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The Frenemy Report: We Love You More

Facebook’s been making waves this week– the New York Times warns of a #FakeNews tsunami thanks to its News Feed updates. Advertisers look for ways to make the algorithm work in their favor (hint: influencers). Speaking of humans, YouTube vows that real people will watch every second of ‘Preferred Program’ videos for advertisers.

HBO’s vying to be the friend among the FANGs, telling content creators “You Won’t Get This Much Love at Netflix.” As the TCA wraps up, Jason Lynch reports on 9 Ways Networks and Streaming Rivals Are Fighting Back Against Netflix This Year. NBC, in particular, sees Netflix as a frenemy, launching two special pre-Olympic shows on Netflix in order to spark buzz and drive tune-in for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

And ICYMI “New year, new me” campaigns are still happening… Crackle will rebrand as Sony Crackle this spring. Snap will double down on scripted original content while Facebook Watch looks for the next Bachelor.

Kantar Advertising Report Finds Strong Synergies Between Facebook And TV [MediaPost]

The report also finds that all channels benefit from synergies, but some channels work particularly well with each other. The strongest overall synergy combinations are between TV and Facebook and TV and outdoor. The report also finds that effective campaigns need a strong central idea to act as connective tissue across all content. Campaigns with a strong central idea perform better across all brand key performance indicators (an increase of 64%), especially brand image associations (up 91%).

HBO to Talent: We Love You More [WSJ]

HBO has done well financially in the face of stepped-up competition. For 2017, HBO expects to add more subscribers than it ever has before, between its traditional TV channel and streaming service, HBO Now. HBO was a main attraction for AT&T Inc. in its proposed purchase of Time Warner Inc., which is being challenged in court by the government.

Streaming Service Crackle Will Rebrand As Sony Crackle This Spring [Adweek]

The name change also reflects the message Crackle sent to advertisers and buyers during last April’s upfront, when Berger said that Crackle is now positioning itself to advertisers under the entire Sony umbrella, as it can sell ad space on Crackle properties and also across PlayStation devices. Crackle has an average monthly U.S. audience of 18 million.

Amazon Fire TV Adds Live Programming Guide for HBO, Showtime, Starz, Cinemax [Variety]

On Tuesday, the ecommerce giant launched new interfaces showing Amazon Fire TV users what’s currently airing (and what’s coming up) on the linear channels of HBO, Showtime, Starz or Cinemax. The feature works only if users are subscribed to the networks through the Amazon Channels service for Prime members.

9 Ways Networks and Streaming Rivals Are Fighting Back Against Netflix This Year [Adweek]

At places like Netflix, “you’re just a cog in a queue, and maybe people can talk about it, or maybe they can’t,” Kay continued. “Nobody’s watching it at the same time. I think that’s something that’s actually a benefit of the pay cable model and the way we are scheduling these shows.”

Advertisers see merits of the Facebook algorithm change [Digiday]

Organic content doesn’t work as well as paid posts on Facebook, but Mike Dossett, vp of digital strategy for RPA, thinks many brands still use it to communicate with their fans. “Losses here could impact if and how brands continue to invest in organic, non-boosted content within their overall content strategy,” he said.

In Some Countries, Facebook’s Fiddling Has Magnified Fake News [New York Times]

“People usually don’t share boring news with boring facts,” said Filip Struharik, the social media editor of Denník N, a Slovakian subscription news site that saw a 30 percent drop in Facebook engagement after the changes. Mr. Struharik, who has been cataloging the effects of Facebook Explore through a monthly tally, has noted a steady rise in engagement on sites that publish fake or sensationalist news.

BuzzFeed attempts to funnel Facebook fans into its app following newsfeed algorithm tweak [The Drum]

BuzzFeed, one of the most viewed publishers on Facebook, has prepared for an eventuality where the social network ceases the flow of traffic to the site by instead directing its fans to download the Buzzfeed app.

Here’s how to make sure Facebook shows you the content you want [RECODE]

Back then, Facebook was simply giving you more content from your friends. Now, it’s hoping to give you more content you’d actually like to comment on, which is more likely to be from your friends. At least that’s the thinking.

‘Awesome dynamic’: Influencer marketing gets a boost with Facebook changes [Digiday]

As Facebook decides to favor content from friends and family over posts from (certain) publishers, agency buyers are telling clients to focus more on influencer content.

Facebook Watch Strategy: “We’re Not Going to Win With Prestige Dramas” [The Hollywood Reporter]

And Van Veen says that’s something they’ll be leaning into, as much of the feedback on the shortform narratives has been requests to make them longer.One thing the umbrella of longer programming won’t include is anything resembling a traditional broadcast drama. “We probably wouldn’t do a procedural, where you watch it, you enjoy it, you’re done with it,” said Van Veen. “We’re more inclined to do something like Scandal or The Bachelor, where you want to talk about it afterward.”

YouTube is trying to clean itself up by making it much harder for small video makers to make money [Recode]

The world’s largest video site will kick thousands of people out of its ad revenue-sharing program, and will make it much harder for new ones to get into the program. The change goes into effect today.

YouTube will now review its most popular channels for offensive content after cutting ties with controversial vlogger Logan Paul [CBS News]

Google is set to vet top-tier YouTube videos used by major advertisers, according to a new report.

Instagram CTO says they do not withhold “likes” to keep users coming back for more [Quartz]

Instagram knows that, of course, and it is allegedly exploiting it to increase the frequency of visits to its platform, according to a Jan. 6 report in the Globe and Mail.


O’Keefe’s videos quickly became the top story on sites like Breitbart over the past week, and Fox News host Sean Hannity discussed them on national television. The videos also put Twitter on the defensive, despite uncovering a whole lot of nothing.

The Brand-Content Preferences of Different Age Groups [MarketingProfs]

More than half of surveyed consumers age 54 and younger want to see more videos from brands they support. Some 47% of consumers age 55+ also want to see more videos from brands they support.

New Snapchat Scripted Original Content ‘Imminent,’ Content VP Says [The Wrap]

News shows, so far, have been a successful genre for the app, according to Bell. The exec added 3.5 billion Snaps are created each day, and that Snap had “just started to embrace the creator community” — something more in-line with its chief competitor, Instagram. Bell said they’ll look to “double down” on a “small base” of creators moving forward.

George Clooney Is Heading To Hulu In A ‘Catch-22’ [Tubefilter]

Paramount TV and Anonymous Content will produce the Hulu series alongside Clooney.

Warner Bros’ Blue Ribbon Content Sets 2 Series, Digital Feature At Go90 [Deadline]

Warner Bros Television Group’s Blue Ribbon Content digital studio has sold two comedy series — Golden Revenge, from Conan O’Brien’s Conaco, and Critters: A New Binge, based on the feature films — to Verizon’s go90 platform. It also landed an original digital feature Good Girls Get High, from Alloy Entertainment, which will bow on the service this year.

Facebook Watch Chief Talks Early Lessons From Video Push, Unveils 3 New Shows [Variety]

Van Veen unveiled three new series projects, including a new survivalist effort from Bear Grylls, “Bear Grylls: Face the Wild.” Also in the works is the scripted half-hour drama “Sacred Lies” from Blumhouse Television, and the unscripted “Fly Guys,” revolving around movie and TV stunt performers.

Latino Digital Media Company Raze Sets Series Deals With Netflix, Hulu, & TNT [Deadline]

Co-founded by actress Sofia Vergara, Latin World Entertainment founder Luis Balaguer, and industry leader Emiliano Calemzuk, the fast-growing company will roll out three series across the aforementioned platforms. Raze is moving forward into production with the original series Catrina, la Santa Muerte for Netflix. They are also developing Mi Hermanastro for Hulu and Black Veil for TNT.