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Today’s TV Top 10

TV biz in a basket for you. If you care about the TV business like we do and want to stay up on the latest but don’t have time to digest everything from everywhere– take advantage of our work and save this link. Every day we’ll post the top ten (or more) articles on the business of TV disruption. And each day we’ll push what you missed to the bottom. So, you can stay on top of the news or at the end of the week have a sick batch of news to skim through. You’re welcome, we love you.

TV advertisements are increasingly heralded as the best way to reach President Trump, as John Oliver buys ads to tell Trump the truth. The global ad market is estimated to grow from $590 billion this year to $775 billion in 2021, at a rate of 7% year-over-year growth.

Apple Music enters television, announcing two series, but emphasizes that they will avoid traditional commercials. Saturday Night Live is having its best season in 22 years thanks to America’s divided and heated political climate.

Facebook officially announces its standalone TV app, bringing social and live videos to televisions via players like Apple TV and Amazon Fire. BuzzFeed and NBCUniversal partner to co-produce several series.

AwesomenessTV wants to invest in more political content, which Gen Z is thirsty for thanks to Donald Trump. In a blow to MCNs, Disney’s Maker Studios brace for a round of layoffs.

As Nielsen stumbles, GroupM pushes forward with its own cross-platform ad measurement system. The New York Times reveals how TV’s biggest events– the Super Bowl and Grammys– have a major impact on music sales and artist followings.

GroupM Developing Its Own Cross-Platform Ad Measurement
Adweek — Jason Lynch

Now that Nielsen’s Total Content Ratings are off of the table, GroupM is going ahead with its own product. Before developing the product, GroupM is working with the Video Advertising Bureau and every major network to lay all of the issues out on the table. GroupM is going behind the scenes– managing the commercial load and watermarking content so it can be measured. The product won’t be ready for this year’s upfronts.

GroupM’s Calls For Better Cross-Platform Metrics
AdExchanger — Kelly Liyakasa

GroupM is pushing for a new commercial metric that comprehensively accounts for long-form viewing across a broader array of devices. GroupM is working with broadcasters, vendors and both Nielsen and comScore on a “framework” for a new multiplatform ad metric, one that aggregates audience viewing within a seven-day window across devices.

How Old-Fashioned TV Still Drives the Music Industry
New York Times — Joe Coscarelli

While traditional TV may seem a bit archaic, the Super Bowl halftime show and the Grammy Awards are two of the record industry’s biggest events of the year. Once again, they demonstrated the positive effect TV has on an artist’s commercial success. For example, Lady Gaga performed at both events and saw her recent album, “Joanne,” jump from No. 66 to No. 2 in the week after the Super Bowl.

Snap Inc. Execs Explain Why Investors Should Buy into Their IPO
Business Insider — Alex Heath

Leading up to Snap’s $22 billion IPO, Snap is particularly interested in attracting TV ad budgets– it says that younger users are shifting their attention from traditional TV to mobile phones. The majority of Snapchat’s users are between the ages of 13 and 34.

Apple Vowed to Revolutionize TV– Here’s Why It Hasn’t
Bloomberg — Mark Gurman

Earlier this month, Apple Inc. poached the chief of Amazon’s Fire TV unit to run its television operations. Apple is testing a new, fifth-generation Apple TV that it may release as soon as this year. The new box will be capable of streaming ultra-high-definition 4K. Apple TV isn’t critical to Apple’s bottom line, but it’s critical to its services industry.

Apple and Facebook Have Contrasting Video Ambitions
VideoNuze — Will Richmond

Apple is taking a cautious approach to TV series, whereas Facebook is pivoting to become a video-first company. Apple is far from disrupting TV or competing with the likes of Netflix. Facebook has confirmed it will launch connected TV apps as the company aims to have users expand how they consume content.

Undertone Will Sell Ads for Cycle
Wall Street Journal — Mike Shields

Undertone, a digital ad company, has reached a deal to sell advertising for Cycle, the web video content company founded by the ad agency Laundry Service. This is noteworthy for a few reasons. Cycle, launched only last year, represents a rare case of an ad agency incubating a media business. This will also be Undertone’s first foray into selling branded content. By working with Cycle, Undertone now has a significant amount of video plus influencers to offer to advertisers so it can build out programmatic distribution of native content.

The Trade Desk Reports More than $1 Billion in Platform Spend
MediaPost — Tobi Elkin

The Trade Desk reported more than $1 billion in gross spend on its platform for 2016. Connected TV grew over 100% from Q3 2016 to Q4 2016.

Charter Loses 51,000 Video Subscribers
Multichannel News — Mike Farrell

Trouble at Time Warner Cable impacted Charter Communications in the fourth quarter, causing the second largest cable operator in the country to shed 51,000 basic video customers in the period. That compared to a gain of 118,000 basic video customers in the prior year.

CBS Revenue Dips but Subscriptions Show Hope
Business Insider

CBS’ advertising revenue decreased 3% YoY this past quarter, which could be mostly blamed on declining NFL viewership. Fortunately, affiliate and subscription fees provided revenue increased 13% YoY in Q4. Moving forward, CBS will need to increasingly rely on over-the-top (OTT) services (like CBS All Access and Showtime) to offset losses from advertising revenue. TV is not dying so much as it’s evolving: extending beyond the traditional television screen and broadening to include programming from new sources accessed in new ways.

Caavo: One Device to Rule Them All
Multichannel News — Jeff Baumgartner

Caavo just debuted a $399 device will link to and control up to eight TV-connected devices. Caavo’s goal is to help consumers manage a growing array of devices and to remove some of the manual struggles required when switching devices. While Caavo does not run any apps or play any content directly, it deep-links to an individual’s content and apps across devices.

Turner Ignite Uses Audience Data From LEAP Media Investments
Broadcasting & Cable — Jon Lafayette

Turner Ignite, a data and branded-content unit within Turner’s ad sales division, has partnered with LEAP Media Investments, a data analytics and audience development company. Turner will use LEAP’s data to target consumers based on their emotional attachment to specific brands and identify those brands’ most loyal fans. In the future, Turner and LEAP will curate brand-specific TV plans and models for digital extensions, delivering more opportunities for marketers to reach and effectively engage fans across platforms.

AwesomenessTV: Trump has Turned Teens Into Voracious Consumers of Politics
Business Insider — Nathan McAlone

Brian Robbins, CEO $650 million video powerhouse AwesomenessTV, said that he wants to open AwesomenessTV up to political coverage. Thanks to Trump, that’s what his Generation Z audience has a new appetite for. Political coverage could take the form of straight news, documentaries or even scripted shows. AwesomenessTV has 4.7 million subscribers on YouTube alone, and has done deals to get its shows in places like YouTube Red and Verizon’s Go90. Robbins said the company produces about 40 shows a week.

Another Blow to MCNs: More Layoffs are Coming to Disney’s Maker Studios
Fast Company — Christopher Zara

Maker Studios is preparing for a round of significant layoffs as parent company Disney prepares to reduce its network of digital stars and focus on a smaller pool of top talent. This will be the second round of staff cuts in under a year and comes the same week that Disney cut ties with PewDiePie, although Disney says the events are unrelated.

The NFL and CBS Discuss Speeding Up Games
Business Insider — Nathan McAlone

For the regular NFL season, viewership was down 9%, and 6% for the playoffs, according to MoffettNathanson. NFL is considering speeding up instant replays and “reformatting” ads, but not explicitly deciding to cut down ad loads.

With Streaming Subscribers Surging, Showtime Prepares for a Boost From Billions
Adweek — Jason Lynch

Showtime, which reported 1.5 million subscribers, is looking forward to a solid 2017 with the debut of Billions, which had 6 million multiplatform subscribers last year. To boost subscribers, previews of Season 2 of Billions will be available on Youtube and for 73 million households via cable and satellite providers. Showtime is also gearing towards a slightly younger audience with upcoming shows with “Twin Peaks” and “I’m Dying Up here.”

Kia Leverages McCarthy to Score This Week’s Most Engaging Auto Ad
WardsAuto

Kia tops the weekly Most Engaging Auto Ads chart with its “Hero’s Journey” spot starring Melissa McCarthy. According to iSpot.tv, Kia captured the most digital share of voice, followed by Hyundai and Audi.

TiVo-Rovi Integration is “On Track”
Broadcasting & Cable — Jeff Baumgartner

Rovi and TiVo closed a deal last September, and now their plan to achieve $100 million in cost synergies is “on track,” according to a fourth quarter earnings call. Following recent deals with Verizon Communications and Dish Network, TiVo now has licensing deals in place with nine of the ten top U.S. MVPDs — the only exception is Comcast.

Snapchat Stories Want to be the HBO of Mobile
TechCrunch — Josh Constine

Snapchat hopes its Stories make it the premiere destination for quality mobile video, supported by advertisers.Tomorrow, Snapchat will debut its biggest Show yet, BBC’s Planet Earth II, sponsored by Goldman Sachs. Snap has deals for original series with ABC, NBC, E!, ESPN, TBS, Adult Swim and A+E.

Cross-Platform Needs Improvement
Broadcasting & Cable — Jon Lafayette

A report commissioned by the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement says that the gap between marketing mix models, used for media and marketing budget allocation, and attribution models, which are purely focused on digital paths and allocation, is narrowing. But the lack of an integrated cross-platform solution is causing confusion.

TV’s Social Media MVPs of the Week
The Wrap

Canvs, the language analytics company that measures emotions around content, partnered with The Wrap for a weekly snapshot of the characters and personalities that have TV viewers the most worked up on social media. Audiences took to Twitter to express their love for Adele and Beyonce during the Grammys, and were certainly entertained by Corinne’s antics on The Bachelor. Of the nearly 2.2 million Emotional Reactions (ERs) surrounding Sunday’s broadcast of the 59th Annual Grammy Awards on CBS, 11.8% of them mentioned Adele and 9% were prompted by Beyonce. 

Viacom Says We’re Entering the ‘Golden Age’ of Advertising
MarketingWeek — Thomas Hobbs

Over the past few years it’s been said that TV is experiencing a “golden age” with more critically acclaimed shows, and now that is extending to TV advertisers. Viacom’s Velocity ad business says it’s not a coincidence that high-profile filmmakers are flocking to direct ads, or that Super Bowl ads are making such strong social statements.There’s a huge opportunity for brands and advertisers to erase perceptions that advertisers are annoyances.

Simulmedia and IRI Determine How TV Drives Sales
AdExchanger — Kelly Liyakasa

Simulmedia has made a deal with consumer market research and retail analytics firm IRI so marketers can now target their linear TV ads based on predictive purchase segments called IRI ProScores. These segments determine consumers’ likelihood to purchase based on different propensities. Clorox will be one of the early testers of this program, with the goal of merging purchase and viewing data in real time.

Discovery Enlists Subscribers, Prepares for OTT World
Broadcasting & Cable — Jon Lafayette

Discovery Communications, preparing for an over-the-top world, has signed up thousands of subscribers to its true crime channel—True Crime Files— offered via Amazon.The VOD channel launched in November and is attracting 10,000 new net subscribers per month at $4 per month.

PewDiePie Incident Means More Scrutiny for Influencers
Wall Street Journal — Mike Shields

Mike Henry, chief executive at the YouTube analytics firm OpenSlate, estimated that a $100,000 ad buy using YouTube’s TrueView ads—the skippable pre-roll ads—will end up running across more than 250,000 different YouTube videos. That’s a lot to keep track of, and this PewDiePie scandal may make marketers wary of large digital buys. However, YouTube’s reaction to this incident could help YouTube be seen as more professional in marketers eyes.

CMO Today: BuzzFeed and NBCUniversal Will Co-Produce Series
Wall Street Journal — Mike Shields

BuzzFeed and NBCUniversal are developing a true-crime docuseries based on an investigative story BuzzFeed News has been tracking since 2014. Two lighter, unscripted projects are also in the works, including one based on “Try Guys,” a popular BuzzFeed video franchise in which a group of young men perform funny stunts.

Facebook Launching a Standalone TV App
Business Insider — Alex Heath

On Tuesday Facebook announced that its standalone TV app will roll out soon on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Samsung Smart TVs, with more to come. The new app will let Facebook users watch live videos, videos from their friends and “liked” pages on TV, as well as recommended videos.

SNL Prepares Branded Content, Continues to Reduce Ad Load
Adweek — Jason Lynch

SNL is the least commercialized program on TV right now, following NBCU’s plan to reduce ad load by 30%. NBCUniversal said its first two branded content pods are set to air sometime in the next few episodes, once SNL returns with new shows on March 7.

Trump’s Cabinet Fuels TV Advertising Spending
Broadcasting & Cable — John Eggerton

Brands and causes have already smartened up to the idea of purchasing TV ads to get in front of President Trump– now they’re buying ads to reach his controversial cabinet picks. In this case, Allied Progress made a six-figure ad buy in local markets targeting Andy Puzder the day before a senate vote.

Advertising’s Mass Reach Reawakening
Advertising Age — Andy Sippel

There’s been a mass backlash to the micro-targeting movement. Advertiser Perceptions recently recorded the biggest spike to date in marketer confidence (intention to increase spending) for more traditional, homogeneous media. Specifically, there were increases of 25% for broadcast TV and 26% for cable TV.

‘The Walking Dead’ Promos Rack Up 156.4 Million TV Ad Impressions in One Week
Broadcasting & Cable — Jason Damata

iSpot.tv’s exclusive data reveals the top five TV promos ranked by TV ad impressions. On the strength of 156.4 million TV ad impressions for its promos leading up to its mid-season return on Sunday, AMC’s The Walking Dead is the most heavily promoted show this week. It’s a measure of how important the franchise continues to be for AMC that its promo volume far outpaced even CBS’s blitz for the Grammys, at No. 2 with 97.1 million TV ad impressions leading up to Sunday night’s telecast.

comScore Mobile Measurement Gets MRC Accreditation
Broadcasting & Cable — Jon Lafayette

comScore has just received Media Ratings Council accreditation for measuring viewability and impressions across mobile devices and within apps. Both comScore and Nielsen are working to create measurement systems that work across all platforms, and this accreditation validates comScore’s dedication to quality measurement.

Starz Offers Pre-Paid Alternative to Traditional Subscriptions
Variety — Andrew Wallenstein

Starz CEO Chris Albrecht believes that “one of the big obstacles in the subscription business is churn,” so he’s working on a new payment model. Starz will offer pre-paid subscription cards, which should appeal to Starz’s target demographic of lower income households.

Comcast’s All-in-One Xfinity Stream App to Debut February 28
Engadget — Jon Fingas

Comcast is replacing its Xfinity TV app with the Xfinity Stream App, a catch-all for all of Comcast’s video plans. Xfinity Stream will be the home for Comcast’s new Stream TV service, and will also offer in-home control, out-of-home live streaming and remote DVR access.

TV Ratings: Colbert Continues to Beat Fallon
Variety — Oriana Schwindt

According to Nielsen’s metered-market overnights, “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” is continuing its winning streak over “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” in total viewers. Colbert on Tuesday drew a 2.8 household rating to Fallon’s 2.2.

“Love Has No Labels” PSA Campaign
Wall Street Journal — Alexandra Bruell

A partnership between R/GA, the NFL, the Ad Council– plus several sponsors like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Unilever, State Farm and more– is launching a “Love Has No Labels” PSA campaign. The campaign features a modern, more inclusive take on the “kiss cam” and will appear on social and TV channels. Per Ad Council rules, the ad will not show any of the brand sponsors.

‘Saturday Night Live’ Ratings Soar Thanks to Trump and Spicer
Los Angeles Times — Stephen Battaglio

SNL is having its most-watched season in 22 years, partially thanks to Alec Baldwin’s impersonation of Trump and Melissa McCarthy’s take on Sean Spicer. According to Nielsen, once a week of delayed viewing DVR is added in, first-run episodes of SNL have averaged 10.64 million viewers this season. Historically, topical comedy has thrived during times of heightened political divisiveness in the US.

What Broadcast TV Presidents Have Learned This Season
Adweek — Jason Lynch

Network executives are learning that a big hit can be hard to predict, and are all pleasantly surprised by the success of This Is Us. Broadcast network have linear schedule demands to look at for a multiplatform world. It’s a challenge to look at audiences are watching the shows, and when they’re watching them, and all of those pieces playing together.  

Showtime and CBS Near 1.5 Million Streaming Subscribers
Variety — Todd Spangler

Showtime’s internet-only subscriber base has reached 1.5 million, while CBS All Access — the broadcaster’s live and on-demand paid streaming service — is nearing the same number of subscribers, according to CBS CEO Leslie Moonves. For both the Showtime and CBS All Access over-the-top offerings, that reflects a significant growth spurt of 50% since July 2016.

Apple Music Presents its First TV Series, Set to Launch This Spring
Variety — Andrew Wallenstein

At the Recode Media Conference, Apple revealed plans for two unscripted shows that will debut on Apple Music this spring– “Planet of the Apps” and “Carpool” (a spin-off from Carpool Karaoke). Apple emphasizes that it’s not at the point of ramping up content like Netflix, and expressed a strong aversion to a commercial-based TV model.

Love Only Grammy Can Give
TV[R]ev — Jason Damata and Mike Gasbara

The 59th Annual Grammy Awards did what TV is best at — breaking emotional ground. According to Canvs, the emotional analytics company, the Grammys generated more than 2.3 million Emotional Reactions (ERs) online — out of these, over 900K (42.2%) expressed love. According to iSpot.tv, the attention analytics company that measures activity for TV advertising, the audience was younger than the average TV viewer. It skewed female. And, perhaps most importantly to the brands who purchased time, the ads had a low tune out rate.

See Nike’s ‘Equality’ Ad From the Grammys
Advertising Age — E.J. Shultz

Nike aired a 90-second black-and-white spot titled “Equality” during the Grammys, and the marketer plans to air the ad again during the NBA All-Star Game. The TV campaign is bolstered by local print ads and Nike merchandise online.

ABC’s Bachelor Franchise Continues to Drive Revenue
Forbes — Madeline Berg

The Bachelor is a ratings machine for NBC, but lacks diversity. In hopes that the Bachelor franchise will resonate with more non-white viewers, ABC has announced that the next Bachelorette will be Rachel– this will be the first African-American Bachelor or Bachelorette. ABC sees major ad revenue from the Bachelor: in 2016, 401 brands ran 1,129 spots 2,710 times on new episodes of the Bachelor franchise (which includes The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise and The Bachelor Live). The revenue from these ads totaled an estimated $184 million, according to iSpot.tv. The current season of The Bachelor, which premiered in January, averages 7.05 million viewers per episode, with 2.29 million of those in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic.

Sky’s Ambition for Ad Sales
Campaign — Gideon Spanier

Sky Media’s group chief operating officer sees addressable TV advertising as a counter to Facebook and Google: “My big thesis is: this is about combining the power of digital and data with the quality of TV.” He also wants to hit $1bn in sales by 2020, which will be driven by AdSmart, Sky’s ad-targeting technology that has pushed up prices for some inventory as much as eightfold– AdSmart was a key reason that 21st Century Fox took over Sky.

John Oliver Buys TV Advertisements to Present Donald Trump with Facts
New York Daily News — Brett Bodner

John Oliver is trying to solve Trump’s disillusioned reality by purchasing ads with facts Trump should know that will air locally on major news networks like CNN, MSNBC and Fox News.

This Year’s TV Series Generating the Greatest Emotional Response
Broadcasting & Cable — Mike Gasbara

Broadcasting & Cable partnered with Canvs, the emotion analytics company, for a look at what’s been driving the most emotion among viewers. Since the start of the year, Canvs has detected more than 7.1 million Emotional Reactions (ERs) sparked by TV series. The top 5 shows that drove that number are New Edition Story, The Bachelor, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Saturday Night Live and Teen Wolf.

Advertisers Score During NBA All Star Weekend
MediaLife — Diego Vasquez

Last year’s NBA All-Star game averaged 7.6 million viewers on TNT, a three-year high. The All-Star Saturday Night event averaged another 5.6 million viewers. Frequent NBA advertisers include banking/financial, auto, fast food, telecom, consumer electronics and insurance sectors.

Grammy Overnight Ratings On Par With 2016
Variety — Oriana Schwindt

Sunday’s Grammys drew a 16.0 household rating in Nielsen’s metered-market overnights and a 26 share, down just a tick from 2016’s 16.1 household overnights. Social media went crazy over Beyonce’s performance.

Addressable TV: Disruption and Destabilization
AdExchanger — Randy Cooke

Linear TV reaches more than 90% of the US population every month. But as more and more linear TV audiences can be purchased through IP streams, the economic structure of the traditional ad sales model will be amplified by device targeting capabilities and programmatic ad serving. IP distribution includes “horizontal multiplier” and “vertical multiplier” aspects which allow more brands to target similar audiences.

Content Advertising To Be $50 Billion Market By 2021
MediaPost — Tobi Elkin

Content advertising is expected to grow into a $50 billion market by 2021 — up from $12.8 billion in 2016, according to projections from Polar. That’s a growth rate of 32% year-over-year, and more than 2x the growth rate of digital advertising as a whole. Polar estimated that the global ad market will grow from $590 billion this year to $775 billion in 2021, at a rate of 7% year-over-year growth. Digital advertising is projected to be 48% of the market.

Alcohol Super Bowl Advertisers Were Out of Line with Own Codes
Salon — Jonathan Noel and Thomas Babor

During the 1990s, alcohol companies began following voluntary marketing codes. But in this year’s Super Bowl, alcohol brands seems to break their own rules– they used animals, which are attractive to children, and had party themes.

See the most-shared Facebook posts of last week
Campaign — Ilyse Liffreing

Super Bowl Sunday drove the highest brand engagement on Facebook last week, as people shared their favorite ads. According to Unmetric, Airbnb, Hyundai and Mr.Clean gathered the most shares with posts about their Super Bowl LI spots. And Budweiser scored high for the second week in a row with Facebook Live content for the game, in addition to its TV ad, which iSpot.tv reports was the most viewed Super Bowl commercial.

What 2017 Super Bowl Ads Reveal About Video Advertising Trends
MediaPost — Peter Bavaro

The Super Bowl advertisements revealed three trends that will likely be on the minds of marketers in 2017: live video experimentation, sequential ads with a storytelling mindset, and native advertising that captures the present.

These Super Bowl Advertisers Expanded Their Social Followings the Most
Advertising Age

According to ListenFirst Media, the Super Bowl advertisers that acquired the most social media fans after the Big Game were 84 Lumber followed by Coca Cola, Airbnb, KFC and Google.