03/31/17: Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey is leaving Facebook


Good morning. It’s Friday March 31, 2017 and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


Link Popularity: Link popularity is a measurement of the number and quality of sites that link to a given site, especially as catalogued in a search-engine index.


Twitter users, feel free to be a little more long-winded in your responses. The social service announced that user names in replies will no longer be factored into a tweet’s 140-character limit – even if the response is to more than one user.  And instead of seeing usernames within the text of a reply tweet, usernames will now be situated above the tweet. The goal is to make the platform more conversational. “With all 140 characters for your replies, you have more room to participate in group conversations,” wrote Twitter Product Manager Sasank Reddy in a post.
Palmer Luckey is leaving Oculus, the Facebook-owned VR company that he founded in 2012. Luckey’s future at Oculus had been a bit up in the air since September, when it was revealed that he’d secretly funded a right-leaning group that created controversial anti-Hillary Clinton memes. The revelation immediately created some turmoil at the company; according to Business Insider, a number of female employees even resigned from the company. This will be Luckey’s last week at Oculus. The company hasn’t said whether he was dismissed or left voluntarily.
NBCUniversal’s Fandango is centralizing its tech operations at its Los Angeles headquarters. Variety was the first to report the move, and Fandango has confirmed it. The trade pub reports that the move is expected to affect 16 staffers working out of San Francisco, some of whom are expected to relocate. Fandango’s tech and digital operations have expanded significantly over the last year or so. Along with upping its output of original video content, the movie-ticketing service also acquired reviews site Rotten Tomatoes and movie content site Flixster early last year.


Entries are open for the 2017 Cynopsis Kids !magination Awards. With new categories to choose from such as:
Virtual Reality
Best Shortform Content
Best Show Exclusively for a Streaming Platform
and more!

What are you waiting for? Enter by 11:59 PM (ET) on June 8.



Marriott Rewards is out to prove that you don’t need a Discover channel to boast a sophisticated video presence on Snapchat. The hotel brand has launched a new campaign that will place four monthly branded “snapisodes” on its Snapchat account. Social influencers Jen Levinson, Tom Jauncey, Sara Hopkins and Diipa Khosla will each have their turn taking over the account. (The first of these episodes, starring Levinson, premiered yesterday.) Marriott has also purchased Snap Ads and geofilters to run over the branded videos. Until now, Snap Inc.’s exclusive media partners were generally the only ones producing high-quality video content for the app. Snap, no doubt, would love to see more major brands follow Marriott’s example – including the ad-buying part.
According to new projections from Interpublic Group’s Magna, ad revenue growth will slow down in 2017, growing by 3.6% to $511 billion. That’s down from a 5.7% growth pace in 2016. It’s nothing to be alarmed about – Magna attributes the changes to a lack of major cyclical events. (In other words, 2017 won’t feature an Olympiad or a presidential election.) But digital growth, in particular, will be on the rise: Magna projects that digital-based ad sales will grow by double digits this year, becoming the top media category of 2017. It would be the first year that digital sales have surpassed linear TV ad sales. All told, Magna says that digital-based ad sales will approach 40% of all total sales this year, and will likely reach 50% by 2021.


Nuzzel has begun hosting sponsored content. The news aggregator has launched Nuzzel Newswire, which consists of sponsored links within the company’s email newsletter. Nuzzel founder and CEO Jonathan Abrams told TechCrunch that he’s been pitching Nuzzel Newswire as an alternative to paying for press release distribution through services like PRNewswire.


This was all but a formality. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer confirmed that President Donald Trump will sign Congress’s repeal of last year’s FCC privacy regulations, which prohibited internet service providers from using private customer data in ad targeting. "The White House supports Congress using its authority under the Congressional Review Act to roll back last year’s FCC rules on broadband regulation,” said Spicer. Now all it takes is the stroke of a pen.


Go90 just got a makeover. The Verizon-owned mobile video service, which has struggled mightily since its launch in late 2015, has been redesigned with improved discovery, advertising, and programming capabilities. Built by the Verizon Digital Entertainment Engineering & Operations unit, the new updates are slated to roll out to all go90 users on iOS and Android devices over the next couple of days. Verizon says the update – dubbed 3.0 – will include audience-specific ad networks, focused around audience response to specific categories of programming. The new update comes two months after Verizon laid off about 150 go90 staffers.


This is the state of the music industry, folks: According to new numbers from the Recording Industry Association of America, ad-supported and paid streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music generated 51% of all music revenue in 2016. All told, that’s $3.9 billion. It’s a remarkable and rapid shift: In 2015, streaming services accounted for only 34% of revenue. Make no mistake: The numbers are going to keep going up.


MGM looked to the digital space for its latest hire. Sam Toles, previously the head of Vimeo’s entertainment group, will now serve as MGM’s VP of Digital and New Platforms. In the newly created role, Toles will focus on developing new content for online video platforms. He reports to Kevin Conroy, MGM’s President of Digital and New Platforms.
IBM’s The Weather Company has named a new exec. Carrie Seifer will serve as VP and Chief Revenue Officer, a newly created position. Seifer will be tasked with overseeing all of the company’s revenue efforts, including packaging the company’s sales offerings. She joins the company from MediaVest, where she served as President of Digital, Data and Technology.




Our Last Trivia Question: On which Netflix series is Martin Sheen a co-star? Answer: Grace and Frankie. Kudos to Andy Pittman-TAMU/TX, Louis Lewow-Lewow Media Group/GA, Karen Van Vleet-Horizon Media/NY, Carol Cate-WEtv, Lauren Milberger/NY, Barbara Eskin/NY, Matt Meachem-Gracenote/NY, Mathew Tombers-Intermat/NY, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/CA, Peter Steckelman-Tennis Channel/CA, Gabrielle Pedro Fredrick-National Geographic/Washington, D.C., Stephen Kelley-9 Story Media Group/Toronto, Ontario, Barbara Potasky-NBCUniversal/NY, Julie Stowell-Gracenote/NY, Sheena Das-Disney Media/NY, Danielle Furtak-Icon International/CT, Andrew Bellamy-Producers Guild of America/NY, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, Cortney Pellettieri-Campfire/CA, Dan Haberer-Creo Entertainment/CA, Anjali Desai-Departure Films/NY, Alan Perris-More Eyes To The Screen/CA, LeNea Ricks-KIDK/KXPI/ID, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA, and Keith Marchesi-Dish Media Sales/CO
One of the two co-creators of Grace and Frankie is Howard J. Morris. The other one is best known for co-creating one of the most popular sitcoms in TV history. Who is it? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)


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Yep, they use social media marketing in the U.K., too. From The Drum, learn how the owner of a U.K. perfume startup has managed to get the word out without spending a single dollar – er, pound – on paid advertising. Watch here.

See you Monday,
David Teich

Roberta Caploe: Publisher @robertacaploe
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JOB OPENING: PROGRAMMATIC TV AD SALES DIRECTOR/East Coast/Midwest/West Coast: Responsible for new business development and ad sales strategy, presenting innovative business models to large agency groups and their clients. Minimum 10+ years TV ad sales experience. Resume: [email protected] (4/10)

JOB OPENING: MOTION GRAPHICS DESIGNER/REELZ/Albuquerque: Design and execute on-air graphics as well as digital and print. Must have 3-5 yrs exp w/AE, C4D, Photoshop, Illustrator. Strong design sense is essential. Relocation assistance available Full info/apply HERE (4/10)

JOB OPENING: SR. DIGITAL PRODUCER/Animal Planet/NYC: Innovative leader in the digi/social space to work on tentpoles & get creative producing digi orig series. Exp growing/engaging aud on mult social pltfrms & how to use analytics to guide content dev. 8+ yrs exp. Digi/interactive & TV EXP A MUST. Apply HERE (4/10)

JOB OPENING: INTERACTIVE DESIGNER/Syfy/NYC: Design web sites and interfaces for desktop, mobile, tablets and connected TV devices. 5 years of interaction design experience req. Full info/apply HERE (4/10)

JOB OPENING: CONTRACT RECRUITER/A+E Networks/NY: Day-to-day recruitment of both staff & non-staff roles across company while partnering on talent acq efforts. 5+ years hands-on recruitment & pipelining exp. Apply: http://www.aenetworks.com/career.html (4/10)

JOB OPENING: MULTI-PLATFORM PRODUCER/Sprout/NY: Responsible for growth strategy w/i YouTube & other platforms by producing content & managing brand presence, analyzing performance data & planning video offerings Full info/apply HERE  (4/10)

JOB OPENING: MGR, CHAMPIONSHIP COMMUNICATIONS/USGA/Warren NJ: Responsible for USGA Championship media relations and press releases. +8 yrs media/pr/journalism/writing/event planning exp req. 70+ days/yr travel required. Full info/apply HERE (4/10)

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)

JOB OPENING: PROGRAMMING & SCHEDULING SPECIALIST/CSI SPORTS/NY: Join growing prgrmng team to support expansion of our Sport Network. Sched prgrms, allocate commercial inventory, implement ad campaigns & promos w/agencies. Traffic software exp. & excel skills req. 3-5yrs TV Network exp. Res/cover to Robert [email protected] (4/10)

JOB OPENING: INTERNATIONAL SALES/ACQUISITIONS/CSI SPORTS/NY: Assist in acquiring, dvlpng & executing content strategy on a worldwide basis. Support expansion of live 24/7 Sports Network /. +7 yrs Sales/acquisitions exp. req. Sports bckgrnd a +. Res/cvr letter to Robert [email protected] (4/10)

JOB OPENING: AD SALES PLANNER/Crown Media Family Networks/NY: Provide support to Ad Sales by working W/Acct Execs to srvc clients. Incl sales plans, mng added value, build & modify sales orders. Detail oriented w/ability to work in fast paced environment. Min 1 yr Sales exp. req. Full info/apply HERE (4/10) 

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)

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