07/16/15: Netflix surpasses 65M subscribers in Q2; Fox’s head of digital Kiliaen Van Rensselaer launches digital-first studio; Amazon’s first feature film will come from Spike Lee, hit theaters this year


Good morning. It’s Thursday July 16, 2015, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


Netflix ended the second quarter with over 65 million subscribers, adding 3.3 million new subs to exceed its own forecast of 2.5 million. As for Q2 revenue, Netflix hit $1.64 billion, a tick below the $1.65 billion Wall Street predicted. But the Street was happy – Netflix’s shares were up ten percent in after-hours trading. According to the service, Orange is the New Black, Marvel’s Daredevil, Sense8 and Grace and Frankie all contributed to the subscriber growth.
Fox’s Head of Original Digital Programming, Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, is leaving the network to launch Insurrection Media, a studio for digital-first production. Allen DeBevoise’s Third Wave Capital Partners is an investor. 
Amazon’s first original movie with Spike Lee will debut in theaters later this year. The cast of Chi-Raq includes Teyonah Parris (Mad Men), Nick Cannon, Jennifer Hudson, John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson. Amazon plans to produce 12 movies per year for $5 million-$25 million, and release them in short theatrical windows before making them available for Prime members.


CNN Digital rolled out the first of its Great American Stories, a new multimedia series focused on the people who helped to build the U.S. Episodes will debut on CNN.com, mobile devices and social networks every Wednesday until September.
Scripps Networks will premiere Making Room on its digital network Ulive on July 22. The reality series follow first-time mom Hilah Johnson and HGTV‘s home-improvement expert Laurie March as they work together to create a vegetable garden for homemade baby food, flip the nursery into a guest room and baby-proof the house.
Time Inc. will launch docu-series New Orleans, Here + Now across digital platforms this August, in time for the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Rampante, a production and distribution company, teamed up with Academy Award-winning Killer Films(Still Alice) and Field Office Films (from the producers Beasts of the Southern Wild) to produce.
Lexus partnered with Above Average for an eight-episode second season of web series, Hudson Valley Ballers, based on the lives former Saturday Night Live writers James Anderson and Paula Pell. The first four eps landed on AboveAverage.com and Lexus’ streaming site LStudio.com yesterday; the second part of the season will be released next month.


Wednesday, August 12 at 1:30PM to 3:00PM (ET)

Featured speakers include Steve Bookbinder Co-Founder/CEOat Digital Media Training, John Rohrs, President at Rohrs Media Group, Adam L. Snyder, Chief Digital Officer at Kwittken and Vikki Neil, GM & SVP for Scripps Networks Interactive Digital Brands. Moderated by Mary Olson-Menzel Managing Director at Sagan Consulting/President, MVP Executive Search & Development



The three trailers AMC unveiled at Comic-Con International in San Diego last week have garnered 24 million views across digital platforms. The season six trailer for The Walking Dead (Oct. 11 TV debut) took in a whopping 13.8 million views; a preview for companion series Fear the Walking Dead (Aug. 23 premiere) hit 8.2 million views, and Into the Badlands’ (November premiere) trailer attracted 1.95 million views.
Fresh from the Team USA victory at the Women’s World Cup, soccer fans can continue to cheer for USA in the next tournament, the Gold Cup, through the Univision Deportes’ TV Everywhere app. Viewers can watch the U.S. Men’s National Team and follow other countries as they advance to the July 26 final in Philadelphia both online or on the mobile app for no additional cost.
Univision Network’s 12th annual Premios Juventud (Youth Awards) is ramping up the digital goodies for tonight’s broadcast (Thursday). During this year’s video game-themed show, fans can interact with 360-live streams, a Periscope POV, Best Carpet Fashion Voting, the Monstrous Performance Exclusive Fan Poll, a PJ Facebook Game Room for Celebrities, Snapchat Takeovers and Twitter GIFs. Show airs at 8p ET, with a live pre-show at 7p ET.


Google revealed engagement data for the Chromecast streaming stick, highlighting Comedy Central’s app users, who watched 50 percent more video than the average mobile app user. Google also noted that aggregation app Haystack saw viewing time double on the Chromecast, and 30 percent of Ubisoft’s Just Dance song requests came from Chromecast users.
Are you categorizing your kids apps as purely entertainment or solely educational? It’s time to think outside of the box when it comes to both developing and marketing your products. “There are more apps that can’t be put exclusively in the entertainment or educational silo,” says Sara Kloek, Director of Development at Consortium Moms With Apps. "Many app makers are moving towards making learning an engaging experience.” Join the Cynopsis Kids webinar, The New Secrets of Successful Apps for Kids, on July 21. Register here.


At Comic-Con International, YouTube darlings Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart dished about their new roles and acting chops in the reboot of 1970s classic Electra Woman and Dyna Girl. “Grace put it really well…she said it’s like Gilmore Girls meets Marvel,” Hart told Entertainment Weekly. Legendary Digital Media and Fullscreen are behind the new series.


Adobe released its quarterly report on digital advertising yesterday, which measures a trillion ad impressions, 20 billion social-media visits, ad costs and clicks, social-media referrals to retailers and visits to sites. Key findings include:
–      Twitter’s Periscope generated 3x as much traffic as competitor Meerkat since late March.
–      A Facebook retail referral averages 91 cents for each user sent to an e-commerce site, a 17 percent decrease from last year.
–      Pinterest‘s referral value per user is worth 51 cents to the retailer, down from 68 cents from the year prior.
–      Twitter’s value of a referred consumer increased 63 percent from year prior, to 65 cents.


After announcing its 24-hour video network earlier this month, The Huffington Post officially named Adam Soldinger as the Vice President in charge of video programming and operations. Soldinger comes to the AOL-owned property after five months as Head Of Business Development And Strategic Partnerships for Say Media’s digital publishing platform Tempest.



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Unilever’s ice cream brand Cornetto released a video short that lets viewers choose the POV of a teenage love story. A viewer can switch between the boy and the girl involved, and on top of the cool video tech, plug in headphones to get a 3-D feel. Check it out at www.cynopsis.com/#video.

See you tomorrow,
Jessica Reese  @JMarieReese

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