Starting yesterday, Facebook began showing ads inside its Messenger app. That’s a lot of potential consumers: Facebook says the app now has 1.2 billion monthly active users. The ads will be shown in-between users’ messages.
Netflix announced the premiere date for season 2 of sci-fi series Stranger Things. The show will bow October 27.
Amazon’s Transparent is coming to linear TV. AMC Networks’ SundanceTV will air the streaming show’s first two seasons over the course of eight consecutive Wednesdays, starting on August 9. The network will air three episodes each week, before airing a two-episode conclusion on September 20.
OTT + SVOD
In March of last year, Lionsgate and Kevin Hart announced plans to launch a new comedy-focused SVOD platform. It’s been a while, but the service – called Laugh Out Loud – finally has a launch date. It’ll debut on August 3, equipped with a slate of stand-up specials, live broadcasts, licensed programming, and both scripted and unscripted original series. It’ll be free and ad-supported for both iOS and Android users, with an ad-free version available for $2.99 per month.
Hulu just landed a ton of animated content. In an expanded deal with 20th Century Fox, the streamer will now be the exclusive SVOD home to the full series runs of Bob’s Burgers and The Cleveland Show. Futurama and American Dad will join those two in the coming weeks.
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 capture organic actions that are largely unaffected by paid media. Programs that surface on the TVI leaderboards are the most hashtagged on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Tumblr, as well as most searched for on Wikipedia (used as a proxy for organic search volume).
All Series (7/3/17 – 7/9/17)
Streaming Series(7/3/17 – 7/9/17)
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, Twitter, 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 Sports Vertical vertical, based on the engagement metric for the week ending July 9.
Channel (Engagement) / Monthly Views / Total Subs / SlateScore
Desimpedidos (9.2) / 34,874,999 / 4,015,953 / 714
WWE (9.0) / 483,547,556 / 16,743,791 / 756
Dude Perfect (9.0) / 184,829,328 / 20,417,025 / 703
Esporte Interativo (8.7) / 18,049,683 / 2,087,509 / 662
ESPN (8.7) / 118,098,951 / 1,948,728 / 681
JavierNathaniel (8.5) / 7,277,108 / 1,093,178 / 553
Alexandr Zhurkov (8.5) / 5,695 / 11,342 / 365
ajyari watersports (8.5) / 378,493 / 15,305 / 438
Juliano Matos (8.5) / 27,984 / 7,227 / 363
nilcobax (8.5) / 20,803,432 / 1,061,205 / 608
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.
Twitter has named Ned Segal as its new Chief Financial Officer. Segal most recently served as SVP of Finance at Intuit; previously, he’d held various roles at Goldman Sachs for close to 17 years. Segal didn’t come cheap; according to an SEC filing, in addition to a $500,000 annual salary and $300,000 signing bonus, Twitter is giving Segal about $22 million in stock. (Some of that will be tied to the company’s performance.) Segal takes the reins from Anthony Noto, who had been serving as both COO and CFO since November. Segal will officially begin his new role in late August.
Warner Bros. Digital Networks has brought on three new senior execs. Eric Besner, previously of Spotify and Netflix, will serve as SVP of Business Development. He’ll be tasked with spearheading growth opportunities and maximizing revenue. Greg Salter, previously of Warner Bros. Corporate Business Development and Strategy division, has been named SVP of Business and Strategic planning. He’ll oversee major operating and strategy initiatives. And Katie Soo, previously of Fullscreen Media and Hulu, has been named as SVP of Marketing, overseeing all marketing for companies and programming related to the division.
Twitch is bringing in the big guns to lead its marketing efforts. The Amazon-owned live-streaming platform has hired Kate Jhaveri, a former senior marketing exec for Twitter, Facebook and Microsoft. She’ll serve as Twitch’s SVP of Marketing. Meanwhile, Matthew DiPietro – the company’s previous SVP of Marketing and Communications – will take on a different, as-yet unspecified role.
Meredith Xcelerated Marketing (MXM), the digital agency owned by Meredith Corp., has named Tom Sebok as Chief Client Officer. He’ll be tasked with managing MXM’s client relationships. Sebok previously headed up the global PepsiCo account for Omnicom’s BBDO Worldwide.
Our Last Trivia Question: This Chicago-born actor with a rather primitive last name is one of the stars of the new Netflix series Friends From College. Answer: Fred Savage. Kudos to Barbara Potasky-NBCUniversal/NY, Ikechukwu Michael Opara-Sentient Jet/MA, Andy Pittman-TAMU/TX, Louis Lewow-Lewow Media Grou/GA, Matthew Willence-ITN Networks/NY, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA, Neil Marks-Universal Kids/NY, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, and Lorrie Shilling/CA
Follow-up: Nicholas Stoller, who co-created Friends From College, made his feature film directorial debut with a 2008 comedy. Which one? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)