Snapchat just made a big update to the ad-targeting tools related to its photo filters. The app will now let marketers apply “audience filters” to photo campaigns. Instead of simply targeting locations (as is the case with Snapchat’s geofilters), brands can now target consumers based on time of day, gender, age, interests, and other factors. PepsiCo’s Quaker Oats was among the first brands to test out the new tool.
VIRTUAL + AUGMENTED REALITY
Back in May, Google announced that hardware companies HTC and Lenovo planned to build new standalone VR headsets, which would be based on Google’s Daydream VR platform. And while Lenovo is still on board, HTC just backed out of the project. The news was first reported by TechCrunch. Instead, HTC has unveiled a separate standalone device – exclusively available in the Chinese market – that comes with a number of the same features as the cancelled Daydream headset. There is one big difference: The headset, called the Vive Focus, will be powered by HTC Wave, a mobile VR platform that HTC developed in partnership with several other tech manufacturers. At the moment, there are no plans to sell the headset in the U.S. On the plus side for Google, Lenovo is slated to release its headset Daydream-powered device within the coming weeks.
APPS + PLATFORMS
Amazon’s Twitch has released two new tools for video creators. Called Achievements and Stream Summary, the tools are designed to let creators observe what content is most resonating with their audience, and track their path to becoming an official Twitch Partner or Affiliate. (Twitch creators need to clear certain viewership thresholds before joining those programs, which offer them helpful monetization tools.) Achievements and Stream Summary were among the new tools previewed at the Twitchcon conference in October.
There’s an unlikely new contributor to the VOD space. Hoopla, a company best known for providing free e-book rentals in partnerships with libraries, has launched new living room apps for Apple TV and Amazon’s Fire TV. The apps offer streaming access to TV shows and movies, in addition to audio books, e-books, and music. The service lets users “borrow” a certain amount of content each month. In addition to being free, it carries zero ads. Hoopla had previously launched various apps for tablets, phones, and Google’s Chromecast streaming device. Aside from launching on the Fire TV and Apple TV, the company plans to launch a new Android TV app later this week, along with a Roku app at some point in the near future. Hoopla is the digital unit of Midwest Tape, a company that provides audio books and DVDs to public libraries.
Claire Schmidt, who’d served as VP of Technology and Innovation at 20th Century Fox, has left the company to start a new venture. Her new site, called AllVoices, will let users anonymously report instances of harassment, bias, or discrimination directly to their company board or CEO. In a Medium post, Schmidt wrote that she herself is a sexual assault survivor, and was inspired to take action as a result of the recent wave of harassment and assault victims who have been speaking up about their experiences. The AllVoices website hasn’t launched in earnest, but its homepage says that the full site is coming soon. Schmidt had joined 20th Century Fox only eight months ago.
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).
Streaming 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.
Sony EVP Eric Berger, who’s overseen the Crackle streaming service since 2011, is getting an expanded role. He’ll take on the additional title of Chief Digital Officer at Sony Pictures Television Networks, while holding onto the GM role at Crackle. Berger will now take on responsibilities relating to Sony TV’s other digital networks. He’ll continue to report to Andy Kaplan, Sony Pictures Television Networks’ President of Worldwide Networks.
Turner’s Bleacher Report has lost one of its execs. Josh Abrams, who spent more than seven years as the property’s VP of Sales, is moving over to Fatherly, a millennial-oriented media startup focused on parenting. He’ll serve as the company’s VP of Sales, the same title he held at Bleacher Report.
Stephanie Savage co-created Runaways, Hulu’s upcoming Marvel series. But she’s best known for developing a series for The CW, which ran from 2007 to 2012. What’s the series? (Email email@example.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)
Our Last Trivia Question: Which prolific indie film director created the Netflix anthology series Easy? Answer: Joe Swanberg. Kudos to Andy Pittman-TAMU/TX, Andrew Bellamy-Producers Guild of America/NY, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, Ashlee Smith-PBS/VA, Lorrie Shilling/CA, and Mathew Tombers-Intermat/NY