OTT + SVOD
21st Century Fox is launching a new National Geographic VOD service. Called National Geographic+, it will first launch in select European and African countries, including South Africa, Greece, and Denmark. The launches come through deals mobile operator Cell C, the OTE Group, and YouSee. More countries will be added to the list soon, according to Fox.
Sports-heavy OTT TV service fuboTV announced that it has added the national Fox feed to eight new markets. Those include Baltimore, MD, San Antonion, TX, Pittsburgh, PA, and others.
AUGMENTED + VIRTUAL REALITY
Virtual Reality studio Start VR just signed actors Jake McDorman (CBS’s Limitless) and Analeigh Tipton (ABC’s Manhattan Love Story) to star in its newest VR film. An interactive experience called Awake, the film will center on a man with a mysterious past (Tipton) who has special insight into the unseen worlds around him. Tipton will star as the man’s wife, who is at the center of many of his memories. Awake is scheduled to launch early next year.
APPS + PLATFORMS
Plaxo, we hardly knew ye. Comcast is shuttering the service, an address-book synchronization platform that the company bought back in 2008. Plaxo allowed users to consolidate their contacts across numerous sources, and automatically updated information from various platforms and devices. Comcast had envisioned big things for the service, reportedly paying somewhere between $150 million and $170 million to acquire it. Plaxo will cease to be available on December 31, and Comcast will begin purging its user data the next day.
Every Frame a Painting, a YouTube channel that was popular with film buffs, has ceased making new videos. The channel featured criticism focused on filmmaking techniques, and analysis of well-known directors. Tony Zhou and Taylor Ramos made the announcement in a Medium post. Their biggest reason for moving onto other things: They had both become more focused on other work, and had simply lost passion for the project.
McDonald’s and Snap Inc. recently partnered on Snapchat’s first-ever sponsored bitmoji. The new animation is designed to promote the fast food giant’s “McCafe” products. And coffee-lovers be warned: This particular bitmoji is a thief. The animation features a mischievous character who appears to grab the user’s coffee cup and run off-screen with it. Chicago agency We Are Unlimited, a long-time partner of McDonald’s, helped design the new feature. OMD and Resolution Media also contributed.
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 (11/27/17 – 12/3/17)
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.
OpenSlate Engagement Data for the Gaming vertical, based on the engagement metric for the week ending December 3
The Future Group just opened its first North American office. (The Norwegian company is behind “Interactive Mixed Reality,” a mobile-based innovation that combines real-time interactivity with mixed-reality viewing.) In addition, the company just made a new hire: Robert DeFranco, a veteran sales exec who most recently worked at the app-design specialist InVision, will serve as The Future Group’s Director of Business Development. Lawrence Jones, the company’s existing VP, will head up the new North American office.
Executive producer David Fincher is often mentioned in connection to Netflix’s Mindhunter, but he’s not the credited creator of the series. Who is? (Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)
Trivia: The first two seasons of Netflix’s Narcos told the story of which infamous drug lord? Answer: Pablo Escobar. Kudos to Andrew Bellamy-Producers Guild of America/NY, Aymon DeMauro-Discovery Communications/NY, Andy Pittman-TAMU/TX, Jes Santoro-Adobe/NY, Ricardo Zanirato-Fox Networks Group/ São Paulo, Brazil, Steve Lanzano-TVB, Scott Jenkins-Gracenote/NY, Luke Watson-Essential TV/NY, Sheena Das-Disney ABC/NY, Karla Tovar, Halter Cunningham-Endeavor Global Marketing/NY, Jon Bruehl-NCSA/IL, Sharisse T. Cabrera-Fandom/NY, Christine Allen-McGee Media/NY, Lorrie Shilling-CA, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA, Conor Moran-Pixability/NY, Amanda Nojadera-Common Sense Media/CA, Bruce Trotter-CoxReps/CA, Cynthia Thomas-Viacom/NY, Seraphina-Kleinen-S2BN Entertainment/NY, and John Tingue-CBS Local Media/IL