GeekWire News:New digital advertising watchdog service led by former Microsoft and Cheezburger exec Scott Moore raises $2M

Scott Moore, a 20-year veteran of online publishing for the likes of Microsoft, Yahoo and Cheezburger, has found his next venture.

Ad Lightning scans digital publishing outlets for disruptive ads that slow down and hurt their sites. The idea for the company came out of Seattle-based startup incubator Pioneer Square Labs, and when Moore heard about it, his first thought was “I wish we had this” at Cheezburger.

The company has been in stealth mode for the past few months, but came out of it this week, announcing a $2 million seed round led by Sinclair Digital Ventures, an investment division of Sinclair Broadcast Group. The selection of Moore, who sold Cheezburger earlier this year, was also announced this week. Pioneer Square Labs founders Mike Galgon, Greg Gottesman and Geoff Entress are also investors.


AdExchanger:Annalect's Erin Matts Says Data-Driven Creative Is The Next Big Prize

Omnicom Group's leadership credits the company's analytics arm, Annalect, with helping it capture a bunch of new business in 2016. Procter & Gamble and AT&T were the two big media wins, both accruing to fledgling agency Hearts & Science.

And then there's McDonald’s, a creative account that went to DDB. In the latest episode of the “AdExchanger Talks” podcast, Annalect’s North America CEO Erin Matts says the future of the company lies in business wins like that one.

"We've optimized the heck out of the media side of things for so long. Let's go back and do that for the creatives," Matts says in this episode. "That piece of it where data and analytics is reuniting media and creative … has been something clients really respond to."



Tubefilter: YouTube adds support for HDR video

YouTube today announced that its platform now supports high dynamic range, or HDR, video. HDR essentially allows screens with the right hardware specifications to display a more accurate and realistic range of whites and blacks, as well as a wider range of colors. Alongside 4K resolution, HDR technology is the other big selling point of new TVs and one of the key benefits touted by Microsoft and Sony for the latest versions of their respective gaming consoles. However, there’s a critical lack of HDR content out there to watch, and a hodgepodge of different hardware and software requirements that make it difficult to know where and how to access those videos.

So now YouTube is trying to urge both creators and viewers to start dabbling in HDR video in a central location, and its best way of doing that is by pushing the world’s largest video platform to adopt the format. YouTube has done the same in the past for 4K content, as well as for 360-degree video and live-streaming. The goal is to keep YouTube at the forefront of streaming and display technology so that it stays competitive against other video options like Netflix and Amazon. YouTube says it’s working with top channels and creators to fill out its HDR catalog in the coming months.


TubeFilter: Lionsgate Wants To Spend $25 Million Per Year On Projects Led By Online Video Stars

Over the past two years, Lionsgate has worked with YouTube stars on several high-profile projects. It teamed with Freddie Wong’s RocketJump for a Hulu series, picked up Dirty Thirty from Mamrie Hart, Hannah Hart, and Grace Helbig, and gave a two-film deal to German jokester Flula Borg.

As it turns out, those projects are only the beginning. The Los Angeles Times posted an in-depth look at Lionsgate’s relationship with the online video community, and a few key stats pop out. Most notably, the Hollywood studio revealed its intention to spend $25 million per year on feature films and episodic projects led by digital media influencers.

That $25 million annual budget will reportedly be spread across eight to ten features and three to five series. The typical project will cost between $1-2 million, thus making it much cheaper — and much more likely to deliver a high return on investment — than the nine-figure blockbusters in Lionsgate’s catalog.


Tubefilter: Maker Studios Relaunches Polaris And The Station To Kick Off 15-Program Slate

Maker Studios is planning to be very busy during the fall and winter seasons. The digital media company, known for working with its network of online video content creators, has announced a 15-show programming slate, as well as the relaunch of its gaming destination Polaris and its comedy hub The Station.

11 of the new programs will live on Polaris, which launched in 2013 as an evolution of Maker’s Game Station brand, while four more will arrive on The Station, which was previously known as Nacho Punch. As expected, several of these new shows will be led by some of the biggest stars within Maker’s network. As an example, Timothy DeLaGhetto andRicky Shucks (pictured above) will inhabit a time-travelling food truck in Thai Machine. Other creators will their own series in Maker’s upcoming initiative include The Gregory BrothersKali Muscle, and LuzuGames.

It’s not just Maker’s highest-profile partners, however, who are featured in the upcoming slate. The network is also working with the up-and-coming creators within its Spark program; they will fill out the casts for several of the shows Maker plans to premiere.


Tubefilter: YouTube Took A Swipe At Facebook During Its UK Brandcast

By making streaming content a top priority, Facebook has challenged YouTube’s supremacy in the online video world, but the latter platform still believes it is the best choice for advertisers. During its annual UK Brandcast event, YouTube took a swipe at Facebook by reminding attendees that its viewers continue “to watch, not scroll.”

That line, courtesy of Google exec Peter Cory, targets the fact that Facebook has a very low threshold for what it considers a view. Any user who watches a Facebook video for at least three seconds is counted as a viewer, even if that user only paused momentarily to glimpse a silent video playing in the middle of his or her newsfeed. As a result, while Facebook counts billions of views per day, the average watch time on Facebook is much less than on YouTube. In a 2015 blog post, Hank Green noted that 86% of his YouTube viewers make it past the 30-second mark, while only 21% of his Facebook viewers reach that point.

YouTube’s UK Brandcast presentation also targeted the silent nature of many Facebook views. Sound only turns on when a user decides to actively engage with a video, and according to a recent report from Digiday, 85% of Facebook video views occur with no volume. On the other hand, YouTube proudly noted that 96% of its viewers watch with sound, and it implored advertisers to spend their budgets on videos that will heard as well as seen.


Tubefilter: Machinima Teams With YOMYOMF, Justin Lin, and NBCUniversal On ‘Knight Rider’ Reboot

Gamer and fandom-focused digital network Machinima announced today that it is partnering with YOMYOMF — an aggregated YouTube channel, digital media company, and blog that stands for ‘You Offend Me, You Offend My Family’ — as well as director Justin Lin (Star Trek BeyondFast & Furious 6) and NBCUniversal to launch a digital reboot of the 80s hit TV series Knight Rider.

The new digital series, to be produced by Lin and YOMYOMF — an Asian American pop culture channel directed by Lin and also featuring YouTube stars Ryan HigaKevin Wu, and Chester See — is slated to debut in 2017. Originally starringDavid Hasselhoff and airing for four seasons on NBC, Knight Rider tells the story of Michael Knight, a crime fighter who is aided on his quest for justice by a high-tech car.

Knight Rider is an iconic franchise whose concepts of artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles were science fiction in the 1980s and are now science fact,” said Machinima CEO Chad Gutstein in a statement. “Justin is one of the leading storytellers of his generation, and we couldn’t be more excited to work with him on re-invigorating Knight Riderfor a new generation of fans.”


Thewrap: Jukin Media Launches ‘Awesome Pet Thoughts’ on Comcast’s Watchable (Exclusive)

Jukin Media, which specializes in user-generated footage — and brought the world “Chewbacca Mom” — has a new show on Comcast’sWatchable streaming video service. And yes, it involves cat videos.

“Awesome Pet Thoughts” utilizes user-submitted pet clips — a Jukin staple — as building blocks in an offbeat, scripted show that puts the animals in situations millennials might face, such as dealing with a weekday hangover or an uncomfortable office romance.

Each episode is between three and four minutes, and uses source material from Jukin’s vast repository of user-generated content. The videos are stitched together to create offbeat storylines with recurring characters.