06/08/16: Snapchat launches redesigned Discover page; Twitter loses product chief; AT&T and the Chernin Group look to launch subscription video bundle


Good morning. It’s Wednesday June 8, 2016, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


CPM: CPM, or “cost per mille,” is a measurement metric referring to the cost of an ad reaching 1,000 members of its audience. Digital display ads are generally sold under a CPM system.


As Digiday previewed last week, Snapchat has launched a wholesale redesign of Discover, its platform for publisher-controlled channels. Instead of small disks featuring publishers’ logos, the section now features larger, magazine-like images displaying a preview of content from that day’s offerings. Just as significantly, users can now subscribe to Discover channels, giving the channels more prominent placement on the users’ Stories page. Giving publishers the chance to achieve more prominent placement makes a lot of sense, both for the publishers and for Snapchat: Reports have suggested that Snapchat’s Stories page sees significantly higher traffic than the Discover page, despite the fact that most Snapchat ads live on the Discover platform. For a closer look at the new Snapchat features, take a look at today’s Digital Spotlight.
and the Chernin Group are moving more aggressively than ever to target cord-cutters. Variety reported on an upcoming offering from Ellation, a premium video provider owned by AT&T and the Chernin Group’s Otter Media (a joint venture focused on digital video). According to the report, Ellation is developing a new video subscription bundle for content including anime, gaming, and niche action sports.  The bundle, which will include Ellation’s anime-focused SVOD service Crunchyroll, will also include channels from outside partners. It’s an a la carte model similar to some of Amazon’s recent efforts. Variety’s report is still short on many specifics, including which services will be bundled with Crunchyroll. This isn’t Otter Media’s first foray into digital video services: The venture also owns the digital media company Fullscreen Media.
Twitter landed a major new deal with Univision and Fox Sports. The Wall Street Journal reports that both networks will deliver video clips to Twitter from the Copa America soccer tournament. To clarify, that’s one of the biggest sporting events on the planet. (If you’re North American, you can be forgiven for not knowing that.) Twitter will run the clips, along with pre-roll ads. It’s Twitter’s largest video distribution and advertising deal yet – and keep in mind that Twitter recently cut a deal with the NFL to stream Thursday Night Football games. Many linear networks and brands have long viewed live sports as the holy grail of advertising. A number of digital platforms – Twitter and Facebook among them– seem to be reaching the same conclusion.


Yes, the never-ending Yahoo bidding saga has earned its own category. The latest: Verizon, long considered the front-runner to acquire Yahoo’s Internet business, is planning to submit a $3 billion second-round bid, according to the Wall Street Journal. The private equity firm TPG will also be in on the bidding. And the Journal reports that Yahoo will hold at least one additional round of bidding. According to the Journal’s sources, Verizon isn’t interested in acquiring certain Yahoo assets, such as patents and real estate. But it’s easy to see why the telco wants Yahoo’s core web business: Verizon’s online advertising efforts are rapidly expanding, especially since the company’s acquisition of AOL last year. Yahoo could heavily play into those efforts – as the Journal points out, its properties attract more than a billion monthly users.


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Pandora is changing up its ad offerings. The digital music service is set to launch new ad formats that include sound, images, and native mobile video. A beta test for the new formats will kick off in August with almost a dozen brands on board, including the Lexus Dealer Association and the clothing line Express.
The mobile ad tech company S4M and the ad management platform Sizmek both announced that they have received accreditation from the Media Rating Council, the media industry’s most prominent ratings watchdog. S4M has received accreditation for its mobile ad metrics, including served display and rich media ad impressions, clicks, and click-through rate for both mobile browsers and apps. Sizmek, which specialize in supporting multiscreen campaigns, has received accreditation for it desktop digital video viewability measurement.


From the department of vague assurances: Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said that, after doing some unspecified work to adjust Go90’s platform, the mobile video service is starting to perform better. "[I]f you look at some of the ratings around Go90, they’re starting to go up, and it was because of some platform issues," said Shammo. "Now that we’re through that, you’ll start to see some momentum gained again.” Verizon has never provided many insights into the performance of its mobile streaming service, which launched last year. But that may change: Shammo said that Verizon will provide more insight into Go90’s business sometime soon, likely in Q3 of this year.


NeuLion, an online video tech company that specialize in broadcasting, distributing, and monetizing live and on-demand content, has acquired Saffron Digital Limited, a U.K. company that builds multi-platform digital video services for OTT content. The transaction was all-cash. Terms weren’t disclosed.


The Anglophile-friendly SVOD service Acorn TV announced some new acquisitions. Series 18 of the British detective drama Midsomer Murders will bow July 4. The British period drama Jericho will premiere on the service July 11. The 1970s-set British comedy Cradle to Grave will debut July 18. And the British detective drama Murdoch Mysteries will debut a new Christmas special, A Merry Murdoch Christmas, on July 25.


The ListenFirst Television Interest (TVI) Rating (TM) is a standardized measurement of the most buzzed-about TV programs on linear TV and streaming services. A complement to ListenFirst’s other syndicated data products (such as the ListenFirst Digital Audience Rating – TV), the metrics included in the rating are the purest form of showing interest digitally, since they’re organic actions that are largely unaffected by paid media. Programs that surface on the TVI leaderboards are the most hashtagged on Facebook, Google+, and Tumblr, as well as most searched for on Wikipedia (used as a proxy for organic search volume).
Streaming Series (5/30/16 – 6/05/16)

Source: ListenFirst. The TVI Rating aggregates metrics that measure organically generated activity by fans of the TV show. The metric includes total volume of official hashtag mentions on Facebook, Google+, and Tumblr, along with Wikipedia page views (as a proxy for organic search volume) for a show as a percentage of the total volume of the same activities for all shows.


Kerry Trainor has stepped down as CEO of Vimeo. Joey Levin, the CEO of Vimeo parent IAC, will take over the job on an interim basis while the company searches for a replacement. Trainor will continue to act in an advisory capacity. He had served as Vimeo’s CEO for four years.


Twitter has never had much of a problem hiring new people; it’s keeping them in place that’s proven tricky. Jeff Seibert, who took over as Twitter’s Senior Director of Product in September, is no longer running the company’s core product team, according to Re/code. Instead, he’ll go back to what he was doing before his promotion: running Fabric, Twitter’s developer product suite. Ed Ho, a senior engineering director at Twitter, will take over for Seibert on an interim basis. Meanwhile, the company has opened up a search to fill the role, according to Re/code’s sources. According to the same Re/code report, Twitter will be adding a new division within its product team, which will work with influencers and VIP users. That team will be lead by Engineering VP Jeremy Rishel.
Viacom Velocity (Viacom’s in-house integrated marketing and branded content group) and Velocity Products Group (Viacom’s division specializing in multi-platform social partnerships, products, and services) announced some new promotions. Chris Ficarra, previously Velocity’s SVP of Entertainment, will serve as EVP of Integrated Marketing. Chris Cereda, previously the creative lead at the Viacom in-house consultancy Scratch, will now serve as Velocity’s SVP of Creative and Branded Content with a focus on Viacom’s music brands. Also upped to SVP of Creative and Branded Content at Velocity is Beth Trentacoste, who previously served as Velocity’s Velocity’s VP of Creative; she’ll now expand her responsibilities to the development of episodic branded series across Viacom’s entertainment brands. Deborah Brett, previously VP of Velocity Products Group, will be upped to SVP. And Lydia Daly, previously Velocity’s VP of Social Media, will now serve as the group’s SVP of Social Media and Branded Content Strategy.
The viral video aggregator Jukin Media has made a new hire. Greg Bond will now serve as Vice President of Global Licensing, a newly created position. In the new role, Bond will lead the expansion of Jukin’s licensing business, and oversee and coordinate licensing operations between Jukin’s LA headquarters and its New York and London offices. Bond has previously served as President of Film and TV Licensing at Wazee Digital, a company offering cloud-based storage and licensing for video libraries.


Troy Carter, a music industry vet best known for managing Lady Gaga, is in talks to join Spotify, according to reports. At Spotify, Carter would oversee relationships with record labels and artists. According to the New York Times, the new role could begin as early as next week. Carter has an impressive resume: In addition to Lady Gaga, he’s worked with musicians including John Legend, Meghan Trainor, and even Will Smith.


Back in March, Vice Media took a controlling stake in what U.K. production company? You can find the answer in tomorrow’s newsletter.
When you reach a certain number of subscribers, YouTube awards you with a trophy in the form of a large Diamond Play Button. How many subs do you need? Answer: Ten million.


TV still offers incredible opportunities for brands to reach consumers, but the advertising experience is being reinvented.

Don’t fall behind the times, learn the latest tips and tricks on June 15th from 1:30 – 3:00 PM during the
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As mentioned up top, Snapchat’s out with some new features, including a redesign of its Discover platform for publishers. You can check out a video overview of the changes here.

See you tomorrow,
David Teich

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

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