12/01/17: CBS considers 24-hour “Entertainment Tonight” streaming service

Good morning. It’s Friday December 1, 2017 and this is your your first early morning Digital briefing.

Mashup: A mashup is a web page, application, or piece of digital content that uses multiple types of media from pre-existing sources, combining them into a new work.
CBS is thinking about creating a VOD offering based on Entertainment Tonight. The revelation came from CBS CEO Les Moonves, who spoke at Variety’s Innovate Summit. The product would be a 24-hour entertainment news service, Moonves said. CBS now has a growing arsenal of VOD services, including CBS All Access, the CBSN news network, Showtime’s SVOD package, and an upcoming sports service, called CBS Sports HQ. Moonves clarified that the CBS Sports HQ service would not be a home for live sporting events.
You may not realize it, but artificial intelligence is taking over the media industry. And in the next Cynopsis Digital Webinar, you’ll learn how to work A.I. technologies into your strategy. “In just a few years, AI technologies will affect nearly every person on earth,” says panelist Dave Neway, Head of Product Marketing for IBM Watson Advertising. Many of the ways in which AI will impact our lives will be overt, while others will be more ambient, continuously working behind the scenes to make our lives better and our experiences more frictionless….[F]or for media professionals, AI can increase the speed and accuracy of decision-making, allowing media pros to spend more time on high value strategic work and less time in the weeds.” To learn more, register for the December 6 webinar here.   
Amazon’s Fire TV streaming box is extending voice controls to a number of new video apps. The features, which make use of the Fire TV’s voice-compatible remote, allow users to ask Alexa, Amazon’s A.I. assistant, to help with basic tasks such as playing, pausing, rewinding, and fast forwarding. The features can also be used to access specific shows or movies. Users could already use the voice tools on Amazon’s own content, but now they’re being extended to Hulu, NBC, Bravo, and additional third-party apps. It seems that other apps quietly gained the voice features last week, including Showtime, CBS All Access, and Sony PlayStation Vue. Amazon says that Showtime Anytime will be added to the list soon.
Vine may be gone, but CEO and cofounder Dom Hofmann says he’s working on something new. Hoffman wrote of a Vine “follow-up” in a series of tweets. He says he’ll personally fund the development of the app. Not too many other details are known just yet. Twitter purchased Vine, an app that shared six-second videos, in 2012. The platform was shuttered last year.
Yikes. In what Instagram is calling a spam attack, a number of users were apparently subjected to unexpected pornographic content over the weekend. The content showed up in the live section of the app, where publishers, brands and everyday users stream videos from their phones. Brands and publishers couldn’t have been too happy: Their ad-supported content was showing up right alongside the explicit videos. “We care deeply about the quality of content on Instagram, and take spam, inauthentic and other abusive behavior very seriously,” said Beth Gautier, a spokesperson for the Facebook-owned company.
As detailed in a recent story from Glossy, style brand Rebecca Minkoff plans to use virtual reality as a sales tool. The brand aims to one day let customers shop in VR, browsing a virtual setting for items like handbags and shoes. Meanwhile, the company has begun doing virtual reality “experiments,” using VR technology to determine the best possible layouts, both in department stores and in its own stores. You can learn more here.
Netflix has ordered a second season of Mindhunter. The David Fincher-produced crime drama first debuted on October 13. Netflix didn’t release many details about the new season. Fincher previously told Billboard that season 2 would focus on the “Atlanta Child Murders,” which tool place from 1979-1981.
Sony’s Crackle set a March 8 premiere date for The Oath, its upcoming 10-episode drama series. The show explores a world of gangs made up of those sworn to protect and defend, according to the company. It was created by Joe Halpin (Hawaii Five-O) and stars Ryan Kwanten (HBO’s True Blood). Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson serves as an executive producer.
In reference to our Cynopsis Top Women in Digital Awards, Sandy R., CEO for the DXagency, said: “I was honored and humbled to be selected as a Top Woman in Digital and to be placed among such distinguished colleagues. The Digital field is extraordinary and those in it are passionate, dedicated and innovative. It is an honor to be considered a leader in this field and a responsibility to create opportunities for other women to follow.” Nominations are currently being accepted for this year’s program, here: http://www.cynopsis.com/events/2018-top-women-in-digital/
Actress Elizabeth Banks has partnered with YouTube on a new initiative, called the “Women in Comedy” program. Banks’s digital media company, called WhoHaHa, will work with nine “YouTube Space” locations around the world. WhoHaHa and YouTube will work to provide support, mentorship, and resources to the more than 100 YouTube creators who were accepted into the program. A collaboration video will be released early next year, which will feature many of the creators involved in the program.
Time Inc. announced that it has sold Sunset, its lifestyle brand focused on the American West. The buyer is Regent L.P., a private equity firm based in Los Angeles. Sunset’s areas of coverage include travel, wine, food, and garden. It has a monthly print publication, and is active across digital and social platforms. Deal terms weren’t disclosed.
Fullscreen has made a new hire. The millennial-oriented digital media company has named Kevin Roe as its new SVP of Client Services, working in Fullscreen’s branded content group. He’ll report to Pete Stein, who serves as GM and head of Fullscreen’s brand group. Roe most recently worked for Razorfish, heading the digital agency’s Austin office. In the new role, he’ll continue to work out of Austin, developing standards and practices and leading growth efforts for top accounts. Fullscreen is owned by Otter Media, a joint venture between the Chernin Group and AT&T.
Female-oriented digital media company Refinery29 has a new COO. The job goes to Sarah Personette, who most recently served as Facebook’s VP of Global Business Marketing. In her new role, Personette will oversee business marketing and ad sales, along with distribution, audience, growth, and partnerships. She’ll be based in New York, reporting directly to co- CEOs Justin Stefano and Philippe Von Borries.
Which two documentarians directed Netflix’s Making a Murderer? (Email trivia@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)
Our Last Trivia Question: Who are the two co-creators of Netflix’s The Ranch? Answer: Don Reo and Jim Patterson. Kudos to Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/CA, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, and Lorrie Shilling/CA
Let’s see your team’s prosocial initiatives!
The 4th Annual Cynopsis Social Good Awards
Cynopsis is recognizing excellence in the area of social good in the TV, entertainment and digital media industry. From sustainability partnerships and PSA’s to diversity campaigns and environmental initiatives, this is your opportunity to showcase your efforts and inspire others to do the same. Entering is easy! Just login to our submission portal  here, enter a brief synopsis and pay for your entry.

has a quick rundown of the new tech-heavy toys for kids this holiday season. Even if you’re a grown-up, it’s a fun watch. Check out the video here.
Use Artificial Intelligence to Find the Biggest Possible Audience
AI can customize viewing experiences in a way that makes pay TV more valuable to consumers; it can help you reach potential consumers with increasingly precise ad targeting, and it can help you reach content consumers on A.I. driven platforms, such as smart speakers. We think it’s high time the industry starts really utilizing this new tool. That’s why we’re hosting the Wednesday, December 6 webinar, Using Artificial Intelligence to Capture & Captivate Audiences.
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