08/12/15: Tropher Grace joins Brad Pitt’s Netflix original; Google restructures with new parent company Alphabet; Facebook ramps up mobile advertising


Good morning. It’s Wednesday August 12, 2015, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


Topher Grace (American Ultra) joined Brad Pitt’s Netflix original War Machine, for which the streaming service dished out a cool $60 million in June. Animal Kingdom’s David Michod wrote the screenplay and will direct; Netflix and Pitt’s Plan B studio will produce. Film begins shooting in August, and will hit the streaming service in 2016, the same time as the theatrical release.
In a major twist, Google has undergone an overhaul, creating a new publicly traded parent company, Alphabet Inc. Google will become a subsidiary of Alphabet, shedding more experimental businesses like gadget maker Nest, and its attempt to extend human life with Calico, which will fall under the Alphabet umbrella. Businesses like YouTube, search and the Android and Chrome operating systems will stick with Google. “Fundamentally, we believe this allows us more management scale, as we can run things independently that aren’t very related,” said Google co-founder Larry Page, who will run Alphabet with Sergey Brin. Google exec Sundar Pichai is elevated to Google CEO.


and Above Average released the second half of eight-episode web series Hudson Valley Ballers, based on the lives former Saturday Night Live writers James Anderson and Paula Pell. The final four landed on Lexus’ streaming site LStudio.com and L/Studio’s YouTube channel at 8a ET this morning, and feature a cast of guest stars including Ana Gasteyer, Cecily Strong, Josh Charles and Tina Fey
Fusion launched its new TV everywhere app on Roku devices. The Watch Fusion app features authenticated live-stream of the Fusion network and additional short-form and long-form VOD programming. In addition, the on-demand content includes digital video series The Illipsis with Jay Smooth, Genius, Wisdom and mini-docs.
AMC and Next Games unveiled the first trailer for a mobile game based on The Walking Dead. In The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land, players choose the right people with the right skills and weapons to take down “walkers,” survive missions and save other survivors. The game is slated for October; season six of The Walking Dead premieres Oct. 11 at 9p ET on AMC.
There are only three days left to enter our Cynopsis Digital Model D Awardsthe late deadline is this Friday! We’re in search of the best online video content and advertising – and here’s a sampling of past winning companies: Anheuser-Busch, AT&T, Bravo, Content & Co, Crackle, Fandango, Food Network, Funny or Die, Hulu, HBO, Martha Stuart Living Omnimedia, Meredith Video Studios, MLB Advanced Media, MTV, NBCUniversal, OMD, PBS Digital Studios, SONY, Thundershorts, Turner Sports, VEVO. Be recognized in 2015  – entering is quick & easy, here’s the link: cynopsisdigitalawards.com


Yesterday, Universal Pictures and YouTube streamed a live event featuring 1980s musical group N.W.A and cast members of the upcoming film, Straight Outta Compton, including Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, DJ Yella and MC Ren. Movie hits theatres on Aug. 14.
Syfy.com celebrated its best July ever with 4.5 million uniques and 6.2 million visits. Total video streams were the highest since Aug. 2014, with 2.7 million streams, in part from the Sharknado 3 and Dominion’s Season 2 premiere, with Dominion hitting a record high in monthly page views and uniques. The network’s social media hit a high note, too: Sharknado 3 generated two billion Twitter impressions (Sysomos)




Kidoodle.TV announced a new Family Moments feature to allow parents to safely upload and store their family videos and home movies on devices. Families can divest their smartphones and tablets of large video files that fill up local storage, “solving the dreaded ‘device is full, cannot take video’ problem,” said Neil Gruninger, Chief Product Officer at Kidoodle.TV. “We wanted to build a system that is easier to use than other cloud storage options and is specifically designed for video playback.”


Do you have what it takes to be on the Leaderboard?

CYNOPSIS SPORTS is now taking entries for the 2015 LEADERBOARD.

Open to any organization that utilized its social media platforms to promote its product to sports fans throughout 2015. From global brands to local stations, million-dollar campaigns to viral-on-a-budget, social media has proven to be the great equalizer.

Showcase your talent and ENTER TODAY.


Facebook added four new products to its Facebook Audience Network (FAN), which allows marketers to buy data-targeted ads on FB’s mobile apps. The new ad formats include auto-play video spots, carousel ads, dynamic product ads for online retailers and FB’s Click-To-Play Video Ads, previewing the commercial before it begins to play.
What makes a digital ad effective? “Digital consumers, led by (but not limited to) Millennials, are simultaneously consuming and evaluating messaging. So digital ads have the enormous advantage of being platforms for conversations before, during and after the actual flight,” Linda Ong, CEO of TruthCo., tells Cynopsis. Example, please. “I love HBO NOW’s recent Twitter campaign touting their $19.99 per month offering by breaking it down to an average of 68 cents a day,” sayd Ong. “But instead of telling people that, they asked a simple question: ‘What can you buy for 68¢ a day?’ Everyone knows the answer is ‘Not much,’ making the buzziest, highest quality and most culturally relevant programming today seem instantly accessible. I like to call this approach ‘indirect marketing’ – making the consumer feel it’s their decision, not the marketer’s.” TruthCo. recently released a study, The New World of Advertising.
Media spend managed through video monetization platform SpotXchange grew 67 percent year on year, reports the company, with mobile spending making up 19 percent of total spend, versus 4 percent last year. “Advertisers are following the audience, with upwards of 50 percent of the consumption of many forms of media having shifted to mobile devices,” CEO Mike Shehan tells Cynopsis. “Large screens, high speed wireless data availability, and fast processors in even low-end devices have driven an explosion in mobile video consumption. Ad budgets are still catching up with the shift in audience, but the enormous growth we’re seeing in video inventory being traded programmatically suggests that advertisers are beginning to embrace mobile video as a highly effective branding tool.”
Nielsen is making its Digital Ad Ratings available through the Google DoubleClick demand-side platform internationally, to media buyers and sellers in Australia, Brazil, Canada and the U.K. Digital Ad Ratings has been available in the DoubleClick platform in the U.S. since December 2014. Nielsen is also expanding Digital Ad Ratings in more markets – in addition to recent launches in China, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Japan and Mexico, upcoming territories include India, Thailand and Malaysia. By the end of the year, the measurement company expects to be available in 16 international markets covering 95 percent of global digital ad spending.


 NIELSEN TWITTER TV TOP TEN for the week of 8/3-8/9. Program, Date, Unique Audience (000), Tweets (000)
Republican Presidential Candidates Debate
(Fox News) 8/6, 9,278, 3,293
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (Comedy Central), 8/6,
4,273, 233
Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family) 8/4,
2,405, 222
WWE Monday Night RAW (USA Network) 8/3,
2,372, 194
True Detective (HBO, HBO Latino) 8/9,
2,113, 194
CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock (ABC) 8/4,
1,506, 61
Teen Wolf (MTV) 8/3,
1,166, 219
The Kelly File (Fox News) 8/7,
1,071, 52
Bachelor in Paradise (ABC) 8/3,
962, 27
Big Brother (CBS) 8/6,
959, 106
Source: Nielsen. Nielsen Social captures relevant Tweets from three hours before through three hours after broadcast, local time. Unique Audience measures the audience of relevant Tweets ascribed to a program from when the Tweets are sent until the end of the broadcast day at 5am. The data includes new/live primetime and late fringe programming only and excludes sports events. For multicast events, networks are listed alphabetically and metrics reflect the highest Unique Audience across all airing networks.

PwC US Consumer Intelligence Series (CIS) released two new studies focusing on kids and teen’s consumption habits and content preferences. Titled “Media-savvy kids, teens want engaging stories on multiple devices” and “I’m the parent, that’s why! How parents influence what their kids watch,” the firm surveyed more than 500 kids/teens and 250 parents. Key findings include:

       While kids/teens begin to establish media content habits between the ages of 8-11, the12-18 age group is the primary demographic to engage and connect with, as well as to market to, as their interests, curiosity and social interaction further develops.

       Kids/teens largely prefer watching streamed TV (53 percent) or drama/reality shows on cable TV channels (47 percent), and playing video games (36%).

       After viewing streamed TV, kids ages 8-11 favor playing games, while teens 12-18 years old enjoy watching dramas/reality shows on cable.

       Live events and the news are the least favorite content among kids/teens of all ages.

       45 percent of kids/teens spend 16-20 hours consuming media content per week, driven by both 12-14 year olds (52 percent) and 15-18 year olds (52 percent). As they age, their media engagement increases; teens ages 15-18 spend three hours more weekly watching media than kids ages 8-11.

       Kids/teens learn about new programming mostly through commercials (33 percent) and also by recommendations from family and friends  both directly through word of mouth (23 percent) and online via social media (18 percent).


Research firm Ipsos appointed Margaret Kohler as Chief Financial Officer for North America. Prior to joining Ipsos, she was Chief Financial Officer of UBM Americas.

Greg Fawcett has joined Boingo Media as Director Of Strategic Partnerships, a new role for the company. He comes to Boingo from Politics-360/PopRule, a media consultancy whose clients included the President Barack Obama presidential campaign, AT+T and Microsoft.

Univision Communications hired Laraine (Rainey) Mancini as Senior Vice President, Finance – Head of Investor Relations. Mancini was previously Vice President, Corporate Strategy + Business Development and Vice President, Investor Relations at Time Warner Cable.

Performics, the performance-marketing network within ZenithOptimedia, named Joe Reinstein as Executive Vice President, Integrated Services. Reinstein is the former Senior Strategist within President Barack Obama’s administration.


Join us on October 15 to network and brainstorm with like-minded executives!

We have designed a gathering that will put you shoulder to shoulder with your peers  who are grappling with the same challenges keeping them up at 3am.

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McDonald’s and BETC Paris released a new spot that jumped on the emoji craze. The ad brings the cartoon expressions to life in a city of emoji people, and it’s sure to appeal to the target audience. Did it set new society #goals? You decide at www.cynopsis.com/#video.

See you tomorrow,
Jessica Reese  @JMarieReese

Roberta Caploe: Associate Publisher @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

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JOB OPENING: DIR of AUDIENCE ANALYTICS/The Big Ten Network/Chicago: Work w/Ad Sales, Prgrmng & Comms on reporting & analyzing BTN & mktplc TV ratings data. Req’s a strong knwlg of sports marketplace as a whole & understanding of Digital Media. Full info/apply HERE (8/15)

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JOB OPENING: HEAD WRITER/’90s Nickelodeon/NYC: Lead the creative multiplatform writing process for promotional and short-form video content. Generate ideas to push traditional boundaries. Strong sense ofhumor. 7 yrs exp. Resume to: Katie.Shesh@Nick.com (8/15)

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