10/04/17: Microsoft reveals Windows-powered Samsung headset and AltspaceVR acquisition

CynopsisDigital
Good morning. It’s Wednesday October 4, 2017 and this is your your first early morning Digital briefing!

TODAY’S CODEBREAKER

 
Deep Linking: On the web, deep linking is the use of a hyperlink to link users to a specific webpage or piece of content, as opposed to a homepage. In a mobile context, deep linking refers to the action of sending users to a specific screen within a mobile app, as opposed to the app’s main screen or an app store landing page.
 
 
JUST IN…
 
Facebook is taking steps to make Rights Manager more effective. The tool, which lets copyright holders identify pirated videos, has been available since last year. But now Facebook is integrating Rights Manager with services from third-party providers MarkMonitor, Zefr, and Friends MTS. The integrations are designed to help businesses automate what had largely been a manual task. Once copyright holders identify unauthorized videos, they can choose to have them blocked, monitored, or monetized. It should be noted that, while Facebook doesn’t charge a fee to use Rights Manager, its new third-party partners do.
 
Like so many tech companies before it, Roku is coming off the highs of a smashing IPO. The company’s stock rose by 68% on September 28th, its first day of trading, then climbed by an additional 13% on Friday. But the company’s shares fell by 11% on Monday, and then an additional 5% on Tuesday. Still, the company is now trading at about $22 per share – a significant improvement over its $14 IPO price. While Roku’s streaming devices are currently the most widely-used on the market, some investors harbor doubts about the company’s ability to continue outpacing giants like Amazon and Apple.  
 
The Chernin Group is going after sports fans. The company has formed the Action Network, a new subscription-based media company focused on sports analysis. The venture will be primarily geared toward fantasy sports players and bettors. The Action Network will sell access to analytics and sports data, and will feature content such as video, articles and podcasts. The new company is actually a combination of three existing Chernin Group acquisitions: Sports Insights, Sports Action, and the Mark Cuban-backed FantasyLabs. The Chernin Group has hired Chad Millman as Action Network’s Head of media. Millman joins the new venture from ESPN, where he worked in an editorial capacity for close to twenty years.
 
Somehow this story just never seems to go away. Yahoo – owned by Verizon since June – now says that the company’s 2013 data hack resulted in the theft of user information from 3 billion different accounts. That’s a dramatic increase over the previous estimate of 1 billion. The company says it discovered the additional affected accounts while merging its operations with Verizon’s. (A separate hack hit Yahoo in 2014; revelations of the two breaches ultimately led Verizon to cut its acquisition price by $350 million.) Yahoo says it will contact the additional affected user accounts from the 2013 hack. Mercifully, Yahoo says the info that was stolen does not include credit card data or bank account information. 
 
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Shine a spotlight on your short form masterpiece!
Jurors Selected for Cynopsis Short Form Video Festival
 
Jurors include execs from AwesomenessTV, CNE, Dick Clark Productions, Scripps, Glow, Coca-Cola, Adaptive, Dick Clark Productions, CA, Fullscreen and more. The Cynopsis Short Form Video Festival & Conference will showcase winning videos and includes though-provoking discussions with producers, directors, actors and marketers.
 
 

VIRTUAL + AUGMENTED REALITY
 
Samsung was one of the first tech companies to enter the market with a VR headset – but this is a little different. The company has partnered with Microsoft to launch the Samsung HMD Odyssey, a mixed reality headset powered by Windows. (Users will need a compatible Windows 10-powered PC for the device to work.) The headset was officially announced yesterday in San Francisco, at a mixed reality-focused event hosted by Microsoft. The device comes with built-in headphones from AKG, a built-in microphone, and dual OLED displays made by Samsung. It also comes with two motion controllers. This is the first Samsung headset that wasn’t build in partnership with Facebook’s Oculus, and the first that isn’t powered by a mobile device. It’s also a lot more expensive than the Gear VR ever was: The Odyssey will retail for $499. It’ll be available November 6.
 
Microsoft also announced that it has acquired AltspaceVR, a startup that enables users to have social interactions within VR environments. AltspaceVR had seemingly reached the end of its journey a few months ago: Despite raising about $15 million from backers like Comcast Ventures and Tencent, the startup announced plans to shut down by the end of July. But a then-unknown backer stepped in to save the company soon after; now we know the company was Microsoft. Alex Kipman, Microsoft’s head of mixed reality efforts, said that the Altspace team will work on “building the world’s preeminent mixed reality community.” He added that “the majority” of AltspaceVR’s employees now work for Microsoft. The acquisition price hasn’t been revealed.
 
Director Roland Emmerich (Independence Day) has teamed up with producer Marco Weber (Igby Goes Down) on a new virtual reality initiative. The duo announced the launch of VRenetic, a startup focused on social VR live-streaming. The company’s app, called Vresh, is slated to launch later this fall. Vresh will let users live-streaming 360-degree videos while interacting with audiences (either one-to-one or as part of a broadcast). The company doesn’t plan to make money by selling hardware; instead, Emmerich and Weber say they plan to run ads against Vresh’s content. A public beta test of the app is slated for later in the fall.
 
Snap is finding its inner artiste. The company has begun pointing Snapchat users toward augmented reality “installations” from Jeff Koons, an American artist best known for sculptures that look like balloon animals. Users will be able to point their phones at specific spots and view Koons’ sculptures within real-world environments. The location-based Lenses will be available at major parks and landmarks in the U.S., U.K. Canada, Brazil, Paris, and Australia.
 
 
OTT + SVOD
 
YouTube announced a new partnership with Major League Baseball. Under the pact, YouTube TV – YouTube’s OTT-based live TV service – will serve as presenting sponsor for the 2017 World Series. The sponsorship will entail national TV ads, on-air call-outs during games, and branding across MLB’s digital properties and social media accounts. In addition, YouTube says that MLB players will engage with YouTube creators to generate original content that takes viewers behind the scenes of the Series. YouTube also says it expects to incorporate MLB players into post-season promotional efforts for the service. The 2017 World Series kicks off October 24.
 
Looks like Star Trek: Discovery is having its intended effect. According to app analytics company App Annie, the series – which is exclusive to the CBS All Access streaming service – almost doubled the service’s mobile subscription revenue with the show’s premiere. Anyone who signed up on September 24th  – the day of the premiere – would have seen their credit card charged on October 1, the end of a 7-day free trial period. And App Annie found that mobile downloads on October 1 indeed accounted for a revenue spike of 1.8x. In addition, App Annie found that downloads of the CBS mobile app grew by 2.5x following the show’s premiere. The new data was first reported by Variety.
 
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Have you taken our Salary Survey yet?

If Yes: Thank you! We really appreciate your feedback! You’ll have first dibs on the final report when it’s released in November.

If No: Then, what are you waiting for? The deadline is next Friday, Oct. 13. Plus, be entered to win a $100 Amazon gift card!
 
 

OTT + SVOD
 
YouTube announced a new partnership with Major League Baseball. Under the pact, YouTube TV – YouTube’s OTT-based live TV service – will serve as presenting sponsor for the 2017 World Series. The sponsorship will entail national TV ads, on-air call-outs during games, and branding across MLB’s digital properties and social media accounts. In addition, YouTube says that MLB players will engage with YouTube creators to generate original content that takes viewers behind the scenes of the Series. YouTube also says it expects to incorporate MLB players into post-season promotional efforts for the service. The 2017 World Series kicks off October 24.
 
Looks like Star Trek: Discovery is having its intended effect. According to app analytics company App Annie, the series – which is exclusive to the CBS All Access streaming service – almost doubled the service’s mobile subscription revenue with the show’s premiere. Anyone who signed up on September 24th  – the day of the premiere – would have seen their credit card charged on October 1, the end of a 7-day free trial period. And App Annie found that mobile downloads on October 1 indeed accounted for a revenue spike of 1.8x. In addition, App Annie found that downloads of the CBS mobile app grew by 2.5x following the show’s premiere. The new data was first reported by Variety.
 
 
PROGRAMMING
 
Why We Fight, a new docu-series executive produced by UFC fighter Ronda Rousey, is set to debut on Verizon’s Go90 service on October 18. The series, which consists of eight 45-minute episodes, follows the boxer Zac “Kid Yamaka” Wohlman as he travels around the world and encounters other fighters. The series hails from Complex Networks, and will be distributed on the digital media company’s Go90 channel.
 
 
APPS + PLATFORMS
 
Facebook has faced mountains of questions over revelations that a Russian entity purchased thousands of political ads on the platform during the 2016 election. (The company recently turned said ads over to Congress.) The company is now out with a new piece of information: About 10 million U.S. users saw the ads. And Facebook says that about 44% of the related ad impressions occurred before the November 8 election. There were about 3,000 ads total; Facebook describes them as “divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum.”
 
 
MEASURING UP
 
The ListenFirst Television Interest (TVI) Rating (TM) is a standardized measurement of the most buzzed-about TV programs on linear TV and streaming services. A complement to ListenFirst’s other syndicated data products (such as the ListenFirst Digital Audience Rating – TV), the metrics included in the rating capture organic actions that are largely unaffected by paid media. Programs that surface on the TVI leaderboards are the most hashtagged on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Tumblr, as well as most searched for on Wikipedia (used as a proxy for organic search volume).
 
Streaming Series (9/25/17 – 10/1/17)
 
Source: ListenFirst. The TVI Rating aggregates metrics that measure organically generated activity by fans of the TV show. The metric includes total volume of official hashtag mentions on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Tumblr, along with Wikipedia page views (as a proxy for organic search volume) for a show as a percentage of the total volume of the same activities for all shows.
 
OpenSlate Engagement Data for the Comedy vertical, based on the engagement metric for the week ending October 1
Channel (Engagement) / Monthly Views Total Subs / SlateScore
RiceGum (9.8) / 97,878,483 8,546,934 720
dosogas (9.8) / 81,589,777 3,861,064 722
elrubiusOMG (9.7) / 103,700,609 25,837,128 789
DalasReview (9.7) / 37,484,398 5,693,819 764
whinderssonnunes (9.6) / 102,575,971 / 23,724,721 / 720
Luisito Comunica (9.6) / 80,153,437 8,761,838 753
jacksfilms (9.5) / 49,399,582 3,315,955 719
Анатолий Шарий (9.4) / 52,205,258 1,183,400 662
Matthias (9.4) / 55,842,782 4,265,018 702
Dolan Twins (9.3) 31,481,381 4,466,998 693
Source: The Engagement metric is one of OpenSlate’s component scores, and is a measure of a producer’s ability to evoke meaningful interaction with their audience. It is calculated on a scale of 1-10 with higher being better. The OpenSlateEngagement score uses a subset of the data incorporated in
 
 
EXECUTIVE MOVES
 
Andrew House will leave Sony at the end of 2017, the company announced. House has been with Sony for 27 years, and has headed up the company’s PlayStation group since 2011. In that capacity, he oversaw the launch of the PlayStation 4 console, helped to focus network services strategy around Sony’s PlayStation Network, and spearheaded the 2015 launch of PlayStation Vue, one of the earliest OTT-based TV service to enter the market. He also oversaw the company’s push into the virtual reality space, including the launch of the PlayStation VR headset. John (Tsuyoshi) Kodera, currently the Deputy President of Sony Interactive Entertainment, will take over as President and CEO of Sony’s PlayStation division.
 
 
TRIVIA
 
David Harbour, best known for playing police chief Jim Hopper on Netflix’s Stranger Things, once had a role in a James Bond movie. Which one? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)
 
Our Last Trivia Question: ‘Mad Men’s’ Jon Hamm just signed on to play the archangel Gabriel in Good Omens, an upcoming fantasy series from Amazon and the BBC. Which fantasy writers wrote the novel that the series is based on? Answer: Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Kudos to Andrew Bellamy-Producers Guild of America/NY, Peter Steckelman-Tennis Channel/CA, Luke Watson-Essential TV/NY, Alejandro Sacasa-Albavision/FL, Christine Allen-McGee Media/NY, Sheena Das-Disney-ABC/NY, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA, Lorrie Shilling/CA, and Mathew Tombers-Intermat, Inc./NY
 
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Check out the 2017 Cynopsis Digital “IT” List Honorees!
 
Joining us from 38 companies that cover all elements of the industry, digital’s movers and shakers will represent the top brands and innovators in the business at our 5th Annual Digital Awards Ceremony. Share insights and connect with your peers as we celebrate the honorees at this fabulous awards event on November 10 at Tribeca’s ThreeSixty (NYC). See the full list of honorees, companies and event details here.
 
 

DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT
 
CNET took a first look at the HMD Odyssey, the new mixed reality headset that Samsung developed in partnership with Microsoft. You can watch the video here.

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JOB OPENING: DIGITAL PREDITOR/NBCU/CT: Freelance Part-time to produce/edit digital videos for nationally syndicated talk shows. 2 to 3 years of work experience as an AVID Video Editor/Producer. Experience in news, entertainment, or promos & strong story telling sensibility. Resumes HERE (10/10)
 
JOB OPENING: ON AIR PROD MGR/VICELAND/Brooklyn NY: Resp for prod & delivery of all promotional video assets. Creative team’s point person on all promo materials. Min 5 yrs prod mngmnt exp TV/ent industry pref in On-Air. Knwldg of Adobe Creative Suite, After Effects, prod & post prod workflows. Full info/apply HERE (10/10)


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PHOTOGRAPHY MGR/AMC & SUNDANCE TV/NYC: 8+ yrs brand, ent or magazine photo editing. Extremely detail oriented. Wide understanding of dig photography & fluent in importance of asset mgmt. Strong knwlg Adobe Creative Suite, file processing & digital cameras. Able to do light-medium retouching. Full info/apply HERE (10/10)


JOB OPENING:
DIR, SALES RESEARCH/CW Network/NYC: Tracking/trending analysis on all bcst & cable nets linear/VOD/Digital. Presentation, strategy dev. Social metrics dev. Oversee linear/dig sales estimates Ntwk TV exp (linear & digital Min 6yrs) Full info HERE (10/10)

JOB OPENING: SR AD SALES PLANNER/SBGTV/NYC: Provide support for all aspects of the ad sales process. A team-player mentality & ability to work under pressure meeting deadlines for clients a must. BA deg & min 2-3yrs Sales exp related field or industry req’d. Media math skills a must. Full info/apply HERE (10/9)
                   
JOB OPENING: JR SALES PLANNER/SBGTV/NYC: Det oriented entry-level Sales Asst w/strong written/oral comm skills to support the Sinclair Ntwk sales team mult areas, incl admin asst. Admin support/1-2 yrs exp pref’d. Profic in PP, Word, Excel a must. Brdcst/media buying or agency sales exp a +. Full info/apply HERE (10/9)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, PRICING AND PLANNING/FUSE MEDIA/NY: Oversee Planning dept, manage On-Air and Digital proposals process. Oversee Pricing, inventory Utilization and Ad Hoc Reports. Strong analytical skills & media math. apply HERE (10/9)


JOB OPENING:
ACCOUNT EXEC/Machinima/Burbank: Resp for driving ad sales efforts & reaching ad sales targets for Machinima, the premiere digital video programmer of gamer & fandom-focused content. 3-4 yrs exp digital media sales w/in a content-driven publisher, ent/media co. or ad agency. Full info/apply HERE (10/7)

JOB OPENING: PRODUCER CREATIVE SERVICES/SpectrumNetworksNY1/NYC: Produce on-air promo spots & campaigns, from initial concept to finished prod. 3yrs media exp,producing on-air promo spots, media sales billboards & tagged spots.TV news exp pref’d.  Exp working with cross functional teams. Full info/apply HERE (10/7)


JOB OPENING:
SCHEDULING COORDINATOR/GSN/Santa Monica: Dist prog. Schedule grids, Monthly VOD planners, artwork & folder structures, coord. & maintaining schedule & databases & admin duties; online rsrch. Excellent attention to details; Knwldg of Excel & all Microsoft applications; College deg req; Send Res/CL: HERE (10/7)

JOB OPENING: ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE/WMAQ TV/Chicago: Dynamic Account Executive to join the Local Sales team. Own, manage, and develop relationships with clients, agencies and advertisers through day-day interaction. Min 5 yrs exp sales and/or mktg roles. Full info/apply HERE (10/7)
 
JOB OPENING: VP CONTENT/FlyQuest/LA: Out of the box thinker who thinks strategically and sets directions aligned to company’s strategy, applying external perspective to meet business needs. 8+ yrs’ exp working in a content strategy & editorial function, pref in the gaming, digital or ent space. Full info/apply HERE (10/6)

JOB OPENING: SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR/FlyQuest/LA: Execute SM strategy ensuring goals are met by team and content is continuously optimized for key aud segments. Min 6 yrs of exp in custom social media content creation, digital Exp w/pd search & pd social a must. Full info/apply HERE (10/6)


JOB OPENING:
DIR CONTENT PRODUCTION/NYC/Eko: Pioneer of interactive serial video entertainment. Manage creative dev and prod for all scripted interactive series. Define processes and manage team to achieve goals. More details http://bit.ly/2fLBlhq. Resume to [email protected] (10/6)


JOB OPENING:
NEWS DIRECTOR/KUVN 23/Dallas: Forward thinking, creative and exp’d candidate to lead news operation in fast-paced media mkt. High level of news judgment, journalistic integrity & people mngmnt skills. Digital knwldg a must. 10yrs exp facets of TV news prod, writing, editing, camera ops & reporting. Full info/apply HERE (10/5)

JOB OPENING: AD SALES ASSISTANT/GSN/NY: Deal maintenance, traffic, mtg. prep., and admin duties; Excellent math skills; Knowledge of gen media terms; Strong knowledge of Microsoft programs incl. Excel, PP, MS Word and Outlook is req.; College deg req; Send Res and CL to [email protected] (10/5)

JOB OPENING: CFO/NYC Production Co: Direct financial planning & analysis. Corporate & production operating review, forecast & budgets. Manage systems, provide leadership & expertise to accounting dept. Must understand fast paced TV prod. 10+ yrs exp.  Resume/cover & for full info: HERE (10/5)

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