03/29/17: Comcast to roll out skinny bundle offerings across its U.S. Footprint


Good morning. It’s Wednesday March 29, 2017 and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


Insertion Order: An insertion order is a formal printed order to run an ad campaign across a publisher’s site or sites. The signing of an insertion order is generally the final step in the ad proposal process; it represents a commitment from an advertiser (or their ad agency) to run a campaign.


Comcast’s stripped down broadband TV package, originally launched in 2015 but so far limited to the Boston and Chicago service areas, will roll out across the company’s entire U.S. footprint in Q3 of this year. The company confirmed the roll-out to multiple press outlets. The offering, previously called Xfinity Stream, will be renamed Xfinity Instant TV. It’ll start at $15 per month for a package that includes broadcast networks and HBO (or possibly another premium channel). A beefed up package that includes cable nets such as ESPN will be priced at $40 per month. Unlike with services from the likes of Dish, Hulu and YouTube, Xfinity Instant TV won’t be a pure OTT play; the service will only be available to Comcast’s metro-area broadband subscribers. Still, subscribers to the service won’t need a Comcast set-top box.


In its latest effort to destroy emulate its young rival, Facebook’s is rolling out some new Snapchat-like features. Facebook’s camera app is launching a number of new effects and filters such as selfie “masks” from six Hollywood studios – each promoting a current or upcoming release. (Snapchat pioneered this exact type of promotional partnership, but you probably could have guessed that.) And the company is launching Facebook Stories, a feature for sharing short videos and photos. As with Snapchat, the content disappears after twenty-four hours. And finally, Facebook is launching a new feature that lets users send messages that disappear after a short period of time.




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Twitter is out to monetize its live-streaming app. The company is now letting select advertisers run pre-roll ads ahead of Periscope live-streams, as well as archived Periscope broadcasts. The company says that the new ad offerings will roll out to a greater number of advertisers in the coming months. The move comes a week after Twitter launched its new Periscope Producer API, which lets professional producers and broadcasters live-stream video feeds without needing to use a phone.
Litigation is rarely pretty. In a new court filing, Facebook argued that even when ads on its platform violate civil rights laws, the company is not legally responsible. “[A]ll decisions about the ads at issue, including whether and how to target them, are made solely by advertisers, not by Facebook,” the company’s lawyers wrote. The filing comes four months after three Facebook users sued the company based on its race-targeting platform, which lets advertisers prevent their ads from being seen by users with specific “ethnic affinities.” Facebook’s newest guidelines explicitly prohibit advertisers from violating civil rights laws.


At its Upfront presentation, Discovery Networks sought to emphasize its multiplatform advertising efforts. “We now have the capability to make some slight modifications to [spots that have run on linear] to make them more appropriate for social, and we can broaden the reach of those spots by distributing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and [Discovery’s platforms],” said Chief Commercial Officer Paul Guyardo. The company also discussed its plans for new original Snapchat shows. And execs announced plans to add a new Amazon-distributed app next month. Called Say Yes, the app will feature wedding-related programs and content. (It’s tied to TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress franchise.) The app launches next month for $3.99 per month. Discovery was also sure to mention its authenticated streaming platforms; Guyardo said the platforms (each Discovery channel has one) have seen double digital monthly viewership growth, and that the average session time is about 65 minutes. Guyardo said that 6 million Discovery-branded “Go” streaming apps have now been downloaded to mobile devices.


MasterClass should consider featuring a course on how to raise VC money. The startup, which sells online video classes led by celebrities such as Gordon Ramsay and Kevin Spacey, just raised $35 million in a new Series C round. That brings the company’s total funding to $56.4 million. IVP led the new financing round, with participation from GSV Acceleratio and Sem Lessin (both new investors), as well as existing investors such as New Enterprise Associates and Javelin Venture Partners. MasterClass says it will use the funding to hire new personnel and add new courses.


Hulu is adding some Latin flavor. In a new multi-year licensing agreements with Sony Pictures Television and Telemundo, the service has acquired hundreds of telenovela episodes and Spanish-language films. New content includes films like Pedro Almodovar’s The Skin I Live In and Bad Education, and show such as Celia and Bajo El Mismo Cielo. The deal with Telemundo is Hulu’s first ever with the NBCU-owned network – despite the fact that NBCU owns 30% of Hulu.


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 have advertised on CBS, TNT, TBS and truTV during the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament so far.

“March Madness started with the ‘First Four’ contests on Tuesday, March 14, and advertisers (like the teams) have been using the tournament as a showcase for their best efforts. By the slimmest of margins, AT&T has slipped past Capital One, tallying 13.8% of all online activity prompted by commercials that have aired during the games. AT&T’s top spot, “Sales Review,” brings in Greg Gumble and Dan Finnerty for a humorous take on Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” Meanwhile, Capital One has barely missed a thing, coming up right behind AT&T with 13.3% of digital share of voice. Subway, Gatorade and Enterprise were the other top brands to gain decent digital traction and make it to our ‘Final Five.’” – 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 ListenFirstDigital 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).
Streaming Series (3/20/17 – 3/26/17)

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.


Google Ventures, the venture capital arm of Google-parent Alphabet, now has its first advisor in the entertainment and media space. Craig Kornbalu will consult with Google Ventures on potential investment opportunities. Between 1999 and 2014, Kornblau served as President of domestic home entertainment at Universal Pictures. He’s since held various advisory roles, and sits on the board of Media Audits International.
Comcast’s Video IP Engineering & Research unit (AKA VIPER, which sounds much cooler) has made a new hire. Euan McLeod will serve as the division’s VP of IP Video Engineering, overseeing the team that designs, develops and deploys the software that Comcast uses to deliver IP video. He’ll report to Jason Press, Comcast Cable’s SVP of Video Engineering and Operations. McLeod mostly recently worked at Amazon, where he oversaw strategy and development for initiatives such as Amazon Video, Amazon Music, and Amazon Prime.


Elisabeth Moss
, star of the upcoming Hulu adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, has a long history in linear TV. That includes a co-starring role in AMC’s Mad Men, as a well as a role in a classic NBC series that ran from 1999 to 2006. Which series was it? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)
Our Last Trivia Question: What Marvel-based series – now filming – is slated to debut on Netflix later in 2017, sometime after The Defenders mini-series? Answer: The Punisher. Kudos to Luke Watson-Roker Labs/NY, Alyssa Novak-Jupiter Entertainment/TN, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA, David Westberg SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, Lorrie Shilling/CA, and Adam Saunders-BLKBX Creative Group/CA


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Sponsored by: Go To Team, PromaxGAMES, Polygon, Bruin Sports Capital, theScore, eSports Ad Bureau, rEvolution, rEvXP, NAB Show



Remember that time you vacationed abroad and the country’s prime minister greeted you personally? No? Well that, among other unexpected treats, is what happened to Jesper Black, the six millionth tourist to visit the Republic of Georgia. And the country’s tourism department sure managed to make an incredible ad out of the whole thing. Check it out here.

See you tomorrow,
David Teich

Roberta Caploe: Publisher @robertacaploe
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JOB OPENING: DIGITAL MEDIA/CSI SPORTS/NY:Be integrally involved w/expansion of digital products and social media initiatives on global scale. Mng digital asset dist. Passion for sports. Strong writing skills. 7+yrs exp req’d. APP and CMS skills required. Send Resume and Cover Letter to Robert [email protected] (4/10)

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JOB OPENING: MGR, TELEVISION ANALYTICS/NASCAR/Charlotte NC: Provide key audience insights to internal and external stakeholders (including teams, tracks, sponsors, and other industry partners) to assist in meeting various goals and objectives. Exp w/Nielsen research. Full info/apply HERE http://www.nascar.com/careers (4/10)

JOB OPENING: AD SALES PRICING & INV MGR/Weather Channel/NYC: Support VP Pricing & Inventory & the ad team. Price inventory analysis, sales reporting, working w/Sales Planners to dvlp media proposals & working w/Sales team to create win-win deals. 4 yrs’ exp media ind, pref as cable planner. Full info/apply HERE (3/30)

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JOB OPENING: DIGITAL ACCOUNT EXEC/NBCU/East Coast: Come join NBC Connecticut as a Digital Account Executive. Partner with our Broadcast Sales Team, develop new business, and sell digital solutions to our clients. Min 4 yrs sales exp. Full info/apply HERE (3/30)

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