05/05/15: Game of Thrones battles pirates; Britney Spears is getting her own mobile game; Netflix is headed to Cannes


Good morning. It’s Tuesday May 5, 2015, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


The boxing world’s much-hyped fight last Saturday between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquaio ended up being a big win in the streaming world as well. Online video apps Meerkat and Periscope hosted some unauthorized live streams of the big-bucks pay-per-view fight, which HBO and Showtime were handling together. The latter pair had asked Meerkat and Periscope before the fight to take down any streams that occurred during the matchup, USA Today reports, but Meerkat and Periscope apparently didn’t get to all of them quickly enough. Legal action may be the next step.
HBO is hoping to kill off a good chunk of the pirated content of Game of Thrones by cutting journalists off from the preview DVDs the company has long sent out. It will now only stream previews for reporters who need to see the show before its actual airdate. This plan was accelerated when the Thrones season opener was pirated from such a screener earlier this year.
Netflix is making a move to further its foothold in Europe and the film world. The Cannes Film Festival that kicks off next week will feature Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos being interviewed onstage by Laurent Cotillon, chief editor of Le Film Français, in what is being considered the event’s keynote speech. According to Variety, the conversation will focus on “how new distribution models impact the financing and production of films.”
Former law enforcement officer turned reality and news producer Scott Weinberger talks about what TV gets right – and wrong – when it comes to the crime genre in today’s Cynsiders.


Yesterday in New York’s meatpacking district, Fullscreen announced its acquisition of social-media studio McBeard, which has created branded content for such clients as Netflix, 20th Century Fox, NBCUniversal, Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures. Fullscreen, which is owned by Otter Media, a joint venture between AT&T and Chernin Group, also noted that it plans to get involved in full-length films, is working with measurement companies Nielsen and Millward Brown to figure out ways to track custom content and influencer marketing reach, and preview the documentary “#O2LForever,” which focuses on the vlogging group O2L.
“We’re back,” said CEO Chad Gutstein at Machinima’s NewFront yesterday, held at Arena in Time Square. The company announced several sci-fi and game-inspired digital series. Geared toward millennial males 18-41, the MCN is the 9th largest video destination in the U.S. and the second biggest destination on YouTube, according to their presentation. Highlights included Justice League: Gods & Monsters Chronicles from Bruce Timm, High School 51, created and produced by Transformer’s Roberto Orci, and a reboot of the 1987 hit film RoboCop. Clips of possible brand integrations for a variety of ad categories were also shown to guests.


NBCUniversal’s USA Network really wants to boost its initial audience the new series Mr. Robot that debuts June 24. The network is trying to generate interest by making the pilot episode available through streaming and video on demand on May 27. At that point, it will be found on such diverse distribution channels as iTunes, Amazon, Xbox, Crave Online, TheVerge.com and latina.com, among others. This is part of USA’s efforts to get “edgier,” not just in its content but also in attracting audiences.
The action is just getting underway at NCTA’s INTX, the Internet & Television Expo, the trade show formerly known as The Cable Show. In early INTX news, Comcast X1 customers can now live-stream videos over the Internet from a smartphone to their TV or to the TV of another X1 customer via the just-announced Xfinity Share app. Additional features including the ability to stop, pause and rewind the live stream are coming later this year… TiVo technology is headed to Arris-made set-tops and video gateways as part of a new integration deal between the two companies that opens new possibilities for TVE and other multiscreen video services. More tomorrow!


Are you in need of strategies for monetizing OTT?
Faced with 27 million U.S. cord cutters/cord nevers, and a generation that doesn’t want to pay for programming yet is consuming more hours of content than ever, it’s no simple task identifying the right business model for OTT. But can you afford not to?

Learn from Hulu, SeaChange International + Frank N. Magid Associates on Thursday, May 28 and get the insights/tactics for creating, managing and monetizing over-the-top offerings.




Twitter is getting close to launching its autoplay video, which will allow marketers to post six-second videos that can convince consumers to click for more. According to Adweek.com, “Twitter has been heavily promoting autoplay in its latest sales pitches, and it will launch by the end of June.” Execs at Twitter have been debating the video format for some time but advertisers seem to want it, Adweek notes. Two versions have been tested. One that has the six-second preview playing on a loop and another that plays the full video automatically.
Media Rating Council has issued interim guidance for the digital marketing and advertising industry on how to proceed with measuring and transacting around “mobile viewability.” The MRC plans to issue an official standard by year’s end. The Interim Guidance follows the same criteria currently used to determine viewability in desktop environments: 50% of pixels in the viewable space of the browser for a minimum of one second for display and two seconds for video ads. The Guidance also introduces a new metric: a Loaded Ad.


Britney Spears and Katy Perry are getting their own mobile games. They will be produced by Glu, which scored a major hit with its Kim Kardashian: Hollywood app, which has been downloaded nearly 23 million times and brought in $43.3 million in its first five months, LazyGamer.com reports.
The word from intelligence firm Digi-Capital is that spending on gaming software will rise to $88 billion this year and pass $110 billion by 2018 with the market increasing 8 percent annually. Mobile will drive the growth.
New app Witness launched Sunday at the TechCrunch NY Hackathon. It allows its users to press the app button and to immediately begin recording live audio and video without the data being shown on the smartphone’s screen. The information will also immediately broadcast to phone numbers and email addresses that have already been entered. The idea is to help users that have found themselves in dangerous situations. The app was inspired in recent months by various cases of reported police brutality, TechCrunch reports.


NIELSEN TWITTER TV TOP TEN (Series and Specials) for the week of May 3, 2015
Program, Date, Unique Audience (000), Tweets (000)
Boxing: Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquaio (Pay-Per-View)
, 5/2, 11,624, 5,858
141st Kentucky Derby (NBC), 5/2,
6,806, 246
NBA Basketball: San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Lakers (TNT), 5/2,
6,612, 738
NBA Basketball: Memphis Grizzlies at Golden State Warriors (ABC), 5/3,
5,204, 203
NBA Basketball: Chicago Bulls at Milwaukee Bucks (TNT), 4/30,
4,230, 220
NBA Basketball: Dallas Mavericks at Houston Rockets (TNT), 4/28,
3,591, 189
NBA Basketball: Milwaukee Bucks at Chicago Bulls (TNT), 4/27,
3,583, 167
NBA Basketball: Washington Wizards at Atlanta Hawks (ABC)
, 5/3,
3,417, 113
NBA Basketball: Los Angeles Clippers at San Antonio Spurs (TNT), 4/30,
3,324, 204
NBA Basketball: San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Clippers (TNT)
, 4/28,
3,225, 334

Source: Nielsen. Nielsen Social captures relevant Tweets from three hours before through three hours after broadcast, local time. Unique Audience measures the audience of relevant Tweets ascribed to a program from when the Tweets are sent until the end of the broadcast day at 5am. The data includes new/live primetime and late fringe programming only and excludes sports events. For multicast events, networks are listed alphabetically and metrics reflect the highest Unique Audience across all airing networks.


Condé Nast Entertainment has hired Joy Marcus to serve as executive vice president and GM of digital video. Marcus previously ran the U.S. operations for Dailymotion.

Integral Ad Science has added four data technology experts to the team. The new head of technology is Jamie Bernardin. Sergei Izrailev is now vice president of data science, Rob Molchon has been named senior vice president of product engineering, and Alexey Karlamov is vice president of technology.


Want to find out what shows are online and when?

Check out the Watcheroo Digital Programming Guide

Organized by show name, date, and platform.
We have everything you’ll need to be caught up on digital premieres, ongoing programs, live-streamed events and integrated series.


The Muppets and YouTube Space LA have hooked up to bring together the Disney-owned Jim Henson creations with YouTube stars. This week, four new videos will come out of the relationship with such YouTube biggies as Mental Flosss, Mike Tompkins, and Lindsey Stirling working with Kermit, Miss Piggy, Rowlf, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Beaker, and The Electric Mayhem, among others. www.cynopsis.com/#video.

See you tomorrow,
Jessica Reese  @JMarieReese

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

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