Good morning. It's Tuesday, June 19, 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.
And the online video advertising market continues to grow. According to May 2012 numbers from comScore, Americans watched a record-breaking number (10 billion) of video ads last month. Hulu ranked at the top with 1.6 billion video ads deliverd, followed by Google properties with nearly 1.4 billion, BrightRoll Video Network with 1.1 billion, Adap.tv (966 million), and the TubeMogul Video Ad Platform (897 million). Time spent watching video ads totaled 4.5 billion minutes, with Hulu once again standing at the top, accounting for 725 million minutes. Overall, the research firm finds that video ads reached 52% of the total US population an average of 64 times during the month. And not content with having the top spot among the other categories, Hulu also delivered the highest frequency of video ads per viewer with an average of 56.
When it comes to online video, however, there was a slight drop. 180 million Americans watched 36.6 billion pieces of online video content in May 2012, which is actually down from 181 million Americans and 37 billion videos in April 2012. As it always seems to be the case, Google keeps its throne with 151.7 million unique viewers across its network, followed by Yahoo (57.8 million), VEVO (48.3 million), Microsoft (44.4 million), and Facebook (44.3 million). When ranked by videos viewed, the order was Google, Hulu, and Yahoo in May 2012. The average American watched 21.9 hours of online video content, mostly on Google (average of 7.7 hours) and Hulu (average of 4.2 hours), last month.
That 24/7 live video-streaming network from the Huffington Post is going to launch in August, according to what Arianna Huffington said on a Mediabrands panel in Cannes, per MediaPost.
Ooyala has raised $35 million in Series E financing led by Telstra Applications and Ventures Group, a subsidiary of Telstra, which is the largest telecommunications company in Australia. Existing investors Sierra Ventures, Rembrandt Ventures, and CID Group also participated in the round. The online video services provider says it will use the new capital to expand its reach among MSOs and TV programmers overseas, where it says over half of its business currently comes from. Companies that use Ooyala's multiscreen video streaming, monetization, and discovery platform include the likes of ESPN, Pac-12 Enterprises, Miramax, Bloomberg, The North Face, Rolling Stone, and Yahoo Japan. In addition to the investment round, Ooyala and Telstra also said they're working on a deal that will allow Telstra to become a customer and reseller, deploying Ooyala services throughout Australia, where it will work to transition content owners from traditional video delivery to IP-based distribution.
Simulmedia, a NYC-based television ad targeting company, has inked a deal with TiVo to use its anonymous, aggregated, and real-time set-top box data to expand Simulmedia's client base beyond tune-in/promotional advertisers. Simulmedia says the deal will also enable it to drive cost-effective reach across all advertiser categories. The company's data-driven audience network for TV uses predictive technologies and grabs anonymous viewing data from over 30 million US TV viewers to help advertisers reach target audiences. Simulmedia says it aggregates audiences through partnerships with TV system operators and national networks.
Alloy Digital has acquired Clevver Media, an online video network that operates a collection of seven entertainment news channels on YouTube, three of which are part of the video site's original programming initiative. Clevver Media's seven channels, spanning the TV, Movies, Music, Games, News, Style, and Spanish-language TV categories, generate more than 70 million video views per month in total. With Clevver Media designated as a top-10 video network on YouTube (comScore Media Metrix), the deal is being positioned as one that enhances Alloy's reach among the 12-34 demographic. The companies say that Clevver's network of channels garner more monthly views from that demographic than the next seven most popular entertainment channels on YouTube combined. Together, Clevver and Alloy now own and operate five of YouTube's 100 original premium channels. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Consumer electronics and video solutions company Elgato has inked a deal with Mobile Content Venture (MCV) to develop an accessory and app for smartphones and tablets that will allow the devices to receive and stream programming from MCV's Dyle Mobile TV service. Called EyeTV Mobile TV, the antenna-like accessory and app will allow users to watch encrypted, live TV broadcasts from Dyle partner stations, which include those from broadcast groups like Pearl (Gannett, Hearst, Meredith, among others) as well as FOX, ION Television, Univision, Telemundo, ABC, CBS, and NBC. At launch, Elgato says content for Dyle-enabled devices will be available from more than 90 stations in 35 markets, reaching roughly 55% of the US population. The product will be available sometime this year.
Facebook has bought facial recognition tech company Face.com for an undisclosed price. In a statement, Facebook indicated that it had acquired both the team and the technology from Face.com. Here's what Face.com had to say via a blog post: "We love building products, and like our friends at Facebook, we think that mobile is a critical part of people's live as they both create and consume content, and share content with their social graph." The company, which offers an API for third-party developers to offer facial-recognition services within their apps, said it would continue to support the developer community. Any new developments from the team will be posted on its developer blog and through its developer newsletter, which seems to mean Face.com's website won't be shut down just yet.
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Google might want to keep track of the growth of the Windows Phone operating system, based on data from Flurry Analytics about new projects started within its system of more than 70,000 companies and 190,000 applications. Flurry defines a new project as when a developer sets up an application for analytics tracking prior to the launch of that app. Tracking new projects started across the top four platforms within its network, Flurry finds that 67% were for iOS, 28% for Android, 4% for Windows Phone, and 1% for BlackBerry in Q2 2012. In comparison, in Q2 2011, 71% of new projects were for iOS, 27% for Android, and 1% each for Windows Phone and BlackBerry. In terms of year-over-year growth rates, Flurry finds that iOS stands at 66%, Android at 82%, Windows Phone at a whopping 521%, and BlackBerry at 13%. This combined with the fact that new projects for Windows Phone jumped from 4% in May 2012 to 6% in June 2012 indicates that Windows Phone is accelerating within Q2 of this year as well. In fact, for every new project started for Windows Phone in June 2012, four have been started for Android. To Flurry, this means Google needs to consider Microsoft as a true, burgeoning competitor for second place rather than a mobile app "also-ran."
Google-powered search engines had a 66.3% market share in May 2012, down 0.4 percentage points from April 2012, according to the latest data from Kantar Media Compete. Bing-powered search engines accounted for 33.7% of the search market in May 2012, gaining the percentage points that Google-powered engines lost from the previous month. Among individual search properties, Google accounted for 65.5% of the total market (AOL brought in the other 0.8% to add to Google-powered engines' market share). Bing and Yahoo, which is powered by Bing, carved out 18.6% and 15.1% of the overall share, respectively. Kanter finds that the search market saw a 2.5% increase in volume from April.
eMarketer has raised its estimate for the number of tablet users in the US by the end of 2012 to more than 20% of US consumers, which comes out to about 70 million Americans. The researcher attributes this new forecast to the rapid growth in tablet ownership, which it says has expanded beyond the early adopter set to include almost all population groups. Believing that the triple-digit growth in tablet ownership in 2011 will continue through 2012, eMarketer says it will be fueled by the popularity of the iPad and the Kindle Fire. Looking beyond 2012, it projects tablet ownership to rise to 51.9% of internet users in the US by 2015. With this expected growth in tablet usage, eMarketer also took a look at how the device is becoming influential in e-commerce. According to Zmags data released in January 2012, over half of tablet owners use the device at least once a week to shop, and 12% do so daily. A separate study from Compuware in February found that 35% of tablet owners indicated that a poor website experience via the tablet makes them less likely to return to that website on any other platform. To Catherine Boyle, Senior Analyst at eMarketer, this means "retailers without a defined tablet strategy are leaving money on the tablet."
As speculated, Microsoft last night unveiled Surface, a new branded tablet product aimed at competing against the current king, Apple's iPad. The tablet features a 10.6-inch display and weighs less than two pounds. The most prominent feature, or accessory, is a thin cover that also functions as a keyboard. Surface also comes with a built-in stand that will allow users to prop it up. It will be available in two versions, one running on Windows RT and the other on Windows 8 Pro.
Mozilla has been developing a new Webkit browser for the iPad called "Junior," according to The Verge. The app foregoes the use of tabs and search/address bars in favor of a full-screen user interface that features two primary buttons: a "back" arrow on the left side of the page and a "plus" symbol on the right side. The plus symbol expands to allow users to access pages they've recently visited, a list of their favorite web pages and bookmarks, and a search bar. As the product is still under development, other functions common to browsers (forward, reload, print) are still under consideration as to how they will be implemented into the product. For more information, Mozilla's Product Design Strategy team has posted a video on which, among other things, it discusses Junior. No word on when it will be available.
Yahoo has appointed Michael Barrett to the position of EVP and Chief Revenue Officer, where he will be responsible for Yahoo's advertising revenue and operations across the globe. The regional leads for the Americas, EMEA, and APAC will report directly to him. Barrett will assume the role in early July and will be part of the senior executive team, reporting directly to Yahoo's current Interim CEO, Ross Levinsohn.
Showtime Networks has named Brian Swarth as its new VP, Group Director/Digital Services. He will oversee all mobile, digital creative and marketing, technology and production, iTV and digital content production units within the Digital Media Group at the company. He will also be responsible for driving external digital partnerships. Reporting to Donald Buckley, EVP/Program Marketing, Media, Promotions, and Digital Services, at Showtime Networks, Swarth will be based in the company's NY headquarters.
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Cloudee is an iPhone app from Boxee that allows users to capture and/or upload videos and store them in the cloud as well as comment on them, organize them into collections that can be edited by multiple users, and share them with family and friends via Facebook, email, and text message. The service is currently in a private beta. During this time, the app is available for free, however it requires a Facebook account. Once it moves out of beta, Boxee will look to offer a paid version of Cloudee that features unlimited video storage in the cloud, which the company says will be accessible from a user's Boxee Box and any browser. As an interesting note, Boxee says "this is only the first step into the cloud for Boxee. We believe more of our video watching will shift towards on-demand and secondary screens, which will mean more video coming from the cloud." Sounds an awful lot like a potential DVR service based in the cloud.
Later - Sahil
Sahil Patel, Associate Editor for Cynopsis Digital
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