08/03/20: Cynopsis Media Tech Update

 

Medias First Morning Read
Monday August 3, 2020

President Trump said on Friday he plans to ban TikTok, due to concerns the Chinese government could get access to Americans users’ information. On Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo affirmed Trump “will take action in the coming days” on Chinese apps, including ByteDance-owned Tik Tok. Said TikTok, “Our $1 billion creator fund supports US creators who are building livelihoods from our platform. TikTok US user data is stored in the US, with strict controls on employee access. TikTok’s biggest investors come from the US. We are committed to protecting our users’ privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform.” ByteDance has reportedly had discussions with US companies, including Microsoft, about selling the app. Fox Business reported the chances of a Microsoft deal “are not dead but fading,” as the White House decides what course to take.

Amazon was granted approval from the FCC to deploy a constellation of 3,236 satellites, allowing its Project Kuiper to deliver satellite-based broadband services in the U.S. Amazon has committed $10 billion to the project, aimed at providing reliable, affordable service to underserved communities. “We have heard so many stories lately about people who are unable to do their job or complete schoolwork because they don’t have reliable internet at home,” said Dave Limp, SVP, Amazon. “There are still too many places where broadband access is unreliable or where it doesn’t exist at all. Kuiper will change that.”

A 17-year-old from Tampa was arrested on Friday for orchestrating Twitter’s security breach on July 15 that hacked the accounts of Barack Obama, Kanye West, Bill Gates and other major figures. A 19-year-old and a 22-year-old also face federal charges. The hack started with the targeting of a small number of employees through a phone spear phishing attack, said Twitter; their credentials were used to access internal support tools and information about Twitter’s processes. “Using the credentials of employees with access to these tools, the attackers targeted 130 Twitter accounts, ultimately Tweeting from 45, accessing the DM inbox of 36, and downloading the Twitter Data of 7,” said Twitter in a post. “We have zero tolerance for misuse of credentials or tools, actively monitor for misuse, regularly audit permissions, and take immediate action if anyone accesses account information without a valid business reason. While these tools, controls, and processes are constantly being updated and improved, we are taking a hard look at how we can make them even more sophisticated.”

In more Twitter news, the micro-blogging site has banned former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke – for good. The account has been “permanently suspended” for repeated violations of the Twitter Rules on hateful conduct, said the company’s site. Duke’s account had over 50,000 followers.

The Consumer Technology Association axed plans for an in-person CES 2021 exhibition, in favor of an all-virtual “new immersive experience” in January. Previously, the CTA announced new sanitization and health policies, and gave exhibitors the opportunity to showcase products both physically in Las Vegas, and digitally. A return to Vegas is expected in 2022.

Watch your back, YouTube: Facebook has launched a new destination for Music in Facebook Watch. In partnership with labels including Sony Music, Universal Music, Warner Music, “Artist/Fan connection on Facebook is deeper and more authentic because of tools like Stories, Live, and custom AR effects,” wrote Tamara Hrivnak, VP of Music Business Development and Partnerships. “Official music videos are re-born in that setting – they become part of the way people express identity and mood and bring a new dimension to the artist storytelling that happens on our apps every day.” Users can share, react to and comment on music videos like they do with other Facebook videos, across News Feed, Groups and Messenger.

Eko’s patent infringement lawsuit against streaming service Quibi can proceed, ruled a federal judge. Eko claims Quibi stole the technology for Turnstyle, which lets Quibi viewers seamlessly switch between landscape and portrait-mode viewing. While US District Judge Christina A. Snyder dismissed nine of Eko’s claims, she ruled that, “Eko has adequately pled that Quibi had access to its trade secret information, and produced technology that is similar.” Responded Quibi, “We are gratified by the Court’s decision to dismiss many of Eko’s claims, particularly since the standard for doing so is extremely high. This coupled with the Court’s recent denial of Eko’s request for a preliminary injunction demonstrate what we have said all along – this is a meritless case. We will continue to aggressively defend ourselves in court.”

Most Google employees will have the option to work from home until at least July 2021. “To give employees the ability to plan ahead, we’ll be extending our global voluntary work from home option through June 30, 2021 for roles that don’t need to be in the office,” wrote CEO Sundar Pichai in a memo to workers. “I hope this will offer the flexibility you need to balance work with taking care of yourselves and your loved ones over the next 12 months.” Previously, the company said most employees would work remotely through the end of the year.

A full quarter under COVID-19 “stay-at-home” measures has resulted in significant smartphone sales volume decline, according to Kantar. Smartphone purchasing shifted to online in most reported markets, accounting for nearly two-thirds of sales in the latest quarter (up by at least 11% points in EU5, USA and Japan versus last year). iPhone and Xiaomi shares grew, while Huawei continued its decline; since Google announced it was pulling Huawei’s Android license, Huawei sales have been diminishing across Europe, Australia and Japan. “The desire for lower cost smartphones is a trend we have been monitoring closely for a while; from the category disruption caused by Huawei, the rise of Chinese brands, Samsung A series relaunch and now to the launch of iPhone SE,” said Jennifer Chan, Insight Director for Kantar. “The emphasis on high quality smartphones, at a fraction of flagship prices, couldn’t be more relevant at a time when many consumers are feeling financial pressures as a result of COVID-19.”

ZypMedia is re-branding as ZypTV, reflecting the company’s platform specialization in OTT and connected TV. Previously, the company’s technology was exclusively used to power local broadcast companies’ local digital and OTT media offerings. ZypTV is expanding its addressable market, making its products and services available to media agencies and brands that want to connect with customers in local markets. ZypTV is also currently beta testing a self-service buying option which will be launched in late Q3 2020. “Now, agencies that want to leverage the power of our local expertise and campaign targeting to drive ROI can use our platform,” said Aman Sareen, CEO and Co-founder of ZypTV.

Altice France launched on BFMTV, a vertical, live video format for mobile. Developed in collaboration with French start-up, Wildmoka, the Live Vertical solution automatically converts the horizontal frames of standard TV streams to a vertical format better suited to smartphone screens.

Amagi, a cloud-based technology company for broadcast TV and streaming TV, now delivers 30+ live and linear channels to The Roku Channel, including beIN, Buzzr, Cinedigm, Condenast, MGM, PeopleTV, Tastemade, TYT Network, and Yahoo Finance, among others. “Free Ad Supported TV (FAST) is growing rapidly and this new milestone has propelled The Roku Channel to be a very attractive content destination for the streaming TV audience,” said Srinivasan KA, Co-founder, Amagi. “Our strong technology stack and deep integration with platforms like The Roku Channel places us in a unique position to maximize reach and revenues for our content partners.”

Video software provider Synamedia announced that Yes, the pay-TV subsidiary of Israeli telco Bezeq, is deploying Synamedia’s end-to-end video network portfolio to achieve broadcast-equivalent latency for its cloud-based, internet-only TV services. The contract is an extension of Yes’s long-standing relationship with Synamedia as it phases out its direct-to-home satellite service and moves to all-IP by 2026.

Wurl, a provider of streaming video distribution and advertising services for CTV, announced growth metrics in daily viewer hours, ad-impressions delivered and overall monetization numbers. 2Q20 saw new records broken in several areas including:
· Daily records of hours of viewing (HOV); an 80% growth across the first half of the year over the same period in 2019
· Ad impressions increased by 33% over Q1 and more than 300 percent over first half of 2019
· 24% channel growth from Q1 into Q2
“We continue to see outstanding CTV growth on the Wurl Network,” said Wurl CEO Sean Doherty. “Our network is now self-multiplying through the positive feedback loop we’ve been building toward – more content attracts more viewers and advertisers which attracts more content.”

CALLING DIGITAL’S TOP INNOVATORS

We’re searching for the most innovative executives in digital media who excel in digital content, marketing, advertising, social media to take their place on Cynopsis Digital’s “It List.” These are the people who shake up the status quo and are shaping digital media’s future.

NOMINATE BY AUG 11th

BY THE NUMBERS

Apple crushed it its fiscal third quarter, with revenue of $59.7 billion versus a forecast of $52.25 billion. The board approved a stock split that gives shareholders three extra shares for every share held.

Also handily topping analysts’ estimates was Amazon, with total revenue for the quarter $88.9 billion, versus the $81.56 billion expected. Said CEO Jeff Bezos, “This was another highly unusual quarter, and I couldn’t be more proud of and grateful to our employees around the globe. As expected, we spent over $4 billion on incremental COVID-19-related costs in the quarter to help keep employees safe and deliver products to customers in this time of high demand.”

Alphabet reported total sales of $38.3 billion, beating estimates of $37.33 billion, but below last year’s sales of $38.94 billion. “In the second quarter our total revenues were … driven by gradual improvement in our ads business and strong growth in Google Cloud and Other Revenues,” said Alphabet and Goolgle CFO Ruth Porat. “We continue to navigate through a difficult global economic environment.”

A contracting economy didn’t seem to hurt Facebook, which reported 27 billion monthly active users, up 12% from the prior year. The numbers “reflect increased engagement as people around the world sheltered in place and used our products to connect with the people and organizations they care about,” said the company, adding that as stay at home orders ease, engagement is expected to be flat or decline. Revenue grew 11%, to nearly $18.7 billion for the quarter. The advertiser #StopHateForProfit boycott for the month of July didn’t affect second quarter figures.

ADVERTISING

Discovery, Inc. is joining the On Addressability initiative, to unlock addressable advertising capabilities across the organization’s suite of 18 U.S. networks. The initiative enables Discovery to offer advertisers dynamic ad insertion in both VOD and linear environments delivered to aggregated household audiences across the Charter, Comcast and Cox cable television footprints, consistent with each company’s commitment to privacy. “Discovery has long been at the forefront of the movement to bring linear addressable advertising to the U.S. ad sales market,” said Keith Kazerman, EVP, Digital Sales, Advanced Advertising and Research, Discovery, Inc. “This initiative is a major milestone and represents a huge step forward in scaling Discovery’s addressable offering.”

OpenAP struck a deal with iSpot to give agencies and advertisers the ability to activate attribution and OTT measurement on any campaign in the OpenAP Market. Advertisers can deploy performance-based attribution reporting and measure incremental reach over linear TV on cross-publisher campaigns activated centrally with OpenAP. OpenAP clients, including those who are not currently iSpot customers, can measure campaigns activated on strategic audiences using iSpot’s TV performance insights, receiving intelligence across web conversion, retail visits, box office sales and programming tune-in while measuring and analyzing OTT campaigns with linear TV buys.

IAB Tech Lab released SafeFrame 2.0 for public comment. SafeFrame is an API specification for communication between a web page and an ad that is enclosed within an iframe on the page, enabling safe ad interactions (e.g., ad expansion) without direct access to the publisher’s page data. SafeFrame 2.0 is a major upgrade over the current version, which was last updated in 2014. It incorporates key improvements that account for advances in browser technology, standards, and business processes, such as header bidding, support for current ad formats, and page security, while respecting user privacy preferences. “While SafeFrame has continued to provide benefits to the marketplace, over the last six years there have been significant technological developments, and it was clear that an update was needed,” said Shailley Singh, VP, Product and Global Programs, IAB Tech Lab. “SafeFrame is designed to offer publishers a scalable way to insert ads on their sites, without having to risk page security and user privacy when ad scripts and service vendor scripts would otherwise have direct access to the page.”

Google is being sued by Chrome users alleging their data is being used for targeted advertising. “Although Google promises that Chrome users can opt out of Google surveillance by not providing any personal information to use Chrome and not synching their data, those promises are not true,” alleges the complaint. “Unbeknownst to users, Google has programmed Chrome for surveillance no matter what the user does.” The class-action suit was filed in federal court in San Jose.

The NBCUniversal Owned Television division inked a multi-year deal with Comcast’s FreeWheel to help advertisers access and transact with NBC Spot On’s premium inventory through the Strata platform. NBC Spot On is the owned stations group advanced video advertising business designed for local/regional CTV and OTT. “Owned station inventory has never been more attractive to buyers as viewers turn to their local broadcast stations to find out what is happening, day by day, in their communities,” said Mark McKee, CRO of FreeWheel. “We are proud to partner with NBC Spot On to streamline discovery and access to their inventory, as we know it only makes the television platform stronger.” FreeWheel’s OTT/CTV advertisers can get access to NBC Spot On’s fully owned or directly purchased, long form, premium inventory to activate complex campaigns across all U.S. DMAs and NBCUniversal’s Regional Sports Network group.

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the CTV industry – in March alone, the video streaming industry grew by 20% globally, according to Conviva, and the average number of SVOD transactions spiked to over 53% versus the same period in 2019. Daniel Elad, Chief Strategy Officer of TheViewpoint, offers 7 tips of making the most of CTV advertising in a post-COVID world, in Cynsiders.

DIRECT-TO-CONSUMER

CBS All Access got a big content boost,
part of the SVOD’s transformation into what ViacomCBS described as “a diversified super service for the company.” More than 3,500 episodes across ViacomCBS’ portfolio of entertainment brands will now be available on CBS All Access, including series from BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Smithsonian Channel and more. “Today marks the beginning of an exciting evolution of CBS All Access into the subscription streaming home for ViacomCBS and a preview of what’s to come,” said Marc DeBevoise, Chief Digital Officer, ViacomCBS and President & Chief Executive Officer, ViacomCBS Digital. “As the first Network to market with a branded direct-to-consumer service more than five years ago, we have the advantage and experience of building it from the ground up, establishing distribution points across all major platforms, creating a service with high user engagement and low churn, and crafting a robust slate of exclusive originals from which we continue to build.”

Peacock has signed up 10 million subscribers since its limited launch in April and nationwide debut this month. “NBCUniversal successfully launched Peacock in cable’s footprint in April, ahead of the streaming service’s U.S. nationwide launch earlier this month, with 10 million sign-ups to date,” said Comcast CEO Brian Roberts in a statement with the company’s earnings report.

Over at WarnerMedia, anime brand Crunchyroll announced it has crossed three million paid subscribers globally and over 70 million registered users. “We launched in 2006 and it took us about 10 years to hit one million subscribers. It took us only two years after that to break two million, and even less than that to hit three million subscribers where we are today,” said Joanne Waage, General Manager, Crunchyroll. “Our goal has always been to grow the love of anime globally, and these numbers show our labor of love is paying off.”

BritBox has plans to launch in 25 countries across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, South America and Africa. “BritBox has very quickly found a place in viewers’ hearts and we know there is further appetite amongst international audiences who love great British content,” said BBC Studios’ Tim Davie of the streamer, a joint venture between BBC Studios and ITV.

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CynopsisJobs
Check out more jobs in Cynopsis Classifieds »
Job of the day
DIRECTOR, BRAND PARTNERSHIPS
Omnia Media
LA or NY

Seeking individual to sell a portfolio of social and digital ad products, including custom branded content, video spons, programmatic inv and influencer mktg. With a strong grasp of video games/gaming culture, and dig platforms. 4 yrs exp in video content/dig media. Full info HERE (8/14)

VIDEO EDITOR, MARKETING >>
VICE Media/Brooklyn, NY: Seeking experienced editor for cutting trailers, TV campaigns, digital spots/campaigns, special content and in-house reels. Must have 5yrs exp, be able to thrive in a fast-paced environment as well as prioritize on-going assignments. Full info HERE (8/14)

SENIOR MANAGER, GROWTH MARKETING >>
Kanopy/Remote, USA:
Seeking multi-disciplinary background candidate with mrktg, business strategy, and data analytics exp. Plus a passion and knowledge of the entire film ecosystem. Min 5yrs dir-to-consumer mktg exp at a subscription-based/video streaming co with a proven record of executing growth mktg strategies. Full info HERE (8/13)

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS >>
The Hive/Knoxville, TN: Seeking highly qualified individual to oversee the orderly day-to-day function of production operations, with a particular emphasis on post prod operations for TN & NY offices and TN facilities management. Reports directly to the Pres and VP of Production. Full info HERE (8/13)

DIR, BRAND MARKETING & STRATEGY PLANNING >>
Nickelodeon/NYC: Seeking a group brand leader responsible for the development of mktg strategies in support of Nickelodeon and any of its related content and sub-brands. Min 7yrs exp in consumer strategy, digital, marketing or media. Full info HERE (8/11)

ASSOCIATE PRODUCE >>
Sesame Workshop/NYC:
Oversee the production of 2 consecutive 30-minute animated specials and 20×5-minute animated segments. 5+yrs in Series Animation Production at a Production Co. or Studio preferred. Full info HERE (8/10)

LINE PRODUCER >>
CNBC/Englewood Cliffs NJ:
Responsible for managing line production for 1 hour of a live show. 5+ exp segment producing and/or booking in a live television environment with demonstrated written communication and research skills, Full info HERE (8/10)

SENIOR PRODUCER >>
CNBC/Englewood Cliffs NJ:
Support the executive producer of (show) in helping to lead and drive the editorial vision of the show, the content and management of the staff. 5+yrs exp in live TV (i.e. financial news network, morning shows, cable shows, broadcast TV) Full info HERE (8/9)

SEGMENT PRODUCER >>
CNBC/Englewood Cliffs NJ:
Developing and producing live and taped guest segments. At least 2 years of experience booking and producing in a live television environment with demonstrated writing, research, and telephone communication skills. Full info HERE (8/9)

WRITER >>
CNBC/Englewood Cliffs NJ:
Responsible for organizing and crafting accurate, unbiased, and engaging news content aligned with the stated mission of the news program. At least 5 years of general news writing experience at the local and/or national television level. Full info HERE (8/9)

COPY EDITOR >>
CNBC/Englewood Cliffs NJ:
Responsible for overseeing spelling, syntax, grammar, style and ensuring consistency for written articles, video copy, graphics and social media posts. Full info HERE (8/9)

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR >>
The Africa Channel/N. Hollywood:
Digital-savvy individual, incorporating online tools and in-person networking to create relationships & build the company’s brand both online and off. 2 years’ exp, with at least three years of exp in a communications role. Full info HERE (8/8)

VIDEOGRAPHER/EDITOR >>
Newsmax Media/DC:
The candidate will have expert level shooting skills including all aspects of field production setup from sound mixing and lighting design to camera position and subject framing with a specific focus in a live news based medium. The candidates will be required to have a deep knowledge of post production workflows and be able to flow seamlessly from shooter to producer to editor. Full info HERE (8/5)

ON-AIR MEDIA STRATEGY MGR, MARKETING >>
VENN/LA:
New 24/7 streaming network aimed at gaming and pop culture audiences is seeking a candidate to plan, schedule and analyze promos and graphics across linear platform. 5+ yrs in broadcast field, media scheduling and analytics perf’d. Full info HERE (8/5)

VP, TALENT ACQUISITION & CULTURE >>
A+E/NY:
Leads all aspects of the recruitment function for the enterprise. Works in tandem with sr. mgmt to understand the company’s current and forecasted business priorities. 10+ yrs TA exp, pref within a media envir. Full info HERE (8/5)

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