09/01/15: Hulu swoops in when Netflix gives up EPIX pics; Vubiquity raises its OTT game; VMAs burn up Twitter record


Good morning. It’s Tuesday September 1, 2015, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


Katniss Everdeen and Optimus Prime have found a new home, and it sure happened fast.  Citing its focus on original content, Netflix announced that it isn’t renewing its 5-year deal with EPIX; come the end of September, Hollywood blockbusters including Transformers: Age of Extinction, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and World War Z will vanish from the streaming service. But Hulu has already reached terms with EPIX, snatching up many of the titles Netflix is losing. Hulu’s deal with EPIX begins October 1.
Who knew that $8 khakis could be so exciting? On September 3rd, during the Michigan Wolverines season opener against the Utah Utes, Fox’s TV Everywhere app Fox Sports Go will feature a “khaki cam” livestream focused squarely on Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh. Formerly the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, Harbaugh is as famous for his pleated pants as he is for his fiery temper. For the khaki-averse, the app will also feature four other livestreams, including the pregame-focused "CFB 360.”



Vubiquity is ramping up its OTT game. The multi-platform video services provider has acquired Juice Worldwide, a Toronto-based encoding house and digital distributor. Juice enjoys preferred vendor status with the likes of iTunes, Netflix, Amazon, and Google Play, among other major digital and OTT providers; the deal will allow Vubiquity’s media partners to distribute content to all of them. Juice Worldwide will keep its name and retain its CEO, Andrew Buck. No details yet on the deal’s financial terms.   
For students at four colleges, tuition prices just got a little easier to stomach. Comcast has added Brandeis University, Champlain College, Seattle Pacific University, and Washington and Lee University to its Xfinity On Campus roster. The Xfinity On Campus program, which allows college students to watch live TV and on demand content for free on IP-enabled devices, has partnered with at least 25 schools to date.


Thanks to a new app, Dish Network’s OTT-TV service Sling TV will now be available on the Amazon Fire HD and HDX tablets. The service, which was already available on Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, provides access to live programming and on demand content.


Is Apple throwing its hat into the virtual ring? That’s what Gene Munster thinks. In a note to clients, the Senior Research Analyst of investment bank and management firm Piper Jaffray cited strong anecdotal evidence that Apple is preparing to take on the world of augmented reality. For one, Apple spent $32 million in March to acquire the engineering team at Metaio, a software company that holds dozens of VR patents. Munster also pointed to Apple’s 2013 acquisition of PrimeSense, whose engineers designed the first motion sensors for Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect.
Who says the Young can’t be innovative? Hugely successful progressive online news program The Young Turks is launching a crowdsourcing effort called TYT Next. Viewers will be invited to submit videos on topics they’re passionate about, and The Young Turks will have the option of airing them on their show.  Once a user has five videos selected, the program will begin paying them for future submissions. “With Next,” said TYT Network COO Steve Oh, “We will be providing something…intimate, connected – and doing it at scale.”
StarMaker, a digital platform that helps users create their own music videos, has partnered with the dance-focused multi-channel network DanceOn. Starting August 31, StarMaker users can use crowd-sourcing to create original videos: Content creators will contribute lyrics and lead vocals for new original songs, while DanceOn will use the original track to find dancers to be featured in the official video.


CYNOPSIS DIGITAL is pleased to announce that we are now accepting nominations for the inaugural Hall of Distinction, which honors prestigious ongoing work in digital media, to be honored at the MODEL D awards luncheon on November 13.

Open to those who have demonstrated continuing excellence in engaging audiences and spurring online growth. We are looking for elite innovators with a record of outstanding achievement, creativity and strategic thinking in online communication.



If you love ad-blockers, odds are you’re not an advertiser. Many publishers are less than thrilled with Apple’s latest efforts to make ad-blocking easier on iPhones and iPads. The company’s next OS – debuting as early as this month – lets users install apps that prevent ads from appearing in the phone’s Safari browser. And that could be a major financial blow to mobile marketers. Some observers, including Wells Fargo analyst Peter Stabler, have argued that the move poses a particular threat to Apple rival Google, which earns more from Internet ads than any other company on the planet.
’s along for the ride in season two of Univision Digital’s #DAElReality, a behind-the-scenes look at Univision morning show Despierta America. As part of each episode, Despierta America co-host Johnny Lozada will offer commentary from behind the wheel of a Honda Pilot; the digital series will integrate custom end segments with Johnny, created to showcase the redesigned 2016 Honda Pilot Elite.


The VMAs set a Twitter record, and you can thank future President Kanye West. According to Nielsen, the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards is the most-tweeted non-sports program since Nielsen Social started tracking Twitter data in 2011. In the U.S., 2.2 million people sent 21.4million tweets – an increase of 64% over the 2014 ceremony. The most tweeted minute was at 10:49 p.m. EST: 247,525 tweets flooded in when West said he’d seek the presidency in 2020.  

Speaking of which, don’t expect to see too many “West in 2020” yard signs. According to Amobee Brand Intelligence, negative sentiment surrounding the VMAs peaked on Twitter right around the time of his announcement, when 15,291 negative VMA-related tweets flooded the Twitterverse. West was by far the event’s most tweeted-about figure, garnering a total of 2,286,585 tweets.
Amobee found that, between July 31st and August 31st, Apple Music saw more digital engagement related to the VMAs than any other brand. Taco Bell and Stuart Weitzman tied for a distant second.
SHAREABLEE SOCIAL TV RATINGS: Top U.S. Streaming Shows Overall by Engagement for the week of 8/24/15
Program, Date, Total Actions (000), Total Content, Actions per Post (000), Fans/Followers (000)
Orange Is the New Black
(Netflix) 412, 26, 16, 6605
Trailer Park Boys (Netflix) 104, 12, 9, 1549
Sense8 (Netflix) 73, 21, 3, 776
Daredevil (Netflix)
62, 26, 24, 1390
BoJack Horseman (Netflix) 51, 51, 1, 438
Community (Yahoo! Screen) 40, 42, 1, 2095
House of Cards (Netflix), 40, 14, 3, 2787
Hemlock Grove (Netflix) 20, 6, 3, 462
Narcos (Netflix)
18, 39, .5, 412
Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp (Netflix) 9, 28, .3, 124
Source: Shareablee Inc. The total actions metric includes the total volume of post-level likes, shares, favorites, retweets and comments. Total content includes all posts, tweets and media posted by each TV property across all platforms. Actions per post metric notes the average e number of actions garnered by each property. Total fans/followers includes Facebook and Twitter and Instagram followers.


SEPT 18 | 8:30-10:30 a.m. | Yale Club NY
OCT 15 | 2:00-8:30 p.m. | Dream Downtown
NOV 13 | 12:00-2:00 p.m. | Marriott Essex
DEC 2 | 9:00-3:00 p.m. | NYAC


YouTube is now for gamers too. Check out Introducing YouTube Gaming here.

See you tomorrow,
David Teich

Roberta Caploe: Associate Publisher @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

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