09.08.15 Good morning. It’s Tuesday September 8, 2015, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.
Watcheroo Premieres and Tune-in Alerts for September 7-13:
– People Now at People.com, Monday-Friday at 8:30a ET and 11:30a ET: Guests include TV personality Whitney Thore (My Big Fat Fabulous Life), actress Ashley Madekwe (Salem), TV chef Buddy Valastro (Cake Boss), talk show host Wendy Williams (The Wendy Williams Show), TV personality Jill Zarin (The Real Housewives of New York City), country music singer Brett Eldredge, actor Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) and “The Bachelor Dudes” (Bachelor in Paradise)
– Hulu: The third season of The Awesomes debuts today, September 8
Go90, Verizon’s much-anticipated mobile OTT video service, is debuting soon. Maybe *this week* soon. And maybe even today soon. The telco giant launched a splash page for Go90 last week, urging customers to “go90 to watch, cut & share all the awesome.” Variety caught another interesting detail: ever-so-briefly, the website’s customer agreement included this tidbit: “Effective date: September 8, 2015.” The date was swiftly removed, and Verizon hasn’t commented on when Go90 will launch. We might know very soon.
Speaking of Go-90, Verizon just bagged a ton of a ton of new digital content. The company has inked a deal with Machinima: Starting in 2016, the multi-channel network, known for its YouTube channel, will supply Go90 with 100 hours of original programming, as well as 40 hours of curated content. Meanwhile, Machinima is launching Machinima Studios, a division devoted to original content creation.
Amazon is paying about $500 million to acquire Elemental Technologies, a service that makes high-speed video encoding and transcoding software to enable content delivery across different devices. Customers of Elemental include CBS, Comcast, and ESPN.
The multi-channel network Endemol Beyond USA has partnered with Pizza Hut to launch esports competition show Legends of Gaming, the first original series on Smasher Network, Endemol’s upcoming eSports vertical. Legends of Gaming is based on Endemol’s British series of the same name. The show premieres on October 7, viewable on platforms including YouTube, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Vessel.
On August 25, Ovation announced two content deals: The arts-oriented network expanded its partnership with YouTube film critic David Poland, committing to 30 new episodes of Celebrity Conversations. The network also acquired content from fashion production company Videofashion. The deal called for Videofashion to supply Ovation with existing programming from its library and produce an original weekly news series. Caitlin Oliver-Gans, Videofashion’s Director of Content Strategy and Distribution, recently explained the partnership to Cynopsis: “We consider [Ovation] to be exactly where arts meets entertainment,” she said. Videofashion’s weekly series, titled Video Fashion News, premiered Friday, September 4 on Ovation.
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Play enough video games, and you’re bound to snag a high score or two. Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg’s YouTube channel became the first in history to rack up 10 billion views. His first publicly available video was released less than five years ago, in October 2010.
Well that’s fortunate. Netflix settled on the top brass for its adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s fantasy book series A Series of Unfortunate Events. Former True Blood showrunner Mark Hudis will serve as executive producer and showrunner; Barry Sonnenfeld will executive produce and direct. Netflix has yet to announce a production schedule.
More Netflix news: The streaming service has cast a new villain for upcoming superhero series Marvel’s Luke Cage. Mahershala Ali, whose credits include The Hunger Games: Mockingjay and the Netflix series House of Cards, will take on the role of Cornell Stokes, AKA Cottonmouth. The series debuts in 2016.
Get ready for Chrome 45. Google announced a new version of its web browser, and it’s got some notable updates. In Chrome 45, tabs will be restored from most to least recently viewed, so more important tabs will be seen faster. And when Chrome 45 detects that a computer is running low on resources, the browser will save on memory by ceasing to restore tabs that aren’t in use. Chrome45 can also detect when webpages aren’t being used, using the free time to clean up unused memory. And Chrome 45 will auto-freeze Flash videos deemed un-essential to a webpage.
Call for submissions: Please send submissions for Watcheroo, the digital programming guide on Cynopsis.com, to DTeich@accessintel.com. Programming includes digital premieres, ongoing shows, live-streamed events and linear TV digital integrated series.
Google’s heading back East. Tech news site The Information reports that the company will be making the Google Play app available to Chinese users as early as this fall. It may not be the most lucrative re-introduction, at least at first: According to the report, Google won’t be selling any digital media through Google Play. Chinese customers have had little access to Google’s app store since the company withdrew from the country in 2010 as a result of cyber attacks. According to The Information, Google will be complying with China’s strict censorship laws, and offering publishers a larger revenue share than other app stores.
Facebook Messenger narrowly overtook YouTube as the second-most used mobile app, according to comScore’s most recent U.S. market report. Facebook still reigns as #1, and looks unlikely to be dethroned anytime soon. Top fifteen below:
1. Facebook (Reach percentage: 73.3%)
2. Facebook Messenger (Reach Percentage: 59.5%)
3. YouTube (Reach percentage: 59.3%)
4. Google Search (Reach percentage: 52.0%)
5. Google Play (Reach percentage: 51.8%)
6. Google Maps (Reach percentage: 50.6%)
7. Pandora Radio (Reach percentage: 43.9%)
8. Gmail (Reach percentage: 43.4%)
9. Instagram (Reach percentage: 38.7%)
10. Yahoo Stocks (Reach percentage: 31.1%)
11. Apple Maps (Reach percentage: 28.2%)
12. Amazon Mobile (Reach %: 26.1%)
13. Twitter (Reach percentage: 25.7%)
14. Apple Music (Reach percentage: 24.1%)
15. Snapchat (Reach percentage: 21.9%)
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Cynopsis Kids !magination Awards Breakfast Three reasons not to miss the fourth annual event: 1) Celebrate the Winners and industry achievements of 2015 (view finalist list) 2) Hear from programming pioneers from Amazon Studios, Cartoon Network, Disney Channels Worldwide and Nickelodeon Group 3) Network with the industry’s best executives
Wednesday, September 2, Netflix’s first feature film debuted at the Venice Film Festival to glowing reviews. Beasts of no Nation, starring Idris Elba as a ruthless African warlord, hits theaters and Netflix on October 16. Netflix released the official trailer on Friday, September 4. Check it out here.
See you tomorrow,
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