04/12/16: Verizon hires NBCU exec to oversee mobile video; Daily Mail emerges as potential Yahoo buyer; Deluxe Entertainment Services launches VR unit



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Good morning. It’s Tuesday April 12, 2016, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


Mobile Ad Viewability:
Mobile viewability is an advertising metric that aims to track only impressions that can actually be seen by mobile users. The Media Rating Council recently proposed guidelines stipulating that a viewable impression has taken place after fifty percent of a mobile ad has been viewable to a user for either one second (for static ads) or two seconds (for video ads).


Do we have a dark horse? Yahoo recently set an April 18 deadline for companies to submit bids to buy its web business. A new player has emerged: The Daily Mail. In a story that the Mail later confirmed, the Wall Street Journal reported that the U.K. newspaper and website is in talks with other investors to potentially make a bid. Discussions, the Journal reports, are still in early stages. Meanwhile, the Journal reports that about 40 companies total have expressed interest in buying Yahoo’s business, and IAC/InterActiveCorp and CBS Corp. – two companies not previously known to be in the running – have held meetings with the company. Verizon is widely considered to be the frontrunner.


A telling trend: Instead of merely creating the occasional VR game, short, or device, more and more media and production companies are creating dedicated virtual reality divisions. Next up is the production and distribution group Deluxe Entertainment Services. Its new Deluxe VR division, headed by Deluxe exec Malte Wagener, will offer production and post-production services across all VR platforms.
As high-end headsets like the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive hit the market, can the Google Cardboard viewer maintain its market presence? As long as it costs considerably less than its competitors, it stands a decent chance. And now there’s VRidge, a new app from the Polish VR startup Riftcat. VRidge enables users to play Oculus Rift-compatible games via a smartphone inserted into the Cardboard viewer. It’s just another factor keeping the lowly Cardboard more than competitive.


DoubleVerify, a third-party verification provider for, among other things, fraud detection and ad viewability, announced some new partnerships. Amobee, InMobi, Innovid, Medialets, Mobilefuse, and Ubimo will be making use of the platform’s mobile in-app viewability solution. The new partnerships come on the heels of the Media Rating Council’s recent proposed guidelines for mobile viewability. “DV has been actively involved in the development of the MRC’s proposed guidelines from the start – we think they’re a big step forward and will help establish a framework for proper measurement approaches as well as bring some much needed transparency to the marketplace,” Wayne Gattinella, CEO and President of DoubleVerify, told Cynopsis Digital. “The DV mobile viewability technology was built to be compatible with the pending guidelines….Third party verification is good governance for any business transaction,” he added. “As an independent media authentication service, DoubleVerify provides unbiased transparency and accountability to the marketplace, helping to build a better industry for all.”


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If you’re a programmer heading into uncharted waters, you can’t go wrong with food. Bravo announced that it will launch Going Off the Menu, a new unscripted digital food series sponsored by Toyota. It will premiere Monday, April 18, on BravoTV.com. While Bravo is no stranger to digital content, this is, notably, its first standalone digital series with no connection to other Bravo content.


SHAREABLEE SOCIAL TV RATINGS: Top U.S. Streaming Shows Overall by Engagement for the week of April 4
Program, Date, Total Actions (000), Total Content, Actions per Post (000), Fans/Followers (000)
Orange Is the New Black (Netflix) 284, 14, 20, 7358
House of Cards (Netflix) 122, 18, 7, 3599
Daredevil (Netflix) 114, 24, 5, 2682
Trailer Park Boys (Netflix) 85, 10, 9, 1782
Grace and Frankie (Netflix) 67, 26, 3, 150
11.22.63 (Hulu) 47, 26, 2, 185
Arrested Development (Netflix) 47, 14, 3, 2314
The Mindy Project (Hulu) 38, 18, 2, 754
Jessica Jones (Netflix) 34, 13, 3, 1200
Lost & Found Music Studios (Netflix) 27, 121, 0, 15
Source: Shareablee Inc. The total actions metric includes the total volume of post-level likes, shares, favorites, retweets and comments. Total content includes all posts, tweets and media posted by each TV property across all platforms. Actions per post metric notes the average e number of actions garnered by each property. Total fans/followers includes Facebook and Twitter and Instagram followers.
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 ListenFirst Digital Audience Rating – TV), the metrics included in the rating are the purest form of showing interest digitally, since they’re organic actions that are largely unaffected by paid media. Programs that surface on the TVI leaderboards are the most hashtagged on Facebook, Google+, and Tumblr, as well as most searched for on Wikipedia (used as a proxy for organic search volume).
All Series (4/4/16 – 4/10/16)
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, Google+, and Tumblr, along with Wikipediapage 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.
OpenSlate Engagement Data for the
Comedy Vertical, based on the engagement metric for the week ending 4/10.
Channel (Engagement) / Monthly Views / Total Subs / SlateScore
McJuggerNuggets (9.7) / 63,739,320 / 2,823,605 / 733
jacksfilms (9.3) / 23,686,020 / 2,174,259 / 751
 (9.2) / 37,398,600 / 739,558 / 672
IISuperwomanII (9.2) / 49,369,800 / 8,386,716 / 761
DalasReview (9.1) / 32,030,610 / 1,561,929 / 723
Rclbeauty101 (9.1) / 67,905,120 / 7,388,360 / 717
whinderssonnunes (9.1) / 48,697,980 / 7,665,779 / 709
canalcanalha (9.1) / 26,874,030 / 6,595,125 / 690
thenitrozyniak (9.0) / 10,096,620 / 920,171 / 689
psychosoprano (8.9) / 30,574,080 / 4,022,758 / 699
Source: The Engagement metric is one of OpenSlate’s component scores, and is a measure of a producer’s ability to evoke meaningful interaction with their audience. It is calculated on a scale of 1-10 with higher being better. The OpenSlate Engagement score uses a subset of the data incorporated in the SlateScore to perform a set of unique calculations. It factors in views, comments, likes, and more.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau, in partnership with Tremor Video and Millward Brown Digital, has released Multiscreen Video Best Practices, a new research report. The report indicates that 10-second mobile video ads have greater brand appeal and persuasion potential for millennials than longer ads. 30-second spots perform better with consumers age 35-54. The study ultimately recommends that, when crafting a multiscreen video campaign that succeeds across age groups, it’s vital to create video ads that are developed with smaller mobile screens in mind, and to develop ads that can be effectively shortened from long formats without losing their ability to communicate. You can find the full report here
According to a new survey from Morgan Stanley, a 29% plurality of Americans say that Netflix boasts the best original programming of any premium TV or Internet VOD service. This is the sixth year that Morgan Stanley has held the survey; HBO carried the day for the first five years. The cabler clocks in at second this time around, with 18%.


After the much-hyped launch of its go90 service and its recent mobile video partnership with AwesomenessTV, it’s abundantly clear that Verizon sees mobile video content as a prime revenue generator, at least at some point down the road. To that end, the company has hired Chip Canter away from NBCU, where he served as SVP of Product & Business Development, Digital Distribution. At Verizon, he’ll hold the title of GM of Digital Entertainment and go90.
, a digital marketing company specializing in performance marketing, announced several new and recent hires. Cole Diamond, previously VP of Business Development at YTZ Management, was named VP of Sales. Rosa Franzese has been named VP of Human Resources, the same title she previously held at Navantis. James Delaney, formerly the President and Chief Executive Officer of Marketwired, has been named to the company’s Board of Directors. And Albert Luk, previously Jumbleberry’s VP of Legal, was promoted to VP of Operations.

Looks like Vimeo needs to find someone else to head up its engineering team. Vimeo confirmed to Variety that Andrew Pile has stepped down from the company. Vimeo is actively seeking his replacement. Pile had worked for the video-sharing service in some capacity or other for about a decade. The departure comes at a pivotal moment in the site’s evolution, just as it’s beginning to significantly ramp up its original content efforts.   


Google bought YouTube in 2006. How much did Google pay for it? You can find the answer here.


Ripple Entertainment is out to create more than a ripple. The online-video venture, formed by former FreemantleMedia execs Gayle Gilman and Jason Ziemianski in partnership with Red Arrow Entertainment, has launched FXated, a new digital network. Heavy on VFX-laden content, the network will be active across YouTube, Facebook, and the website fxated.com. Super Horse, FXated’s first original short-form series, is fun and bizarre in equal measures. You can check out the first episode here.
Watcheroo Premieres and Tune-in Alerts for April 11-17:
: Maker Studios and Marvel Entertainment will debut Marvel’s Off the Rack, a Marvel Comics-oriented talk series, tomorrow, April 13. Hosted by digital star Comic Book Girl 19, the series will run on Verizon’s mobile streaming service through the end of June. You can see the trailer here.

See you tomorrow,
David Teich

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

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