02/23/17: Report: High-end VR headsets struggling to gain market share


Good morning. It’s Thursday February 23, 2017 and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


Content Marketing: Content Marketing is a marketing approach that focuses on creating and distributing relevant and valuable content. The goal is to attract a clearly defined audience and drive profitable customer action.


has never been too shy about replicating the efforts of other social media companies. Now the company is reportedly trying to ink a live-streaming pact with Major League Baseball – just like Twitter did last year. As first reported by Reuters, Facebook is currently in discussions to land the live-streaming rights to one MLB game per week. (Twitter’s deal with MLB, which kicks in this year, also calls for a once-a-week exclusive streaming broadcast.) For Major League Baseball, the deal represents a chance to reach a younger audience. Facebook, meanwhile, is simply doubling down on its increasingly extensive live video efforts. (There’s a reason the company is launching TV apps.) Neither Facebook nor Major League Baseball have commented on Reuters’ report.


Instagram has rolled out some new functionality. The Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing app now lets users share a collection of up to ten videos or photos as a single post. The post will appear in the carousel format (i.e., users swipe to get to the next photo/video in the set). “You no longer have to choose the single best photo or video from an experience you want to remember,” Instagram wrote.


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When Google rolled out its Cardboard VR viewer in 2014, many observers thought the paper product was largely designed to poke fun at companies like Oculus and HTC, which were developing multi-hundred dollar headsets. Flash forward a few years, and the Cardboard is no joke. According to a new report from the research firm Strategy Analytics, the Google Cardboard held a dominant market share by the end of 2016, claiming 69% of the global VR headset market (as measured by number of shipments). Of course, given the Cardboard’s inexpensiveness, that only accounts for 12% of revenue share. Nonetheless, the report illustrates that higher-end headsets are struggling to gain traction in the market. Samsung’s Gear VR, a mobile phone-based headset that sells for under $100, comes in second in terms of market share (17%) and first in terms of revenue (35%). But some of the most expensive headsets are hovering near the basement floor. Neither the HTC Vive nor the Oculus Rift command so much as 1% of the market. The Sony PlayStation VR, despite launching later than the Vive and Rift, appears to be performing better: It holds about a 3% market share, and comes in second to the Gear VR in terms of revenue. Taken together, the Gear VR and Rift account for over 50% of 2016 revenue share. 


Netflix’s comedy team just landed a big fish. The streaming giant confirmed that Louis C.K.’s next two stand-up specials will premier exclusively on the service. The first of the two, simply titled 2017, will bow on April 4. The Louis C.K. deal is hardly an anomaly; Netflix has inked exclusive pacts with a number of major comedians in the past several months, including Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chapelle, and Amy Schumer.


Tweet of the week: @retyart: the all star game is where the absurd happens: alley oops between former team mates, insane dribble moves, john wall hitting a jumper
Canvs, the language analytics company that measures emotions around content, analyzed tweets about TV and streaming programming from February 15-21 using Twitter data from Nielsen. Insights from the 2,094,302 tweets expressing a specific Emotional Reaction (ER) include:
– 9.7% of viewers who said something on TV was crazy were watching the 2017 NBA All-Star Game on TNT and TBS.
– 5.8% of people who said they laughed at something on TV were tuned into VH1’s reunion episode of Love & Hip Hop New York, with Cardi sparking a majority of the reactions.
– Excluding sports and specials, 10.4% of viewers who said something they were watching was badass were checking out Riverdale on The CW.
– 1.9% of people who talked about being addicted to a TV show were watching Big Little Lies on HBO.
– Canvs
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 capture organic actions that are largely unaffected by paid media. Programs that surface on the TVI leaderboards are the most hashtagged on Facebook, Twitter,Google+, and Tumblr, as well as most searched for on Wikipedia (used as a proxy for organic search volume).
Streaming Series (2/13/17 – 2/19/17)

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 onFacebook, Twitter, 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.


is losing its communications chief – and gaining another. David Swain, who’s served as the Facebook-owned company’s Director of Global Communications since 2013, announced his departure late Tuesday afternoon. He’ll be replaced by Kristina Schake, whose most recent professional roles were in the world of politics. Schake worked as a deputy communications director on the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, and previously as communications director for former First Lady Michelle Obama. But it’s not Schake’s first time at a for-profit company: One of her past roles was as L’Oreal’s Chief Communications Officer
Tracey McCormack’s McCormack Media Services, a media-training firm geared toward marketers and industry professionals, has made a new hire. Melissa Dlin will serve as the company’s VP of Business Development. In her new role, Dlin will oversee the development and cultivation of new business opportunities and client relationships. A longtime media sales pro, Dlin served as VP and General Sales Manager of Fox Sports from 2007 to 2016.


Our Last Trivia Question: Charlie Cox, who plays the protagonist of Netflix’s Daredevil, previously played an Irish gangster on which HBO series? Answer: Boardwalk Empire. Kudos to Yusuf Hameed MD-Forsyth Studios LLC/GA, Dan Quitério-Understood/NY, Matt Fumagalli-NBC Sports/IL, John Carlo-UP/NY, Anthony Stellato-Charter Communications/CT, Despina Legakis/CBS, Mary Mark-GfK MRI/NY, Eric Wright-D S Simon Media/NY, Sheena Das-Disney Media/NY, Dustin Gieselmann-True Media/MO, Anjali Desai-Departure Films/NY, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, James Solomito-IDG.tv/NY, Sam Simmons-Poker Central/NV, Matthew Vogrin-PBS/VA, Andrew Bellamy-Producers Guild of America/NY, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA, and Jen Pytlewski-Discovery Channel/NY     
Like Charlie Cox, Boardwalk Empire star Steve Buscemi has held a titular role on a digital series. Which one? (Hint: The show’s creator and co-star, who just inked a deal with Netflix, was mentioned in today’s newsletter.) (Email trivia@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)



Join CYNOPSIS and your peers on THURSDAY, MARCH 2 in New York City at our 3rd Annual SOCIAL GOOD AWARDS BREAKFAST as we honor everything from sustainability partnerships and PSA’s, to diversity campaigns, environmental initiatives, and more. Last year’s event sold out so book your company’s table today!.



Oscar night is rapidly approaching, and everyone in the entertainment industry would love to bring home that gold statuette. That’s why Late Night host Seth Meyers decided to throw his hat into the ring with Oscar Bait the movie. (Spoiler: It’s not a real movie.) Check it out here.

See you tomorrow,
David Teich

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