01/02/18: CNN scraps The Update, its Snapchat news show

CynopsisDigital
Good morning. It’s Tuesday January 2, 2018 and this is your your first early morning Digital briefing. 
 
 
TODAY’S CODEBREAKER
 
Meatspace: Meatspace is a slang term that refers to any space in the real world, as compared to an online or virtual reality environment.
 
 
JUST IN…
 
CNN will stop producing The Update, its daily Snapchat news show – at least for the time being. It seems the company struggled to effectively monetize the show under its rev-share deal with Snap Inc. “We plan to keep working together and mutually decided to hit pause as we explore the best opportunities for doing that,” the two companies clarified in a joint statement. In keeping with the app’s tendency toward ephemeral content, the series didn’t last very long: It first launched in August.
 
Reed Hastings is entering 2018 on a high note. The Netflix CEO will receive $28.7 million in stock options this year, according to a new SEC filing. That’s an increase of $7.5 million over last year – more than enough to offset a new salary cut. (Hastings’ 2018 salary will be $700,000 – down from $850,000 in 2017.) Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos isn’t far behind Hastings; he’ll earn about $26 million this year. That includes $14.25 million in stock options, up from $11 million in 2017, as well as a $12 million salary. That salary represents a whopping increase over last year’s mark, when Sarandos earned $1 million. The change is largely due to the GOP’s recently-passed tax plan, which curtails companies’ ability to deduct performance-based bonuses to managers who are paid over $1 million. As a result, Netflix has simply begun scrapping cash bonuses for many top execs, paying them higher salaries instead.
 
 
OTT + SVOD
 
Bright may have elicited dismal reviews from critics, but it seems to have garnered decent viewership nonetheless. According to Nielsen, the Will Smith-starring fantasy cop film pulled in about 11 million U.S. viewers on connected TVs during the three days following its December 22 debut. Netflix began measuring SVOD services in October. Predictably, Netflix has been critical of Nielsen’s SVOD measurement efforts, claiming that the company’s numbers have regularly missed the mark. We’ll never know, of course; Netflix refuses to release its viewership data. But it is true that Nielsen’s SVOD data doesn’t tell the whole story: It omits viewership on computers and mobile devices. In any event, 11 million viewers is a decent mark, though not a spectacular one; season two of Stranger Things, for instance, averaged 15.8 million viewers following its October release, according to Nielsen. It’s worth noting that Netflix reportedly paid around $100 million to acquire and produce Bright. Was it worth it? Only Netflix knows for sure.
 
Illinois-based cable company Consolidated Communications has partnered with fuboTV, a sports-heavy “virtual MVPD” service. Under the deal, Consolidated Communications will become the first member of the National Cable Television Cooperative to package fuboTV with its broadband services. The company will offer customers who sign up for fuboTV an additional 30-day trial of Fubo Premiere, a service that includes cloud DVR service and over 65 channels. Customers will also be able to choose a two-month promotional package that offers fuboTV service for a discounted rate of $19.99. Consolidated Communications offers broadband services in 36 states.
 
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
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Getting Maximum Impact from Experiential Marketing
Tuesday, January 30 | 1:30-3:00pm ET
In Cynopsis latest webinar, you’ll learn how to incorporate AI and VR to better understand your audience – where they are, and how they want to engage. Our expert panel will also cover the latest metrics for measuring success, including data points and tracking, that can be adapted for clients across industries. Get to know your audience and discover the potential in experiential marketing.
 
 

APPS + PLATFORMS
 
Google deactivated the YouTube app on Amazon Fire TV devices – and it did so four days earlier than it was expected to, according to Fast Company. (YouTube had already been pulled from another Amazon device, the Echo Show). The move comes as part of a long-simmering dispute between the two tech giants. In large part, Google is simply retaliating for Amazon’s decision not to sell Google devices such as Chromecast, Google Home, and Next products. Nonetheless, Google’s decision to pull Amazon’s YouTube access even earlier than expected comes as something of a surprise. Last month, Amazon suggested that it would soon resume selling Chromecast devices. And Google had previously stated that it was engaging in “productive discussions” with Amazon. Perhaps those discussions will bear fruit in the not-too-distant future – but for the moment, the feud continues. 
 
 
PROGRAMMING
 
Netflix has set a January 5 premiere date for The End of the F***king World, an eight-episode British dramedy series based on graphic novels from Charles Forsman. The series, presented in partnership with UK TV channel E4, centers on two teenagers who set out on a road trip in search of a better life. The series was adapted by Charlie Covell, the writer behind the British black comedy film Burn Burn Burn. Dominic Buchanan Productions and Clerkenwell Films collaborated on the production.
 
 
SOCIAL MEDIA
 
Facebook’s Instagram will now begin to show users “recommended” posts from other accounts, even if said users don’t follow those accounts. The suggestions will be based on posts that have been liked by other accounts that users follow. The feature is detailed in the platforms Help documentation. Instagram first began testing the change last month, the company recently confirmed. Recommended posts will be packaged within a new “Recommended for You” section. According to TechCrunch, the section will include three to five suggested posts.
 
 
RESEARCH
 
SVOD use is rapidly accelerating in France. That’s according to a recent report form GfK Consumer Choices and NPA Conseil (and released by CNC, France’s National Film Board). According to the report, subscription-based VOD revenue reached 173 million euros ($205 million) during the first nine months of 2017 – nearly twice the 2016 figure. Video-on-demand sales, meanwhile, hit 350 million euros ($415 million), year-over-year increase of almost 37%. Not too surprisingly, Netflix was France’s market leader in the SVOD space.
 
 
EXECUTIVE MOVES
 
Steve Shannon has left Roku. The veteran digital media exec had served as the company’s GM/SVP of Content & Services since 2012. Shannon’s responsibilities will now be assumed by Scott Rosenberg, Roku’s SVP/GM of Advertising. Like Shannon, Rosenberg first joined the streaming device-maker in 2012. Is new title is SVP/GM Platform.
 
Looks like some major changes are afoot at Snap Inc. The company hired former News Corp global video chief Rahul Chopra. According to Cheddar, Chopra will be tasked with expanding Snapchat’s user-generated “Stories” beyond the app itself. Snap has reportedly been discussing the possibility of letting users share Stories on other social media platforms, and also letting them embed Stories on a proprietary web platform. Snap has reportedly dubbed the new feature “Stories Everywhere.”
 
 
UPCOMING DIGITAL PROGRAMMING
 
… for the week of Monday, January 1, through Sunday, January 7
– People Now at People.com, Monday-Friday at 8:30 AM ET and 11:30 AM ET. Guests include musician/actor Nick Jonas, TV personality Mama June (WE tv’s From Hot to Not), and actor Corey Feldman
Netflix: Foreign drama series Glacé debuted Monday, January 1
Netflix: Comedy series Lovesick returned Monday, January 1
Netflix: Foreign animated series Devilman Crybaby debuts Friday, January 5
Netflix: Horror-fantasy movie Before I Wake debuted Friday, January 5
Netflix: Rotten, a new documentary, debuts Friday, January 5
Netflix: Jerry Seinfeld-helmed series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee begins its tenth season – and first since moving from Crackle to Netflix – on Friday, January 5
CBS All Access: Star Trek: Discovery returns on Sunday, January 7
 
 
TRIVIA
 
Our Last Trivia Question: 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. Which film? Answer: Shakespeare In Love. Kudos to Allyson Jaron Haas-Babiekins Magazine/CA, Peter Steckelman-Tennis Channel/CA, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/CA, Kristien Brada-Thompson-Priority PR/CA, Sheena Das-Disney ABC/NY, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, Lorrie Shilling/CA, Jesse Demastrie-GMMB/Washington, D.C., Nicole Correnti-Fuse Media/NY, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA, Dana Worby-Robinson-DraftKings/MA, Mathew Tombers-Intermat/NY, Robert Miranda, Andy Yeatman/CA, Lisa Chader-Fans 1st Media/TN, and Claire Goldsmith-Periscope/MN
 
Shakespeare In Love co-star Gwyneth Paltrow recently appeared in which Apple Music streaming video series? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)
 
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Nominate the inspirational leader in your life
 
Simply log on to our submission portal, choose the category that best fits your nominee (industry leader, corporate visionary, mentor, rising star, director who does it all, game-changer), enter a brief synopsis and submit. Honorees will be celebrated at the 4th Annual Top Women in Digital Awards Breakfast, taking place on Wednesday, March 14th in NYC (Check out pictures from last year’s event here). 
 
 

SHORT FORM SPOTLIGHT
 
Netflix recently dropped the trailer for Open House, an upcoming horror/thriller film. It debuts January 19; check out the trailer here
 
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MGR, PARTNERS BRAND MARKETING (New Release)
NBCU/Film Ent Group
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