03/16/15: Pluto TV signs content deal with Endemol Beyond USA and AOL; Amazon and Hulu duking it out over Seinfeld SVOD rights; Bethany Mota lands a stake in Beauty Con


Good morning. It’s Monday March 16, 2015, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


Web streaming platform Pluto TV signed a content distribution agreement with AOL and Endemol Beyond USA. Pluto will support Endemol videos from musicians Pitbull and Courtney Love; Vine celeb Brittany Furlan, and YouTube creator JkissaMakeup. Endemol shows Fear Factor U.K., Trend Report and Wanderlust will also land on the TV platform. From AOL, Pluto will feature The Restart Project with Gwyneth Paltrow; #CandidlyNicole, a reality series with Nicole Richie; and James Franco’s movie mash-up show Making a Scene. Pluto’s service has more than 100 free channels for digital devices and is funded by UTA Sky, U.S. Venture Partners, Chicago Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital, Luminari Capital, Universal Music Group, Windsor Media and Pritzker Group.

Amazon and Hulu are duking it out over streaming rights to iconic 1990s TV series Seinfeld. Until now, only limited episodes of the Sony Pictures TV series have been available on Sony web video service Crackle. SPT is looking to sell the rights at a price of more than $500,000 for each of the 172 total episodes, which is the amount Netflix paid for rights to the Friends catalogue last year, according to the Wall Street Journal. TBS paid $1 million per episode for Seinfeld in a syndication deal made in 2002.

YouTube beauty and fashion guru Bethany Mota (8.4 million subscribers) obtained an undisclosed stake in the live conference Beauty Con. As a major draw to the event last year, Mota plans to transform Beauty Con into an online content brand curated from YT and Instagram along with multiple events throughout the year. BeautyCon recently launched the BFF Fan Club, a subscription beauty gift pack for $99 per year. The conference launched in 2012 for women between the ages of 16 to 24 years old, and focuses on digital creators and communities in the fashion and beauty space.

The federal bankruptcy court approved TiVo’s acquisition of various Aereo assets for $1 million on Friday. Aereo is the former web TV startup that was shut down by the Supreme Court of the United States after a year-long copyright battle with broadcasters. TiVo will own Aereo’s trademarks and customer lists while patent firm RPX Corp paid $225,000 for the start-up’s patents, and Alliance Technology Solutions bought Aereo’s equipment for $300,000. “This strategic acquisition of Aereo’s trademarks and customer lists will enhance our ability to serve the growing segment of consumers who want access to both broadcast television and over-the-top content,” TiVo CEO and President Tom Rogers said.

Virtual Reality experiences can now be seen on YouTube. The video platform added 360-degree video support on Friday, releasing a small number of clips that can be seen through Facebook’s Oculus device or Google Cardboard. Video viewers can also check out the new content on the Android app and on YouTube.com. Google is currently working on its own VR device.

Join us on Thursday, April 23 at the Astor Center in NYC for The Cynopsis Digital Business Summit. This conference is bringing together business leaders from Facebook, DigitasLBi, the IAB and more for an information- packed day of learning, networking and discovery. Register now to receive the early bird rate: http://j.mp/CynDMS


People Now, the daily live online show presented by Toyota on People.com, announced that Josh Groban, Nick Lachey, Internet sensation Father Ray Kelly, Rihanna, Steve Martin, Empire’s Grace Gealey, Nick Cannon, Cedric the Entertainer, Mary J. Blige and Rose MCiver will make guest appearances this week. The 20-minute program offers interviews, entertainment updates, and human interest stories Monday-Friday at 8:30a ET and 11:30a ET online.
SI Now, the daily live online show from Sports Illustrated sponsored by Ford on SI.com, announced that Santonio Holmes (NFL Wide Receiver), Donovan McNabb (Former NFL Quarterback), Kelly Rohrbach (SI Swimsuit 2015 Model), Sage Karam (IndyCar Series driver), Michael Robinson (Former Seattle Fullback) and Rob Corddry (creator/star of Adult Swim’s Children’s Hospital) will be guests this coming week. Hosted by Maggie Gray, SI Now features coverage from Sports Illustrated and interviews with the stars from the world of sports and entertainment Monday-Friday at 1p ET.


15th Annual Horowitz Cultural Insights Forum
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 | Edison Ballroom, NYC | REGISTER NOW

Porque Puedo/Because I Can:
Leveraging Biculturalism to Create Engaging Messages for the Latino Market from Comcast & Grupo Gallegos
Speaking Their Language: How Hulu & Corona Reach Millennial Hispanics
Corolla Ready: Making the Corolla the “Car I Want NOW” for Asian American Millennials from interTrend
Host: Robbie Caploe, Editorial Director, Cynopsis



Facebook bought e-commerce search engine TheFind, a tech that makes advertising on social networks more relevant to its users. TheFind will help FB serve ads to users shopping and browsing goods online, according to Adweek. The price tag of the deal was not disclosed.
Code and Theory
acquired Mediacurrent, one of the top Drupal site producers for the NBA and the highest-traffic Drupal site, Weather.com. Founded in Atlanta in 2007, Mediacurrent consists of 50 employees across 13 states, and will continue to operate under the Mediacurrent brand name.
GE and multi-channel Fullscreen are teaming for a new program called Creator-in-Residence, a series of YouTube videos combining science and creativity. Hosted by British YT celeb Sally La Page, the first vid is based on new Sony Pictures film Chappie, about robotics and emotion. GE has worked with Fullscreen talent in the past, such as The Slo Mo Guys for a physics videos showing off GE’s work.


Dennis Maguire has left Paramount Pictures where he was President of Worldwide Home Media Distributor since 2011. The exit is due to the restructuring of Viacom, which impacts its cable networks and film studios.


April 16, 2015  | NYAC | 8-10:00am
Cynopsis Sports will honor 4 executives who changed the way their sports entities connected with fans around the country:

GEM AWARD Morgan Flatley, Chief Marketing Officer – Gatorade
LEGACY AWARD Sean McManus, Chairman – CBS Sports
VISION AWARD Gary B. Bettman, Commissioner – NHL
NAVIGATOR AWARD Juan Carlos Rodriguez, President of Univision – Deportes Univision Communications Inc.



The Room’s writer and director Tommy Wiseau unveiled the first four episodes of his new sitcom, The Neighbors, on Hulu Plus. Wiseau plays two characters in the show, which follows the relationships of neighbors who live in the same apartment complex. Check out the trailer at www.cynopsis.com/#video.

See you tomorrow,
Jessica Reese  @JMarieReese

Roberta Caploe: Editorial Director @robertacaploe
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