06/15/16: Twitter acquires stake in SoundCloud; Appeals court upholds net neutrality; Netflix acquires Ricky Gervais-starring ‘Office’ spinoff film


Good morning. It’s Wednesday June 15, 2016, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


Latency: In virtual reality, Latency refers to a phenomenon in which visuals don’t quite keep up with a user’s of vision when the users head is moved. The lower the amount of latency, the more realistic the experience.


The FCC’s 2015 embrace of net neutrality standards has survived a fierce legal challenge from a collection of trade groups and telcos, including AT&T and CenturyLink. A three-judge panel from the DC Circuit Court of Appeals – often considered the second-most powerful court in the U.S. – sided with the FCC in a 2-1 ruling. Companies like Netflix and Google, which have openly embraced net neutrality, stand to be the biggest beneficiaries. But the story’s not over: The case will almost certainly be brought to the U.S. Supreme Court. Indeed, AT&T has already announced that it will appeal. And if you’re familiar with the current state of the Supreme Court and with its ideological makeup, you probably know there’s a solid chance that this fall’s presidential election will determine the outcome of the case.


Twitter is looking for some new sources of monetization. The company has taken a $70 million stake in the music-streaming service SoundCloud, according to a report from Re/code. Both companies confirmed the investment, though neither confirmed the amount of money involved.


LiveRamp, the Acxiom-owned company specializing in data onboarding and connectivity, announced a new integration with Facebook. According to LiveRamp, the new integration will allow its clients to connect Facebook advertising campaigns with offline sales transactions taking place in stores, branch offices, contact centers, and other physical locations. “By connecting campaign exposure data to offline sales transactions, marketers can understand which campaign strategies are truly generating real business returns,” said Travis May, LiveRamp’s President and General Manager.



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The Sony Playstation VR has an official launch date. The new headset will ship on October 13. Sony says its aim is for the headset to come equipped with at least 50 games at launch. The headset’s two biggest competitors – the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive – have already launched. But one area where Sony’s upcoming headset beats the competition: At $399, it’s significantly cheaper than the Rift ($600) and the Vive $800. Of course, those prices don’t quite tell the whole story, since consumers will have to pay significantly more if they don’t already have all the necessary hardware: The Rift and the Vive require high-power gaming PCs to operate, while the Playstation VR requires a Playstation 4 console.

Many industry analysts believe that, some years down the line, the market for augmented reality will significantly outpace that of virtual reality. (The secretive AR company Magic Leap has racked up fundraising numbers that can only be described as awe-inspiring.) So it should come as no surprise that Comcast Ventures and the Chinese social media giant Tencent are throwing some serious cash toward AR. The two companies, along with other Chinese investors, have committed $50 million to the AR company Meta. The company, founded in 2012, previously raised $23 million in a series A round last year. Meta will use the new cash to expand its business, develop apps, and finance its hardware and software development.


When you remake a revered classic like Roots, comparisons with the original are unavoidable. But there’s one area where History’s new Roots remake definitively beats its 1977 predecessor: It’ll do a much better job of reaching digital viewers. That’s thanks to a new deal between History parent A+E Networks and Hulu. The series, which premiered on June 6, will come to Hulu this fall.

A spinoff film based on the British version of The Office is coming to Netflix. Ricky Gervais made the announcement during an appearance on SiriusXM’s Opie With Jim Norton Show. Gervais will write, direct, and star in the film, which is titled David Brent: Life on the Road. The movie is slated for an August 19 release in the U.K. BBC Films and eOne will co-finance the film. eOne will handle distribution in the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand, and is also planning a theatrical release.


Wibbitz, a company specializing in automated news video creation, announced a new partnership with the special-interest publishing group Bonnier Corporation. Under the new partnership, Wibbitz will scale video production for more than half of Bonnier’s brands, producing premium, short-form video content. In a release, Wibbitz points out that Bonnier was one of the first Wibbitz partners to make use of Wibbitz’s Listicle Format tool, which creates videos that automatically visualize list articles.


The Rising Star Awards deadline will be here before you know it! Be sure to enter the young pros that have the potential to be the next generation’s leaders by our June 24 deadline.


PromaxBDA’s annual NYC conference hosted a panel featuring filmmaker-turned digital star Kevin Smith, along with Defy Media exec Andy Signore, who co-founded and serves as Head of Creative for the Defy property ScreenJunkies. This year, Smith partnered with Defy to bring his “Fat Man on Batman” podcast to YouTube. He also co-hosts a series on the ScreenJunkies Plus SVOD platform. Signore discussed the challenges of working in the digital space, noting that there still isn’t as much money there as there is in TV. “In order to attract talent, you have to have an audience,” he said, adding that “advertisers go where the eyeballs are.” He also said that once a company has an established brand, as Defy does, “getting talent to show up in digital is easier.” Smith agreed that, compared to TV, the money just isn’t there yet – though he said that it will be eventually. For now, though? “It’s an act of passion,” he said. “But it’s nice to know this place exists that isn’t just dictated by how much money you make.” In an interview with Cynopsis Digital, Signore noted the massive audiences that some digital channels are garnering. “We’re at this place where people who would have never had the opportunity previously are now building high quality premium content that is competitive with a lot of TV and other outlets just because of their audience size,” he said. For Smith, making digital content isn’t about money. “Sometimes it’s more about time than dimes in that world,” noted Smith. “Hopefully you find something that connects with people and you can monetize that. But for me, making the thing is the important part. It’s the first step – and it’s the step that most people never get to take, or can’t figure out how to take.”


iSpot.tv, the real-time TV ad metrics company, is tracking every aspect of the commercials airing during the 2016 NBA Finals. To determine the ads generating the most digital response, iSpot.tv measures digital actions across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and all major search engines. Below, take a look at the results through five games:

“Can you hear Sprint now?”

Through the first five games, the NBA Finals have generated just shy of 3.1 billion TV ad impressions, with 98.7% of the views coming in live linear viewing, according to iSpot.tv. The top marketers/brands by estimated spend during the NBA Finals so far are Samsung Mobile, Toyota, Nissan, Universal Pictures and, in fifth place, Allstate. But the brands getting strong digital response from the NBA buy are actually topped by Allstate, thanks to its offbeat ads starring Leslie Jones and Adam DeVine. Sprint’s poaching of the old “Can you hear me now?” Verizon pitchman no one cared about has people suddenly caring to the tune of 2.3 million online views and a strong response during the NBA Finals – though Verizon held its own, also placing in the top 5 brands getting digital bounce thanks to a goofy spot showing Kyrie Irving folding his laundry.

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 ListenFirstDigital 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 (6/6/16 – 6/12/16)

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.


CBS Interactive has a new communications chief. Susan Lundgren has been named as the division’s SVP of Communications, bumped up from VP. She’ll report to both Jim Lanzone, who just this week was promoted to Chief Digital Officer of CBS Corp. (he also still holds the title of CBS Interactive CEO) and Gil Schwartz, CBS Corp.’s Senior EVP and Chief communications Officer.


Which theme park has begun offering a roller coaster experience in which riders wear VR headsets? You can find the answer in tomorrow’s newsletter.

Yesterday’s Trivia Question: In 2014, Facebook spent nearly $22 billion to acquire a mobile messaging app. Which app was it? Answer: WhatsApp


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Want to know what it’s like to stand between two Tesla coils? Courtesy of the PBS Digital Studios channel It’s Okay to Be Smart, check out a new 360-degree video here.

See you tomorrow,
David Teich

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

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CYNOPSISJOBSFor More jobs, visit Cynopsis.com

JOB OPENING: STUDIO TECHNICAL MANAGER, ESL/ESL GAMING/Burbank, CA: Lead technical production team, network/IT & studio operations; 8+ yrs broadcast production experience required; eSports/live event/sports/streaming experience ideal. Send resume/cover letter to: [email protected] (6/22)

JOB OPENING: VIDEO PRODUCER/Chicago Studios for StudioNow: Very strong, client-focused prod to help launch this new client studio Powered by StudioNow. Join our talented & dedicated team. Help create smart, innovative corp video, advertising, & mktg solutions. Res/cvr HERE [email protected] (6/22)

JOB OPENING: LEAD EDITOR/Chicago Studios for StudioNow: Must be driven to keep the Studios’ creative edgy and fresh to lead post-production in this new client studio Powered by StudioNow. Strong creative & technical skills in editing & motion graphics.  Resume/cover: HERE [email protected] (6/22)

JOB OPENING: AD SALES ASST/FUSE Media/NY: Recent grad w/previous ad sales/adv internship exp. to asst ad sales dept. Strong Excel & multi-tasking a +. Good comm, interpersonal & organzt’l skills. Apply @ http://www.fuse.tv/ (6/22)

JOB OPENING: SR DIRECTOR, DIGITAL AD SALES/FUSE MEDIA/NY: Leader for WC Digital Sales role, TV, Digital, Mobile, Bus. Dev. 8+ yr media exp in TV, advertising apply @ http://www.fuse.tv/ (6/22)

JOB OPENING: INTEGRATED MKTG Sr. MANAGER/FUSE/NYC: Strategic dvlpmt & execution of multiplatform integrated mktg solutions for potential/existing Ad Sales clients. Exp: Mktg/Ad Sales/Mgmt/Media/Crtv Writing Full info/apply @ http://www.fuse.tv/ (6/22)

JOB OPENING: PROGRAM SCHEDULE PLANNING & ACQUISITION COORD/MBN/Springfield VA: Plan/dvlp all long-term & short-term prgrm schedules. Min 2 yrs exp in TV brdcsting w/an emphasis in prgrmng &/or scheduling. BA Deg in comm or TV related degree. Full info/apply HERE (6/21)

JOB OPENING: MEDIA PLANNER/MELT/ATL: Manage paid efforts in Digital & Social Media. Will work w/clients to align goals and understand needs to recommend effective paid media opportunities. 7+ yrs experience. Resume to: [email protected] (6/21)

JOB OPENING: MANAGER, RESEARCH/Travel Channel/Knoxville: Manage analyses/ratings reporting with a strong focus on interpreting data. 5-8 years exp. Nielsen and Excel exp required.Cable ntwk & lifestyle media exp a plus.Full info/apply HERE (6/21)

JOB OPENING: ASSOCIATE PRODUCER/Vulcan Productions/Seattle, WA: Vulcan Prods creates high-quality, award-winning, non-fic films of all lengths & formats. Support prod team from pre to post-prod. Min 4 yrs as AP, or similar position w/similar prod duties in non-fic or doc film. Full info/apply HERE (6/21)

JOB OPENING: VP DATA STRATEGY/Scripps Networks Interactive/NYC: The VP of data strategy will lead data-driven efforts and initiatives with a focus on monetization, growth and optimization of cross-platform audience, and cultivation of first party/third party data. Click HERE for more detail (6/21) 

JOB OPENING: VP, INTEGRATED MARKETING & SALES/PAC-12/SFO: Engages w/advertisers & their associated agencies to sell advertising in a multimedia capacity: TV, Digital & Conference Championship Sponsorships. For full posting/apply HERE (6/18)

JOB OPENING: GAMEPLAY PROGRAMMER/ARENA/Bellevue WA: Collaborate in autonomous, cross discipline feature teams to successfully meet team goals. Full info/apply HERE (6/18)

JOB OPENING: SOFTWARE ENGINEER/PopCap Games/Seattle WA: Seek to ensure strong quality coding practices, supporting the team with the development of tools and analysis of their code. Full info/apply HERE (6/18)

JOB OPENING: SENIOR ENGINE PROGRAMMING/Insomniac Games/Burbank CA: Design and develop new engine technology for current and future games based on prioritized list of what other departments require. Full info/apply HERE (6/18)

JOB OPENING: SR UI DESIGNER/SAMSUNG/NYC: Problem-solver with excellent visualization, collaboration, and communication skills. Full info/apply HERE (6/18)

JOB OPENING: SR CLOUD OPERATIONS ENGINEER/DELL/Herndon VA: Play a key role in maintaining FedRAMP, FISMA and DoD ATOs for DCG and customer ATO environments. Full info/apply HERE (6/17)

JOB OPENING: SR SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT/DELL/Plano TX: Oversee and manage large and complex client accounts & project delivery teams. Full info/apply HERE (6/17)

JOB OPENING: SR SOFTWARE ENGINEER/Zenith R & D/Santa Clara CA: Help design and deliver a comprehensive suite of libraries and tools enabling developers to build native-quality web apps.
Full info/apply HERE (6/17)

CASTING CALL: Companies can showcase their casting notices/casting calls here. For information on rates and specs for posting a casting notice, please email Trish at [email protected]

EXPERT SERVICES ADS: These ads are for companies or people who offer an expertise in the field of media by way of production, voice over artistry, writing, set development, etc. For information on rates and specs for posting an Expertise Service ad email Trish at [email protected]

INTERNSHIPS – These positions are for credit only – nobody gets paid here. These ads are always posted for free, and students work for school credit only. For more information on the specs for posting an Internship ad, email Trish at [email protected].

SUMMER INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: AmericanVideoGroup.com is seeking interns for Summer. Interns are required to be on site. Schedule flexible; 4 day-16 hour week. Please send resume to: [email protected] (6/18)

SITUATION WANTED ADS, POSTED BY THOSE LOOKING TO BE HIRED… There is no charge for placing your Situation Wanted ad… for more information contact Trish Pihonak at trish@cynopsis.com

SITUATION WANTED: Recent MIT Sloan MBA grad with 5 years of experience in both data analytics and managing relationships is looking for an entertainment role in NYC. contact: [email protected] (6/17)

SITUATION WANTED: 23-year finance rainmaker looking to transition to digital media sales & biz dev with a global media and entertainment brand with multi-channel platforms and opportunities. 7 figure closer, deep relationships, capable operator. Need a foot in the door. Contact: [email protected] (6/16)

SITUATION WANTED: 8yrs. ENT exp. w/research, guild, talent, cultivating relationships. Seeks NY work as contracts admin/rights analyst, paralegal, legal/executive assistant/coordinator p:347-740-6971 e: [email protected] LinkedIn (6/15)

E-mail [email protected] or call Trish Pihonak at 203-899-8459 for rates and specs for Job Openings.

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