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Issue #18 - February 21, 2016


  • The New Yorker in Video

  • What's Up with Great Big Story?

  • Hello: AT&T Partners with FullScreen

  • GumGum's Card Game


The New Yorker’s Video Reinvention: The New Yorker magazine, whose origins go back to 1925, has taken a giant leap forward by partnering with Amazon for a unique experiment. The periodical is known for its literary focus as well as its commentary on popular culture and, not least of all, its trademark cartoons. These key elements are being recreated in video format in the new Amazon series “The New Yorker Presents.” The first season features 10 episodes, each of which is “like an issue of the magazine, with documentary shorts, cartoons, one-minute clips, poetry, and fiction.” According to executive producer Kahane Cooperman, the shows are "not a re-creation of the magazine itself, but a step in the direction of a reinvention of the news magazine format.” Both parties view the initiative as an experiment, with The New Yorker looking to attract new readers and drive brand awareness amongst a young audience, and Amazon looking to add to its growing roster of original productions while aligning itself with strong media brands. One can only speculate on how the experiment will play out - but audiences are surely winning in the meantime as the number of innovate, high-quality productions hit the market. 


Read It: Wired: The New Yorker on Amazon isn’t just TV. It’s a whole new kind of magazine. 


Watch ItThe New Yorker Presents (Season 1 Trailer)


Great Big (Success) Story? It’s been four months since CNN launched Great Big Story, its digital initiative designed to reach young news consumers who are seeking more substance than the megaphone of Vice or the listicles of Buzzfeed. The effort seems to be working - the brand has attracted 2M fans on Facebook and has generated 160M presses of the play button on its videos across its apps, websites, Facebook and YouTube channels since launch. But what's the plan for monetization? Branded content, explains head of sales David Spiegel. Both GE and Hewlett Packard have signed on as partners in creating “short films and stories” - with HP sponsored “The Dreamers” launching earlier this month. Great Big Story expects to release “about a dozen branded series in the next six months,” according to Spiegel. Will the focus on a narrow audience coupled with a branded content strategy generate enough revenue for Great Big Story to be considered a success? What are the expectations? “Do I think this is a multibillion-dollar business?" ponders Spiegal, "No, but we don’t need to be ... We might not be a fit for everybody, but we are a fit for a lot of people.”


Read ItInside Great Big Story, CNN's attempt to out-BuzzFeed BuzzFeed 


Watch ItYouTube: Hewlett Packard's "The Dreamers"


Hello? AT&T has announced a new partnership which will further its efforts in the content game. In association with Fullscreen, a network of social media content creators, the newly established “AT&T Hello Lab” will release five shows this year, starting with a travel-related series. What’s interesting about this project is its stars: the shows will feature talent from social media including “YouTubers Grace Helbig, Damon and Jo, and Collins Key along with Instagram comedian Brandon Armstrong and Snapchat star Shaun McBride” - so one imagines that the episodes will reside on the platforms where the talent already has an audience. This isn’t AT&T’s first entrée into producing original content for platforms - it’s currently in its fourth season of SummerBreak, a You Tube-based reality show that “follows a group of LA kids living out loud on the beaches of Southern California,” - a show which has enjoyed over 150M views since launch. It also publishes “SnapperHero” a Snapchat series launched in late 2015 which now has nearly 200k followers. AT&T’s ultimate intention in engaging young social media stars and their audiences? Retaining those who are existing customers - and luring new ones. 


Read It: The Drum: AT&T Partners with Fullscreen to Launch Hello Lab 


Watch It: YouTube: SummerBreak 


Gaming for Insight:  In-image advertising platform Gum Gum has created a fun little game to help us all improve our social media strategies. Called "The Marketer's Matching Game" it’s “like the classic match-and-pair game for kids, albeit with a marketing twist.” Match two cards and a social media insight is revealed. Give it a try! 


Play It: AdWeek: Marketer's Matching Game


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