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News Corner January 11, 2017

11 Jan, 2017 By: Doug McPherson

Full-service ad agency Quigley-Simpson welcomes Alan Cohen as president and CEO. Most recently the co-founder of strategy and marketing innovation agency Giant Spoon, Cohen also has served as CEO of OMD USA. Based in the agency’s New York office, Cohen will oversee all creative, planning, and media operations for Quigley-Simpson.

Research from Parks Associates says 31 percent of broadband households in the U.S. now have multiple over-the-top (OTT) subscriptions and that means almost half of households with at least one pay OTT service actually have two or more. Brett Sappington, senior director of research calls this “the service-stacking phenomenon” which Parks thinks will propel the OTT market. The report says the most popular stack is the Netflix and Amazon Prime combo – 12 percent of broadband users subscribe to both. On average, OTT users spend $7.95 per month on subscription OTT services, which Glenn Hower, senior analyst, says is what the cheapest Netflix or Hulu subscription costs.

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau launches a global ad campaign this week featuring three transgender models, becoming the world’s first destination to use transgender models in mainstream destination advertising. The campaign also features straight, gay, and lesbian models to showcase the destination’s image as an authentic, diverse, and inclusive brand.

Turner kicks off a sports marketing services unit called Turner Ignite Sports for its networks, including TBS and TNT. It will look to match TV advertisers on a deeper level with its big sports TV franchises, including NBA games, post-season Major League Baseball, NCAA “March Madness,” and new “E-League” video-game programming. Turner says marketers combining traditional TV commercials with in-show branded deals yield better ROI for companies.

Although NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” has concluded another run as TV’s most-viewed series of the 2016-2017 season so far, the result comes with lower average viewership versus a year ago. Nielsen says the big NFL prime-time series of 10 telecasts averaged 20.3 million viewers in its live program/same day results. This is down 10 percent from the average 22.5 million viewers a year ago. Early on, all NFL programming was hit with big viewership losses in 2016 – from 15 percent to 20 percent in some cases – partly due to heightened interest in the election as well as other issues. In recent weeks, NFL viewership climbed.

Medium, the content platform pioneered by Twitter cofounder Evan Williams, cuts a third of its staff (50 positions) mostly in sales, support, and other business functions. Williams says the layoffs are a symptom of “the broken system [that] doesn’t serve people.” He says most content is paid for by “corporations who are funding it in order to advance their goals.” Medium is now defining a new model for writers and creators to be rewarded based on the “value” they create for the reader. “It is too soon to say exactly what this will look like,” he admitted. “It will require time to get it right, as well as some different skills.”

Oculus launches two social-based virtual reality offerings called Rooms and Parties, which will enable social interaction in a virtual environment. In Parties, friends can watch videos on a TV, play matching or guessing games, and launch multiplayer games.

Nielsen alters the preview of its Total Content Ratings (TCR) system. Instead of allowing its media clients to analyze TCR data online as of January 1, it’s providing offline reports. Nielsen will look to have online TCR data available later this month. TV networks had asked for the change a few weeks ago. “We will be making certain reports available to agencies based on our [TV] clients and where they are in terms of implementation,” a Nielsen spokesperson said.

Amazon sets new records this holiday season, shipping more than 1 billion items the week following Christmas, and welcoming 3 million new Amazon Prime members who signed up in the days leading up to Dec. 25. These shoppers also made Amazon’s Echo and Echo Dot, the voice-activated speakers which connect to Amazon’s intelligent Alexa Voice Service, the retailer’s best-selling items.

Jenny Afia, a privacy lawyer in London, re-writes the terms and conditions of Instagram’s privacy policy to make them easier for teens to understand. She’s a member of a “Growing Up Digital” task force group convened by the Children’s Commissioner for England to study Internet use among teens and the concerns children might face as they grow up in the digital age. No word if Instagram will accept the rewrite.

Casting a shadow over Snap Inc.’s initial public offering (IPO), a former employee accuses the Snapchat parent of inflating its growth figures. Anthony Pompliano claims to have been fired after less than a month as Snapchat’s head of growth, because he refused to go along with the alleged scheme, according to a lawsuit filed last week. “This action arises out of the avarice of the small group of executives at the helm of the social media giant Snapchat,” the lawsuit states. “Snapchat’s leadership saw Pompliano as an impediment to their planned IPO because he refused to turn a blind eye to Snapchat’s misrepresentations.”

Pandora, the digital audio company, unveils a “muted” video ad, as well as a responsive mobile display unit that will be available to all advertisers Jan. 19. Beta partners (Denny’s, Express, Google, the Lexus Dealer Association, and Ascent Protein) saw strong increases in time spent with the Responsive Mobile Display formats, as well as experiencing positive results in brand favorability, awareness and message resonance.

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