11/14/17: Amazon Studios buys Lord of the Rings series in deal with Warner Bros. and the J.R.R. Tolkien estate

Good morning. It’s Tuesday November 14, 2017 and this is your your first early morning Digital briefing.

Content Delivery Network: A content delivery network (also known as a content distribution network, or CDN) is a geographically distributed network of proxy servers, along with their data centers. CDNs are designed to distribute service spatially, relative to the location of end-users. The goal is to provide both high performance and high availability. CDNs deliver a large portion of the content that’s served to users online.
Looks like a trio of three-hour movies wasn’t enough. Amazon Studios has officially landed to the rights to a series adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. The news comes in the wake of previously-reported negotiations between Amazon, Warner Bros. Television, and the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien. Amazon will produce the series in-house, with participation from Warner Bros.New Line Cinema, the Tolkien estate, and publisher HarperCollins. The series, set in Tolkien’s Middle Earth, will include new storylines that take place before The Fellowship of The Ring, the first installment in the book series. The deal also includes the potential for a new spinoff series. None of this came cheap: Amazon reportedly spent somewhere between $200 million and $250 million for the rights to the book series – and production will reportedly cost around $150 million per season.
Reddit’s IPO might come within a few years. At the Internet Association’s Virtuous Circle Summit on Monday, CEO Steve Huffman said the company may go public by 2020. According to Huffman, going public is inevitable for the company; the exec called it the “only responsible choice.” Huffman co-founded Reddit in 2005.
Barstool Sports is getting its own channel on SirusXM satellite radio. The risqué digital publisher will lay claim to channel 93; the 24-hour station will feature commentary and satire from the Barstool team. The channel officially launches January 15, about one year after Sirius partnered with Barstool on the two-hour show Barstool Radio. Barstool Sports was due for some good news; last month, ESPN canceled Barstool Van Sports, the company’s late-night talk show, after only one episode. “I erred in assuming we could distance our efforts from the Barstool site and its content,” stated ESPN President John Skipper at the time.
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Despite all its recent struggles, Snap is still making big-time programming deals. Under a two-year agreement with ESPN, Snapchat has begun running a twice-daily version of SportsCenter. The Snapchat version will be a whole lot shorter than the TV version, running for only 3-5 minutes. The series debuted on the platform yesterday. It’ll run at 5 AM and 5 PM ET on weekdays. It’ll also run once a day on weekends, at 5 AM.
The Murray brothers will soon share the screen on Facebook’s Watch platform. In a new unscripted original series, famed comedic actor Bill Murray and older brother Brian Doyle-Murray will take a road trip to visit minor league baseball games. Called Bill Murray and Brian Doyle-Murray’s Extra Innings, the show’s ten episodes will each run for about eight minutes. They’ll be available on Mondays, starting November 20. The series is produced by Oso Studios. The production was funded by Facebook. 
Rooster Teeth is bringing content to Facebook’s Watch tab as well. The digital entertainment company is launching two new series on the platform. One of those shows is Million Dollars, But…: Theme Pack, a themed version of the existing Rooster Teeth series Million Dollars, But… In Theme Pack, guests will take part in a round-table discussion about how far they would go for $1 million. Those hypothetical conservations will then be turned into cinematic scenes. The series has already debuted; the show will have a ten-day exclusive window on Facebook before moving to the Rooster Teeth website. The other series, a do-it-yourself prop-making series called Master & Apprentice, is still in production; it’ll debut in the coming months. Facebook funded both productions.
Roku’s stock has risen by a jaw-dropping 125% in the days since last week’s earnings report, its first as a public company. During Q3, the company posted higher sales and lower net losses than analysts had expected. Remarkably, the company’s gains have only continued since the day of the report: For instance, shares rose by 13% on Friday, and by another 26% yesterday. Bloomberg points out that the company’s stock growth is especially good news for founder and CEO Anthony Wood: His net worth has ballooned by $652 million in the days since the earnings report, and he is now a billionaire. 
Reddit is making a big update. The discussion site says it will soon launch Reddit Chat, a new instant messaging feature. With Reddit Chat, groups and individual users will be able to instantly connect, just like they can on Facebook and other social media platforms. In addition to chatting, users will be able to exchange stickers and links to posts. (To start, Reddit Chat will only allow for one-on-one exchanges; the group chat feature will come a bit later.) Reddit’s current private messaging system, which doesn’t allow for real-time chat, will eventually be phased out entirely.
Facebook has installed Snapchat-like Stories features on platforms ranging from Instagram to WhatsApp. But in a change of pace, the Stories clone on Facebook’s Messenger app has been removed from the platform. Instead, Facebook is linking Messenger to the Stories feature within the company’s main app. Users will be able to take videos shared through the main Facebook Stories feature and post them to Messenger – or vice versa. 
Cheddar, a streaming financial news platform aimed at millennials, announced that it expects to take in $11 million in revenue in 2017. Moreover, the company told Digiday that it plans to create a new brand that covers national and international subjects that go beyond finances. Called Cheddar Big News, the brand will focus on national political stories, as well as local news subjects such as weather. According to Cheddar founder and CEO Jon Steinberg, Cheddar Big News will launch in the first quarter of 2018.
OpenSlate Engagement Data for the Sports vertical, based on the engagement metric for the week ending November 12

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 (11/06/17 – 11/12/17)  
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.
TiVo has a new CEO. The role goes to Enrique Rodriguez, who previously spent more than two years as EVP and Chief Technology Officer at AT&T’s Entertainment Group. Rodriguez takes over for Thomas Carson, the former Rovi CEO. (Carson took over as TiVo’s top exec when Rovi, a data and tech vendor, acquired TiVo last year. The combined company was simply renamed TiVo.) In addition to CEO, Rodriguez will take on the title of President. Aside from his position at AT&T, Carson has held roles at companies such as Microsoft, Cisco Systems, and SiriusXM.
As first reported by Variety, Snapchat parent Snap Inc. has hired Cheryl Idell as its new Head of Entertainment Measurement. A veteran of ad measurement and media research, Idell most recently served as Head of West Coast Operations for the media agency network Mindshare. Though the hire is just now being made public, she started at Snap last month.
In another hire first reported by Variety, Google has named Tian Lim to lead product and user experience efforts as a VP for Google Play. Google’s gain is Hulu’s loss: Until last month, Lim served as the latter company’s CTO.
Which prolific indie film director created the Netflix anthology series Easy? (Email trivia@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.) 
Our Last Trivia Question: Who directed the upcoming Netflix film Bright? Answer: David Ayer. Kudos to Andrew Bellamy-Producers Guild of America/NY, Andy Pittman-TAMU/TX, Susan-Nessanbaum-Goldberg M and S Entertainment/CA, David Westberg-SAG-AFTA Federal Credit Union/CA, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA, and David Korduner-DGA/CA
[Wednesday, December 6 th at 1:30pm]
Whether you’re a TV network, marketer or publisher, artificial intelligence is starting to shape your world in a big way – according to research from Bank of America, A.I. will be a $153 billion industry by 2020. But you need to understand how to best employ it. Register for Cynopsis’ latest webinar and gain the tools you need to maximize AI’s potential within your company.

Italian publisher Franco Maria Ricci decided one day to build the world’s largest labyrinth. Labirinto della Masone, in Parma, Italy, is the result. The New York Times took a look at the labyrinth in a new 360-degree video. Check it out here.

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Lead affiliate & dist strategy projects by dvlpg data-driven analyses, conducting rsrch & preparing plans/presentations. 8-10+ yrs strategy/business dvlpment or consulting role, pref w/in the media industry. Strong knwlg mkt trends.

Full info/apply HERE

JOB OPENING: ANALYST, PROGRAM & DIGITAL RESEARCH/NBCU@Bravo/Oxygen/NYC: Entry level. BA Deg Communications/Media. Min 2-3 yrs exp TV and/or Digital Research. Strong analytical and presentation skills needed. Attn to detail and strong math skills a must. Full info apply HERE (11/21)

FT SCRIPT COORDINATOR/Twin Cities PBS/NJ Remote position: A leading public media org, is seeking for an animated children’s series. Assist EP & head writer by coordinating all script details between producing partners & writers. Ability to travel to NYC for meetings. Full info/apply HERE (11/17)

JOB OPENING: SR DIRECTOR MARKETING/NBC Ent/NYC: Identify/dvlp/implement strategic media buying initiatives in consumer & trade media to achieve mktg goals for each 1st run & off-ntwrk series. BA deg & 5 yrs exp w/media plan’g, digital mktg, ad sales, promo w/focus TV synd or related field. Full info/apply HERE (11/17)

JOB OPENING: PRODUCER/REPORTER/NYC: Plan & coord orig stories/rpts for MetroFocus. story dev thru post-prod & delivery; min 2 yrs multimed exp, incl exp in dealing w/ a wide range of contemporary issues; camera & edit skills a must.  Exceptional written/verbal comm & presentation skills; Full info/apply HERE (11/17)

VP, DISTRIBUTION STRATEGY/Viacom/NYC: Lead affiliate & dist strategy projects by dvlpg data-driven analyses, conducting rsrch & preparing plans/presentations. 8-10+ yrs strategy/business dvlpment or consulting role, pref w/in the media industry. Strong knwlg mkt trends. Full info/apply HERE (11/16)

JOB OPENING: DIGITAL CAMPAIGN MGR/NECN/Newton Mass: Administers complex and multi-platform sales and marketing campaigns – must be detail orientated! Proficient in PP. BA deg. Familiarity with ad serving systems (FreeWheel, Doubleclick DFP, Wide Orbit, Operative One, MOAT etc.) Full info/apply HERE (11/16)
JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, PAID SOCIAL/GLOW/NYC: Develop/manage paid social campaigns for high-profile media and entrtnmt clients, work closely with Sr. Leadership across the agency to create/identify new business opps and grow paid team. 5+ years exp w paid social and leading a team. Full Info HERE Apply to jobs@weareglow.com (11/16)

JOB OPENING: PRODUCT MGR/Cross MediaWorks/NYC: Former hands on exp as Proj mgr req’d. Strong tech background in lrg-scale analytics application dvlpmnt. 5 -7 yrs software product mngmnt exp ideally in linear TV, broadcast media, programmatic, online advertising . Travel to Philly reg. Full info/apply HERE (11/16)

JOB OPENING: SR DIRECTOR, PRODUCT MARKETING/Cross MediaWorks/NYC: Lead our product mktg team. Responsible for building our product-specific messaging. Min 8+yrs product marketing exp w/focus in advertising technology and addressable TV. Full info/apply HERE (11/16)

JOB OPENING: SALES PLANNER/Cross MediaWorks/Chicago: Responsible for assisting the Sales Team in planning, strategic selling and support functions. Create/revise upfront/scatter plans for agencies/clients. BA Deg w/1-2 yrs exp in media. Full info/apply HERE (11/16)

JOB OPENING: NATIONAL CABLE MEDIA BUYER/Bluewater Media/Clearwater FL: Responsible for planning, negotiating & buying nat’l cable for all assigned clients, in addition to research, development, and presentation of media plans. 5+ years of experience.  DRTV experience is a plus. Resume/cover letter HERE (11/16)

/Crown Media Family Networks/NY: Supports in development, conception, and execution of trade media relations campaigns and communications. Write, maintain and update internal docs. Maintain editorial and dept. calendars. BA/BS req & Min 1 yr exp. Apply HERE (11/15)

JOB OPENING: COORDINATOR, CONSUMER MKTG/Crown Media Family Networks/LA: Supports implementation of ad campaigns, mktg partnerships, promos and email mktg iniatives. Assist with travel and expense reports. Min 2 yrs exp. Apply HERE (11/15)

JOB OPENING: DIGITAL MEDIA PLANNER/BUYER/R&R Partners/DENVER: Will lead reporting, optimization (creative & ad placement) and analysis/ROI of all plans including attribution and more. Min 5 yrs exp. Apply HERE (11/15)

JOB OPENING: LINE PRODUCER/SUPERVISING PRODUCER/Production Co/BKLYN NY: Leadership position overseeing financials/project supervision for multiple doc projects. Highly organized/solutions oriented prof. needed. Quickbooks a must. 5+ years exp in Line Producing and/or Production Accounting required. Full Info/Apply Here (11/15)

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