#trendingthread Archive

Fabric Notable Stories, June 29, 2016: Twitch Tips, HRC Tech, CEO Gone Rogue

Curated by David Bloom

Many bits of news coming out of big social-media platforms these days, as they jockey to offer new ways to monetize and connect, especially through video. Twitch, the king of tipping, creates a virtual currency, while Live.ly,  the live-streaming spinoff from smash-hit karaoke app Musical.Ly, sings something of the same tune.

Today’s list also includes some engrossing long reads, such as the one by Antonio Garcia Martinez about his dance between potential acquirers Facebook and Twitter, and what he did to his co-founders. -DB

OTT, Streaming Video

4 signs of the splintering OTT video economy

By Colin Dixon


We are entering a new phase in the evolution of OTT video. The market is splintering on many levels, and it threatens to slow or even derail the explosive growth we have seen in recent years.

Here are 4 signs that the OTT video economy is splintering into many different proprietary pools of influence.

Social Media, Streaming Video

Instagram Looking to Boost Video Consumption with New ‘Picked for You’ Channels

By Andrew Hutchinson


“The total time people spent watching video on Instagram increased 150 percent over the past six months. As video continues to grow, we’re adding new channels to Explore to make it easier for you to discover videos you’ll enjoy.”  

That 150% increase stat kind of came out of nowhere – earlier this week in an interview with Bloomberg, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom noted the figure as part of the discussion. Yet three months ago in March, when Instagram announced the expansion of on platform video length from 15 to 60 seconds, they quoted this stat:

There are some obvious channel topics in there, for sure (Comedians, Singers) but the narrow focus of many of these areas (Special Effects Makeup, Pitbulls) highlight niche interests where, obviously, Instagram is seeing significant community activity – significant enough to build entire channels around them.

Social Media, Monetization

Twitch Unveils New Tipping Functionality Called ‘Cheering’ With Animated Jewel Emotes

By Geoff Weiss


Twitch has introduced a new chat functionality called ‘Cheering‘, whereby viewers can tip streamers with animated, jewel-shaped Emotes — which is the gaming platform’s parlance for emojis — called ‘Bits‘. The new feature is designed to celebrate the fact that “the moments we share on Twitch, and the streamers who create them, are the glue that binds us together,” writes programming manager Robin Fontaine in a company blog post.

Having launched yesterday in beta, Bits can be bestowed with five different Emotes. 100 Bits cost $1.40. Users can tip in increments of 1 Bit, which appears as a small, gray pyramid; 100 Bits, which appear as two dancing purple diamonds; 1,000 Bits cost $14 and appears as a large teal gem; 5,000 Bits are priced at $70, and appear as a rotating royal blue jewel; and 10,000 Bits cost a whopping $140, and manifest in chat as a six-sided red star.

Live Streaming, Apps

Musical.ly May Be the Spoiler in Livestream Race with Launch of Live.ly

By Andrew Wallenstein


Musical.ly, a Shanghai-based social network that has astonished the industry by amassing a global audience approaching 100 million mostly teenage users in less than one year, is spinning off a second app, Live.ly, that will also focus on livestreaming. After a soft launch in May, Live.ly went live in the iTunes app store Friday, and began trending instantly despite zero promotion because of the word of mouth from Musical.ly’s rabid user base.

Both apps will be integrated with each other; once Musical.ly starts to formally introduce Live.ly to its users, a livestreaming category that has plenty of big entrants but no clear winner yet will get a new player capable of scaling as quickly and massively as the others.

Branded Content, VR, Marketing

Is Branded Virtual Reality Content the Next Frontier in Marketing?

In Cannes, media companies like Gannett, AOL pitch marketers on their ability to help create and distribute sponsored VR content

By Jack Marshall


Publishers and media companies also were joining in, pitching marketers on the idea of branded virtual reality content, which they hope to produce and distribute on behalf of paying brands in the latest frontier for marketing.

Salespeople and VR experts from Gannett’s USA Today Network, for example, spent time this week demonstrating a sizzle reel for its upcoming weekly VR show called “VRtually There,” as well as branded VR content it’s already produced for companies such as Honda.

It also demonstrated a new VR ad unit it created, which it’s calling a “cubemercial,” that effectively places the viewer inside a virtual-reality room. Brands will be given the opportunity to showcase videos or products on each of the cube’s six sides, said Gannett’s chief revenue officer, Kevin Gentzel.

Ad Blockers, Digital Media, Advertising

Scaremongering in digital: Why ad blocking isn’t as dire as you think

By Rob Rasko


What I discovered is that while ad blocking is a big concern that publishers need to take seriously, it may not be as big a business problem as some predict it to be. Here’s why.

To develop a realistic projection of how big the ad-blocking problem is, we cut up the revenue and projections into three categories — search, display and digital video — and in our opinion, the only ad formats that are truly at risk for being susceptible to ad blockers are traditional display banners and rich media units.

Social Media, Algorithms

Facebook’s News Feed: Why you see what you see

By Kurt Wagner


Why we see what we see in News Feed, though, has always been a bit of a mystery. We know News Feed is powered by a computer algorithm, a set of signals created by Facebook to show you, the user, a personalized list of items the company thinks you’ll like. But what all of those signals are and how much one signal is weighted versus another has never been entirely clear.

Facebook is trying to fix that, at least in one small way. On Wednesday it published its “News Feed Values” for the first time, a set of guidelines it claims to adhere to whenever it tweaks or changes the almighty algorithm.

The timing of this is not random.

For starters, Facebook tweaked its algorithm Wednesday in a way that will hurt news publishers that rely on News Feed for distributing their content. The list of values are Facebook’s attempt to explain to those publishers why this is happening.

Social Media, Apps, Advertising

Snapchat is slashing its ad prices for brands, sources say

By Garrett Sloane


Snapchat’s ads API — application programming interface — could cost advertisers $100,000 at minimum, which is significantly lower than Instagram’s minimum of $500,000 when it first opened the platform to ads, according to sources familiar with Snapchat.

Snapchat started selling ads in late 2014, and early products — one that went to every user and disappeared within 24 hours — cost about $750,000. In 2015, Snapchat brought down the price for video ads to 2 cents a view, or $20 for 1,000 views. This year, prices were back up with premium animated lenses that could cost millions depending on how many an advertiser bought in a given day, and interactive ads, where users can swipe up for more content, cost about $55 for 1,000 views.

Social Media, Publishing

The Huffington Post hacks a Snapchat button to drive followers from its website

By Garrett Sloane


The Huffington Post had to build its own for Snapchat because the app is almost intentionally difficult to follow. “Snapchat is not the easiest platform to surface content on,” said Kiki Von Glinow, director of growth at Huffington Post. “We have to tell the user coming to us on desktop that they can experience HuffPo in a completely different way on Snapchat.”

Since adding the button, HuffPo has seen a 140 percent increase in daily average signups, Von Glinow said. The publisher would not say how many followers it gains daily or how many it has in total.

Social Media, Small Business

Introducing Twitter Dashboard

By Noah Pepper of Twitter


Today we’re offering a free tool to give all businesses an advantage in the way they use Twitter. With an iOS app and desktop web experience, Dashboard offers a single destination to get things done. It gives business owners a clear picture of what’s being said about their businesses, lets them schedule Tweets, and offers insights about their Tweet performance.

SVOD, Traditional Media, Pay TV, Set-Top Boxes

Advice to Big Ops: Add Streamers to the Box

Set-top apps could help SVOD tap into older demo, says analyst

By Mike Farrell


Integrating apps from subscription video-on-demand services into cable set-top boxes could go a long way toward tapping into an underserved demographic for subscription video-on-demand — older viewers — while providing pay TV with another retention tool, according to some analysts.

That could be a key demographic for Netflix in particular. After a strong first quarter of domestic subscriber growth — it added 2.2 million customers in the period — Netflix said subscriber increases would slow in the second quarter to about 500,000. Netflix could make up the difference by targeting older pay TV customers, Swinburne said.

Traditional Media, Streaming Video, Social Media

Adult Swim Posts A Full Episode Of Brad Neely’s New Show On Vine

By Sam Gutelle


In order to promote Neely’s incredibly-titled work, Adult Swim went to Vine, where it took advantage of the Twitter-owned platform’s recent expansion past its signature six-second format by posting the entire first episode of Harg Nallin Sclopio Peepio.

Viewers who head over to Adult Swim’s Vine page will find a short clip from Harg Nallin. Should they click a “Watch More” button in the loop’s bottom-right corner, they will load up a wider video player that shows the animated sketch show’s full 10-minute premiere.

Social Media, Streaming Video

Vine Premieres Its First Long-Form Original Series, ‘Camp Unplug’, Starring Lauren Giraldo, Cody Ko

By Geoff Weiss


Micro video platform Vine — which recently announced changes that will allow certain creators to post longer videos, thus opening the door to monetization opportunities — has quietly released its first long-form original series. Told in a series of 36 Vines ranging in length from 6 seconds to more than 2 minutes, the show is called Camp Unplug and is about a group of 13 Vine stars who grudgingly attend a digital detox summer camp.

Streaming Video, Social Media

Samantha Bee’s Facebook Experiment: AT&T Works to Stream ‘Full Frontal’ Preview

By Brian Steinberg


As part of a sponsorship deal with AT&T, Bee will offer users of the social-media outlet a look behind the scenes of her edgy comedy show as it gears up for a taping this evening in front of an audience. Facebook users will be able to see Allana Harkin, a member of the show’s staff, warm up the audience, and then catch Bee as she greets the audience and even takes questions from both the crowd in front of her as well as Facebook users. The hostess is expected to acknowledge AT&T as the sponsor of the new access granted to fans in her own words as part of the agreement.

AT&T is just one of several advertisers trying to make new connections with TV’s late-night audience. Last week,  McDonald’s and Coca-Cola arranged a joint deal that put products from both companies into the popular “Carpool Karaoke” segment on James Corden’s “Late Late Show” on CBS. NBCUniversal recently enlisted Seth Meyers to do a live ad for Chrysler’s Pacifica. Apple in October used a performance by Ryan Adams on Comedy Central’s “Daily Show” to run an ad at the bottom of the screen during the program for its streaming Apple Music service. These deals are just two of many that have begun to crop up across late-night programming, as Madison Avenue craves a more obvious presence while Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert and the rest deliver riffs on the headlines and interview celebrities.

Politics, Policy, Technology

Hillary Clinton’s tech agenda is really a huge economic plan in disguise

By Brian Fung


The agenda released Tuesday reads like a Silicon Valley wish list. It calls for investing in computer science and engineering education, expansion of technologies like 5G mobile data and hooking up more public places such as airports and train stations with cheap, abundant WiFi. It would continue efforts to curb abusive patent lawsuits, which the tech industry says are stifling its ability to innovate. And it commits to defending the government’s net neutrality rules, which were recently upheld by a federal appeals court and aim to ban Internet providers from unfairly manipulating Internet content.

The proposal from the presumptive Democratic nominee also promises to give recent college grads a three-year reprieve from their student loan payments, as long as they spend that time creating new startups and small businesses. And it includes an extra incentive that allows young entrepreneurs to wipe out up to $17,500 in student debt if they launch their businesses in “distressed communities.”

Digital Media, Funding

Russell Simmons’ All Def Digital Closes $10 Million Funding Round Led By Third Wave Digital

By Geoff Weiss


All Def Digital (ADD) said today that it has closed a $10 million funding round led by venture capital firm Third Wave Digital. Other participants in the round included WPP Ventures (the investment arm of British advertising goliath WPP) and Andreessen Horowitz, as well as existing investors Nu Horizons, Greycroft Partners, eVentures, and Advancit Capital. This brings total funds raised by the Russell Simmons co-founded digital media company to $15 million.

ADD, which says it aims to capture urban-centric youth culture, boasts 100 million fans across YouTube and Facebook. It also recently launched a branded content studio called ADHD, which has partnered with consumer electronics brands, car and beverage makers, and movie studios.

New funds will be used to scale cross-platform growth, and will be allocated toward original programming in comedy, music, sports, news, and poetry, ADD said. It will also help to accelerate branded and sponsored content initiatives.

M&A, Traditional Media, Litigation

Jeffrey Katzenberg Sued Over “Side Deal” to DreamWorks-Comcast Merger

By Ashley Cullins


Jeffrey Katzenberg is facing a proposed class-action lawsuit that claims he agreed to the $3.87 billion sale of DreamWorks Animation to Comcast because of a lucrative side deal,

DreamWorks shareholder Ann Arbor City Employees Retirement System is accusing Katzenberg of breaching his duty to minority shareholders. AACERS claims Katzenberg was offered a 7 percent share of profits from the company’s new media business in perpetuity, and if he hadn’t taken that deal Comcast would have had to pay more for the studio to secure his support.

As part of the acquisition, Katzenberg will serve as a consultant to NBCUniversal and become chairman of DreamWorks New Media, which controls the company’s interests in AwesomenessTV and NOVA.

Social Media, E-Commerce

Pinterest tries to one-up Amazon with new shopping features like AI-enabled search

By Tim Peterson


On Thursday — almost a year to the day since Pinterest rolled out buyable pins in the US, which it’s now bringing to the web — the company is adding a host of new e-commerce features. Some are standard. There’s nothing new to a cross-platform shopping cart and merchant profiles. But others attempt to make searching for products by typing in text and scrolling through results seem outdated.

People can now put items from different merchants in a shopping bag that they can access and check out from any device. And Pinterest is adding merchant profiles so that people can see what specific sellers have on offer, including what’s popular and what’s on sale. Again, standard.

Live Streaming, Digital Media


By Tal Shachar & Matthew Ball


These two changes have fundamentally transformed media consumption and in the process, disoriented the network business and left Hollywood confused about the value of television content and the future of the industry.  After all, live communal “appointment” viewing has always been considered the “core” product of the TV offering. On-demand is simply an add-on, as TV Everywhere access demonstrates (Time Warner Cable customers still can’t watch any of Disney’s non-ESPN channels or Time Warner’s non-HBO cable networks over-the-top). Moreover, weekly releases have long been viewed as critical to the consumer experience (by way of reviews, tweets and water cooler chitchat). And as Empire’s first season showed, the momentum that can accrue from weekly releases can be essential to audience growth. Networks also rely on distributed series viewing to drive the rest of their programming portfolio via lead-in/lead-out programming. And of course, 50% of network revenues come from selling live audiences to advertisers. This has made a pivot tough.

M&A, Social Media, Shameless Self-Accounting

How I Sold My Company to Twitter, Went to Facebook, and Screwed My Co-Founders

By Antonio Garcia Martinez


In this excerpt adapted from his new, take-no-prisoners Silicon Valley memoir Chaos Monkeys, Antonio García Martínez explains the harrowing exit of his one-year-old Y Combinator startup company. As we begin our narrative, García Martínez is CEO and unofficial strategist of AdGrok, which is in the midst of the “trough of despair” following launch and preceding significant revenues. His two co-founders, Matthew McEachen (MRM) and Argyris Zymnis, aka“the boys,” provide the engineering. (They are the book’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.)

Publishing, Monetization, Digital Media

Newsonomics: The Financial Times’ CEO on trial subscriptions, the platform age, and living in luxury

By Ken Doctor


The company now can rightly claim to be more digital than print. I’ve often pointed to the FT as an exemplar of how high-quality journalism is making the transition into the new age, but I’ve been equally impressed by how hard the journey is, even for the exemplar.

Advertising, Ad Tracking

Uh Oh: Google Expands Its Ad Tracking. But, Yay: It’s Opt-In

By Brian Barrett


The prompt includes an option to let Google use all of the information associated with your account—search, Chrome, YouTube, the works—to inform the ads you see across the web. Google already does this within its own services, but until now it has used cookies for anything beyond that.

This new setting would change that.

Opting in gives you more granular control over how ads work across devices signed into your Google account. If a search for boat shoes (you know, the grey ones with white laces) haunts you across the web, you’ll be able to kill it everywhere, all at once, rather than going device by device.

Live Streaming, Music, Crazy Icelandic Bands

Sigur Rós is livestreaming a 24-hour drive through Iceland with a soundtrack generated in real-time

By Abhimanu Ghoshal


On ‘Route One’, the group is driving through Iceland for 24 hours and livestreaming the journey. The accompanying soundtrack is a single continuous piece created using Bronze, which is described as ‘generative music software’. The app will take cues from Sigur Rós’ latest track ‘Óveður.’

Design, Infographics

Design, Illustrated in 3 Charts

Been typing a lot of words recently, so this one will be simple: a few doodles from the sketchbook pondering what, exactly, is design.

By Julie Zhuo


Essentials of Design Venn Diagram

Fabric Notable Stories, June 28, 2016: Cannes Lions, Nielsen’s Total Audience, Bezos’ WaPo Experiment

Curated by David Bloom

Lots of advertising-related news is still trickling out of Cannes Lions, but so too are studies from Nielsen and others on media consumption. We have a good graphic detailing the current virtual reality space, and reasons why it should thrive in media and entertainment. Most interesting read may be regarding Jeff Bezos’ grand experiment in transforming the modern newspaper. Worrisome coda to the New York magazine story: if it doesn’t work with Bezos’ Washington Post, and all it has going for it right now, can digital journalism at scale and serious intent work anywhere? -DB

Advertising, Cannes Lions

Advertising Isn’t Dead, But Market Is Changing

Cannes panel hosted by Wall Street Journal says there is less tolerance for bad ads

By Steven Perlberg


The WSJ panel, titled “Advertising is dead; Long live advertising,” also featured WPP PLC CEO Martin Sorrell, Vice Media LLC CEO Shane Smith and FacebookInc.’s vice president of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Nicola Mendelsohn.It was moderated by The Wall Street Journal’s editor in chief, Gerard Baker.

One of the biggest topics at Cannes this week has been how to win consumers’ attention amid a swiftly changing technology landscape and backlash against a perceived overload of advertising.

Viewership, Digital Media, Traditional Media


By Nielsen


Live TV is still the top media channel for time spent, but digital has passed live TV for 18-49-year-olds, according to Nielsen’s Q1 2016 Total Audience Report.

The 18-34-year-olds demographic spent the most time on digital (39%) and the least on live TV (29%), while the over-50 demographic spent the most on live TV (53%) and the least on digital (21%).

Programmatic, Advertising, Social Media

LinkedIn launches programmatic buying for its display ads

By Ken Yeung


LinkedIn is making its display ads more available to advertisers. The Microsoft-owned professional social networkannounced today that it has launched programmatic buying to let brands make real-time bids on display ads within their own demand-side platforms (DSPs) or third-party ad networks that are used to manage ads for other media properties.

Advertisers can purchase LinkedIn display ad inventory through an open marketplace or in a private one that will exclusively target specific segments of the social network’s 433 million members.

Advertising, Ad Blockers, Publishing

Shine’s Roi Carthy: The most hated man in publishing

By Lucia Moses


If it were just talk, publishers might simply write off Shine as a pesky irritation. But they see the company’s approach itself as endangering the mobile ad business. Other ad blockers like Adblock Plus require consumers to proactively install on their desktop browsers. Shine blocks ads at the network level — wiping out all ads by default. Last year, Jamaica’s Digicel has said it would start using Shine to block ads across its mobile network. This year, Three became the first European mobile carrier to adopt the technology. Carthy said Shine has been tested with a network in the U.S. but wouldn’t say which one.

To date, ad blocking has mainly been a desktop concern. So by going after mobile, Shine also is taking aim at a segment of advertising that, while smaller compared to desktop, has been relatively safe.

For his part, Carthy calls the current IAB leadership “misguided” and points out that the trade group also profits from ad tech, a reference to the fact that those companies make up a portion of its membership.

Creators, Digital Media

Applications Are Now Open For Hank Green’s Internet Creators Guild

By Sam Gutelle


Membership to the ICG costs $60 per year and comes with a variety of perks. The most important benefit is access to a handful of tools and services that will help guild members deal with contracts, brands, rights management issues, hateful commenters, the press, and many other areas that can otherwise be tricky to navigate. The leaders of the organization will be a board of directors consisting of several top creators, including board president Anna Akana, Olan Rogers, Aureylian, and Wengie.

Guild members will also be able to take advantage of several special offers. They will receive discounts on analytics programs like TubeBuddy and VidIQ as well as reduced price tickets for VidCon’s creator track.

Creators, Digital Media, Live Streaming

Smosh To Stream First Live Sketch Comedy Show From YouTube Space L.A. This Summer

By Geoff Weiss


Featuring all-new material and special guests, the show will be streamed from the YouTube Space Los Angeles on August 26.

Smosh Live! is being sponsored by chewing gum brand 5 Gum — which is also hosting a sweepstakes that will offer fans a chance to attend the performance in person. Select 5 Gum foil wrappers will feature truth or dare challenges, which fans can then document on social media using the hashtags #5truthordare and #vipsweepstakes for the chance to win tickets.

Media Consumption, Mobile, Statistics

Adults Consume More Media, Smartphone Biggest Gain

By Wayne Friedman http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/279057/adults-consume-more-media-smartphone-biggest-gain.html

Although analysts say U.S. media use is nearing media saturation, total media consumption for the first quarter of 2016 among U.S. adults rose around 10% versus the same period the year before.

Nielsen says adults added one hour of media on average per day to total 10 hours and 39 minutes. This contrasts with a nearly identical media use in the first quarter of 2015 versus 2014 — 9:39 versus 9:32.

The big gainer for the most recent period was smartphones, rising 37 minutes, up 60% versus the same period a year before. It now totals one hour and 39 minutes a day (1:39) — the third most-used media.

Publishing, Digital Media

The Good News at the Washington Post, Trump’s Least-Favorite Paper

By Gabriel Sherman


In 2013, the Amazon founder bought the paper for $250 million from the Graham family. Since then, he’s invested millions more, turning the Post into a laboratory for inventing a sustainable future for newspapers.

Under Bezos, the paper has grown by 140 journalists and has won two Pulitzers. Its aggressive coverage of the 2016 presidential race frequently drives the news cycle and so infuriated Donald Trump that he has banned its reporters from his campaign. Most significantly, in business terms, since Bezos bought it, traffic to washingtonpost.com has more than doubled.

The paper is also experimenting technologically and collaborating with Silicon Valley to do so. This spring, the Post became the first publication to team with Google to build a prototype of a “progressive web app,” designed to cut mobile page-load times from four seconds to 80 milliseconds and to let readers surf the Post in their browsers even without a web connection. The company is conducting research on intelligent “news bots” with whom readers can chat to get the headlines in their car, on Siri, or (in a convenient bit of synergy) with Amazon’s Echo. Other publications are trying similar things, but the Post has a bigger budget than most to play with.

Computer Security

How To Lock Down So Ransomware Doesn’t Lock You Out

By Sean Martin


“Continually watch for outbound command-and-control traffic destined for known bad hosts,” says Chris Whidden, Solution Engineer at eSentire. He recommends also setting rules to prevent “unknown binaries from being downloaded from the Internet.”

Advertising, Traditional Media, Upfronts

CBS Expects to Finish Upfront With Volume Increase

By Brian Steinberg


The network expects to secure between 3% and 5% more volume than it won compared with its performance in 2015, according to a person familiar with the situation. In 2015, the network known for “The Big Bang Theory” and “NCIS”  notched between $2.19 billion and $2.48 billion in pre-season ad commitments, according to Variety estimates. The new figures suggest CBS could have secured between $2.26 billion and $2.6 billion in ad commitments for its next programming cycle.

In discussions with advertisers, CBS pressed for significantly higher increases in the rates it charges to reach 1,000 viewers, a metric known as a CPM that is integral to these annual discussions between TV networks and Madison Avenue. During the “upfront,” U.S. TV networks try to sell the bulk of their ad inventory for the coming season. CBS pushed for CPM increases in the low double-digit percentage range, according to people familiar with the situation, compared with last year, when it sought between 3% and 5%.

Digital Distribution, Cord Cutting

Cable Cutting Is Easier Now That PlayStation Vue Is on Roku

By Nathan Olivares-Giles


When Vue launched a year ago, it was confined to major cities and only available on Sony’s PlayStation game consoles. Now that Vue is available nationwide and on many streaming-video devices, it’s truly a viable alternative to a traditional cable-TV service.

Digital Media, Copyright, Music

Industry Out of Harmony With YouTube on Tracking of Copyrighted Music

By Hannah Karp


many music rights holders say the YouTube system isn’t foolproof and requires them to conduct a laborious, manual search daily to track content and collect royalties. They worry that YouTube gains an unfair advantage with the lower rates it pays for music over other on-demand streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, which pay far more per play but together have relatively fewer paying subscribers at 68 million, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s latest report.

The free tiers from SoundCloud and Spotify, by contrast, pay at rates up to six times the rate YouTube offers for user-uploaded videos, one rights holder said. Another said it gets an average of 35% more per play ($0.0011) from these free services than it does from YouTube videos. Paid subscription services pay even more per play, according to rights holders.

Net Neutrality, Research, Distribution, Content

Net Neutrality Rules Will Make Winners and Losers Out of Businesses

By Shane Greenstein, Martin Peitz and Tommaso M. Valletti


Today’s internet is infrastructure. And the rules that govern it are as difficult as any that have been written to date. In a recent research paper we sought to explore the tradeoffs at play in an important part of this modern debate that often tops the headlines: net neutrality.

All this matters to managers and investors since net neutrality rules could have significant consequences on the business models of ISPs, content providers, and other firms that depend on the transfer of data across the Internet. Managers and investors need to know about the open questions, and potential for change.

In our view, business owners and potential entrepreneurs should hesitate to take extremist positions on net neutrality regulation. We all need a well-functioning internet ecosystem. All participants have good reason to watch the debate and to express their needs regarding the price-quality trade-off since, in the end, you get what you pay for.


6 Reasons Why Virtual Reality Will Thrive in Film and Entertainment

By Awane Jones, CEO of Merchlar Digital Agency,


Some people just don’t realize how impactful this technology will be and how obvious it is that the game is changing. Sure, not all VR entertainment and film content is glitch‐proof, and some people still feel weird about the idea of watching films on a headset. However, the glitches are clearing up every day and mobile VR is on its way to becoming the norm. As the popularity of these devices grows, so too will improved content and a better viewing experience.


VR Fund 2016 VR Industry Landscape Graphic

The VR Fund 2016 VR Industry Landscap

Conferences of Note

VRLA Summer Expo   http://tech.co/event/vrla-summer-expo-2016-los-angeles

Silicon Beach Fest in Aug: http://siliconbeachfest.com/

Variety Summit in Sept.  http://events.variety.com/entertainment-and-technology-summit-los-angeles/

The Grill logo

Register By 6/29 and Take Advantage of Our Early Bird Rate $1,095.


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!

Fabric Notable Stories, Special VidCon/Brexit Highlights Edition, June 23, 2016

By David Bloom

Lots of data dumps on the main stage at VidCon’s industry track, held high above the adoring masses of tweens milling on lower floors with “Community” or “Creator” badges below. Emcee Jim Louderback promised to post the stat-stuffed presentations by several notables, including Mike Vorhaus of Magid Associates, Rich Greenfield of BTIG, Dana Settle of Greycroft and Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures. Not clear where in the site those will be posted, but I’ll keep checking.

In the meantime, we have highlights and quotes to share:

  • VidCon co-founder John Green’s keynote suggested that merely chasing growth isn’t always the path to happiness and called for more focus on serving passionate and focused audiences.
  • “Creative projects do not exist to create revenue. Revenue exists to fund creative projects,” Green said.
  • “Online Video has been about hearing the voices we wouldn’t otherwise hear,” Green said.
  • John’s Vlogbrother/co-founder Hank Green celebrated the 6-year-old show going from 1,200 people in a Century City hotel ballroom to 25,000 overstuffing the mammoth Anaheim Convention Center and two neighboring hotels. It mirrors the online video ecosystem as a whole, and awareness by traditional media and news organizations: “We’ve gone from ‘Cats!’ (videos) to ‘Ok, there’s something going on; we’ll talk to the top 5 creators.”
  • VidCon’s announcement of new satellite shows next year in Amsterdam and Melbourne are about trying to give a bigger platform for the burgeoning group of international creators deserving a more high-profile spotlight than is possible with the main Anaheim show.
  • Magid study of 1,600 people at least 8 years old shows “a slow drip, drip” away from Pay TV, Vorhaus said. “Don’t go shorting Disney tomorrow. It probably has the best collection of channels, as does Time Warner.”
  • He repeatedly urged attendees to go to China, to see the results of an intensely mobile-centered middle class of 700 million people conducting much of their lives and business through Tencent’s dominating WeChat app (he later told me that it’s even better to get the app in its Mandarin version, because that activates games and other services that aren’t distributed through the English-language version).
  • Holding his phone in the air, Vorhaus said, “The Phone is a TV set.” 46 percent of users 18-35 are routinely using their phone to watch video. Only 5 percent of that age group never use their phone that way. The numbers are even higher for younger viewers.
  • They’re also watching “full-length TV episodes” routinely, Vorhaus said. Type that phrase into YouTube and you’ll get 19 million hits. “YouTube is becoming a major destination for people to get long-form video,” Vorhaus said. “It could be a major player. YouTube is sneaking up on Hollywood.”
  • Binge-watching has now become a routine pattern for many people, changing their habits and expectations for programming. They don’t have patience to wait through ads, or wait a week for another episode. They’ll just binge-watch something else.
  • A majority of survey respondents prefer a paid model, 40 percent for SVOD, and another 16 percent for a la carte.
  • “Snapchat is already coming on strong,” with 27 percent of respondents regularly using the platform. “These numbers go from 20 (percent) to 40 to 60 very quickly. It will be the next big platform in the West. I don’t think anyone is going to catch WeChat in China.”
  • eSports “is a tidal wave. This is not a fad. It’s not disappearing.” 18 percent of gamers already watch eSports, and in 10 years, he predicted, the revenues here will outstrip golf.
  • Live-streaming was a huge topic at the show. Facebook’s announcement of 140 deals with creators for a total of $50 million; the announcement of the Live Fronts in October; Tumblr going live with four live-streaming partners; even the Periscope live streaming by Democratic Congressmen holding a sit-in in Congress, were all big mileposts. Several smaller companies were running splashy booths at the conference; one was giving contracts worth $500,000 to live-streamers who demoed their talents at its programs during the show.
  • That said, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki underwhelmed with the part of her presentation focused on live-streaming (see company-compiled notes on its presentation below). Wojcicki said the company had provided live-streaming resources since 2011. The company will add live-streaming capabilities to its existing YouTube Creator app. The company announced a consolidated set of creator resources, new YouTube Red programming and some other, lesser news.
  • One exec in the live-streaming space predicted to me that music performances would be huge. One of his company’s performers livecasts 6 hours a day, taking requests from viewers and getting “tips,” funds donated by fans (a common approach on Amazon-owned and gamer-focused Twitch). That performer had made enough to buy a house in a nice part of London.
  • The current huge base of YouTube talent won’t likely be very good at live, however, because it’s a different skill set, much closer to talk radio or sports casting (or sports talk radio). Holding someone’s attention for as much as a few hours is a very specific talent, and new stars will emerge, multiple execs told me. They’re right.
  • The CEO of AwesomenessTV, Brian Robbins, expressed something of an “above-my-paygrade” nonchalance over the coming acquisition of parent DreamWorks Animation by Comcast’s NBCUni division. “We’re still running the business pretty autonomously,” Robbins said. “The good news is that we have very deep-pocketed, ambitious partners who want to be in business with us.”
  • Awesomeness had an even bigger presence at the conference than two years ago, taking over a central plaza for day-long musical performances by some of its stars, and an elaborate, swinging-‘60s lounge for top-level creators in the security-conscious Hilton Hotel’s fourth floor.
  • Awesomeness already has a library of 800 hours of content it owns, will make 8 to 10 low-budget films featuring (and marketed by) many of its creators, and is creating series for partners such as YouTube Red and Verizon’s Go90 service. “We’re a studio and a network but it’s all in the service of the brand.”
  • Brand is big with Robbins, who said Awesomeness purposely took a different path, emphasizing that consumer branding approach, rather than the one taken by many of the MCNs. Where the company once had 90,000 creators, it now focuses on about 100 top-level channels. He said Vice Media has done a good job building with a brand in mind, and perhaps Buzzfeed in the news vertical, but virtually no one else has other than Awesomeness.
  • Jeffrey Katzenberg, who is expected to leave DWA after the sale is final, has been very involved with Awesomeness but particularly as “an unbelievable cheerleader. When I need him, he’s available” to make calls to reach an influential person or help persuade a creator to join Awesomeness.
  • The company’s very-low-budget films have generally been “very successful,” both financially and creatively, he said. Marketing costs are “nowhere near” $10 million per film (which is half what a typical wide release would spend at minimum). Robbins declined to be more specific. One project, ‘Before I Fall,” was acquired by Open Road for distribution next year, a big milestone.
  • “Pipes are no longer dumb, execs are dumb,” said Suster, the VC and frequent blogger. His point: companies such as Netflix and Hulu have built an intelligent layer on top of distribution platforms, in a manner similar to Wal-Mart allowing someone else to build and own the cash-register and other computer systems for its stores. Traditional TV “Executives dismiss those platforms but they’re capturing consumer primacy. (Networks and OTT providers are) competing for a share of time.”
  • “Snapchat is the most important media company created in the last five to seven years,” Suster said. It has reach, immediacy (you only have 24 hours to watch content before it disappears), authenticity and engagement. He noted that Snapchat also appears to have “stolen local live news away from Twitter.”
  • “I don’t know if Snapchat wants to be a media company or an instant-messaging company,” Suster said. “If it’s a media company, then it has some growing up to do. It needs 150 DJ Khaleds to enable this.”
  • “Content is about to become a lot more valuable,” Suster said. SVOD requires “must-have content” to drive subscriptions. “There are really passionate users and they tend to be passionate about different things and they will subscribe.”
  • With Instagram, Vine and Facebook now starting to pay creators, it’s never been a better time to be a content producer, but it will be different content producers” than the incumbents in traditional media.
  • The multi-platform networks will continue, but will need to keep diversifying. “YouTube is not your business. It’s a distribution channel,” Suster said. “You can’t be talent aggregators. You need tonnage as aggregators.”  The business model as talent aggregators is a challenging one that also is limited largely to fees in the 15 to 17 percent range.
  • The company with the biggest potential to disrupt the entire industry is Amazon. The company has “strength in all areas,” with the audience, the data, the devices and the delivery pipes, but it needs to “lean in on content,” Suster said. But with its diversified revenue  base, the company “doesn’t have to protect the industry’s margin structure. They don’t have to make margin on video.”
  • Settle and Greenfield marveled at how much the show had changed in a very short time. Vine, which had a big presence last year, is fading quickly. Sing-along social apps Musically and Busker were nothing last year and taking off this year. Snapchat is now SNAPCHAT.
  • “Netflix is B.A.E.” their slide said, pointing to some stats on user loyalty. 60 percent of those surveyed would dump Facebook, which is free, over Netflix, which is not. Younger fans spend two hours a day there. But Netflix is missing a social component that would make it easier for users to share their favorites. It’s now a closed experience.
  • Currently, 75 percent of online video viewers spend less than $25 a month on subscriptions, but SVOD services are blossoming. CrunchyRoll already has more than 800,000 subscribers. “They’re paying for the content they want,” Settle said.
  • Another slide was headlined “#GoodLuckBundle.” The future of the Pay TV bundle is pretty dark. The majority of young viewers “don’t have linear subscriptions. I think they’ll spend their money, but they’ll spend it in a different way.”





We will be posting our news across two blogs. The YouTube Main Blog (focused on YouTube Red Originals) and the YouTube Creator Blog (all other news including mobile live streaming).

PHOTOS FROM KEY MOMENTS: Photo credit: Filmmagic for YouTube




    • Engagement on YouTube is growing:


  • “While TV networks are losing audiences, we’re growing in every region and across every screen. Today, more millennials are tuning into YouTube on mobile during primetime than any cable or broadcast TV network.”
  • “And people aren’t just watching on mobile and desktop, they’re also watching YouTube in the living room. Last year, TV’s were our fastest source of watchtime growth.  So what are people watching in the living room? The same things they always watched: late night shows like Jimmy Fallon and John Oliver, fitness and travel videos. What’s new is that now that’s alongside all of YouTube’s talented endemic creators, many of whom are at VidCon with us today. It’s clear that digital media and traditional linear media are blending together.”
  • “Today, I want to talk about three things that all matter to creators on YouTube… —we can call them the 3 C’s; community, creation and creative ambition—so let me share a little about how we are approaching each to ensure YouTube remains the best destination for all creators.”


    • Creator relationship with fans:


  • “Almost 40 percent of millennial subscribers say YouTube creators understand them better than their friends do. And over 60 percent say YouTubers have changed their lives.”


    • Improvements to Content ID:
      • “In April, we announced steps to ensure that no one loses money while rights disputes are being resolved. We worked with our legal, our finance and our operations teams to set up a new solution that allow videos to continuing earning revenue while a Content ID claim is being disputed. We pay out money to tens of millions of creators every month, around the world, so this isn’t a simple undertaking. But we’re currently testing out the new monetization support and expect to reach 100 percent of all monetized users in next few months.”
    • Improvements to Comments on YouTube:


  • “We’re also working to improve comments by giving creators more flexibility to pin a comment at the top of their videos, include GIF’s in responses and even delegate comment moderation to their trusted fans.”


    • 360 & VR:


  • “With 360-degree video and VR, viewers can interact with their video environment as if they were actually there. YouTube has more 360-degree and VR content than any other platform. In fact, you can watch every single video on YouTube with a VR headset like Cardboard, making it the world’s largest library of VR content.”


    • YouTube Red Originals:


  • “Our original series are one of the leading drivers of YouTube Red subscriptions, with viewership that rivals similar cable shows.”
  • “We’re also seeing that creators featured in Originals actually get a boost in YouTube subscribers and watchtime on their main channels as well. And most of this watchtime boost is coming from viewers who haven’t watched that creator’s content before. It turns out that there’s a virtuous cycle between YouTube Red and our ad-supported experience.”
  • “And we’re seeing these Originals being consumed in a totally new way. Over half of the watchtime for YouTube Originals is happening on mobile phones.”


    • What YouTube stands for:


  • “Over the last year at YouTube, we’ve given a lot of thought about what we stand for, and we’ve identified a number of “Freedoms” that we believe in and want to promote at YouTube. This includes the Freedom of Expression: that YouTube gives everyone a voice. The Freedom of Information: that YouTube provides information to everyone around the globe. The Freedom of Opportunity: that anyone on YouTube can build a media business and the Freedom to Belong: that everyone can find connection and community.”


    • Creator growth momentum:


  • “Every single day, more than a thousand new creators reach the 1,000 subscribers mark.”


  • YouTube increases support to creators throughout every step of their YouTube journey:
    • First, “We’re making it easier for all creators to find the resources they need. Right now, creators have to navigate between more than seven different websites to find all of the resources available to them—from educational materials to the help center. This experience leaves them sometimes a bit confused. I’m proud to announce that we’re providing easy access to all our resources, through one door, not seven. What you see on screen is the completely redesigned Creator Hub that launches today, fully localized in 23 languages. The site is now live, and anyone can access it at youtube.com/creators. The new hub will be the central place where creators can discover all the programs that are available to them and truly feel a part of the YouTube community.”
    • Second – “We’re launching a program called YouTube for Creators bringing together a comprehensive set of solutions to grow on YouTube. No matter how many subscribers they have, through the creator Hub, every creator will be able to access resources available to them like Creator Academy, and our studio app to help them grow their community on YouTube.”
    • Third – more personalized support:  “Perhaps the biggest news of all, I’m proud to announce that every single creator who has enabled monetization on their channel will now be able to reach out to YouTube with a question and hear back from a real human being within one business day.  We currently offer that direct support to hundreds of thousands of creators. As of today, that extends to tens of millions of them.”


    • VR:


  • “We’ve already made big strides in democratizing the VR experience. We created Google Cardboard so that everyone with a smartphone could experience VR for themselves. Then we worked to make sure the world’s largest video library—YouTube—could be watched on a VR headset. But we didn’t stop there. This year at I/O, we announced the launch of a new YouTube app, built from the ground up for VR headsets as part of Google’s Daydream platform. The YouTube Virtual Reality app brings voice search, playlists and spatial audio to give you the ultimate platform for consuming high quality VR videos.”
  • “We’re also working to bring even more VR content to YouTube. We think YouTube’s incredible creator community is going to lead the way in showing the world the full potential of VR. We’re currently partnering with several leading VR production companies and pairing them with top creators, to test which formats work best in virtual reality. For example, no one knows whether makeup tutorials, vlogs, challenge videos or how-tos will work well in VR. But the experiments we’re running are designed to give everyone in the ecosystem an idea. We’ll release findings and learnings in the creator academy so that all creators can learn the best practices for VR Creation and Production. And we’ll have the latest VR cameras in all our YouTube spaces so creators large and small can begin creating VR content today.”
  • Mobile Livestreaming:
  • “We’ve been offering livestreaming since before it was cool. Millions of people around the world tuned in to watch the Royal Wedding in 2011. One-sixth of the Internet watched Felix Baumgartner leap from space live on YouTube in 2012. Last month we livestreamed the UEFA Champions League Final, the world’s biggest annual sporting event. And just this year, we became the first to ever broadcast a 360-degree livestream during Coachella. Over 21 million people tuned in to watch Coachella on YouTube this year—almost twice as many as tuned in to watch the series finale of American Idol.”
  • “Today, I’m pleased to announce a new chapter in in bringing the power of live video to creators everywhere. Soon, we’ll be putting the power of YouTube livestreaming in the palm of your hands.”
  • “YouTube mobile livestreaming will be baked right into the core YouTube mobile app. You don’t need to open anything else up; just hit the big red capture button right there in the corner. We created that capture button last year to make on-the-go creation easier than ever, and soon it will give you the to option to broadcast what you’re seeing live.”
  • “Viewers can also use the mobile notifications bell to get alerts when their favorite creators start a  livestream. We announced the bell just last year at VidCon and we’re already ringing that bell 10B times a month to help creators alert your subscribers.”



  • “With nine projects launched, we’re seeing fans sign up, tune in, binge and share their enthusiasm with their friends. And a ton of this activity is happening in just the first 24 hours after our new series go live.”
  • “I’m happy to announce today a number of new projects we’ll be releasing exclusively to YouTube Red subscribers.”
  • New projects coming to YouTube Red – the following are not direct quotes from Susanne, however,  here are the loglines. There will also be a blog post on YouTube main blog around 5:30pm:



SCARE PEWDIEPIE – SEASON 2: Produced by Maker Studios, the creator and executive producers of “The Walking Dead” franchise from Skybound Entertainment, and Felix Kjellberg under the Revelmode banner, the second season of the reality adventure series, Scare PewDiePie, promises even more thrills and chills. Press release here.

FOURSOME – SEASON 2: Produced by AwesomenessTV, the second season of Foursome returns to YouTube Red following Andie’s adventures in the high school dating world. We meet a brand new Andie, a new era of extracurricular hooking up and high school awkwardness.

UNTITLED SMOSH MOVIE: After releasing the episodic series Part Timers on YouTube, Smosh is coming back for a feature-length comedy on YouTube Red. Luckless Charlie (Anthony Padilla) moves into a new apartment, only to find he has a roommate: a self-centered ghost named MAX (Ian Hecox). Max makes Charlie’s life a living hell, until they learn that the only way Max can get into heaven is by working together.


STEP UP SERIES: Step Up, a fan favorite dance film franchise that launched the career of Channing Tatum, transitions to a new series with a heart-pounding, sexy, music-filled and dramatic look at dancers in a contemporary performing arts school. Adam Shankman, Jennifer Gibgot and Meredith Milton, all producers of the original Step Up films, will executive produce the series, along with Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan Tatum, who both co-starred in the original Step Up film. Press release here.

RHETT & LINK’S BUDDY SYSTEM: In this new scripted comedy series, Rhett & Link must go out of their way to regain control of their internet empire from their mutual co-ex-girlfriend who is now an evil Infomercial Queen holding a very big secret over their heads. The series also features Saturday Night Live alums Molly Shannon and Chris Parnell, as well as Leslie Bibb and Page Kennedy.

DAN & PHIL TOUR DOCUMENTARY: Top YouTube comedy stars, Dan Howell and Phil Lester are taking their fans inside their latest world tour, The Amazing Tour Is Not On Fire. With hilarious anecdotes, sketches, and lots of surprises for their fans,  we’re bringing Dan and Phil’s successful live stage show exclusively to YouTube Red. They’ll also be giving audiences a behind-the-scenes look with a documentary about the making of the tour.  

VLOGUMENTARY: Executive produced by  award-winning filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, Maker Studios, and Shay “ShayCarl” Butler,  Vlogumentary provides a personal, intimate lens into the world of some of YouTube’s biggest creators and demonstrates the power of the platform in shaping the lives of creative voices, their audiences and the media landscape.

UNTITLED ANIMATED SERIES: Top YouTube creators SeaNanners, TheMrSark and VanossGaming star in an animated comedy series, helmed by Michael Rowe, Emmy Award winning writer of Futurama and Family Guy, about a team of ill-equipped paranormal investigators who struggle to unfold the mysteries of the paranormal universe for their desperate clients.

UNTITLED MICHAEL STEVENS PROJECT: In this new educational series, Vsauce creator Michael Stevens will take a deeper look into the human mind, using real subjects, including himself and special guests, to show some of the most mind-blowing, important and least understood aspects of human nature.

Additionally today – separate from the keynote – YouTube announced:

Digital Media, Streaming Media

Google’s secret weapon against Netflix: Channing Tatum

By Ethan Baron


Google’s YouTube has acquired its first big-budget Hollywood-made TV series, to compete against Netflix and cable firms. The series, to be based on the “Step Up” dance movie franchise that grossed $650 million at the box office and propelled actor Channing Tatum to stardom, will be offered on YouTube Red, Google’s $10-per-month, ad-free streaming service…


Brexit Wallops Stock Markets

It’s far too early to have any real idea what Britain’s shocking decision to leave the EU will have on tech and media companies, many of which have significant operations and audiences there. It is safe to say some unanticipated heavy weather lies ahead, especially because the decision comes at a time when the EU is already facing so-so economic conditions, security worries over ISIS-inspired home-grown terrorists and trying to integrate, or at least manage, a flood of immigrants. Will Scotland try to leave the UK and rejoin the EU (I would say likely). Will this affect London’s status as a financial capital? What does it mean for the many Brits with jobs in the EU who no longer will have status to work there? This one will take a while to sort out. – DB

Brexit, Media

Industry Reacts To Brexit Win; Media Stocks Crash; Execs Plan For Uncertainty

By Nancy Tartaglione and Ali Jaffar


Reactions have rolled in from industry execs following last night’s vote by Britain to exit the EU and as media stocks crashed in London. Harvey Weinstein, who has major television dealings in the UK and is in Cannes for the Cannes Lions Creativity Festival, told Deadline he is “shocked” at the outcome which he called a “disaster.” Wild Bunch co-founder Vincent Maraval sees it slightly differently: “I’m sad because my wife is English and she’s sad. But I’m happy because I hope that Europe will realize that it must build itself on cultural bases and not economic.”

Brexit, Tech

What Brexit Means For Tech

By David Meyer


That means years of uncertainty, with tech firms and investors unable to know for sure how regulations will evolve (or devolve) in the U.K. and, indeed, the EU.

As Stratechery’s Ben Thompson has correctly noted, the U.K. is one of the voices in Europe that has called for relatively light-touch tech regulation in the EU. Without it, Germany and France will have even stronger positions in the bloc than they currently do.

Brexit, Tech

Tech stocks plunge after Brexit vote

By George Avalos


Some analysts believe that technology companies might have differing fortunes depending on their business operations in the U.K. and other European nations.

Plus, big American tech companies such as Google, Apple and Microsoft have undergone varying levels of antitrust scrutiny and litigation.

The Brexit vote raised uncertainties as basic as to whether the United Kingdom would survive intact in years to come and whether the euro would continue as a viable currency.

Amazon, Digital Media

A Prime misunderstanding: explaining Amazon Prime’s success

By Richie Segal


What sets Amazon apart is its undivided focus on improving the customer experience, something Bezos has talked about at length. He is so committed to doing so that the short term financials of the company are free to suffer, as they did with Prime, which was bleeding money early on. But the short term didn’t matter, since the long term behavioral effect—shoppers defaulting to Amazon—is so powerful that Amazon will be cashing in on this behavioral modification for decades. Prime latched on to the power of defaults, knowing that the result of a customer browsing first on Amazon would be immensely more profitable than the $79 membership fee, which has since been raised to $99.

SEO, YouTube

Reverse Engineering The YouTube Algorithm

By Matt Gielen


YouTube doesn’t make the variables that factor into its algorithm public. So, to figure out how it works, we must peer into a very big and very dark black box with very limited data. There are also factors at play that we have absolutely no data for whatsoever. These data points (such as thumbnail and title impressions, user viewing history and behavior, session metrics, etc.) would shed a lot of light on the algorithm. But, alas. They don’t exist.

Traditional Media, Sports

The Sports TV Well Has Run Dry

By Anthony Crupi


the broader takeaway is that the feverish sports dealmaking that informed the last few years will now subside. For all intents and purposes, there are no more major sports portfolios left to be acquired. The cupboard is bare and will remain so through the start of the next decade.

Digital Media

Billboard’s 2016 Digital Power Players List: The Industry Leaders Shaping the Game

By Billboard Staff


THE MUSIC BUSINESS SAW IT COMING. For the first time, global revenue from digital music sales significantly surpassed physical sales, according to 2015 figures that worldwide record-industry trade group IFPI reported in April.

With music industry revenue at $15 ­billion, digital sales now account for 45 percent of that figure and physical sales 39 percent. (Performing rights revenue accounts for most of the balance.) Just a year earlier, digital and physical were almost even. What’s more, the stream is ­becoming a flood. Streaming music now accounts for 43 percent of global digital music sales, and streaming consumption of music in the United States in 2015 rose 93 percent.


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?

Fabric Notable Stories, June 21, 2016

The Mobile Game Industry Consolidation continues: Tencent acquires Supercell for way more than 10 cents

By David Bloom

Tencent, which owns one of the big messaging apps and lots of ecommerce operations, is doubling down on even more on gaming with this deal, first rumored during E3 last week and finalized overnight (here’s the story from WSJ, which first broke news last week on the deal):

Tencent Seals Deal to Buy ‘Clash of Clans’ Developer for $8.6 Billion


Supercell is a small Finnish company with only four mobile game titles, but has been hugely successful with them. Debt-crippled Softbank is joining with company employees to sell most of the company to Chinese online giant Tencent.

Tencent already owns most of massive “League of Legends” maker Riot Games; a minority share of developer/game tool maker Epic Games; 12 percent of the world’s largest game publisher, Activision Blizzard; a quarter of the Korean gamemaker, CJ Games; and stakes in smaller game companies such as Glu Mobile, Robot Entertainment and Pocket Gems.

Acquisition of Supercell is big enough that Tencent will have to do it in stages, but they’re accreting MASSIVE holdings in the game space. Also, Supercell has at different times of the year been one of the biggest buyers of national advertising on U.S. TV, frequently leading all marketers in estimated spend, according to iSpot.TV.

It will be interesting to see if they continue that tack in the U.S., pivot increasingly to Chinese mobile audiences or partner further with other Tencent holdings.

Now, on to the rest of the best of the day’s stories in media, social media, digital content, advertising and ad-tech. We also have some key stories about developments in investing, and a nifty list of psychology books for business people.

Social Media, Monetization, Apps, Influencers

Twitter Releases Standalone App For Influencers, Will Open Monetization On Vine For “Small Group”

By Geoff Weiss


Twitter has released a brand new standalone app for influencers today that is intended to help users grow their audiences and better interact with fans. Called Twitter Engage, the app offers down-to-the-second analytics about how Tweets are performing, and also surfaces @mentions and follows from fellow influencers and loyal fans for easier viewing.

At the same time, Twitter — which said that video tweets have increased by 50% over the past six months — is announcing major product updates for both Twitter and micro video platform Vine, which it says are bound to make both platforms more profitable for video creators and more engaging for fans. Vine — which is distinguished by its uber-brief six-second time limit — will now allow “a small group” of creators to “add a video to their Vine, turning the six second Vine into a trailer for a bigger story,” Twitter said. “This opens up monetization opportunities for creators. And soon, any creator in the Amplify Open program will be able to monetize Vines, just like native Twitter videos.”

Social Media, Video

Twitter expands length of videos to 140 seconds

By Queenie Wong


The San Francisco tech firm said Tuesday that it’s expanding videos tweeted on the site from 30 seconds to 140 seconds. Select publishers will be able to post videos up to 10 minutes long.

Social Media, Video

Instagram’s new swagger: 500 million users and counting

By Patrick May


Of note is the fact that Instagram hit that mark by adding 100 million users since last September, thanks to the legions of newbies in countries like Japan, Germany, France and Indonesia. And that achievement came quicker than the previous 100 million, if anyone’s keeping score.

Digital Media, Streaming Video, SVOD

Netflix Price Hikes Could Lead Nearly 500,000 U.S. Subs to Cancel (Study)

By Todd Spangler


About 27 million of Netflix’s U.S. streaming subs have either been subject to the price increase to $9.99 per month for the most popular two-stream HD plan, or will see it later this year, according to Nomura Securities analyst Anthony DiClemente. The price hikes could result in 480,000 customers cancelling their service, he estimated — while at the same time leading to about $520 million in additional annual revenue for Netflix.

Linear TV, SVOD, Streaming Video

Netflix, CW Near Deal That Accelerates Streaming Window as Hulu Ends In-Season Pact

By Cynthia Littleton


Netflix and the CW are close to finalizing a megabucks new deal covering scripted series that significantly speeds up the availability of the shows to less than two weeks after each season ends on the network.

The expanded pact with Netflix comes as CW and Hulu are parting ways on the deal that made selected current episodes of CW series available for streaming on a rolling-five basis. CW first set its streaming deals with Netflix and Hulu in 2011. Those deals were crucial to shoring up the future of CW five years ago, and now the expanded Netflix pact is a testament to the network’s improved performance.

Digital Media, Branded Content

Yahoo Promotes a New Content Studio to Marketers at Cannes

By George Slefo


With an imminent sale of its core assets looming, Yahoo said Monday at Cannes Lions that it’s increasing the emphasis on branded content creation with an initiative called Storytellers. Brands including JetBlue, Dasani and Farmers Insurance have signed up.

The program appears to be a marshalling and rebranding of existing capabilities more than a creation from scratch.

Social Media, M&A, Marketing

4 views: What the Microsoft-LinkedIn deal means for marketers

By David Kirkpatrick


Business 2 Community listed possibilities about how the acquisition might impact B2B marketing: more inventory for sponsored updates, account-based marketing within Bing ads, better retargeting and display, lookalike B2B audiences, and integrations with Microsoft Dynamics for segmentation and data hygiene.

To learn more about where LinkedIn could go from here and how it might impact B2B marketing, Marketing Dive reached out to four experts active in different industry capacities for their perspectives.

Live Streaming, Digital Media, Advertising

Al Roker Sets Out to Create the ‘Live Fronts’

By Jeannine Poggi


Mr. Roker’s newly formed Roker Media, in conjunction with Brave Ventures, a strategic advisory firm, is creating the “Live Fronts” as a way to showcase the opportunities for marketers and content producers on platforms like Facebook Live, Periscope and YouNow, while at the same time hanging the open-for-business sign.

The event will take place in October in New York City and is open to “anyone in the business of live streaming,” said Jesse Redniss, co-founder, Brave Ventures.

Influencers, Social Media

One In Three Young Social Media Users Are Influencers

By Eric Sass


As Yahoo notes, each influencer tier offers marketers different opportunities and challenges: for example, marketers can “get in on the ground floor” (my phrase) by helping an aspiring influencer build their creative approach to monetization, versus partnering with an established influencer to reach a large, devoted audience, but ceding them creative control as part of the bargain.

Mobile, Advertising


By Bonnie Jordan of ZenithOptimedia


Mobile will overtake desktop to become the primary internet advertising medium in 2017, a year earlier than previously forecast. According to Zenith’s new Advertising Expenditure Forecasts, published today, advertisers across the world will spend US$99.3bn on mobile internet advertising in 2017, compared to US$97.4bn on desktop internet advertising.

Advertising, Digital Content, Ad Blockers

73% of Ad Players Cite User Experience as a Major Industry Challenge

By Christopher Heine


those players likely believe that digital ads must entail strong, creative work or risk driving consumers to use ad blockers. Smartphone owners who use ad-blocking software jumped by 90 percent in the past year, totaling nearly 420 million around the globe. Those figures came from a recent report by PageFair, a startup that helps publishers get around ad blockers, and Priori Data, which tracks mobile apps.

When it specifically comes to the multiscreen environment, the IAB survey also sussed out ad clutter, creative quality and interruptive advertising as the other chief challenges.

Mobile, Advertising, Television

Report: Mobile Apps Depend on TV Ads

By Michael Essany


The company is out with a new study that shows a 77% correlation between TV advertising and traffic for 60 popular mobile apps.

As a result, the category now totals nearly $1 billion in TV advertising. The report, issued by the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB), is the third in a series showing the connection between TV ads and online traffic.

Digital Media, Ad Blockers, Subscriptions

New York Times Readies Ad-Free Digital Subscription Model

By Steven Perlberg


New York Times Co. Chief Executive Mark Thompson confirmed plans to launch an advertising-free digital access option that would cost consumers more than a standard subscription, in response to the rising adoption of software that lets readers block ads.

Traditional Media, Digital Media

Philippe Dauman’s Last Stand

By Alan Murray


He said he deserves to keep his job because he has “realigned this company for the future.” He cited the company’s increased investment in original content; its success in securing affiliate deals; its successful performance selling advertising in the recent television up fronts; and its rapid growth overseas.

“We have moved to digital. We have our content everywhere. We have close relationships with all the social media companies. We have two brands on the Snapchat Discover platform… We were the first company to engage with SVOD companies like Netflix, and Hulu and Amazon. We were the first to put our content on mobile in a significant way. We are in conversations with all the digital players, and we are working to revolutionize measurement of the digital audience.”

“We supplement the traditional data with proprietary information about well over a hundred million consumers, married with other data bases. Most recently we did a deal with American Express to use their data to help with targeting for the benefit of marketers.”


A New Bargain

By Eric Ries


Something dramatic is happening to the public markets. Since 1997, the number of publicly listed companies in the US has declined by 45%. This trend has been consistent — downward — through extreme cycles of boom and bust. Fewer companies are choosing to IPO, and the companies that do IPO tend to make that choice later in the company’s life. Experts continue to debate the many causes of this trend, but I am confident about one of them: today’s best companies dread going public.

Over the past few years, I have been assembling an incredible team to make this change a reality. We call our new company the Long-Term Stock Exchange (LTSE), and I am honored to serve as CEO. The LTSE will seek to encourage long-term thinking through listing standards, guidance, tools, and services aimed to give all parties the incentive to focus on the long term.


The heroes of ‘Flash Boys’ have won

By Matt Turner


IEX, the company founded by “Flash Boys” hero Brad Katsuyama,has won approval to run a US stock exchange.

IEX, which has up until now operated as an alternative trading system (ATS), filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to become a stock exchange last year.

Investing, Incubators, Startups

The Negative Side of Incubators

By Sam Lessin


An oversupply of startup incubators is increasingly distorting company formation and capital raising. High-flying companies come out of demo days raising too much money while the rest don’t quite raise enough to succeed.

Investing, International

The dragon from the left: The biggest enabler of unicorns isn’t going anywhere yet

By Sarah Lacey


A few years after those arguments were made to me by some of the richest, smartest, and most powerful people in Silicon Valley– and publicly by people like Peter Thiel [disclosure: a Pando investor] and Paul Graham– emerging market cash is the single biggest force roiling the Valley. Competitors in emerging markets are certainly playing a role too.

Investing, International

Hoping Jobs for India Follow, Modi Clears Investors’ Path


The changes are the most significant loosening of market restrictions since India began economic liberalization, with foreigners now permitted to own 100 percent of many companies.

International, Technology

Apple May Soon Open Retail Stores in India


While the stores are not expected to have a large impact on the company’s market share in India, some analysts say the change could help Apple attract the top tier of India’s smartphone buyers.

Psychology, Business

9 Psychology Books Every Businessperson Should Read

By Jessica Stillman http://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/9-psychology-books-every-business-person-should-read.html

At the base of it, business success is about people — making the right connections, understanding motivation, guessing what others will do next, and accurately evaluating those you meet. Which is why knowing some basic psychology can be so valuable for professionals of all stripes.

Fabric Notable Stories, June 20, 2016

DB: The week of Cannes Lions is no longer just about advertising (It’s now a “Festival of Creativity”), but boy, the news is sure full of it. Lots here to chew on from the weekend.

Live Streaming, Social Media

Tumblr to begin live streaming Tuesday, from Mars

Tumblr about to go liveDB: Tumblr says it will join the live-streaming video party tomorrow. This particular stream seems like a long way to go for a live video cast ( to a planet with no proven existence of LIFE).

Given Tumblr’s particular, peculiar core audience of so many angsty anonymous teens spilling their barely post-pubescent souls, I can’t help wondering how many will be starting up their own feed, and how many will prefer to stay hidden behind their screen names.

Also – and this also matters for Facebook, Periscope and other live-streaming platforms – are audiences watching live streaming regularly, or regularly enough for creators to make money. Also, what traditional media are we NOT watching when we’re watching this stuff? What do ad services look like for the live-streaming world? Overlays? Branded content? Anything else?

Social Media, Advertising

How Facebook turned an end-to-end ad tech strategy on its head

By Tim Peterson


Now, Facebook is flipping the end-to-end horizontal stack on its head. Instead of making a direct play for each part of the digital ad industrial complex, the social network appears to be taking a vertical, food-chain-like approach in which Facebook centers on advertisers and is able to maintain control the rest of the way down.

Facebook’s strategy came into clearer view late last month, when the company made several moves to consolidate its adtech portfolio. Within a few days, Facebook announced that it was shutting down the Facebook Exchange (FBX) real-time bidding platform and publisher-centric adtech arm LiveRail and expanding the reach of its Audience Network ad network to target non-Facebook users and Facebook users alike.

Advertising, Branded Content, VR

Advertisers Try New Tactics to Break Through to Consumers

Some use data to sharpen their messages, while others blur line between ads and content

By Suzanne Vranica http://www.wsj.com/articles/advertisers-try-new-tactics-to-break-through-to-consumers-1466328601

As the global marketing industry gathers on the French Riviera for the Cannes advertising festival this week, there is an awareness that grabbing consumers’ attention is getting harder and more frustrating across nearly all types of media. People are avoiding print ads, skipping through TV ads and cutting cable subscriptions. Reaching them online is getting tougher, too, between the rising use of ad blockers and the many scams in which fake, computer-generated web traffic lures in ad dollars.

“Over time, advertising has gained the reputation of pollution content,” said Brad Jakeman, president of PepsiCo’s global beverage group. “We have to now create content that consumers want”

Advertising, Music, Streaming Media

Spotify Looks to Ramp Up Ad Business

By Mike Shields


Now the company is leaning harder into advertising, adding products, partners and new staffers, he said. Last month, for example, Mr. Levick brought on Liberty Carras Kelly, a former Fox and CNN executive, as Spotify’s new head of Americas sales, as well as former Vevo vice president of commercial marketing, Danielle Lee, as Spotify’s vice president of global partner solutions.

Spotify’s ad sales revenue has doubled year-over-year for the past two years. But the plan is to dial things up and start exploring larger deals with major ad holding companies, Mr. Levick added.

Advertising, Digital Content

Advertisers Need to Be Storytellers—First and Foremost

Today’s media environment is obsessed with disposable content

By Susan Credle


Many people say the advertising business is a service business. But I truly believe the best agencies in the world make a product. We call that product The Creative. But lately, I have sensed—and in some cases seen—that The Creative is becoming an afterthought.

Data and technology dominate the conversations. And conference rooms and conferences are filled with formulaic approaches. “Make a template and put the creative in this box” approaches. Often, we appear to be more concerned with filling up these boxes than with the actual creative.

We, as an industry, have forgotten that first and foremost we need to be storytellers. But storytelling isn’t just a piece of film. Great storytelling in this business happens everywhere if it is done right. We tell brand stories not only in traditional advertising but with events and sponsorships, through advocates, with new products, with new technology, packaging, licensing, stores.

Advertising, Traditional Media, Technology

Cannes Lions: Hollywood Takes Center Stage at Ad Fest

By Rhonda Richford


Executives will take to the stage to discuss the challenges of the new entertainment landscape, including CBS CEO Leslie Moonves. Weinstein will give a talk hosted by Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Levy that’s being advertised around town on movie-style promotional posters titled The Conference with the tagline “How a mad man and a movie mogul see the future of storytelling in Hollywood.”

Tech has staked its claim as well, with Google and Oracle setting up beachside tents, and Twitter, Snapchat, Spotify and YouTube among the sponsors. Samsung is on hand to demonstrate its VR technology as well as new waterproof phones with a massive space.

DB: Cannes Lions advertising mega-gathering rebrands itself as a “Festival of Creativity” at a time of great ferment in the ad business. Is it just a play to get more people to buy tickets, or something more fundamental about changes in what advertising is? If it’s a play for tickets, it’s working: they sold a record number of tickets, generating $58 million in revenue.

Publishing, Digital Media

Snapchat is starting Real Life, an online magazine about technology

By Jordan Novet


“Real Life will publish essays, arguments, and narratives about living with technology,” Jurgenson writes. “It won’t be a news site with gadget reviews or industry gossip. It will be about how we live today and how our lives are mediated by devices.” (This sounds a little like the turf of New York Magazine‘s recently launched Select All.) The publication will cover beauty, power, privacy, and relationships, among other things, and “we aim to address the political uses of technology, including some of the worst practices both inside and outside the tech industry itself,” writes Jurgenson.

Digital Media, Social Media

The Forrest Gump of the Internet

Ev Williams became a billionaire by helping to create the free and open web. Now, he’s betting against it.

By Robinson Meyer


As Williams puts it: “Primarily what we’ve seen is that the social networks have gotten really, really big, and they drive more and more of our attention.” With this size, they also collect more revenue: 85 cents of every new dollar in online advertising went to Google or Facebook in early 2016, according to a Morgan Stanley analyst quoted by The New York Times.

“That could be bad,” says Williams, in his low-key way.

Advertising, Ad Blockers

3 strategies to survive the “Adblockalypse”

By Peter Minnium


The internet and digital technology presented an opportunity to tip the odds in advertising’s favor. The promise of digital advertising — ad products with sight, sound, motion plus interactivity, coupled with the right-message, right-person, right-time benefit of machine targeting — is irrepressible.

Consumers, after all, have never hated all advertising — just that which is irrelevant, annoying and interruptive. Digital would fix that, right?

Advertising, Live Streaming

Study: Half of Live-Streaming Ads are Malicious

By Chris Tribbey


What they found was online viewers were definitely accepting a trade off: the content they stream may be free, but it’s a coin flip when it comes to the ads associated with the content. Viewers are exposed to malware infections, personal data theft and scams, almost always without being aware of the cyber security breach.

Advertising, Content Marketing, Mobile, Digital Media

Yahoo Expands Content Marketing and Mobile Advertising Offerings

By Lisa Utzschneider, Yahoo Chief Revenue Officer


We are launching Yahoo Storytellers, a full service content marketing studio for brands and agencies that leverages Yahoo’s editorial expertise, extensive data, and native advertising through Yahoo Gemini. Now marketers can leverage Yahoo Storytellers to successfully develop, distribute and measure premium branded content that meets consumers’ high expectations and drives engagement.

we’re also excited to introduce Yahoo Tiles, a new mobile ad format that brands can leverage to reach consumers through engaging, interactive content. Yahoo Tiles enables brands to tell visually compelling and immersive stories on mobile devices in a post-tap environment. When consumers click on a mobile ad, they are taken to a custom mobile landing page that can feature 360-degree content, including video and images, as well as dynamic and interactive features such as video, swipeable images, and social feeds. With its lightweight design, Yahoo Tiles delivers a more engaging and seamless consumer experience for mobile native, video and display ads.

Investing, Technology

A Dozen Things I’ve Learned from Elon Musk About Business and Investing

By Tren Griffin of Microsoft


Elon Musk is a classic missionary founder who is more interested in changing the world and creating enduring businesses than just the financial rewards that may flow to him from the product or service. Mercenaries may sometimes succeed financially, but they do not bring as much lasting value to their communities. What a city and nation wants in terms of economic development are businesses that produce jobs, innovative products and services, a better quality of life and which add to the tax base over the long term.  I would rather have an Expedia, Zillow or Tableau in my community than a startup sold early in its potential life by the founder for tens of millions of dollars or even $1 billion, which then slowly (or quickly) disappears.

Journalism, Social Media


By David Higgerson


It’s kind of the done thing at the moment to identify a thing and blame it for journalism’s woes. On Holdthefrontpage, it’s digital to blame amongst the commenters. For the NUJ, it’s the idea that cickbait has replaced serious journalism in the regional press (although any day’s paper or website data would prove this false). And not for the first time, Facebook is also in the firing line.

To me, Facebook isn’t the landlord, and news providers aren’t the tenants. Facebook is simply the thing which has managed to give people what they want online, the place online people want to spend their time.  In a different age, newspapers did the same to many more people than they do today.

Pay TV, Linear Media, VOD, Mobile

TV Everywhere Trends Report: 100% Growth in One Year

By Andrew Burger


Adobe also found that 7 in 10 TVE viewers (71 percent) watch from one location. Even among mobile TVE viewers, 72 percent watch from one location. Viewers are using mobile devices more than any other type of connected entertainment device when watching TVE content.

Linear TV, Advertising

TV Nets Command Highest Media Brand Value, Digital Closing Gap

By Wayne Friedman


A new poll on media brands says TV networks still have the best “brand equity,” but that Internet radio, video streaming subscriptions and others are closing in.

Publishing, Social Media

More than half online users get news from Facebook, YouTube and Twitter: study

By Magdalena Mis


Social media has emerged as a leading source of news among online users who increasingly access it on their smartphones, an embrace of free news that is becoming a challenge for publishers of quality news.

More than half of online users get their news from Facebook and other social media platforms, refusing to pay for news and using ad-blocking, which hurts publishers’ revenue, the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ) said.

Social Media, Advertising, Branding, Research

Fan Favorites

By Erin Reilly


In theory, new technological advances such as big data and machine learning, combined with more direct access to audience sentiment, behaviors, and preferences via social media and over-the-top delivery channels, give the entertainment and media industry unprecedented insight into what the audience actually wants. But as a professional in the television industry put it, “We’re drowning in data and starving for insights.” Just as my data trail didn’t trace an accurate picture of my true interest in soccer, no data set can quantify all that consumers are as humans. At USC’s Annenberg Innovation Lab, our research has led us to an approach that blends data collection with a deep understanding of the social and cultural context in which the data is created. This can be a powerful practice for helping researchers understand the behavior of fans — fans of sports, brands, celebrities, and shows.

For businesses, the key to building this engagement and solidifying the relationship is understanding the different types of fan motivations in different contexts, and learning how to turn the data gathered about them into actionable insights. Even if Jane Smith and her best friend are fans of the same show, the same team, or the same brand, they’re likely passionate for different reasons.

DB: In-depth piece from a USC Innovations Lab researcher detailing types of fan engagement, triggers and opportunities to build deep connections with fans and advocates for a brand or cause. Accessibly academic.

Entrepreneurs, Immigration

Startups and immigration: Myths, lies and half-truths

By Desmond Lin


In a study by the National Foundation for American Policy, a non-partisan think tank based in Arlington, VA, it was shared that immigrants founded 51 percent (44 out of 87) of U.S. billion-dollar startups and are key members in more than 70 percent (62 out of 87) of these companies.

Search, Piracy, Copyright


By Ernesto


Google is being overloaded with DMCA takedown requests. The company has seen the number of takedown notices from rightsholders quadruple over the past two years. In 2016 alone, Google is projected to process over a billion reported pirate links, most of which will be scrubbed from its search index.

Social Media, Linear Media

Snapchat says it has basically replaced TV for millennials

By Ian Kar


Snapchat on Friday rolled out a flashy new YouTube video touting itself as a premiere destination for advertisers keen on reaching the coveted millennial set.

Snapchat reaches 41% of 18- to 34-year-olds, according to the video, compared with about 6% for the average television channel. The 4-year-old social network also has 100 million daily users, each of whom spend an average of 25-30 minutes on the app each day. Snapchat video views have grown by more than 350% in the past year, and twice as many millennials watched the first Republican presidential debate on Snapchat as did on regular TV. At least according to Snapchat.


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.



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.