Good morning. It's Tuesday, June 26, 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.
May 2012 serves as the first month Nielsen is publicly reporting its measurement of video streams on YouTube Partner channels. According to the data, the top five YouTube Partner channels are as follows:
All together, this amounts to nearly 1.5 billion total streams of premium content across those channels (Nielsen does not include user-generated content that may be available on any of these channels in its reports). And of note, the researcher says that more than half of each top channel's unique viewers were under the age of 35 in May 2012.
Online video start-up Ooyala will deliver daily VOD content from Wimbledon via the tournament's site, which will be accessible on multiple platforms, including PCs as well as iOS and Android devices. As the result of a new pact between the company and The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) and The Championships at Wimbledon, the content will consist of highlights of the day's matches along with interviews and other special features. Wimbledon is also tapping into Ooyala's video monetization tools in order to promote the tournament's top sponsors, Rolex and Evian, within the video player. This isn't the first instance of Ooyala powering the distribution of digital video content from a major tennis tournament. Earlier this year it served live video for the Australian Open.
Amazon's Netflix competitor in the UK, LOVEFiLM, has inked a multiyear content deal with Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution, which will now give the subscription streaming service's members access to Fox movies and TV shows. Beginning on March 2013, some of Fox's 2011 film titles will be available on the streaming platform. Beginning next month, early season of select Fox TV shows, such as Sons of Anarchy, and all seasons of former series such as 24, Prison Break, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer will be available to LOVEFiLM members on multiple devices, including PCs and Macs, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, the iPad, and numerous connected TVs and Blu-ray players. In the last 12 months, LOVEFiLM has secured content deals with the likes of Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, NBCUniversal, Disney, and more.
Electus, a multimedia entertainment studio that is a part of IAC, has announced three new series that will premiere on Hungry, its food-centric YouTube original channel, which launches tomorrow. Electus says the new programming was developed under the direction of veteran food television executive (and Hungry CEO) Bruce Seidel, in partnership with CAA with celebrity chef Duff Goldman providing some additional consultation. The series are as follows: Summer Beer Cocktails with The Beer Chicks (premiering mid-July), in which the hosts will show off different cocktail recipes that feature beer as an ingredient; Drink Inc. (premiering June 28), which follows two LA mixologists as they visit the popular restaurants and look for inspiration to create new cocktails; and Grill This with Nathan Lippy (premiering in August), in which the chef shares grilling recipes and tips. Looking beyond the official launch on June 27, Electus says it will announce Hungry's full talent and programming slate in the coming weeks. The studio is led by Ben Silverman.
OnWAX Media Holdings (WAX) has launched a branded YouTube channel featuring action and outdoor sports content, including originally produced pieces, feature films, and shorts, spanning a wide array of sports, from ski and snowboard to surf, motocross, and climbing. WAX says the channel will offer a revenue share program to producers so they can benefit from their work that shows up on the channel. It will also offer options such as unlimited sub-channels, tags and coding, and online security as a way to protect the content and boost visibility and reach. WAX currently provides viewers with a vast library of premium action and outdoor sports films via a subscription-based video service on OnWAX.com. WAX also distributers packaged media to over 4,000 retailers and holds contracts to air films across a variety of digital platforms.
A report from The New York Times yesterday suggests that NBC's musical series Smash might have been renewed for a second due to its strong DVR, or "live+7" ratings, numbers. Specifically, the show tied for the top spot in the 10 pm slot by accumulating 2.5 million additional viewers in that seven-day period post-airdate and averaging a 3.3 rating in the 18-49 consumer category. This placed it alongside CBS hits Hawaii Five-O and C.S.I. at the top of the 10pm mountain.
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Casale Media has launched its Index Platform, a sell-side platform that allows publishers to programmatically sell excess inventory as well as set up private marketplaces. An enterprise-grade, white-label solution built using Casale Media's core RTB technology, the platform provides full support for dealID, which the company says is a new technology standard that better connects publishers with advertisers within an RTB environment through customized parameters for every campaign. The platform also offers metrics such as bids-per-second (BPS) and bids per impression (BPI) as well as comparative RTB metrics on the publisher's group of peers as a way to benchmark the data. Alongside the launch, Casale Media has integrated the platform with 25 tech partners, including Adnetik, DataXu, MediaMath, Turn, and others. Gatehouse Media's private marketplace, adhance media, and Casale Media's own ad exchange, CasaleX, have been announced as the first adopters of the platform. As part of the announcement, Casale Media has also launched Index Pulse, a real-time map of aggregate RTB activity flowing through the platform. It's all aimed toward delivering more controlled and safe environment for publishers to work with buyers.
BET Networks has partnered with HuffPost BlackVoices, Burrell Communications, Nielsen, Interactive One, TheGrio, and many other media organizations to create a media and marketing consortium for black consumers. As its first act, the consortium has launched the #INTHEBLACK campaign, which aims to help companies reach the African American audience more effectively by utilizing the reach, influence, and resources of the African American media. The consortium says the campaign will also interact with consumers by keeping them informed on companies that are exemplary leaders in supporting the African American community.
Microsoft has confirmed that it plans to purchase Yammer, a provider of a popular enterprise-level social network, for $1.2 billion in cash. Per the deal, Yammer will join the Microsoft Office Division, led by division President Kurt DelBene, but will continue to report to current Yammer CEO David Sacks. Launched in 2008, Yammer says it boasts over 5 million corporate users, including employees at 85% of the Fortune 500. The acquisition will be subject to regulatory approval.
Fandango has inked a ticketing agreement with MSN to become the official online and mobile movie ticket provider for MSN Movies and MSN Entertainment. This follows earlier deals Fandango has struck with Yahoo and AOL's Moviefone to expand its reach within the movie ticketing space.
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Tremor's VideoHub enterprise division has released its Q1 2012 Performance Replay, which aims to provide a snapshot of the video advertising and video content market based on the 3.5 billion video views VideoHub generated over the first quarter. The top-line finding is that approximately 88% of online video ads streamed by VideoHub in the first quarter were fully viewable, while only 7% were partially obstructed and 5% were never seen (Player Size and Player Position were new additions to the quarterly report). The report also takes a look into the adoption of GRP into the digital advertising ecosystem. VideoHub, which integrated Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings in late 2011, says that initial trends point to the future of video not being about putting TV against digital, but rather letting the two evolve simultaneously. For example, the report finds that while day-part is important in driving ratings for traditional TV audiences, digital experiences offer "flatter" viewing patterns; in Q1, no hour of the day exceeded a 6% share of total video streams. However, the report also indicates that digital viewing patterns are influenced by TV's seasonal patterns:
Google was also deemed the top web brand in May 2012 according to monthly comScore data on the matter. The company's web properties amassed 189 million unique visitors over the month. Yahoo came in second with 167 million unique visitors, followed by Microsoft (164 million), Facebook.com (158 million), and AOL (110 million) to round out the top five. In comScore's Ad Focus rankings for May 2012, Google Ad Network led the way with a reach of 92.5% of Americans online, followed by Rubicon Project's REVV Platform (90.6%), AOL Advertising (84.1%), Google (82.3%), and AT&T AdWorks (81.7%).
On another Google-related note, Ad Age reports that Google spent $1.5 billion in global advertising and promotions in 2011. When combined with the ad spending related to its newest purchase, Motorola Mobility, Ad Age says Google is now a $2.1 billion global advertiser, $1.005 billion of which is for the US alone. This places Google at #34 on Ad Age's rankings of 100 Leading National Advertisers; the search giant's debut on this list.
Sony Electronics plans to release a new connected set-top box running on Google TV 2.0 on July 22. The Sony NSZ-GS7 Internet Player with Google TV will be available for $199 and will come with a new remote control, which will include, among other things, a full keyboard, Bluetooth support, and both a touch pad for cursor control and a motion sensor for playing games. Sony is already taking pre-orders for the product here. The product will initially be available in the US and UK on that aforementioned date in July. Sony will expand distribution to other markets in North America and Europe later this year.
The Hulu Plus app for Android has received an update in order to support more devices, including Samsung's Galaxy S II series, the Galaxy Tab 2, and the HTC One S, according to Engadget. The update also includes better compatibility with 7-inch tablets and high-res screens.
Video technology company FreeWheel is expanding its Advisory Services business unit, which is designed to meet the demands of TV programmers, distributors, and other content companies as they push forward in online video, TV Everywhere, and OTT services. FreeWheel says its Advisory Services practice will provide practical and actionable recommendations from experienced teams using FreeWheel's proprietary, data-driven insights. The business unit is tasked with providing clients with optimal content monetization strategies, such as best practices for distributing content, improving efficiencies across ad and revenue operations, and yield management, including inventory and ad product design. FreeWheel says over 70% of its technology clients have already consulted this team as they develop and optimize their online video offerings. The company has appointed James Rooke to lead the business unit in the role of VP/Advisory Services. Rooke comes from Time Warner Cable Media. FreeWheel clients include ESPN, AOL, NBCUniversal, and VEVO, among others.
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Acorn TV is offering the final three seasons of Helen Mirren's Emmy-winning series Prime Suspect and three feature-length episodes of WWII detective series Foyle's War for streaming on its platform. The service, which focuses on providing full seasons of critically acclaimed, classic and new British series, is available for $25 a year. Acorn TV makes 10 series available at any time for streaming, with each show getting a five-week run on the platform. Two series are added, and another two are removed, every week. The site also lets users purchase DVDs of its featured programs.
Later - Sahil
Sahil Patel, Associate Editor for Cynopsis Digital
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