05/09/22: Cynopsis Media Tech Update



Viewers are as Dynamic as the Content they Watch



Medias First Morning Read
Monday May 9, 2022

A federal judge in California dismissed Donald Trump’s lawsuit against Twitter. While the former president argued that Twitter violated his right to free speech by banning him from the platform, Judge James Donato of the Northern District of California wrote, “Plaintiffs are not starting from a position of strength.” The First Amendment protects Americans from government efforts to limit free speech, he noted; as a private company, Twitter has the right to moderate content as it sees fit.

Elon Musk denied the claims of Trump Media & Technology Group CEO Devin Nunes that Donald Trump encouraged Musk to acquire Twitter. Nunes made the claim on Fox Business Network that Trump urged Musk to make the move because “someone has to take on these tech tyrants.” Responded Musk on Friday via Twitter (of course), “I’ve had no communication, directly or indirectly, with Trump, who has publicly stated that he will be exclusively on Truth Social.”

In our final (well, almost) Twitter item, Musk suggested Twitter might not be free for everyone once he’s in charge. “Ultimately, the downfall of the Freemasons was giving away their stonecutting services for nothing,” he tweeted last week. “Twitter will always be free for casual users, but maybe a slight cost for commercial/government users.”

Spotify co-founder Daniel Elk is investing millions of his own money in the service, he announced on Friday. “I’ve always been vocal about my strong belief in Spotify and what we are building,” said Elk. “So I am putting that belief into action this week by investing $50M in $SPOT. I believe our best days are ahead.”

TikTok web traffic was up 70% year-over-year in March, versus growth of 11% for twitter.com and a 9.3% dip for facebook.com, according to Similarweb. Traffic directed to ads.tiktok.com rose 199% year-over-year in 1Q22, compared to 22% for Facebook and 3.6% for Twitter.

TikTok introduced TikTok Pulse, a new contextual advertising solution that lets advertisers place their brand next to the top content in the For You Feed. With TikTok Pulse, the company will begin exploring its first advertising revenue share program with creators, public figures and media publishers. Creators and publishers with at least 100,000 followers will be eligible in the initial stage of the program.

Cameo has laid off 87 employees, about 25% of its workforce, amid a slowdown in the business of customized videos by celebrities. “During the pandemic lockdowns, Cameo’s headcount exploded from just over 100 to nearly 400,” said CEO Steven Galanis. “We hired a lot of people quickly, and market conditions have rapidly changed since then. Accordingly, we have right-sized the business to best reflect the new realities.”

The PGA Tour and Quintar inked a three-year agreement to expand the Tour’s augmented reality experience on mobile devices for fans attending events. The Tour will also receive minority equity rights in Quintar, which is now the Official Mobile Augmented Reality Developer of the PGA TOUR.

See you in court, said investors upset by Netflix’s shocking, stock-tumbling net loss of 200,000 in the first three months of 2022, and projected decline of another 2 million in 2Q22. The streamer misled investors about subscriber growth, failing to “disclose material adverse facts about the company’s business, operations and prospects,” alleges a shareholder lawsuit filed in federal district court in San Francisco. Last month, Netflix attributed high household penetration, password sharing, and new streaming competition with creating headwinds that a big Covid-19 boost obscured. Netflix stock dropped 35% on April 20, the day the subscriber figures were reported, losing $54 billion in market capitalization.

Netflix’s cost-cutting measures so far have included cancelling high-profile projects including Meghan Markle’s animated series “Pearl,” Steve Carell series “Space Force” and Michael B. Jordan project “Raising Dion.”

A group of minority-owned media, civil right and public interest groups filed a petition for rulemaking at the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday calling for new data collection and reporting on the diversity of content vendors used by FCC- licensed media and telecommunications companies. FUSE, an independent Latino-owned entertainment company, led the group that also included Common Cause, The National Hispanic Media Coalition, Public Knowledge, and the United Church of Christ Media Justice Ministry. The petition proposes establishing a new report that tracks diversity of content vendors used by FCC licensees, including on traditional platforms like broadcast, cable and satellite TV, as well as affiliated streaming services.

Facebook is shutting down its podcast offerings, including Soundbites and its general audio hub. Podcasters can no longer add shows, and shows will be removed on June 3. Live Audio Rooms will fold into Facebook Live. A spokesperson for Meta said the podcast purge will help the metaverse-focused company “focus on the most meaningful experiences.”



Viewers are as Dynamic as the Content they Watch




Google reported it has blocked 8 million ads related to the war in Ukraine, including those denying the occurrence of tragic events. “We’re actively verifying advertisers in over 180 countries. And if an advertiser fails to complete our verification program when prompted, the account is automatically suspended,” said the company.

Amazon’s NewFronts presentation highlighted Amazon Ads products that, together, offer advertisers an end-to-end planning, measurement, and optimization solution. A new Streaming TV Media Planner enables advertisers to see their incremental streaming TV reach through Amazon Ads, and compare that to linear reach. Omnichannel Metrics, currently a beta product, provides measurement to enable in-flight campaign optimization, and Amazon Brand Lift measures post-campaign impact against objectives such as awareness and purchase intent. With Amazon Marketing Cloud, advertisers can bring together datasets from multiple sources to generate cross-channel planning and performance insights, based on their business needs.

Trade association Out of Home Advertising Association of America has formed the OAAA Brand Council, a collaborative platform for media leaders. The network includes brand leaders from Pepsi, IBM Watson, Allstate and more. “As we enter a post pandemic world there is a big moment occurring for OOH to play an even more important role for marketers, reaching consumers at the critical moments of their journey,” said Anna Bager, President and CEO, OAAA. “Advertisers are in search of opportunities that can guarantee brand safety, meaningful connections, and business outcomes and OOH can be this solution.”

Habu announced new capabilities and integrations to help companies democratize data in light of increased privacy regulation and the depreciation of identifiers. “These are incredibly exciting times for our industry,” said Matt Karasick, Chief Product Officer. “More and more teams are accepting and embracing the reality of a world where the data that can create value will remain decentralized. These teams are seeing that with the right technology-enabled governance and automation, distributed data is not a blocker, but rather an opportunity to use more data than ever before to unlock even greater insights and outcomes.”

Digital Advertising Alliance is rolling out a certification program for companies that issue “addressable media identifiers.” Companies issuing identifiers will be required to notify consumers via an icon about online behavioral advertising and obtain their consent. At launch, TrustArc will manage the review and attestation process for the ad industry self-regulatory group, with LiveRamp signed on to go through the certification process.

Vizio has launched Vizio Analytics, enabling brands to develop tailored approaches to reaching audiences based on affinities, geographies, or demographics. “We’ve built a custom analytics platform that gives brands the ability to leverage our massive TV footprint and data infrastructure for cross-platform campaigns,” said Travis Hockersmith, VP of Vizio’s Platform Plus Business. “This makes it easier to connect their customer management and measurement services of choice with our analytics support to achieve their goals. The result provides consumers with more relevant ads and gives clients outcome-based accountability with their investment decisions.” Vizio reported one media and entertainment client used Vizio Analytics to get a 94% lift in audience engagement and found that 96% of Vizio viewers who engaged with the Vizio campaign would not have otherwise been exposed to it on linear TV.

Spectus has partnered with SafeGraph to make the company’s point of interest data available for use in Spectus’ data clean room. SafeGraph provides insight into global places. “Integrating with Spectus will allow for an even broader range of use cases for our data, particularly in the industrial sector, which has grown significantly over the last several years, especially as the pandemic impacted supply chain management,” said Ross Epstein, VP, New Projects at SafeGraph. “SafeGraph’s coverage of industrial places amounts to over 200K data points that are now available for use in the Spectus platform.”



Future Today released results from a commissioned study on the rise of family co-viewing among streaming audiences that revealed co-viewing of family-friendly content has surged amid COVID-19. 94% of parents said they’ve been co-viewing more of such streaming content in the last 12 months, and 86% say they plan to stream more together with their families. Best part for advertisers? Co-viewing can enhance campaign value for marketers, with 93% of parents saying they’re “engaged” when presented with an ad while co-viewing; 86% of parents say their kids enjoy ads more when co-viewing.

A nationwide referendum will be held in Switzerland on May 15 on a proposed law, dubbed Lex Netflix, that would force streamers to re-invest 4% of their local revenues in Swiss television and film productions. The Swiss law, modeled on European regulations that don’t apply in the country since it’s not part of the E.U., is being opposed by some Swiss groups who say it goes against the principles of the country’s free-market economy. Meanwhile, Swiss consumer organizations fear the investment obligations would prompt streamers to raise subscription fees.

Nebula has launched “Nebula Classes,” offering online courses for direct Nebula subscribers. With verticals like science & engineering, film & television, technology, and history, Nebula’s subscriber count is on track to cross the half-million user mark by this summer, helped by partner Curiosity Stream.


Tubi touted its` growing and diverse audience, and announced it is releasing over 100 Tubi Originals in the year ahead. Over the past year, Tubi delivered jumped to 51 million active users last quarter and a record-breaking 3.6 billion hours watched in 2021, a 40% year-over-year increase in total viewing time. Tubi also reported its audience is nationally representative across geographic, economic and educational segments, and includes a large multicultural audience, comprising 40% of its user base.

Snap is forming a partnership with celebrity video creation platform Cameo. The Snap x Cameo Advertiser Program will enable Snap advertisers to pay Cameo members to create short video ads on Snapchat. Snap is also launching a new “Snap Promote” ad format, inviting content partners to sponsor shows or advertise within the Discover news feed directly.

REVOLT used its first NewFront presentation to share its goal to create a global media platform rooted in the unapologetically Black experience. The senior leadership team – CEO Detavio Samuels, EVP of Sales & Partnerships Mike Roche, President of REVOLT Studios Monique Chenault and Head of #000000 Andre Woolery – shared their digital roadmap and upcoming initiatives. Last year, REVOLT added 100 new advertisers, shared Samuels, adding the brand is on track to triple that number with new distribution including Roku and Amazon. REVOLT also announced a partnership with fandom brand Overtime to create a “sports franchise with a hip-hop lens.”

Roku has struck co-producing deals with Marquee Brands and Milk Street Studios to develop seven series starring Martha Stewart (“Martha Cook,” “Martha Holidays,” “Martha Gardens”), Emeril Lagasse (“Emeril Cooks,” “Emeril Tailgates”) and Christopher Kimball (“Milk Street’s Cooking School,” “Milk Street’s My Family Recipe”). “We are thrilled to bring our viewers this standout content from culinary and cultural powerhouses…for free,” said Rob Holmes, VP of Programming at Roku. “These exciting first-of-their-kind partnerships…showcase our unique ability to drive value across the streaming ecosystem.”

Vizio has launched Vizio Analytics, enabling brands to develop tailored approaches to reaching audiences based on affinities, geographies, or demographics. “We’ve built a custom analytics platform that gives brands the ability to leverage our massive TV footprint and data infrastructure for cross-platform campaigns,” said Travis Hockersmith, VP of Vizio’s Platform Plus Business. Vizio reported one media and entertainment client used Vizio Analytics to get a 94% lift in audience engagement and found that 96% of Vizio viewers who engaged with the Vizio campaign would not have otherwise been exposed to it on linear TV.

The final day of NewFronts was jam-packed with new insights, solutions and content news. Among the highlights: Music network Vevo said it was home to the largest multicultural audience, grabbing half of the Hispanic American population and Black American populations each month. New offerings for advertisers include dynamic made-for-TV ad formats through partnerships with TripleLift and Infillion, and an expansion of its AI-powered contextual offering, Moods, by adding more categories and content. Vevo also shared research indicating 42% of audiences had not also seen the ads they saw on Vevo on TV as well…Comscore CMO Tanya Yuki said data shows the biggest social users also often are the biggest streamers. With that, the company is introducing Comscore Total Digital, which combines digital and social media measurement… LG Ads President Serge Matta teased more live, on-demand content that lives only on LG glass, like the exclusive content it offers with the NCAA. Additionally, LG will be the first to carry Estrella’s new FAST channel… “A lot of false and inflated metrics can come in when we are measuring machines,” said Nielsen GM of digital audience measurement Ameneh Atai. “What’s important to consider here is that big data is inherently biased. ACR data is not accurate… Advertisers and agencies need that truth set to make sure numbers don’t add up to more than 100 percent.”

Twitter is the first social platform to pilot an integration with iSpot and NBCU that aims “to offer clients who purchase a campaign with NBCU an understanding of the incremental audience Twitter offers,” announced Robin Wheeler, Head of Client Solutions… Samba TV shared new data from a survey of 20 billion hours of TV, including this fact: During Q1 2022, 94 percent of all linear ads reached the same 55 percent of households… Crackle Plus announced a new branded content studio and gave a peek into its Chicken Soup for the Soul free network that features family-friendly lifestyle, cooking, home decor, holiday fare and more, and its new partnership with BBC Studios.

A+E Networks is launching a new FAST channel called 4UV, which aims to “build a bridge between mainstream and unheard voices,” said Peter Olsen, President of Ad Sales. Also upcoming is an Innovation programming block that will live on-as well as digital platforms…DotDash Meredith talked up its video extensions that dig deeper into fan-favorite content across its verticals like red carpet coverage, “People in 10” and “Celebrity Pet Matchmaker.”…Estrella Media CEO Steve Mandala shared that when “Rica, Famosa, Latina” returns for a sixth season it will premiere on digital first. “MasterChef Latino” will also be back for a new season, with new complementary digital-only show “The Pantry.”

Canela Media is launching Canela Kids, an edutainment network accompanied by a complementary app and fueled by 1,500 hours of licensed and original content …Tastemade is adding a Home vertical to its suite of lifestyle brand-seeped free ad-supported channels aimed at transforming viewers into makers…TikTok, which hit 1 billion active monthly users worldwide, has a new offering for brands. TikTok Pulse enables advertisers’ content to show up next to the top-performing, “safe” content of the day. The top 4 percent of videos will be based on metrics including viewer engagement, views and creator engagement signals, said Ray Cao, Global Head of Product Strategy.

fuboTV’s big announcement is new feature FanView, which adds live stats and scores to the sports viewing experience…Look for major expansion of CTV in international markets, said Tal Chalozin, co-founder/CTO at Innovid, who shared some stats from the upcoming latest incarnation of it Benchmarks survey. Key takeaway: 48 percent of ads delivered in North America are viewed on connected television vs. mobile or desktop, vs 22 percent in many international territories including LATAM.

Retail media network GSTV provided insight into the effectiveness of its video streams that play at gas stations: The service reaches more than 100 million unique viewers monthly, with 15 minutes of engagement per month delivering “the right people with the right message at the right moment in the day at scale,” said CEO Sean McCaffery …Creative has to work harder to drive commerce on CTV than in other digital experiences, according to the “Bringing Store To Screen” panel. “Commerce is still new to the CTV format,” said Rachel Tipograph, MikMak CEO, who said consumers are just beginning to get comfortable with QR codes or text prompts at the end of ads.

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