $30 billion [19]. Zynga’s mobile bookings make up a majority of its overall bookings, exhibiting the company’s potential in the mobile market. Though the launches of two mobile games, Dawn of Titans and CSR2, were scheduled for 2015, the company decided to delay the launches until 2016. These postponements are due to the company wanting to further develop the games and find ways to retain long-term players [8]. Zynga faces stronger competition as it continues to launch games in the mobile market and is currently in the process of determining tactics to create original games and attract user interest. The release of more than six mobile games was set for 2015 but, with the two postponements, the number of mobile launches this year is a total of five [20].


[32] Empires and Allies logo, source: www.giantbomb.com

Source: Giant Bomb, Empires and Allies logo [32] 

In order to increase overall profits and draw attention of sponsors, Zynga has introduced more in-app buying options and advertising tactics. In September 2015, the company incorporated an “Alliance vs. Alliance” group-based combat feature into its mobile game, Empires and Allies, in order to drive users toward in-app buying [21]. In October 2015, Zynga began creating and selling brand-sponsored levels in its game franchises with the introduction of SponsoredPLAY. The advertisements appear as incorporations to game levels that users can play, charging the sponsoring brand every time a level is played. Users are rewarded within the game when they play these sponsored levels. The game-level advertisements themselves are created by Zynga’s advertising agency, Studio E. Among the first brands to use Zynga’s SponsoredPLAY were Clorox and Naked Juice [22]. SponsoredPLAY was deemed a success as Zynga’s share price increased following the introduction of the advertising product [23]. Results show the company’s use of this interactive gaming tactic increase the average time users spend on a given advertisement, around 15 to 25 seconds, compared to the average time they would spend looking at a static advertisement [24].

[22] Zynga SponsoredPLAY, source: adage.com

Source: AdvertisingAge, Zynga SponsoredPLAY [22]


With the company growing and transitioning to developing games in booming markets, it is clear that Zynga will continue to focus on creating products for the social casino and mobile game industries specifically. The company hopes to have growth in its mobile bookings with the upcoming 2016 launches of Dawn of Titans and CSR2, games that will be first released to mobile devices [8].  Since the SponsoredPLAY campaigns are time-efficient and nearly effortless for the brand involved, Zynga will benefit by working with more advertisers because it will help with game subsidization [22].


[1] Connecting the World Through Games. Zynga. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
[2] Leadership. Zynga. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
[3] Our Games. Zynga. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
[4] F., Alan. May 22, 2012. Zynga’s top mobile executive talks games, freemium model, OMGPOP purchase and more. PhoneArena.com. Retrieved November 30, 2015.
[5] Career Listings. Zynga. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
[6] Mangalindan, JP. December 16, 2011. Today in Tech: Zynga goes public. Fortune. Retrieved November 29, 2015.
[7] Lynley, Matthew. November 3, 2015. Zynga Beats Expectations on Earnings, Posts A $3M Profit. TechCrunch. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
[8] Zynga Announces Third Quarter 2015 Financial Results. Zynga. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
[9] November 8, 2015. Zynga: Pulse Getting Weaker. Seeking Alpha. Retrieved November 29, 2015.
[10] Zynga, Inc. Competitors. Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
[11] Top Grossing Android Apps. Google Play. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
[12] Top Charts. AppShopper. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
[13] Jain, Aman. September 15, 2015. Zynga Buys Rising Tide Games. ValueWalk. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
[14] Takahashi, Dean. September 14, 2015. Zynga buys Rising Tide startup, bringing back one of its former casino game execs. VentureBeat. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
[15] November 13, 2015. Zynga: More Slots. Seeking Alpha. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
[16] November 19, 2015. Zynga achieves the “inconceivable” with Princess Bride Slots launch. GamingIntelligence. Retrieved November 30, 2015.
[17] November 19, 2015. As You Wish! Zynga Launches Princess Bride Slots Worldwide. CNN Money. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
[18] Gambone, Greg. September 24, 2015. Can Anything Save Zynga Stock From Its Deathbed? (ZNGA). InvestorPlace. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
[19] Keating, Lauren. September 3, 2015. Gaming On-The-Go. Tech Times. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
[20] November 3, 2015. “Farmville” creator Zynga delays game launches, CFO steps down. Reuters. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
[21] Leftovich, Devon. September 24, 2015. Zynga, Inc. Capitalizing Empire & Allies Sales with CommScope Holding Company, Inc. Knowles Corporation. StreetWise Report. Retrieved November 29, 2015.
[22] Peterson, Tim. October 8, 2015. Zynga Starts Selling Sponsored Levels Created by In-House Agency. AdvertisingAge. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
[23] Leftovich, Devon. October 12, 2015. Gaming Stocks Grabbing New Market: Zynga, Inc., Electronic Arts Inc., Activision Blizzard, Inc.. StreetWise Report. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
[24] October 12, 2015. Zynga launches SponsoredPLAY advertising solution. GamingIntelligence. Retrieved November 20, 2015.
[25] Zynga Logo. Dakota Financial News. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
[26] Mark Pincus. Forbes. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
[27] Logopedia – Farmville. Wikia. Retrieved November 30, 2015.
[28] Taylor, Colleen. December 16, 2011. Zynga’s road ahead: 4 things to watch for, post-IPOGigaom Research. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
[29] September 14, 2015. Zynga Rides the Social Casino Wave and Acquires Rising Tide Games. Zynga Blog. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
[30] ZyngaNetwork. Princess Bride Slots Trailer – Las Vegas Casino – Free Slot Machine Games – Best, Spin & Win. YouTube. Retrieved November 29, 2015.
[31] ZyngaNetwork. Dawn of Titans – Announce Trailer. YouTube. Retrieved November 29, 2015.
[32] January 2, 2015. Empires and Allies is a Turn-based, Strategy Combat game made by Zynga, and is Free-To-Play on Facebook. Giant Bomb. Retrieved December 2, 2015.



By Sean Mowry (scmowry)

Youtube Wiki 1[1]

Youtube LLC
901 Cherry Ave
San Bruno, CA
(650) 253-0000

Key Executives [2]

Larry Page CEO and Co-Founder

YouTube Larry Page

Eric E. Schmidt Executive Chairman

YouTube EricSchmidt

Susan Wojcicki Senior Vice President, YouTube

YouTube susan-wojcicki


In 2005 three PayPal employees, Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim, started up YouTube as a video-sharing site.  By the end of the first year, the site had 200,000 registered users and showed more than 2 million videos a day [3].  In 2006, Google bought YouTube for 1.65 billion dollars despite copyright concerns from media corporations at the time.  Google then decided to reach out and partner with the Universal Music Group, CBS Corp., Sony, and BMG Music Entertainment [4].  Now, more than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month and over 6 billion hours of video are watched every month on YouTube.  Each minute, 100 hours of content is uploaded to YouTube and according to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more US adults ages 18-34 than any cable network.  The website is a global powerhouse, with 80% of YouTube traffic coming from outside the US [5].

YouTube Google[18]


Google Inc. reported consolidated revenues of $16.52 billion for the third quarter, ending September 30, which is an increase of 20% compared with the third quarter report from 2013.  $9.55 billion, or 58% of this revenue is from outside the United States.  Net income for the third quarter is $2.81 billion, which is down from $2.97 billion in 2013.  This is also lower than the second quarter net income of $3.42 billion [6].  As of 11/30/2014, Google’s stock is $541.83 [7].

YouTube Stock[19]


YouTube is continuing to roll out two new subscription services this year.  The first is a wave of paid subscription channels, like those offered for free now, but without advertising.  This was launched in 2013 but the website is aggressively expanding the number of channels this year.  They now offer 238 channels, like NorthwoodsLeague, which is a summer baseball league comprised of top North American College players [8].  With more video online, and most of that online video is coming from YouTube, the website predicts that there will be a sizable share of the audience who would rather pay to watch the content than sit through advertising.  The project is a means of offering more options, and it also follows the subscription models of Netflix or Hulu, but at a more specific scale so that the site can operate effectively the same as before the rollout [9][10].

YouTube NWL[20]

The second subscription service launched this year is that of Music Key, which is a program that allows users to watch music videos without ads while also giving them the option to download the content onto their devices for offline listening and viewing.  The mobile devices will also be able to continue playing music in the background when they switch to other programs.  In addition to album tracks, Music Key offers downloads of concert recordings, remixes, unreleased rarities and cover versions recorded by others.  While YouTube hails itself as “the biggest music service on the planet” it is desperately lagging behind Spotify’s 12.5 million paying subscribers [11]. 

In July of 2014, Google also acquired Songza, a music streaming service that specializes in offering playlists made by people that are advertised for listening at any given time or during any given mood that you want.  Songza is still running as a separate service, but Google and YouTube are looking to apply the company’s expertise to their products like Google Play or Music Key [12].

In other news, YouTube now allows users to upload video in 60 frames per second, where before they were capped at 30 frames per second [13].

East Coast Presence

YouTube is a west coast, online company, but now it has recently opened up YouTube Space New York, a studio in Manhattan that is available to any channel that has more than 5,000 subscribers and is part of the Partner Program in which ads are hosted and revenue is shared.  The studios are a way of giving content creators more means of making an effective product and expanding their audience while also giving the company a footing in the diverse media landscape of New York City.  Since the studios opened in other cities like London, Los Angeles, and Tokyo two years ago, more than 30,00 people have attended 450 workshops and created 6,000 videos that were seen for 47 million hours [14][15].

YouTube spaces[21]

Another bonus to this is that it brings the company within proximity of Madison Ave, and they have been touring the studios with advertising executives to offer them an opportunity to collaborate with creators.  So a company like Maybelline could use BrandLab to host a day in which creators who focus in beauty could collaborate with them.  Many of these channels offer audiences numbers that would leave traditional players envious, but advertisers continue to put a low cost on these audiences.  The company hopes to change that mentality [14].

Competition From Facebook

YT face[22]

In early November 2014, a John Lewis Christmas Ad stormed social media.  The video was shared 200,000 times within the first 24 hours, and most of this was on Facebook.  While that might be good for the department store, Facebook stole 40% of the online audience for the video, which would have previously belonged exclusively to YouTube.  Facebook is now placing video at the heart of the company’s growth announcing this September that the platform achieved more than 1 billion views a day. Facebook is rolling out video advertising slowly, so that users can get used to the idea of having ads on their news feeds [17].


Facebook is also trying to lure content creators to the site by sharing their ad revenue in a more lucrative ratio.  While they would be developing features that are reminiscent of YouTube, they have the News Feed, which is the key to their success and something that YouTube will have to anticipate combating in the near future.  Often times Youtube channels will use Facebook to promote their videos but if they were to switch to the social media platform all together, a lot of ad revenue could be lost for YouTube, considering that they have been on top for so long, that they are struggling with loosing their audience and their bait for advertisers [16].


[1] YouTube Logo RT 30 November 2014

[2] Google Management RT 30 November 2014

[3] “Video Websites Pop Up, Invite Postings” RT 30 November 2014

[4] Google Buys YouTube RT 30 November 2014

[5] YouTube Statistics RT 30 November 2014

[6] Google Third Quarter Report 2014 RT 30 November 2014

[7] Google Second Quarter Report 2014 RT 30 November 2014

[8] YouTube Channels RT 30 November 2014

[9] “YouTube Considers Paid, Ad-Free Subscriptions” RT 30 November 2014

[10] “YouTube Is Said to Plan a Subscription Option” RT 30 November 2014

[11] “YouTube Music Key subscription service is unveiled” RT 30 November 2014

[12] “Google Buys Songza” RT 30 November 2014

[13] “YouTube Can Now Play Videos At A Buttery 60 Frames Per Second” RT 30 November 2014

[14] “YouTube Takes Manhattan” RT 30 November 2014

[15] YouTube Spaces RT 30 November 2014

[16] “Facebook Wants To Poach A Whole Bunch Of Talent From YouTube — And The Ad Money That Comes With Them” RT 30 November 2014

[17] “Facebook Is Stealing A Huge Chunk Of YouTube’s Audience” RT 30 November 2014

[18] Google Paint Logo RT 30 November 2014

[19] Google Stock Quote RT 30 November 2014

[20] Northwoods League RT 1 December 2014

[21] YouTube Spaces RT 1 December 2014

[22] Facebook RT 1 December 2014

[23] John Lewis Christmas Ad RT 1 December 2014


by Caitlin Lytle


[1] Brand name and Logo


Spotify is one of the top streaming services on the market and is all about finding the right song for the right moment. There are over 30 million songs to choose to stream from, with over 50 million active users in 58 markets across the globe [2]. While Spotify is relatively new in American, launching in 2011, it was founded in 2008 in Sweden.

Spotify Interface

The Spotify interface users see [3].

Users can create profiles, and on there create playlists, they can follow other users playlists, and share songs on social media by connecting through Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter. In addition to following their friend’s accounts they can also follow celebrity accounts and see what their followers are listening to on a side bar. The service also serves as a great music discovery tool, with Spotify’s own curated playlists, and radio feature similar to that of Pandora. With free and paid accounts there is a little bit of something for everyone with platforms on a user’s computer, mobile, tablet, and most recently home entertainment systems.

Subscriptions are broken up into two types, free and “premium” accounts in which users pay $9.99 a month to experience add free listening as well as more access to mobile listening and off line listening with data. The ratio to active paying subscribers to free listeners is over 20% [4].


Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 2.50.41 AM

Infographic aligning Spotify with their top competitor streaming services [5].

With the legacy of CDs and era of illegal downloading slowly dying out in the music business, people are looking more and more to streaming as a way to consume music. Because of this and the gap in the market for streaming services, in the last two years there has been a large emergence of streaming services that serve as competitors to Spotify. Last year Beats headphones launched Beats Music, and Amazon Prime Music launched recently as well, amongst already existent competitors like Rhapsody and Google Play.


Deezer logo [].

Deezer logo [6].

On September 14, 2014 Deezer came to America, which could potentially prove it self to be Spotify’s biggest competitor. Deezer is one of the world’s biggest names in streaming with its services available in 180 countries [5]. Due to licensing rights, they were not able to expand into the U.S. for quite some time, but now have the market of paying subscribers to go from 5 million users to rival Spotify’s 10 million international users [5]. However Spotify is at a slight advantage, because while Deezer is usually formatted with a similar interface to Spotify, Deezer in America is launching on a new platform. Deezer is only launching for US users through pricy Sonos sound systems and only those with speakers and the app can subscribe to the Deezer Elite service, with a steep price tag of $19.99 a month which is double that rate to Spotify’s for premium [7].


Celebrity Sightings In New York City - October 30, 2014

Taylor Swift pulls catalog from Spotify [8].

In addition to Deezer coming to America this fall, Spotify also recently suffered another large loss. Pop- country princess, Taylor Swift, just pulled her entire catalog from the streaming service. With such a large artist, obviously Swift has caused a large impact on what consumers are streaming, especially with the recent release of an album. This is all apart of a larger argument right now not only with Spotify, but all streaming services that artists are being paid too little for the amount of plays they are receiving [9]. However, Taylor’s case is different. Management released a statement that she believes art and music are important and should be fully purchased and that albums and means of listening to that music should not be free [8]. Because of this all of her music was pulled from streaming services with free accounts, but not those services where you are required to pay in order to have a profile. There is large debate as to whether or not her music will return, but for the time being fans are expected to buy albums, and how the relationship between Taylor Swift and Spotify will develop is one to track.


While this fall has given Spotify some tough situations, this has not stopped them from expanding.


Spotify Family, is the newest development in the programs interface. Similar to Netflix family accounts, Spotify Family now allows large families to have one billing account but different profiles for different family members, so Dad’s Rolling Stones playlists don’t get mixed in with Daughter’s Disney Princess playlist [10]. There are separate profiles and therefore different recommendations and profiles can be listened to at the same time, unlike before when one account could only be streamed in one place at a time [10]. In addition there is also a premium upgrade discount for families wanting to upgrade to this added service [10].


Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 3.32.34 AM

Spotify collaborates with popular car service, Uber [11].

Spotify is know for its unique brand collaborations, which continue as they offer music lovers cool experiences. This November on the 21st they collaborated with Uber to give Spotify and Uber the ride of a lifetime [11]. When users had both apps on the 21st, they could not only request a special car and get a vehicle with the new Spotify- enabled Uber cars, but they also had the chance to either get in a car that took them to a secret show in an undisclosed location, or get the chance to be picked up and driven around by some of their favorite artists [11]. This venture really shows the creative side of Spotify and how they connect with their users beyond a screen.

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 3.32.16 AM

Artists and Shows available during the Uber promotion [11].


Besides the Spotify- enabled Uber cars, Spotify is now reaching our vehicles this fall with CarPlay support in the latest iOS update [12]. The ioS app adds Apple CarPlay integration with that allows users to access the app through dash receivers and makes it easier for people to use the service in their vehicles [12]. Audi, Ferrari, Ford, and Hundai all plan on making the application available in their upcoming models for the next year [12].


With all of these great strides Spotify is taking to make them selves more user friendly and connect with their users, they will continue to be one of the top streaming services into 2015.

We can look to see Spotify as a brand present at future music festivals next spring as the festival season is fast approaching, as well as other unique music experiences brought to users with live music interaction, beyond the screen.


1. Spotify’s Logo 2014, Spotifypress.com, RT: 12/01/14

2. Spotify Press Fast FactsPress.Spotify.com,  RT: 12/01/14

3. Spotify User Profile Screen Shot, Open.spotify.com/artists, RT: 12/01/14

4. Spotify Press InformationPress.Spotify.com, RT: 12/01/14

5. Which Music Streaming Service Is the Biggest Worldwide?, Billboard.com, RT: 12/01/14

6. Deezer Logo 2014, Deezer.com, RT: 12/01/14

7. Deezer enters US market with Elite lossless service, Cnet.com, RT: 12/01/14

8. Taylor Swift Explains Why She Pulled Her Music From Spotify, Huffingtonpost.com, RT: 12/01/14

9. How is Spotify Contributing to the Music Business?, Spotifyartists.com, RT: 12/01/14

10. Introducing Spotify Family – one account for the whole band., News.spotify.com, RT: 12/01/14

11. 10 cities. 10 artists. Take a ride or see an exclusive live session., News.spotify.com, RT: 12/01/14

12. Spotify Adds CarPlay Support in Latest iOS Update, Macrumors.com, RT: 12/01/14


by Nick Sabatino
Photo courtesy of www.interpretllc.com

Photo courtesy of www.interpretllc.com [1]

Contact Information

Headquarters: 2230 E. Imperial Hwy, El Segundo, CA 90245                                    Phone: (310) 964-5000 [2]                                                                                                    Facebook: DirecTV                                                                                                    Twitter: @DirecTV


President and CEO: Michael White                                                                          Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer: Patrick T. Doyle                     Executive Vice President and President, DirecTV Latin America: Bruce B. Churchill [3]

President and CEO, Michael White Photo courtesy of investor.directv.com

President and CEO, Michael White
Photo courtesy of investor.directv.com [4]


DirecTV was founded in 1990 and was one of the country’s first satellite-cable providers. DirecTV offers quality television with a variety of channels, including many high definition (HD) channels. There are hundreds of channels on DirecTV and the number of channels a customer receives depends on the package that the customer buys. However, not only does DirecTV provide cable, they also provide On-Demand services, HD DVR products(recording devices) called Genie [5], and “TV Everywhere” applications so that you can enjoy your television shows or movies when you want, where you want, and on what device you choose.

DirecTV's Genie: HD DVR Photo courtesy of www.directv.com

DirecTV’s Genie: HD DVR
Photo courtesy of www.directv.com [6]

DirecTV is a satellite-cable provider, this means that instead of just having a cable box attached to your television inside of your home, DirecTV puts a satellite dish on top of your home. Appearance is mostly the only major difference. However, DirecTV has benefits over other cable providers. DirecTV is rated #1 in overall customer satisfaction, and has been ahead of cable for the past 14 years [7].


DirecTV offers its services in the United States and in Latin America. The company currently has over 37 million subscribers in these areas, and their revenues totaled about $30 billion dollars in 2013 [8]. DirecTV is a multi-billion dollar company traded publicly on the NASDAQ with the ticker symbol DTV. Their stock currently has a volume of 899,268 and it is being traded at $87.71 per share [9]. Over the past four years DirecTV has seen a substantial increase in subscribers. With that, came an increase in their stock value. Since 2010, DirecTV’s stock has rose about 60 points and it keeps steadily going up over time. These numbers are very good for DirecTV and proves that they are becoming more successful as a company and more people are choosing their product over others.

DirecTV stock over the last four years Photo courtesy of investor.directv.com

DirecTV’s stock price over the last four years
Photo courtesy of investor.directv.com [10]

AT&T Merger

In May of 2014, DirecTV proposed a deal to AT&T to join companies and create a merger. With this merger, AT&T could improve the services that DirecTV already has. AT&T would focus on improving the Internet quality in many areas of the country that DirecTV does business [11]. With improved Internet, customers would be able to get better access to On-Demand and Pay-Per-View options that DirecTV offers. It would also better allow for the DirecTV app to be on products such as iPads and iPhones that are contracted under AT&T service, so that DirecTV can be at your fingertips wherever, and whenever you want it to be. This is the concept of “TV Everywhere.”

Over the past few months, the merger has been overseen by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Justice Department over the legality of this merger. On November 20, 2014, DirecTV’s CEO, Michael White, said the deal should be approved next year. With this approved merger it is uncertain if DirecTV’s sales will go up. In a perfect market, the merger would cause an increase in the stock price of both AT&T and DirecTV. However, if one of the two company’s stock price starts to fall, being that both companies are in a merger, investors will sell their stock from the attached company and then both companies will have a decrease in stock price. This results in a loss of money for both AT&T and DirecTV [12].

AT&T and DirecTV Merger Photo courtesy of www.accessnorthga.com

AT&T and DirecTV Merger
Photo courtesy of www.accessnorthga.com [13]

International Expansion

In 2006, DirecTV gained 100% ownership of DirecTV Latin America [14]. With the expansion into new countries, DirecTV has asserted itself as more of a global brand. As of 2013, the number of subscribers that are from Latin America is about 18 million, which is an increase of about 9 million subscribers compared to the year 2010 [15]. With the success of expansion into Latin America, it is probable that DirecTV will expand into other markets as well and become even larger of a company. In the end of the day, it is all about getting your product to as many people as possible and making as much money as possible.

The DirecTV satellite dish portrayed as being on top of the Latin American countries where DirecTV is in. Photo courtesy of www.gigaom.com

DirecTV has expanded to Latin America.
Photo courtesy of www.gigaom.com [16]

Raycom Media

Back in September of 2014 there was a dispute between DirecTV and a broadcasting company called Raycom Media [17]. The dispute was over the broadcasting of Raycom Media’s channels through the means of DirecTV. The two companies did not come to a financial agreement by September 1st (the deadline) so for customers that had DirecTV they were unable to watch any Raycom Media channels for several days. Raycom Media is in 37 markets and 18 states, and they provide many different forms of television [18]. A major concern among people who had DirecTV and were in a Raycom Media market was the fact that they would not be able to watch some of the opening day NFL games on September 7th. Raycom and DirecTV made sure that this did not happen because of the potential financial loss that could have come from it. Agreements were made, and on September 7th customers were reinstated with their television channels.

Original Programming and What to Expect in the Future

Over the past few years DirecTV has entered into the world that Netflix and Hulu are also in. It’s the world of original programming, and it is the key to gaining more viewership, and in the case of DirecTV, more subscribers [19]. DirecTV’s goal is to have shows that viewers cannot get anywhere else. If this happens, then people may substitute the cable provider that they already have for DirecTV. DirecTV has their own channel called “Audience” that is only on DirecTV. On this channel is their newest show called Kingdom, and it came out in Fall of 2014. It stars Nick Jonas as a mixed martial arts fighter [20]. There is also a crime drama starring Thandie Newton called Rogue.

Click photo for Kingdom trailer courtesy of Youtube. Photo courtesy of www.directv.com

Click photo for Kingdom trailer, courtesy of www.youtube.com
Photo courtesy of www.directv.com [21]

There is even a special channel called “DogTV,” which is a channel specifically made for your dog to watch.

DogTV Trailer Photo courtesy of www.directv.com Commercial courtesy of www.youtube.com

Click photo for DogTV Commercial
Photo courtesy of www.directv.com
Commercial courtesy of www.youtube.com [22]

DirecTV also prides itself on its sports channels and packages. They have many packages, but their most popular one is the NFL Sunday Ticket. Every Fall if you are a customer that has NFL Sunday Ticket you can watch every NFL game that airs every Sunday [23]. New this Fall too is the introduction of NFL Fantasy Zone, a show which is all geared towards Fantasy Football. Expect growth in this department over the next few years.

There is also an ongoing dispute currently taking place between DirecTV and AMC. AMC is threatening to take away all of their channels (AMC, We TV, IFC, and Sundance) because they are claiming that DirecTV violated the existing deal that they had with them [24]. AMC is running campaigns during its show The Walking Dead, and DirecTV has an online petition[25]. DirecTV says that AMC is issuing a false alarm and nothing will happen. This is a developing story that needs to be kept a close eye on in the coming months.

In the near future, expect DirecTV to come up with more original content, renewal of their successful shows, expansion into new countries, and new and better deals to lure new customers to their services.


[1] DirecTV Logo. Interpret. RT: 4/30/14

[2] DirecTV Headquarters. eCorporateOffices.com. RT: 4/30/14

[3] Corporate Governance: Elected Officers. Investor.directv.com. RT: 4/30/14

[4] Michael White. Investor.directv.com. RT: 4/30/14

[5] DirecTV Genie. DirecTV.com. RT: 4/30/14

[6] DirecTV Genie. DirecTV.com. RT: 4/30/14

[7] DirecTV vs. Cable. DirecTV.com. RT: 4/30/14

[8] DirecTV 2013 Annual Report. Investor.directv.com. RT: 4/30/14

[9] Stock Quote and Chart. Investor.directv.com. RT: 4/30/14

[10] Stock Quote and Chart. Investor.directv.com. RT: 4/30/14

[11] “DirecTV CEO Expects Feds to OK AT&T Merger”. BostonHerald.com. RT: 4/30/14

[12] “3 Reasons DirecTV’s Stock Could Fall”. Fool.com. RT: 4/30/14

[13] “AT&T Agrees to Buy DirecTV in $45.8B Deal”. AccessNorthGa.com. RT: 4/30/14

[14] Company Profile. DirecTV.com. RT: 4/30/14

[15] DirecTV 2013 Annual Report. Investor.directv.com. RT: 4/30/14

[16] “DirecTV Adds Another 600,000 Latin American Users in Q1”. Gigaom.com. RT: 4/30/14

[17] “Raycom Media Restores 43 Local Stations to DirecTV Homes”. News.directv.com. RT: 4/30/14

[18] “Raycom Media Reaches Agreement In Principle With DirecTV”. RaycomMedia.com. RT: 4/30/14

[19] “DirecTV tries to join Netflix, Hulu With New Original Series Kingdom: Can They Compete?”. SheKnows.com. RT: 4/30/14

[20] “Stepping Into the Cage with Kingdom‘s Jonathan Tucker”. News.directv.com. RT: 4/30/14

[21] Kingdom Poster. DirecTV.com. RT: 4/30/14

[22] “DogTV Commercial – Been There Done That – Part 2”. Youtube.com. RT: 4/30/14

[23] “How DirecTV is Capitalizing On Growth of Fantasy Football”. Forbes.com. RT: 4/30/14

[24] “AMC Sounds Alarm About DirecTV Tussle During ‘Walking Dead’ Episode”. Variety.com. RT: 4/30/14

[25] “Don’t Let AMC Scare You!”. directvpromise.com. RT: 4/30/14


CBS Films

 by Rebecca Raichek


11800 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90025

Company Overview

CBS Films is a film company that is owned by CBS Corporation and produces, distributes, and acquires feature films. Created in 2007, CBS Films is a small production company who release about four to six films every year that consist of various different genres [1]. CBS Films are always on the lookout for new quality films regardless of genre, and generally focus on the production of smaller films since they are more agile and adapt to the market place says Vice President of Communications Grey Munford [2]. CBS Films looks to make good movies that are able to find an audience. Showtime and CBS help with the financing of the films, and the showcasing and syndication as well. Because CBS is good at putting premium content out, CBS films are able to reach their intended audience. They gain viewers through less of a traditional promotional and advertising way, but are still equally as successful as the big studios [2].

Key Executives

Terry Press: President


Terry Press source: cbsfilms.com/about

  Reid Sullivan: Chief Financial Officer


Reid Sullivan source: cbsfilms.com/about

Scott Shooman: Executive Vice President Acquisitions and Co-Productions


Scott Shooman source: cbsfilms.com/about

Steven Friedlander: Executive Vice President Theatrical Distributions


Steven Friedlander source: cbsfilms.com/about


Since CBS Films was established in 2007, they have released 17 movies that have earned a total gross income of $321,882,427 [3].  The top earning movie was Last Vegas with $63,914,167, followed by The Woman in Black with $54,333,290.  In the first quarter of 2014, the Entertainment sector of CBS Corporation which includes CBS Films earned $457 million which was a decrease for the first quarter in 2013 which was $480 million [4]. In the third quarter of 2014 which is the most recent, the Entertainment sector of CBS corporation earned $335 million which was a decrease from $431 million in 2013 [4].

Upcoming/Current Projects

Currently, CBS Films has one film in theaters and one that is coming out in February. In July 2014 CBS Films acquired the U.S rights to the British film Pride after it debuted at the Cannes film festival. Pride is a film about the true story of a gay and lesbian activist group in London supporting the national union of mineworkers strike. It stars Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, Paddy Considine, and is directed by Matthew Warchus. The film was distributed by Pathe and the acquisition deal was made by Scott Shooman who negotiated with Cameron McCracken and Pierre du Plessis [5]. Pride was a small film with a limited release of only 124 theaters in the U.S and has a total gross of $1,446,634 [6]. Critics gave the film great reviews and was given 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes [7]. To advertise the film, CBS Films relied heavily on the use of social media and personal interactions through the audiences via Twitter. CBS Films retweeted audience reviews of Pride on their page instead of self-promoting the movie themselves. According to Vice President of Communications Grey Munford, “ the best thing you can do is retweet the good things other people are saying. People trust it more with reviews coming from other people.” He also stressed that “Pride was a social first movie- in the digital space social media is most important,” [2]. Pride will be available on Blue-Ray on December 23rd, 2014.


Promotional poster for Pride source: geekedoutnation.com

Another upcoming project for CBS Films is the release of The DUFF in February 2015. The trailer for The DUFF had it’s world release during the premiere of The Hunger Games as part of a strategy by CBS to target the demographic of Women Under 25 [2]. According to Munford, the trailer was strategically released during The Hunger Games because it was the single biggest movie released between November and February that would reach the target demographic [2].  The DUFF  is about a high school girl who finds out she is the
“DUFF” of her friend group- the designated ugly fat friend, and she desperately tries to change her image. This film has also used social media to advertise, and actors Bella Thorne and Robbie Amell have tweeted a link to the trailer encouraging their fans and followers to watch it and see the movie when it is released.


Promotional poster for The DUFF source: collider.com

Starting in 2015, Lionsgate Entertainment will take over CBS Film’s distribution operations as a multiyear agreement. The deal also includes Lionsgate taking control over all international sales for CBS films. CBS will still produce and acquire their own films, but Lionsgate will have total control of distribution both in theaters and in home entertainment [8]. This deal comes after CBS Films has made a move to become a more significant studio in acquiring films, especially after they acquired Inside Llewyn Davis, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, and most recently Pride [8].

Another upcoming project for CBS Films is the production of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark which will be an adaptation of the books written by Alvin Schwartz. The films will be adapted by John August, and will be produced by Sean Daniel, Jason Brown, and Elizabeth Grave [9].


source: deadline.com

CBS Films is also adapting the Broadway musical 13 to film which will be written by Bert V. Royal, and produced by Laurence Mark [10].


Social Media

Because CBS Films is a smaller film company, they rely heavily on social media in order to advertise and promote their films. They have a Facebook account where they constantly post about their current and upcoming projects and provide behind the scenes pictures for the 5,700 people who like the page. Vice President of Communications for CBS Films Grey Munford, explained how social media has helped their films successfully compete with big budget movies at the box office. Their film The Woman In Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe, opened up within 2-3 million dollars of Fox’s big budget film Chronicle. [2]. The film used social media and built an online fan base to successfully advertise and also emphasized on the stardom of Daniel Radcliffe to persuade his current fans to see the movie.


source: gettypress.co.uk

CBS Films also used Radcliffe as an advertising tool to promote their Romantic- Comedy What If  which he starred in as well.  The film had a social media campaign through the new app We Heart It which is an image-sharing social network, and gained 22,000 followers [11].


source: gophoto.us


[1]. About CBS Films, cbsfilms.com/about, RT 11/27/14

[2]. G.Munford, Personal Communication, October 29 2014.

[3]. CBS Films All Time Box Office Resultsboxofficemojo.com, RT 11/27/14

[4].CBS Corporation Investor Relations, investors.cbscorporation.com, RT 11/28/14

[5].“Pride Acquired by CBS Films”, variety.com, RT 11/27/14

[6].Pride (2014), boxofficemojo.com, RT 11/27/14

[7]  Rotten Tomatoes, rottentomatoes.com, RT 11/29/14

[8]. “Lionsgate Takes Over CBS Films’ Distribution & Global Sales, deadline.com, RT 11/28/14

[9].“John August To Pen ‘Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark’ For CBS Films, deadline.com, RT 11/28/14

[10].“CBS Films Bringing Musical ’13’ to Big Screen, hollywoodreporter.com, RT 11/28/14

[11].“Young-adult movie campaigns mine social media” usatoday.com, RT 11/28/14

Additional References








By Nicolas Claro

Company History

On January 4th, 1996, Michael Eisner and the Walt Disney Company came to an agreement with Capital Cities/ABC on a merger between the two companies, forming what is known today as Disney-ABC TV [1]. In addition to ABC Television Network, Disney-ABC owns multiple cable channels including Disney Channel Disney XD, ABC Family and ABC News, as well as a controlling stake in ESPN and an equity holding in A+E Networks.




Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks
President, Disney/ABC Television Group (2005-2015)


Executive Vice President, Global Communications, Disney/ABC Television Group


President, ABC Owned Television Stations Group


President, ABC Entertainment Group


President and Chief Creative Officer, Disney Channels Worldwide


Co-President, Disney/ABC Television Group (2010-2015),

Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks
President, Disney/ABC Television Group (2015-)




The Walt Disney Company’s first quarter of the fiscal year ended on December 28, 2013. Since the first quarter of the 2013 fiscal year, The Walt Disney Company’s media networks have seen a 4% increase in revenue, and an operating income increase of nearly 20%. However, the company saw a decrease of almost $85 million in income, due in large part to contractual rate increases to Modern Family and other long-tenured shows on the network. [3]

Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 2.51.16 PM



The cast and crew of Modern Family winning their fourth Emmy in four years. [4]

Disney-ABC has done a very fine job of diversifying their TV offerings, broadcasting programs for every sort of viewer imaginable. The company’s two most popular offerings are 4-time Emmy winner Modern Family [4] and the company’s longest running primetime drama, Grey’s Anatomy. In addition, ABC has created successful shows based on existing third-party content, such as Once Upon a Time and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ABC also airs a large number of successful unscripted shows, such as The Bachelor and Dancing With The Stars, talk-shows in both the morning (The View) and late-night (Jimmy Kimmel Live!), live college football and NBA games, and national news shows such as Good Morning America.

Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes (left) and the show’s star Kerry Washington. Rhimes also created ABC’s long running Grey’s Anatomy. [5]

ABC Family and the various Disney channels offer popular youth-oriented series such as Pretty Little Liars and the cartoon Gravity Falls.

In this upcoming season, Disney-ABC plans to bolster its broadcast schedule even further by collaborating with well-respected directors and producers such as David O. Russell and Bryan Singer on the shows The Club [6]  and Black Box [7] , respectively.


Director Bryan Singer, well known for his directorial work on the X-Men films, is bringing a show to ABC this year. [8]

New King of Late Night?

ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel (Left) and NBC’s Jimmy Fallon (Right) [9]

On April 3, 2014, Late Night host David Letterman announced his retirement from the show, and from late-night TV in 2015. Stephen Colbert will replace him on CBS in the same time slot after his departure. [10] With David Letterman’s retirement in 2015, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel will have the longest active run of late night hosting on broadcast TV with a consecutive 11 years on the air. Along with Colbert, Kimmel has already begun competing with the recently appointed Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon on NBC, who’s show shares a timeslot with Kimmel.

So far, among the two shows, The Tonight Show has dominated in TV ratings. However, Jimmy Kimmel Live is fast on Fallon’s heels in the digital department. After a stellar debut week (avg 6.2 million viewers), Fallon’s ratings have come back to Earth (avg 1.8 million viewers in its 2nd week). A report from Nielsen “SocialGuide”’s data, the number of impressions on Twitter for each show are comparable, and Kimmel’s uptick in viewership means that the margin between the two shows is closer than you think. These two talk-show stalwarts look to be set to compete for years to come, and ready to take on all challengers. [11].


The End of an Era?

Will this Aereo antennae (left) be the end of TV as we know it? [12]

On February 14, 2012, a company called Aereo created a product that was designed, in their eyes, to be the future of television. Aereo created a mini-sized antennae that effectively replaced a cable box and allowed consumers to “break free” from cable companies [12], all for a very affordable price of $80 a year. However, by doing so, Aereo was breaking many rules by not paying retransmission fees to the networks it carried, something that the cable providers are required to do. As such, cable companies swarmed Aereo with suits and injunctions within months, but to no avail [13]. 2+ years later, Aereo is still operational, and now more faces have joined in the fight against them, including ABC.

Aereo founder Chet Kanojia [15]

Specifically, their case against Aereo is set to go to Supreme Court review on April 22, 2014, and will likely be resolved by the end of June. If they lose, Aereo could be a signal of what is to come, with other startups following suit, and ducking retransmission fees. However, even if the networks win this battle, has the issue gained enough traction that it has gone down an irreversible path? Many Aereo subscribers, and consumers fed up with their cable companies, are embracing this new technology and championing it as the next big thing. Nobody knows just how this case will play out, but everyone knows that the repercussions will be massive [15][14]


Fighting Fire with Fire

Scandal’s growing social media numbers

Scandal’s growing social media numbers [16]

Recent advances in broadcast technology have seriously hindered TV’s chances at remaining a top broadcast medium in the past few years. Internet piracy, DVR and online streaming services have all impeded on the television’s reign atop the media market. However, it seems that ABC has found a way to turn the tables and use these new developments to their advantage.

The best example of this is ABC’s smash hit show Scandal. ABC has allowed the show’s creator, Shonda Rhimes, to run rampant on social media, and she does so with finesse. Her constant involvement and interaction with fans throughout the show’s run has led to a massive social media following for everyone from Rhimes, to the show’s star, Kerry Washington, to Scandal’s official social media accounts.

To show just how astronomical its rise has been, take Scandal’s social media growth from its premiere up to the third season finale on April 17, 2014. At the former, Scandal had about 500,000 connections on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube combined. As of the third season finale, Scandal has 1.4 million views on its official Youtube page, 2.6 million followers on Twitter and almost 5 million fans on Facebook. As you would expect, Scandal’s most popular demographic is in the 18-49 range, who – not so coincidentally – are the demographic most present on social media networks [16].

Works Cited

[1] THE MEDIA BUSINESS;Disney and ABC Shareholders Solidly Approve Merger Deal

[2] All portraits courtesy of disneyabctv.com


[4] Modern Family – The Television Academy

[5] girltalkhq – ‘Scandal’ & ‘Greys Anatomy’ Creator Shonda Rhimes To Receive Diversity Award

[6] Deadline – Soapy Drama From David O. Russell & Susannah Grant Gets ABC Series Order

[7] Deadline – Bryan Singer To Direct & Exec Produce CBS Series ‘Battle Creek’ From Vince Gilligan & David Shore

[8] IMDB – Bryan Singer photos

[9] tvovermind – Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel Agree To Play Nice

[10] CBSNews – Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman on “Late Show”

[11] thewrap.com – Jimmy Fallon vs. Jimmy Kimmel: The New Late Night Fight, by the Numbers

[12] “Love is in the Aereo” – Aereo.com press release

[13] “Aereo Prevails” – Aereo.com press release

[14] USAToday – Supreme Court case could test future of broadcast TV

[15] Fortune – What happens if broadcasters lose the Aereo case?

[16] How Social Media Helps Drive ABC’s ‘Scandal’


By Caroline Soss
Photo courtesy of: [1] www.crunchbase.com

Photo courtesy of: [1] www.crunchbase.com


12312 West Olympic Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90064 [2]


Phone (310) 570-4700
Website www.hulu.com
Twitter @hulu


Hulu is an over-the-top video service provider streaming on-demand programming from NBC, ABC, A&E, AMC, FOX, The CW, MTV and more.

Hulu offers advertisement-supported free programming with limited commercial interruption on its website Hulu.com. Regular advertisers include Johnson & Johnson, McDonald’s, Microsoft, GEICO and Target.


Photo courtesy of: [4] www.vulture.com

For a monthly fee of $7.99, Hulu Plus subscribers can stream unlimited premium and exclusive content from any Hulu+ enabled device. These devices include smart televisions, game consoles, smartphones/tablets and media players like Apple TV and Roku [3].

Hulu delivers over 70,400 hours of video from 514 different content partners [5]. Hulu streams popular TV shows such as FAMILY GUY, SCANDAL, THE VOICE, PARKS AND RECREATION, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART [6] and more than 800 films from The Criterion Collection [7].

Photo courtesy of: [6] www.hulu.com

Photo courtesy of: [6] www.hulu.com

Hulu also produces its own original content like DEADBEAT, EAST LOS HIGH, THE AWESOMES and THE HOTWIVES OF ORLANDO [8].

Watch Hulu’s promo for their 2014 Originals here. Video courtesy of: [9] www.hulu.com.

Hulu.com was launched in 2008 as a joint venture between Comcast’s NBCUniversal and News Corporation [10]. Today, NBCUniversal, The Walt Disney Company’s Disney-ABC Television Group and 21st Century Fox’s Fox Broadcasting Company together own Hulu’s online subscription service [11].

As of February 2014, Hulu reported more than five million Hulu+ subscribers and thirty million monthly free service users [12] with over four billion videos streamed in 2013 [13].


CEO Mike Hopkins, photo courtesy of: [14] www.engadget.com

CEO Mike Hopkins, photo courtesy of: [14] www.engadget.com

Last October, Hulu replaced its acting CEO with Mike Hopkins, former President of Distribution at Fox for five years [14]. Within weeks of joining the company, Hopkins hired Disney’s Elaine Paul as CFO [11]. In February 2014, Hopkins hired NBC’s Peter Naylor as SVP of Advertising Sales [13] and Sony’s Tiam Lim as Chief Technology Officer [12]. In March 2014, Disney’s Tim Connolly joined the company as Head of Distribution [15]. In April 2014, Warner Bros.’ Craig Erwich was hired as Hulu’s SVP and Head of Content [16].


Hulu is a privately held company and not required to publicly release its financial information. However, CEO Mike Hopkins reported Hulu earning one billion dollars in annual revenue at the end of last year [17]. In 2013, Hulu’s owners (Comcast, Disney and 21st Century Fox) also dropped offers to sell Hulu and instead invested $750 million dollars into the company [11].

Photo courtesy of: [18] www.techcrunch.com

Photo courtesy of: [18] www.techcrunch.com


In February 2014, Hulu sold its Japanese subsidiary to Tokyo-based Nippon Television Network Corporation. Since 2011, Hulu had streamed 13,000+ videos from fifty different American and European content providers to Japan. While Hulu will continue to make its content and brand available for use by Nippon TV as well as provide infrastructure service to the Japanese company, Hulu will focus on the U.S. rather than internationally [19].


Hulu aims to operate on all types of platforms with 50% of Hulu+ subscribers streaming solely on devices [17].

Photo courtesy of: [21] blog.hulu.com

Photo courtesy of: [21] blog.hulu.com

In April 2014, Amazon.com launched Amazon Fire TV – the company’s new set-top box/game console hybrid positioned to replace media players like Apple TV, Roku and Xbox [20].

Amazon Fire TV streams not only Amazon’s own online video subscription service (Amazon Prime) but also partner on-demand services, including Hulu Plus. Hulu promises the “most enhanced and updated version of the Hulu Plus Living Room experience on Amazon Fire TV” [21]. Further, Amazon added Hulu Plus to the list of services available through voice search by speaking into the Fire TV remote – making Hulu even easier to utilize on this new platform [22].


Hulu is continuing to grow its content library with both current season television and original programming [17].

Photo courtesy of: [23] blog.hulu.com

Photo courtesy of: [23] blog.hulu.com

In April 2014, CEO Mike Hopkins announced Hulu will be exclusively streaming NBCUniversal-produced THE MINDY PROJECT and Golden Globe-winning comedy BROOKLYN NINE-NINE as well as popular series like KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS and TOP CHEF. These high-in-demand hit programs will not be available to competitors Netflix or Amazon Prime, ultimately giving Hulu monopoly control over more content [23].

Hulu also recently acquired the rights to stream ELEMENTARY, the highly rated CBS drama starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu [24], and popular CBS classics like THE BRADY BRUNCH and CHEERS.

Photo courtesy of: [25] blog.hulu.com

Photo courtesy of: [25] blog.hulu.com

Hulu is expanding its library of popular TV shows from past decades [25]. This may be a tactic to keep fairly older viewers, who grew up with this content, entertained; 60% of Hulu subscribers fall between the ages of 18 and 49 years old with an average age of 39 [26].

Photo courtesy of: [26] www.hulu.com/advertising

Photo courtesy of: [26] www.hulu.com/advertising

However, the Nielsen Company will continue excluding broadband-only households, a large total of Hulu Plus viewership, in the ratings for the 2014-2015 television season [27].


Hulu developed twenty original series in 2013 and plans to launch twenty more this year [28]. Hulu’s original shows THE AWESOMES, BEHIND THE MASK and THE WRONG MANS were among the top ten weekly shows watched on Hulu when they aired in 2013 and were all recently renewed for another season in 2014 [17].

New in 2014, Hulu’s original comedy series DEADBEAT, starring Tyler Labine, is receiving strong reviews from Variety, the New York Post and the Philadelphia Inquirer since its premiere [29]. All ten episodes of the show’s first season were uploaded to Hulu on April 9th, 2014, and only hours later DEADBEAT as dubbed “Hulu’s best show yet” [30].

Photo courtesy of: [29] www.hulu.com

Photo courtesy of: [29] www.hulu.com

DEADBEAT follows Kevin Pacalioglu (Tyler Labine), a lazy stoner who can see the dead and becomes a freelance medium to pay his rent, helping ghosts move on to the afterlife by competing in eating contests and proposition their ex-girlfriends.

Watch the DEADBEAT series trailer here. Video courtesy of: [31] www.hulu.com. 

Critics, however, argue that Hulu being owned by television companies may explain why competitor Netflix is still spending so much more than Hulu on original programming [32].


In the past year, Hulu has hired 260 new employees to complete a staff of more than 725 members with plans to continue growing the company [17].

As public interest in more convenient Internet TV Everywhere services grows, analysts predict subscribers may more easily authenticate their pay services through a social media account like Facebook or Twitter – a business tactic that may be in Hulu’s near future [33].


[1] Hulu CrunchBase Profile. CrunchBase. RT: 4/18/14

[2] Company Overview of Hulu, LLC. Bloomberg BusinessWeek. RT: 4/18/14

[3] Hulu – About. Hulu.com. RT: 4/18/14

[4] “Streaming Scorecard: Is Hulu Plus Still the TV King?” Vulture. RT: 4/19/14

[5] “Hulu Names Warner Bros. TV’s Craig Erwich Head of Content.” Variety.  RT: 4/18/14

[6] Hulu Popular TV Shows. Hulu.com. RT: 4/20/14

[7] “‘The Great Beauty’ Debuts Only on Hulu Plus.” Blog.hulu.com. RT: 4/19/14

[8] “A New Year With New Hulu Originals.” Blog.hulu.com. RT: 4/19/14

[9] Hulu Promos 2014 Hulu Originals. Hulu.com. RT: 4/20/14

[10] “Hulu Opens to Public.” Hulu.com. RT: 4/18/14

[11] “Hulu Hires Disney’s Elaine Paul as CFO.” Variety. RT: 4/18/14

[12] “A World-Class Builder Joins the Hulu Ranks.” Blog.hulu.com. RT: 4/18/14

[13] “A Big Sales Win – Welcome Peter Naylor.” Blog.hulu.com RT: 4/18/14

[14] “Hulu officially announces its new CEO, former Fox exec Mike Hopkins.” Engadget. RT: 4/18/14

[15] “Hulu Hires Disney’s Tim Connolly as Head of Distribution.” Variety. RT: 4/18/14

[16] “Hulu Original Series Chief Departs Amid New Programming Push.” The Hollywood Reporter. RT: 4/18/14

[17] “A Strong 2013.” Blog.hulu.com. RT: 4/18/14

[18] “The Second Screen Becomes The First Screen: Hulu Says 50% Of Its 5M Subscribers Use Devices Exclusively.” TechCrunch. RT: 4/18/14

[19] “Hulu Says Sayonara, Sells Off Japanese Unit to Nippon TV.” TechCrunch. RT: 4/18/14

[20] “Amazon Fire TV review: the set-top that tries to do everything.” Engadget. RT: 4/19/14

[21] “Hulu Plus on Amazon Fire TV.” Blog.hulu.com. RT: 4/19/14

[22] “Amazon Fire TV’s voice search expands to cover Hulu Plus and Showtime, but not Netflix.” Engadget. RT: 4/19/14

[23] “We’re Flipping Out for NBCU Library Shows Only on Hulu Plus.” Blog.hulu.com. RT: 4/19/14

[24] “Hulu Plus Acquires Subscription Video on Demand Rights for Popular CBS Drama ‘ELEMENTARY.’” Business Wire. RT: 4/19/14

[25] “More CBS Shows Coming to a Hulu Plus Screen Near You.” Blog.hulu.com. RT: 4/19/14

[26] Hulu Advertising. Hulu.com. RT: 4/18/14

[27] “Nielsen Capitulates, Agrees to Withhold Broadband Households from Local Ratings – For Now.” MediaPost. RT: 4/19/14

[28] Hulu Exclusive Series. HuluMovies. RT: 4/20/14

[29] Deadbeat. Hulu.com. RT: 4/20/14

[30] “‘Deadbeat’ Is Hulu’s Best Show Yet.” Flavorwire. RT: 4/19/14

[31] Deadbeat Series Trailer. Hulu.com. RT: 4/21/14

[32] “Netflix has nothing to fear from Hulu’s sad little content expansion.” BGR. RT: 4/20/14

[33] “Hulu’s Original Content Strategy Continues to Progress Steadily.” Adweek. RT: 4/20/14


By Matt Porter
Zynga Logo

Zynga Logo [1]


 699 8th Street San Fransisco, California 94103

Facebook: Zynga

Twitter: @Zynga

YouTube: ZyngaNetwork

Key Executives [2]

Mark Pincus

Mark Pincus: Founder, CPO, Chairman of the Board of Directors [3]

Don Mattrick

Don Mattrick: CEO [4]

Clive Downie

Clive Downie: COO [5]

David Lee

David Lee: CFO and CAO [6]

 About [7]

Zynga Inc. is the world’s leading developer in games for social platforms. Zynga develops games for Facebook, Android, Apple, as well as their site Zynga.com. The company is best known for its franchises FarmVille, Zynga Casino, and Words With Friends. Their games are played by 100 million monthly consumers, and their games have reached over 1 billion people worldwide. However, Zynga has seen a steady decrease in active users since the company’s peak in Q2 2012 as seen in the chart below [8].

Zynga Daily Active Users Since 2009

Zynga Daily Active Users Since 2009 [8]

Zynga has always stuck with the idea that games should be free and social. The main revenue for Zynga comes from advertisements. While the games are free for users, there is premium in-game content that users can purchase, creating another revenue stream for the company [13].

Zynga founded zynga.org, an organization using the social gaming platform to raise money for charity. The organization uses in-game purchases in games like FarmVille, and has used the proceeds to help with disaster relief in Haiti, Japan, and other countries [14].


Zynga Inc. was founded in 2007 by Mark Pincus and six other co-founders who are no longer with the company. Pincus founded the company with one mission: “connecting the world through games” [12]. Pincus founded Presidio Media in April 2007, but in July of 2007, changed the name to Zynga– a name to honor his American bulldog, Zinga [13].

Zynga started out on MySpace, during a time where other ad-based games saw success. Pincus was smart enough to predict that Facebook would be the future, and immediately shifted platforms for his brand new company. In 2007, Zynga released its first game, a free social poker game, for Facebook. In 2008, Zynga released Mafia Wars, a highly successful free-to-play game. Since then, the company has seen success with franchises such as Words With Friends and Farmville [13].


Zynga Inc. went public in 2011 and saw an early increase in stock value. However, as many of their consumers moved to mobile device, and their online games saw less active users, the value decreased [11]. The company saw a loss of $25.2 million, which is an average of three cents per share. They saw a smaller loss than they did in 2012 however, in which the company lost $48.6 million, or six cents per share. Their sales also dropped in Q4 2013 by 43%, from $311.2 million to $176.4 million [11]. Unfortunately, the financial reports for Q1 2014 will not be released until April 23. However, Zynga’s stock value rose from January to March, and since March 12, has been slowly declining. The value’s peak this quarter was at 5.29 per share on March 12. Currently, it is just over 4.00 per share [9].

Zynga Stock Value Q1 2014

Zynga Stock Value Q1 2014 [9]

According to analysts, the reason for this is that  Zynga’s main competitor, King Digital, went public in mid-March [10]. King Digital produced the popular game Candy Crush and while their IPO was a dud when they went public on March 26, Zynga stocks were affected by the competitor’s decision to go public.

Acquisition of NaturalMotion

Natural Motion Logo

Natural Motion Logo [15]

Zynga acquired NaturalMotion, a United Kingdom-based gaming company, on January 30, 2014. NaturalMotion has developed the games CSR Racing and Clumsy Ninja, among others. The deal involved $391 million dollars and 39.8 million shares in Zynga stock [16].

NaturalMotion co-founder and CEO Torsten Reil e-mailed his staff the day of the acquisition the following: [17]

“We are excited by this opportunity – it allows us to continue on our path whilst fast-tracking important areas such as scalable server infrastructure, live game operations and network cross promotion at scale.”

Kim-Mai Cutler of Tech Crunch believes that the deal was very smart for Zynga and that it will be beneficial because “Zynga gets a good portfolio of current and upcoming games, a character with real franchise potential in Clumsy Ninja, a middleware business and a 260-person gaming company that is culturally focused on quality” [16].

Corporate Structural Change

Mark Vranesh photo

Mark Vranesh, former Zynga CFO and CAO [18]

Zynga announced on April 10 that its veteran CFO and CAO, Mark Vranesh, would be leaving the company. Vranesh had worked for Zynga for six years, and became the CFO in 2012 [19]. Replacing him was David Lee, the senior vice president for enterprise finance at Best Buy. Lee officially started working on April 14, reporting directly to CEO Don Mattrick. Vranesh will be helping Lee through the end of April to ensure a smooth transition for the company [20]. It is not clear at this time where Vranesh will take his career next.

2014 Title Releases

Riches of Olympus

Riches of Olympus Logo [21]

Riches of Olympus (February 6, 2014)

Developed by the Zynga Casino team, Riches of Olympus is a mobile slot-machine game emulating Las Vegas style and quality. The game is available on the Apple Store, as well as Google Play. According to the official Zynga press release, the game will feature innovative mobile slot mechanics, such as sticky wilds, mega stack symbols, unique reel arrays and burst wilds [22].

Riches of Olympus Screenshot

Riches of Olympus screenshot [23]

Hit it Rich! Ted (March 13, 2014)

Hit it Rich! Ted screenshot

Hit it Rich! Ted screenshot [24]

Hit it Rich! is Zynga’s flagship social slot franchise. The game features addictive gameplay and releases different versions that include characters from popular films, television shows, etc. In March, Zynga released a version of Hit it Rich! feauring Ted, the talking stuffed bear from the popular R-rated comedy [24]. This was an interesting choice of a character, as Ted was released in 2012 and its sequel is not due until 2015.

Hit it Rich! FarmVille (April 10, 2014)

Hit it Rich! FarmVille 2 screenshot

Hit it Rich! FarmVille 2 screenshot [25]

Hit it Rich! FarmVille follows the same philosophy of the previously mentioned Ted edition, however this edition of the popular Zynga game promotes their own brand. This title was released just a week before the FarmVille 2 mobile game. Together the two franchises had reached 750 million users, so it was a logical step to combine the two [25].

FarmVille 2: Country Escape (April 17, 2014)

FarmVille 2: Country Escape on iPad

FarmVille 2: Country Escape on iPad [26]

Zynga released FarmVille 2: Country Escape, the first mobile-entry in the popular FarmVille franchise. The game was built from the ground up for the mobile experience, with touch controls designed to ease the use of planting crops and interacting with animals. Users manage their own farms, can visit their friends’ farms, and send crops and animals to connected users. For the first time the series’ history, users can play the game without an internet connection. The title is available on the Apple Store and Google Play [26].

Watch the trailer for FarmVille 2: Country Escape


WWF Cupcake

Words With Friends turns five. [27]

2014 marked the fifth year anniversary for the popular Zynga title, Words With Friends. Since its conception in 2009, the title has had as many as 55 million matches going on in a single moment [27]. This game is essentially a social version of Scrabble, allowing players to connect around the world and take turns earning points for placing words on a virtual board. FarmVille will turn five this year as well [28]. The company has been celebrating the birthday now that the latest FarmVille title has released. In addition to the milestone of their titles, Zynga has made history of its own. Edwin M. Lee, Mayor of the City and County of San Fransisco named April 18, “Zynga Day” [28].

The Future

Under CEO Don Mattrick, who formally worked with Microsoft and Xbox, it is clear that Zynga is refocusing on the games that make the company unique. The acquisition of NaturalMotion was a smart move to help strengthen their game catalog, and hopefully this and the corporate restructuring can boost them over their competitors.


[1] Zynga Logo Image


[2] Zynga Leadership Team Members


[3] Mark Pincus Photo


[4] Don Mattrick Photo


[5] Clive Downie Photo


[6] David Lee Photo


[7] About Zynga


[8] Zynga Daily Active Users


[9] Zynga Inc. Stock Chart


[10] Why King Digital’s IPO will hurt Zynga


[11] Zynga Names David Lee Financial Chief


[12] Zynga’s Story


[13] Zynga History


[14] History of Zynga.org


[15] Natural Motion Logo


[16] Zynga Buys NaturalMotion


[17] NaturalMotion Company E-mail Update


[18] Mark Vranesh photo


[19] Zynga names David Lee new CFO


[20] Zynga CFO Mark Vranesh Will Leave the Company Next Month


[21] Riches of Olympus logo


[22] Zynga Casino Launches Riches of Olympus


[23] Riches of Olympus Screenshot


[24] Hit it Rich! Ted Edition


[25]  Hit it Rich! FarmVille 2 edition


[26] FarmVille 2: Country Escape Press Release


[27] Five Years of Words With Friends


[28] Zynga Day