12/15/14: Hearst purchases 25% stake in AwesomenessTV; Crackle pushes back release of ‘The Throwaways’ due to Sony hack; Tubular Labs December Rising Media + Entertainment Brands


Good morning. It’s Monday, December 15, 2014, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


Hearst Corporation acquired a 25 percent stake in DreamWorks Animation’s multi-channel network AwesomenessTV for $81.25 million. “Few companies have built the global audience of millennial females as quickly as AwesomenessTV. For us, it’s very important to make a bet on the future of how content is created,” Hearst CEO and President Steven R. Swartz said. Hearst will work with DWA to manage its current programming and grow ATV. [ATV co-founders] “Brian Robbins and Brett Bouttier are democratizing media by enabling young talent to produce their own content, be discovered by their peers and then be showcased across AwesomenessTV’s network of channels, as well as television shows and even movies,” Hearst Co-President of Entertainment & Syndication and President of Hearst Digital Studios Neeraj Khemlani said. Hearst will allow DWA access to its SVOD technology, pushing more content to consumers across multiple formats. Two years old, ATV averages 800 million monthly views and more than 114 million subscribers. Its top YouTube channels include Cimorelli, Miss Glamorazzi, Tyler Oakley, Cameron Dallas and Nash Grier.
Cinedigm and Wizard World’s new comic-con and pop culture themed Con TV channel is taking shape with a newly announced slate of original series and acquired films and TV shows. The lineup includes a parody reality series featuring YouTube talent called Fight of the Living Dead, cult films such as Return to Horror High, My Name Is Bruce, Gingerdead Man, Godzilla, and TV series such as Being Human and Yu-Gi-Oh. Con TV will be free, though a $6.99 subscription will give customers exclusive content and audience rewards; it will launch on Samsung Smart TVs, Roku, Apple TV, Xbox, PlayStation and other platforms in early 2015.
iTunes continues to grow its library of indie films with the addition of IFC FilmsThe Trip to Italy. The comedy will be available on the platform exclusively for two weeks before being released on other digital networks. Apple previously offered “L.A. Plays Itself,” “The Act of Killing” and “Palo Alto” as iTunes exclusives.
There’s talk that Charlie Sheen will make an appearance on the February finale of CBS’s Two and a Half Men. Would such a cameo make you watch the show? Vote in our poll.


Crackle pushed back the release of its movie about a hacker called The Throwaways, in light of Sony’s real-life hack last month. Variety reports the film was originally supposed to hit Crackle on Dec. 19, but will now be released in early January. The film stars Sam Huntington, Kevin Dillon and James Caan, and revolves around a hacker who’s captured and recruited by the CIA to hunt down a cyber-terrorist.
People Now, the daily live online show presented by Toyota on People.com, announced that Trista Sutter (The Bachelorette), Dean Cain (Merry ExMas), country singer Jessie James Decker, Cameron Diaz and Bobby Cannavale as well as the cast of Downton Abbey (Laura Carmichael, Lesley Nicol and Phyllis Logan) will make guest appearances this week. The 20-minute program offers exclusive interviews, celebrity and entertainment updates, and news and human-interest stories Monday-Friday at 8:30a ET.


Webinar: Getting Branded Video Programming Right
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Find out how smart networks are assisting clients in optimizing the branded content space in fresh and entertaining ways to lift brand awareness and ROI.

Featured Panelists
Stuart McLean, Founder & CEO at Content & Co.
Tim Staples,
Founding Partner at Shareability
Danielle Lee,
VP of Commercial Marketing at Vevo
Seraj Bharwani,
Chief Analytics Officer at Visible Measure


Vimeo partnered with Lincoln Motor Company to create the Live In Your Moment video series, a collection of short films that briefly feature the auto. The car maker and Vimeo chose filmmakers with big followings on the platform – Diego Conteras, Khalid Mohtaseb and Joshua Kang – and developed stories about “finding your moment, and living in it.” Lincoln was the first brand to sign on with Vimeo’s Brand Creative Fund, an initiative for advertisers and filmmakers to produce content for Vimeo’s audience.


Tubular Labs Top 11 Rising Media & Entertainment Brands on YouTube, based on channels with more than 25K subs excluding gaming brands for last 30 days ending Dec. 12
Brands/(Channel)/Total Subs/Subs in last 30 days/% subs gained/views
Fifty Shades of Grey
(FiftyShadesMovie) / 76K / 35K / 48% / 16.7M
Universal Pictures (UniversalPictures) / 254K /
94K / 37% / 62.3M
Top Trending (toptrendingtv) / 425K /
153K / 36% / 22.6M
BYUtv (BYUTelevision) / 192K /
60K / 32% / 26.7M
New York Post (NYPost) / 57K /
17K / 31% / 26.1M
Buzz Feed Violet (buzzfeedviolet) / 600K /
187K / 31% / 31.3M
MTV Braless (mtvbraless) / 72K /
22K / 31% / 0.7M
Vice: Fightland (fightlandtv) / 27K /
8K / 30% / 0.8M
The Divergent Series (MwG2ASWSwfgMVKyYMvNL8A) / 76K /
19K / 26% / 4.6M
Entertainment Tonight (entertainmenttonight) / 54K /
13K / 24% / 10.9M
Dancing with the Stars (abcdwts) / 92K /
21K / 23% / 12.3M

So what does this mean? Tubular Co-Founder and Vice President of Enterprise Allison Stern told Cynopsis, “The most interesting media rising stars on this list are MTVBraless and the New York Post, which show two different and successful ways to capture the YouTube audience – with YT talent collaborations or viral videos. MTV Braless is an alliance between MTV and YouTube star Laci Green, who runs a sex education channel with 1.2 million subscribers. New York Post’s success was driven by the video Young elephant survives attack by 14 Lions, which got 21 million views on YouTube and 36 thousand shares on Facebook.”


The Trade Desk appointed Gabe Greenberg as General Manager of its Advanced TV Division. Previously, Greenberg was CSO at Delivery Agent, and held the same post at RGM Group, LLC.

Jukin Media hired Jonathan Nagy as Vice President of Sales and Branded Entertainment, a new post. Nagy was formerly the West Coast Sales Director at Discovery Digital.

Machinima former Creative Director of Original Programming Jeremy Azevedo is the new Head of Discovery Digital Networks Los Angeles. He will oversee DDN LA’s Production Operations and work on YouTube’s Phil DeFranco’s division, which also encompasses SourceFed and For Human Peoples.

Fuisz Media hired Justin Danko as Vice President of Sales and Partnerships. He was recently Fullscreen’s East Coast Vice President of Sales and Partnerships.

Fullscreen Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development Jay Veraldi is departing the company but will reportedly remain onboard as a consultant.


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Joseph Gordon-Levitt directed a short film with Samsung and his production company, HitRECord, called In A City. The film takes viewers to seven locales around the world  London, Cairo, Tokyo, Sheffield, Prague, Rio De Janeiro and Los Angeles – all filmed with Samsung’s new mirror-free camera, the NX1. Behind-the-scenes footage and extras will be released on Dec. 16, but the film is currently on Samsung’s Facebook page, YouTube channel and at

See you tomorrow,
Jessica Reese  @JMarieReese

Roberta Caploe: Editorial Director @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

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