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The Frenemy Report: Watching NewTV

Lots of organizational shakeups– for any media moguls chasing Gen Z’s eyeballs, good luck finding your zen. Jeffrey Katzenberg’s much-anticipated NewTV (mobile-centric entertainment for Gen Z) has arrived, tapping Meg Whitman as CEO. Verizon is focusing on niche streaming communities (especially those that fit into Oath properties), separately from go90 efforts.

Snap’s laying off employees while doubling down on original content & announcing Snaps can finally be shared on Twitter and Facebook.

Snap’s not alone– FullscreenBuzzFeed and Funny or Die are also “reorganizing.”

Of course, everyone’s still trying to crack Facebook Watch. Mashable took a look at best and worst performing content on Watch-, with Canvs revealing how people feel. While advertisers are hopeful about Facebook video, publishers should check out Facebook Groups.

Catch ya later, fam. (Fam? Fire? Iconic? WTF? Check out Ad Age’s Gen Z Dictionary).

Meg Whitman Tapped as CEO of Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Mobile Content Venture [Variety]

Tentatively dubbed “NewTV,” the venture is part of WndrCo, a holding company he announced in January 2017 with nearly $600 million in investment from a mix of 12 private investors. He leads a team of seven partners including longtime lieutenant Ann Daly and former Dropbox CFO Sujay Jaswa. Since announcing NewTV, Katzenberg has been busy making investments in several other companies as well. He’s taken a stake in TYT Network, one of the top online-video political news networks, as part of $20 million in funding led by growth equity firm 3L Capital with participation from Greycroft and e.ventures. WndrCo also made a small equity investment in digital-media startup Whistle Sports as part of a larger round of funding and in news startup Axios as part of a $20 million round of second-round funding from a range of investors.

As Facebook Changes Its Feed, Advertisers See Video Ambitions [New York Times]

While Facebook said that it wanted people to spend less time “passively” viewing content, including videos, it also extolled the robust discussions that often accompany live video streams. And last week it said it was testing a product, called Watch Party, that will allow groups to watch non-live videos together.

The rise of Facebook Watch: From experiments to future hits [Mashable]

It’s still early days for Watch, but so far, the most successful genres are the unexpected ones. According to exclusive data from Canvs, an analytics company that provides TV networks and digital publishers with data from Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and other social platforms, the highest-performing genres are Educational, Gaming, and Horror. “Typically as volume scales and time passes, the emotion rate goes down, but that’s not what we’re seeing with Facebook,” Delaney said. “Viewer engagement on Facebook watch continues to build and accelerate.”

As Facebook Changes Its Feed, Advertisers See Video Ambitions [New York Times]

While Facebook said that it wanted people to spend less time “passively” viewing content, including videos, it also extolled the robust discussions that often accompany live video streams. And last week it said it was testing a product, called Watch Party, that will allow groups to watch non-live videos together.

With Facebook emphasizing community, marketers are trying out Facebook Groups [Digiday]

Brands including non-profits like Ellie’s Way, retailers like Fleet Feet, bike brand Peloton and cult kitchen appliance brand Instant Pot have started Facebook Groups.

Facebook bought a startup that specializes in verifying government IDs [Recode]

Why is Facebook buying technology to verify your driver’s license? Facebook will sometimes ask users to send in formal identification if they are locked out of their account, so it’s possible the technology will help with those efforts.

YouTube TV and Hulu Live TV now have hundreds of thousands of subscribers, says report [TechCrunch]

CBNC’s report also downplays the potential for streaming TV, citing BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield’s rather bearish description of the market. Greenfield said these services will struggle to substantially grow their customer bases because they’re so easy to cancel, and they still have to compete with video-on-demand alternatives, like Netflix.


As Nielsen reported last year, 97% of Gen Zers had smartphones and 78% had tablets, ahead of the 95% of millennials and Gen Xers with smartphones—and the 70% of both groups with tablets.

Majority Owner Otter Media Buys Remaining Shares Of Fullscreen, Ellation [Tubefilter]

Otter Media now fully owns digital network Fullscreen and Ellation — a brand formed in 2015 to encompass anime platform Crunchyroll and arts-and-crafts destination Creativebug. Otter purchased the remaining shares from Fullscreen CEO George Strompolos, who was a minority owner, and TV Tokyo, an early investor in Crunchyroll, Variety reports.

BuzzFeed Shake-Up: Entertainment Chief Ze Frank Gets New Role in Reorganization [THR]

The executive will retool a development partner program as the digital publisher largely disbands the Entertainment Group it formed in summer 2016.

Funny Or Die Lays Off Employees Amid Digital Sector Crunch [Variety]

CEO Mike Farah announced the job cuts to staff in a memo in which he laid blame for the belt-tightening on the pressures many companies from BuzzFeed to Mashable are feeling in the sector these days.

Instagram Adds GIFs to Stories and, Yes, It’s a Direct Shot at Snapchat [Ad Age]

“While Instagram is obviously a lot bigger, Gen Z is on Snapchat,” he says. “Millennials and, to some extent, Gen X, are on Instagram. Should this work according to Instagram’s intentions, you’ll see Instagram grab a young and very active audience, which opens a lot of new possibilities for marketers.”

Snapchat is going to let you share Stories on Twitter and Facebook, in hopes of sparking new growth [CNBC]

Users will be able to share Stories to their linked social media accounts or through text or email with a link to a webpage where people who don’t have the app can view the message.

Snap lays off two dozen employees, including some from branded content teams [The Verge]

Despite the layoffs, Snap still seems focused on continuing to build out branded content — the Discover section lives in a new, separate area in the updated app, and there are already reports of an upcoming “Stories Everywhere” feature that would look to help build out Snapchat’s content both within the app and across the internet.

Twitter Touts Research Showing it Makes TV Ads More Effective [B&C]

According to Twitter, data from comScore shows it is the only social network that gets a lift in unique visitors when sports is on the air. During the 2017 Super Bowl, Twitter usage was 19% higher than average while the other social platforms combined were down.

Netflix Takes Another Stab at Shorter-Form Videos With 15-Minute Comedy Specials [Variety]

Evidence that Netflix is doubling down on stand-up. Another side to this story got far less attention: By going short, Netflix is taking another stab at producing content optimized for mobile screens — an idea that the company has been grappling with for some time.

NBA, Verizon Pact for Live-Game Subscriptions on Yahoo, Tech Development [Variety]

The new agreement expands Verizon’s previous deal to offer League Pass on go90.


And more…

Apple CEO Tim Cook: Don’t let your kids use social media [CNBC]

How OTT Will Innovate in 2018 [Forbes]

Roku Launches Measurement Platform Powered By Its First-Party TV Data [AdExchanger]

GoDaddy is acquiring social media marketing platform Main Street Hub for $125M [TechCrunch]

How Famous Birthdays Uses 500,000 Daily Searches To Build A Database Of Gen Z Culture [Tubefilter]

The state of people-based measurement [Digiday]

Creator Summit To Spotlight LinkedIn’s Growing Video Community At VidCon [Tubefilter]