Archive for January, 2014

Viacom Sees a Softer Scatter Market in November, Recovers in December

January 30, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Viacom's Q4 earnings call included the first discussion of scatter cable prices so far, with the company reporting a 3 percent increase in the market "tempered somewhat by ratings at MTV in a softer marketplace in the month of November," according to Philippe Dauman, president and CEO of the company. Dauman pointed instead to the international market, which is growing at a faster clip than domestic and helped to offset some of the losses. He also talked up the new integrated ad unit , Viacom Velocity, run by Dario Spina and Neils Schuurmans, which was announced last week. "This is an area where we've considerably increased our resources over the past several years," Dauman said of Viacom Velocity. When pressed on the softer November ad revenue, Dauman said, "Remember, we were coming out of the continued budget discussions in Washington as we were coming out of October, and that just created a lot of uncertainty in the business community." Clients, he said, were "feeling uncertain" and trying to make sure their annual budgets came through. There was good news on the viewership front, too: ratings at Nickelodeon seem largely to have rebounded—Nielsen ratings for adults 18-49 and women 18-49 both increased by 12 percent for 2013 and the network is back on top among kids 2-11 for December, a fact Dauman was quick to point out. A few line items on the company's 10-Q go unexplained, notably the $14 million in severance payments itemized after the company's restructuring—$8 million for the television networks. The most public personnel announcement from the quarter would seem to be Viacom's restructure of its ad sales division, billed as a streamlining to allow synergy between networks. Dauman also discussed the appearance of a "virtual MVPD" with whom Viacom appeared to be in negotiations. "I don't control what companies do," he told an analyst who asked about Sony's proposed streaming TV service , "but based on a variety of discussions that we're having, I do believe that there'll be at least one virtual MVPD player commencing operations in 2014." Does that mean we can expect Viacom content on connected devices that have Sony's new service? Not necessarily, but it doesn't necessarily not

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Iram Hak on ‘I Am Yours:’ ‘I Wanted To Tell A True and Unvarnished Story’

January 30, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

A Pakistani-Norwegian beauty who started as an actress, Iram Haq made a bold and personal feature debut with “I Am Yours.” A heart-wrenching drama turning on a lonely single mother struggling to find love and face her judgmental mother, the film world-preemed at Toronto, played at Les Arcs Intl. film fest and is competing for... Read more

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Comcast to Tap Set-Top Data for Advanced Advertising Service

January 30, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

NBCUniversal on Thursday unveiled “NBCU+ Powered By Comcast,” a platform designed to sell targeted ads to video-on-demand users while offering clients insights culled from anonymized subscriber set-top box data. The media conglomerate said the new service would help optimize national campaigns across the NBCU linear TV portfolio by providing greater insights into viewer usage patterns. Naturally, the $64,000 question is, will

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Yada, Yada, Yada: Seinfeld Reunion in the Works

January 30, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Jerry Seinfeld on Thursday confirmed that he and Larry David are working on a one-off Seinfeld reunion and that the finished product will be released “very, very soon.” Speaking to the hosts of the Boomer & Carton show on WFAN, the comic fielded a number of queries about a Jan. 13 photo in which he and Jason Alexander were seen walking outside Tom’s Restaurant on 112th and Broadway. The diner was used for establishing shots throughout Seinfeld’s NBC run. While he wasn’t entirely forthcoming, Seinfeld did drop a few hints about what he and his old confreres have been up to. He specifically said that the filming wasn’t related to a Super Bowl spot or an episode of his Crackle series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee . “It’s neither,” Seinfeld said. “But it’s not not those things either. It’s a secret project.” Seinfeld went on to reveal that other characters from the powerhouse sitcom were involved in the project, although he wouldn’t identify a studio or a distributor

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Yada, Yada, Yada: Seinfeld Reunion in the Works

January 30, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Jerry Seinfeld on Thursday confirmed that he and Larry David are working on a one-off Seinfeld reunion and that the finished product will be released “very, very soon.” Speaking to the hosts of the Boomer & Carton show on WFAN, the comic fielded a number of queries about a Jan. 13 photo in which he and Jason Alexander were seen walking outside Tom’s Restaurant on 112th and Broadway. The diner was used for establishing shots throughout Seinfeld’s NBC run. While he wasn’t entirely forthcoming, Seinfeld did drop a few hints about what he and his old confreres have been up to. He specifically said that the filming wasn’t related to a Super Bowl spot or an episode of his Crackle series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee . “It’s neither,” Seinfeld said. “But it’s not not those things either. It’s a secret project.” Seinfeld went on to reveal that other characters from the powerhouse sitcom were involved in the project, although he wouldn’t identify a studio or a distributor. When asked if Alexander was surprised to be asked to reprise his role of the “short, stocky, slow-witted bald man” George Costanza , Seinfeld chuckled to himself. “Was Jason surprised? No, he remembers that he played that character for nine years,” he cracked. “He was not surprised that he was asked to play George.” After the fifth question, the comic joked that his interlocutor was “really Mike Wallace-ing me here.” He added that the finished project is “a short-ish form” effort, noting that its running time is longer than 60 seconds. Whatever form the finished product takes, it’s probably a one-shot deal. In any event, Seinfeld fans should keep their eyes peeled, as the project will be released “very, very soon.” In addition to the Tom’s Restaurant exteriors, the shoot spread out to other locations. Jerry’s Upper West Side apartment was not one of them; in all likelihood, the Studio City set was dismantled shortly after the series wrapped in May 1998. Seinfeld first dropped hints that he was working with David on Jan. 6, during a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session . “We wrote this script for this thing that you will eventually see but I can’t reveal what it is at this time,” Seinfeld said during the online Q&A. “All I can do is tell you is that it’s big, huge, gigantic.” At its peak, Seinfeld averaged 34.1 million viewers and a staggering 18.0 in the dollar demo in NBC’s Thursday 9 p.m. time slot

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Indie Sales Ships ‘Moomins’ To Japan And Switzerland (EXCLUSIVE)

January 30, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Nicolas Eschbach’s Paris-based Indie Sales has clinched major deals on Xavier Picard’s “Moomins On The Riviera,” the comedy adventure toon feature based on popular illustrator Tove Jansson’s comic strips. “Moomins” has been acquired by Japan (Phantom Film) and Praesens (Switzerland), among other territories. Nordisk Film will give the toon a massive roll-out across the Nordics... Read more

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Berlin: Content Drives Sales on Steve McQueen Docu ‘The Man & Le Mans’

January 30, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

LONDON — Content is to steer worldwide rights to Steve McQueen docu “The Man & Le Mans,” which will be revving up at the European Film Market in Berlin. Gabriel Clarke and Jon McKenna direct and produced the pic, which will be exec produced by Andrew Marriott, Richard Wiseman and Content’s Jamie Carmichael. Pic starts... Read more

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The Iceman Cometh for Yahoo

The Iceman Cometh for Yahoo

January 30, 2014  |  Blog  |  No Comments

If Marissa Mayer’s reality were in line with shareholder expectations, she would have been announcing job cuts on today’s earnings call. Instead, while announcing Yahoo’s terrible results, she focused on the uptick in traffic to Yahoo’s sites. Anyone in the media biz will affirm that there’s a pretty direct correlation between content, traffic, and ads. You need a ton of the first two to get a lot of the last. And with display ad revenue down 6%, the company clearly needs a growing base of users. Someday, Mayer hopes, advertisers will clamor to get in front of Katie Couric’s many Yahoo

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How I Lost My $50,000 Twitter Username

How I Lost My $50,000 Twitter Username

January 30, 2014  |  Blog  |  No Comments

My $50,000 Twitter Username Was Stolen Thanks to PayPal and GoDaddy I had a rare Twitter username, @N. Yep, just one letter. I’ve been offered as much as $50,000 for it. People have tried to steal it. Password reset instructions are a regular sight in my email inbox. As of today, I no longer control @N. I was extorted into giving it up. While eating lunch on January 20, 2014, I received a text message from PayPal for one-time validation code. Somebody was trying to steal my PayPal account. I ignored it and continued eating. Later in the day, I checked my email

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Mobile Trends for 2014 at 'Mobile Monday' with Condé Nast and Medialets

Litman, Chairman and CEO, Medialets

Mobile Trends for 2014 at ‘Mobile Monday’ with Condé Nast and Medialets

Litman, Chairman and CEO, Medialets
January 30, 2014  |  Blog  |  No Comments

(Hal Danzinger, VP of Digital Products and Platforms, Condé Nast) The year of 2014 is expected to bring about revolutionary changes The year of 2014 is expected to bring about revolutionary – yet long-awaited – changes to the mobile advertising industry. At the January 27th Mobile Monday event, mobile trends for this year were at the forefront. Experts on the space included Eric Litman, Chairman and CEO of Medialets, and Hal Danziger, VP of Digital Products and Platforms for Condé Nast. The professional taking on the role of interviewer was Andrew Whiting of Solstice Mobile. Litman began the evening by speaking to the

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