09/25/15: Debut of Samsung VR headset announced at Oculus conference; Apple releases list of malware-affected apps; President of AOL Video steps down



CYNOPSISDIGITAL
09.25.15

Good morning. It’s Friday September 25, 2015, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.

TODAY’S TOP NEWS

 
After less than a year at the post, Dermot McCormack has stepped down as President of AOL Video and Studios. No word yet on the reason for the departure. McCormack’s exit comes at a sensitive time. AOL now oversees video production and distribution across its brands, including Tech Crunch and Huffington Post. The Internet company is also in the process of using its technology to provide ad insights to its parent company, Verizon. (Verizon is currently beta testing Go90, its upcoming mobile video service.) The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
 
A few days back, Cynopsis Digital noted a recent cyber attack on Apple’s App Store. Several apps, mostly Chinese, were infected with malware. Apple’s got a list of the 25 most popular apps that were affected, along with advice for affected users. Here’s that list. If you downloaded any of these, this is the bottom line: Update your apps immediately.   
 
Announced just yesterday at the Oculus Connect conference in Hollywood: The new Oculus-made Samsung Gear VR headset, created with the help of the Facebook-owned Oculus VR, will be available on Black Friday this November. The headset will cost $99 – half the price of Samsung’s last VR headset, which was made primarily for developers. The Samsung Gear VR will be compatible with several mobile devices, including Samsung’s Note 5 and Galaxy S6. It will be the first-ever VR headset widely available to consumers.

 

VIRTUAL REALITY

 
Netflix and Hulu got in on the Samsung Gear VR act, making their full libraries available to be watched on the headset.  Hulu announced the inclusion of what it called “original virtual reality short-form” content, as well as “unique viewing environments created for VR devices.” (One example: Hulu’s Seinfeld viewers can find themselves situated on Jerry’s couch.)  Other companies signing on for the Gear VR include Lionsgate, Twentieth Century Fox, and Twitch.
 
As if Minecraft wasn’t addictive enough already. In yet more news from the Oculus Connect conference, Microsoft announced that the Windows 10 version of the game will be compatible with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. The Oculus Rift makes its debut in spring 2016, at which point many Minecraft lovers are likely to wear it nonstop for the rest of their lives.

NEW PROGRAMMING + DEALS

 
If there’s anything Gen Z has taught us, it’s that a lot of folks like to watch other people play video games. Now, Turner Broadcasting and WME/IMG have created a new e-sports gaming league. Gameplayers in the as-yet-unnamed league will face off in head-to-head competition as members of five-person teams, playing before studio audiences. Beginning in 2016, episodes will air Fridays on TBS. And the league is set to produce ample digital content. That includes more live competitive gaming, plus behind-the-scenes event coverage and profiles of the teams and competitors. Yet more coverage will be available through Bleacher Report’s Team Stream App.
 
Junun, director Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest critical darling, debuts at the New York Film Festival October 8. (Okay, critics haven’t actually seen it yet. But based on the man’s track record, it seems like a safe prediction.) If you can’t make it to NYFF, no worries – the film makes its exclusive post-fest premiere the next day, on streaming platform MUBI.  And MUBI must really like Anderson, because that’s some exclusive real estate: The service offers just 30 movies at a time. Every day, one is added, and one gets bumped off the list.
 
In a deal with Sony Pictures Television, Hulu will gain exclusive subscription-streaming rights to seasons one and two of ABC comedy The Goldbergs. Season three premiered on ABC on Wednesday. 
 
Endemol Beyond USA, the digital content arm of production company Endemol Shine North America, reached an exclusive content deal with Verizon. Verizon’s Go90 mobile video service will air three series from the Icon Network, which Endemol launched earlier this year with YouTube beauty star Michelle Phan. The shows are Be Transformed, hosted by Pop Pilates creator Cassey Ho, fashion series Culture Chic, and advice series A-Z Everyday Guide.
 
Zoe Saldana (Guardians of the Galaxy, Avatar) inked a deal with DreamWorks Animation’s AwesomenessTV: The actress will produce original content for Awestruck, an upcoming service aimed at millennial moms. Saldana and her sisters Mariel and Cisely – the three of whom founded the production company Cinestar – will produce scripted and unscripted content for Awestruck. They will also create a Cinestar YouTube channel for Awestruck’s multichannel network. Awestruck will launch this fall on YouTube, Facebook, and Go90, Verizon’s upcoming mobile streaming service.
 
 

CONTENT PROGRAMMING
 

Yes, video counts as illustration. Time Inc.’s Sports Illustrated is expanding its long-form video content with the launch of Sports Illustrated Films, an original programming initiative designed to create SI-branded videos for digital and TV distribution. In total, six films will debut in 2015, including two which premiered yesterday: Brett Favre: Life After the Game, and The Rise and Fall of the Danbury Trashers, about a minor league hockey team. SI Films’ programming will be produced both in house by Time Inc. staff and by outside production companies, including Mandalay Sports Media and Velocity
 
 

EDUCATION
 

Humble Prediction: In terms of digital popularity, Harvard Medical School won’t be joining the ranks of PewDiePie or Smosh anytime soon. Still, they’ll be occupying the same platform. According to The Boston Globe, Harvard medical professor Richard M. Schwartzstein has developed a new curriculum that involves teaching students with YouTube videos. The videos, developed by Schwartzstein himself, are between five and eight minutes long, and will describe biological processes. Schwartzstein’s reasoning: “We are getting a sense from some students…that they don’t like to read, they prefer videos.” Yes, even at Harvard. Welcome to 2015.
 


A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE


BACKSTAGE AT
ADVERTISING WEEK XII
From 9/28 – 10/2, Cynopsis Media will be publishing a special afternoon eNewsletter featuring:

Party On! Shining a light on the Conference itself
Poll’s a Poppin! A roundup of answers from execs at the event
Trends to Watch. On-the-spot analysis of the topics being discussed
Quote of The Day. The most provocative statements, questions, and comments that had everyone talking

For more information and to secure ad space, please contact Chris Florio.


 
APPS
 

Starz Play, Starz’s TV Everywhere app, has launched on Samsung SmartTV’s. The app offers access to Starz’ original series (including Outlander and Blunt Talk) and hundreds of movies. Starz Play is already available on several other platforms, including Roku, Xbox, and Android and iOS devices.

 

Vine star Lele Pons has launched her own official app. The app will be dedicated to her offline retail projects, as well as fan-created content and exclusive programming. She created the app using Victorious, a mobile platform used by digital content creators to create fan community-based apps. 

For info and insights about the fall TV season, check out the Cynopsis Fall Preview Guide: http://fallpreview.cynopsis.com
 
 

DIGITAL CONTENT CREATORS

 
HBO
’s Girls may be in its off-season, but Lena Dunham seems to be filling up her time. The writer and actress recently interviewed Hillary Clinton. The presidential candidate – in what arguably qualifies as less-than-earth-shattering news – identified herself as a feminist. The full interview will be posted Tuesday on Dunham’s digital newsletter, as part of the site’s launch.  A preview is available on Politico.
 
 

RESEARCH

 
Rarely do we set out to binge-watch a TV series. Somehow, we just get hooked. But when’s the precise moment that we decide to forego all other endeavors in favor of locking eyes on a screen? Well, Netflix measured season one viewership data from 25 of its shows, and shared its findings with Variety. Below, learn the exact episodes when at least 70% of Netflix viewers decided there was no turning back, and finished watching the season. 
 
Arrow – Episode 8
Bates Motel – Episode 2
Better Call Saul – Episode 4
Bloodline – Episode 4
BoJack Horseman – Episode 5
Breaking Bad – Episode 2
Daredevil – Episode 5
Dexter – Episode 3
Gossip Girl – Episode 3
Grace & Frankie – Episode 4
How I Met Your Mother – Episode 8
House of Cards – Episode 3
Mad Men – Episode 6
Marco Polo – Episode 3
Orange Is the New Black – Episode 3
Once Upon A Time – Episode 6
Pretty Little Liars – Episode 4
Scandal – Episode 2
Sense8 – Episode 3
Sons of Anarchy – Episode 2
Suits – Episode 2
The Blacklist – Episode 6
The Killing – Episode 2
The Walking Dead – Episode 2
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Episode 4
 
Just ahead of advertising week, the video ad tech company Unruly (which was recently acquired by News Corp) unveiled the Future Video Lab. Operating out of the company’s New York office, the lab is designed to provide brands and agencies with customized real-time data, as well as insights into how to use targeting and distribution strategies to deliver ads that earn customer attention. The ultimate goal: Help advertisers beat the ad blockers. 
 
 In conjunction with the announcement, Unruly released a new survey reflecting the severity of the current ad blocking crisis. Their key findings:
 
30% of US consumers are likely and 22% are very likely to use ad blockers in the future, while a total of 90% would consider using them in the future.
 
American consumers like to be in control of their advertising viewing, with 71% citing control as very important, and 63% saying they are “annoyed” with brands that advertise using forced pre-roll formats.
 
Consistency of brand behavior in advertising is most important to Americans, with 74% wanting ads to embody brand values.
 
The majority (81%) of US Internet users revealed that they regularly put video ads on mute.
 
The social media analytics firm Canvs analyzes Tweets about TV (as captured by Nielsen), identifies Tweets containing emotions, and arranges them into themes called reactions. (A reaction is any Tweet expressing an emotion, whether positive or negative.) Nielsen captures relevant Tweets from three hours before, during, and three hours after an episode’s initial broadcast, local time. Canvs analyzed the Twitter conversation surrounding the recent premieres of movie-based sci-fi shows Limitless (CBS) and Minority Report (Fox). Here’s what they found:
 
Minority Report:
The Minority Report television series premiere drew over 10,000 Reactions, of which only 4% mentioned the original movie.
 
Of Minority Report film mentions, 38% expressed some variation of love, and 19% expressed good.
 
Limitless:
10% of the premiere’s Reactions mentioned the original Limitless film.
 
Limitless
film star Bradley Cooper made an appearance in the premiere episode of the TV series. Cooper inspired 12% of the show’s overall Reactions, and only 1% of overall Reactions specifically mentioned his film role.
 
18% of Reactions mentioning Bradley Cooper expressed excitement.
 
Canvs also looked at Wednesday’s season 2 premiere of Fox mega-hit Empire. Here’s what they found:
 
Empire:
There were 310,828 Reactions out of 1,306,338 Tweets
 
Chris Rock was the most Reacted to element of show (1 out of every 10 Reactions was about him).
 
The Reaction volume is 1,255% higher than the average show on Fox in Primetime. 
 
This airing had 1,743% more Crazy Reactions (Reactions that include the word “crazy” and/or words that mean something similar) than the Primetime Drama average.
 
In regards to loyalty: 20.56% of Empire‘s reacting authors also reacted to last season’s finale. 
 
47% of all emotions expressed last night about TV happened on Fox.

 

EXECUTIVE MOVES

 
The streaming film service Fandor has a new head honcho. Larry Aidem, most recently President and CEO of multichannel network IconicTV, will take over for interim CEO Chris Kelly, who will now serve as company chairman. Aidem has a long history in the industry: Before Fandor and IconicTV, Aidem held executive positions at HBO, Showtime, and Sundance Channel, where he served as President and CEO for 11 years.

 

CYNOPSIS TV CONFERENCE
 

“The evolving social media landscape and increased consumer dependence on mobile have permanently disrupted traditional media and marketing models. The Internet was never designed as an advertising-friendly environment and the phone even less so, which means advertisers’ ability to produce content that leads to meaningful engagement and utility for their customers is critical if brands expect to stay visible,” says Havas Worldwide NYC Chief Strategy Officer Tim Maleeny. So what kind of content is resonating? Come to the Cynopsis TV Conference on October 15th to find out and hear more from Maleeny and other experts in the space. Register here.
 


A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE


Cynopsis Media presents a new immersion conference on Programmatic TV!

Uncover the risks and opportunities of programmatic marketing and learn to smartly and effectively incorporate this new tool into your existing marketing strategy.

Register your team for the Programmatic TV Summit on November 5. Early bird pricing ends 10/16.

Questions? Contact Jackie Johnson.


DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT

 
Thank you for that, Jimmy Fallon. Folks, if this Good Burger reunion between Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell doesn’t make you squeal with joy, you may need to take your inner child to a repair shop. Courtesy of The Tonight Show’s YouTube page, check it out here.

See you Monday,
David Teich
09.25.15

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

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JOB OPENING: DIGITAL EDITORIAL DIRECTOR/KXAS/Fort Worth: Responsible for local coverage strategy on all digital platforms incl social media & mobile offerings to drive revenue. A min of 5 yrs exp brdcst TV, Cable TV &/or Web-Internet mngmnt or operational role. Full info/apply HERE (10/2)

JOB OPENING: COORDINATOR, AD SALES MARKETING/Travel Channel/NYC: Seeking strong communicator to support development and activation of client-specific marketing solutions and maintain communication tools. www.scrippsnetworks.com #5029 (10/2)

JOB OPENING: SCHEDULING COORD/AMC and SundanceTV/NYC: Work w/sched team behind The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul, Rectify, etc. Entry level, intersect w/multi depts. Detail-orientated w/passion for brdcst/cable TV ind. Full info/apply HERE (10/2)

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JOB OPENING: DIR, BRAND MARKETING/USA/NYC: Direct consumer mktg efforts. 7-10 yrs of consumer mktg media exp. Trad & digi mktg for TV network req. Dev strat,campaign planning, budgets & employees. Full info/apply HERE (10/1)

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JOB OPENING: PHOTOGRAPHER/NBC CT/New Haven: NBC Connecticut is looking for a photojournalist for our New Haven, CT studio. As a Photojournalist you will be responsible for videotaping and editing local news events Full info/apply HERE (10/1)

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JOB OPENING: CREATIVE DIRECTOR, UNSCRIPTED DEVELOPMENT/NYC: Industry leading prod co seeks CD. Must be experienced idea generator & hands-on producer. Strong writer & skilled story teller. Please send resume & credits to [email protected] (9/29)

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JOB OPENING: OFFICE MANAGER/COORD/NYC: Talent agency seeks FT office mgr. Manage mailroom staff, office supplies, some IT. Req: 2 yrs exp in service/office mgr role. Local only, no relocation. $40-55K, dependent on exp. Resumes to [email protected] (9/26)

JOB OPENING: SALES & MARKETING EXEC/Joyus.com/Remote- NYC area pref’d: For Brand Integration Video Sales & Proj mngmnt. Candidate will cover for current exec on maternity leave Nov -Feb (min). Implement sold deals & maint/establish new client biz. Submit resume HERE (9/26)

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