Good morning. It's Wednesday, September 26, 2012, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.
Barnes & Noble plans to launch a new video service this fall for its Nook tablet devices. Dubbed Nook Video, the streaming and download service will offer film and television content from an array of major studios, including HBO, Sony, Starz, Viacom, Warner Bros, and Disney. Barnes & Noble says it's planning to announce partnerships with other top studios soon.
Nook Video will not be restricted to just the retailer's Nook devices, either; the company is also developing free apps that will allow users to access the service on other tablets, smartphones, and connected TVs. Following its release in the US this fall, Nook Video will come to the UK in time for the holiday season.
Videos that are downloaded from the Nook Store will be stored in a cloud-based digital locker, allowing users to stop and resume watching them from any supported device. The service will also be compatible with Hollywood's UltraViolet offering. Users will be able to both watch UltraViolet-enabled movies that they've already purchased and buy new ones via the Nook Store.
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Recipe Rehab, an original web series from Trium Entertainment and Everyday Health, is getting the television treatment. The show, which has been available on Everyday Health's premium channel on YouTube since April 2012, is now being expanded to the half-hour format and is set to premiere on nearly 200 ABC affiliate stations nationwide, beginning on October 6. All 11 episodes of the TV version of Recipe Rehab -- which asks regular families to submit their favorite recipes and then provides a "nutritional makeover" courtesy of two professional chefs who compete to create a healthier version of that meal -- will air weekly in the Saturday morning block. However, demonstrating that it's not a complete migration from the web, Everyday Health and Trium will continue producing fresh Recipe Rehab content for the YouTube channel. The show has reached 17 million video views since it premiered earlier this year.
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Turner Broadcasting has formed a new group within its Digital Ad Sales division that will focus on developing multiscreen branded content for advertisers. The new unit, titled Turner Branded Entertainment, will also collaborate with the other ad sales and marketing groups within Turner Ad Sales. Ed Wise, who has joined Turner as SVP of the newly formed unit, will be at the helm. He comes to the company from Funny or Die, which Turner Broadcasting made an investment in this past May. In fact, Turner Branded Entertainment will enlist the services of Funny or Die to develop and produce branded content for ad partners across the cable company's linear and digital properties. Wise is tasked with overseeing all of this. He will be based in NY, reporting to Walker Jacobs, EVP/Digital Ad Sales for Turner.
FEARnet, a multiplatform programming service for horror, thriller, and suspense content, is now selling dynamic ad insertion (DAI) capabilities in its free VOD content on cable set-top boxes. Last month, Sony Pictures Television, which represents FEARnet's ad sales efforts, began inserting commercial DAI spots for 10 advertisers, including Volvo, Focus Features for its new film ParaNorman, Anchor Bay Entertainment for the Season 2 DVD of The Walking Dead, Starz for Breathless and Piranha 3DD, and Magnolia Pictures for VHS. Through Canoe software and services, FEARnet is first launching with Comcast's Xfinity On Demand service, while simultaneously conducting "rollout tests" with Time Warner Cable. The company says it plans to roll out its DAI options to all of its VOD carriers in the coming months.
NY- and Atlanta-based "unified" marketing agency Definition 6 has acquired Synaptic Digital to boost its video content marketing and distribution capabilities. This also nearly doubles the agency's global size to over 200 employees, with reported revenue in excess of $45 million. Definition 6 says this acquisition provides it with a global content distribution platform for the video assets it creates for brands, while also enhancing Synaptic Digital's offering to now include improved broadcast and video post-production services, better digital and social media capabilities, and technology support. As part of the deal, Definition 6 has also acquired and will continue to invest in TheNewsMarket.com, a global content network that offers rights-free news videos for media professionals to use online or on television.
In other news from Everyday Health: The digital media company has acquired EQAL, a media company that builds and operates websites for a slew of brands and celebrities, including Jennifer Lopez, Bethenny Frankel, and Lauren Conrad. Everyday Health says it plans on leveraging EQAL's capabilities in branded digital content, scripted video, social marketing, and celebrity influencer networks, in order to expand its lifestyle content business. To that end, EQAL will be integrated into Everyday Health's Lifestyle Division. "Combining Everyday Health's broad reach (38 million monthly uniques across multiple platforms) and existing portfolio with EQAL's expertise in paid and earned media solutions will provide marketers with an unparalleled solution for cutting-edge, integrated marketing opportunities across platforms," said Everyday Health CEO and Co-Founder, Ben Wolin, in a statement. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. EQAL will keep its headquarters in LA and the company's Co-Founders Miles Beckett and Greg Goodfried will remain in their current roles, now reporting to Laura Klein, EVP and GM/Lifestyle for Everyday Health.
Oklahoma State University (OSU) has selected Comcast's thePlatform to power OStateTV, a new online video portal that offers more than 30 channels from a variety of university content sources, including many of its campuses, colleges, and organizations, as well as students, employees, and alumni. OStateTV will also serve as a laboratory of sorts for OSU's School of Media and Strategic Communications as students will be able to post content on the portal, including their video projects for class and even a sports show. Beyond that, OSU also plans to air some live events through OStateTV, such as a town hall meeting with Oklahoma Governor Marry Fallin, the university's homecoming parade on October 20, and an OStateTEDx event on November 1. Launched yesterday, OStateTV is accessible on smartphones, tablets, and of course PCs/Macs.
According to YuMe's latest report on in-stream video advertising, pre-roll made up 76% of total impressions served across the company's video ad network in the second quarter of 2012.In addition, the company reports that mobile impressions accounted for 7% of ads served in Q2 (up 3% from the previous quarter). Other data from the report includes:
While nearly 75% of users prefer a mobile-friendly site, 96% of consumers have nonetheless come across sites that were not optimized for mobile devices, according to a new study from Google, conducted by Sterling Research and SmithGeiger. Google says this is a "big problem and a big opportunity" for marketers that want to engage with mobile users. Per the findings, 61% of consumers quickly move to another site if they don't find what they're looking for right away. In addition, 36% of respondents said they felt like they've wasted their time by visiting sites that aren't optimized for mobile devices, and 52% indicated that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company. Conversely, 74% of respondents said they are more likely to return to a mobile-friendly site and 67% answered that they are more likely to buy from one (the study surveyed 1,088 US adult smartphone users in July 2012).
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Yahoo has named Ken Goldman as its new Chief Financial Officer, effective October 22. Replacing outgoing CFO Tim Morse, Goldman will be responsible for Yahoo's global finance operations, including financial planning and analysis, controllership, tax, treasury, and investor relations. He will report directly to new Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.
PointRoll, Gannett's digital marketing solutions company, has appointed Peter Macey to be its VP/Midwest Sales. In this role, Macey will lead PointRoll's sales efforts and client relationships in the Midwest, Southeast, and Detroit regions. He will also be responsible for sales development, product and partnership integration, new business, and online marketing awareness and development.
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By now you should know I'm a huge fan of the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) Theatre, which is legitimately and inarguably the best place in NY (or LA) to see some live (improvisational/sketch/stand-up) comedy. Then I find out that the UCB recently partnered with one of my favorite entertainment sites, Vulture, to launch a new web series that features celebrities recounting a moment when they met their own idols, only to have an awkward, but hilarious, moment just like many of us would. Pop Culture Memory Lane is animated for your viewing pleasure, so check it out. The first episode stars Casey Wilson from ABC's Happy Endings, with other guests such as Paul Scheer and John Cho slated to "get cartoonified" over the next two weeks.
Later - Sahil
Sahil Patel, Associate Editor for Cynopsis Digital
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