01.22.15 Good morning. It’s Thursday, January 22, 2015, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.
Former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar officially opened the doors to his latest video venture, Vessel. The platform will distribute content for first-run distribution at least 72 hours in advance at a $2.99 price tag, with the subscription and advertising revenues leaning generously towards the creator (70 percent of the ad rev, 60 percent of the subscription rev). Vessel also nailed down a slate of talent and media companies to debut programming on the platform, including: Ingrid Nilsen, Brittani Louise Taylor, Connor Franta, Nerdist Industries, Jimmy Tatro, Tanya Burr, Roman Atwood, Arden Rose, Jack Vale, Above Average, Machinima, Sports Illustrated, Tastemade and others. Beyond the creators, Vessel touts its own custom ad platforms – a five second pre-roll and a magazine in-feed called “brand motion posters” powered by FreeWheel. Corona, Chevy and Axe are all brands launching with the platform.
Jesse Eisenberg is adapting his short stories Bream Gives Me Hiccups as a half-hour comedy for Amazon. Ravi Nandan (Playing House) and John Hodges will executive produce the series, which follows a 9-year-old restaurant critic who always brings his alcoholic mother and his friend Matthew along.
NBC Sports Digital is turning to Tumblr to host the Super Bowl TV spots immediately after they air during the Feb. 1 game. In addition, NBC plans stream 11 hours of NBC content on Super Stream Sunday on its NBC Sports Live Extra site and app, including the Katy Perry Halftime Show. The Big Game’s pre- and post-game programming, as well as the post-game episode of The Blacklist will also be available online.
Millennial-focused Young Hollywood is prepping to jump into the OTT business, with plans for Young Hollywood TV to launch later this year, and moved from its original January date. “We don’t want to rush it,” CEO and Founder RJ Williams told Cynopsis at NATPE, “and we’re going to give it 12 months to turn it into a business.” He hopes that current clients Subway, Coca-Cola, Unilever, and H&M will come along for the ride. “The idea,” he said, “is that our website, YouTube, and social platforms to all be vehicles for the OTT service.”
Raycom Media partnered with OTT media company PTA Networks to bundle advertising across all screens and distribute its PTA programming to linear TV. PTA original series include Day Off, Staycation and StateXState.
YouTube celeb Meredith Foster (Stilababe09) signed with Hollywood agency CAA, joining other YT stars Mamrie Hart, Joe Penna, Jerome Jarre and Casey Neistat. CAA will over see the beauty guru’s digital and branded content, and expand her presence on TV, commercial endorsements, publishing and more. Foster has more than three million subscribers, 1.3 million followers on Instagram, and a combined 1.2 million followers on Facebook and Twitter.
Ora TV launched the new series America Cooks with Chefs, starting with the first four episodes at AmericaCookswithChefs.com. The seven total episodes feature six James Beard Award-winning chefs teaching people how to cook their favorite meals in a healthy spin.
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NBC News landed a viral Facebook post during President Obama’s State of the Union address earlier this week. During the President’s “drop-the-mic moment” (his response to the audience who applauded when he said he has “no more campaigns to run”) more than 16 million people were reached, hitting 4.1 million views, 65,000+ shares and 18,827 comments in the first eight hours.
BBC.com announced Q4 averaged 31.6 million unique visitors (desktop and mobile combined) in the U.S., a 14 percent increase from the previous quarter. The mobile site alone reeled in 12.6 million unique visitors, up 20 percent over other recorded bests.
Sony will roll out The Interview on Netflix on Jan. 24, and later on its own streaming platform Crackle. Sony recently said that the film made more than $40 million since its initial digital release on Dec. 24.
In addition to British programming service Acorn TV releasing the final season of Foyle’s War beginning Feb. 2, it will premiere the miniseries New Worlds on Feb. 16. Acorn TV content can be viewed at Acorn.TV, via its Apple app and on its Roku channel.
The iHeartRadio Country Festival will return this year on May 2 to radio stations, the iHeartRadio app and its online destination. The festival’s roster will include country artists Tim McGraw, Brantley Gilbert, Rascal Flatts and Brad Paisley.
OpenX appointed Andrew Buckman as Managing Director of EMEA. Previously, Buckman was COO at Tradedoubler.
Join us at the Cynopsis Social Good Awards Breakfast on March 3rd at the Yale Club NYC to praise excellence in the area of social good in the TV and entertainment industry. Please visit our website for more information about tickets and sponsorship: http://bit.ly/CynSGA14
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DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT OF THE DAY
Netflix’s newest spot boasts that it can save someone from boredom, awkward parties or even from the lack of common interests with the in-laws. From Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam, the streaming service puts a spotlight on its originals – Arrested Development, House of Cards and Orange is the New Black – concluding that binge-watching those series actually makes life better. So watch away! Check it out at www.cynopsis.com/#video.
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