Posts Tagged ‘video’

Tastemade Serves Up $40 Million Funding Round

December 17, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Tastemade has had quite the year. The company, known for its quirky short-form videos in the food, travel and lifestyle space, hit the 100 million monthly active viewer mark, with more than 1 billion monthly views. On Facebook alone, Tastemade grew its audience from around 100,000 fans to more than 5.7 million. This year, the company launched on Apple TV – the only food and travel channel on the platform – linked up with Facebook's Anthology and Suggested Videos, partnered with Spotify on the streaming music company's video service, and landed one of the 15 prized spots on Snapchat's Discover platform . As Tastemade, which was founded in 2012, heads into its fourth year, it will do so with deeper pockets. The video publisher announced this morning it has closed a $40 million Series D funding round led by Goldman Sachs, with participation from existing investors Redpoint Ventures, Raine Ventures, Comcast Ventures, Liberty Media, Scripps Networks Interactive, and Tohokushinsha Film Corporation. With the extra cash in hand, Larry Fitzgibbon, one of Tastemade's co-founders, wants to continue Tastemade's momentum, especially when it comes to working with brands. "All of that work has culminated into us reaching the exact consumer we thought we would at a scale we thought we would as well," said Fitzgibbon. "We are truly becoming the brands for our categories for that audience." Fitzgibbon noted that they're seeing an increased appetite from advertisers who want to appeal to that young, millennial, mobile-first audience

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With a Record 409 Scripted Series in 2015, Did TV Reach Its Peak?

December 16, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

"Peak TV" has a name, and now it has a number: 409. That's how many scripted series (drama, comedy and limited) aired on all broadcast, cable, streaming and OTT services in 2015, according to Julie Piepenkotter, evp of research for FX Networks. (Excluded from the tally: reality, news, sports, made-for-television movies, specials, daytime and children's programming.) Even if you binge-watched one scripted season every day of the year, you wouldn't be able to get through all the available content. "The unprecedented increase in the number of scripted series has reached a new milestone in 2015 with a record 409, nearly doubling the total in just the past six years," said Piepenkotter in a statement. "This was the third consecutive year that scripted series count has grown across each distribution platform—broadcast, basic and pay cable, streaming—led by significant gains in basic cable and digital services. This statistic is staggering and almost unimaginable from where they were a decade ago." The number represents a 9 percent increase over 2014, which had 376 scripted series, and a staggering 94 percent jump since 2009 (211)

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The 10 Best New TV Shows of 2015

December 16, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

On Tuesday, I shared my picks for the best shows of 2015 . With so many superb returning and concluding shows, only one new series managed to crack the list. Yet 2015 was actually a splendid year for freshman shows despite a weak fall season. This year’s overabundance of quality TV warranted a second list featuring the best new programs from broadcast, cable and streaming outlets. It’s no surprise that streaming has the largest representation on the list (four shows in total, plus five more that narrowly missed the cut). Netflix, Amazon and Hulu have all taken ambitious swings to entice audiences with exciting original series that rival anything on cable or broadcast. As overwhelming as your TV choices already are, these newbies are more than worth making time for. Here’s hoping their second seasons are even stronger.

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Streaming Services, and Mr. Robot, Elbow Broadcasters Out of Golden Globes Nominations

December 10, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

If last year's Golden Globe Awards heralded the streaming services' arrival as major television players, this year's list of nominees shows streaming networks have suddenly become the dominant forces. Netflix led all TV networks with 8 nominations , while Amazon had 5 and Hulu landed its first nomination. Those picks came at the expense of the broadcast networks, which managed just 11 nominations in all—4 for ABC, 4 for Fox, 2 for The CW and 1 for CBS—while NBC, which will broadcast the Golden Globes on Sunday, Jan. 10, was shut out completely. (NBC's cable sibling, USA, landed three nominations for Mr. Robot.) The streaming services accounted for four of the six shows nominated for best TV series, musical or comedy: Casual (Hulu), Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon), Orange is the New Black (Netflix) and last year's winner, Transparent (Amazon). The other two nominees were for HBO shows Silicon Valley and Veep. No broadcast TV series made the list. On the best drama side, a single broadcast show—Fox's Empire—made the cut. It will compete with three cable shows (HBO's Game of Thrones, USA's Mr. Robot and Starz's Outlander) and one Netflix series (Narcos)

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Fullscreen Adds Former Hulu Chief as New COO

November 30, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Fullscreen continues to gear up for a big 2016. Less than a month after hiring its first chief marketing officer , the multichannel network has added former Hulu executive Andy Forssell as its new chief operating officer. Forssell will join Fullscreen's executive leadership team and the board of directors, reporting to CEO George Strompolos. Ezra Cooperstein, who had been president and coo will remain on board as president. "The media landscape is changing even faster than many of us would have predicted a few years ago, and Fullscreen is perfectly positioned to capitalize as that evolution accelerates," said Forssell. "I look forward to working with George, Ezra and the talented team at Fullscreen to continue building what is fast becoming a truly premier multi-platform media company." Forssell led Hulu as its interim CEO for a six months in 2013, after its founder Jason Kilar departed amid talks of a sale. Forssell departed later that year after Mike Hopkins was installed as the company's permanent CEO . Prior to that, Forssell had been Hulu's svp of content and distribution since its inception in 2007. More recently, Forssell served as CEO of the social video app ShowYou, which gives creators and content owners ways to build and monetize their own proprietary channels. Forrsell, one of the original purveyors of streaming video, comes to Fullscreen as the 5-year old network plans to launch its own subscription video service . Fullscreen's service will join an increasingly crowded SVOD world; Along with the major players Hulu, Amazon and Netflix (and CBS, Showtime and HBO), YouTube , Univision, NBCUniversal and Smithsonian Networks have all launched subscription products in recent months. "Andy is a proven leader who not only understands the new world of online video, he helped build it," said Strompolos.

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13-Year-Old YouTube Star Died of Undiagnosed Heart Condition, Family Says

November 10, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The family of YouTube star Caleb Bratayley announced today the 13-year-old died of an undiagnosed heart ailment. "The doctor confirmed today that Caleb passed away from a heart condition called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy that went undetected in his yearly checkups," a post on the family's Instagram revealed. "Caleb didn't have any symptoms so the doctor said there was nothing we could have done differently." The teenager's death on Oct. 1, which was also announced on Instagram, engendered an outpouring of grief from fans, and left many unanswered questions. The final video involving Caleb was called Dear Future Self. "Unfortunately Caleb passed away the day after we made this video. He will never get to meet his future self," the family wrote as the video drew to a close. The Bratayley family YouTube channel has more than 1.9 million subscribers, up from 1.7 million at the time of Caleb's death. The Maryland family, which is aligned with Maker Studios, has been vlogging since 2011. The stars are the children, including Caleb's younger sisters Annie and Hayley. "The girls' hearts were just recently checked and thankfully look the way they should right now," today's Instagram post reads. "The sadness of losing someone you love is unimaginable. Thank you to everyone who has reached out, your kindness and support continues to help our family." In an interview in 2014, mom Katie LeBlanc (the family's real last name) said she started making the videos because her husband was often away for military duty

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Q&A: Why the Founder of NY Comic Con Is Bringing YouTube Stars to Agencies’ Backyard

October 29, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Look out New York, here comes GloZell, as well as Grace Helbig, Mamrie Hart, Joey Graceffa, iJustine and Connor Franta. The stars of social video will gather in the Big Apple this weekend for the first annual Stream Con . The three-day convention, from the people who brought Comic Con to New York, will kick off Friday at the Jacob Javits Center with an Industry Summit , followed by fan events and a "creator camp" throughout the weekend. Event producer Greg Topalian, president of LeftField Media, spoke with Adweek about the goals of Stream Con and the inspiration from its West Coast cousin. Adweek: Why did you decide to start up Stream Con? Topalian: I couldn't believe that New York City didn't have an event that was a 'con' really dedicated to the YouTube, Vine, Snapchat space. We knew the fan demand was there, but the piece that got really exciting was realizing the business behind it. The ad dollars are flowing towards digital. There are certainly plenty of conferences that talk about the digital revolution and social influencers. We felt like there was an opportunity to combine that type of content but also in a fan-friendly environment. Your events are very fan focused, so how do you tailor that experience towards the business audience? We had a lot of conversations with brands and agencies upfront to say: "What do you want? What do you actually want this to be?" What we heard over and over was, "We're not looking for the big philosophical overview. Get down in the weeds, give us case studies and introduce us to the talent." It was a lot of "We know this is big, we know this is moving, there is not a client on our roster that's not asking about this. Get us the details and connect us with the right people." There is already a major online video conference, VidCon, that takes place in Anaheim, Calif. each summer.

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As Live TV Viewing Declines, How Can Networks Fully Monetize Their Viewers?

October 6, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For years, NBCUniversal's ratings guru Alan Wurtzel has been criticizing the deficiencies of Nielsen's current ratings system—he says as much as 35 percent of NBC's audience for an average episode isn't measured by Nielsen's C3 and C7 metrics, which don't include most streaming activity, particularly on mobile and tablets—and he's tired of it. "The time for just whining about this is over," said Wurtzel, NBCUniversal's president of research and media development. "We really need to get proactive." As live TV viewing continues to decline—in the first week of the new TV season, three broadcast networks suffered double-digit drops in adults 18-49 versus a year ago: Fox (20 percent), ABC (19 percent) and NBC (10 percent)—networks and buyers have intensified their pleas for a new metric to accurately measure viewing across all platforms, and their cries are finally being heard. "One of the key elements of any ability to monetize is you need measurement," said Charles Buchwalter, president and CEO of Symphony Advanced Media. "If you can't measure it, you can't sell it." Symphony is one of several companies diving into the ratings fray this fall, unveiling new multiplatform tools that they hope will allow them to edge out Nielsen as the new industry standard. Symphony's VideoPulse, a cloud-based service that captures live media usage by individuals across several platforms (including VOD, OTT, Web, mobile, gaming devices, DVR and linear TV), is currently being beta tested by major media companies like NBCUniversal and Viacom. "This market has been moving very quickly over a short period, and being able to use older methodologies to capture this new behavior is very difficult," said Buchwalter. "It very well could be that you just need new approaches to capture this." Wurtzel likes what he sees so far from VideoPulse: "It's very early days there, but it looks to me like this is the first viable alternative I've seen to measure cross-platform." But Symphony isn't the only company looking to become the next Nielsen. ComScore recently introduced Xmedia, which combines TV and digital audience metrics, and mounted an even more aggressive challenge last week by announcing plans to acquire rival Rentrak. In the deal, which is expected to close early next year, the companies will join forces and take on Nielsen for ratings measurement supremacy. However, Nielsen isn't going down without a fight in the struggle for multiplatform metrics. The company is preparing to unveil its total audience measurement, which Nielsen says will introduce "like-for-like" metrics for digital and video—including SVOD providers like Netflix, which have refused to share any ratings metrics for years—by year's end.

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Fullscreen Finally Admits It’s Launching a Subscription Service

September 16, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Following months of rumors, Fullscreen has let the cat of the bag—it's launching its own subscription service. Though Fullscreen had been working on the service, simply called Fullscreen, for months, this is the first time the multichannel network has publicly talked about it. In a blog post announcing the service, CEO George Strompolos said the goal was to "bridge the gap between social media and television for youth audiences." Fullscreen did not provide much detail about the upcoming service and made no mention of price or a potential launch date—though it likely won't happen until next year. The company did not say if the paid service will include ads, but it is expected that branded content will be a part of the platform. (The company recently acquired McBeard , a social media content studio that supports major brands across platforms.) Fullscreen did say the subscription product would feature series exclusive to the platform—including Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart's upcoming reboot of Sid and Marty Krofft's Electra Woman and Dyna Girl—and would also look to develop other formats like podcasts and editorial content. Fullscreen will also house documentaries The Outfield and #O2LForever and the upcoming Paul Scheer-Jonathan Stern teen parody series. The announcement comes at a time when content creators, especially multichannel networks, are looking for greater ownership and control of their content

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Scripps Launches TV Everywhere, Complete With Targeted Advertising

September 1, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Another TV company is diving into TV Everywhere, with Scripps Networks Interactive now offering livestreaming of HGTV, Travel Channel, Food Network, DIY Network and Cooking Channel. TV Everywhere platform provider Anvato is powering the livestreaming—and dynamic ad insertion, or DAI—on each network's website, along with the iOS and Android apps for HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel The livestreaming was soft launched in June, said Matt Smith, chief evangelist at Anvato. Scripps' embrace of all things TV Everywhere, including DAI—in which linear ads are replaced by advertisements targeted specifically at the nonlinear audience—shows how much has shifted in the TV Everywhere universe since networks first started experimenting with livestreaming. "The last couple years, you've had brands big and small say, 'Okay, we're going to stream. Let's get it done and we'll figure out how to make money later,'" Smith said. "Scripps looked at this and said, 'This isn't just about extending the brand

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