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Cynopsis Media Tech Update

Facebook announced product updates aimed at helping content creators build a business on Facebook. Noting that in-stream ad payouts grew over 55% from 2019 to 2020, the company shared new ways content creators can monetize Facebook, including making it possible for content creators to monetize all video types and testing sticker ads in Stories; updating in-stream ad eligibility so more video creators can access the program, opening access to in-stream ads for Live and expanding paid online events and fan subscriptions to more countries; and making it easier for creators to get access to fan support while growing consumer adoption via free Stars giveaways to viewers.


HBO Max is introducing interactive digital experience HBO Max Orbit at SXSW Online. The experience will respond to facial movements and voice prompts to allow viewers to interact with characters and stories in a personalized way, surfacing clips of HBO Max characters. “The pandemic has forced brands from all sectors to reimagine experiential marketing and devise new ways to engage and delight users with content,” said Jason Mulderig, SVP Brand Marketing, HBO Max. “HBO Max Orbit is an impressive technical feat, and we’re so pleased to use this technology to create fun, meaningful connections with people from the comfort of their homes.” SXSW Online takes place March 16-20.

TikTok is rolling out two new tools “to promote kindness” on the app. The first feature, Filter All Comments, enables creators to decide which comments appear on their videos. The second is a comment prompt that asks people to reconsider posting unkind or inappropriate comments. “Our goal is to promote a positive environment where people support and lift each other up,” said Tara Wadhwa, Director of Policy, TikTok US.

Conservative social media app Parler, kicked off Apple’s App store after the January 6 attack on the Capitol, tried and failed to get reinstated, reports Bloomberg. Although Parler instituted new community guidelines last month, Apple said, “simple searches reveal highly objectionable content, including easily identified offensive uses of derogatory terms regarding race, religion and sexual orientation, as well as Nazi symbols.”

Global data and technology company Spherex unveiled a technology solution that enables media and entertainment companies to adapt their content to be compliant, relevant, rated, and culturally appropriate for any global market. Using AI and machine learning in addition to human curation, the Spherex solution assesses and recommends a course of action on each individual title in a company’s library. “We’ve taken ten years of deep insight and research on culture and how it applies to film and television and we’ve successfully embedded our knowledge into this technology solution,” said Spherex CEO Teresa Phillips. “Beginning with local age ratings for over 100 markets, Spherex will apply its AI technology to auto-generate culturalized listings and unique title DNA that will fuel international expansion and content recommendations around the world.”

A bipartisan group of lawmakers reintroduced legislation that would allow the news industry to collectively negotiate content deals with tech companies like Facebook and Google, creating an exemption from existing antitrust laws. Sponsored in the Senate by Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Kennedy (R-LA) and in the House by David Cicilline (D-RI), Ken Buck (R-NY) and Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), similar legislation was first introduced in 2019 but failed to advance..

FreeWheel, A Comcast Company announced the launch of Data Warehouse, part of the Strata ad management platform. Data Warehouse provides Strata users with a single source of consolidated insights into their cross-media campaigns from the Strata system, and it is interoperable with agencies’ existing business intelligence solutions. “In today’s cross-screen advertising world, multi-platform data insights are a must,” said Mark McKee, Chief Revenue Officer, FreeWheel. “But often, the process for obtaining these insights can be time-consuming and complicated. With the Strata Data Warehouse, our clients are seeing measurable time savings.” Data Warehouse will be available to all Strata users in April.

Prime Focus Technologies has been issued a patent for its Just-in-Time embedded watermarking solution of streaming proxies within CLEAR. The solution comes with two major innovations: The ability to apply user-specific burnt-in watermarks, real-time, and to make the experience of a “Just-In-Time-Watermarked” stream as seamless as that of a CLEAN stream. The invention treats every streaming-segment request from a user’s video player, as an atomic segment that will need to be transcoded by a GPU-farm and handed back in real-time to the player. “Piracy has been and continues to heavily impact our industry at the world-wide level. Such an invention now provides studios and content owners the ability to protect their pre-release content through strong and reliable deterrence mechanisms that are embedded within their streaming infrastructures” said Ramki Sankaranarayanan, Founder and Global CEO, Prime Focus Technologies.

SaaS platform Quantum Metric announced that John Chambers, current Founder and CEO of purpose-driven venture firm JC2 Ventures and former Executive Chairman and CEO of Cisco, will join the company’s Board of Directors. As an investor in Quantum Metric and mentor to its CEO, Mario Ciabarra, Chambers will support the company’s endeavors to scale Continuous Product Design as brands continue to adapt to the fundamental digital shift in customer engagement accelerated by COVID-19. “Every company needs to become a technology company if they want to succeed in the digital era, and the need for tools that facilitate digital transformation, optimization, and innovation has increased exponentially as CEOs continue to recognize that fact,” said Chambers.