Entertainment Archive

The Sheet Podcast — Kurt Angle/Triple H Rumors, Four Wrestlers Cleared And A Chat With Jervis Cottonbelly

By Pro Wrestling Sheet

The entire 2-hour episode can be heard FOR FREE this week to give new listeners a taste of our Dash Radio show — which can also be heard at your leisure by subscribing to the Wrestling Sheet Patreon.

The Sheet Podcast – Cornette Vs. Russo In A Fight, WWE’s UK Plans And Ex-TNA Stars Sign With NXT

By Pro Wrestling Sheet

The entire 2-hour replay of Wrestling Sheet Radio can be heard on Dash Radio or by downloading full, unedited MP3s on our Patreon by donating $5 a month. This week’s extra chat is about Lana debuting on SmackDown Live, then getting a title shot.

Fabric Notable Stories, July 8, 2016: Fanatical Video Viewers; Facebook Kills Questions, Techxit

Curated by David Bloom

Wondering where that big bump video views came from in Nielsen’s latest look at who’s watching what? Well, Alex Taussig, a partner with Lightspeed Venture Partners, has a great piece looking at who’s doing the viewing, and where the next (and probably last) big bump will come from: those driverless cars with bored passengers.

Speaking of meals, the Sun Valley Mogulfest continues with expectations of more deal-making, plus the frozen IPO market may be thawing, says a prominent (and decidedly hopeful) investor. And while Facebook grapples with what difficult video will be shown on its site, Snapchat gets sued over partners’ allegedly lewd images and TV news remains the go-to source for many (but it’s changing). -DB

Digital Media, Statistics

The fanatics of online video are growing the pie

By Alex Taussig, partner at Lightspeed Ventures


Too often, the discussion of digital media centers around new players stealing share from older ones — assuming the pie is fixed. Nielsen recently demonstrated evidence to the contrary. The pie of total video minutes has actually grown substantially due to a group of users I’ll call “internet fanatics.” (I’ll draw much of my data below from Nielsen’s Q1–2016 Total Audience Report, which I’d encourage you to read for more detail.)

This additional hour came almost entirely from increased smartphone (37 min), tablet (12 min), and internet on PC (10 min) usage. Surprisingly, the increase in internet video across all platforms has not cannibalized the older mediums, with the exception of live TV, which continues to drop. Instead, the size of the video pie has grown by 10% in only a year.

The story of the growing video pie is that a small, but extremely active group of smartphone and tablet users are consuming massive amounts of video. Somehow they are finding the time, outside of their other sources of video, to consume this additional channel.

Publishing, Traditional Media, News

For News Content, TV Is Still King

Americans are increasingly accessing news online through websites, apps and social media services also

By Jack Marshall


The Washington-based think tank surveyed over 4,600 U.S. adults between January 12 and February 8 who are members of its “American Trends” survey panel, and found 57% of respondents said they regularly consume TV news. Meanwhile, 38% of respondents said they often get news online; 25% from radio and 20% from print newspapers.

Of all the news media examined in the survey, Pew suggested print newspapers are perhaps in the most precarious position. As of early 2016, just 20% of U.S. adults often get news from print newspapers, Pew’s research suggests, down from 27% in 2013.

MogulFest, M&A, Traditional Media

Media Moguls Talk Deals at Sun Valley

A wave of deal-making may be in the offing at the annual Idaho retreat


Getting bigger could help content players get their programming on traditional and new media platforms, giving them more leverage against distribution giants like Comcast and the behemoths that have emerged from the mergers of AT&T Inc. and DirecTV, and Charter Communications Inc. and Time Warner Cable Inc.

Potential targets could include the likes of AMC Networks and MGM as well as Scripps Networks Interactive, analysts have said.

Although there is constant speculation that a tech giant will make a play for a media company, Mr. Diller said those who go down that road do so “at their peril.”

Investment, Tech

Unicorns get funding, little start-ups less so

By Jon Swartz


Such is the climate in the venture-capital world that unicorns — dozens of privately-held start-ups valued at more than $1 billion — are gobbling a higher percentage of VC-funded investments in the U.S., according to a report Thursday from market researcher PitchBook Data.

A record 39% of capital investments, or $8.78 billion, went to unicorns in the second quarter, more than double the $4.06 billion (20%) in the same quarter a year ago.

Investment, Tech, Exit

Marc Andreessen Predicts A Lot More Tech IPOs

By Leena Rao


“We believe the pendulum has gone too far against going public,” he said at Bloomberg’s technology conference in San Francisco on Tuesday.

Andreessen, a high-profile Silicon Valley investor and former Netscape co-founder, said that tech IPOs would pick up in 2017 and 2018. Many startups, he said, are already in the process of getting ready and that IPO filings will therefore pick up.

Andreessen also said that artificial intelligence would be the next battleground for both large companies and startups. “Amazon has lapped everyone in AI this year,” he said, referring to the e-commerce giant’s success with its virtual assistant and home automation device Echo. “Amazon has set a new benchmark.”

Livestreaming, Social Media

How to Live-Stream Like a Pro on Facebook Live

By Stephen Baldwin


But let’s say you’re working for an agency, or an educational institution, a ball team, a software company, or a news organization. Chances are that you’d like to create a better, higher quality video impression on Facebook than what’s possible via a basic mobile phone or desktop webcam. To do this means using a professional camera, and may also entail a pro audio set up as well (for example, to livecast a panel discussion, you’ll need multiple microphones and a mixer).

Fortunately, Facebook makes it easy to plug the output of your pro-level video and equipment into Facebook, making it viewable by Facebook’s huge audience.

Social Media, Demographics

The winners and losers of Snapchat’s new Memories feature

By Garrett Sloane


Snapchat is going mainstream. While that might ruffle hardcore users, brands and advertisers should find the app more welcoming. As Fleetwood Mac once sang: Even children get older. And Snapchat’s getting older too.

Social Media, Demographics

Snapchat’s user base is getting older: How should marketers respond?

By Patricio Robles


First, even if the risk of a young user exodus is small, changing demographics could prompt changes in behavior on Snapchat.

For example, older users might exhibit different usage patterns than younger users, or younger users might alter how they use the app to deal with the “my mom is on here” phenomenon.

Some of these behavioral changes could be of importance to marketers as they work to create effective Snapchat campaigns.

Social Media, Litigation

Snapchat Sued for Exposing Kids to Media Partners’ “Sexually Offensive Content”

By Eriq Gardner


The putative class action was filed on Thursday in California federal court by Mark Geragos, the same attorney who is a popular talking head on the media circuit. He’s now representing a John Doe and 150 million other Snapchat users in a complaint that alleges violations of the Communications Decency Act as well as other laws.

Specifically, the legal action takes issue with Snapchat Discover, by which users come across content from “media partners” including Buzzfeed, Vice and MTV. According to the complaint, Snapchat helps curate the content and “exercises direct control over its editorial content and what is published to the consumer.” The lawsuit adds that Snapchat’s “terms of service” lack warnings about offensive content on Snapchat Discover.

DB: Snapchat may be getting older, but clearly not fast enough to avoid this possible class-action suit from a prominent lawyer often seen commenting on TV about legal cases.

Social Media, Censorship

Facebook Decides Which Killings We’re Allowed to See

By Joseph Cox and Jason Koebler


As Facebook continues to build out its Live video platform, the world’s most popular social network has become the de-facto choice for important, breaking, and controversial videos. Several times, Facebook has blocked political or newsworthy content only to later say that the removal was a “technical glitch” or an “error.”

In April, for instance, Facebook temporarily blocked six pro-Bernie Sanders groups and five groups supporting Filipino politician Rodrigo Duerte. It elected to leave up a video depicting the murder of its videographer, Antonio Perkins, but removed a live video uploaded by ISIS sympathizer Larossi Abballa, who filmed himself after murdering two people in France. Facebook has also removed images of women breastfeeding and images of breast cancer survivors’ mastectomies.


How Facebook’s Messenger Became a Popular Mobile Messaging Service  

By eMarketer


Facebook Messenger will have 105.2 million active users in the US this year. Four out of 10 mobile phone users will use it, making Messenger the leading over-the-top (OTT) mobile messaging app, as explored in a new eMarketer report, “Facebook Messenger: Strategies for Customer Service, Ecommerce, Content and Advertising” (eMarketer PRO customers only).

Streaming Media

‘How I Sold My Web Series to Netflix’: The Director of ‘EastSiders’ Explains His Secret

By Kit Williamson


After the first two episodes went viral, we launched a Kickstarter to finance the remainder of the first season. We were then approached by Viacom’s LGBT cable channel Logo about premiering the new episodes on their digital platform. Shortly after debuting on Logo, we were picked up for DVD and VOD distribution by Wolfe Video, an LGBT indie film distributor, and Logo broadcast the entire season on cable as a TV movie. We returned to Kickstarter to raise over $153,000 to shoot a second season. We’ve been able to broker TVOD (Transactional Video On Demand) deals for both seasons, including an exclusive window on Vimeo On Demand, and SVOD (Subscription Video On Demand) deals with several services for Season 1, and I’m thrilled that Season 2 will be exclusively available on Netflix, the world’s largest SVOD service. Through this process, I’ve learned a great deal about the world of acquisitions, and these are the four biggest pieces of advice I can offer anyone looking to sell a series to these platforms.

Techxit, Brexit, International

What startups should expect from the Brexit fallout

Some tips from Index Ventures.

By Noah Kulwin


  • London was previously the startup capital of choice in Europe. Index cautions that tech companies should look elsewhere for talent and office space as events proceed; think Dublin, Amsterdam or Berlin.
  • Index is advising that the most likely (but hardly guaranteed) outcome is that the EU will negotiate with the U.K. to allow the free movement of labor, if not necessarily the free movement of people. The worst-case scenario, however, is that the negotiations stall out before the exit is supposed to happen and the U.K. loses access to the all-important EU single market.
  • Though it might be more costly to do business in the U.K. because it’ll be harder to get other European talent, the flip side is that certain costs — property and currency, in particular — might go down.
  • In order to compensate for Brexit, the U.K. government might offer startups and other firms a bunch of carrots for opening offices in the country.

Digital Marketing, Online Media

5 Top Trends for Digital Marketing in 2016

What the Experts Say Will Happen in the Rest of the Year

By Jonathan LaCoste


Consumers no longer think personalized marketing is creepy. In fact, 73% of them prefer brands that use information to personalize their shopping experiences. Why? Because consumers demand immediacy and expect brands to meet their context.

“Personalization can result in a better user experience,” Berke said. “Whether it be marketing or in-app or on-site experiences, you can tailor those based on what you know about that user and that can result in a much better relationship with that customer.”

Personalization also gives marketers more freedom with their content – they don’t have to stick to a rigid content schedule organized by theme. And that freedom is a good thing, according to Brian Solis, a top analyst at Altimeter Group.

Traditional Media, Olympics of Challenges

NBC Sports Execs Express Optimism in Spite of Problem-Plagued Rio Olympics

By Marisa Guthrie


There were “concerns about security, concerns about infrastructure,” Tirico told THR. “And the reality of a city that has opulence in one spot and a very short distance away families living in favelas and the moral question of spending for a global event. As we got closer to the game there was a very pull-it-together spirit from the Brazilians. They don’t want their country to look bad on the global stage. They’re very proud of their heritage and their country.”

The sports division currently has 150 on the ground in Rio; that number will swell to about 2,600 once the network is fully staffed. All employees have been given detailed tutorials on local customs, regulations and information on how to remain safe.

Traditional Media, Advertising

NBC Packages ‘SNL’ With Primetime Programming in Upfronts, Wins Big Price Hikes

By Jeannine Poggi


The peacock is selling the 42nd season of “SNL” as part of its primetime package during the upfronts, instead of grouped with other late-night fare, where it has previously lived, according to several media buyers and people familiar with negotiations.

Advertisers aren’t balking at “SNL” hikes in the cost to reach 1,000 viewers, an industry standard known as CPMs, up as much as 20% to 40%, according to a media buyer and person familiar with the negotiations.

Digital Media, Music

Fusion is launching a new website about music news and social justice called TrackRecord

By Noah Kulwin


TrackRecord will be overseen by Univision Music exec Jordi Oliveres, and the site’s managing editor is Jeff Ihaza. Ihaza has previously written for places like The Fader, Gawker and the Awl (including this excellent piece on the content farms of rap stars like Waka Flocka Flame).

TrackRecord is just the latest in a series of digital plays from Univision, including the $27 million it paid for a majority stake in satirical news site the Onion late last year. Univision kicked the tires on investing in Gawker Media late last year as well, and the company has been frequently floated as a potential bidder in Gawker’s bankruptcy auction this summer.

Publishing, Fintech, Acquisitions

Digiday Media acquires Tradestreaming, a B2B fintech publication

By Paul Kontonis


According to CB Insights and KPMG’s Pulse of Fintech 2015 in Review Report, $13.8 billion in VC funding was deployed to fintech companies globally, more than double the value of VC investment in fintech in 2014. Fintech investment has continued its ascension in 2016. According to Accenture, global investment in fintech startups in the first quarter of 2016 grew 67 percent year-over-year to $5.3 billion. Since 2010, over 2,500 companies have received $50 billion in investments to change the flow of money.

Tradestreaming is for those obsessed with the changing nature of money including banks, asset management, brokers, collaborative finance, fintech investors and lending institutions. The media brand will chronicle, analyze and understand technology’s impact on finance and how it’s changing the business through creating content, services and community that foster interaction between finance and technology industries.

Conferences of Note

O’Reilly Artificial Intelligence, Sept. 26-27, New York City http://conferences.oreilly.com/artificial-intelligence/ai-deep-learning-bots-ny

O'Reilly AI Conference screen grab

Fabric Notable Stories, July 6, 2016: Snapchat Remembers, Mobile Olympics, Don’t Forget Africa

Curated by David Bloom

So, Snapchat is ephemeral, huh? After years of telling us it zapped everything, Snapchat has rolled out Memories, to let you keep and share at least some of those Snaps. Seems against brand, but the company has been iterating from its strong points lately on seemingly every front. Maybe this is another one.  -DB

Social Media, Mobile,  #NeverForget

Snapchat introduces Memories: a searchable, shareable archive of your snaps

By Casey Newton


Memories, which begins rolling out today on Snapchat for Android and iOS, is a new section of the app that you access by swiping up from the camera screen. In the past, you’ve been able to save your photos, videos, and stories from Snapchat to your phone’s camera roll. (“Stories,” of course, are what Snapchat calls the rolling 24-hour collection of photos and videos that you take throughout the day.) Now you can save them to Snapchat’s servers as well, and revisit them later in the Memories section of the app.

Memories also includes a section called “My Eyes Only” where you can put embarrassing or explicit snaps that might accidentally kill your grandma, if she ever saw them. You have to type in a PIN code to access those memories, and if you forget your PIN, Snapchat won’t recover the images. The company says Memories started from the observation that people often tell stories in person by physically sharing their phones with one another, letting them swipe through photos of a vacation, or prom, or some other event. My Eyes Only is meant to allow people to share their phones with one another more comfortably.

Social Media, Mobile

Inside the Newest Snapchat Megatrend

Geofilters are the new hashtags

By Molly McHugh of The Ringer


…now an entire cottage industry is cropping up around geofilters: freelance designers and small companies exist entirely to create geofilters, and to help you do it, too. A custom geofilter is the new custom hashtag: Your event, office, party, or fraternity better have one. And given that they aren’t free to submit, the geofilter community is happily lining Snapchat’s pockets.

International, Mobile, Video, Social Media

An 11-Month-Old Snapchat Copycat App Called ‘Snow’ Is Exploding Across Asia

By Geoff Weiss


Snow, which enables users to send disappearing messages, compose sequential video stories, and even transform their appearance via live selfie filters, has been downloaded a total of 30 million times.

Snow, which launched internationally last September, is the creation of South Korean app maker Naver, which is most famous for Line, a dominant messaging app in Japan.

Digital Media, Investment, Creators

Four L.A. start-ups hunting for online video stars raise a combined $56 million

By Paresh Dave


All Def Digital, Thoughtful Media Group, Kin Community and Woven Digital are exploiting consumers’ transition to digital video subscriptions from traditional pay-TV. They say their shows resonate better with their target group, whether it be millennial men, young women interested in arts and crafts, or “urban youth.”

Financiers include the world’s largest ad agency conglomerate, one of the top officials at media giant Viacom and many other major players in entertainment worldwide. The investors predict bright horizons for the video-centric companies because they’re suppliers in what stands to be a seller’s market for a while.

Creators, VidCon

7 Years of VidCon

By Laura Chernikoff, Guest Manager for @VidCon, transitioning to Executive Director of the Internet Creators Guild.


Making VidCon a safe space was more important than ever this year.World events brought fear to the forefront and an already-robust security plan was evaluated all over again. Much has been written about the extra divide between creators and attendees, but I think it all came together and the opportunity to connect was still there.

Having VidCon feel true and genuine has also become more difficult as we’ve grown. With money and manpower pouring into digital careers, the number of people clamoring to say “what matters” has multiplied. YouTubers are now celebrities, or talent, or influencers.


Does advertising even work any more?

By Mark Duffy


What should a brand do, then? Whelp, it definitely should stop spending money on advertising its products. Immediately. And give up on your marketing MBA bullshit: no hard sells, no soft sells, no devious sells … no selling!

Your only options left are to non-sell or un-sell. Here are some examples.

Un-ad ads are becoming more and more popular. Although they are still obviously ads, young folk seem to like their attitude. One of the most famous un-ads was E-Trade’s 1999 Super Bowl spot “we just wasted two million dollars,” though that ad still had too much “selling” copy at the end.

Advertising, Traditiional Media

Could TV Upfronts Strength Hamper Programmatic Progress?

By Kelly Liyakasa


…a strong upfront could hamper programmatic TV progress, say some industry insiders, since networks might be more reluctant to expose their data or offer buyers the same concessions they would when prices are weak.

Last year, as a result of the soft scatter market, programmers talked up proprietary audience indexing tools and data platforms to differentiate their upfront pitches. Some positioned their programmatic tools as a value-add – or even a must-have, in some cases, to access the deepest of audience insights – for buying that network’s media.

“I think programmatic automation and advanced data targeting helps to make TV more accountable,” she added. “The networks should keep moving the industry moving forward and not let one stronger marketplace allow them to become complacent and accept that we can go back to the way things were always done.”

Programmatic, Social Media, Advertising

Five Minutes With: Most LinkedIn Advertisers now use Programmatic, says Russell Glass

By DMNews


In the past programmatic real-time bidding has been a bit of the wild-west with very little control over how data is used. Programmatic technologies have since then advanced sufficiently so that we can now have control over how our data is targeted and ensure members aren’t being harmed. LinkedIn is a member-first platform so protecting our members and their experience on our site is imperative to us.

Mobile continues to be an incredible force for change.  It already represents more than half of LinkedIn traffic and engagement and more than 50% of our advertising revenues. It will only continue to become more critical to our ad business and LinkedIn as a whole.  

Advertising, Mobile, Video

New Data Says Mobile Video Ads Lead The Pack of Best Performing Formats

By Michael Wiser


According to the research presented by the ad company, mobile video ads remain the most effective and best forming ad formats in the mobile space today.

The report summary notes that mobile video ads drive higher revenue when shown in-app versus in the mobile web, with iOS apps delivering almost 3x higher eCPMs over the mobile web.

In terms of app categories that deliver highest eCPMs: music saw a +54% eCPM uplift, followed by Video & Computer Games (+38%), Society (+29%) and then Real Estate (+15%). This makes intuitive sense, as people using apps in the Arts and Entertainment category are already being exposed to rich media (including sound), and mobile video ads may seem less invasive.

Video, Digital Media, Marketing, Advertising

Brands, creators wrestle with sound’s role in social videos

By Tim Peterson


A year ago, brands and publishers were wrestling with whether and how to make vertical and square versions of the horizontal videos they had traditionally produced and posted to YouTube and, more recently, Facebook. And that was just visual formatting. Now they have to consider not only how people may view a video, but also whether they’ll listen to it.

Until about a month ago, the dilemma seemed to be getting easier. Facebook had been telling brands and publishers to create videos that could be watched with or without sound, and some publishers were putting out stats backing up Facebook’s point.

But it turns out that mobile doesn’t always equate to silent cinema. In early June, Snapchat announced that two-thirds of the videos posted to its mobile app are viewed with the sound on. That stat “totally took me aback,” said Gloria DeCoste, Head of Digital Strategy at Nestlé USA.

Mobile, Advertising, Olympics

What Mobile’s Massive Growth Means for Advertisers at This Year’s Summer Games

By James Patterson


This is all part of the same trend. Last year, mobile video accounted for 55 percent of all mobile data traffic. By 2019, U.S. smartphone video viewers are estimated to reach 174.8 million, according to eMarketer. Global viewing habits are rapidly shifting to mobile, and advertisers are finding ways to answer the call.

Programmatic buying, in particular, is one avenue that advertisers will turn to. Because of how narrowly you can target through programmatic, mobile video is one of the most personal one-to-one marketing channels advertisers can find for reaching their audience. Simply put, when viewers see more varied and relevant video ads, viewability and completion metrics improve for the advertiser. Programmatic helps to ensure this by satisfying viewers with content that resonates and, in turn, improves key metrics for advertisers.


Social Media, Marketing

Pinterest Updates Strategy, Looks to Scale Search and Audience Based Buying

By George Slefo


Seeking to scale its ad business ahead of a much anticipated IPO, Pinterest said it’s updated its advertising strategy and will place more focus on expanding its keyword search and audience based buying offerings.

The company is now offering its search inventory separately to advertisers, something it previously had not done before. More importantly, Pinterest’s head of global sales Jon Kaplan says the platform will feature the same kind of keyword based buying search marketers are familiar with — such as those found on Google — to be applied on Pinterest.

Social Media, Marketing

The State of Social Media for B2B Brands

By Alex Chaidaroglou


Mainly because everyone is like “You have to get on Snapchat now” and that’s no necessarily true for every brand. The important social media channels in B2B are different than those in B2C, but few seem to clarify this.

Snapchat is an interesting app that will probably dominate to a length similar to Instagram or more. But. As happened with Instagram, I don’t see many businesses regretting not betting on Instagram in the early days (remember the hype back then?).

The thing is, Snapchat’s applications in B2B seem to be very limited.

Content Marketing, Digital Media

How You Can Conquer These Three Negative Content Trends

By Jacob Harwick


To conquer these advertising shifts…

  • Own intent-based and relevant industry searches (through SEM and SEO efforts).
  • Create high-quality, empathetic, and valuable content; it converts better and keeps costs down.
  • Experiment with campaigns across many channels to better determine your best tactics.
  • Maintain an accurate reporting structure and relationship with your analytics efforts.
  • Track KPIs closely and reassess strategy often (at least quarterly).

Digital Media

The latest Yahoo offers are due tomorrow, with the final round expected in two weeks

By Kara Swisher


Remaining bidders — including Verizon and a group headed by Quicken Loans’ Dan Gilbert — have been told that the final selection process will take place around July 18.

It will be interesting to see how activist shareholder Starboard Value — whose leader Jeffrey Smith now has several Yahoo board seats — will react to what are essentially subpar offers for the company. He had pushed for the sale and now is presiding over what could be a very tepid one.

International, Technology, Investment, Innovation

Emerging markets’ challenge to Silicon Valley

By Keith Jones


Africa and the emerging markets have a leading role to play in the future direction of the planet. If we are brought along for the ride, we all have a chance of a good future. However, if we are left behind, we all suffer the consequences. The evidence that this is already happening is becoming more apparent.

Technology innovation is everything to our future. The challenge we have for Silicon Valley is: “How are you going to be relevant to us?”

The West says “mobile first;” Africa is mobile only, so the way we use mobile is very different. The West thinks “cloud/PC/tablet/mobile;” emerging markets think “mobile/bricks and mortar.” Our payment models are different: We need to service larger, more complex, multi-cultural user communities at a cost to serve that is a fraction of the West, off weaker infrastructure.

International, Traditional Media, Film

China Box Office Shrinks For First Time in Half a Decade

By Patrick Brzeski


Coming after a historic run of relentless growth, fueled by a nationwide cinema construction boom, the fall marks the Chinese theatrical market’s first year-on-year quarterly decline in over a half a decade.

In the first quarter of 2015, China’s box office expanded an astonishing 50 percent, hitting 14.49 billion yuan (roughly $2.2 billion) compared to 9.66 billion yuan ($1.4 billion) the year prior. In February, the China market totaled more than $1 billion, topping North America for the second month ever.

Mogulfest, Traditional Media, Digital Media

Sun Valley: Shari Redstone Takes Center Stage as Media Moguls Gather

By Paul Bond and George Szalai


“It is likely that consolidation will be discussed,” says Drexel Hamilton analyst Tony Wible. “The industry will also need to focus on ways to monetize viewing as cord cutting continues to grow.”

Also attending is Leslie Moonves, CBS’ chairman and chief executive, who was seen by the gathered media driving Shari Redstone to dinner on Tuesday. There has been heavy speculation on Wall Street that Shari Redstone might like to see a merger between CBS and Viacom – with Moonves leading the combined media giant.

Not attending, though, is Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who is shopping the core assets of the company (which don’t include stakes in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan, apparently) for roughly $4 billion. And while former superagents Mike Ovitz and Jeff Berg are in attendance, current WME-IMG co-CEOs Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell are sitting the event out. Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam is expected to be there, though, and his company is allegedly a front-runner in the bidding for Mayer’s Yahoo, a process that should end in mid July

Pay TV, Streaming Video, Pigs Fly

Comcast Strikes Deal With Netflix

By Paul Bond


Comcast agreed to integrate the Netflix service into some of its upgraded cable boxes that are due out by year’s end, the two former rivals said on Tuesday.

The partnership is seen as a win for Netflix, which is available on Apple TV, Roku and video game devices but has been trying to work its way into as many traditional cable boxes as possible so that consumers won’t need to juggle multiple devices.

Social Media, Live Streaming, Sports

Twitter Debuts Livestreaming With High Definition Broadcast of Wimbledon

By Christopher Heine


Twitter today is providing a glimpse into what kind of TV-like platform it could be for sports fans, one of its most-loyal user bases. The social media network’s livestreaming of Wimbledon is Twitter’s first broadcast in high definition.

Video ads are not running during breaks in the action. Additionally, Twitter doesn’t appear to be selling Promoted Tweets specifically for the Wimbledon stream while focusing on the user experience, but it seems likely that targeted ads will appear alongside sports video content on the social network in the near future.

Also, Twitter’s Wimbledon coverage provides a preview for how the social platform may treat Thursday Night Football games later this fall. Twitter signed a $10 million livestreaming rights deal with the NFL a few months ago.

Traditional Media, Pay TV, International

Global television subscriber numbers rise

By Broadband TV News


The worldwide number of pay television subscribers reported by the Informitv Multiscreen Index rose by 6.90 million or 1.68% in the first quarter of 2016.

60 of the 100 leading pay-television services in the latest Multiscreen Index report showed net subscriber gains in the quarter.

The greatest quarterly subscriber gains were in the Asia Pacific region.

The top 10 services from the United States in the Multiscreen Index closed the first quarter with just 18,000 subscribers more than at the start of the year, but they were down by over 880,000 year on year.

Mobile, Gaming, Franchises, M&A

Chris DeWolfe’s SGN Buys ‘Marvel Avengers’ Maker TinyCo

By Reid Nakamura


TinyCo, the Andreessen Horowitz­-backed San Francisco studio is led by CEO Suli Ali, and is the company behind mobile games such as “Marvel Avengers Academy” and “Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff.” Ali will remain the leader of TinyCo’s 125-person staff, growing SGN to a size of 400 employees.

Founded in 2010 by DeWolfe with President & COO Josh Yguado and CTO Aber Whitcomb, SGN received a $130 million investment from South Korea’s Netmarble Games last July. The TinyCo’s aquisition marks the company’s third since December.

Links of Note

Product Hunt Does Product Marketing

Product Marketing: An essential part of any startup (even Snapchat). TV commercials, ads on the side of a bus, billboards, you know… the usual stuff. But it’s the little things that count:

Read more about Full Stack Marketing for Startups on Medium, and check out the full collection on Product Hunt.

Conferences of Note

Variety Sports & Entertainment Summit, July 14, Los Angeles



Fabric Notable Stories, July 1, 2016: Media M&A Fever, Vive Bucks, How To Beat OTT

Curated by David Bloom

Happy second half of 2016! Is it a holiday-getaway fever? A rush to have bragging rights at Herb Allen’s next Sun Valley MogulFest (trademark pending)? Whatever the cause, media/entertainment/digital media M&A deals and rumors of deals landed all over the place on Thursday.

I’m betting there’s more to come (perhaps some bargain hunting in an ailing post-Brexit English economy?) as another round of consolidation scoops up lesser players in the traditional space.

Whether that spills significantly into the digital and ad-tech spaces is another question. The Disney pickup of a stake in video-streaming powerhouse MLB Advanced Media has some significant implications in that sector. Will Disney pick up other tools and tech? Is John Malone’s latest shopping spree done? -DB

M&A, Pay TV

Lionsgate to Acquire Starz in $4.4 Billion Deal

By Etan Vlessing, George Szalai


The agreement, unveiled Thursday morning, is the culmination of on-again/off-again talks between the companies in which cable pioneer John Malone owns stakes. Malone, who also owns a big stake in Discovery Communications and is chairman of Liberty Media and Liberty Global, has talked about the need to boost the scale of smaller content companies amid pay TV consolidation and globalization.

Wall Street observers have said a combined Lionsgate-Starz could over time acquire further content companies that aren’t entertainment conglomerates. Analysts have long seen Starz signaling a possible sale to a bigger company as a precursor to a hookup between the cable company and Lionsgate.

M&A, Pay TV, Traditional Media

5 Possible Plays After Lionsgate-Starz Deal

By Paul Bond, George Szalai and Etan Vlessing http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/lionsgate-starz-5-plays-merger-907715

CBS and Viacom. Moonves the favorite to run a combined company, given Dauman’s feud with Redstones. A re-combined content powerhouse gets Viacom’s cable TV channels and Paramount, and becomes better able to compete with NBCUni, Fox and WB.

AMC. The owner of channels like AMC, SundanceTV, WE tv and IFC may well be among the next dominoes to fall for its top-quality content. With a market value of $4.1 billion, lots of buyers could find it relatively easy to swallow the pure-play content company famous for its cult dramas, including Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.

Discovery. Could be a buyer or seller. Bernstein analyst Todd Juenger said Discovery, like most media companies, needs to reduce debt and expenses. Such savings could come easier as part of a larger entity.

M&A, Pay TV

M&A Activity Keep Entertainment Stocks Afloat at the Year’s Halfway Mark

By George Szalai


More than half of the 50 stocks tracked by The Hollywood Reporter fell short of the S&P 500 in the year’s first half. That index managed a 2.7 percent gain, despite a wicked, short-lived downturn after the U.K. voted to ditch the European Union.

But what kept some big names alive was M&A talk -— and Thursday’s big Lionsgate/Starz deal is the perfect example. Leading the charge downward was Lionsgate, whose shares fell a whopping 38 percent since the start of the year. But, acquisition target Starz fell 11 percent, and that could have been much steeper given it gained 6 percent after the deal was announced.

M&A, Pay TV, Streaming Video, Traditional Media

Disney Said to Buy Stake in $3.5 Billion MLB Web Unit

By Chris Palmeri, Scott Soshnick


Disney, the owner of ESPN and ABC, will also obtain a four-year option to buy an additional 33 percent stake in the digital arm of Major League Baseball. The deal underscores the importance of the video-streaming business to the future of ESPN, which has been losing viewers and advertising dollars to online media. ESPN has toyed with the idea of selling Web-only packages outside of the traditional cable-TV package, and Disney Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger is making deals to offer ESPN on Internet services such as Sling TV.

M&A, Tech, Music

Apple in Talks to Acquire Jay Z’s Tidal (Report)



Apple is exploring the idea of bringing on Tidal to bolster its Apple Music service because of Tidal’s strong ties to popular artists such as Kanye West and Madonna.

The talks are ongoing and may not result in a deal, these people said. Terms of the potential deal aren’t known.

DB: As Apple showed with $3B Beats deal two years ago, which was driven in part by the desire to be in business with Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, the company invests as much in talent as it does in any tech.

M&A, Traditional Media, Tech, MogulFest

Media Consolidation Could be on Menu as Moguls Descend on Sun Valley for Allen Conference

By Ron Grover


But the topic of media consolidation likely will be served up at nearly every meal, according to media analysts and dealmakers. It’s a perennial discussion among the moguls in attendance but has taken on more currency this year as the media landscape tilted with the merger of Charter Communications (CHTR) and Time Warner Cable, the nation’s third- and second-largest cable operators, respectively, and by the acquisition of Cablevision Systems and Suddenlink by France’s Altice to create the fourth-largest U.S. cable operator.

Content companies need to have broadcast networks, sports rights or HBO to command steep prices in negotiations with cable or satellite operators these days, Wible said. Without them, that’s likely to force smaller companies such as AMC Networks (AMCX) , owner of the AMC and BBC America channels, and Food Network owner Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI), to find larger parents.

MCNs, Investment, International

Kin Community Raises $13.5 Million In Fresh Funding, Eyeing Push Into Australia, The U.K.

By Geoff Weiss


Women’s multi-channel network Kin Community, which represents bold-faced YouTube stars like Rosanna Pansino and Hannah Hart, has reportedly raised $13.5 million in a series D funding round. This brings total cash raised by the five-year-old, Santa Monica, Calif.-based company to $40.5 million, according to The Wall Street Journal, which was first to report the funding round.

The round was led by Emil Capital Partners. And, as funds will be primarily allocated toward international expansion, several investors were from outside the U.S., including Germany’s Tengelmann Group, Canadian TV company Corus Entertainment, and Australian digital publisher Allure Media.

VR, Investment

HTC Vive announces $10 billion VR Venture Capital Alliance

By Lucas Matney


Today, at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Shanghai, HTC Vive announced a $10 billion initiative to put the investment weight of much of the industry on the back of itself and its partners, which include a number of VR-centric VC houses, in addition to more staple firms like Sequoia Capital and Redpoint Ventures.

In all, there will be 27 firms joining HTC Vive in the VR Venture Capital Alliance(VRVCA). Alvin Wang Graylin, China Regional President of VR at HTC, will head up the “Alliance.”

Ad Blocking, Digital Media

Consumer control and “common sense” key to tackling mobile ad blocking: IAB UK study

BY IAB UK http://www.iabuk.net/about/press/archive/consumer-control-and-common-sense-key-to-tackling-mobile-ad-blocking-iab-uk#c8T2yAH7YPZSWagG.99

The study, conducted by Differentology, used a mixture of online surveys, consumer diaries and in-depth interviews to understand what consumers really think about mobile ads, so marketers can produce better mobile campaigns and reduce ad blocking. It revealed 10% of people currently block mobile ads – millennials accounting for 63% of this group.

  • Do’s = Keep ads simple, fun, short. Less frequent. Be creative. Be relevant.
  • Don’ts = Hijack or take-over the user experience. Omit x/skip button. Go straight to app store/other sites. Overload by frequency. Overload amount of data/ad size.

Programmatic, White Paper, Advertising, Video

Programmatic Video: A Spectrum of Automation



In order to effectively evaluate programmatic video solutions and the relative value they provide, industry practitioners need to first decouple the targeting, forecasting, transaction, creative delivery, and reporting functions from the broader offering and evaluate them individually. Given that these platforms and technical infrastructures evolve rapidly with shifting media consumption patterns and ad technology solutions, the goal of this document is to provide buyers and sellers with a framework to help them evaluate these features and functionalities during partner evaluation.

Advertising, Live Streaming, Social Media

Facebook Live Commercial Breaks? Examining the Next Stage for Live-Streaming

By Andrew Hutchinson


Live is in the first stage of the cycle right now, Facebook’s working to build a product that people love – and that presents its own challenges in live content. One of the biggest obstacles faced by other live-streaming apps has been content quality – you go onto any live-streaming platform right now and a lot of the options you see will be random, niche, low-fi broadcasts that don’t have any significant audience appeal. That then drives people away – if there’s not enough relevant content to keep people coming back for more, they won’t, simple as that.

As you can see (and as discovered by Moshe Isaacian), there are already measures built into the back-end code of Live to include the ability to add in commercial breaks. And that’s particularly significant when you consider the possibility of Live as an option to traditional TV.

Social Media, Emotions, Thumbs Down

Facebook users are rebelling against clickbait with one of the only tools they have

By Brian Fung


That makes some amount of sense. But Mosseri continued: “Another pattern we see is that they’ll like a story, click on it, and come back immediately because they feel deceived and un-like it. We do see that reflected in behavior.”

Apps, Social Media, Mobile, Something Else Entirely

Ghost in the machine: Snapchat isn’t mobile-first — it’s something else entirely

By Ben Basche


Snapchat is a true creature of mobile, a living, breathing embodiment of everything that our camera-enabled, networked pocket computer can possibly offer. And in its cooption of smartphones into a true social operating system, we see the inklings of what is beyond mobile. When I open Snapchat up to the camera, I can’t shake the feeling that the ghost is banging on the glass, trying to break out into the world.

They coined the term “authentically mobile” to distinguish services that not only are tailored for the mobile world, but who so thoroughly leverage the unique capabilities of mobile devices that they could literally not exist without them. Where mobile-first companies take the new, portable form factor and riff on things that were more or less possible but limited in some way on the desktop, authentically mobile companies are truly creating experiences that would either be impossible or entirely meaningless without a networked supercomputer in our pockets. A classic example of authentically mobile would be Uber, which without a location-enabled computing device always on our person (on both sides of the 2-sided marketplace), would almost certainly not exist.

Digital Media, Streaming Video

Disney’s “LOL” App Brings Short-Form Video To Kids

By Sam Gutelle


Mobile-friendly, short-form video platforms like Snapchat and Instagram are the way of the future, and Disney is making sure it gets a piece of that pie. The Mouse House has launched Disney LOL, on which it will share a plethora of its kid-friendly videos.

The videos featured on Disney LOL come from the media giants owned and operated properties, including its TV channels, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars. The app will also share gifs and Vines with its young users.

Linear TV, OTT, Traditional Media Strategy

Moody’s: To Beat OTT, Nets Must Abandon Linear Model

By Mike Farrell


But getting here won’t be easy. Moody’s says that shift will require that content providers unite to beat back the rivals they helped create by licensing their shows.

“The success of these OTTs has in large part been fueled by content licensed from the very industry heavyweights they are challenging,” said Moody’s senior vice president Neil Begley in a statement. “This is emboldening them to invest heavily in original, exclusive programming, and eventually bid more aggressively for streaming rights to major league sports.”

According to the report — Pay TV and Television Networks — US: OTT Invasion: Grand Bargain Required for Long-Term Sector and Credit Stability –to compete with OTT services and rapidly growing digital platforms for subscribers and advertising revenue, the networks must:

  • End their linear distribution model
  • Offer all programming on-demand with full stacking rights
  • Implement robust search and recommendation interfaces
  • Implement real-time targeted ad placement focused on the viewer instead of the program.

“Instead, based on the current trajectory, we believe that companies will go it alone, meaning change will be inconsistent, stability will erode as individual network churn rises, and operating performance will come under pressure for those that stumble,” Begley said in a statement. “This could result in potential for rating pressure for many notable industry players that cannot defend against the rising change.”

Traditional Media, Advertising, Upfronts

Yankee Doodle Dandy: Broadcast Upfront Could Close Before July 4

By Anthony Crupi


Fox and ABC have joined CBS and the CW in the “effectively done” category. As parity is the byword for this year’s bazaar, ABC’s results largely concur with the way things shook out for CBS, with CPMs (the cost of reaching 1,000 viewers) up as much as 10% and dollar volume up in the mid-single-digits versus 2015-16. Fox’s volume increase is expected to be more pronounced on a percentile basis, as it is building on a degraded base. (The broadcaster’s year-ago bookings were down 5%.) Meanwhile, it’s worth noting that every CPM hike for Fox cements its standing as the most expensive broadcast net on the dial, a function of its decade-plus run as the TV’s top source of viewers in the 18-to-49 demo. While the 2011-12 campaign marked the last time Fox won the annual ratings race, the gap between it and the top-rated network each year averages out to just four-tenths of a ratings point. Again: Parity is the byword.

ICYMI, Live Streaming, Advertising, Digital Media

Insights: Is Live Streaming Becoming A Real Business?

By David Bloom


Is the business, which broke into the zeitgeist a couple of years ago at SXSW, turning into an economically viable platform where an emerging set of creators and companies can build an audience and a living? I’d say yes.

A spate of smaller companies – including YouNow, Upclose, Stre.am, Flurry, Live.ly, Live.me and Kanvas – are among those trying to create their own unique spin on a live experience, for creators and sometimes for enterprise-level customers. I can’t guess their prospects. Pioneering streaming app Meerkat already blanched at the competition and pivoted out of the sector.

Advertising will have to adapt as well, with more all-show sponsors, branded content, graphic overlays and – just as in radio and podcasting – live-reads of sponsor messages. Facebook recently enabled branded content, but opposes “interruptive” pre-roll advertising in its feeds (the graphic overlays should be a way around this). Live.ly, like Twitch, allows fans to “tip” a star with digital currency. It’s safe to say these business models will evolve quickly, and some sites and their ad-tech partners likely will find a foothold even in the face of Facebook’s vast scale and bank account.

Traditional Media, Social Media

RelishMix weekly assessment of social-media presence (Social Media Universe/SMU) for weekend’s wide-release movies:

TARZAN activity on social (daily views), especially on YT is noticeably stronger than THE PURGE (although a bigger SMU). BFG light.

RelishMIX Social Marketing Tracking  Studio Social Reach Social Activity Cast Activation #Hashtags
The Legend of Tarzan Warner Bros Good Good Moderate Light
The Purge: Election Year Universal Good Moderate Light Light
The BFG Walt Disney Good Moderate Light Light


RelishMIX Social Marketing Tracking SMU Facebook Fans Twitter Followers YouTube Views Instagram Followers
The Legend of Tarzan 88.5 35.9 12.7 35.6 4.3
The Purge: Election Year 114.2 18.3 3.7 92 0.2
The BFG 57.7 27.5 3.4 25.1 1.7



This Year’s Best TV Networks So Far

By Joe Adalian @ Vulture

The biggest trend in the TV industry so far in 2016 has, sadly, been the same as the one which shaped 2015: Viewership, for both broadcast and cable networks, continues to decline. This doesn’t mean it’s all death and despair in TV land, however. Live tune-in for TV shows is headed south, but when various on-demand platforms are included, Americans are actually consuming much more media content overall, including TV.

Author: | Categories: Content, Entertainment Tags: ,

Fabric Notable Stories, June 27, 2016: Twitter Live, Brexit Headaches

Curated by David Bloom

Live Streaming, Social Media

Twitter set for more (live) streams

By Associated Press


Twitter is close to announcing deals to stream more live events, from sporting matches to political debates, after experiencing higher-than-expected demand for advertising for National Football League games it plans to air this season.

Revenue at Twitter is growing slower than expected, even as the company adds new products for social media advertising. With content deals and live streaming, the company will be able to tap into advertisers’ online video budgets, competing with YouTube and Hulu.

Live Streaming, Social Media

Periscope’s CEO Discusses Politics, Best Practices and the Future of Live-Streaming

By Andrew Hutchinson


Periscope’s success or failure is crucial to Twitter’s future, and that combined with the ever rising threat posed by Facebook Live makes this a particularly interesting time to get the perspective of Periscope founder and CEO Kayvon Beykpour, who this week sat down for an interview at the Cannes Lions Festival, which was subsequently broadcast by Twitter Advertising on Periscope.

Beykpour also discussed the evolution of live-streaming and where he sees Periscope growing and providing value. Beykpour noted that, first and foremost, audience interaction is the key element of the new live-stream process.

Traditional Media, Digital Media

NBC “Won’t Cancel Shows Quickly” in Bid to Restore Comedy Brand

By Joanne Ostrow


The new recipe is “smart, sophisticated but not alienating,” she said, with the goal to be a little bit more “big tent,” like the Andrea Martin overbearing-mom premise of Great News, but to remain a family show at the core.

Salke, meanwhile, gave a less-than-enthusiastic nod to Seeso, the Comcast/NBCUniversal digital comedy streaming channel. “It’s a starting place,” she said. “The digital conversation is one-third of my day at this point,” she added, advising the audience to “stay tuned” for the network’s new digital plans.

Traditional Media, Executive Shuffle

Galloway on Film: The 10-Year Studio Bloodbath

By Stephen Galloway


Once every decade, it seems, the movie business goes through a period of seismic convulsion when entire studio regimes resign or get tossed out on their ear, with the inevitable uncertainty and anxiety this provokes for hundreds and even thousands of other employees. It’s an industry-wide hari-kari, with the knife plunged into the good and the bad alike.

It used to be that success meant stability. Not any more. Today, even when you’re doing great, you’re not safe.    

Digital Media, Marketing

Interactive Content Is More Than Just an Attention-Grabber

By eMarketer


More interestingly, CMI uncovered other valuable benefits of interactive content for content marketers. For instance, 79% of respondents agreed that this type of content can be reused and subsequently encourage repeat visits. Another 79% said that interactive content, when combined with traditional content marketing, can help strengthen their company’s message.

Digital Media, Publishing

How the Gawker Media Bankruptcy Will Work

By Jonathan Guilford


Friedman explained that a bankruptcy auction starts out somewhat like a normal one. The company runs a process to look for a buyer. We know that Gawker did this because someone agreed to buy it. Or, more precisely, someone agreed to buy its assets, which will be sold clear of the company’s liabilities.

Per the chapter 11 filings, Ziff Davis, the owner of IGN and AskMen.com, made an offer of $90m plus the assumption of some liabilities for those assets. It was one of two offers to emerge from a group of six potential bidders approached by Houlihan.

Corporate Succession, Digital Media

Nikesh Arora Interview: Always Know When to Exit

By Erin Griffith


I said, “You told me when you turn 60, I was going to be CEO.”

He said, “You know what, honestly I haven’t really thought about it that hard.”

I said, “Well you’ve been going out there telling people out there that I’m your successor so I would really appreciate your thoughts.” He went back, he reflected, we chatted on the phone a few times. I think he came to the conclusion that he works really hard, he works anywhere from 12 to 16 hours a day and he still hasn’t contemplated what life would look like if he gave up most of what he did. He’s a very hands-on CEO, as he has said publicly.

Technology, Management

Silicon Valley firms are increasingly hiring chiefs of staff

By Elizabeth Dwoskin


Silicon Valley likes to thumb its nose at Washington. Tech executives have long derided the nation’s capital as a place where good ideas go to die by a thousand regulatory cuts. But increasingly, one quintessential Washington institution is taking hold: the chief of staff. Its growth in many companies is reflective of the evolution of the start-up boom: Companies have gotten bigger, often very quickly, and they’re seeking more organization and hierarchy as a result.

Increasingly, smaller start-ups are hiring chiefs of staff, said Nakul Mandan, partner at venture capital firm Lightspeed Venture Partners, in part because the latest start-up wave is growing up.

Digital Media

YouTube Red Sticking with Influencers

By Todd Longwell


But the new slate of exclusive originals for the subscription service YouTube Red unveiled by Daniels at the YouTube keynote address at VidCon on Thursday afternoon was packed with platform-native talent, including Rhett & Link, PewDiePie, Smosh and Vsauce creator Michael Stevens.

Streaming Media, SVOD, DVRs

Netflix and its ilk don’t play second fiddle to DVRs anymore

By Joan Solsman


Subscription video-on-demand services were in half of US households in the first quarter, according to Nielsen’s latest Total Audience Report. That’s up from 42 percent of households a year earlier. Meanwhile, DVRs have held steady, hovering around 49 to 50 percent for more than a year.

This marks the first time the report has shown the two to be on equal footing.

Advertising, Millennials

Millennials’ Relationship To Brands: Earn My Loyalty

By Wayne Friedman


A comScore/YouTube study says “Millennials exhibit a more favorable response to brands that earn their loyalty and are relevant.”

In this light, the comScore/YouTube research shows that 62% of those 18-34 “take action after viewing an ad” and 47% say they pay more attention when viewing personalized ads.”

Publishing, Digital Media

The New Yorker, BuzzFeed, and the push for digital credibility

By Danny Funt, Chava Gourarie, and Jack Murtha


The fragmented nature of the digital landscape has created a conundrum for magazines and other news outlets. Being seen as reliable is crucial to a news organization’s survival. But if readers are finding stories in every corner of the Web, and may not even remember where they first read them, how can publishers build a loyal audience? Do brands even matter anymore?

It turns out they do. Readers are less likely to trust a longform story that appears to have run on BuzzFeed than the same article on The New Yorker’s website, according to a study by the Columbia Journalism Review and the George T. Delacorte Center for Magazine Journalism.

However, our study also suggests that changes in how and where we read are pushing us to seek out reliability cues wherever they exist, and that readers make many judgments about the journalism itself when evaluating a story’s credibility. One study subject told us that he usually uses the publication where an article ran as a guidepost.

Digital Media, Publishing, Ad Blockers

Major Ad-Blocker Suffers Defeat Over Business Model

By David Meyer


On Friday, the court handed it a partial victory: Ad-blocking is still legal, but Adblock Plus may not charge Axel Springer to have its ads show up in front of Adblock Plus users.

Advertising, Social Media

WPP-Backed Agency Truffle Pig Leans on Snapchat Relationship

By Mike Shields


To date, Truffle Pig has gotten off to a slow start, but its relationship with investor Snapchat has proven to be its saving grace as brands clamor to figure out how to reach younger consumers.

Brexit, Advertising, Media

Advertising and Media Industries Brace for Uncertainty in Wake of ‘Brexit’

By Jack Marshall


The initial reaction from media and advertising executives was one of uncertainty about what it could mean for their businesses and indeed those of the clients that agencies are paid to advise.

Brexit, M&A, Traditional Media

Brexit: What It Means for Entertainment Industry M&A

By George Szalai


Will U.S. entertainment powerhouses look to take advantage of lower U.K. sector stock prices and a weaker pound to swoop in and make some acquisitions following a British referendum that yielded a majority for a Brexit? Or will they stay away amid a lack of clarity on what will happen in the U.K., with some market watchers fearing a recession as early as next year following the results?


John Oliver’s glorious rant in response to Brexit

Best link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSzmvWiEjNE

By German Lopez


Oliver pointed to the swift, destructive fallout of the UK’s vote. Over the past several days, global and British markets have dropped, the British pound was historically weak, and Prime Minister David Cameron, who signed off on the Brexit vote, announced he’s stepping down. And it could get worse, given that no one knows how, exactly, UK-EU negotiations for a British exit will end up.

Conferences of note:

Cybertech logoThis is a one-day conference & exhibition on cyber solutions, innovations, and technologies, Cybertech: June 30th at the Wallis Annenberg Theatre in Beverly Hills. Cybertech will serve as a meeting place for a discussion on cyber crime & investigations, solutions for media and entertainment, fintech, protecting critical infrastructure and more!

To register for a complimentary ticket, please click here and write that you received your invitation from IDEAS.


GamesBeat banner

At GamesBeat 2016, we’re devoting an entire day to dive into VR and AR. How decision-makers approach this new platform will determine who the winners and losers will be – from developing the right game strategies, to launch timing, to marketing and targeting the right consumers. We’re examining it all with the right thought leaders in the room.

Of course, there’s a whole lot more to dive into – from monetization strategies to esports and global expansion to publishing deals. We’ve assembled many of the industry’s top leaders to share essential insights on all this and more.

Have a look at some of our top speakers:

  • Peter Moore, Chief Competition Officer, EA
  • Kevin Chou, CEO, Kabam
  • Jason Rubin, Head of Worldwide Studios, Oculus
  • Richard Marks, Senior Research Engineer, Sony
  • David Haddad, President, Warner Brothers
  • Mike Sepso, SVP of Media Networks, Activision Blizzard
  • Michael Condrey, Cofounder, Sledgehammer Games
  • Megan Gaiser, Principal, Contagious Creativity
  • Peter Levin, President of Interactive Ventures & Games, Lionsgate
  • Ru Weerasuriya, Founder & President, Ready At Dawn Studios
  • Roy Taylor, Corporate VP, AMD

We’re at a vital juncture in the gaming industry. Bottom line: you simply can’t afford to sit this one out.

Make sure you jump on the 20% discount before those tickets vanish. Just use this code VIP20 by June 30!

Subscription TV Services Are In Just As Many Homes As DVRs

By Joan E. Solsman @ CNET

Paid streaming video services like Netflix are as prevalent in US homes as digital video recorders, TV-ratings giants Nielsen said Monday in a quarterly report.

Subscription video-on-demand services were in half of US households in the first quarter, according to Nielsen’s latest Total Audience Report. That’s up from 42 percent of households a year earlier. Meanwhile, DVRs have held steady, hovering around 49 to 50 percent for more than a year.

Author: | Categories: Content, Entertainment Tags: ,

NBC ‘Won’t Cancel Shows Quickly’ In An Effort to Restore Comedy Brand

By Joanne Ostrow @ Hollywood Reporter

During the hourlong panel, Salke — who started at NBC in 2011 — offered a frank assessment of NBC’s difficult history in comedy and noted how the network fell from “must see” status during the Friends era to, more recently, “No. 5 or 6 behind Telemundo.” After famed single-camera comedies neared the ends of their runs, Salke said, the directive became to find more lucrative half-hours. That included what she called “a couple of years of over-correction” featuring series like one-and-done entry The Michael J. Fox Show.

Author: | Categories: Content, Entertainment Tags: ,

Fabric Notable Stories, June 23, 2016

By David Bloom

My latest Tubefilter column looks at the fallout from the recent murder of Christina Grimmie by an obsessed fan. Grimmie got her start on YouTube, made her way to ‘The Voice’ behind a huge Internet following and was walking open-armed during a fan meet-and-greet to the man who would shoot her to death and then himself. For a medium whose stars build their followings through direct and intense connections with their fans, will everything have to change? How will creators balance safety and connection in the future?

Insights: Will Christina Grimmie’s Murder Ruin The Fan Bond That Built the Creator Community?

By David Bloom


Now, in the wake of Christina Grimmie’s June 11 murder, online stars who weren’t even alive when Schaeffer died face an almost existential question. How can they protect themselves while still maintaining and building their most valuable resource: a direct relationship with their ardent fans?

It’s those fans who watch and like and share creator videos, buy their books and merchandise, attend their live events, and justify the big checks those creators receive from influencer marketers. Without that intense fan relationship, the entire creator ecosystem faces dramatic changes.

Traditional Media, Digital Media

Big Media Needs to Embrace Digital Shift—Not Fight It

By Amol Sharma


The youth drain in traditional TV is real: People ages 18 to 24 are spending nearly 30% less time per week watching TV than they were in 2012, according to Nielsen. The drop is 18% among people 24 to 35. Some are cutting the cable-TV cord. Others are simply spending more time on social media or watching online video.

Digital ad spending, meanwhile, is rising and will surpass spending on television in the U.S. next year to reach $77 billion, according to eMarketer. For now, digital’s rise is coming mainly at the expense of other media—TV has actually been on a remarkable run lately. But that is largely due to ad-price increases that are unsustainable.

Live Streaming, Digital Media

Live.me To Offer $500,000 To “The Next Top Broadcasters” At VidCon (Exclusive)

By Sam Gutelle


It has announced “The Next Top Broadcasters,” a competition that will offer $500,000 in short-term contracts to its winners.

The Next Top Broadcasters, or #TNTB for short, will begin on June 23rd, which is also the first day of VidCon. Starting on that day, creators who launch new Live.me accounts and begin streaming on the app with the hashtag #LivemeStar will have the opportunity to earn virtual “diamonds” from their fans.

Digital Content, OTT, Apps

go90 Starts Casting to TVs

By Jeff Baumgartner


It marks the first time go90 content has been optimized for the big screen. Watchable, Comcast’s similar, ad-supported OTT service, is offered on mobile apps to all-comers and on X1 boxes for its pay TV subscribers.

Live Streaming, Digital Content, Social Media

Tumblr launches live video tools with a little help from other apps

By Jordan Valinsky


Unlike Twitter or Facebook, which either built native tools in-house (Facebook Live) or acquired another app (Periscope), Tumblr is going the economical route by outsourcing the technical capabilities to third-party, live streaming apps, including YouNow, AOL’s Kanvas, YouTube and Upclose.

Tumblr is teaming with publishers, including Mashable, MTV and Refinery29, to live stream content exclusively to the platform. The company is also exploring ways to monetize live video with brands and using it as an ad offering.

Digital Media, Video Advertising

Digital Video Advertising to Grow at Annual Double-Digit Rates


eMarketer expects US digital video ad spending will see double-digit growth annually through 2020. By contrast, TV ad spending will grow much more modestly, at rates ranging from 2.0% to 2.5%. Still, TV will remain dominant, with total ad spending reaching $77.17 billion in 2020, more than quadruple the $16.69 billion for digital video, as explored in a new eMarketer report, “Digital Video Trends Q2 2016: Monetization, Audience, Platforms and Content.”

OTT, Digital Media, Streaming Video

Netflix Chews Up Less Bandwidth, as Amazon Video Streaming Surges

By Todd Spangler


In March 2016, Netflix represented 35.2% of downstream traffic on North American fixed networks during primetime hours, according to a study by network-equipment provider Sandvine. That’s compared with 37.1% six months ago for the world’s No. 1 streaming-video service, and down from 36.5% a year ago.

That doesn’t necessarily mean people are streaming less Netflix video. The decline in traffic share, according to Sandvine’s analysis, most likely stems from the company’s recent improvements in video-encoding efficiency. Last December, Netflix detailed changes in its video-encoding schemes, which the company said could reduce bit rates by up to 20% while delivering equivalent quality.

Digital Media, Influencers

Netflix Taps Digital Heartthrob Cameron Dallas To Headline New Reality Series

By Geoff Weiss


Dallas marks the second online influencer to be tapped to headline a series by the streaming giant following Haters Back Off, a scripted comedy starring Miranda Sings — the ridiculous alter ego of YouTube star Colleen Ballinger-Evans. While little is known about Dallas’ unscripted project, the show will reportedly follow him and friends and family as he seeks to catapult his online fame “to the next level…”

Mashable Goes To The Movies With Acquisition Of CineFix

By Sam Gutelle


Under previous owner Whalerock Industries, CineFix became one of the most significant destinations for film buffs on YouTube. Its slate of web series includes Homemade Movies, which features DIY recreations of famous scenes, and Film School’d, which explains cinema history through time-lapse whiteboard drawings. Thanks to the popularity of these and other shows, CineFix has built up an audience of more than 1.6 million subscribers.

DB: Mashable’s pivot to video continues aggressively

VR, Entertainment, Live Streaming

Beyond Gaming: Consumers Show New Kinds of Interest in Virtual Reality

By Laura Hamilton


…gaming ranked sixth among these categories in the survey, with 61 percent of respondents stating they were “interested” or “very interested” in virtual gaming. The top six use-case categories of respondents were travel, tourism or adventure (73.5 percent), movies and recorded videos (67.3 percent), live events (67 percent), home design (65.9 percent), education (63.9 percent) and gaming (61 percent).

DB: VR’s initial successes may not be in entertainment or gaming at all. Real estate flythroughs, employee training and travel destination “brochures” all may finance VR pioneers before entertainment and game experiences hit a critical mass.

Video Production, Personalization

Adobe Sees Growth Opportunities in Primetime, New and Expanded Product Offerings

By Jeff Berman


Adobe Primetime helps broadcasters, cable networks, and service providers create and monetize personalized TV and film experiences for their customers across 3.4 billion devices, according to Adobe. It also provides data via Adobe Marketing Cloud integration that enables media sellers to optimize ad delivery in real time.

In March, the company announced Primetime over-the-top capabilities that make it easy for TV networks and pay-TV providers to bring more personalized TV and ad experiences directly to consumers via Apple TV, Microsoft Xbox, Roku and other connected devices, Narayen pointed out on the call. In May, Adobe also introduced expanded virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality capabilities within Adobe Primetime, with ad insertion, digital rights management and playback, he said.

Cord cutting, OTT, Digital Content, Pay TV

More OTT content drives cord cutting


As consumers find themselves with a wider variety of OTT content options, price is becoming less of a factor in the decision to cut the cord with pay-TV providers while content availability increasingly drives decision-making, according to content delivery specialist Limelight Networks’ semi-annual State of Online Video research report, which examines consumer behaviours and perceptions around watching online video. Streaming video services are surging in popularity, with seven out of 10 consumers now subscribing to at least one service.

Twenty-nine per cent of respondents cited rising prices as the primary reason they would cut the cord, down more than 8 per cent since May 2015. By contrast, 20 per cent of consumers said a key factor would be the ability to directly subscribe to the channels they want online, up 4 per cent in the same timeframe. Surprisingly, the number of respondents who would “never terminate cable or pay television subscription” has risen from 10 per cent to 15 per cent since 2015. This reinforces the diminishing impact of price on cord cutting and a shift to content availability driving behaviour.

Creators, Digital Media

VidCon Announces International Expansion for 2017

The World’s Largest Online Video Conference Adds New Events in Europe and Australia.

Anaheim, CA, June 22, 2016: VidCon (vidcon.com), the world’s largest online video conference for fans, creatives and industry professionals, today announced its first-ever international expansion. VidCon Europe will debut April 8-9, 2017, at the RAI Amsterdam

Convention Centre, while VidCon Australia will launch September 9-10, 2017, at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. The original VidCon will return to the Anaheim Convention Center in the summer of 2017. The new events will welcome approximately 7,500 fans and creators, with a custom experience designed to celebrate the online video world.

Video Production, Traditional Media

Mega Metadata Experiment May Affect the Future of Hollywood Production

By Lauren Blue


The project’s purpose was to realize the long-hoped for promise of production metadata. Could they enable all facets of a complex film shoot to not only talk with each other during the production and post production workflow but also retrieve all the metadata created along the way so it could be fed into subsequent applications?

PlayStation Vue Is Now On Roku, Making Cord Cutting Easier Than Ever

By Nathan Olivarez-Giles @ WSJD

Roku Inc. and Sony Corp. are making it easier than ever to dump your cable-TV contract. This week, Sony’s PlayStation Vue streaming TV service arrived on Roku’s set-top boxes, sticks and TV sets.

Author: | Categories: Entertainment, Tech Tags: , , ,

YouTube Millionaires: Jack Baran

By Sam Gutelle @ Tubefilter

Jack Baran is evolving into one of YouTube’s most versatile vloggers. The 19-year-old from Fairfield, Connecticut creates videos on his thatsojack YouTube channel, where he has more than 1.6 million subscribers. His content covers a wide variety of topics: He discusses his favorite music, shares his tastes in fashion, produces skits and sketches that often discuss the differences between guys and girls, and collaborates with many of his fellow creators.

Fabric Notable Stories, June 22, 2016

Compiled By David Bloom

Facebook’s announcement, coming on the eve of VidCon, that it is breaking out its checkbook in a major way to bring live-streaming programming to the site, is a very big deal.

Given that the company has done little to reimburse creators on its platform in the past, this is potentially huge, as FB tries to create its own ecosystem of stars and brands and more separate from the giant one that YouTube created over the past decade.

So, today’s edition begins with a focus on livecasting (a term I’m claiming) before segueing to news about other social-media powers trying to evolve their operations, and challenges facing the leadership of major traditional media companies.  -DB

Social Media, Live Streaming Creators, Publishing

Facebook inks 140 deals with media, celebrities to bolster live video content

By Steven Perlberg and Deepa Seetharaman


The company has agreed to make payments to video creators totaling more than $50 million, according to a document reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Its partners include established media outfits like CNN and the New York Times; digital publishers like Vox Media, Tastemade, Mashable and the Huffington Post; and celebrities including Kevin Hart, Gordon Ramsay, Deepak Chopra and NFL quarterback Russell Wilson.

Social Media, Live Streaming

5 Best Practices for Using Facebook Live

By Bob Hutchins


Not all Pages have access to Facebook Live (yet). If your Page does, or if you want to learn how to make best use of Facebook Live on your personal profile, we’ve got some best practice suggestions for you. (Check out Facebook’s Tips page for more of these suggestions.)

Live-streaming, Apps

Everybody Gets a Livestreaming App

By Product Hunt

YOU get a livestreaming app and YOU get a livestreaming app, and just this week Musical.ly and Tumblr launched their own live streaming apps. Meanwhile, the original unicorn in the space has inspired…

Check out the full collection of Twitch for X apps on Product Hunt (and a special thanks to Jack Dweck for curating!).

Digital Video, Marketing, Traditional Media

Trailers in an Age of Internet Video

By M.G. Siegler, GV General Partner


I was thinking about this today in the context of Vine’s just-announced changes to offer video creators a canvas of up to 140-seconds (or longer if they’re partners). The service, which I was a seed investor in way back in the day, before it sold to Twitter, has always been built around the six-second video. When it launched in 2012/2013, this limit made a lot of sense as video was not as prevalent as it is today on the internet. There was a huge barrier to entry in making interesting video, and Vine alleviated much of that with the six-second rule. Like Twitter’s own 140-character limit before it, restriction knocked down a barrier to publishing and bred creativity.

We’re staying true to who we are. Vines are a format to squeeze the most funny, beautiful, breathtaking moments into. Defying traditional narrative with their format, they’re a lot like trailers. And like a great trailer, they make you want to watch the movie.

With this beta release, a Vine can now be a trailer that points directly to a mini-movie.

Digital Media, International

Vice Media to Expand in Dozens of New International Markets

By Lukas Alpert


The deals, announced Wednesday by Vice’s founder and Chief Executive Shane Smith at the Cannes Lions advertising festival, include joint ventures with media groups in India and the Middle East and broadcasting arrangements in Africa, Southeast Asia, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Several of the new deals include online and mobile components, but most focus on bringing Viceland, the company’s cable network that launched in the U.S. in February, to viewers in a number of international markets.

Social Media, Marketing

Snapchat: How Brands Reach Millennials

By Steven Perlberg


Taco Bell, a unit of Yum! Brands Inc., found that users spent an average of 24 seconds playing around with its lens during the daylong campaign. But the return on investment remains unclear.

“Can I tell you what kind of sales lift I got off that lens? No,” Ms. Thalberg said. “But I wasn’t looking at it that way. That was about creating a special moment for us on Cinco de Mayo.”

Social Media, Advertising, Digital Media

Fears of Facebook and Google Ad Dominance Hang Over Cannes, Says Tim Armstrong

By Jack Marshall


“It comes up with publishers, with advertising agencies, with marketers. There’s a fear of a duopoly overall,” Mr. Armstrong said in an interview Tuesday in Cannes.

Last year, Google and Facebook together commanded 43% of global ad revenue online, according to an estimate from research firm eMarketer.

But the concern, Mr. Armstrong said, is largely driven by the so-called walled garden strategies the companies are taking. Facebook and Google are increasingly restricting third-party companies from operating on their networks and from accessing their data, and are instead pushing marketers to use their own end-to-end products.

Digital Media, Ad Blockers, Advertising

eMarketer: Over 25% of US internet users will use ad blockers this year

By David Kirkpatrick


  • About 26% of U.S. internet users (or 69.8 million Americans) will use ad blocking software this year, according to a new forecast from eMarketer, a 34% increase over 2015.
  • eMarketer projects that number will only increase in 2017, with 32% of U.S. internet users (or 86.6 million people) using ad blocking technology.
  • The report found that ad blocking in the U.S. is much more prevalent on desktop and laptop computers than on mobile devices, and that there is also a little overlap in the numbers with some people blocking ads on all devices.

Echoing the need for a better user experience, eMarketer senior analyst Paul Verna said in a statement about the findings: “The best way for the industry to tackle this problem is to deliver compelling ad experiences that consumers won’t want to block.”

Social Media

Twitter’s Tightrope: Keeping Current Users Happy While Adding Lots Of New Ones

By Harry McCracken


Twitter’s challenge, then, is to keep those 310 million people happy, while simultaneously re-imagining itself to attract a whole lot more people. And it’s not just about scaling up so that nobody sees it as a 98-pound weakling in comparison to Facebook. The company also has to keep its eye on a surging Snapchat, which recently passed it in daily users.

Herewith, a look at Twitter’s current users, the ones it would like to attract, and the factors that the company must keep in mind as it aims to please them both.

Traditional Media

In-Depth With Disney CEO Bob Iger on China Growth, ‘Star Wars’ Reshoots and Political Plans: “A Lot of People Have Urged Me to [Run]”

By Matthew Belloni


In his 11 years atop Disney, Iger has become the most effective media CEO of his generation. When he was named to the post in March 2005 (a controversial choice, given his lack of film or parks experience), the former weatherman and longtime ABC executive inherited a company whose storied animation studio was in disarray and its stock price at $27.70 a share. Thanks to a management style colleagues describe as respectful yet decisive, growth initiatives at its cable channels and a series of big-ticket deals for Pixar Animation Studios ($7.4 billion), Marvel Entertainment ($4 billion) and Lucasfilm ($4.1 billion), Disney stock closed June 20 at $99.57. The company’s market cap of $163 billion helped earn Iger $46.5 million in 2015, among the top 10 paydays of U.S. CEOs. During his tenure, he has proved himself equally adept at communicating with business leaders (mending Disney’s relationship with Steve Jobs, which led to the Pixar deal), the creative community and a board that includes heavyweights Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey. The Disney film studio has succeeded in the franchise business like none of its rivals (Finding Dory opened to $136 million during the June 17 weekend, a record for an animated film), and its Media Networks division, which includes cable TV, generated nearly $8 billion in operating income in 2015 (four times the film division and half the company’s profits). Just last Sunday, Game 7 of the NBA Finals delivered more than 30 million viewers to ABC, a record for the network’s basketball coverage.

Traditional Media

Michael Wolff on How a Cornered Philippe Dauman Could Save His Viacom Job

By Michael Wolff


While the daily details of Shari’s efforts at a corporate putsch are on the front page, they may soon take a backseat to what could turn out to be, in a Massachusetts probate case, the biggest incompetence and — as Viacom management is darkly suggesting — elder abuse case in American history. One that may be vastly larger than the Brooke Astor case, which held headlines in New York and sent Astor’s son, Anthony Marshall, to jail several years ago. Befitting Viacom’s long history as a take-no-prisoners litigator and helped by its shareholders’ footing of management’s legal bills, the case will unfold in Massachusetts probate court and in Delaware Chancery Court — and with the possibility of California courts entering the picture. A denouement could reshape the media world possibly within 90 days, according to people close to the case.


Fabric Notable Stories, June 17, 2016

By David Bloom

Long-gone Internet sensation Lonelygirl15 comes back a decade later to a very different digital world. Would she still be lonely in an era of YouTube millionaires clubs, Tinder, Snapchat, Instagram, and endless chat apps? I vote no. But nostalgia, even among 22-year-olds, can be a powerful thing.

Among the shifts here of note: podcasts experiment with branded content, even as NPR flails about trying to locate a future as its stars begin to retire; Steven Levy flees the “platisher” experiment for the welcoming arms of Mother Conde Nast; marketing’s future continues to shift, as do the people at the top of several major media companies; and some new platform plays are emerging.

Digital Media, Ancient History

Precisely 10 Years After Its Premiere, Cult Sensation Lonelygirl15 Is Readying A Relaunch

By Geoff Weiss


When it launched on June 16, 2006, Lonelygirl15 broke the digital mold. What seemed like a run-of-the-mill vlog created by a teenage everygirl named Bree turned out to be an intricately orchestrated fictional series — with groundbreaking interactive features and sci-fi plot twists — that was light years ahead of the curve in terms of showcasing YouTube’s potential as a platform for scripted content.

Digital Media, Investment

Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer Stumbled After Secret Truce With Investor

By Doug MacMillan


As tough as her job was from the start, Ms. Mayer made things even worse after Starboard began prodding Yahoo, according to interviews with more than two dozen investors, current and former Yahoo employees, and other people who worked closely with her.

Digital Content, Social Media

Microsoft’s New Secret Weapon is Reid Hoffman

By Jessi Hempel


Now that Microsoft has announced plans to pay $26.2 billion for LinkedIn, it’d be a reasonable time for Reid Hoffman to step aside. After all, he’s a partner at the venture firm Greylock, and advises numerous startups and nonprofits including Airbnb and Mozilla. He’s written two best-selling business books, and is working on a third. Though he’s chairman of LinkedIn’s board, he hasn’t had a job at the company since he appointed Jeff Weiner CEO seven years ago. But that hasn’t stopped Hoffman, who still owns 11% of LinkedIn’s shares, from showing up to work there almost every day.

Hoffman anticipates that once the Microsoft deal is done, his role at Microsoft will expand. He plans to double down on his efforts to transform LinkedIn from the jobseekers’ front door that it has long been into the perfect path to future economic prosperity for all workers, especially the beleaguered middle class.


Publishing, Digital Content, Distribution

There is One Story. We’re Still On It.

By Steven Levy


As of this week, Backchannel is moving to Condé Nast, one of the world’s great media companies. We will still publish on the Medium platform — but as a client, like The Ringer. (A moment of silence, please, for the “platisher” era.) We’ll be part of the Wired Media Group, along with WIRED and Ars Technica.

Also, we intend to make money. At Medium, Backchannel hosted a few experiments in sponsorships. Now it’s for real.

VR, Traditional Media, Investment

A ton of movie studios are backing this virtual reality startup — but the startup is dropping ‘VR’ from its name

By Mark Bergen


Take Vrse, a startup that has established a name for itself as a VR film producer. Today it’s raking in $12.56 million in funding from a collection of tech and media venture capital sources, such as Vice Media, as well as major film studios like Legendary Pictures and 21st Century Fox.

Traditional Media, Investment, Digital Content

Sony Announces Multi-Million Dollar Investment In Interactive Videomaker Interlude

By Sam Gutelle


The funding is specifically directed toward Interlude’s Eko platform, on which the studio posts its most exciting projects. Since 2010, when it was founded by Israeli musician Yoni Bloch, Interlude has gained plaudits for its creative productions, which engage viewers in immersive and seamless ways. The studio’s most notable productions include a music video it launched to promote a Bob Dylan box set and an interactive series of choose-your-own-adventure videos it used to gather hype for MTV’s Scream.

Creators, Digital Content, Distribution

Studio71 Bringing Content From 100 YouTube Stars To Open Video Platform Rumble

By Geoff Weiss


Toronto-based Rumble, a service enabling video creators to host, share, monetize, and distribute content across multiple platforms such as AOL, YouTube, and Dailymotion from one centralized account, has just inked a deal with Studio71, an MCN that reps top creators like Flula Borg.

Digital Marketing, Messaging, Social Media

What Marketers Need to Know About Chat Apps

By Mark Schaefer


The rise of social media changed marketing. Now, before some marketers have even fully adapted to that world, the social web is transforming again. The rise of private social networks and messaging apps will challenge the strategies that marketers developed for public social networks.

Social media won’t go away, but traditional social networks may become less important to certain groups. The rise of more intimate channels presents new opportunities, and perhaps perils, for marketers.

Traditional Media

As Stacey Snider Ascends at Fox, Hollywood Is in Turnaround

By Anne Thompson


Now Lachlan and James Murdoch are giving her the reins to truly oversee production for not only the Fox studio but also Fox Animation/Blue Sky Studios, Fox International Productions, Fox 2000 and Fox Searchlight, and take over sole oversight of  the studio’s global theatrical marketing and distribution. So Watts, Gabler and the others will have to either give Snider her due or move on. But even when he moves over to a consulting role over the studio, Gianopulos will likely have a strong say in international operations as well as all things James Cameron, who’s still on board for four mighty “Avatar” sequels.

Meanwhile around Hollywood, the studios are in some flux as the inevitable digital fallout takes its course. Every management change brings executive musical chairs and once-valued projects thrown into turnaround.

Machine Learning, AI

Google opens Machine Learning Research Center in Europe to further explore AI

By Lance Ulanoff


Opening as part of Google’s existing Google Research center in Europe, the Machine Learning Research Group will focus on, naturally, Machine Learning, in which computers use vast amounts of data to teach themselves and build rules about the data; Natural Language Processing for speech-systems and conversational queries; and Machine Perception, which is used to understand the contents of images, sounds, music and video.

Social Media, Analytics

Tough News: We’ve Made 10 Layoffs. How We Got Here, the Financial Details and How We’re Moving Forward

By Joel Gascoigne, CEO of Buffer.com


The last 3 weeks have been challenging and emotional for everyone at Buffer. We made the hard decision to lay off 10 team members, 11% of the team. I’d like to share the full details of how we got here, and the way we have chosen to handle this situation to put Buffer in a healthier position.

Innovation, Organizational Development, Personal Development

Billionaire tech and sports mogul on the secret of success: Avoid meetings

By Seth Fiegerman


“The best line I could come up with was, ‘Let me get through this and I’ll leave more than I take,'” Leonsis said. He survived — and then began wondering how to make good on that deal. His first step: Make a list of 101 things he wanted to achieve in his life.

Innovation, Organizational Development

Four Behaviors that Fuel Innovation

Unleash Commitments, Requests and Offers to get the Innovation Results you Seek

By Michael Glessner


Getting innovation right is a challenge for most businesses and leaders. There are specific actions an innovation leader can encourage to help guide the organic efforts of their firm. Yet if bad habits or poor execution exist, most of these efforts will fail to produce the step change in sustained innovation results that are the goal. My colleague Scott Gamble advocates learning from past projects and this series of articles will demonstrate that concept.

Digital Media, Distribution

Netflix Adjusts To Its Own Success

By Joe Nocera http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/19/magazine/can-netflix-survive-in-the-new-world-it-created.html

NewCo Shift: In Can Netflix Survive in the New World It Created?, a long piece that will appear in the Sunday New York Times Magazine, Joe Nocera wonders whether the great television disruptor opened the door for everyone else but could close it on itself. He expertly retells the tales of how the television networks went from considering Netflix as “found money” to realizing it was a threat and walks through Reed Hastings’ key insights — there was no long-term DVD business so the company had to move to streaming, and there was no long-term rerun business so it had to go big on original programming. Nocera only mentions the company’s most formidable short-term competitor, Amazon, in one paragraph near the end. Sure, the leaders of a disruption are often those who end up with arrows in their backs, but this is a mostly positive, well-reported profile of a quite successful company that is nowhere near as skeptical as its headline suggests.

Marketing, Ad Tech


By Tal Shachar


For centuries, the process of selling a good remained functionally unchanged. But new technologies are rapidly transforming the consumer funnel – making it more measurable, more immediate and less costly. No matter how you interact with the ad business, these changes will affect your business, your customers and your profits.

Traditional Media, Distribution, Radio

Public Radio’s Existential Crisis

By Ellen Gamerman


Public radio is facing an existential crisis. Some of the biggest radio stars of a generation are exiting the scene while public-radio executives attempt to stem the loss of younger listeners on traditional radio. At the same time, the business model of NPR—the institution at the center of the public-radio universe—is under threat: It relies primarily on funding from hundreds of local radio stations, but it faces rising competition from small and nimble podcasting companies using aggressive commercial strategies to create Netflix-style on-demand content.

Podcasting, Advertising, Branded Content

Podcast Companies Experiment With Sponsored Content

By Steven Perlberg


Media companies ranging from BuzzFeed to the New York Times to The Wall Street Journal have formed internal units dedicated to creating “sponsored” articles and videos for brands that feel similar to regular editorial work. But more recently, podcast companies like Gimlet Media, Panoply and Midroll Media are trying their hand at making sponsored shows for big marketers, too.

Mobile, Digital Media, Advertising, Creators

Insights: Reaping The $22 Billion “Opportunity” In Mobile Entertainment

By David Bloom


That expected growth in mobile represents, again, a huge opportunity for creators, publishers and advertisers smart enough to ride these trends and build the audiences and relationships they need now. This won’t be simple, of course. We’re writing the playbooks for success seemingly every day, then tearing them up and writing new ones. But Meeker has laid out an opportunity. Creators and brands need to take advantage.



NPR Struggles to Adapt to the Digital Age

By Ellen Gamerman Wall Street Journal

Old hosts die hard in public radio.

When 73-year-old Garrison Keillor retires as host of “A Prairie Home Companion next month, he’ll leave more than 3 million weekly listeners loyal to a show that began more than 40 years ago.

Author: | Categories: Entertainment, Publishing Tags: , ,

Movie Studios Are Backing This VR Startup

By Mark Bergen @ Recode

Movie studios are glancing behind their backs to see if virtual reality gains enough traction to impact their business. More daring ones are putting money there first.

Take Vrse, a startup that has established a name for itself as a VR film producer. Today it’s raking in $12.56 million in funding from a collection of tech and media venture capital sources, such as Vice Media, as well as major film studios like Legendary Pictures and 21st Century Fox.

Author: | Categories: Business, Entertainment, Tech Tags: ,

Will Netflix Last in The TV Industry?

By Joe Nocera @ The New York Times

One night in early January, a little after 9 o’clock, a dozen Netflix employees gathered in the cavernous Palazzo ballroom of the Venetian in Las Vegas. They had come to rehearse an announcement the company would be making the next morning at the Consumer Electronics Show, the tech industry’s gigantic annual conference. For the previous year, Netflix had been plotting secretly to expand the availability of its streaming entertainment service, then accessible in about 60 countries, to most of the rest of the world.

Author: | Categories: Entertainment Tags: ,

YouTuber Mitchell Davis Gets Creative With Snapchat

By Geoff Weiss @ Tubefilter

When he’s getting ready to film one of his now-famous Snapchat stories, Mitchell Davis fires up his mobile phone and heads straight for the bathroom. He flips through the app’s ever-evolving lens assortment and examines his countenance amid the contortions — talking to himself in the mirror for about 20 minutes just to get in the zone. He may write a little bit beforehand, Davis tells Tubefilter, but that’s about it. Then he presses record.

VR Is Becoming the New Norm for Cinema

By Dana Knight Dazed

With VR showcases at all the forward-thinking film festivals in the world, Sundance, Tribeca and TIFF, 360 videos and installations have become a regular festival fixture. Even the more conservative Cannes had a very impressive VR display this year, alongside VR masterclasses and panels athering some of the key players in this burgeoning and exciting industry.

Author: | Categories: Content, Entertainment Tags: , ,

Microsoft Reveals New Xbox One at E3

By Derrik J. Lang @ The Associated Press

Xbox One is shrinking in size and growing in power.

Microsoft unveiled during its Monday media briefing at the Electronic Entertainment Expo a new, slimmer version of the video game console coming later this year and a more powerful one that’s due in 2017.

Author: | Categories: Entertainment Tags: