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branded content

Why Starbucks is Exiting the Music Business and Embracing Filmmaking

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 3, 2015 06:09 PM

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is on a mission to change the world, from wages to veterans to communities on the brink of collapse. Now he's steering the company into the brands-as-publishers business, investing in content creation by backing documentaries about the social issues he wants the company to take a stand on.

As Starbucks exits the music business, pulling its point-of-sale CD sales rack and unwinding its Hear Music joint venture, it's getting into video instead of audio—a troubled business that even Starbucks can't fix—with a new video production company.

As yet unnamed, it will focus on TV and film projects with "social-impact content," as the journalist leading the effort for Schultz phrased it on social media.Continue reading...

media brands

Kicking Off TV Upfront Season, Nick Revives Noggin Brand as Kids App

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 27, 2015 11:01 AM

At its upfront event for TV and digital advertisers this week, Viacom's Nickelodeon, now 35 years old, announced the resurrection of its former Noggin TV brand as a mobile app for preschoolers—and the return of beloved characters Moose A. Moose and Zee D. Bird.

Noggin, the cable channel that was renamed Nick Jr. in 2009 and went off the air in Feb. 2012, is relaunching as a $5.99/month ad-free subscription video service with kid-friendly content.

Coming to the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch on March 5 (download the app here), titles at launch will include: Allegra’s Window, Blue’s Clues, Blue’s Room, Franklin and Friends, Gullah Gullah Island, Little Bear, Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Friends, Ni Hao, Kai-lan, Oswald, Pocoyo, Robot and Monster and The Upside Down Show.

“We are reintroducing the Noggin name with this new mobile service because of its built-in equity with moms and as a signal of the high-quality preschool content that will be curated for it,” stated Cyma Zarghami, the recently-promoted president of the Viacom Kids and Family Group. Continue reading...

CES Watch

CES 2015: ESPN Shakes Up TV Industry With Dish Network's Sling

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 6, 2015 12:26 PM

2015 may well be the year that entrenched cable gate-keepers like Verizon and Comcast lose their audiences to online streaming.

ESPN’s entry into streaming is now tipping the scales. The unparalleled reach and scale of Disney's powerhouse sports brand is evident in the fact that the top ten most-viewed programs in cable television history are all ESPN programs—making the Dish Network's new Sling TV the Trojan Horse for the pay TV industry.Continue reading...

bc q&a

Print's Charming: 5 Questions for CNET Magazine's Connie Guglielmo

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 12, 2014 11:55 AM

CNET, the nearly 20-year-old online news and reviews site, is stepping back to the future with the debut of a print version of its content, CNET Magazine.

Now available in the U.S. and Canada, the inaugural issue features LL Cool J, star of a CBS Television’s NCIS: Los Angeles, on the cover. Inside, Roger Cheng's take on the web of complex connections in our digital lives sits alongside a 24-page holiday gift guide. Priced at $5.99, it’s available on newsstands as well as in stores including Costco, Target and Walmart. 

“The arrival of CNET in print is indicative of a trend: Brands that began digitally are turning every day into #ThrowbackThursday by adding versions in traditional forms,” the New York Times commented. Advertisers in the first issue include AT&T, Ford, Gillette, GMC, Hewlett-Packard, HTC, Intel, Lenovo, LG, Porsche, Roku, Salesforce.com, Samsung, TiVo and Toyota.

The print publication joins CNET’s growing portfolio of outlets, including a mobile app, YouTube and a Spanish-language websitebrandchannel's Sheila Shayon asked Connie Guglielmo, the editor in chief of CNET News who is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the magazine, about why extend into old school media—and why now.Continue reading...


From Faster Delivery to Kindle Unlimited, Amazon Just Keeps on Rolling

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 21, 2014 03:30 PM

Amazon may be in a PR standoff with the publishing industry that is leaving both sides licking their wounds, but the situation doesn’t appear to be hurting Amazon’s bottom line. The company’s second-quarter revenue will be announced Thursday and the expectation is that it will continue “to gain share from brick-and-mortar retailers,” according to at least one observer.

Amazon Prime is one of the main ways Amazon continues to grow since its more than 25 million members on average purchase four times more than non-members. Also helping is its Sunday delivery service, which has recently been expanded to serve 15 cities including New Orleans. When the service kicked off last November, only New York and Los Angeles residents could take part. “Sunday delivery is clearly crossing errands off the weekend to-do list,” commented Mike Roth, Amazon’s vice president of North America operations, to New Orleans magazine.

As the Seattle Times also notes, anywhere Amazon has two-day delivery, it also has constructed a sorting center that allows the company to get products into the mailstream quickly and as close to the destination as possible. Sunday delivery is expected to see marked expansion in the coming months.

Sunday delivery may prove a big boon for another embattled industry.Continue reading...

bc q&a

Now Read This: 5 Questions with Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin of theSkimm

Posted by Taylor Goddu on July 17, 2014 10:29 AM

At some ungodly hour each morning, your alarm is bound to go off, and if you’re like me, you’ll blindly slap your phone, eyes still closed, hoping you happen to press “snooze” rather than inadvertently turn it off. Eventually, though, chances are you’ll roll over and grab said phone and begin your morning ritual of scrolling through feeds and email. Born was the beauty of a simple business plan: “We read. You Skimm."

Founded by two former producers for NBC News, Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin teamed up as the masterminds behind theSkimm, a daily email newsletter that arrives in subscribers' inbox sometime around 6 a.m. that has been featured in NBC's Today Show, Vanity Fair, Forbes, Bloomberg, InStyle, CNN and more.

theSkimm, which turns 2 on Friday, primarily targets Millennial women pressed for time with its bite-sized, gender-neutral news that ranges in topic from politics, sports, entertainment, international affairs, finance and more, all of which is made both relatable and easily digestible through the lens of Weisberg and Zakin’s signature voice.

(Extra, extra!) Read all about it:Continue reading...

video killed the _____ star

YouTube Puts Creator Community at Center of Site Updates

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 30, 2014 11:22 AM

Content is often said to be king, and YouTube knows it. That's why the video giant is heavily investing in new features for its creator community, many of whom make a living off of their online personalities. 

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced a slate of new features at Vidcon late last week that could prove especially beneficial to its creators, such as a virtual tip jar that allows viewers to contribute up to $500 to a specific account. The site is also allowing for a direct line between YouTube and crowdfunding sites, and revealed a new mobile app that allows creators to track and manage metrics for their videos, as well as a much larger sound effects library. 

“It’s a focus of mine to bring more revenue to the YouTube ecosystem,” said Wojcicki, who took over the job less than six months ago, according to Variety. She's also spearheading another initiative to make the site more global, including crowdsourcing video translations.Continue reading...

brand strategy

5 Questions with Coldwell Banker's David Marine, VP Brand Engagement

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 17, 2014 03:56 PM

Today, Coldwell Banker kicked off its latest branded content partnership with BuzzFeed, where the real estate brand will be sponsoring content like “15 Things That Happen When Your Parents Sell Your Childhood Home,” and “74 Thoughts Everyone Has When Buying Their First Home."

The partnership follows the brand's recent tie-up with Major League Baseball in a sponsored video series, Coldwell Banker Home Field Advantage, that follows baseball greats into their homes, as well as the brand's own film festival, which helped engage consumers around the world as they hopes to capture the meaning of "home." 

With content increasingly becoming the "it" platform for advertising, Coldwell Banker's VP of brand engagement, David Marine, gave brandchannel a look into the brand's marketing strategy.Continue reading...

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