Posts Tagged ‘year’

Which Networks’ Data Platforms Do Media Buyers Actually Like?

August 17, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Data dominated this year's upfront presentations, as each network claimed it had the best data platform to help advertisers and media buyers enhance TV buys. Now that upfront business has finally wrapped, we asked several buyers to anonymously review the networks' individual data offerings and separate the contenders from the pretenders. Their conclusions: It's a three-horse race. To buyers, three players stand out: NBCUniversal , Viacom and Turner . They gave low marks to ABC, CBS, Discovery and A&E for supplying little more than the data they and their clients already have access to. Said one buyer: "All ABC is doing is optimizing your prime-time inventory, which you could do on your own." Optimization less than optimal. One buyer praised Viacom's willingness to optimize its data every two weeks, though another said NBCU's quarterly optimization was just fine. "On our side, it requires man hours to be changing the schedules all the time as well. I doubt most clients would need to do it more frequently," the buyer said. Turner isn't allowing any optimization at all, "which obviously presents problems because if audiences are changing their viewership habits, you want to be able to follow them." They're down with ATP. Buyers gravitated toward NBCU's Audience Targeting Platform because of its ability to provide them with data from Comcast set-top boxes. "That's very appealing because that has not been offered in any platform to date," said a buyer. They're going with what they—or their clients—know. "I'm honestly leaning more toward NBCU because we do a lot of business with them," admitted one buyer. Another agreed that familiarity goes a long way, especially with platforms they've already beta-tested: "If I had to go to bat for one of them to a client, it would probably be Turner. Because I've already used it, and that holds a lot of water in terms of executing these kinds of things." Bigger is better. Buyers like that NBCU and Viacom products "span a large swath of different networks and different inventory. The bigger the available pull of inventory, the better targeted you can be," said one. That's where Turner has a tougher time measuring up. "If you're cutting the data a little thinner, then you start to run into sample-size issues and viability of buying against certain more granular targets," said another buyer

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Korea Box Office: ‘Assassination’ Shoots Top Spot

July 27, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Star-studded period action drama “Assassination” hit its target and achieved the highest scoring opening this year by a Korean film.

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Tokyo Festival to Showcase Iconic ‘Mobile Suit Gundam’

July 25, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Iconic Japanese robot-themed animation Mobile Suit Gundam will be given pride of place this year at October’s edition of the Tokyo International Film Festival

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How to Be Unstoppable: Inside the Creative Mind of Mindy Kaling

July 20, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Earlier this year, in her well-received Super Bowl ad for Nationwide, Mindy Kaling thought she might be invisible. Hardly. As one of Hollywood's major creative forces, she's never been more prolific. The actress and writer—and cover star of Adweek's Creative 100 —voices the character Disgust in Inside Out, Disney/Pixar's summer blockbuster that is already the year's fourth highest grossing film, raking in $300 million and counting. Her critically acclaimed TV comedy The Mindy Project, which she created, writes and stars in, was snapped up by Hulu in May, shortly after Fox passed on it. It will return for Season 4 in September, right around the Sept. 15 release of her second book, Why Not Me? Besides Nationwide, the alum of NBC's The Office also starred in a high-profile American Express campaign this year that celebrated her status as an "unlikely leading lady." Before diving into production on Season 4, Kaling talked with Adweek about the creative challenges of juggling so many projects and the family tragedy that drives her. Adweek: When Fox didn't pick up The Mindy Project, were you certain you'd find another home? Kaling: I have always been an optimist. I refuse to create things under the assumption of failure. So I thought that the best thing for the story creatively was to end last season on a cliffhanger, and it's a fun way to get people back.

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Cannes: Variety Critics on the Films They Can’t Miss

May 12, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Variety critics Justin Chang, Peter Debruge and Scott Foundas weigh in on their must-see movies at this year’s Cannes Film Festival (in as brief a manner as possible). (Click image for large preview.)

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Q&A: CW President Mark Pedowitz Gets Guys

May 7, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For much of its existence, The CW has been shunted off to the side by its bigger, and more popular, broadcast siblings. Launched in 2006 when UPN and The WB combined forces, The CW's tiny audience is usually relegated it to a mere footnote when compared to the likes of CBS, NBC, Fox and ABC. But The CW has suddenly become a broadcaster to be reckoned with, thanks to its two freshman hits: The Flash, which is already most-watched show in The CW's history and the critically-acclaimed Jane the Virgin, which nabbed the network its first-ever Peabody Award and Golden Globe wins. Along with Arrow, The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural, the shows have led The CW to its most-watched season since 2007-2008, and increases this season on four of The CW's five nights of programming (only Thursdays, thanks to ABC's unstoppable lineup of Shonda Rhimes shows, has taken a hit). More proof of the network's broadening audience: its median age is now 43, up from 37 three years ago, and the audience is now 45 percent male, versus 35 percent male three years ago. CW president Mark Pedowitz is also using the network's digital arm, CW Seed, to develop new comedies for the network. In a Q&A ahead of next week's upfronts, Pedowitz talked about the advantages of aging up the network, wooing new advertisers and how Doctor Who inspired his crossover strategy. The CW audience is now almost 45 percent male. What shows are most responsible for adding men? It's The Flash, Arrow, The 100 and Supernatural. Had you been actively pursuing a male audience with those shows? We recognize that when Smallville went off the air [in 2011] we lost a boatload of men. So this was a thoughtful, executed piece of a strategy to balance it out a little more

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Cannes: Miguel Gomes’ ‘Arabian Nights’ to Screen in Directors’ Fortnight

April 18, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

“Arabian Nights,” a three-part, six-hour-plus drama from the Portuguese director Miguel Gomes (“Tabu”), will make its world premiere in the Directors’ Fortnight section of the Cannes Film Festival, the Fortnight has announced. Likely to clock in as the longest entry at Cannes this year, the film was apparently highly regarded by the official selection committee and had... Read more

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Tribeca Film Review: ‘The Adderall Diaries’

April 18, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

James Franco works so prolifically these days that he's bound to repeat himself now and again: In "The Adderall Diaries," for example, he chalks up his second performance this year as an emotionally and creatively blocked writer.

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Eddie Murphy to Receive Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize

April 9, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

WASHINGTON — Comedian Eddie Murphy has been tapped by the Kennedy Center to receive this year’s Mark Train Prize for American Humor. Award will be presented Oct. 18 at a Kennedy Center event to be taped for later broadcast. A gaggle of top entertainers is again expected to assemble for a celebratory roasting and video... Read more

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Why Streaming Service Crackle Ditched the NewFronts for the Upfronts

April 9, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Xbox, Kindle Fire, Roku, Smart TV—no matter what device you have, you can find Crackle on it. Each month, 18 million users in the U.S. access the Sony-owned, advertiser-supported streaming network to watch a selection of movies and TV shows, as well as a growing number of original series, including Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. But Crackle still has a bit of an identity crisis as it looks to make a name for itself among the likes of Netflix and Amazon. After an erroneous New York Post report in December indicated that Sony—at the time under siege from hackers and seeking alternative distribution for its controversial comedy The Interview—would be releasing the film for free on Crackle, most people said, "What's Crackle?" (In the end, Crackle landed rights to the film next year in the first ad-supported window.) Crackle's general manager and evp Eric Berger, who's also general manager of digital for Sony Pictures Television, is trying to change that. He's taking big swings like commissioning Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser—the first digital sequel to a movie—and pushing original series like the drama Cleaners, starring David Arquette and Gina Gershon, and the thriller Chosen, starring Chad Michael Murray and Rose McGowan. And in his loudest statement yet, he's moved Crackle out of the NewFronts and into the upfronts for the first time this year: on April 14, it will become the first streaming network to present at the upfronts. On the eve of Crackle's first upfront, Berger talked about his bold move, what really happened with The Interview and meeting the challenge of raising Crackle's profile.

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