10/13/15: Apple App Store eliminates native app-affecting ad blocker; YouTube creates local sites in multiple new countries; Google updates Cardboard VR app


Good morning. It’s Tuesday October 13, 2015, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


Since the advent of iOS 9, Apple has allowed ad blocking extensions into its App Store. But now Apple has drawn a line in the sand: Late last week, the company jettisoned ad blocker Been Choice from the App Store, citing user privacy concerns. “We’ve removed a few apps from the App Store that install root certificates which enable the monitoring of customer data,” Apple told iMore. (Aside from Been Choice, it’s not entirely clear which apps Apple is referring to.) It’s worth noting that user privacy might not be Apple’s only consideration. Unlike other ad blockers, Been Choice claims to be able to block ads within native apps – a threat to Apple, given that apps such as Apple News rely on ad dollars. On Twitter, Been Choice stated its intention to alter its app and resubmit it for Apple’s approval.



Now those are some big…numbers. Liberty Global, the international cable company chaired by John Malone, has paid £7 million ($10.8 million) for a stake in Bigballs Media. Bigballs is best known as the parent of Copa90, a YouTube channel focusing on soccer fans. According to the Financial Times, the deal values Bigballs at £50 million ($76.8 million). The deal also gives Liberty Global the option of increasing its stake in six months.
The mobile app startup MovieQu has made a deal with advance ticketing site MovieTickets.com. Launched on Apple’s iPhone in July, the MovieQu app can recognize a film based on the sound of its trailer, then immediately bring synopses, cast lists, and other info to users. It can also save the films to users’ queues, and even send them alerts when the film debuts in theaters. And now, users will be able to buy movie tickets through MovieTickets.com, directly within the app. The feature will initially be available only in the U.S.
What, did you think Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key were done making you laugh? The funnymen have wasted no time getting back to work since the conclusion of their beloved sketch show Key and Peele. Peele and Key (bet that’s the first time you’ve ever seen their names in that order) are now set to EP an untitled comedy series starring Vine star Andrew Bachelor (best known as King Bach). Bach will play an undercover cop determined to get back at the bullies who tormented him as a kid. As yet untitled, the series will air on Fox.
Automotive multi-channel network GarageMonkey has entered into a financial partnership with financial services firm Harper. (Harper’s area of focus is YouTube and video content-creators.) Under the deal, Harper will extend credit to any GarageMonkey YouTube channel partner on the basis of the channel’s past earnings. Harper will then set repayment terms on the basis of future YouTube earnings. Cynopsis Digital spoke with GarageMonkey co-founder Joe Franzetta, who explained the reasoning behind the partnership. “A lot of [digital] creators…are trying to build their businesses, but they’re hamstrung by the availability of financing,” he said.


Another day, another digital celeb signing with a major talent agency. WME’s UK team has signed Ben Phillips. The Vine prankster currently has 1.3 million followers on Vine, as well as 3.5 million Facebook likes. WME will represent Phillips in  verticals including digital platforms, book publishing, television, in-person appearances, and commercials.


According to a blog post from YouTube, more than 80% of the site’s users live outside the U.S. So it stands to reason that the Google-owned company just launched more local versions of its site in the Adriatics, Baltics, Bulgaria, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Belarus. In addition to featuring local languages, the localized versions of YouTube heavily emphasize local creators and content. YouTube says that, all told, the site now has local versions in 85 countries.


Google has made some improvements to Cardboard, its VR app. According to the Google Developers Blog, the new Cardboard update “includes a major overhaul of the sensor fusion algorithms that integrate the signals from the gyroscope and accelerometer.” The English translation: The updates will reduce “drift” – a phenomenon where images appear to continue moving even when users have stopped turning their heads. But the most significant aspect of the update is that Cardboard will now accommodate Google Street View. So no more furiously swiping your trackpad: Now all you have to do is look in the right direction.


Boost Your Brand With Social Media Influencers

At a time when consumers trust word-of-mouth over brand messaging, harnessing the powerful online influencers who can share content and encourage action is key. The latest Cynopsis webinar, Finding the Social Media Influencers to Boost Ratings & Brands, on Thursday, October 22, will show you how to identify and reach the tastemakers you need to get to the next level.

Reserve your spot today!.


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) 282, 21, 13, 6754
Trailer Park Boys (Netflix) 130, 11, 12, 1580
Daredevil (Netflix) 100, 36, 3, 1542
House of Cards (Netflix) 91, 17, 5, 2855
Narcos (Netflix) 80, 30, 3, 1641
Hemlock Grove (Netflix) 75, 23, 3, 470
The Mindy Project (Hulu), 46, 28, 2, 633
Sense8 (Netflix) 40, 9, 4, 889
Arrested Development (Netflix) 26, 17, 2, 2307
BoJack Horseman (Netflix) 25, 29, 1, 471
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.
Courtesy of Nielsen, some informative Twitter data from 10/5 to 10/11. Highlights below:
Most-Tweeted Minutes from the Top 3 Series and Specials:
13,500 Tweets were sent at 10:42pm EST on Wednesday, 10/7 about American Horror Story: Hotel after The Countess (Lady Gaga) and Donovan (Matt Bomer) attacked a couple in their hotel room.
11,900 Tweets were sent at 11:23pm EST on Sunday, 10/11 about The Walking Dead as authors Tweeted for the Walking Dead emoji.
12,100 Tweets were sent at 9:32pm EST on Wednesday, 10/7 about Empire after Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) took over Lucious’ (Terrence Howard) Welcome Home party. 
Most-Tweeted Minutes from the Top 3 Sports Events:
25,800 Tweets were sent at 10:57pm EST on Wednesday, 10/7 about MLB Baseball: Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates after the Cubs won their first playoff game in 12 years, beating the Pirates 4-0.
18,900 Tweets were sent at 11:15pm EST on Tuesday, 10/6 about MLB Baseball: Houston Astros at New York Yankees after the Astros defeated the Yankees in a shutout 3-0.
7,400 Tweets were sent at 6:46pm EST on Sunday, 10/11 about NFL Football: New England Patriots at Dallas Cowboys after Julian Edelman scored a touchdown for the Patriots.

This week American Horror Story: Hotel topped the Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings (NTTR) Weekly Top Ten Series and Specials list with 878,000 event-related Tweets that were seen by a Unique Audience of 5.4 million people. In sports MLB Baseball: Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates topped the list with 899,000 event-related Tweets sent in the U.S. that were seen by a Unique Audience of 6.6 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.
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.
(NOTE: A reaction is any Tweet expressing an emotion, whether positive or negative. For instance, a Tweet stating, simply, “I am watching The Walking Dead” would not qualify as a reaction.)
Canvs analyzed the Twitter conversation surrounding the recent premiere of AMC mega-hit The Walking Dead. Here’s what they found:

The season 6 premiere of The Walking Dead drew in a total of 184,069 Reactions, a 54% lower Reaction volume than the season 5 premiere.
23.95% of fans who disliked or hated something about the S6 premiere also reacted to the S5 finale episode.
From 9:10-9:15pm, there were 592 unsure Reactions, where fans expressed how confused they were about the black and white moments on screen during the episode. Fans reacting to this concept drove an overall:
5,308 Reactions, or 3% of overall emotional conversation.
Rick drew a total of 9,823 Reactions, with fans expressing love (30.7%). TWD fans reacted to both Rick and Morgan 2,060 times, expressing how they loved that Morgan was back, and how the two are good for each other.


With budgets for programmatic TV buying set to surge, it’s time to get your team ahead of the curve at the
Cynopsis Programmatic TV Summit. The November 5 conference in NYC offers the latest intel on programmatic inventory, the optimum blend of data and creative, the latest measurement tools, and ample Q&A and networking opportunities with experts in sales, execution and, and ROI. Register here, and you’ll still be in time for the early bird rate!


MTV News has made a heavy digital push since its relaunch in 2014 – and it looks like that’s going to continue. MTV has named Grantland Editorial Director Dan Fierman as VP and Editorial Director of MTV News. Fierman takes over for David Sirulnick, who left MTV News in March. At Grantland, the pop culture and sports site owned by ESPN, Fierman oversaw the production of acclaimed digital content that, among other things, garnered ESPN multiple Webby nominations. So Fierman seems like a good fit for MTV News: According to MTV, the outlet’s digital output reaches 40 million monthly unique visitors.
We Heart It hearts Veronica and Vanessa Merrell. The twin sisters, best known for their YouTube channel, have signed on to become Creative Directors of the photo-sharing-based social network. The sisters currently have more than 280,000 followers on We Heart It. That number will almost certainly grow.


Here they are! The Finalists for the Model D Awards: Honoring the Best in Online Video, Talent & Advertising

Click to see who made the cut. Then come join us on November 13th at the Marriott Essex House for this luncheon celebration!



Glenn Close
dreams of a society that’s more compassionate toward the mentally ill.  And thanks to YouTube megastar Hannah Hart – and her 2 million subscribers -more people will have a chance to hear her message. Check out Hart’s revealing interview with Close here.

See you tomorrow,
David Teich

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

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