10/30/15: Maker Studios to create original series for Verizon’s Go90 service; Netflix plans Middle East expansion; Twitch debuts new streaming section for artists

CYNOPSISDIGITAL
10.30.15

Good morning. It’s Friday October 30, 2015, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.

TOP NEWS


Maker Studios is gearing up for some more making. The Disney-owned digital media company will produce at least eight original series for Go90, Verizon’s mobile streaming service. That includes content based on Marvel comics and Star Wars. Maker also plans to produce live events for Go90. See a list of some of the planned content here.

Netflix
is heading to the Middle East. The company’s website has posted three job ads that are kind of a dead giveaway: Marketing Planning and & Analysis Manager, EMEA, as well as Senior Manager, EMEA Marketing Insights and Social Media Manager for Middle East. In an email to IGN Middle East, Joris Evers (Netflix’s VP and Head of Communications for Europe, Middle East and Africa) confirmed the expansion: “We plan to complete our global expansion by the end of 2016,” he said. “Of course the Middle East is part of that, hence our hiring.”  The region’s population is estimated at about 370 million.


DIGITAL CONTENT CREATORS


Digital star Grace Helbig is stopping by StreamCon NYC for two days, and she’s got some company. Yesterday, she and fellow YouTuber Mamrie Hart performed in their comedic two-woman show, This Might Get Weird, Y’all. And today, live from the event, Helbig will interview vlogger Joe Sugg (aka ThatcherJoe) for her Not Too Deep podcast. 

OTT + SVOD


Brazilian TV network Rede Globo (better known as just Globo) is launching Globo Play, its own VOD service. The service will feature both live and previously aired content, and will be available on mobile devices and desktop. The company also plans an expansion to connected TV devices, though that won’t be in place by the time the service debuts on November 3.  

 

NEW PROGRAMMING + DEALS

Bet you didn’t think there would be two Brazil-related items in one newsletter. Endemol Beyond has launched a local Brazilian version of its digital eSports series  Legends of Gaming. Two other versions already existed: A U.K. version, which launched last fall, and a U.S. version, which launched this month on Endemol Beyond USA’s new Smasher channel on YouTube.

Female-oriented digital lifestyle network Kin Community has partnered with the arts-focused TV channel and digital network Ovation. The networks will launch Holiday Entertaining with Kin Community, a half hour holiday special featuring several creators from the Kin network, including married vloggers Rachel and Byron Talbott. On November 18 at 10 PM EST, the special will debut on Ovation’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages, while various video segments will appear on the participating creators’ social accounts, as well as Kin’s digital network. Canada’s Corus Entertainment will air the special on its digital channels after the U.S. premiere.


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PLATFORMS + TECH


Best. Idea. Ever. Apparently the new Apple TV (in Apple retail stores today) can help clarify lines of TV dialogue you didn’t hear properly. Just speak something to the effect of “what did they just say?” into your remote: The program will then automatically rewind 15 seconds, and the scene will replay with closed captions on. Now if only Apple could invent something similar for song lyrics.

IFC has launched a fully redesigned version of its website. According to a release, the site was designed specifically with mobile users in mind. Among other features, the new site provides filters, allowing users to display all of the site’s content at once, or videos alone, or articles alone. And the site now integrates TV Everywhere streaming directly from its homepage, and within the context of individual shows, rather than on a separate landing page. Full episodes of several IFC comedies are available on the site.

RESEARCH

German market research firm GfK took a look at the viewing habits of Netflix’s monthly users and found that the average Netflix viewer in the U.S. watches 10 TV shows and four movies per week. For TV, that’s twice as much viewing as during the same period last year. And no surprise here: GfK also found that Netflix viewing on mobile devices has more than doubled in the last three years. 24% of regular users said they watched Netflix on one or more mobile platforms in the past month, versus 10% three years ago.

Analytics company ListenFirst Media took a look at Wednesday’s GOP debate on CNBC. Here’s some of what they found:

Donald Trump
won the digital discussion, according to the exclusive ListenFirst Digital Engagement Rating (DER)™ for Politics*, which measures voter behavior across Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Wikipedia and YouTube combined.

Trump had the most social media engagements on the day of the debate, with a total of 406,861. Ben Carson came in second, with a total of 400,634.

During the 6PM underdog debate, Rick Santorum was the most talked about candidate with 33,413 mentions. Lindsey Graham came in second with 20,401 mentions on social media.

ListenFirst also analyzed online search activity for the debate’s most buzzed about topics and candidates:

Ben Carson had the highest search volume score (45K), 64% higher than his average score from the CNN and Fox Debates.

Donald Trump was the participant with the second highest amount of searches, with 22.6K.

At times it seemed that the media itself came under higher scrutiny than any of the candidates. “Media” was the most most buzzed about topic during the debate with 29.4K mentions.

Out of all candidates, Marco Rubio’s DER™ – Politics had the highest increase compared their average debate score from the CNN and Fox Debates, up 59%.

#GOPDebate was tweeted over 605K times during the CNBC Debate, driving over 6.7 billion potential impressions on Twitter, with a peak occurring at 9PM EST.

The debates take place on stage but the real action among the people who will pick the next president continues to grow in real time online, and despite Trump’s recent decline in the polls his stature as the most buzzed about candidate during the debate reflects his continued prominence in the GOP race,” said Jason Klein, Co-CEO & Co-Founder of ListenFirst Media.

*DER™ Politics evaluates what 2016 Presidential hopefuls are garnering the most engagements amongst voters across the digital and social sphere, including new fans, organic conversation volume, owned post engagements (such as a like or a retweet), and general searches.

More on the debate, from Nielsen:

In the U.S., Tweets about the TV event were sent by 310,000 people and seen more than 221 million times (Twitter TV Impressions).

The most Tweeted minute of the night was at 8:48pm ET, when 15,500 Tweets were sent following Ted Cruz’ comment to the moderators about media bias.

The top @mentioned candidate of the night was @realDonaldTrump who was mentioned in 85,700 Tweets around the TV event.


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We are bringing together industry leaders from across the media ecosystem to share strategies that will help define the future of programmatic’s place alongside traditional TV buying practices.

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CONTENT PROGRAMMING


Twitch is for gamers…and painters? The highly popular video game live streaming site is launching Twitch Creative, a designated section featuring live streams of artists practicing their crafts. Said artists will range from photoshoppers re-creating famous video game characters, to painters depicting open landscapes, to musicians strumming on their guitars. And to kick off the launch, Twitch will live stream all 403 episodes of the classic painting show The Joy of Painting starring Bob Ross. Just go to Twitch.tv/bobross between October 29 and November 6, and you’ll get all the happy little trees you can handle. 

Horror producer Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity, Insidious, all of your nightmares) decided to scare people in real time last night. At 10pm ET, Blum debuted Fifteen, a live horror experience streamed over Periscope. The idea was conceived by writer/director Ryan Turek and Gavin Michael Booth, Director of Development at Blumhouse, Blum’s production company. News of the live stream was first reported by Variety.

Interactive One (iOne), a digital platform geared toward multiracial audiences, has launched The Kitchen Table, a new digital cooking series sponsored by Coca-Cola. The series is available on HelloBeautiful.com, an iOne property aimed at women. You can find it here.

2015 MODEL D AWARDS LUNCHEON


Cynopsis Digital’s Model D Awards Luncheon, dedicated to innovators who have demonstrated continued excellence in engaging audiences and spurring online growth, is only weeks away.

Cynopsis Digital had some questions for Brian Selander, EVP of the 2015 Model D finalist Whistle Sports. Here’s what he had to say:

What was your first job?
My first job was as a reporter at The Courier News, a local New Jersey newspaper. The editor Carol Hunter gave me a shot even though I was only 15, so my mom would drop me off in the back of building and I would pretend to the rest of the office that I wasn’t in high school. I don’t think I fooled anybody.

What’s your all-time favorite digital-first TV series?
The first internet-only content I remember checking regularly for updates was Homestar Runner, which I still quote regularly even though almost nobody under 30 has any idea why a wagon full of pancakes is in the champ-eenship.

What’s your favorite social media platform?
They’re all great in different ways. I use Twitter as a news feed, Facebook as my way to check in with lots of people quickly, Snapchat as a way to make terrible puns that more often than not deserve to disappear once sent, and Instagram to be jealous of friends in amazing places. I’m not quick enough at editing to take the time to post on Vine.

What’s your all-time favorite digital campaign?
They had millions fewer fans then, but we knew that Dude Perfect had to be part of the launch of Whistle Sports in 2014 when they did a brand integration video in 2013 for a kitty litter company. It was as funny, engaging and amusing as any of their massive trick shots.

Register for the November 13 Model D ceremony here.

EXECUTIVE MOVES


Digital video content producer Zazoom Media Group has merged with social media video content producer Veuer LLC. The expanded company will continue to operate as Zazoom Media Group. Veuer founder Steve Charlier will serve as President. Steve Bradbury has left Zazoom as COO to pursue opportunities in his hometown of L.A.


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Cynopsis Digital Webinar:
Beating the Ad Blockers

Call it the “Attack of the Ad Blockers” – display and search ads are hidden, and video ads (whether running on YouTube or an OTT network) simply won’t play. And that means lost revenue. So what are advertisers, TV programmers and publishers going to do about it? Join Cynopsis Digital on Tuesday, November 17 from 1:30-3PM EST for our latest webinar, to get tips and insights from leading figures in the ad-blocking fight.

Save your spot and register now!


 

 

DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT

For once in his life, PewDiePie isn’t cursing. The YouTube star and his girlfriend, fellow YouTuber MarziaCutiePieMarziaBisognin, have voiced adorable animated pugs for Pugatory, a spooky new six-part web series made in partnership with Maker Studios. (Side note: PewDiePie would obviously hate being a dog: No opposable thumbs means no video games.) Pugatory debuts tomorrow, which (helpful reminder!) happens to be Halloween. Boo! Watch the trailer here.

See you Monday,
David Teich
10.30.15

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