01.12.16 Good morning. It’s Tuesday January 12, 2016, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.
HuffPost Live is getting a little less live. According to a company memo obtained by Politico, The Huffington Post is making major changes to its live video section. The news site will shift focus to long-form and shareable video content. And the site will no longer feature eight daily hours of live content. Instead, HuffPost Live will live up to its name only when celeb interviews and major news events are involved. According to Politico’s sources, the changes will involve company layoffs.
Well, someone had to introduce Gen Z to the sobering realities of world finance. The Wall Street Journal is now the 19th partner to join Discover, the Snapchat platform featuring video and editorial content from brands like Comedy Central and Refinery29. So why did WSJ partner with an app whose content disappears faster than a bad investment? “The [Snapchat users] who are really aspirational and entrepreneurial are our next CEOs,” WSJ’s Executive Emerging Media Editor, Carla Zanoni, told Re/code. “They’re the folks who will have a very long-lasting relationship with the Journal, and we’re looking to meet them where they live today.”
Starz intends to launch its own OTT app, joining the ranks of premium cable networks such as HBO and Showtime. The news came from CEO Chris Albrecht, who confirmed the company’s intentions at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. “To have your own app is the opportunity to be distributed, either by our current distribution partners…or potential other portals,” he said. “[W]hen we feel that we have it right, I think we’ll look at some business opportunities and make some decisions on that.” Albrecht offered scant details.
Teads is ready to start mashing. The native video advertising platform has partnered with the digital media company Mashable and will serve as Mashable’s preferred native video advertising provider. Teads’ other partners include Forbes, Slate, and The Guardian.
fuboTV, a sports streaming provider with a focus on soccer, has joined T-Mobile’s Binge On network. The network allows users to stream video without eating into their data plans.
And then there were two. According to a report from the Telegraph, the Vive headset will ship in April, making it the second VR headset of 2016 to receive a release date. (The Oculus Rift is set to debut in March.) The Vive, largely designed for gamers, was developed by HTC and the video game developer Valve. Pre-orders go live February 29. (Yes, it’s a leap year.) No word on the pricing yet, though the Vive could sell for $598 and still call itself cheaper than the Rift.
One promising application for 360-degree video: live event coverage. Facebook made that clear during Sunday’s Golden Globes, partnering with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for immersive interviews and red carpet coverage. To see what that looks like, go here – and be sure to click and drag.
OTT + SVOD
At Sunday night’s Golden Globes, Mozart in the Jungle set aside the conductor’s wand and grabbed a couple of statuettes. The Amazon streamer won the award award for Best TV Series – Comedy, while series star Gael Garcia Bernal took the prize for Best Actor in a TV Series – Comedy. Despite several nominations for shows such as Amazon’s Transparent and Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black, Mozart was the only streaming series that didn’t go home empty-handed.
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President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address will live-stream on YouTube tonight, as will the Republican rebuttal from South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. YouTube also announced that, just as he has for the past several years, Obama will answer audience questions live via YouTube after the address. The live question-and-answer session can be seen on the official White House YouTube channel. The State of the Union begins at 9p ET.
That’s not all from 1600 Penn. The White House is launching an “Official Story” on Snapchat (Snapchat username: WhiteHouse). “There are over 100 million daily active Snapchat users, and over 60 percent of American smartphone users between the ages of 13 and 34 use the platform,” a White House blog post observes. According to the post, the Administration will kick things off today with a behind-the-scenes look at the White House’s State of the Union preparations.
The Apple TV’s OS is getting a new update. A beta version of the newest operating system, called tvOS 9.2, which has been provided to developers, will allow users to pair a Bluetooth keyboard with the Apple TV. (Typing passwords, movie titles, or anything else should get a whole lot easier.) The OS will also allow users to create folders on their home screens, which they’ll be able to use to organize their apps. You can learn about the rest of the new features here.
Searching for something to watch on Netflix can be a cluttered and confusing experience, ultimately leading viewers to watch something they dislike. At least, that’s the rationale behind Flixed, a new app devoted to enhancing your Netflix search. Flixed, still in beta, provides integrated Metacritic scores and IMDB rankings, as well as region-free universal search to let you see if the content you’re looking for is available in another region. The app also enables viewers to watch the trailer for a given title on the spot, and includes category pages such as “New Arrivals” and “Most Popular.” Clicking “Watch Now” will get the content playing.
Even Netflix acknowledges that there are deficiencies to its search model. CPO Neil Hunt recently told Business Insider that the service’s five-star rating system causes viewers to give negative reviews to content they enjoyed. Case in point: The Ridiculous Six, the new Adam Sandler film that’s gotten off to the best start of any film in Netflix history. Its rating? Less than 3 stars. The thought process goes a little something like this: I enjoyed that, but objectively, I know it was bad. Two stars. Hunt says the company hopes to find a metric that lets users rate enjoyment rather than quality.
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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 ListenFirst Digital 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 (1/4/16 – 1/10/16)
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 Auto & Vehicles Vertical, based on the engagement metric for the week ending 1/10.
Channel (Engagement)/Monthly Views/Total Subs/SlateScore
german motorhead (8.5) / 26,340 / 209/ 305
smurfinwrx (8.5) / 2,089,380 / 164,634/ 534
teamassociatedrc (8.5) / 48,330 / 9,330/ 420
saabkyle04 (8.5) / 8,813,910 / 842,635 / 613
superatvworld (8.5) / 34,080 / 1,926 / 348
thedestruction82 (8.5) / 7,350 / 3,830 / 345
Diogo R1 (8.5) / 75,930 / 1,085 / 367
70CHARGERREGISTRY (8.5) / 68,970 / 2,467 / 326
Muhammad Imam Zulkarnaen (8.5) / 38,370 / 356 / 304
(8.5) / 62,010 / 1,531 / 365
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.
The Golden Globes were a hit on social media. Twitter says there were 4.4 million global tweets during the broadcast. Facebook, meanwhile, says that 9 million people produced 19 million interactions (posts, comments, and likes) related to the Globes.
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