Parrot Analytics Inks New Partnership With Telefilm Canada

Entertainment analytics company Parrot Analytics has announced a new partnership with Telefilm Canada, the Crown corporation dedicated to supporting the Canadian audiovisual industry. 

The collaboration will provide Telefilm with Parrot Analytics’ TV and Movie demand data and insights to make decisions on movie concept funding, marketing strategies, and post-release distribution.

“Telefilm Canada plays a vital role in nurturing and elevating Canadian and Indigenous films,” Renee Engelhardt, VP of partner insights at Parrot Analytics, said in a statement. “By leveraging our global demand data, they can gain deeper audience insights to support filmmakers and maximize the impact of their content both domestically and internationally.”

“Parrot Analytics’ data enables us to assess the global audience sentiment towards films,” Francesca Accinelli, SVP of strategy and industry development at Telefilm Canada, said in a statement. “From a film’s initial reception in the festival circuit to its theatrical release, followed by paid platforms and TV broadcasts, this tool offers insights that will inform our program strategies and initiatives. Enhancing our collaborations with the industry, this data will further our understanding of audience segmentation and travelability, playing a crucial role in the success of Canadian and Indigenous cinema.”

Telefilm will be tapping into Parrot Analytics’ suite of audience demand measurement products to make data-driven decisions across a movie’s lifecycle, from concept funding to post-release distribution. The data will help Telefilm understand audience demographics and sentiment, assess co-production potential for broader reach, track marketing campaign effectiveness, and measure overall movie success, according to Parrot.

“This partnership builds upon Parrot Analytics’ established relationship with the Canadian Media Fund (CMF), solidifying the company’s commitment to supporting the Canadian audiovisual industry and empowering content creators with actionable audience insights,” according to a Parrot press release.

Roku, Best Buy Announce ‘First-to-Market’ Business Relationship

Roku and Best Buy March 10 announced a first-to-market relationship across their advertising and retail businesses. For the first time, Best Buy is partnering with a TV streaming platform to provide its first-party data for targeting and closed-loop measurement.

Roku’s scale of 70 million active accounts paired with Best Buy’s customers aims to help advertisers make their marketing more effective.

Best Buy will also give consumers exclusive access to Roku-branded TVs.

According to eMarketer, in 2022, 82% percent of U.S. advertisers planned to increase spending levels with retail media networks such as Best Buy Ads. Consumer electronics brands are among the leaders in this growth. 

“We’re bringing together our entire business to build the future of entertainment and advertising — making the TV experience simpler, offering the right marketing, data, tech and scale to drive real results,” Julian Mintz, co-head of U.S. brand sales for Roku Media, said in a statement.

Separately, Roku’s first-ever TVs designed and made by Roku are now available in the United States exclusively at Best Buy stores and BestBuy.com.

The marketing relationship is kicking off with an in-person, interactive activation at the SXSW confab in Austin, Texas, on March 11. For the first time, Roku will bring its Roku City screensaver to life with an interactive, multi-level activation at SXSW. The pop-up will feature a Best Buy Home Theater Experience, showcasing the latest Roku devices available at Best Buy as well as new Roku originals and featured entertainment on the Roku Channel.

“Roku City featuring the Best Buy Home Theater Experience” will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT. The pop-up will be located at the Riley Building at 315 Lavaca Street in Austin.

Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Names Horizon Media Agency of Record for Theatrical, Home Entertainment

Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group has named Horizon Media its media agency of record for its theatrical and home entertainment business, the studio announced.

Horizon Media, the largest U.S. media agency according to AdAge Data Center 2022, will be responsible for developing and executing innovative, creative media strategies, planning, buying, data and analytics across all media channels, according to Lionsgate.
 
“Among the factors in making the decision, Lionsgate was impressed and persuaded by Horizon Media’s blu., the agency’s proprietary data platform, empowering their advanced analytical capabilities to target individuals, personalize messaging, and engage moviegoers based on more than 11,000 deterministic attributes, resulting in actionable intelligence across all media and marketing channel,” according to Lionsgate. 
 
“Horizon’s data-driven approach, coupled with their experience in theatrical and entertainment marketing as the driver behind many innovative and successful campaigns, made the difference for us,” Adam Fogelson, vice chair of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group, said in a statement.  

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“Lionsgate has a history of challenging convention — of cutting against industry norms — to distinguish themselves in an increasingly crowed entertainment industry,” said Karen Hunt, president, Western region, at Horizon Media, in a statement.  “Lionsgate has produced some iconic films and has an amazing slate ahead. We’re excited to start work with Adam and his entire team — putting our ‘Business is Personal’ approach to work.” 

Parrot Assisting Sony in Streaming Content Strategy

Audience demand measurement firm Parrot Analytics has partnered with Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Data Analytics & Business Intelligence division to support Sony’s TV programming and strategy for its linear business as well as content production, distribution, and sales to other distributors, including the leading global SVODs. 

“Parrot Analytics’ expertise in the global streaming space will help Sony — which does not have an in-house streaming service — to make the best decisions in pricing content and targeting that content to the right buyer,” according to Parrot. “Above all, Parrot Analytics’ global demand data allows Sony to bring more leverage to the negotiating table in executing content sales and distribution deals.”

“We are thrilled to work with Sony Pictures Entertainment and ensure this iconic creator of some of the world’s most beloved and in-demand movies and TV series is efficiently targeting its content at the right SVODs and other distributors for the right price,” Alejandro Rojas, VP of applied analytics at Parrot Analytics, said in a statement. “We will be identifying sales opportunities by analyzing supply and demand among key SVOD players, analyzing content trends to develop new productions aligned with the market needs, and analyzing the demand performance of Sony’s productions on individual SVOD players.”

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“Our goal at Sony is to bring technology and emotion together. We are at the Entertainment and Motion Pictures division, but Sony is, at its core, a technology company,” Liz Sanderson, head of data analytics and business intelligence LATAM for Sony Pictures Entertainment, said in a statement. “This aligns perfectly with Parrot Analytics’ desire to bring together creators and consumers. Our partnership combines the cutting-edge predictive analytics that Parrot Analytics has with Sony’s legacy of making some of Hollywood’s most iconic content, and its expertise in production and excellent storytelling — the key ingredients to deliver emotions to consumers. Because of Parrot Analytics we are able to understand new content, evaluate our own content against the competitors, and identify which platforms are the best fit for our content. This will ultimately allow us to delight the audience and minimize risks.”

Parrot Analytics is working with Sony’s Latin American division, focusing on the key international markets of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. 

Whip Media Inks Deal With Digital Product Placement Company Ryff

Whip Media, an enterprise software platform and data provider to entertainment organizations, has announced that Ryff, a technology company specializing in dynamic digital product placement, will utilize its consumer insights and engagement data to develop targeted product placement opportunities for its brand partners. 

Using CVM Insights, Whip Media’s proprietary data solution, Ryff will have access to viewership insights, allowing the Los Angeles-based company to better assist brands aiming to place their products and messages within movies, TV shows and commercials to target audiences. Ryff’s platform Placer locates the right placement opportunity for customers looking to showcase their products on-screen, according to a Whip press release.

“Ryff’s distinctive and market-leading technology — allowing brands to digitally superimpose their products directly onto content — will only be bolstered by Whip Media’s viewership data,” Tara Alexander, Whip Media’s VP of global enterprise account management, said in a statement. “The pairing will help Ryff’s clients reach the viewers they want to in a quicker and easier fashion.”

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Whip Media’s real-time viewing and engagement data covers more than 4 million TV episodes and movies across 130 countries and 1,900 platforms, according to the company. 

“Having access to Whip Media’s global data and worldwide audience panel of 20-plus million viewers will provide our company with critical audience information — including the age and gender dynamics for certain content — to better engage audiences and grow our business,” Ryff CEO Roy Taylor in a said statement.

Q&A: Whip Media’s Carol Hanley on the Need for Data in the New Era of Streaming and Content Licensing

Carol Hanley is president of Whip Media, a leading enterprise software platform and data provider to some of the world’s largest entertainment organizations. Hanley joined the company in 2017 as chief revenue officer to lead the company’s business strategy, revenue, sales and marketing. She also oversaw the development of new measurement solutions that combine audience consumption data with financial information to enable smarter TV and film buying and selling decisions in a rapidly evolving entertainment ecosystem. Under her leadership, Whip Media acquired Mediamorph, with a platform that powered more than two-thirds of all global digital transactional revenue for the film and television industries, and the TV & movie metadata platform TVDB. She also scaled Whip Media’s global sales team and expanded customer relationships with global content providers, broadcasters and operators. Prior to joining Whip Media, Hanley served as CRO of Deluxe Entertainment Services Group. Before her term at Deluxe, Hanley spent 13 years as the EVP and chief revenue and marketing officer at Nielsen Audio. She also served as SVP and CRO of Arbitron, before Nielsen acquired it, and as a managing partner at Morrison and Abraham.

Ahead of MIPTV next week, Whip Media has launched a global licensing and research platform for film and TV content called the Whip Media Exchange. The Exchange predicts demand across hundreds of thousands of film and TV titles to help customers identify those most likely to work for a specific audience.

Media Play News asked Hanley about how Whip Media is helping its customers tackle this new era of streaming and content licensing, along with what’s ahead for the industry as a whole.

MPN: Tell me about Whip Media. What needs in the entertainment business do you fulfill?

Hanley: Whip Media is a global enterprise software platform and data provider to leading entertainment companies. We provide solutions across licensing, content planning and financial operations to help our customers drive revenue, growth and solve for the challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also play a central role in the content distribution ecosystem, as we manage more than 2 trillion global VOD and EST transactions annually and 20 million avails for major content providers and distributors globally. Our roster of clients consists of more than 50 of the biggest media and entertainment companies, including all major Hollywood studios, top broadcasters, and the largest global MVPD operators in the world.

MPN: Whip Media recently launched a new solution for streaming services to manage performance tracking and revenue for their subscription apps. Tell us about the significance of this.

Hanley: The rapid growth of mainstream and niche subscription streaming apps, whether bundled in a mobile plan, cable TV offering, or available on app stores, has generated billions in revenue and created massive numbers of reports in different formats for the studios and distributors that manage them. Oftentimes teams are manually processing deferred revenue from annual subscriptions or redemptions of vouchers, which is a time-consuming and error-prone process. Whip Media’s solution for subscription streaming apps not only consolidates and centralizes performance data across global platforms, but also automates accounting processes to manage revenue. Whip Media currently manages performance tracking and revenue management for more than 60% of VOD and EST transactions annually for the largest film studios and distributors across 1,100-plus global platforms, so this is a natural extension of our business.

MPN: One of the most visible aspects of Whip Media is your weekly chart tracking the popularity of movies and shows on the various streaming platforms. It’s a crowded field — so why is your data better than the others?

Hanley: Our TV and movie data is successful because it’s different and not available from other sources. It’s global, first-party viewer engagement and audience demand data across all platforms and devices. This is a key differentiating factor. Our data provides a deeper understanding of viewer sentiment and behaviors, as well as the competitive landscape — which complements the viewing data that our customers already have internally. Further, our panel is continuously capturing viewing intent, engagement and affinity data for content across 1,900 platforms in 130-plus countries. This data helps drive marketing, licensing, programming and development decisions for our customers. 

MPN: Whip Media’s data-driven approach to content licensing allows for content predictions — a “demand score.” With streamers increasingly looking to international markets, why is this important?

Hanley: As streaming services are expanding globally and the demand for content increases, companies are struggling to keep up with all of this change and to identify the right licensing opportunities at scale. The Whip Media Exchange, which just launched commercially, is a game-changer when it comes to global content licensing. The backbone of the Demand Score and the Exchange overall is Whip Media’s consumer sentiment and engagement data from 21 million TV and movie fans around the world. This data-driven foundation provides a unique score for each film and TV title on the Exchange — allowing customers to predict how content will perform in a particular territory and on a particular platform.

This is vital. Content buyers and sellers using The Exchange now have the ability to compare the predicted performance of a movie or TV series against hundreds of thousands of new and library titles worldwide. That applies to content rights both listed and not listed on the Exchange. This is a critical new content planning tool that allows Exchange customers to both research and make better-informed content choices for their platforms. How does it do this? By offering key insights on important audience characteristics, including the age and gender of viewers, as well as similar titles that may appeal to their audience. This proprietary and market-leading data helps make it quicker and easier for customers to evaluate what content to buy or sell, and where. A number of major entertainment companies have already seen this, too: Whip Media Exchange customers include Lionsgate, Pluto TV, Globo,  TelevisaUnivision’s ViX, AMC Networks International Latin America, Vodafone Hungry, Tastemade and Keshet International, among many others. 

MPN: You’re in a great position to take a step back and observe industry trends. Give us your prognosis for the streaming market, including the competitive landscape, streaming fatigue and the rise of AVOD.

Hanley: International markets will continue to be the big battleground in the streaming wars. The largest streaming platforms are expanding, and therefore competing for subscribers. Established players that already have large subscription bases will have to look to territories whose economies may need lower price points to acquire subscribers. Also, more consolidation will happen. 

In the U.S., according to our data, consumers subscribe to an average of 4.7 services and plan to add only one more. A large majority (70%) feel that there are too many subscription services on the market and most of them (85%) say it’s getting too expensive to have this many subscriptions. As a result, we are seeing growth for AVOD and FAST services, like Pluto TV.

A.I. and Machine Learning to Boom in Media and Entertainment Industry in 2022

Artificial intelligence and machine learning in the media and entertainment industry will boom in 2022, according to ABI Research’s new white paper 70 Technology Trends That Will—and Will Not—Shape 2022.

In the white paper, ABI Research analysts identified 35 trends that will shape the technology market and 35 others that, although attracting huge amounts of speculation and commentary, are less likely to move the needle over the next 12 months.

The role of A.I. and machine learning will increase significantly in 2022, with revenue forecasted to surpass $9.5 billion in 2022 when video ad tech is included, according to the white paper. Due to competitive pressures from direct-to-consumer services, incumbents (i.e., pay-TV operators, broadcasters) will have to reduce costs, limit churn and extract as much value as possible from existing customers. A.I./M.L.’s role here will increase to better target households with promotions, automate more workflows, and better secure the operators’ content and services, according to ABI.

A.I./M.L. will also play a growing role in the ad tech space to improve personalization and contextually aware advertisements and serve as grounds for differentiation. This is especially critical following changes to third-party tracking devices (i.e., Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) and third-party cookies) and increasing focus on privacy, according ABI. The corollary of these trends is that the ad market will not suffer as severely as some had feared due to the changing privacy landscape.

“The fallout from COVID-19 prevention measures, the process of transitioning from pandemic to endemic disease, and global political tensions weigh heavily on the coming year’s fortunes,” Stuart Carlaw, chief research officer at ABI Research, said in a statement. “This white paper is a tool for our readers to help shape their understanding of the key critical trends that look set to materialize in 2022 as the world begins to emerge from the shadow of COVID-19. It also highlights those much-vaunted trends that are less likely to have meaningful impact in 2022.”

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On the other hand, the metaverse won’t arrive anytime soon, ABI predicts. The metaverse, despite all the headlines and investments, will not arrive in 2022 or within the typical five-year forecast window. “The metaverse is still more of a buzzword and vision than a fully-fledged end goal with a defined date of arrival,” according to ABI. “What we have today is a number of tech companies building their version of a ‘metaverse,’ but this multiverse is not fully interconnected, does not yet widely employ open standards, and certainly has not fully embraced Extended Reality (XR) — all tenets of the metaverse vision (some would also add the crypto economy to the list, which is also not in place).”

It may take the better part of a decade before that “completed” form of the metaverse begins to take shape, ABI predicts. When the metaverse does arrive, it will truly transform the way we live our lives and, in the process, generate tremendous opportunities for a host of technologies, including 5G/6G, edge and cloud compute, XR, and A.I./M.L., according to ABI.

Movies Anywhere Viewers Added More Than 25M Movies to the Service in 2021

For the end of the year, a Movies Anywhere landing page is offering stats on consumer viewing habits in 2021. 

The cloud-based digital locker service tallied 22.6 million hours watched; 157,000 movies shared with the Screen Pass feature; 12.1 million total lists created with the “My Lists” feature (both auto-created plus manually created); 25.2 million movies added to collections (all transactions combined); and 6.7 million deals purchased.

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Among titles, the most watched for the year was The Croods: A New Age, the most purchased was Free Guy; the most redeemed was Wonder Woman 1984; the most wishlisted was Black Widow; the most Screen Pass sent was Trolls, and the most searched was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Movies Anywhere participating studios include Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (including DreamWorks and Illumination Entertainment), The Walt Disney Studios (including Disney, Pixar, 20th Century Studios, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm) and Warner Bros. Entertainment. Participating digital retailers include Apple TV, Prime Video, Vudu, YouTube/Google Play, Verizon, Xfinity, Microsoft Movies & TV and DirecTV.

Comscore Acquires Social Media Analytics Firm Shareablee

Comscore has acquired Shareablee, a marketing analytics and measurement company in the social media space.

With the acquisition, which closed on Dec. 16, Comscore plans to expand its Media Metrix and Video Metrix currencies to include Shareablee’s social media engagement and video insights, which will bridge the industry gap of traditional digital and social measurement services, according to Comscore.

The combined audience insights of Comscore and Shareablee will give media companies, brands and advertisers an unmatched understanding of cross-platform consumer engagement and reach, according to Comscore. Integration plans call for Comscore digital products to benefit from Shareablee data, allowing clients to broaden their digital footprint in products such as Video Metrix with advanced social video insights, and for Shareablee clients to have additional advantages with curated views of Comscore digital data embedded in their Shareablee dashboards, Comscore announced.

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Comscore plans to retain the Shareablee team after closing, with key members of Shareablee management, including Tania Yuki, Greg Dale and Jonathan Lieberman, continuing in leadership roles.

Shareablee, a Meta for Media Measurement Partner, provides analytics and intelligence to many of the world’s largest brands, publishers and agencies including Mondelez, GroupM, ESPN, NBCUniversal and Vox Media. Shareablee has built a proprietary taxonomy of more than 20 million publishers, advertisers and content creators in more than 70 global markets that publish millions of videos, images and articles each day across the major social media platforms, delivering a vast array of performance-based insight that is a natural complement to Comscore’s currency TV, CTV, OTT, movie and digital measurement solutions, according to Comscore.

Comscore and Shareablee have joint clients that will benefit from a true cross-platform view of their marketing reach and effectiveness, according to the research firm.

“Comscore is committed to the future and helping customers have a comprehensive view of the consumer across platforms, while understanding the unique engagement on premium video. The future of measurement would not be complete without including the impressions delivered by the social media platforms,” Bill Livek, CEO and executive vice chair of Comscore, said in a statement. “For marketers, this inclusion into our currencies will present great opportunity to maximize their outcomes on advertising investments. We see many opportunities to help our clients grow their viewing audiences and maximize their impact using social platforms.”

“At our core, we believe that content matters, and that data and insights can make storytelling more impactful. We are thrilled to join forces with Comscore and look forward to finding new ways to jointly drive innovation,” Tania Yuki, CEO and founder of Shareablee, said in a statement. “Our large-scale social measurement capabilities provide critical insight into changing content consumption and consumer behaviors, particularly when it comes to shedding light on Gen Z, and fit perfectly alongside Comscore’s comprehensive cross-platform intelligence. Bringing the resources and measurement sophistication of Comscore to our product development capabilities will be very exciting for the whole market.”