Medias First Morning Read
Monday January 24, 2022
Comcast Technology Solutions has launched a new service, Video Artificial Intelligence. The software-as-a-service is aimed at helping companies understand and analyze video, audio, and closed captions to create actionable metadata around content assets, generate and manage new content, improve advertising efficiency, and streamline operations. The service can be used to identify and tag key on-screen moments (such as hard cuts, black frames and transitions) and audio events (such as silence, specific sounds). Features include metadata segmentation for dynamic ad insertion; segmentation detection (such as detecting intros, credit rolls and auto-chaptering); and creating automated on-screen highlight reels during live sporting events.

Twitter is rolling out NFT Profile Pictures. The new feature lets users on Twitter’s iOS app who also subscribe to Twitter Blue show off their NFTs. Support for the feature is on the way for Android users. Facebook and Instagram also have plans to enable users to display their NFTs on their social profiles.

Instagram is testing Instagram Subscriptions, allowing creators to offer paid subscriptions for exclusive content and benefits. The test has started with “a handful” of creators, who can set a monthly price of their choice, unlock a “subscribe” button on their profile, and offer their subscribers exclusive Lives, stories and badges.

China issued new policy directives aimed at entertainment and tech companies, including strict regulation of tech companies’ investment in the finance space. That hobbles activity at the likes of Alibaba and Tencent, which offer financial and insurance services.

Intel has chosen a suburb of Columbus, Ohio as the site for a new, $20 billion chip manufacturing complex. The move to increase the production of computer chips in the US comes amid a continuing shortage of the components.

Twitter’s head of security, Peter Zatko, is out, and its chief information security officer, Rinki Sethi, is headed for the door. Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s new CEO, said the moves came as the result of “an assessment of how the organization was being led and the impact on top priority work,” according to a memo to employees obtained by The New York Times. The “nature of this situation” limited what he was allowed to share with employees, said Agrawal. Lea Kissner, Twitter’s head of privacy engineering, will reportedly become the company’s interim chief information security officer.

A privacy bill introduced last week would prohibit ad networks and “facilitators” from using personal information to target ads. The “Banning Surveillance Advertising Act, from Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-California), Jan Schakowsky (D-Illinois) and Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), maintains personal information includes data that is “reasonably linkable” to an individual or device. “The ‘surveillance advertising’ business model is premised on the unseemly collection and hoarding of personal data to enable ad targeting,” said Eshoo. “This pernicious practice allows online platforms to chase user engagement at great cost to our society, and it fuels disinformation, discrimination, voter suppression, privacy abuses, and so many other harms.” To the contrary, “This bill would make advertising less precise, more expensive, and raise costs for everyone,” said IAB CEO David Cohen.

Google has asked a federal court to throw out an antitrust lawsuit led by the state of Texas which accuses it of abusing a monopoly over online search. “Despite amassing a lengthy collection of grievances, each one comes down to a plea for Google to share its data or to design its products in ways that would help its rivals,” said Google in the filing. Responded Texas attorney general Ken Paxton, “Google’s motion attributes their monopoly status to pure success on the merits. The company whose motto was once ‘Don’t Be Evil’ now asks the world to examine their egregious monopoly abuses and see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil.”

Habu announced the release of its Consumer Packaged Goods Clean Room Starter Package, enabling CPG companies to access pre-sourced data, pre-packaged use cases, and pre-built queries and visualizations within privacy- and governance-safe clean room environments to fuel insights, targeting, and measurement. “We have developed expertise in this industry working with the most sophisticated CPGs,” said Habu Co-Founder and CEO, Matt Kilmartin. “While companies are working hard to build up 1st party data, they could benefit from greater insight into retail and media data.”

Cybersecurity will likely keep Chief Information Officers busy in 2022, according to a study from IDG Communications. Security is “no longer just a technology issue,” said Stacey Raap, Marketing & Research Manager, IDG Communications, Inc. “Security is a fundamental business issue that requires CIOs to closely collaborate withs organizational leaders across their company.” Fifty-seven percent of CIOs surveyed saw the need for security improvements as a top reason for increasing the tech budget this year, and 71% of expected their role in data privacy and compliance to grow.

NATPE announced a new initiative to open its video library of 1000+ hours for content distribution, marketing and monetization opportunities. The organization is partnering with AnyClip for video management. Content ranges from keynote speeches and panels featuring to celebrity presentations and acceptance speeches.

MadHive is launching the first HIPAA/ privacy-compliant OTT infrastructure for the healthcare and pharma industries via a partnership wth Medicx. The offering aims to provide an end-to-end solution for audience planning, campaign forecasting, execution, and measurement.

UK-based media company Space Entertainment Enterprise announced a new venture, SEE-1, a content and entertainment studios and multi-purpose arena in space. The space station module will be built by Axiom Space. SEE-1 is planned to launch in late 2024 and dock with Axiom’s commercial space station, Axiom Station, while it is connected to the International Space Station. The module will allow artists, producers, and creatives to develop, produce, record, and live stream content which maximizes the Space Station’s low-orbit micro-gravity environment, including ?lms, television, music and sports events.

Pixis, a provider of contextual codeless AI infrastructure for marketing optimization, has secured $100M in Series C funding. Pixis (formerly known as Pyxis One) will leverage the funds to help the company scale its AI platforms and plugins, as well as accelerate expansions across North America, Europe, and APAC.

Ateliere Creative Technologies announced that its Ateliere Connect cloud-native content supply chain platform is now available in AWS Marketplace, an online software store that helps customers find, buy, and use software and services that run on Amazon Web Services.

The Cynopsis Sports Media Awards will gather on April 19th to celebrate the initiatives that drove audiences and turned sports viewers into fans. Past winners include Coca-Cola, NASCAR, ESPN, NHL, Sports Illustrated and many more. We want to add you to this list!


Altice USA has selected Ampersand, owned by Comcast, Charter and Cox, as its exclusive ad sales partner for national addressable inventory. "Enabling targeting plus campaign management for linear and streaming media while maintaining data security checks all of the boxes that clients want and need to support growth for their business," said Kevin O'Reilly, SVP of Product, Data and Optimization at Altice.

How do consumers feel about their data being used for targeted advertising? The fourth annual ARF Privacy Study found that major resistance to targeted advertising is confined to only 25% to 40% of the population, depending on the source of the targeting information. There is much greater trust in financial (63%) and medical institutions (57%) than in digital advertisers (18%) and social media platforms (23%). But consumers express just as much resistance to being placed in target segments as they do to being targeted individually, “which throws a wrench into the idea of cohort targeting,” said Paul Donato, Chief Research Officer at the ARF. “Since consumers are more trusting of institutions with which they have personal relationships, such as banks and doctors, to manage their data, it appears that advertisers that can develop strong first-party relationships with consumers will have an advantage in this privacy-centric era.”

Emodo, the ad tech division of 5G network equipment provider Ericsson, has partnered with WebAR tech company 8th Wall to give agencies and brands a full tech stack to create and distribute embeddable AR ads. Users can engage with the AR experiences directly on a publisher’s page, inside the ad unit itself rather than linking out to a dedicated URL.


Paramount’s “Yellowstone” has launched its own YouTube Channel. In addition to the series, content includes prequel “1883,” and YouTube original extensions, “Behind the Story” and “Stories from the Bunkhouse.”

Acquired shows were the most viewed content on streaming platforms in 2021, according to Nielsen data. The top 15 acquired programs last year averaged 19.62 billion minutes among P2+, versus 10.8 billion minutes for original content. The top three most-watched acquired shows were “Criminal Minds” (33.9 billion minutes), “CoComelon” (33.3 billion) and “Grey’s Anatomy” (32.5 billion). The most viewed originals were “Lucifer” (18.3 billion), “Squid Games” (16.4 billion) and “Great British Baking Show” (13.6 billion). All shows were on Netflix.

That said, Netflix was the only streaming platform to lose penetration quarter over quarter, down to 54.3% from 54.6% in Q3 2021, according to data from Kantar’s Entertainment on Demand Q4 analysis. Other findings include: 9% of US HH took out a new sub in 4Q21, up from 8% in 3Q21, and streaming penetration grew to 85.2% (including MVPD+), up 2.7%. Excluding MVPD+, streaming is up 2.9%, to 84.7% HH penetration. Live Pay is up, driven by MVPD+ as cable TV is flat at 56% of US HH.

Netflix reported a worldwide total of 221.84 million subscribers in 4Q21, a year-over-year gain of 8.3 million that fell just short of projections of 8.5 million. The streamer said it expects to have 224.3 million subscribers by the end of this quarter. Thanks for nothing, said Wall Street, as the company’s stock dropped double digits in after-hours trading.

Family Entertainment Television’s FETV and FMC are launching on Evoca TV, the NextGen MVPD in the Mountain States. Family-friendly programming on FMC includes films starring John Wayne Fridays and Saturdays at 8p and 11p, respectively; the same titles air Sundays at 3p on FMC.

fuboTV is expanding its Multiview mode on Apple TV to support its FanView feature. Subscribers can create their own sports viewing dashboard that combines multiple streams with live stats and scores and watch up to two live sporting events simultaneously. “In our mission to integrate interactivity into fuboTV’s live TV streaming experience, our team has been focused on launching products that enable consumers to engage with what’s on the screen in ways they never have before,” said Mike Berkley, Chief Product Officer at fuboTV. “Live sports in particular perfectly lends itself to enhanced viewing experiences.”

Future Today is partnering with YouTube’s Brat TV to launch a dedicated streaming channel featuring Brat TV’s video series and content geared towards teenage audiences. The new AVOD channel, free on Roku and Fire TV, offers more than 85 hours of original programming.

Discovery+ is launching a “Black Voices” hub, with programming spotlighting the African American community. The hub will live on the platform year-round with curated series, documentaries, and specials. “Black voices should be celebrated 365 days a year,” said Lisa Holme, Group SVP of Content and Commercial Strategy for Discovery. “We are proud to bring universal and relatable stories to the platform that highlight and represent the Black community across genres that we know will resonate with viewers.”

The Judy Justice FAST channel is joining over 50 other FAST channels on IMDb TV, including recently added channels for “The Price is Right: The Barker Era” and “Supermarket Sweep.” Launch date: Monday, January 24.

Users of Vizeo SmartCast TV’s now have access to Sling TV. “We are delighted to provide SmartCast users with access to premium channels like ESPN and Showtime as well as live sports, news and entertainment through the Sling TV streaming app,” said Katherine Pond, Vice President of Business Development at VIZIO.

Filmhub and Struum have partnered to accelerate the distribution of content featured at the 2022 Slamdance Film Festival. The companies are offering every filmmaker exhibiting at Slamdance the opportunity to both extend the reach of the film while also capturing every dollar realized by both Filmhub and Struum in its first year of distribution. The services will forego the usual profit share while also making the film available to Struum subscribers. FilmHub also announced a $6.8 million seeding round led by a16z.

NextGen television service Evoca is expanding to bring Altitude Sports and 60 other popular TV channels to Denver and across the Front Range for $25 per month plus a receiver. Beginning in February, Evoca subscribers in Denver and Colorado Springs will have access to Evoca Replay, a new feature providing viewers with access to full recordings of games from the previous three days.
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Maintain agency accounts including upfront and scatter order entry, inventory moves, and product allocations and Electronic Data Interchange, flowcharts, change notices, handling program changes, booking billboards for marketing sponsorships. Communicate daily with Traffic Department. BA in Communication or equivalent from a four-year college. Full info HERE (2/7)


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FUSE MEDIA INC/NYC, NY: Create and manage national sales proposals, monitor on-air schedules on a daily basis, prepare post analysis for clients and resolve contract discrepancies. Obtain, organize and analyze research and competitive information. Monitor stewardship of all accounts. 2-4 years of experience in a media sales company, or advertising agency preferred. Full info HERE (2/6)

Shoot and produce digital video content. Operate as a one-person band getting your own video, audio, and necessary coverage. Act as the primary liaison with our subjects and must always represent the core values of our brand in the field. Credits in digital/doc/reality programming & experience shooting on the Sony FS-7 or adjacent models. Full info HERE (2/6)

Manage a team of producers/shooters, and editors. Impart technical expertise of shooting and editing equipment to team members. Oversee serialized content from casting through picture lock. Direct large projects and live events. At least 6+ years of video production experience on long-form content. Full info HERE (2/6)

Create and edit original mid-from and long-form video feature stories for Overtime’s YouTube page and social platforms, using creative storytelling and editing to produce the best possible video. Ensure we're creating the best video content up to Overtime standards. Credits working in long-form doc/reality programming. Full info HERE (2/6)

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Create upfront/scatter media plans, account stewardship & serve as agency liaison. Maintain agency accounts including upfront and scatter order entry, campaign changes, and product allocations. Assist Account Executives and work closely with the Director of Inventory Control. A min 2 yrs ad sales/agency exp. Proficient in Wide Orbit, MS Suite. Full info HERE (1/26)

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