12/03/15: Yahoo considers selling off assets; Univision launches new short form hub; Discovery Communications launches TV Everywhere app



CYNOPSISDIGITAL
12.03.15

Good morning. It’s Thursday December 3, 2015, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.

TOP NEWS

 
Be advised, this is all unconfirmed and, for the most part, anonymously sourced. Still, if anything comes of it, it’s huge. Multiple media outlets (the first of them being the Wall Street Journal) have reported that Yahoo’s board will hold a series of meetings this week to decide whether or not to sell off the company’s core assets. That could include the company’s core Internet business, and/or its roughly $30 billion stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. (Yahoo has been very open about pursuing the latter sale, though an activist investor began trying to derail it last month.) The news comes on the heels of a disappointing Q4 earnings report, in which the company lost over $40 million on its foray into original programming.
 
Univision has launched a new a hub for short (pequeño?) content. The channel, called Udisea (Spanish for “odyssey”), will feature Spanish language short videos, and serve as the home for We Need to Talk, a digital series that debuted on Univision.com in October. Udisea will be ad-supported, and will pursue branded content and integration opportunities with marketers.
 
A new company has joined the TV Everywhere ecosystem. Yesterday, Discovery Communications launched Discovery GO, a new streaming app featuring content from Discovery TV’s properties, including Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, and several others. Of course, TV Everywhere = TV Nowhere if you’re a cord-cutter: Most of Discovery Go’s content can only be discovered by pay-TV cable subscribers.    
 
 

NEW PROGRAMMING + DEALS

 
As if Lebron James needed more money. Uninterrupted, The NBA demigod’s multimedia site, just received a $15.8 million cash infusion from Turner Sports and Warner Bros. Entertainment. (Turner sports will also now act as the site’s main sales arm.) Meanwhile, Uninterrupted has announced a multi-year content deal with Verizon’s Go90 streaming service, which will include original series and videos. Uninterrupted is about one year old; the site focuses on pro athletes telling their own stories through original series, documentaries, and videos.
 
Amazon and Endemol Prime International announced that Amazon Prime will be the exclusive streaming home of the sci-fi series Humans beginning in spring 2016. Humans airs on AMC in the U.S. and Channel 4 in the U.K. Endemol holds the distribution rights.
 


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OTT + SVOD

 
What was your favorite YouTube ad of 2015? Now you can make your opinion heard. In partnership with The Webby Awards, YouTube has launched #TheYouTubeAd of 2015, an initiative allowing fans to vote on the best YouTube ad of the year. Voting runs through December 8, and the winner will be announced on the 9th. You can find the contest site here.

 

VIRTUAL REALITY

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away? This is all starting to seem pretty futuristic. Ahead of the the December 18 premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the official Star Wars app has launched Jakku Spy, a new virtual reality experience for Google Cardboard. Developed by Lucasfilm’s ILMxLAB studio along with Verizon and Google, the experience positions the user as a Resistance secret agent. (Um, awesome.) New episodes will be released every few days. Learn more about the experience here.

 

CONTENT PROGRAMMING

 
“More” indeed. Crackle, Sony’s online streaming platform, has renewed The Art of More for a second season. The Dennis Quaid-starring series, which debuted November 19, is the service’s first original hour-long drama. Crackle says the series has garnered two million views since its debut.

 

Syfy has digitally released all nine seasons of Face Off, its reality competition series for horror and sci-fi makeup artists, ahead of the season 10 premiere in January. The season is available via the network’s mobile app Syfy Now, as well as on Syfy.com. Season 10 premieres linearly January 13.
 
The Chosen, a horror-thriller acquired by Supergravity Pictures, has just arrived on Netflix. The news was first reported by Tubefilter. The film, starring YouTube star Kian Lawley, hit #1 on the iTunes download chart shortly after its release over the summer. It was released on Vimeo On Demand in July.
 
Inconceivable. Nick at Nite is partnering with the interactive viewing company iPowow for an airing of The Princess Bride tonight at 8PM E. As part of a second-screen viewing experience, viewers will be able to participate in polls and a live trivia contest (link here) during the airing of the film.
 
Bravo Media announced that it has launched The Lookbook, a new beauty-and-fashion-oriented digital destination within Bravotv.com, launched with exclusive beauty partner Ulta Beauty. The launch is being tied to the second season of Bravo’s linear series Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, which debuted Tuesday. Lookbook users  can browse series clips as well as curated product guides inspired by the show, and then click-to-buy through partner sites.
 
The Game Awards, an annual awards show devoted to the gaming industry, airs tonight beginning at 9pm E. Now in its second year, the ceremony will air exclusively on digital outlets, including YouTube, Xbox, Steam, Twitch, and Verizon’s Go90 streaming service. Big name sponsors include Go90 and Bud Light. Cynopsis Digital recently spoke by phone with Geoff Keighley, creator and producer of The Game Awards. Keighley, who helped produce the Video Game Awards for Spike a couple years back, marvels at how the recent proliferation of streaming platforms has enabled his current distribution model. “It wouldn’t have been possible five years ago – the idea that one person could put on a multi-million dollar awards show by himself,” he said. “Now, through Twitch, YouTube, Playstation, all these platforms, we can reach the game audience directly, and we don’t need a cable network.” Last year’s Game Awards garnered about 1.9 million viewers – and Keighley says that, given his audience and distribution model, that’s more than enough to attract advertisers. “What’s great is that we can really target a specific audience segment – a very engaged one. On television you’re trying to hit a big mass audience on 100 million home cable networks, but in some ways you strive for the mass but you miss the core…To have a couple million core gamers tune in – that’s a powerful audience, because they’re the people that buy the games, they’re the people that really consume this content, and that’s enough. You don’t have to strive for this mythical mainstream viewer who might tune in.”

 

RESEARCH

 
Ad tech company Unruly took a look at the Top Brands for the month of November. John Lewis came in at number one. Here’s the list:
 
1. John Lewis
Shares: 1,165,316
Most successful video: John Lewis Christmas Advert 2015 – #ManOnTheMoon – shares: 1,155,791
Position in top 100 last month: N/A
 
2. Sainsbury’s
Shares: 815,733
Most successful video: Sainsbury’s Official Christmas Advert 2015 – shares: 811,939
Position in top 100 last month: N/A

3. Android
Shares: 574,764
Most successful video: Unlikely Friends – shares: 573,322
Position in top 100 last month: 6

4. Warburtons
Shares: 128,410
Most successful video: Warburtons New TV Advert featuring The Muppets – The Giant Crumpet Show – shares: 126,220
Position in top 100 last month: N/A

5. Burberry
Shares: 124,035
Most successful video: The Burberry Festive Film Celebrating 15 Years of Billy Elliot shares – 118,557
Position in top 100 last month: 73

6. Coca-Cola
Shares: 87,804
Most successful video: Coca-Cola Brasil I Uma Ponte Para Noel – Conto – shares: 48,908
Position in top 100 last month: 63

7. Duracell
Shares: 80,739
Most successful video: Duracell Star Wars Commercial: Battle for Christmas Morning – shares: 76,948
Position in top 100 last month: N/A
 
8. Kleenex
Shares: 74,846
Most successful video: Unlikely Best Friends – shares: 70,161
Position in top 100 last month: 2

9. Red Bull
Shares: 73,173
Most successful video: Kaledioscope: See Things Differently (4K) – shares: 41,564
Position in top 100 last month: 31

10. Walmart
Shares: 72,489
Most successful video: Greenlight A Vet – shares: 71,101
Position in top 100 last month: 24
 
 

EXECUTIVE MOVES

 
BitTorrent Live
, BitTorrent’s live-streaming product, announced that Monica Piriz will serve as the company’s new Vice President of Programming and Acquisition. She previously served as VP of Content Acquisition and Strategy at Piksel.
 
Reelio has found its altruistic side. The marketing platform, which matches brands with digital influencers, has launched Reelio Cares, a division devoted to matching digital celebs with nonprofits and corporate brands to participate in campaigns that raise awareness for causes. Ava Kelly, Founder and CEO of Love Notes Records, has been brought on as the Manager of the new division.

 

Video advertising platform Videology recently announced a new hire. Richard Hall will now serve in the newly created role of Vice President, North America Television Strategy. Hall will be responsible for managing the rollout of Videology’s new Advanced TV Platform. Previously, Hall served as Director of Product Management, Ad Tech, Video, TV & Mobile Advertising at IPG Mediabrands.


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DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT

 
CNET
has a closer look at the Star Wars VR experience we mentioned further up. If your inner child is still alive, you’ll want to take a look – here.

See you tomorrow,
David Teich
12.03.15

Roberta Caploe: Associate Publisher @robertacaploe
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JOB OPENING: SR. MOBILE PRODUCT MGR/FOX Sports Digital/LA-Playa: Lead Dev+Mgt of Mobile apps, concept-launch for iOS, Android, WIN. Customer-focused analysis; mng entire lifecycle. 3-5 yrs exp consumer-facing mobile app dev, wire-framing. Knwlg of competitive mobile. Apply HERE (12/9)

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JOB OPENING: MULTIPLATFORM PRODUCER/COMEDY CENTRAL/LA: Lead efforts to conceptualize/produce multiplatform content for all digital & social platforms. 5+ yrs multiplatform content prod exp @ major commercial media, ent or creative brand or interactive agency. Full info/apply HERE (12/9)

JOB OPENING: SR ANALYST, CONSUMER INSIGHTS/Nickelodeon/NYC: Facilitate & help mng consumer rsch projects, both qualitative/quantitative. 2-3 yrs+ qualitative/quantitative consumer & mkt rsrch exp @rsch supplier/ad agency or trends/innovation agency. & BA Deg. Fully info/apply HERE (12/9)

JOB OPENING: CREATIVE PRODUCER/NYC: Execute short-form creative that aligns w/brand vision, pitch and produce on-air quality work under quick turnaround. Min 5 yrs exp at agency, media org, non-profit, or political campaign pref’d. Full info/apply HERE (12/8)

JOB OPENING: MGR, SHORT FORM PROGRAMMING STRATEGY/Comedy Central/NYC: Exp’d content expert to mng short-form prgrmng across all platforms. 3-6 yrs exp TV prgrmng, pref w/focus on short-form content esp w/Snapchat app. Full info/apply HERE (12/8)

JOB OPENING: SR RESEARCH ANALYST/TV ONE/Silver Spring MD or NY: Asst Sr Rsch Dir w/interpreting media rsrch results & communicating results. Strong knwlg Nielsen software prods & 3rd party software systems. BS deg & 2+ yrs rsrch exp @ media co/agency. Full info/apply HERE (12/8)

JOB OPENING: SALES & MKTG MGR-DISTRIBUTION/DISCOVERY/LA: Enthusiastic innovator to manage client relationships, pitch/implement strategic mtkg initiatives & support sales efforts for distribution+ partner mktg strategy across Discovery’s portfolio of ntwks.. 4+ yrs exp req’d. Apply (12/8)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, PRESS & COMM/TV LAND/S. MONICA: Develop & implement PR/comm strategies for scripted series dev & prod. Relationships w/media in consumer, digital & entertainment segments. Req’s 7+ yrs in TV Comm/Media Relations Full info/apply HERE (12/5)

JOB OPENING: DIR SOCIAL MARKETING/AMC/NYC: Serve as in-house social media expert. Driver of social initiatives from idea creation to production. Understands social metrics and analytics. 4-6 yrs in consumer, digital, social mktg. Ntwk exp a plus. Apply HERE (12/5)

JOB OPENING: SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER/SKRATCHTV/NYC: Create social media content for visual storytelling across multiple platforms. Manage programming and distribution across all social media platforms. Interest in golf a must. Full info/apply HERE (12/5)

JOB OPENING: MGR INTEGRATED MARKETING/IFC/NYC: Mng sponsorship based mktg from pitch to fulfillment. Serve as liaison between network & sales teams. 3-5 yrs int mktg & project mmgt exp. Creative thinker, strong comm skills & det oriented a must. Full info/apply HERE (12/5)

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