04/07/17: Google partners with comScore to ensure YouTube brand safety


Good morning. It’s Friday April 7, 2017 and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


Freebooting: Freebooting refers to the act of downloading someone else’s copyrighted material, usually from YouTube, and uploading it to one’s own YouTube channel or social media account.


Say hello to Twitter Lite. The social media company’s new web app, which launched globally on Thursday, features faster load times and consumes less data. The app is aimed squarely at emerging markets with shakier internet connections. To that end, Twitter Lite features a bandwidth saver mode, which lets users selectively download images in their timelines. The company says it designed the app in partnership with Google.
In other Twitter news, one of the company’s co-founders is planning to sell a whole lot of stock. Evan Williams, who currently sits on the company’s board, is set to sell a third of his shares, according to a report from Business Insider. In fact, he already sold about $4 million of his stock on Wednesday, according to SEC filings. In a blog post, Williams insisted that the move didn’t reflect any loss of confidence in the company. But Wall Street lost a bit of confidence in response to the news, with the company’s shares falling by a little over 1%.

Celebrating the Kids Industry’s Top Talent

CYNOPSIS’ 6th ANNUAL !MAGINATION AWARDS is gearing up for its best year yet and we are now accepting entries. ENTER NOW to showcase your contributions to content, branding, distribution and more in the golden age of children’s television.

Programming is shining brightly on the kids’ sector, and we are excited to bring your talents to the forefront by celebrating you and your peers this September.


Google’s escalating efforts to ensure brand safety continue apace. comScore announced that it has partnered with the tech giant to provide independent brand safety reporting for ad campaigns that appear on YouTube. comScore says that Google will make use of a “proprietary brand safety engine” that will be built into its Campaign Essentials platform. The “engine” will monitor and validate patterns and text that identify specific content. The goal, of course, is to prevent brands’ ads from showing up on extremists’ YouTube pages. As you almost certainly know by now, Google’s apparent failure to police such occurrences has recently led to a flurry of advertiser boycotts. It’s no surprise that Google is pulling out all the stops to stem the bleeding.
And in other YouTube news, the video giant has just imposed a new limit with its partner program. Beginning yesterday, the site stopped running ads on channels that have fewer than 10,000 lifetime views. And within a few weeks, YouTube says it will begin an audit of all channels wishing to join its partner program – but only once those channels reach 10,000 views. YouTube says these latest moves actually have nothing to do with its brand safety crisis; rather, the company says that it’s trying to combat “freebooting” – i.e., instances in which unlicensed users re-upload popular videos. “This new threshold gives us enough information to determine the validity of a channel,” explained YouTube exec Ariel Bardin in a post. “It also allows us to confirm if a channel is following our community guidelines and advertiser policies.”


It seems like every web publisher is a video content producer now. Business Insider has launched a streaming show focused on business news. Called The Bottom Line, it’s hosted by Henry Blodget, BI’s CEO and Global Editor in Chief. Fidelity sponsors the show. Running on BI’s Facebook and Twitter pages, the series debuted yesterday at 2 PM ET. 


Verizon Digital Media Solutions (VDMS) has unveiled what it’s calling a new “content intelligence system.” Launching as the Verizon Media Xperience Studio, the new product is design to streamline, integrate, and aggregate data and other components under a single umbrella. VMXS will consist of a number of different functions, including app building and customization, programming curation, and monetization across OTT services. Some of the product’s features will begin rolling out in Q1.
Showtime’s a la carte streaming service is now the latest SVODer to go offline. The $10.99-per-month standalone service now offers viewers the ability to download Showtime content ahead of time and watch it offline on mobile devices. SVOD services from Starz and Epix offer the same feature, as do Amazon Video, YouTube Red, and – for select content – Netflix. Hulu has said it plans to start offering offline viewing within a few months. The highest-profile holdout so far is HBO.


What are you waiting for? Tickets are almost gone for next Thursday’s Cynopsis Sports Media Awards breakfast in NYC.  We only have a few spots, left so be sure to pick yours up today!


Spotify plans to go public by the end of 2017, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal. But according to the report, the streaming music service may do so without offering a traditional IPO. Instead, the company is reportedly considering a direct listing. In other words, its shares would be listed on a public exchange to be traded freely. The company wouldn’t raise any new capital or use underwriters to place new blocks of stock on the market.


Which actress landed a spot on Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale after her character died on Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black? (Spoiler ahead.) Answer: Samira Wiley. Kudos to Luke Watson-Roker Labs/NY, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/NY, Peter Steckelman-Tennis Channel/CA, Daniel Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA, Anjali Desai – Departure Films/NY, Lorrie Shilling/CA, and Andrew Bellamy-Producers Guild of America/NY
Samira Wiley had a recurring role as a therapist on the latest season of which FXX comedy? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)


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National Geographic recently launched a nationwide casting call to find a new national correspondent for its docu-series Explorer. The search featured a heavy social media element: Applicants were asked to submit original videos showcasing their viewpoints, and Nat Geo asked Explorer’s fan community to show support for their favorite applications by sharing and liking them on social media. The slot ultimately went to Erin Winters of Detroit, Michigan, who will be tasked with curating social conversations around the topics raised in each week’s episode. Nat Geo’s got a new video introducing Winters; you can check that out here.

See you Monday,
David Teich

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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)

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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)

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PAID INTERNSHIP: BUSINESS DEVEL. & MKTG/Litton Entertainment/Charleston, SC: Seeks college or grad intern w/strong written/verbal comm skills to assist our Bus Dvlpmnt & Mktg dept. Resp will incl Competitive/ind trends rsch/analysis as well as ideation & sales material assistance. 3 days/20 hrs wkly. Res/cvr HERE (4/16)

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