U.S. digital advertising earnings hit $19.6 billion in Q1 of this year, according to a new report released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). That’s the highest Q1 mark on record, and represents a 23% year-over-year increase. The report was prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers US.
OTT + SVOD
Is Amazon Video’s viewership catching up with that of Netflix? Maybe to some extent – in Europe, anyway. Research firm Parrot Analytics took a look at data for 20 major European markets, finding that Netflix content saw 45% more demand than Amazon content between January and April. That may sound like a big gap, but context matters: Netflix had a 235% advantage during the same time period last year. Demand for Netflix content fell by 32%, Parrot Analytics said, while demand for Amazon content rose by 57%. Things vary from country to country, of course; for instance, in Germany and Slovenia, Amazon outperforms Netflix. In France, meanwhile, Netflix content saw three times more demand than Amazon content. To conduct its study, Parrot Analytics looked at data points such as streaming consumption, blog platforms, social media, and online piracy.
TALENT + INFLUENCERS
Scripps Lifestyle Studios, the social and digital production unit of Scripps Networks Interactive, announced that it’s launching a new talent incubator. Called the Scripps Lifestyle Experts group, the unit is designed to help the company discover social and digital media talent, with the aim of enhancing digital content across platforms such as Snapchat, YouTube and Facebook. Scripps’ brands include Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel, Great American Country, DIY and HGTV.
Mayim Bialik, best known for starring in CBS’s The Big Bang Theory, has inked a new deal with Studio71. The digital media company and multi-channel network will now manage Bialik’s digital content across all social channels, including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Studio71 has similar deals in place with actors including Dwayne Johnson and Shay Mitchell.
Looks like the Federal Trade Commission put a scare into Instagram. Back in April, the agency sent out 90 letters to Instagram influencers, warning them to “conspicuously” disclose any connections they have with brand partners. Now the social platform is making it easier for influencers to do just that: A new feature allows users to clearly tag any sponsorships that are connected to their posts. Instagram is currently testing the feature with a select group of influencers; the company ultimately intends to roll it out to all users.
VIRTUAL + AUGMENTED REALITY
Back in April, Variety reported that Skybound Entertainment was helping to develop new VR content based on The Walking Dead. Now we’ve got more details: Skydance Interactive is partnering with Skybound on the project, which will involve the creation of multiple virtual reality games based on the AMC series. The two companies made the announcement at the E3 Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. The first of the games is expected to debut in 2018.
SHAREABLEE SOCIAL TV RATINGS: Top 10 U.S. Primetime and Streaming Shows for June 5 – June 11. Based on Shareablee’s Video Power Index (VPI), which combines viewing, consumer interactions and audience scale across all active platforms, and includes the video performance of primetime and streaming shows.
Source: Shareablee Inc. The total actions metric includes the total volume of post-level likes, shares, favorites, retweets and comments across social platforms.
Tweet of the Week: @Doni_R1997: Ben platt is an adorable nugget
Canvs, the emotion analytics company, analyzed tweets about TV and streaming programming from June 7-13 using Twitter data from Nielsen. Insights from the 3,438,351 tweets expressing a specific Emotional Reaction (ER) include:
– The most congratulatory messages were sent as the Golden State Warriors beat out the Cleveland Cavaliers during game 5 of the NBA Finals on ABC.
– Outside of basketball, people went crazy during the intense Stanley Cup Final on NBC between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators.
– Tops in beauty: the 71st Annual Tony Awards on CBS got people discussing the attractiveness of the celebrities, with viewers in particular pointing out the cuteness of Ben Platt.
– Aside from sports (yes, people seem to find a lot to laugh about while watching sports), VH1’s Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta was tops in funny ERs, with viewers particularly cracking up at the antics of rapper Waka Flocka Flame.
NBCUniversal has hired former YouTube exec Laura Lee, placing a number of its digital media partnerships within her purview. Lee, who once headed up YouTube’s media partnerships, will manage NBCU’s media partnerships with Snap Inc., Vox Media, and BuzzFeed. Her job title will be Executive VP of Content, Strategy and Operations. Based in New York, she’ll report to Maggie Suniewick, President of NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises. She starts June 19.
Los Angeles startup Stem, which helps musicians and other online creators share and collect revenues across numerous distribution platforms, just announced two new hires. Jeremy Lewis has been named to Artist Relations, Video; he’ll be responsible for recruiting more YouTube creators to join the Stem platform. Jason Zerden, meanwhile, will join the company as agency liaison in the artist relations department. The hires were first reported by Tubefilter.
The eight main characters of the (recently-canceled) Netflix series Sense8 hail from 7 different countries. If you’re a die-hard fan, you can probably name them. What are they? (Email email@example.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)
Our Last Trivia Question: Who was designated by The Hollywood Reporter as the #1 most popular actor/actress on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Google Plus? Answer: Dwayne Johnson. Kudos to Andy Pittman-TAMU/TX, Louis Lewow-Lewow Media Group/GA, Maitlyn Phan-Viacom/NY, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, and Lorrie Shilling/CA.