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Good morning. It’s Tuesday November 10, 2015, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.
Oh snap. Snapchat now boasts six billion video views a day, according to the Financial Times. As recently as May, that number was *only* two billion. The six-billion-daily-views mark places Snapchat behind only Facebook, which, according to the latter company’s Q3 earnings call last week, gets 8 billion views a day.
Amazon’s march beyond the digital space continues. Amazon Studios, the company’s production and distribution arm, has acquired The Neon Demon, the latest film from acclaimed Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn, starring Keanu Reeves and Jena Malone among others. Demon makes its U.S. theatrical debut next summer, followed by a release on Amazon’s Prime streaming service. Refn’s body of work includes 2011’s Drive, which won widespread critical acclaim, and 2013’s Only God Forgives, which … didn’t.
After HBO’s success with The Jinx, this seems like a no-brainer. Netflix has picked up Making a Murderer, a new 10-part true crime documentary miniseries focused on Steven Avery, a prisoner who was exonerated for a sexual assault, only to become a suspect in a new murder. Murderer, which was directed by Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, debuts on Netflix December 18.
NEW PROGRAMMING + DEALS
NBCUniversal’s E! network is launching eight new eight new original digital series, including Hashtaggers, the network’s first scripted comedy. E! is also releasing a live streamed aftershow for season 2 of the The Royals. Titled The Royal Hangover, it premieres November 15, featuring interviews with the show’s talent. You can read about the rest of the new programming here.
Digital studio Insurrection Media has partnered with Skybound Entertainment, the production company run by Robert Kirkman (creator of The Walking Dead comics) and his producing partner David Alpert. According to a release, Insurrection will provide support and resources to help Skybound develop and produce new series, to be delivered via both OTT and linear platforms. Skybound will also collaborate on the intellectual property from the new series, helping with merchandising and content licensing, with a focus on video games.
Gaming-centric media company IGN recently launched IGN1, a 24-hour video channel available on IGN.com. The channel airs live and taped IGN shows throughout the day, packaged into themed blocks of 15 minutes, 30 minutes, and 60 minutes. Coca-Cola is a launch sponsor.
DIGITAL CONTENT CREATORS
This section is usually reserved for the PewDiePies and Grace Helbigs of the world, but today they’ll have to take a back seat. Barack Obama has launched his official Facebook page. In the first-ever post on the President Obama page, the POTUS urges viewers to take action on climate change.
The Abrams Agency has signed a heaping helping of digital talent to its roster. YouTube cooking stars Ann Reardon (How to Cook That) and Jason Pinder (Simply Cooking) have signed with the agency, as have sisters Kelsey and Kendra Murrell (YouTube beauty channel Glamtwinz334). Abrams says that it will pursue literary and theatrical opportunities for its new clients, as well as new brand campaigns. The signings were first reported by Tubefilter.
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Digital Model D Awards Luncheon
Innovators. Inspirers. Creators of all kinds. We celebrate those in online video content and advertising who are at the forefront of this new industry, elevating it with their state-of-the-art contributions to branded content, technology, ad campaigns, and original content.
Celebrate with us on
November 13th at the Marriott Essex in New York City.
View the finalist list here.
ADVERTISING AND MARKETING
AT&T Adworks, the telco’s advertising sales division, has partnered with Opera Mediaworks to test a new ad product that enables clients to run the same campaign across both mobile and television. The product links AT&T’s addressable TV homes (all 12 million of them) with the mobile devices that are associated with those homes, regardless of which wireless carrier they use. The product is still in a trial phase: Three unknown Fortune 500 companies are the only ones to use the product as of yet. (According to AT&T Adworks exec Mike Welch, one of the three has already completed its campaign.) Since AT&T acquired DirecTV earlier this year, AT&T Adworks also includes DirecTV’s ad operations.
Digital marketing agency GLOW has launched Chatterbox for Periscope, a new extension for Google Chrome. Chatterbox allows broadcasters to connect with their audiences via a chat archiver and live polls. According to a release, Chatterbox was created because comments during Periscope live streams disappear too quickly for marketers to keep up with the activity.
VC FUNDING + INVESTORS
The Dodo, a media startup focused on animals, announced that it has raised $11.5 million in Series B financing. The Dodo features articles and video across multiple platforms, including its website, Facebook, and YouTube. Discovery Communications led the funding round, along with participation from Softbank, former NBA Commissioner David Stern, and others. According to the company, Conal Byrne (SVP of Digital Media at Discovery Communications) will join the The Dodo’s Board of Directors, while David Stern will join as a Board Observer.
SHAREABLEE SOCIAL TV RATINGS: Top U.S. Streaming Shows Overall by Engagement for the week of November 2, 2015
Program, Date, Total Actions (000), Total Content, Actions per Post (000), Fans/Followers (000)
Orange Is the New Black (Netflix) 360, 18, 20, 6828
BoJack Horseman (Netflix) 134, 25, 5, 499
Trailer Park Boys (Netflix) 52, 11, 5, 1602
Daredevil (Netflix) 44, 13, 3, 1614
Narcos (Netflix) 39, 19, 2, 1777
The Mindy Project (Hulu) 38, 32, 1, 646
Arrested Development (Netflix), 34, 12, 3, 2307
House of Cards (Netflix) 33, 12, 3, 2889
Hemlock Grove (Netflix) 22, 27, 1, 481
Casual (Hulu) 19, 19, 1, 36
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.
Analytics company ListenFirst Media is rethinking how to track box office performance. The company will be projecting opening weekend ticket sales based on how much social and digital engagement a film receives. Quick example: A month before the new James Bond movie, Spectre, was released in theaters, ListenFirst estimated a $73-77 million opening weekend. The actual performance? $73 million. Not too bad. The tracking platform takes a look at fan engagement from outlooks such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr, as well as critical and fan reviews.
According to two recent studies, Facebook referral traffic to publishers has fallen dramatically this year, though the reasons – and the implications – aren’t 100% clear. According to analytics company SimpleReach, desktop and mobile referral traffic from Facebook to the top 30 Facebook publishers fell by 32% between January and October. Social media analyst SimilarWeb found similar declines among the top 50 Facebook publishers (though SimilarWeb only measured desktop data). There were exceptions: Refinery29 and Vice, for instance, saw their referral traffic rise. The most common hypothesis for the decline: Facebook has been encouraging publishers to upload articles and videos directly to Facebook, eliminating the need for users to click their way to the original site. Digiday has an informative analysis of the studies – check it out here.
2015 MODEL D AWARDS LUNCHEON
Cynopsis Digital’s November 13 Model D Awards Luncheon, dedicated to innovators who have demonstrated continued excellence in engaging audiences and spurring online growth, is only days away. Cynopsis Digital had some questions for the team at This Is Just a Test Productions, 2015 Model D Finalists for Branded Integration in a Web Video.
What do you think is the most exciting new digital technology on the horizon?
We are really excited about the immediacy of real time video and content. People want it now. People want it real. Coming from a documentary background, we are great at connecting with real world characters and stories…connecting them in real time just adds another layer of engagement that has a lot of potential.
What’s your favorite social media platform?
Instagram. There’s a direct connection to your followers on Instagram that’s really engaging. However, we’re really excited to see where platforms like Periscope go, and how that changes the landscape of brand campaigns moving forward.
Check out some of the amazing work from our finalists, and register for the November 13 Model D ceremony, HERE: http://cynopsis.com/model-d-finalists/
Vox is ramping up its video operation. The digital news site, launched in 2014, has hired Matthew Vree as its Executive Producer of Video. Most recently, Vree served as Director of Programming and Executive Producer of PBS Digital Studios, which he also co-founded.
Time Inc. added a heavy hitter to its digital team. JJ Miller has been named Executive Producer, Video, for Entertainment Weekly and People. She will now oversee the two publications’ video programming across all digital platforms, according to a release. She will also work to develop TV and other brand extensions. Miller will report to Jess Cagle, People and EW’s Editorial Director. Most recently, Miller served as Senior Creative Executive at Katie Couric Media.
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Google has announced that its Expeditions Pioneer Program, designed to bring VR viewing kits to teachers and students in the U.S. and abroad, is adding more cities (and countries) to its roster. That includes Baltimore, Las Vegas, Canada, Denmark, and a lot more. How do kids react when they see VR for the first time? The same way adults do: with child-like delight. Check out this video of some truly astonished schoolkids from earlier in the year, courtesy of Google for Education’s YouTube page – here.
See you tomorrow,
Roberta Caploe: Associate Publisher @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group
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