02/15/17: Disney and YouTube drop PewDiePie


Good morning. It’s Wednesday February 15, 2017 and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


Initial Dimension: The IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) defines initial dimension as the original width and height (in pixels) of an expanding ad (i.e., an ad that is designed to expand to dimensions larger than the initial dimensions).


The world’s most popular YouTuber has had a very bad couple of days. Potty-mouthed gamer Felix Kjellberg, better known as PewDiePie, ran into some major consequences shortly after the release of a damning new Wall Street Journal article. The report pointed to several instances in which PewDiePie’s videos featured Nazi references and anti-Semitic language. (Kjellberg, for his part, insists that he was just making harmless jokes.) The fallout came swiftly: Maker Studios, the Disney-owned digital media company that managed Kjellberg’s channel, has severed ties with him. In addition, Google has booted him from Google Preferred, the advertising platform that aggregates content from top YouTubers so brands can sponsor them more easily. (He can still run ads, but the move will surely put a dent in his revenue.) Finally, YouTube has scrapped a planned second season of Scare PewDiePie, a reality show that anchored the initial launch of the YouTube Red subscription service. All that notwithstanding, PewDiePie still has something to envy: 53 million subscribers. Time will tell whether that number goes down.
Now it’s official: Facebook is developing free video-centric TV apps for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Samsung Smart TVs. (Facebook says it will ultimately add more platforms to the list.) The initiative was recently reported by the Wall Street Journal, but this is the first time the company has made an official announcement. Facebook says the apps will debut soon. The move is designed to create a new platform for ad revenue. And it especially makes sense given that Facebook is planning to feature exclusive original video content sometime in the not-too-distant future.


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Looks like that’s not happening after all. Last year, when Verizon bought a 24.5% stake in the Gen Z-oriented media company AwesomenessTV, the two companies said they planned to launch a new content platform together. Variety now reports that the service is no longer in the works. Instead, the focus will remain on producing content for Go90, Verizon’s existing mobile video service.


What’s one of the most effective ways to get closer to customers? Branded Content. Learn everything you need to know in 90 minutes during our February 28th webinar. Register here.


20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has launched its Movie of the Day app for Apple TV. Previously available only for iOS smartphones and tablets, the app features one movie from Fox’s catalogue each day. The film of the day generally sells at a discounted price of somewhere between $5 and $10.
Amazon Channels, Amazon’s video subscription ad-on program for partners like HBO and Showtime, has added the Fullscreen SVOD service to its lineup. The millennial and Gen Z-oriented service, owned by the digital media company Fullscreen Media, will cost $5.99 per month.


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 59th Annual Grammy Awards on CBS.
“While Adele was soaking up (and sharing) the love on stage, brands that backed the Grammys got to benefit from a particularly buzzworthy show – and a bigger audience too (up a million vs. 2016, for 26 million total viewers, according to Nielsen). Target captured the digital share of voice crown to the tune of 39.9% of all online activity prompted by ads aired during the show – in Target’s case, a combination of promos for a music-video-style ad plus the ad itself. Clocking in at three minutes, the epic spot titled ‘It Takes Two’ featured Lil Yachty and Carly Rae Jepsen singing and dancing to the ’80s hip-hop classic of the same name in a hyper-stylized Target store. (Target was also the show’s top advertiser, ranked by estimated spend.) Apple (for iPhone) came in second with 25% of the digital SOV, followed by Snickers, UnitedHealthcare and Progressive.” – iSpot.tv


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 onWikipedia (used as a proxy for organic search volume).
Streaming Series (2/6/17 – 2/12/17)

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, Twitter, 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.


Amazon has hired Alex Luke to serve as Global Head of Content and Programming for the Amazon Music streaming service. In the newly-created role, Luke will work to compete with the likes of Spotify and Apple Music. Speaking of which, Luke served as Apple’s Director of Music Programming & Label Relations from 2003 to 2011. He also served as an EVP at EMI Music and, most recently, as a Partner at the venture capital firm The Valley Fund.


What longtime Hollywood filmmaker directed the first two episodes of Netflix’s House of Cards? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)


Our Last Trivia Question Krysten Ritter, the star of Netflix’s Jessica Jones, previously appeared in several episodes of which AMC show? Answer: Breaking Bad. Kudos to Andy Pittman-TAMU/TX, Curt Villarosa/Travel Channel, Katherine Connolly-Refinery29/NY, Lindsay Deak-Disney Media/NY, Whitney Goldstein, Dave Kohlberg-NAF Digital/NY, Scott Jenkins-Gracenote/NY, Lauren Skelly-Subway Franchise World Headquarters/CT, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-Whose Line Is It Anyway?/Angst Productions/CA, Joel Dearing-Virtual News Center/IN, Michelle Yampolsky-Clarity PR, Nicole Correnti-Fuse Media/NY, Emily Brenner-HarperCollins Children’s Books/NY, Matthew Willence-ITN Networks/NY, Alejandro Sacasa-Albavision/FL, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA, Lauren Leff-Kite Hill PR/NY, Nazy Farkhondeh-Viceland/NY, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, Brienne Chance-G/O Digital/AZ, Mathew Tombers-Intermat, Inc./NY, Lorrie Shilling/CA, Dan Haberer-Creo Entertainment/CA, Christopher Hall-Comcast Spotlight/FL, Jacki May-Comcast Spotlight/FL, Alexandra Bacharach-Daddi Brand Communications/NY, Matthew Benedict-Sirens Media/MD, Karen Stump-Country Music Assocation/TN, Anna Kung-Dish Media Sales/NY, Jaime Brand-Fullscreen Media/NY, Jodie Evans-Trans World Entertainment/FYE/NY, and Christine Allen-McGee Media/NY





Apple aims to infuse Apple Music with a hefty dose of video content. And while the company reportedly talks with Hollywood producers about bringing Netflix-caliber original shows to the streaming service, two shows are already nearing release: A spinoff of The Late Late Show’s Carpool Karaoke segments, and a reality series about app developers. The latter, called Planet of the Apps, stars Jessica Alba, Gary Vaynerchuk, Gwyneth Paltrow, and will.i.am. No precise release date has been given just yet, but you can check out a new trailer here.

See you tomorrow,
David Teich

Roberta Caploe: Publisher @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

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JOB OPENING: ON-AIR DESIGNER/ION/Clearwater FL: The On-Air Designer is responsible for creating dynamic graphic packages using Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator, C4D, Maya & After Effects, in collaboration with a team that includes the Producers, Editors and Designers. BFA req. 2+ yrs experience/training req. Full info/apply HERE (2/17)

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JOB OPENING: CHANNEL BRANDING SYSTEMS COORDINATOR/ION/Clearwater FL: Real-time graphics coordinator responsible for assisting in design, scheduling, organization of graphics for real-time play-out on ION TV, ION Life, Qubo. Bach Degree req. 3+ yrs in graphics department, TV exp pref’d. Full info/apply HERE (2/16)

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