PreShow Interactive is giving gamers a brand-new highway to earn in-game currency in exchange for watching ads — a thought that’s become familiar in mobile competitions but hasn’t really made much headway on PCs or consoles.
The startup is led by MoviePass’ founding CEO Stacy Spikes. When I spoke to Spikes about PreShow 2 years ago, he was beta testing an app that provided customers with free movie tickets in exchange for watching ads. But apparently, theatrical moviegoing has taken a big hit in the past year.
Spikes told me yesterday that he’d always hoped to accompanying the PreShow concept to four categories — theatrical movies, gaming, subscription streaming and video on require — but the pandemic thrust the startup to shift focus more quickly than expected and explore what a gaming event might look like.
The current projects is to launch a brand-new PreShow Interactive app this summer, where sees can connect their in-game accounts and identify how much virtual currency they want to earn. Then they watch a parcel of ads and PreShow will automatically transfer the money to their account — in other words, it’s buying the currency for them.
Users will have to download a separate app to watch the ads and get the benefits, but Spikes said this is actually better than trying to integrate advertising or branded material into the game itself, which can be a slow process for the developer and the advertiser, while also being distracting for the players. And this conveys PreShow Interactive should able to support 20,000 recreations at start, across PCs, consoles and virtual reality.
” We simply didn’t examine the purpose of spending the time on amalgamations when it’s not really necessary ,” he lent.” Our deal is only with consumer interests for their duration. We’re saying,’ This is your time. It has value.'”
One of the key elements to Preshow’s approach is technology that can detect when the see is actually looking at their phone screen — the ads will stop playing if you turn away. This has been praised as ” creepy-crawly surveillance tech ,” but Spikes claimed that early PreShow customers have embraced it. He also argued that it’s more transparent than the data collection and targeting currently driving online advertising.
” We was just thinking data was the new oil, but now our feeling is that permission and involvement and attention is the brand-new lubricant ,” he said.
In addition to revealing its new strategy, PreShow is announcing that it has raised$ 3 million in seed fund led by Harlem Capital, with participation Canaan Partners, Wavemaker Ventures, Front Row Fund, ROC Fund, BK Fulton and Monroe Harris.
And to be clear, Spikes said PreShow isn’t abandoning theatrical movies. He said that he believes that the PreShow app will eventually offer both movie and gaming agreements” under the same roof ,” but brands aren’t currently keen to advertise to moviegoers.
” We’re ready to go when the marketplace is ready to go ,” he said.
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