11/02/20: Cynopsis Media Tech Update

 

 

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Medias First Morning Read
Monday November 2, 2020

A federal judge on Friday issued an injunction that preliminarily blocked the Trump administration’s ban on TikTok in the US, set to take effect November 12. The lawsuit came from three TikTok creators with millions of followers, who argued the ban would infringe on their First Amendment right to free expression, and cause them irreparable harm. “We are deeply moved by the outpouring of support from our creators, who have worked to protect their rights to expression, their careers, and to help small businesses, particularly during the pandemic,” said Vanessa Pappas, Interim Global Head of TikTok.

TikTok isn’t acting like a company that might be shut down in the US it just struck a deal with Shopify for a TikTok channel on the e-commerce platform that enables businesses to create, manage and measure TikTok ad campaigns without leaving the Shopify interface. The agreement includes #ShopBlack, a campaign to spotlight Black-owned businesses.

Apple launched Apple One bundles on Friday, offering discounts on bundles of subscription services. Plans run from Individual for $14.95/month for Apple TV+, Apple Music, Apple Arcade and iCloud with up to 50 gigabytes of storage, to Premier, offering Apple TV Plus, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, 2 terabytes of iCloud storage, Apple News Plus and the upcoming Apple Fitness Plus, for $29/95/month.

Apple is addressing issues with AirPods Pro earbuds, which some users have found make crackling noises. The company launched an AirPods Pro Service Program, to help get faulty devices replaced. Apple said only units made before October 2020 are affected.

Eko is looking for a payout of at least $96.5 million from soon-to-be-shuttered Quibi, and has asked a federal district court in California to issue a temporary restraining order to freeze Quibi bank accounts and assets related to its intellectual property case. Eko sued Quibi earlier this year, alleging Quibi’s Turnstyle feature infringed on Eko-owned patents and that the short-form video service stole trade secrets. “Quibi’s announcement that it is beginning an orderly wind-down changes nothing with respect to the litigation,” said a Quibi spokesperson. “We strongly believe the law and facts are on our side and we will continue to vigorously defend against this meritless lawsuit.”

Google reported a vulnerability in Windows that it says allows an attacker to escalate their level of user access. The attack is “very limited and targeted in nature, and we have seen no evidence to indicate widespread usage,” said a Microsoft spokesperson. The attacks were not related to the election, reported Google.

Verizon Media’s Yahoo unveiled its first smartphone. The purple Yahoo Mobile ZTE Blade A3Y is available for $49.99 as part of Yahoo Mobile’s unlimited phone service, offering consumers pre-installed Yahoo news, sports and finance apps, as well as immersive platforms such as the newly launched “Watch Together.” Among the features: an 8MP rear-camera dual flash and 5MP front-facing camera flash; rear-fingerprint sensor and Face Unlock; and a 5.45-inch 720HD display.

VIZIO has made changes to its organizational structure designed to accelerate the growth of its SmartCast operating system and advertising business, with data subsidiary Inscape folding all resources and operations into the VIZIO Platform business. Michael O’Donnell has been named the Chief Revenue Officer of the VIZIO platform business; he led the adoption of VIZIO Ads’ direct-to-device ads business since its launch in December of 2019.

Mobile viewing on a smartphone or tablet now accounts for over 40% of all video consumption hours among Gen Z heads of US broadband households, compared to 20% among all heads of US broadband households, according to a study from Penthera, “OTT Video Viewership: The Role of Mobile.” On average, Gen Z consumes 43 hours of online video per week,13 hours more per week than prior generations; and younger generations subscribe to OTT services at a much higher rate than older generations, found the study. Over 90% of millennials and over 95% of Gen Z subscribe to such services.

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM GAMUT

GAMUT TOTAL
THE LEADER IN LOCAL OTT

Brand-Safe Premium Content From 100+ Networks
Highly-Engaged OTT Audiences with Buying Power
Data-Driven Local Solutions that Scale

GAMUT helps advertisers find, target & engage
with local OTT audiences at scale, in every DMA

ADVERTISE WITH US

One day away: Election-related YouTube searches on Election Day will be stamped with a label, “Results may not be final. See the latest on Google,” with a link to a page with “authoritative” AP election results data, said YouTube last week. In addition, “We’ll continue to elevate authoritative sources, including news publishers like CNN and Fox News, for election-related news and information queries in search results and ‘watch next’ panels,” according to YouTube. “Our recommendations systems will also keep limiting the spread of harmful election-related misinformation and borderline content.”

Meanwhile, Twitter has been putting messages at the top of users’ feeds in an attempt to counter misinformation about voting and the election. “We’re introducing ‘pre-bunks’ for some of the most common misleading claims about #Election2020,” tweeted Twitter’s Head of Site Integrity, Yoel Roth. “Research shows that getting ahead of misinformation is a powerful way to build resilience. Excited to see this application of inoculation theory in practice.” Messages include information like voting by mail is safe and secure, and results may be delayed for legitimate reasons.

The re-launch of T-Mobile’s TVision pay-TV service includes a new Android TV-based streaming device, and new programming tiers. The $50 TVision Hub is an Android TV dongle with a Google Assistant-powered voice remote as well as dedicated buttons for YouTube, Netflix and TVision’s live guide. The device also includes Bluetooth support and Google Play for access to third-party streaming apps.

IMT Software, a division of Integrated Media Technologies, announced an API-based integrated solution with Dalet’s Ooyala Flex Media Platform aimed at simplifying the secure transfer of artificial intelligence and machine learning workflow content to the cloud. The joint solution will address media asset data management requirements by streamlining the transfer of large data workflows while delivering a simplified data movement approach for creative content. Post-production and media services customers will be able to predict the cost and time to move files before a storage transfer.

Facebook is diving into cloud gaming, with free-to-play games launching in beta on its desktop website and Android app. Users can play a game streamed from Facebook’s data centers without having to download the game on their device. Apple devices, however, are excluded. Why so? “We have a great app,” said Jason Rubin, Facebook’s VP, Special Gaming Initiatives. “We would have to use Apple’s technology and browser on iOS, and that isn’t optimized to the benefit of cloud games.”

Amagi, the cloud-based technology company, announced it has partnered with Latin concert channel Tarima. Amagi deployed its cloud playout platform, Cloudport, to create a feature-rich linear music channel experience. “The benefits of moving our entire broadcast operations to the cloud was already clear to us,” said Leiyan Cotayo, co-founder, Tarima TV. “However, we needed a platform that could give us the technology edge to add more vibrancy, color, and vividity to our programming through attractive and compelling graphics features. After all, we are a Latino music channel and our viewers expect to see us bring to life the underlying spirit and culture to a TV screen.”

3Q20 REPORTS

Earnings per share for Google parent Alphabet rose to $16.40 from $10.12 for the quarter, handily beating estimates of $11.37. Facebook also had good news, with a reported net income of $7.8 billion, a rise of 29% from the year-ago quarter. “We had a strong quarter as people and businesses continue to rely on our services to stay connected and create economic opportunity during these tough times,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Amazon crushed expectations, with revenue of $96.1 billion, up 37%, and earnings of $6.3 billion. Apple reported fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday that slightly exceeded Wall Street expectations ($64.7 billion versus $63.70 billion), but investors did not receive guidance for the quarter ending in December.

Twitter also posted better than expected 3Q20 results, with revenue up 14% to $936.2 million, from $823.7 million, and users up 29%, to 189 million, while predicting uncertainty over the future, days before the presidential election. It is “hard to predict how advertiser behavior could change,” warned to company.

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Lotame announced the launch of Lotame Panorama ID, a global, people-based identity solution for a cookieless open web. Powered by Lotame’s graphing technology, its identity solution connects all types of device identifiers, associated individual behaviors, and privacy choices into a single view, without dependence on cookies. “Third-party targeting challenges and mounting privacy regulations have created an identity crisis in digital,” said Andy Monfried, CEO of Lotame. “With our Panorama ID, we’re giving the marketplace equal opportunity to compete, improve consumer relationships, and deliver outstanding, diverse, ad-supported content across the open web and connected devices.”

TVision introduced its new CTV Ad measurement platform at the virtual ARF OTTxScience conference. The platform enables advertisers to measure and optimize campaign effectiveness across streaming applications without tags, so they can measure their own campaigns and track competitors’ campaigns. “The market is increasingly interested in allocating budget to CTV advertising, but marketers are challenged with measuring the effectiveness of these ads,” said Yan Liu, CEO of TVision. “New approaches to TV advertising require new approaches to measurement.”

Cloud advertising marketplace Kubient unveiled the modernized digital advertising infrastructure and operations for news agency, The Associated Press. Kubient worked with The AP to evaluate and streamline its internal ad operations and techstack and uplevel its data analysis. Within three weeks of implementing Kubient’s Audience Cloud technology, The AP increased its prebid revenue by 80% and its monthly video revenue increased by 500%. “We partnered with Kubient to gain a better understanding of the data behind our content,” said Julie Tucker, VP of Global Marketing at The Associated Press. “Kubient was able to unlock the patterns of our readers’ engagement so we can now make the most informed decisions and investments around our customer acquisition strategy.”

STREAMING

FOX News Media’s international streaming platform FOX News International has expanded its distribution to 27 countries worldwide, including Costa Rica, Ireland, Norway, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia and Iceland. The streaming service, which provides viewers with Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network’s live linear feed along with a catalog of 20 on-demand programs, will also launch on the Amazon FireTV platform in all countries, excluding Mexico, and continue to be accessible via iOS, Android, AppleTV and AndroidTV in all 27 countries.

Middle Eastern streaming service Shahid VIP has launched in the US and Canada. Broadcaster MBC Group started the service in the MENA region in January 2020, then rolled it out in the UK and Europe. “Shahid VIP’s launch in North America delivers a line-up of top-rated series and movies that will make Arabic speakers feel very much at home,” said Luis Duran, Chief Commercial Officer of Shahid VIP.

Anime content provider Funimation is partnering with Chinese entertainment platform Bilibili to bring the first-ever Chinese anime series, “Heaven’s Official Blessing,” to its streaming service. The anime is based on the series of Chinese fantasy novels first published online by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu. The series with English subtitles are available on Funimation platforms in the US, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

Estrella Medi has launched Estrella News, a 24-hour multiplatform news network. Estrella News debuted this week on Tubi and will appear soon on the Roku Channel and Samsung’s TV Plus, as well as other digital networks.

Netflix is raising the price of its standard tier plan by $1, to $13.99/month, and its premium tier by $2, to $17.99/month. The streamer last raised prices in May 2019.

Disney+ has added a sharing capability on mobile that lets subscribers tap a “share” button on a Disney+ title’s Details page, and select the medium and who they want to share with. Users can overwrite a pre-populated message with a personal message.

Spanish-language romance programming is looking UP. Cine Romántico has been launched by UP Entertainment in partnership with PixL Dos, targeting Spanish-speaking viewers and dual language households. The FAST channel focused on romance is available on Samsung TV Plus and XUMO with plans to expand to other platforms. “We look forward to introducing a new audience to this streaming channel featuring entertaining high-quality romance movies that Spanish language households are sure to love,” said Charley Humbard, CEO and founder, UP Entertainment.

AVOD operator Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment announced a Crackle app will be available to Cox Contour TV and Contour Stream Player customers. “This app launch on Cox is another example of our goal to expand the places Crackle can be accessed by viewers,” said Philippe Guelton, President of Crackle Plus.

Rakuten Viki, a streaming service for Asian content, announced a new functionality on its desktop platform that enables viewers to host their own private Watch Parties for friends and families in the United States. Following an initial summer rollout, the new Watch Party feature lets users to schedule their Watch Party from a selection of programs, without the assistance of auxiliary apps and services.

Quickstream, a provider of software-defined, cloud-based solutions for live video, announced the release of its Quickstream Cloud product. The Quickstream Cloud solution is a live video cloud solution designed for the delivery of broadcast-quality feeds globally to any partner in 15 minutes. Quickstream Cloud acts as a live global video exchange network, enabling effective live video contribution in the cloud. As a SaaS offering, customers can sign up, connect with Quickstream Cloud and exchange live content in an instant, on-demand fashion. The product builds on the company’s flagship product, Quickstream Node gateway.

The biggest deterrents for viewers of pirate sports streams are the fear of disruption to their viewing, and the risk of legal and social consequence, according to a report from video software provider Synamedia, “Tackling Sports Piracy in an IP World.” Consumer education won’t curtail piracy, the study found – three quarters of the sports fans surveyed already believe piracy is morally wrong yet they continue. Instead, the report asserts that a more effective approach is to make pirate streams so unreliable that consumers lose trust in the service while making legitimate services more attractive.

Endavo Media has enhanced its Virtual Live Event Platform with updates including the ability to easily program scheduled livestream events with pre-recorded content, live slots, marketing and promotional slates and advertising; as well as the ability to monetize the programming and incorporate interactive engagements. Endavo’s upcoming fall schedule includes two Halloween events: The Dark Zone Live on Queen Mary and The Murder House. “On the heels of our work streaming the Democratic National Convention this summer, we have seen a tremendous uptick in demand for live virtual events,” says Paul Hamm, founder and CEO of Endavo.

Whip Media Group today announced that Pluto TV has selected Whip Media’s Content Value Management platform to help manage growth for its AVOD business. Whip Media says its CVM platform will enable Pluto TV to streamline back-office operations to identify new opportunities, better understand content value, manage rights, ingest catalogs of titles and optimize order management.

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Seeking proven on-air reporter, in possession of an already-developed contact list, including many “who’s who” leaders in Congress, and related government agencies. Min 3yrs exp with outstanding writing/production skills. Full info HERE (11/4)

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