APPS + PLATFORMS
As detailed in a new story from Business Insider, Facebook appears to be unifying its consumer hardware products under a single executive. Andrew “Boz” Bosworth has been tapped to oversee the secretive hardware division Building 8, as well as Oculus, Facebook’s virtual reality company. (Facebook confirmed the news to BI yesterday.) BI reports that Building 8’s first piece of consumer hardware will be a video chat device – codenamed Aloha – that’s similar to the recently announced Amazon Echo Show. The device will reportedly feature a large touchscreen, as well as a camera and speakers, and will be able to recognize people’s faces when they step into view, according to BI’s sources.
Video-sharing startup Musical.ly has redesigned its app. The Musical.ly 6.0 update features new options for users’ profile pages, allowing them to post a video rather than a photo. And the update introduces a new section that recommends videos that are similar to ones users have already watched. Musical.ly is based in Shanghai, but has headquarters in San Francisco.
Amazon is truly trying to take over the world. In the company’s latest effort to expand its original content efforts into emerging markets, Prime Video India has announced three upcoming unscripted originals. The shows include the comedic travel series Jestination Unknown; the tentatively-titled Comic Kaun, about the hunt for India’s next big comic; and The Remix, a music competition series.
The People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN), an ad-supported streaming service from Time Inc., is launching People Crime, a new programming franchise. Time Inc. says that People Crime will explore “the human side” of real-life crime stories. The premiere episode, called People Crime: Prep School Sex Abuse Scandal, is available now.
Twitch has added some new live-streamed content. The Amazon-owned platform will broadcast Triplemania XXV, the 25th anniversary event of the Mexican wrestling organization Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide. The stream will be broadcast with commentary in both English and Spanish. A pre-show marathon starts today at 6:00pm ET. The event itself will stream on August 26 from 8p to 1a.
Roku is leading the pack – and it isn’t ceding any ground. That’s the takeaway from a new industry report from market intelligence firm Parks Associates, which finds that Roku devices accounted for 37 percent of all U.S. streaming devices as of Q1. That’s actually an increase from Q1 of 2016, when Roku was at 30%. Amazon Fire TV comes in at second (24%), up from 16% last year; Google Chromecast is at third with 18%; and Apple TV sits at 15%, which is actually lower than last year. Parks Associates attributes the drop to Apple TV’s high price point.
SHAREABLEE SOCIAL TV RATINGS: Top 10 U.S. Primetime and Streaming Shows for August 14 – August 20. Based on Shareablee’s Video Power Index (VPI), which combines viewing, consumer interactions and audience scale across all active platforms, and includes the video performance of primetime and streaming shows.
Source: Shareablee Inc. The total actions metric includes the total volume of post-level likes, shares, favorites, retweets and comments across social platforms.
Tweet of the Week: @titum_meow: It’s a sad day for house Targaryen, we mourn Viserion
Canvs, the emotion analytics company, analyzed tweets about TV and streaming programming from Aug. 16-22 using Twitter data from Nielsen. Insights from the 2,092,308 tweets expressing a specific Emotional Reaction (ER) include:
– Congratulatory messages abounded during the six-hour WWE SummerSlam event on PPV, which featured a whopping 13 matches and resulted in five title changes, with Dean Ambrose (who won a Grand Slam) being one of the most mentioned fighters.
– Viewers were heartbroken during HBO’s Game of Thrones when Viserion, one of Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons, was killed in a battle with the White Walkers and Night King.
– Emotions were definitely split during President Donald Trump’s address to the nation that was simulcast across TV networks and online Monday night, with some viewers posting messages of love and support while others expressed disgust and called him an idiot.
– Viewers couldn’t stop talking about how beautiful the participants of BET’s Black Girls Rock! 2017 were during the annual awards show that celebrates women of color.
Ad-buying specialist Centro has made some new promotions. Emily Barron, Ben Pashman, and Katie Risch – three longtime Centro employees – have all been upped to EVP. Baron will serve as EVP of Talent and Development; Pashman will serve as EVP of Corporate Partnerships; and Risch will serve as EVP of Customer Experience.
Brian Yorkey developed which streaming series? Answer: Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why. Kudos to Andy Pittman-TAMU/TX, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA, Lorrie Shilling/CA, and Mathew Tombers-Intermat, Inc./NY
Follow-up: Yorkey has a background in theater. He wrote the book and lyrics for a 2008 musical, which would go onto win three Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. What was it called? (Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)