Quick Breaks is a daily column from the VideoInk editorial staff, which rounds up and features interesting developments in the larger digital video space that we feel you should be at least somewhat aware of. Have tips or suggestions for more Quick Breaks? Send them over to email@example.com/members.
Machinima is getting ready to release “Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles,” a new animated series from Warner Bros. digital studio Blue Ribbon Content and DC Entertainment. The series, which sets up an upcoming animated film, takes place in an alternate universe where Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are not the heroes we think they are.
AOL is getting ready to debut the second season of its Emmy-nominated talk series “Park Bench with Steve Buscemi” on June 18. Ahead of the season premiere, though, the first episode will be available as an “exclusive preview” on Roku, via the company’s AOL On Roku app. “AOL video views have more than doubled across over-the-top devices compared to last year at this time and since Roku is a leading streaming platform with millions of customers, it is a natural fit for us to deliver an exclusive experience for Roku customers around our Emmy-nominated series,” said Dermot McCormack, president of AOL Video & Studios.
Feature film and web series “Anxietyville” is now available on Vimeo on Demand. Directed by Rob Stefaniuk, “Anxietyville” follows the founders of a tech startup called PretEND Media, which lets people upload their minds to a virtual reality, which, thanks to a branding deal, becomes a “consumer product testing hell.” Cast members include David Reale, Al Mukadam, Chad Connell, Natalie Lisinska, Barbara Mambolo, Kjartan Hewitt, and Judy Marshak. “Anxietyville” is produced by Xenophile Media with the Canadian Media Fund and support from the Ontario Development Corporation and Duopoly. It is executive produced by Sara Diamond, Fred Fuchs, Catherine Tait, Mikhel Harilaid, and Keith Clarkson. The first four episodes are free on Vimeo, while the following six cost about $1 each to rent (or you can rent all 10 episodes for $4.99, or own them for $8.99). The feature film goes for the price of the 10 episodes to rent and buy, respectively. “Anxietyville” will likely be available later across YouTube, Koldcast, Dailymotion, and Hulu.
Last year, Honda announced ambitious plans to go the Red Bull route and invest in a lot more branded online video content. A year later and with subpar results, the automaker has elected to shut down its Honda Stage program, which included a YouTube channel with sponsored music content from Honda and media partners such as Vevo and Revolt TV. “We thought that the website and YouTube channel would be a destination, but at the end of the day, people find our content from search [and social media],” said Thomas Peyton, assistant VP of marketing for American Honda Motor Co., to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news.
Viewability remains a big thing in digital ad measurement — but are advertisers truly worried about viewability on connected-TV devices? Probably not, but it could go a long way in convincing advertisers to treat viewing on connected-TV as the same as traditional TV, according to Crackle. With that in mind, the streaming network has announced a partnership with Moat and FreeWheel to bring viewability measurement to connected TVs. The new measurement system developed by the companies will integrate Moat’s direct measurement tech with FreeWheel’s ad-serving monetization services to help advertisers better measure ads served on the biggest connected screen in the house. Crackle will be the first to use the new system.
Wibbitz, an Israeli startup that specializes in converting articles to short-form videos, has made two additions to its executive team. Former AOL executive Yaron Bloch has been hired as head of product, and will be based out of the company’s headquarters in Tel Aviv, and Jonas Abney has been named director of sales, located in the company’s New York offices. Wibbitz recently closed $8 million in Series B funding, which it plans to use in part to build its research and development and product team in Tel Aviv as well as add 10 new employees to its New York team by the end of the year.