02/02/16: Conde Nast Entertainment forms unscripted TV unit, NFL close to finalizing Thursday streaming partner, comScore and Rentrak complete merger


Good morning. It’s Tuesday February 2, 2016, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


There’s a new behemoth in town. Rentrak and comScore have completed their merger, first announced last September. The former company, which measures VOD, set-top box, and movie box office data, will now be folded into the latter company, which measures consumer web activity. The resulting company is bound to offer strong competition to Nielsen, which has been ramping up its own efforts in the digital space.
Yahoo plans to cut some costs, and the result won’t be easy on everyone. According to The Wall Street Journal, CEO Marissa Mayer intends to announce numerous layoffs at end-of-day today, amounting to 15% of the company’s workforce.



Where the NFL goes, major networks will follow – but who will follow it into the streaming space? The league has finalized deals with NBC and CBS, making the networks next season’s Thursday Night Football broadcast partners – but whoever will be the NFL’s streaming partner remains unclear. It probably won’t stay that way for long, though. In an interview with Variety, Hans Schroeder, the NFL’s SVP of Revenue Strategy and Development, affirmed that the league intends to sell off the global streaming rights to next season’s Thursday games. The matter, he said, will be settled “in the next several weeks.”


It’s a good time to be a classic plaything. First Netflix picked up a Stretch Armstrong-based series, and now Amazon is going the American Girl route. The company has ordered four original live-action specials based on the classic doll franchise. The specials come as part of a multi-year deal with Mattel, the toy company behind the dolls. As part of the deal, Amazon Studios will also have the option to produce multiple TV seasons populated with American Girl characters.
Netflix is trying its hand at sketch comedy. The company announced that it has greenlit Netflix Presents: The Characters, a sketch series featuring up-and-coming talent. It will debut next month.
BET announced some new original content, just in time for Black History Month. Said content includes Send Me, a dramatic six-episode web series, set to premiere this Thursday, February 4 at 2PM E on BET.com and the BET Now App.
Adstream, a company specializing in media delivery, analytics, and digital asset management, announced that it has acquired the AdServices division of Deluxe Entertainment Services Group. The AdServices business specializes in providing brands and agencies with advertising management and delivery. According to Adstream CEO Gerry Sutton, the cost of the acquisition ran into eight figures.  
The female oriented digital comedy platform PYPO announced it has partnered with New York Magazine. Among other things, NY Mag’s The Cut section will debut a PYPO original comedy video each Sunday. Meanwhile, PYPO announced the premiere of Amy v Craig, a new video featuring actress Rose Byrne.


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Conde Nast Entertainment
, Conde Nast’s digital media arm, is launching CNE Studios, a new unscripted TV division. The company announced that producer Al Edgington (The Amazing Race) will head the unit. CNE Studios will develop and produce film, TV, and digital video projects.
Naritiv is what you might call Snapchat’s first professional matchmaker: The company works with both brands and content creators, connecting them with one another for influencer marketing opportunities. Now the company is a little bit richer, following a recent funding round totaling $3 million. (That brings its total fundraising to date to $4.2 million.) Investors in the latest round included Third Wave Digital, The Walt Disney Company, and Luminari Capital.
More from Snapchat: Yesterday, Conde Nast’s Vanity Fair exclusively debuted the cover of its annual Hollywood issue on its Snapchat Discover platform. The platform is also currently hosting a making-of video about the magazine’s photo shoot, a story about dressing up for the Academy Awards, and past photos from VF’s Oscar Party photo booth.
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SHAREABLEE SOCIAL TV RATINGS: Top U.S. Streaming Shows Overall by Engagement for the week of January 25
Program, Date, Total Actions (000), Total Content, Actions per Post (000), Fans/Followers (000)
Orange Is the New Black (Netflix) 318, 11, 29, 7144
House of Cards (Netflix) 135, 9, 15, 3120
Trailer Park Boys (Netflix) 106, 15, 7, 1671
Arrested Development (Netflix) 21, 12, 2, 2311
BoJack Horseman (Netflix) 20, 20, 1, 556
Mozart In the Jungle (Amazon Studios) 18, 12, 1, 470
Making a Murderer (Netflix) 13, 29, 0, 166
The Mindy Project (Hulu) 12, 9, 1, 731
Sense8 (Netflix) 8, 6, 1, 1067
Master of None (Netflix) 5, 6, 1, 137
Source: Shareablee Inc. The total actions metric includes the total volume of post-level likes, shares, favorites, retweets and comments. Total content includes all posts, tweets and media posted by each TV property across all platforms. Actions per post metric notes the average e number of actions garnered by each property. Total fans/followers includes Facebook and Twitter and Instagram followers.


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 (1/25/16 – 1/31/16)
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 People & Blogs Vertical, based on the engagement metric for the week ending 1/31.
Channel (Engagement) / Monthly Views / Total Subs / SlateScore
RomanAtwoodVlogs (9.6) / 147,267,570 / 5,465,328 / 736
shane (9.5) / 67,967,370 / 6,229,807 / 790
caseyneistat (9.4) / 45,360,870 / 2,066,166 / 727
BFvsGF (9.4) / 73,177,530 / 8,496,439 / 785
JoeyGraceffa (9.2) / 37,272,600 / 5,716,714 / 772
belparameninas (9.2) / 90,355,920 / 1,296,399 / 682
Doseoffousey (9.1) / 28,050,480 / 2,222,103 / 693
(9.1) / 44,794,260 / 694,924 / 666
bratayley (9.1) / 89,823,990 / 2,247,730 / 693
mrmrsnb2 (9.0) / 11,483,640 / 1,342,450 / 676
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.


Today in Executive Moves: an executive moves into police custody. Lu Fanxi, who used to serve as President of the Chinese streaming video giant Youku Tudou, has been arrested in China on corruption charges. He departed the company in July 2015, and now we have a better idea why: Youku Tudou has confirmed to Variety that the company itself informed authorities of Lu’s alleged transgressions, the details of which are still a bit unclear.
Now for a more traditional executive move: The mobile video sharing platform Whipclip has hired Jeremy Reed as its head of programming. Most recently, Reed served as Head of Tastemaker Development at the food-centric media brand Tastemade.


Twitter, YouTube, Facebook & Social TV
When social giants like Twitter & Facebook want to introduce video ad buying with sales & tracking metrics akin to TV, you gotta pay attention.
– How Facebook is partnering with Nielsen to verify its ads
– How YouTube, selling guarantees to advertisers is now upping the ante
– What’s next for Twitter, now that the Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings Weekly Top 10 is a staple for programmers & advertisers looking for which programs most resonate with viewers



The Iowa caucuses were held yesterday. And on the GOP side, it’s safe to say that the debates made a difference in the outcome – especially the fictional one moderated by Stephen Colbert, which consisted entirely of Donald Trump video clips. In case you missed it, check out the Late Show segment here

See you tomorrow,
David Teich

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