11/07/17: Amazon, with Jeff Bezos taking the lead, reportedly vies for rights to Lord of the Rings series

CynopsisDigital
Good morning. It’s Tuesday November 7, 2017 and this is your your first early morning Digital briefing.
 

TODAY’S CODEBREAKER
 
Python: Python is a high-level computer programming language, widely used for general-purpose programming. It emphasizes code readability, and uses a syntax that lets programmers express concepts with relatively few lines of code. Python was created by Dutch programmer Guido van Rossum, and was first released in 1991.
 
 
JUST IN…
 
Chip-maker Broadcom wants to absorb one of its biggest competitors – and it’s willing to spend a whole lot of money to make that happen. The company announced an unsolicited pitch to acquire Qualcomm, offering to spend close to $105 billion. (The deal would amount to about $130 billion when factoring in the debt that Broadcom would take on.) It does seem like an appropriate time to make such an offer: Qualcomm has been engaged in a bitter legal battle with Apple, arguing that the tech giant hasn’t been paying enough for the licensing of its intellectual property. The ongoing court fight has damaged Qualcomm’s stock price, making it more of an acquisition target. According to Bloomberg, Qualcomm is planning to rebuff the offer, arguing that Broadcom is undervaluing the company. If Qualcomm does indeed recommend that its shareholders reject the offer, Broadcom could still potentially move forward with a proxy fight, attempting to win over shareholders’ support in a bid to gain control of the company.
 
CNBC’s David Faberer reports that 21st Century Fox has been in talks to sell most of its assets to Disney. The deal would exclude the Fox broadcast network and Fox’s sports channels. Disney would acquire Fox’s studio division, partial ownership of the U.K. telecoms company Sky, and networks including FX and National Geographic,. The deal could prove particularly valuable to Disney as it gears up to launch its own branded streaming services over the next few years, giving the company a much wider array of TV programming to offer to consumers.

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Proud of your recent work in TV? This program honors shows in a variety of categories, like real estate, network rebrands and stunt programming, along with comedy and drama, that entertain and enrich a broad, national television audience. Check out this year’s categories and get started on your entry! Entering is quick and easy: Login to our submission portal, enter a brief synopsis and pay for your submission.
 
 

OTT + SVOD
 
World of Wonder is launching its own SVOD service. The production company is best known for shows such as RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Million Dollar Listing franchise. The new service, called WOW Presents Plus, features more than 15 hours of content from World of Wonder’s library of movies, shows, and live events. It’ll also feature new original series. WOW Presents Plus will feature LGBTQ-themed programming, as well as documentaries, and programming focused on pop culture. The service, priced at $3.99 monthly or $39.99 per year, is ad-free.
 

PROGRAMMING
 
Gandalf and Frodo may be heading to Amazon Video. Variety reports that Amazon Studios has been in early conversations with Warner Bros. Television and J.R.R. Tolkien’s estate, with the goal of landing a series adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. And according to the report, CEO Jeff Bezos has taken an unusual step: He himself has reportedly been actively involved in the negotiations. At the moment, no agreement has been reached – but Amazon has reportedly emerged as the frontrunner to land the property.
 
Twitter inked a new streaming deal with PeopleTV, the Time Inc.-owned streaming service focused on lifestyle content. The service, which is free and ad-supported, launched as the People/Entertainment Weekly Network in 2016 before announcing a name change this past September. Starting November 20, PeopleTV’s content will be available to view on Twitter through the @PeopleTV handle. Advertisers will be able to run sponsorships and promotions across both Twitter and PeopleTV’s OTT platform. Twitter and Time Inc. told the Wall Street Journal that they will share advertising revenue from ads that are sold on Twitter. The companies didn’t disclose the exact breakdown of the revenue split.
 
Netflix has partnered with Brazilian production company Prodigo Films. The companies will produce Coisa Mais Linda (‘So beautiful’), a period romance series set during Rio de Janeiro Bossa Nova movement of the 1950s and 1960s. The project represents a deepening push from Netflix into the Latin and South American markets: It’s the company’s fourth original Brazilian series.  
 
 
RESEARCH
 
There are a whole lot of choices when it comes to TV programming these days – too many for some people. In a survey conducted last month, Hub Entertainment Research asked U.S. consumers aged 16-74 whether “there are so many TV programs to choose from that it’s hard to know where to start.” 49% of respondents said they agreed, either somewhat or strongly. That’s up from 42% when Hub asked the question in 2014. Only 19% of respondents disagreed that there are too many shows to choose from. Also notable: 73% of respondents responded affirmatively to the statement “more of my total TV time is spent watching shows I really like.” 73% may sound like a lot, but it’s actually a drop from 2014, when the number was 81%.
 
 
MEASURING UP…
 
SHAREABLEE SOCIAL TV RATINGS: Top U.S. Streaming Shows Overall by Engagement for the week of October 30-November5, 2017
Program, Total Actions (000), Total Content, Actions per Post (000), Fans/Followers (000)



The ListenFirst Television Interest (TVI) Rating (TM) is a standardized measurement of the most buzzed-about TV programs on linear TV and streaming services. A complement to ListenFirst’s other syndicated data products (such as the ListenFirst Digital Audience Rating – TV), the metrics included in the rating capture organic actions that are largely unaffected by paid media. Programs that surface on the TVI leaderboards are the most hashtagged on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Tumblr, as well as most searched for on Wikipedia (used as a proxy for organic search volume).
 
All Series  (10/30/17 – 11/05/17)  
 
 
Source: ListenFirst. The TVI Rating aggregates metrics that measure organically generated activity by fans of the TV show. The metric includes total volume of official hashtag mentions on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Tumblr, along with Wikipedia page views (as a proxy for organic search volume) for a show as a percentage of the total volume of the same activities for all shows.
 
OpenSlate Engagement Data for the Entertainment vertical, based on the engagement metric for the week ending November 5
 

 
 EXECUTIVE MOVES
 
Nick DiCarlo has left Samsung. The decision to leave appears to have been his own. The tech industry vet had spent ten years at the company, most recently serving as VP of Immersive Products Strategy and Product Marketing for Samsung Electronics America. He was a key figure behind the launch of the Gear VR headset. Samsung confirmed to Variety that Shoneel Kolhatkar, Senior Director of Product Marketing, will now lead the company’s immersive products division.
 
App startup TV Time has named Carol Hanley as Chief Revenue Officer. She most recently served as CRO at Deluxe Entertainment Services Group; she’s also held positions at Nielsen and Arbitron. The hire comes as TV Time undertakes a major restructuring. The company, previously known as Whipclip, used to specialize in letting users share short clips of TV shows online. That service failed to catch on. In its current incarnation, the app lets users track their favorite TV shows across numerous services, and connect with other TV fans.
 
Oath, the recently-formed Verizon that combines AOL and Yahoo, announced a new advisory board – and it’s loaded with famous people. Tennis star Serena Williams is the board’s Chairwoman. Seattle Sehawks quartberback Russell Silson, supermodel Karlie Kloss, rapper Chuck D, and a number of other celebs count themselves as members of the board as well. “As we look toward the future of Oath, it is critical for us to have the best minds, best talent, and best connectors in the world advising us on being globally competitive,” said Oath CEO Tim Armstrong in a new statement. 
 
 
TRIVIA
 
Our Last Trivia Question: Who directed the Netflix original horror comedy film The Babysitter? Answer McG. Kudos to Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/CA, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, and Lorrie Shilling/CA
 
iQiyi is of the most popular streaming entertainment platforms in China. It’s owned by a major web services company – which one? (Email trivia@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)
 
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Companies migrate where the talent is!
And Cynopsis readership is where the talent is.
 
Looking to fill a job with an experienced industry candidate? Post a job today in Cynopsis dedicated job newsletters, deploying to an abundant audience of qualified media professionals from around the world every Wednesday and Sunday.
 
Email Trish@cynopsis.com for details on how to optimize that search experience
 

SHORT FORM SPOTLIGHT
 
In a goofy yet oddly informative new video, the Wall Street Journal offers a rundown of how to use the new iPhone X. And if you’ve never seen a tech reporter discuss a new product while replacing her head with that of a talking animal emoji, well, this is the video explainer for you. Check it out here.

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