06/28/16: Nielsen finds SVOD viewership matching DVR penetration; Twitter adds stickers feature; Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group hires VR chief


Good morning. It’s Tuesday June 28, 2016, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


HDR: HDR, or High Dynamic Range, refers to viewing technology that allows for a wider and richer range of colors, brighter whites, and darker blacks. HDR content preserves details in the darkest and brightest areas of a picture that are otherwise lost. HDR content requires an HDR-enabled TV set, or the Dolby Vision.


Given Snapchat’s explosive growth, it’s not surprising that a member of the (relatively) old guard would emulate it. Twitter announced that it will soon be allowing users to add stickers to their photos. The decals will be searchable; tapping on one will bring up other uses of the same sticker. In a blog post, Twitter Senior Product Manager Sasank Reddy calls the feature “a new, visual spin on the hashtag.”


Model D Awards
Call for entries in search of the best online video content + advertising

Entry Deadline: August 4
Awards Event: November 1 // NYC

Previous winners include AT&T, Bravo, Food Network, Hulu, NBCUniversal, SONY & many more. View the full list of past winners, and then start your entry today.



One consistent trend as U.S.-based digital media companies expand eastward: U.K., Japanese, and German-speaking audiences are prime targets. In a deal with Starz, Amazon Prime Video has acquired the Japanese, German, Austrian, and U.K. streaming rights to The Girlfriend Experience. The show debuted in the three European countries yesterday; it bows in Japan later in the year.
Amazon has officially released its first slate of HDR content. The original series Bosch, as well as Sony Pictures films such as Men in Black 3 and Elysium, are now available in the format. With the new move, Amazon puts itself on competitive footing with Netflix, which has also begun unveiling its HDR offerings.
Last week, Twitter’s Vine decided to relax restrictions on its six-second video length limit – and it appears that the floodgates have opened rather quickly. Adult Swim has released an entire 10-minute episode of Brad Neely’s Harg Nallin Sclopio Peepio through Vine. (Don’t try to wrap your head around that title – it’s supposed to be nonsensical.) A short six-second looping video serves as a brief teaser on Adult Swim’s Vine page; clicking on a “WATCH MORE” link takes the viewer to the full episode. 


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While the likes of Oculus and HTC duke it out over home VR users, the software developer Starbreeze and the computer hardware company Acer are taking a different route. The two companies have launched a 50-50 joint venture to design, promote, manufacture, and market the StarVR Virtual Reality Head-Mounted Display, a new VR headset. The difference between the StarVR and its competitors: It’s designed for location-based venues, like arcades and IMAX theaters. The new company, provisionally named Acer Starbreeze Corporation, has authorized up to $25 million in initial capital.


Vemba, a tech company whose platform aids in video distribution and content discovery, announced $5 million in Series A funding. Upfront Ventures and Berterlsmann Digital Media Investments led the round, with contributions from Enterprise Fund at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.


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).
All Series (6/20/16 – 6/26/16)

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.

OpenSlate Engagement Data for the News & Politics vertical, based on the engagement metric for the week ending 6/26.
Channel (Engagement) / Monthly Views / Total Subs / SlateScore
TheYoungTurks (9.5) / 70,944,690 / 2,985,677 / 762
DramaAlert (9.2) / 31,650,930 / 1,518,847 / 675
TheAlexJonesChannel (8.9) / 38,258,370 / 1,455,766 / 698
justkiddingnews (8.7) / 38,038,080  / 1,541,490 / 713
VOAchina (8.5) / 4,660,680  / 444,131 / 534
 (8.5) / 115,230 / 5,011 / 375
RTarabic (8.5) / 8,747,520  / 463,160 / 554
Best YouTube Videos Ever (8.5) / 447,630 / 14,257 / 305
Aegis (8.5) / 4,865,670  / 146,164 / 549
The Jimmy Dore Show (8.5) / 2,672,250 / 95,385 / 537
Source: The Engagement metric is one of OpenSlate’s component scores, and is a measure of a producer’s ability to evoke meaningful interaction with their audience. It is calculated on a scale of 1-10 with higher being better. The OpenSlateEngagement score uses a subset of the data incorporated in the SlateScore to perform a set of unique calculations. It factors in views, comments, likes, and more.

According to a new report from Nielsen, increased use of smartphones and tablets is continuing to eat into TV viewership. The report found that, in Q1 of 2016, the amount of daily time that U.S. adults spent consuming media on smartphones rose over 60% year-year-year. (A year ago, it was 62 minutes daily; now it’s 99 minutes.) Meanwhile, live TV dropped 1% year-over-year, or about three minutes on average. All things considered, TV is still king: Consumers watched an average of four hours and thirty-one minutes of TV daily. Still, it can’t hurt to take note of the trend. And notably, the Nielsen report also found that SVOD usage has matched DVR penetration for the first time. The difference: DVR usage is plateauing, while SVOD usage is increasing.


Television is still an imperative advertising tool to reach consumers. Find out how to use data to make meaningful connections with consumers during the Cynopsis Webinar, The New Ratings 101: How to Use Data to Make Your Case on Tuesday, July 12 at 1:30 PM. Register now!


When major entertainment companies start appointing designated virtual reality executives, you know it’s time to take the technology very seriously. Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group has named Jake Zim as its SVP of Virtual Reality. The hire was made by Group Chairman Tom Rothman. Zim, who had served as Sony Motion Picture Group’s SVP of Digital Marketing since 2011, will be tasked with building up a slate of VR content.


Today’s Trivia Question: Between those that have begun airing and those that are still in development, how many original series taking place in the Marvel universe has Netflix greenlighted? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.)
Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: According to a 2016 memoir from longtime NBCU chief Bob Wright, who passed on an opportunity to buy Apple for $2 billion in 1996? Jack Welch, former CEO of GE. Kudos to Gary Arlen-Arlen Communications LLC/MD.


Cynopsis Webinars Presents:
The New Ratings 101: How to Use Data to Make Your Case

TV measurement is advancing quickly, allowing for new & effective ways to use data to help marketers understand how important television is if they want to reach consumers in meaningful numbers, in a meaningful way.

Register & learn more during this webinar on July 12th at 1:30PM.

For questions, please contact Trish Pihonak.


Come October, the Silicon Valley toymaker Anki will launch Cozmo, a small robot imbued with state of the art AI. Courtesy of Anki’s YouTube page, check out a behind-the-scenes look at Cozmo’s creation – here.

See you tomorrow,
David Teich

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JOB OPENING: NETWORK ARCHITECT/ACTIVE NETWORK/Dallas: Primary responsibility will be to work as a member of a team bringing connectivity to remote offices and staff. Full info/apply HERE (7/14)

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JOB OPENING: PA/Nickelodeon’s The Splat/NYC: 90s Nick Kid. Support creative team with promo & short form content production from conception to delivery. Ideate, write scripts, collect assets, admin support. Adobe Premiere skills req. Send resume to [email protected] (7/13)

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