07/19/21: Media Tech Update

Medias First Morning Read
Monday July 19, 2021

The “21st Century FTC Act,” a bill introduced on Friday, would empower the agency to fine companies the first time they commit an unfair or deceptive practice, and streamline the process to issue regulations. “For too long, the FTC has been hamstrung in its ability to promulgate effective rules of the road for consumers and penalize companies that harm our friends and neighbors,” said Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Florida) when introducing the bill.

Automattic, parent of Tumblr and WordPress, is acquiring podcast app Pocket Casts from a collective of public radio groups. “We will explore building deep integrations with WordPress.com and Pocket Casts, making it easier to distribute and listen to podcasts,” said a WordPress blog post.

Users of Amazon’s Alexa can now hear the voices of Shaquille O’Neal and Melissa McCarthy give them the weather, read poems, play songs and more, instead of Alexa’s default voice. The celeb voices are available for $4.99 each.

Facebook responded to President Biden’s blaming social media platforms for spreading misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines. “They’re killing people,” Biden told reporters on Friday. Not so, said a Facebook spokesperson. “The fact is that more than 2 billion people have viewed authoritative information about COVID-19 and vaccines on Facebook, which is more than any other place on the internet,” said the rep. “More than 3.3 million Americans have also used our vaccine finder tool to find out where and how to get a vaccine. The facts show that Facebook is helping save lives. Period.”

Facebook is spending over $1 billion to reward creators for content on Facebook and Instagram through 2022, announced CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “Investing in creators isn’t new for us, but I’m excited to expand this work over time,” Zuckerberg said on Wednesday. In addition to bonus programs that reward creators for reaching certain milestones, seed funding will be available to help produce content.

Twitter Fleets is expiring. Twitter announced its disappearing tweets function, which launched in November 2020 and enables users to post pics, videos, reactions or text that disappears after 24 hours, will be no more as of August 3. Citing a lack of interest by users, the company said going forward users will see active Space—Twitter’s live social audio rooms—at the top of their feeds.

In other Twitter news, the platform at the end of last year saw a surge in worldwide government demands to take down content posted by journalists and news outlets. The company noted 199 accounts of verified news sites and journalists were “subject to 361 legal demands” to take down content, a 26 percent increase over the first half of 2020.

Discovery Inc. and YouTube are teaming to deliver on-demand Summer Olympics content and advertising to audiences in Europe. Eurosports’ YouTube channel will host on-demand highlights, daily recaps and more during the Games, as well as live-streamed coverage of the opening and closing ceremonies. “Working with YouTube to provide on-demand Tokyo 2020 content is a great opportunity to make new connections with these audiences,” said Scott Young, head of sports production and content, Discovery Sports. “It offers them new ways to find our content and be introduced to Discovery’s full Olympic Games offer.”

Genvid Technologies, a livestreaming tech firm that enabled Facebook’s Rival Peak, raised $113 million in a Series C funding round it will use to establish an entertainment subsidiary focused on interactive live events. The company also tapped former Netflix executive Cindy Holland in an advisory role. New investors include Third Point Ventures, Cobalt Capital and LightShed Ventures.

Co-viewing apps are increasingly popular with young audiences, with 23% of viewers saying they have watched via a co-viewing app or service this year, up 20% over 2020, according to Hub Entertainment Research’s “Evolution of the TV Set” report. There are big differences in co-viewing by age – 41% of viewers A16-34 say they’ve used a co-viewing app, compared with 23% of those A35-54 and only 3% of those 55+. “Co-viewing apps and services are becoming increasingly important, no doubt driven in part by recent pandemic experiences,” said David Tice, senior consultant to Hub and co-author of the study. “Content distributors and streaming services that help enable this behavior will increase their appeal to young adults overall, and in particular young men. This is an important consideration with the advent of fully or partially ad-supported streaming services and the desirability of these key demos to advertisers.”

Xandr renewed a contract with Microsoft that includes the extension of existing technology solutions, and the introduction of new ventures. Microsoft is extending its use of Xandr’s sell-side platform, Xandr Monetize, and its Global Supply Evangelism relationship with Xandr, as Microsoft expands and diversifies its monetization strategy. “Our renewal with Xandr, after ten successful years of partnership, extends globally-scaled programmatic access to Microsoft’s audience that marketers rely on today,” said Kya Sainsbury-Carter, VP, Global Partner Sales at Microsoft.

Google was slapped with a $592 million fine for failing to negotiate in good faith regarding compensation for French publishers and news agencies for their content. Google had been ordered in April 2020 to hold talks within three months with companies regarding compensation. “When the authority imposes injunctions on companies, they are required to apply them scrupulously, respecting their letter and their spirit,” said Isabelle de Silva, head of the French watchdog agency. “In the present case, this was unfortunately not the case.” The agency threatened additional fines of $1 million per day if Google fails to produce proposals within two months.

Comcast is rolling out new features on Xfinity X1, Xfinity Stream, and Xfinity Flex, to cover Olympic stories. “This year, new features make navigating the Games even easier and more personalized, taking the Olympics experience to a new level,” said Rebecca Heap, SVP, Video and Entertainment Services, Comcast Cable. “And now with Flex, we have the opportunity to leverage some of the best features of X1, like our voice remote and aggregated guide, to introduce the Olympics and all its passion, exhilaration and glory to even more Xfinity customers.”

WideOrbit announced the latest release of WO Network, the company’s network ad sales and commercial operations platform. “Both the Electronic Material Instructions module and the ADU Prediction Tool are game-changers for our broadcast and cable network customers, promising long-term, positive impact on revenue growth, cost savings, and improved efficiency,” said Arden Adair, WideOrbit’s Senior Director of Product Management for WO Network.

Nifty’s, Inc. launched Niftys.com, a social NFT platform dedicated to bringing digital collectibles to mainstream audiences. The new venture also announced a partnership with Warner Bros. that introduces a collection of limited-edition NFTs featuring characters from the live-action/animated film “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” starring LeBron James alongside the Looney Tunes. The film launched July 16 in theaters and on HBO Max; it will be available on HBO Max for 31 days from release.

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The 9th Annual Cynopsis Digital Model D and It List Awards are accepting submissions now.
These awards recognize outstanding work in Video Content, Ad Tech, Creative Campaigns, Individuals and Teams – the influencers and those working behind the scenes.
Nominate yourself, your team and your work. Entries due 8/3.



Verizon is partnering with VIZIO and Nielsen on new ad tech that helps advertisers understand unique TV audiences across linear and CTV, and prevent ad waste. Verizon Media’s Unified TV Report solution gives advertisers a more complete view of their linear TV investment in relation to their digital buys across Verizon Media DSP, with enhanced analytics capabilities to understand and optimize key outcomes in their cross-channel strategy, including the incremental reach achieved by their CTV and other digital media through Verizon Media as compared to their linear TV buy, overall frequency across linear and digital, as well as GRP and cost per household metrics.

Yelp announced Yelp Audiences, offering an opportunity for location-based, direct-to-consumer, consumer packaged goods, and online advertisers to reach Yelp’s audience at all stages of the buying cycle. Advertisers provide creative assets and Yelp delivers the advertisements on websites, mobile apps, and video streaming services through connected TV, based on the user’s purchase intent while on Yelp. Yelp launched the new advertising platform with KitchenAid.

GSTV (Gas Station TV) has signed a deal with Comscore to use the measurement company’s new place-based audience service. Comscore will report digital ad impressions, reach and frequency for the markets and demographics GSTV sells as part of its national video ad network.

Vistar Media, provider of programmatic technology for digital out-of-home, announced a Series B funding round of $30M from Lamar Advertising Company. Vistar is focused on helping digital signage networks transition beyond automation to revenue management, while enabling buyers to leverage data to drive media decisions and prove ROI through accurate measurement toward all KPIs.

Centro, provider of enterprise automation technology, announced a cookieless targeting feature that automatically recommends contextual categories based on a marketer’s best-performing audiences. The privacy-compliant contextual analysis is powered by Peer39. The contextual category recommendation technology is exclusively available in Basis by Centro.

Microsoft Advertising released Video Extensions, enabling advertisers to combine business information such as address, phone number, store rating or more webpage links with an ad, as well as video. Video Extensions are available in all Microsoft Advertising markets for the PC, but only in the US on mobile.

Omnichannel advertising platform Mediaocean has entered into an agreement to acquire ad management platform Flashtalking, combining Flashtalking’s solutions for primary ad serving, creative personalization, identity management, and verification with Mediaocean’s system of record. “Bringing together Mediaocean and Flashtalking is an incredible opportunity for our customers, employees, and the industry at large,” said Bill Wise, CEO of Mediaocean. “Flashtalking is the source of truth for digital and CTV ads and Mediaocean is the system of record for all media. Combined, we will deliver comprehensive and future-forward solutions for omnichannel advertising. Most importantly, our platform is not compromised by media ownership so we can focus solely on driving outcomes for marketers and their agency partners.”

Roku reported it doubled the upfront commitments from marketers that it had last year, with 42% of 2022 advertisers onboard that didn’t buy Roku last year. The streamer also noted two firsts: closing multi-year and client upfront agreements, and negotiations that took place the same time as broadcast network talks.

Innovid will manage third-party ads across NBC Olympics’ CTV apps, including NBC Sports and Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, using the Olympics Ad Manager. The service will be powered by Innovid as part of a new Olympics advertising suite, including NBCUniversal’s previously announced Olympics Ad Engine. Advertisers will have access to streamlined campaign management; short turnaround times; and MRC accreditation.

National CineMedia and Harena Data, an esports community aggregator, have entered in to an esports advertising and content monetization agreement. NCM will have the exclusive right to sell advertising across Harena Data’s ad-supported esports content and events in the US, including in movie theaters, on streaming media, and in place-based locations. “For brands, esports attracts a young demographic that is just like our core moviegoing audience, with extremely high levels of engagement,” said Scott Felenstein, NCM’s President, Sales, Marketing & Partnerships. “As it has grown from a niche advertising strategy to the mainstream, we believe esports will be appealing to brands that continue to try to find new ways to connect with cord-cutting, experience-driven Gen Z consumers.”


Netflix is expanding into video games. The streaming giant has hired Mike Verdu, former Electronic Arts and Facebook exec, to lead a bolder move into games than it has previously signaled. Netflix’s previous gaming forays have been primarily via licensing and merch partnerships, and interactive programming like “Bandersnatch.”

New US video subscribers dipped by 12.9% year-over-year in 2Q21, according to Kantar. Kantar’s Entertainment on Demand service also notes:
· Amazon regained the top spot for new subscribers for the first time since Q3 2020.
· Discovery+ jumped to #2 spot in new subscribers in its second full quarter of operation, winning one in 10 new SVOD subscribers.
· Netflix installed base fell to 2/3 of US subscribers, its lowest penetration, as viewers trade in for newer offers.
· The proportion of US households who have a video subscription has remained consistent at 74.6%, meaning there are now 95.8 million households with subscriptions in June 2021.
· Disney+’s “Wandavision” was the top-rated title for the second quarter in a row, with Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” in #2 and “Mare of Easttown” on HBO Max in third place.

Redbox is expanding its lineup of content available through its AVOD platform, which includes Free Live TV and Free On Demand. The service has added content from Shout! Factory, Legendary Television, Magnolia Pictures, and Relativity Media. “Redbox is building a home for audiences looking for the widest possible selection of entertainment at every price point, including free,” said Jason Kwong, Chief Strategy and Digital Officer.

CuriosityStream is now available on PlayStation 4 consoles. “PlayStation 4 has been our most requested platform from customers,” said Devin Emery, CuriosityStream’s Chief Product Officer and EVP of Content Strategy. “The PlayStation community is such a highly engaged audience and we are thrilled to bring a seamless integration of great curated content from CuriosityStream to PlayStation gamers.”

Kids animation studio Videogyan is teaming with VlogBox to distribute their content through multiple CTV platforms. For the initial phase of the partnership, VlogBox has developed Videogyan Kids channel on the Roku, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV streaming platforms. VlogBox will additionally handle maintenance, set up, and support for all upcoming applications.

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Editorial Director

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


Ensure that all subscriber questions and concerns are addressed within response times. Respond to, troubleshoot, and resolve customer issues submitted via multiple communication channels including in-app reviews, social media, and online contact forms. Ability to triage issues and clearly communicate solutions in a concise manner required. Full info HERE (7/30)


Expert in campaign management making data-driven recommendations on media plans for optimal results. Responsible for presenting & selling the client on opportunities brought by the media team, working with the operations team to develop and gather data relevant to each client’s individualized needs, supervising the process to successful outcome. Full info HERE (7/30)


Achieving national advertising revenue targets through direct sales by selling the value and brand strength of the TV One and Cleo TV. Create compelling presentations and proactively keep clients informed of pertinent account and network information. Strong knowledge of the cable industry, and African-American demographics required. Full info HERE (7/28)


Manages the On-air Program Log construction process; the playlist delivery to Master Control and the reconciliation of such logs for TV One/Cleo TV. Work with Advertising Sales department to assist in placing of spots and create detailed reports. Demonstrated ability to work independently, with a high degree of accuracy and accountability required. Full info HERE (7/28)


Crown Media is seeking an experienced marketer to join a growing team supporting linear cable networks Hallmark Channel & Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, along with its growing SVOD service, Hallmark Movies Now. This is an exciting opportunity to join a company with top-tier brands and help Crown Media maintain its position as a leader in entertainment. Full info HERE (7/27)


The Director of Production will help create & develop new original programming for HGTV, as well as manage all aspects of original commissioned productions. Looking for someone with at least 7+ years exp with either production company, network, or streaming service. Must have great unscripted programming knowledge & diverse skillset. Full info HERE (7/27)

Responsible for designing and building shows, managing show hosts and production team, identifying and integrating guests, overseeing and executing the production of key video & graphic elements. 3+ yrs EP exp or political news & talk programming. Full info HERE (7/27)

Write for fast paced news and opinion show. You are an exceptional storyteller with a command of political news and cultural trends. At least 3 years of national or large market local news experience. Full info HERE (7/27)

Responsible for the production and execution of live political news programming, and recorded video segments for television, and digital platforms. 3+ yrs experience line producing. Full info HERE (7/27)

WNET/NYC: Dvlp/optimize mktg campaigns to grow audience/viewer engagmt; create message/assets to support efforts. 3+yrs dig. mktg/publicity/aud engmt exp. Strong writing & verbal skills; knwlg of web & soc analytics, SEO & exp mging multiplat campaigns; Full info/apply HERE (7/26)


Full time, freelance Traffic Log Coordinator. Tech-savvy person, willingness to learn, a cooperative attitude, attention to detail, strong ability to meet changing deadlines in a fast paced- environment. Responsible for seeing that all commercials, promos and secondaries are scheduled correctly. Full info HERE. (7/25)

FUSE MEDIA/NYC, NY: Join a dynamic sales team in developing 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. This position reports to the Manager of Pricing & Planning and is based in our New York office – currently remote. Full info HERE (7/24)


Build and maintain Research systems, ongoing corporate reports, develop sales materials for Account Executives for both Digital and Linear sales needs, as well as maintain detailed programming databases for Nielsen measurement. Working directly with Research, the Sr Analyst will act as a liaison between Ad Sales, Programming and Affiliate relations. Monitor social audience trends. Full info HERE (7/24)

Works with Ad Sales, Traffic, Finance and Programming to ensure all revenue is being maximized through inventory management and optimal pricing. Experience navigating planning and traffic systems is a must. Daily responsibilities include inventory maintenance, pricing approvals, and stewardship tracking. The job requires attention to detail, industry knowledge as well as strong communication skills. Full info HERE (7/24)

Works with Ad Sales, Distribution, Programming and Marketing to provide information and analysis on a timely basis regarding ratings and performance of various platforms. Experience navigating Nielsen systems is a must. Daily responsibilities include overnights, audience estimates and stewardship tracking. The job requires attention to detail, industry knowledge as well as a team mentality. Full info HERE (7/24)


The Director, Growth Marketing will work closely with other members of the Streaming TV, Product & Marketing teams to grow the audience and monetization of Jukin Media’s streaming apps. The position is primarily tasked with driving downloads and engagement of Jukin’s Roku, Fire, etc applications through paid and organic means. Full info HERE (7/17)


Lead strategic design and user-experience vision for the redesign of INSP.com. Manage multiple project timelines and executions simultaneously and create and manage digital content & email marketing campaigns. 5+ yrs experience leading management of a website property, leading email marketing initiatives and people management. Full info HERE (7/22)

EVS Associate Producer >>
Seeking EVS Associate Producer for live, daily, early morning NFL talk/news show. Must be ready, willing, and able to work VERY EARLY mornings (3:45am daily call time) in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. The job will start Monday, July 19th. Full info HERE (7/22)


Learning and leveraging a variety of research resources to provide data driven intelligence in support of advertising sales and marketing initiatives. Position networks within the ad sales marketplace and use analytical and syndicated research systems to produce relevant sales and network reports. 2-4 years relevant business experience required. Full info HERE (7/21)

Develop licensing and content distribution partnership opportunities with representatives of TV and film catalogs, production companies, sales agents and IP owners. Pursue leads and shepherd prospective deals through internal pipeline and oversee workflow process of deals. 5 years of relevant experience in a similar role required. Full info HERE (7/21)

Drafting and negotiating content acquisition, distribution agreements, television contracts and releases. Assisting the Business Affairs team with rights management and Copyright research. Three to four plus years of experience negotiating television and streaming platform agreements required. Full info HERE (7/21)

REELZ/NYC, NY: Create/revise upfront/scatter media plans, account stewardship & serve as agency liaison. Should be comfortable presenting and cultivating agency relationships. A min. 5 yrs ad sales exp. Strong written and verbal communication skills, strong media math skills. Proficient in Wide Orbit, MS Suite. Full info HERE (7/21)

Seeking entry level office/set Production Assistant to support the Production Management Team. This is for a live, daily early morning NFL talk/news show in Lower Manhattan. The job will start Monday, July 19th and will continue for approximately 8 months and TBD beyond. Full info HERE (7/21)

iN DEMAND/NYC, NY: Serve and support the needs of the owner and affiliates by delivering reliable and relevant products and service. Bring leadership, excellence, organization, discipline and accountability to the organization. Establish and implement the overall technical vision for the company. Min of 8-10+ yrs relevant technical experience in cable or related industry required. Full info HERE (7/20)


Assist in the strategic development and execution of comprehensive communications plans and cultivate and maintain strong relationships with key journalists and media outlets. Leverage opportunities to promote Telemundo’s corporate narrative and manage incoming media inquiries and requests. Knowledge & experience of PR industry and specifically media relations required. Full info HERE (7/20)

CIVIC/NYC, NY: Contribute to planning, ideation and development of campaign strategies. With the VP, manage and coordinate communications with clients, talent (and their reps) on campaign junkets, key dates, interview requests. 6+ years of experience in
television/film/entertainment/media public relations and/or corporate communications required. Full info HERE (7/20)


Implementation Specialists are the main point of contact for customers transitioning on to the WO Network product. 4+ years’ experience at a Cable Network required, with a strong preference for applicants with deep knowledge of the Cable Network Sales world, including Sales Planners. Full info HERE (7/20)


Build and manage relationships with clients – both supply and demand. Serve as Activation point on RFP responses, vetting concepts with all necessary teams, and overall create outstanding pitches. PowerPoint wizardry and ability to work effectively across multiple departments and external parties to make an impact on revenue. Full info HERE (7/20)


Responsible for linear and multi-platform content scheduling on A&E/FYI/C+I networks. Excellent communication and attention to detail. Creative thinker who can build programming stunts and playlists. BS in film, television preferred along with good understanding of TV/Film Pop Culture. MS Excel skills are required. Full info HERE (7/19)

As a Senior Publicist, you have the ability to cultivate pitches and work with the media to secure coverage. If you are a strategic thinker who understands how communication shapes the world of media, this role is the perfect opportunity to experience all aspects of public relations.Full info HERE (7/19)

AMERICAN PUBLIC MEDIA GROUP/NYC, LA, ST PAUL, MN: Build a world-class suite of newsletter engagement tactics across the APM Studios portfolio with one single goal: Turning anonymous users into known audiences, and serving their needs with meaningful, engaging content. 5 yrs experience with enterprise ESPs, specifically Marketing Cloud required. Full info HERE (7/19)

AMERICAN PUBLIC MEDIA GROUP/NYC, LA, ST PAUL, MN: Oversee editorial strategies and loyalty products that significantly grow and engage audience and convert anonymous listeners to known fans. 7+ years of work experience in loyalty, engagement or conversion funnel roles with measurable results in attracting and converting consumers into loyal users/subscribers required. Full info HERE (7/19)


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