EMA Elects Officers, Appoints Board Members

Cameron Douglas, VP of home entertainment, Fandango, has been re-elected chairman of the home entertainment trade group the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA). Douglas will be serving his second term as chairman.

Joining Douglas as officers are vice chair Suyin Lim, senior director, content acquisitions and partnerships, PlayStation Video; secretary Pedro Guiterrez Jr., director, digital stores movies and TV business and category management, Microsoft Corp.; and treasurer Michele Edelman, head of growth, Premiere Digital Services.

Eric Opeka

Bill Kotzman, Google/YouTube’s partner product manager, TV and Film; Erick Opeka, president, Cinedigm Digital Networks; and Jason Peterson, CEO of GoDigital Medial Group, will also serve on the association’s executive committee as at-large members.

Amazon returns to the EMA’s board, now represented by senior product manager Jude Fitzmorris.

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Other returning board members are Amit Balan, head of marketing at Vudu, and Marty Graham, SVP at ComScore.

Three members newly appointed board members are Opeka, Edelman and Elissa Brown, VP of finance and operations at Movies Anywhere.

“The companies on EMA’s board of director reflect the variety of delivery mechanisms and business models in our vibrant industry,” said Mark Fisher, EMA president and CEO. “Each director brings an important perspective, and their wealth of experience will benefit the membership as EMA continues to be the forum for the home entertainment industry.”

The EMA is a not-for-profit international trade association. Members include digital retailers, MVPDs, AVOD and SVOD networks and channels, platforms, companies creating and/or distributing content for these channels of distribution, and companies providing services or technology for the use of others in this community. EMA was established in April 2006 through the merger of the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) and the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA).

Industry Veteran Lands at Analytics Firm

Chris Roberts, a veteran of the home entertainment industry, has been appointed VP of Sales by Transform Inc., a Seattle-based company involved in applied audience analytics for video.

Roberts is charged with expanding Transform’s customer base by offering content creators new ways to expand and connect with their viewers. The company says its machine-learning and artificial intelligence platform for video “answers the fundamental questions of why audiences connect, react and engage.”

Roberts previously spent two years as SVP of sales, OnDemand Everywhere, at comScore Inc., a Reston, Virginia-based media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers.

Chris Roberts

There, he helped launch two services: Digital Download Essentials and Digital Download Industry, the first industry-view for the iVOD and EST channels for movie studios and television networks.

Roberts came to comScore through its acquisition of Rentrak Corp., where over the course of a 27-year run he played a key role in the company’s transformation from a VHS videocassette distributor to a global media measurement and research company serving the entertainment industry. He most recently was VP of Sales, Home Entertainment, leading a team that measured DVD and Blu-ray Disc sales and rentals in the United States.

“The extensive experience that Chris brings with him is invaluable at our stage,” said Randa Minkarah, Transform’s co-founder and COO. “Our focus is on growing and developing revenues, and Chris has an extraordinary ability to pinpoint the concerns and goals of today’s media companies.”

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“I look forward to building a sales team and showing leaders in media the incredible value of Transform’s technology,” Roberts said. “Content creators, more than anything, want to have meaningful engagement with their audience, and we can now give them advanced tools that show exactly what brings viewers in and what keeps them watching.”

Roberts, a father of four daughters, is also a music composer and film producer, and has been on the board of directors of Our Family in Africa, a non-profit agency that provides aid to orphans throughout the Democratic Republic of Congo.


Comscore Partnering with Snap for Content Viewership Data

Data measurement firm Comscore Nov. 5 announced a partnership with Snap to integrate Snapchat Discover traffic into Comscore’s digital audience measurement. The deal is expected to better qualify Snapchat traffic on both owned-and-operated and distributed content platforms.

“We are committed to helping our partners and advertisers have a better understanding of their audience in order to build long-term, sustainable business models,” said Nick Bell, VP of content at Snap, said in a statement. “Our integration with Comscore is another important step in our continued progress towards establishing valuable measurement practices.”

Indeed, Comscore in February said that 63% of U.S. households (59 million) with high-speed Internet streamed an average of 50 hours of OTT video that month – ranging from 20 minutes to more than three hours per day.

Better understanding its audience has been a priority since the social media platform earlier this year redesigned the Snapchat Discover app, including separating content – including video – from friends, celebrities and publishers into different categories.

The move angered many Snap users, including reality TV star Kylie Jenner, whose tweet that she didn’t use Snapchat much anymore resulted in a $1 billion market valuation drop.

Comscore said the new partnership affords a more “holistic” view of audience scale, with the addition of audience viewing of publisher’s content on Snapchat, to traffic from the publisher’s own entities.

“With so many consumers viewing content through social platforms, it’s vital that this consumption is adequately accounted for,” said Dan Hess, chief product officer at ComScore. “We are excited to partner with Snap to integrate Discover traffic into our digital audience solutions so both publishers and media buyers have a more complete view of audience size, engagement, and potential value.”


ComScore Adds Smart TV Data With Inscape Partnership

ComScore has partnered with Inscape to offer opt-in smart TV viewing data to its measurement products in order to help brands better understand the impact of their advertising.

The company says the partnership will bolster ad effectiveness studies designed to help clients understand the extent to which their campaigns met ROI objectives, including purchase-behavior and tune-in, according to a comScore press release.

“Media fragmentation continues to be a challenge for marketers who are seeking ways to optimize their media investment against the activities and channels that drive the most business impact,” said Cathy Hetzel, EVP, commercial, at comScore, in a statement. “Given the growth of smart TV viewership, we understand the importance of this partnership in our aim to deliver clients the sophisticated measurement solutions they need to grow their businesses.”

In its recently published “State of OTT” report, comScore found that across all OTT devices, smart TVs saw the biggest increase (up 35%) in streaming households between April 2017 and April 2018.

“As a leader in both TV and digital media measurement, comScore understands the seismic changes that are taking place as audiences move across platforms,” said Jodie McAfee, SVP of sales and marketing at Inscape, in a statement. “We’re excited to augment their existing linear, on-demand, and OTT data.”

comScore Partnering with Hulu for Video Measurement

In the rapidly changing home entertainment market where consumers have multiple options for consuming video, advertisers and marketers are left trying to make sense of a fragmented viewer across linear TV, over-the-top (OTT), desktop, and mobile platforms.

Media measurement company comScore in September will bow a pilot program – dubbed “campaign ratings” – aimed at tracking audiences across linear TV and digital platforms with reliable audience demographics.

Media partners include ABC, CBS, CNN, Disney, Fox, Freeform, GroupM, NBC Universal, The CW Network, Turner, Viacom and Hulu – which, unlike Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, includes ads in its SVOD and online TV platforms.

comScore is melding linear TV with OTT measurement after it found that two-thirds of OTT audiences also watch linear TV, demonstrating the convergence of digital and linear video consumption and a growing need for unduplicated, cross-platform measurement.

In fact, another recent comScore study revealed that OTT alone (through catalog programming and time-shifting) increased the average number of linear TV viewers for a specific network program by 20%. When also combined with mobile and desktop, linear TV viewership for that same program increased by 42%, with audience reach increasing by 33%.

“We heard from customers that cross-platform video measurement is a pain point that continues to magnify as audience viewership and engagement proliferates across screens,” CEO Bryan Wiener, said in a statement.

comScore is partnering with Hulu to backend OTT measurement capability, after finding Hulu subs generated the most user time per month out of the major streaming service providers, including Netflix and Prime Video. Hulu had more than 20 million U.S. subscribers as of May.

“By powering comScore’s cross-platform measurement product for OTT, we’re giving marketers more options for measurement and a third-party validation,” said Julie DeTraglia, VP and head of research at Hulu. “Our partnership with comScore is just another step towards achieving comprehensive measurement for the entire industry.”

Robin Garfield, SVP of research and scheduling at CNN, said “campaign ratings” represents an “important step” towards helping the entire media industry accelerate investments in content across a growing number of platforms and environments.

“Industry adoption of new measurement methodologies will be key in keeping up with the changes in consumption of our content,” added Kavita Vazirani, EVP, insights and measurement, NBC Universal.

“Providing measurement that can facilitate accurate planning, and fully value premium video is a priority for both buyers and sellers, and we look forward to expanding on our efforts with comScore through this beta to create measurement solutions that advance the industry,” said Beth Rockwood, VP of portfolio research at Turner.



Wiener Named CEO of comScore

ComScore board member Bryan Wiener CEO will become the research firm’s new CEO starting May 30.

Wiener brings more than 25 years of leadership experience in the media and technology industry. Most recently, he served as executive chairman at 360i, a 1,000-plus-employee advertising agency.

With the appointment of Wiener as CEO, Bill Livek, comScore’s current executive vice chairman and president (and former CEO of Rentrak), will transition to the new role of vice chairman of the board and special advisor to the CEO.

The CEO position at comScore has been unoccupied since former CEO, Gian Fulgoni, retired in November 2017.

“Bryan is a universally-respected change agent in the business world, known for specializing in growing companies into market leaders, and I am thrilled to welcome him to the comScore executive team,” said Livek in a statement. “Over the past six months, I’ve gotten to know Bryan well and believe deeply in his vision for comScore, as well as in his ability to inspire our existing workforce and secure new talent to support the evolving needs of the company.”

“I’m energized by the opportunity to join comScore during this pivotal moment for our business and our industry,” said Wiener in a statement. “In a world where people are increasingly consuming media across platforms, the need for a trusted, objective and consistent currency to measure audience and advertising ROI only grows. comScore is uniquely positioned to provide this new model, as it has the scalable data, technology and history of innovation to power the industry’s future.”

In addition to the CEO appointment, comScore is announcing changes to its board of directors, effective immediately. Rob Norman, an advisor to media and marketing companies and former chief digital officer of WPP’s media investment group GroupM, has been named to comScore’s board of directors. Current board member Brent Rosenthal has been named non-executive chair.

“This is an incredible time to be at the nexus of media innovation and I am excited to join comScore’s board of directors to provide guidance at this important moment,” said Norman in a statement. “I’ve known Bryan for more than a decade and believe his vision and proven leadership style are exactly what is needed to cement comScore as the unequivocal leader in cross-platform measurement.”

“I thank the Board for this incredible opportunity and I look forward to working closely with Bryan and our strong Board to capitalize on comScore’s unique market position. Additionally, I want to thank Bill Livek for his years of executive leadership and know that he will continue to have an enormous impact on comScore in his new role,” said Rosenthal in a statement.

Sling TV Partners With comScore on Advertising Measurement

Sling TV and comScore Jan. 4 announced a partnership to offer advertising measurement joining the live OTT service’s and DISH set-top box impressions.

As the inaugural user of the new service, Sling TV brings comScore verified addressable TV impressions and OTT impressions together, giving Sling TV advertisers a fluid view of their campaign’s performance across the OTT service’s connected TV, mobile and desktop impressions, as well as linear TV impressions on DISH, according to comScore.

DISH Media Sales, which oversees ad sales for DISH and Sling TV, first introduced addressable advertising on its satellite TV platform in 2012 and opened cross-platform addressable advertising across both platforms earlier this fall. Cross-platform advertising enables brands to reach DISH and Sling TV viewers with a single buy. Ads are delivered during live and VOD content across any device while the viewer watches TV. With the introduction of comScore’s new service, advertisers can now validate the performance of these campaigns with addressable advertising metrics across platforms, using consistent third-party measurement.

“Bringing Sling TV’s impressions into the measurement fold gives advertisers an apples-to-apples view of their campaign across platform, device and even alongside traditional TV,” said Adam Lowy, head of Sling TV advertising sales. “We’ve partnered with comScore to offer advertisers a single, trusted metric to validate their campaigns and bridge these targeted, addressable TV impressions, regardless of where they run.”

Linear TV addressable advertising measurement from comScore has been used by major agencies and brands for more than five years, but this new offering extends measurement of campaign delivery to multiple platforms.

“Addressable advertising for television content is projected to grow 66 percent this year to $1.3 billion in media spend,” said Cathy Hetzel, comScore EVP in a statement. “As more addressable TV inventory becomes available in OTT, there’s a growing desire among advertisers to take advantage of the premium quality of television with the benefits of greater addressability. At the same time, it’s important that this inventory can be valued alongside traditional linear formats with consistent independent measurement.”