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05.01.15 Good morning. It’s Friday May 1, 2015, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.
The age of Aquarius is the age of binge-viewing for NBC. In an unprecedented move, the network will make available all 13 eps of its new David Duchovny-starring drama online after the show’s two-hour premiere on May 28. “With Aquarius we have the opportunity to push some new boundaries to give our audience something no broadcast network has done before,” NBC Chairman Bob Greenblatt said. “We are fully aware how audiences want to consume multiple episodes of new television series faster and at their own discretion.”
YouTube emphasized its pop culture influence over a hyper-engaged fan base at the Google-owned company’s Brandcast event, with testimonials from executives including YT CEO Susan Wojcicki and creative talent ranging from Grace Helbig to John Green. The company also released some impressive stats:
* YouTube overall, and now with mobile growth YT on mobile alone, reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S. (Nielsen U.S. Panel data, Feb, 2015)
* The number of people watching YouTube per day is up 40 percent year over year since March 2014.
* YT watch time is growing. It jumped 50 percent year-over-year from 2014, and 90 percent on smartphones and tablets.
* Based on a February 2015 study, 18-34 year-old online video watchers go first to YouTube if they want to see a video ad, 1.9 times more likely as the nearest platform.
* Viewers are skipping fewer TrueView ads, and four of the top 10 trending videos from last year were from brands.
* iJustine lifecaster Justine Ezarik noted her YT channels releases more than 50 videos each week; and have just crossed 5 billion lifetime YouTube views. She said 60 percent of the audience is on mobile.
* Green urged advertisers to get on the YT bandwagon, noting, “I, and the most passionate creators on YouTube, am not in the distraction business. We’re in the community business, and number of eyeballs is a terrible metric for my business. I don’t care how many people watch or read something I make. I care how many people love what I make.”
* Josh Goldstine, president of worldwide marketing at Universal Pictures, praised YT’s ability to narrow-cast on a massive scale. Universal shifted 60 percent of its budget for feature film Unfriended to digital, he said, yielding a better than expected $16 million opening weekend with online video as the No. 1 source of information for why people showed up at the theater.
Time Inc. is beefing up its video programming with the launch of Sports Illustrated Films, one of 11 new video initiatives the company announced at its NewFront presentation. “This new documentary-style video experience is a logical next-step for SI, which has been in the storytelling business for more than 60 years,” said Time Inc. Sports Group editor, Paul Fichtenbaum. The launch comes on the heels of a string of digital shows including daily live web show SI Now Powered by Ford, Sports Emmy-winning short A Boy Helps a Town Heal and Underdogs. In other NewFront news:
* Time has three new shows in development for its digital People/Entertainment Weekly Network, which delivered a new comScore rollup of 43.2 million multiplatform unique viewers in March. New content slated to debut in 2015-16 includes Andi’s Apple (People), featuring former TV Bachelorette Andi Dorfman kicking off single life in N.Y.; The Bullseye (EW), taken from the magazine’s popular last page and hosted by Tim Stack; and Popography (People and EW), a collaboration focused on the lives and careers of famous artists and entertainers.
* Additionally, People.com’s People Now, presented by Toyota, and EW.com’s Lightbulb were renewed for second seasons.
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Marking its first original scripted content for nonlinear distribution, Lifetime this year will launch short-form digital platform Fall Into Me (working title), featuring eight series of romantic drama stories. The webisodes will all be six minutes in length, told from a woman’s point-of-view, in close-camera form. The concept for Fall Into Me comes from Daytime Emmy nominee Guy Shalem (Lovespring International, Betty White’s Off their Rockers), who will lead the team. Propagate Content is set to produce the series, which will be exec-produced by Shalem, Howard T. Owens and David McKillop. The platform will launch this year.
Netflix is cooking up a new animated series based on the Dr. Seuss classic Green Eggs and Ham, and the series counts Ellen DeGeneres as an exec-producer. Production is slated for May on the 13-episode series, which is buzzed at being the most expensive animated television project ever, is scheduled to debut in 2018. Additional executive producers include Warner Bros. Animation and Wreck-It Ralph scribe Jared Stern.
Delivery Agent’s ShopTV commerce application will be embedded in 2013 and 2014 Sony smart TVs and 2013, 2014 and 2015 Blu-ray Disc players. The app also will be accessible through the Sony Entertainment network, opening new commerce and advertising revenue streams. Samsung, LG, Roku and others already have partnered with Delivery Agent.
AROUND THE INDUSTRY
With NFL Draft 2015 kicking off this week, TV personality Kristin Cavallari (who happens to be married to Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler) and Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus are recruiting fans to check out 40 new NFL Pinterest boards featuring everything from pet and baby pride to player and fan fashion to “homegating.” The unlikely pairing is launching the boards with a series of funny web videos on the NFL Fan Style official Facebook page.
Cablevision Media Sales launched Total Audience Application (TAPP), an advanced data-driven tool that automates the planning of addressable and optimized linear TV ad campaigns. GroupM, Horizon Media and Starcom MediaVest Group are onboard to trial the platform for impression and audience-based media campaigns. TAPP seeks to bring unprecedented access to the distributor’s aggregated, de-identified census-level audience tuning data, based on millions of set-top boxes in the New York market.
BrightRoll is expanding its suite of solutions designed to help advertisers maximize the impact of their mobile video advertising across screens and devices. The BrightRoll DSP now integrates Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings, formerly known as Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings, and includes added-value verification; campaign management through one platform; and scalability.
On the eve of its NewFront, Vevo named Erik Huggers as President/CEO, effective immediately. Most recently, Huggers was an SVP at Verizon, where he was also President of the company’s recently acquired OnCue business, which Huggers developed while he was President of Intel’s media division from 2011 to 2014.
PR agency Spark appointed Tony Telloni to the post of GM of its New York office, where he will oversee the firm’s digital advertising among other businesses. Telloni was most recently the Managing Director of Golin’s New York office.
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