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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.

Facebook officially launches its video app on Samsung Smart TVs. TVision, operating in three major markets, uses eyeball sensors to monitor when people stop watching advertisements. Nielsen and BrightLine partner to make ads delivered via OTT more targeted and addressable.

YouTube reaches the 1 billion milestones: 1 billion hours of video viewed a day and 1 billion regular users. Comcast’s Xfinity X1 gets the YouTube TV App while YouTube unveils its Live TV Bundle.

Facebook expands its video app from Samsung Smart TVs to Apple TV. Fox is also planning a streaming app that will combine its networks. And the Upfronts are upon us: Amazon announces five pilots, while NBCUniversal Commits $1 billion in ad inventory to audience guarantees

Facebook pushes further into TV, as executives pitch series that fall into six broad categories and will be featured in Facebook’s new “spotlight module.” Both YouTube and Snapchat aim to steal TV ad dollars, leveraging their ability to reach younger demographics on second screens.

NBCUniversal Commits $1 Billion in Annual Ad Inventory to Data-Based, Non-Nielsen Guarantees
Adweek — Jason Lynch

NBCUniversal is committing $1 billion in ad inventory this year for audience guarantees, transacting with clients using data-based targeting and guarantees on non-Nielsen metrics. NBCUniversal is now offering its Audience Targeting Platform capabilities and linear TV programming offering to all clients.

In 4 Years, YouTube Has Gone from 100 Million Hours of Video Viewed a Day to 1 Billion
Adweek — Christopher Heine

YouTube reports two milestones: 1 billion hours of video is viewed per day on the platform and Youtube has 1 billion regular users, representing how consumer habits have shifted in recent years from television to digital channels like YouTube.

YouTube Unveils Live TV Bundle: $35 Per Month With 40 Channels
Variety — Todd Spangler

YouTube TV is a new “skinny” bundle of about 40 TV channels including ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN and YouTube Red, priced at $35 per month. YouTube TV will enable users to send live TV streams directly to Chromecast-enabled TVs, and in the future will work with connected TVs with the YouTube app. With this move, Google becomes a major player in the TV advertising market.

Inside Facebook’s Pitch for Entertainment Content
Digiday — Sahil Patel

Facebook is working on a “spotlight module” feature that would feature original shows and other exclusive long-form content on its mobile and TV apps. While Facebook did not provide numbers on what it’s willing to spend on shows, sources believe the company is looking for projects that sit on the high end of digital budgets but on the low end of TV. This would put Facebook in the same ballpark as Verizon’s Go90 and YouTube Red.

Facebook Intensifies Hunt for TV-Like Video Programming
Wall Street Journal — Deepa Seetharaman + Jack Marshall

Facebook executives are solidifying pitches for six broad genres of TV content, which it plans new feature in the publisher’s video tab and app.

NBCUniversal Invests $500 million in Snapchat IPO
CNBC — Andrew Ross Sorkin

NBCUniversal continues to bet on digital media with its $500 million investment in Snap Inc. In total, NBC has spent about $1.5 billion on digital assets in the past 18 month, including $400 million in Buzzfeed and $200 million in Vox. NBC also bought SportsEngine, a digital business for youths involved in local team sports and Awesomeness TV, which has a big presence on YouTube as part of its deal for DreamWorks.

Viacom Begins Upfront Pitch With Nickelodeon
Wall Street Journal — Alexandra Bruell

Viacom’s turnaround effort will focus on 6 channels, the first of which is Nickelodeon. Kids channels must now find new ways to attract ad dollars as it gets tougher to capture the attention of young, and increasingly digital, viewers. Nickelodeon is also thinking beyond TV with plans to launch a new, multi-day festival called “Nickelodeon SlimeFest.”

YouTube thinks its new $35-a-month TV package has a secret weapon in the fight against cable
Business Insider — Nathan McAlone

YouTube’s new $35-a-month streaming package is meant to target younger audiences who have never signed up for pay TV before, rather than convince older audiences to ditch their cable packages.

Snapchat’s 42 Million NFL Viewers Were Big Part in IPO Path
Advertising Age — Garett Sloane

Last year, NFL content reached 42 million unique U.S. viewers via Snapchat. The NFL is a major revenue driver for Snapchat, which had been selling ad packages starting at $225,000 and rising to $5 million. The live NFL Snapchat broadcasts got 3.5 million views on average each game, which would mean 35 million all season. The NFL drew 48.5 million viewers on TV for its Packers-Cowboys playoff game, and television brings in $3.5 billion in ad revenue.

YouTube thinks its new $35-a-month TV package has a secret weapon in the fight against cable
Business Insider — Nathan McAlone

YouTube’s new $35-a-month streaming package is meant to target younger audiences who have never signed up for pay TV before, rather than convince older audiences to ditch their cable packages.

How YouTube TV Could Help Google Finally Crack the TV Ad Market
Wall Street Journal — Mike Shields

Since YouTube TV will be available across the U.S., Google will be able to sell ad inventory on a national basis, unlike cable operators that have geographic limitations. Selling ads for the streaming service may also provide the side benefit of giving YouTube more credibility with marketers and helping them remove the stigma that its videos aren’t the same quality as TV.

Comcast’s Xfinity X1 Gets YouTube App
USA Today — Mike Snider

Comcast, the nation’s largest cable TV provider, will add Google’s streaming video network to its X1 system, available in 50% of its 22.5 million homes later this year.

Facebook Video App Debuts on Apple TV
Variety — Todd Spangler

Following the Facebook App coming to Samsung Smart TVs, the app is launching on Apple TV. Initially, Facebook videos streamed on Apple TV and other devices apps will not include advertising, but eventually Facebook hopes to provide a lean-back experience that will let it the social giant sell TV-targeted ads.

New Streaming Network Will Focus on eSports
Multichannel News — Jeff Baumgartner

Cinedigm and The Wham Network Inc. are partnering on a new 24/7 streaming network focused on the eSports sector and “gaming lifestyle.” It will be available on a variety of mobile devices, gaming consoles, other TV-connected OTT devices as well as some “skinny TV” bundles.

Hulu Making Progress On Measuring Audiences, Not Just Screens
Beet.tv — Steve Ellwanger

According to DeTraglia, 75% of Hulu viewing currently takes place in the living room, compared to 54% in 2014.

Amazon Announces Five Pilots for 2017 Season Lineup
Variety — Oriana Schwindt

Amazon secures its position as a video content creation studio, announcing five series pilots for the upcoming TV season.

Fox Planning New Video Streaming App Combining Networks
Broadcasting & Cable — Jon Lafayette

Fox plans a streaming app that will combine programming from all of its US networks, meaning viewers can switch between channels like FX, Fox and Nat Geo with a single authentication.

Nielsen + YuMe Partner for Campaign-Level Audience Measurement for Connected TV
MediaPost — Tobi Elkin

YuMe and Nielsen are teaming up to launch a programmatic platform-based campaign-based audience measurement offering for connected TV (CTV) campaigns. Clients will be able to compare CTV campaigns to linear TV campaigns and digital campaigns.

Digital TV Players Eye Blockchain to Block Facebook and Google
Advertising Age — Garett Sloane

MadHive is a startup developing blockchain tech for digital TV advertising. MadHive focuses on over-the-top television, where digital ad delivery systems are nascent and there might still be time to beat Facebook and Google to the space.

3/4 of U.S Households Have an Internet-Connected TV
MediaPost — Chuck Martin

According to Diffusion Group, about three-fourths (74%) of U.S households have an Internet-connected TV, an increase of about 50% since 2013.

Rittenberg Steps Down As Fox News Sales Chief
MediaPost — Wayne Friedman

Paul Rittenberg, Fox News’ most senior cable TV advertising executive, is departing at the end of April. Rittenberg’s exit comes after Fox News’ most profitable year ever — Fox News Channel pulled in $1.22 billion in national TV advertising from February 26, 2016 through February 26, 2017, according to iSpot.tv. It was the No. 1 cable viewing network in 2016 — averaging a Nielsen 2.466 million viewers in prime time — and 1.68 million in Monday though Sunday 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Oscars Draw Lowest Ratings in Nine Years
Wall Street Journal — Keach Hagey

Approximately 32.9 million viewers watched the 3 1/2 hour long Academy Awards on ABC on Sunday night, down 4.4% from 34.4 million last year.

5 Brands Were Deliberately Political with Their Oscar Ads This Year
Business Insider — Julien Rath

The Oscars this year were politically charged not because of the winners’ speeches, but because of the commercials. Brands paid up to $2.1 million for a 30-second spot, and the five brands with the most overt political messages were Cadillac, General Electric, Hyatt, Audible and The New York Times.

Disney’s Upfront Pitch Says Reaching Kids Is in Its DNA
Broadcasting & Cable — Jon Lafayette

At Disney’s upfront, Disney drives home the message that Disney is the best way to reach children, especially for toys and movie studios. Disney Media will be introducing marketers to the new Disney Now app, which will consolidate Disney’s content into one video experience and give kids easier access to content. Since traditional advertisements are not sold on Disney Channel, the app will be a testing ground for interactive formats and sponsorships.

As TV Habits Change, Brands Take New Approach To Advertising
MediaPost — Dini Mehta

More than one in five households have ditched cable completely, and streaming services are in 50% of US TV households. Pew Research reports that 83% of consumers aged 50 or older have cable or satellite service at home, compared with 65% of those ages 18 to 29. So advertisers are left with traditional cable subscribers and cord-cutters.The new formula for targeted, measurable TV advertising is a combination of programmatic and connected TV tactics that will include the second screen.

OTT: The Importance of Personal Profiles
Broadband TV News — Chris Dziadul

According to a report by SPB TV, personal profiles are favored by over half of OTT TV viewer. The viewers appreciate the personalized recommendations and ability to set content lists.

Facebook Launches its New Video App on Samsung Smart TVs
The Verge — Chaim Gartenberg

Facebook’s video app launched on Samsung Smart TVs today, with plans to come to Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. The app requires a Facebook account so users can view videos shared by friends, posted by pages they follow, the top-streamed videos from Facebook Live.

Nielsen + BrightLine Partner: Advertising on Streaming TV Devices Is About to Get More Targeted
Wall Street Journal — Mike Shields

BrightLine, which offers interactive and personalizable ads, is partnering with Nielsen to make ads served via OTT streaming apps more targeted and interactive. BrightLine will tap into Nielsen’s 60,000 audience segments to get household information combined with device data. BrightLine’s partners include ESPN, Fox, Hulu, Discovery Communications and Viacom.

TV Sets Are an Invaluable Pair of Eyes for Marketers
New York Times — Sapna Maheshwari

Through the installation of a Microsoft Kinect device, TVision tracks the movement of people’s eyes while they watch TV. The device’s sensors record minute shifts for everyone in the room. The company then matches those viewing patterns to shows and commercials using technology that listens to what is being broadcast on the TV. TVision is running in 2,000 households in the Boston, Chicago and Dallas-Fort Worth areas.

Oscar Ratings Fall 4%, But People Loved The Show
Madeline Berg — Forbes

Ratings for the Sunday’s Oscars broadcast hit a nine-year low and viewership dropped about 4% from last year. But social media still loved the awards– about 1.5 million of Oscar-related Tweets portrayed some sort of emotion, according to emotion analytics company Canvs. These reactions, which represent the most passionate viewers, generally expressed positive emotions: 34.7% communicated love, 9.2% crazy, 8.3% congrats, 7.3% enjoy and 4.2% beautiful.

Post Cable Networks
LinkedIn — Jon Steinberg

The term Post Cable Network is simultaneously meant to show deference to what works and be dismissive towards what doesn’t. In fact, I think the cable systems and skinny bundles do most things right. The issue is the content, not the system.

Nielsen Is Preparing for Its Total Content Ratings to Go Public This Week
Adweek — Jason Lynch

A year and a half after Nielsen first unveiled its Total Audience Measurement platform, the company is preparing for the public debut of a key Total Audience metric: Total Content Ratings (TCR), which measure unduplicated video consumption across linear and digital platforms and devices. The ratings will give networks and buyers a fuller picture of how their shows are being watched across all devices, and help determine how best to monetize that consumption.

Small Change: Why Niche Cable Nets Are on Their Last Legs
Advertising Age — Anthony Crupi

Niche networks barely make a dent in Nielsen ratings, and as cord-cutting continues to erode the traditional distribution model, only the must-carry networks will be included in skinny bundles.

Roku Raising New Round of Funding
Fortune — Erin Griffith

Roku has raised $210 million in funding so far from investors including News Corp, Fidelity Investments, Menlo Ventures, Hearst Ventures, Viacom, Fox Networks, and Netflix — it’s now in advanced talks to raise another $200 million. While Roku competes in a crowded market with Google, Amazon and Apple, it’s regarded as Switzerland because it doesn’t produce its own content.

This Condom Brand Is First With Broadcast TV Ad
Advertising Age

Condom ads have been on TV a long time, and Trojan has spent more than $15 million over the past year on such cable programming as the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, according to iSpot.tv. But now a condom ad is about to be allowed on a broadcast network for the first time, for a new Trojan XOXO line aimed at women.