08.04.14 Good morning. It’s Monday, August 4, 2014, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.
YouTube presented its first-ever live comedy improv festival over the weekend, called Off the Top, hosted by Epic Rap Battles of History’s EpicLLOYD (Lloyd Ahlquist). The event showcased three modes of improv: Pain-prov, or MTV’s Jackass meets ad-libbing; extemporaneous rap battles; and games with actors in London and Tokyo YT studios. Google asked users to submit skit suggestions via YT, Twitter and Facebook during the live feed, and Ahlquist and team came up with scenes based on the suggestions. Member from LA improv groups Upright Citizens Brigade, Second City and the Westside Comedy Theatre also got in on the action with special guests Chester See (1.5 subs), Timothy DeLaGhetto (2.5 subs), Jesse Smiles (80k subs) and Zach Sherwin (33k subs). It was live streamed on EpicLloyd’s channel, and youtube.com/live.
Collective Digital Studio added a slew of new YouTube celebs to its roster. The lineup includes comedian Lilly Singh (or Superwoman), firearms and explosives expert FPS Russia, comedian and Camp Takota star Mamrie Hart, beauty expert Lauren Curtis, Cyanide & Happiness creators ExplosmEntertainment, songwriter and singer Madilyn Bailey and prankster Sam Pepper. Overall, the talent accounts for 17.9 million new subscribers for the MCN, and 100 million monthly additional views.
Crackle’s second season of original series Cleaners will premiere on Aug. 19. The show introduces a character played by Esai Morales (Criminal Minds), Omar Avila (Justified), David Rees Snell (The Shield) and John Savage (Dark Angel). The 12 half-hour episodes will be available across all Crackle platforms. The Sony streaming service recently announced its new original Sequestered will premiere Aug. 5.
Not swayed by Aereo’s contention that it is “figuratively bleeding to death,” a U.S. District Court declined to grant the streamer-of-broadcast-signals’ emergency motion to be deemed a cable company, which would enable it to retransmit broadcast content for a low fee and get back in business. CEO Chet Kanojia said a delay in the proceedings would incur “staggering costs without accruing any revenue.”
The NCTC and Disney struck a multi-year distribution agreement to deliver Disney’s content to the cable co-op’s participating customers across TVs, computers, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and connected devices. As part of the deal, the NCTC will add authenticated WATCH and VOD products, Fusion, the upcoming SEC network, Longhorn network, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Buzzer Beater and ESPN Bases Loaded.
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ProSiebenSat. 1 Group’s MCN Studio71 announced that DEFY Media’s Smosh Games experts Jovenshire, Sohinki and Lasercom and its own gamer Gronkh will square off in a series of gaming matches today. Smosh Games joins American gamer Boogie2988 in The Mansion’s first crossover into the U.S. market. The battle will play out on both The Mansion and the Smosh Games channels.
Portal A and The Gregory Brothers (two million subscribers) collaborated in a new campaign sponsored by BravoTV to promote its new series The Singles Project. The first installment, a parody of finding “the special person,” is titled “Unbelievable,” and launched on Friday on The Greg Bros’ channel. The second piece will be from YouTube’s Soul Pancake (1.2 million subs), debuting later this week. The Singles Project premieres on Aug. 12.
ISA! Variety Game Show’s second season hit the International Secret Agents TV (ISAtv) YouTube channel on Friday. The first ep features a performance from the group Far East Movement. The show is inspired by the Asian show with the same title, and ISAtv has more than 184,000 subs and 12.5 million views.
Missed last week’s news? Get the roundup at In Case You Missed It.
With PewDiePie surpassing 29 million subscribers last week, it’s no surprise that partner MCN Maker Studios released an app just for his channel. The app contains all of his gaming videos and allows his “bro army” (or fans) to create their own playlists and share videos on social media. PewDiePie’s channel grossed $4 million in 2013.
AOL and General Motors’ OnStar ran a 30-minute live video ad on the web through AOL On. The ad was part of a larger campaign promoting GM’s 2015 line of cars and OnStar’s new digital capabilities, including the ability to turn a car into a Wi-Fi hotspot. GM placed massive boxes in three cities – San Francisco, Boston and Ann Arbor – and asked bystanders to guess at the contents. AOL hyped the live reveal with teaser ads, promoting the hashtag #guesswhatsinside and videos featuring tech influencers urging fans to check it out. The ad will be repurposed and continue to run on multiple sites. AOL CEO “Tim Armstrong really believes in live,” said Wendy MacGregor, AOL’s Senior VP of Sales to the Wall Street Journal. “He’s always interested in experimenting.”
Social media analytics firm Unruly released the Top Social Video Brands in July 2014, and the results include:
1) Activia: 1,135,625 shares; placed 1st last month; notable campaign was Shakira La La La (Brazil 2014) ft. Carlinhos Brown with 1,135,625 shares.
2) Always: 711,334 shares; placed 18th last month; notable campaign was Always #LikeAGirl with 711,334 shares.
3) Nike: 465,384 shares; placed 2nd last month; notable campaign was RE2PECT with 327,539 shares.
4) Bayern: 432,329 shares; did not place last month; notable campaign was Germany Is The Worldcup Winner In Brazil (Original Version BAYERN 3) with 432,329 shares.
5) Adidas: 393,069 shares; placed 3rd last month; notable campaign was The Final — #allin or nothing for Germany & Argentina ft. Messi & Muller & more – FIFA World Cup with 185,383 shares.
6) DTAC: 335,341 shares; did not place last month; notable campaign was DTAC “The Power of Love” TVC (Official HD) with 412,977 shares.
7) Ubisoft: 320,657 shares; placed 10th last month; notable campaign was Assassin’s Creed Unity Meets Parkour in Real Life – 4K! with 335,341 shares.
8) ESPN: 237,413 shares; placed 11th last month; notable campaign was This is SportsCenter – Matallica with 50,918 shares.
9) Samsung: 222,867 shares; placed 7th last month; notable campaign was Galaxy S 5 – Wall Huggers with 67,512 shares.
10) Cornetto: 204,950 shares; placed 9th last month; notable campaign was Yalin Ask Diye with 112,419 shares.
5 MINUTES WITH…
Cynopsis sat down with Bent Pixels’ CEO and Founder Mike Pusateri to discuss digital advertising, brand and programming partnerships and more as he heads to the Cynopsis Digital Video Forum in San Francisco on Aug. 6 to participate in The Million Dollar Question: How to Advertise and Monetize panel. Make sure you don’t miss it by registering here.
If you controlled the top results for a Google search on “the best digital content today,” what would you list?
I would list YouTube, Netflix and the Watch ESPN App, in that specific order.
Digital video advertising is expected to hit $6 billion this year – what’s one major problem you see still challenging this medium when it comes to the bottom line?
It’s critical to have the ability to properly target those ad dollars with contextual data.
What are your thoughts on the recent brand and content integration boom?
It will continue to evolve, and it’s a lasting phenomenon. The creativity around brand integrations will raise the tide for all advertising.
What industry innovator would you love to take a selfie with, and why?
Kevin Hart, because he’s the first celebrity comedian to leverage several aspects of social media, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Amazon added Judy McGrath to its Board of Directors. McGrath was the former CEO of MTV, which she left in 2011.
Nate Hayden was appointed Vice President of Originals at AOL. Prior to his new role, he was Vice President of Development at FremantleMedia.
Shiva Rajamaran is leaving Google to join Spotify. She was YouTube’s Director of Product Management, where she led development of its future music service. Rjamaran’s new role at Spotify has yet to be announced.
Jed Simmons joined the Advisory Board at Germany’s multi-channel network Mediakraft Networks. Simmons is the former Global Head of News Content Partnerships at YouTube and the co-founder and Executive Vice President of Next New Networks.
AdStaff Media named Stewart Layton as the new President. Layton was most recently the Managing Partner at Media CanDo.
If you’ve got happy news, weddings, babies, engagements you’d like shared with your industry colleagues for a new feature going up soon on our web site, send to Jessica@Cynopsis.com.
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Advertisers are realizing they need to be creative in order to get a viewer to not hit that “skip” button on pre-roll ads. The agency Nail addressed the issue directly in the ad, by attaching a puppy in electrical wires to that pesky button. If the viewer pressed it, the ad warned, the pooch would get electrocuted. However, if they watched the full ad, he’d be saved. Now, that’s either a genius trick…or just mean. Check it out at www.cynopsis.com/#video.
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