03/25/15: Vessel video platform makes its official debut; AwesomenessTV and Film360 partner for ‘Shovel Buddies’; Facebook to roll out learning center for brands and agencies


Good morning. It’s Wednesday March 25, 2015, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


, the new video venture from former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, officially launched to the public yesterday. The platform is available in a free version that provides clips but can also be found on other video sites; a paid service for a $2.99/month price tag gives a three-day window to see vids before they are released anywhere else. Regardless of the version, advertising revenue will lean generously toward the creator at a 70/30 split. A slate of talent and media companies, such as Ingrid Nilsen, Brittani Louise Taylor, Connor Franta, Nerdist Industries, Jimmy Tatro, Tanya Burr, Roman Atwood, Arden Rose, Jack Vale, Above Average, Machinima, Sports Illustrated and Tastemade debuted programming on the platform. A+E, NBA, NHL, MLS and Fox Sports are also on board. Vessel hosts its own custom ad platforms – a five second pre-roll and a magazine in-feed called “brand motion posters,” powered by FreeWheel.
AwesomenessTV and Film 360 partnered to produce Shovel Buddies, a film written by Jason Hellerman that was number eight on the 2013 Blacklist (aka the roster of the best unproduced Hollywood screenplays). The movie follows four teenagers in 24 hours who try to complete a bucket list left to them by a friend who passed away from cancer. Film 360 approached talent management firm Big Frame’s Co-President Larry Shapiro to package the project with digital native talent. He then brought the project to AwesomenessTV CEO Brian Robbins (Varsity Blues) to produce.
MTV is in talks to acquire Funny or Die for $198 million, according to The Video Ink. As previously reported, FoD has been on the market for the past year. Turner Broadcasting holds a minority stake in the property.
Ovation TV launched multi-platform artist community Ovation Digital Arts, bringing together the TV network with YouTube creators and talent. Digital strategist Stephen Dypiangco will oversee the venture as Vice President, Ovation Digital Arts. “ODA has taken the MCN model and refined it for the artist community,” Ovation CEO Charles Segars said. “Unlike the big clearinghouse MCNs that have to sign tens of thousands of channels and can leave some of their partners feeling forgotten, our creators’ community will be highly curated and focused on the artists themselves…they want other platforms to exhibit upon and reach new fans. We can provide them with our 54 million-subscriber TV network and 30 million VOD homes.”
Recently named one of Apple’s “Best New Apps,” the latest Adult Swim app is now available to download for free on iOS and Android devices. The app allows fans to watch the network’s live feed, catch up on series and full episodes (with authentication) and view original content on AdultSwim.com.
If you want to meet up with the leaders in the digital world, then the Cynopsis Digital Business Summit on Thursday, April 23 is for you. Held at the Astor Center in downtown Manhattan, the day includes interactive elements such as the “Social TV Data Game,” “Speed networking,” and a cocktail celebration for the first annual Cynopsis Top Women in Digital Awards. For details, please visit http://j.mp/CynDMS


Class is in session: Facebook is rolling out a new education program for brands and agencies that offers online courses, in-person training and certifications for campaigns and measurement. Called Blueprint, the 35 online courses will cover direct response marketing, digital buying and best practices for hosting Facebook pages. The program was developed with iProspect, PHD, Starcom, Dentsu, MediaCom, Mindshare, Zenith Optimedia, OMD, Carat, Initiative, UM and Resolution.
Twitter is currently testing its auto-play video ads among users on Apple devices. Currently, some Twitter users see complete videos play in a loop or receive a looped six-second teaser. In both instances, the videos are muted until a user clicks on them. Twitter just acquired the Perioscope broadcasting app for $50-$100 million.
Evolve Media
’s online male lifestyle publisher CraveOnline announced a joint sponsorship with 7UP for the 808 Music Lounge at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami starting today through Friday. Concert reviews, video interviews, behind-the-scenes coverage and event photo galleries will all be housed on a 7UP-branded custom destination for Ultra coverage. CraveOnline recently partnered with The EDM Network at EDM.com.


Yahoo and Las Vegas teamed up for a new campaign that includes video, native and display advertising for the NCAA Basketball Tournament. As a presenting sponsor of Yahoo’s Tourney Pick’em online game destination, Las Vegas will be promoted in Yahoo’s tournament coverage.


The competition for best kids’ programming and marketing initiatives
Entry Deadline: May 1, 2015
Late Submissions: May 8, 2015
Awards Event: September 18, 2015 (NYC)

Visit our website for additional information on:

Who Should Enter, How to Enter, Eligibility Period, Categories, Deadlines,
Sponsorship Opportunities, Contact Information and FAQs.


The latest video app darling, Meerkat, landed a $12 million Series B round of funding led by Greylock’s Josh Elman and other unnamed investors. TechCrunch reports that SXSW sweetheart Meerkat is now valued at $52 million. Twitter, which is buying Meerkat competitor Periscope (see above item), recently threatened to shut off its social channel to the app.


Google hired Ruth Porat as Chief Financial Officer. Porat has served in multiple roles at Morgan Stanley since 1987, such as vice chairman of investment banking, global head of the financial institutions group, co-head of technology investment banking and most recently as CFO and Executive VP.
Popsugar announced four promotions yesterday: Jill Weinstein was appointed Vice President, East Brand Partnerships; Lynn Pine to Vice President, East Brand Partnerships; Sally Moutlon as Vice President, Central Brand Partnerships; and Liz Ryan to Vice President, West Brand Partnerships.
Buzz60 parent company Zazoom named Helen Jonsen as General Manager, Zazoom Studios. Jonsen was previously Vice President of Content and Editor-in-Chief of Touchstorm, LLC.
Web personality Bree Essrig joined Discovery Digital NetworksSourceFed network as the newest host. Essrig’s personal YouTube channel boasts more than 250,000 subscribers; she most recently served as co-host of The Young Turk’s PopTrigger.
Simulmedia promoted Adam T. Quinn to Director, Advertising Sales. He was formerly Senior Account Executive since March 2014. Before joining Simulmedia, Quinn was an Account Executive with Turner Sports.


Cynopsis Webinar:
How to Sell Digital Advertising in a Fragmented Media World
This fast-paced, idea-packed webinar is tailored to TV sales and marketing teams. Just one hour of your time could mean exponential sales growth!

Featured Panelists
Bob Maund,
West Region VP, Digital Sales – CNBC & NBC News Group at NBC Universal
Steve Bookbinder, Co-founder and CEO of Digital Media Training

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 | 1:30 to 2:45PM
Register your sales team today!



Crowdcentric Media launched a new branded series with Microsoft for its BrainCandy platform. The first video in the series features a 60-second tech-hack for Instagram. Each week, BrainCandy will release a new Microsoft video featuring tech tips, tricks and hacks for its professional and consumer audience. Get your tech on and check it out at www.cynopsis.com/#video.

See you tomorrow,
Jessica Reese  @JMarieReese

Roberta Caploe: Associate Publisher @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

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CLASSIFIED AD: CONTENT DISTRIBUTION: Danny Lipford Media seeks domestic/intl platforms for large home improvement library, including 400 HD ½ hr episodes of Emmy-nominated TV show Today’s Homeowner (17 seasons) and 3,000+ videos. Email chad@dannylipford.com (3/31)

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