10/24/14: Zach Galifianakis gets awkward with Brad Pitt in latest ‘Between Two Ferns,’ SnapChat says no to native advertising, Facebook launches ‘Rooms’


Good morning. It’s Friday, October 24, 2014, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


Netflix announced that new original series Bloodline is set to premiere in March 2015. The 13-episodes ordered will be created by Damages team Todd A. Kessle, Daniel Zelman and Glenn Gessler and produced by Sony Pictures Television. The series is set in Florida and revolves around a family of four adult siblings whose dark secrets emerge when their outsider brother returns home. The cast includes Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights), Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises) and Linda Cardellini (Mad Men).
At the New York Television Festival this week, Founder Terence Gray announced the launch of NYTVF Productions with partners A+E, FOX, History and The Orchard. Projects will include pilots from winning scripts within the categories of: A+E Unscripted Development Pipeline, FOX Comedy Alumni Program, HISTORY Unscripted Development Pipeline and The Orchard GO Project (for a six-episode series). The NYTVF has partnered with A+E, FOX and History for the past ten years on this effort; The Orchard is the newest to join the team.
Just when you think he couldn’t top his interview with President Obama, Zach Galifianakis brought on Brad Pitt as his guest in the newest Funny or Die episode of his web talk show, Between Two Ferns. B2F nabbed an Emmy this year, but had not released a new ep since the Obama interview in March. Galifianakis did not shy away from any awkward moments, whether comparing Pitt’s relationship with wife Angelina Jolie to that of Ross and Rachel on Friends or referring to Pitt’s latest movie as Furry – instead of Fury.


Discovery Channel will showcase The King of the Highwire star Nik Wallenda as he walks his steepest walk yet between skyscrapers in Chicago on Nov. 2. To bring the audience even closer to Wallenda, Discovery launched SkyscraperLive.com for viewers to access the multiplatform experience of the stunt before it airs at 7p ET. In the Wired In feature, viewers will access behind-the-scenes updates live from Chicago, a real-time EKG of Twitter activity along with Vine video coverage of the event. Viewers can also watch the Road to Skyscraper video series leading up to the walk.
Emmy-nominated AOL series The Future Starts Here with Tiffany Shlain premiered the first four episodes of the second season yesterday. The show stars Webby Awards founder and filmmaker Shlain talking about how technology and science influence the way people live. Additional episodes of the series will be released on Nov. 19 and Dec. 3 on AOL ON Originals platforms.
Media-focused blogging site Tumblr rolled out new video features yesterday. The Yahoo acquired platform is ramping up its video player to include video autoplay on web and mobile, video-looping (think Vine), a pop-out video player, and “floating” video that continues to play through page scrolling. Variety reports the move is meant to attract YouTube creators to the platform, and keep up with competition from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Broadcasters won another big round against Aereo. A U.S. District judge issued an injunction Thursday prohibiting the service from “streaming, transmitting, retransmitting, or otherwise publicly performing any Copyrighted program over the Internet.” One clause, specifying streaming was enjoined “while the Copyrighted Programming is still being broadcast,” leaves the issue of time-shifted delivery up in the air. The Supreme Court ruled in June that Aereo’s grabbing of over-the-air TV signals for its subscribers was a violation of public performance rights.
Pivot wants to take viewers for a ride. The Participant Media net and its digital social action platform, TakePart.com, are teaming with on-demand ride share app Lyft to encourage riders to #JustVote in the mid-term election November 4 by offering new Lyft users a freebie. “If you don’t get to the polls to vote your voice doesn’t count,” said TakePart Live co-host Jacob Soboroff. “I’m excited to have Lyft on board to close the last mile so there’s no excuse.”


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Facebook launched a new app called Rooms, which connects people based on similar interests rather than social links. The app will feel similar to message boards and web communities, and will include feeds of photos, videos, texts and forums relating to a topic. Those who join Rooms will not have to provide their real names, but can choose pseudonyms, a big departure for Facebook.


As SnapChat slowly introduces its first advertisements, the photo-disappearing app is not looking to jump into native advertising, says COO Emily White, according to The Wall Street Journal. “We are different than other traditional social networks,” White said at GroupM’s What’s Next conference. SnapChat will give its users “space” from brands, and only include ads in their “recent updates” feed – and not in their personal conversations. “It’s getting really confusing to users,” White continued. “They don’t like to be tricked.” On the other hand, Facebook and Instagram have heavily invested in native advertising initiatives in the past year.
Turkish Airlines will team with distribution network Rightser in a new branded content campaign featuring YouTube celebs. The campaign will bring Devin Supertramp, Damian Walters and eight others to Istanbul where they will attend a “Turkish fortune telling event” and embark on journeys on the airline that they will then document. The videos will live on Turkish Airline’s YT channel until the end of November.


Unruly partnered with the Index Exchange from ad tech firm Casale Media to deliver programmatic buying on the new UnrulyX platform. “Our RTB integration with Index Exchange provides publishers on our platform with direct access to a broad swath of premium programmatic demand from leading platforms, including Varick Media,” Unruly CEO and Founder Scott Button said. “With programmatic video ad spend set to reach $3.64 billion by 2016 in the U.S. alone, the connection of UnrulyX to leading DSPs means that Unruly’s viewable video inventory can now be bought programmatically by all major agency trading desks.”


announced new appointments and promotions yesterday. Andrew Horlick was promoted to Vice President of Sales, hired Debbie Sorich as West Coast Sales Director, Jennifer Zeidler as Account Manager and Michael Logan as East Coast Sales Director. Horlick was previously Eastern Region Vice President of Sales, and prior to Bidtellect he managed New York sales for Collective. Sorich was previously the Western Regional Sales Director at AddThis. Zeidler was formerly with Opera Meda Works, where she trained and managed new employees, international vendors and outsourced teams. Logan has been an online industry vet for the past 15 years.
Magnet Media hired Carolyn Strand as Director of Business Development. She joins Magnet from McMurry/TMG, where she was Vice President of Content Marketing.


Check out Cynopsis Digital’s tune-in guide categorized alphabetically by platform or network. Programming includes digital premieres, ongoing shows, live-streamed events and linear TV digital integrated series.

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To promote the latest season of Jerry Seinfeld’s web series Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, Crackle debuted a new video with Seinfeld and the Crackle President (played by Michael Richards) about the service’s competitors: “Snap” and “Pop.” Richards, of course, played Kramer in Seinfeld, the long-running NBC series; the new season of the show premieres on Nov. 6. Check out the video at www.cynopsis.com/#video.

See you Monday,
Jessica Reese  @JMarieReese

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JOB OPENING: TV Host with beauty expertise/interest. Represent Tatcha Skin care on QVC. 250 shows a year so must be located w/in 2 hrs of West Chester, PA. (Phialdelphia) Res/recent photo and on air links to [email protected] (10/30)

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JOB OPENING: METADATA COORD/A+E Networks/Stamford CT: Strong data mgt/Project mgt, 2+ yrs project mngmnt & 3+ yrs exp within dig publishing envir a +. Skilled in XML, XSD, Java. Strong orgnztl & multitasking skills a must. Full Info/Apply HERE (10/29)

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JOB OPENING: ATTORNEY/ ACCESS HOLLYWOOD/NBCU/Burbank: Entry-level attorney position supporting Access Hollywood and Access Hollywood Live. JD and 1 year relevant exp required. Apply HERE (10/28)

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JOB OPENING: RESEARCH DIRECTOR/ANALYST/CO: contributes to decisions at Outdoor Channel via analysis of viewing, digital usage, market and sales data. 1+ yrs exp Analyst or 5+ yrs exp in media rsrch [email protected] (10/25)

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