11/24/15: Snapchat launches new features and adds Vox as partner; New York Times hires Alex MacCallum as head of video; AT&T and A+E extend their programming partnership


Good morning. It’s Tuesday November 24, 2015, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


Lewis and Clark would be proud. Snapchat has introduced Story Explorer, a new feature allowing users to find additional video footage relating to clips curated by Snapchat. So, for instance, if a user sees a Snapchat-curated clip of, say, a concert, one quick swipe-up will take the user to additional user-generated video of the same concert. So far, Story Explorer has been launched for Live Stories in only New York and Los Angeles. For a closer look at the new product, check out our Digital Spotlight. 
Snapchat’s been busy. The company has expanded its offerings to advertisers, launching a new bundling package allowing marketers to target audience segments more accurately. Advertisers will be able to group their offerings around themes. For instance, they might deliver a “foodies” package to the Tastemade and Food Network channels on Discover. It’s worth noting that Snapchat’s tools for marketers are still developing. (For instance, marketers still can’t see click-through rates.) Reportedly, Snapchat garners six billion views daily.
Yet more from Snapchat? The digital news and culture site Vox has been added as the newest partner on the app’s Discover Platform. According to Vox, the publication will be adapting to the new platform, turning its longer articles into charts, videos, and maps. “People have a short attention span when they’re on their mobile device,” Allison Rockey, Vox.com’s Engagement Editor, explained to Digiday.


The ampersand and the plus sign are staying friendly. AT&T has inked a multi-platform, long-term distribution pact with A+E networks. The deal covers TV Everywhere, VOD, mobile, and linear. Most items in the deal are just extensions of an existing partnership between the companies: AT&T will continue providing A+E’s channels via AT&T’s U-verse TV and DirecTV. There is one new addition, though: Viceland, the upcoming 24-hour linear TV channel from digital news juggernaut Vice Media.


Ad tech company Sizmek announced that it has finalized a partnership with mobile marketing platform Tapad. Sizmek will be integrating Tapad’s cross device product into MDX, Sizmek’s ad optimization platform.



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Otter Media, a video-focused venture between the Chernin Group and AT&T, is investing $22 million into Crunchyroll, its anime-streaming subsidiary. The move is designed to help Crunchyroll build its engineering team and speed up a move into original content, according to VideoInk. Crunchyroll has 20 million active monthly users split between its ad-free subscription version and its free ad-supported version (overwhelmingly the latter). The service streams live and licensed Japanese anime programming to Western audiences. The exact duration of the partnership, and the deal’s financial terms, haven’t been announced.


Media company Baeble Media announced that it has released a new video app. The app grants users access to over 7,000 curated and exclusive music videos, as well as entire concerts, according to a release. The app is available for Android devices, with a planned rollout for iOS in January.


SHAREABLEE SOCIAL TV RATINGS:Top U.S. Streaming Shows Overall by Engagement for the week of November 16, 2015
Program, Date, Total Actions (000), Total Content, Actions per Post (000), Fans/Followers (000)
Orange Is the New Black (Netflix) 245, 8, 31, 6848
Trailer Park Boys (Netflix) 88, 16, 5, 1610
BoJack Horseman (Netflix) 46, 19, 2, 511
Daredevil (Netflix) 34, 13, 3, 1650
House of Cards (Netflix) 30, 6, 5, 2902
Narcos (Netflix) 28, 11, 3, 1828
The Mindy Project (Hulu) 24, 32, 1, 691
Arrested Development (Netflix) 15, 11, 1, 2308
Transparent (Amazon) 12, 31, 0, 249
Master of None (Netflix) 11, 44, 254, 78
Source: Shareablee Inc. The total actions metric includes the total volume of post-level likes, shares, favorites, retweets and comments. Total content includes all posts, tweets and media posted by each TV property across all platforms. Actions per post metric notes the average e number of actions garnered by each property. Total fans/followers includes Facebook and Twitter and Instagram followers.


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 ListenFirstDigital Audience Rating – TV), the metrics included in the rating are the purest form of showing interest digitally, since they’re organic actions that are largely unaffected by paid media. Programs that surface on the TVI leaderboards are the most hashtagged on Facebook,Google+, and Tumblr, as well as most searched for on Wikipedia (used as a proxy for organic search volume).

All Series (11/16/15 – 11/22/15)

The Walking Dead
Supernatural (CW)/2.00
Supergirl (CBS)/1.57
How to Get Away with Murder(ABC)/1.37
The Flash(CW)/1.17
Game of Thrones (HBO)/1.16
Quantico (ABC
Master of None (Netflix
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,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.

OpenSlate Engagement Data for the Beauty & Style Vertical, based on the engagement metric for the week ending 11/22.
Channel (Engagement)/Monthly Views/Total Subs/SlateScore
lady16makeup(9.1) / 42,192,000/12,167,209 /774
grav3yardgirl (8.7) /28,052,520/6,015,816/738
DulceCandy87(8.5) /2,323,320 /2,033,697 /667
MakeUpByCamila (8.5) /2,681,340/2,274,065 /669
Beautygloss (8.5) / 3,528,660 / 436,869 / 608
BrooklynAndBailey (8.5) /13,962,750 /2,026,604 /666
alexandrasgirlytalk (8.5) /5,877,660 /633,085 /567
fashionvogue05 (8.5) /2,582,010 /746,995 /573
SecretosdechicasVlog (8.5) /1,127,490 /282,413 /602
SecretosdechicasVIP (8.4) /2,794,440 /1,067,602 /641
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.


Now that was an eventful maternity leave. The New York Times announced that Alex MacCallum, the company’s Assistant Masthead Editor for Audience Development and Product, will be taking over as head of the Times’s video department. The job has been open since July, when former video chief Rebecca Howard left the company. And the position will have to go unfilled just a little bit longer: MacCallum’s a brand new mom, and she won’t assume the role until she returns to work this January.

Brooklyn-based digital ad agency Big Spaceship has made a couple of moves. Laura Breines, formerly VP, Marketing and Group Engagement Director at HUGE, will serve as the agency’s Vice President, Director of Client Services. Duncan Snowden, who has served as Big Spaceship’s Group Strategy Director since 2013, has been promoted to VP of Strategy.


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Since it’s already been a Snapchat-y kind of day, we might as well go out with one more Snapchat item. Check out the company’s new Story Explorer product, here.

See you tomorrow,
David Teich

Roberta Caploe: Associate Publisher @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

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