Good morning. It's Friday, February 10, 2012, and this is your first early morning digital briefing. If you would like to read this or any other Cynopsis editions online, click here.
Apple will debut the iPad 3 in the first week of March, according to AllThingsD. As is usual for the company when it unveils a new product, the event will be held in San Francisco, most likely at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, where Apple has hosted many previous events. No indications have been given as to when the next iteration of the popular tablet device will be available to the public. AllThingsD predicts that it will probably be available a week after the announcement, similar to last year's timeframe between the iPad 2's announcement and release date. The iPad 3 will most likely be running on a faster chip, and will feature an enhanced graphics processing unit and a new retina display.
Amazon Prime Instant Video, which is currently only offered as an additional component of the $79 yearly Amazon Prime membership program, will not be split off into a separate service anytime soon. This is according to an interview conducted by GigaOM with Amazon's head of digital video content acquisition Brad Beale, who said, "The way Prime Instant Video is offered today -- we're going to continue that approach at least into the near future."
The Nerdist Channel on YouTube is a partnership between Nerdist Industries, The Jim Henson Company and Broadway Video, as well as the latest announced participant in YouTube's original programming initiative. The channel will officially launch on April 1, and will offer "nerd-centric programming" featuring people such as Chris Hardwick (who announced the launch on YouTube's official blog), Neil Patrick Harris, Rob Zombie, Awkward Family Videos and The Kids in the Hall, among others. Programs on the channel will cover gaming, science, technology and cosplay.
Facebook's fbStart program is designed to court early-stage investment firms that have developers of social media tools and services in their portfolios, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. Developers at companies backed by firms participating in the program will get early previews of tools and features Facebook is developing for its platform. They can then build apps, services and businesses around these tools and features. For Facebook, the idea is to then take a cut of all revenue generated from such services for/on its platform. Current partners in the fbStart program include Seedcamp, sFund, TechStars and Y Combinator. TechStars, an accelerator based out of Boulder, Colo., says almost half of its portfolio of over 80 "active" companies plan to take advantage of the fbStart program, according to the Journal.
Internet Broadcasting and Exact Drive are teaming up to offer political and national advocacy campaign advertisers an end-to-end digital advertising solution. The companies have jointly announced that advertisers will be offered a high-quality, video-embedded online ad creative that will be digitally distributed by Exact Drive via the company's ad delivery technology, which enables micro-niche targeting at the domain, category, contextual and behavior levels. Internet Broadcasting's publishing solutions include a SaaS-publishing platform, original syndicated content and local advertising designed for local TV and major media companies. Its clients include Hearst Television, CNN, Turner Broadcasting and more.
ClearSaleing, a provider of an advertising analytics and attribution platform, has published a digital marketing study, which drew from the company's attribution analysis of over 56 billion ad impressions and $13 billion in resulting revenue, in an effort to identify trends for 2012. The study finds that social media drives more revenue than paid search. Specifically, it finds that the presence of social media in a "purchase path" drives higher value orders, in terms of revenue per order ($280), than natural search and paid search combined ($230.07), although social media is not the highest traffic channel. Furthermore, when social media was introduced in the purchase path, the social media click accounted for $5.24 in revenue, a 20% increase over paid search ($4.38) and an 84% increase over natural search. However, it's not necessarily doom and gloom for paid and natural search. When compared to the company's previous ad analysis, paid search and natural search saw an 8.8% and 10.91% order lift, respectively.
Per a new agreement, A+E Networks will deploy FreeWheel's Monetization Rights Management (MRM) technology across all of the network's mobile properties. FreeWheel offers media companies, such as FOX, ESPN, Turner, VEVO and now A+E, technology and services that help manage advertising and operations across multiple devices. Its MRM software will be used by A+E to monetize premium mobile content by enabling TV-like commercial break ad loads on A+E's mobile VOD offerings. The network will also be able to optimize ad loads based on criteria such as highest CPM and frequency. The technology will be deployed for short- and long-form episode content on A+E Networks' mobile sites and properties, including A&E, HISTORY, Lifetime and Biography, as well as all branded apps on iOS.
In other Facebook news, the company has signed a deal with Bango, a U.K.-based mobile payments company. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. According to the statement announcing the agreement, Bango's board "believes it is too early in the relationship to accurately forecast the level of business which it may generate." But it is safe to say that the deal is geared toward helping Facebook monetize its mobile offering, which currently boasts 425 monthly active users, as reported by the company in its S-1 filing ahead of its upcoming IPO. Bango already powers mobile payments on BlackBerry smartphones via a partnership with RIM.
The Justice Department is likely to approve Google's proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. The decision can come as early as next week. If approved, the deal would give Google ownership of over 17,000 patents for mobile technology. In similar news, the DOJ is also likely to approve a sale of over 6,000 wireless technology patents from Nortel Network Corp. to a group led by Microsoft and Apple, and including RIM, Sony, Ericsson AB and EMC. The price for this deal is $4.5 billion. A possible date for the DOJ approval is not clear yet.
comScore has released its 2012 U.S. Digital Future in Focus report, which provides an overview of annual trends in social media, search, online video, digital advertising, mobile and e-commerce. Among the highlights:
The use of game consoles as a connected TV platform is rising, according to Deloitte and Harrison Group's 2011 "Changing the Game: State of the Media Democracy" report, per eMarketer. Watching television live, recorded via a DVR, through a cable provider's on-demand offering, via a free online video service or on a show's website are still the five predominant methods for watching television content. However, accessing TV shows from a web-connected service on a gaming console has seen a spike over the last two years, from 3% of survey respondents who have utilized this method in 2009 to 9% in 2011. This growth is being driven by the 14 to 22 age demographic ("trailing millennials") and the 23 to 28 age demographic ("leading millennials"), with 18% of both types of millennials responding they have used game consoles to watch television content. Only 8% of Generation X and 3% of Baby boomers indicated the same, while no one above 65 watched TV on a game console according to the report. When the survey asked users what their preferred method of watching TV was, only 3% chose game consoles. However, on this end, the "trailing millennials" led the way at 8%.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
As you might have already heard, next week is Social Media Week, a five-day conference that offers "a series of interconnected activities and conversations around the world on emerging trends in social and mobile media across all major industries." This year, the event is taking place in 21 cities worldwide (including New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto, Vancouver, Sao Paolo, London, Paris, Rome, Milan, Berlin, Tokyo and Hong Kong, just to name a few, or 14) and is expected to attract around 60,000 attendees across thousands of individually organized events, as well as an additional half million connecting to the conference online and/or through mobile. Check out its official site for all updates regarding the conference if you plan to attend or participate in some form. And while you're at it, check out this video created in honor of the event that has some old-aged hipsters from the future (year 2062) talking about what social and digital media was like way back in 2012.
Later - Sahil
Sahil Patel, Associate Reporter for Cynopsis Digital
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