06/05/15: Jack Antonoff to get digital debut in Google Play doc; Crackle cracking down on viewability fraud with Moat and Freewheel; Simulmedia launches VAMOS


Good morning. It’s Friday June 5, 2015, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


Grammy-nominated musician Jack Antonoff will make his digital debut in Thank You and Sorry on June 16. The docu-series will follow Antonoff as he tours the world with his band The Bleachers, ponders life’s questions and encounters characters along the way. Produced by Above Average, Thank You and Sorry will premiere exclusively for free on Google Play.
Crackle will collaborate with SaaS analytics company Moat and Freewheel to track viewable ad measurement across its connected TV (or OTT) service. “The 380 percent growth of [connected TV] viewership year over year is evidence that consumers still enjoy the ‘Living Room’ experience,” said Amy Pisano, Freewheel’s Vice President of Enterprise Solutions. “This is good news for advertisers, as CTV environments aren’t subject to the same viewability risks that other primarily digital environments might be.” Jonah Goodhart, Co-Founder and CEO said to Cynopsis, "Crackle is taking a stance that transparency and independent measurement is critical on every platform, including Connected TV.”


Zealot Networks, the digital start-up from former Maker Studios CEO Danny Zappin, signed Northside Media Group, a Brooklyn-based firm with large-scale live events, digital and print publications. The company is known for the SXSW-style Northside Festival, Taste Talks, SummerScreen, Brooklyn Magazine, The L Magazine and The Culture Network.
The Orchard inked a multi-film output deal with Brain Farm, creators known for its action sports entertainment programming. Brain Farm has 11 feature films in the pipeline and plans to release and distribute them from 2017 to 2020. The Orchard has partnered with the studio for its latest release, We Are Blood.
The Urban Movie Channel (UMC), a SVOD service from RLJ Entertainment, acquired a multi-year license of more than 40 hours of urban-themed content from Starz Digital. Among the titles to be released this summer: five seasons of Martin Lawrence Presents: First Amendment, Phunny Business, Lies and Illusions and the documentary History of Jazz: Oxygen for the Ears.


Netflix will add Tig to its lineup on July 17. The doc follows comedian Tig Notaro as she’s diagnosed with breast cancer, loses her mother, and creates her infamous 2012 stand-up routine. Notaro serves as executive producer along with Leah Holzer, Hunter Seidman and Tim Foley; co-directors are Kristina Goolsby and Ashley York.
Country stars Reba and Darius Rucker are going to the movies. Fandango plans to release new episodes of I Love Movies featuring the CMA Award winners at the CMA and the CMA Music Festival in Nashville from June 11-14. Episodes will air on the screens at the Nightly Concerts at LP Field and at other venues throughout the four day festival, as well as on Fandango’s digital network, including Fandango Movieclips and Fandango channels on Hulu, Roku and Samsung’s Milk Video Service.


Cynopsis Media Presents: A 5-part series publishing in June
Primetime Emmy® Awards: Before the Ballot Special eReports

We explore the Categories before Nominees are determined
Nonfiction Specials/Series
Reality Host/Competition/Program (June 17)
Drama (June 24)
Comedy (June 25)

Space is limited. To advertise, contact Mike Farina 203.218.6480



Simulmedia launched the Video Advertising Marketing Operating System (VAMOS). VAMOS, a data-driven ad targeting and optimization platform, calculates ROI for TV campaigns, tying sales (as measured by client data or credit card transactions) directly to set-top box viewership. “Simulmedia’s investment in data has made them a good partner with the AMC Networks,” said Arlene Manos, President of National Advertising Sales at AMC Networks. “The platform has been able to uncover inventory value in counterintuitive places, which is useful both for clients targeting specific audiences, and for AMC to do increased business with clients of Simulmedia.”
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)’s Digital Video Center of Excellence announced its Board of Advisors. They include: Ari Bluman – Chief Digital Investment Officer, GroupM; Marianne Gambelli, Chief Investment Officer, Horizon; Jennifer Gardner, Director Media Investment and Partnerships, Unilever; John Nitti, Chief Investment Officer, ZenithOptimedia.


Layer3 TV, Inc. closed $51 million of financing with a Series B funding round. Series A lead investors Evolution Media Partners and North Bridge Venture Partners participated in the Series B alongside new investors. Said Jeff Binder, CEO and Co-Founder, “Layer3 TV is the new cable – putting subscribers at the center of the universe by giving them seamless control of their entertainment relationships.” The service is expected to unveil its pay television service later this year.


Cinema advertising company Screenvision announced a slew of new hires and promotions yesterday. They include: Christine Martino being promoted from Vice President of National Ad Sales, Eastern to Senior Vice President of National Ad Sales; Tracy Kain was promoted from Vice President of National Sales, based in Detroit to Vice President of National Sales, Western Region and Detroit Region; Andrew Gyves was hired as Senior Director of National Accounts; Laura Griffith was appointed to National Account Executive, Detroit; Eric Nathanson is the new National Account Executive, Western Region; Matt Wiesenfeld is now the National Account Executive, New York; and Celeste Roman is Sales Service Executive, New York.
Univision Communications Inc. (UCI) named Jessica R. Herrera-Flanigan as Executive Vice President, Government Relations and Public Policy. Herrera-Flanigan most recently served as a Partner at Monument Policy Group.
Deborah Bradley was promoted to Executive Vice President Of Networks And Programming Optimization, Content Strategy And Commercialization for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Bradley joined Turner in 2010 as Senior Vice President Of Program Acquisitions. Deals she has closed for the networks are: The Big Bang Theory and 2 Broke Girls for TBS, Grimm and Castle for TNT.
Ryan Vance has joined digital health and fitness network FitStar as Head of Content. Ryan was Senior Vice President of Programming at Discovery Digital Networks.



“Fans have shorter attention spans and more non-sports entertainment options than ever. We considered launching a few years ago as a formal channel but realized we needed to create a multiplatform community of creators to connect directly with fans.”
– Jeff Urban Whistle Sports Co-founder and President


Sponsored by MP & Silva, espnW & Thuuz


Brands are flocking to Facebook for its advertising opportunities, but Hotels.com took a different approach. Facebook’s autoplay ad doesn’t play audio unless a user stops in the feed or scrolls over with a mouse. To mess with the rules, Hotels.com enlisted its character Captain Obvious to play the piano throughout the spot. The catch – he doesn’t know how – but Facebook users won’t notice unless they tune-in. Check out the cheeky ad at www.cynopsis.com/#video.

See you Monday,
Jessica Reese  @JMarieReese

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

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