10/28/15: Twitter announces World Series ads, stagnant user growth; Snapchat unveils promoted Discover page; Netflix’s Beasts of No Nation garners 3M North American Viewers


Good morning. It’s Wednesday October 28, 2015, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


During a Q3 Earnings call, newly minted Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced plans to roll out new TV ads during the World Series. But unfortunately for Twitter, the call wasn’t all peanuts and Cracker Jacks: Dorsey revealed that while the company’s revenue is growing, growth remains stagnant. Twitter had an average of 307 million active monthly users in Q3, compared with 304 million in in Q2 – a very minor improvement. Meanwhile, Twitter generated $569 million in revenue during the quarter, compared to just $361 million during Q3 of 2014. And while that still resulted in a $132 million net loss for Twitter, that’s better than the company’s $176 million net loss a year ago. COO Adam Bain also joined the call, pointing out that video growth has been robust across Twitter’s platforms: Views, he said, were up 150 times across Twitter, Vine, and Periscope. Learn more about the call here.
is trying out a new feature. On Monday, the company unveiled a Discover channel full of nothing but multimedia advertiser content, promoting Sony Pictures Entertainment’s new James Bond movie Spectre. There are numerous Discover channels in Snapchat, but in the past marketers have had to place ads alongside publisher content, as opposed to claiming entire channels as their own. It’s still not clear whether Sony’s channel was a one-time test or the launch of an ongoing feature.
For once, Netflix actually revealed (some of) its numbers. According to CCO Ted Sarandos, the Netflix original film Beasts of No Nation has been viewed by over three million people in North America since its October 16 day-and-date release. And that doesn’t even take the film’s cumulative global performance into account – though Sarandos did specify that Beasts was the most watched film in every Netflix country. Still, it’s impossible to assess the overall performance of the film, given that it made only $50,000 from its theatrical release, even though Netflix spent $12 million to distribute it. 


Combining live entertainment with virtual reality? That may sound like an oxymoron, but the NBA, Turner, and NextVR are doing their best to make it happen. Yesterday on TNT, the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors played their first game of the new season. And if you had a Samsung Gear VR headset, you could watch a virtual reality live stream of the game. Powered by NextVR, the broadcast gave users a courtside view. NextVR has experimented with live streaming sporting events in VR before, but the Warriors game marked the first time that a sports league has officially used VR to broadcast an event.


’s got some new content. In a deal with Entertainment One, the service has acquired exclusive U.S. subscription streaming rights to rights to British supernatural miniseries The Enfield Haunting. The three-part drama became available to Hulu subscribers yesterday.
Hearst has partnered with Lena Dunham and Girls producer Jenni Konner. The company will now manage advertising and distribution for Lenny, the pair’s newsletter and website. Hearst will hold exclusive rights to create programs for advertisers and to monetize content in both the newsletter and on LennyLetter.com. And Hearst will now host the latter on its Media OS publishing program.
The closer it gets to Halloween, the more in-demand Eli Roth’s services seem to be. In partnership with Roth’s horror-centric media company Crypt TV, Mashable is launching Urban Legends, a collection of four horror shorts. The videos can be viewed on Crypt TV’s Facebook page. Mashable also has a nifty new landing page for the vids, here.  


Ever since last November, teasers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens have elicited a baffling amount of online debate over the merits of casting an African American stormtrooper. Rooster Teeth has seized on that conversation and then some. Next month, the digital production company will release Troopin’, a family sitcom-style sketch comedy series set within the Star Wars universe (sort of). Heavy into racial themes, the main character is – you guessed it – a black stormtrooper. (Catch a trailer here.) The series will debut in November as part of Rooster Teeth Entertainment System, another Rooster Teeth series.
From contest to trailer to short film in just six months? That’s quite an achievement. Back in April, Canon and Ron Howard partnered to launch Project Imagination, which scoured a group of user submissions in search of the best trailer. Well, the winning trailer has now been turned into The Rusted, a short film starring Josh Hutcherson and Jena Malone. The film can be viewed for free on Canon’s YouTube channel and website.
Multi-channel network AwesomenessTV is rounding out the cast of Before I Fall, an upcoming movie from Awesomeness Films, the company’s recently launched production arm. The production has added five new stars, including YouTube celeb Kian Lawley, Halston Sage (Neighbors), Logan Miller (The Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse), Diego Boneta (Rock of Ages) and Elena Kampouris (American Odyssey). The film, which features Zoey Deutch in the lead role, likely goes into production next month. No premiere date has been set.
Frightpix, a horror film-centric ad-supported streaming service, has launched Lloyd Kaufman Presents, a collection of 20 films curated by the titular Kaufman, a cult horror filmmaker and the President of Troma Entertainment.  Each film will open with an introduction from Kaufman and “Toxie,” a character from his movies.




If you haven’t done so already,



Well, Spider-Man was always fond of photography. And apparently so are YouTube and Twitch stars like Meghan Strawburry17Camarena and Wesley Johnson. They and several other are taking part in #SpideyMurderMystery, a new Instagram project. All this week, the stars will appear in a series of images on Instagram, depicting characters from the Marvel universe. Every day will see the release of nine images, all captured by photographer Michael Becker. Each individual day of photos will focus on one character; the daily photos will ultimately blend together to tell a single story. And as the narrative comes together, more social media stars – including Joey Graceffa and Nikki Phillippi – will promote the project with their own Instagram images.


Amobee Brand Intelligence took a look at the digital content engagement around Monday’s premiere of Supergirl on CBS. Here’s what they found:
Supergirl won the first head to head battle of DC Comics superhero shows. There were 108,378 Tweets around Supergirl between 8pm – midnight on October 26 Eastern Time, with sentiment around those Tweets being 28% Positive, 57% Neutral, and 15% Negative. In the same time period, there were 33,822 Tweets around Gotham, with Twitter sentiment being 23% Positive, 60% Neutral, and 17% Negative.
Jeb Bush
took a lot of heat for calling Supergirl “hot"; and on October 26, the day of the premiere, 9% of all digital content engagement around Supergirl was related to Jeb Bush. 15% of all digital content engagement on the day referred to her being Hot while only 4% of digital content engagement around her referred to Female Empowerment, with 2% of digital content engagement referring to her as a Role Model. It wasn’t just Jeb; people on Twitter discussed actress Melissa Benoist’s looks more than her character’s actions.
With digital content engagement around new TV shows peaking the day after their debut episode airs, Supergirl is far and away the new show generating the most engagement online in the Fall Season. There’s already been more than 3X more digital content engagement around Supergirl on October 27 than around any other new show the day after their pilot aired. Scream Queens generated 27% as much digital content engagement on September 23 as Supergirl did on October 27 while The Muppets generated 23% as much digital content engagement on September 23 as Supergirl did on October 27.
Warning: The Walking Dead SPOILERS ahead.
Amobee also took a look at Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead. (Seriously, last warning: Spoilers ahead.) Between 8pm and 12am EST, around the time when Glenn seemingly died during Sunday’s episode (warned you!), there were 639,693 Tweets around the show. The sentiment around those Tweets was 11% Positive, 55% Neutral and 34% Negative.


Magna Global predicts that programmatic digital ad spend will increase by 43% this year. Don’t miss out. To get up to speed on the latest thinking in data, inventory, measurement, register for the Cynopis Media Programmatic TV Summit, November 5 in NYC. Info is here.



has brought on a new exec. Bob Lord wil serve as Chief Information Security Officer, leading the Yahoo security team in the protection of the company’s more than one billion global users. (Fun fact: Yahoo proudly refers to its security team as “the Paranoids.”)  Most recently, Lord served CISO-in-Residence at the cybersecurity firm Rapid 7.
The media agency Vizeum, part of the Dentsu Aegis Network, has named Shoshana Winter as its new Chief Strategy Officer. She will be responsible for driving collaboration across multi-agency teams. Winter previously served as Executive Planning Director, Digital Integration at mcgarrybowen, Vizeum’s sister agency.
Digital marketing company Adaptly has hired Kelley Gott as Vice President, Head of Strategic Accounts. She will be tasked with developing the company’s brand and agency relationships. Most recently, Gott served as Chief Revenue Officer of social advertising company BLiNQ Media.


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CYNOPSIS Social Good Awards

Media professionals’ commitment to community is honored in the Cynopsis Social Good Awards, recognizing individuals and organizations who give back to the public through innovative linear TV, digital and marketing campaigns. We’ll be celebrating promotions for diversity, environmental initiatives, anti-bullying and much more.



One little boost from Reddit, and suddenly your dinosaur toy-themed YouTube page is a juggernaut boasting 88,000 subscribers and 2.5 million views. Want to know what pure joy sounds like? Then bear witness to this young creator’s emotional outpouring on the day he learned he was famous. Watch it here.

See you tomorrow,
David Teich

Roberta Caploe: Associate Publisher @robertacaploe
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