| Cynopsis: DIGITAL
Good morning, it's Thursday, January 20, 2011, and this is your first early morning digital briefing. If you would like to read this or any other Cynopsis edition online, click here.
San Mateo, CA-based online ad technology platform Jivox is introducing a new mobile ad platform this morning that promises to greatly simplify mobile campaigns for brand advertisers and their agencies. The cloud-based solution enables advertisers to launch interactive video ads, complete with a full measurement and analytics suite, that play seamlessly across the iPad, iPhone and Android handheld devices, automatically toggling back and forth between Flash and HTML5. The write once-play everywhere technology, which supports multiple interactive elements including sharing, additional footage and click-to-purchase, will add additional platforms in the coming months, according to Jivox CEO Diaz Nesomoney in an interview.
~ MULTIPLATFORM CONTENT NEWS ~
IFC premiers the latest TV show by creators who honed their skills on the web on Friday at 10:30 ET/PT: PORTLANDIA was created by, written by and stars Fred Armisen (SNL) and Carrie Brownstein (vocalist/guitarist, WILD FLAG, Sleater-Kinney) and was co-executive produced by Lorne Michaels. Carrie and Fred's first collaboration was the long running Thunderant series of online character-based sketches.
Multiplatform service Cool Music Network (operator of TheCoolTV digital multiplex channel) signed a carriage deal to extend the service to three McGraw-Hill Broadcasting stations, in Bakersfield, CA (KERO-TV,) San Diego, CA (KGTV) and Denver, CO (KMGH-TV). The service now reaches 40 million homes.
I'm writing this from my local Starbucks (throw a rock and you'll hit one in Seattle, but do me favor Fink - throw it hard.) The coffee chain officially expanded the mobile payment system it had been trialing nationally, to some 6,800 stores and another 1,000 Target locations. The mobile app allows you to register Starbucks cards, accumulate rewards and pay for items by generating a scanable bar code.
Facebook temporarily shuttered a new data-sharing feature on its site that shared users' personal info with third party developers after privacy advocates raised concerns about the practice. "We got some useful feedback that we could make people more clearly aware of when they are granting access to this data," wrote Douglas Purdy in the Facebook Developer blog.
Web and mobile Q&A service ChaCha closed on additional $3 million in funding including $900k of outstanding warrants from new investor Qualcomm Ventures. The service recorded a record one million web visitors and another two million SMS text questions in a single day in Dec. and is currently ranked as the fastest-growing Top 100 website by ComScore.
~ DIGITAL ADVERTISING ~
Real-time Video as a Service solution provider mDialog announced support of Roku's streaming media player, allowing video publishers to place their midstream video ads in programming delivered by Roku's growing footprint of over Over-The-Top set tops.
~ TECHNOLOGY DEALS, MERGERS AND SKIRMISHES ~
Local media website vendor Broadcast Interactive, which acquired TitanTV early last year, launched a new TV station programming tool allowing stations to schedule programming through an online grid-style interface. The MediaStar 3.0 officially launched in Nov. 2010, with Gray Television stations WCTV-TV, WCTV2, WSWG-TV, WSWG2 and WSWG3 as the third cluster of stations to go live on the web-based program.
~ TRENDS, RESEARCH, ETC. ~
Calling it a "Super Media," research firm Deloitte gave a ringing endorsement to the traditional TV business, predicting the continued growth of global TV ad revenue primarily via the 30-second spot, from $174 billion in 2007 to $191 billion in 2011. (Growing popularity in emerging markets was one reason cited; TV ad spending is expected to grow 16% in China and 14% in India in 2011 alone.) Technology innovations such as DVRs (now in over 30% of U.S. homes) and online TV content has tended to boost overall viewing, with little adverse affect to traditional ad models.
Arizona-based researcher In-Stat is decidedly more bullish on the Smart TV revolution that took center stage at CES this year. The company is predicting a 6-fold increase in web-connected TV devices to 230+ million units in North America in Europe by 2014.
Boxee's long-awaited firmware update is finished, adding access to Vudu on the new Boxee Box enabling users to rent or purchase hit movies in 1080p HD for as little as $2 for 2 nights. Other updates include enhancements to the browser's performance, the ability to launch a website when typing in the full URL in the search bar and the ironing out of various bugs.
Cloud-based notetaking app Evernote launched on the new Mac App store with great success, attracting 90,000 downloads within the first 24 hours, close to half of whom were new users. The company reports 6 million users overall and 1.1 million users of its popular iPhone app.
GE and MedHelp have teamed to launch a new free Calorie Counter app for the iPhone that allows you to keep track of your exercise regime, calorie intake, vitamin needs and water intake to help manage your health while you are dieting.
~ EXECUTIVE MOVES ~
Former Peer39 SVP Hugh McGoran has joined comScore as SVP/U.S. Ad Agency Sales. He will be responsible for comScore's business development efforts and existing client relationships among ad agencies in the U.S., reporting to EVP Jeff Hackett.
Advertising technology firm Adchemy has hired GreatNonprofts founder and CTO James Rowley as SVP/Engineering and Operations and former Zilliant VP Deke Keating as VP/Client Services.
Sorenson Media has tapped online video industry vet John Greene as VP/Worldwide Sales. He will oversee sales activities including strategic partnerships and initiatives in the U.S. and across the world.
Stephane Hamel, treasurer of the Web Analytics Association, and Mike Peralta, COO of Magnetic, have joined online marketing technology firm TagMan's advisory board.
~ WEBSITE OF THE DAY ~
San Francisco-based ad supported online TV episode aggregator SideReel has gathered a sizeable (10 million+) monthly audience of forward-thinking users since launching in 2007, an audience it might be interesting to listen to gain insight into current viewing trends. A recent survey turned up some interesting patterns in the tea leaves, some of which may surprise you. One thing is for sure, trends change quickly among this young (ave. age 29,) mercurial group:
Later - Wayne
Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital
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