06/08/20: Cynopsis Media Tech Update

 

Medias First Morning Read
Monday June 8, 2020

RealNetworks has two new tools that use AI to help video viewers identify who they’re seeing. Browser extension StarSearch by Real enables viewers to identify famous people in any video streamed from YouTube, Netflix and other popular sites, while media player RealPlayer 20/20 offers one-click video downloads and instantly spots and identifies people in videos and the scenes where they appear, and enables organization of media files based on who appears in them. RealAudio was introduced 25 years ago, and “Streaming has since become a central part of society, especially in these challenging times,” said RealNetworks founder and CEO Rob Glaser

Samsung’s the Sero TV, now on sale, can swivel and change its orientation to mirror mobile phone content, rotating between landscape and portrait. The 43-inch TV also uses AI to convert content to 4K resolution. “With people now using their TVs in different ways than ever before, whether scrolling through social media, watching the latest viral videos or catching up on TV, the Sero is able to seamlessly adapt to enhance whatever content the user is watching,” said Dan Hastings, director of TV and AV at Samsung Electronics U.K. Price tag: $1999.

Total revenue for Zoom Video Communications’ first fiscal quarter hit $328.2 million, up +169% over the prior year period. “We were humbled by the accelerated adoption of the Zoom platform around the globe in Q1. The COVID-19 crisis has driven higher demand for distributed, face-to-face interactions and collaboration using Zoom,” said Zoom founder and CEO Eric Yuan. “Use cases have grown rapidly as people integrated Zoom into their work, learning, and personal lives.”

Prime Focus Technologies announced a Strategic Supply Chain Partnership Program aimed at providing media companies better transparency into their content workflows to maximize revenues, reduce costs, increase efficiencies, and get complete visibility and control over where and how television and movie titles are being distributed. “Monetization of content providers’ catalogs is essential in today’s fast paced and competitive OTT and VOD landscape, making digital distribution and discovery of content to end users a critical component for M&E companies,” said Carl Segal, SVP, Digital Distribution, Prime Focus Technologies. “It becomes imperative to not just monitor and measure effectiveness but analyze the results of that data in order to monetize content.”

54% TV organizations are currently making efforts to implement AI, according to the Pulse Check on AI Adoption report from Veritone. Additional key findings include:
· The opportunity for differentiation attracts television companies to AI solutions, with 73% of CEOs and 67% of CTOs citing innovation and differentiation as driving AI adoption.
· The majority of CEOs are leading the charge for AI adoption, with 63% saying that strategic efforts are being made to use AI for automation.
· Budgetary restrictions and lack of knowledge around what AI is and how it can help TV organizations are the top factors preventing AI from achieving widespread usage, according to 50% of respondents.

AI-as-a-service company Scibids Technology announced the launch of its US operation and the appointment of Eric Schwartz as US managing director, effective immediately. “Our topline is doubling year-over-year since inception,” said co-founder Julien Hirth. “Scibids software is used to optimize hundreds of billions of impressions yearly. Expanding into the US market enables us to offer premium support to our US-based clients and to meet the inbound demand from that market since early 2018 to the present.”

The Center for Democracy and Technology, a tech group supported by Facebook, Google and Twitter, filed a lawsuit against President Trump, claiming his executive order on social media – which could allow the government to assume oversight of political speech on the internet – threatens to “curtail and chill constitutionally protected free speech.” The CDT said the White House violated the First Amendment, which “prohibits government officials from using government power to retaliate against and individual or entity for engaging in protected speech.” Trump issued the order after Twitter fact-checked one of his tweets.

Snapchat stopped promoting President Trump’s content on its Discover platform. “We will not amplify voices who incite racial violence and injustice by giving them free promotion on Discover,” said the company. “Racial violence and injustice have no place in our society and we stand together with all who seek peace, love, equality, and justice in America.” Trump’s content remains available to users who subscribe or search for it.

Comcast has been increasing X1 Cloud DVR storage hours from 60 to 150. The update was started at the end of April and the company expects it to be completed by June. X1 Cloud DVR is available for free to all customers with X1 DVR service, and allows subscribers to access their DVR recordings from mobile devices and computers via the Xfinity Stream app or portal.

FuboTV’s live TV streaming platform is now available on Microsoft’s Xbox One family of devices. Subscribers can stream fuboTV’s TV channels, and access VOD movies, TV shows and their local TV networks. Xbox One X and Xbox One S users can also stream 4K content. fuboTV will continue to update the app, optimizing it for the Xbox One platform. Specifically, the company will further integrate features on the Xbox One remote control to leverage more capabilities of its video player, including quick restart, jump ahead/jump back :15 during playback and providing thumbnail previews during scrubbing. fuboTV will also optimize Xbox’s faster load times to ensure less buffering.

The Roku Channel now has a live, on-screen program guide, which shows 12 hours of programming information. Roku also added 30 new channels, for a total of over 100. “Now more than ever it’s important for our users to have easy access to free content, such as news, and the ability to find it quickly,” said Ashley Hovey, Director, AVOD Growth, Roku

TiVo and Xperi completed their merger, to form a digital entertainment technology platform and IP licensing platform. “With this combination, we are better positioned to transform the entertainment experience across the home, auto and mobile markets with smarter technologies that enable extraordinary experiences,” said Jon Kirchner, CEO of Xperi. “With the combined expertise of our innovative R&D teams and a broader market TAM, we will be well positioned to achieve even better patent monetization outcomes, greater cash flow generation and long-term value creation.”

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Identity resolution company Tru Optik announced an agreement with Deep Root, an audience-powered analytics company, to integrate Deep Root’s proprietary audience-based segments – political, public affairs and corporate advocacy – to Tru Optik’s Political Data Cloud. Through the integration, media companies and political advertisers will be able to leverage Deep Root’s audience segments with data sets of voter history, consumer and behavioral insights across OTT/CTV. “There’s no denying that now, more than ever, registered voters are engaging in content from connected TV. Political candidates, campaigns and advocacy groups must recognize this and leverage these platforms in order to reach targeted voter audiences,” said Richard Kosinski, EVP, Sales, Tru Optik. “Deep Root’s scale of deterministic and modeled political data directly sourced from voters enhances our capabilities of offering unparalleled scale, accuracy and reach on ad-supported OTT and CTV.”

Univision announced the launch of VAMOS, a voter analytics and media optimization tool that consolidates the insights Univision has been offering, coupling it with richer data that has recently become available by leveraging new learnings regarding evolving viewing behaviors. “The nation’s Hispanic voters are not monolithic. It is key for each of the political parties and campaigns to speak to the 32 million eligible Hispanic voters across the U.S. about the issues and candidates,” said Univision’s Michele Day, SVP, Political, Advocacy & Government Group. “If you are not speaking to them as part of your political buying strategy, then you are missing out on an opportunity to reach our exclusive audience, 83% of which don’t watch any of the top 10 English-language networks.”

AMC Networks and The Weather Channel have joined advanced advertising consortium OpenAP, joining Fox, NBCUniversal, Univision and ViacomCBS. “The diverse portfolios of both AMC Networks and The Weather Channel – who are each investing heavily in sophisticated targeting capabilities – further cements our ability to make it easier for advertisers to buy at scale in an open marketplace,” said David Levy, CEO of OpenAP. “The partnership is a true testament to the power of collaboration.”

FourthWall Media introduced Adapt, a platform tool to onboard linear, addressable, and digital advertising campaigns, and added Automatic Content Recognition data from Smart TVs to its cable set-top box viewing dataset into the Reveal analytics platform. “Adding ACR data from Smart TVs to FourthWall’s established cable set-top box data gives us a unique opportunity to fuel Reveal with two carefully-curated datasets covering different viewing modes,” said Ellen Dudar, Chief Product Officer of FourthWall Media. “Adding Smart TV viewership data to Reveal is exciting and delivers valuable cross-platform insights to our customers. In addition, we’ve extended our ability to import ad campaign data from linear as-run logs to now include addressable and digital exposure files.”

AppsFlyer is partnering with Facebook Audience Network, bringing a campaign-level IAA ROAS measurement solution to gaming app developers. By tying the revenue generated by a cohort of users from Facebook Audience Network to the user acquisition source, app developers are able to more precisely optimize their user acquisition strategy. “Our new campaign-level measurement solution fulfills a critical gap in the market by helping marketers on our platform truly understand if their return on ad spend is both accurate and profitable,” said Mat Harris, Director of Product Management, Facebook Audience Network. “With measurement being the precursor to optimization, together with AppsFlyer, we’ve taken the initiative to create a product that helps game marketers and publishers understand the effectiveness of ad campaigns they run on the Audience Network platform.

The World Federation of Advertisers released a guide for brands on data ethics. “Data Ethics – The Rise of Morality in Technology” lays out what marketers need to consider to ensure data is used ethically. The group’s research indicates 74% of CMOs believe data ethics will be more important in their jobs in the next five years, and 82% of respondents said they would consider leaving their employer if they felt the approach to data was not ethical. The guide named four key principles in data ethics: transparency, accountability, respect for the people behind the data, and fairness, to ensure inclusivity.

CTV continues to grow, with 36% year-over-year volume increases, despite continued declines across mobile (-26%) and PC (-20%) device types, according to the Innovid iQ dashboard, offering a weekly view of the video ad landscape amid COVID-19. For the week of May 24 to May 30, key takeaways include:
· After 4-weeks of year-over-year growth, global video volume dropped 8% year-over-year.
· Even with an overall decline, several verticals including CPG (+ 59%), Telecom (+18%), Finance (+11%), and Pharma (+3%) experienced year-over-year volume growth. Auto (-80%) continues to see significant declines year-over-year, alongside Retail (-37%).
On the publisher front, programmatic publishers led growth with +33% year-over-year impression volume.

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Check out more jobs in Cynopsis Classifieds »
Job of the day
MGR/DIRECTOR, MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS
ISE
LA

Passionate, innovative & driven candidate to support planning, development & execution of marketing, brand building & PR initiatives for the company’s Football & Basketball clients. 5+ yrs comms, sales, superior marketing & athletic brand building skills a must. Full info HERE (6/15)

DIRECTOR OF SALES >>
RNN/Rye Brooke NY: Responsible for growing and managing its Diginet business across all of its TV stations. Minimum of 5 yrs exp in sales in the TV industry and experience in Diginet/multicast/D2 business required. Exp’d networking & establishing new relationships with key players at agencies and advertisers. BA deg Full info HERE (6/16)

SR PODCAST PRODUCER
>>
Glass Entertainment Group/Philadelphia:
Story producer to help lead a new episodic podcast. You will be involved in episode dvlopmnt, rsrch, interview prep & prod episodes (both during actual record & in post). Background in storytelling & min 5yrs exp making audio, pref w/proven field reporting exp. Full info HERE (6/16)

PRODUCER, BROADCAST LIVE >>
AccuWeather/State College PA:
Produce compelling live video segments for the national network on a daily and as-needed schedule. Put together the rundown for each individual segment and work with a team. Entrepreneurial spirit & working knwldg of non-linear editing suites req’d. Full info HERE (6/16)

MARKETING MANAGER, SVOD >>
AMC Networks’ Acorn TV/Silver Spring, MD:
Plans, implements, evaluates performance/KPIs of multi-territory subscriber acquisition campaigns; acts as creative lead and agency POC. Spanish fluency required; marketing exp, 5+ yrs. Full info/apply HERE (6/15)

MGR/DIRECTOR, MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS
>>
ISE/LA:
Passionate, innovative & driven candidate to support planning, development & execution of marketing, brand building & PR initiatives for the company’s Football & Basketball clients. 5+ yrs comms, sales, superior marketing & athletic brand building skills a must. Full info HERE (6/15)

PUBLICIST, COMMUNICATIONS >>
Earth Day Network/DC:
Help support the dvlpmnt/ execution of multi-channel, integrated communications and engagement strategies. 3+ yrs of communications planning and execution exp. Superior communication skills a must. Full info HERE (6/15)

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER/WRITER >>
Newsmax Media/NYC:
Exceptional storyteller with a dedicated command for news and cultural trends to write for fast-paced primetime and overnight newscasts. 3+ yrs of national or large market local news experience. Full info HERE (6/12)

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER/WRITER >>
Newsmax Media/NYC:
Exceptional storyteller with a dedicated command for news and cultural trends to write for fast-paced primetime and overnight newscasts. 3+ yrs of national or large market local news experience. Full info HERE (6/12)

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER PRIMETIME >>
Newsmax Media/NYC:
Responsible for working with show hosts, preparing the rundown of new stories, identifying and integrating guests, overseeing and executing the prod of key video & graphic elements w/guidance from the EP. 3+ yrs EP exp or overseeing newscast production. Full info HERE (6/11)

Sr NEWS PRODUCER >>
Newsmax Media/NYC:
Responsible for the production of live newscasts, news shows and recorded video segments for TV & digital platforms. Strong understanding of Newsmax brand and talent. Strong writing & organizational skills req’d as is the ability to produce content under heavy deadline pressure. Full info HERE (6/11)

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