06/27/14: Maker Studios to foster rising web stars in new program, YouTube lands a radio gig, Beamly introduces the next selfie



Good morning. It’s Friday, June 27, 2014, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


Disney’s Maker Studios announced a new web video network called Maker Gen yesterday, to focus on 50,000 up-and-coming YouTube partners. The program will evaluate where an online creator stands based on: Elements (those starting their careers), Evolve (those building their audience) and Emerge (those who are becoming major talents). Any YouTuber with a growing audience can apply at maerkgen.com. Maker also re-launched Rodeo Arcade, the online store for fans wanting to buy and sell products from talent, as now called Maker Shop.




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SiriusXM and YouTube are launching The YouTube 15, a new weekly show to showcase the top breakout songs based on YT data and selected by the satellite radio company. YT creator Jenna Marbles (13 million subs) will start hosting the new show on July 11, and every Friday at 6p ET on Sirius XM Hits 1. The show will also feature weekly video playlists at youtube.com/siriusxm.

Netflix will debut its first original anime series Knights of Sidonia on July 4. The 12 episodes will be based on the popular Japanese manga (comic) series of the same name, which follows engineered refugees who escaped Earth’s apocalypse to a spaceship called Sidonia.

Amazon struck a deal with Cinedigm yesterday, which landed Amazon Prime Instant exclusive rights to indie films from Drafthouse Films like The Visitor and A Band Called Death. Additional films Mood Indigo, The Congress, Borgman and more will hit the streaming service in the coming months.

Social TV network Beamly announced a contest to introduce several new features. Beamly users can now create “Animated Selfies,” enhance their profiles, peruse the new “My Guide” TV and TV Room recommendations, and scroll through the “The Best of Beamly” 24/7 stream. Timed to the Big Brother 16 premiere, the site is bringing 14 past cast members to judge the “Your Best Selfie” contest in which fans compete by using the new Animated Selfie tool. Winners will be chosen on July 10.

What’s Trending and Sumsung extended their partnership with a new studio, premiering at Vidcon 2014 today. The multi-platform video company and Samsung have collaborated at CES, SXSW, Samsung’s Hope for Children Gala and What’s Trending now manages Samsung’s YouTube channel, youtube.com/samsungusatube. Throughout the week, the What’s Trending show at Vidcon will spotlight YT stars like MirandaSings, Smosh, Hannah Hart and more.

Fullscreen signed YouTube celeb JennXPenn (aka Jenn McCallister) and member of the AwesomenessTV network. The rival net will help to manage her presence outside of YT, with new licensing deals, hosting gigs in TV and film and appearances at live events. JennXPenn has more than a million subscribers on YT.


The abbreviated version of Showtime’s Web Therapy comedy featuring Lisa Kudrow (Friends) is moving to YouTube’s StyleHaul channel. Previously, the digital companion series was on Lexus’ web hub, L Studio. Web Therapy follows an offbeat therapist who conducts sessions via video chat. The fourth season will debut on Oct. 22.

Vimeo revamped its Vimeo On Demand creator tools, including a new dashboard and Vimeo’s Advanced Stats tool. The dashboard will provide a quick glimpse of sales and where they’re taking place, while the overhauled advanced tool will include sales data associated with referrers, embeds and regions.

Let’s get personal! Send us happy news – weddings, babies, engagements – you’d like shared with your industry colleagues, for a new feature going up soon on our web site, and in the newsletter. Info goes to Jessica@cynopsis.com


According to Yahoo, everyone loves cheese. Adweek reports that the tech giant found that people who saw Kraft’s Motion Ad, which featured a steaming animated grilled cheese sandwich, were 77 percent more likely to continue with a Kraft-related search. The cheesy picture was also clicked on 24 percent more than a standard video ad on the login page in general. The Motion Ad service first kicked off in mid-March. Say cheese!

Look out, Bay Area! Cynopsis is holding its first west coast Video Summit – Small Screen, Big Ideas on Wednesday, August 6 at the StumbleUpon office in San Francisco. Speakers from comScore, Comcast Ventures, Flurry, Discovery Digital Networks, 5by, LiveRail, PopSugar Studios, Portal A, Tubular Labs, Union+Webster, Videology, and other experts, startups, tech providers and content creators will discuss the future of digital video, from content development and marketing to advertising and measurement. Early bird registration ends July 18, so register now at http://www.cynopsis.com/event/digital-video-business-summit/.


Digital marketing platform Tubular will now alert YouTube creators when a Tweet links to their content. According to the company, 15 percent of daily tweets with a YT link accredit the creator on Twitter. The Tubular Audience Graph will analyze the tweets. Tubular has more than 225 million subs, and 2.3 billion monthly views.

Former Google execs Rachel Payne and Natasha Mohanty together with behavioral expert Dr. Meghana Bhatt have formed a new video discovery platform called FEM inc. “We focus on what really resonates with viewers and anticipate their underlying needs, and this drives deeper audience engagement for our partners and an empowering experience for the viewer…and enhances a brand’s value,” CEO Payne said.

Datonics and VivaKi will continue a partnership, by making the Audience On Demand programmatic solution available to al Publicis Groupe agencies.





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NBCUniversal named Dina Juliano as Senior Vice President, Consumer Product Strategy for TV Everywhere. Juliano formerly led HBO GO.

eXelate hired Jonathan Doan as the new Senior Vice President and General Manager of Platform Software, and Usama Fayyad as a new member of the Board of Directors. Doan was most recently the Group Vice President, Americas for Limelight Networks. Fayyad was Chief Data Officer and Managing Director at Barclays.

Gabriel DeWitt has joined Curse, Inc. as Vice President of Monetization. He was previously the Senior Technical Director, Media and Operations at SAY Media.


Coca-Cola enlisted viral hit dancer Nonstop (Marquese Scott) to star in its newest ad “On Top of the World.” The dubstep-centric ad has already reeled in more than a million views and spotlights some seriously robotic, hypnotic moves from the dance sensation. “It was my first real dive into the choreography world of all-day studio rehearsals and filming,” Scott told Dance Informa magazine about the spot. This is one commercial that is better seen than described, so check it out at www.cynopsis.com.

See you On July 7th,

Jessica Reese  @JMarieReese


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