06/11/15: Spotify raises competition to Apple with $526 million funding round; PBS and Brightcove release Android app; Jaden Smith joins Baz Luhrmann’s Netflix project



CYNOPSISDIGITAL
06.11.15

Good morning. It’s Thursday June 11, 2015, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.

TODAY’S TOP NEWS

On the heels of Apple’s music streaming service launch, Spotify raised a whopping $526 million. Participants in this round include TeliaSonera AB, Goldman Sachs via its Global Private Opportunity Partners fund as well as British and Canadian hedge funds. The new investment brings the total amount raised by Spotify to more than $1 billion and values the company at $8.53 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. Spotify reports 20 million paying subscribers and 75 million monthly active users, double its May 2014 subscriber base.

PBS partnered with Brightcove to launch a new Android app which gives users access to video from PBS and member stations, full-length episodes from new primetime programs and PBS archives, with national and local station content updated daily. “With more than 21.2 million downloads of PBS apps to date, we know there’s tremendous demand for PBS content across a wide range of devices and platforms,” said Ira Rubenstein, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Digital at PBS.

NEW PROGRAMMING + DEALS

Yesterday, OWNZONES launched a set of new channel creation and content syndication tools for users. With ten partners already in place, “Our solution is essentially a white-label option for any content creator, be it an aspiring YouTube star or major news organization,” said Dan Goman, Founder and CEO of OWNZONES. “Anyone can set up a channel on OWNZONES and syndicate anywhere for free, lifting the typical hurdles of syndication, including complicated code and costs associated with storage, pay walls and backend operations.” 

Yangaroo Inc. signed an agreement with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) for the upcoming 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards. The Yangaroo Awards digital platform will be the sole system for Golden Globe motion picture and television award entries.

Temple Street Media Ventures, the digital division of Temple Street Productions, created a new mobile gaming studio, TS Games. The studio’s first two projects are extensions of existing Temple Street programming: first is a dance-off competition for The Next Step (Family Channel, Hulu, CBBC), and the second is the 8-bit retro-style runner game for Killjoys (Space, Syfy, NBC Universal), set to launch June 19th, the same day as the show premiere. Temple Street produces Orphan Black, Being Erica and Recipe to Riches.

Alterna’TV, an arm of Eutelsat Americas, landed a multiple channel carriage agreement with OTT broadband television service YipTV. Alterna’TV will provide YipTV with international feeds from Canal 22 Internacional, Canal Once Mexico, CB Tu Television Michoacan, and Telemicro as well as extreme sports channels PX TV, Trace Sports Stars, Latin American Sports and AYM Sports and children’s channel Fix + Foxi.


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CONTENT MEDIA

Will Smith’s son, Jaden, joined the cast of musical drama series The Get Down from Baz Luhrmann, set to premiere on Netflix. Other cast members include Jimmy Smits, Justice Smith, Shameik Moore, Yahya Abdul-Mateen, Mamoudou Athie and Herizen Guardiola. The 13 episodes will hit Netflix in 2016.

The Smithsonian Science Education Center and FableVision Studios launched a new web series called Good Thinking! The Science of Teaching Science. The animated series is designed to help science educators adapt and tailor their teaching techniques to the latest academic information on how students learn. The first three episodes debut June 15.

RESEARCH

Tubular Labs Top 10 Rising Media & Entertainment Brands on YouTube, based on channels with more than 25K subs excluding gaming brands for last 30 days ending June 9.
Brands/(Channel)/Total Subs/Subs in last 30 days/% subs gained/views
The Late Late Show with James Corden 
(CBS) / 538K / 311K / 58% / 61M
Scream Queens (FOX) / 67K /
36K / 53% / 6M
PBS Space Time (PBS) / 60K /
27K / 46% / 1M
American Ninja Warrior (NBC + Esquire) / 75K /
21K / 27% / 2M
Clevver Style (Defy Media) / 523K /
132K / 25% / 10M
Seeker Daily (Discovery Digital Networks) / 110K /
26K / 24% / 2M
Focus Features (Universal Pictures) / 53K /
12K / 23% / 7M
Vanity Fair (Conde Nast) / 85K /
18K / 21% / 16M
Hey USA (Conde Nast via The Scene) / 85K /
18K / 21% / 1M
Seeker Stories (Discovery Digital Networks) / 75K /
15K / 21% / 1M

The breakdown: Tubular Co-Founder and Vice President of Enterprise Allison Stern told Cynopsis, “FOX’s Scream Queens, PBS’s Space Time and Discovery’s Seeker Daily have each moved up a spot while Clevver Style jumped 3 spots, gaining more than 130K subscribers in the last 30 days alone. Newcomers this time around include NBC’s American Ninja Warrior and Focus Features studio, the latter being driven by the upcoming release of Insidious 3. Finally, Conde Nast gained 13K subscribers, mainly as a result of its coverage of Caitlyn Jenner.”

EXECUTIVE MOVES

Vevo promoted Adam Smith to Senior Vice President of National Sales. Smith joined Vevo in 2010 as Regional Vice President + National Automotive Sales. Prior to joining Vevo, Smith spent five years in Sales at MySpace.

Univision Communications Inc. promoted Roberto Ruiz to Executive Vice President, Strategy and Insights. Ruiz joined UCI in 2008 as Vice President of Strategy + Insights.



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DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT OF THE DAY

Fandango premiered a series of original video shorts entitled Movieclips Mini Movies: Featuring Brian the Minion. The weekly show introduces Brian, an excited filmgoer who accompanies his Minion brothers to the movies. The release is the first collaboration among Fandango Movieclips, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures. Illumination created the Despicable Me movies, which first introduced Minions to the masses. Check out the first Jurassic World themed episode at www.cynopsis.com/#video.

See you tomorrow,
Jessica Reese  @JMarieReese
06.11.15

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