07.09.15 Good morning. It’s Thursday July 9, 2015, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.
Microsoft is significantly scaling back on its Nokia unit, acquired just 14 months ago, with another major round of layoffs. The Seattle area based company will cut 7,800 jobs to write off $7.6 billion, nearly all the value of its Nokia phone business. “I am committed to our first-party devices including phones,” CEO Satya Nadella wrote in an email to employees. “We are moving from a strategy to grow a standalone phone business to a strategy to grow and create a vibrant Windows ecosystem that includes our first-party device family.” The new plan will focus on three different Microsoft Windows phone customers: business owners who want management apps and security; buyers in the market wanting less expensive phones; and Windows’ users. According to Bloomberg, previous Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and the Board of Directors (including Nadella) were not on the same page when the Nokia devices and services unit was first purchased. Last year, Nadella nixed a staggering 18,000 jobs, mostly from the smartphone sector of the biz. In June, Microsoft announced that it would sell its online display advertising business to AOL.
European media company ProSiebenSat.1 is working to build a new multi-channel network through the merger of Studio71 and Collective Digital Studio. The new MCN will be called Collective Studio71 (CS71), and ProSiebenSat.1 will invest $83 million into the project at a valuation of $240 million Christof Wahl (Chair), Sebastian Weil and Ronald Horstman (ProSiebenSat.1), as well as CDS founders Michael Green and Reza Izad will jointly manage CS71. “Through our existing ProSiebenSat.1 partnership, we have been able to greatly increase monetization for our creators in Germany,” said Michael Green, Founder and Chairman of CDS. “The combination of our two MCNs will enable us…to establish the first truly global MCN. There will also be a strong focus on bringing in broadcast partners worldwide.” CDS is known for original web series Epic Meal Time, Video Game High School and Rhett + Link’s Good Mythical Morning. Studio71 created digital series Let’s Play Together, Last Man Standing and The Mansion.
Netflix and City in Canada renewed thriller Between for another season. The Canadian series will return with six new episodes next year. Between was the first series with which Netflix veered from its binge-viewer strategy, releasing episodes one week at a time…
…In more Netflix news: Daredevil has found its Elektra. Actress Elodie Yung will play the Marvel character for the second season of the streaming service’s series. Yung will join season two with fellow newcomer and Walking Dead actor Jon Bernthal as The Punisher. Daredevil will return in 2016.
iHeartRadio’s app landed on the AT+T’s U-Verse TV yesterday as the first and only live streaming radio app currently available on the platform. By tuning to channel 532/1532 on U-Verse TV, customers can listen to live radio stations from across the country, search for stations by genre, location and keywords, as well as get personalized recommendations based on their listening habits. iHeartRadio recently integrated on the Pebble Watch, Apple Watch and Honda.
The battle between Meerkat and Periscope continues to heat up. Meerkat took another step away from Twitter yesterday, allowing users to sign up with Facebook. However, the FB version doesn’t automatically start a live stream, but rather helps users connect with a larger network of friends and sends notifications to their FB feed when they start live streams. The FB version does include a new “Cameo” feature that lets users invite any of their live stream viewers to take over and make a quick appearance. “It’s a simple yet powerful way to create a deeper human connection with people going from ‘broadcasting to’ toward ‘broadcasting with,’” a blog about the feature wrote. “This is the strongest manifestation of our long-term vision for participatory live-streaming.”
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
by August 7, 2015
ADVERTISING + AD PLATFORMS
Sony Pictures Television will acquire a 51 percent stake in Internet Media Services (IMS) for $100 million. IMS is a digital marketing and ad-buying firm serving Latin America, and originally began working with Sony Pictures Television in January when it was made the exclusive ad sales representative for Crackle in Latin America. IMS currently has partnerships with Waze, Twitter, LinkedIn, Spotify, iAds and Foursquare.
Simulmedia launched a new arm called SimulX to help advertisers with little TV experience produce campaigns for the medium. "Mobile app and gaming companies are going to be the next big verticals for the TV advertising industry,” said Dave Morgan, Simulmedia Founder and CEO, about the categories SimulX will first focus on. “No media drives app and gaming downloads, sign-ups, and usage like TV, but TV has historically lacked the kind of ROI measurement and optimization that search and social have offered.” To show a campaign’s impact, Simulmedia partnered with Think Gaming, an app store analytics and market intelligence company for mobile games, to determine how TV exposure drives digital actions. To lead the new team, Simulmedia appointed Preetham Mallikarjuna to Senior Vice President of Product Strategy, SimulX.
Computer tech company Lenovo signed a global partnership with Integral Ad Science. Lenovo will require each media agency it works with to exclusively use Integral and its data on future Lenovo ad campaigns. Integral Ad Science is a tech company focused on safe media environments for online advertisers, including ad fraud detection and viewability solutions.
VC FUNDING + INVESTORS
Apester, a digital storytelling platform for publishers and interactive native ad unit, raised $5 million in a Series A round of funding. Mangrove Capital Partners (early investors in Skype, Wix, Rdio) led the round, and the former AOL Chief Marketing Officer Tal Simantov, Wix Co-Founder Gigi Kaplan, Silverstein Properties President Tal Kerret and Amdocs Founder Morris Kahn (Wellborn Ventures) also contributed. Apester works with platforms such as AOL, Telegraph, The Huffington Post, The Next Web, Weather.com and the Food Network.
Acxiom, a data, analytics and software company, appointed Jeremy Allen as President of Marketing Services. Previously, Allen held several positions at Nielsen; his latest role was Executive Vice President of the Marketing Effectiveness division.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 I 1:30PM to 3:00PM (ET) Featured speakers include Linnette Attai, President and Founder
at PlayWell, LLC; Sharon Rechter, EVP Business Development & Marketing
at BabyFirst TV and Moderator Cathy Olson, Editor for Cynopsis Kids Please click here for more information or contact Trish Pihonak.
The DreamWorksTV YouTube channel is looking to target the online gamer, specifically Minecraft players, in its new series PickAxe Tracks. DWTV is taking a cue from the likes of Machinima and Captain Sparklez, who have brought in a massive audience thanks to Minecraft videos. Check out the first vid at www.cynopsis.com/#video.
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SITUATION WANTED: Production Manager/Field Producer staff position wanted. 20 yrs experience working at all major entertainment companies from long form to promos. High energy get it done attitude with exceptional results. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (7/11)
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