08/24/20: Cynopsis Media Tech Update

Medias First Morning Read
Monday August 24, 2020

TikTok confirmed it plans to file a lawsuit over President Trump’s executive order that would ban the short-form video app unless the Chinese-owned company is sold to a US buyer. Trump said TikTok threatens “the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States” due to its access to user data. On Saturday, TikTok maintained it had no choice but to challenge the executive order in court. “Even though we strongly disagree with the administration’s concerns, for nearly a year we have sought to engage in good faith to provide a constructive solution,” said the company in a statement. “What we encountered instead was a lack of due process as the administration paid no attention to facts and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses.”

TikTok also outlined steps it is taking to “eliminate hate” on the platform. After removing over 380,000 videos and 1300 accounts since January that violate its hate speech policy, TikTok said it is updating its definition of hate speech, making it harder to find hateful content and accounts, improving transparency with users and collaborating with more experts.

K-pop sensation BTS set a new YouTube record for views in the first 24 hours of release with its “Dynamite” video, the group’s first song entirely in English. The video had about 98.3 million views during the period, handily beating the previous record of 86.3 million, held by Blackpink for “How You Like That.”

Universal Filmed Entertainment Group and Microsoft Corp. have teamed to cloud-optimize live-action as well as animation productions. Starting with visual effects, Universal and Microsoft will layer in live-action production capabilities into the cloud. “Universal is continuing to build on our commitment as an industry leader in transitioning to a cloud production model across our portfolio of studios…. streamlining our workflows will allow for a more efficient creative process, empowering the artists and storytellers we work with to make the best content possible,” said Michael Wise, SVP and Chief Technology Officer, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group.

Realeyes, a computer vision and emotion AI company, announced the launch of its PreView attention measurement system, to help identify and test the ads and creative elements that are the most compelling to consumers and deliver the best attention outcomes. Using front-facing cameras to analyze facial coding data of opt-in viewers as they watch video content online, Realeyes PreView provides predictive in-market performance metrics like second-by-second audience retention, ability to capture and hold attention in the first seconds, and presence of emotional peaks that lead to memorability. “An advertiser’s creative is the single-most influential component of a quality commercial exposure in video advertising,” Max Kalehoff, VP of Marketing at Realeyes, tells Cynopsis. “Managing a video creative asset portfolio like a financial portfolio, enabling advertisers to reduce the cost of quality exposures and improve ROI. PreView’s predictive intelligence enables you to select and optimize your video creative to maximize attention outcomes, improve media performance and eliminate waste.”

Channel Master has entered into an exclusive agreement to offer TiVo’s DVR technology for OTA antenna users, with plans to launch a 500GB version of the TiVo Edge DVR later this summer. The 500GB TiVo Edge for antenna will have the same features of its 2TB predecessor. “Channel Master brings over 70 years of over-the-air reception knowledge and expertise to the table,” said Matt Milne, CRO at TiVo. “We’re excited to partner with Channel Master to provide TiVo customers with the focused support and guidance that is critical for delivering free, live broadcast TV on our Next-Generation platform.”

An Election Central experience on Xfinity X1 and Flex enables Xfinity Customers to request the latest voting information in their state via their Xfinity Voice Remote and makes election news available in one place in both English and Spanish. X1 and Flex customers can say “How to vote” or “Cómo votar” into the Xfinity Voice Remote to find general voting information such as how to register, how to vote this year, and breakdowns of the key 2020 races. And by selecting the tile that says “Voting Information” or “Información para votar,” customers will be able to enter their mobile number and immediately receive a link to vote.gov, the official U.S. government voter information website with information on voting in their specific state.

The PGA TOUR and sportsbook operator PointsBet announced a multi-year content and marketing relationship designating PointsBet an Official Betting Operator of the PGA TOUR. “PointsBet has made a substantial commitment to golf through a deep and robust product offering and an emphasis on live, in-play betting, both of which will translate into greater audience development and fan engagement for the PGA TOUR,” said Norb Gambuzza.”PGA TOUR SVP, Media and Gaming. “PointsBet’s golf products are experiencing incredible growth, which lays the foundation for a very successful relationship.”

TrueNAS Open Storage added a new flagship to the enterprise product line with the M60, a unified storage system powered by the significantly faster TrueNAS 12.0 operating system. “Businesses are under pressure to evolve with changing market conditions. Computing infrastructure and the data storage platforms that underpin IT environments must be flexible enough to support these new challenges,” said Scott Sinclair, Senior Analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group. “The M60 is built for application environments that require multi-functional file, block, and/or object storage provided in a high availability configuration. The latest TrueNAS offering promises both productivity and open source economic advantages for both midsize and enterprise organizations.”

A Twitter spokesman responded to President Trump tweeting that trending topics on the platform are decided by anti-Republican Twitter executives. “Trends are determined by an algorithm and, by default, are tailored for you based on who you follow, your interests, and location,” said the company. Trump’s accusation came after #TrumpMeltdown trended, following his Twitter reaction to former President Barack Obama’s speech at the Democratic convention.

The Cynopsis Adtech Awards


In the face of surprising acquisitions, privacy concerns, and drops in ad spend, we at Cynopsis are blown away by the incredible work we see the ad tech community producing – and we want everyone to hear about it. See who made the cut and stay tuned for ceremony details coming on early December.



Video streaming services have reached 72% penetration in US homes, up 13% since January, according to video tech company Grabyo. And in good news for those services, 85% of streaming customers said they would keep the same number of subscriptions after social distancing requirements end. “While the U.S. was already in front of the curve for streaming adoption, the COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated this trend,” said Gareth Capon, CEO at Grabyo. “With most of the U.S. population staying at home, consumers have had the chance to watch more TV, trial new streaming subscriptions and discover which services offer the most value. Our findings show that online streaming has come out on top across all consumer segments and these changes in the market are here to stay.”

Disney and Verizon have expanded their distribution partnership to give customers of Verizon’s “Play More Unlimited” and “Get More Unlimited” packages the full Disney+/Hulu/ESPN+ bundle at no charge for a year. “The addition of The Disney Bundle to our agreement with Verizon reinforces our commitment to providing their subscribers with access to high-quality entertainment from Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+,” said Sean Breen, EVP of Platform Distribution for Disney. “We are always looking for the most advantageous ways for consumers to experience our content.”

Pluto TV added a dozen new channels including Three’s Company, Johnny Carson TV, Dabl, The Rifleman, Demand Africa, Western TV, Classic TV Comedy, Classic TV Drama, Pluto TV Love Stories, Pluto TV Suspense and Pluto TV Fantastic. The ViacomCBS streamer also reconfigured its streaming lineup based on audience behavior data to make it easier for viewers to find what they want to watch.

Netflix is testing a “Shuffle Play” button that offers viewers a chance to watch TV and movie titles randomly selected by the service. The idea is to help viewers find content tailored to their preferences.

Comedy Dynamics launched its comedy app on Roku. Available free to Roku users, the library of stand-up comedy specials includes performances from Jim Gaffigan, Whitney Cummings, Janeane Garofalo and more.


Hulu is thinking small. The SVOD has launched creative advertising services for small- and medium-sized businesses, providing access to creative partners who can create unique, rather than template, commercials. In July, Hulu launched a “self-service” tool to make it easier for small businesses to buy ads on its service.

The pandemic continues to impact the video advertising ecosystem, according to the latest Video Benchmarks Report from Extreme Reach. Following a pronounced drop in 1Q20, the share of video impressions served to CTV platforms rose to 40% in the second quarter, indicates aggregate metrics from ER’s AdBridge platform. This increase brings the proportion of impressions closer to the range observed throughout 2019.
Other findings, which reflects video advertising performance metrics for April through June, include:
– Media aggregators rise: The percent of impressions served through premium publishers fell to 65 percent, its lowest point since 3Q18. Inversely, the share of impressions served via media aggregators increased from 22% in Q1 to 35% in Q2. This suggests that as some advertisers reduced marketing budgets in response to the softened economy, more of the inventory that was previously available only through premium vendors became available on exchanges.
-30-second ads solidify dominance with 79% share of impressions. Extreme Reach did note a slight decrease in completion rates for ads of this duration, which can be attributed to the increase in viewing on platforms that enable viewers to skip ads.
-Mobile in-app ads saw higher impressions, and better completion rates than ads on mobile web.
“While the extent of the long-term effect that COVID-19 will have on the media and advertising ecosystems cannot yet be fully understood, the fact the pandemic continues to drive volatility is unquestionable,” said Mary Vestewig, ER’s Senior Director, Video Account Management. “Shifts in viewing habits are certainly impacting how consumers are interacting with both content and ads across devices.”

CTV has become the fastest growing digital media channel and the highest growth environment for fraud, according to DoubleVerify’s 2020 Global Insights Report. Since March 2019, DV has identified 1,300 fraudulent CTV apps, with over 60% of those detected in 2020 alone. DoubleVerify also detected a 161% increase in fraudulent CTV traffic rates 1Q20 versus 1Q19, and found that while CTV fraud impacts both programmatic and direct buying channels, inventory transacted through DV-certified programmatic marketplaces saw the lowest incidence of fraud, followed by direct and other programmatic supply. Non-certified programmatic CTV saw a Fraud Rate over 11x higher than CTV transacted through DV-certified marketplaces, and approximately 9x higher than publisher-direct buys.

First-party data platform Dynata has integrated with Google’s Ads Data Hub, enabling brands to measure the performance of their ad campaigns running on YouTube. Dynata has a panel of 62 million consumers worldwide. Google announced in January that it planned to end support for third-party tracking cookies in its Chrome browser within two years, prompting a scramble for solutions to the phase-out.

Meredith Corp. and its MNI Targeted Media division launched a television ad campaign, “I Believe,” about helping local businesses thrive through advertising. Each ad has a local tag/call to action; the campaign has just begun airing in Atlanta and Las Vegas. Additional ads tailored for other Meredith Local Media Group TV markets will follow.

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Newsmax Media

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


GLASS ENTERTAINMENT GRP/PHILA, PA: Seeking full-time, in-house legal counsel. Must have min 5yrs of legal exp with 3 yrs of entertainment law exp. Responsibilities include overseeing all legal matters, working directly with the management team on all business legal affairs, as well as tracking and completing all contracts with networks, talent and clients. Full Info HERE (9/4)

FUTURE TODAY INC/CHICAGO, LA, NYC: Seeking salespeople to represent our CTV portfolio spanning kids/family, entertainment and lifestyle content. Ideal candidate will have exp within Retail, Insurance, and/or CPG verticals as well as existing relationships with major agencies. Minne relationships are essential for the IL role. Full info HERE. (9/1)

NBCUNIVERSAL/NY, NY: Seeking an individual who is looking for the opportunity to learn and grow in an exciting, evolving research environment supporting ELG Research team. Min 2 yrs exp in research, advertising, or media outlet. Prefer exp at a cable network. Full info HERE (8/28)

TWIN CITIES PBS/ST. PAUL, MN: New, FT position, that will design and implement a holistic and enterprise-wide inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) strategy into all of our programs and business initiatives. Min 10ys exp in IDEA in a nonprofit, educ and/or media preferred. Full info HERE. (8/28)

GLASS ENTERTAINMENT GRP/Phila, PA: Seeking motivated, self-starter to join our podcast team. This individual will be responsible for securing ad campaigns across our slate of podcasts. Must have podcast, audio or digital ad sales experience. Full info HERE (8/28)

A+E/NY: Support Int’l, Corp Dev and Corp Divisions, incl domestic & int’l mergers & acquisitions and general corp matters in addition to support of relationships with int’l channel partners & int’l content sales. YOU NEED: JD, min 7 yrs legal exp at a major law firm or in-house counsel at a media company, exp in an active M&A practice, content licensing exp & strong negotiation & drafting skills. Full info HERE (8/27)

Magnolia/New York, Knoxville, Austin: CD w/a strong eye to oversee dev of original programming for Magnolia partnering with Chip & Joanna Gaines. Build new talent and concepts across varying platforms. 7+ yrs network/production exp req’d. Full info HERE (8/27)

Newsmax Media/Washington D.C.: Seeking proven on-air reporter, in possession of an already-developed contact list, including many “who’s who” leaders in Congress, and related government agencies. Min 3 yrs exp with outstanding writing/production skills. Full info HERE (8/26)

Newsmax Media/NYC:
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 (8/26)

Newsmax Media/NYC: Responsible for designing and building prime time show, 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 (8/26)

Newsmax Media/NYC: 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 (8/25)

Newsmax Media/NYC: 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 (8/25)

Newsmax Media/NYC:
Responsible for the production of live news & talk show, and recorded video segments for television, and digital platforms. 3+ yrs in TV news and/or talk production. Full info HERE (8/25)


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