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The Frenemy Report: Role Reversal

Summer brings flip-flops. Facebook is making its biggest executive shuffle in company history (and tackling blockchain) while BuzzFeed just named Lauren Dolgen as the head of BuzzFeed Studios… just in time for some serious flip-flopping, as digital migrates to TV (and vice versa), as demonstrated by the blossoming of traditional TV + digital partnerships at the NewFronts.  BuzzFeed just got its first TV pickup, for “What Happened to…Jessica Chambers,” on Oxygen, while the first Snapchat show is becoming turned into a TV show, on Fox.

Snap is cutting licensing fees for Snapchat Discover partners, leaning into its relationships with media giants like NBCU and Refinery29. Snapchat’s also getting more breaking news, with the addition of NowThis and Cheddar channels.

And ICYMI, here’s what happened at F8, what happened at Google I/O, what happened during the Newfronts, and what’s happening at the Upfronts.

Google goes all-in on artificial intelligence, renames research division Google AI [TechCrunch]

Google seems to imply that further non-AI research will also be housed in the new AI hub, although it’s not really clear how much support and interest there will be for more work in other fields, or if everything now will need to have an AI angle to be progressed.

Brands: How to make your connection with data providers seamless [BizReport]

Kristina: How can media companies work seamlessly with data providers?
Allison Stern, CMO & Co-Founder of social video analytics company Tubular Labs: At Tubular Labs, we have about 200 customers, mostly in the in the media industry, but increasingly more brands as we continue rolling out new products to hyper flow that market with data and intelligence tools. We released Intelligence to help with all content creation, and then Dealmaker for branded content success so that sales teams can use it to help with their branded content pitching. Recently we rolled out an API, which is basically just a fire hose of our data. Naturally, we collaborate with our customers and continue to land and expand inside major media companies.

BuzzFeed Motion Pictures Investigative Series Gets Greenlight at Oxygen [THR]

BuzzFeed has received its first television pickup. The digital publisher, which through its BuzzFeed Motion Pictures division has spent the last several years developing projects with an eye for traditional distribution, has set docuseries What Happened to…Jessica Chambers at Oxygen.

Why BuzzFeed News premiered a show on Apple News before Facebook, YouTube, Twitter [Digiday]

The push by Apple comes as publishers’ video views on Facebook ebb. BuzzFeed News’ viewership on the social network dropped from 45.4 million views in January to 11.3 million in March, according to Tubular Labs. Publishers have been hesitant to produce original videos for Apple News because the app hasn’t delivered on the revenue front. They’re also waiting to see if Apple can encourage the kind of intentional viewing that such videos require. The BuzzFeed deal appears to show how Apple is trying to address both points.

‘Phone Swap’: Fox TV Stations Set Summer Run For Snapchat Dating Show From Elisabeth Murdoch’s Company [Deadline]

Phone Swap is becoming the first Snapchat series to go from a mobile format to television. Fox Television Stations has closed a deal with Vertical Networks for a TV version of the company’s Snapchat reality dating show to air for a limited run on select Fox television stations this summer.

Despite all the Cambridge Analytica drama, Facebook’s F8 still felt like F8 [Recode]

“I know that it hasn’t been easy being a developer these last couple of months, and that’s probably an understatement,” Zuckerberg said. “What I can assure you is that we’re hard at work making sure that people don’t misuse this platform so that you can keep building stuff that people love.” The message seemed to work. “Both keynotes did a really nice job of addressing it right away,” said Jared Feldman, the CEO of Canvs, a startup that uses AI to determine the sentiment and emotion tied to text. “That mentality is super appreciated in this time of ambiguity.” “It does seem like they’re kind of taking some steps [to address Cambridge Analytica],” said Melissa Orgill, a software developer and first-time F8 attendee. “They’re a large company. Their main focus is on building and creating products, and that’s what this experience of a conference is about so it’s smart to keep the focus on that and innovation.”

How GoPro and Spotify are using Facebook Stories [Digiday]

Stories was slow to take off but has been rapidly growing. A recent study from Block Party, a social media agency led by Eytan Oren, formerly of IPG Media Lab, found the top three Stories platforms (WhatsApp, Instagram and Snapchat) had about 121 million combined daily Stories users in the second quarter of 2016, compared to 646 million combined the third quarter of 2017. That’s a 435 percent increase.

Facebook is making its biggest executive shuffle in company history [Recode]

Facebook instituted its biggest executive shakeup in its 15-year history this week, appointing new leaders for WhatsApp, Messenger and Facebook’s core app while giving other longtime Facebook executives new responsibilities, including a new effort to tackle blockchain technology.

Former Vice And MTV Exec Lauren Dolgen Tapped To Lead BuzzFeed Studios [Tubefilter]

Dolgen, who will be based in Los Angeles and report directly to BuzzFeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti, will be tasked with overseeing and developing content that draws from BuzzFeed’s other divisions, including BuzzFeed News and BuzzFeed Media Brands, which comprises standalone verticals like Tasty and Nifty.

Interest in Facebook groups is high, but growth is slow for brands [Digiday]

Facebook is taking steps to make it easier to find groups. Last week at Facebook’s F8 conference, the social platform announced a new Groups tab for users to discover groups and a Facebook group plug-in that companies can add to their pages.

A YouTube Music refresh is slowly rolling out to some users  [The Verge]

The real question is how this app will play into YouTube’s new music service, and whether that service will live within YouTube Music, or operate as a standalone product with a new name. We may find out more soon as Google I/O begins next week.


Disney Digital Network Takes Bite out of Food Category [Broadcasting & Cable]

Disney Digital Networks’ new brand, Disney Eats, is aimed at giving millennials a taste of foods inspired by Disney characters and by the Disney theme parks around the world. In addition to videos, the brand will extend to consumer products available at shopDisney.com and the Disney Store.

YouTube May Bring An Abbreviated Version Of Its Content ID Copyright Tool To The Masses [Tubefilter]

Macdonald said that Copyright Match may roll out to more creators beyond the initial pilot test in coming weeks. Content ID, on the other hand, is only available to select applicants who “must own exclusive rights to a substantial body of original material that is frequently uploaded by the YouTube user community,” according to the company’s ‘Help’ pages. (You can check out the application to receive Content ID access here, and read more about how to qualify right here).

Snap cuts off licensing fees for Snapchat Discover publishers [Digiday]

Snap is no longer paying licensing fees to publishers for their Snapchat Discover channels, leaving those publishers instead to live off advertising. According to one Discover publishing source, Snap is now more focused on having the same general “template” for the content and advertising deals it signs with media partners, which range from big media giants such as NBCUniversal (a Snap investor) and Viacom to digital publishers like BuzzFeed and Refinery29. While Snap typically offers an even split for ad revenue generated on Discover content created by media partners, the general understanding is that some partners — especially the big media companies on the platform — have received more favorable terms in the past. Snap hopes to change that, the source said.

Digital Network Brat Finding Its Niche, Adds Three Partners [Deadline]

The three new partners include Asher Levin, Nick Millman, and Kristen Lachtman, as reported by Deadline. Both Millman and Kristen Lachtman previously helped lead Niche, a company that connected brands and social influencers. In 2015, Twitter purchased the company for around $30 million, and both Millman and Kristen ended up working at the social platform.

Snap CFO Drew Vollero Is Out, Being Replaced by Amazon Exec Tim Stone [Variety]

Tommy Hilfiger examines life of a Formula One star with docuseries  [Marketing Dive]

NowThis Creating Breaking News Service for Snapchat [Multichannel News]

Cheddar launches on Snapchat with focus on business news [Axios]

Influencers offline: A candid analysis from social media’s creators and distributors [Digiday]

Univision Launches Subscription Streaming Service [Deadline]