10/08/15: Study predicts big decrease in cable subscribers; Cynopsis Digital visits Kaleidoscope VR Film Festival; Tubular Labs hires new CTO


Good morning. It’s Thursday October 8, 2015, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


Looks like you don’t have to cut the cord if you never had one in the first place. According to an online survey from market research company Forrester Research, roughly 50% of adults age 31 and under won’t pay for traditional cable subscriptions by the year 2025. Among other findings: 24 percent of respondents don’t pay for cable, and 18 percent never had a cable subscription. Forrester predicts that by 2025, 35% of consumers 18-31 will be in the cord-never camp, and 15% will be cord-cutters. The one bright spot: overall, cord-cutters still accounted for only 6% of respondents. The survey polled 32,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and up. More info here.


Note to Jack Dorsey: Once you get tired of being the CEO of Twitter, you can step down and get paid to talk about it. At least, that’s the route his predecessor is taking. Dick Costolo, who left Twitter in July, has been hired as a part-time consultant for HBO comedy Silicon Valley. The show centers on a group of highly dysfunctional tech-heads trying to launch a promising start-up. Costolo described his role to Bloomberg: “I’m answering questions and describing how interactions would work between executives, VCs, employees, etc.”

Casual, the new Hulu original series from Jason Reitman, debuted on the streaming service yesterday. New episodes will premiere weekly.

Storytellers, the web series created by YouTube star Joey Graceffa following a successful 2013 Kickstarter campaign, is coming back for a second season. Legendary Digital Media, StyleHaul, and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura have partnered with Graceffa on the season.

Endemol Beyond USA has officially launched Smasher, its new digital eSports network. The network is available on YouTube, among other platforms. Smasher boasts several original series, including eSports competition show Legends of Gaming, which debuted yesterday.

Editor’s Note: Please join the Cynopsis team and your industry peers for the half-day Programmatic TV Summit on Nov. 5. Register now.


How many Chinese digital platforms is Sesame Street debuting on? One, two, THREE! Three platforms! (Okay, that joke really only works in The Count’s Transylvanian accent. Such are the drawbacks of the written word.)  Anyway, Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street, has entered into collaborations with Baidu’s iQIYI, Tencent Video, and Alibaba’s Tmall Box, three of China’s top digital platforms. Sesame Workshop will provide Sesame Street, along with spin-offs, to all three. The programs will be dubbed into Mandarin Chinese.

Well, Al Roker is no stranger to weather. Now the Today host is set to host The Lift, a mobile-only morning show consisting of six to eights snackable clips, focused on breaking weather news and nature stories. The Lift debuts October 15, and is only available on The Weather Channel app.

Spanish language multi-channel network 2btube has signed partnerships with YouNow, Showbox, Eboxy, and Victorious. According to a press release, the partnership will grant 2btube premium access to social and production tools, as well as distribution platforms.

Sports-focused digital consulting firm Omnigon has partnered with sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media. Among other things, the companies will jointly develop digital solutions and digital monetization strategies for clients. “With this strategic partnership, we further drive digital progress in the sports business industry,” said Philippe Blatter, President & CEO of Infront. Cynopsis Digital spoke with David Nugent, Chief Commercial Officer at Omnigon. And while Nugent acknowledged that the majority of ad dollars in sports still come from linear TV, he championed the importance of executing a sound digital strategy: “Digital is critical for fan engagement,” he said.

Participant Media announced that Hulu has acquired exclusive streaming rights for seasons one and two of Please Like Me, Participant’s original series. The episodes will be available on October 11. The series also airs on Participant’s TV network, Pivot. Season 3 of Please Like me premieres on Pivot October 16.


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Day by day, more and more digital stars are picking up big league representation. The latest example is eleventhgorgeous, a YouTube channel consisting of beauty and lifestyle advisers Tracy and Stefanie. (They’re sisters, so presumably they have the same last name, but no one seems to know what it is.) The duo signed with UTA for all representation needs. Their YouTube channel has over 1.3 million subscribers.



The 2015 Kaleidoscope VR Festival made a stop in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn yesterday. The event was presented by Vrideo.  The festival has hit nine cities in 2015. There will only be one more: Austin, Texas. The event featured an informative panel with an assemblage of virtual reality experts, but the true star of the festival was good-old-fashioned virtual reality. (And yes, that sentence contains the oxymoron to end all oxymorons.) Rows of swivel-chairs were arranged throughout the expansive single-room venue. In those chairs were people, and on those people were virtual reality headsets – mostly Samunsung GearVRs, though the odd Oculus Rift or two made an appearance. The event featured a wide array of VR videos, ranging from an immersive plunge into a cirque du soleil performance to a trip inside a Vincent van Goh painting. And a note for future festival-goers: Get there early, before the lines become maddening.

Now, at the risk of dumbing down a sophisticated emerging technology with the capacity to revolutionize human behavior and interaction, it should be noted that the writer of this newsletter left the event with one primary takeaway: VR is super cool.

Oh, but first he spoke with Alex Rosenfeld, CEO of VRideo. Vrideo aims to become a major distribution platform for VR, functional on every major headset – a sort of YouTube for virtual reality. Rosenfeld had some fascinating thoughts on the state of the technology, as well as the overall appeal of virtual reality.

“I’ll often see people sit down, put on the headset, and then completely lose track of time,” he said. “They get lost in the experience…It actually still happens to me, even after all this time working on a platform, and working on the medium.”

It’s true: It’s easy to get lost in it, even with VR technology still in its infancy. So where does Rosenfeld think we’ll be in 10 years?

“That’s a scary question to me,” he says. “If you look at how fast VR has improved in the past couple years, it’s hugely impressive. And if we were to have just that continued rate of improvement, it would be mind-blowing. But keep in mind: Unlike the past couple years, now just about every technology company is pouring resources into VR. That’s going to speed up the rate of improvement even further. And of course there are also major creators in both video and gaming who are starting to create content for VR. That’s going to accelerate things too. Forget ten years. In even five years, or three years, I couldn’t even begin to tell you where we’re going to be.”

So what does that mean for Vrideo?

“A big focus for us,” Rosenfeld says, “is keeping pace with the improvement of technology. We’re focused on being a platform for streaming video, but what does that mean in three years? What new video formats are going to emerge? What new audio technology standards are going to emerge? It’s definitely going to be a necessity to remain nimble.”

And don’t forget cool.



This is a far cry from the playing the Joker. Oscar-winning actor Jared Leto has narrated a new virtual reality climate change PSA, launched by the Sierra Club, the Environmental Media Association, and RYOT. The release comes two months ahead of international climate negotiations in Paris. The 360-degree video, which highlights the effects of climate change, is titled Climate Change in 360°: Act In Paris. It’s available on the RYOT-VR iOS app, YouTube 360, and Facebook.



Senior Twitter media executives were on the ground at Mipcom 2015 to host a lively keynote titled TV X Twitter: Media at the Speed of #Now. While overlooking the Cannes Croisette, Karen Hockney had an exclusive chat with Fred Graver, creative lead for Twitter’s global TV team and erstwhile stalwart of entertainment gold such as Late Night with David Letterman and Cheers.  Here’s their Q&A:

Twitter thrives on fostering real-time conversation relating to linear TV events, but as digital viewership increases how will Twitter capture conversations relating to TV shows?
 What we see in our data is that the big live conversation – even if later you are going to double that audience – reminds people the show is on, alerts them that something special just happened and lets people know that their friends and network watched the show. Their conversation drives engagement, loyalty and intent to view for the rest of the week. Fox did a study around Empire. With a modest promotional budget, Empire took the live conversation and targeted the audience with scene tweets around the live episode. Twitter increased the intent to view live by 20% and the intent to view on demand by 16%. One thing we have learned with our broadcasting partners is that if we keep the conversation going during the whole season, the top line is, “I’ve got to watch this live because the conversation is so much fun.”

Talk us through Twitter’s new native polling feature.
 It’s a lightweight, easy way to create a tweet that’s engaging, exciting and fun to share. It’s a fat finger tweet; easy to read, hit yes and boom, it shows the results and sends it out to your followers. You engender a conversation that could reach 700 million to one billion people.

How can networks and advertisers take advantage of it?
 Essentially it’s still an experiment, but I can see something like The Voice or another competitive reality show using the polling feature as a quick way for the audience to vote on whether contestants stay or go.

What are some of the tools and innovations that Twitter is developing?
 We have worked really hard this year to make it easy for TV networks to upload and distribute video on Twitter. For live events, we have Snappy TV, whereby within your browser you can take a feed, find an in point and an out point, hit edit as it happens, and send it out to Twitter and other social platforms in less than a minute. For scripted or pre-taped shows, we have a new native video platform which uses the same technology, but you can time the tweet. It’s been very successful. Our video views are up 250% and there is something like 370 years of video watched every day on Twitter. It’s crazy, right?

Taking this on, why will people use Twitter to watch video instead of searching out a clip on YouTube?
 Our research shows that people go to YouTube because they already know something exists. They are much more primed to discover new content on Twitter. It’s a huge challenge to get your programming discovered by a new audience, and we are working with our TV partners and saying, “Here’s what we know happens and here is how you can put it onto Twitter and reach new audiences.”

We see Nielsen data on numbers of tweets, but is there data on the direct impact of Twitter influencers on ratings and live tweeting?
 Nielson did a study where a 10% lift in the Twitter conversation corresponded to a 1.8% lift in the L +7 ratings. It’s very hard for a network to get a one or two per cent lift in their ratings.

What has the reaction been to the new TV Timelines feature?
The networks are saying, “At last!” Since Twitter is real-time, you get a stream of tweets coming at you. If you’re watching The Voice or The Blacklist and distracting tweets are coming in around a sporting event, you can go to the TV timeline, and suddenly you are there. The fun part is you will be able to go back if you are four episodes behind on Mr. Robot, search out episode one, and boom: Twitter has got relevant tweets, tweets from the cast, and you can say, “I’m just catching up, this is incredible.”


Last week, comedians Rob Riggle and Tom Lennon teamed up for a campaign urging men to dress for success. Made Man, a lifestyle destination owned by Defy Media, has run several comic videos featuring the actors; the videos are designed to encourage users to dress up for Formal Friday tomorrow, October 9. And with every dressed-up photo a user posts with hashtag #Formal Friday, Defy will donate $1 to Career Gear, a non-profit organization that helps men who are trying to re-enter the workforce.  You can see the videos on Made Man’s YouTube page.


All hail the still-mighty smartphone. According to a new study from Adobe, 92% of U.S. millennials consider their smartphone to be their primary device. The number is 84% for GenX’ers, 69% for baby boomers, and 67% for the 70-and-older crowd. Adobe surveyed 4,000 consumers in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and France. Some other findings: About 63% of U.S. mobile users said they’d be willing to provide their email address in exchange for premium content supported by advertising. And 67% of U.S. respondents said apps were their favorite means of streaming TV shows and movies.

Courtesy of Nielsen, some informative Twitter data from 9/28 to 10/4. Highlights below:

Most-Tweeted Minutes from the Top 3 Series and Specials:
20,400 Tweets were sent at 9:39pm EST about Empire after Luscious records a new
rap in a janitor closet in prison.

1,500 Tweets were sent at 9:00pm EST about Grey’s Anatomy after Bailey
appoints Meredith Chief of General Surgery.

7,700 Tweets were sent at 10:00pm EST about Scandal after Olivia admitted to the
press that she was the President’s mistress.

Most-Tweeted Minutes from the Top 3 Sports Events:
18,000 Tweets were sent at 11:49pm EST about NFL Football: Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers after the Ravens’ Justin Tucker scored the game winning field goal in overtime.

5,600 Tweets were sent at 10:57pm EST about NFL Football: Kansas City Chiefs
at Green Bay Packers
after Chiefs’ wide receiver Jeremy Maclin caught a
touchdown throw breaking the Chiefs’ no completion streak.

22,600 Tweets were sent at 11:40pm EST about NFL Football: Dallas Cowboys at
New Orleans Saints
after Saints’ CJ Spiller scored the winning touchdown in

topped the Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings (NTTR) Weekly Top Ten Series and Specials list with 634,000 event-related Tweets that were seen by a Unique Audience of 2.8 million people. In sports NFL Football: Baltimore Ravens topped the list with 702,000 event-related Tweets sent in the U.S. that were seen by a Unique Audience of 5.8 million people.

The full NTTR Weekly Top Ten lists, ranked by Unique Audience, are here (Source – Nielsen.)

And for a quick guide, see a few terms defined below:

Tweets: Tweets ascribed to a linear TV episode or sports event.
Unique Authors: Unique Twitter accounts that have sent at least one Tweet ascribed to a specific TV episode or sports event.
Impressions: The number of times any Tweets ascribed to a TV episode or sports event were seen.
Unique Audience: The total number of distinct Twitter accounts accruing at least one impression of one Tweet ascribed to a TV episode or sports event.


EXCLUSIVE: Video intelligence platform Tubular Labs, which provides clients detailed digital video analytics, has named Michael Kamprath as its first Chief Technology Officer. Most recently, Kamprath served as VP of Engineering at Quantcast, overseeing software development and data analytics. (He also once served as an Air Force officer, which is pretty awesome.) Cynopsis Digital spoke with Kamprath. “Joining Tubular was an easy decision,” said Kamprath. “With more than 50 million video uploads every month, Tubular is the only company that offers unparalleled cross platform video analytics. It’s exciting to be part of an engineering team that continually innovates and leads the charge in the space.”


At a time when consumers trust word-of-mouth over direct brand messaging, aligning with trusted social media influencers is key to getting yourself heard. The latest Cynopsis webinar, The New Influencer Marketing: How to Target the Twitter Tastemakers, on Thursday, October 22, will show you how to identify and reach influencers who can share your content and boost your brand.

Save your spot today!.


Full disclosure: The writer of this newsletter is a Bob Dylan fanatic. Still, the man seems to have met his intellectual match in Watson, IBM’s supercomputer. Though judging by Watson’s heinous vocal performance, Dylan is still the better singer. Watch the video here.

See you tomorrow,
David Teich

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

Cynopsis Ad Sales: Mike Farina | VP, Sales | 203-218-6480
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Cynopsis Media: a division of Access Intelligence, LLC * 10 Norden Place * Norwalk, CT * 06855 * USA

CYNOPSISJOBSFor More jobs, visit Cynopsis.com

JOB OPENING: PR MGR/Rogers & Cowan/NYC: 3+ yrs PR exp working w/TV shows @ network or agency. Knwlg of TV/entertainment industry a must. Ability to dvlp, execute & communicate strategy to clients. BA deg in PR/Comm or related field. Resumes HERE (10/15)

JOB OPENING: FINANCE DIRECTOR/Time Inc. Books (TIB)/NYC: Lead financial planning & analysis, fiscal mngemnt & reporting of 3 businesses w/full accountability for P&L & close process; oversee 2 finance mgrs. 7+ yrs exp Fin mngmnt role. Full info/apply HERE (10/15)

JOB OPENING: DIGITAL/SOCIAL STRATEGIST-PLANNER/LA: 3-5 yrs exp Dig/Soc Strat. Resp bringing fresh ideas on leveraging soc media to achieve valued outcomes. Play active role as dig expert to dev perspectives on trends & use of emerging dig media in mktplc. Resume HERE (10/15) 

JOB OPENING: PROJECT MANAGER/LBE/20th Century Fox/LA: The Project Manager will manage projects from concept to completion related to Location Based Entertainment. Full info/apply HERE (10/14)

JOB OPENING: PRESS MANAGER/Syfy/LA: Min 4 yrs entertainment publicity exp at publicist level. Comms strategy, talent relations & pitching/booking top media. Strong written/verbal comm skills. Full info/apply HERE (10/14)

JOB OPENING: MANAGER, PLANNING/NBC/NYC: Planning Mgr for Syfy to support all Pricing & Planning elements including rate cards, stewardship, deal approval & inventory mgmt. 3+ yrs exp. Full info/apply HERE (10/14)

JOB OPENING: SR MGR/DIRECTOR, RESEARCH/Viacom/NYC: Responsible for creation/mngmnt of network selling estimates. 5+ yrs exp w/nat’l cable or brdcst network. Fast paced envir looking for highly organized, strong attention to detail person. Full info/apply HERE (10/14) 

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, AD SALES RESEARCH/Viacom/Santa Monica: Mng West Coast, presentations, pricing, inventory, Upfronts, Nielsen, Lake5, Comscore, Digital, speaker/presenter. Req’s self-starter w/6+ yrs exp media rsrch. Full info/apply HERE (10/14)

JOB OPENING: SR FINANCIAL ANALYST/TELEMUNDO/East Coast: Analyze distribution deals and liaise with Sales Executives to understand markets and obtain/dvlp sales projections & ultimates. Min 2 yrs exp analyzing data, developing forecasts. Full info/apply HERE (10/13)

JOB OPENING: VP, CREATIVE SERVICES/NBCU/East Coast: Lead station creative team in station promotions, commercial production & sales marketing, and community engagement & programming. Full info/apply HERE (10/13)

JOB OPENING: ACCOUNTING PRODUCTION ASST/NBCU/East Coast: The Accounting Production Assistant will be responsible for processing and auditing card payments, consult with staff regarding receipt discrepancies and obtain approvals, etc. Full info/apply HERE (10/13)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, BRAND MARKETING/CNBC/Englewood Cliffs NJ: You will work with the SVP of Program Strategy to develop and implement both the short term and long term primetime programming strategy. Full info/apply HERE (10/10)

JOB OPENING: MGR, SALES ADMIN/TV ONE/NY: Sprvs team/coordinators to review allocations & flighting; ensure that inventory load is sufficient for effective placement. BA deg &/or 3 yrs exp operations, traffic or ad sales. Exp w/brdway traffic sys pref’d. Full info/apply HERE (10/10)

JOB OPENING: VP MEDIA SALES/Warner Bros. Syndication/Burbank CA: Manage western region, leads sales activities, develop key relationships in market. Exp. with national ad sales and strong relationships with clients/agencies a must. Full info/apply HERE (10/10) 

JOB OPENING: MANAGER, INVENTORY/NBC/NYC: Experienced Inventory Mgr for Daytime/Late Night to oversee all inventory tasks & provide strategic insights on sales processes. 3-5+ yrs. exp. Full info/apply HERE (10/10)

JOB OPENING: MANAGER, INVENTORY/BRAVO/NYC: Experienced Inventory Mgr for Bravo network to oversee all inventory tasks & provide strategic insights on sales processes. 3-5+ yrs. exp. Full info/apply HERE (10/10)

JOB OPENING: SENIOR RESEARCH MANAGER/DIRECTOR, FRANCHISE & CONTENT STRATEGY/MarketCast/LA: 3-7 years’ experience of supplier-side market research experience with both quantitative and qualitative analysis to manage projects end-to-end Full info/apply HERE (10/9)

JOB OPENING: CREATIVE DIRECTOR, LBE/FOX Film, TV & Sports/LA: The Creative Director is responsible for the creative oversight of location based entertainment development, including initial concept generation to completion. Full info/apply HERE (10/9)

JOB OPENING: PR MGR/truTV/NY: Dvlp strats/pitches/off the pg ideas/Secure coverage/Identify opps/Schd talent/ Daily mgmt/5 + yr PR exp in TV/ Exp. launching press for TV series/Social Media savvy/connected/ Resume HERE (10/9)

JOB OPENING: SR RESEARCH ANALYST/BBCA/NYC: Support both Ad Sales and Affiliate Sales to achieve rev goals. 1-2 years exp with Nielsen systems and digital research. Full info/apply HERE (10/9) 

JOB OPENING: MANAGER, RESEARCH/IFC/NYC: 2+ years ad sales research exp at broadcast or cable ntwk. Ability to mentor analysts. Strong familiarity with Nielsen products. Apply HERE (10/9)

CASTING CALL: Companies can showcase their casting notices/casting calls here. For information on rates and specs for posting a casting notice, please email Trish at [email protected]

EXPERT SERVICES ADS: These ads are for companies or people who offer an expertise in the field of media by way of production, voice over artistry, writing, set development, etc. For information on rates and specs for posting an Expertise Service ad email Trish at [email protected]

INTERNSHIPS – These positions are for credit only – nobody gets paid here. These ads are always posted for free, and students work for school credit only. For more information on the specs for posting an Internship ad, email Trish at [email protected].

SITUATION WANTED ADS, POSTED BY THOSE LOOKING TO BE HIRED… There is no charge for placing your Situation Wanted ad… for more information contact Trish Pihonak at [email protected]

SITUATION WANTED: Field Producer 10 yrs + experience working on shows for HGTV, A&E, BBC, VH1. International/domestic travel shows, real estate, true crime, follow, celebrity interviews. Great with story and directing talent. [email protected] (10/14)

SITUATION WANTED: Video Sales Executive 25 yrs + experience in national broadcast/cable sales & management w/print/digital background, relocating to greater New Haven, CT area, seeking sales management opportunity, start-up OK. [email protected] (10/13)

E-mail [email protected] or call Trish Pihonak at 203-899-8459 for rates and specs for Job Openings.

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