A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM FREEWHEEL COUNCIL FOR PREMIUM VIDEO
Reconstructing Programmatic for Premium Video
The FreeWheel Council for Premium Video proposes a collaborative path forward for programmatic which enables both buyers and sellers to utilize data and automation while accounting for the unique characteristics of premium video. Read the FWC’s position that reveals how programmatic executions can and should fit into a buyer’s or seller’s overall premium video strategy.
Good morning. It’s Tuesday June 21, 2016, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.
Premium Inventory: Premium inventory refers to ad space on a site that a publisher has deemed higher quality, and therefore tries to sell at a higher price. What makes ad inventory premium? Tougher question than you might think. Maybe it’s above-the-fold, maybe it’s on a popular section of a site, or maybe there’s some other reason. Really, it’s up to the publisher to decide.
As first reported by Variety, Netflix and the CW appear to be nearing a major new deal. Netflix’s library pact with the CW, which covers previous seasons of scripted CW series, will be extended. The updated deal would ensure that Netflix gets ahold of CW programming significantly faster than it has in the past – a maximum of two weeks after each season ends on the network. The deal comes just as a licensing partnership between the CW and Hulu is about to come to an end. When that deal expires, in-season streaming of CW series will shift, in part, to CWTV.com. An official announcement of the Netflix deal is expected later this week.
Social media companies across the pretty much agree: The future is video. Twitter just affirmed that notion to the tune of $150 million. According to TechCrunch, that’s how much the company spent to acquire Magic Pony Technology, a startup that specializes in digital machine-learning visual processing. The company, based in the U.K., has developed a method of creating high-quality images and videos from low-res source material. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey says the acquisition “will be used to enhance our strength in live and video.” Perhaps just as importantly, Magic Pony’s employees – which include eleven computer science PhDs – now work for Twitter.
When Mashable fired a slew of writers in April, it became abundantly clear that the company was heading toward video, video, video. So expect to see more moves like this: Mashable has acquired CineFix, a YouTube channel geared toward filmmakers and film buffs. Mashable bought the channel from the media and technology company Whalerock Industries. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
The video ad tech company Unruly is doing its parent company a solid. News Corp, which acquired Unruly last year, will begin running vertical video campaigns across its titles. The video ads will use new out-stream mobile format, which Unruly launched yesterday at Cannes Lions. The new ad-format, which, according to Unruly, guarantees video viewability, is now available for The Sun and The New York Post. (Unruly has partnered with the third party measurement firm Moat to certify that videos are viewable under Media Rating Council standards.) In addition, Unruly has announced the launch of the Vertical Video Collective, a network of mobile-first content creators specializing in vertical video. So why is vertical video important, and why is it important for brands to have a readily-available network of vertical video creators at their disposal? “People are watching video vertically and 59% of Americans get annoyed when forced to turn their phone to watch a video horizontally,” Devra Prywes, Unruly’s VP of Marketing and Insight, told Cynopsis Digital. “This is one medium where advertisers should make content specific to the format – it has a different aspect ratio, content fills the screen differently and on many social formats, it will play silently. It’s rare to simply take a TV ad and apply it to digital. The same goes for vertical video. If marketers want to have major success with this growing format, it’s imperative that they partner with content creators who know the intricacies of the format – what length, sound options, visuals should be considered. That’s why we launched the Vertical Video Collective today. Additionally, providing advertisers the security that Moat offers when it comes to ad viewability is an absolute must for any advertiser to look out for, particularly in a programmatic environment.”
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OTT + SVOD
The gaming-centric digital media company Machinima has partnered with AMC Networks International Iberia to bring a new SVOD service to the Iberian market. The service, whose content will be geared toward eSports, gaming, and heroes, will launch in Spain and Portugal across iOS and Android apps, smart TVs, and pay TV operators. The service’s programming will include Machinima’s original productions, including the shows Street Fighter: Resurrection and The Bacca Chronicles. So why the Iberian market? “Iberia is already a hotbed for video gaming content, Spain is a top 10 territory for Machinima on YouTube with 100 million monthly video views, and just in the last six months we have seen…large telcos Vodafone and Orange, as well as [the] network MTV, get active in the super-hot eSports category,” James Glasscock, Machinima’s SVP of Strategy and Business Development, told Cynopsis Digital. “We think Machinima’s exclusive tentpole programming, coupled with AMC’s expert local distribution and marketing expertise, will be a win-win for audiences across Spain and Portugal.”
Xumo, an OTT platform that streams content from digital networks to smart TVs, has partnered with the viral video aggregator Jukin Media. Two new Jukin channels, The Pet Collective and People Are Awesome, will be added to Xumo’s catalogue. (Fail Army, another Jukin property, was already added to Xumo back in March.) The Pet Collective is geared toward pet lovers, while People Are Awesome showcases ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Combined, the two brands boast over eight million followers and 325 million monthly views online
According to a report from TechCrunch, Yahoo is set to launch live video streaming on Tumblr. The live video product will be built on top of the company’s existing Tumblr platform. Yahoo hasn’t confirmed the report. The move would put Yahoo in competition with the likes of Periscope and Facebook.
Variety reports that BitTorrent is looking to launch a P2P-powered live TV news network in time to cover the U.S. presidential election. The company is currently searching for a news director and looking to build out a team of journalists. You can learn more here.
PROGRAMMING + CONTENT ACQUISITIONS
YouTube’s stated goal is for advertisers to spend as much money on YouTube as they do on TV. If that’s going to happen, content is crucial. And there’s a difference between a video and a full-blown scripted series. While YouTube is saving its most ambitious original series for its ad-free subscription service, there’s still room for an original, YouTube-first show. Genius Brands International is trying to prove it. The company partnered with YouTube to launch a new music and fashion-heavy short-form animated family series. SpacePOP, which centers on a group of space-age teenage princesses who disguise themselves as musicians and plot against an evil empress, debuted exclusively on YouTube yesterday. You can check it out here.
Seriously.tv, one of the two new digital channels launched as part of a co-venture between Verizon and Hearst, has ordered its first series. Called Drive Share, the series hails from Insurrection Media, and stars Paul Scheer (The League) and Rob Huebel (Children’s Hospital). The series parodies the culture surrounding ride-share companies like Uber. Insurrection begins production next month. Seriously.tv, which will hold exclusive rights, plans to debut the series later this year.
AWARDS + CEREMONIES
The digital media-focused site Tubefilter and the live event programming producer dick clark productions have opened up submissions for the 6th Annual Streamy Awards. The awards show has also added three new categories: Virtual Reality and 360-degree video, Live, and Feature. Nominations are announced in august, and the ceremony will be held in the fall.
What if you could increase revenues by driving away five hundred thousand customers? Alas, that’s probably impossible – unless you’re Netflix. Millions of customers have been (or soon will be) subject to a two-dollar per month price increase. And according to Nomura Securities analyst Anthony DiClemente, those price hikes could cause roughly 480,000 customers to cancel their subscriptions. Yet that same price hike, according to DiClemente, will lead to about $520 million in additional yearly revenue. “We note that this has long been a tenet of our investment thesis on the domestic business, as slowing subscriber trends are more than offset by increased monetization,” he wrote.
SHAREABLEE SOCIAL TV RATINGS: Top U.S. Streaming Shows Overall by Engagement for the week of June 13
Program, Date, Total Actions (000), Total Content, Actions per Post (000), Fans/Followers (000)
Orange Is the New Black (Netflix) 3488, 9, 37, 7702
Narcos (Netflix) 341, 114, 31, 8070
Trailer Park Boys (Netflix) 155, 23, 7, 1841
Sense8 (Netflix) 59, 4, 15, 1325
Jessica Jones (Netflix) 52, 12, 4, 1309
The Mindy Project (Hulu) 38, 35, 1, 776
Chelsea (Netflix) 30, 31, 1, 142
BoJack Horseman (Netflix) 18, 22, 1, 625
Grace and Frankie (Netflix) 17, 7, 2, 301
Lost & Found Music Stuidos (Netflix) 10, 16, 1, 31
Source: Shareablee Inc. The total actions metric includes the total volume of post-level likes, shares, favorites, retweets and comments. Total content includes all posts, tweets and media posted by each TV property across all platforms. Actions per post metric notes the average e number of actions garnered by each property. Total fans/followers includes Facebook and Twitter and Instagram followers.
The ListenFirst Television Interest (TVI) Rating (TM) is a standardized measurement of the most buzzed-about TV programs on linear TV and streaming services. A complement to ListenFirst’s other syndicated data products (such as the ListenFirstDigital Audience Rating – TV), the metrics included in the rating are the purest form of showing interest digitally, since they’re organic actions that are largely unaffected by paid media. Programs that surface on the TVI leaderboards are the most hashtagged on Facebook, Google+, and Tumblr, as well as most searched for on Wikipedia (used as a proxy for organic search volume).
All Series (6/13/16 – 6/19/16)
Source: ListenFirst. The TVI Rating aggregates metrics that measure organically generated activity by fans of the TV show. The metric includes total volume of official hashtag mentions on Facebook, Google+, and Tumblr, along with Wikipedia page views (as a proxy for organic search volume) for a show as a percentage of the total volume of the same activities for all shows.
OpenSlate Engagement Data for the Science & Technology vertical, based on the engagement metric for the week ending 6/19.
Channel (Engagement) / Monthly Views / Total Subs / SlateScore
LinusTechTips (8.8) / 27,902,940 / 2,749,904 / 716
techrax (8.8) / 26,390,430 / 4,482,610 / 660
unboxtherapy (8.7) / 40,033,440 / 4,649,150 / 704
buzzfeedblue (8.7) / 76,665,900 / 4,380,797 / 680
UleadEstudioCenter (8.5) / 37,290 / 12,030 / 383
rozetkaua (8.5) / 3,224,100 / 761,063 / 585
backyardbrains (8.5) / 18,540 / 17,438 / 386
Numberphile (8.5) / 5,587,050 / 1,679,792 / 629
roman42727 (8.5) / 12,210 / 5,668 / 360
lorddraconical (8.5) / 6,809,400 / 366,895 / 567
Source: The Engagement metric is one of OpenSlate’s component scores, and is a measure of a producer’s ability to evoke meaningful interaction with their audience. It is calculated on a scale of 1-10 with higher being better. The OpenSlateEngagement score uses a subset of the data incorporated in the SlateScore to perform a set of unique calculations. It factors in views, comments, likes, and more.
This just in: People like music. Spotify now has 100 million monthly active users, including more than 30 million paying subs. Its fiercest competition comes from Apple Music, which has about 15 million subscribers. Unlike Spotify, Apple Music doesn’t offer a free ad-supported version – hence the discrepancy in overall users.
Julie McNamara has been named as EVP of Original Content for CBS All Access, CBS’s paid subscription service. McNamara is a genuine heavyweight, having served as an exec at CBS Television Studios for the past decade. Her hiring should serve as something of a clue as to just how seriously CBS will be pursuing original content for its SVOD service. (As if it wasn’t already clear, given the upcoming launch of a new Star Trek series and a spinoff of The Good Wife, both set to run as CBS All Access-exclusives beginning next year.) Much more so than any of the other major networks, CBS has taken the SVOD model and run with it. The rationale seems fairly clear: The Netflix-es of the world are gaining steam. It’s inevitable that audiences will pursue digital content, and in some cases flee broadcast TV altogether. So as long as you’re going to lose viewers, you might as well lose them to yourself.
Time Inc.’s Sports Illustrated Group has made a new hire. Josh Oshinsky will serve as Supervising Producer for Sports Illustrated, with a focus on video operations for Golf and SI Kids Video. Oshinsky has a long trail of film and TV credits. That includes serving as a senior producer on the Showtime Networks series The Franchise, for which he wan a National Sports Emmy. Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated Group has made two other moves: Lee Feiner, who has worked on several SI video projects, will serve as Producer. So will Nolan Thomas, who in the past has worked on SI documentaries. Both Feiner and Thomas will report to Oshinsky. Oshinsky himself will report to Colln Orcutt, who serves as Editor of SI Group video, as well as the Digital/Executive Producer of SI Films.
The integrated media and content marketing company Federated Media made a couple of new moves. The company promoted Ryan Nathanson, who previously served as Head of Operations and Product, to VP of Digital Strategy and Ad Operations. Nathanson specializes in digital disciplines such as ad ops, product management, and programmatic. The company also named Marika Gonzalez Whitehurst as its new VP of Digital Activation. In the new position, she’ll oversee programmatic, trading, real-time bidding, and strategic partner relationships. She has previously held positions at companies including Starcom, DraftFCB, and Sizmek.
Close to two weeks ago, a measurement company asserted that Netflix’s Fuller House has received viewership numbers on par with the most popular cable dramas. Which measurement company was it? You can find the answer in tomorrow’s newsletter.
Yesterday’s Trivia Question: Comcast’s NBCU recently reached a deal to acquire a majority stake in DreamWorks Animation, which owns a controlling stake in the digital media company AwesomenessTV. Under the reorganization, which longtime DreamWorks honcho will oversee a small new division that includes AwesomenessTV? Answer: Jeffrey Katzenberg
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
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JOB OPENING: SR MGR, CONSUMER INSIGHTS/Viacom/NYC: Resp for design, execution, analysis & reporting of both quantitative and qualitative research studies for TV Land, CMT and Nick at Nite. BA Deg & Min 6 yrs exp in media or mkt rsrch, w/ passion for TV/media. Full info/apply HERE (6/25)
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JOB OPENING: ASSOCIATE PRODUCER/Vulcan Productions/Seattle, WA: Vulcan Prods creates high-quality, award-winning, non-fic films of all lengths & formats. Support prod team from pre to post-prod. Min 4 yrs as AP, or similar position w/similar prod duties in non-fic or doc film. Full info/apply HERE (6/22)
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