11/30/15: Amazon plans to bundle other streaming services into Prime platform; Apple acquires facial analysis and animation company Faceshift; Disney launches new streaming platform in U.K.


Good morning. It’s Monday November 30, 2015, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.

Watcheroo Premieres and Tune-in Alerts for November 30-December 6:
People Now at People.com, Monday-Friday at 8:30a ET and 11:30a ET: Guests include musician and TV personality Jessie James Decker (Eric & Jessie: Game On), actor Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation), and TV personality Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi (Snooki and JWoww: Moms with Attitude)
Hulu: RocketJump: The Show debuts December 2
SeeSo: NBC’s SeeSo streaming service debuts December 3 for a free month-long Beta period. Select episodes of four original series debut this week, including The UCB Show and The Cyanide & Happiness Show.
Vimeo: Bianca Del Rio: Rolodex of Hate debuts on Vimeo On Demand on December 4


: The next one-stop shop for bundled content? Last week, Bloomberg reported that Amazon is on the verge of locking up deals with multiple on-demand services. Details are still scarce, but online SVOD services, as well as stand-alone on-demand service from cable networks, will likely be included. It seems that Amazon be grouping these services into Amazon Prime, enabling users to access multiple new on-demand services directly through the streaming platform. Reportedly, Amazon is seeking revenue sharing deals with its potential partners; the company would even directly handle customer service issues for its partners, much the same way a cable company would. Content from new partners could go live as soon as December, Bloomberg reported. Variety sources report some video subscription service providers have expressed reluctance to get on board with Amazon’s plans.


Virtual reality is here. Are you ready?

Join Cynopsis on Tuesday, December 8 from 1:30-3PM EST for our latest webinar, Virtual Reality: What Programmers Need to Know Now to Lure Viewers and Advertisers, and get up to speed on how to use the exciting new technology consumers are clamoring for in your media strategy.

Click for more information and to register now!


If anyone can multi-task, it’s the IT guy. Verizon’s Go90 streaming service is launching Fatal Decision, a new comic series from Big Breakfast, CollegeHumor’s TV production arm. The series stars UCB vet Zach Reino as an IT technician-slash-TV action hero. (He assumes both roles in the same office, much to the annoyance of his coworkers.) The show, which is loosely based on a 2008 CollegeHumor sketch, recently soft-launched; new episodes will now debut on Wednesdays, with a total run of 52. 
Nothing’s more expressive than the human face – a fact that Apple is banking on. The company has acquired Swiss start-up Faceshift, TechCrunch reported last week. Faceshift provides motion capture technology that can transpose real facial movements onto animated characters. As of yet, the technology is mostly used in gaming – but it was also used in the new Star Wars movie. And, as TechCrunch points out, the technology carries immense potential in the virtual reality space, which might just be one of the primary reasons that Apple snatched up the company. The financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. 
Sports-oriented MCN Whistle Sports has inked a content deal with online video site Dailymotion. Whistle Sports will work with more than 20 YouTube stars, including Air Japes, Dirty Mike, and Freestyle Factory, to produce original programming for over 26 of Dailymotion’s digital channels.
Mobile ad delivery platform ONE Mobile announced that it has integrated the SDK (software development kit) of third-party measurement firm Moat. According to a release from ONE Mobile, the integration “allows ONE Mobile’s brand and advertising clients to measure in-app mobile viewability, increasing efficiency and transparency across mobile campaigns.” ONE Mobile is owned by Media General.
Non-fiction-focused SVOD service CuriosityStream has launched on the Amazon Fire TV. The service starts at $2.99 per month.
Video technology platform Kaltura has partnered with automotive-centric media company TEN: The Enthusiast Network. Kaltura will power Motor Trend OnDemand, TEN’s new auto-enthusiast-oriented SVOD service. The service is available on iOS, Android, Roku, and desktop.



Want to watch YouTube videos offline? Cool – just hop on the next flight to the Middle East or Northern Africa. Google’s online video-sharing site has introduced offline viewing for the YouTube app in Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Yemen, and Algeria. (Some vids – music videos, for instance – are excluded from offline viewing.) YouTube previously introduced offline viewing Indonesia, the Philippines, and India. YouTube Red subscribers have access to offline viewing everywhere, including the good ol’ U.S. of A.


More news from abroad: Last week, Disney launched its new online streaming service, DisneyLife, exclusively in the U.K. For a price of £9.99 per month, users can access thousands of movies, TV shows, books, and songs, including films from Pixar’s library. DisneyLife is expected to expand globally in the future.
Take this news for what it is: an unconfirmed report from an individual unauthorized to speak on the subject. Still, it’s worth noting: In an email to an inquisitive engineer, an Amazon customer service rep claimed that the company hopes to release a streaming app for the Apple TV, possibly “within a few weeks span.” The news was first posted by 9to5Mac; there’s no certainty that the customer service rep’s prediction was based in accurate information.



Surprise surprise: According to a new survey from AOL Platforms, ad-buyers are shifting big-time cash toward mobile video ads. The survey, called Crossing the Programmatic Buyer-Seller Divide, found that 20% of ad buyers have increased their mobile video spends in 2015. AOL, which polled 31 of its top publisher clients, plus 18 partners that run demand-side platforms, found that respondents’ number one concern when it comes to the success of a video ad was viewability. Audience targeting was at #2. 
Anyone who knows anything about business knows that 51% is still a controlling share. And according to RBC Capital Markets, that’s the kind of stranglehold Netflix has taken on the American population. Over the last 12 months, 51% of Americans have used Netflix at least once, according to RBC’s newest survey. That number is 48% for YouTube. Amazon and Hulu, respectively, clock in at a distant third and fourth, neither of them cracking 30%.



Men’s lifestyle publisher CraveOnline has launched a revamped version of LiveOutdoors.com, its vertical focusing on outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing. The company has also brought on veteran outdoors journalist David Rosenfeld as LiveOutdoorsManaging Editor. The vertical’s advertisers include REI, John Deere, and BFGoodrich.


Shine a light on your team’s work in the
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.




If you’ve ever owned a Rubik’s cube, odds are it’s languishing in a cardboard box in your attic, dusty and unsolved. Want to feel down on yourself? A 14-year old has solved one in less than five seconds, breaking the world record in the process. The moment was caught on video – check it out here.

See you tomorrow,
David Teich

Roberta Caploe: Associate Publisher @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

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