03.07.16 Good morning. It’s Monday March 7, 2016, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.
Watcheroo Premieres and Tune-in Alerts for March 7-13:
– People Now at People.com, Monday-Friday at 8:30a ET and 11:30a ET: Guests include actress and musician Keke Palmer (Fox’s Scream Queens), TV personality Emily Maynard Johnson (ABC’s The Bachelorette), and actor Chris Meloni (WGN America’s Underground)
– Netflix: Series 1 and 2 of the Andy Samberg-starring U.K. comedy Cuckoo make their U.S. debut today, March 7
– Netflix: The sketch comedy series The Characters debuts March 11
– Netflix: The Will Arnett-starring comedy series Flaked debuts March 11
Live TV streaming may be next on Facebook’s list of ambitions – and if so, the company ain’t starting small. According to Re/code, the social media giant is interested in nabbing the live-streaming rights to the NFL’s Thursday Night Football broadcasts, starting this coming season. Other companies, including Amazon and Verizon, are interested as well. The NFL is said to be nearing a decision as to which company will win the bidding war. One thing’s for sure: The rights won’t come cheap.
Like Netflix before it, Hulu is beginning to stockpile exclusive documentaries. First came the January announcement that the service would be the exclusive streaming home of all future IFC docs. The latest development: Hulu has acquired the exclusive streaming rights to He Named Me Malala, a feature-length documentary that made its TV debut on National Geographic Channel last week. The doc, about Pakistani human rights activist Malala Yousafzai, was directed by Davis Guggenheim and bows on Hulu this summer.
People Productions, Content 23, and Madica Productions have partnered to produce The Castle Next Door – The Novogratz Family Takes Hollywood. The ten-episode unscripted web series, about a well-known family of designers, debuts March 23 on People.com, and across all of People’s social platforms.
Surprisingly enough, this is news: Netflix now has the French rights to House of Cards. While Americans have come to identify the political drama as a Netflix-exclusive series, the show’s first three seasons actually aired on the pay TV channel Canal Plus in France. Netflix’s acquisition of the show’s French streaming rights is a step forward for the company, which has faced some difficulty breaking into the French market. As in the U.S., season 4 debuted for French customers on Friday.
Later this week, Major League Baseball will get its Snap on. During March 11 spring training games, the league will encourage players to post live, in-game Snaps to Snapchat. It’s a one-day only affair, at least for now – the league otherwise bans players from using any and all social media in the dugout or in the bullpen. And keep in mind, the MLB can be a tad resistant to change it times. The takeaway: The league sees a lot of potential in Snapchat. Don’t be surprised if this “one-day” Snap-a-thon is replicated in the future.
Score one for the plaintiffs. Over the past several months, there have been some favorable developments for content creators who have made “fair use” arguments to justify appropriation of copyrighted material. But you can’t win ‘em all: Following a judicial process that begin in 2014, a federal court has ruled that Equals Three Studios made illegal use of content owned by viral video aggregator Jukin Media. The court overturned the decision of a lower judge, who had determined that Equals Three’s use of Jukin’s content was “transformative,” and therefore protected under fair use. The two companies have since settled the case for an undisclosed amount. The ruling sets a potentially significant precedent for digital copyright law.
Fullscreen, the multi-channel media company jointly owned by AT&T and The Chernin Group, has signed several new content creators. YouTube stars Teala Dunn, Catrific, Jay Alvarrez, Tipsy Bartender and Kingsley will be joining Fullscreen’s roster of talent. The signings are only the latest examples of Fullscreen’s escalating growth. The company, now active across multiple social media platforms, has even branched out into feature film production, including last year’s The Outfield starring digital stars Nash Grier and Cameron Dallas.
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According to The Wall Street Journal, Snapchat has raised $175 million from Fidelity Investments. The funding comes as part of a $16 billion valuation – the same valuation the company received during a funding round last May. (Actually, the new funding is technically part of that same round.) Still, there are reasons to wonder if there are difficulties ahead: Fidelity has already written down the value of Snapchat, as it recently has with other private internet-company holdings. Some of those companies have been forced to lay off employees, or even shut down completely. It’s safe to say Snapchat won’t be doing the latter, but still, it’s all worth noting.
“I’m honored and humbled to be named as a Cynopsis Top Women in Digital for 2016. It’s a very exciting time within the industry and I’m fortunate to be part of the Digital Marketing team at Hasbro.” – Kathryn Cianfrocca, Hasbro’s Director of Digital Marketing. Hear from more of our talented Top Women in Digital on March 24 in New York City. Register here: http://www.cynopsis.com/event/2016-twd-event/
According to a new study from Technology Business Research, only 40% of digital ad budgets are currently being directed toward “working media.” Meanwhile, 31% are going toward technologies used to process media buys. The remaining 29% are directed toward agency services. The study indicates that demand-side budgets for programmatic ad technology will only expand in the future. TBR surveyed 240 ad technology users in the U.S. and Western Europe. You can learn more about the study here.
The video analytic company Tubular Labs recently released its list of the most watched YouTube channels of 2015 as ranked by total views. Surprisingly enough, YouTube juggernaut PewDiePie only clocked in at third, with 4,312,802,749 views. (Still, that number is nothing to sneeze at.) He was beaten out by a couple of kid-friendly channels: the toy-focused channel FunToyzCollector (first place, with 4,850,349,875 views) and the toddler-oriented music channel LittleBabyBum (second place, with 4,518,422,814 views). Taylor Swift’s Vevo channel came in at fourth, with 4,269,256,068 views. And when people have watched your music videos over four billion times in one year, it’s safe to say that fourth place is still pretty good.
Shortly after hiring Maker Studios’ Bonnie Pan as President of Endemol Beyond USA, the digital media unit’s parent company, Endemol Shine Group, has announced some more moves. In May, Georg Ramme will be stepping away from Endemol Beyond. He currently serves as Managing Director of Endemol Beyond Germany (the company’s German digital content arm), and as Global Managing Director of Endemol Beyond International. Come May 1, the EBG Managing Director role will be filled by of Michael Kollatschny, currently Head of TV and Talent for Twitter Germany. Wim Ponnet, Group Director of Commercial Strategy, will continue overseeing the company’s digital business.
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Six Flags: Where VR meshes with real-world experience in an insanely trippy way. Thanks to a partnership with Samsung, riders of the theme park’s upcoming attraction will be sporting Gear VR headset; instead of merely sitting in a roller coaster, they’ll be flying a fighter jet or battling Lex Luthor. And while “roller coasters aren’t fun enough” has never been a particularly widespread complaint, you have to admit this is a nifty new addition. The VR-equipped coasters will be introduced to nine parks this season. Check out Six Flags’ ad for the new rides here.
See you tomorrow,
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