05/10/21: Cynopsis Media Tech Update

 

Medias First Morning Read

 

Monday May 10, 2021

Roku crushed first quarter expectations with a 35% rise in active accounts, to 53.6 million, and revenue growth of 79% versus the year-ago quarter – to $574.2 million, compared to analyst projections of $490.6 million. The company went into the black, with operating income of $75.8 million. Total streaming on Roku devices was 18.3 billion hours, up 49% year-over-year, with 85% of the audience reach to viewers A18-49 on the Roku Channel unduplicated with traditional TV.

NielsenIQ announced the launch of Byzzer, a platform aimed at providing actionable insights that help small and emerging consumer packaged goods businesses drive growth and market share. “Emerging brands, especially in CPG, are bootstrapping their way to growth when it comes to data because there has never been an opportunity to harness the insights available to larger competitors,” said Susan Dunn, NielsenIQ’s Chief Revenue Officer. “With this launch, NielsenIQ is evening out the playing field—we created Byzzer to give every SMB the insights to create strategies that win more customers, loyalty, and shelf space. We’re sparking a revolution that will infuse the marketplace with brand diversity and fresh, innovative products to consumers.” NielsenIQ was spun off from Nielsen earlier this year.”

Twitter suspended an account for taking messages from former President Donald Trump’s new “From the Desk” website and posting them on Twitter. “As stated in our ban evasion policy, we’ll take enforcement action on accounts whose apparent intent is to replace or promote content affiliated with a suspended account,” said a Twitter spokesperson. Trump was banned from Twitter in January, the day after the attack on the Capitol.

Twitter’s action came a day after Facebook’s Oversight Board ruled the company can continue to block former Trump from using its platform, but must review the decision within six months. Calling Facebook’s penalty, imposed the day after the January 6 attack on the Capitol, “arbitrary,” the board said the penalty must be “consistent with Facebook’s rules for severe violations, which must, in turn, be clear, necessary and proportionate.” Facebook was criticized in the decision for “applying a vague, standardless penalty,” then referring the case to the Board to resolve, “to avoid its responsibilities.” The oversight board was established to review content policy decisions.

Tastemade launched the Snap Mini Tastemade Me Do It,” a third-party experience that lives in Snapchat and lets Snapchatters test their at-home cooking and DIY skills with weekly challenges, and answer polls to earn personalized stickers that they can share with friends in real time. “Our ‘Tastemade Me Do It’ Mini experience allows our Snapchat audience to directly connect with friends and immediately take action on new projects – two things we’ve learned that they love through our Snapchat Discover channel,” said Lauren Arso, Tastemade’s General Manager, Social.

Interactive entertainment company Zynga has agreed to acquire advertising platform Chartboost for $250 million. Chartboost includes a Demand Side Platform as well as Supply Side Platform and mediation capabilities delivered through an SDK solution. “Chartboost is one of the most dynamic monetization and discovery platforms in mobile,” said Frank Gibeau, Chief Executive Officer of Zynga. “By combining Zynga’s high-quality games portfolio and first-party data with Chartboost’s proven advertising and monetization platform, we will create a new level of audience scale and meaningfully enhance our competitive advantage in the mobile ecosystem.”

The Epic battle between game developers and Apple is having its day in court. Epic Games sued Apple after Apple pulled Fortnite from its App Store; Apple claims Epic breached a contract. In the first week of the trial, Epic attempted to show that Apple is a monopoly, and that Apple’s app review rules are applied unevenly to developers. Apple said it rejected about one third of apps submitted to the App store, and less than 1% of developers appeal the decision.

Google said it plans to roll out a new “safety” section in Google Play in 2Q22. The section will require app developers to share the kinds of personal information that is collected, how they use the data, and where it’s stored.

Yahoo and AOL are getting a new home. Verizon will sell its media assets—led by the two brands—to Apollo Global Management and related entities for a price tag of $5 billion. Verizon will retain a 10 percent stake in the new company, to be known as Yahoo and continue to be helmed by CEO Guru Gowrappan.

TikTok announced the launch of the TikTok Login Kit and Sound Kit. The SDKs will enable apps to authenticate users via their TikTok credentials, and build experiences using TikTok videos. The Login Kit allows an app’s users to sign in using their TikTok log-in credentials, while the Sounds Kit will let app users share their sounds or music back to TikTok as sounds.

Prime Focus Technologies announced the launch of a new hybrid-cloud media center in Leeds, UK. PFT Leeds will provide Channel 4’s operations, including receipt and delivery of content, quality control, edit & remastering, archiving, live simulcast of linear channels and transcoding, along with packaging and delivery of non-linear services. The company’s physical facility close to the City Centre of Leeds is near Channel 4’s new national headquarters.

SendtoNews has changed its name to STN Video to more accurately reflects the company’s evolution into a full-service online video platform offering. From Sports to News (STN) Video offers contextually relevant video content. “Everything we do is aimed at helping our publishing and content partners thrive in a digital environment,” said STN Video CEO Matthew Watson. “Our mission hasn’t changed, and we will continue to provide unmatched service and leadership in the industry. STN Video now accurately reflects our focus, offering and commitment to our partner’s goals.”

VlogBox, the CTV app development and monetization platforms, has launched its own channels for the distribution and promotion of video content. New products include Yeet!TV and Yeet!Kids TV, now available on Android TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV. Yeet! TV spans multiple content types, while Yeet!Kids TV provides video content to children. Both channels serve as an opportunity for branded app owners to reach viewers and gain yields, as well as a separate solution for content creators to get their start on an aggregated content channel. “CTV app aggregators are growing even more common, as their format is akin to a more traditional linear TV channel,” said Nick Platonenko, CEO at VlogBox. “When our partners ask whether it’s possible to stream videos in line with other content creators, we can now offer this opportunity.”

NEWFRONTS

NBCUniversal unveiled a streaming and digital strategy across One Digital Video and Peacock that includes new solutions for marketers: The expansion of digital and streaming capabilities with live linear dynamic ad insertion on vMVPDs, advanced contextual advertising and a new Peacock ad format. NBCU is transforming linear networks into digital video by converting the live linear cable feeds for CNBC, MSNBC, Oxygen, SYFY, and USA Network on vMVPD partners including AT&T TV, fuboTV, Hulu Live, Sling TV, and YouTube TV. Already live on select networks and partners and expanding through 2022, this move increases the time spent on One Digital Video by over 40%. Coming later this year, NBCU will be expanding its Contextual Intelligence offering to include advanced digital contextual advertising. NBCUniversal is also launching its newest format: Spotlight Ads. The ad format empowers marketers to tap into the 42M customers who have signed up for Peacock through one seamless ad buy. A marketer chooses a specific timeslot and within those hours, every Peacock viewer tuning-in to watch on the platform will see their chosen creative first.

Ellen Digital unveiled three fan-focused super brands during the media company’s NewFronts event. “bubbleserves the community of mothers, providing an outlet to celebrate, entertain, and connect; “sage” aims to empower women through storytelling while inspiring and igniting change; and “smile” further amplifies the voices of extraordinary individuals.

TikTok touted its position as a driver of culture and its impact on retail during Thursday’s NewFronts event. “As the platform continues to drive brand and product discovery through #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, we’re seeing advertisers unlearn traditional retail marketing techniques and pivot toward authentic connections with their customers — the TikTok community,” said the company. “From feta cheese to drugstore skincare, all it takes is one TikTok to clear shelves across the world.”

Snapchat has announced the new Creator Marketplace, which integrates Creators directly into the advertising ecosystem by enabling brands to connect with Lens Creators, Lens Developers, Lens Partners, and eventually Snap Stars to help elevate their marketing presence on the platform. The Creator Marketplace will open later this month for AR Creators and select brands through 2021.

Twitter showcased an expanded lineup of new live and on demand premium video content, with new collaborations and renewals across entertainment, gaming, lifestyle, news and sports. “Twitter is home to the most vibrant, diverse communities and the place where fandom thrives. The premium content we’re collaborating on with our partners is igniting passion and enabling marketers to tap into the excitement of those communities and be a part of what’s happening,” said Jennifer Prince, Twitter’s Global VP and Head of Content Partnerships.

Estrella Media shared new digital initiatives in its presentation, including the launch of the EstrellaTV and Estrella News channels on Pluto TV en español. In addition, Estrella News will now be a live channel available 24/7 on Amazon News through Amazon Fire TV, and the company announced the launch of its newest FAST channel, Estrella Games, the first 24/7 Spanish-language game show channel, now live on Vizio with additional platforms to be announced soon. Estrella Games will be programmed for multi-generational families.

Music video network Vevo is taking a television-first approach, as its audience watching on the big screen now trends upward of 30 percent, versus fewer than15 percent one year ago. With 60 million viewers choosing CTV to watch Vevo content, the company has launched contextual ad targeting products and enhanced its measurement buying capabilities, and is focused on maximizing its distribution offerings through enhanced, personalized programming. Vevo’s growing playlist of offerings around which brands can message include Vevo Moods, Vevo Moments, Vevo Concierge and its newest franchise, Official Live Performances.

VICE Media Group used some of its NewFront space to call upon the industry to end data discrimination. “The advertising industry takes a person’s gender, age, and ethnicity, to decide, on the individual’s behalf, what messages they receive, all while making false assumptions and vast generalizations about their identity,” said Chief People Officer Daisy Auger-Dominguez. “VICE Media Group has taken a stand to say this archaic practice is unethical and is a diminishing and shallow way of grouping human beings.” To that end, the company introduced a new contextual targeting solution that enables advertisers to go beyond solely targeting top line subject matters, and reach audiences according to sub topics, sentiment, emotion, and predictive models.

During its first NewFronts presentation, TEGNA announced the expansion of its attribution solution to measure performance of linear TV and streaming campaigns. In 2021, TEGNA Attribution will provide industry-specific performance data for the automotive and tourism industries. Advertisers in these categories will have access to advanced, industry-specific outcomes and sales data for campaigns placed with TEGNA and Premion. TEGNA Attribution is partnering with IHS Markit to leverage Polk Automotive Solutions, enabling advertisers to reach the most qualified automotive consumers and connect advertising schedule details to verified new car sales. TEGNA Attribution is also partnering with Arrivalist, using Arrivalist’s geo-location intelligence data to provide advanced location attribution solutions for convention and visitors bureaus and other vacation/tourism advertisers.

Amazon’s combined OTT streaming channels now reach more than 120 million monthly viewers of ad-supported content, up from 20 million viewers in January 2020. This among toplines from the company’s debut Newfronts appearance, during which Amazon credited gaming platform Twitch, IMDb TV and other live sports content for helping drive growth. Two-year-old AVOD service IMDb TV viewership rose 138 percent year-over-year, with more than 60 percent of viewers aged 18-49 and spending an average of 5.5 hours per week on the service, the company said.

Crackle Plus’ newly acquired Sonar library will help power the launch of the new Chicken Soup For The Soul AVOD network, which will provide entertainment, inspiration and information that lifts their health, wealth, spirit, knowledge and relationships. Crackle Plus more than doubled content on its AVOD networks Crackle and Popcornflix, and added more than 200 hours of original and exclusive programming during the past year. The company also plans to launch 34 new consumer distribution touchpoints by the end of 2021.

Fubo TV is launching a branded content studio through which advertisers can create custom branded content to air on Fubo Sports Network. During its NewFront the company also touted new and returning shows from Terrell Owens, Matthew Hatchette and Gilbert Arenas, and a partnership with LiveRamp to enhance its addressable advertising capabilities. The company closed 2020 with nearly 548,000 subscribers, an increase of 73 percent year-over-year. Advertising revenue grew 133 percent year-over-year to $29 million with advertising average revenue per user (ad ARPU) reaching $8.47, an increase of 52 percent from the prior year.

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Only 4% of US iPhone users who upgraded to iOS 14.5 have enabled app tracking, according to Flurry Analytics. An earlier poll had suggested more optimistic numbers. Globally, 12% of users have enabled tracking.

iHeartMedia announced the launch of a new Private Marketplace that will provide advertisers with programmatic buying access to distribute their marketing to audiences across shows from the iHeartPodcast Network. With technology developed through iHeartMedia’s recently acquired Voxnest, advertisers will gain private access to target iHeartMedia’s podcast library by content, geography and consumer psychographics. “The launch of this Private Marketplace is a huge milestone in the podcast industry and advances these capabilities to buyers,” said Brian Kaminsky, Chief Data Officer and President of Revenue Strategies for iHeartMedia. “Our podcasts attract some of the most engaged and passionate podcast listeners in the world and now advertisers will have massive scale and highly specific targeting at their fingertips.”

The Out of Home Advertising Association of America released a guide for capturing mobile advertising IDs to evaluate which consumers are exposed to digital out of home media. The trade organization worked with industry leaders to develop the “OAAA DOOH Exposure Methodology Standardization Guidelines and Best Practices,” aimed at empowering omnichannel marketers to increase investment in DOOH.

AcuityAds has struck a partnership with contextual intelligence company GumGum, to integrate GumGum’s Verity solution for brand safety and contextual intelligence into AcuityAds’ illumin platform, a journey automation technology that offers planning, buying, and real-time intelligence from one platform. “Our integration of the Verity solution will further enhance the illumin technology by providing advertisers with access to sophisticated contextual intelligence tools,” said Andrey Feldman, VP of Products at AcuityAds. “This partnership is an example of how illumin is working to redefine the industry as advertisers navigate the consumer journey using our cutting-edge technology.”

Also teaming up are Admix and Integral Ad Science, making Admix the only In-Play advertising company to offer ad inventory that is measured and verified by a trusted, independent partner. “At Admix, we regularly hear from agencies who recognize that gaming is a huge part of media consumption and want to make video gaming part of their core strategy,” said Samuel Huber, CEO and co-founder of Admix. “Until now, they have been hamstrung by a lack of third-party verification. Thanks to IAS and our technology, brands and agencies can now jump in with full confidence and put compelling, premium ad experiences in front of mobile gaming’s 2.5 billion players.”

IRI, focused on solutions and services for consumer, retail and media companies, is leveraging a 1.5-million-member receipt panel, recently obtained through IRI’s acquisition of CoinOut, to build omnichannel offerings IRI OmniMarket and IRI OmniConsumer. “IRI is the only provider to merge more granular POS assets that represent actual buying behavior from virtually every household in the country with panels that can help fill in for areas where POS data is hard to collect,” said Jeremy Allen, President of Market Shopper Intelligence at IRI. “IRI has a 1.5-million-member receipt panel and is committed to providing a more accurate, more representative and more granular set of insights.”

Former Samsung Ads tech leadership and co-founders of AdGear announced a $3.6M seed round for Optable, a SaaS data connectivity platform designed for the ad ecosystem. The round was led by Brightspark Ventures and included David Hahn, former CPO of Integral Ad Science (acquired by Vista Equity Partners), David Yaffe, founder and former CEO of Arbor (acquired by LiveRamp), Jim Payne, founder and former CEO of MoPub (acquired by Twitter), and Alex Blum, former Executive Chairman of Tru Optik (acquired by TransUnion). “The disappearance of third-party cookies and other global identifiers will empower more companies than ever before to collect quality first-party data. The resulting fragmentation requires a new approach to data collaboration between partners,” said Yves Poiré, Optable co-founder and CEO. “Optable is bringing a privacy-centric, transparent solution to the market that will enable all participants in the ecosystem to collaborate and leverage their data under the safest conditions.”

Semcasting, creators of the IP, email, location and device-targeting Smart Zones technology, announced that insights firm Affinity Solutions will make their consumer purchasing and brand insights first-party data available within Semcasting’s Audience Designer Branded Data Center. Affinity Solutions is providing actionable shopper insights reflective of consumer intentions, to businesses by category, retail outlet, and preferred online channels for marketing campaigns as branded category and point-of-sale segments.

Digital Trends Media Group announced the official launch of Rapport AI, a publishing platform to engage consumers at each key step through the total purchase journey. “We’re excited to be doing our part to evolve the data conversation,” says Nathan Bell, SVP of Data and Business Analytics at Digital Trends. “The industry has been wrapped up in a false narrative that suggests you can only have one – privacy or meaningful data. We knew that by completely rethinking the model we could create something that organically offers both.” Rapport AI uses advanced artificial intelligence to analyze more than 200 discreet behavioral data points attached to each individual consumer, for a fully compliant and anonymous consumer targeting with laser accuracy, at scale.

Convergent TV advertising platform Beachfront announced the completion of a national addressable TV ad execution with VIZIO adhering to the technical specifications of Open Addressable Ready. The execution leveraged Beachfront’s Unified Decisioning product, and the inventory included locally and nationally syndicated broadcast programming. OAR’s watermark was placed within these programming feeds, which were distributed to stations in 125 broadcast DMAs across the country. The program ran across more than three million VIZIO TVs equipped with the OAR spec. “Widespread and continued support for the OAR spec has been important, and this marks further momentum as we’ve fully executed an addressable campaign at the glass level,” said Adam Gaynor, VP of Network Partnerships for VIZIO and steering lead for Project OAR.

STREAMING

NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises is launching Telemundo Streaming Studios, a Miami-based production unit whose mission is to create original scripted content for direct-to-consumer platforms. At launch, 35 projects are in development, including Peacock dramedy “Armas de Mujer,” seasons 4 and 5 of Netflix’s “El Marginal,” and the remake of “Historia de un Clan.” The studio will offer production services to other direct-to-consumer platforms, in addition to developing and producing its own IP.

VIZIO has added 10 lifestyle channels to SmartCast, its smart TV operating system. The free channels include PeopleTV, QVC, HSN, Jack Hanna, Love Nature, Real Wild, Fuse Sweat, Absolute History, Revry and Horse & Country. “From entertainment news to nature and from travel to shopping and more, we’re committed to continually expanding our offering with diverse programming and content that delivers what SmartCast consumers want,” said Katherine Pond, VP of Business Development for VIZIO.

Music video streaming platform Qwest is launching its free linear channels in the US via a partnership with VIZIO. Channels include Jazz and Beyond (jazz, soul, funk, blues, global music), Classical (classical concerts, opera, ballet), and Mix (indie rock, electronic, hip hop, and other contemporary genres).

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PRODUCTION ATTORNEY (TEMPORARY)
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Provide legal counsel to internal production groups on day-to-day production related matters. Pre-Broadcast and Production Counseling, Agreement Negotiation and Clearance Review, general Legal advice and Clearance review. 4-6+ years of legal practice required with preferred 2 years min of production firm legal experience. Full info HERE (5/24)

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ACCOUNT MANAGER DIGITAL SALES

THE WEATHER GROUP
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Positively impact revenue, especially renewals, by building and delivering effective advertising service. Create media proposals, compile campaign and coordinate between departments. 3+ years proven work experience in digital video media required, experience in the OTT/FEP environment preferred. Full info HERE (5/19)

SALES PLANNER
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INTERACTIVE ONE/NYC, NY: Concept and formulate both large- and small-scale ideas into innovative, marketable programs. Champion and help implement the vision and go-to-market strategy and digital sales positioning. Minimum 2-years of digital advertising sales marketing experience required. Full info HERE (5/18)

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SENIOR MANAGER, COMPENSATION & BENEFITS, ACCOUNTING
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SR. SALES PLANNER >>
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JR. SALES PLANNER >>
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SR PRODUCER/DIRECTOR >>
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BROADCAST VIDEO EDITOR/PRODUCER
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DIRECTOR OF AD OPERATIONS

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