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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 5, 2016: Best of 2016 TV and Web, Time and Facebook Stir It Up, Snapchat Gets Old

Curated by David Bloom

Digital Media, SVOD, Live Streaming, Snapchat

8 Biggest Digital Entertainment Stories of 2016 (So Far)

By Saba Hamedy


Live streaming, Music.ly, Snapchat copycats, SVOD overload, mobile programming, influencers on streaming sites and more.

Digital Media, Live Streaming, Publishing

Time Inc. Plans Significant Reorganization to Generate Non-Print Revenue

By Jeffrey Trachtenberg


Time Inc. plans a reorganization to generate more revenue from videos, live events and deeper collaborations with advertisers and to broaden distribution of its content including on social media platforms, people familiar with the situation say. The restructuring, which is expected shortly, comes as the magazine publisher is forecasting a revenue gain of 1% to 5% in 2016, which would be its first significant revenue improvement in five years. Time Inc. like many traditional publishers has been hit by a drop-off in print advertising revenue.

Digital Media, Publishing, Live Streaming

As Publisher Reach on Facebook Goes Down, Video Is Going Way Up

By Marty Swant


According to data compiled by SocialFlow, a social analytics company used by many major publishers, video content posted by publishers on Facebook is gaining quite a bit of traction. The company—which posts more than half a millions stories a month to Facebook and other social media channels on behalf of publishers—analyzed 30 days of video content to determine the total reach, likes and shares. And while a report last month highlighted a 42 percent drop in reach for publishers from January to May, SocialFlow found reach had grown by a factor of eight in the past month.

Anderson said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if video posts grow to account for 5 percent to 10 percent of total post volume over the next six to 12 months.

Digital Media, Publishing, Strategy


By Om Malik for The New Yorker


The new changes to the feed suggest that Facebook is going back to its beginnings. The algorithm will now favor the personal—baby photos, vacation chronicles, and marriage albums. “We often make improvements to News Feed, and when we do, we rely on a set of core values,” Adam Mosseri, the vice-president of product management for the news feed, noted on the company blog. Those values include “Friends and Family Come First” and “A Platform for All Ideas,” and can be best summed up, minus the corporate mumbo-jumbo, as Facebook wanting to make the news feed more social. It wants it to be less of a jumble of videos, ads, and news articles. The decision to revert to the core values is a reaction to a recent decline in original sharing, a trend that has caused a lot of consternation among the Facebook brain trust. Instead of posting updates about their personal lives, users are populating the feed with links to articles from across the Web. As the “friend” circles expand, the feed becomes less intimate and leads to what Facebook insiders, according to Bloomberg, call “context collapse.”

Facebook, Publishing, Strategy

Wolff: Facebook and the media’s interests diverge

By Michael Wolff


Somehow, quite like the media’s ability to ignore the electoral anger that caused Trump and Brexit, it was also able to blindly ignore that Facebook’s interests were different from its own.

And when Facebook announced last week that it was going to downgrade news in the Facebook news feed in favor of personal ruminations and friend baby pics, there was, in Trump and Brexit fashion, a total “it can’t be” reaction from the media. Actually, it’s quite a development for the media not unlike Brexit for Britain.

Rather, the media ought to Brexit Facebook. Since Facebook is going to turn its back on publishers, publishers ought to radically and unilaterally reject Facebook. Let Facebook go dark. Take back control, in the words of the Brexiteers. And don’t ever give it up again.

Digital Media, Branded Content, Live Streaming, Social Media

Martha Stewart Wants a Steady Revenue Stream From Facebook Live

By jeffrey Trachtenberg


As Facebook Live viewers have noticed, advertising isn’t allowed on the streaming service, at least not yet. However, creators are free to integrate product placements into their videos, and Martha Stewart has done some of that. So far, brands seem to be testing the water, with a Facebook Live mention as a small part of a bigger advertising deal.

While that may pale in comparison to the size of the audience she used to have for her television program, Ms. Stewart is certain that live videos are helping some people discover her for the first time, in part because she says she’s attracting an international audience. But even more important, the live episode was shot by one camera operator with an iPhone Six Plus for a fraction of the budget for her former weekday TV show.

Digital Media, Mobile

Teens’ Ownership of Smartphones Has Surged

Penetration will approach 75% this year

By eMarketer


Thus, for this whole age bracket, smartphone penetration will be 74.2%. That is up sharply from 2013, when just under half of this age cohort had smartphones. Still, it falls short of the figure for adult millennials, among whom upwards of nine in 10 have smartphones.

Digital Media, Blockchain

Chaining culture

Will blockchain technologies kill off fair use?

By Peter Brantley


Creative Commons has a real world interest in blockchain. They are potentially a means of conveying license information, identifying media just as accurately as a digital fingerprint or an identifying object hash. Being able to verify that a particular image is CC-BY, and that its creator was Robert Capa, is suggestive of a future where attribution, and credit for authorial work generally, can become automated and distributed. This has particularly excited the music and photography industries, but it has broader reach. Every commercial photographer alive would rapidly adopt a technology that ensures rights tracking and assured payments as their work moves across the internet; “track and trace” technology is a glimmer in the searching eyes of IFRRO, the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations.

Radical transparency — the ability to create an unbreakable chain of provenance — threatens Fair Use, a fundamental aspect of copyright that enables people to use copyrighted content without asking permission. When every use of an image, film, or text can be tracked, recorded, and verified, we fall into a world where we’ve commercialized ever more of our culture, and reduced the window of openness for everyone. By careless default, we may end up creating a massive, global, collective licensing framework whose controls are in the hands of technology firms and frameworks, over which we’ve lost the democratic control that the technology proclaims itself capable of delivering.

Digital Media, Investment, Strategy

Why Raising Too Much Money Can Harm Your Startup

By Mark Suster


…there are markets where it’s relatively easier to raise capital and therefore you should take a little bit more but you should create a budget where you only spend 70% of what you raise on a pace of 18 months.

But the bigger point I want to make is what happens when the coffers are depleted and you need more money? That is where over-raising can be corrosive. What felt great when you raised it $5 million on $20 million now feels like a noose around your neck because raising at an up-round of $8–10 million at a $40–50 million pre-money valuation is stratospherically harder than raising at a $20 million valuation.

Digital Media, Investment, Strategy

Anatomy of a unicorn: Why tech startups are staying private

Podcast by McKinsey and transcript


A bit under a third of the companies are China based, but you look at the type of companies you have there and it’s actually quite a bit different from what you would see in the US. The US tech sector tends to be a lot more, if you like, “real” tech.

Whereas what you have in the China tech sector is a lot more intimate, and a lot more, if you like, sort of reseller business models. So, companies that are providing intermediation through a service. Things like social media—e-commerce is obviously a very big issue. E-commerce in China is absolutely huge. It’s a massive market, and much, much better developed than most other countries right now, including the US.

Now that there is a substantial amount of capital aimed at the late-stage sector, that allows them to stay private for longer. In the venture-capital sector itself, you’ve got unprecedented levels of fundraising. A few hundred billion of uninvested funds sitting there, and it has to be deployed. Now, venture capital is fundamentally a bit of a cottage industry. It doesn’t scale very well. It’s all based on a small group of people searching for opportunities in a defined area, industry or geographic.

That’s put more pressure to get money into investments. But I think what’s really changed the game has been the entry of a lot of money from outside the traditional venture-capital industry. So, buyout funds looking to get into late-stage limited partners, pension funds and so forth who want to do pre-IPO investments into some of these more prestigious companies like Facebook.

Digital Media, VidCon, After The Love Has Gone

VidCon 2016: Innocence Lost?

By Peter Csathy


And yes, VidCon continues to rank amongst the most important industry events. For those of you who have never attended, it still is a “must” (for reasons I laid out in great detail in my review of my first VidCon two years ago). But, for others like me who have attended previously (especially those who have attended multiple times), it has become more like CES. An event worthy of consideration for sure (because many digital media leaders and influencers will be there and it is easy to schedule back-to-back meetings). VidCon, however, is no longer an absolute necessity for your agenda. And I wasn’t alone in that assessment.  Several industry insiders whom I respect felt the same and actually left early.

The primary reason? The original VidCon “magic” was gone. VidCon version 1.0 (which still persisted two years ago) was all about serendipity and immersion into the brave new world of digital-first video content (what many then called the “YouTube Economy”).

Digital Media, Entertainment, Sports

Visionary Peter Guber’s Sports And Entertainment World

By Mike Ozanian


Got lucky to have Peter Guber on our TV show, Forbes SportsMoney, the other day. The celebrated movie producer, who is an owner in the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Dodgers and LAFC talked passionately about the lens through which he views sports and entertainment, what an increasingly social market means for owners, and the impact Esports and virtual reality will have on the industry.

Traditional Media

Best TV Networks of 2016 (So Far)

By Joe Adalian


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. And even as the business in general struggles to adapt to new user behaviors, individual networks are still managing to shine. In no particular order, here are five doing particularly well this year, as judged by ratings, buzz, or a combination thereof.

DB: Big Joe has forgotten more about TV than entire networks will ever know. Good breakdown on who had a good first-half run on the dial.

Social Media, Demographics Marches On

Snapchat’s Teen Fans Wince as App Catches On With Their Folks

By Yoree Koh


A recent comScore report declared that Snapchat is “breaking into the mainstream,” estimating that 38% of U.S. smartphone users ages 25 to 34 are on Snapchat, and 14% of those 35 or older. Three years ago, those numbers were 5% and 2%, respectively.

DB: Old dudes on the Snapchat. Oh, snap!

Technology, Business Climate

‘Tech tax’ proposed in San Francisco amid growing tensions over startup boom

By Marissa Kendall


A handful of San Francisco supervisors want tech companies in the city — and only tech companies — to pay extra taxes, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. The money would go toward addressing the city’s homelessness problem and the high cost of housing.

The measure, backed by three city supervisors and announced last week by Supervisor Eric Mar, would take a 1.5 percent payroll tax from tech companies’ pockets.

Technology, Business Climate, International, Advertising

The impact of Brexit is looking ‘dismal’ for the UK media sector

By Lara O’Reilly


“Brexit is upon us,” the report says, using the abbreviation for the British exit from the EU. “It promises no benefits to the UK creative sector, only offering the prospect of damage. The question is how much.”

Enders says the period of uncertainty could last as long as five years.

And when there is a period of uncertainty, advertisers tend to hold back their spend. Advertising spend is also influenced by the economy, which is expected to experience an accelerated slowdown as a result of the Brexit.

As a result, Enders has downgraded its short-term forecasts for the UK media sector.

SVOD, Distribution

SeaChange Pumps New Release of ‘Adrenalin’ Multiscreen Platform

By Jeff Baumgartner


Following on hints dropped earlier this month, SeaChange International has issued a new release of its multiscreen video “Adrenalin” backoffice platform that adds support for 4K/Ultra HD content, binge-watching models, and a “geographic failover” element.

Digital Video, Branded Content, Traditional Media


By Cate Lecuyer


Through the partnership, the videos will have access to a reach of more than 140 million unique visitors and nearly 50 million social followers from the NBCUniversal specific pages, according to the network. NBCU Content Studio will also create memes and GIFs for Sabra’s social pages, and content distribution will incorporate use of data-targeting to to reach Sabra Veggie Fusion key audiences.

Mobile, Digital Media, Publishing

Hyper, the Mic-owned app for curated videos, comes to iPhones

By Anthony Ha


Like Hyper on the iPad, the new app offers each user a daily playlist of 10 videos. According to Gilles, there are now 30 or so videos selected every day, with each user seeing a subset of 10 based on their own interests, and based on the publishers and creators they’ve subscribed to within the app. (If you’ve subscribed to a creator, you also get a notification whenever one of their videos is added to the app.)

In order to enable these offline capabilities, Hyper has also partnered with a number of publishers, including Condé Nast Entertainment (publisher of Vogue,The New Yorker, Wired and others), Refinery29, Mashable, Fusion and Elite Daily. And there will be videos from the Mic team as well.

Mobile, Digital Media, Publishing

Facebook to Shut Down ‘Paper’ News Creation and Curation App

By Juli Clover


Paper, a Flipboard competitor, consisted of a news reader that pulled content from a user’s Facebook News Feed and a variety of well-known online publications, organizing it all into a magazine-style layout with sections ranging from technology to animals. A team of editors curated the most popular online content for users and for a time, it was a popular replacement for the traditional Facebook News Feed.

Distribution, Pay TV

Sling TV adds a slew of new channels including BBC, NBC, Bravo, USA and Syfy

Sling is adding several new networks to its streaming-video roster, but restrictions remain for households that want to watch many channels at once.

By Jacob Krol


Among the new channels are popular, previously unavailable networks from the NBC and BBC family, including USA, Bravo, BBC America, Syfy and some regional Comcast Sportsnet channels. But Sling is keeping its channel offerings in two separate color-coded tiers: Sling Orange and Sling Blue.

Sling Orange, the base service, will still cost $20 per month and offer only “single-stream” service (the ability to watch one channel at any given time), for a total of 28 channels from the Disney/ESPN family. Sling Blue costs $25 for 43 networks — including those from Fox and NBC — and offers up to three simultaneous streams on different devices.

Traditional Media, Social Media, Big Data

Linear TV Tunes In To Social Media Data To Plan Campaigns

By Sarah Sluis


4C scanned social media profiles to find the viewers most likely to be interested in the upcoming movie. It looked for behavior that indicated an affinity for the genre, actors or similar movies, going on to match those users to respondent-level viewing data from Nielsen, which allowed them to extrapolate the viewing history of the group.

Turner took the segment and used its Targeting Now solution to create an optimized schedule it estimated would provide the most reach against that audience segment.

Targeting Now is designed to ingest virtually any data source, including a marketer’s first party data, and uses predictive technology to figure out who is likely to view a show or sports event.

Conferences of note

Wonder Women of Tech, July 15 and 16



Fabric Notable Stories, June 16, 2016

By David Bloom
I’ve been curating notable news stories (though the first entry here represents one of my first columns for Tubefilter) for a little while now on behalf of Fabric Media, and its clients in the publishing, ad-tech and related space. We’re experimenting now with making my curated lists more public here and on my personal sites on LinkedIn and Medium. 
Each of these links also includes a key paragraph or two (not always the first one) to help provide some flavor of the piece or its essential nut graph. I expect I’ll annotate these entries more too, though my Tubefilter column is certainly more than annotation, exploring the opportunities ahead in mobile as advertisers shift spending from print to mobile, which are currently far out of proportion with their respective levels of audience engagement versus ad spend.   
After reading my piece below, check the State of the News Media report from Journalism.org linked further below. It’ll provide further context for the mess that is both print journalism and local broadcast. Hope they find some answers soon.  

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.

Social Media, Mobile, Video

Facebook VP: 5 years from now, your News Feed will be “probably all video”

By Matt McGee


Nicola Mendelsohn, the company’s VP for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, toldFortune’s Most Powerful Women International Summit in London today that Facebook “will be definitely mobile” in five years and predicted that it “will be probably all video,” too.

Though she didn’t give any specific numbers, Mendelsohn confirmed that Facebook users are posting less text-based status updates and more media.

Ad blockers, Advertising

The ad blocking wars: How 3 industry groups are fighting back

By David Fitzpatrick


By this point, marketers, publishers and ad tech firms alike largely agree that ad-block technology is an issue that needs addressing. Anyone in the industry who wasn’t so sure may have been convinced when the FCC released public comments on its recent broadband privacy proposal in late May 2016. There were more than 53,000 comments on the proposal, compared to 47 for a cross-device tracking workshop held previously.

Advertising, Digital Content

Marketers Rely on Visual Content for Social Platforms

By eMarketer


March 2016 research by communications firm Lewis, which examined the use of visual content (which refers to both images and video) among marketing decision-makers, found the demands of social media and the format’s high engagement rates are key reasons for its use. According to Lewis’ study, 94% of marketing decision-makers already produced visual content. When asked about the reasons for producing such image-focused media, 67% said it was “more engaging,” while another 50% said “social media requires” its creation.

Social Media, Advertising, Mobile

YouTube Director lets SMBs film professional video ads from their phone

By Amy Gesenhues


The free YouTube Director business app is currently available for iPhones in the US and Canada.

In addition to SMBs, YouTube says app developers can use YouTube Director to build a video ad for their app with existing logos and app screenshots from the App Store or Google Play Store.

Social Media Digital Content, Native Advertising

Imgur Rolls Out Video Capabilities for Its Native Ads

By George Sieto


The photo-sharing platform Imgur is giving marketers the ability to embed video in their promoted posts, which have previously been limited to text, images and GIFs. Discovery Channel and CNN’s Great Big Story are among the first brands to buy in with ads set to start today, Discovery’s to promote Shark Week programming starting June 26.

Startups, M&A, Investment, Technology

Why Startups Are Struggling

By James Surowiecki


…American entrepreneurship is actually on the decline, and has been for decades. As the economists Ian Hathaway and Robert Litan documented in a 2014 Brookings Institution paper, the percentage of U.S. firms that were less than a year old fell by almost half between 1978 and 2011, declining precipitously during the recession of 2007-’09 with only a slow recovery after. According to the Commerce Department, the number of new businesses started by Americans has fallen sharply since 2000, and so too has the percentage of American workers working for companies that are less than a year old.

While Stern and Guzman show that high-growth firms are being formed as actively as ever, they also find that these companies are not succeeding as often as such companies once did. As the researchers put it, “Even as the number of new ideas and potential for innovation is increasing, there seems to be a reduction in the ability of companies to scale in a meaningful and systematic way.” As many seeds as ever are being planted. But fewer trees are growing to the sky.

Social Media, Digital Media, Traditional Media, Publishing

Wattpad Teams With Turner To Bring Its Users’ Horror Stories To TV

By Sam Gutelle


The first project Wattpad and Turner will undertake together will relate to Tales From The CryptM. Night Shyamalan and TNT’s upcoming reboot of the former HBO series of the same name. Contests and other “opportunities” launched by the Wattpad team will identify the platform’s best writers, who will earn a chance to create horror stories for Tales’ weekly block of programming. After the Tales tie-in, Wattpad is expected to launch more projects related to TBS and TNT programs.

Publishing, News

State of the News Media 2016

By Amy Mitchell and Jesse Holcomb


In 2015, the newspaper sector had perhaps the worst year since the recession and its immediate aftermath. Average weekday newspaper circulation, print and digital combined, fell another 7% in 2015, the greatest decline since 2010. While digital circulation crept up slightly (2% for weekday), it accounts for only 22% of total circulation. And any digital subscription gains or traffic increases have still not translated into game-changing revenue solutions. In 2015, total advertising revenue among publicly traded companies declined nearly 8%, including losses not just in print, but digital as well.

Social Media, Creators

Hank Green Establishing ‘Internet Creators Guild’ Nonprofit To Champion The Creator Community

By Geoff Weiss


YouTube star Hank Green, who established the popular vlogbrothers channel with his brother, John, in 2007 — as well as VidCon, the world’s largest online video convention, in 2010 — will launch this month a nonprofit organization called the Internet Creators Guild (ICG), which aims to be a resource and support system for digital influencers.

VR, Traditional Media

Is Virtual Reality going to transform cinema?

By Dana Knight


But is VR going to transform cinema? Most of the VR experts I spoke with are pretty certain that the landscape of entertainment is definitely changing and that VR will be a big part of the industry’s story going forward. It all depends on technology becoming better and better and technology is advancing at a dizzying pace. Here, we investigate how this new tech might transform the face of cinema.

Digital Media, Creators, Social Media

Here’s Why YouTube Veteran Mitchell Davis Is Experiencing A Creative Renaissance On Snapchat

By Geoff Weiss

It’s a cast of characters that has resonated with multitudes — including fellow YouTubestars Hank Green and Ingrid Nilsen. “My audience is bigger on Snapchat right now than it is on YouTube,” says Davis, who notes he still sees the latter platform as his bread and butter, but has also become more open to experimenting on newer apps like Instagram and Vine. His Snapchat stories receive roughly 20,000 views before they disappear after 24 hours, and he says he typically posts 20 to 25 Snaps at a time. “I’ve never encountered a video-based app that has gone from zero to sixty so quickly,” he says. “It’s moving just as fast as the videos disappear.”

Investment, China, M&A

The rock-star dealmaker bringing China’s hottest startups to the US talks deals, bubbles, and spotting the next great entrepreneur

By Portia Crowe


We just got a license to operate in China as an issuer — a security firm — so I started dealing with the domestic market a couple of years ago. I find that the two markets are very different. The domestic market is very much retail-driven as of today — 85% of investors are retail investors, whereas here I think it’s probably the other way around. So the markets behave very differently. And also in China all the IPOs are based on the approval process, meaning it’s really up to the CSRC [China Securities Regulatory Commission], which is the SEC equivalent in China, to decide whether you’re eligible for an IPO, whereas here it’s more registration-based. So basically anyone can file for an IPO as long as you meet the minimum requirements and there are buyers of your securities — then you can get listed. So those two things make the fundamental difference between these two markets.

Strategy, Technology, Human Capital


By Matthieu McClintock


As in all business, rule number one in climbing the ladder is to never outshine your master. Even if you are completely right or even solve the core problem the business faces, it doesn’t matter. A lot of managers, like people, are sensitive and see superior talent and intelligence as a threat. Great managers, however, surround themselves with those who are more talented and skilled and as a result, elevate themselves and their businesses. You don’t need to hold a managerial position to live by this rule. If you want to be an A player, hang out with them, watch, and learn.

Strategy, Technology

Secrets of the Sharing Economy

By Justin Fox


In the book, Sundararajan argues that online platforms that make it easy for individuals to sell products and services to others are ushering in a new kind of capitalism. I interviewed him over lunch early this month. What follows is an edited and much-abridged account of our conversation.

Music, Digital Media, Politics, Europe

The UK Leaving the EU Would Change the European Music Industry

By Laura Snapes


If Britain leaves the EU, we could find ourselves excluded from having free movement across much of Europe’s mainland. That could have two expensive, complex implications for touring bands: individual visas to enter each EU country, and the introduction of the carnet, a document detailing every single piece of equipment on deck, to prevent the import or export of products without paying VAT. It costs between £1000 — £2000 (approximately $1400 — $2900), and lasts just 12 months.

According to a recent BPI survey, 68 percent of participating British record labels wish to see the UK remain in the EU. “British music accounts for a quarter of the total market in Europe for recorded music,” said chief executive Geoff Taylor. “This success helps to create jobs in the UK and fund exceptionally high levels of investment by British labels into new music.” BPI label members were also concerned about retaining influence over the protection of the music they create: 90 percent believed it was important to remain involved in the discussions surrounding proposed new pan-EU copyright rules.


Preroll Beware – Facebook Does Not Believe in “Interruptive” Advertising

Facebook is making it much easier to run branded content (and make money from it) following recent announcements, but the company still isn’t okay with preroll or mid-roll advertising tucked into digital video on its site. In fact, it’s busy soliciting creators and publishers for suggestions of other ways to do it, says TV(REV), including the unpromising option of allowing a “tip jar.”

That makes for lots of complications for video creators, advertisers and ad-tech companies used to how YouTube does things with more traditional (by digital media standards) preroll and mid-roll video ads.

But the company regards preroll and mid roll as “interruptive,” making for a bad audience experience they want to avoid as they aggressively move into the video space on several fronts, and try to build the context for a new generation of creators and publishers who can make a living on their platform.

Figuring these crucial questions out (beyond the welcome move on branded content) will be a foundational issue for any new Facebook-centered video ecosystem.


Week in Review: Comcast Dumps X1 For Roku; Facebook Does Not Believe In Interruptive Advertising

Author: | Categories: Advertising Tags: , ,

Innovid Brings Interactive Video Ad Campaigns to Social Platforms

Innovid has added the capacity to create interactive video ads that can run on Facebook and Instagram, part of what’s expected to be a broader rollout of the capability on other social-media platforms.

The company said a test run, using a 30-second rollover ad from a British tea and coffee brand that led to a spectacular 35-percent engagement rate with audiences. The program remains in beta.

The news represents continuing integration between the broader Internet and powerful social-media sites that have accreted huge audiences behind semi-walled gardens. That integration promises to provide new opportunities for publishers, brands and ad-tech companies to tap those huge audiences in an economically sustainable way.

Innovid previously signed a deal with Snapchat to measure ad campaigns on that platform.


Author: | Categories: Advertising, Programmatic Advertising Tags: , ,

Facebook To Track Reading Time In Bid To Penalize Clickbait

By David Bloom

Time spent reading a story will count for more in Facebook’s latest change to the algorithms that decide what stories are seen in the News Feed. This is a win for readers who prefer a meaty deep dive of an article over clickbait, and for the websites that provide that content.

But it also speaks to the need to make sure advertising experiences surrounding those articles are of high quality, load fast and engage readers also.

Publishers and brands (and the ad-tech firms that work with them) must understand how tightly bound together they are. They jointly bear responsibility for ensuring the best possible experience for a reader, whether it’s on their own site or on a platform such as Facebook that can directly penalize companies that ignore the new rules of the road.

Facebook starts counting time spent when ranking links in people’s feeds

Author: | Categories: Advertising, Content, Publishing Tags: , ,

Live Video and the Transformation of Facebook (A Fabric Original)

By David Bloom

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave the surging sector of live video streaming a hefty kick into higher gear this week, announcing that his company is “all in.” In Zuck-Speak, that apparently means detailing 150 engineers to flesh out the company’s offerings, making sure such content gets seen thanks to algorithm changes for user Newsfeeds and expanding live webcasting availability far beyond celebrities.

Fabric Media Original logoThe company also is reportedly paying notable publishers such as Buzzfeed, the New York Times and Vox Media to produce live-streaming exclusive shows, a shift in Facebook’s practice with other kinds of third-party content.

In a not-wholly-successful live broadcast, Zuckerberg also alluded to future monetization possibilities, though nothing is official yet. During the short livecast (if this wasn’t a word before, I’m claiming it now), Zuckerberg detailed some of the new  Facebook streaming capabilities, including better search, emojis and group streams (families and clubs on Facebook are going to love this).

The news comes at a time of intense interest in online live video, including high-profile announcements from other companies, such as Twitter’s deal to live-stream 10 NFL games next fall, and word that Amazon-owned Twitch is moving beyond its gaming roots to show other kinds of content (Julia Child!).

Fast-growing Snapchat, meanwhile, significantly upgraded its capabilities last week, including livecasting to at least small groups of friends. News site Mashable reportedly cut half its staff as it repositions itself for video that will surely include more live programming.

With all of that as background, I see  Zuckerberg’s commitment here as a Very Big Deal, with implications for many companies already online and others that should be. Among the big issues:

  • Facebook has a giant, global audience already in place that is primed for conversation and sharing on this new platform. Adding live video to groups of like-minded people will likely be hugely popular, at least if it’s done right. In some ways, this feels to me a little like the moment when Bill Gates issued a famous (notorious?) memo, directing Microsoft to begin integrating Internet capabilities into all corners of that company’s operations (yes, children, this happened). In Zuckerberg’s case, and to his credit, this announcement represents a far more timely recognition of a new medium’s importance to a major corporation, in time to help capture the next generation of online media consumption.
  • Live streaming online recapitulates the most emotionally engaging part of traditional TV, live events such as sports, awards shows and reality competitions. Moreover, current trends suggest this content will be substantially consumed on smartphones and tablets, i.e., devices that are much more personal and will create even more intimate and specific connections between livecaster and audience. Ultimately, this marks a significant challenge for a big chunk of traditional television. Will traditional broadcasters begin to rely more on splashy live events such as those NBC and Fox musical broadcasts of the past couple of years to drive audience?
  • This new platform will inevitably create a new generation of influencers whose particular gifts will be slightly different from those of older platforms such as YouTube. Some of the recent coverage suggests that the life vloggers who’ve found such favor on those older platforms may not do as well on this one, even as other talents rise, including, according to Buzzfeed, everything from tattoo artists to a “highly successful pig.” Competing platforms such as YouNow and Twitter’s Periscope app are creating their own stars, for their very different audiences.
  • This will require a new set of monetization approaches.  Even Facebook hasn’t figured it out yet, despite Zuckerberg hints that such opportunities are coming soon. That said, Roker Media co-founder Ronald C. Pruett Jr. suggested in a Wall Street Journal piece that, while pre-roll doesn’t make much sense, online commerce, branded/sponsored shows and product placement all can do very well, if handled right. I agree. Integrating sales messages in smart ways will be important, and sidesteps the entire ad-blocker fight.
  • Finally, given all the conversation these past few months about virtual reality, live streaming presents a more compelling and immediate opportunity for both creator and audience, at least in the short term. The technology requirements for an enjoyable livecast are much lower than for VR audiences, and that goes multiple times more for creators of the content. That means the potential for broad and quick adoption is much better.

Companies should be asking where they fit in among all of this. Livecasting a weekly show about your business, products or sector might be worth considering, for instance. How will companies monitor what’s being said about them across this new medium? How might they spend their advertising dollars on shows that reach key audiences for their products? There’s lots here to think about, and we’re only just beginning.


Author: | Categories: Advertising, Content, Social Media Tags: ,

Brands Have Opportunity to Promote by Broadcasting Live Video on Facebook

By Christopher Heine Adweek

The social network’s increased dedication to video has YouTube and Periscope’s market share in its cross hairs. Marketers said Facebook could be tough to beat. 

“Facebook is one of the clear leaders in this live space,” Pruett said. “Creators and talent should flock to it even more than others as Facebook rolls out various monetization tools and options.”

Facebook Live Will Pay Publishers to Stream Content

By Christopher Heine @ Adweek

Facebook has created a video hub that will roll out in the coming weeks for its flagship mobile app. According to a TechCrunch story, a button for the hub will receive prominent placement in the Facebook app and often highlight live video—though it will offer recorded clips as well.



Author: | Categories: Advertising Tags: , , , ,

Mobile Is Taking Over the Media World

By Peter Kafka Re/code

You are a smart person. So you don’t need a site like this to tell you that when we talk about the Internet, we’re really talking about the Internet we access on our phones.

Web = mobile, and it’s been that way for a while now.

Author: | Categories: Social Media Tags: ,

Video Creators Unhappy About Facebook Freebooting, And What The Company Isn’t Doing

By Steven Perlberg Deepa Seetharaman @ Wall Street Journal 

Filmmaker Brady Haran uploaded a video to his science-focused YouTube channel showing what happens when you drop lithium metal into 7 Up soda. 

The video, which explains the chemistry behind why the liquid fizzes and turns brown, quickly gained steam not on YouTube but on Facebook. There it accumulated hundreds of thousands of views and landed on a list of trending topics alongside Kanye West and Donald Trump. The only problem: It wasn’t Mr. Haran’s version.

Facebook Partners With TubeMogul

By Marty Swant Adweek 

Marketers that want to buy targeted video advertising on Facebook and Instagram based on TV viewership and publisher data can now do so through TubeMogul, a programmatic advertising platform. 

Emeryville, Calif.-based TubeMogul’s new integration with Facebook allows a brand to hit a target audience on Facebook and Instagram that it may have missed with its television advertising. 

Facebook Instant Articles To Include Additional Video-Ad Unit

By Jack Marshall Wall Street Journal 

Facebook is making further changes to the advertising policies for its Instant Articles product, enabling publishers to place video ads into content they post on the platform. 

The social network said it will also allow publishers to place one additional ad unit at the bottom of every Instant Article, which it estimated could increase ad impressions by more than 20%. Currently, publishers may include one ad for every 350 words of content.

Author: | Categories: Advertising, Social Media Tags: , ,

Facebook will soon allow users to block notifications about Live Videos

Amanda Connolly The Next Web — Facebook announced that it’s rolling out its Live Video feature to all of its users last month, which is great. But you know what isn’t great? Getting a notification every time anyone you’re friends with or follow is live.

Author: | Categories: Tech Tags: ,

Advertising Age: Facebook Video Ads ‘Significantly’ Better Than YouTube’s: Report

George Slefo @ Advertising Age – While Facebook’s video ad service is still in its infancy, it’s already preferred by marketers over YouTube, according to a recent study published by RBC Capital Markets in partnership with Ad Age.

Author: | Categories: Entertainment Tags: , , ,

The Wrap: TheGrill 2015: Maker Studios, AwesomenessTV CEOs Compare Video on YouTube and Facebook

Reid Nakamura @ The Wrap — “Whatever it is, it will be very big,” Maker’s Ynon Kreiz says of Facebook’s new native video efforts at TheWrap’s sixth annual Media Leadership Conference.

Adweek: 11 Must-See Digital Marketing Stats From the Past Week

Christopher Heine @ Adweek – It’s all about ad blockers and Instagram’s growth nowadays. Autumn is a great season for digital marketing data, as statisticians hope to make sense of an increasingly fragmented media marketplace for brands that are looking to grab as many holidays sales in the coming weeks as possible. Here are 11 of such stats that caught our eye last week, including a timely number about ad blockers and a bevy of new data around Instagram.

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ClickZ: Snapchat vs. Facebook vs. YouTube: When Is a View a View?

Frank Sinton @ ClickZ — Because Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube each have different standards for measuring viewed content, marketers must contribute video in diverse formats to comply with each platform. So, what is a view?

Firstround: Here’s What a Real Growth Strategy Looks Like — Road Tested by Facebook and Remind

“User acquisition doesn’t really make sense unless you already have healthy retention.”

Author: | Categories: Business Tags:

Facebook Begins Testing New ‘Immersive’ Mobile Ads

Facebook will begin testing a new type of mobile advertising across its service today, having unveiled the concept at the Cannes Lions advertising festival in France in June.

Author: | Categories: Business, Entertainment Tags: