09/12/14: Verizon’s web TV service expected by mid-2015, YouTube’s video advertising revenue estimated to hit $1.13B, Gilmore Girls will land on Netflix Oct. 1


Good morning. It’s Friday, September 12, 2014, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


With Sony’s announcement of a deal with Viacom and its expected web TV service, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam shared more details of his company’s similar plan. McAdam hinted at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference that the streaming service would be available mid-2015, and will offer users “the Big Four for sure,” as well as digital media “that really goes after Millennials.” Although Verizon has not announced any content provider deals like Dish and Sony, he alluded, “There’s no doubt in my mind we can make it a win-win…over the last six months to a year, that dialogue has changed dramatically.” Additionally, he predicted an end to pay TV bundles in the near future: “No one wants to have 3000 channels on their wireless. Everyone understands it will go to a la carte. The question is, what does that transition look like?” 21st Century Fox COO Chase Carey chimed in that Fox has its eye on Internet pay TV services, too. “We’re engaged with a lot of players and excited about the opportunities,” said Carey at the same conference.
Netflix swept up the seven seasons of Gilmore Girls in an exclusive pact with Warner Bros. Television. All 153 episodes will be available on Oct. 1. The series originally ran on The WB network from 2000-2006, and ended on The CW in 2007.
struck a deal with digital publishing platform issuu to roll out the Custom Themes design to give publishers another way to distribute content. Fashion pubs Daily Front Row, V Magazine, Heaven Has Heels and Bello Magazine are the first to use the format in time for New York Fashion Week. The Custom themes include three prominent promotional units for a publisher’s most recent magazine, a presenting sponsor spot and a section for branded content video. “As we learned more about the potential of the Tumblr platform, we grew excited not only about the user experiences that can be built with Tumblr but also about how content engagement can shape the relationship between publishers and their brand partners,” Issuu CEO Joe Hyrkin said.


YouTube is expected to hit $1.13 billion in video advertising revenue this year, a 39 percent increase from the year prior, according eMarketer. However, YT may not improve its market share in the U.S. in the next three years, since most of its videos are too short and user-generated to monetize. Jefferies & Co. recently estimated the site’s net revenue was $2.8 billion. Combined with Google, the video giant could be worth between $26 billion and $40 billion.
Microsoft is looking to put game play onto PC web browsers by running Xbox 360 and Xbox One games on its Azure cloud network. If the testing proves successful, games could stream on any browser or on smartphones and other devices. OnLive and Steam home streaming are two services that currently put gaming on PC browsers.
Leslie Bibb (Iron Man) has joined Amazon Studios comedy pilot Salem Rogers: Model of the year 1998. Written by Lindsey Stoddart (The Ring) the show will follow a self-centered former supermodel who leaves rehab and reconnects with a former assistant. Amazon also announced that Lyndsey Fonseca will star in another comedy pilot, Down Dog, for its fourth pilot season.
British TV streaming service Acorn TV will add the U.S. premiere of ANZAC Girls, a new Australian six-part drama. The miniseries is currently airing in Australia, and will debut an episode on Acorn TV starting Oct. 6 until Nov. 10. Acorn TV content can be viewed at Acorn.TV, via its Apple app and on its Roku channel.


Humor site Break.com (eight million unique monthly visitors) launched its app on Xbox 360 and the Xbox ONE. The app will feature original and user-generated video content, including eps of Honest Trailers, Man at Arms, Speakeasy and more content from DEFY Media.


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In a blog update yesterday, Facebook introduced two new updates to its newsfeed: First, taking into account the specific reason that people are hiding ads in their newsfeed. Second, FB is paying more attention to people who don’t often hide ads, so that when they do, it’s acknowledged as a more serious signal. Product Manager Max Eulenstein said, “Our goal is to show our users ads that we think they’ll find interesting. When someone sees an ad that’s relevant to them, it’s a good experience for them as well as the marketer trying to reach them.”
Volkswagen is teaming with Funny or Die and Target to promote its new Golf. A three-minute video showing a bachelor on a shopping spree in the aisles of the retailer, starring Funny or Die regular Rob Huebel, is airing online, with sneak peeks appearing during TBS’s Conan. “Funny or Die is one of the most recognized and sought-after brands in comedy today,” said Vinay Shahani, VP marketing, Volkswagen of America, “so we knew they would be the perfect partner to amplify Volkswagen’s unique sense of humor.”


National Geographic appointed Mark Francis Vice President, Commissioning and Regional Programming and promoted Maggie Rhodes to Vice President, Global Acquisitions and Co-Productions. Nat Geo’s marketing group promoted Emanuele Madeddu to Senior Vice President, Marketing and Creative. Francis joins NGC from Fox International Channels Asia-Pacific and Middle East, where he was Vice President, Production and Development for unscripted/factual entertainment.
Turner Broadcasting promoted Michael Ouweleen to Chief Marketing Officer for Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang. He was most recently the Senior Vice President and Executive Creative Director for Cartoon Network’s Creative Group.
Entertainment Studios named JD Black as Senior Vice President of Global Digital Marketing. Previously, Black was Senior Vice President, Marketing at Sony Pictures Interactive.
Mercury Media hired Andrew McLean as Chief Executive Officer. He most recently worked in the digital and entertainment at Inventus Media, Deluxe and Zonza.
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.


A new ad from Finland agency Havas Worldwide illustrates a child’s fixation with holding his breath. In each progressing scene, he holds his breath over longer periods of time. Without spoiling the ending, check out how The Breath Holder’s ability comes in handy…and exhale. www.cynopsis.com/#video.

See you tomorrow,
Jessica Reese  @JMarieReese

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