10/14/14: Fusion and Maker Studios announce cross-platform partnership, Crackle’s ‘Sport’s Jeopardy! With Dan Patrick”; hits one million streams, Sky invests in Pluto.TV


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Good morning. It’s Tuesday, October 14, 2014, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


Fusion and Maker Studios announced a new cross-platform partnership to bring Maker branded programming to TV and extend Fusion’s web presence. Fusion will premiere the “Maker Block,” featuring themed content across the MCN beginning with a “Best of 2014” special. Maker will help manage Fusion’s YouTube channel in return. As reported yesterday, Maker’s content will also begin airing on the Disney Channel and Disney XD in programming specials, too. Maker was recently acquired by Disney, and Fusion is a joint venture between Disney’s ABC News and Univision  making this the second corporate relationship announced in two weeks.

British broadcaster Sky invested $500,000 in online video platform Pluto.TV. The affiliation is another of Sky’s ongoing investments in U.S. tech startups like Roku and native-ad firm Sharethrough. “This partnership enables Sky to draw on the groundbreaking work Pluto.TV is doing to help viewers discover and enjoy the best of online TV…as we learn about new trends in the way people watch TV, we looking forward to sharing our own expertise in content creation, packaging and promotion,” said Sky Director, Corporate Business Development Emma Lloyd.

Netflix signed a deal with CBS Studios International and Showtime to give subscribers in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium and Luxembourg first-window rights to series from the nets. Showtime will release Penny Dreadful, and CBS will license early seasons of current shows Elementary, Under the Dome, Ray Donovan along with Dexter, Deadwood and Jericho.

Dolby Institute collaborated with Collective Digital Studio and Rocket Jump Studios for the third season of Video Game High School (VGHS), which premiered yesterday. Dolby provided sound design and mixing for viewing on multiple devices. “[Co-creators] Freddie and Matt invited us to get involved at a critical point in their process: before the series was filmed,” Dolby Institute Director Glenn Kiser told Cynopsis. “On the strength of their writing and vision, Dolby jumped on board, and that allowed us to have maximum impact to make the sound as compelling as their visuals.”

Warner Bros. Korea launched a VOD service to push out films before their theatrical debut in the country. The service will launch on three IPTV’s with Blended on Oct. 16, as well as Tammy and Jersey Boys. The three big IPTVs in Korea include KT, Olleh TV and LG U+tv, which boast more than ten million subscribers and expected to surpass cable next year, according to Variety.

Digital content distributor Electric Sheep launched a new web platform called The Ocean Society for yachting’s 12th annual Volvo Ocean Race. Fans can watch the eight-month race (started Oct. 11) and track teams on TOS, along with video from the Nautical Channel.


Crackle’s new original series Sports Jeopardy! With Dan Patrick has hit more than one million full-episode streams since it kicked off on Sept. 24, according to The Wrap. The show has released just three episodes, but has already featured Jeopardy’s Alex Trebek as a special guest. New episodes are available to stream every Wednesday all year long (52 eps) on Crackle platforms.

MTV and Applebee’s launched the second year of Ultimate Fan Experiences campaign with Maroon 5 yesterday. Beginning with a series of spots across MTV channels, the ads will push fans to UFE.MTV.com to enter. Last year’s UFE brought in 62,000 entries thanks to One Direction’s involvement; Miley Cyrus snagged 61,000.

On pause since its Supreme Court defeat in June, Aereo is working to make the case that it should be classified as a pay TV service. In a blog post Monday, CEO Chet Kanojia said the company filed an ex-parte notice disclosing conversations with the FCC supporting a category of online video services that deliver linear channels of video programming within the regulator’s definition of Multichannel Video Programming Distributor. “We believe that clarifying the MVPD definition to narrowly include linear online video services like Aereo’s would have clear benefits to consumers, creators and distributors alike,” wrote Kanojia.



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Evolve Media debuted a video ad solution that emphasizes engagement and guaranteed video viewability called INglide. The new tool of Evolve’s INgagement suite uses a cursor rollover function to activate sound after a user hovers over the content for a minimum of one second. “INglide allows us to deliver pre-roll and branded entertainment to consumers who are actually engaged with the content they love,” President and Co-Founder Brian Fitzgerald said.

Multi-channel network Omnia Media and native video marketing and YouTube buying platform Channel Factory launched Content Labs. The teaming will offer marketers targeted distribution on and off YouTube and custom branded content created by digital influencers in the Omnia Media circle. “Big brands understand that premium content creation is only half the solution,” Omnia Media CEO Tamoor Shafi said. “They want performance, which means optimizing earned media and engagement in addition to custom branded content from influencers with strong followings.”


Civolution and film production company Bleiberg Entertainment linked up to have the feature film i-LIVED supported by a second-screen app to use in theaters and at home. Created specifically with the second-screen component in mind, viewers can interact with the app in real-time while triggering events in the movie. “Using this technology, the audience becomes even more connected to our main character,” i-LIVED Director Franck Khaulfoun said. “Rather than distracting from [viewer’s] experience, the app really immerses viewers into the story.” The movie is a tech-thriller about an online app reviewer who takes on assignments that vastly improve his life.


ColSpace Corporation appointed Mike Kelly as Chairman along with a group of executives to its Advisory Board. Kelly was most recently CEO and President of The Weather Channel companies. Those joining the Advisory Board include: Jim Garrity (Wachovia), Frank Cohen (Blackstone Group), David Cooperstein (Simulmedia), Geoff Dodge (AOL), Sarah Fay (Aegis), Wenda Harris Millard (Medialink), Linda Thomas Brooks (gearDigital).

Ipsos promoted Elys Roberts as President of Ipsos Marketing in the U.S. and Steve Girling will become President of Ipsos Healthcare in the U.S. Roberts was previously President of Ipsos Healthcare in the region, and Girling was Senior Vice President and General Manager at Campbell Alliance.

The WWE hired Lou Schwartz as Chief Digital Officer. He was previously the CEO of UUX.



Cynopsis Kids Webinar

Branding and Balance: New Approaches for Marketers in the Evolving World of Children’s Programming

Thursday, October 30, 2014 | 1:30PM to 3:00PM ET

We’ll present up-to-the-minute, fresh approaches to trends in the ever-evolving brand integration market for kids. We’ll share the skills needed for all the biggest platforms, from streaming services (like Netflix and Amazon) to web content and offer fresh, inventive strategies so you can keep up with Generation Z … and their savvy parents.



The makers of Sour Patch Kids candy enlisted YouTube celebs in its new branded series Breaking Out, which premiered yesterday. The series is part of the parent company Mondelez International’s push to move ten percent of its global advertising spend to online video along with a one-year deal with Google, according to AdWeek. The six-part series will feature Fullscreen’s YouTube talent, including O2L’s Ricky Dillon, Andrea Russett, Chris Collins and Brent Rivera. Check out the first episode at www.cynopsis.com/#video.

See you tomorrow,

Jessica Reese @ JMarieReese


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