Katzenberg Touts ‘Quibi’ Potential

NEWS ANALYSIS: DreamWorks Animation founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and former HP chief executive Meg Whitman March 8 at SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas, unveiled details about Quibi, the streaming video service slated to launch in 2020.

The platform, which is targeting cord-cutters and younger-demo consumers comfortable streaming short-form video on mobile devices, aims to capture 20 minutes of the 70 minutes consumers spend daily watching scripted and non-scripted content, according to Katzenberg.

“Six years ago it was six minutes. A year and a half ago, it was 40 minutes. And today it’s 70 minutes,” he said, as reported by Techcrunch. “People love being able to watch great short form content on the go.”

Banking on Katzenberg’s studio clout and $1 billion in fiscal backing, Quibi reportedly has inked original content deals with director/producers Sam Raimi, Antoine Fuqua, Guillermo del Toro and Jason Blum. Content creators include Justin Timberlake, Kobe Bryant, Scooter Braun, Jennifer Lopez and Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry, among others.

The platform is also producing an original program on the creation of Snapchat and founder Evan Spiegel.

Whitman, who said she follows the data, claims confidence about Quibi based on the fact “our users” are watching a lot of video on mobile.

“They’re excited about the opportunity to see something differentiated,” she said.

So was Verizon in 2015 when it launched go90, the ambitious ad-supported streaming video app for mobile devices (i.e. cell phones) that featured original content from Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and helped launch Kobe Bryant’s Oscar-winning animated short, Dear Basketball.

The app lasted less than three years without generating traction with the same audience Quibi is targeting. Verizon ended up posting a $1 billion loss on the venture — a dubious footnote to retiring CEO Lowell McAdam’s legacy.

Katzenberg and Whitman say Quibi will not look to rival Netflix or YouTube. Instead, it will compete for a share of the online video behemoths’ mobile video users featuring about 100 original content items weekly, including a MTV-style music news program.

“We’re using a lot of judgment, and we’ll know whether it works when it launches,” Whitman said.

Nick Bell Departing Snap as Content VP

Nick Bell, the young executive who helped create Snapchat’s original video programming, is leaving the social media platform after five years.

Bell, who joined Snap from News Corp., said he will transition out of the company by the end of the year to take a break and decide his future career plans.

“This experience has been incredibly rewarding and an absolute blast,” Bell said in a statement. “I leave now with amazing memories, many lifelong friendships, and a huge amount of excitement for the future of Snap.

Recognized in Media Play News’ inaugural “40 Under 40” feature showcasing upcoming executives in home entertainment, Bell launched his first dotcom venture, Teenfront.com, at 16 in the United Kingdom before joining News Corp. as SVP in his 20s.

He joined Snap in 2014 and worked with co-founder Evan Spiegel as the social media app moved into original content, including video, via Snapchat Discover.

Notable deals include a partnership with NBC Sports Group for “Premier League: Extra Time” and the reality dating shows “Phone Swap” and “Second Chance.” In March, Snap bowed an augmented reality marketing deal with Sony Pictures for the home release of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, incorporating a special code on packaging and marketing materials that filtered through Snap.

 

 

Snap Licenses Video Content from Britain’s Barcroft Media

Snap has licensed eight series from British digital reality TV content creator Barcroft Media.

Shows, which include “Ridiculous Rides,” “Snapped in the Wild,” “Beast Buddies,” “Born Different,” “Dog Dynasty,” “Hooked on the Look,” “Outrageous Homes,” and “Shake My Beauty,” are geared toward younger audiences using mobile devices.

Indeed, “Born Different,” which bowed online Oct. 30 featuring an 11-year-old with an aging condition, reportedly generated 5.2 million views in the first 24 hours.

“We’re really excited about this partnership with Snapchat and to be growing our popular series brands with new young audiences on another one of the world’s premier content platforms,” Alex Morris, creative director of Barcroft Media, said in a statement. “The initial response from Snapchatters around the world has been fantastic.”

The social media app last month announced the launch of Snap Originals and the debut of serialized programming, including its first formal slate of scripted shows and docuseries from Bunim/Murray Productions, the Duplass Brothers and Brad Weston’s Makeready, as well as established film and television writers.

Snap also extended its content production commitments with NBC Universal through 2019, and Viacom committed to creating 10 new Snap Originals. Viacom is also syndicating 500 episodes of its network’s shows to the platform.

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.”

 

Snap Bows Original Programming

Social media app Snap Oct. 10 announced the launch of Snap Originals and the debut of serialized programming, including its first formal slate of scripted shows and docuseries from Bunim/Murray Productions, the Duplass Brothers and Brad Weston’s Makeready, as well as established film and television writers.

Snap also announced NBC Universal extended its content production commitments through 2019, and Viacom has committed to creating 10 new Snap Originals. Viacom also committed to syndicating at least 500 episodes of its network’s shows to the platform.

Snap Originals will be available on the app’s Discover page to Snapchat users globally. It is also introducing new product features that will make it easier for viewers to find, watch and interact with programming.

Every Show will have a dedicated profile page where users can find all available episodes and seasons to watch at once. Each ad-supported episode averages five minutes. Snap recently launched a six-second, non-skippable ad format.

The app has also created portals for several of its shows, enabling users to swipe up from an episode and literally walk into a scene and interact with the objects and characters. It has also developed custom interactive lenses that will enable users to share the show experience with their friends.

Since the beginning of the year, Snap said it has nearly tripled the time viewers spend engaging with its video programs.

“Over the last two years, our highly engaged and loyal audience has helped to define what mobile content should look like,” Nick Bell, VP of content at Snap, said in a statement.

The initial launch slate includes:

  • “Endless Summer”- (Bunim/Murray Productions) – Influencers Summer McKeen and Dylan Jordan try to balance love, friends, family, and fame in this intimate snapshot of their lives in Laguna Beach, California. Docuseries launches )ct. 10.
  • “Class of Lies”- (Makeready) – Best friends slash college roommates Devon and Missy crack cold cases on their successful true-crime podcast…but can they solve the most important case of all when their best friend disappears without a trace? Scripted series launches Oct. 10.
  • “Co-ed” (Duplass Brothers’ DBP Donut, Indigo Development and Entertainment Arts) – Juggling classes, parties, and down-the-hall crushes, freshman roommates Ginny and Chris try their best to face whatever college throws at them, discovering who they are along the way. Scripted series launches Oct. 10.
  • “Vivian” (NBCU Digital Lab, The Intellectual Property Corporation in association with Wilhelmina) – Vivian is the youngest model scout at Wilhelmina, one of the most prestigious modeling agencies in the world. She takes us inside this exclusive world where she has the power to make wannabes’ dreams come true — but can she do that for her own? Docuseries launches Oct. 22.
  • “The Dead Girls Detective Agency”- (Indigo Development and Entertainment Arts, Insurrection and Keshet) – This darkly comedic supernatural soap follows Charlotte Feldman, a young woman who must work from beyond to figure out how and why she died, in order to avoid an eternity in purgatory. Based on the young adult novel by Susie Cox. Scripted series launches Oct. 22.
  • “V/H/S”- (Indigo Development and Entertainment Arts and Studio 71) – The next generation of the horror anthology series, bringing four new frightening experiences to the palm of your hand. Scripted series launches Oct. 28.

Six additional series have already been greenlit for production.

 

 

NBC Sports Partners with Snapchat for Britain’s Premier League Soccer

Following Britain’s late run in soccer’s world cup, interest in the Premier League has mushroomed in the digital ecosystem.

NBC Sports Group July 30 announced a partnership with Snapchat for “Premier League: Extra Time, a new weekly original show, which will debut exclusively on Snapchat’s Discover page for the Aug. 10 start of the 2018-19 Premier League season.

Each Monday throughout the season, the show will bring a recap of the weekend’s top action and standout storylines, while also spotlighting the super fans that make the league one of the most popular in the world.

A preview of the show will air on Snapchat Aug. 9, with the first episode airing on Aug. 13.

Hosted by Francis Maxwell, the series promises to make soccer fans feel like they’re watching from a true British pub. Maxwell will guide Snapchatters through a celebration of all things Premier League each week – from epic highlights to wild fans and everything in between.

“Premier League fans are among the most passionate and digitally sophisticated out there, and we strive to bring the best content on every platform,” Troy Ewanchyna, VP, digital and NBCSports.com, said in a statement.

“We know that Snapchatters love soccer – over 80 million unique viewers watched World Cup content on Snapchat,” added Sean Mills,head of original content at Snap.

Produced by NBC Universal’s digital lab, “Premier League: Extra Time” builds on two original shows Snapchat and NBC Sports Group partnered on during the XXIII Olympic Winter Games from PyeongChang, South Korea – “Pipe Dreams,” a four-part series profiling three Olympic snowboarding hopefuls, and “Chasing Gold,” a 17-episode series on the journeys of Team USA athletes as they competed for gold.

Amazon Prime Video last month announced it would live-stream 20 Premier League matches starting in 2019.

 

In a First, Sony and Snapchat Employ Augmented Reality With ‘Jumanji’ Release

With the March 20 release of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungleon 4K UHD Blu-ray Disc, Blu-ray Disc and DVD, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is bringing the jungle to life for fans with an augmented reality experience through Snapchat.

In the first of its kind for a home entertainment release, when consumers purchase a copy of the film on disc at any retailer and scan the Snapcode on the front, the packaging elements will start to move, making their way across the retail environment and encouraging people to follow it with their camera phone. Once scanned through the app, users can explore a 360 jungle with a hippo jump-scare and a message from Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson) telling consumers that the next adventure lies inside the packaging. Upon opening the packaging, consumers can scan the insert inside the box which will trigger a second experience that brings the characters from Jumanji to life.

“Given the incredible box office success with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, we are continuing the consumer excitement into the home entertainment window by partnering with Snapchat in this groundbreaking AR packaging experience to drive in-store retail engagement and physical product purchase, while giving consumers a new way to interact with the Blu-ray and DVD and share their experience.” said Nicole Longo, Sony director of marketing.

“Much like they reimagined Jumanji itself, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has thoughtfully reframed AR marketing to drive sales for their home entertainment release,” said Jeff Miller, head of creative strategy, Snap. “Their Snapchat lenses set a new bar for contextual augmented realityintegration with physical packaging.”

In addition to having the Snapcodes on the front of the product, the codes will also be on in-store retail signage and displays. Sony also will employ national TV spots, digital marketing, social media, radio and on-platform ads on Snapchat to support the AR effort.

The film earned more than $400 million at the box office.

Survey: Facebook Losing Favor Among Millennials?

The average millennial reportedly checks their phone more than 150 times per day. But where (i.e. Facebook) this demo (18-38) checks on favorite brands is changing, according to new data from Moosylvania, a 40-person marketing agency based in St. Louis.

“We know they are on the channels talking with their friends. What we want to know is how and where they are connecting with their favorite brands,” said CEO Norty Cohen.

In a January mobile-only survey, respondents were asked how they connected with their favorite brands on their smartphone. The survey compared responses from 2017 to 2018.

Respondents that used Facebook declined from 52% to 40% among younger millennials (17-27) and from 48% to 33% among older (28-38) millennials.

Despite the drop, Facebook remained the largest go-to platform among respondents.

“[It] can’t be overlooked,” said Cohen.

Indeed, Facebook had 2.2 billion monthly active users in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to Statista.com. Facebook says 1.40 billion people on average logged on daily in December 2016, which represented a 14% increase from the previous-year period.

Meanwhile, Instagram use remained steady at 33% for younger respondents and up 5% to 24% among older millennials, according to the survey.

Twitter fell from 28% to 16% among younger millennials, and down 4% to 17% for older millennials.

Snapchat use increased from 20% to 24% among younger millennials and up 1% to 11% with older millennials.

Cohen attributed the changes to increased efficiencies of branded emails and websites.

Brand website use among respondents increased 1% to 20% with younger millennials and went from 20% to 25% with older millennials. Email use increased from 17% to 18% with younger millennials and up 4% to 22% with older millennials.

“Personalization and customized experiences [online] are easier to create than ever,” Cohen said.

YouTube gained from 22% to 23% among younger millennials and decreased 1% to 17% with older millennials.

Pinterest was down from 4% to 7% of younger millennials and down 5% to 6% with older millennials.

Text messaging was flat at 9% for younger millennials and up 1% to 11% with older millennials.

Cohen, who has written a book on brand connectivity in the Internet age – says brands need to develop two-way conversations to better connect with their consumers.

“Channels that can personalize and get there quickly are going to do better in the long run,” he said.

Snapchat Loses $1.3 Billion Market Value After Kylie Jenner Tweet

The power of the Kardashians cannot be understated (or understood). Shares of Snap, parent of social media app, Snapchat, fell 6% Feb. 22 reportedly after reality TV personality Kylie Jenner tweeted she no longer used the platform.

The share price drop saw Snap’s market valuation plunge $1.3 billion.

Jenner, who is a member of the Kardashian clan and has almost 25 million followers on Twitter, was reacting to Snap’s recent decision to redesign its flagship app, including separating professional content from friend groups and omnipotent chat messages.

“Sooo does anyone not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me … ugh this is so sad,” Jenner tweeted Feb. 21.

Snap said the redesign is intended to separate user-generated content from professional while maintaining its trademark platform enabling users to post pictures and video that disappear after 24 hours. The company says it generates 3.5 billion snaps daily.

An online petition asking Snap to reconsider the redesign generated 1.2 million signatures. Snap said the redesign would remain in effect.

Regardless, research firm MoffettNathanson, in a note, attributed the stock decline to ongoing corrections on Wall Street.

“Snap and Twitter have likely run too much on already stretched multiples,” it wrote. “As the market, fresh from all-time highs, recovers from a massive correction, we think the premium placed on owning strong businesses increases, while the risk of owning those with zero valuation support becomes even more pronounced.”

Of course, market reaction could also be following disclosure Snap CEO Evan Spiegel earned $638 million in total compensation in 2017 – the third-highest ever recorded for a chief executive.

Fox Partners with Snapchat, Twitter for World Cup Soccer

Seeking to further embed social media with live sports, Fox Sports is working with Twitter and Snapchat for this summer’s 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Twitter will showcase every goal scored from all 64 matches seconds after they occur. Snapchat will produce “Our Stories” video segments featuring behind-the-scenes video from the quadrennial competition taking place June 14 – July 15.

Fos, which paid a reported $400 million for the U.S. broadcast/streaming rights to the World Cup, will produce a daily live show with host Rachel Bonnetta (@rachelbonnetta), streaming on Twitter from Moscow’s Red Square.

Featured guests include Fox Sports’ 2018 FIFA World Cup on-air hots Rob Stone (@RobStoneONFOX), Landon Donovan (@landondonovan), Kate Abdo (@kate_abdo), Alexi Lalas (@AlexiLalas), and Fernando Fiore (@FernandoFiore), among others.

“We’ll immerse fans in the ‘beautiful game’ even further through expert analysis and fun, creative content from Moscow,” Alexis Ginas, SVP of cross-platform solutions, Fox Sports, said in a statement.

Snapchat, which is creating original content for A+E Networks, Discovery, ESPN, NBC Universal and Turner, seeks to replicate exclusive content with “Publisher Story” showcasing the daily “drama” from the international event.

“What makes the tournament so exciting for us is that we are going to be able to deliver our community a perspective of the global game that brings them not only into the roaring stadiums in Russia, but also to those celebrating in cities around the world,” said Ben Schwerin, VP of partnerships at Snap Inc.

While soccer remains the world’s most popular sport, World Cup interest among casual viewers in the United States remains to be seen considering Team USA is not participating for the first time since 1986.