11.17.15 Good morning. It’s Tuesday November 17, 2015, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.
SeeSo, NBCUniversal’s upcoming comedy-focused streaming service, will launch in beta next month. The month-long, web-only free trial period begins December 3. The first of SeeSo’s new original series will launch on the service at the same time, while a second group of new series will go live December 17. (Take a look at which series premiere when here.) A $3.99-per-month subscription fee will go into effect in January 2016.
Just when we thought Vice Media was setting its sights on linear, it sinks its talons deeper into the digital space. The company has launched Daily Vice, a new short-form daily news and lifestyle show created for Go90, Verizon’s mobile streaming service. Episodes, which run 5-7 minutes, will premiere exclusively on Go90 before cropping up on Vice’s digital platforms. Meanwhile, in December, Vice will debut another Go90 series: Autobiographies will explore the lives of public figures from a range of different backgrounds, including music and sports.
Is ad blocking an insurmountable setback, or an opportunity to evolve and improve? During today’s webinar, How to Solve the Ad Blocking Problem, Cynopsis and its expert panel will tackle these and other questions. Joining the panel are McCormack Media Services Founder and President Tracey McCormack, Altitude Digital CTO Manny Puentes, MomLifeTV Founder and CEO Sandy Pelland, and Devra Prywes, Unruly’s VP of Marketing and Insight. Learn more about the industry’s newest and biggest threatand how to overcome ittoday at 1:30pmEST. Register here: http://cynopsis.com/webinar/cynopsis-digital-webinar-beating-ad-blockers/
Netflix has ordered a new six-part drama starring Game of Thrones’ Jason Momoa. (Four years after a one-season, non-English speaking role, and we’re still calling him “Game of Thrones’ Jason Momoa.” Such is the power of Game of Thrones.) Titled Frontier, the new series centers on the cutthroat late-18th century North American fur trade. The series will debut in all Netflix territories in 2016, with one exception: In Canada, it will run on the linear network of Discovery Canada, which commissioned the series. Canadian Netflix users will have to wait until 2018. Brad Peyton, director of the special effect epic San Andreas, will helm the series.
Universal Sports Network may be dead, but its content, apparently, will live on. A month after shuttering the sports net, NBCUniversal has purchased USN assets from World Championship Sports Network. The deal includes exclusive media rights formerly held by Universal Sports, including agreements with Olympic-sports governing bodies. The rights will now belong to NBC Sports Group, which will both televise and live stream events. In addition to live streaming, NBC Sports Live Extra (NBC Sports’ streaming platform) will also host some digital-only programming. The deal’s financial terms weren’t disclosed.
China: where Teletubbies go to frolic. DHX Media, the family-friendly Canadian TV group, has struck separate deals with two Chinese streaming platforms: iQiyi has acquired SVOD and AVOD (ad-supported VOD) rights to more than 400 half-hour episodes of kids’ shows, including Teletubbies, Paddington, and Caillou. Meanwhile, LeTV has acquired OTT TV rights (i.e., set top box and Smart TV), as well as web broadcast rights, to 313 half hours of Teletubbies.
Performers are performers, whether they’re speaking lines or strumming chords. Yesterday, AOL debuted Act Like a Musician, its newest original series. In each episode, an actor sits down with a popular musician or band for a freewheeling conversation about their careers and their personal lives. Pairings include Albert Hammond Jr. (The Strokes) and Danny Masterson (That ’70s Show), and Josh Charles (The Good Wife) with Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene). The six-episode series will run through December on AOL.com.
Smart Girls at the Party, the digital video network from Amy Poehler, has debuted its newest web series. She Said, a talk show co-hosted by comedians (and fiancees) Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher, focuses on female-centric topics. (The debut episode tackles women’s health issues.) New episodes will be released each Monday; they’re available on the series’ website and the Smart Girls’ YouTube channel.
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If anyone loves pretend realities, its Dungeons and Dragons players. Social VR company AltspaceVR and Dungeons & Dragons publishers Wizards of the Coast have teamed to create a virtual reality D&D experience that simulates the basic necessities of any D&D game: A tabletop, dice, various playing pieces. It’s all very convenient when you find yourself unable to be in the same physical space as another player. AltspaceVR has a visual demonstration here.
Last month, Vimeo announced that it was getting into the original content game. Now there’s a premiere date in place: Bianca Del Rio’s Rolodex of Hate, a comedy special featuring the titular drag queen, hits Vimeo on Demand December 2. It’s already available for pre-order, for a cost of $13. Two other bits of original programming, the short film Darby Forever and season two of The Outs, are slated to debut this winter, though premiere dates haven’t been announced.
Don’t text and drive. Sounds obvious, but apparently there are still people who need to be told. That’s where Meg DeAngelis comes. As part of her partnership with the Ad Council – a nonprofit best known for creating PSAs – the YouTube star fit a segment about the dangers of texting and driving into an otherwise lighthearted video about miscellaneous life hacks. Check out the segment here, at the 5:00 mark. And watch it even if you don’t text and drive: The part about turning your soda can ring into a straw holder will almost certainly blow your mind.
Vibrant TV Network has been added to the live-Internet streaming platform Channel Master. The network’s streaming channel was also added to Roku earlier this month.
Programmatic advertising platform SpotX has launched a new software development kit (SDK) for the Apple TV’s tvOS operating system. The SDK will “enable publishers to program when and how ads play in their Apple TV app, as well as employ a cross-screen monetization strategy via the same SpotX platform that manages desktop, mobile and other connected TV environments,” according to a release.
According to a new study from BI Intelligence, Netflix and YouTube reign supreme amongst millennials. 81% of respondents said they used YouTube to stream video during Q3 of 2015, while 79% of respondents said they watched programming on Netflix. Hulu came in at a distant third, with 37%. 3% said they don’t use streaming services at all. Not coincidentally, the same three percent said they live in caves. (Okay, that wasn’t really in the survey.) The study surveyed 1,500 banked millennials. BI’s got a full chart with more info – check it out here.
OpenSlate Engagement Data for the Sports Vertical, based on the engagement metric for the week ending 11/15.
Channel (Engagement)/Title/Monthly Views/Total Subs/SlateScore
desimpedidos (9.1)/21792870/1261561/ 700
Sport Vines World (8.5)/11949450/162492/507
WilsonRacquet (8.5) /45300/11753/460
TT Dreamer (8.5)/14670/1383/357
wearetheredmen (8.5) /1099290/98406/560
watchitnetwork (8.5) / 8010/705/250
worldtravelerman (8.5)/28950/ 9894/353
marshmellowfjr (8.5)/1230/ 3695036/ 321
Source: The Engagement metric is one of OpenSlate’s component scores, and is a measure of a producer’s ability to evoke meaningful interaction with their audience. It is calculated on a scale of 1-10 with higher being better. The OpenSlate Engagement score uses a subset of the data incorporated in the SlateScore to perform a set of unique calculations. It factors in views, comments, likes, and more.
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How long can millennials go without touching their phones? In Motorola’s latest ad, Ashton Kutcher uses some unwitting test subjects to answer the question. In doing so, he illustrates the severity of an entire generation’s mobile phone addiction. His solution? A new phone! The ad’s actually quite charming. Check it out here.
See you tomorrow,
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