Posts Tagged ‘digital’

Russell Simmons’ New Agency Will Help Brands Connect With Hip-Hop Fans

April 22, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

This week, hip-hop impresario and Adweek Brand Visionary Russell Simmons launched an in-house creative agency to help brands appeal to young audiences in a new way. The new agency, ADHD, will serve as an in-house creative unit of All Def Digital (ADD), Simmons' web video platform and media company which manages a unit of social video stars, writers, actors and hip hop artists and has 1.4 million subscribers on YouTube. Both entities' acronyms are a nod to younger generations' shorter attention spans, Simmons told Adweek. "The idea was, if you don't have ADD, you're not paying attention," he said. The goal of ADHD is to appeal to the increasingly diverse hip-hop audience, which so far has been misunderstood by brands and by Hollywood, Simmons said. "No one really understands this audience.

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What’s Causing Vice’s Huge Fluctuations in Web Traffic?

April 14, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Ever since Vice decided to get into the cable TV game, the self-assured digital news and lifestyle publisher has been under the microscope. That came blaringly to the fore last month when Variety reported that Vice's web traffic plunged in February. But after free-falling 17.4 percent, from 59.5 million unique visitors in January to 49.2 in February, Vice rebounded nearly all the way back in March, drawing 58.3 million uniques. So what caused Vice's huge fall—and subsequent Phoenix-like rise—the past two months? Ironically, it was smaller sites that Vice bundles with its own traffic in an effort to boost its overall numbers for sales purposes.

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How 4 Multichannel Networks Plan to Attract Millennial Viewers

April 11, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

By now, it's a given that millennials—some of them having cut the cord, others never having had a cord to cut—are consuming an unprecedented crush of video content on a growing array of platforms and devices. And while appointment viewing is largely a thing of the past, it is also accepted that the bond that audiences, notably younger ones, have forged with content creators found on YouTube, Vine, Instagram and beyond is infinitely more unbreakable than their parents' affinity for the likes of, say, Jerry Seinfeld or the cast of Melrose Place or any other TV star from the past you'd care to name. Multichannel networks, built on the power and reach of YouTube and serving as a bridge between creators and brands craving to reach this base of young, hard-core fans, now constitute a 5-year-old ecosystem, one that finds itself all grown-up and yet as always remains in search of the latest, greatest ways to produce and distribute high-quality content—and of course, the next big video star. And their appeal goes way beyond the screen. Take Twaimz , one of the creators for network Fullscreen. Not only do his videos log millions of views, but his recent tour of the U.S. sold out 22 dates, says Fullscreen founder and CEO George Strompolos. "Why is this happening?" he asks. "He has caught the hearts and minds of an audience." On the eve of the annual Digital Content NewFronts where the freshest programming ideas will get pitched and some $3 billion in ad business will be up for grabs, Adweek caught up with Strompolos and top executives from Maker Studios , Defy Media and Studio71 (formerly Collective Digital Studio) to learn about the issues they face as they chase coveted millennial consumers and talent, and all those advertiser dollars. What would you say is the biggest issue you face heading into the NewFronts? George Strompolos: [Millennials] are watching less and less TV every year, but that doesn't mean that they're not consuming entertainment. If you're an advertiser that's used to spending all this money to reach customers and sell products, you're kind of scratching your head and saying, "Where do I belong?" It's our job to translate that and make it easier for a marketer to reach a customer in those new ways

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Mashable Staffers Laid Off as Site Pushes Further Into Video

April 7, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

A week after finding a TV partner in its hastened push into video, Mashable.com is laying off several editorial staffers. "We are certain this is the right direction for Mashable. But that doesn't make it any less difficult to say goodbye to our friends and teammates," writes Mashable CEO Pete Cashmore in a memo posted on LinkedIn. Chief content officer Jim Roberts and CRO Seth Rogin are among those leaving the company. Both joined Mashable from The New York Times in 2013. "Jim has been instrumental in building Mashable into a truly global media brand," wrote Cashmore. "He has built an editorial team that stands for trust, credibility and accuracy, allowing us to compete with some of the world's most established media companies." Rogin, meanwhile, will move to a "new venture," Cashmore writes. I've worked with some amazing digital journalists in my 2 1/2 years at Mashable. You know who you are. Thanks for making it such a gas. — Jim Roberts (@nycjim) April 7, 2016 The site will scrap coverage of world news and politics, laying off the entire politics team, and will instead focus on technology, web culture, science, social media, entertainment, business and lifestyle

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NBCUniversal and Vox Team Up to Sell Cross-Platform, Premium Digital Advertising

April 4, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

NBCUniversal is finally ready to start seeing some big returns on its $200 million investment in Vox Media. The two companies are teaming up to sell premium advertising across all of their combined digital properties with a new inventory tool called Concert. The partnership will offer "premium, safe environments" for advertisers, according to Linda Yaccarino, NBCUniversal's chairman of advertising sales and client partnerships, across Vox Media's eight properties and NBCUniversal's digital properties. The companies said that represents a combined audience of more than 150 million people, according to ComScore data. It's the first sales partnership between the two companies since NBCUniversal invested $200 million in Vox Media last August . Concert "was at the top of the list" as the companies began to discuss how they could work together, said Jim Bankoff, chairman and CEO of Vox Media. "[The digital space] hasn't always been the best medium for advertisers that had brand-building objectives," said Bankoff. While direct-response and targeting have been successful, the digital space has struggled with "awareness creation, identity creation, brand building—the kind of things that television and magazines have been good at, creating that experience and telling marketers' stories." The partnership—which covers digital advertising including branded content, native ads, video, text and photo elements—will help address advertisers' concerns about viewability and fraud in digital advertising. "That might be OK if you're just trying to sell something, but if you're trying to create an image or build a brand, context does matter, as does the creative strategy," Bankoff said.

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Taiwan’s Catchplay Launches Asian Movie Streaming Service

March 22, 2016  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Taiwan-based film distributor and producer, Catchplay is launching a video-streaming service that it hopes will take on Netflix in Asia.

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FilMart: Media Asia Strikes Output Deal With China’s iQIYI

March 17, 2016  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Chinese streaming giant iQIYI to co-produce and invest in Media Asia film slate.

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China Unveils Tough Controls on Foreign Media Activities

February 22, 2016  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Foreign-owned media or joint ventures in China will not be able to publish online without prior approval.

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Dan Harmon and Jack Black Bring History to Life in New Late-Night Comedy Block

February 18, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

When you think late-night comedy, History probably isn't the first—or even the 10th—channel that comes to mind. But the network hopes to change that starting next Thursday, Feb. 25, when it rolls out a new late-night comedy block called Night Class. And it's enlisted a big name to bring the funny to History: Dan Harmon. Harmon, the man behind Community and Adult Swim's Rick and Morty, is one of several big comic names contributing to Night Class, which will air at 11:30 p.m. Thursdays following History's new series Join or Die with Craig Ferguson. The block's collection of short-form comedic series will help History target millennial men and the advertisers trying to reach them, both on TV and online. "When I see people talk about some of the things they're watching, it's on the fringes of the schedule, the things that really push the creative, like a late-night comedy experiment. And I realized that was new territory we could explore," said Paul Cabana, evp and head of programming for History. Great Minds with Dan Harmon is one of three series that will debut as part of Night Class's initial lineup. (Each half hour will air programming of varying lengths, and History will begin to rotate new series in after the first eight weeks or so.) Harmon, who hosts, will sit down with comedic actors playing some of history's smartest people (including Jason Sudeikis as Thomas Edison, Kristen Schaal as Amelia Earhart and Jack Black as Ludwig van Beethoven). Great Minds will also feature Sarah Silverman, Aubrey Plaza, Nick Kroll and Dana Carvey. As History looked for creators to contribute to Night Class, Harmon was one of the first to respond. "It turns out he is a rabid history buff, and he's like this pied piper for creatives and got all these people interested in the idea of doing a sketch about a historical figure," said Cabana. Great Minds with Dan Harmon was originally shot as a pilot for IFC last year but was completely reworked for History. Here is a clip from the Jack Black episode: Adweek responsive video player used on /video. The second series, Crossroads of History, will highlight what History calls "little known but historically accurate" moments in history—like Abraham Lincoln's alcoholic bodyguard stepping out for a drink shortly before Lincoln's assassination and Hitler's failed 1908 art-school admissions interview

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Les Moonves Is Named Chairman of CBS, Replacing Sumner Redstone

February 3, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Les Moonves, CBS Corp.'s CEO and president, has been named chairman of the company. He replaces the ailing Sumner Redstone, who resigned Tuesday as executive chairman, but will remain as chairman emeritus. Moonves, who joined CBS in 1995 as CBS Entertainment president, was unanimously elected by the CBS board after being nominated by Shari Redstone, Sumner Redstone's daughter and vice chair of the board. Moonves will continue on as CEO and president. Redstone, who is 92, also served as executive chairman of Viacom (when CBS and Viacom split in 2005, he was chairman of both companies), but there is no word yet about his future at that company. UPDATE: "The Viacom board of directors is scheduled to meet tomorrow," Viacom said in a statement late Wednesday afternoon

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