02/06/15: Twitter biz booming, usage not so much; Frederator’s new world view; Katy’s got game


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Good morning. It’s Friday February 6, 2015, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.

Twitter’s Q4 earnings were a mixed bag. The company bested analyst projections, posting Q4 adjusted earnings of 12 cents per share, compared with 2 cents a year earlier. Revenue shot up to $479 million, from $243 million in Q4 2013. Analysts were expecting adjusted earnings close to 6 cents per share on $453 million in revenue, according to a Thomson Reuters estimate. Ad revenue hit $432 million, a 97 percent increase from the prior year. But its people numbers were a different story. Twitter added 288 million monthly active users (below projections) but only 4 million monthly adds since the prior quarter-a scenario company execs blamed in part to the release of Apple’s iOS 8 operating system, which CFO Anthony Noto said cost them 4 million MAUs. Also of note, Timeline views hit 182 billion for Q4, a 23 percent YoY increase. Twitter reportedly is in a deal with Google that gives the search engine immediate access to the stream of data generated by in the Twitter-verse. Previously, Google had to crawl the social platform for information being searched. Twitter already provides data to Microsoft’s Bing search service and Yahoo!

Earnings were released the morning after a memo from Twitter CEO Dick Costolo decrying his platform’s handling of harassment and abuse got out. "We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years," Costolo wrote in an internal memo obtained by The Verge. Costolo tells employees he’s embarrassed for the company’s failures and would soon be taking stronger action to eliminate trolls, noting, “It’s nobody’s fault but mine.” His comments came in response to a question on an internal forum; Twitter declined to comment on the memo.


Frederator Studios is getting out its passport. Fred Seibert’s dynasty today is debuting an international programming strategy seeking content it will dub it for an English-speaking audience. First up is Chilean-based Marmota Studio’s Spanish-language, 18-part series Fin Punch!, about a dolphin and narwhal. “The approach we’re taking with Fin Punch! is based off of a standard broadcast distribution strategy – something that I think can work well for our network as we move forward,” Seibert said.


Wearable-camera maker GoPro inches closer to becoming a media company with the announcement it will launch a Roku channel. The GoPro channel on the streaming platform will be similar to the company’s YouTube offering, featuring sports and action videos filmed with its cameras. The new deal expands GoPro’s distribution universe, which includes Microsoft Xbox, LG, Virgin America and the YT channel, which has 2.7 million subscribers.

Conde Nast Entertainment named Claudia Sulewski as the host of Teen Vogue’s official YouTube channel (youtube.com/teenvogue). Sulewski is the first star to take on the role of host for a Conde Nast branded YT channel; she hit 1 million subscribers last week on her own BeyondBeautyStar.

iHeartMedia, formerly Clear Channel, is flipping the switch on a branded content studio. The iHeartMedia Soundboard is looking to work with agencies and marketers to create interview-based shows, as well as short- and long-form content. Although no brands have signed on yet, Oscar winner Jared Leto is onboard as a collaborator, as are on-iHeartMedia on-air talent including Ryan Seacrest and Elvis Duran. John Sykes, president of iHeartMedia’s Entertainment Enterprises Group, will head Soundboard.

Looks like Apple is mulling the idea of offering a skinny television bundle. Again. The company is in talks with unspecified TV nets about offering a channel bundle similar to Dish’s Sling TV, reports Re/code. The talking isn’t new-Apple has been chewing on various ways of offering a television service for years – and questions abound, including whether the bundle would be available via Apple TV device or another new device. Stay tuned…

Disney is reportedly exploring ways to bring video streaming products directly to consumers. During this week’s Q1 earnings call, CEO Bob Iger said that while Disney is "mindful of the value of the expanded basic bundle,” he could see bringing Disney Channel, ESPN, Star Wars and Marvel over the top, particularly to younger consumers who don’t subscribe to traditional pay TV packages.

TV One is upping the social media presence of tonight’s live coverage of the 46th NAACP Image Awards with real-time reports from correspondents HelloBeautiful.com, the Jasmine Brand.com, the YBF.com, Necole Bitchie.com, and Awesomely Luvvie.com. All bloggers’ live Twitter streams can be followed at tvone.tv/imageawards.

In its first 24 hours of views, the second Music Edition of “Mean Tweets” amassed 8.3 million video views on the Jimmy Kimmel Live YouTube Channel, making it the most-watched clip ever in the “Mean Tweets” series. Based on five-day views, the “Mean Tweets” series videos occupy two of the Top 5 most-viewed clips on the channel for the season.


Webinar: Generation Edge – Catching the New Wave of Viewers
Thursday, February 26, 2015 | 1:30PM to 3:00PM | Register Today

Featured Panelists:
Andrea Russett, Gen Edger, YouTube Star + Twitter Influencer
Morgan Aceino, Senior Brand Strategist, Omelet
Bill Carter, Partner, Fuse Marketing
Robert O’Neill, Vice President, Programming & Promotion Strategy, Comedy Central


Starcom MediaVest Group is partnering with FourthWall Media to access its second-by-second set-top box data. Access to large-scale granular data gives Starcom MediaVest the ability to more precisely match consumer interests to the TV programming they are watching. Acxiom Safe Haven will work with both companies to insure that all data remains privacy compliant.


Katy Perry is going from the Big Game to the small screen. Glu Mobile, the developer of the megahit Kim Kardashian Hollywood, is developing a game for the Super Bowl diva that will feature Perry’s “voice, likeness and personality.” The Kardashian game has been downloaded more than 28.4 million times since it launched in June, with in-app purchases adding a sweet $74.3 million to Glu’s 2014 revenue of $223.15 million. We’re just wondering when Left Shark is getting his own game?

Reuters launched a mobile TV news service for iPhone users aimed at on-the-go 30- and 40-somethings. “Reuters TV is news for the Netflix age: it’s individually relevant, on-demand, and up-to date,” said Isaac Showman, Managing Director of Reuters TV. The service will offer both live and on-demand global news produced exclusively for the mobile service.


Delivery Agent appointed board member Jim Peters as President/COO. Peters previously served as President/COO of Ross Stores and held executive roles at Office Depot and Staples. Delivery Agent’s ShopTV platform has been used by retailers including H&M and Overstock.

DigitasLBi elevated Jill Sherman to SVP/Social Practice Lead for the marketing technology company’s Boston and Detroit offices. Sherman previously was a VP/Group Director, Social & Content Strategy. She’s based in Boston.

Kvantum, a marketing firm that uses its own digital attribution platform, has opened its HQ in San Francisco.


Narwhals and dolphins and whales, oh my. Frederator Studios’ Cartoon Hangover debuted its first English-dubbed international series today, Fin Punch! Check out the trailer to see just how twisted McClane the dolphin is. There’s a lot of dolphin-speak here; we’re guessing that part didn’t need to be dubbed.

See you Monday,
Jessica Reese  @JMarieReese

Roberta Caploe: Editorial Director @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

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