04/04/16: Facebook pulls out of talks to live-stream NFL games; FTC schedules smart TV consumer privacy seminar; Amazon renews ‘Bosch’



CYNOPSISDIGITAL
04.04.16

Good morning. It’s Monday April 4, 2016, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.

TODAY’S CODEBREAKER
 

DSP: An abbreviation for demand-side platform. A DSP is a system that lets digital ad buyers manage multiple ad exchange and data exchange accounts through a single interface. Or, to translate it into English, it’s a piece of software that allows buyers to purchase advertising – generally display, video, mobile, and search ads – in an automated fashion.
 

 
TOP NEWS
 

Facebook has rapidly been ramping up its live-streaming projects, but it would seem that, for now at least, the NFL is a bridge too far. Bloomberg reports that the social media giant has pulled out of talks to live-stream Thursday Night Football games during the upcoming season. The NFL is still reportedly seeking to sell off streaming rights to its Thursday broadcasts; other companies still in the running include Amazon and Verizon.
 
The Federal Trade Commission announced a new series of seminars focused on ransomware (September 7), drones (October 13), and, perhaps most importantly, smart TVs (December 7). “In 2016, virtually all television delivery systems – smart TVs, streaming devices, game consoles, apps, and even old-fashioned set-top boxes – track consumers’ viewing habits, and sometimes in new and unexpected ways,” the FTC said on its website. Consumer privacy is the name of the game. Of paramount concern to the agency is how smart TVs and other devices track viewer information and the share data with third parties, including ad tech companies.
 
 

PROGRAMMING

 
More and more, online video creators are using their digital stardom as a springboard into new opportunities. (Just ask Vine stars Nash Grier and Cameron Dallas, who recently starred in Fullscreen Films’ The Outfield.) According to Variety, the next pair of Viners to star in their own feature film will be Jason Nash and Brandon Calvillo, who are slated to head upcoming road trip comedy FML. The film’s producer, Digital Riot Media, says it will now produce 10-15 feature-length movies every year, distributing them through VOD, streaming, and direct-to-fan channels.
 
The AT&T Hello Lab, the year-long content initiative launched earlier this year by AT&T and Fullscreen’s Strategic Content Group, is rolling out more original series. The new projects include Writing with Grace, a YouTube series from digital star Grace Helbig, and OntheLine, an Instagram series starring social comedian and former basketball player Brandon Armstrong. Two other series had already been released: Damon and Jo’s Dare to Travel, a YouTube travel series, and Make My Monday, a Snapchat series starring the Snapchat celeb Shonduras. One thing’s clear: the Hello Lab is sending the message that, when it comes to original content, no digital platform should be off-limits.
 
Less than a month after its season 2 premiere, Amazon Studios announced that it has renewed Bosch for a third season. The detective series, based on Michael Connelly’s novels, is likely to make its season 3 debut next year.
 
ASPIREist, a 30-minute multi-platform news show geared toward millennial audiences, is now available on Flipboard, Facebook, and YouTube. (It also aired yesterday as a time buy on USA Network.) The show hails from 60 Minutes producers Shawn Efran and Solly Granatstein.
 


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MOBILE VIDEO
 

Netflix came under fierce criticism last week for acknowledging that it’s been throttling video speeds over most mobile carriers; one FCC member even suggested that the company should be investigated by the U.S. government. Well, it looks like that’s not happening: FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told reporters that Netflix’s actions fall outside of the FCC’s regulatory jurisdiction. Bottom line: There won’t be an investigation. Meanwhile, the service announced last week that it intends to roll out a solution that will allow users to manually control the quality of their video speeds.
 
 

SOCIAL MEDIA
 

Xploration Station, the STEM-oriented teen-and-family-friendly programming block that airs on Fox stations, is getting fan-interactive. As part of a contest being run through the Facebook page of the Xploration Station series Xploration Outer Space, students are being invited to submit videos explaining why they should be chosen as winners. (You can learn more about the contest here). “Our ultimate goal for Xploration Station is to build out a digital business that appeals to kids and families who are interested in science and technology,” Steve Rotfeld, President of Xploration Station production company Steve Rotfeld Productions, told Cynopsis Digital. “Right now, the most effective conduit is through Facebook. It affords us the opportunity to inform, entertain and engage our audience in real time. And lucky for us, since it’s our business, video is a great way to do all that. We believe that those kids and families who enjoy our video on social media platforms like Facebook, will ultimately migrate to our other digital sites, as they develop. And once they get there, they will have multiple ways to interact with the content.”
 
 

ADVERTISING
 

The Media Rating Council released its first proposed guidelines for measuring mobile viewability. The media watchdog stipulated that a “viewable impression” has taken place after fifty percent of a mobile ad has been viewable to a user for either one second (for static ads) or two seconds (for video ads). That’s the same viewability criteria that advertisers use for desktop. The MRC hasn’t recommended a viewability standard regarding mobile newsfeed ads; the watchdog says further study on user cognition is needed. The proposed guidelines – available here – are still in draft form; the MRC will accept feedback until April 30. 
 
 

PLATFORMS + APPS
 

North Korea has officially begun to block access to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and other websites, the AP reports. (Perhaps the only surprise here is that the platforms were accessible in the first place.) Most North Koreans have little to no Internet access, but foreigners had been able to search the web with far fewer restrictions; the new moves will make it harder for them to post about the conditions in the country in real-time.
 
 

TRIVIA
 

In the age of Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, it can be easy to forget that digital TV shows are a relatively recent phenomenon. What’s credited with being the first web-first episodic series? You can find the answer here.
 


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DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT
 

In the spirit of April Fools Day, Google advertised an amazing (fake) product last week. And while the Google Cardboard virtual reality viewer is pretty cool, it’s safe to say that the Google Cardboard Plastic viewer offers a much more vivid and realistic user experience. You can see why here.
 
Watcheroo Premieres and Tune-in Alerts for April 4-10:
- People Now at People.com, Monday-Friday at 8:30a ET and 11:30a ET: Guests include actor Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: Apocalypse), actress Ella Anderson (Nickelodeon’s Henry Danger), and TV personality Bethenny Frankel (Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York City)
Acorn TV: Series 2 of the BBC comedy Detectorists debuts on the service today, April 4
- Amazon Prime: Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, an animated series from the Japanese network Fuji TV, debuts April 7
- Amazon Prime: Season 2 of the UK comedy Catastrophe debuts April 8
- Vimeo On Demand: Lonely and Horny, a new original series starring CollegeHumor’s Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld, is available April 8

See you tomorrow,
David Teich
04.04.16

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

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