Networks Test Sponsored Content and Fewer 30-Second Ads

On Monday, NBC tested out a new concept: airing more content and fewer ads. Sponsored by American Express, the additional content included “Blindspot” interviews with the show’s creator and stars, and a segment with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb of the “Today” show. NBC isn’t alone; Vice Media has embraced a similar advertising strategy for its new Viceland cable channel. TV networks hurting from ratings declines and cord cutting are taking a serious look at swapping out 30-second spots for sponsored content. Continue reading Networks Test Sponsored Content and Fewer 30-Second Ads

Snapchat Inks Deal with Nielsen, Tech Firms to Create Ad Data

Snapchat, with its reported 100 million daily users, is a favorite of advertisers that like the company’s growth and popularity among younger demographics. But those same advertisers have been also been lobbying Snapchat for data on the performance of their advertising campaigns. Now, Snapchat has gone the way of Facebook and YouTube in enlisting measurement stalwart Nielsen to provide that data. Snapchat has also made deals with ad tech companies Innovid and Sizmek to provide even more detailed data. Continue reading Snapchat Inks Deal with Nielsen, Tech Firms to Create Ad Data

Viacom Signs Multiyear Deal with Snapchat to Sell Advertising

Viacom just inked a multi-year deal with Snapchat to sell advertising for the vanishing-message app. Viacom will get a bigger investment in digital media and the millennial-focused Snapchat — which already carries content from Viacom’s MTV and Comedy Central — will get the chance to draw in bigger advertisers. In addition, Viacom will add the U.S. version of MTV and an international version of Comedy Central on Snapchat’s “Discover” page, where CNN, Vox, Mashable and The Wall Street Journal also have channels. Continue reading Viacom Signs Multiyear Deal with Snapchat to Sell Advertising

YouTube Pursues TV/Movie Streaming Rights to Rival Netflix

YouTube, which recently launched YouTube Red, a $9.99/month subscription service, now aims to obtain streaming rights to TV series and movies. According to unnamed sources, YouTube executives are leveraging the relationships of parent company Alphabet’s Google Play to set up meetings with Hollywood studios and production companies. The company has already committed to creating original content, starring its own celebrities such as PewDiePie. By obtaining streaming rights, YouTube will turn up the heat on rivals Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. Continue reading YouTube Pursues TV/Movie Streaming Rights to Rival Netflix

CNN Launches Vice-Style Web Video Series ‘Great Big Story’

CNN is launching its new digital media brand, Great Big Story, which will focus on positive, newsy video stories, with an initial push on Facebook. In addition to streaming content to its website and apps for iOS and Android devices, Great Big Story will also feed to YouTube, Apple News, Snapchat, and connect to users through smart TVs, specifically on Apple TV, Roku, Amazon and Chromecast. Facebook has become a popular site for several video publishers, among them BuzzFeed and Business Insider. Continue reading CNN Launches Vice-Style Web Video Series ‘Great Big Story’

Twitter Expands Video Ad Tools with Generous Revenue Share

Twitter hasn’t kept up with other social media platforms with advertising offerings, say some critics, but newly reappointed chief executive Jack Dorsey hopes to buoy the company’s fortunes with an array of new video advertising products. One of Twitter’s major advantages from the advertiser’s point of view is its emphasis on international, national and local live events. Whether Dorsey’s bid to curry favor among advertisers works to appease Wall Street, however, remains to be seen. Continue reading Twitter Expands Video Ad Tools with Generous Revenue Share

Hulu Doubles the Amount of TV Content it Licenses from Viacom

While streaming services continue to invest in original series to attract new subscribers, the SVOD battle over TV rights has also been heating up. Amazon, Hulu and Netflix are competing for the exclusive rights to stream popular shows that first air on television. A number of new deals have been announced in recent weeks, including Amazon picking up USA Network’s “Mr. Robot,” Hulu getting Fox’s “The Last Man on Earth,” and Netflix signing ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder” and CW’s “Jane the Virgin.” Most recently, Viacom extended its licensing agreement with Hulu. Continue reading Hulu Doubles the Amount of TV Content it Licenses from Viacom

Viacom Play Plex Offers Mobile TV Apps for its Major Brands

Viacom International is getting ready to debut Viacom Play Plex, a suite of apps for all its major brands, for iPhone and Android smartphones and tablets. Viacom Play Plex, which will be available in the company’s 180 international territories, will offer live and on-demand content from Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Channel, Spike and BET. The suite of apps allows the company to make a significant move into the burgeoning mobile TV world. Viacom had previously launched a Nickelodeon app in 2013. Continue reading Viacom Play Plex Offers Mobile TV Apps for its Major Brands

Netflix to Offer Original Programming Produced for Teenagers

As part of its effort to meet the entertainment needs of the postmillennial generation, Netflix is adding exclusive films and TV series to its service that target teenagers and tweens. Netflix has picked up a half-hour original series about a group of musicians called “Lost & Found Music Studios,” a series called “Degrassi: Next Class” that addresses the issues teens face as they get ready to enter adulthood, and “Fuller House,” the sequel to the popular 90s sitcom “Full House.” Netflix has also licensed two movies featuring YouTube stars — “Smosh: The Movie” and “Bad Night.” Continue reading Netflix to Offer Original Programming Produced for Teenagers

Verizon to Launch its Mobile Video Service by End of Summer

New details about Verizon’s mobile video service were revealed after the company accidentally turned on a pre-launch staging website — briefly, but long enough for details to be revealed. Named Go90, the mobile service will offer select live music, exclusive events and sports as well as some full TV episodes, music videos and other short-form content. The landing page revealed new content partners and reaffirmed that, at least initially, the service will be delivered free of charge. The landing page has since been taken down. Continue reading Verizon to Launch its Mobile Video Service by End of Summer

YouTube Offers Incentives to Compete for Top Video Creators

At VidCon, YouTube chief executive Susan Wojcicki reached out to the video creator community with an array of enticements. That’s because, although YouTube may be the biggest player in user-generated content — including the properties that reach stratospheric views — the Google-owned company now has plenty of competition. Facebook, Periscope and Vine are just some of the platforms wooing video creators who have created successful properties, and YouTube unveiled efforts to keep these creators on its site. Continue reading YouTube Offers Incentives to Compete for Top Video Creators

MTV Launches Interactive Online Game to Promote ‘Scream’

As part of its social media push for the upcoming series “Scream,” based on the popular horror film franchise, MTV has created an interactive online game. In a unique promotional campaign, “Choose Your Own Murder” invites participants to enter their own horror movie scenario and try to escape a killer. Users are given options as the story unfolds and brief time limits to quickly make decisions that steer the action. Once murdered, users then have the option of playing the game again or sharing via social media. The series is slated to debut June 30. Continue reading MTV Launches Interactive Online Game to Promote ‘Scream’

Nielsen Calls for Updated Ratings Standards to Address Digital

Nielsen, the company that provides data about what people watch, listen to, and purchase, is calling for a new set of rating standards due to the growing popularity of accessing media content via tablets and other devices. This statement came after Viacom’s recent criticism of Nielsen, claiming that the research firm is outdated because the ratings do not consider digital viewing methods. Nielsen admits that its ratings for broadcast networks have been inaccurate for seven months now. Continue reading Nielsen Calls for Updated Ratings Standards to Address Digital

Report: Apple and Google Battle for Top Spot in Global Brands

This year’s edition of Interbrand’s “Best Global Brands” report places Apple in the No. 1 spot as the world’s most valuable brand for the second year in a row. Apple and No. 2 brand Google knocked Coca-Cola to the No. 3 spot last year. The top three positions are the same for 2014. The report, which provides a ranking of the top 100 valuable global brands, list a growing number of technology brands. Microsoft, Samsung and IBM are listed in the top 10, while Intel, Cisco, Amazon, Oracle and HP are in the top 20. Continue reading Report: Apple and Google Battle for Top Spot in Global Brands

Google Acquires Mobile Startup Polar to Reinvigorate Google+

Google has acquired mobile startup Polar, to bring the founder Luke Wroblewski and his team to Google+. Polar developed online polling technology for clients such as HBO, TechCrunch and USA Today to poll their users on mobile websites and apps. At Google, the new hires are expected to work on optimizing Google’s struggling social network for the mobile platform. Wroblewski is a prominent mobile designer and author of the book, “Mobile First.” Continue reading Google Acquires Mobile Startup Polar to Reinvigorate Google+

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