12/15/16: Vice’s Shane Smith: Vice is moving toward IPO


Good morning. It’s Thursday December 15, 2016 and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


Social Listening: Social listening is the process of monitoring digital conversations in order to understand what consumers and influencers are saying about a brand and/or industry online.


For the first time, Facebook plans to fund and launch exclusive entertainment content. (The social giant’s presence in the media ecosystem has become so hegemonic that it’s almost hard to believe the company hasn’t done this already.) Facebook says its new efforts will include both scripted and unscripted programming, both from specific digital media stars and from media companies. Ricky Van Veen, the company’s Head of Global Creative Strategy, will head up the effort. He joined the company from CollegeHumor earlier this year. The goal, the company says, is to create content that will be exclusive to the recently launched video tab on Facebook’s mobile app. While the company says that it’s reaching out to a variety of media partners, not many other details are known just yet.   
Is Vice Media going public? In an interview at Variety’s Dealmakers breakfast, CEO Shane Smith suggested that it might well be. “We’re talking to some banks and we’re getting ready,” he said. He even said that Vice’s execs will present the case for an IPO at a company board meeting next month. “Next year is going to be a banner year and now is the time to do it,” said Smith. Still, no final decisions on an IPO have been made.


The video ad tech company Unruly is debuting a new psychographic targeting tool today. Called Unruly DNA, the tool combines Unruly’s “emotional intelligence” tools with machine learning capabilities from the IBM supercomputer Watson. Unruly DNA is designed to identify and engage with the consumers most likely to increase a brand’s sales, Unruly says. The tool works by generating a recommended list of third-party audience segments that advertisers can use to improve the efficiency of their targeting. In particular, Unruly DNA creates profiles of “light buyers.” (According to Unruly, light buyers are “more likely than heavy buyers to increase sales because they have a greater capacity to purchase more.”) Unruly is owned by News Corp.
The schedule for next year’s IAB Digital NewFronts has been set. The New York Times will kick off the proceedings on May 1, and Mashable will close things out on May 12. You can check out the full schedule here.


FuboTV aims to become a bigger player in the OTT TV space – and soon. The company, which got its start as a soccer-oriented SVOD service, is getting ready to launch an online live television service featuring over 70 broadcast and cable channels – more than double its current channel lineup. FuboTV has recently signed affiliate agreements with the likes of NBA TV, NBCUniversal, The Weather Channel, and a number of others. The service will maintain FuboTV’s focus on sports, featuring regional sports nets and a selection of NFL, NBA, and MLB games. Launching in the next few weeks, it’ll cost $34.99 a month. FuboTV will be placed squarely in competition with AT&T’s DirecTV Now, Dish Network’s Sling TV, Sony’s PlayStation Vue, and, starting next year, new OTT-based TV services from Hulu and Google.


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Snapchat’s Discover platform has added a new partner. The newest Discover channel belongs to mitu, a digital media company geared toward young Latinos. Like other Discover channels, the mitu channel will feature articles, videos, photos, and animations. “It’s important to us to provide editorial perspectives that fully reflect all members of our community – and equally important to find the right partner with a unique and authentic point of view,” said Nick Bell, VP of Content for Snapchat parent Snap Inc.
The Cartoon Network app has expanded to Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. It was already available for iOS and Android. The Cartoon Network app features both original and acquired content. The Cartoon Network app is a “TV Everywhere” app; full access requires user authentication through a pay-TV provider.
has debuted new apps for Android TV, Apple TV, and Samsung Smart TVs. The IAC-owned music video service already had apps for Android and iOS mobile devices. Vimeo also has plans to launch a paid SVOD service, though there’s no set date for that just yet.


VR studio Felix & Paul just landed a big-name partner. In a collaboration with the Fox Innovation Lab, F&P will develop and produce cinematic VR experiences based on movies and characters from 20th Century Fox. This isn’t the first time F&P has worked with the Fox Innovation Lab; the two collaborated on a VR experience based on the 2015 film Wild. Details about the first new projects under the new deal are expected early next year.
Is the world of cinematic VR ready for an SVOD service? The VR startup Wevr is betting on it. Wevr has launched a new premium subscription service dedicated exclusively to VR experiences. The service will be added as a premium tier of Wevr’s Transport app, which is already available via the Samsung Gear VR and HTC Vive headsets. The service will be priced at $20 per month for Vive users, who will get access to both room-scale experiences and mobile-accessible experiences. Users of the mobile-based Gear VR will only pay $8 per month, but the Gear VR headset doesn’t have the technical capabilities for room-scale VR experiences.


@lovetylerposey: Imma have nightmares about the Ghost Riders #teenwolf
Canvs, the language analytics company that measures emotions around content, analyzed tweets about TV and streaming programming from Dec. 7-13 using Twitter data from Nielsen. Insights from the 3,117,500 tweets expressing a specific Emotional Reaction (ER) include:
– 7.2% of viewers who discussed being addicted to a TV show were referencing The Voice on NBC.
– 3% of people who talked about how something on TV made them cry were watching Eyewitness on USA Network, with the characters Philip and Lukas prompting much of the sadness.
– 2% of viewers who mentioned they were afraid of something on TV were checking out Teen Wolf on MTV, with the ghost riders in particular being a source of fear.
– 8.3% of people who expressed love about what they were watching were tuned into NBC’s special broadcast of Hairspray Live! on Dec. 7.
– Canvs


Tremor Video’s Monica Seebohm has a new role and title. She’ll now serve Senior Director of Global Demand, working to expand the ad software provider’s international Seller Platform partnerships. She previously led Tremor’s political advertising team as National Director of Politics And Advocacy.


So far, Netflix has debuted three original series from the Marvel cinematic universe. The next one is queued up for a March, 2017 release. Which show is it? (Email trivia@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)
Our Last Trivia Question: Gerald McRaney, who plays billionaire industrialist Raymond Tusk on Netflix’s House of Cards, played a real-life 19th century industrialist in HBO’s Deadwood. Which one? Answer: George Hearst. Kudos to John Ferlazzo/London, U.K., Andy Pittman-TAMU/TX, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment, Inc./CA, Phillip Hurst-LiveAirShowTV/FL, Mathew Tombers-Intermat, Inc./NY, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA-Federal Credit Union/CA, Rohan Castelino-IRIS.TV/NY, Luke Watson-Roker Labs/NY, Lorrie Shilling/CA, and Louis Lewow-Lewow Media Group/GA


The New Emerging TV Viewers & Consumers: Who They Are & How to Reach Them
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As long as some new tech innovations are geared toward pets, you might as well let the pets themselves assess their quality. Check out an adorable new video from The Wall Street Journal (Title: Pet Tech, Reviewed by a Dog ) – available here.

See you tomorrow,
David Teich

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