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News Corner June 21, 2017

21 Jun, 2017 By: Doug McPherson

Horizon Media, the media services giant, forms a direct marketing entity named Horizon Next. Gene Turner, executive vice president, will lead it. “The Horizon Next name reflects the company’s pursuit to ensure that tomorrow outperforms today,” Turner says.

Direct response company Tristar Products Inc. hires Astrid Hunton as director of customer services and Jim Myers as general counsel. Both are long-time consultants to Tristar. Hunton will manage customer service for DRTV, web, and retail outlets. Myers will manage Tristar’s response to legal issues.

Viacom starts a formal, advanced advertising group called Open AP, an open platform for cross-publisher audience targeting and independent measurement. One key objective is identifying new audience targets. Viacom ad executive Bryson Gordon will head up the new group.

DataXu and Placed, a provider of location-based attribution services, partner to let DataXu’s brand and agency customers reach consumers in Placed audience segments – based on store visits – across digital and television properties. DataXu says the partnership will enable it to reach consumers on connected TV devices.

DirecTV Now offers customers a free Roku Premiere when they prepay for two months of service. The service has several tiers, from $35 to $70 a month. Brad Bentley, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for the AT&T Entertainment Group, says consumers looking to cut the cable cord “may not always know the best place to start. We’re making it easy by eliminating up-front cost and providing a cost effective solution to stream the content they crave from their living room couches.”

Shopify partners with BuzzFeed to let Shopify merchants tag their products so BuzzFeed editors can easily find them for potential inclusion in site content. BuzzFeed offers a curated experience for merchants to be included in BuzzFeed stories as well as in marketing campaigns on YouTube and Facebook that could potentially help their brand or products go viral.

New research from staffing firm The Creative Group says the employment outlook for creative talent is expected to remain relatively steady in the second half of 2017. Nine percent of advertising and marketing executives surveyed said they plan to expand their teams. Most, 64 percent, anticipate maintaining staff levels and hiring primarily to fill vacated roles.

A new study from Agent3 says while companies aspire to be data driven, professionals are still working off hunches, and allow more than 50 percent of marketing decisions to be based on instinct alone. Many marketers, 77 percent, say they’re drowning in information, but still struggle to achieve insight.

In a blog post Sunday, Google says it will identify and remove videos promoting terrorism and extremism on YouTube that violate its community guidelines. In the case of offensive videos, Google adds videos that don’t meet its standard for removal would carry warnings and will not carry advertising, recommendation, endorsement, or comments.

Varick partners with Vistar Media to bring programmatic out-of-home (OOH) media into Varick’s omnichannel buying solution. The partnership will let Varick access Vistar’s demand-side platform and exchange for OOH media. Varick said adding OOH will let marketers reach consumers offline more easily.

The Olympic Channel launches next month to air year-round Olympic sports and promote NBC’s airing of the Winter and Summer Olympics. Pay-TV providers that will carry the channel include Altice, AT&T DirecTV, Comcast, Spectrum, and Verizon. The Olympic Channel will start in more than 35 million homes and will be available on streaming digital services, including DirecTV Now, Fubo, Hulu, Sony PlayStation Vue, and YouTube TV.

A recent presentation by S&P Global Market Intelligence estimates TV stations will get $9.3 billion in retransmission revenue fees this year. BIA/Kelsey, the media research company, forecasts that ad revenues for TV stations will hit $19.8 billion this year, down 4.1 percent from a year ago.

Lip-synching app, with its 40 million monthly active users, partners with Hearst Magazines Digital Media (HMDM), NBCUniversal, and Viacom to launch studio-quality, short-form shows. Programming will also invite users to create their own reaction clips using specially designated hashtags and prompts.

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