Good morning. It's Monday, May 14, 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.
TBS and TNT are holding their Upfront presentation on Wednesday, May 16, at 10am ET at the Hammerstein Ballroom; Adult Swim follows the morning event with a 9pm ET Upfront party and performance at the Roseland Ballroom; truTV will host a "Hang After" party immediately following the Adult Swim Upfront. With these events fast approaching, I spoke with Greg D'Alba, President/CNN News Networks and Turner Digital Ad Sales & Marketing, about Turner's digital content and ad strategy.
Could you give us some insight into Turner's overall content strategy in terms of using multiple platforms to reach viewers and consumers? For example, what's the relationship between linear content and video on additional screens and platforms?
Television has evolved -- it's one of many destinations that viewers go to for content. But as devices became more and more portable, the media experience is changing, becoming more personal, yet also more shareable. This convergence of content and screens is allowing for individuals to connect with brands and content in more ways than ever, so we're continuing to develop original content that extends beyond the television screen to maximize multi-screen opportunities with enhanced viewer engagement, unique ad solutions, and multi-screen programming. Online video remains a key objective of our digital strategy. Video leads nearly everything we do online, and advertisers are leveraging video ad opportunities more and more.
Turner has also launched TV Everywhere across many of our networks so that our content is available to more people across any screen they choose. For example, Cartoon Network will soon begin streaming its on-air content live across multiple platforms, including online at CartoonNetwork.com and for mobile viewers on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.
What makes Turner Digital different? What can you offer to brands and advertisers that other media properties may not be able to offer?
There are a lot of players in the media landscape, but they're not all content creators, and that's an important distinction. It is content that people engage with -- not a platform, not a medium -- so we're able to bring a depth of brand integration to our partners that is really unmatched. By having premium content in branded environments that spans so many genres -- news, sports, entertainment and young adults -- and all screens, we're able to build exclusive, customized and integrated programs around big ideas for brand advertisers.
Could you provide us with an example?
A good example is the CONAN sync app, with AT&T as our presenting launch sponsor. The app enables us to provide CONAN's hyper-connected fans with exclusive, synchronized content delivered in real-time while they watch the show. In fact, we also debuted a sync ad for AT&T as part of that campaign. It is about innovating together with our advertising partners. And we will partner with more sponsors for additional sync apps throughout the coming months.
The strength of our brands and the power of our content enables us to create world-class brand integrations and marketing solutions.
Turner and CNN recently combined their digital sales forces into just one Turner Digital that is comprised of News (CNN, HLN), Turner Sports, Entertainment and Young adult divisions. Why was it necessary?
We had been operating across our CNN Digital and Turner Digital sales forces in tandem for a few years, and quite successfully. But our new structure, one Turner Digital, is a reflection of the industry's continued expansion across all screens. We organized ourselves in a way that will make it easier for our clients to work with us; allows us to better position our full range of assets; communicate more effectively within one division; and be more competitive as we integrate our world class brands across all digital products.
It goes back to making it easier for our clients to work with us. It's why we made the decision several years ago to stop working with third-party ad networks, exchanges, etc. For Turner, it will always be more effective and efficient for us and our advertising partners to work directly with each other. Quite simply, we felt that advertiser and publisher audience data had come to be used against us to commoditize the online marketplace, and we were starting to see the effects of this "all ad impressions look the same" model. That view undermined the value of our best advertising opportunities and we wanted to reserve those for our best partners, who know we're not going to use the information culled from campaigns they ran with us against them by offering it to their competitors.
Now that you're a few years removed from that decision, would you say it was the right one?
It was absolutely the right decision for us, and we've seen the benefits of that decision pay off. And I'm glad we made it at the time we did -- it proved to be a critical time in the marketplace, and it has guided our strategy since.
We got comfortable with the fact that we are not all things to all people. Advertisers buy Turner Digital for ownership positions, exclusivity, and customized campaigns delivered in a high quality environment. Our best and most important advertising partners are big brand advertisers, and that's whom we aim to serve.
On Super Tuesday CNN hosted a live online Election Roundtable, allowing users to register and ask CNN experts questions regarding the election. When are the next ones scheduled?
Our next event is scheduled for Tuesday June 5th at 12pm ET, a day when there are a good amount of primaries taking place. Wolf Blitzer will host it again. We will also do an event at each of the GOP and Democratic conventions. We are finalizing the dates for both of those, but they will occur on the ground in Tampa and Charlotte, with contributors in satellite locations.
YouTube is mulling over offering a subscription-based service, according to a report from The New York Post. The video company has had discussions with content providers about developing more premium content for which users would have to pay. This would reportedly not affect the free content that is already available. A spokesperson for YouTube told The Post that YouTube has "long maintained that different content requires different types of payment models," and that "There are a lot of our content creators that believe they would benefit from subscriptions."
ABC, Yahoo, and Lexus are teaming up for a second-screen promotional campaign surrounding the network's drama series Revenge. Those who audio-tag the show via the IntoNow from Yahoo social TV app during the last two episodes of the current season (airing at 10pm ET on May 16 and May 23) will get the chance to enter to win a week-long trip to the Hamptons, which is also the setting of the show. Lexus has signed on to sponsor the giveaway. Aside from the sweepstakes, tagging the show on IntoNow will also allow users to answer trivia questions regarding the series, follow real-time Twitter feeds of Revenge's cast and crew, and access additional video content as well as information about the show. ABC and Yahoo previously partnered up to use IntoNow during a Republican presidential candidate debate.
Kimberly-Clark Corp.'s Kotex Natural Balance has partnered with comedienne Heather McDonald and Alloy Digital to launch a new eight-part web series focusing on examining the truthfulness of current feminine care advertisements. The show will be housed on Kotex's Facebook page and YouTube channel, and will be promoted across Alloy Digital Network's websites that target 18-34 year-old consumers, including TheGloss.com and Crushable.com. McDonald is a Writer and Story Producer on E!'s Chelsea Lately. Viewers will be able to upload videos and make comments on Kotex's Facebook page. Kotex says these submissions will inspire five more videos starring McDonald.
Microsoft may be bringing a version of Internet Explorer 9 to the Xbox 360, according to The Verge. The website is reporting that the company is testing out a modified version of the browser, which will also feature integration with the Kinect's voice- and gesture-based control capabilities. It will join the existing Bing search functionality that is offered on the console, allowing users to search and surf the web.
Google is considering purchasing Meebo for about $100 million, reports AllThingsD. Meebo is the maker of a popular instant messaging service for consumers, and also provides an ad platform and services for advertisers and publishers.
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American moms are very active on social media, with a new Nielsen data finding that U.S. moms are 38% more likely to become a fan of or follow a brand online than the average American; are 27% more likely to visit Blogger than the US average; and are 61% more likely to visit Pinterest, which actually ranks as the top site for moms in the Family & Lifestyle category (4.9 million U.S. mom visitors in March 2012). Pinterest is followed by Disney Online (4.8 million), iVillage Network (4.4 million), WebMD (4.2 million), and Everyday Health (3.8 million). Nielsen data also shows that Facebook was the top social network or blogging destination for moms in March 2012, with 27.9 million moms visiting the site. Blogger (9.3 million) came in second, after which was Twitter (5.4 million), Wordpress (4.1 million), and Tumblr (3.1 million). As an interesting note, Nielsen also finds that about one in 3 bloggers are moms.
240 million smartphone users will stream TV services by 2014, forecasts Juniper Research. The firm attributes this expected growth in mobile TV content consumption to a combination of both increased smartphone penetration and the rising usage of live and on-demand services on TVs and PCs. "The smartphone really allows the consumer to transport the TV experience out of the home, allowing them to view live and on-demand content while on the move. The ubiquity of free Wi-Fi also allows users of these services to access content without the threat of billshock," says Charlotte Miller, who authored the report.
According to eMarketer, a March 2012 survey of U.S. marketing professionals conducted by Chief Marketer found 78% of respondents indicating that their primary digital marketing tactic was email marketing, followed by email newsletters (59%), social network presence (58%), web display ads (49%), and search optimization (48%). The report also points out that 33% of the respondents employed original video content (on the marketer's websites or via a video site such as YouTube) in their digital campaigns; it was the first time Chief Marketer asked this question for this survey.
Apple will jettison Google Maps in favor of its own Map application in the upcoming iOS 6 software, reports 9to5mac.com. The new app will reportedly have a 3D viewing mode. The development and creation of the new app is the result of Apple's recent acquisitions of Placebase, C3 Technologies, and Poly9. 9to5mac.com says that iOS 6 will likely be introduced in June at Apple's World Wide Developers Conference.
The controversy surrounding the false information in Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson's resume (it was written that he had a computer science degree from Stonehill College, which wasn't the case) has finally come to an end as Thompson has left the company following an internal investigation into the matter by Yahoo's Board of Directors. Replacing him in the interim will be Ross Levinsohn, who up until now was Yahoo's Global Head of Media, and led its advertising business. Along with the change at the CEO position, Yahoo has announced that Fred Amoroso has been named the new Chairman of the Board, replacing Roy Bostock. The company has also settled the proxy fight brought on by activist shareholder Daniel Loeb (who also brought the inaccuracy in Thompson's resume to light). Per that agreement, Daniel Loeb, and two other nominees, Harry J. Wilson, and Michael J. Wolf, will be joining the Board of Directors, effective May 16. The news was first reported by AllThingsD.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Here is a really cool iPad app for those of you who are following the current Stanley Cup Playoffs: Molson Canadian NHL PrePlay. It's a predictive gaming app designed to create a second-screen experience for fans watching the live games by allowing them to earn points for correctly predicting the outcomes of certain on-ice actions (such as who will win the face-off, if a team kill their penalty, and of course, which team will win the game). While Molson has been fully integrated into the game as lead sponsor, the NHL is piloting a sync ad technology within the app that identifies an advertisement on TV and then instantly provides a companion ad on the iPad. There will be more to come soon about this ad technology as well as the NHL's use of digital media to reach the viewer. Until then, enjoy the app (as long as you're 17 and older). And now that I've had a day to calm down from Saturday night, go Rangers!
Later - Sahil
Sahil Patel, Associate Reporter for Cynopsis Digital
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