CBS Unveils New Brand Identity Across All Divisions and Platforms

With ViacomCBS readying the reboot of SVOD platform CBS All Access to Paramount+ in 2021, CBS Oct. 8 unveiled a new brand identity aimed at simplifying the look and feel of all its divisions across platforms.

In an announcement by chief marketing officer Mike Benson, the updated brand identity for entertainment programming debuted on the CBS Network this week in advance of the upcoming fall TV show season. Viewers can expect to see it rolled out across CBS News leading up to the 2020 election and for CBS Sports for Super Bowl LV on Feb. 7, 2021.

Similar iterations are being developed for CBS Television Stations and CBS Television Distribution. For example, CBS Television Studios has been renamed CBS Studios.

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The branding is designed to create stronger “continuity and clarity” from the core CBS brand to subsidiaries, while driving attribution for CBS’s content, whether on the brand’s traditional platforms or others such as live, on-demand or streaming video.

“CBS has long been one of the most unifying brands in media,” Benson said. “We needed to make that clearer and more consistent at every consumer touchpoint.”

Benson, who worked with ad agency Gretel on the rebranding, said the improvements draw upon CBS’s 91-year history, with key visual and audio elements from the past integrated into the new aesthetic. The ubiquitous CBS Eye logo remains central to the new identity in a unique animated way. The voiceover “This is CBS,” which was used for decades on the company’s radio and television broadcasts beginning nearly a century ago, is another example of legacy elements playing a strong role moving forward.

New elements of the CBS brand strategy include:

  • The iconic CBS Eye will be used across the brand identity in a flexible style that elevates it as a standalone logo and leans into the shapes and elements that make it up.
  • Brand attribution will be applied to programming and promotion that drives better connection between the CBS core brand, its sub-brands and our premium content available across CBS-owned and third-party platforms.
  • Content on CBS and CBS-owned platforms will be tagged with “CBS Original,” “CBS News,” “CBS Sports” or “CBS Presents” to reinforce its role as a leading creator and content provider for its platforms and many others. For example: “CBS Presents The 56th Academy of Country Music Awards.”
  • Content produced by CBS Studios will also include “A CBS Studios Production” and CBS Studios branded marks.
  • An audio expression of the updated brand identity comes to life in a five-note mnemonic written by assigning musical notes to the historic “This is CBS” voiceover slogan, creating a new melody and animation that will appear at the top of the hour during primetime programming on CBS.
  • Unified logos and graphics that simplify and closely identify CBS as the core brand across divisions.
  • Updated avatars and watermarks to be used across all CBS social media handles.

Hub Study: Online TV Sources ‘Home Base’ for Half of U.S. Consumers

Online TV sources — including subscription video-on-demand services such as Netflix, free services such as Pluto TV, and Virtual MVPDs such as YouTube TV — are now the TV “home base” for half of all U.S. TV consumers, according to Hub’s annual “Decoding the Default” study.

The study since 2015 has tracked the TV source that consumers consider their TV “home base” — the source they turn on first when they’re ready to watch.

“We’ve seen a significant boost in streaming TV service subscriptions since the start of the pandemic in March of this year,” Peter Fondulas, principal at Hub and co-author of the study, said in a statement. “But perhaps more significant than the simple increase in online subscriptions is the profound shift in consumers’ viewing behaviors generally. Instead of reaching first for the cable remote when it comes time to watch TV, more and more consumers are defining TV viewing, first and foremost, as viewing on streaming services. Whether that shift persists once the pandemic crisis has passed is, of course, the billion-dollar question.”

According to the study, 50% of respondents say an online service is the first source they turn on, up from 47% last year. Meanwhile, 42% say their first choice is viewing from the traditional TV set-top box (live viewing, DVR or VOD), down from 47%. (The remaining percentages each year default to viewing over-the-air, from an antenna.)

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For those who default to an online source, nearly half (23% of the 50%) say that online source is Netflix. In fact, Netflix, by itself, is now nearly as likely to be consumers’ TV home base as all live TV channels accessed through pay TV combined. In 2016, live TV from a pay TV service was three times as likely as Netflix to be viewers’ TV default. Netflix trails live viewing by only 7 percentage points.

Fewer than one in five young consumers default to live TV, down 7 percentage points from last year. But more ominously, even among live TV’s strongest adherents — those age 55 or older — the proportion defaulting to live has dropped significantly since just last year. Only 14% of 18-34 year olds turn to live TV before any other source, vs. 21% in 2019. The study found an equal 7-point drop among 55-plus year olds; fewer than half now say live TV is their viewing home base.

The choice of default is driven primarily by two factors — content and ease of show discovery — according to the study. The top reason for making a source one’s default is because it offers access to one’s favorite shows. But a more general content consideration is a top driver as well: wide variety of shows and movies to choose from. Interface simplicity is also a top driver of default, in particular because the service makes it easy to find something to watch.

When consumers decide it’s time to cut back on TV services, they’re much more likely to remain loyal to their TV service default, Hub reports. Hub asked consumers which one TV service they’d keep if they had to drop all others. Among users of each, pay TV service and Netflix were the two most likely to make the cut.

Among users of each service who also treat it as their default, the proportions saying they’d hang on to the service to the bitter end are much higher. For subscribers to the big four SVODs (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and Disney+), loyalty to the service is two to four times higher among those who default to the service vs. users of each service overall.

Hub’s “Decoding the Default” study was conducted among 1,600 U.S. consumers with broadband, age 16-74, who watch at least one hour of TV per week. The data was collected in August 2020.

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Vizio Appoints Former AMC Networks, Dish Exec VP of Network Partnerships

Consumer electronics company Vizio has appointed former AMC Networks and Dish executive Adam Gaynor VP of network partnerships.

In this role, Gaynor will help build direct relationships with networks across Vizio’s SmartCast platform and its advertiser-direct business unit Vizio Ads.

“Adam’s addition to the team represents Vizio’s continued focus and investment in driving the future of TV,” Mike O’Donnell, chief revenue officer at Vizio, said in a statement. “Not only does Adam have extensive experience working with networks, but he has been at the forefront of championing addressable advertising, going back to his previous efforts driving live linear addressable advertising at AMC Networks and Dish.”

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In addition to spearheading network relationships, Gaynor will be heavily involved in advancing Project Open Addressable Ready (Project OAR), a technology consortium led by Vizio and created to advance the development and deployment of a new, open standard for addressable advertising on connected TVs. The consortium recently announced live market trials with network partners such as Fox, ViacomCBS, NBCUniversal, E.W. Scripps and AMC Networks.

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“Vizio is building the next generation of home entertainment, powered by data and personalized consumer experiences,” Gaynor said in a statement. “I’m excited to join the team to advance VIZIO’s initiatives on the network and addressable front, enabling advertisers to deliver more precise messages to their intended audiences at the right time.”

Before joining Vizio, Gaynor was most recently VP of AMCN Agility, the data solutions sales team for AMC Networks. There, he created and oversaw the development and monetization of all advanced and data-driven TV advertising opportunities across the AMC Networks portfolio. He also served as VP, media sales and analytics for Dish Network, where he led the company’s media sales division, inclusive of all addressable, interactive, programmatic and OTT initiatives. Gaynor also held posts at Game Show Network, Comcast and CBS.

Netflix’s ‘How to Sell Drugs Online Fast’ Top Rising Show, ABC’s ‘Modern Family’ Top Binge on TV Time Charts

Netflix’s “How to Sell Drugs Online Fast” topped the shows on the rise while the ABC sitcom “Modern Family” was the top binge on the TV Time charts for the week ended July 26.

The second season of “How to Sell Drugs Online Fast” debuted July 21. In season two, the three friends Moritz, Lenny and Dan want to figure out how to sell drugs online faster. Their business is growing exponentially, and the trio can hardly keep up with demand. Their private lives are also moving up a gear. Lisa is getting suspicious about Moritz’s odd behavior, Dan is determined to prove to his father that he can stand on his own feet, and Lenny stumbles into an online romance with a mysterious coder. The series also took the bronze on the binge chart.

Coming in at No. 2 on the rising show chart was another Netflix show “Ashley Garcia: Genius in Love,” which follows a 15-year-old teen who moves across the country to pursue a career in robotics. Season two of the series hit screens July 20.

Taking the silver behind “Modern Family” on the binge chart was Netflix’s “Cursed,” which debuted on the service July 17. Based on the upcoming book of the same name, the series is a re-imagining of the Arthurian legend, told through the eyes of Nimue, a teenage heroine with a mysterious gift who is destined to become the powerful (and tragic) Lady of the Lake.

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TV Time is a free TV viewership tracking app that tracks consumers’ viewing habits worldwide and is visited by more than 1 million consumers every day, according to the service. The weekly “Binge Report” ranks shows with the most binge sessions. A binge session is when four or more episodes of a show are watched and tracked in the app in a given day. The “Shows on the Rise” chart is calculated by determining the week-over-week growth in episodes watched for a given program. The network displayed is the network where the show first aired (e.g. “Friends” on NBC).

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 Top Binge Shows Week Ended July 26 by Share of Binges:

  1. “Modern Family” (ABC) — 2.48%
  2. “Cursed” (Netflix) — 2.28%
  3. “How to Sell Drugs Online Fast” (Netflix) — 2.22%
  4. “Dark” (Netflix) — 1.78%
  5. “Friends” (NBC) — 1.59%
  6. “The Office” (NBC) — 1.58%
  7. “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC) — 1.26%
  8. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (NBC) — 1.24%
  9. “One Piece” (Fuji TV) — 1.24%
  10. “Dark Desire” (Netflix) — 1.14%

 

Top “Shows on the Rise” Week Ended July 26 by Rise Ratio:

  1. “How to Sell Drugs Online Fast” (Netflix) — 95.5%
  2. “Ashley Garcia: Genius in Love” (Netflix) — 92%
  3. “Norsemen” (NRK1) — 86.1%
  4. “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” (HBO) — 80%
  5. “The Alienist” (TNT) — 78.2%
  6. “Indian Matchmaking” (Netflix) — 71.1%
  7. “Kissing Game” (Netflix) — 48.6%
  8. “Skin Decision: Before and After” (Netflix) — 43%
  9. “Cursed” (Netflix) — 41%
  10. “Absentia” (AXN) — 33.2%

‘James Cameron’s Story of Science-Fiction’ Coming to Disc July 28 From RLJE

The sci-fi documentary series “James Cameron’s Story of Science-Fiction” will come out on DVD and Blu-ray July 28 from AMC Networks’ RLJE Films.

The series originally aired on AMC Networks in 2018 as part of the AMC Visionaries series.

The show, an intimate look at science fiction’s roots, its futuristic vision and our fascination with its ideas, is hosted by Academy Award winner James Cameron (Avatar, Titanic). It features interviews with ‘A’-list storytellers, stars and others whose careers have defined the field of science fiction movies and television. Interviewees include Steven Spielberg (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial), George Lucas (“Star Wars” franchise), Ridley Scott (The Martian, Blade Runner), Christopher Nolan (Tenet, Interstellar), Will Smith (Men in Black, I Am Legend), Arnold Schwarzenegger (Predator, Terminator) and Bruce Willis (Die Hard, The Sixth Sense).

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Bonus features include extended interviews with Spielberg, Lucas, Scott, Nolan, Guillermo Del Toro and Schwarzenegger.

Futuresource: Disney, Netflix, Amazon Added More Than 6 Million SVOD Subs in U.K. Through June

With European adoption of subscription streaming video driving subscriber growth among American platforms such as Disney+, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, new data from Futuresource Consulting suggests the aforementioned services have added more than six million combined subs in the United Kingdom through June 30 — including four million alone for Disney+.

“Disney’s timing was impeccable with Disney+ launching on the first day [March 24] of full lockdown,” analyst David Sidebottom said in a statement. “Our forecasts indicate that the service will account for a significant proportion of the growth in the U.K. SVOD sector in 2020.”

Despite the sub growth, 2020 continues to be a volatile year for the British video and TV entertainment industry, with a lockdown boom that has played to the strengths of content hungry consumers, offset by challenges around consumer retention in the second half of the year, particularly for those reliant on monthly subscriptions, as the U.K. begins to open for business again.

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London-based Futuresource projects 2021 will see a 10% increase in video/TV entertainment consumer spending, topping £10 billion total spend on video for the first time driven by increased consumer choice and continued investment in the industry.

“A strong slate will help the box office recover and in turn provide a major boost to the home video sector,” Sidebottom said.

Beyond content delivery, the U.K. continues to make its mark as a global content production powerhouse. Major investments in studio facilities planned in and rolling out from 2020 to 2023 will further enhance the region’s reputation and feed digital services with a growing range of quality content.

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Futuresource forecasts the overall video and TV entertainment sector will reach £11.3 billion in consumer spend in 2024. This will help drive total sector revenue and U.K. exports, which can be reinvested into the industry.

“The polarization of fortunes in 2020 means overall video and entertainment revenues are set to fall this year, but there is massive potential waiting around the corner,” Sidebottom said.

‘Royal Pains’ Complete Series Set Due on DVD Sept. 22 From Mill Creek

The complete series set of “Royal Pains” is coming to DVD Sept. 22 from Mill Creek Entertainment.

All 104 episodes from the show’s eight-season run will be available for the first time together in a 15-disc DVD set at $75.99.

“Royal Pains” stars Mark Feuerstein as Hank Lawson who, after becoming blacklisted from the medical community, revives his career as a “doctor for hire” to the rich and famous in the Hamptons. In addition to treating this select group of the East End elite, Hank also caters to the town’s less fortunate by donating his time at the local clinic. He finds himself walking the line between doing well for himself and doing good for others. The show also stars Paulo Costanzo (Road Trip) and Reshma Shetty (“30 Rock”) with recurring appearances throughout the series by Campbell Scott (The Amazing Spider-Man), Brooke D’Orsay (“Drop Dead Diva”), Jill Flint (“Gossip Girl”), and multi-Emmy and Golden Globe winner Henry Winkler (“Happy Days,” “Barry”).

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“Royal Pains” is currently not available to stream on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime and would cost more than $200 to purchase in its entirety on transactional digital platforms, according to a Mill Creek release. It’s the retail disc debut of the complete series collection.

Produced by Universal Cable Productions, the series originally aired on the USA Network.

Vizio SmartCast Expands Free Channels

Vizio is expanding its free channel options across the SmartCast Platform with more than 20 new lifestyle, do-it-yourself, fashion, travel and comedy channels.

New channels include Vanity Fair, WIRED, GQ, Glamour, Tastemade and Condé Nast Traveler, Funny or Die, Game Show Central and World Poker Tour.

The company has added 54 new free channels since March.

Usage of Vizio SmartCast TV’s free ad supported apps and streaming TV services were up 88% the last week of April compared to the first week of March before stay-at-home advisories changed viewing behaviors, according to Vizio. Attention to free ad-supported TV channels and apps were up 108% in April 2020 versus the first week of March.

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Vizio also noted one in five TVs sold today are Vizio; Vizio has the second-largest U.S. footprint for SmartTVs; and people are signing up for SmartCast (UX/discovery platform) at a rate of 125,000 a week since 2018.

Hulu Acquires Rights to ‘Scandal’

Hulu has acquired the rights to the ABC series “Scandal,” and all seven seasons of the drama will begin streaming exclusively on the service May 20.

The series was created by Shonda Rhimes (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Private Practice”). Rhimes and producing partner Betsy Beers (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “How to Get Away with Murder”), Mark Fish, Mark Wilding and Tom Verica are executive producers.

“Scandal” stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, Guillermo Diaz as Huck, Darby Stanchfield as Abby Whelan, Katie Lowes as Quinn Perkins, Tony Goldwyn as President Fitzgerald Grant, Jeff Perry as Cyrus, Bellamy Young as First Lady Mellie Grant, Joshua Malina as David Rosen, Scott Foley as Jake Ballard, Portia De Rossi as Elizabeth North and Cornelius Smith Jr. as Marcus Walker.

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The Washington D.C.-set drama centers on political fixer Pope and her team of associates who sacrifice their time, and often their morals, to “handle” unimaginable crises affecting the nation’s elite. Throughout six seasons, “Scandal” explores political culture, gender disparities, sexual politics and race in America.

Netflix’s ‘Never Have I Ever’ Tops TV Time Charts

Netflix’s “Never Have I Ever” topped both TV Time’s binge and rising show charts for the week ended May 3.

A coming-of-age comedy about a modern-day, first-generation Indian American teenage girl, “Never Have I Ever” debuted April 27 on the service. The series stars newcomer Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Devi, an overachieving high school sophomore who has a short fuse that gets her into difficult situations. The show is created by executive producer Mindy Kaling.

Netflix’s “Summertime,” inspired by Federico Moccia’s book series, took the silver on the rising show chart and came in at No. 4 behind perennial binge favorites “Friends” (No. 2) and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (No. 3) on the binge chart. The Italian drama, which hit screens April 29, is about two young adults from very different backgrounds who fall in love during a summer on Italy’s Adriatic Coast.

Taking the bronze on the rising show chart was Amazon Prime’s new series “Upload,” which premiered May 1. It follows a young app developer who meets an early death in a future world where humans are able to “upload” themselves into their preferred choice of afterlife.

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TV Time is a free TV viewership tracking app that tracks consumers’ viewing habits worldwide and is visited by more than 1 million consumers every day, according to the service. The weekly “Binge Report” ranks shows with the most binge sessions. A binge session is when four or more episodes of a show are watched and tracked in the app in a given day. The “Shows on the Rise” chart is calculated by determining the week-over-week growth in episodes watched for a given program. The network displayed is the network where the show first aired (e.g. “Friends” on NBC).

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 Top Binge Shows Week Ended May 3 by Share of Binges:

  1. “Never Have I Ever” (Netflix) — 4.58%
  2. “Friends” (NBC) — 1.71%
  3. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (NBC) — 1.62%
  4. “Summertime” (Netflix) — 1.49%
  5. “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC) — 1.45%
  6. “The Office” (NBC) — 1.44%
  7. “Money Heist” (Netflix) — 1.42%
  8. “The Last Kingdom” (Netflix) — 1.41%
  9. “Outer Banks” (Netflix) — 1.21%
  10. “Community” (NBC) — 1.18%

 

Top “Shows on the Rise” Week Ended May 3 by Rise Ratio:

  1. “Never Have I Ever” (Netflix) — 100%
  2. “Summertime” (Netflix) — 100%
  3. “Upload” (Amazon Prime) —99.9%
  4. “Hollywood” (Netflix) — 99.9%
  5. “Normal People” (BBC Three) — 95.4%
  6. “Boris” (Fox Channel IT) —87.8%
  7. “The Last Kingdom” (Netflix) — 78.4%
  8. “Batwoman” (The CW) — 71%
  9. “The Rookie” (ABC) — 57.4%
  10. “New Girl” (Fox) —47.6%