10.23.15 Good morning. It’s Friday October 23, 2015, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.
The next gen Apple TV ships next week, and with it comes a new operating system, tvOS. One of the OS’s most compelling features is that it will make a wide array of TV apps, including games, available to Apple TV users. To make that happen, Apple is swinging the doors open for app developers, just as the company does with iOS. And that’s officially started: As of this week, Apple is accepting app submissions from developers for review.
Instagram has launched Boomerang, a new standalone app. Boomerang takes a one-second burst of five photos, then runs the image together, forward and backwards, on a continuous loop. The result is a GIF-like silent video. The app doesn’t feature its own news feed, but the videos can easily be shared via messenger apps and social media.
Chinese streaming company iQiyi has expanded its multi-year agreement with Universal Pictures. Under the deal, iQiyi will hold exclusive streaming rights to all of Universal’s new releases. The company will also hold streaming rights to select films currently in the Universal library, including the Jurassic Park and The Fast and the Furious Franchises.
Production company Endemol Shine North America has struck a deal with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Season 2 episodes of Kingdom, the linear series produced by Endemol Shine Studios (Endemol’s scripted division), will now become available on multiple digital platforms the day after linear broadcast. Those include iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, and GooglePlay. Kingdom, about a champion MMA fighter, airs linearly on AUDIENCE Network, on both DirecTV and U-Verse.
Zonzia, an OTT service widely used in hotels as well as homes, has selected Kaltura to power its service. Kaltura’s OTT TV service allows creators and distributors to more easily customize, create, and monetize OTT channels.
Hulu has renewed the original comedy Casual for a second season. The series is Executive Produced by Jason Reitman (Juno) and series creator Zander Lehmann, among others. It debuted barely two weeks ago, on October 7.
It’s been quite a year for 15-year-old Vine star Hayes Grier. First he was the youngest Dancing with the Stars contestant in the show’s history, and now he’s lined up big league representation. Grier has signed with Creative Artists Agency (CAA). The agency will work with him to create opportunities in various areas, including film, TV, endorsements, and (naturally) digital partnerships and distribution.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM PRODUCERS GUILD OF AMERICA
Produced BY: New York Conference – Oct 24
The Producers Guild of America is proud to announce the 2nd annual Produced By: New York conference, taking place on October 24 at the Time Warner Center. This year’s lineup includes Tina Fey, Christine Vachon, Peter Saraf, and many more.
Some unsolicited advice: If the directors of Hostel and Kill Bill ask you to make the scariest video you can muster, it can’t hurt to heap on the gore. Just in time for Halloween, Director Eli Roth has announced #15SecondScare, an Instagram contest aimed at eliciting 15-second shorts from users. Celebrity judges will include Quentin Tarantino and Jordan Peele, among others. The contest is being launched in partnership with CrypTV, which was co-founded by Roth. The winner (announced on Halloween) will receive a cool 10 grand and the chance to have the CrypTV team turn their work into a short.
Need a reminder that Twitter and Vine aren’t two separate companies? Now, users who have connected their Twitter and Vince accounts will find that their Twitter account info appears on their Vince Accounts. Likewise, a new Twitter setting allows creators to show their Vine account on their Twitter profiles. And if someone searches Vine for a user’s Twitter name, that name will come up. Following that user is then as simple as tapping the name.
Editor’s Note: Please join the Cynopsis team and your industry peers for the half-day Programmatic TV Summit on Nov. 5. Register now.
If you lower the price of ad spots by 75%, apparently more advertisers will buy them. Yahoo is airing a global live stream of the Bills/Jaguars game this Sunday, the NFL’s first-ever Internet-only broadcast. And now that Yahoo has lowered the asking price of a 30-second spot from $200,000 to around $50,000, the company has sold out all its inventory. Around 30 advertisers have partnered with Yahoo for the live stream, including Toyota and Microsoft.
In a Q3 earnings call, Google CEO Sundar Pichai emphasized the importance of online video and programmatic advertising in Google’s overall strategy. He pointed to the “substantial growth of mobile search revenue, complemented by contributions from YouTube and programmatic advertising.” He also downplayed the threat posed by Apple’s decision to allow mobile ad blocking extensions on its mobile devices. “We are used to this, we have seen this for a while,” he said of ad blocking. “It’s not a new phenomenon.” Ultimately, he has good reason to be optimistic: In large part due to mobile ad revenue, Google reported Q3 revenue of $18.7 billiona 13 percent improvement over the same period last year. Net income was $4 billion, compared to $2.7 billion last year.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
When you’re coming in second only to yourself, you’re doing something right. The first full-length trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens aired during Monday Night Football. Writing for Variety, ListenFirst Media’s Jason Klein noted that the trailer just narrowly fell short of the single-day record for global YouTube views. The trailer finished at about 37 million views, less than a million shy of the first place video. That video? The second teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Ad management platform Sizmek released its 2015 Video Index Report, assessing the state of video advertising in 2015 – adoption trends, growth, and performance across several primary consumer verticals. The report determined that although marketers have adopted digital video in their campaigns, they still have difficulty learning how to blend content types in a strategic way.
Video ads in the first half of 2015 had a start rate of 62.5%, up from 40.5% in the
same period of 2013
The Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), Entertainment and Auto verticals leveraged
video ads the most (22, 20 and 10 percent of all video ads served, respectively).
Nearly 11 percent of ads served in 2015 were rich media, but fewer than 5 percent
of those rich media ads included video.
While Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) saw the most growth since 2013 at 160 percent, North America saw the most growth in video in 2015 at 52 percent, followed by Asia-Pacific (APAC), at just under 50 percent.
Cynopsis Digital’s Model D Awards, dedicated to innovators who have demonstrated continued excellence in engaging audiences and spurring online growth, less than a month away. What does it mean to be singled out for the honor?
“We were definitely surprised and excited to find out we were a finalist…[Our Colleagues] have been great partners, and really pushing for more branded work, so this is seen as great validation for our efforts…It’s nice to know your team’s efforts are valued.”
– Maurice James, Director of Digital Content, This Is Just a Test Productions
“Having REAL selected as a finalist comes as an honor, but not so much a surprise. It’s the perfect travel show that blends insight, action and humor, with gorgeous cinematography and a dynamic host…I happened to be on location in Nantucket, MA, shooting the next episode of REAL with my partners [when I heard we were finalists]…No question the announcement provided a nice shot of motivation to hit that 5am call time the next morning to keep the magic going.”
- James Morley, Director of Digital Programming, Travel Channel
Register for the November 13 Model D ceremony here.
Iinteractive entertainment company Activision Blizzard has launched a new eSports division, and the company has hired an industry heavyweight to lead it. Steve Bornstein, who formerly served as CEO of both ESPN and NFL Network, will serve as Chairman of the new division. Meanwhile, Activision has hired Mike Sepso, the former president of Major League Gaming, to serve as SVP for eSports.
Video supply side platform Altitude Digital has added Toby Gabriner to its Board of Directors. Garbiner previously served as CEO of AOL’s programmatic video advertising platform Adap.tv. He currently serves as CEO of social music platform MAGNIFI.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
At a time when consumers trust word-of-mouth over brand messaging, harnessing the powerful online influencers who can share content and encourage action is key. The latest Cynopsis webinar, Finding Social Media Influencers to Boost Ratings & Brands, on Thursday, October 29, will show you how to identify and reach the tastemakers you need to get to the next level.
This ad from Japanese cosmetics brand Shiseido is astonishing – and we won’t say why, or we’ll ruin it. Just watch it from the beginning and prepare to let your jaw hit the floor. Check it out here.
See you Monday,
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