Over the summer, Google confirmed that it was working on its own ad-blocking software for the Chrome web browser. Now we know when that software will start rolling out: According to a new announcement, the ad blocker debuts on February 15, for both desktop and mobile devices. Understandably, many publishers have expressed trepidation over the upcoming ad-blocker. Google has previously insisted that it only intends to filter out the most annoying ad formats, such as pop-ads that cover up more than 30 percent of a mobile phone screen or video ads that automatically play with sound on. In its latest announcement, Google also said that it might also block certain ads that don’t fit those parameters, so long as those ads are displayed on sites that frequently employ intrusive advertising techniques. Speaking of which, the company says it will keep track of whether sites regularly violate the standards of the Coalition for Better Ads, an industry trade group that regularly works with media and tech companies.
CYNOPSIS SALARY SURVEY
Did you know the average media industry bonus clocks in at $13,600? Or that the salaries for most functions are in the Northeast and West in the U.S., but legal and marketing positions pay better in the West than anywhere else? The Cynopsis Salary Survey is out now, and if you want to see how you’re stacking up to your peers, check it out here.
AUDIO + MUSIC STREAMING
YouTube and Universal Music Group confirmed that they have reached a new multi-year deal. And according to reports from Bloomberg and Variety, the Google-owned video giant has reached a similar deal with Sony Music. According to Bloomberg, the deals establish royalty rates for Sony and Universal artists whose videos are uploaded to the platform. The deals also cover royalties related to user-generated clips, such as song covers. YouTube will also be obligated to crack down harder on copyright infringement. YouTube now has pacts in place with all three major music labels (the company finalized a licensing deal with Warner Music Group back in May). It’s no surprise that YouTube has been pursuing such deals: Last week, Bloomberg reported that the company is looking to launch its own streaming music service – tentatively called Remix – in March.
Amazon’s Twitch is set to launch its first game show. Called Stream On, the 11-week series hails from Twitch Studios, the platform’s original content division. The series will feature streamers from within the Twitch Partner Program, which is currently about 25,000 members strong. Competitors will face off against one another in various competitions, with the winner pocketing $60,000. Twitch says it aims to turn the winning contestant into a widely known figure who can then begin a full-time career as a video-streamer. The series is slated to debut in March, according to the company.
SHORT FORM VIDEO
Discovery’s Cash Cab is getting a digital counterpart. The news was first reported by Deadline. Called Cash Lift, the video series will appear on Facebook’s Watch platform, along with the Discovery Go app. The series will star comedians Zainab Johnson and Alex Weber, who will pitch trivia question to hotel guests during elevator rides. The series hails from both Discovery and Group Nine Media, a digital media holding company that enjoys substantial financial backing from Discovery. Group Nine Media’s properties include Thrillist, TheDodo, and NowThis.
LET’S MAKE A DEAL
Verizon recently inked an updated streaming pact with the NFL – but the company also lost its exclusive mobile streaming rights. ESPN and NBCUniversal are taking advantage. Under a new deal with the league, ESPN will now expand its live-streams of Monday Night Football games to mobile devices. (Only ESPN subs will have access.) The expanded mobile deal also includes highlights. The agreement will last through the end of the 2021 NFL season, which is when ESPN’s overall pact deal with the league is set to expire. As for NBCU, the company has gained the mobile streaming rights for Sunday Night Football games through the NBC TV Everywhere app (only available to pay-TV subs). NBCU’s expanded deal begins with the 2018 season. It’ll be the first time that NBC streams NFL games to mobile phones, though it had already been streaming games to tablets, desktops, and connected TVs for a number of years.
SHAREABLEE SOCIAL TV RATINGS: Top 10 U.S. Primetime and Streaming Shows for December 11 – December 17. Based on Shareablee’s Video Power Index (VPI), which combines viewing, consumer interactions and audience scale across all active platforms, and includes the video performance of primetime and streaming shows.
Tubular Top Ten Global Sponsored Videos Sunday, December 10 2017 – Saturday, December 16, 2017. Based on Tubular Video Ratings measuring 10 million video publishers, 3 billion videos, and 400 million viewers. Sponsored videos are ranked by V3, total views in the first three days after upload.
Canvs, the emotion measurement company, analyzed tweets about TV and streaming programming from January 1, 2017 – December 19, 2017 using Twitter data from Nielsen. Check out their findings below.
Every week, millions of viewers around the world use TV Time to track the shows they’re watching. TV Time uses this data to determine the Most Binged shows of the week. Below, check out the Binge Report for December 11 through December 17.
Cloud-based video-creation platform Wochit has named Colm Curneen as its new Director of Business Development. Curneen has previously held positions at the Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, and New York Times. He most recently served as Director of Business Development at Storyful, a social video news agency owned by News Corp. At Wochit, Curneen will manage strategic partnerships and work to grow the company’s portfolio of clients.
Joseph Fiennes, currently best known for playing Commander Fred Waterford on Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, first gained widespread notice in the late ‘90s, when he starred in a film that went on to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. What was the film? (Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)
Our Last Trivia Question: Who stars as protagonist Prairie Johnson in Netflix’s The OA? Answer: Brit Marling. Kudos to Andy Pittman-TAMU/TX, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/CA, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA, Christine Allen-McGee Media/CA, Luke Watson-Essential TV/NY, and Lorrie Shilling/CA