06/11/14: Time Warner pursuing Vice Media in $1B deal, ABC’s Live Well Is Shuttered, Facebook and Twitter unveil World Cup hubs



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Good morning. It’s Wednesday, June 11, 2014, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


Time Warner is pursuing a major stake in the millennial media company known for its rebellious voice, Vice Media. According to the New York Times, a deal worth $1 billion would bring Vice under the media giant’s umbrella while providing it with the HLN network as its TV platform. Discussions between the two have been in the works for the past couple of weeks, but a possible roadblock is TW’s ability to buy out the five percent stake 21st Century Fox invested last year, for $70 million. TW spun off magazine division Time Inc earlier this week, to further position it as a video content company.
Comedy Central greenlit five new original web series for its digital network CC:Studios. They include: 6 Guys 1 Car that follows the YouTube comedy troupe Dormtainment trekking from Atlanta to L.A., 300 Sunnyside, a show about two friends surviving the apocalypse called New Timers, Pie Guys, about pizza delivery boys, Roustabout with Kurt Braunohler and detective series Team Tiger Awesome. In addition, CC is turning its six-ep web series Idiotsitter into a half-hour TV series.
On June 20, Discovery Digital NetworksAnimalist will ever so slowly make sloths the star during the first Sloth Week. Animalist News’ host Catie Wayne will take viewers on TestTube.com and SlothWeek.com to the “Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica,” with additional sloth cams available at AnimalPlanet.com and Animal Plant L!VE. The week will conclude on June 25, with a Google+ hangout involving none other than…a sloth.
In other Animal Planet news: in the spirit of the World Cup’s kickoff tomorrow, the network is bringing Fido to the field with the new World Pup. The alternative to the World Cup will pit 16 puppies (think France’s French bulldog and Belgium’s Brussels Griffon) competing for the Top Dog title in a single-elimination tournament. The games will begin on June 12 at AnimalPlanet.com/WorldPup. Woof!


ABC is shutting down its Live Well digital network by mid-January 2015. An email to affiliates from Rebecca Campbell, president of the ABC owned stations, and Peggy Allen, VP of Live Well, explained, “We want to maximize our investment in our core local news brands in the digital space.” Veria Living CEO Eric Sherman had something to say about that: “There surely is no shortage of options for those interested in adult-themed and salacious programming, yet once again the media world is turning its back on those who desire positive, wellness content,” said Sherman in a statement. “Veria Living continues to offer more programming in this genre than anyone else in the business – a fact that has resonated with both our distribution and advertising partners.”

The previously announced Microsoft Halo web series will arrive on the console on November 11. At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) this week, the company dished that TV and film producer Ridley Scott’s Scott Free TV and 343 Industries (behind the Forward Unto Dawn digital series) co-produced Halo: Nightfall. Microsoft is also releasing a live-action TV Halo series produced by Steven Spielberg, which will be out in the fall when the Halo 5: The Guardians video game hits shelves, too.
and Marvel announced the Daredevil series has found its “Kingpin.” Law & Order: Criminal Intent’s Vincent D’Onofrio will play the powerful businessman “Wilson Fisk” or “The Kingpin” and nemesis character to the Daredevil (Charlie Cox). The streaming service ordered 13 episodes of the new series.
Digital Studios launched its reboot of the Pancake Mountain music variety show for kids yesterday. A new ep will be available every Monday on the show’s YouTube channel for the next ten weeks, and a classic ep from the past will debut every Friday. As previewed at the Digital NewFronts this year, comedian Reggie Watts appears in the season’s premiere episode. 
Britain’s Got Talent
reached digital milestones on its app, social channels, and YouTube destination this season. The app was downloaded more than 1.5 million times, with a 40 percent year-over-year increase. The show’s YT channel was the sixth most globally watched, reeling in 260 million views. BGT brought in 3.3 million likes on Facebook, 568,000 followers on Twitter and was mentioned 700,000 on the finale ep.
Let us know what you think in the Cynopsis poll: If you were stranded on a desert island with wireless service, which one device would you want to have? Vote on Cynopsis.com.


Live-clips from the Wimbledon tennis tournament will be made instantly shareable on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter under a new partnership with the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club. From June 23 to July 6, the social-video platform Grabyo with the AELTC will distribute clips on the social platforms, along with video highlights on Wimbledon.com and YouTube.
Facebook and Twitter rolled out World Cup conversation hubs yesterday. Twitter’s platform will give new tweeters the ability to choose their team flag as their profile picture, and all users can use “hashflags” or mini country flags next to team mentions, and read game coverage on a single timeline. Facebook is also aggregating sources around matches that will also feature an interactive world map, and friends’ posts about the World Cup in a page called Trending World Cup.


Cynopsis Kids !magination + People Awards
Animation Innovators | Kids People Award Winners | !magination Award Finalists

Wednesday, June 11, 2013
8AM – 10AM
The Yale Club of NY



Multi-screen ad platform provider Jivox unveiled the new Jivox IQ Data Engine yesterday. “The engine crunches vast amounts of data from both first and third party sources to determine the optimal message for every advertisement served,” Founder and CEO Diaz Nesamoney told Cynopsis. “Advertisers and agencies can re-target potential customers with sequential ads, by automatically looking at the individual’s engagement history and delivering an ad accordingly. Our expectation is that this new approach to digital advertising, called ‘data-driven dynamic creative,’ will quickly and materially change multi-screen display advertising.”
SpotXChange added new tools for the VPAID 2.0 platform to supply advertisers with more control over the display of video campaigns and for publishers to more easily bring in video ads to its network. “Mobile is set to be the next big growth area for programmatic video advertising as consumers increasingly rely on mobile devices for their content needs,” CEO Mike Shehan said. “Making more seamless ad delivery to all devices is a critical step in ensuring our customers can keep pace with device proliferation.”
Want to hear the story behind Oreo’s “Twist, Lick, and Dunk” app campaign? You sure do. That’s why we want you to join us on June 19 at 10 on the Park in Manhattan to listen, strategize and network alongside your industry colleagues at the Digital Video Monetization Summit. Register for the summit today; I hope to see you there!


At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) this week, Sony revealed that the PlayStation TV streaming device will be released this fall for $99. The over-the-top box will let users play video games on another TV, while streaming online video through PlayStation Now or play PSVita games on a TV.


Max Pascal
has joined Scott Brothers Entertainment as the new Managing Director. He was most recently at Deloitte & Touche.
hired Elise Holzheimer as Vice President of Product Management and Troy Denkinger as Vice President of Engineering. Holzheimer was most recently with Orbitz and Denkinger was VP of Engineering at relentlessGENERATOR, a division of Sony DADC New Media Solutions.



Cynopsis Digital BIG Monetization Summit

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8:30am-4:00pm | June 19 | 10 on the Park, NYC | Early Bird Ends May 30

*Sponsors: FreeWheel, YuMe & Hiro Media*



Jerry Seinfeld took a break from driving in cars and grabbing coffee (with stars) to sit down with David Letterman for a discussion about the successful Sony Crackle series before it premieres on June 19. In the interview, Seinfeld told Letterman that “the idea of the show, honestly, was to try and create something that fit a whole new medium…this is an anti-show about a nonevent.” Check out a just released extended trailer before season four debuts at www.cynopsis.com.

See you tomorrow,
Jessica Reese  @JMarieReese

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

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