11/16/20: Cynopsis Media Tech Update


Medias First Morning Read
Monday November 16, 2020

TikTok isn’t winding down yet in the US. While Chinese parent ByteDance faced a November 12 deadline from the Trump administration that would have prohibited companies from offering the app, the US government granted TikTok an extension until November 27 to get US national security officials to approve its proposed deal with Oracle and Walmart. TikTok said it hadn’t heard anything from the government about the ban for weeks before the deadline to divest its US assets. “For a year, TikTok has actively engaged with CFIUS [President Trump’s committee on foreign investment] in good faith to address its national security concerns, even as we disagree with its assessment,” said TikTok. “In the nearly two months since the President gave his preliminary approval to our proposal to satisfy those concerns, we have offered detailed solutions to finalize that agreement – but have received no substantive feedback on our extensive data privacy and security framework.”

Instagram unveiled a home page redesign that puts TikTok competitor Reels and Shop tabs in the center position on its new navigation bar. Short-form video app Reels was launched in August, while Shop is getting a boost ahead of the holiday shopping season. “We added tabs for Reels and Shop given how important video and shopping are to Instagram, and how much we’ve seen them both grow,” said Instagram Head Adam Mosseri. “The world is changing quickly, and if we don’t adapt, we risk becoming irrelevant.”

Right-wing leaning, free speech social network Parler was the most downloaded app for much of last week (until Walmart unveiled its Black Friday sales). The app, described as a response to the “ever increasing tyranny of our tech overlords” by investor Rebekah Mercer, surged as Facebook and Twitter began using fact-checking services to label false claims.

TiVo and Comcast are burying the hatchet with a 15-year patent license agreement, effective as of the expiration of Comcast’s prior agreement in 2016. The agreement also resolves all of the outstanding litigation between the companies. “We are very pleased to conclude this agreement with Comcast, one of the world’s leading media and technology companies that is widely recognized for its innovative products and solutions,” said Samir Armaly, President, IP licensing of TiVo owner Xperi. “The agreement illustrates our ability to execute key renewals with our largest customers as the video market continues to experience significant technological and business evolution.” TiVo and Comcast have engaged in patent disputes since 1Q16, when Comcast let its license lapse.

A rapid rise in the number of “power users” consuming 1 TB or more of data per month and continued migration to faster speed tiers are creating new revenue opportunities for broadband service providers, according to the Q3 2020 OVBI (OpenVault Broadband Insights) report from OpenVault, which provides a breakdown of the outsized impact of power users and gigabit speeds on network capacity, particularly in the upstream. In Q3:
· The top 10% of subscribers consumed more than 34% of downstream and 54% of all upstream traffic.
· The top 1% accounted for almost one-fifth (more than 19%) of total upstream usage.
· Gigabit subscribers consumed 12.1% of downstream and 13% of upstream bandwidth.
“As traffic has exploded during the pandemic, data aggregated from our network management tools confirms the value of usage-based billing in prompting subscribers to self-align their speed plans with their consumption,” said Mark Trudeau, CEO of OpenVault. “Not only does this help operators generate ARPU increases but it also increases the quality of experience and therefore improves subscriber satisfaction.

Spotify is ramping up efforts to monetize its content with a deal to acquire podcast technology company Megaphone for $235 million. Megaphone (rebranded from Panoply Media in 2019) offers podcast hosting, distribution and ad insertion tools for podcast publishers.

Meanwhile, Spotify rival Audible announced a first-look deal with NBA champ Stephen Curry’s production company, Unanimous Media. The multi-project slate, focusing on stories of family, sports and faith, kicks off with two original titles, “The Greatest Sports Story Never Told” and “Fifteen Minutes from Home.” “We are excited to be expanding our Unanimous ecosystem into the audio space, and are proud to team up with Audible to carry out our vision in producing compelling content that will spark conversations,” said Stephen Curry and Erick Peyton, Unanimous Media Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer.

Forty-seven percent of respondents to a survey looking at key challenges for publishers during COVID-19 say their organization “lacks the resources to support the billing and reconciliation process across our customers, causing payment times to increase.” Other findings from the DoubleVerify report include:
* 80% say excessive time spent on data collection and processing from DSPs & SSPs “limits our ability to optimize inventory performance and revenue.”
* One-third (33%) rated their own organization’s campaign delivery process negatively.
* Publishers say ad fraud is one of their top inventory quality challenges.
* “Closing the books is one of the biggest operational drains for publishers, seriously impacting revenue and cash flow at the worst possible time,” said Steven Woolway, EVP of Business Development, DoubleVerify. “Publishers and advertisers need to work together to streamline pacing and delivery discrepancies, and to reduce billing cycles.”

Storelessness during quarantine combined with government privacy regulations and browser/OS data restrictions are driving 60% of marketers to stress-invest in first-party data, according to IAB’s Brand Disruption 2021: The IAB Annual Report on the Evolving Consumer Ecosystem. Other findings include massive growth in directly shoppable media and advertising, as well as FAST, concluding that:
· Free, ad-supported streaming TV is a high-growth medium, and the introduction of shoppable formats will make it quite formidable.
· Directly “shoppable media” — livestreams, social commerce, virtual consultations, and shoppable ad formats — will be the fastest-growing advertising categories for the foreseeable future. Companies including L’Oréal and General Mills are already making the shift.
· This year, global livestream-generated sales are expected to double to $120 billion. In China, one event, Singles Day 2019, generated $2.9 billion in sales

Key announcements at Apple’s “One More Thing” event on Tuesday: The company is building its own chips for Macs (as it already does for iPads, iPhones and Apple Watches), a move Apple says will offer better performance…The new MacBook Air is up to 3.5 times faster than the previous generation, and with no fans, is silent…iOS apps will now be able to run on a Mac…The new Mac Mini is up to three times faster, and with a base price of $699, also $100 cheaper.


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Verizon Media and Walmart are teaming for holiday commerce content. This year’s “30 Days of Savings” expansion is the second iteration of Verizon Media and Walmart’s 2019 holiday season campaign, enabling consumers to experience shoppable content experiences including first look access to deals, gifting ideas and recipes, interactive series and videos and other dynamic content formats from Yahoo, HuffPost, TechCrunch, In the Know, Engadget and RYOT Studios.

Twitter released an update to its Carousel ads aimed at driving web traffic and app installs, with between two to six horizontally swipeable images or videos. Advertisers can create the Carousel ads via Tweet Composer in Ads Manager, or via the Ads API, which are available to use organically or promoted.

Double Verify announced the launch of its Custom Contextual solution for programmatic advertisers. The offering aligns ads to relevant content, aiming to maximize user engagement and drive conversion. DV’s Custom Contextual solution will be available on leading DSPs that include MediaMath, Verizon Media and Xandr. “Increased privacy regulation and the decision by most web browsers to sunset the use of third-party cookies is ushering a shift away from third-party audience targeting,” said Jack Smith, Chief Product Officer of DoubleVerify. “Our Custom Contextual solution draws on DV’s 10+ years of experience in ontology, brand suitability and content classification and applies this to effectively match relevant ads to audiences at key points of interest or intent.”

Canoe Ventures announced its first multi-distributor, linear addressable TV campaign has been launched as part of the On Addressability initiative, founded by Comcast Advertising, Cox Media and Charter’s Spectrum Reach. “AMC is the first national cable network to run multiple ads in a single avail across multiple distributors, using aggregated and deidentified data,” said David Kline, EVP at Charter Communications, and President of Spectrum Reach. “We are excited to help make our network partners’ avails more valuable through On Addressability by allowing them to send more relevant creative, at scale, to households that are most likely to act on it, and therefore make TV more competitive with digital alternatives.”

Adobe Spark
and mobile payment company Square unveiled a campaign for the holiday season to give small businesses a marketing boost. In addition to offering three deserving small businesses a complete digital makeover, Spark and Square kicked off a contest where five small businesses will win $10,000 in media buy credits and a subscription to Adobe Spark premium. The three businesses, Communte Table (Oakland, CA), Shambhala Yoga & Dance (Brooklyn, NY), and MudFire Pottery Studio (Decatur, GA), have been paired with a local designer to help them stand out online, and had their shops digitized with Square Online and QR codes. Spark will also release an “e-commerce hub” where anyone can go to access marketing ideas and digital templates around key holiday moments, including Black Friday, Cyber Monday and more.

Connected TV ad impressions grew 55% year-over-year, according to Innovid’s US Video Benchmarks Report. Compared to mobile and desktop, CTV is the only device that gained more video ad impression share, jumping from 33% in 2019 to 41% in 2020, representing a near one-quarter rise (23%) year-over-year. However, despite CTV’s growth, mobile devices defended a narrow lead of 2 percentage points over CTV. Desktop impressions continue to trend downward. When analyzing growth by comparing standard and advanced video impressions, mobile growth fared better with advanced (formats that are personalized or interactive) video (+27% YoY), while CTV dominated standard (+56% YoY).

Allroll, the ad tech company that helps Roku content creators grow their channels, announced a self-serve offering available on its marketing platform. The self-serve option is aimed at providing Roku channel owners with full control over their campaigns and ad spend. “We’re experiencing the explosion of self-serve advertising. And while brands and agencies have a wider choice of self-serve ad platforms, publishers, especially tapping into the CTV environment, have limited exposure to ways of buying advertising to promote themselves,” said Alex Zakrevsky, CEO of Allrolll. “As the Roku audience is growing and more content distributors will be looking for ways to improve their viewership, we’re facing the challenge to make growing Roku channel easier with Allroll self-serve.”

Video advertising platform Unruly struck a global partnership with CTV platform Publica that gives CTV and OTT publishers access to ad pod monetization and automated deal management tools. The partnership combines Publica’s CTV ad serving capabilities, server-to-server header bidding solution and server-side ad insertion technology with Unruly’s global demand and self-service automated deal management tools for publishers.

Dentsu international has partnered with VidMob to offer new a new measurement solution to track creative intelligence and performance. VidMob’s Agile Creative Studio will power dentsu’s Attention Ads Lab, focused on identifying which ads capture consumer attention, supporting brand campaigns across the digital ads landscape including social media, programmatic and OTT/CTV channels. “This global partnership with VidMob gives us the power to change the way that brands think about creative — ushering in a new era of creative data-powered marketing,” said Clive Record, Head of Global Partnerships, dentsu international.


Tubi has been named a launch partner for the PlayStation 5. Viewers will have access to Tubi’s library of 26,000 movies and television series for free via direct integration in the PS5 search interface, and a Tubi featured row that will be available on the video home screen. In the future, the Fox Entertainment streamer will also offer viewers access to live streaming news, weather, and entertainment via News on Tubi. “We’ve enjoyed a robust partnership with PlayStation and are thrilled to continue our synergy for the launch of its next-generation console,” said Andrea Clarke-Hall, Global Head of Business Development at Tubi.

Online Video Platform SendtoNews has entered an agreement to add Future plc’s digital video content from their brands, including TechRadar, GamesRadar, Space.com and Tom’s Guide. Future will leverage the SendtoNews online video platform to add to their existing audience of over 260+ million worldwide viewers. “This agreement with SendtoNews extends the reach of our most popular video content to entirely new audiences,” said Claire MacLellan, COO, Future plc. “By teaming with STN, we’re excited to bring an even more powerful experience to our audience, and in turn, grow our brand through contextually relevant editorial placements on their platform.”

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment announced the collaboration between Crackle Plus and Amagi to power the linear channel experience for Crackle, Popcornflix and other FAST platforms. At launch, Crackle and Popcornflix linear channels will be available on platforms like Plex and VIZIO Watch Free, with additional platforms and channels expected to be announced soon. “Launching free linear channels is the next phase in making our streaming services Crackle and Popcornflix more ubiquitous and accessible to a growing number of viewers,” said Philippe Guelton, President of Crackle Plus.

VENN, the live streaming network for gaming and entertainment, announced a new syndication deal for its content through the Microsoft News ecosystem.co. Under the non-exclusive partnership, clips from VENN’s various series, including “Locked In,” “The Download” and “Guest House,” will be shared on MSN ESports, a new part of Microsoft’s global content ecosystem. “We are looking forward to providing exclusive content that helps power the exciting new MSN ESports hub, while at the same time continuing our goal of expanding VENN’s footprint through top tier syndication and distribution partners,” said Ben Kusin, VENN’s Co-founder and Co-CEO.

HyperX has added 25 global influencers to its HyperX Heroes program. “What started out as the initial introduction of the WE’RE ALL GAMERS campaign has grown to become a worldwide HyperX Heroes program, uniting popular streamers, content creators, celebrities, esports stars and well-known athletes through their passion for gaming,” said Daniel Kelley, Director of Corporate Marketing, HyperX. “As gaming lifestyles and cultures collide with the worlds of sports, fashion, gaming, music and more, we continue to prove that HyperX is a champion of all gamers through our extensive HyperX Heroes roster.”

Dish Network is taking Sling Media’s Slingbox servers offline in two years. “We’ve had to make room for new innovative products so that we can continue to serve our customers in the best way possible,” said the company.

Demand for OTT content is up 80% year-over-year on Comcast’s platforms, said Rebecca Heap, SVP of Entertainment and Video at Comcast, at the Stream TV Show. Comcast spent about seven weeks focusing on free previews of premium services near the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the spring, Comcast’s annual Watchathon extended across X1 along with Stream, Comcast’s mobile video service, and Flex, and was the company’s biggest Watchathon ever. “We will continue to lean in,” said Heap. “We’ve got free TV week coming up later in November and you’ll see a rolling cadence of free, ungated promotional periods going forward,” she said. “It is critical to our strategy.”

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Check out more jobs in Cynopsis Classifieds »
Job of the day

Seeking VP, Mktg for the Americas region, to design/implement an audience-led mktg/media strat to dev/enhance the commercial relationship between BBC Studios and its global strategic customers. Must have proven track record within a global Mktg envir, focusing on customer engagement and strong customer brand relationships. Full info HERE (11/24)

EMERGING NETWORKS, LLC/REMOTE: Responsible for development and growth of web, mobile and social platforms. As well as, all overall support for all digital content efforts and tactical responsibilities as it relates to the website and social media strategy. Full info HERE (11/26)

MARKETING MANAGER (Always-On Show Lead) >>
WONDERY/LOS ANGELES, CA: Responsible for developing marketing strategy aligned to business goals to effectively and efficiently launch and maintain key Wondery shows. Must have 3 years of podcast marketing experience. Full info HERE (11/24)

WONDERY/LOS ANGELES, CA: Responsible for developing and executing media strategy including planning, analyzing and optimizing media campaigns. Must have media-buying experience and a passion for podcasts, audio storytelling and entertainment content. Full info HERE (11/24)

A+E NETWORKS/NYC: SME within the Consumer Mktg & Media team. You will develop and manage owned media strategy for the LIFETIME/LMN brands. Partner with Planning, Digital Media and On-Air Scheduling teams. 7yrs exp managing Owned Media within an Entertainment firm with deep knowledge of entertainment landscape, including competitive set and non-linear platform. Full info HERE (11/20)

NICKELODEON/NY, NY: Hardworking, pro-active and inquisitive Mgr for a newly formed Brand Mktg and Strategy team at Nickelodeon. This role will aid in defining Nickelodeon’s brand mission/values as well as Mktg efforts across series, brand, platforms, emerging media and more. Min 5yrs exp in consumer strategy, digital, mktg or media. Full info HERE (11/19)

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME/REMOTE: Seeking motivated individual responsible for the creation of a WBHOF donor base that will increase donations through donor relationships, contributions, capital campaigns and ongoing fundraising efforts. Proven track record with min 5yrs exp managing/forging relationships with multiple donor sources. Full info HERE (11/19)

JUMA ENTERTAINMENT/Remote: Looking for creative and highly motivated individual to access and clear videos for network prime time clip series. Must possess a love of TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and be able to navigate platforms. Full info HERE (11/18)

A+E NETWORKS/REMOTE: Skilled/detailed oriented Curation and/or Operations professional who is passionate and knowledgeable about digital media curation, metadata and dist of content to 3rd Party aggregators. You will Curate A+E owned media content using internal media asset management tool. Quick learner with a min 2 yrs’ exp in video media operations. Full info HERE (11/18)

NBCUNIVERSAL OWNED STATIONS & AFFILIATE RELATIONS/DALLAS-FORT WORTH: The Arthouse, NBCUniversal’s Owned Stations’/Telemundo Stations’ internal design team who supports newscasts is seeking a Sr. Designer with a broadcast design background, solid conceptual skills and 3D expertise. Min 4yrs exp, must be able to work on individual assign and team projects. Full info HERE (11/17)

JUKIN MEDIA/NEW YORK, NY:Seeking an individual who can combine creativity and strategy with a deep understanding of the digital media sales process. Must be able to work with clients, with a min of 2 yrs in advertising/media and a proven track record of building strong client relationships. Full info HERE (11/16)

BBC STUDIOS/LA, CA: Resp for managing sales/co-prod activity in the fiction genres, with clients across both TV/digital. Need to deliver against a stretching bus plan and budget, maximizing the BBC Studios Catalogue through licensing and co-producing programme rights in the US for TV/VOD. 5yrs exp in programme dist, with an understanding of the UK TV industry. Full info HERE (11/16)

Newsmax Media/NYC:
Responsible for designing and building shows, managing show hosts and production team, identifying and integrating guests, overseeing and executing the production of key video & graphic elements. 3+ yrs EP exp or political news & talk programming. Full info HERE (11/15)

Newsmax Media/NYC:
Write for fast paced news and opinion show. You are an exceptional storyteller with a command of political news and cultural trends. At least 3 years of national or large market local news experience. Full info HERE (11/15)

Newsmax Media/NYC:
Responsible for the production and execution of live political news programming, and recorded video segments for television, and digital platforms. 3+ yrs experience line producing. Full info HERE (11/14)

Newsmax Media/NYC:
Responsible for the production of live news & talk show, and recorded video segments for television, and digital platforms. 3+ yrs in TV news and/or talk production. Full info HERE (11/14)


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