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.
EARNINGS + REVENUE
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.
APPS + PLATFORMS
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 Facebook, Twitter, Google+, 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 Facebook, Twitter, Google+, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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