01/05/16: Yahoo shutters Yahoo Screen video hub; Oculus Rift preorders to launch January 6; Netflix to launch in Russia


Good morning. It’s Tuesday January 5, 2016, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


has drawn the curtain on Yahoo Screen: The company’s video hub has been shuttered. It was launched in 2013, with the goal of housing all of Yahoo’s programming, ranging from its recent live-streamed NFL game to original series like Dan Harmon’s Community. The Yahoo Screen experiment proved overly ambitious, particularly where original programming was concerned; the company declared a $42 million writedown on its originals in 2015, and quickly scrapped its plans to create more original content, at least in the immediate future. Yahoo Screen programming will now live on other Yahoo verticals, such as Yahoo Music.


The Rift is near. Oculus announced that preorders of its widely anticipated new virtual reality headset will open Wednesday, January 6. The company suggested that more details – including, presumably, the price of the headset – will be made available once preorders go live.



Judd Apatow
is officially coming to Netflix. Love, Apatow’s new original series, will debut on February 19. The series stars Community’s Gillian Jacobs and comedian Paul Rust. Apatow, Rust, and Lesley Arfin are credited as co-creators. You can see a brief teaser here.
With the instant success of Making a Murderer, Netflix is already finding that documentaries can draw viewers while igniting impassioned conversation. Now the streaming service is wading deeper into the waters of politically charged doc filmmaking. Je Suis Charlie, a French-language documentary about the 2015 Charlie Hebdo terror attacks, is coming to Netflix on January 7. Netflix cut the licensing deal with Pyramide International, a European sales company.



Get ready for some Cyrillic subtitles. Netflix will be launching in Russia this month, according to Russian newspaper Izvestia. (You can read the original report here – if you can read Russian.) Initially, the Russian Netflix service will only be available via smart TV sets and set-top boxes. The Russian expansion is only the latest conquest in Netflix’s steady march to global domination. The streaming service is already available in multiple European countries, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan; an expansion into Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan is planned for early this year.
Roku announced that it will continue to introduce more new models of TVs equipped with its smart TV platform – at least 60 in 2016. The company also announced that it’s introducing its first 4K TV set early in the year, in partnership with Chinese tech company TCL. According to Roku, about one million Roku smart TVs have been purchased by U.S. consumers; the company first started selling them in 2014.


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When giants fight, all you can do is crane your neck and watch. According to a report from The Information, Facebook is prepping some contingency plans that would allow the company to continue operating on Android should Google removes Facebook from the Play Store. Such a divorce is not entirely inconceivable – Google has reportedly made threats as a result of some of Facebook’s activities, including its habit of automatically installing Facebook-made apps for users. Severing Facebook’s  ties to the Play Store would cut the social media giant off from important Android features, such as app updates and push notifications. That’s why Facebook is reportedly preparing its own services to circumvent a potential falling out, including the creation of its very own app store. Needless to say, that would be a big deal. Facebook has declined to comment, and there’s no way of knowing whether its squabbles with Google will ultimately prompt action. But you don’t amass 126 million app users without knowing how to plan ahead.   
It stands to reason that a network called “Syfy” would launch its own tech lab. The cable net announced the introduction of Syfy Labs, a new lab aimed at creating multiplatform content. Said content ranges from virtual reality, to second-screen experiences, to 3D printing.  That last one comes courtesy of a partnership with 3D printing company Makerbot; the companies will partner to offer printable files and 3D models. Finally, Syfy announced that it’s releasing The Expanse VR, a new app placing users within settings from the network’s original series The Expanse, for the Samsung Gear VR headset.
The current TV ecosystem offers unprecedented behavioral targeting – and that creates unprecedented opportunities.  It’s time gain the tools you’ll need to take advantage. On January 28th, join Cynopsis for our new webinar, Programmatic TV 2016: The Keys to Mining Data and Measurement. Hear from our panel of experts about how to prepare for what’s around the corner. Register HERE.



Top U.S. Streaming Shows Overall by Engagement for the week of December 28
Program, Date, Total Actions (000), Total Content, Actions per Post (000), Fans/Followers (000)
Orange Is the New Black (Netflix) 313, 13, 24, 6969
Bojack Horseman (Netflix) 48, 22, 2, 537
Trailer Park Boys (Netflix) 41, 12, 3, 1647
F Is for Family (Netflix) 29, 3, 10, 71
Daredevil (Netflix) 26, 3, 9, 1814
Mozart In the Jungle (Amazon Studios) 22, 51, 433, 131
Arrested Development (Netflix) 21, 11, 2, 2309
Sense8 (Netflix) 21, 5, 4, 1002
Making a Murderer (Netflix) 15, 14, 1, 89
Master of None (Netflix) 13, 25, 1, 118
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 social analytics company ListenFirst Media aimed its Television Interest (TVI) Rating (TM) at the entirety of 2015.  A standardized measurement of the most buzzed-about TV programs on linear TV and streaming services, TVI is a complement to ListenFirst’s other syndicated data products (such as the ListenFirst Digital Audience Rating – TV). The metrics included in the rating are the purest form of showing interest digitally, since they’re organic actions that are largely unaffected by paid media. Programs that surface on the TVI leaderboards are the most hashtagged on Facebook, Google+, and Tumblr, as well as most searched for on Wikipedia (used as a proxy for organic search volume). Here are last year’s leaders:

All Series (1/1/2015 – 12/31/2015)

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+, and Tumblr, 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 Comedy vertical, based on the
engagement metric for the week ending 1/3/2016.
Channel (Engagement)/Monthly Views/Total Subs/SlateScore
McJuggerNuggets (9.6) / 72,508/830 / 2,425,861 / 727
Rclbeauty101 (9.5) / 73,030,050 / 6,115,463 / 750
whinderssonnunes (9.4) / 45,695,130 / 5,648,633 / 735
mirandasings08 (9.2) / 42,527,670 / 5,725,657 / 757
jacksfilms (9.2) / 20,710,800 / 2,066,575 / 747
IISuperwomanII (9.2) / 44,776,980 / 7,521,985 / 769
thenitrozyniak (8.9) / 6,426,720 / 765,219 / 669
canalcanalha (8.9) / 28,442,160 / 4,710,434 / 686
ThatcherJoe (8.9) / 27,154,140 / 5,810,685 / 704
euficoloko (8.8) / 18,539,130 / 4,243,686 / 749
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 OpenSlate Engagement 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.


The Digital Place Based Advertising Association (DPAA) has added five new execs to its advisory board. The new members are:
Bonnie Barest, EVP Group Account Director, Havas
Marshall Cohen, Founder and President, Marshall Cohen Associates, LLC 
Michael Donahue, former EVP, American Association of Advertising Agencies
Greg Kahn, CEO, GKDigitalMedia and President & CEO, Internet of Things Consortium
Alan Smith, Chief Digital Officer, Assembly
The DPAA represents digital place based networks by promoting their role within the Video Everywhere ecosystem; among other things, the Association provides research and best practices.


Don’t miss your opportunity to learn from our experts on these highly rated webinars. Register for access to the discussions + speaker presentations!
How to Train and Retain the Next Generation of Employees
Virtual Reality: What Programmers Need to Know Now to Lure Viewers & Advertisers
How to Solve the Ad Blocking Problem
How to Leverage Influencers on Social Media



Last week, Samsung previewed some of the items it will be featuring at CES 2016. Among them: Hand-based control controllers for the Samsung Gear VR headset. The company’s YouTube Korea channel posted a video demonstration of just what those controllers can do. Check it out here.

See you tomorrow,
David Teich

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