12/14/16: BBC and ITV partner on U.S. streaming service


Good morning. It’s Wednesday December 14, 2016 and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


Volatile Memory: Volatile memory is computer storage that can only maintain its data so long as the device it’s stored on is powered.




The U.K.’s BBC Worldwide and ITV are about to make it much easier for U.S. audiences to access British programming. The broadcasters are set to launch BritBox, a new ad-free SVOD service for U.S. subscribers. It’ll debut in Q1 of 2017. AMC Networks will take a minority stake in the service.


The Cox Media Group-owned supply-side platform Videa has placed its first order for “full schedule, forward-reserve inventory” for programmatic TV advertising. Videa placed the order with Carat, a media agency within Dentsu Aegis Network. (Videa says it also worked with Amplifi, a Dentsu media investment arm, to develop the order.) Cox calls the programmatic TV order the “first of its kind” in the TV industry. The order’s live inventory will include broadcast stations in Jacksonville, Florida.


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Taylor Swift did two notable things yesterday: Celebrate her 27th birthday and launch an exclusive video channel. The new VOD service, called Taylor Swift Now, includes concert performances, behind-the-scenes-footage, and other videos. The service is available through a handful of AT&T-owned platform, including U-verse, DirecTV satellite, and the recently-launched DirecTV Now online TV service. It’s also available on those platforms’ mobile apps.


The folks behind Spotlight Stories, Google’s series of 360-degree video shorts, are cooking up a new project. Son of Jaguar, a 360-degree short from Book of Life director Jorge Gutierrez, is slated to debut next summer. The short centers on Mexican wrestling and Day o the Dead, Gutierrez told Variety. The Texas based company Reel FX will help produce it. Son of Jaguar will be available for VR headsets before it hits YouTube. Google first began shipping its Daydream View headset last month.


Survios, a California VR startup best known for creating the game Raw Data, has pulled in some big bucks. Survios announced that, between a new Series C funding round and an undisclosed Series B round from late last year, the company has raised $50 million. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer led the latest round. As part of the investment, MGM Chairman and CEO Gary Barber has also joined the company’s board.
Vidme, a video startup that bills itself as itself a combination of Reddit and YouTube, just closed a $6 million Series A funding round. NEA led the round, with participation from previous investors such as First Round Capital and Upfront Ventures. Vidme separates user videos into community curate categories, such as animation, entertainment and movies, and gaming. The company has nine full-time employees.


To determine the TV ads generating the most digital response, attention analytics company iSpot.tv measures digital actions across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and all major search engines. Here, a look at the brands that advertised during the 22nd Critics’ Choice Awards, which aired Sunday night on A&E.
“The big show, broadcast from Santa Monica Airport’s Barker Hangar and hosted by T.J. Miller of Silicon Valley fame, drew a strangely diverse mix of marketers, with eBay, prescription drug Cosentyx, Capital One, T-Mobile and Fruit of the Loom, in that order, the top 5 advertisers ranked by estimated spend. In terms of the brands generating the most digital response to their ads during the show, LG Mobile came out on top, with an entertaining ad that resonated with the evening’s theme. Titled ‘Everyday, Spectacular,’ the ad for the LG V20 showed random people playing instruments in random places, including Joseph Gordon-Levitt enthusiastically bashing a drum kit on a subway platform.”

The ListenFirst Television Interest (TVI) Rating (TM) is a standardized measurement of the most buzzed-about TV programs on linear TV and streaming services. A complement to ListenFirst’s other syndicated data products (such as the ListenFirst Digital Audience Rating – TV), the metrics included in the rating capture organic actions that are largely unaffected by paid media. Programs that surface on the TVI leaderboards are the most hashtagged on Facebook, Google+, and Tumblr, as well as most searched for on Wikipedia (used as a proxy for organic search volume).
Streaming Series (12/5/16 – 12/11/16)
Source: ListenFirst. The TVI Rating aggregates metrics that measure organically generated activity by fans of the TV show. The metric includes total volume of official hashtag mentions on Facebook, Google+, and Tumblr, along with Wikipedia page views (as a proxy for organic search volume) for a show as a percentage of the total volume of the same activities for all shows.


Facebook-owned VR company Oculus is restructuring. Brendan Iribe, who’s been the company’s CEO for four years, announced that he’s stepping away from the chief executive position to head up a newly-formed PC division within Oculus. Meanwhile, Oculus exec Jon Thomason will lead a separate unit focused on mobile VR. The decision to create two separate divisions makes sense: While Oculus’s headset requires a high-powered PC to operate, the company recently announced plans to develop a standalone headset. Oculus has confirmed that the newly-formed mobile group will be in charge of developing the latter device. 
The marketing technology company Amobee announced that it has hired Todd Chu as SVP of Global Operator Innovation. In the new role, Chu will oversee Amobee’s Solutions Architecture team, working to deliver advertising and marketing stack services and developing data relationships with service providers. He joins Amobee from Signal, an identity management provider.
Former Reddit GM Erik Martin is heading over to Airtime, the new mobile video startup founded by longtime tech entrepreneur Sean Parker. Martin will work to expand Airtime’s audience as VP of Marketing.


Gerald McRaney
, who plays billionaire industrialist Raymond Tusk on Netflix’s House of Cards, played a real-life 19th century industrialist in HBO’s Deadwood. Which one? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)
Our Last Trivia Question: To date, what series was Netflix’s most expensive original production? Answer: The Crown, whose first season reportedly cost around $130 million to produce. Kudos to Stephen Kelley-9 Story Media Group/Toronto, Ontario, Christopher Hall-Comcast Spotlight/FL, David Westberg- SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, Dan Haberer-Creo Entertainment/CA, and Mathew Tombers-Intermat, Inc./NY


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Blank on Blank, PBS Digital Studios’ series of real-life interviews put to animation, closes out the year with Stephen King’s thoughts on childhood. Check it out here.

See you on tomorrow,
David Teich

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