01/25/16: Google may be looking to create VR hardware; Netflix wants out of contract with Relativity Media; Google hires VR Evangelist for YouTube



CYNOPSISDIGITAL
01.25.16

Good morning. It’s Monday January 25, 2016, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.

Watcheroo Premieres and Tune-in Alerts for January 25-31:
- People Now at People.com, Monday-Friday at 8:30a ET and 11:30a ET: Guests include dancer and TV personality Kym Johnson (ABC’s Dancing with the Stars), actor and comedian Marlon Wayans (Fifty Shades of Black) and TV personalities Jessie James and Erick Decker (E!’s Eric & Jessie: Game On)
- Acorn TV: The British miniseries White Teeth debuts on the streaming service today, January 25
Fox.com and the Fox Now app: Starting today, the new miniseries revival of Fox’s The X Files can be streamed with very limited ads

TOP NEWS

 
As Relativity Media works to pull out of its six-month-long bankruptcy under a new reorganization plan, some companies have asked a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge to block the studio’s reorg, arguing that the company is incapable of fulfilling various contractual obligations under the plan. Foremost among these companies is Netflix, which has requested that the Court allow it to end its contract with Relativity. Netflix argues that Relativity has failed – and will continue to fail – to supply the streaming service with the annual five-film quota that’s stipulated in their contract. You can learn more about the legal drama here.
 
Google
’s jobs board is giving the game away – and apparently the company’s virtual reality ambitions don’t end at the Cardboard. Several new jobs postings, first discovered by RoadtoVR, hint that the company may be developing its own VR gear. The postings:
 
Hardware Engineering Technical Lead Manager, VR
Engineering Project Specialist, Virtual Reality
Electrical Hardware Engineer, Virtual Reality
- PCB Layout Engineer, Virtual Reality
 
The job descriptions, which are fairly detailed, make it clear that Google is likely looking to create its own VR hardware. You can see the postings here


A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE


CYNOPSIS BOOT CAMP: INTENSIVE RATINGS TRAINING ON 2/9
Measurement & Metrics Mash-Up
Nielsen uses panels to produce its ratings, but many media companies are demanding data from set top boxes be included to create accurate measurement. Our presenters will explain how sellers are handling data to level the playing field.
LEARN:
- The flaws in Nielsen & set top box data
– The positive & negative effects of dynamic ad insertion
– How to handle client concern about streaming services that strip watermarks, compromising verifiable measurement


NEW PROGRAMMING + DEALS

 
Seems that Amazon is really digging this whole film distribution thing. Amazon Studios is partnering with Roadside Attractions to distribute Love & Friendship, a new Jane Austen-based period comedy. The film, directed by Wilt Stillman, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday. Roadside Attractions will handle the exclusive theatrical release, after which the film will debut on the Amazon Prime streaming service.
 
Borrowing from the sensibilities of quirky IFC sketch series Portlandia, Talkative Driver, a new four-part web series starring Portlandia leads Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, centers on a new driver for an Uber-like car service that specializes in the art of small talk. It’s sponsored by Subarau, and the episodes are only a couple minutes long. You can check it out here.
 
Acorn TV, the SVOD service specializing in bringing U.K. content to North American audiences, announced a couple of new acquisitions. The Channel 4 docu-series Liberty of London will premiere February 8, while Channel 5 crime drama Suspects will bow on February 22.

ADVERTISING

 
Who would have thought that Twitter would beat George R.R. Martin to the next phase of the story? HBO has tweeted out a handful of (very brief) clips from Game of Thrones season six, which premieres in April. The cable network is tying the clips to a new interactive promotion asking fans to tweet their allegiance to a particular “house” from the series’ universe. (Editor’s note: House Targaryen all the way.) Fans will see a specific video in response to whichever house they choose. (The clips are nothing more than a waving flag accompanied by audio.)  You can learn more about the campaign – and see the clips – here.
 
 

RESEARCH

 
Has the tech industry always been this litigious? In a court filing, the computer tech company Oracle let slip some info regarding the amount of revenue that Google has earned from its Android operating system. The two companies have been involved in an ongoing legal dispute, and the bad blood is only going to get badder: Google said that the Android info was highly sensitive and should not have been made public, strongly requesting that the judge reseal it. Multiple publications have reported on the court filing; Bloomberg was the first.

 

HBO seems to have found great success with HBO Now, its no-cable-subscription-required streaming service. So can we expect other networks to follow suit? Well, maybe not anytime soon, at least according to Michael Nathanson. The MoffetNathanson analyst put together a chart estimating what it would cost to purchase a la carte subscriptions to individual networks. Long story short: Taken together, the subscriptions would cost a lot more than a cable bundle. (ESPN alone would cost $36 per month.) You can learn more about the chart here.
 
YouTube may have just released a new video-looping feature, but let’s not forget the Looper-in-Chief. Vine released a list of its most-looped videos of the past 12 months, just in time for the video-sharing service’s third birthday. You can check out the videos here.
 

 
TOP WOMEN IN DIGITAL AWARDS

 
Who do you think deserves to be honored as one of our
Top Women in Digital? We want to know – and there’s still a little time for you tell us. The nomination period closes tomorrow, Tuesday Jan 26: http://www.cynopsis.com/event/2016-women-digital-awards

EXECUTIVE MOVES

 
Now that sounds like an awesome religion. Google has hired Scott Broock, an exec from the virtual reality startup Jaunt VR, as YouTube’s new Global VR Evangelist. (Re/code was the first publication to pick up the news.) Google has yet to comment on the specifics of Broock’s exact role at YouTube, though Re/Code speculates that he’ll likely be pursuing deals with content providers, much as he did at Jaunt. 
 
The agency Horizon Media has a new exec. Greg DePalma will serve as Vice President of Advanced Video Analytics. Most recently, he served as SVP at the consumer marketing data company IRI Inc. He has also worked at TiVo, Millward Brown, and Nielsen.
 


A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE


Did you know that budgets for programmatic TV buying are expected to surge to a whopping $10 billion* by 2019?

With dollars steadily shifting to audience-based ad buying and technology ramping up, you can’t afford not to get up to speed on this fast-changing ecosystem. By joining Cynopsis on Thursday, January 28, for the webinar, Programmatic TV 2016: The Keys to Mining Data and Measurement, your team will get the tools they need to understand the opportunities and challenges of unprecedented behavioral targeting.
*Source: Magna Global



 
DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT

 
Are apps the future of television? Apple would certainly have you believe so. The company’s new 30-second ad for the Apple TV does an impressive job of making the TV app experience spring to life. Check it out here.

See you tomorrow,
David Teich
01.25.16

Roberta Caploe: Associate Publisher @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

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JOB OPENING: MGR, PRICING & INVENTORY/Viacom/NYC: Work w/Kids & Family Group Pricing Team to ensure accuracy between groups/clients. BA Deg. Min 2 yrs ntwrk pricing/ plan’g exp & media buying &/or sales exp. Proven ability to think strategically. Full info/apply HERE (1/30) 

JOB OPENING: SR DIGITAL STRATEGIST/BUYER/North Jersey: Execute/implement & steward ad campaigns. 4-7 yrs exp. Deep knwldg current & emerging digital platforms. Highly self-driven & exp w/Digital Med Mngmnt sys i.e. Prisma a +. Strong negotiating skills. Resume: jwatson@execsearchinc.net (1/30)

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SITUATION WANTED: Experienced PARTNERSHIP MARKETING & PROMOTIONS COORDINATOR with a background in TV and film in LA. Worked for CBS and DreamWorks Animation managing the execution of multiple partnerships. E: jasmine.sloanel@gmail.com (2/3)

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