09/28/17: Amazon rolls out updated Fire TV, Echo devices

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Good morning. It’s Thursday September 28, 2017 and this is your your first early morning Digital briefing!


Redirected Walking (Virtual Reality): Redirected walking is a technique that’s used to expand the size of a virtual reality world by imperceptibly rotating or reorienting the virtual environment. Users will unknowingly compensate for changes to the scene by repositioning themselves.
Amazon unveiled some new gadgets. The second-generation Echo, now on sale, costs $99. (Consumers can also choose to buy a three-pack of Echoes for $249.) The new Echo is smaller than the original, and comes with a gray fabric exterior. Amazon also rolled out the Echo Plus, a $150 device that includes a smart home hub that can interact with devices such as internet connected light bulbs. There’s also the Echo Spot, a $130 device that comes equipped with a circular screen. One other nifty new update to the Echo: Amazon is introducing multi-room audio, enabling users who have more than one Echo device to play synchronized music in multiple rooms. Finally, in addition to the new Echo devices, Amazon introduced a new $70 version of its Fire TV streaming box. The new Fire TV supports HDR and 4K video streaming, as well as Dolby Atmos surround sound.
WPP’s GroupM has launched Finecast, a new business that will build and sell addressable TV advertising products. Finecast will cater to agencies and advertisers. It will also partner with media companies to develop and deploy new addressable TV products, including measurement tools. The unit is now active in the U.K.; Jakob Nielsen, previously the managing director of GroupM Digital in the U.K., is Finecast’s inaugural CEO.
It’s no secret that Google uses its data to target display ads toward specific users. But the company also lets users report ads they don’t want to see again, selecting from choices such as “Ad was inappropriate,” “Seen this ad multiple times,” “Not interested in this ad,” and “Ad covered content.” As a Reddit user just noticed, a new option has now been added: “Ad knew too much.” It’s a sign that the ever-increasing personalization of digital ad targeting can make some users uncomfortable. Though interestingly enough, some Redditors suspect ulterior motives. They point out that, by selecting the “knew too much” option, users are unwittingly providing Google with a valuable service: They’re letting the company know when its data is on point.
Registration is now open!
The 5th Annual Cynopsis Digital Awards Luncheon
November 10 | Tribeca’s ThreeSixty, NYC | 12pm – 2pm
Cynopsis Digital will bring together this year’s finalists and industry peers to honor their excellence in online video content, advertising, and talent. It’s a terrific opportunity to mingle and share insights with digital media’s movers and shakers. Take a peek at the finalists and honorees here and register your team!
For event questions, contact Cathy Pearson
For sponsorship opportunities, contact Mike Farina

Hulu will soon be the exclusive SVOD home to 30 Rock, the Tina Fey-helmed sitcom that ran between 2006 and 2013. Hulu’s rights to the series come via a new deal with NBCUniversal Television and New Media Distribution. (NBCU is a part-owner of Hulu.) All episodes of the series hit Hulu on October 1. As part of the NBC deal, Hulu also landed the rights to four other shows: Parenthood, the reality shows Made in Chelsea and Face Off, and There’s…Johnny! About that last one: There’s…Johnny!, a period comedy created by Mad About You star Paul Reiser, had originally been slated for Seeso, NBCU’s comedy-oriented SVOD service. The series had to find another home when, last month, Seeso announced that it would soon shut down.
Sports-centric OTT TV service fuboTV announced a multi-year agreement with MSG Networks. The deal will make fuboTV the first live-streaming TV service to feature MSG’s regional sports nets, MSG and MSG+. Fubo says the networks will be available “in the coming days” to subscribers of Fubo Premiere, the service’s base package of over 65 channels.
Netflix has started production on Busted!, its first South Korean variety show. Netflix is calling the series “an unconventional variety game show in which every episode features stars solving a mystery.” It’s not Netflix’s first project in South Korea; among other Korean projects, the service has already announced production of the upcoming series Kingdom, a Korean zombie thriller.
Playbuzz, a content startup that distributes branded content and develops tools for the creation of interactive media, just raised $35 million in a new Series C funding round. Viola Growth led the round, while a number of existing investors participated. Returning investors included Saban Ventures, Carmel Ventures, Firstime, Oded Vardi, 83North, and, most notably, Disney. (Disney participated in Playbuzz’s March 2016 funding round, which raised $15 million.) Playbuzz says it will use the new funding to expand its branded content efforts.
The stage is set for the 5th Annual Cynopsis Digital Awards. Join us as we celebrate the newest additions to the Cynopsis Digital “It List” and honor the winners of our Model D Awards. This year’s event will take place on November 10 at NYC’s Tribeca 360 from 12 pm to 2 pm. Guest presenters include comedian Randy Rainbow and actor and activist Oliver Trevena. Register by 10/31!
Twitch, the live-streaming specialist owned by Amazon, has named a new GM of Global Content Development and Emerging Markets. The role goes to Kendra Johnson, who most recently served as Head of Distribution and Strategic Partnerships at Disney’s Maker Studios. At Twitch, Johnson will oversee global content acquisition efforts, and will work to drive business in the Asia-Pacific and Latin America regions. She’ll also oversee Twitch’s regional content development teams. Johnson reports to John Howell, Twitch’s VP of Global Partnerships.
David Lopez has joined Condé Nast Entertainment, Conde Nast’s digital video arm. He’ll serve as VP of Branded Content Video, a newly created role. Lopez most recently served as Head of Global Business and Brand Content Partnerships Development at Vice Media. In his new positions, he’ll manage production and oversee creative for CNE’s branded content programming. He’ll report to Croi McNamara, CNE’s SVP of Programming for digital video.
FoxNext, the Fox Networks/20th Century Fox division focused on next-gen media like virtual reality and video games, has made a new hire. Marc Zachary will serve as SVP of Business Development for FoxNext Destinations. He’ll be tasked with building partnerships and business deals relating to theme parks and location-based entertainment. Zachary most recently served as VP of Business Development and Operations for Disney Consumer Products and Interactive. He’ll now join a media entity that’s barely out of infancy; FoxNext launched at the beginning of this year.
Tubular Top Ten Global Sponsored Videos Monday, September 18, 2017 – Sunday, September 24, 2017. Based on Tubular Video Ratings measuring 8 million video publishers, 3 billion videos, and 400 million viewers. Sponsored videos are ranked by V3, total views in the first three days after upload.
SHAREABLEE SOCIAL TV RATINGS: Top 10 U.S. Primetime and Streaming Shows for September 18 – September 24. Based on Shareablee’s Video Power Index (VPI), which combines viewing, consumer interactions and audience scale across all active platforms, and includes the video performance of primetime and streaming shows.

Source: Shareablee Inc. The total actions metric includes the total volume of post-level likes, shares, favorites, retweets and comments across social platforms.
Tweet of the week: @yeldahnosnaws: HAHAHA this finale #BB19
Canvs, the emotion measurement company, analyzed tweets about TV and streaming programming from Sept. 20-26 using Twitter data from Nielsen. Insights from the 2,953,702 tweets expressing a specific Emotional Reaction (ER) include:
– Viewers were laughing hard during the season 19 finale of Big Brother on CBS, with many finding it funny that once again housemate Paul came in second place (he had previously been the runner-up on BB18).
– Fans were weeping during the series finale of MTV’s hit show Teen Wolf, with many lamenting a future without their favorite characters and storylines.
– NFL fans really enjoyed the Monday Night Football matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals on ESPN, with many applauding wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald’s prowess.
– Viewers were truly excited for the return of tear-jerking NBC drama This Is Us, with some even going as far as to say they were ready (and even eager!) to cry.
The documentary film Long Strange Trip, which made its Amazon Video debut in June, focuses on which rock band? (Email trivia@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)
Ashton Kutcher stars in which Netflix series? Answer: The Ranch. Kudos to Andrew Bellamy-Producers Guild of America/NY, Andy Pittman-TAMU/TX, John Ferlazzo-London, U.K., Stephanie Komure-Voice Actress/CA, Matthew Wilson-RXR/NY, Karen Van Vleet-Horizon Media/NY, Jason Neureiter-Arqiva/NY, John Tingue-CBS Television Stations/IL, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA, Lorrie Shilling/CA, Susan Nessanbaum-Golbdberg-M and S Entertainment/CA, Stephanie Ann-Inside Lacrosse/MD, and Aaron Paquette-Screen Engine/ASI/TX
Thursday, October 12 @ 1:30 pm ET

In Cynopsis’ newest live online event, we’re examining the major shift in both what’s being watched and where with this demo that represents 18% of the country’s population. With buying power topping $1.5 trillion in 2017, it is critical for media industry players to craft programming that reaches this growing and influential group. Check out our expert panel here!

Conan O’Brien’s recently chauffeured Tom Cruise around the streets of London; the results are not to be missed. Check out the segment here.
Roberta Caploe
Diane K Schwartz
Senior Vice President
Media Communications Group
Cynopsis Ad Sales
Mike Farina | 203-218-6480
VP, Sales
Cynopsis Job Listings Sales
Trish Pihonak | 203-899-8459
Director of Operations
CYNOPSISJOBS – For More jobs, please visit Cynopsis.com
JOB OPENING: ACCOUNT EXEC/Machinima/Burbank: Resp for driving ad sales efforts & reaching ad sales targets for Machinima, the premiere digital video programmer of gamer & fandom-focused content. 3-4 yrs exp digital media sales w/in a content-driven publisher, ent/media co. or ad agency. Full info/apply HERE (10/5)

JOB OPENING: PRODUCER CREATIVE SERVICES/SpectrumNetworksNY1/NYC: Produce on-air promo spots & campaigns, from initial concept to finished prod. 3yrs media exp,producing on-air promo spots, media sales billboards & tagged spots.TV news exp pref’d.  Exp working with cross functional teams. Full info/apply HERE (10/5)

SCHEDULING COORDINATOR/GSN/Santa Monica: Dist prog. Schedule grids, Monthly VOD planners, artwork & folder structures, coord. & maintaining schedule & databases & admin duties; online rsrch. Excellent attention to details; Knwldg of Excel & all Microsoft applications; College deg req; Send Res/CL: HERE (10/4)

JOB OPENING: ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE/WMAQ TV/Chicago: Dynamic Account Executive to join the Local Sales team. Own, manage, and develop relationships with clients, agencies and advertisers through day-day interaction. Min 5 yrs exp sales and/or mktg roles. Full info/apply HERE (10/4)
JOB OPENING: VP CONTENT/FlyQuest/LA: Out of the box thinker who thinks strategically and sets directions aligned to company’s strategy, applying external perspective to meet business needs. 8+ yrs’ exp working in a content strategy & editorial function, pref in the gaming, digital or ent space. Full info/apply HERE (10/4)

JOB OPENING: SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR/FlyQuest/LA: Execute SM strategy ensuring goals are met by team and content is continuously optimized for key aud segments. Min 6 yrs of exp in custom social media content creation, digital Exp w/pd search & pd social a must. Full info/apply HERE (10/4)

DIR CONTENT PRODUCTION/NYC/Eko: Pioneer of interactive serial video entertainment. Manage creative dev and prod for all scripted interactive series. Define processes and manage team to achieve goals. More details http://bit.ly/2fLBlhq. Resume to melanie@helloeko.com (10/3)

NEWS DIRECTOR/KUVN 23/Dallas: Forward thinking, creative and exp’d candidate to lead news operation in fast-paced media mkt. High level of news judgment, journalistic integrity & people mngmnt skills. Digital knwldg a must. 10yrs exp facets of TV news prod, writing, editing, camera ops & reporting. Full info/apply HERE (10/3)

JOB OPENING: AD SALES ASSISTANT/GSN/NY: Deal maintenance, traffic, mtg. prep., and admin duties; Excellent math skills; Knowledge of gen media terms; Strong knowledge of Microsoft programs incl. Excel, PP, MS Word and Outlook is req.; College deg req; Send Res and CL to tvcareers@gsn.com (10/3)

JOB OPENING: CFO/NYC Production Co: Direct financial planning & analysis. Corporate & production operating review, forecast & budgets. Manage systems, provide leadership & expertise to accounting dept. Must understand fast paced TV prod. 10+ yrs exp.  Resume/cover & for full info: HERE (10/3)

JOB OPENING: SENIOR JAVA SCRIPT ENGINEER/Fox News Channel/NYC: Lead dvlpmnt of high traffic JavaScript apps and implement front end user design defining behavior of visual element. Develop new software applications from concept to finish. 3+ year of expert level JavaScript dvlpmnt. Full info/apply HERE (9/30)

DIR, DIGITAL ANALYTICS/A+E Networks/NY: Oversee reporting & analysis for A+E Networks’ portfolio, drive growth in Digital business by delivering recommendations that influence content, prod. & distribution strategy across the organization.  Full Info/Apply HERE (9/30)

JOB OPENING: SALES ASSOCIATE PROGRAM/NBCU/NYC: Accelerated development exp for early-career sales professionals. This highly competitive program identifies outstanding aspiring media sales professionals who bring diverse backgrounds to the org. Min 1-5 yrs exp work exp, sales related pref’d. Full info: HERE (9/30)
JOB OPENING: SALES PLANNER, AD SALES/Outdoor Channel/CHI: 2 yrs exp. sales asst or media plan’r/buyer. Resp for dvlpmnt/fulfillment of integrated media plans, all platforms. Monitor/steward accounts, support Account Execs w/mktg, rsrch projects. Solid understanding of media math. Wide Orit exp a +. Full info/apply HERE (9/30)

JOB OPENING: DIGITAL ACCOUNT MANAGER/FOX/Chicago: Ownership of post-sale client relationship. Responsible for creation of all proposals/media plans. 2-5 years’ operating in an Agency- Account Management role. Digital Advertising experience preferred. Full info/apply HERE (9/29)

JOB OPENING: MANAGER, S ALES OPERATIONS/NBCU NBC Owned Stations/NYC: Responsible for managing various systems, tools and processes to support traffic, sales, research, finance & mktg users across our division. 2+ yrs at a station, similar sales operations function, or a related vendor role. Full info/apply HERE (9/29)

JOB OPENING: DIGITAL SPECIALIST/NYRA/NYC: Act as primary web editor for daily updates. Maint both NYRA.com & BelmontStakes.com. Asst Social Media team w/mngmnt of social media channels. BA deg & 2-4 yrs work exp req’d. Exp w/CMS Sys, SEO, SEM, basic HTML, Photoshop, InDesign & Illustrator. Full info/apply HERE (9/29)

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