02/01/16: Apple could be planning original content slate; Louis C.K. launches web series; Google assembles virtual reality design team

CYNOPSISDIGITAL
02.01.16

Good morning. It’s Monday February 1, 2016, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.

Watcheroo Premieres and Tune-in Alerts for February 1-7:
- People Now at People.com, Monday-Friday at 8:30a ET and 11:30a ET: Guests include actress Anna Faris (CBS’s Mom), actor Neel Sethi (The Jungle Book), and actor Rupert Evans (The Boy)
Netflix: The new comedy special Hannibal Buress: Comedy Camisado debuts Friday, February 5
CBS and Verizon’s NFL Mobile App: If you can’t make it to the nearest big-screen TV, you can live-stream Super Bowl 50 on CBSSports.com, the CBS Sports app for Xbox One, Apple TV, and Roku, or, if you’re a Verizon subscriber, the Verizon NFL Mobile app. The game airs this Sunday, February 7 – but you already knew that.


TOP NEWS


Will they or won’t they? When it comes to Apple and its streaming video aspirations, that’s long been the question. Some new evidence on the affirmative end: An anonymous source just told TheStreet that Apple might unveil a slate of original programming this fall, at the same time the iPhone 7 is announced. TheStreet says the content might come as part of a new digital TV service, and also reports that Apple SVP Eddie Cue has been taking meetings in Hollywood looking for exclusive content deals for iTunes.

 

NEW PROGRAMMING + DEALS


Leave it to Louis C.K. to release a new web series without any marketing or advance notice whatsoever. On Saturday, the comedian surprised fans with a terse email announcing that episode one of Horace and Pete, a new dramatic web series, is available on his website. As is generally the case when C.K. offers content through his website, the episode costs $5. C.K. stars as a dive bar owner. Co-starring are Steve Buscemi, Edie Falco, Jessica Lange, Alan Alda, Aidy Bryant, and others.

 

IBM announced that it has finalized its acquisition of The Weather Company’s digital businesses. Those include TWC’s mobile, cloud-based, web, and B2B properties. The company’s cable channel is not part of the acquisition, though the channel will license weather forecast data and analytics from IBM. The impending acquisition was initially announced in October 2015.

 

Fandango has acquired M-GO, a streaming service previously owned by Dreamworks Animation and Technicolor. (Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.) The service features movies and TV shows from a variety of networks and studios. In a release, Fandango President Paul Yanover said that the company intends to use M-GO to accelerate its movie ticketing efforts “by creating compelling new digital products that serve consumers throughout the movie lifecycle.” In the same release, Fandango announced that its parent company, NBCUniversal, will be working with Technicolor to explore new technologies, including virtual and augmented reality.


A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE


Cynopsis Webinars   I   Tuesday, March 1st  I 1:30-3:00PM  I  Register
New Social Media Strategies to Reach the Young Demo

In the churn of apps that facilitate sharing, chatting, curating and creating, which digital hangouts should programmers and advertisers be focused on now to connect with elusive Gen Y and Gen Z? And how? Join Cynopsis for our webinar, New Social Media Strategies to Reach the Young Demo, which will provide you with the latest tools you need to engage young viewers and drive tune-in.

Questions? Contact Trish Pihonak.


VIRTUAL REALITY


You didn’t really think Apple would get left behind, did you? According to a report from The Financial Times, the tech giant has assembled a team of hundreds of virtual and augmented reality experts, and they’re hard at work developing new hardware. The FT story is behind a paywall, but you can learn more here.


When Apple is active in any given space, you can rest assured Google is too. The latter company, known for its Cardboard VR viewer, recently launched a designated VR division – and now that division is being beefed up. The company just moved 10 employees into it, creating a design team specifically for Google’s VR initiatives. Google confirmed to Re/code that Joseph To, a design lead for Google’s apps unit, will head the team.


CYNOPSIS RATINGS BOOT CAMP


Don’t miss the
Cynopsis Ratings Boot Camp on Tuesday, February 9 at the Dream Hotel Downtown in New York City. This intensive workshop will provide the critical tools, strategies and insights needed to enhance your skill set in the ever-morphing areas of ratings analysis. For more information and to register visit: http://www.cynopsis.com/event/cynopsis-boot-camp/

VC FUNDING + INVESTORS


Roku may be past the startup phase, but apparently that doesn’t mean it’s done fundraising. The company, known for its widely-used streaming devices, raised $45.5 million in a late-2015 funding round, according to an SEC filing. The company confirmed its recent fundraising activity to Variety, but hasn’t provided any additional comments on the subject. To date, the company has now raised roughly $200 million.   


RESEARCH


In the contest between TVOD and SVOD, the latter appears to be headed toward a blowout victory. According to a research report from Parks Associates, monthly spending on SVOD services among U.S. broadband households increased from $3.71 per month in 2012 to $6.19 per month in 2015. (The study also found that the average SVOD service costs between $7-$10, with some niche services coming in at under $5.) Meanwhile, the study found that purchases and rentals of digital video titles command less than $1 per month.

Amazon reported that, in Q4 2015, Prime Video nearly doubled the number of streaming customers that it had during the same period in 2015. (The company doesn’t report precise viewership numbers.) All in all, the company announced that its operating income had increased 88% year-over-year, to 1.1 billion in the fourth quarter. That number was $591 million in Q4 of 2014. Net income in Q4 was $482 million, up from $214 million in 2014. In stock terms, this was all good for about $1 per share – though Wall Street analysts had expected about $1.56 per share, and the report actually caused company stock prices to fall in after-hours trading.

Today’s the day of the Iowa caucuses. Donald Trump leads most polls – but his lead is even bigger on social media. During last week’s January 28 GOP primary debate – which Trump declined to attend – the Republican front-runner outpaced his opponents in engagements across social media. According to ListenFirst Media’s exclusive Digital Engagement Rating (DER) for Politics, which measures voter behavior across Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Wikipedia and YouTube, Trump garnered 46.9% of social media engagements during the debate. That’s more than triple the second-place Ted Cruz, who got 12.85%. (And unlike Trump, Cruz was at the debate.) Trump also nearly tripled Cruz’s Wikipedia search volume, while Michael Bloomberg (who has only toyed with the idea of running as an independent) came in third.

EXECUTIVE MOVES


As part of IBM’s acquisition of The Weather Company, TWC CEO David Kenny will move into a new role at the former company. He will now serve as head of IBM’s Watson platform business. Meanwhile, Michael Rhodin, who launched the platform business, will serve as head of Watson Business Development.

The programmatic media-buying platform ZypMedia has hired Michelle Savoy as Senior Vice President, Head of Sales. Savoy most recently served as a Consultant at the digital sales and marketing company Strategy Source, before which she served as a VP at the digital advertising company Undertone.


A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE


CYNOPSIS BOOT CAMP: INTENSIVE RATINGS TRAINING ON 2/9 sponsored by Nielsen
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


DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT


Australian Open finals recap: Women’s singles winner Angelique Kerber stunned the tennis world by defeating Serena Williams, and Novak Djokovic stunned exactly no one by annihilating Andy Murray and continuing his ridiculous run of dominance. The Australian Open TV YouTube page put together a pretty nifty slow-motion video recap of the tournament. Check it out here.

See you tomorrow,
David Teich
02.01.16

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

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JOB OPENING: DIGITAL MEDIA/OTT/NYC: Sports Media company looking for person exp with OTT products/tech. Help launch new global product, work with technology partner setting up UI, etc. Consultant to full-time opportunity. Respond with cvr ltr to hr30ml@gmail.com (2/6)    

 

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JOB OPENING: VP SOCIAL MEDIA STRTGY/Discovery/LA: Digital content strategy leader to create vision/strategy for Discovery Channel, Science & Animal Planet social presence/partnerships. Live & breathe strategy/metrics, work across depts to drive monetization. Exp. driving top brands. Full info/apply HERE (2/5)

 

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JOB OPENING: DIR, INTERNATIONAL BUS. DVLPMNT/NBA/NYC: Drive large scale mktg partnership deals across NBA’s internat’l.Min 10yrs relevant bus. exp. & BA deg, pref in mktg or internat’l bus. Support SR sales team w/sales lifecycle start thru finish. Full info/apply HERE (2/3)

 

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JOB OPENING: DATA ANALYST, BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE/Viacom/NYC: Resp for dvlpmnt & support of our internal clients reporting & data warehousing platforms. BA deg. Inf Systems, Math or related discipline req’d. 1-4 yrs exp in comparable analytical position. Full info/apply HERE (2/3) 

 

JOB OPENING: JR DIGITAL & MOTION GRAPHIC DESIGNER/Viacom/NYC: Create designs for dig. metting current responsive pg standards understanding usability & srch eng opt. BA deg & min 1-2 yrs exp web page design, graphic content design, motion graphics design & concept dvlpmnt. Full info/apply HERE (2/3) 

 

JOB OPENING: MANAGER, COMMUNICATIONS/BRAVO & OXYGEN MEDIA/NYC: Responsible for the development & implementation of PR campaigns and strategies for Bravo and Oxygen Media. Min 3 yrs exp in TV PR. Full info/apply HERE (2/3)

 

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JOB OPENING: ASSOCIATE MANAGER, AUTOMOTIVE REMARKETING/SiriusXM/NY: 2+ years of professional experience in product marketing, B2B and B2C marketing, advertising, digital marketing, promotions and/or industry event coordination. Resume to: Jessica.Fox@siriusxm.com (2/2)

 

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR of DEVELOPMENT/NYC: Seasoned creative exec to drive sales at leading cable/reality proco. Idea wizard, strong writer/producer, push the creative envelope. Sales track record a must. 5+ yrs direct dvlpmnt exp.Resume HERE: devodirector@gmail.com (2/2)

 

JOB OPENING: SR ANALYST, WEB ANALYTICS/SiriusXM/DC/NY: Deliver insights thru Web Analytics for dig. mktg efforts leveraging Adobe/Omniture/Google Analytics. Provide insight into bus. goals/key perform indicators. 4+ yrs. exp. w/establishing key metrics, data mgmt, reporting & analysis. Res HERE (2/2)

 

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