OTT + SVOD
AMC Networks is rolling out an HBO-like premium subscription service for its flagship AMC channel. An ad-free version of the network is now available to Comcast Xfinity TV customers for $5 per month. Called AMC Premiere, the new service includes episodes of AMC shows, available at the same time that they’re broadcast live. AMC Premiere will also feature exclusive original content, including a regularly updated film slate, first looks at new trailers, and past seasons of other shows.
Germany is set to pass a law cracking down on social media hate speech. The legislation could fine social media companies up to $57 million for failing to quickly delete such posts – and the same goes for libel and other illegal content. Facebook and Google have both harshly criticized the law, arguing that it violates freedom of speech. The law is on course to pass through Germany’s lower house of parliament as early as today; it would take effect on October 1. It remains to be seen whether companies like Facebook and Twitter – which rely on automated business models – will have the personnel and wherewithal necessary to comply with the law.
Facebook‘s Instagram has begun using artificial intelligence to automatically block offensive comments. As reported by Wired, the new AI tool is called DeepText. The product is meant to filter out and block language, using methods that go beyond key word detection. Instead, the system is designed to think more like a human, deducing the meanings of words based on the words that surround them. (For instance, the word “white” looks a whole lot different next to the word “bread” than it does next to the word “power.”) It’s entirely possible that the product could land on Facebook someday, should it succeed on Instagram.
When Netflix canceled the globetrotting sci-fi series Sense8 this month, fans weren’t exactly subtle in their grief. Now it looks like their petitions and social media screeds had an effect: According to a Twitter post from series co-creator Lana Wachowski, Netflix has greenlit a two-hour special to serve as the show’s finale. Wachowski says it’s slated to debut sometime next year.
CYNOPSIS MEASUREMENT & DATA CONFERENCE
Experts from 605, Nielsen, Hulu, NBCU, Discover, FOX Networks, Time Inc., Facebook and more are gathering for an examination of cross-platform video measurement on August 3. The event will held at Dream Downtown in NYC. Today is the last day to save your seat before rates increase – so register now.
VC FUNDING + INVESTORS
Super League Gaming just got a cash infusion from big-name investors. The company, which hosts eSports competitions online and in movie theaters, pulled in $15 million in Series C funding from companies including Viacom’s Nickelodeon, DMG Entertainment, and Jeffrey Vinik, owner of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning. SLG has now raised over $28 million to date.
Podcasts are getting more popular – and that means there are more ad dollars. A lot more. According to a report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), ad revenue from podcasts will hit $220 million in 2017. That’s a whopping 85% increase over 2016, when ad revenues were at $119 million. The study was conducted by PwC US over a period of eleven weeks, using historical data from 20 of the largest podcast advertising companies.
Refinery29, a digital media company geared toward millennial women, has named Joanna Bomberg as its new SVP and Head of Talent. In the newly created role, Bomberg will lead all talent initiatives across live events and programming. She’ll oversee Here & Now, the company’s talent division. Bomberg previously spent over twenty years at Viacom’s MTV, most recently serving as SVP of the network’s music and talent division.
Our Last Trivia Question: Netflix series Master of None was co-created by series star Aziz Ansari. The other co-creator is a former writer/producer for NBC’s Parks and Recreation. What’s his name? Answer: Alan Yang. Kudos to Andy Pittman-TAMU/TX, Dan Quitério-Understood/NY, Barbara Potasky-NBCUniversal/NY, John Rapiel-Fuse Media/NY, Neil Marks-Universal Kids/NY, Bryon Lo-NBC Sports/NY, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/CA, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, Lorrie Shilling/CA, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA, Seraphina Kleinen-S2BN Entertainment/NY, and Hal Isaacson-Charity Network/CA
More Master of None trivia, and this one’s for film lovers: The show’s season 2 premiere closely mirrored the plot of an all-time classic of Italian cinema. What movie was it? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)