04/21/17: Report: Google to release its own Chrome ad blocker

Good morning. It’s Friday April 21, 2017 and this is your your first early morning Digital briefing!


Marketing Dashboard: A marketing dashboard typically summarizes marketing KPIs (key performance indicators) and metrics, helping to simplify a marketing campaign’s analytics into easier-to-understand measurements. Marketing dashboards often come in the form of charts and/or graphs.
In the not-too-distant past, this would have seemed inconceivable. According to The Wall Street Journal, Google plans to introduce its own ad-blocking feature to its Chrome browser. The feature will work for both mobile and desktop. According to the Journal’s sources, the feature could be switched on by default. It would filter out ads that are likely to provide bad user experiences (according to Google’s algorithms). When it comes to which ads are deemed unacceptable, Google would take its cues from a recent set of standards released by the Coalition for Better Ads. For instance, pop-ups, auto-playing videos with sound, and “prestitial” ads with countdown timers would be out. So why would the world’s foremost digital ad juggernaut release an ad-blocker? One of the primary goals, the Journal’s sources say, is to take some power away from third-party ad-blockers like Adblock Plus. According the Journal, Google could announce the feature within a matter of weeks.
There goes another one. Machinima, the Warner Bros. Digital Networks-owned media company geared toward gamers, has become the fourth company to leave the 2017 Digital Content NewFronts. Yahoo, Fullscreen and BuzzFeed were the other three. (A fifth company, Studio71, announced that its NewFront presentation will be a streaming-only affair, but it’s still part of the official lineup.) In a statement, Warner Bros. Digital Networks said that it would still connect with its partners early in the summer. Warner acquired Machinima last November, in a deal valuing the company at just under $100 million.
At a Manhattan event timed to Upfronts season, Complex Networks announced eleven new original productions. Greenlights include Jeremiah Bullfrog Forks It!, a food-centric unscripted series set to debut on Verizon’s Go90 in May, and Price the Hype, a game show focused on sneakers, set to debut on SoleCollector.com in summer. The millennial- and gen Z-oriented digital media company, which has been owned by a joint venture of Hearst and Verizon since last year, also announced that it has renewed the Peter Berg docu-series QB1: Beyond the Lights for two more seasons. In its presentation, the company took time to highlight its multi-platform efforts. (Complex owns multiple digital properties, including Complex.com, Rated Red, a digital video network geared toward heartland millennials, and Seriously.TV, a comic news channel.)
Presenters, including Complex CEO Rich Antoniello and others, emphasized the company’s division into precise verticals, and its activity across all of the major social media platforms. At one candid moment, Chief Revenue Officer Moksha Fitzgibbons referred to one of those platforms – Instagram Stories – as a “Snapchat killer.” After the presentation, Cynopsis Digital asked Antoniello if he agreed – and, if so, why his company has a robust Snapchat presence. “I don’t fundamentally agree,” he said. “Moksha has his opinion. And, yes, it potentially could be true – Facebook does have an awful lot of money to lean on this thing. But here’s the point: If we’re going to dominate a conversation, which is something we talk about a lot, you have to be in the right place, with the right tone, and the right context, and the right content, and the right format of that content – everywhere. No media brand is going to decide whether Instagram Stories crushes Snapchat, or Snapchat crushes Instagram Stories. But we have to be everywhere and then let those cards fall. This is not about picking winners for us. Right now there’s a lot of audience on both platforms.”
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Cheddar is making a bet on over-the-air antennas. (And no, it’s not the 1950s again.) The millennial-oriented financial news startup, which is largely devoted to OTT content, reportedly plans to air good-old-fashioned broadcast programming on digital UHF stations in five U.S. markets. Dunkin’ Donuts – one of Cheddar’s biggest sponsors – will give away free antennas in a series of promotional events in those areas. Cheddar is reportedly renting the broadcast spectrum from DTV America. The news was first reported by Bloomberg
ColorTV, a startup specializing in video data and recommendation, has acquired Guidebox, a data company devoted to universal search and discovery services for connected TV platforms and app publishers. Guidebox was founded in 2012. Its seven employees will all join ColorTV. ColorTV CEO Giancarlo Maniaci told Variety that he intends to merge the two companies’ product offerings within the coming months. Deal terms weren’t disclosed.
As Ajit Pai’s FCC prepares to undo the agency’s Obama-era net neutrality rules, Recode reports that the Chairman himself recently visited executives from Facebook, Intel, Oracle, and other Silivon Valley tech giants. A spokesman for Pai declined to give Recode any additional details about the meeting. Pai and agency Republicans are still hammering out the details of their revised rules. In recent weeks, some details of their tentative plans have trickled out. Among other things, the revisions would reportedly ask internet providers to voluntarily promise that they won’t block or slow down their competitors’ web traffic.
Spotify is paving the way for its IPO. The company has inked a multi-year licensing deal with Merlin, a digital rights agency that represents the independent record label sector. The company also recently completed a licensing deal with Universal, the world’s biggest label group. That leaves the other major labels, Sony Music and Warner Music Group. Once new multi-year licensing deals are in place with those two, Spotify’s path to an IPO will be clear. The offering is expected later in 2017.
Last week, Turner and Warner Bros. launched the Boomerang OTT service, an SVOD platform devoted to classic and current animated series. Now the service has an official boss. Sundance Feniger (yes, that’s his real name) has been named as VP and GM. (The Boomerang OTT service, for the record, is separate from the Boomerang linear network.) Feniger previously held various positions at Nickelodeon from 2008 to 2016, most recently serving as Senior Director of Premium Product Strategy & Development.
Our Last Trivia Question: Jamie Hector, co-star of Amazon’s Bosch, also played an ambitious young drug boss in HBO’s The Wire. One of the character’s most memorable quotes: “My name is my name.” Speaking of which, what was his name? Answer: Marlo Stanfield. Kudos to Louis Lewow-Lewow Media Group/GA, Eric Mandell-Horizon Media/NY, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, Lorrie Shilling CA, Jamie Bugner-AMC Networks/NY, Branden G. Smith-NewsHour Productions LLC/VA, Tamara Jones-BET Networks/NY, Dwayne Bright-KCETLink/CA, Michael Curtis-Reach Agency/CA, and Michael Pope-Reddit/NY
Another Wire alum, Idris Elba, starred in one of the very first Netflix Original films. What was that film called? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, and state.)

Calling all entries!
The 3rd Annual Cynopsis Rising Star Awards is now accepting entries.
Cynopsis is excited to honor those in media with the smarts, maturity and composure that give them the potential to be one of the next generations leaders.
Entry Deadline: June 21, 2017
Awards Event: September, 2017

VR production company Penrose Studios is taking Arden’s Wake: Chapter 1, its new immersive film, to the Tribeca Film Festival. But for Penrose, this is about more than just one movie. The company is taking the opportunity to show off Maestro, a production platform that allows the Penrose team to enter a virtual space simultaneously and review animations. They just released a new video explaining the platform; check it out here.

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JOB OPENING: SPONSORSHIP SALES-esports/NYC: Responsible for driving sponsorship revenue for mega esports events (US/Int’l).  Candidate should have 7+ yrs of relevant exp. & knowledge of esports space.  Resumes: [email protected] (4/28)

JOB OPENING: COORDINATOR, AFFLIATE MARKETING/DR. OZ SHOW/NY: 1-2+ yrs mktg exp in entertainment or station-relations. Address all affiliate promotional needs. Assist in creating on-air & social media content.  Write & distribute correspondence to stations. Strong writing skills a must.Resume/cover HERE  (4/27)

OB OPENING: SR RESEARCH ANALYST/iSpot.tv/NYC: You are an insights and analytics guru with customer-facing experience translating data and analysis into business insights and recommendations. 5+ yrs of customer-facing exp & min 4-5 yrs of hands-on analytics req’d. Full info/apply HERE (4/27)

JOB OPENING: MGR CROSS-PLATFORM RESEARCH /BBC America/NY: 5+ yrs industry exp tracking and analyzing media consumption to inform audience and content strategy across linear, digital and social platforms. Motivated self-starter with strong digital background.  Full info/apply HERE (4/26)

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)

JOB OPENING: TEMP ADMIN ASST for PROGRAMMING & PRODUCTION/GSN/Santa Monica: 1-2 yrs. exp. assisting sr executives.  Studio, agency or prod co. exp  a +.  High detail orientation and strong communication skills; Microsoft Office proficiency. Res/CL to [email protected] (4/25)

JOB OPENING: COORDINATOR, TRADE MARKETING/Crown Media Family Networks/NY: Support Ad Sales and Affiliate Mktg in execution of trade mktg initiatives. Includes campaigns/promos, creative materials, one-sheets, and premiums. Bachleors degree and prev entertainment exp req. Full info/apply HERE (4/25)

JOB OPENING: MANAGER-PUBLICITY/TLC/NYC: Talented PR professional to create buzz for TLC programming and series. Create/implement publicity campaigns, dev press strgy, pitch talent and prgmming. Work closely across depts & serve as NYC comms rep. 5-7 yrs exp, TV publicity exp pref’d. Apply. (4/25)

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