Good morning. It's Tuesday, May 8, 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.
A verdict has been issued in the Google/Oracle trial. The jury has determined that Google violated some Java copyrights (which Oracle owns) with the development of the Android operating system. However, the jury was at a deadlock over the question of whether Google's practices fell under "fair use." Google will pursue a mistrial, which the court will consider and review today and tomorrow. In its statement, Google said it knows "that fair use and infringement are two sides of the same coin. The core issue is whether the APIs here are copyrightable, and that's for the court to decide." Oracle's statement read, "The overwhelming evidence demonstrated that Google knew it needed a license and that its unauthorized fork of Java in Android shattered Java's central write once run anywhere principle."
Break Media has debuted Speakeasy, a new web series hosted by comedian Paul F. Tompkins. Formatted as a short-form talk show featuring Tompkins, a celebrity guest, and a custom cocktail brewed for the occasion, the show will air on Break Media's owned and operated men's lifestyle site, Made Man, and will be promoted across the Break Media Network as well as on its YouTube channels. A new episode will air every other Monday. The first episode has Tompkins sitting down for a conversation with Modern Family's Ty Burrell, with other guests such as Zach Galifianakis, Nathan Fillion, Weird Al Yankovic, Chris Hardwick, and more slated to appear in the future. Bacardi+ has signed on to be the title sponsor for the first round of episodes.
LG Electronics will launch a Google TV product in the U.S. near the end of May (the week of May 21), according to a senior executive at the manufacturer, per a report from Reuters. LG will determine if it wants to make the product available in Europe and Asia after reviewing how it performs in the U.S. market.
ABC News and Univision News have agreed in principle to form a "far-reaching, multiplatform joint venture dedicated to informing, empowering, and inspiring Hispanic Americans in English" while providing audiences with news coverage of current events. It will consist of a 24/7 network that will include an Enlgish-language channel for English-dominant and bilingual Hispanics, complemented by integrated digital and social offerings. News content that will be delivered to this audience will focus on the issues, interests, and culture important to Hispanics. A website, as well as mobile and social media content will debut this summer, with the unnamed TV channel tentatively scheduled to launch at some point in 2013. A management team will be named this summer. The deal still needs to be finalized.
Warner Premiere, Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, Dolphin Digital Studios, and Wonderland Sound and Vision have green lit the second season of Aim High, which will commence shooting later this month. The online series follows a high school student (played by Twilight's Jackson Rathbone) who also happens to be a highly trained government operative. Ari Sandel, who won an Academy Award for the live-action short film West Bank Story, will come on board as director for the second season; the series is also produced by McG. The first season is available for streaming on Aim High's Facebook page.
Sundance Channel has launched additional content on its social media sites to promote Push Girls, its new original non-fiction series. The series focuses on the lives of four women who have been, either by accident or illness, paralyzed from the neck or waist down. The vignettes feature the women discussing a variety of topics including fashion, L.A., food, and more. The series will be released on a weekly basis across Facebook, YouTube, and Sundancechannel.com. Push Girls will premiere on the Sundance Channel on June 4 at 10pm ET.
Google may pump some money into Machinima through a funding round that will close in the coming month, reports AllThingsD. Machinima operates one of the most popular video networks on YouTube, geared toward video gamers and content that would matter to them. This round of financing, via funding from Google and other investors, could raise over $30 million, which would value Machinima at about $190 million. Machinima is reportedly racking up over a billion views every month.
Facebook has confirmed the purchase of mobile ambient location app Glancee. The company's app used location-based technology to alert users when their Facebook friends were nearby (similar to Highlight). Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it appears that the Glancee team will be moving to Facebook to develop apps for the social giant, meaning that its mobile app will cease to exist in the near future; it's already been removed from the Apple App Store and Google Play.
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50.4% of U.S. mobile subscribers owned smartphones in March 2012, up from 47.8% in December 2011, according to Q1 2012 data from Nielsen Mobile Insights. Broken down by operating system: Android was first with a 48.5% share, followed by Apple's iOS (32%), RIM's BlackBerry (11.6%), Windows Mobile (4.1%), Windows Phone (1.7%), and other (2.1%). Nielsen also looked into the make-up this growing group of smartphone users:
Google has made Hangouts On Air available to everyone. Originally, the online video broadcasting service was only available to a select group of publishers. Now the company is saying Hangouts On Air is available worldwide. It allows users to broadcast their live hangouts (by checking "Enable Hangouts On Air") from the Google+ stream, their YouTube channel, or website. Other features include the ability to see how many people are watching your Hangout live. Google will also upload a recording of the Hangout to the user's YouTube channel and original Google+ post; "This way it's easy to share and discuss your broadcast after it's over," wrote Chee Chew in a blog post announcing the new availability. Chew says that Google is rolling out Hangouts On Air gradually over the next few weeks, and lists some upcoming live sessions from the likes of CBS This Morning, Conan O'Brien, Cadbury UK, The Nerdist, Jamie Oliver, and The New York Times' Opinion department. Here is a video from Google to help you get started.
Open Road Integrated Media has expanded its marketing team with the promotions of Allison Underwood to Senior Marketing Manager and Lara Selavka to Associate Interactive Producer, as well as the hiring of Iris Blasi to be the company's new Marketing Manager. Underwood oversees all emerging digital platforms, social media optimization, and content-driven marketing for the company, while Selavka is responsible for the distribution of all digital content for openroadmedia.com and monitoring the development of the company's marketing platform. Blasi will report to Underwood in her new role.
CBS Interactive Entertainment has launched CBS Connect, a new social hub that allows fans to have real-time conversations about their favorite shows across Facebook and Twitter. By logging on to CBS Connect, users can access aggregated social media updates from Twitter and Facebook across CBS daytime, primetime and late-night shows. CBS says that the social media hub will provide a platform through which it will conduct live chats between CBS talent and fans. During the live chats, fans will be able to submit their questions via Facebook and Twitter using the respective show's hashtag. The first live chat is slated for May 15 featuring select cast members from NCIS: Los Angeles during the East Coast airing of that show's two-hour season finale. Skype is sponsoring the launch of CBS Connect as its video technology is being used within the hub to enable users to add video. A mobile version of CBS Connect is available for download on iOS and Android devices.
Later - Sahil
Sahil Patel, Associate Reporter for Cynopsis Digital
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