CBS reached a new multi-year licensing deal with Dish Network, ending the satellite service’s CBS blackout. The deal also restores Dish’s access to CBS Sports Network, Showtime, Pop, and Smithsonian Channel. There’s one big hole in the agreement, at least for now: The parties weren’t able to reach a deal to bundle CBS TV Network with Sling TV, Dish’s OTT TV service. The companies haven’t disclosed many details about the deal, which was announced Friday.
Billionaire investor Peter Thiel sold 73% of his stake in Facebook. All told, he collected $29 million from the sale. He’ll remain on Facebook’s board. If you live outside of Silicon Valley, there’s a good chance you hadn’t heard Thiel’s name before last year. But the billionaire gained some notoriety for secretly funding Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker Media, which wound up bankrupting the company and necessitating its sale to Univision. Thiel also prominently supported Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, speaking at the 2016 Republican National Convention. He’s worth $2.6 billion, according to Forbes.
The cast and crew of House of Cards was informed that Media Rights Capital is working with Netflix with the hope of resuming production on the sixth and final season “soon.” A letter from SVP of television business and legal affairs Pauline Micelli expressed appreciation for everyone’s patience, and said the crew will be paid for an additional 2-week hiatus ending December 8. MRC suspended series star Kevin Spacey over allegations of sexual harassment earlier this month, and Netflix said it wouldn’t work with Spacey – which means if and when Cards returns, the plot will be seriously reshuffled.
Q&A: ALLIE KLINE, CMO OF OATH
Back in June, Verizon completed its $4.5 billion acquisition of Yahoo. As you probably know by now, the telco went on to combine Yahoo and AOL, creating an online services division called Oath. Cynopsis Digital spoke with Allie Kline, Oath’s CMO, to get a sense of how that transition is going – and what other companies can learn from it.
When plans to form the Oath division first became known, some observers were confused as to whether or not Yahoo and AOL themselves would be rebranded. It was later clarified that this was mostly happening on the business side – the brands would keep their identities. Still, how has the formation of Oath changed things overall?
The brands and the portfolio still deeply operate like unique assets targeting very unique audiences. But there is quite a bit of collaboration going on across teams, because we’re doing a lot of the same stuff. We’re leveraging things like live experiences and video. We’re putting an emphasis on mobile and global scale. There’s shared experience and learning across the brands. But they absolutely all still do come at the market in a very individual way.
From a marketing perspective, what was the biggest challenge when it came to launching Oath?
It’s twofold. You have to ask, how do you keep your foot on the gas for consumer acquisition for the brands? And in a way that’s very unique and specific to each brand? Because it’s so important that the business keeps growing during a big integration. If you just think of it as, “well, we’re going to integrate for a year,” then your business starts to decline because all you’ve been doing is integrating. Ours is a team, like several of the groups, where you’re integrating and getting to know each other while you’re actually doing the work – which is a challenge out of the gate culturally. But actually it’s a really, really strong way for people to go about integrating. Because it takes the focus off of, “whose process are we following, one company’s or another’s? Whose approach is better?” You’ve got to focus on the work. You’ve got to stay really focused on driving results.
“Fake news” is a phrase that’s thrown about a lot now. How do you avoid being associated with that?
Well, we’re sitting amidst Pulitzer prize-winning journalistic brands. We have over a billion users. We ask ourselves, what’s the target audience that we’re going after? Where are they engaging in real conversations? And how can we be part of that conversation, and add content-based value to their experience? We have the luxury of being a content creator, with the trust of a massive audience around the world. So when you put those things together, there’s a much higher probability for authenticity and not getting sucked into that vortex.
What do you think the future holds? And what advice would you give to other media companies?
I think the trust gap that we’re seeing in this country, around the world, is only going to increase. And the value and importance of brands, and the value and importance of content creation, and content curation, is only going to increase. I think this is the tip of the iceberg. And so if you’re only making a platform play, with no curation, or no authentic voice, or no original content, I think that’s a very challenging place to be. That doesn’t mean that every media company needs to go out and hire ten thousand journalists. But it does mean that how you approach corporate development and partnerships is going to be critical going forward. How you ensure and look at what’s happening on your platforms is going to be increasingly important. It’s fortunate to have a head start on that, just on the basis of our business and our structure, but at the same time that gap is only going to get bigger.
CYNOPSIS WEBINAR: A.I.
Back in August and September, IBM Watson Media used A.I.-powered tools to analyze video and images at the U.S. Open tennis tournament. It was a fascinating experiment, demonstrating A.I.’s wide-ranging potential for broadcasters, publishers, and advertisers alike. IBM’s own Dave Neway will be presenting at a new Cynopsis webinar focused on A.I., along with panelists from Scripps, Mindshare, and ZoneTV. If you’re thinking about integrating A.I. into your own efforts, you won’t want to miss it. It’ll be held on December 6 – register here.
APPS + PLATFORMS
For the second time in 2017, a controversy is causing some of YouTube’s ad partners to suspend their campaigns. This time, it’s thanks to dark, sexual, and violent videos involving kid-friendly characters. YouTube has recently taken steps to make sure such content doesn’t reach children, but those efforts haven’t been enough to appease all advertisers. Brands including Adidas, Mars, HP, and Deutsche Bank have now removed their campaigns from the platform, until they can be assured that their ads won’t appear alongside inappropriate content aimed at children.
Apple will spend a whole lot of money on original programming in the next few years – but not as much as Netflix and Amazon. That’s according to Gene Munster, an analyst for the venture capital firm Loup Ventures. Munster, an Apple expert, projects that the company’s year-long original content spend will reach $4.2 billion by 2022. For Amazon and Netflix, Munster projects that the 2022 figures will sit at $8.3 billion and $6.8 billion, respectively. So far, Netflix’s content spending has significantly outpaced that of Amazon; if Munster is right, that’s destined to change in a big way.
Audience data provider Eyeota has made a new hire. Andrew Tu will serve as Managing Director, Asia-Pacific. He’ll oversee commercial operations in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Southeast Asia, and Australia. Tu has been working in ad tech for over two decades, helping to launch APAC operations at companies including Adify, MSN, and Ogilvy Interactive. As Managing Director of Eyeota’s APAC region, Tu succeeds Trent Lloyd, a company co-founder. Lloyd will now move into a new role, serving as EVP, Global Publisher Strategy and Products.
UPCOMING DIGITAL PROGRAMMING
… for the week of Monday, November 27, through Sunday, December 3
– People Now at People.com, Monday-Friday at 8:30 AM ET and 11:30 AM ET. Guests include actresses Brooklyn Prince and Bria Vinaite (A24’s The Florida Project), the Radio City Rockettes, and singer and TV personality Nick Lachey (ABC’s Dancing with the Stars)
– Netflix: Season 2 of Glitch debuts Tuesday, November 28
– Season 2 of Japanese series Good Morning Call debuts Tuesday, November 28
– Amazon Video: Drama/comedy series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel debuts Wednesday, November 29
– Netflix: Animated family series All Hail King Julien debuts Friday, December 1
– Netflix: The supernatural drama Dark, Netflix’s first original German series, debuts Friday, December 1
– Netflix : DreamWorks Home: For the Holidays, a new animated family special, debuts Friday, December 1
– Netflix: Season 2 of Easy, and anthology series from Joe Swanberg, debuts Friday, December 1
– Netflix: A StoryBots Christmas, a new animated family special, debuts Friday, December 1
– Netflix: Voyeur, a new documentary, debuts Friday, December 1
– Hulu: A finale special for East Los High debuts Friday, December 1
Steve Lightfoot has written for shows including Hannibal and Narcos. He’s also the credited creator of a recently-debuted Netflix series. Which one?
with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)
Non-fiction writer Michael Lewis has written books on any number of subjects. Two sports-centric books he wrote were later adapted into high-profile Hollywood movies. What were the movies? Answer: The Blind Side and Moneyball. Kudos to Andy Pittman-TAMU/TX, Sonie Guseh-Comcast NBCUniversal/NY, Jeff Mirkin Atari MEDIA PRODUCTIONS/CA, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, Lorrie Shilling/CA, Steve Schilling-Stadium/IL, and Aaron Paquette-Screen Engine/ASI/TX