09/05/14: Vice reels in another $250M investment, AOL study: YouTube and video key to consumer purchases, Vimeo signs distribution deal with eOne


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


With a $250 million investment from A+E Networks just last month, Vice continued its streak and added another $250 million to its coffers from VC firm Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV). The New York Times reports Vice intends to use the $500 million to advance its technology and content production across 36 countries. Another major media company, BuzzFeed, recently received a $50 million investment from VC Andreessen Horowitz last month.
At the Toronto Film Festival yesterday, Vimeo announced a distribution agreement with Entertainment One (eOne): eOne’s catalog of more than 35,000 film and TV titles will be integrated into Vimeo on Demand. The first releases will include: Fort Bliss (Sept. 19), Catch Hell (Oct. 10), The Culture High (Oct. 17), A Merry Friggin Christmas (Nov. 7). In a separate deal, Vimeo will lead the worldwide release of the film The Culture High. “When we release The Culture High to North American audiences, Vimeo will empower the filmmaker to simultaneously amplify his work to our worldwide monthly audience of more than 170 million people,” Vimeo Vice president of Content Acquisitions and business Development Sam Toles told Cynopsis.
Disney’s multi-channel network Maker Studios made a deal with broadcasting network Modern Times Group to bring Maker’s content to Europe. MTG’s online ad-supported networks in Scandinavia, the Baltic States, Czech Republic, Hungary and Bulgaria will now have access to Maker’s 55,000 creators, including top talent PewDiePie (who is from Sweden). Maker is looking to grow its distribution outside the U.S. in light of the 70 percent international make-up of its viewers, Maker Executive Vice President of Business Development and operations Sam Wick said.
Pluto.TV launched a new channel dedicated to Beyonce this week in honor of the “Queen B’s” 33rd birthday. The channel will feature 24/7 programming of her music videos, live performances, fashion moments and movie clips.
Join us on October 16th for the Cynopsis Future TV Summit for a lively look at TV right now, from the perspective of content creators, sellers and advertisers. Early bird registration ends Friday, September 26! Register today to secure the lowest rate: http://www.cynopsisfuturetvsummit.com.


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Live-action comedy web series Video Game High School (VGHS) will return for the final installment in VGHS Season 3 on Oct. 13. Produced by Collective Digital Studio and Rocket Jump Studios, the third season will feature guest appearances from Conan O’Brien and other surprise cameos. The series has hit 84 million views in total. The first trailer for the new season can be seen on YT.
Above Average debuted a new series to parody what happens to Disney villains after their deaths. The show, called St. Peter Meets, includes six episodes with a new ep available every Thursday. Guest stars will include Orange is the New Black’s Lauren Lapkus, MTV Girl Code’s Nicole Byer and others. The first ep featuring The Little Mermaid’s antagonist “Ursula” is available now to view on the Above Average’s site.
announced sponsors for its new singing competition Va Por Ti, including Bochringer Ingelheim (BI), which will back the digital companion after-show La Revancha (Afterlife). The competition series, shown on Univision’s site, will give eliminated contestants a chance to be voted back onto the show.
Cartoon Network expanded its five-year bullying prevention campaign Stop Bullying: Speak Up in a new mobile call-to-action. CN is asking kids, parents, educators and others to create and share a video saying, “I speak up.” In return, the network will air select videos during Speak Up Week (Sept. 29-Oct. 3).
Want to win a two-night stay at the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas? Then come to the Cynopsis Kids Business Summit on Sept. 8 in NYC and enter; we’ll choose the lucky winner at the event. Register here: http://www.cynopsiskidssummit.com.


and video is the key to moving consumers toward purchase, according to the latest AOL social media advertising study conducted with Convertro measurement tech. The research showed that YouTube was the strongest of the social networks at introducing new products (18 percent) and driving conversations (14 percent), while Facebook came in second: 11 percent in presenting new products and 10 percent in closing sales. When it came to organic vs. paid social media, paid social led to 25 percent more conversions than organic social marketing.
Millard Brown Digital
released the top 50 sites for July, based on digital behavior from more than two million consumers. The sites that made the top ten include:
Rank/Domain/Unique Visitors/MoM Growth/YoY Growth
1. Google.com / 177,032,229 / -1.75% / 3.81%
2. Yahoo.com / 171,974,434 / -1.31% / 4.67%
3. Facebook.com / 167,345,887 / 0.51% / 2.12%
4. YouTube.com / 166,427,373 / -0.85% / 2.49%
5. Bing.com / 160,078,172 / -1.38% / -0.77%
6. Amazon.com / 122,902,802 / -0.78% / -6.03%
7. Live.com / 118,995,891 / -4.37% / 32.08%
8. Wikipedia.org / 88,106,172 / -1.23% / 0.42%
9. Msn.com / 85,218,319 / -5.61% / -6.22%
10. Microsoft.com / 75,336,773 / -35.26% / -7.81%


Vevo named David Rice to the newly created position of Chief Product Officer. Rice was previously the Senior Vice President/General Manager of CBS Interactive’s Games Division.
Dstillery hired Anne Tourtillott as the new Sales Director, Detroit. She was the founder of 313 Digital and former Director of New Business and Development for Monster Worldwide.
Jupiter Entertainment promoted Victoria Drew to the position of Manager of Social Media and Promotions. Drew had been an Associate Producer at the production company.
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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In memory of Joan Rivers, who passed away yesterday at the age of 81, check out this clip of the comedian on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1967 in which she discusses the woes of being single. www.cynopsis.com/#.

See you tomorrow,
Jessica Reese  @JMarieReese

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