03/17/17: Google launches initiative to flag – and ultimately downgrade – offensive search results


Good morning. It’s Friday March 17, 2017 and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


Fold: On a webpage, the fold is the line below which a user has to scroll to see content not immediately visible when the page first loads in the browser. Not surprisingly, below-the-fold ads are less coveted than above-the-fold ads.


Twitter has officially joined the 2017 Digital Content NewFronts, the advertiser-oriented events that certain digital media companies use to compete with TV networks and the Upfronts. It’s the first time in Twitter’s history that it’s participated. It makes sense: Only in the last year or so has Twitter taken strides toward becoming a true original content platform, rolling out a slew of live-streaming partnerships with sports leagues and news orgs. Twitter takes its NewFronts spot from Yahoo, which has decided to bow out of the festivities ahead of its official acquisition by Verizon. Instead, Yahoo says it will launch “a series of localized events across the country” to discuss video advertising with marketers. Twitter will present on May 1 – the same day Yahoo had been slated present.
Google is undertaking new efforts to downrank offensive search results. Under new guidelines, the search giant is tasking contractors with flagging content such as violent hate speech, racial slurs, graphic violence, and explicit information about how to carry out criminal activities. While the contractors’ flags won’t automatically downgrade search results, the goal is to get there eventually: Engineers will ultimately use info gleaned from the flags to alter Google’s search algorithms. It’s worth noting that Google isn’t planning on eliminating hate speech from its search results altogether – If you explicitly search for a hate site by name, it’ll still be the first search result. 


Who doesn’t love a good party? Vevo has launched a new feature designed to let friends watch music videos together. Called Watch Party, it enables users to play the same video, in synch, across multiple platforms at the same time. Watch Party enables group chat, and lets an unlimited number of users join. The company announced the new feature at SXSW in Austin, Texas.
Sometimes you just can’t choose between a heated congressional debate and a heroic Golden Retriever that somehow dialed 911. ABC News has you covered: In a new update, The ABC News Apple TV app now supports multi-stream viewing, enabling users to stream multiple news stories at once on the same screen. Users can pick between dual-screen mode and quad-screen mode. “During periods of breaking news, there are often multiple story threads and video sources being surfaced simultaneously,” explained ABC News Product Development VP Doug Vance


Everything you need to know to join the eSports movement and succeed. Tickets are flying off the shelves. Register now for the East Coast’s premiere eSports Summit!
Thank you to our 2017 Sponsors/Partners: Go To Team, PromaxGAMES, Polygon, Bruin Sports Capital, theScore eSports, eSports Ad Bureau, rEvolution, rEvXP.



Here’s one use for AR you probably hadn’t anticipated: The ability to test makeup products without going to the store. The makeup retailer Sephora has introduced Sephora Virtual Artist, a new update to its iOS app. The feature, developed alongside the AR company ModiFace, lets consumers see themselves with different eyeshadows, lip colors, and eyelash styles. If users like what they see, they can then buy products directly through the app.  Welcome to the future.


Walter Presents
has made its U.S. debut. The SVOD service, created by the U.K.’s Channel 4 and Global Series Network, offers series from 12 different countries, including Germany, France, Brazil, and the Netherlands. It will premiere two new shows every month, with plans to feature over 500 hours of content by the end of its first year. Oh, and if you’re wondering why it’s called “Walter Presents,” it’s because the service’s content is personally curated by Italian TV producer Walter Iuzzolino.
There’s audience segmentation, and then there’s audience segmentation. The new SVOD service TitanicChannel.tv has officially launched. It describes itself as “Netflix for the Titanic enthusiast.” The service features original docu-series series focused on the ill-fated ship, with new content being added regularly.


"There’s nothing better than being recognized alongside a group of trailblazing women making their mark on the digital industry,” said Extreme Reach’s Melinda McLaughlin, an honoree at Cynopsis’s upcoming Top Women in Digital event. “We’re all working so hard with our heads down every day in a rapidly changing landscape. It’s great to pause for a minute, appreciate the progress and be inspired by the great things my peers are achieving." The event is on March 21, and there are still a few registration spots left. Just go here.


Google’s YouTube is getting in on the eSports phenomenon. The video giant his inked a new deal wit the competitive gaming platform FaceIt. The multi-year pact will make YouTube the league’s exclusive streaming home. FaceIt, which focuses on Valve’s “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive,” will begin streaming competitions from its YouTube channel on March 25. YouTube’s gain comes at Twitch’s expense; the Amazon-owned live-streaming platform had exclusively hosted FaceIt’s content since last year.


Michael Green is leaving his post as Executive Chairman of digital media company Studio71. The industry vet co-founded The Collective, the management company that Studio71 eventually emerged from, in 2005.  “I saw my vision to fruition,” Green told Variety. He’ll keep his spot on Studio71’s board. 
Warner Bros. Digital Networks Group, the unit that oversees Warner Bros.’ online video and OTT services, has made a new promotion. Jay Levine has been elevated to Executive Vice President of the division, overseeing operations such as ad sales, distribution, business development and planning, and finance. He previously served as SVP of Business and Strategic Planning in Warner Bros. Television Group. The company’s Digital Networks group was initially formed last summer, and has since acquired properties such as DramaFever and Machinima.
Eyeota, an audience data company that works with programmatic and data-driven advertisers, has named Derek Klimkowski as its new Director of Agency Sales for the Americas. He’ll be responsible for strategic outreach to agencies across the U.S. He most recently worked at Drawbridge, where he served as Director of Programmatic Sales.


Lola Kirke
, the main character of Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle, spends the series pursuing a career in what field? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)
Our Last Trivia Question: Facebook’s COO is widely credited with steering the company toward its uber-successful monetization strategy. (In a word, advertising.) What’s her name? Answer: Sheryl Sandberg. Kudos to Andy Pittman-TAMU/TX, Larry Kahn-Golf Channel/FL, Faye Kulik-Fox Networks Group/NY, Luke Watson-Roker Labs/NY, David Westberg – SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, Lorrie Shilling/CA, Toom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA, and Anjali Desai-Departure Films/NY


Top Women in Digital
Tuesday, March 21  I  8:15 – 10:30 AM  I  Sponsored by FreeWheel

Join Cynopsis Media in honoring this year’s Top Women in Digital at an awards breakfast celebrating the exceptional, the creative and the bold in the digital media industry. See the list of honorees here: http://www.cynopsis.com/event/2017-top-women-digital-awards-breakfast/

Register Now.



True story: The company behind the Vespa scooter also built a robot that can follow you around and carry all your things. (Pushcarts are way out of style, it would seem.) From CNET, learn more here.

See you Monday,
David Teich

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

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JOB OPENING: WRITER-DIRECTOR/NYC: We are now building out the video team at Scary Mommy, and looking for an exceptional creative talent who will join us on our mission to reimagine video/visual storytelling. 5+ yrs’ exp writing, producing and/or directing for creative productions. Full info/apply HERE (3/23)

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