10/12/17: Facebook announces standalone VR headset

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Good morning. It’s Thursday October 12, 2017 and this is your your first early morning Digital briefing!

TODAY’S CODEBREAKER

 
Last Click Attribution: Last click attribution is a web analytics model in which the “last click” – i.e., whichever digital ad or site touched a consumer most recently – gets the credit for a sale or conversion. Many ad pros believe that last-click attribution – which has long been a dominant attribution model in digital advertising – is overly simplistic. Google, for instance, has been working on an attribution model that assigns different values to various touchpoints along a consumer’s path to purchase.
 
 
JUST IN…
 
Pocket.watch, a multiplatform children’s media startup, just landed a pretty big name in kids’ animation. Butch Hartman, the creator of Nickelodeon shows such as Fairly OddParents and Danny Phantom, will work to develop three new original series for the company. He’ll once again be working with Albie Hecht: The former Nickelodeon President now serves as Pocket.watch’s Chief Content Officer. Under the deal, which is non-exclusive, Hartman will also be named as a senior creative consultant, providing creative guidance regarding the company’s digital channels, premium content, and creator partnerships.
 
At its Oculus Connect developers’ conference, Facebook unveiled its newest Oculus-branded headset – and it could be the next big thing in VR. The standalone device, called Oculus Go, won’t require either a PC or phone to run. It’ll cost only $199 – substantially less expensive than any non-mobile-based headsets currently on the market. (The fact that users won’t have to buy any hardware aside from the headset makes the price stand out even more.) The Oculus Go comes with integrated headphones, an LCD screen with a resolution of 2560×1440 pixels, and custom lenses that allow for a wide field of view. The headset will ship to developers next month, before rolling out to consumers in early 2018. CEO Mark Zuckerberg also said that Facebook is also working on a higher-end standalone headset; unlike the Oculus Go, it’ll enable positional tracking, and will therefore be able to support many of the same apps as the Oculus Rift. That device won’t ship to developers until next year.
 
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VIRTUAL + AUGMENTED REALITY
 
Also at the Oculus Connect conference, Disney’s Pixar announced its first-ever virtual reality experience. Called Coco VR, it’ll be available for the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR headsets. Coco VR will let users experience the world of Coco, Pixar’s upcoming animated feature film. The experience will be available for Rift users on November 15, and for Gear VR users on November 22 – the same day that Coco debuts in theaters. In keeping with the film’s Day of the Dead theme, Disney plans to preview Coco VR at various Dia de Los Muertos events in select U.S. cities later this month. Select theaters and Disney stores will also exhibit the experience.
 
 
OTT + SVOD
 
Hulu’s live TV service has added a channel guide to its web user interface. The service – technically still in beta – launched its dedicated web portal in August. According to a blog post from Hulu exec Ben Smith, many users had fretted over the absence of a TV channel guide – the kind that traditional pay-TV subs have access to. The guide tells users what’s currently on and what’s on next. Viewers can also use it to jump directly to a new channel. And in another new update, Hulu is creating curated areas in the service for NFL and college football games. The service will also automatically recommend games featuring teams that users have added to their “My Stuff” section. Hulu’s live TV service costs $39.99 per month. The subscription also includes access to Hulu’s standard SVOD content.
 
 
APPS + PLATFORMS
 
Pop star Taylor Swift is launching a new app, aimed squarely at her fans. Called The Swift Life, it’ll feature exclusive content such as shared music streaming, pictures, and chat messaging with Taylor Swift-themed emojis. Glu Mobile, a mobile games developer, is helping to build the app. A beta version will be released in select territories sometime soon. The app is set to launch globally – on both iOS and Android devices – before year’s end.
 
As first reported by The Independent, YouTube appears to be testing autoplay videos on the homepage of its mobile app. When users visit the app’s landing page, the top video will start playing immediately. And as they scroll down, subsequent videos will begin to play. (Sound and subtitles are still muted by default.) The autoplay feature, called Play As You Browse, seems to be active only on select devices. And The Independent reports that users can disable it, or choose for it to run only when their phones are connected to Wi-Fi.
 
Alexa can now tell voices apart: Amazon has begun rolling out customized voice detection for the Echo and other Alexa devices. Individuals in multi-person homes will now be able to receive personalized experiences – for instance, when it comes to music selection or shopping lists – based on voice recognition. Amazon isn’t the first company to introduce this kind of functionality: The Google Home smart speaker has had voice recognition features since April.   
 
 
BRAND INSIDER
 
Walmart Canada is launching its own scripted web series. Called Upstairs Amy, the dramedy will center on three modern women, with a thematic focus on parenthood among millennials. Shaftesbury will produce the series in partnership with the Canadian debit card company Interac, while the agency Ruckus Digital will take the lead on social content and media buying. The series will be available on YouTube later this fall.
 
Aww, that’s adorable – and just a little bit creepy. Pedigree has been using Facebook’s “masks” feature for its new mobile campaign. Part of Pedigree’s Feed the Good initiative, the new Adoptable Mask campaign supports National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month.  Using masks – Facebook’s augmented reality selfie tool – users can view images of themselves with the features of various dog breeds superimposed over their faces. If they see a face that catches their eye, they can then find shelters where they can adopt that breed. BBDO New York developed the campaign; it’s the first time the agency has made use of Facebook’s masks. 
 
 
MEASURING UP
 
Tubular Top Ten Global Sponsored Videos Monday, October 2, 2017 – Sunday, October 8, 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 October 2 – October 8. 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.
 
OpenSlate Engagement Data for the Auto & Vehicles vertical, based on the engagement metric for the week ending October 8
Channel (Engagement) / Monthly Views Total Subs / SlateScore
Motomobi (8.5) / 2,756,360 333,606 545
fulllux (8.5) / 3,993,226 642,287 532
VEHIX411 (8.4) / 356,949 18,039 393
TheSmokingTire (8.4) / 4,281,226 749,519 549
2500 NMR (8.4) / 6,553,115 / 227,970 / 540
ShowtimeSPL (8.4) / 83,837 27,510 367
Rafael MetalOmega (8.4) / 233,763 19,282 341
Авто Страсть (8.4) / 2,882,856 170,003 541
stillavinlive (8.4) / 5,258,973 896,614 593
PowerDrift (8.4) 6,046,868 546,063 551
Source: The Engagement metric is one of OpenSlate’s component scores, and is a measure of a producer’s ability to evoke meaningful interaction with their audience. It is calculated on a scale of 1-10 with higher being better. The OpenSlateEngagement score uses a subset of the data incorporated in
 
Tweet of the Week: @Lucas_Med27: Embarrassed and heartbroken #USMNT
Canvs, the emotion measurement company, analyzed tweets about TV and streaming programming from Oct. 4-10 using Twitter data from Nielsen. Insights from the 3,033,644 tweets expressing a specific Emotional Reaction (ER) include:
- Viewer happiness reigned supreme during the 2017 BET Hip Hop Awards, with people particularly thrilled to see Eminem back in action with his latest freestyle blasting President Trump.
- Viewers were overwhelmed by the beauty of Lindsey Stirling’s performance (both the dance and the heartfelt tribute she gave to her late father) on the most recent episode of Dancing With the Stars on ABC.
- American soccer fans were devastated when the U.S. men’s team lost to Trinidad and Tobago during the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifying match (which was simulcast on beIN Sports, UNIVERSO and streamed online), with some professing utter embarrassment at the performance.
- Congratulatory messages flowed freely after the Minnesota Lynx won the WNBA Championship, which was broadcast on ESPN. It was their fourth championship win in seven seasons.
- Canvs
 
 
EXECUTIVE MOVES
 
Netflix has peeled Monique Meche away from Amazon. She’ll serve as the streaming giant’s VP of Global Public Policy, overseeing the team that deals with regulatory, governmental, and public policy issues. That’s a pretty big job considering that Netflix is active in 190 countries. Meche will split her time between the Amsterdam and Washington, D.C. offices, according to the company. She’ll report David Hyman, the company’s top legal officer. At Amazon, where she worked for four years, Meche served as VP of International Public Policy.
 
Publicis Groupe has formed Publicis Spine, a new platform that combines the company’s technology, data, and digital talent into a single digital marketing platform. Publicis has been developing the unit for the past two years; it’s meant to help digital marketers and businesses target consumers on a more individual level. Lisa Donohue, most recently the Global Brand President of the Publicis agency Starcom, will serve as Publicis Spine’s inaugural CEO. Working under Donohue will be about 3,500 data scientists, engineers, analysts, and other tech pros. She’ll report to Publicis Media CEO Steve King and Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun. John Sheehy, Publicis Media’s former President of Global Clients, will succeed Donohue as Starcom’s Global Brand President.
 
 
TRIVIA
 
Our Last Trivia Question: The creator of U.K. series The Thick of It has helmed a number of other high-profile comedy projects – for instance, he created HBO’s Veep. What’s his name? Answer: Armando Iannucci. Kudos to Andy Pittman-TAMU/TX, Louis Lewow-Lewow Media Group/GA, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA, Lorrie Shilling/CA, and Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Enetertainment/CA
 
Follow-up: Which Veep actress also had a role in the Armando Iannucci-directed film In the Loop? (Email trivia@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)
 
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TV consumption among U.S. Hispanics is undergoing a major shift in both what’s being watched, and where. Crafting programming that gains a foothold with this growing and influential group, representing 18% of the country’s population is critical for media industry players.
 
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SHORT FORM SPOTLIGHT

Movie review aggregators like Rotten Tomatoes have become an increasingly crucial aspect of how consumers make their viewing decisions. And Rotten Tomatoes – acquired by Fandango last year – employs a more complex methodology than you might realize. In a new video, Vox examines just how the site arrives at its ratings. Watch here.

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