06/27/22: Cynopsis Media Tech Update

Medias First Morning Read
Monday June 27, 2022

Amazon is developing a new feature that would allow Alexa to mimic the voice of a person based on less than a minute of recording. Which would allow Grandma to “read” a child a bedtime story even if she’s no longer alive. At the company’s Re:Mars conference last week, Rohit Prasad, SVP and head scientist for Alexa, said the goal of the feature was to build trust in interactions with empathy and affect. “These attributes have become even more important during the ongoing pandemic when so many of us have lost ones that we love,” said Prasad. “While AI can’t eliminate that pain of loss, it can definitely make their memories last.”

As Netflix explores selling ads to boost revenue, NBCUniversal and Google appear to be the top contenders to help create an ad-supported tier of the streamer, according to The Wall Street Journal. But an announcement is not imminent. “We are still in the early days of deciding how to launch a lower-priced, ad-supported option and no decisions have been made,” said Netflix.

Google has responded to the Supreme Court decision to roll back Roe v. Wade by allowing employee where abortion is illegal to relocate without explanation. The company also added travel benefits to employees for out-of-state medical procedures that are not available where an employee lives and works. “Equity is extraordinarily important to us as a company, and we share concerns about the impact this ruling will have on people’s health, lives and careers,” wrote Google Chief People officer Fiona Cicconi in an email. “We will keep working to make information on reproductive healthcare accessible across our products and continue our work to protect user privacy.”

Google is not the only tech company to expand travel assistance – or already offers it – to employees who would need to travel out of state for a medical procedure. Others include Apple, Microsoft, Meta, and Netflix.

Instagram is testing a new set of features to verify ages when users say they are 18 and older. The goal is to more effectively target relevant content and advertising to users, as well as be more compliant with regulations. Features include video selfies, providing ID, and corroboration from adult friends.

Twitter is bringing back Chirp, a developer conference first held in 2010 but canceled the next year. The event, taking place November 16 in San Francisco and online, “will celebrate the innovation developers have brought to Twitter, reveal opportunities that await, and introduce a few surprises along the way,” said the company.

Finally making it official, Twitter confirmed the release of its Notes feature, and introduced a new team called Twitter Write. The feature, available to a select group of users in the US, UK, Canada and Ghana, enables users to create articles using rich formatting and uploaded media. Users can click on the “Write” tab to start writing and can then embed the Note into their tweet.

Twitter announced a new partnership with Shopify. Merchants who install a new Twitter add-on can connect their Twitter account with Shopify; the add-on automatically loads the seller’s products onto Twitter. Twitter also announced an expansion of the beta of its Twitter Shops and Shop Spotlight to all brands based in the US.

Walmart is updating its app to help personalize the shopping experience with AR. “View Your Space,” expected to launch by early July, will allow shoppers to click on AR-enabled furniture and décor and see how it will look in their homes. In addition, an in-store tool will allow customers to point their devices at store shelves and filter products based on needs like dietary restrictions.

Meta agreed to a settlement with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development that will change the way it delivers housing ads. “Specifically, we are building into our ads system a method — referred to in the settlement as the ‘variance reduction system’ — designed to make sure the audience that ends up seeing a housing ad more closely reflects the eligible targeted audience for that ad,” said Roy L. Austin Jr, Vice President of Civil Rights and Deputy General Counsel, in a blog post. To protect against discrimination, machine learning technology will work to ensure the age, gender and estimated race or ethnicity of a housing ad’s overall audience matches the age, gender, and estimated race or ethnicity mix of the population eligible to see that ad. Meta will also employ the method for employment and credit ads.

Snapchat announced an accelerator program for emerging Black creators that will 24 applicants $10,000 per month. “Black creators face unique systemic barriers across the creator industry — from disparities in compensation and attribution, to toxic experiences and more,” said the company. “We believe one of the ways we can help remove some of those barriers is to provide mentorship and financial resources to emerging Black creators in the early stages of their professional career.”

The National Basketball Retired Players Association inked a group licensing deal with ARIA Exchange that calls for ARIA Exchange to create and market virtual marketing ad campaigns to brands featuring Legends and virtual images of Legends in the form of Non-Fungible Tokens. “As the demand for Legends and their one-of-a-kind collectibles skyrockets, this partnership with ARIA Exchange allows us to bring our Legends into a new and innovative marketplace, where they can serve as connoisseurs and creators of their narrative,” said Scott Rochelle, President & CEO, National Basketball Retired Players Association.


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FreeWheel is launching new identity collaborations and capabilities that will enable advertisers to seamlessly connect first and third-party data to IDs coming from diverse platforms and endpoints. By connecting data services and platforms, including Blockgraph, Experian, LiveRamp and TransUnion, FreeWheel’s capabilities allow advertisers and publishers to defragment the industry and match their first-party IDs to some of today’s most commonly used IDs in the TV advertising ecosystem. “Identity matters because it’s how advertising delivers on its digital promise: personalization at scale, providing a consistent, audience-based view across devices, datasets and inventory sources,” Matt Spiegel, EVP, Media & Entertainment Vertical, TransUnion, tells Cynopsis. “Being a part of FreeWheel’s identity initiative enables TransUnion to help advertisers and media companies address fragmentation, achieve greater scale and marry first- and third-party data to better understand consumer’s viewing experiences as the streaming population and time spent streaming grows.”

Increased consumer attention for contextually relevant ads leads to greater purchase intent and brand favorability, according to new research from Integral Ad Science conducted in partnership with eye tracker tech firm Tobii. Among other findings from the Ad Context & Attention study, which presents evidence of contextual targeting’s ROI in a brand’s advertising strategy:
* It took just 0.4 seconds for consumers to notice the in-context ad vs. 1.0 second to notice the out-of-context ad when viewing the article.
* Purchase intent was higher among consumers who viewed the in-context ad, increasing by 14 percent. Additionally, the In-context ad generated higher brand favorability among participants, resulting in a 5 percent increase when compared with consumers viewing the out-of-context ad.
* Consumers were four times more likely to remember a brand, unaided, after seeing an in-context ad versus an out-of-context ad.

NBCUniversal is creating a new certification for emotion and ad quality, as a category within its audience measurement framework. “Marketers should be able to see—and transact on—the results of great creative and measure ad campaign impact on every level,” said EVP for measurement and impact Kelly Abcarian. IMPACT focuses on content quality, reach/impressions, and ad quality, based on the idea that ad campaign impact should be viewed holistically. “Thanks to new measurement solutions, we believe ad campaign impact can be a shared responsibility,” said Abcarian. “We are exploring how we can value ad quality—and embrace accountability—across the board, and connect the emotions ads create with the content to the impact it generates.”

Digital video ad spend is expected to reach nearly $50 billion in 2022, but where is that money being spent? According to a MediaRadar analysis based on a sampling of online video advertising from traditional websites and YouTube, online video ad spend increased 30% quarter-over-quarter from 4Q21 to 1Q22, and video spend that was solely YouTube increased 57%. However, video Spend without YouTube spend was down 56% QoQ to $63 million. Advertisers spending with YouTube and other online video increased 31%.

Sell-side advertising platform Magnite and GroupM announced initial results for GroupM’s Premium Marketplace. GroupM consolidated its programmatic media buying across omnichannel environments including CTV, digital video, and display within Magnite in the US and Canada, enabling clients to achieve greater value, transparency and insights into their buys. “We have seen a noticeable increase in win rates through Magnite when compared to the same inventory in other supply paths,” said Esra Bacher, Managing Partner, Programmatic Investment Lead at GroupM. “This allows us to better scale across our campaigns. With the additional insights we’ve been able to gain within the Premium Marketplace, we’re now able to more clearly understand where and how bids are competing, and better prioritize our demand.”

TelevisaUnivision and VideoAmp have struck a new partnership in which TelevisaUnivision will leverage VideoAmp’s data to power its suite of advanced advertising solutions. TelevisaUnivision will connect VideoAmp’s data to its Hispanic household graph to power its planning, targeting, cross-platform measurement and currency solutions. “Representation and accuracy are crucial in today’s data-driven media ecosystem, and in working closely with our team over the last several months, VideoAmp has made significant strides to ensure their dataset and methodologies precisely capture US Hispanic audiences,” said Dan Aversano, SVP of Data, Analytics and Advanced Advertising at TelevisaUnivision.

Magnite and LG Ads Solutions have inked a multi-year deal that will make LG Ads Solutions’ audience-level ACR data available on Magnite’s SSP. Audience-level ACR data from opted-in LG smart TVs in the U.S. will be made available across Magnite’s U.S. inventory footprint and will expand to other countries starting in 2023. Activation is DSP agnostic, so buyers have the flexibility to choose the demand-side platforms they want to use.


Crown Media announced Hallmark content is available to Indian audiences for the first time with the launch of the company’s streaming service Hallmark Movies Now as a Premium subscription offering on OTTplay, India’s entertainment review and recommendation platform.
Amazon Prime had the edge in brand favorability.

The Walt Disney Co. and Starz are teaming on a bundle that provides consumers access to Starz+, Disney+ and Starzplay in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Once subscribed, users can download each app on its compatible device to enjoy the content offered by each platform.

Crackle Plus updated its Crackle app on Roku devices with improvements including a new design throughout the application that will provide a more intuitive browsing experience, heightened search capabilities and catalog browsing experience, and updated video player and controls.

Between March 2020 and March 2022, US AVOD households grew 29%, from 60.1 million to 77.5 million, while SVOD households grew 21%, from 64.5 million to 77.7 million, according to Comscore’s new State of Streaming report. “While both ad-supported and subscription-based streaming services are growing in the US, we’re seeing that consumers are being more mindful of their budgets and leaning towards ad-supported services,” observed James Muldrow, Comscore’s VP of Product Management. “This makes sense as inflation continues to hit consumer’s wallets. The time is ripe for traditionally subscription-based streaming services like Netflix to consider launching an ad-supported tier to enhance their growth trajectory.”

Future Today announced new parental control features for HappyKids, the AVOD kids and family-themed channel. “While Future Today has built proprietary technology for creative review, we don’t overly rely on algorithmic content moderation for HappyKids,” said Vikrant Mathur, Co-Founder, Future Today. “Ultimately, a robust and comprehensive manual review process ensures a safe and suitable viewing experience for our viewers and advertisers.”

Reuters content is now available on Haystack News. Haystack News viewers will have access to Reuters’ news stories across business, politics, entertainment and more. Reuters video coverage is updated throughout the day.

FAST platform DistroTV has added 120 new channels, bringing the total channel library to 270. “The FAST market is on an incredible and steep upward growth trajectory,” noted Navdeep Saini, Co-Founder and CEO of DistroTV parent DIstroScale, “with even paid streaming platforms now understanding that if they do not ride this wave, they’ll get left behind.”

Cynopsis Team

Lynn Leahey
Editorial Director

Kerry Smith
Division President
Access Intelligence

Robbie Caploe
VP/Group Publisher

Executive Director of Sales
Albert Nassour
Cynopsis Job Listings Sales
John Cox

Check out more jobs in Cynopsis Classifieds »
Job of the day

Rival is seeking an Account Manager who will play a vital role in the organization’s management and oversight of the day-to-day servicing of its partner portfolio. Do you have experience working with partners and are you interested in making an impact at a growing company? This could be your next great opportunity. Full info HERE (7/9)


Work w/licensees across merchandise categories for all Henson properties, including but not limited to toys, books, graphic novels, apparel, etc. Shephard the product development approval process/assist in merchandising reviews to ensure brand integrity. Vet incoming product development concepts & submissions. 3-4 yrs of Product Development exp. Full info HERE (7/8)

SINCLAIR SPORTS GROUP/NYC, Remote: Schedule commercial, marketing, promotion spots, and secondary events on daily Traffic logs. Ensure that commercial inventory is scheduled according to client specifications. Interact with Planning, Programming, Sales, and Production. Collaborate daily with Copy Administrators, Ad Sales, Marketing and Network Operations regarding incoming orders. Full info HERE (7/8)


Oversee project management, execution, and client-service for all non-production related activations of partnerships with brands and non-profits. Serve as key client contact to ensure a positive, streamlined experience for our partners who fund multi-million-dollar, media programs on Network TV and digital that positively inspire people’s lives. Full info HERE (7/5)


Administrative support for registration, planning, and preparation of regional trade shows, local promotions and events as directed by the associated distribution and marketing team members. Provide administrative support to sales executives to create high quality PowerPoint presentations. 3+ yrs in sales, promotion, project management. Full info HERE (7/5)


Manage the development and acquisition of select new programs, master plan and budget. Identify, research and develop original programming content, including series, specials, studio shows and made for TV One movies that will drive audience viewership and sales revenue. 5+ years of experience in a development, programming and/or production role. Full info HERE (7/5)


Provide general administrative support in a professional, confidential & organized manner. Schedule appointments & maintain SVP’s daily calendar. Function as administrative liaison to internal TV One departments and other TV One offices. 3+ yrs of relevant exp in a fast-paced environment within entertainment, management and/or agency is preferred. Full info HERE (7/5)


Assist with the monthly schedule releases and revisions for linear and digital platforms
Assist in maintaining program scheduling database. Communicate to key stakeholders upcoming programming plans and alert the teams of any changes. 1-2 years of experience in planning or responsible coordination to include internship and/or work experience. Full info HERE (7/5)


Develop and lead press campaigns for STARZ Original Series. Develop and supervise the implementation of goals, strategies, tactics and timelines to create PR plans for assigned original programming and network marketing/branding efforts. 10+ years of experience in a related role within a corporate environment. Full info HERE (7/3)


Highly rated and fastest growing cable news channel is seeking Booking Producers for primetime. Primarily responsible for securing on-air guests for interviews. Desired candidates must have previously worked as a booking producer (preferably in news). Must be a news junkie and ultimate team player. Full info HERE (7/3)


Successful independent developer, producer and distributor of feature films and television programming seeking Business & Legal Affairs Manager for Television group. Desired candidates must have previous experience in business or legal affairs department at major studio, production company, or entertainment law firm. JD degree strongly preferred. Full info HERE (7/3)

Daily servicing of clients and crews all across the US. Individuals are required to schedule camera crews, field production personnel, negotiate rates, source equipment nationally, book travel ETC. Hard working team players wanted. Experience in media/and entertainment industry is a plus. On Call/Overtime component. Full info HERE (6/30)

We’re looking for a forward-thinking and meticulously organized Manager, Operations and Business Analysis to join APM Studios, American Public Media’s podcast division. This role will be responsible for a variety of complex analytical, business and project management tasks to support the operation and monetization of APM Studios shows. Full info HERE (6/30)


Develop, implement, monitor and lead podcast strategy and daily operations for podcasts. Play a critical role in structuring and shaping the operational framework, brand and business strategy. 8-10 years of audio and/or digital media experience with 3-5 years of meaningful experience in podcast development, operations, and monetization. Full info HERE (6/30)


Early morning Sports/Entertainment talk show, call time at 5:30am. Develop, design, plan, and execute TikTok content for the show. Work closely with the entire staff including talent and producers. Create reactionary content to storylines that arise during the live window of the show. Must be available to start 7/11/22. Full info HERE (6/29)

Create, analyze, and distribute regular daily, weekly and monthly reporting covering TV, digital (TVOD, AVOD, SVOD) and social media. Validate the accuracy of data in reports, communicate issues/anomalies to designated support teams and monitor the status of outstanding issues. 3+ years of research and analytics experience. Full info HERE (6/29)

Create and manage national sales proposals. Monitor on-air schedules on a daily basis. Prepare post analysis for clients. Resolve contract discrepancies. Obtain, organize and analyze research and competitive information. 2-4 years of experience in a media sales company, or advertising agency preferred. Full info HERE (6/29)

Work with a cross functional team spanning sales, business intelligence, and digital operations to traffic direct sales and programmatic digital advertising campaigns to ensure client expectations are exceeded. Manage & analyze live direct sold and programmatic campaign effectiveness. 3+ yrs exp in Ad Operations in the digital advertising industry. Full info HERE (6/29)

Self-starter skilled in sports media & pop culture; strong project management skills & ability to work independently. Develop & execute press strategies & secure impactful media placements. Results-oriented strategic approach w/solid understanding of sports world; execute creative PR strategies to elevate emerging brand. 4-6 years of PR exp. req. Full info HERE (6/28)


Partner with all lines of business to create marketing solutions for clients, spanning all platforms, including web, mobile, app, social, linear TV, OTT, CTV, podcast & out-of-home. The Specialist will become a product expert, assisting in development & execution of marketing campaigns & creation/maintenance of ad sales marketing materials. Full info HERE (6/28)

FUSE MEDIA/NY: Develop customized plans and presentations for Ad Sales clients. This is a great opportunity for someone looking to join a fast-growing business with future growth opportunities. Full info HERE (6/28)

MEDIAOCEAN/NYC, CHICAGO: Find and screen potential customers and have a strong understanding of the sales process, excelling at researching leads, starting new relationships, and setting our sales team up for success. Have the ability to showcase our offerings in a compelling way. 1-3 years of professional work experience preferred. Full info HERE (6/27)

MEDIAOCEAN/NYC/EAST COAST: Execute a coordinated account plan for driving growth and adoption of Mediaocean solutions. Maintain a regular cadence of on-site visits to consult end users, identify and address business needs and challenges. Act as a trusted advisor and partner with customer contacts. 3+ years of experience in client services or consulting. Full info HERE (6/27)


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