03/04/15: TODAY reveals the Parenting Team online community; Netflix picks up ‘Beasts of No Nation’ for $12M; Discovery Digital Networks launches ‘Seeker’ adventure channel


Good morning. It’s Wednesday March 4, 2015, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


NBC’s Today show unveiled the new social cross-platform community for parents sponsored by Johnson’s, called the Today Parenting Team, in its #OrangeRoom. Inspired by the “organic, visible conversation” happening on air and among viewers, NBC News Senior Vice President of Brand Partnerships and Strategic Content Jen Brown said the new parenting platform was a natural for Today.com. “So many parents rely on the power of collective wisdom, myself included…[it’s] a community that offers easy access to a shared wealth of knowledge and personal experience,” Brown said. Team members will have their own profile pages on the site, and can earn special contributor badges on their blogs and social channels as well as help create new content for both web and the show. TPT was created as a mobile-first platform based on comScore data, which showed that 98 percent of mothers on Today Parents are exclusive to the mobile destination.
picked up the rights to Director Cary Fukunaga’s drama Beasts of No Nation for $12 million, beating out Fox Searchlight and Focus. Starring Idris Elba, the film follows a guerilla army commander in a West African country who takes a young boy under his watch. So far, the streaming service’s biggest film acquisition was Jadotville starring Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades of Gray) for $18 million during the Berlin Film Festival. Netflix also has an agreement to produce four movies with Adam Sandler, release the Crouching Tiger sequel, make a Pee-Wee Herman film and a four-movie deal with the Duplass duo.
Discovery Digital Networks is ready for an adventure: the channel launched the new explorer-themed channel Seeker yesterday. Journalist Laura Ling premiered two original series that she will host: Going Off The Grid and Rituals. Seeker’s full line-up includes Abandonment Issues, All Points Project, Breaking Trail, City Verite, Donnie Vincent, Global Degree, Kyle Thiermann, Seeker Daily, Sixpenny Globe, This Happened Here, Travel Basecamp, Trucker Josh and What I Learned. It’s available at SeekerNetwork.com, YouTube and on iOS and Android apps.
Conde Nast Entertainment debuted the second season of GQ and rapper 2 Chainz web series Most Expensive Sh–. In the 13 new episodes, host 2 Chainz showcases the most outrageous toys of the rich and is joined by celebrity guests such as DJ/music producer Diplo, and hip hop recording artist Big Sean. A new episode will be released every Tuesday and go biweekly as of March 24 on The Scene platform.
No longer “call me maybe,” it’s now “I really like you.” Bravo will exclusively premiere the new music video from Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen for her latest single, I Really Like You. On March 6 at 10:15p ET, fans can check out the video featuring Tom Hanks and Justin Bieber on BravoTV.com’s The Daily Dish.
Comcast added HBO and Cinemax to its Xfinity TV Go service. In response to the 20 percent year-over-year growth in TV Everywhere users, Xfininity TV Go now includes more than 75 networks, such as AMC, BBC America, FOX Deportes, MOVIEPLEX, Showtime, Univision Deportes and The Weather Channel. Comcast previously revealed that the average viewer consumed more than seven hours per month on Xfinity TV Go, up nearly 40 percent from the same time period last year.


April 16  | NYAC| 8-10:00am
Cynopsis Sports will honor 4 executives who changed the way their sports entities connected with fans around the country:

LEGACY AWARDSean McManus, Chairman – CBS Sports
VISION AWARDGary B. Bettman, Commissioner – NHL
NAVIGATOR AWARD Juan Carlos Rodriguez, President of Univision – Deportes Univision Communications Inc.
GEM AWARD Morgan Flatley, Chief Marketing Officer – Gatorade
Register: http://www.cynopsis.com/event/sports-media-awards15/.


To coincide with the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Selma March (March 7-25), AOL will promote the Ad Council’s “Love Has No Labels” digital campaign exclusively for two weeks. AOL will run the public service announcements on the video pre-roll ads during AOL Original That’s Racist with Comedian Mike Epps; on the AOL Mail sign-in page; and on the “Make a Difference” section. Launched on Feb 12, Love Has No Labels raised awareness on Facebook and with social media partners Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, P&G, Unilever, Allstate and State Farm. On Twitter, the campaign has reached 8.5 million so far and on Facebook the campaign page reached more than 1.8 million people. 


Defy Media released its third annual ACUMEN report, a study that focuses on the digital media behaviors of millennials ages 13-24. Conducted by Hunter Qualitative and KnoWhy Research, highlights included:
   – 13 to 24-year-old viewers watched 11.3 hours of “free” online video and 10.8 hours of SVOD every week, with 62 percent citing that digital content makes them feel good about themselves, compared to 40 percent reported for TV.
   – 69 percent say that digital delivers the content they want to watch and that they can relate to (67 percent) vs. TV, which garnered 56 percent and 41 percent, respectively.
   – YouTube and similar sites are rated as “entertaining” by 76 percent of 13-24 year olds, compared to just 55 percent for free online TV offerings from broadcast and cable networks.
    – The top thumb-stopper content (meaning, a user stops scrolling through feeds to view content) is content “liked” or viewed by a lot of people (59 percent) and second at 58 percent was content sent by “someone I respect.”
    – Among the younger 13-17 year olds, 32 percent responded that they are more likely to look up to a YouTube personality rather than traditional celebrities, while the older 18-24 set reported a slightly higher affinity toward TV and movie stars (36 percent vs. 26 percent for YouTubers).


Gamer-centric digital company Machinima named Jamie Weissenborn as Chief Revenue Officer. Most recently, Weissenborn was interim CEO at BlackTree TV, an urban entertainment channel on YouTube. He is still a currently and investor in BlackTree and the Hispanic online automotive publisher Autoproyecto.com.
Kvantum hired analytics veteran Bill Gedwill as Vice President of Business Development. Prior to Kvantum, Gedwill was Manager, Global Digital Measurement and Analytics at Kimberly-Clark.
Sizmek shifted and expanded the roles of its sales team yesterday. Mike Caprio was promoted to General Manager/Vice President Global Product Sales; Jennifer Chen was promoted to Vice President, Media Solutions; Pedro Travesedo was promoted to RVP of LATAM; Carolyn Bollaci was promoted to Vice President, Global Accounts, APAC; Canaan Schladale-Zink was appointed to Vice President Sales, Americas including North and South America; Steve Woolway is now Vice President, Data Solutions; and AJ Vernet was named Vice President, Global Accounts, North America.
Entravision promoted Maria Lopez-Knowles from Chief Marketing Officer of its Pulpo Media business unit to the newly created position of CMO.




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Geico rolled out new digital ads from The Martin Agency that specifically combat the issue of pre-roll skips. In fact, Geico takes the emphasis on those first crucial five-seconds to a whole new level. Check it out at www.cynopsis.com/#video.

See you tomorrow,
Jessica Reese  @JMarieReese

Roberta Caploe: Editorial Director @robertacaploe
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JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR RSCH/DC: Provide rsch expertise on issues relevant to brdcst ind. 8+ yrs of hands-on rsch analysis & reporting exp. Background in brdcst/telecomm. Exp accessing & analyzing Nielsen data and/or SPSS/similar stat analysis sftwr. Resumes: hr@nab.org (3/11)

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