10/13/17: Study: Influencers continue to trend away from Snapchat

Good morning. It’s Friday October 13, 2017 and this is your your first early morning Digital briefing!


Tracking URL: A tracking URL is a special URL that’s used to track certain elements when a link is clicked on. Tracking URLs are most frequently designed to track elements of a paid ad campaign; they can be used to learn where clicks on links are coming from, to determine conversion rates from visitors to customers, and to assess other aspects of pay-per-click advertising.
It’s official: Disney has launched Movies Anywhere, a new app and digital locker service that lets users download and view movies on any of their devices. As Bloomberg previously reported, Disney won’t be the only film studio with movies on the app; Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. Entertainment, and Twentieth Century Fox are on board as well. While Disney owns the service, it will also consult on an advisory committee made up of members of the other studios. The service is backed by Amazon Video, iTunes, Vudu, and Google Play; users can redeem titles through any of the four digital retailers.  At launch, over 7,300 movies are available for download.
Magic Leap looks like it’s about to raise more money – a lot of it. The mixed reality startup, which has been building a pair of glasses that can integrate advanced graphics into real-world environments, has filed an amended certificate of incorporation. The new filing will authorize the company to issue up to 37 million shares of a new class of stock, at a price of $27 per share. The filing was first noticed by CB Insights. If the company were to sell all of those new shares, it would raise over $1 billion. (Of course, there’s no telling just how many shares Magic Leap will end up selling.) The new stock maneuvers come just one month after Bloomberg reported on Magic Leap’s efforts to raise roughly $500 million from Temasek Holdings and others. Magic Leap has already raised over $1.3 billion
Facebook’s Oculus is unlikely to turn VR into a subscription business anytime soon, VP of Content Jason Rubin told Variety. Rubin argued that creating a subscription service would inevitably lead to a scenario in which publishers with popular products stuck with the pay-to-download model, while only mediocre content made its way onto the subscription platform. Of course, not everyone in the industry has decided to forego the subscription model: HTC’s Viveport service, which offers both games and cinematic VR experiences, launched earlier this year. 
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Time Inc. has launched a new native advertising tool in partnership with Google. Called Adapt Video, the new product uses Google’s DoubleClick native ad tool to deliver outstream video ads across Time Inc.’s owned-and-operated properties.
The TV network Ovation has launched a new multi-platform VOD service. Called Journy, the service focuses on cultural tourism. Journy has already acquired titles such as the Jared Leto-directed docu-series Great Wide Open, and Droned, a series focused on drone technology. At launch, Journy is available for Roku devices, and on the connected-TV platform Xumo.
Skybound Entertainment, the entertainment company founded by The Walking Dead-creator Robert Kirkman, is partnering with a quirky live-streaming startup called Toonstar. The Toonstar app – which only launched this week – lets users “become” cartoon characters with the help of facial recognition technology. Users can then live-stream animated videos from the app, and interact with fans through real-time chats. Later in the year, Skybound will run exclusive live shows on the app. The shows will be based on three or four of Skybound’s comic book properties; the company hasn’t said whether The Walking Dead will be included.
Hulu has gained the exclusive streaming rights to Veni Vidi Vici, a Swedish comedy series. The rights come from Viaplay, the Nordic streaming service owned by Swedish digital media company MTG. The series, which is produced by Rafael Edholm, debuted on Viaplay in April. It’ll come to Hulu in December.
In other Hulu news, the service has set an October 16 premiere date for the full-series run of Futurama. The Matt Groening-created animated comedy series, set 1,000 years in the future, aired on Fox from 1999-2003. Four films followed, along with two additional seasons that ran on Comedy Central between 2010 and 2013. Hulu gained the streaming rights to all 140-episodes – and the four films – in June, as part of a non-exclusive streaming pact with Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution. The pact also covered the rights to Bob’s Burgers, The Cleveland Show, and past episodes of American Dad.
Influencers continue to trend away from Snapchat. That’s the takeaway from a new study by Mediakix, a social media marketing company. Mediakix found that Stories usage among influencers declined by 33% over the sixth-month period that ended in August. The company also found that influencers are posting on Instagram Stories twice as often as they’re posting on Snapchat Stories. Admittedly, the study was a bit narrow: It focused on twelve high-profile influencers over the course of a 30-day period in August, then compared the findings to comparable figures gathered from the same twelve influencers six months earlier.
Redbox has named Jason Kwong as its Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer. The company, known for its DVD rental kiosks, says it now averages over one million rentals daily. Kwong most recently served as SVP of Program Planning and Acquisitions at the digital media company Fullscreen Media. Specifically, he oversaw content acquisitions for the company’s SVOD service. Fullscreen has seen a bit of upheaval lately, last month announcing plans to lay off 3% of its workforce. The company said the layoffs came as part of a refocusing effort surrounding the SVOD service’s original content.
The ad-supported video service Tubi has hired Adam Lewinson. Lewinson will serve as Chief Content Officer; he’ll take the lead on growing the young service’s content catalogue. Lewinson will lead the company’s Los Angeles office, which is scheduled to open soon. He joins Tubi after two years at Sony’s Crackle, where he led both programming and marketing efforts.
Cheo Hodari Coker created which Netflix series? (Email trivia@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.
Our Last Trivia Question: Which Veep actress also had a role in the Armando Iannucci-directed film In the Loop? Answer: Anna Chlumsky. Kudos to Andrew Bellamy-Producers Guild of America/NY, Andy Pittman-TAMU/TX, Matt Balaban-NBCUniversal/NY, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, Lorrie Shilling/CA, and Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA
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YouTube has revamped its “Creators Hub,” the portal it launched last year to bring resources and information to its content-makers. Now simply called the YouTube Creators Site, the portal has been fully redesigned, and boasts more up-to-date info. It also prominently features a new video advice series, dubbed Master Class, which will educate creators on issues such as analyzing channel data and growing audiences. You can check out the first Master Class video here.
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