09/18/15: Facebook allows third-party ad checks; Amazon debuts new Fire TV and tablets; Apple targets advertisers


Good morning. It’s Friday September 18, 2015, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


Twitter made the move in June; now Facebook has relented as well. The social media giant will allow advertisers to use the third-party measurement firm Moat to find out just how much of their ads are seen on Facebook. At the moment, all such measurements are conducted by Facebook itself.
Facebook also made concessions on viewability. Advertisers have long fretted over the possibility that they’re paying for ads that Internet users aren’t actually seeing. And in the past, Facebook has charged advertisers the moment any piece of an ad appears onscreen. Facebook has now announced a premium buying option that enables marketers to pay for ads only when they appear on viewers’ screens in their entirety.


What disappears faster than a fourth quarter New York Giants lead? Okay, nothing. But a Snapchat video comes close. The NFL has partnered with Snapchat to release weekly video content over the app. Appearing on Snapchat’s Live Story product, the content will include fan-produced videos, as well as live game footage that the NFL will shoot specifically for Snapchat. The first Live Story, which was ad-free, debuted last weekend, while the second debuted yesterday. Later in the season, the NFL plans to work short video ads into the stories.


Fluency Productions is promoting the release of English-language sci-fi thriller Reversion, and NBCUniversal Hispanic Group’s multiplatform content studio has partnered with Samsung and Toyota. The companies will sponsor original content in advance of the release: Samsung’s sponsoring digital shorts and behind-the-scenes photos, available on Telemundo.com, while Toyota will sponsor video interviews with Reversion star Jeanette Samano, available on a Fandango Cine hub on Telemundo.com, with additional videos featured on Fandango Cine’s Facebook page. The film features product placement for both sponsors. Reversion hits select theaters October 9, with eventual release on Syfy, Telemundo, NBC Universo, and mobile, web and VOD platforms.


Latin Heat Media LLC released a new streaming service in partnership with the non-profit organization American Latino Theater. The service, called LatinHeat Cinema, is aimed at U.S. and international Latino audiences. Indie Latino filmmakers are invited to submit their work to the site. LatinHeat Cinema’s content is available to buy or rent. The site has has already released Strike One, a drama starring Danny Trejo.
BBC Worldwide will roll out an American OTT service, according to BBCWW Director General Tony Hall. Beyond that, there are very few details. Hall only said that the service will feature “programs [Americans] wouldn’t otherwise get, showcasing British actors, our program-makers and celebrating our culture.” BBCWW plans to roll out the service in 2016.   


The problem was, people didn’t leave him alone. Chris Crocker, who skyrocketed to viral fame in the wake of his now-legendary “Leave Britney Alone” video, has quit YouTube. He cited widespread abuse from the YouTube community as his motivation.  “The website got so toxic with comments telling me to kill myself if I just uploaded a regular ‘hi, how are you guys?’ video,” Crocker wrote in a Facebook post. “[It] just wasn’t worth it.”


Douyu TV may be ever-so-slightly more obscure than the Star Wars franchise, but the two now have something in common: Tencent Holdings. A few days removed from acquiring exclusive Chinese streaming rights to the legendary sci-fi franchise, the media and gaming giant has announced that it’s in talks to complete an investment in Douyu, an online platform for spectator sport-style live videos of gameplayers. No word yet on just how much they’ll invest.


Apple is extending an olive branch to advertisers. While the company’s latest software update makes it easy for users to download ad-blocking apps, it also launches news-reading app Apple News – and media companies see an opportunity. Many, including GQ, have already published content on Apple News, complete with ad sponsors. If they book the ads themselves, publishers keep all of the revenue. When Apple sells ads on a publisher’s behalf, the company takes a 30% cut.
has debuted a new programmatic advertising platform. The service enables advertisers to exercise a unique degree of control over their automated ad buying for search, social media, and display on ad networks and exchanges including Google, Yahoo, Facebook. The platform is integrated with Adobe Analytics and Adobe Audience Manager, offering advertisers a wide range of data regarding their target audience segments. The platform also enables advertisers to use video and images from Adobe Creative Cloud. Adobe also reached a beta version of a programmatic advertising platform for media publishers. Adobe Primetime helps broadcasters and Pay TV service providers deliver multiplatform TV content.
If this week’s Republican presidential debate proved anything, it’s that this election is going to be an adventure, and candidates will be spending plenty of money to reach voters – which is why it’s critical to know the latest thinking in how the TV political spend is evolving this year and next. That’s why you’ll want to come hear Moody’s Investor Service VP  and Senior Credit Officer Carl Salas at the Cynopsis TV Conference on October 15th. He’ll be sharing his forecast on probable spend percentages and how marketers and programmers should position themselves to take the best advantage of this once-every-four-years opportunity. Register here.


Amazon launched an updated Fire TV, as well as several new tablets, including the new 7-inch Fire. Among other features, the new Fire TV supports 4K Ultra HD streaming. The company also introduced a $100 kids edition of the 7-inch Fire tablet, which features an automatic year-long subscription to FreeTime, a service offering curated games, apps, videos and books. FreeTime was first introduced in 2014, but the updated service now features double the number of kid-friendly books, videos, educational apps and games.


Virtual reality startup AltspaceVR released a new software development kit to third-party developers. The goal is to help developers build VR experiences on AltspaceVR’s platform. The company raised $10 million in venture capital money in July, much of it from Comcast Ventures.


Singapore-based streaming tv streaming service Viki greenlit its first original series. Dramaworld, a scripted dramedy will debut on Viki.com, as well as other content partner sites, in 2016.
WE tv launched Goo Ru Style, a new weekly video series hosted by stylist Goo Goo Atkins. The series will center on Atkins’s style tips. Comprised of eight short videos, the show will air weekly on WEtv.com and WE tv’s YouTube channel.
Streaming service Acorn TV acquired the three episode miniseries Black Work, a British police thriller that aired on ITV earlier this year. The episodes will air on Acorn TV service on three consecutive Mondays, starting November 2.



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World Rugby and digital consulting firm Omnigon launched the final phase of their Rugby World Cup Mobile App. Among other features, the app allows fans to view live and post-match stats for all 2015 Rugby World Cup matches. It also offers live match audio streaming and video highlights of each match. The World Cup begins today; England hosts.



For once, Donald Trump wasn’t the center of attention. The social media consensus is in, and a clear winner of Wednesday’s Republican presidential primary debate has emerged. Though oddly enough, he wasn’t actually in the debate. Throughout the broadcast, CNN’s camera caught glimpses of a well-dressed man with distinctive eyebrows who sat behind moderator Jake Tapper. Later revealed to be 24-year-old aspiring filmmaker Greg Caruso, Twitter christened him #HotDebateGuy. The hashtag trended across the country.
Nielsen’s got more interesting info on the debate:
9 million people in the U.S. saw one or more of 2.5 million Tweets sent about “CNN Republican Debate” on CNN on Wednesday, September 16.
In the U.S., Tweets about the debate were sent by 563,000 people and seen more than 314 million times.
The most Tweeted minute of the night was at 9:08pm ET, when 16,900 Tweets were sent following Carly Fiorina’s response to Donald Trump’s previous comments about her appearance.
The most discussed candidate of the night was “Donald Trump,” who was mentioned in 205,000 Tweets around the TV event.
– Source: Nielsen Social
Who will emerge victorious at this Sunday’s Emmy Awards? Well, let’s see what the fans think. Digital marketing agency iQuanti took a look d at the search frequency in Google and Bing results for for over 90 nominees in 16 different categories, then were selected the winners based on which nominee was searched the most. Some of their results below:
Nominees for Best Drama Series:
Better Call Saul (AMC)
Downton Abbey (PBS)
Game of Thrones (HBO)
Homeland (Showtime)
House of Cards (Netflix)
Mad Men (AMC)
Orange Is the New Black (Netflix)
WINNER: Game of Thrones
Nominees for Best Comedy Series:
Louie (FX)
Modern Family (ABC)
Parks and Recreation (NBC)
Silicon Valley (HBO)
Transparent (Amazon)
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
Veep (HBO)
WINNER: Modern Family
Other winners include Empire’s Taraji P. Henson (Lead Actress, Drama), House of Cards’ Kevin Spacey (Lead Actor, Drama), Inside Amy Schumer’s Amy Schumer (Lead Actress, Comedy) and Louie’s Louis C.K. (Lead Actor, Comedy). Who will the voters pick? Time will tell.


At Sunday’s U.S. Open final, tennis god Novak Djokovic made Roger Federer look like a slightly lesser deity. But on social media, they’re not that different. Social content analytics platform Shareablee analyzed the players’ engaged audiences on Facebook, finding remarkably similar brand preferences. Fans of both players engaged with CBS Sports, BBC Sport and Bleacher Report, as well as The New York Times, Time, Entertainment Weekly, and MTV. (Interestingly, fans of both players seem to like Hillary Clinton.) The biggest difference: Djokovic’s audiences engaged with more American and fashion industry brands, while Federer’s engaged with more European and sports-related brands.
Also from Shareablee:
SHAREABLEE SOCIAL TV RATINGS: Top U.S. Streaming Shows Overall by Engagement for the week of 9/7/15
Program, Date, Total Actions (000), Total Content, Actions per Post (000), Fans/Followers (000)
Orange Is the New Black
(Netflix) 297, 16, 19, 6643
Community (Yahoo! Screen) 72, 20, 367, 2097
Narcos (Netflix) 71, 20, 4, 970
Daredevil (Netflix) 60, 22, 3, 1450
Sense8 (Netflix) 50, 17, 3, 820
Trailer Park Boys (Netflix) 42, 11, 4, 1557
BoJack Horseman (Netflix), 41, 35, 1, 454
House of Cards (Netflix) 40, 11, 4, 2810
Hand of God (Amazon) 17, 10, 2, 29
Transparent (Amazon) 8, 17, 487, 239
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.


CYNOPSIS DIGITAL is 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.



This is where we are as a society: Hershey can 3D print chocolate now. Via TechCrunch’s YouTube page, check it out here

See you tomorrow,
David Teich

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