04/18/17: Netflix adds fewer viewer subs than expected in Q1


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Good morning. It’s
Tuesday April 18, 2017 and this is your your first early morning
Digital briefing!

Social TV: The phrase social TV refers to the union of social media and television. Anytime TV viewers comment, post, or in any way engage with TV programming via social platforms, it’s considered to be social TV behavior. An addition, TV networks regularly engage with users via social media, whether by posting clips or directly responding to fans’ comments. That behavior falls under the social TV umbrella as well. Often, the phrase social TV is used to refer specifically to the technologies surrounding TV that promote communication and social interaction related to programming.
Snapchat will reportedly soon roll out a self-serve platform for Snap Ads, the app’s vertical video ad product. For most of the ad format’s existence, media buyers had to purchase Snap ads through a managed service; buyers would send an insertion order, and a Snapchat ads partner would manage and execute the buy. Since January, buyers have been able to manage buys in-house. A native self-serve buying tool is the next step in making Snapchat a more advertiser-friendly platform. According to sources from Digiday, the product will launch at about the same time as the IAB Digital Newfronts, which kick off on May 1.
What does it mean when you’re on the cusp of hitting 100 million subscribers, yet your subscriber growth still falls short of expectations? It means you’re Netflix. The streaming giant says it will hit the 100-million sub mark this weekend. But the company says it added 1.42 million U.S. subs and 3.53 million international subs in Q1 of this year; it had originally projected gains of 1.5 million and 3.7 million, respectively. Still, the company predicted a robust Q2, projecting 600,000 new domestic subs and 2.6 million international subs. (Wall Street’s projections – 420,500 and 2.1 million, respectively – were less bullish.) The company’s stock fell by about 3% in after-hours trading, before rebounding into positive territory.


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Believe it or not, some people just don’t care for sports. And as recently reported by Bloomberg, a group of cable programmers including Discovery Communications, AMC Networks, and Viacom have apparently been in talks with pay-TV distributors about launching a new sports-free OTT TV service. According to BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield, who spoke to Business Insider, it’s very possible that Turner, Scripps, and possibly A&E could be interested in jumping onboard as well. The bundle would cost less than $20 a month. But as Business Insider points out, NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox own a whole lot of sports content, and they want nothing to do with this. None of the four networks would be part of the service, and neither would their cable properties. There may be an upside, though: The YouTube TV’s and DirecTV Now’s of the world have struggled mightily when it comes to regional rights issues; by cutting out the major broadcast nets, the service would nip that headache in the bud.
Vertical video is an increasingly popular ad format, but it’s been largely dominated by Facebook and Snapchat. San Francisco-based programmatic ad platform Virool is out to widen the format’s reach. The company has launched a new video marketplace specifically for vertical video; it allows agencies and brands to buy vertical video ad space with publishers. Running through a partnership with BidSwitch, Virool says that its marketplace can directly connect to 150 trading desks and demand-side platforms, including AOL and Google. A number of brands, including Delta and Lexus, have already bought ad space through the platform.
A new study from YuMe and IPG Media Lab took a look at various digital ad formats. Their findings: Pre-roll video ads (i.e., ads that appear before videos) are not only seen by customers to be less intrusive than other formats, but they also elicit superior ad recall. When it comes to recall, pre-roll outperformed outstream ads and midroll ads by over double digits, with a majority of respondents saying that they recall specific pre-roll ads they’ve seen. In addition, only 17% of study respondents said that pre-roll ads on mobile devices interrupt their content. The number was 60% for outstream ad formats, and 72% for midroll formats. 54% found pre-roll ads to be engaging, compared to 37% for outstream ads and 44% for mid-roll ads.
Given the high-profile virtual reality projects that Ridley Scott’s RSA Films has undertaken so far, it’s almost surprising that the company is only just now launching a designated VR division. Headed by Jen Dennis, RSA’s long-time Executive Producer of Branded Content and VR, the new VR unit will simply be called RSA VR. One of the first projects to emerge from the division will be the previously-announced VR experience based on Alien: Covenant, Scott’s upcoming film. The experience is being produced alongside 20th Century Fox’s FoxNext unit. RSA made its first big VR splash last year, with The Martian VR Experience.
Social TV viewing shows no sign of abating. According to a new survey of U.S. consumers from Ring Digital llc., 23.9% of U.S. adult internet users engaged in some form of social TV behavior within the past month. (In other words, they used a social media platform to post, vote, share, or comment on their TV-viewing.) The study also finds that social TV activity may not have hit its ceiling: 13% said that they’d thought about engaging in social TV behavior. (62.9% said they hadn’t.) Facebook was the most widely-used platform, with 71.6% of social TV viewers citing the platform. YouTube came in at a distant second (33.8%), followed by Instagram (32%), Snapchat (29%), Twitter (23.5%), and Tumblr (7.1%).
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 FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Tumblr, as well as most searched for on Wikipedia (used as a proxy for organic search volume).
All Series (4/10/17 – 4/16/17)


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 FacebookTwitter,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. 
OpenSlate Engagement Data for the Gaming vertical, based on the engagement metric for the week ending April 16.
Channel (Engagement) / Monthly Views Total Subs / SlateScore
jacksepticeye (9.8) / 198,316,609 15,193,538 762
JuegaGerman (9.8) / 250,141,349 18,887,702 774
PopularMMOs (9.8) 232,610,447 11,319,206 744
VEGETTA777 (9.8) / 150,588,269 17,637,387 766
Markiplier (9.8) 204,235,906 17,134,264 / 778
rezendeevil (9.8) 141,755,665 / 11,286,734 / 791
AM3NlC (9.8) 107,086,415 6,595,917 782
Fernanfloo (9.8) 178,809,825 20,959,653 / 748
PewDiePie (9.7) / 213,947,393 54,694,146 822
NDNG – Enes Batur (8.4) 104,413,609 3,587,976 717
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 OpenSlateEngagement 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.
TV audience targeting platform Simulmedia has named David Levy to its Board of Directors. Levy is the current President of Turner.
The recently-debuted Netflix series 13 Reasons Why was based on a young adult novel. Who wrote it? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, and state.)


Our Last Trivia Question: Timothy Olyphant currently stars alongside Drew Barrymore in which Netflix series? Answer: Santa Clarita Diet. Kudos to Andy Pittman-TAMU/TX, Louis Lewow-Lewow Media Group/GA, Aymon DeMauro-Discovery Communications/NY, Joseph Consentino, Peter Steckelman-Tennis Channel/CA, Sheena Das-Disney Media/NY, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/CA, Carol Cate-WE tv/NY, Alyssa Novak-Jupiter Entertainment/TN, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, Anjali Desai-Departure Films/NY, Alan Perris/CA, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA, Lorrie Shilling/CA, and Karen Van Vleet-Horizon Media/NY (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, and state.)


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In case you missed it, Nintendo recently announced plans to discontinue the NES Classic. The console won’t be available after this month. Now seems like a good time to shed some very geeky tears. From IGN, learn more here.

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JOB OPENING: SALES PLANNER/The Weather Group/NYC: Dvlp sales plans/packages for clients that meet the needs of the TV network, clients & sales staff. 2-3 yrs of ad sales ind exp (agency and/or sales) Media math req’d. Potential growth into Sales position.  Full info/apply HERE (4/25)


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JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, ELEAGUE PARTNERSHIPS/Turner/NYC: Serve as subject matter in fast-paced & ever changing esports space. 5+ yrs of related work exp at media/company, agency or brand, w/specific focus on esports Existing agency & client relationships specifically in esports. Full info/apply HERE (4/20)

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