08/05/14: Legendary acquires ‘Geek & Sundry,’ Former Maker Studios CEO raises $25M for ‘Zealot Networks,’ Shazam launches ad platform


Good morning. It’s Tuesday, August 5, 2014, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


Legendary, the studio behind hits The Dark Knight and Pacific Rim, acquired online video network Geek & Sundry. The nerd-themed net that originally partnered with the YouTube Original Channel Initiative is run by actress Felicia Day (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and features the series TableTop, Spooked and The Guild. Geek & Sundry also announced it reached one million subscribers yesterday. Legendary is home to Chris Hardwick’s (@Midnight) Nerdist Channel.
Former Maker Studios CEO Danny Zappin raised $25 million from ex-Maker execs and talent to create a new digital venture called Zealot Networks. Variety reports that Zappin and investors are providing few details, other than that the studio will focus on a strategy that “empowers creative entrepreneurs and talent, delivering multiplatform revenue, distribution and growth opportunities.” Zappin tried to prevent the $950 Disney acquisition of the MCN earlier this year with a lawsuit to stop the shareholder vote, but was rejected.
The New York Post and the Post Digital Network introduced Decider.com, a new guide for streaming content. Beyond a TV and movie discovery platform, the site will feature past favorites and up-and-coming digital videos, along with email newsletters and pages dedicated to individual shows. “It’s very easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of streaming options available…our site is meant to turn you on to things that an algorithm might never guess you’d like, with a staff of writers who are all funny, smart and more than a little obsessed with TV and movies,” Editor-in-Chief Mark Graham said.
Save the date! On Thursday, November 13th Cynopsis will present the Digital Model D Awards at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. Early deadline to enter is August 8, and late deadline is August 15. Register here
The Walt Disney Company and Suddenlink struck a multi-year agreement to deliver Disney content across TV, gaming consoles, computers, smartphones and connected devices. As part of the deal, Suddenlink will introduce Fusion, as well as the SEC Network on August 14 and Longhorn Network with the launch of the college football season.


TNT and Hyundai will release the premiere episode of the original series Legends on VOD a week before it airs on Aug. 13. Starting Aug. 6, fans can access the ep online, on the WatchTNT app or TNT VOD after authenticating their pay-tv subscription. Additionally, TNT and filmmakers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s New Form Digital studio will debut short film The Genesis, featuring Hyundai’s new 2015 Hyundai Genesis car. The film will also be available on TNT’s VOD platforms. Legends stars Game of Thrones’ actor Sean Bean and follows an FBI agent as he transforms his identity with each new assignment. “The film short will embody the dramatic suspense of Legends, while signifying the bold appeal of the Hyundai Genesis as it’s seamlessly integrated as the main character’s vehicle,” said TNT.


Amazon’s OTT box Fire TV doubled its offered apps since its debut four months ago. New apps added include: WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH Disney Jr., MLB.TV, Animal Planet L!ve and the WWE Network. Amazon also nabbed an exclusive to the re-launched version of the popular gaming app Flappy Birds Family. The Fire TV sells for $99.
Kid’s entertainment destination Toon Goggles app is now available on VIZIO smart TV’s. Toon Goggles offers short form animation content like Dibo the Gift Dragon, Puppy in My Pocket, Bernard and more.




A new study from Nielsen and Digital Place-Based Advertising Association (DPAA) revealed that digital place-based nets attract more impressions among 18-49 year-olds than the top 25 primetime and basic cable shows and networks. DPB networks hit 619.2 million impressions in a month, while the top 25 primetime TV network programs in the same month hit 480.4 million impressions, and the top 20 basic cable networks count just 375.5 million impressions. “These numbers illustrate the ability of DPB networks to extend the reach of television campaigns,” DPAA President and CEO Barry Frey said. “The challenge for advertisers is to figure out how to make sure their video campaigns maintain high levels of effectiveness.”


August 6, 2014 | StumbleUpon HQ | San Francisco, CA
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Music discovery app Shazam launched a new sales platform today called Resonate. A+E, AMC and Fuse are the first nets to partner with the platform; Dick Clark Productions initially used it to drive fan voting during the 2014 Billboard Music Awards in May. “Resonate enabled the 2014 Billboard Music Awards to support our Chevrolet sponsored on-air activation through an impactful second screen experience, engaging viewers and maximizing their enjoyment of the overall experience,” Dick Clark Productions EVP & CRO Greg Economou said.
Mobile advertising agency Verve announced Verve Direct. This programmatic direct platform for location-based advertising uses its Proximity Targeting and Consumer Audience Segments to better discover a consumer’s geo-location.


A new study from Nielsen indicates that social media is raising awareness of TV programs. In 2012-versus-2013 comparisons, 25 percent of viewers said they’re more aware of programs due to social media, versus 18 percent the year before; 15 percent said social media made them enjoy programs more, versus 11 percent in 2012. As for those dreaded social media spoilers: 3 percent polled in 2013 said they watch less television because of spoilers, no change from 2012.

OpenSlate Engagement Data for Gaming channels, based on the engagement metric for the week ending 8/3.
Channel/(Engagement)/Monthly Views/Total Subs/SlateScore
(9.8) / 413,343,480 / 29,310,539 / 877
SSundee (9.8) / 52,004,520 / 2,989,562 / 823
The BajanCanadian (9.8) / 45,830,430 / 3,968,008 / 846
IGNentertainment (9.8) / 74,671,470 / 4,831,021 / 805
Vegetta777 (9.8) / 133,218,780 / 6,368,216 / 779
Juegagerman (9.8) / 73493580 / 4,312,203 / 741
TheDiamondMinecart (9.2) / 177,183,690 / 3,170,107 / 720
Stampylonghead (9.8) / 191,921,340 / 3,343,048 / 769
SkyDoesMinecraft (9.8) / 95,806,950 / 10,251,126 / 865
MarkiplierGAME (9.8) / 6,4571,790 / 2,867,019 / 747
Source: The Engagement metric is one of OpenSlate’s component scores, and is a measure of a producer’s ability to evoke meaningful interaction with their audience. It is calculated on a scale of 1 – 10 with higher being better. The OpenSlate Engagement score uses a subset of the data incorporated in the SlateScore to perform a set of unique calculations. It factors in views, comments, likes, and more.

NIELSEN TWITTER TV TOP TEN for the week of 7/28/14
Program, Date, Unique Audience (000), Tweets (000)
Sharknado 2: The Second One
(Syfy), 7/30, 5,505, 581
The Bachelorette (ABC), 7/28,
14,598, 352
Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family), 7/29,
2,635, 214
WWE Monday night RAW (USA), 7/28,
2,019, 224
Teen Wolf (MTV), 7/28,
1,667, 240
Keeping Up with the Kardashians (E!), 8/3,
1,580, 37
Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta (VH1), 7/28,
1,357, 360
2014 Young Hollywood Awards (CW), 7/28,
1,181, 360
America’s Got Talent (NBC), 7/29,
924, 60
Big Brother (CBS), 7/31,
882, 91
Source: Nielsen. Nielsen Social captures relevant tweets from three hours before, during and three hours after an episode’s initial broadcast, local time. Unique Audience measures the audience of relevant Tweets ascribed to an episode from when the Tweets are sent until the end of the broadcast day at 5a. The data includes new/live primetime and late fringe episodes only and excludes sports events.


Stacey Wisnom joined Tremor Video as Senior Director, Category Development. She will head auto, entertainment, CPG and Tech/Telco clients with the sales team.

Network platform StageBloc added Colleen D. Egan as Executive Vice President of Brand Strategy to the team. Egan was the former COO of music television network Akoo.

Hawthorne Direct promoted Neil Klayman as Associate Creative Director. He was most recently Hawthorne’s Senior Copywriter.

Cablevision appointed David Dibble as Chief Technology Officer, effective September 2014. Dibble was most recently Advisor to the CEO at Yahoo.


Cynopsis Digital Model D Awards
The Best in Online Video Content & Advertising

Our awards show continues to spotlight the groundbreaking work created by digital media, don’t let your 2013-2014 efforts go unnoticed!

Entry Deadline: August 8, 2014  | Late Submissions: August 15, 2014
Awards Event: November 13, 2014 (NYC)

Learn about the awards program & how to enter:


The latest rant-gone-viral from late nighter John Oliver discusses native advertising. The HBO Last Week Tonight host argues that the new form of online advertising is tainting content and programming. He goes so far as to compare native advertising to a chocolate chip cookie, but with raisins instead (a surprise that never goes over well). Check out Oliver flesh out the complex issue with a fix of laughter at www.cynopsis.com/#video.

See you tomorrow,
Jessica Reese  @JMarieReese

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JOB OPENING: AD SALES EXEC/LA/San Diego/SFO: Generate new brand & brand/hybrid ad sales for programmatic TV platform. Also sales strat, cold calling, trade show representation & some client service duties. 3+ yrs exp ad sales. Resume here: revshareadsalesexec@gmail.com (8/12)

JOB OPENING: JR. WRITER PRODUCER/EDIT BEACH/NYC: fun, boutique prod. co. seeks super creative & outgoing JR. W/P must have experience writing on-air promos for cable nets. Will concept/pitch/write/prod/edit. Apply: http://goo.gl/nLmNmC (8/9)

JOB OPENING: VP BRAND MKTG/CNBC/Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Dvlp overall mktg brand strategy & conceptualize/execute high impact, multi-platform campaigns w/various internal/external partners. Job #15300BR 10 yrs brand mktg exp. Full info/apply HERE (8/8) 

JOB OPENING:  MGR, OPS ASSET/PivotTV/LA: Manage, track/report on media assets. Manage external vendors, media delivery req. 3+ yrs broadcast/prod tracking high volume of media assets. Resumes: careers@participantmedia.com (8/8)

JOB OPENING: PROMOTIONS PRODUCER/NBCU/NYC: Promo Producer with experience on a daily talk show. Write and produce daily topical promotions, sweeps spots, generic promos for The Meredith Vieira Show.  Apply here (8/7)

JOB OPENING: MARKETING MANAGER, CREATIVE SERVICES: W/NATPE in mid-Wilshire area. Must shepherd projects from idea to execution in a collaborative environment. 3-5 years exp in marketing pref’d. Resume to http://bit.ly/1sq09wm (8/7)

JOB OPENING: PROMOTION COORD/iN DEMAND/NYC: Acquire, track & distribute promotional materials. Create logs. Bachelor’s Degree & 1 yr exp. Detail & follow-through essential. Apply: resume@indemand.com (8/7)

JOB OPENING: DISTRIBUTION LEAD/ASIA TV USA/NYC: Resp for dev P’ships w/MSOs, neg agrs, dev & mng renewals/delivery of all sub rev apply: careers@asiatvusa.com (8/7)

JOB OPENING: ACT MGR AFFILIATE SALES/MLB NETWORK/SECAUCUS NJ: Mng corp and regional accts, devlp promo prog, maintn relationships w/mark/adsales contcts, heavy travel. Min 3 yrs exp in cable afflt sales/sports mktg. Resume to mlbnhr@mlb.com (8/7)

JOB OPENING: NATIONAL ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE/Eye Mall Media/Los Angeles: OOH/Mobile Media Account Exec, 3+ years related sales experience strong focus on new accounts. High-energy, driven, goal-oriented. Full info/apply HERE (8/7)

JOB OPENING: RESEARCH MANAGER/Discovery/NY: Strategic mind to provide sales positioning rsrch for Discovery Channel/other ntwrks. Create sales materials/positioning pieces to highlight success. 6+ yrs TV rsrch exp req’d. Apply. (8/7)

JOB OPENING: SR ANALYST, SALES & M/NBCU/NYC: Produce reports for national ad sales and use syndicated research tools to effectively position the network in the marketplace. Apply HERE (8/7)

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