10/26/20: Cynopsis Media Tech Update




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Medias First Morning Read
Monday October 26, 2020

Instagram is rolling out access to badges in Instagram Live to over 50,000 creators, who will be able to make money by selling them to fans during their live videos. Badges will highlight fans’ comments, as well as unlock special features. Instagram will also temporarily match earnings from Badges starting in November.We want Instagram to be the best place for creators to tell their story, grow their audience and make a living,” said the company. “This is another step forward in our vision to build a suite of tools that help creators make money through branded content, shopping, content monetization, and direct support from fans.”

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to authorize subpoenas for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to testify about their “suppression and/or censorship” of two New York Post articles including unverified allegations about Hunter Biden emails. The CEOs are already scheduled to testify before the Senate Commerce Committee next week, with Google CEO Sundar Pichai, about alleged privacy matters.

Two US Representatives have proposed a law limiting presidential powers to control or shut down communications, including the internet. Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) and Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) announced the bipartisan bill, “Preventing Unwarranted Communications Shutdowns Act,” addressing the Communication Act’s Section 706, which gives the president the power to shut down some communications during an emergency. “Unchecked executive powers and the emergency authorities of the President under the Communications Act need to be revisited,” said Eshoo. “May there never be in a situation where these authorities are needed, but if there is, the representatives of the people should decide the scope and extent of any shutdown, not any single individual.”

New entertainment-analytics startup Vody engages a proprietary system that uses machine-learning to crawl through the Internet and curate a database of programming. Launched by co-CEOs Stephanie Horbaczewski and Jeremy Houghton, both previously at YouTube network StyleHaul, the company’s software is designed to to plug into streaming services to provide more accurate recommendations.

Technicolor is partnering with Google to accelerate the development and deployment of the Google Broadcast Stack software platform onto customer premises equipment (CPE) and consumer electronics devices used to access video services. “Households in every region are often frustrated by the need to change inputs when switching from traditional cable and pay TV platforms to the growing number of streaming services that are delivered over the internet,” said Shalini Govil-Pai, Head of Android TV at Google. The Google Broadcast Stack makes it possible to scale up production and distribution of Android TV devices that can simultaneously support the delivery of traditional broadcast streams, CAS and OTT services without having to leave HDMI 1.

Gaming is the next technology paradigm, with video gaming growing from a projected $145 billion this year to $198 billion in 2024, according to Activate’s 2021 Technology & Media Outlook. Other takeaways include:
* VR/AR are on the verge of widespread adoption and revenues will grow eightfold by 2024.
* By 2024, nearly all US households will have a connected TV and the average paid video streaming subscriber will own 5.7 subscriptions.
* Sports betting will result in $23.7 billion to tech and media companies by 2024, up from $3.4 billion.



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The Weather Channel has updated its Immersive Mixed Reality technology with the launch of Virtual Views, an IMR capability that showcases hyper-realistic visualizations of weather. Virtual Views IMR segments are integrated into The Weather Channel’s daily live programming and forecasts, and feature landscapes/backdrops from around 50 US cities to better demonstrate weather scenarios without on-camera meteorologists having to physically be in those cities.

AT&T introduced WarnerMedia RIDE, a streaming service that works on personal smartphones or tablets connected to in-car Wi-Fi hotspots. The service includes news and sports programming and content from brands including Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CNN, TBS and TNT, and will be available in select Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles. “General Motors pioneered the connected car industry and we continue to put our customers at the center of what those connections can offer,” said Santiago Chamorro, VP of GM Global Connected Services. “The addition of WarnerMedia’s library of podcasts, movies and television programming – combined with AT&T’s Wi-Fi connectivity – is just another way we’re enhancing the ownership experience for our customers.” AT&T also plans to offer HBO Max as a “unique premium bundle of connectivity and content” for AT&T connected car data plan subscribers next year.

TikTok is expanding its enforcement against hate speech and hate ideologies to include “neighboring ideologies” like white nationalism, and statements that have their origins in those ideologies. “We know there’s always more we can do which is why we are taking further action to remove misinformation and hurtful stereotypes about Jewish, Muslim and other communities,” said TikTok in a blog post. “This includes misinformation about notable Jewish individuals and families who are used as proxies to spread antisemitism. We’re also removing content that is hurtful to the LGBTQ+ community by removing hateful ideas, including content that promotes conversion therapy and the idea that no one is born LGBTQ+.”

Interactive video platform Maestro announced the launch of Shoppable Livestreams powered by Shopify, a tool that enables creators and content owners to convert their viewers into customers by creating a seamless shopping experience within live streams. Viewers can purchase products while they watch without interrupting their live stream experience.

Monetization and subscriber management platform InPlayer is partnering with Original Syndicate, specialist in brand experience, media and entertainment, consumer and b2b event design and production, to offer video authentication, monetization and subscriber management functionalities as part of the latter’s end-to-end live, virtual and hybrid solutions. “Technology is revolutionizing the way we interact and engage with one another, and this incredibly cohesive partnership brings together a comprehensive event management solution, giving customers the opportunity to not only grow brand loyalty and engage their audiences but also drive revenue,” InPlayer CEO George Meek said. “The InPlayer-Original Syndicate partnership enables brands, concert, festival and media companies all over the world to rapidly deploy and monetize custom event experiences and livestreams.”

SSIMWAVE, the video quality solutions company, announced the launch of a new product aimed at enabling video providers to achieve savings in delivery costs. The SSIMPLUS Video Quality Dial is a software application that allows video providers control over the Viewer Experience of any type of VOD video content. Compatible with all cloud-based encoding systems, the new product can enable bitrate reductions of up to 50% while allowing providers to deliver the Viewer Experience of choice to satisfy their viewers. “Current content aware approaches do optimization using the bitrate as a guideline, while keeping quality the same, even if that quality level is subpar or bad,” said Dr. Abdul Rehman, CEO and co-founder of SSIMWAVE. “Our patented approach drives video encoding to deliver desired Viewer Experience at half the cost using your existing encoding infrastructure. Thus you deliver the Just-right Quality: no more and no less.”

VidCon, the convention for online video creators, announced a rebrand that includes a new look and new logo, as well as the return of its tentpole US live event to Anaheim, CA summer 2021. Additionally, after its VidCon Now virtual experience this summer, VidCon is introducing a new hybrid model that extends the digital experience year-round.

OpenVault and its OpenVault Europe GmbH subsidiary, providers of industry analytics and SaaS technology solutions for broadband operators, announced the signing of a long-term agreement with Tele Columbus AG (ETR: TC1), Germany’s second-largest cable operator, with 3.3 million homes connected. Under the agreement, Tele Columbus will integrate OpenVault’s solutions into networks serving 2.4 million IP-capable households.

VIZIO announced that SmartCast users in the US and Canada can now access the Facebook Watch TV app, with personalized recommendations. “Bringing Facebook Watch to SmartCast furthers our mission to provide VIZIO customers with direct-to-device access to all of their favorite apps and channels in one place,” said Mike O’Donnell, CRO of VIZIO.

Yu-Gi-Oh! is launching an e-commerce shopping experience with The Wildflower Group, offering a collection of anime-based designs. The new project is under the direction of TWG Konnect, the e-commerce division of The Wildflower Group.



Video advertising platform SpotX signed a strategic agreement with GroupM to serve as the primary partner for all programmatic digital video and OTT inventory. The partnership will begin in the US, with the intention to scale it globally. As part of the agreement, SpotX will also develop unique programmatic solutions for GroupM clients which will streamline the ad planning, buying, decisioning, and optimization processes. “As the largest media advertising company in the world, GroupM is continually looking for the most efficient ways to reach high-quality inventory while providing full transparency to our clients,” said Esra Bacher, Managing Partner – Programmatic Investment Lead at GroupM. “Viewership is dramatically increasing in streaming video, and we have chosen to partner with SpotX due to their strong relationships with the supply-side of the video ecosystem.”

Verance, a provider of standards-based watermarking solutions, said it has developed a mechanism to prevent issues emerging with the use of fingerprint-based Dynamic Advertising Insertion technologies with Netflix and other SVOD content. The solution is aimed at enabling Netflix, Hulu and others to privately identify their content to TVs to ensure that each service’s content is neither measured nor manipulated via the insertion of unauthorized dynamic ads, which could help alleviate industry fears over Nielsen’s fingerprint-based Dynamic Advertising Insertion technology.

As the holiday season approaches, Facebook introduced commerce-driven ads and features on Facebook and Instagram aimed at optimizing mobile commerce. “Ads With Product Tags On Instagram” will make it easier for small businesses to tag products so consumers can discover and shop for products by driving traffic to product detail pages embedded on Instagram. “Shopping Engagement Custom Audiences” allows advertisers to create custom audience profiles targeting users who have already shown an interest in their product. And “Discount Feature for Facebook Shops” will create traffic among users looking for deals and discounts.

Innovid and Peacock are partnering to set a new standard in VAST ad serving for the industry. Using Innovid’s CTV ad management platform, Peacock advertisers are guaranteed a 95% creative acceptance rate. “Our latest technology innovation addresses one of the more nuanced (see: less sexy), but nonetheless most important components of digital ad-serving today – creative quality,” said Innovid CTO and Co-Founder Tal Chalozin in a blog post. “We know how critical it is to maintain the same quality in AVOD that viewers have come to expect from linear TV and our hope is that this new reliability standard will be adopted by the wider industry.”

VidMob has launched the beta of Insight Stream, a new tool that will let brands activate against creative intelligence insights directly from the VidMob Agile Creative Studio dashboard. “It’s like the Bloomberg terminal for ad creative,” said the company in a blog post. A stream of creative insights shows marketers how the visual elements in their ads are influencing consumer response, “It was built to take the guesswork out of the creative process and give you a way to improve ads while your campaign is live,” said the company.


AT&T reported 8.6 million customers activated HBO Max in 3Q20, up from 4.1 million in the second quarter. Between linear and streaming, AT&T could count 38 million subscribers for HBO and HBO Max as of September 30, besting its internal target of 36 million. CEO John Stankey told analysts that except for the impact of COVID-19, the progress of HBO Max since launch has “played out as we expected.”

Quibi announced it is shutting down “on or about December 1,” according to a support page on the Quibi site. The short-form mobile video streamer has struggled since its launch in April, as the pandemic pushed millions of millennials from their phones to screens at home, and the streaming space grew increasingly crowded. The Jeffrey Katzenberg-founded service tried to pivot to TV, including launching last week on Android TV, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV, but will now shutter to return as much money to investors as possible. “While we have enough capital to continue operating for a significant period of time, we made the difficult decision to wind down the business, return cash to our shareholders, and say goodbye to our talented colleagues with grace,” said CEO Meg Whitman. “We continue to believe that there is an attractive market for premium, short-form content. Over the coming months we will be working hard to find buyers for these valuable assets who can leverage them to their full potential.” The Friday company tapped LionTree to manage the process of selling its assets.

Discovery is rebranding its ad-funded streamer Dplay as Discovery+ in the UK and Ireland, and adding a subscription tier priced at £4.99 a month that will include access to Discovery’s 13 channels; 30-day catch-up; originals; early releases; and box-sets featuring flagship brands.

Nielsen announced that NPR is now a subscriber to Nielsen’s Podcast Buying Power service, giving NPR access to podcast insights spanning 18 genres that can be cross-referenced against a category of consumer purchase behavior patterns and services usage. “NPR is one of the most highly respected media organizations on the planet, and a true pioneer in the use of podcasting to deliver world-class journalism and storytelling,” said Brad Kelly, Managing Director, Nielsen Audio. “Nielsen is incredibly proud to expand our long-standing relationship with NPR to include them in our Podcast Buying Power service.”

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Job of the day

Skilled/detailed oriented Curation and/or Operations professional who is passionate and knowledgeable about digital media curation, metadata and dist of content to 3rd Party aggregators. You will Curate A+E owned media content using internal media asset management tool. Quick learner with a min 2 yrs’ exp in video media operations. Full info HERE (11/6)

NBCUNIVERSAL OWNED STATIONS & AFFILIATE RELATIONS/DALLAS-FORT WORTH: The Arthouse, NBCUniversal’s Owned Stations’/Telemundo Stations’ internal design team who supports newscasts is seeking a Sr. Designer with a broadcast design background, solid conceptual skills and 3D expertise. Min 4yrs exp, must be able to work on individual assign and team projects. Full info HERE (11/5)

Newsmax Media/Washington D.C.: Seeking proven on-air reporter, in possession of an already-developed contact list, including many “who’s who” leaders in Congress, and related government agencies. Min 3yrs exp with outstanding writing/production skills. Full info HERE (11/4)

ION MEDIA NETWORKS/NY, NY, CLEARWATER OR W PALM BEACH, FL: Resp for the assessment, design, implementation, and interconnectedness of key business applications. Must be technically proficient, and disciplined in project mgmt. and be able to work with multiple clients/users/stakeholders to meet their requirements. 10 yrs exp in Systems Ops, Process Diagnostics and Implementation. Full info HERE (11/4)

JUKIN MEDIA/NEW YORK, NY:Seeking an individual who can combine creativity and strategy with a deep understanding of the digital media sales process. Must be able to work with clients, with a min of 2 yrs in advertising/media and a proven track record of building strong client relationships. Full info HERE (11/3)

BBC STUDIOS/LA, CA: Resp for managing sales/co-prod activity in the fiction genres, with clients across both TV/digital. Need to deliver against a stretching bus plan and budget, maximizing the BBC Studios Catalogue through licensing and co-producing programme rights in the US for TV/VOD. 5yrs exp in programme dist, with an understanding of the UK TV industry. Full info HERE (11/3)

Half Yard Productions/New York: Reporting to the SVP of Prod & Ops this position is resp for overseeing all Productions and Production Mgmt staff across a wide range of programs. Including supporting the Development Dept in creating budgets/schedules for all new productions. Exp in managing various types of shows for networks/channels. Full info HERE (11/3)

Newsmax Media/NYC:
Responsible for designing and building shows, managing show hosts and production team, identifying and integrating guests, overseeing and executing the production of key video & graphic elements. 3+ yrs EP exp or political news & talk programming. Full info HERE (11/3)

Newsmax Media/NYC:
Write for fast paced news and opinion show. You are an exceptional storyteller with a command of political news and cultural trends. At least 3 years of national or large market local news experience. Full info HERE (11/3)

Newsmax Media/NYC:
Responsible for the production and execution of live political news programming, and recorded video segments for television, and digital platforms. 3+ yrs experience line producing. Full info HERE (10/29)

Newsmax Media/NYC:
Responsible for the production of live news & talk show, and recorded video segments for television, and digital platforms. 3+ yrs in TV news and/or talk production. Full info HERE (10/29)

DISCOVERY INC./NEW YORK, KNOXVILLE: Strong strategic & data-oriented individual to partner on new Magnolia Network & oversee research and performance analytics to optimize Magnolia’s linear & digital presence. 5+ yrs analytics exp req’d. Full info HERE (10/28)

JUMA ENTERTAINMENT/Remote: Looking for creative and highly motivated individual to access and clear videos for network prime time clip series. Must possess a love of TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and be able to navigate platforms. Full info HERE (10/28)

CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS/STAMFORD, CT: Resp for accessing and leveraging internal/external data, as well as building models to support Charter’s various business grps (Programming Acquisition, Original Content, Spectrum Nets, Mktg, Product, etc.) on critical initiatives and decisions. Min 5 yrs exp in data modeling and analytics. Full info HERE (10/27)

Public media leader seeks VP to promote APT brands, impact, marketing strategies, diverse content & engage audiences. Min 10 yrs experience. APT is EOE. Full info HERE. (10/27)

Counter Logic Gaming/Madison Square Garden Sports/LA, CA: Counter Logic Gaming is looking for someone to lead the digital mktg team, with a focus on digital content and social media. Resp for creating/executing all CLG digital/content strat across all social/streaming platforms. Min 5 yrs of digital/mktg exp. Full info HERE (10/27)

Nickelodeon/NYC, NY: Ideal candidate will lead a team of mktg and campaign mngrs in all aspects of marketing across all platforms in support of Nickelodeon series and content. Min 8 yrs exp in marketing, media or a consumer strategy position. Full info HERE (10/27)


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