Good morning. It's Friday, March 9, 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.
2012 will not be a good year for PC shipments, according to a new Gartner forecast. The research firm predicts that worldwide PC shipments are on pace to reach 368 million units in 2012, which would mark only a 4.4% increase from 2011. A large reason for this slowing of growth is due to the proliferation of other connected devices in the market. "The use of applications such as email, social networking and internet access, that were traditionally the domain of the PC, are now being used across media tablets and smartphones, making these devices in some cases more valued and attractive propositions," said Ranjit Atwal, research director. "The creation of content capabilities of PCs may not be enough to counteract the better content consumption capabilities of media tablets," he added. With that in mind, emerging markets will play a key role for PC-makers, as there is still great opportunity for market penetration within such countries.
Trendrr.TV has launched version 2.0 of its social TV data platform that is designed for television networks to have access to more information regarding their programs and social networks, as well as for media planners, who can use the data to make more informed social TV buys. New features on version 2.0 include audience influence scores, character/talent charts and insights, audience programming affinities, integration of client data into custom dashboards, compatibility with Spanish, 24/7 tracking and a new, more polished design.
TapCast.TV has launched a social TV technology solution for broadcasters, advertisers and content producers that want to build second-screen experiences around television content. Features offered by the platform that broadcasters can offer consumers include Social Chat, allowing users to post and engage in a conversation with others about a television program; Friends, a display that shows all of a viewer's friends who "like" the show; Interactive, delivering synced content to viewers, such as live polls, t-commerce, interactive ads and/or discounts; and Show Metadata. The last one comes through a partnership TapCast has inked with Rovi, which offers its television metadata regarding shows and specific episodes through Rovi Cloud Services that TapCast uses to power its website.
USC's School of the Cinematic Arts, NYU's ProMotion Pictures Program, Subway Restaurants, Content & Co., IFC and My Damn Channel have partnered up for a branded web series competition. In its second year after being piloted at USC in 2011, the competition is an on-campus extension of the Subway Fresh Artists Filmmakers initiative and was designed by L.A.-based brand studio Content & Co. My Damn Channel will host and syndicate the four winning web series, as well as last year's winner of the competition. The digital entertainment studio and distributor will also create original content relating to the initiative, including behind-the-scenes footage, filmmaker profiles and more. The four winning series premiered on MyDamnChannel.com and IFC.com on March 5.
Break Media has redesigned its Game Front website, which is geared toward gamers, a key vertical within the company's male-centric audience. The website's traffic has tripled over the past year, which Break Media attributes largely to its YouTube walkthroughs that provide gaming tutorials for viewers and have been viewed nearly 26.7 million times over the past year. To that end, the site's redesign places an added emphasis on video content, as well as editorial content from top gaming experts. For example, the new homepage will spotlight the most-demanded videos and will automatically adjust to the resolution of the viewer's screen for optimal viewing.
InterMedia Outdoors, owner of the Sportsman Channel, has launched a new website dedicated to keeping sportsmen informed about relevant political issues that would affect them in the lead-up to the November elections. Sportsmenvote.com will look to be a major political resource for America's 80 million sportsmen, says Todd Smith, VP of content development. Aside from a regularly updating newsfeed, polls on the site will show how sportsmen feel about a particular issue and a panel of experts will provide their own perspectives on relevant political matters affecting sportsmen. Another interactive element is the "Candidate Match" tool that matches users to presidential candidates.
More SXSW news: If you're attending the Festival, the Original iPhone Film Festival will be hosting a panel at SXSW Interactive this Sunday, March 11. During the event, the panel, which includes filmmakers and tech experts, will discuss the creative and professional opportunities available as a result of the filmmaking capabilities of Apple's mobile devices.
PubMatic has expanded its mobile platform with the acquisition of MobiPrimo, a mobile development tech firm that specializes in bringing mobile platform integration to companies such as Nokia, Microsoft and Motorola. The deal will allow PubMatic's mobile platform to integrate directly with leading mobile ad networks, ad servers and demand-side platforms, and also more than doubles the staff on PubMatic's mobile development team. PubMatic's mobile platform will support all features available in the PubDirect suite of management tools, including the Unified Optimization Engine, which allows publishers to monetize guaranteed and non-guaranteed inventory against multiple demand sources, and Audience Direct, which allows publishers to create and manage the variable value of their audience in real time.
RSG Media has announced the availability of a pricing optimization solution, Zoox Yield Manager, for digital publishers. The application helps publishers determine optimal and floor prices for proposals. The company says that the pricing guidance provided by the new platform has resulted in up to an 8% revenue lift based on engagements with three different major digital publishers. The application also can instill pricing discipline with well-defined pricing range; discover mis-pricing with its pricing diagnostics; help teams respond in a more efficient manner to RFPs with accurate pricing inventory; and, due to the heavy use of Microsoft Excel in ad operations and sales, is available as an Excel add-on.
WebCollage, a provider of rich product information for retailer websites, is now offering user-generated video reviews for products across its network of over 1,000 retailer websites in North America and Europe. The new offering is through a partnership with EXPO, a "consumer network" which is providing the video reviews. The companies say that EXPO has assembled over 350,000 video reviews covering products from many consumer-facing brands, including P&G, Unilever, LG and Phillips. WebCollage will match the reviews to the product info it already offers its retail subscribers, such as Amazon.com, Best Buy and Walmart.
Mark Your Calendars! On Tuesday April 24 in New York the leaders in sports media will convene for the Cynopsis Sports Business Summit. Will you be joining us? Register now with this link: http://www.cynopsissportssummit.com/.
Google is looking to sell Motorola Mobility's set-top box business before it even completes the $12.5 acquisition of the company, according to the New York Post. The search giant has enlisted the services of investment bank Qatalyst Partners and Barclays Capital to help sell the business. This comes a month after news that Cisco is seeking to sell its own set-top box subsidiary, Scientific Atlanta. The report also reveals that two other companies, Pace and Technicolor, are also looking to get out. According to the Post, a big reason for what may be the "slow death" of the set-top box is the introduction of software and devices that can integrate the TV with the web.
According to Facebook ad company AdParlor, per eMarketer, the entertainment industry is seeing the highest engagement rates on Facebook, with ads for movies and entertainment witnessing nearly five times the click-through rates as the least-performing industry, merchant/banking services (11.4% versus 2.52%). The report from AdParlor analyzed cost-per-click and click-through rates for over 1,000 ad campaigns that it had run on the social network between the beginning of September 2011 and the end of February 2012.
Digital coupon events increased 40.4% in 2011, over 2010, across all retailer websites monitored by Kantar Media. This data comes from Kantar's new DirectHEAT service that aims to enable CPG manufacturers to more efficiently understand how advertising and promotion activity is influencing a consumer's path-to-purchase.
Conde Nast's SELF, a brand focused on active lifestyles for women, will be entering the social gaming space with the release of SELF Workout in the Park for Facebook on March 19, 2012. In the game, users will be able to create their own outdoor fitness park, personalize avatars and complete health-themed missions and challenges that impact the look and fitness level of their avatar. The game will also offer merchandise from sponsors in the beauty, fashion, fitness and wellness industries, as well as the ability to log and track real-life fitness goals through a companion mobile app, which is slated to be launched on April 7. The game will also offer advertisers a variety of sponsorship opportunities, including custom branding within gameplay, onsite presence in the virtual park, branded virtual goods and video and static ad integration.
Joule, a mobile marketing and WPP agency, has hired Daniel Rosen to serve as Chief Executive Officer, EMEA. At his new position, Rosen will oversee all Joule operations in the region, as well as drive agency growth across it. Reporting to Joule's Global CEO Michael Collins, Rosen will also be a member of the agency's global management team. The hiring of Rosen follows several moves Joule has made in the past couple of months to expand more into EMEA and Asia, including the opening of a new office in Paris; the launch of MJoule, a joint venture with GroupM China; and the acquisition of Beijing-based mobile agency Wisereach.
Former Weather Channel exec Sheila Buckley is the new Chief Revenue Officer of Vibrant Media, a newly created global position. Buckley is joining the company as it looks to continue expanding its geographical reach and portfolio of contextual advertising solutions. She will be based at Vibrant's headquarters in New York City.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Funny Or Die has launched its first digital magazine for the iPad, The Occasional. Now available through the Newsstand in the App Store, the magazine offers over 25 pieces of original content, the types of which include celebrity interviews, political commentary, movie reviews, comedic takes on conventional magazine features and, maybe the coolest thing of all, an audio children's book with sound effects courtesy of comedian Marc Maron. The magazine also has an exclusive episode of Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis. You can purchase each individual issue for $3.99; nab six for $1.99; or sign up for an annual subscription for $9.99. A preview version is also available for free.
Later - Sahil
Sahil Patel, Associate Reporter for Cynopsis Digital
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JOB POSTING: MGR, DATABASE ANALY/MTVNetworks/NYC: BA. 3yrs database mktg. Bkgrd stats/econometrics. Media ind. Fluent SAS/SQL. Prof Excel; Visual Basic pref. Knwlg database mktg tech. EOE/M/F/D/AAP. Apply www.mtvnetworkscareers.com (3/16)
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JOB OPENING: DIR PLANNING/Uni Cable Nets/NY: Oversee all inventory/pricing/proposals for 6 networks. Must be detailed/analytical/able to multi-task. Exp. in media req. DM/VCI/Spanish a + APPLY: SalesPlanningJobsNYC@univision.net (3/10)
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