branded entertainment

YouTube Getting Pickier About Original Channels from Brand Partners

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 4, 2012 12:55 PM

More and more TV viewers are turning to the web for their audio-visual pleasures, streaming shows and movies from such places as Hulu, Netflix, and AppleTV, among a growing list of others. 

YouTube, of course, is the grandpa of the online video-entertainment biz and is refusing to take a backseat to all the Johnny-come-latelys that are making their moves now. In the past year, YouTube owner Google has invested more than $100 million in 100 original channels to invite brands and professional producers create original high-quality content for the site. Even though viewership numbers weren’t particularly high, the site is shelling out some big bucks again, but this time to only 30 or 40 of those content creators, according to

The metric of most interest to YouTube (and parent Google) execs is “the total ‘watch time’ a channel has generated” as well as cost, AllThingsD reports. The site’s top 25 channels averaged more than a million views a week, Ad Age reports, and “the top 33 have more than 100,000 subscribers, a key indicator of repeat viewing.”Continue reading...

that's entertainment

YouTube's Original Programming Getting LoUD and HUNGRY

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 18, 2012 02:25 PM

Remember YouTube's promise to deliver more than 100 original channels of exclusive programming with brands and celebrity partners in 2012? In the wake of its recent pitch to advertisers, the Google-owned video giant is making good on that promise.

Two of those exclusive channels, launching July 2nd, are being produced by Electus. That's the multimedia branded entertainment studio founded by Ben Silverman, former head of programming for NBC, with the backing of Barry Diller's IAC.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: iPhone, JPMorgan, Viacom and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on May 16, 2012 05:06 PM

Brands to Watch

Apple's next iPhone will have a bigger screen, sources tell Reuters.

JPMorgan faces FBI probe as shareholders sue the company and CEO Jamie Dimon over $2B loss.

Time Warner Cable and Viacom settle iPad dispute.

Air Pacific returns to Fiji Airways branding.

Ben Silverman's Electus details programming for YouTube's new food-centric Hungry channel.

Chevron benefits from Japan's shift away from nuclear.

Comcast launches Skype in select U.S. markets.Continue reading...

brand news

Brands to Watch: Boeing, TI, Wachovia and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on April 4, 2011 06:00 PM

Brands to Watch

In the wake of cracks being found in three Southwest planes, FAA calls for cross-airline inspections of Boeing 737s.

Texas Instruments acquires National Semiconductor for $6.5 billion.

Wachovia, now part of Wells Fargoaccused of drug cartel money-laundering.

American Airlines ends spat with Expedia.

Apple goes after Color and Instagram with iPhone's social photo stream, looks to become media gatekeeper.

CBS News anchor Katie Couric is negotiating her exit, and eyeing a syndicated talkshow with Jeff Zucker.Continue reading...

branded entertainment

Denny's Taps Jason Bateman and Will Arnett for Original Web Comedy Series

Posted by Shirley Brady on March 7, 2011 10:00 AM

Last June, Jason Bateman and Will Arnett introduced DumbDumb, a production company backed by Ben Silverman's Electus to create original web comedies for brands, starting with Orbit gum.

Add Denny's to that roster with Always Open with David Koechner, a new web series that reinforces its "America's Diner is Always Open" campaign. It stars Koechner — who you may recognize from his recurring role on NBC's The Office — chatting with a cast of fellow comics that includes Bateman and Arnett, plus Kristen Bell, Sarah Silverman, Amy Poehler, and Will Forte.

Watch the trailer above, and the first episode below.Continue reading...

branded entertainment

AT&T, NBCU Woo Viewers Online

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 17, 2010 11:15 AM

NBC Universal's new Dial Star, a 10-episode Web series sponsored by AT&T, is the latest proof of the media giant's growing commitment to branded entertainment. It also follows on rival moves, such as Orbit’s new DumbDumb campaign from former NBCU entertainment head Ben Silverman and actors Jason Bateman and Will Arnett.

Starring Annalynne McCord (above, of 90210 and Nip/Tuck fame), Dial Star aims to build an online following and viral buzz with its mix of Hollywood glitz and glamour, deception and identity theft.

NBCU, which made its name in TV and filmed entertainment, now aims to be the "the leader in original digital entertainment with brands."Continue reading...

branded entertainment

NBC Universal Ramps Up Branded Programming

Posted by Barry Silverstein on May 17, 2010 02:59 PM

Sponsored programming is as old as television, while product placement is commonplace today. But now, at least one studio is making a concerted effort to produce such branded entertainment exclusively for digital use.

NBC Universal Digital Studio, a two-year old production unit, is the only such operation funded by a major traditional film and television company. According to Adweek, while the studio has so far produced only two series each year, it plans to increase its production of digital shows—short-form programming and Web series, such as In Gayle We Trust—in the coming year.

How it works: Brands such as Nestea tap NBCU Digital Studio to produce original, scripted programming and agree to an advertising package that may include product placement and other forms of brand promotion.

The result, in this example: a ten-episode Web series, CTRL, which was available on TV via cable, satellite and telcos' video-on-demand platforms, online at, and, and on mobile platforms and gaming consoles.

Additionally, a dedicated website hosts CTRL's episodes plus branded games, photo galleries, character bios and a blog maintained by the lead character. As an additional revenue stream, NBCU may distribute the content to iTunes.Continue reading...

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