01/04/17: Amazon’s Fire TV OS to be integrated into three brands of smart TV


Good morning. It’s Wednesday January 4, 2017 and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


Crawler: A crawler is a software program that visits web pages to create an index of data for search engines.


You may or may not have heard of the Chinese consumer electronics giant Tongfang, but you’ve definitely heard of the company they’re now partnering with. Three of Tongfang’s brands – Seiki, Westinghouse, and Element Electronics – are getting set to launch several 4K TV sets powered by Amazon’s Fire TV OS. It’s the first time that the Fire TV platform will depart from Amazon’s set-top box and be added directly to a TV set. The TVs are slated to roll out later this year. No pricing details or exact release dates have been announced just yet.
Comcast has purchased Watchwith, a “deep metadata” platform that specializes in tracking TV content-related data. The startup will now be part of Comcast Metadata Products and Search Services (CoMPASS), the team that maintains Comcast’s video applications, content-discovery, and metadata services. Terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed.


Just ahead of CES, Dish Network has officially announced the debut of the AirTV player, a new Android-based streaming device that lets Sling TV customers view local broadcast stations using an external over-the-air antenna. (The announcement was less of a surprise than it was meant to be thanks to the eagle eyes of tech blogger Dave Zatz.) The device helps Dish do a bit of an end-run around a problem that Sling and other OTT-based live TV services have faced in the past: Negotiating carriage deals for local stations. The AirTV player also integrates Netflix and YouTube support, along with access to Google Play Store titles. It’s all accessible via a single interface. The device sells for $129.99; a version that comes equipped with streaming services but not an over-the-air TV adapter sells for $99.99. Users can still buy the adapter later for $39.99.
Roku will be introducing some new hardware at CES, including new 4K TVs that come equipped with Dolby Vision HDR (high dynamic range). And the company is announcing that it has partnered with Element Electronics on new Roku TVs that will roll out later in the year. TCL is announcing new Roku-based 4K HDR TVs as well. Roku is also making sure to tout some new numbers: According to IHS data, Roku’s app platform is now the basis of 13 percent of smart TVs sold in the U.S., up from 8% last year. 


The results are in: how do you $tack up?


Is your pay competitive? Check out the latest Cynopsis Salary Survey of media execs for the “dollars and sense” of who’s making what, and why!



The world of VR hardware is welcoming a new player. Chinese consumer tech company Lenovo announced that it’s launching its own virtual reality headset later in 2017. Based on the Microsoft Windows Holographic platform, consumers will need a PC with Windows 10 to use it. Unlike other VR headsets, the unnamed Lenovo device will also be able to run some augmented reality experiences using external cameras. No word on the precise pricing just yet, but Lenovo told The Verge that it’s aiming for something close to $300. That would make it cheaper than VR headsets from the likes of Sony, Oculus, and HTC, which range in price from $400 to $800.
For the second time, 20th Century Fox and its FOX Innovation Lab R&D unit are turning a Ridley Scott feature into a much-promoted VR experience. Last year it was The Martian VR Experience, first unveiled at CES. At this year’s CES, Fox is announcing an upcoming VR experience based on the Alien: Covenant, Scott’s follow-up to 2012’s Prometheus. No word yet on when the new experience will debut, but Alien: Covenant premieres in May. The new VR experience, executive produced by Scott and directed by David Karlak, will be available for purchase on the major VR platforms. The Fox Innovation lab made the project in partnership with Scott’s RSA Films and Technicolor’s MPC VR.


Jawohl. Amazon Studios has renewed its dystopian drama The Man in the High Castle for a third season. The series, based on a Philip K. Dick novel of the same name, takes place in an alternative history in which the Axis Powers won World War II. Season two bowed just last month. Eric Overmyer (The Affair, Bosch) will take over as EP and showrunner for season three.


SHAREABLEE SOCIAL TV RATINGS: Top U.S. Streaming Shows Overall by Engagement for the week of December 12-December 18, 2016
Program, Date, Total Actions (000), Total Content, Actions per Post (000), Fans/Followers (000)
1. Orange Is the New Black (Netflix) 239, 3, 80, 1016
2. Gilmore Girls (Netflix) 89, 3, 30, 3437
3. Trailer Park Boys (Netflix) 81, 13, 6, 1960
4. BoJack Horseman (Netflix) 77, 6, 13, 858
5. VeggieTales (Netflix) 49, 33, 1, 673
6. Daredevil (Netflix) 49, 5, 10, 3620
7. Stranger Things (Netflix) 49, 2, 24, 3854
8. Marvel’s Jessica Jones (Netflix) 29, 3, 10, 1531
9. Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon) 29, 11, 3, 226
10. The Man in the High Castle (Amazon) 28, 26, 1, 301
Source: Shareablee Inc. The total actions metric includes the total volume of post-level likes, shares, favorites, retweets and comments. Total content includes all posts, tweets and media posted by each TV property across all platforms. Actions per post metric notes the average e number of actions garnered by each property. Total fans/followers includes Facebook and Twitter and Instagram followers.
The ListenFirst Television Interest (TVI) Rating (TM) is a standardized measurement of the most buzzed-about TV programs on linear TV and streaming services. A complement to ListenFirst’s other syndicated data products (such as the ListenFirst Digital Audience Rating – TV), the metrics included in the rating capture organic actions that are largely unaffected by paid media. Programs that surface on the TVI leaderboards are the most hashtagged on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Tumblr, as well as most searched for on Wikipedia (used as a proxy for organic search volume).
All Series (12/26/16 – 1/1/16)
Source: ListenFirst. The TVI Rating aggregates metrics that measure organically generated activity by fans of the TV show. The metric includes total volume of official hashtag mentions on Facebook, Google+, andTumblr, along with Wikipedia page views (as a proxy for organic search volume) for a show as a percentage of the total volume of the same activities for all shows.
OpenSlate Engagement Data for the Gaming vertical, based on the engagement metric for the week ending January 1.
Channel (Engagement) / Monthly Views / Total Subs / SlateScore
juegagerman (9.8) / 166,371,933 / 16,863,578 / 759
rezendeevil (9.8) / 155,999,105 / 10,014,802 / 790
am3nlc (9.8) / 76,547,540 / 5,274,226 / 765
PewDiePie (9.8) / 368,554,074 / 51,815,016 / 811
jacksepticeye (9.8) / 228,372,628 / 13,955,859  / 763
popularmmos (9.8) / 247,469,950 / 10,093,035 / 757
SSundee (9.8) / 76,628,050 / 7,540,481 / 784
markiplierGAME (9.8) / 226,428,779 / 15,971,662 / 779
TheDiamondMinecart (9.7) / 245,736,708 / 13,612,839 / 737
fernanfloo (9.7) / 208,764,875  / 18,281,282 / 728
Source: The Engagement metric is one of OpenSlate’s component scores, and is a measure of a producer’s ability to evoke meaningful interaction with their audience. It is calculated on a scale of 1-10 with higher being better. The OpenSlateEngagement score uses a subset of the data incorporated in the SlateScore to perform a set of unique calculations. It factors in views, comments, likes, and more.
To determine the TV ads generating the most digital response, attention analytics company iSpot.tv measures digital actions across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and all major search engines. Here, a look at the brands that advertised during the latest edition of ABC’s long-running New Year’s Eve special.
Mariah Carey‘s ‘performance train wreck,’ as The New York Times called it, during Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest is already the stuff of legend. It’s not clear why she agreed to sing amidst the cold chaos of Times Square in the first place, but for marketers who lined up to sponsor the special, it was an opportunity to put their brands top of mind as consumers rang in 2017. The top 5 brands that advertised during the big show were Planet Fitness, Google, Macy’s, Liberty Mutual and Facebook, in that order, ranked by estimated spend. But the winners in terms of generating the most digital reponse to the ads they aired during the special were Samsung Mobile, Macy’s, Allstate, Coca-Cola and Lucasfilm. Samsung won over viewers with a sweet spot showing how its VR technology can help bridge generations.”


Conde Nast’s Wired just lost its editor-in-chief. Scott Dadich, who has helmed Wired’s magazine and digital properties for four years, is leaving the publication to start what’s being described as a “strategy, design and content firm.” Launched in partnership with marketing vet Patrick Godfrey, the firm will be called Godfrey Dadich Partners. Taking Dadich’s place at Wired will be Nicholas Thompson, currently the digital editor of Conde Nast’s The New Yorker. Thompson previously served as a senior editor at Wired from 2005 to 2010.


Our Last Trivia Question: How many of Arrested Development‘s four seasons originally ran on Netflix? Answer: Just one, season 4, originally ran on Netflix, though all 4 are available to stream there. The first three seasons ran on Fox. Kudos to Andy Pittman-TAMU/TX, James Canal-Media Storm/CT, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, Aaron Paquette-Maru/Matchbox/TX,  Adam S. Hacker-Tashmoo Productions/GA, Christine Allen-McGee Media/NY, and Rylan Albach-Sideqik Influencer Marketing/GA
Follow-up: The timeframe of Arrested Development‘s 4th season was structured differently than that of the first 3. How so? (Email trivia@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)


Cynopsis Top Women in Digital
Honoring those who excel in digital content, marketing, advertising, social media, and online content.

Deadline: January 10, 2017 at 11:59pm!

Visit our website for additional information on:
Who Should Enter, How to Enter, Eligibility Period, Categories, Deadlines, Sponsorship Opportunities, Contact Information and FAQ’s.


Self-driving cars are likely the future. But do smart cars also need smart roads? From the Wall Street Journal, learn how some streets are starting to communicate with the vehicles that drive on them – here.

See you tomorrow,
David Teich

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