OTT + SVOD
Playstation Vue, the OTT TV service from Sony, says that it’s added local live TV feeds for 11 new ABC stations and four new NBC stations. The ABC additions will include local stations from Atlanta, Charlotte, Denver, Dallas-Ft. Worth, and Detroit, among others. The new NBC additions will include local stations from Baltimore, Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, and Pittsburgh.
Is news itself becoming brand-unsafe? Digiday reports that a number of brands have been pulling ads from mainstream news sites, fearing controversy. One agency source, for instance, spoke of pulling ads from Foxnews.com. In addition, Digiday reports that some agencies have begun steering clear of actual news events, blocking keywords such as “Nazis” or “Charlottesville” from their programmatic ad campaigns. Such a move could prevent ads from appearing on any given news platform, such as the New York Times or CNN. You can check out the story here.
APPS + PLATFORMS
YouTube just got a lot more newsy. As first noticed by Android Police, many users are now seeing a Breaking News section within their YouTube feeds. The section features a collection of videos relating to breaking news events around the globe. It’s not clear just yet whether the Breaking News section will appear only after major news events, or whether it will be visible on a daily basis. It’s available on YouTube’s iOS and Android apps, as well as the YouTube desktop site.
The newest version of the Microsoft Xbox gaming console – called the Xbox One X – can now be pre-ordered online. The console was initially announced in June, and will sell for $499. It’s set to start shipping on November 7.
Amazon-owned live-streaming platform Twitch has unveiled some new measurement features to help creators grow their audiences. Twitch will now let live-streamers see what country their views are coming from, and whether viewers are watching on mobile or desktop. Streamers will also be able to see how their viewers first found their page. In addition, Twitch will now let creators easily export their stats directly from Twitch’s dashboard. The site is also introducing some new tools related to Clips, the Twitch feature that lets viewers share moments from live broadcasts. Twitch will now let users see which parts of their streams have been Clipped the most, and where people are people have been watching their Clips.
VIRTUAL + AUGMENTED REALITY
The HTV Vive virtual reality headset now costs $599. That may sound a like a lot, but it represents a $200 price cut. Slowly but surely, the prices of premium VR headsets are starting to come down. Facebook’s Oculus recently reduced the price of the Rift headset to $499, down from $600. (Selling at under $400, Sony’s PlayStation VR has always been cheaper than both of them.) The VR industry has scaled more slowly than some industry optimists had initially predicted; high prices have likely been a significant barrier to entry for consumers. If the prices keep coming down, the industry will likely grow.
Samsung announced the official launch of Relúmĭno, a new app designed to let visually impaired users see more clearly. The app was first unveiled during the Mobile World Congress earlier this year. Relúmĭno was created by Samsung’s C-Lab, an in-house incubator. It works in conjunction with the Gear VR headset, but it’s not exactly a VR app: It brings increased clarity to real-world objects like TV and books, using the headset – and the Samsung smartphone that powers it – to magnify areas, adjust brightness and color contrasts, and highlight image outlines.
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 ListenFirst Digital 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 (8/14/17 – 8/20/17)
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.
Hackers have been wreaking havoc on HBO this year. But when the most recent episode of Game of Thrones found its way to torrent sites last week, hackers had nothing to do with it. How did the episode leak? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)
Our Last Trivia Question: Who created the Hulu series Casual? Answer: Zander Lehmann. Kudos to Andy Pittman-TAMU/TX, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/CA, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA, and Vincent Salvano-Disney/CA