11/09/17: Apple lands original drama series starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon

Good morning. It’s Thursday November 9, 2017 and this is your your first early morning Digital briefing.

Scareware: Scareware is a type of malware that exploits a sense of threat or anxiety to lure people into downloading malicious software. One common example: Popups that fool users into believing that their computers are infected with a virus, then trick them into downloading phony antivirus software that itself is infected with malware.
Roku’s first-ever earnings report was very solid, surpassing analysts’ expectations in every area. The streaming device-maker generated $123.8 million in revenue during Q3, as compared to $89 million in the third quarter of 2016. Wall Street had predicted $110 million in third quarter revenue. The company wasn’t quite profitable, but its net losses amounted to only $7.9 million, down from $12.7 million during the same period last year. Analysts had expected net losses of $12.7 million, matching those of last year’s third quarter. On other notable tidbit: While Roku is best known for its streaming devices, $57.5 million of its Q3 revenue came from its advertising and licensing business. The other $67.3 million came from hardware sales. (Bottom line: Roku may have a more multi-layered and versatile business model than many people realize.) Roku’s stock took big leap after the report, rising by over 26% in after-hours trading.
Chinese internet company Tencent has acquired a 12% stake in Snap, Snapchat’s parent company. All told, Tencent acquired 145.78 million shares of non-voting stock on the common market. The company recently informed Snap of the move. The news came at a good time, slightly mitigating the damage from Snap’s ugly Q3 earnings update. Slightly. The company badly underperformed Wall Street’s expectations when it came to both user growth and revenue, sending its stock falling by as much as 20% in after-hours trading on Tuesday. Tencent’s properties include WeChat, China’s most widely-used chat app. The company also owns the streaming service Tencent Video. Since Snap’s Class A common stock is of the non-voting variety, Tencent wasn’t required to disclose its stake to the SEC.
AT&T’s year-old deal to acquire Time Warner is in real regulatory jeopardy. AT&T CFO John Stephens confirmed as much, saying that the deal now faces “uncertain” timing. Reuters, The New York Times and CNN report that, at a recent meaning, the Department of Justice gave AT&T an ultimatum: sell off the Time Warner-owned TV conglomerate Turner, or sell off DirectTV. The DOJ’s antitrust unit reportedly told AT&T that if the company doesn’t sell off one of those two companies, the government will sue to block its acquisition of Time Warner. (The DOJ’s new moves will lead to inevitable speculation that the Trump administration’s Justice Department is out to punish the Time Warner-owned news network CNN. The president has frequently complained that the network’s coverage of his administration has been unfair.) Even if AT&T must take the acquisition to court, the company could still win that battle. But it’s safe to say the process could drag on far longer than anyone had initially expected.
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The Cynopsis TV Awards: Looking for the best in TV Programming
Winning a Cynopsis TV Award is a symbol of acknowledgement and appreciation from your peers – that your work has risen to the top in entertaining and enriching a broad audience. With expanded categories (check out full list hear) and the terrific year we’ve seen in television, this is sure to be our best year yet! The final deadline is Friday, November 17th

HBO and Steven Soderbergh are out with a new experiment in interactive viewing. Over the course of five nights in January, HBO will air Mosaic, a new six-episode murder mystery series from the Oscar-winning film director. But a new standalone app featuring all of the show’s episodes is already available. Here’s where things get interesting: The app lets viewers watch the show from the perspectives of different main characters. From scene to scene, users decide which character’s point of view to follow. (Users can also go back and watch from perspectives they didn’t pick the first time.) The app also includes additional materials relating to the story, such as voicemails, news clips, and emails between the show’s characters. The Mosaic app was developed with the help of PodOp, a media technology company.
Former MSNBC and Fox News host Greta Van Susteren says she’s launching a new app next week. The announcement came in a Facebook post. Van Susteren says the app is designed to let users vote on whether or not they accept the apologies issued by politicians, celebrities, companies, and even friends. The app, which Van Susteren says will debut on November 14, is simply called Sorry.
Apple’s push into original programming is gaining steam. The tech giant just emerged victorious in what was likely a fierce bidding war, landing the rights to an untitled drama series about the world of morning network TV. Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon are slated to star and executive produce. No word yet on when the series will debut, but it likely won’t be before 2019. It’s the second show that Apple has officially greenlit since hiring Sony TV execs Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht in June; the other is a reboot of Amazing Stories, Steven Spielberg’s TV series from the 1980s. Spielberg is on-board to produce the new version as well.
Netflix is reviving the British crime drama Top Boy. The show’s first two seasons ran on the U.K.’s Channel 4 between 2011 and 2013. (Both seasons are already available to stream on Netflix.) The ten-episode third season will debut in 2019. One unlikely celeb was instrumental in bringing the series back: hip-hop artist and producer Drake, who has signed on to executive produce the new season. Other new executive producers include SpringHill Entertainment’s Jamal Henderson and Maverick Carter, along with Adel “Future” Nur, Drake’s business partner. The show’s original creative team will be in place as well.
BET is launching BROOKLYN.BLUE.SKY, a new eight-episode web series. The show, created and written by filmmakers Dui Jarrod and Rhavynn Drummer, focuses on two distant exes who decide to co-write a script for a TV pilot competition. BROOKLYN.BLUE.SKY will be available exclusively on BET.com. It debuts Tuesday, November 21.
Calling all forward-thinking, strategic executors of campaigns that run on digital platforms! Submit your nomination for the Cynopsis Buyers & Planners Awards by midnight tomorrow. (P.S. it’s free). Just go here: http://ht.ly/KO8330grSPN
Apple is speeding up its development of an augmented reality headset, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The technology for the device could be ready by 2019, and the company reportedly hopes to sell the product by 2020. (Bloomberg points out that the timeline is aggressive, and could change.) While virtual reality presents users with a wholly simulated world, augmented reality overlays digital imagery onto real-world environments. A number of mobile applications, such Pokémon Go and Snapchat, have heavily employed AR in the past – but a headset could potentially offer more sophisticated and realistic imagery. Unlike the current generation of VR headsets, Apple’s upcoming AR device won’t require a mobile phone or an external computer to operate. Instead, it’ll reportedly have its own display, and will run on a newly-developed chip and operating system.
Hearst Magazines Digital Media has opened up a new 26,000-square-foot studio space in New York City. Designed to produce short-form video and multimedia content, the space will allow for five dedicated productions studios, as well as multiple work stations. As reported by Adweek, Hearst plans to have its video producers work closely with the editorial teams from its brands, which include Marie Claire, Elle, Seventeen, and Harper’s Bazaar. Teams from Cosmopolitan.com and BestProducts.com, as well as the branded content unit HearstMade, are already operating in the space.
This milestone was inevitable. According to the 2017 ‘Conquering Content’ study from Hub Entertainment Research, OTT has now surpassed the TV set-top box as the primary platform where viewers watch their favorite TV shows. The survey was conducted in October. It included over 2,200 households that had broadband and watched at least five hours of TV programming weekly. 52% of respondents said they watched their favorite TV show using an online service, compared to 48% who said they used a traditional TV platform. As recently as 2014, it was 64% to 31% in favor of set-top boxes. A major reason for the shift, of course, is that services like Netflix are pouring billions of dollars into original content. In fact, 29% of the survey’s respondents said that their favorite show is on Netflix, compared to 31% who said they watched their favorite show live.
Tubular Top Ten Global Sponsored Videos Monday, October 30, 2017 – Sunday, November 5, 2017. Based on Tubular Video Ratings measuring 8 million video publishers, 3 billion videos, and 400 million viewers. Sponsored videos are ranked by V3, total views in the first three days after upload.

Tweet of the week: @MikezCreezKillz: Good job Astros you guys earned it.
Canvs, the emotion measurement company, analyzed tweets about TV and streaming programming from Nov. 1-7 using Twitter data from Nielsen. Insights from the 2,533,053 tweets expressing a specific Emotional Reaction (ER) include:
– As you’d expect, there was an avalanche of congratulatory messages when the Houston Astros triumphed over the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the 2017 World Series, which was broadcast on Fox.
– Viewers found the tenth season premiere of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Atlanta to be hilarious, with NeNe Leakes prompting laughs in particular.
Larry David’s opening monologue for Saturday Night Live on NBC, which included a joke about concentration camps, sure made a lot of people feel awkward and uncomfortable.
– Fans of AMC’s The Walking Dead were talking about how crazy Morgan has become, especially after he got into a physical fight with Jesus and ended up admitting that he’s “not right” in the head.   
Hearst Magazines Digital Media has named a new Director of Original Programming. The role goes to veteran documentary- and reality TV-producer Eric Leven. Leven most recently spent two years as an Executive Producer for the movie streaming service Tribeca Shortlist. He’s also worked as a producer and director for Vice Media. At Hearst, Leven will create and develop original content for all digital platforms. He’ll report to Michael Mraz, the Executive Director of Partnerships for Hearst Magazines Digital Media. Leven officially started at the company earlier this week.
Our Last Trivia Question: Hulu’s first original kids’ series – a spinoff of Fraggle Rock created by The Jim Henson Company – was recently renewed for a second season. (It waited a long time for that renewal: The show debuted in 2014.) What’s the series called? Answer: The Doozers. Kudos to Andrew Bellamy-Producers Guild of America/NY, Andy Pittman-TAMU/TX, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/CA, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, and Lorrie Shilling/CA
The Doozers isn’t the only streaming series to emerge from The Jim Henson Company. The company also produces a kid-oriented Netflix series focused on vocabulary building. What’s it called? (Email trivia@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)
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I interviewed 4 people who applied through Cynopsis – they were all great and I ended up hiring someone who started today! Thank you Cynopsis for a great, targeted job site for us in the biz!
Tina Tung-Barisic. Executive Director of Marketing. The Dr. Oz Show
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In a new video, the New York Times takes a look at the world of augmented-reality fueled beauty apps. Reporter Amanda Hess dives into whether those apps – many of which seem to come with the built-in message that users should change their appearance – are all that good for society. It’s intriguing stuff –take a look here.
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Responsible for DR media buying, planning and analysis across all clients. Self-starter, good communication skills a must. Proficient in Excel & PP. Team player with good understanding of media and performance marketing. Resume HERE (11/10)

JR PRODUCER/WRITER/EDITOR/ION/Clearwater Beach, FL: Responsible for producing, writing and editing all on-air promotions. Responsible for conception, writing/producing/editing episodic & movie promotional material for mult properties. BA deg comms or related fieldExp w/non-linear editing. Full info/apply HERE (11/10)

JOB OPENING: SR MANAGER, CONSUMER MARKETING /TV ONE/Silver Spring/DC: Responsible for developing and managing TV One’s consumer marketing and promotional campaigns. Strategic thinker w/ minimum 5-8 yr exp in network TV mktg. Strong knwlg African American demographic a +. Full info/apply HERE (11/10)
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