Good morning. It's Tuesday, April 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.
Forget the funding and the eye-popping valuation numbers for the popular photo-sharing app; Facebook has bought Instagram for $1 billion in cash and shares. On his Facebook Timeline, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote: "This is an important milestone for Facebook because it's the first time we've ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don't plan on doing many more of these, if any at all." Zuckerberg stressed that Facebook will keep Instagram independent, which includes features such as the ability to post to other social networks, to not post on Facebook and the ability to follow and be followed by people separately from a user's Facebook friends. The transaction is expected to close later this quarter.
Mashable, dick clark productions (DCP) and Tubefilter recently announced a partnership to distribute Dojos, a new weekly web series that "highlights the innovative workplaces, enviable perks and unique office culture of today's top tech companies and up-and-coming start-ups." The show will include behind-the-scenes office tours and interviews with prominent executives and personalities in the tech world. Mashable says this partnership signals its commitment to bring more original video programming to its website in 2011. "Our vision is to build a multimedia company for the connected generation, and Dojos is an important step in realizing it," said Adam Ostrow, SVP/Content & Executive Editor at Mashable. To that end, Mashable expects to announce additional shows and production partners in the coming months. This show will be produced by DCP and Tubefilter, and is currently slated to run for a minimum of 13 episodes. It will receive promotion from Mashable through supporting content on Mashable.com, sharing across the website's social media channels and via its mobile properties.
Hearst Digital Media has announced the launch dates of two new YouTube channels. The fashion- and beauty-focused Hello Style will officially go live on April 15. At launch, it will offer five new shows, as well as archival content that was previously unavailable on YouTube. Hello Style is a collaboration of several Hearst brands, including Cosmopolitan, Harpar's BAZAAR, Marie Claire and Seventeen. The Car and Driver TV channel, which brings together Hearst's automotive-focused brands like Car and Drive and Popular Mechanics, will debut on May 1, with six new shows.
Google will release a co-branded (with Taiwanese manufacturer Asustek Computer) Android tablet in July, according to The Verge. The company has moved the release date back from May and is planning to make some design changes that would lower the current $249 price tag. Developed in partnership with Asustek, the tablet boasts a seven-inch screen, is Wi-Fi only and will run on Android 4.0, otherwise known as Ice Cream Sandwich.
comScore may soon compete with Nielsen's Online Campaign Ratings (OCR) system for the eyes and wallets of online advertisers who want an effective tool for measuring online audiences, reports AdAge. comScore's Validated Campaign Essentials (VCE) program has already been pre-audited by the Media Rating Council, and it expects to go through a formal audit by mid-April, which could lead to MRC accreditation. The VCE system might outshine Nielsen's OCR (which has already received accreditation from the MRC) because it features a measurement metric to ensure that ads fit "viewability" standards, something for which AdAge notes the advertising industry has been clamoring.
With the launch of a new in-cinema pre-show and a new mobile app, Screenvision is aiming to revamp its in-cinema advertising platform. The Limelight will offer up to 20 minutes of pre-movie content, through which brands and advertisers can try and engage with consumers, taking advantage of "immersive" storytelling via the new screenfanz mobile app. The app, which is immediately available on iTunes, and is coming to Android within a few weeks, lets consumers access movie info, check-in at theatres, share reviews via Facebook, participate in trivia and accrue points via in-app activity that can lead to prizes such as movie tickets and concession cash. To test out this new platform, Screenvision says it produced a "pilot" of the new show, complete with local, regional and national ads featured within the context of new branding and consumer messaging. It partnered with brands such as FedEx, Nestle and Allstate, among others. Research from the test showed that brands delivered 54% unaided ad recall.
Call for Digital Content/Insights: Cynopsis Media will be producing an E-Special Report: Digital Content NewFronts for delivery on Monday, April 16, three days before the first-ever Digital Content NewFronts (DCNF) kick off in New York City. The E-Special Report will take an in-depth look at the key players and new programming being served up at the DCNF. We'll examine the issues and challenges facing buyers and sellers, as well as highlight the important digital hits going into the event and those that are still yet to come. If you are an exhibitor at the DCNF, or have authored relevant data and insights that inform trends relating to digital video content, and want to be featured in this free and highly-viewed special edition, please contact Sahil Patel at: email@example.com no later than Wednesday, April 11, 2012.
Microsoft has agreed to purchase over 800 patents from AOL for $1.056 billion. After the sale, AOL will still hold on to about 300 patents and patent applications, spanning "core and strategic technologies," which include advertising, search, content generation/management, social networking, mapping, multimedia/streaming and security, among others. As part of the deal, AOL has received a license to the patents it is selling to Microsoft. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.
Inergize Digital, a provider of integrated digital management solutions that generate revenue for local media companies on-air, online and on mobile, has announced an upgrade to its Inergize Web CMS solution to include new social and weather tools. Inergize Web CMS clients can now place relevant social content from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube beneath the story content on local media company websites. Inergize Digital's integration with Weather Central brings forth access to more frequent weather updates and detailed interactive weather content. The Forecast Tailor offers broadcasters a one-touch publishing tool to distribute the same forecast on multiple platforms/screens. Inergize says message widgets can be adapted to include personalized content from meteorologists, and sales teams can sell sponsorships on the weather background and foreground images.
Gannett's Broadcasting Division has selected LiveU, a portable video-over-cellular solutions company, to provide its backpack technology for local electronic newsgathering operations. LiveU's flagship LU60 units have been deployed to a majority of Gannett's 23 television stations across the country as part of a group-wide deal.
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New research from Leichtman Research Group finds that 38% of all U.S. households have at least one television set connected to the internet via a video game system, a Blu-ray player, an Apple TV, a Roku set-top box and/or the TV set itself. This number is up from 30% last year, and 24% from two years ago. Game consoles are the key devices within this category, as 28% of all households have a video game system connected to the web. Only 4% of all households are connected solely via an internet-enabled TV set, while only 1% of households are connected only via Apple TV or Roku. Overall, Leichtman finds that 13% of all U.S. adults watch video from the web via a connected device at least weekly, compared to 10% last year. Interestingly, the use of connected devices skews toward Netflix subscribers, with 35% of Netflix subscribers watching video from the web via a connected device on a weekly basis, versus just 5% among all non-Netflix subscribers. There's some other interesting data:
Trendrr.TV's White Paper for March finds that there were over 150 million conversations and other social interactions through the first quarter of 2012. Additionally, three quarters of all Social TV engagement in March stemmed from Twitter, with The Voice's "The Battle Begins" episode (broadcast) and the Pretty Little Liars season finale (cable) bringing in the highest volume of TV engagement on the micro-blogging site. Looking at broadcast and cable television in terms of social activity, the report reveals that there were 580K social interactions per day on broadcast TV, and an average of over 860K social interactions per day on cable TV. Other data from Trendrr includes:
According to a new eMarketer estimate, the number of U.S. mobile phone users will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 1.8% between 2010 and 2016, jumping from a penetration of almost 75% to 79% by the end of 2016. Additionally, the number of total mobile connections, in which eMarketer includes subscriptions to mobile phones, as well as "non-voice" devices such as tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, netbooks, e-readers and more, rose by 11.6% in 2011. The report finds that penetration has already surpassed 100% of the population for mobile connections, and it is a number that will continue to grow at a rate exceeding that of mobile phone usage. eMarketer attributes this growth to the popularity of tablets, while it sees phones reaching a saturation point at nearly 80% of the population.
A+E Networks has announced the promotion of Seth A. Metsch, who joined A+E in 2007, to VP & Digital Media Counsel, Legal & Business Affairs. Working across the networks and corporate divisions at A+E, Metsch focuses on agreements for domestic and international digital media transactions, including video distribution over broadband internet, IPTV and mobile platforms. He also focuses on the development and distribution of mobile apps, casual games and social games. His promotion was announced in conjunction with that of Darci J. Bailey, who has been named VP & Assistant General Counsel, Legal & Business Affairs as well as Lorna McKenzie, who has been named Consumer Products Counsel, Legal & Business Affairs, at A+E.
Last week, Fox Networks, which is comprised of 15 national networks and 20 regional sports networks, re-launched FoxNetworksInfo.com, its business-to-business resource website. The re-launch features a new interface that enables for easier navigation via desktop and/or a mobile device. It also introduces a new RewardStore and debuts an automated system, dubbed MVPD Launch Request, to streamline the network launch process. For Fox Networks' distribution partners, the website offers programming, schedules, network logos, marketing materials, promotional opportunities, technical information and more. The new RewardStore is an online outlet for travel, electronics and promotional items, which all can be obtained by redeeming points that can be earned via network series promotions or on-air placement of Fox Networks STARspots. Fox Networks says RewardStore will be available to distributors of all sizes. Currently, distributors can sign up for two promotions: the SPEED All-Star Race Promotion and FX's Sons of Anarchy Promotion.
Later - Sahil
Sahil Patel, Associate Reporter for Cynopsis Digital
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