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Good morning. It’s Thursday November 12, 2015, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.
Just amazing. A raft of social media stars are jumping onboard for season 28 of CBS reality series The Amazing Race. The new cast members include YouTubers Tyler Oakley, Blair Fowler, and Burnie Burns, Vine stars Zach King and Cole LaBrant, and others. Host Phil Keoghan will be live streaming the season’s November 15 kick-off on his Facebook page.
Netflix is keeping up its march into the cinema. The company will invest $50 million in Okja, an upcoming South Korean film from Snowpiercer director Bong Joon Ho. Produced by Plan B Productions, Brad Pitt’s production company, the film co-stars Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano and Bill Nighy; the lead role is yet to be cast.
Leave it to Facebook to take customized news to a new level. The company has introduced Notify, an app allowing users to subscribe to push notification feeds from specific publishers. The app also recommends news sources based on users’ Facebook profile interest. Notifications display on a user’s phone screen; clicking a link takes the user to a video or article on a publisher’s site. As of yet, the app is only available for iOS. Launch partners include ABC, CNN, Hulu, and several others.
The 2015 Cynopsis Digital Model D Awards finalists gave us the best of the best in digital programming. They’ll be honored tomorrow, November 13. Check out some their extraordinary work, and register for tomorrow’s Luncheon, here: http://cynopsis.com/model-d-finalists/
Call of Duty, meet Calls to Action. On Tuesday, Snapchat released its first direct-response ad: Swiping up on a short ad for Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 will take users to a full trailer of the game. The ad appeared on the Daily Mail’s channel in Snapchat’s Discover section. A source told Digiday that, under the new format, advertisers pay for the ad based on the number of views the cover clip gets; the swipe-up is free for the marketer. It’s unknown whether this pricing system will persist beyond the format’s experimental phase.
NEW PROGRAMMING + DEALS
Shopping-centric video e-commerce start-up Joyus is launching 12 short-form original web series focused on home, beauty, and fashion. Joyus works with more than 800 brand partners. So far, the company has raised $44 million from investors including Time Warner and Disney’s Steamboat Ventures. You can learn more about the 12 new series here.
Bravo has launched a new multi-publisher partnership initiative in advance of the December 1 premiere of the network’s scripted series Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce. According to a release, the fictional lifestyle website of the show’s protagonist, SheShe, is coming to life as a destination within Bravo.com. Real curated advice columns from contributors at sites such as SheKnows, Refinery29, and Vulture will populate the site.
CNN is phasing out the current incarnation of iReport, its citizen journalism initiative. The current iReport, which enables readers to contribute their own videos and photos to be used in CNN reporting, will soon be replaced with a social media-based approach: The network will source stories from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram users who submit news using the #CNNiReport hashtag. iReport was launched in 2006.
According to Greek mythology, Narcissus became enraptured with his own reflection. Still, he had nothing on Shia LaBeouf. Starting Tuesday, the actor hunkered down at the Angelika Film Center in NYC to watch all of his own films in reverse chronological order during a non-stop three-day marathon. If you want to take part in LaBeouf’s self-love-fest, you’re in luck: He’s been live streaming himself sitting in his theater seat. The feed is available at NewHive – here. The event, which LaBeouf has dubbed #AllMyMovies, ends today at 6:53p – at which point LeBeouf can re-watch all his films at home.
VC FUNDING + INVESTORS
TV and video screen optimization platform VideoAmp announced it has secured $15 million in Series A funding round led by European entertainment network RTL Group. To date, VideoAmp has raised $17.2 million. The company was founded in 2014.
Telemunudo is holding a panel discussion in NYC today about the launch of an initiative, “Your Money Is Your Future,” aimed at improving the financial health of Hispanics in the U.S. Digital is part of the drive. “Through our website, http://learnlivegrow.org/tu-dinero-es-tu-futuro, we provide important information on personal finance powered by CNBC and simple tools, featuring financial calculators, that include key categories such as financial basics, buying a home and planning for retirement in collaboration with the Council for Economic Education,” Rocky Egusquiza, VP, community affairs for Telemundo, tells Cynopsis. “‘Your Money is Your Future’ focuses on providing information and tips to empower our communities to reach their short and long term financial goals, one step at time.”
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
The Cynopsis Digital Model D Awards Luncheon
We have a terrific line-up for this year’s awards luncheon, including guest presenters Whitney Thore, star of TLC’S MY BIG FAT FABULOUS LIFE, FIT, STRONG AND SEXY’S Amanda Russell, MTV’s Franchesca Ramsey and Amy Emmerich from REFINERY29. Plus, there will be plenty of networking with the top companies in digital content before and after the program. So what are you waiting for?
CHECK OUT THE FINALISTS AND REGISTER TODAY.
Digital company D S Simon Productions has rebranded as D S Simon Media. “Going into our 30th year we thought this would be the perfect time to rebrand and help drive the discussion on digital media,” the company said. “Our name change is reflective of the new services our clients are demanding and that we are executing.”
PLATFORMS + TECH
Get it while it’s hot, kids. The new Roku SE streaming player will be available for just 25$ on Black Friday (November 27). Afterwards, it will cost $50 – same as the Roku 1 player. The Roku SE will be available through Amazon and via Best Buy Walmart, and Kohl’s, as well as Roku’s website.
YouTube has been getting into 360-degree video in a big way recently – and now it’s getting a boost from the tech community. The makers of 360-degree video camera 360fly have added YouTube video sharing capabilities to the camera’s iOS and Android apps. The new feature enables users to shoot, edit, and upload 360 degree video directly on YouTube from their cameras.
Digital media services platform RR Media has on-boarded seven new VOD platforms: Google Play, BT Vision, TalkTalk’s blinkbox TV, Amazon Prime Video, British Airways’ on demand entertainment system, Curzon Home Cinema and Wuaki.tv.
Can we use ad tech to defeat ad blockers? Devra Prywes, VP of Marketing and Insight at Unruly, thinks so. “If advertisers start using ad tech for good, respecting the user and serving better ads to the audience most likely to enjoy them,” she says, “we can make advertising a collaborative experience that adds value to people’s lives, instead of something they want to block.” Prywes will join Cynopsis as a panelist for the November 17 webinar, Beating the Ad Blockers. Register here: http://cynopsis.com/webinar/cynopsis-digital-webinar-beating-ad-blockers/
As Cynopsis Digital mentioned yesterday, analytics company ListenFirst Media has launched the Box Office Prediction Service, a platform that makes box office projections by tracking fan engagement data on social media and elsewhere. The service passed its first test: It projected a $73-to-77 million opening box office for the new James Bond film Spectre. The actual number was $73 million. Cynopsis Digital spoke to Jason Klein, ListenFirst’s Co-Founder and Co-CEO.
What made you decide to launch this product?
“It seemed like a pretty obvious opportunity; we have data from platforms that tell really fascinating consumer and fan stories – and we knew we had that data, because we’ve been using this data every day for the past three-and-a-half years to guide marketers and researchers across lots of different industries to optimize their campaigns and drive business performance. So we decided to take a broader look at the data, at what the patterns are, and what sorts of different data inputs tend to fluctuate more or less with different types of box office outcomes.”
How does the service work, exactly?
“We’ve been structuring data coming from every single major social platform, both at owned engagement signals and at the conversation level,” he explained. “And we’ve also been looking at other sources of information for the film industry, whether it’s critical reviews, user reviews, or search query frequencies. We had about four years of this data, just sitting there. And it’s all organized and wrapped around every single movie that’s come out over the past three and a half years.”
You’ve mentioned that, in the run-up to Spectre’s release, others were predicting a much higher box-office gross – over $90 million. Were you always confident that your model would be on the money?
“When you’re trying to do something predictive, there’s always an element of doubt. ‘What are all the things that could go wrong in our model?’ And I think with Spectre, since [our model] was such an interesting anomaly, we worried about the fact that it was telling a different story from the rest of the marketplace. But we happened to be pretty right.”
Digital marketing company Amobee Brand Intelligence took a look at the digital content engagement around the Fourth Republican Presidential debate on Tuesday. Amobee found that interest in the debates has begun to decrease: There were 1,542,285 Tweets over the duration of the debate, compared to 1,804,635 Tweets during the third Republican debate.
Some other findings:
Donald Trump was the Republican Presidential candidate generating the most real time Tweets (217,017).
Marco Rubio was the only candidate who generated more Positive than Negative Tweets. However, he generated fewer Tweets than any other candidate during the event (23,283).
Jeb Bush, who received 70,812 Tweets, had the highest percentage of Negative Tweets, with sentiment being 12% Positive, 61% Neutral, and 27% Negative.
A complete rundown of the candidates:
9pm -11:17pm Eastern Time, November 10, 2015.
1. Donald Trump (217,017 Tweets)
2. Ted Cruz (139,455 Tweets)
3. Ben Carson (129,150 Tweets)
4. John Kasich (113,607 Tweets)
5. Carly Fiorina (74,304 Tweets)
6. Jeb Bush (70,812 Tweets)
7. Rand Paul (37,467 Tweets)
8. Marco Rubio (23,283 Tweets)
Methodology: Digital content engagement is a measure of what people are seeing, reading, interacting and engaging with on over 600,000 sites on mobile, video, web and social.
Multi-platform media company First Look Media has a new exec. Adam Pincus will serve as Executive VP of Programming and Content, managing programming strategy, development and content production. Previously, Pincus served as Executive Vice President of Programming and Production at GroupM Entertainment.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Have You Checked the Leaderboard?
Cynopsis Sports is excited to recognize the best of the best sports social media campaigns from a historic year, as part of our second annual Leaderboard program. Join us at the Sports Engagement Summit on Wednesday, December 2 as we bring together some of the world’s most accomplished social media and eSports communicators in the world of sports.
Save your spot today!.
Looking forward to the December 11 season two premiere of Transparent? Of course you are. In the meantime, Amazon Studios just dropped a new teaser trailer. Check it out here.
See you tomorrow,
Roberta Caploe: Associate Publisher @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group
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JOB OPENING: MGR, PROMOTIONS ACQUISITIONS/COMEDY CENTRAL/NYC: Resp to rsch/evaluate prgrmng that best fits with the Comedy Central brand in order to drive ratings, create ad-sales opportunities ad revenue. 4+ yrs exp prgrmng & acquisitions TV/ent industry. Full info/apply HERE (11/14)
JOB OPENING: NEWS PRODUCER/SUCCESSFUL NATIONALLY SYNDICATED TALK SHOW/LA: 3 yrs solid conflict booking exp req’d. Must possess strong managerial, pre-interviewing, writing & rsrch skills. Ability to book conflict stories/resourceful/deadline driven. Benefits offered. Resume HERE (11/13)
JOB OPENING: MEMBERSHIP SVCS COORD/NonFiction Producers Association/LA or NY: Outgoing, results-oriented staff for trade association w/40 prod. co.members. Full-time, report to GM. Strong writing, comm skills, exp. serving customers, webfriendly. Resume HERE (11/13)
JOB OPENING: NAT’L TV SALES PLANNER/BET/LA: Prep sales plans using Dealmaker. Must have TV Exp, Agency a plus. Media Math, Excellent Comm and MS Office Full info/apply HERE (11/13)
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JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, RESEARCH & ANALYTICS/DISCOVERY DIGITAL NETWORKS/SF: Oversee the collection, analysis & distribution of data for DDN business. 8+ years of digital research experience. Strong data & analytics exp, expert with YouTube, FB analytics. Full info/apply HERE (11/13)
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