Posts Tagged ‘television’

Discovery Communications Is Thinking Globally (and Digitally) With Advertising Bouncing Back

March 31, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Discovery Communications will be interacting with U.S. buyers and advertisers during this year's upfront presentations as always, but the company has shifted to a global focus on its content. "The basic elements of our business have turned significantly more positive," said David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications, at an upfront press breakfast today. "We're spending more money on content and our brands. Our primary focus is growing audience around the world." (The company spends more than $2 billion annually on content.) For a second year, the company is eschewing its traditional upfront gala in favor of holding 14 agency presentations around the country. As part of his upfront message, Zaslav pointed to "deceleration" of Discovery's recent U.S.

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Launching a Subscription Service of Its Own, Fullscreen Joins a Crowded Streaming Market

March 30, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The past half decade has seen the rise of the multichannel network, where thousands of creators produce hundreds of hours of content to satisfy millions of subscribers. They are video collectives built on the back of the free service YouTube. But as such networks grow up, they are realizing "free" (or ad-supported only) content won't pay the bills. Defy Media, AOL and YouTube have recently launched paid services. The newest entrant is Fullscreen, the 5-year-old brainchild of YouTube veteran George Strompolos, who's hoping that among his 600 million subscribers, there are enough superfans willing to pay $5 a month for premium content with no ads. And Strompolos knows just who to target. "We're very specifically going after the teen and young audience that grew up in the social and mobile-first environment," Strompolos said. Fullscreen is not looking to compete with big-time SVOD services like Netflix and Hulu. Instead, Strompolos is looking to monetize younger viewers—the 13-30 set—who are already watching. Fullscreen's subscription service, called fullscreen, launches April 26 and will cost $4.99 per month, cheaper than YouTube Red ($10 per month) and more in line with NBCU's Seeso ($3.99) and Defy Media's Screenjunkies Plus ($4.99). It will be available on iPhone, iPad, some Android devices and Chromecast. So, what sets Fullscreen's subscription service apart from the others? Strompolos says it's all about community. "[Other services] do a really good job of giving you content," he said, "but they haven't necessarily succeeded in creating an environment where people discuss content." Strompolos wants the service to feel more like a hangout where subscribers chat about the content and become creators themselves. "They can make GIFs and riff off the content, really create the foundation for a community," he said. The service will feature a mix of original content from Fullscreen creators and licensed content. The originals are anchored by Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart's revival of Sid and Marty Krofft's 1970s TV series, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl; Paul Scheer and Jonathan Stern's Filthy Preppy Teen$; and Jack & Dean of All Trades

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Viceland Launches VR Partnership With Samsung and Downplays Weak Early TV Ratings Data

March 28, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As it nears its one-month anniversary, Viceland is expanding its stable of advertising partners by striking a new virtual reality deal with Samsung. But the network is also downplaying early ratings data that indicates soft initial audience interest in the cable network that replaced H2. Viceland and Samsung unveiled a major partnership today to create new virtual reality content for both companies' platforms. The companies are enlisting big names in film, music and gaming to create VR projects for Samsung Milk VR, Samsung's virtual reality content service which is exclusive to the SamsungGear VR headset. The first one will focus on VR pioneer Chris Milk (founder and CEO of Vrse) and highlight his work in the VR space. The partnership launches with this two-minute spot, which will air tonight on Viceland. As part of the partnership, Viceland and Samsung will co-produce a documentary series about the VR creators as they work on these projects. They will premiere as native ads on Viceland prime-time programming, while 30-second versions of each documentary will run during Viceland commercial breaks. "We want to pioneer storytelling 'beyond the frame' and to connect with audiences in completely new, and emotional, ways," said Eddy Moretti, Vice's chief creative officer and Viceland's co-president, in a statement about the new efforts. The new partnership is part of Viceland's efforts to shake up TV advertising by reducing ad load and running more native ads . Viceland hopes to have native ads—which are created by Vice Media to look more like editorial content—represent half its ad inventory within the year. "Vice has always been more successful when it's done native advertising and interesting custom partnerships with brands, and then you extend that idea to this TV network also," said Guy Slattery, general manager for Viceland, told Adweek earlier this month. Early ratings woes? The announcement comes three days after an International Business Times report said ratings had plummeted since Viceland replaced H2 on Feb. 29. According to the story, which cited data from Rentrak, Viceland's average daily viewership over its first three weeks (55,000) is 77 percent lower than H2's numbers during its final three weeks (241,000). A Viceland spokesman said that Rentrak data was "inaccurate," noting that it doesn't focus on the 18-34 demo that Viceland is targeting, which is much younger than the 25-54 demo that had tuned in for H2.

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How Hollywood Is Successfully Tapping Into Faith-Based Audiences

March 22, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Hollywood, sometimes considered the last place to find anything divine, has seen the light lately, releasing a flood of faith-infused entertainment that includes TriStar's Heaven Is for Real, Focus Features' The Young Messiah and a live musical version of The Passion on Fox (which aired on Sunday, March 20). And just in time for Easter, the uplifting family drama, Miracles From Heaven, starring Jennifer Garner and Queen Latifah, is expected to hold its own against the big-budget dystopian thriller The Divergent Series: Allegiant. "Hollywood is churning out faith content with a pace and frequency that has not been seen in a generation," said Chris Stone, founder of advocacy and marketing group Faith Driven Consumer. "There's been a real effort to improve the quality, and we've gone from $2 million movies to $20 million movies aimed at the faith crowd." Among the recent hits: Sony's resurrection story Risen has pulled in a respectable $32 million since its February release, and last fall's paean to prayer, War Room, nearly dethroned Straight Outta Compton for the top box office spot, opening at $11 million on one-third as many screens as the N.W.A. biopic. It eventually made $67 million. God's Not Dead 2, a sequel to the $60 million-grossing original about religious freedom, launches April 1. One of the most anticipated films of the year, Paramount and MGM's remake of the iconic swords-and-sandals epic Ben-Hur premieres in August, the same weekend that Lionsgate opens The Shack, based on a best-selling Christian novel. Marketing for values-centric projects, often aimed squarely at the country's churchgoers, has added sophisticated microtargeting and extensive social media to its arsenal, going "direct to pew" to tap into a traditionally underserved audience, Stone said. Grassroots tactics still lead the way, with studios and for-hire Christian outreach firms setting up church screenings and group ticket sales, gathering pastors and Bible study groups for early endorsements and producing educational and sermon-ready materials. In essence, everyone's using the playbook written during the massive on-the-ground campaign a decade ago for Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, the most successful faith-based film in history. That approach is often still effective, but there are digital-age updates

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Showtime Experiments With Binge Viewing for Andrew Dice Clay Comedy

March 22, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Showtime CEO David Nevins predicted 2016 would be "the year of customized viewing." Now his network is showing how. On Sunday, April 10, the pay TV network will release the full six-episode season of a new Andrew Dice Clay comedy on its streaming service. Dice, as the show is called, will be available at midnight, ahead of the series' TV premiere at 9:30 p.m. that night. Showtime will continue to run episodes of Dice in that timeslot as it would any other series. The semi-autobiographical scripted comedy follows the raunchy comedian as he attempts to revive his career in Las Vegas. Dice previously appeared on the final season of HBO's Entourage as another fictionalized version of himself. The series also stars Kevin Corrigan, and features guest appearances from Natasha Leggero, Lorraine Bracco, Adrien Brody, Michael Rapaport, Wayne Newton, Criss Angel and Rita Rudner. "With its six episode run, we feel this comedy is ideally suited to being consumed all at once," said Gary Levine, president of programming, Showtime Networks. "We're always looking for new ways to make our programming stand-out, and we're confident that a 'Dice binge' will appeal to both fans and skeptics alike, and help spread the word about his very funny new Showtime series." Showtime is also considering a similar tactic with its upcoming Twin Peaks revival , releasing episodes in batches instead of weekly. The all-at-once release is just the latest example of how TV networks are experimenting with new multiplatform viewing models and ways of delivering episodes in a time-shifted world. In January, TBS premiered the first season of comedy Angie Tribeca as a 25-hour marathon . Last summer, NBC became the first broadcast network to try this strategy when it released the full season of Aquarius following the drama's TV premiere

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How FX Bids for New Series Without the Big Budget of Netflix

March 22, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu snap up original series away from linear networks, as well as lure creators with big paydays and promises of creative autonomy, their competitors have had to alter their approaches to bidding for new projects. One of those is FX, which lost out on the bidding for Aziz Ansari's comedy Master of None and the upcoming drama The Crown. Both of those shows went to Netflix after the streaming service "overwhelmed us with shock and awe levels of money and commitment," FX CEO John Landgraf told reporters in January . He also used a "Moneyball" analogy when comparing FX to Netflix, explaining, "Basically, we're competing against payrolls, if you will, a la the Oakland A's and New York Yankees, that are three or four times ours." Because he can't match Netflix dollar for dollar, Landgraf has shifted the focus of his pitches, highlighting other attributes of the network when bidding for shows. Landgraf highlights his marketing team, which has been named PromaxBDA's In-House Marketing Team of the Year for five consecutive years. "I think the talent appreciates that," he told Adweek. Landgraf also emphasizes the personal touch and attention he can give FX's shows versus Netflix, which now has 100 series in the pipeline—55 for adults, 45 for children. "Our network is more of a bespoke organization than a factory. We're at about 18 shows, and that's the most that I can personally pay attention to," said Landgraf. While he could maybe do as many as 20, "I'm at the max in terms of being able to read scripts, watch rough cuts, have a thoughtful input and dialogue." And that's important, even when the network doesn't have much creative feedback in terms of notes for producers. Landgraf said that his deal with Louis CK for Louie specified that the network wasn't able to give him notes.

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ComScore Says Multiplatform Deal With Viacom Will Transform How Ads Are Bought

March 18, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The newly merged comScore and Rentrak have set their first multiplatform deal with a big client: Viacom. Today, the companies announced a multi-year cross-platform measurement deal, which will allow Viacom to power its Vantage data platform with comScore's measurement tools. That means advertisers will be able to target specific consumers across Viacom's properties and platforms, ranging from linear TV and digital, to video on demand (VOD), and over-the-top (OTT) services. It's the first cross-platform agreement since the comScore and Rentrak merger was completed Feb. 1. Last September, the companies first announced plans to merge and take on Nielsen . "This partnership with comScore marks a fundamental watershed moment in the business of television," said Bryson Gordon, svp, data strategy for Viacom, in a statement. "This revolution in targeting, currency and measurement is the equivalent of shifting from black and white to color. Viacom's longstanding investment in data and innovation and our unique ability to merge creativity and science has positioned us far ahead in the marketplace by delivering what partners crave—the most comprehensive view of the consumer and the most effective way to reach them." ComScore's tools cover more than 40 million televisions and 120 million VOD users in 210 U.S. markets. "We are excited to partner with Viacom on a deal that we believe will transform the way that advertising will be bought and sold," said Serge Matta, CEO of comScore, in a statement. "Viacom's expertise in data strategy makes them an ideal first partner to leverage our cross-platform metrics and advanced demographics as a more powerful currency on which to transact. With these new capabilities, Viacom's advertising partners will be the first to benefit from a radically more efficient way of conducting business and reaching the most precise audiences imaginable." This deal will also bolster Viacom Vantage, which has been one of buyers' favorite data platforms . Viacom has expanded its Vantage suite ahead of the upfront, which it said will simplify data targeting, help clients improve predictive targeting and measure the effectiveness of custom creative marketing campaigns. The deal helps comScore gain ground in its battle with Nielsen, which is working on its rollout of Total Audience Measurement . The company hopes to have that rolled out in time for this year's upfront.

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Infographic: A TV Show’s Appeal Can Determine Ad Recall, Twitter Study Says

March 18, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Advertising agencies can now blame TV shows when a new spot doesn't quite get the attention they think it deserves—at least sort of. According to a new study by Twitter, Starcom and social TV analytics company Canvs, programming where an audience had high emotions often led them to have higher ad recall. In fact, a survey of 3,500 Twitter users and non-users found that viewers were 48 percent more likely to recall an ad they saw the day before. "Not all TV audiences are created equal: we've long believed that viewers respond differently to commercials depending on how they feel about what they're watching," Heather O'Shea, Twitter's global agency research and data strategy lead, wrote in a blog post. "And when it comes to getting a pulse on people's emotional reactions during live TV, now we know that Twitter can drive even stronger results for brands." Based on the results, O'Shea offered three tips for marketers hoping to harness the double-screen world: 1.

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ABC and Warner Bros.’ New Deal Will Make Binge Watching Easier

March 17, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Networks and studios have been battling for years over stacking rights—the ability to offer in-season episodes via on demand or network streaming—but a new agreement from ABC and Warner Bros. Television Group signals those conflicts could be coming to an end. ABC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television Group struck a stacking rights deal covering any series produce by Warner Bros. that debuts on ABC in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. The agreement enables ABC to offer all episodes of its Warner Bros. series launched during the next two seasons on its VOD platforms like ABC.com and Hulu, as well as VOD on MVPD partners like cable and satellite. In doing so, viewers will be able to to binge the entire current season of the show, instead of being restricted to only the last five episodes, as is currently the case for most series. Warner Bros. will retain end-of-season SVOD rights, early syndication rights, early DVD rights and day-after electronic sell-through rights to companies like iTunes. "This is a real win for network television viewers," said Jana Winograde, evp of business operations for ABC Entertainment, in a statement

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As March Madness Tips Off, Here’s Why CBS Will Sit Out the National Championships

March 17, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

When Duke and UNC-Wilmington tip off the 2016 NCAA Tournament, CBS will carry the game, a tradition dating to 1982. But as March Madness bleeds into April, CBS will find itself on the bench, as the Final Four and National Championship games will air exclusively on cable. "We knew six years ago when we did this deal," said CBS Sports president Sean McManus. "We circled this date." CBS has been sharing the tournament with Turner's TBS, TNT and TruTV since 2011, but until this year it had exclusive rights to the Championship game. From now until the end of the rights deal – through 2024 – CBS and TBS will alternate airing the Championships. TBS gets this year, part of a growing trend of major sporting events playing out on cable: ESPN has rights to the College Football Playoffs for the next 10 years

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