Good morning. It's Friday, March 23, 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.
At the Adobe Digital Marketing Summit in Salt Lake City, Viacom has unveiled Surround Sound, a new ad service that will enable advertisers to reach specific audiences across every screen that Viacom is on, whether it is television, or online video, premium display, mobile or other digital platforms. It will be available for all of Viacom's media networks, including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Spike and VH1. Powered by Adobe's AudienceManager platform, Surround Sound offers advertisers scalable media buys across nearly 100 million homes on-air, more than 80 million unique visitors online, as well as the mobile and email users Viacom reaches across the globe. Viacom says Surround Sound will leverage the company's proprietary, anonymous first-party data, as well as anonymous data from industry partners and providers, around "demographics, behavior, geography and purchase propensities."
Vevo has reached an agreement with Yahoo! to syndicate its video content to Yahoo! Music. Yahoo! joins other major syndication partners for the music video platform, including AOL, Facebook and YouTube. According to what a Vevo spokesperson said to Billboard.biz, Vevo's content will be made available on additional Yahoo! properties in the coming weeks and months. The partnership was first announced via Vevo's Twitter account.
HealthiNation and TheBump.com have forged a partnership that will bring original web series from the health and wellness media company to TheBump.com's audience of first-time moms. As part of the partnership, HealthiNation will debut original video content that will be developed in collaboration with the website's editorial team, focused on the needs of new moms and doctor-approved parenting and pre-natal video content. TheBump.com will also incorporate multiplatform package opportunities to its advertisers, taking advantage of HealthiNation's distribution network that spans online and TV platforms. The companies say they will leverage their existing advertiser relationships as part of this deal and offer exclusive and non-exclusive advertiser promotions across the partnership.
Per a new licensing deal with Saban Brands, Lionsgate has acquired North American home entertainment distribution rights to Saban's Power Rangers Samurai and Power Rangers Super Samurai. Along with obtaining all DVD and Blu-ray rights, the deal also enables Lionsgate to distribute the series through digital download.
TrialPlay and TubeMogul are introducing real-time bidding for a social video advertising platform that pays viewers to watch video ads. In 2011, TrialPlay launched video ads that appear within many top social games online. Under its model, users who choose to watch the ad receive rewards, such as increased game privileges or Facebook Credits. TrialPlay says that to keep up with the demand, it developed a private exchange, which it is launching today, to let brand advertisers buy audiences across hundreds of games. TrialPlay's first integration will be with real-time media buying platform TubeMogul, through which TubeMogul's clients will be able to buy video ads for these new units alongside existing formats such as pre-roll, in-display and more, across a variety of devices. The companies also report that five brands that beta-tested the platform saw an average lift in purchase intent by 2.1% and message association by 7.6%.
Katz 360, the digital sales arm of the Katz Media Group, has signed an agreement with online ad company Audience Partners, and its subsidiary CampaignGrid, to deliver advanced micro-targeting solutions that reach registered voters online for political advertisers. Audience Partners' platform allows political campaigns and advocacy organizations to target registered voters through online display, video and mobile advertising. The agreement will enable Katz 360 to provide targeted online audiences that can be segmented based on metrics such as party affiliation, past voting history, congressional district and more. Audience Partners developed its platform utilizing its National Online Voter File of more than 187 million registered U.S. voters, as well as other data sets, and has powered "billions" of advertising impressions for over 400 campaigns, advocacy groups, nonprofits and commercial clients.
In an interview at Federated Media Publishing's Signal SF conference in San Francisco, Rik van der Kooi, VP, Microsoft Advertising Business Group, spoke about Microsoft's plans for its ads business. Of particular note, when asked how Windows 8 advertising will show Microsoft is serious about advertising, van deer Kooi said, per Forbes, "Windows 8 is going to have an apps store on it. It will be on a scale that will be attractive to advertisers as well. Our focus is going to be on high quality [advertisements]. It should be a very attractive vehicle for advertisers."
Tribune Media Services Entertainment Products (TMS) has inked a deal with Audible Magic, a provider of automated content recognition technology and solutions, that will enable Audible Magic to offer its clients the solutions necessary for developing social TV experiences. Through the agreement, Audible Magic will use TMS' entertainment metadata in its new Live TViD ACR service, which will identify live TV content using audio signals and synchronize in real-time with TMS metadata to connect consumer mobile devices with programming that's on the TV. Currently, TMS metadata powers television and movie guide products through clients that include Microsoft, Google, TiVo, Time Warner Cable, Comcast and IMDb.
AT&T will begin rolling out an Ice Cream Sandwich update for some Android phone models. Initially, it will just be available for one model: the HTC Vivid. However, in the coming months, AT&T will update 10 other phones and tablets, including five Samsung devices, two Motorola Atrix devices and the LG Nitro. Beginning today, the company will start sending SMS notifications to the HTC Vivid users who have not upgraded.
Facebook has bought 750 patents from IBM in an effort to bulk up its defenses against Yahoo!'s pending patent infringement lawsuit, reports Bloomberg. The patents cover a number of technologies, including software and networking, according to what its source tells Bloomberg.
Per a regulatory filing with the SEC, TiVo and Microsoft have reached an agreement to drop all pending patent litigation the companies have against each other. In 2010, Microsoft had sued TiVo for violating patents that covered video purchcasing and delivery. It had then filed a complaint with the U.S. ITC last year, seeking a ban against all TiVo sales in the U.S. In defense, TiVo sued Microsoft, among a slew of other companies, stating that Microsoft was actually violating TiVo's patents. In its filing, TiVo said that no patents were granted to Microsoft; the two companies are simply walking away from the battle.
Social media can significantly boost the time viewers spend watching TV, according to a new study from iModerate Research Technologies. 58% of "heavy engagers," or those consumers who share on social networks the thoughts related to what they are watching at least 10 times a week, report watching more live TV. Adam Rossow, VP/Marketing, iModerate, said, "The respondents in this study consistently remarked that it makes TV more fun." In addition, Rossow said that a growing number of viewers enjoy social interaction and frequently add shows to their lineup because of social conversations. "This adds up to more time spent on social networks and more hours watching television," he said. iModerate also found three types of consumers who regularly engage in social TV experiences. They are:
MTV has crossed the 100 million "likes" mark for its show pages on Facebook (this does not include pages for characters). To honor the milestone, Trendrr has released some data about MTV's social audience and engagement. The male/female split for MTV's Facebook pages stands at 38%/62%. 48% of MTV's Facebook fans access the pages via mobile, while 52% access them through the web. The top five MTV Facebook pages by engagement (a six-week average) are for the Pauly D Project (45.21%), Caged (14.64%), I Just Want My Pants Back (13.12%), Teen Mom 2 (6.61%) and Awkward (5.02%).
TV Everywhere and digital entertainment solutions provider Synacor has hired Michael Bishara to be its new VP & GM/TV Everywhere. "With more than 30 million households expected to use TV Everywhere by 2016, Michael's expertise will ensure Synacor's customers have all the content, apps and services they need to deliver breakthrough user experiences," said Ron Frankel, Synacor's CEO. Most recently, Bishara was at HBO, where he was responsible for the overall strategy, development and rollout of broadband products, including HBO Go.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
In honor of this week's release of Angry Birds Space, MTV and game developer Rovio have partnered up to launch a youth activism effort surrounding the game. Users who download and play the new game will have access to a secret Golden Egg level of the game, if they post a positive action on MTV's Draw Your Line app. The partnership is part of MTV's multi-year and ongoing "A THIN LINE" campaign designed to combat digital abuse (such as cyber-bullying and "textual" harrasment). MTV has also released an original Angry Birds PSA that will air across MTV channels. It can be viewed here.
Later - Sahil
Sahil Patel, Associate Reporter for Cynopsis Digital
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