Good morning. It’s Thursday May 12, 2016, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.
In-feed ads: In-feed ads are ads inserted in-between content.
Twitter has that little bird in flight, and Apple Inc. has, well, an apple. But now Instagram is making a bold move by changing its logo. The Facebook-owned photo-sharing service is saying goodbye to its Polaroid-inspired camera, and hello to a new rainbow-accented minimalist design.
It’s official. Former Top Gear hosts, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May‘s new show for Amazon Prime has a title: The Grand Tour. The hosts will be traveling the globe, shooting prerecorded films from different locations. But there’s a twist: The studio audiences will also be recorded in front of a live audience at a different location, housed in a giant tent. The travelling format will give Amazon customers everywhere a chance to be in the audience when tickets are released through prize draws this summer. Details of the location schedule and information on how to apply for tickets are forthcoming.
Since the IAB is to thank for the NewFront presentations, it’s only right that the business org should hold a NewFront event of its own. At its Manhattan offices, the IAB hosted presenters from the digital video advertising company YuMe, the News Corp-owned ad tech company Unruly, the digital marketing consultancy Millward Brown Digital, and the supply-side platform Sharethrough.
During the afternoon’s first presentation, Paul Neto, YuMe’s Director of Research, said that there’s really no such thing as an ideal ad-length; instead, it depends on the brand, and what it’s trying to accomplish. He acknowledged that, the longer an ad is, the harder it is to get consumers to watch it to its conclusion. On the other hand, he said that newer brands benefit from longer ads; if the brand isn’t already firmly entrenched in a viewer’s consciousness, it needs more time to communicate information. In the end, he said, successful video advertising boils down to getting consumers’ “attention and interest.” “Consumers really do enjoy that storytelling,” he said.
Devra Prywes, VP of Marketing and Insight at Unruly, had a core message for attendees: “Emotions are the secret sauce in getting people to lean in and pay attention to things,” she said. Prywes focused much of her attention on millennials – a group that commands 2.45 trillion dollars worth of global spending power, she said. She noted that, according to Unruly’s data, millennials are about 12% more likely than other demographics to be “highly likely” to consider using ad blockers. Prywes also noted the importance of “not just bucketing all millennials together.” “Testing and targeting becomes crucial,” she said. “Use smart targeting to deliver [an ad] to the people more likely to enjoy it.” People don’t hate ads, she said – they hate bad ads. And in the age of ad blocking and increased user choice, Prywes said that it’s both possible and crucial to deliver a custom ad experience.
Joline McGoldrick, VP of Insights at Millward Brown Digital, noted an unpleasant fact that advertisers would be wise to grapple with: On the whole, people don’t enjoy digital advertising. Whether on mobile phones, tablets, or other devices, less than 20% of people report liking digital ads, according to research cited by McGoldrick. However, she also said that it’s important to dive deeper into the numbers: Certain types of digital ads, she said, get much more favorable marks. Mobile app rewards, for example, garner a 54% positive reaction, compared to 18% negative. For skippable pre-roll ads, the numbers are 44% positive and 24% negative. And skippable mobile pop-ups get a reaction of 41% to 28% negative. Above all, she said, people respond favorably to native ads. Tutorials, for instance, garner 71% receptivity.
Frank Maguire, Head of Market Development at Sharethrough, said that native is the predominant ad strategy on social, and that publishers are beginning to follow suit. He also noted that, according to research from Sharethrough, 91% of millennials discover content from some sort of social page – and that often, they read headlines without clicking to read the articles. In other words, headlines alone can play a major role in driving brand awareness amongst millennials. 44% of millennials, Maguire said, admit to visiting a brand’s website or social media site after reading only a headline. He also said that in-feed native ads receive twice as much visual attention as banners.
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Lotame, a universal cross-device data management platform, announced a new partnership with Infogroup Media Solutions, a compiler of local business and consumer information. The partnership will yield Infogroup Media Solutions Audience Xchange. Through the Xchange, marketers and advertisers will be able to share, monetize and leverage vertical-specific audiences across activation channels. According to the companies, Audience Xchange will collect and unify data covering 25-plus million North American businesses and 80-plus million business professionals.
PROGRAMMING + CONTENT ACQUISITIONS
Sony‘s ad-supported streaming network Crackle announced that it has acquired the complete series rights to Harmony Gold‘s popular ’80s anime science fiction series, Robotech, as well as the feature film Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles. Starting May 15, all 85 half-hour episodes of Robotech, along with the 88-minute film, will launch on Crackle Anime, one of the network’s new genre channels, which also include comedy, action, drama, thriller, sports and fandom.
NBCUniversal‘s Telemundo and Buzzfeed are collaborating on a 10-part millennial soap opera called Much Ado About Nada. Storylines for the English-language show will be dictated by Buzzfeed data from its young, mobile-oriented and multicultural audience, with producers leaving a door ajar to tweak the narrative based on viewer reaction. Much Ado About Nada will touch on classic telenovela beats like love, hate, betrayal, and revenge, all revolving around a woman who runs a social-media firm and is hosting a political fundraiser for her client, who’s running for the California governor’s office. With political and social media interest running high among Hispanic and younger audiences, the 10-minute episodes of Much Ado About Nada are slated to launch around the time of the November presidential election.
Verizon has struck a deal with the digital media and entertainment company, Mashable to distribute two original video series on the Go90 mobile service. Scamalot, hosted by comedian James Veich, explores the world of Internet scams, while Trailer Mix reimagines popular movies in different genres. Go90 is available for both iOS and Android devices. Later this year, Verizon will shift Go90 to AOL’s video-technology infrastructure, allowing it to distribute the channels to non-mobile platforms.
VIRTUAL + AUGMENTED REALITY
ABC‘s Nashville is coming to a series of reality experiences set at the iconic Bluebird Cafe, one of country music’s most storied listening rooms. The experience can be accessed on ABC.com/VR and via Littlstar‘s app for headsets, mobile, Apple TV and the web.
Thanks to News Feed and the Oculus-powered Samsung Gear VR, vacation pictures will take on a whole new look with Facebook‘s upcoming 360 Photos. Used together, 360 Photos lets users upload flat panoramas like those taken on iPhones, Google Photospheres, and such and morph them into 360 Photos for News Feed where users will be able to hold and drag to pan around the photos, or move their heads to look around them on the Gear VR. All that is needed is an iPhone running iOS 6 or later, an Android device running v4.2 or later, or one of many 360 photo apps available for download.
ADVERTISING + MARKETING
Twitter is front and center at CES Asia in Shanghai this week, where it is trying to pitch itself as the connection to global culture. That’s not as easy of a task as it may sound. Twitter is unyielding about its commitment to free speech and won’t budge on its refusal to censor its service or content for Chinese users. On the other hand, the revenue from ads bought by Chinese companies could be astronomical.
Adobe Systems has announced a set of upgrades to its Adobe Marketing Cloud that will be direct competition for its competitors like IBM, Oracle and Salesforce, while benefiting clients like Chegg (an online education products company), eHealth (which aligns health information and technology) and Redbox (specializes in DVD, Blu-ray and video game rentals). Additionally, its Adobe Dynamic Optimization feature is now integrated in the Adobe Marketing Cloud, which helps clients better target at scale.
Google is taking steps to ban ads from payday lenders, calling the industry "deceptive" and "harmful." As of July 13, they will no longer allow advertising for businesses offering loans due within 60 days and will also ban ads for loans where the interest rate is 36 percent or higher.
Messaging services are no longer limited to tiny handheld display devices. WhatsApp‘s latest innovation is a desktop app that allows messaging on your computer; it’s available for PCs running Windows 8 and up and Macs with OS X 10.9. It’s free via the WhatsApp website. WhatsApp has been owned by Facebook since 2014, when the social media giant snatched up for an eye-popping $19 billion.
New speakers announced daily! Sign up early and claim your sport to the Cynopsis Sports Business Summit on June 22 as well as the eSports Conference on June 23 in NYC. For more info and tickets, click here.
Shortly before its NewFront event, the IAB released new research looking at U.S. trends in original digital video programming viewership. According to the study, which was fielded in March by the German market research firm GfK, 63 million U.S. viewers over the age of 18 are now regular viewers of original digital video programming. That’s up from 45 million in 2013. Among other findings, the study also showed that, among 18-34 year old cord-cutters and cord-nevers, a larger number of original digital video viewers also say they are more likely to remember ads shown alongside original digital video content (48%) than a year ago (27%). And the study finds that 18-34 cord-cutters/nevers are inclined to find the ads shown during this type of programming to be “more interesting” or “fun” (49%). The full report, simply called 2016 Original Digital Video Study, is available here.
The marketing strategy and innovation firm Giant Spoon has added two new employees to its East coast office. Jessica Wurm has joined the team as Associate Director of Media, where she will focus on programming and partnerships for clients, and Shon Mogharabi is on board as Senior Strategist working on Giant Spoon’s Spotify account.
Ty Young has stepped in as WNET‘s Director of Business Development for the Interactive Engagement Group (IEG), a team of over 25 content producers, social media managers, designers, and developers who provide ongoing web and mobile app development for WNET’s station sites, local productions, PBS national programs and external clients. His mission is to create and oversee strategies that support the IEG’s departmental initiatives and revenue goals.
The Weather Company, an IBM Business, just hired Julie Michalowski as the VP of corporate sales partnerships and development. In the newly created role, Michalowski will be focused on generating incremental revenues through partnering with internal IBM business units to identify and evaluate potential synergistic opportunities for the ad sales organization. Michalowski is based in New York and reports to Jeremy Steinberg, global head of sales.
The digital strategy company GoKart Labs has a new Lead Strategist in its midst, Adam Dole. He’ll be tasked with leading and organizing client work on the West coast and further boosting the company’s efforts in the healthcare arena. Dole is no stranger to the field. His background includes co-finding Strategy for Better, a healthcare startup backed by the Mayo Clinic and Social Capital, and working with the White House in partnership with the US Department of Health and Human Services as a Presidential Innovation Fellow (PIF).
Yesterday marked the 19th anniversary of chess Grandmaster Garry Kasparov’s 1997 loss to a chess-playing computer. It was the first computer ever to beat a world champion player in a classic chess match format. What was its name? You can find the answer in tomorrow’s newsletter.
Yesterday’s Trivia Question: In the early 90s, IBM and Bell South developed a product that some now refer to as the first smartphone. What was the product called? Answer: Simon.
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How’s this for a tech nerd’s dream? The HTC Vive and Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets duke it out in a new video from CNET. Check it out here.
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JOB OPENING: MGR DIGITAL DATA STEWARDSHIP/Discovery/NY: Develop digital analytics capabilities, create processes and best practices across the biz, oversee the lifecycle for data rationalization, sourcing, standardization, integration, and integrity. Est strong relationships with broader team and extrnl vendors. Full info/apply HERE (5/17)
JOB OPENING: MANAGER, CONTENT DISTRIBUTION & MARKETING/Scripps Networks Interactive/Knoxville, TN: Support CDM team on renewal strategies, tactics, and plans for all accounts. Present sales proposals, contribute to development of key client maintenance & documentation. For more detail www.scrippsnetworks.com J100994 or J100806 (5/17)
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JOB OPENING: SR PARTNERSHIPS MGR, ADVANCED TV/THE TRADE DESK/NYC: Responsible for dvlpmnt/execution of strategic partnerships 7+ yrs of exp TV advertising in sales/business dvlpmnt for Nat’l Brdcst Ntwrks, MVPDs, Syndicators, OTT devices, Video SSPs or Local Brdcst. Full info/apply HERE (5/17)
JOB OPENING: Sr. DIR. DIGITAL OPS/FUSETV/NY: Provide guidance on strat. direction, planning & org structures to support evolving dig. ad sales business. Operations of campaign trafficking, delivery, optimization, inventory forecasting and analysis. click on our career page @ www.fuse.tv (5/17)
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JOB OPENING: ENTERTAINMENT COUNSEL/DORSEY PICTURES/Denver: Reality TV Prod Co. outside Denver Colorado seeking in-house Entertainment Counsel. Successful candidate must be licensed or willing to become licensed in Colorado & have 8-10 yrs of TV exp. Please send resumes and salary requirements to firstname.lastname@example.org (5/14)
JOB OPENING: COMEDY WRITER/COMEDY/VARIETY TV SHOW/LA: Comedy/Variety TV show looking for excellent joke writer for staff WGA position. Must be flexible, fast, & positive! Have a unique point of view and lots of ideas. 2 years writing exp is preferred. Resumes HERE email@example.com (5/14)
JOB OPENING: SVOD SUBSCRIPTION MARKETING DIRECTOR/TCM FilmStruck/ATL: Play a lead role in dvlpmnt of Turner’s first domestic (SVOD) business, FilmStruck. Drive forecasts & results for FilmStruck subscriptions & revenues. Previous exp w/a subscription service. Full info/apply HERE (5/14)
JOB OPENING: JUNIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE/Adspace Networks/LA: Entrepreneurial spirit wanted! 1-3 years’ experience with media agency or media sales; supports SVP of West Coast Sales, manage developmental accounts. 65K+. Resumes to: firstname.lastname@example.org (5/14)
JOB OPENING: SR COORD PRODUCER – PROG & PROD/Discovery/NY or LA: Producer w/creative audience engagement ideas to prod/manage multiplatform content. Manage reversion/reloads to bring fresh eyes to linear. Partner cross-departmentally to oversee strategic vision/direction of ntwk programming. Full info/apply HERE (5/14)
JOB OPENING: MGR OF ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING, MEDIA OPS/Crown Media Family Networks/LA: Oversee delivery of Orig Programming media: completed movies, series, specials, etc. Assure quality control & timely delivery of media. BA req & min 5 yrs exp in post prod. Apply HERE (5/14)
JOB OPENING: HC OPERATIONS SPECIALIST/Crown Media Family Networks/LA: Acquire & position all secondary elements that play in channel origination. Verifies on-air prgrmng, commercials & promotions are delivered. Min 3 yrs exp TV ntwrk operations & linear channel playout/automation. Apply HERE (5/14)
JOB OPENING: PRODUCTION ACCOUNTING ANALYST/Crown Media Family Networks/LA: Review film prod budgets, cash flows & implement & review reporting. Day to day accounting & financial analysis support for Prod /Accting/Legal. Min 3 yrs exp prod accting or finance. Apply HERE (5/14)
JOB OPENING: MANAGING DIRECTOR, DIGITAL ADVERTISING/NASCAR/CLT or NYC: Mng digital advertising & sales strategy, activation for clients across NASCAR’s digital media platform. 7 yrs ent or media digital ad sales. Proven-track rec running dig sales. Full info/apply HERE (5/14)
JOB OPENING: AD SALES PLANNER/TENNIS CHANNEL/Santa Monica CA: Provide support for all aspects of the ad sales process. Create media plans with pricing and planning direction 3 yrs Ad Sales ind exp. Sales Assistant /Financial Planning /Rsrch exp a +. Full info/apply HERE (5/13)
JOB OPENING: TRAFFIC & FORMATTING SPECIALIST/MLB/NYC: Schedule commercial units on broadcast log in accordance with established traffic guidelines and procedures. Min 3-5 yrs of Traffic exp, pref in a nat’l ntwrk. BA deg req’d; Comm or related major is pref’d. Resume HERE (5/13)
JOB OPENING: SR. MANAGER, DIGITAL ATTRIBUTION & MEDIA OPT/Comcast/Philadelphia: Managing XFINITY.com and other properties focused on online customer acquisitions. Establish unified brand presence across SEM & SEO. 8+ years related experience. Full info/apply HERE (5/13)
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