12/21/20: Cynopsis Media Tech Update

 

Medias First Morning Read

 

Monday December 21, 2020

The Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against Google won’t be settled anytime soon – at a status hearing on Friday, Judge Amit Mehta set a tentative start date of September 12, 2023 for the trial, which is expected to last several weeks. The DOJ’s lawsuit, filed in October, accuses Google of illegal monopolies in its search and ad business. The search giant is also facing two major multistate lawsuits.

Amazon Web Services struck a deal with Twitter calling for AWS to provide global cloud infrastructure to deliver Twitter timelines. Under the multi-year deal, Twitter will leverage AWS’s infrastructure and portfolio of services to support delivery of millions of daily Tweets, marking the first time that Twitter is leveraging the public cloud to scale their real-time service. “The collaboration with AWS will improve performance for people who use Twitter by enabling us to serve Tweets from data centers closer to our customers at the same time as we leverage the Arm-based architecture of AWS Graviton2 instances,” said Parag Agrawal, Chief Technology Officer, Twitter. “In addition to helping us scale our infrastructure, this work with AWS enables us to ship features faster as we apply AWS’s diverse and growing portfolio of services.”

Kantar is also collaborating with Amazon Web Services, in a deal that allows customers to find and subscribe to a range of Kantar products including audiences, ad monitoring, thought leadership reports directly through AWS Data Exchange. Kantar will initially offer data for insights and targeting from syndicated studies such as TGI, MARS Health, Monitor and HomeScores and ComTech Entertainment on Demand, and make available political ad spend reports from its Campaign Media Analysis Group and insights from its global annual Media Reactions study. “The need for normative third party data among enterprise marketers and agencies has grown exponentially due to the trifecta of COVID-19, the shift of entertainment consumption to VOD and digital platforms and impending cookie and browser changes,” said Susan Tillou, Kantar’s Global Head of Partnerships and Audience Activation. “Kantar’s relationship with AWS to activate data and insights is indicative of our continued focus on making Kantar data more accessible to clients, in their preferred data platforms, and for an expanding set of permitted use cases.”

In the latest tech wars salvo, Facebook launched an attack on Apple’s plans to include an opt-in requirement for users of iOS 14 devices granting permission to be tracked for advertising purposes. The Facebook campaign, which targets the ways the new privacy requirement will hurt small businesses, includes a page on its platform featuring testimonials from small-business customers, and full-page ads in The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal for the campaign under the headline: “We’re standing up to Apple for small businesses everywhere.”

Tech giants could face significant fines in the UK if they don’t remove dangerous online content, under the government’s proposed Online Harms Bill announced on Tuesday. Ofcam will have policing power, including blocking online services not in compliance. “Today marks a major step forward in laws that will see powerful tech companies held to account,” said Julian Knight, chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee of the UK parliament’s House of Commons. “The government listened to the case for tech companies to be given clear legal liabilities to act against harmful or illegal content, covered by a compulsory code of ethics and policed by an independent regulator.”

Amazon Fire TV says it now counts 50 million monthly active users on its global devices, a 25 percent increase in since January. The service also updated its user interface to improve personalization, content discovery and voice navigation, with changes including the addition of icons of a user’s favorite streaming apps to the Fire TV navigation bar. The updates will roll out across all Fire TV Stick 3rd generation and Fire TV Stick Lite devices in the coming weeks.

NBCUniversal Television Distribution has partnered with The Video Call Center to bring virtual guests to “Maury,” and “The Steve Wilkos Show,” for the 2020-2021 season. The VCC Caller Cloud service provides hyper low latency video return and IFB mix-minus that enables interaction from guests’ homes using only smartphones and standard video chat apps.

Netflix is testing an audio-only experience for its streaming content via mobile devices. The initial test run is with Android devices and enables users to disable video and just listen to the audio portion of select content.

Spectrum has doubled the starting download speed of Spectrum Internet from 100 to 200 Mbps, reaching approximately 8 million additional homes across 17 US markets. Spectrum Internet Ultra includes download speeds up to 400 Mbps, while Spectrum Internet Gig offers a gigabit connection to the customer’s home. Upon completion, starting speeds of 200 Mbps will be available to nearly 75% of the company’s 41-state service area.

STREAMING

Nearly 70 percent of OTT trialers ended up subscribing to at least one of the trialed services, according to new research from Parks Associates. “Improving OTT Customer Engagement with Smart Data,” developed in cooperation with Salesforce, finds nearly 40 percent of US broadband households trialed at least one OTT service during the Covid crisis. US broadband households spent an average of $16/month on OTT video service subscriptions in Q1 2020, based on consumer-reported spending, and the overall OTT churn rate hovers around 40 percent, according to Parks.

Amagi, a broadcast and streaming TV tech company, will be the cloud platform for Pac-12 Networks’ recently launched AVOD channel Pac-12 Insider. The deal covers program scheduling, cloud playout, delivery and ad insertion for Pac-12 Insider on Pac-12 Now and Pac-12.com as well as third party platforms including The Roku Channel, Pluto TV and Samsung TV Plus.

Allen Media Group’s Local Now appis now available via Comcast’s Xfinity X1 and Xfinity Flex plans. The free streaming service features Weather Channel reporting along with real-time, hyperlocal news and content from partners including Associated Press, Cheddar, Reuters, Thrillist and Vox.

WarnerMedia and Comcast announced the rollout of the HBO Max app on Xfinity X1 and Xfinity Flex. X1 and Flex customers will be able to access the HBO Max app over the Internet by saying “HBO Max” into the Xfinity Voice Remote, or saying the name of a desired title. Xfinity customers will also be able to find the HBO Max app content library integrated throughout the X1 and Flex experience, including in current and evergreen collections such as “Best of 2020,” “Kids and Family,” “Black Film & TV” and more.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle inked a deal with Spotify, via their production company, Archewell Audio. “What we love about podcasting is that it reminds all of us to take a moment and to really listen, to connect to one another without distraction,” said the couple. “With the challenges of 2020, there has never been a more important time to do so, because when we hear each other, and hear each other’s stories, we are reminded of how interconnected we all are.”

Pluto TV launched a new holiday channel, Pluto TV Christmas, featuring holiday shows and movies. The merriment doesn’t end Christmas Day – the service will air marathons daily from December 26-31.

Video on Demand 365, a provider of branded OTT TV channels via Freeview, YouView, Freesat, mobile and smart TV devices, is launching its kids’ channel Ketchup TV in the US. VOD365’s flagship preschool channel will be available via Roku, and also accessible as premium apps on Amazon Fire, iOS, TVOS, Android, Desktop, Android TV with more platforms set to launch Q1 2021.

Funimation, the distributor of anime globally, is now available on Nintendo in the US and Canada, with plans to expand to the UK, Ireland, Mexico and more countries in the coming months. Funimation is only anime app on Nintendo Switch and the second SVOD app on Nintendo Switch.

Music video service Vevo reports it has reached weekend daily highs of one billion global views, with its expansion this year via OTT partners including Samsung TV Plus, VIZIO and Netrange. Vevo’s global CTV viewership rose 30% compared to last year. “In a year when the world grappled with a global pandemic and demanded social justice for all, music was a unifier,” said Alan Price, CEO, Vevo. “On the business front, we saw our audience grow as people watched more music videos than ever before. In part, that’s due to our expansion into the living room, which brought new levels of engagement across our platform.”

Insight TV is launching across streaming platform MX Player’s OTT-service in India, as well as on its international platforms in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Bangladesh and Nepal. The AVOD platform caters to 200 million-plus monthly active users in India.

HGTV Obsessed, a podcast about the lifestyle net, launched Thursday, December 17. Each week influencers and HGTV superfans Mike and Kat Stickler will feature exclusive interviews with the net’s home renovation talent, episode recaps, lifestyle and design tips, games and more.

Fox Entertainment’s free streaming service Tubi launched on the Roku platform in Mexico, bringing thousands of movies and TV to the market.

H A P P Y H O L I D A Y S

Wishing you a safe & healthy holiday season.
Cynopsis will not publish December 24-January 3.
Until then, past editions, jobs center, special reports, & event information can always be found on our
website.

ADVERTISING & MEASUREMENT

FreeWheel has agreed to acquire Beeswax, a software as a service advertising company. Beeswax’s complementary capabilities will help expand and accelerate FreeWheel’s current programmatic technologies. In particular, Beeswax’s bidding technology will allow for FreeWheel users to access broader pools of inventory to fulfill complex campaign requirements. “Together, FreeWheel and Beeswax can further enhance how television operates,” said Dave Clark, General Manager, FreeWheel. “As the ecosystem becomes increasingly complex, sellers and buyers of media want similar capabilities: great automation, simplicity, and the ability to manage data-driven campaigns across hundreds of endpoints.” The deal is expected to close in January 2021, pending regulatory approvals.

Advertising platform Nativex announced a strategic partnership with TikTok. XMP by Nativex is joining TikTok’s Marketing Partners program, enabling users to create, distribute, and manage workflows associated with their campaigns. Users can fully automate creative and campaign management across TikTok and other major advertising platforms. “Marketers and advertisers realize the new audience engagement opportunities surrounding TikTok, and are fighting for a way in,” said Jin Ye, head of XMP, Nativex. “This partnership ensures marketers and advertisers can better execute campaign initiatives through TikTok and achieve greater results.”

Ad optimization platform Madgicx has rolled out a suite of creative intelligence tools designed to improve return on ad spend and other KPIs across Facebook, Instagram and Google. By tagging every element of every ad, and analyzing it through the company’s AI and machine learning technology, Madgicx aims to enable digital marketers to automatically or manually optimize every campaign across Facebook, Instagram, and Google. “Today, most ad optimization solutions can tell you which campaign performed best, and encourage you to increase spend on that campaign,” said Madgicx co-founder and CEO Yahav Hartman, “But that campaign’s performance will drop. Marketers need to know ‘Why’ that and other campaigns are doing well, and ‘What is the next best move’ they can do to improve performance. And they need tools that will execute against this creative intelligence uncovered.”

Software platform DoubleVerify announced that the Media Rating Council has extended DV’s accreditations to include DV’s impression and viewability measurement (as defined by MRC’s viewability standard) and reporting for display and video ads on Facebook and Instagram. MRC’s accreditation of DoubleVerify represents “a major achievement,” said George W. Ivie, Executive Director and CEO of the MRC. “This first of its kind MRC accreditation, which resulted from an end-to-end audit that included elements of both Facebook’s data collection and transmission, and DV’s ingestion, processing, and reporting of that data, can give advertisers and others who rely on it the assurances they need that independent, third-party advertising measurement is achievable today on large digital platforms,” added Ivie.

IAB Tech Lab released the authorized digital sellers list (ads.txt) specification and its mobile app counterpart (app-ads.txt) to address transparency and anti-fraud for CTV and OTT inventory, for a 30-day public comment period, which lasts until January 14, 2021. Through these enhancements, the IAB Tech Lab Programmatic Supply Chain Working Group intends to support CTV/OTT apps in which multiple entities may have ownership rights over ad slots, commonly referred to as “inventory sharing.” The ads.txt and app-ads.txt specs have been updated to include the ability to designate another domain as a trusted partner, and validate the sellers upon a bid request from that partner. “The Connected TV marketplace can be complex and requires a new approach to ads.txt to increase transparency among buyers and sellers,” said Amit Shetty, Sr. Director, Product, IAB Tech Lab. “As Connected TV growth continues to skyrocket, having standards that support these formats is critical.”

Cadent, the advanced TV platform company, announced that media agency Empower is the first customer of its upgraded advanced TV platform. Empower will use the TV mapping technology behind Cadent Viewer Graph as a foundational component for its consumer journey planning platform, called EMerge, which brings the capabilities of digital targeting and measurement to the TV environment. “The ability to leverage Cadent Advanced TV platform to build and optimize audiences within one buying system will provide more relevant, thoughtfully orchestrated cross-channel experiences to our clients’ audiences across screens,” said Jim Price, CEO at Empower. “Cadent’s technology will play a critical role in how Empower’s consumer journey work comes to life in the important space of linear and addressable TV.”

Allroll, the OTT marketing platform for video channel owners, announced the launch of Attriboost, a software solution for analytics and attribution for OTT channels. “The mission of Attriboost is to reveal where viewers are coming from and to track their activity within an OTT/CTV channel,” said Alex Zakrevsky, CEO of Allroll. “Attriboost is easily integrated into your app through SDK and receives detailed information about the actions users take inside the app – things like app installations and launches, session length, purchases, videos they watch and add to favorites, and much more.” The software enables comprehensive reports with detailed statistics within one interface.

The Out of Home Advertising Association of America announced the winners of its 21st Annual OOH Media Plan of the Year awards. This year’s OOH Media Plan of the Year went to Kinetic Worldwide for its Facebook campaign encouraging users to acknowledge and thank frontline workers who are keeping communities running during the ongoing COVID pandemic.

TV data measurement company Samba TV has entered into a deal with TiVo, which Samba says allows advertisers to add reach with regards to TV audience lost to viewers skipping with digital video recorders. “Whenever we integrate viewership data from new brands and platforms, we learn more about how unique each brand and its customer base truly is,” said Samba TV co-founder and CEO Ashwin Navin. “It would be a huge mistake to assume that one brand of smart TV or set-top box data is representative or accurate enough to create a normalized view of the TV audience at large.”

Video ad tech company Beachfront and SeaChange International, which provides video delivery platforms, are launching a linear programmatic advertising solution for cable operators. The real-time mechanism enables Beachfront’s demand partners to automate cable TV ad buying through SeaChange’s value-based Framework video delivery platform.

Ampersand, the audience-first TV ad sales and technology platform company, has integrated 500+ custom Polk Audiences by IHS Markit into the AND Platform, Ampersand’s TV ad planning, buying and measurement. Polk Audiences are available to clients on both the managed service and self-service versions of the AND Platform. “Automotive marketers are recognizing the opportunity that Ampersand’s AND platform delivers in simplifying audience-based TV buying,” said Joe Kyriakoza, VP and General Manager, Polk Automotive Solutions, IHS Markit. “Making our Polk Audiences available on the platform helps auto marketers leverage the most qualified consumers for their advanced TV campaigns with ease.”

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Job of the day

CONTRACTS ADMINISTRATOR
THE JIM HENSON COMPANY
LA

Collect and track pertinent data and information from production, talent, and license contracts, assist with negotiating terms and conditions of contracts and draft initial contracts and revise as needed. Minimum of two years’ experience in a law firm, network, or studio. Experience with guild agreements and/or Paralegal training and certification a plus. Full info HERE (1/14)

DIRECTOR, DATA SCIENCE >>
NBCUNIVERSAL/NYC: Seeking a Director of Data Science who will lead a team of Data Scientists that focus on the design and execution of advanced data exploration, data mining, inference and prediction of multiple traditional and non-traditional media measurement data sets. Expert knowledge of R and Python required, additional languages (i.e., Julia, Java, Scala) a plus. Full Info HERE (1/14)

SR DATA ENGINEER >>
NBCUNIVERSAL/NYC: Looking for a Data Engineer who will be directly responsible for developing efficient data ingestion processes and automated management; develop and operationalize of machine learning models; and building robust data platforms to enable scaling of our products. 4+ years’ experience processing large amounts of structured and unstructured data in a cluster-computing environment required or similar experience in academia. Full Info HERE (1/14)

SR PRODUCER/WRITER, ORIGINAL CONTENT MARKETING >>
NBCUNIVERAL/NYC:
Concept, write, produce and execute best-in-class creative launch campaigns for Peacock Originals for use on all platforms. Minimum 7 years of experience in writing, producing and video editing, experience leading 360° Originals creative campaigns in television or entertainment and Expert in digital video file formats. Full info HERE (1/14)

EVP, GENERAL COUNSEL
>>
CROWN MEDIA FAMILY NETWORKS/STUDIO CITY, CA
Provide strategic legal counsel to Crown Media executives, on matters of the highest profile, impact, complexity or sensitivity and leads the attorney and legal specialist team members. Substantive experience handling and advising on entertainment network legal issues within a broadcast/cable/digital in-house environment is sought. HERE (1/13)

SR. MANAGER, COMMERCIAL CLEARANCE
>>
A+E NETWORKS/NYC: Ensure Ads are compliant with A+E’s policies and federal guidelines during content and advertising review. Liaise with internal Ad Sales executives and external Ad Agencies. 5+ years experience, preferably at a network working in Ad Standards & Practices/Commercial Clearance. Strong familiarity with rules including FDA, FTC and FCC regulations, indecency and trade libel. Full info HERE (1/8)

SENIOR ART DIRECTOR >>
A+E NETWORKS/NYC: Creative point in print, promotion, and marketing from concept to development across A&E, History & Lifetime projects. Must be well versed in managing design principles for both print and digital deliverables. Demonstrated hands-on ability to create key art and design projects from conception to completion. Expert in Adobe Creative Suite software and industry standard programs and software. 5 years experience working for network, film or other entertainment outlets. Full info HERE (1/8)

PLAYOUT OP >>
NEWSMAX MEDIA/NY, NY:
Must be able to perform ingest and playback functions during live and pre-recorded programs. Traffics video clips according to shows’ rundowns. Edits content as necessary. Min 3 yrs exp in executing video playback in live control room environment. Plus 1yr exp with Ross Tria or EVS. Full info HERE (1/7)

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE>>
TELEMUNDO/SACRAMENTO, CA: Responsible for partnering with local clients, both on the agency level and direct, to create innovative and unique mrktg and adv solutions that target a client’s demos and products/services. AE will also need to deliver quarterly results and meeting individual budget requirements. Min 2 yrs direct sales exp with 3 yrs of media sales exp. Full info HERE (1/7)

DIRECTOR, RETAIL DEVELOPMENT, AMERICAS >>
BBC STUDIOS/NY, NY: Resp for building relationships with key retail accounts at the buyer/mrktg levels. Partner with licensee’s sales teams to pre-sell BBCS franchises and meet the needs of key buyers across retail. Build retail strategies that drive brand strategies set by the franchise/licensing teams. 10yrs exp in licensing or entertainment focusing on retail development. Full info HERE (1/7)

TECHNICAL DIRECTOR >>
NEWSMAX MEDIA/NY, NY: Directs, co-develops/delivers locally prod programs and PSA for nat and inter’l audiences. Also oversees prod crew that produces regular, special and live shows related to various political, historical and other appropriate topics. Min 3 yrs exp in directing Live television news, studio-based programming or similarly related professional media productions. Full info HERE (1/7)

VIDEO ENGINEER & ROBOTIC CAMERA OPERATOR >>
NEWSMAX MEDIA/NY, NY:
Exp in configuring and setting up all broadcast studio cameras both manned and robotic for daily use. Maintains network-level camera blocking and composition. Monitors/adjusts video signals including cameras, monitors, playback sources, color correction equip/incoming feeds. Min 4 yrs exp. Full info HERE (1/7)

FEEDS MANAGER >>
NEWSMAX MEDIA/NY, NY: Resp for managing tech/logistical traffic supporting live news shows. Full knwldge of video and tech workflow throughout all locations. Provide tech guidance to help create better video workflows. Ensure all broadcast feeds are meeting specific tech quality standards. Min 3 yrs tech managing, or equivalent knwldge. 5 yrs in live TV prod. Full info HERE (1/7)

GFX Op >>
NEWSMAX MEDIA/NY, NY: Must be able to set up and play out all graphic elements which are included in pre-recorded or live programming. Mnge graphic content as it corresponds to live and pre-recorded programs. Satisfy all production req for live and pre-recorded programming under the supervision of the show’s director and technical operations mngmt. Min 3 yrs of exp in graphic and character generation, plus 1yr exp with Ross Xpression. Full info HERE (1/7)

AUDIO TECHNICIAN >>
NEWSMAX MEDIA/NY, NY: Operate/executes audio mixing/creation for live and taped broadcasts, in the context of orig produced programs and PSAs. Collaborate with News depart and prod crew that produce regular, special and live shows. Generate timely and pertinent broadcast material. Min 2 yrs exp in graphic and character gen in television news, creative services, studio-based prog or related profession. Full info HERE (1/7)

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER >>
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 (1/7)

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER >>
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 (1/7)

SENIOR LINE PRODUCER >>
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 (1/7)

PRODUCER >>
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 (1/7)

COORDINATOR, CONSUMER MARKETING >>
CROWN MEDIA FAMILY NETWORKS/LA, CA: Resp for supporting the implementation of advtg campaigns (on/off-channel), mktg partnerships, promotions, sweepstakes, experiential events, creative adv development & email mktg initiatives. Min 1yr of professional mktg exp within the entertainment industry. Full info HERE (1/6)

MANAGER, TALENT & LEARNING DEVELOPMENT >>
A+E NETWORKS/NYC: Assess company-wide developmental needs and drive the design, development, delivery, evaluation and admin of various training and development programs (including leadership training, coaching, DE&I, etc.). 3-7 yrs of developing eLearning training with strong data analysis skill and excellent communication ability is required. Full info HERE (1/6)

VP, CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT >>
SESAME WORKSHOP/NY, NY:
Idea generator in developing and vetting program ideas and genres for creating new programs for in-house development, and identifying the right distributor for each property. Min 8 yrs exp and must be able to share ideas and contribute to the strategic vision/direction of the Workshop. Full info HERE (1/6)

VP, MARKETING >>
BBC STUDIOS/NY, NY:
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 (1/5)

DIGITAL MARKETING COORDINATOR >>
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 (1/5)

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 (1/5)

MEDIA BUYER >>
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 (1/5)

DIRECTOR, OWNED MEDIA >>
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 (1/5)

MANAGER, BRAND MARKETING & STRATEGIC PLANNING
>>
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 (1/5)

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