08/28/15: Amazon Prime Instant Video launching in Japan; Nielsen getting a grip on Netflix; Discovery goes virtual reality



CYNOPSISDIGITAL
08.28.15

Good morning. It’s Friday August 28, 2015, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.

TODAY’S TOP NEWS

 
Amazon Prime Instant Video will launch in Japan in September. This announcement comes only days after Netflix announced that it would make its move into the country on Sept. 2. To access videos, Japanese consumers will need to be subscribers to Amazon Prime, which costs 3,900 yet annually ($32.50). Amazon Prime has been in Japan for a decade.
 
The BBC is considering the closure of its news channel but may instead decide to stream it to mobile devices, the Guardian reports. The audience for BBC News currently stands at around 8 million.
 
Apple TV’s next steps will apparently be unveiled on Sept. 9 at San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Center, according to Hoodline. It’s also expected the event will showcase the iPhone 6S.
 
Nielsen has been “scaling up a program” to measure Netflix and other online services such as Amazon Prime Instant Video and Hulu, the Wall Street Journal reports. Nielsen is now tracking almost 1,000 shows on such services, though its numbers don’t include “ratings for content viewed on tablets and phones” or “viewing of shows outside the U.S.” Nielsen reportedly aims to include measurement from tablets and mobile devices in the near future.
 
Hyper, a new app that offers up curated, short-form videos, has launched. The videos are broken down into different genres, such as tech, culture, style, and events around the world. Only about a dozen are debuted each day. Hyper was created with the assistance of a $1.1 million dollar seed round led by Advancit Capital, with participation by Lowercase Capital, Broadway Video Ventures, Freelance Ventures, and Mesa Ventures.

 
 
NEW PROGRAMMING + DEALS

 
Channel Frederator Network
has added more than 90 new channels featuring content creators from 11 different countries to its digital animation network in the last month. It now has more than 27 million subscribers and 2.6 billion views of its content.
 
Two sisters are launching a mockumentary web series, “All Downhill From Here” about, you guessed it, two sisters. The sisters in question though are not newbies to the screen: Lynne Adams starred on “Guiding Light” in the late 1960s and Brooke Adams has worked onscreen since the 1970s, notably in the film “Days of Heaven.” The pair play sisters who live on Martha’s Vineyard with one of them erroneously believing that she is dying and the other attempting to document her supposed final days.
 
truTV will host it first-ever “Impractical Jokers” live on Sept. 3 to mark the show’s 100th episode. Host Howie Mandel will oversee the show as it is aired from New York City’s South Street Seaport. The four Jokers have been training with Ringling Bros. clown Bello Nock for the show’s big dare: a high-wire walk five stories in the air above New York City.
 
Cox Communications has launched iPad app Flare Kids, which offers children free and ad-free access to clips and entire episodes from TV shows such as “Caillou,” “Sesame Street,” “SpongeBob SquarePants,” and “Doc McStuffins.” It has content from 10 networks and publishers, including PBS Kids, the Disney Channel, Nick Jr. and National Geographic Kids. No licensing agreements were forged. Cox is simply aggregating online video content found elsewhere. Flare Entertainment LLC is a Cox subsidiary and also runs video game service FlarePlay and My Flare.com, a media-centric cloud storage and synchronization service.


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ADVERTISING

 
Adaptly, Inc. announced it has been selected as a Facebook Marketing Partner with early Instagram Ads API access and has released software products for purchasing and managing paid media campaigns on Instagram. It is one of a small number of technology companies to have early access to the Instagram Ads API. Sears Holdings and ad agency Assembly are among the first of Adaptly’s clients to use the new products.
 
More proof that mobile is where it’s at came Thursday from a new market research report, "Cross Platform and Mobile Advertising Market by Advertising Platform, Solution, by End User, by Vertical, and by Geography – Forecast to 2020," published by MarketsandMarkets. The cross-platform and mobile advertising market is estimated to grow from $25.19 billion this year to $80.45 billion in 2020.
 
America’s Community Network, the nation’s first local community-based video network, has joined Digital Place Based Advertising Association after debuting its content in some Southern California McDonald’s this summer.
 
 

CONTENT MEDIA
 

The Facebook Moments app had its first major update Thursday and it now allows consumers to create mini music videos using pictures from their phones. The app auto-tags all your photos and groups them together in “moments” so you can share them with your Facebook friends. The app now will automatically create a music video for each Moment as long as its has at least six photos.
 
MTV
will become one of the first networks to fully integrate a live 360-degree virtual reality viewing experience, its plan for the net’s red carpet pre-show for the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards this Sunday, August 30th. Fans will be “placed” on the actual VMA red carpet through MTV’s All Access Live platform. MTV partnered with IM360 to create the immersive format.
 
Discovery Communications is also getting into the virtual-reality business. Discovery VR launched Thursday at DiscoveryVR.com and allows viewers to be more integrated into a variety of its programs. It launched with nine original short-form experiences that span subjects from gold mining to surfing and currently features content from Discovery and Science Channel franchises as well as Discovery Digital Networks brands.
 
 

RESEARCH

 
A 2015 study from the University of Texas Austin published in the Newspaper Research Journal, “Longer, Higher Quality Videos Preferred by News Viewers” examined the characteristics of video to gauge people’s preferences. The authors surveyed 107 people and found the following:
   People liked longer videos better than shorter ones. Long videos averaged 2.08 minutes in duration. Short videos averaged 24 seconds.
   When both quality and length were considered, people preferred long, high-quality videos to other types of video, including short, high-quality ones.
   A video’s quality influences what audience members think of a news organization, and having longer videos heighten that perception.

 
 
EXECUTIVE MOVES

 
Hulu hired Philip Matthys to head business affairs for Original series. Prior to joining Hulu, Matthys served as Senior Vice President, Head of Business Affairs at NBCUniversal.
 


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DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT OF THE DAY
 

“Difficult People” is returning to Hulu for a 10-episode second season. The half-hour comedy, which is co-produced by Amy Poehler, Dave Becky, Tony Hernandez, Scott King, and show creator and star Julie Klausner. Klausner and Billy Eichner star as New Yorkers who continually make life difficult for themselves. Check it out here.

See you tomorrow,
Mark Miller
08.28.15

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