12/21/16: Disney moves Maker Studios to Consumer Products and Interactive division


Good morning. It’s Wednesday December 21, 2016 and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


Fulfillment: In any transaction, order fulfillment refers to the complete process from the point of sales inquiry to the successful delivery of a product to a customer. When it comes to digital media, fulfillment refers to the process of delivering any digital content files, licenses, software players, or anything else that a consumer may require to make use of the acquired rights to a specific piece of digital content.


Some major restructuring is afoot at Maker Studios, the MCN and digital media company that Disney acquired in 2014. As first reported by Variety, Disney has shifted Maker to its Consumer Products and Interactive media division (DCPI). “Maker Studios will add to Content & Media’s capabilities around short-form content creation and distribution, making this a natural fit,” wrote Maker Studios chief Courtney Holt in an internal memo. “Also, many of our teams have already integrated with DCPI across sales, finance, communications, marketing, legal, technology, and HR, so it makes sense to pull together the distribution, franchise, network and studio teams in one segment.” Meanwhile, Holt himself will leave his role as Head of Maker Studios to serve as Disney’s EVP of Media and Strategy, now reporting directly to Disney EVP and Chief Strategy Officer Kevin Mayer. Andy Sugarman, DCPI’s EVP of Content and Media, will reportedly replace Holt as Maker’s top exec.
One lesson we’ve learned this year: European Union regulators tend to take a hard line with U.S. tech companies. Apple learned that the hard way; now it may be Facebook’s turn. In a formal statement of objections, the European Commission has accused the social media giant of providing “incorrect or misleading information” to investigators who evaluated Facebook’s $22 billion acquisition of WhatsApp back in 2014. The Commission now disputes Facebook’s 2014 claim that it couldn’t reliably match up user accounts between WhatsApp and Facebook. (The company started to do exactly that this year, when it began combining WhatsApp’s and Facebook’s user data.) If the Commission decides that Facebook ran afoul of the EU’s merger rules, it could fine the company up to 1% of its worldwide 2015 revenue – as much as $179 million. “We’ve consistently provided accurate information about our technical capabilities and plans,” said a Facebook spokesman. “We respect the commission’s process and are confident that a full review of the facts will confirm Facebook has acted in good faith.” The company has until the end of January to respond to the Commission’s charge sheet.


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With new OTT-based live TV competitors popping up on all sides, it can’t hurt Dish’s Sling TV to stay ahead of the curve. As spotted by digital media blogger Dave Zatz, Sling TV and Dish are preparing to launch a new streaming media device that will merge Sling TV’s channels, Netflix, and free over-the-air broadcast channels onto a single interface. Called the AirTV Player, the device could potentially allow Sling to pour less focus (and dollars) into hashing out carriage deals with broadcast nets and their affiliates. Though Dish hasn’t made any announcements yet, the AirTV Player is already featured on the Sling TV website. The webpage says the AirTV Player will come equipped with a voice-responsive remote. It’s Android-powered, so it’s also possible that Google content directly from the Play Store might be available. We’ll likely know a whole lot more when CES rolls around in January.


Cynopsis Digital Exclusive: ListenFirst Media has announced that its syndicated measurement products for TV, including ListenFirst Digital Audience Ratings, now include Twitter. ListenFirst, which tracks media consumption trends on social platforms, already included Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, Wikipedia and Google+ in its metrics. The inclusion of Twitter marks the end of a multi-year exclusive arrangement between Twitter and Nielsen, under which Nielsen was the sole measurement company with access to Twitter’s television data. “The availability of Twitter data for the purposes of measuring television allows us the opportunity to tell more complete and valuable stories about engagement with television programming across social,” said Jonathan Farb, ListenFirst’s Chief Product Officer. “We’re incredibly excited for ListenFirst to share their Twitter-Powered TV Analytics with the industry, enabling users to more easily learn about the most engaged with programs across any time window, in and out of season,” added Thomas Ciszek, Media and Entertainment Lead, Research at Twitter.


Nielsen has entered into a deal to acquire Gracenote, a Tribune Media-owned provider of media and entertainment metadata. Nielsen says it will use Gracenote’s data and technology to spearhead “deeper analytics on consumer behavior and offer an unprecedented view of audience engagement from discovery to consumption.” Gracenote will continue to operate from its Emeryville, California HQ, functioning as a business unit within Nielsen. Nielsen will pay Tribune Media $560 million for the acquisition, according to Gracenote. The deal is expected to close in Q1 of next year.


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 11th season of The Voice.
“If you’re a fan of The Voice, you already know the name Sundance Head, because he was crowned the winner of the 11th season of the NBC singing competition. (Then again, you might also know his name if you were a fan of American Idol, because he was also a semifinalist on the sixth season of that show.) The top 5 brands that advertised during The Voice across the full season were Toyota, Kohl’s, Walmart, Google (for its Pixel phone) and Apple (for its iPhone), in that order, ranked by estimated spend. But the winners in terms of generating the most digital response to the ads they aired during The Voice all season were Apple (for iPhone), Toyota, Hershey’s, Sprite and Jeep, in that order. Apple’s music-driven iPhone ads, which can feel like little music videos, clearly struck the right note with the Voice audience.”
– iSpot.tv
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 (12/12/16 – 12/18/16)
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+, andTumblr, 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.


Fresh on the heels of announcing a major OTT-based live TV initiative, sports-centric streaming company fuboTV has made a crucial new hire. Joel Armijo will serve as the company’s first Chief Financial Officer. In the new role, Armijo will work with the company’s management team to drive growth. He joins fuboTV from AT&T AdWorks, where he also served as CFO.


Kantar Media’s North American division has a new top exec. The media intelligence and audience measurement firm – a division of WPP-owned investment division Kantar – has named Manish Bhatia as CEO of Kantar Media North America. He’ll oversee all of Kantar Media’s U.S. services, and join Kantar Media’s global board. Bhatia joins Kantar Media from comScore, where he served as Chief Product Officer.


Back in 2005, Facebook – then know as TheFacebook – acquired Facebook.com. How much did spend to purchase the domain? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)
Actor Martin Freeman (The Hobbit, Sherlock) co-stars in an original series on Sony’s Crackle. What’s it called? Answer: StartUp. Kudos to Lisa Ciancarelli,-Quark Insights Consulting, LLC/NY, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, Dan Haberer-Creo Entertainment/CA, and Jaime Brand-Fullscreen, Inc./NY


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It seems that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg built his own AI personal assistant. He named it Jarvis, after Tony Stark’s AI butler in the ‘Iron Man’ movies. Unlike in ‘Iron Man,’ actor Paul Bettany won’t be providing Jarvis’s voice. Actually, it’ll be Morgan Freeman. (Seriously.) From CNET, learn more about the technology here.

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David Teich

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