Good morning. It's Friday, June 29, 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.
More news came out of Google I/O on day 2 of the annual developers conference:
Thanks to a new multiyear deal between Yahoo and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, the latter's iHeartRadio product will be the premier digital radio service for Yahoo. iHeartRadio offers access to over 1,000 national live broadcast and digital-only radio stations, as well as commercial-free custom stations based on a user's favorite artists or songs. The service's mobile apps have been downloaded in total over 80 million times. As part of the agreement, Yahoo and Clear Channel's content will be cross-promoted on iHeartRadio.com, local radio station websites, and the entire Yahoo Media Network, which includes Movies, Music, and omg!, and reaches more than 167 million monthly online users (comScore). Yahoo's original video programs will also be available in audio versions through Clear Channel as part of this content cross-promotion. The deal also makes Yahoo the official web and mobile partner for a new live concert series, including this year's iHeartRadio Music Festival, which takes place this September in Las Vegas. During the two-day festival, Yahoo plans to power a live webcast online and on mobile devices. This will extend to "nearly a dozen additional events" on which Yahoo and Clear Channel will collaborate to stream live broadcasts.
The Chicago Tribune has partnered with NewsCred to announce a new premium membership section on the paper's website. The section will provide reporting from the Tribune's own newsroom as well as curated news and editorial content from other top publishers, such as The Economist and Forbes. The access to relevant business and finance news content is powered by NewsCred's syndication and curation technology. The technology company works with publishers and brands to aggregate content, which can include licensed articles, videos, and images from an array of news providers. NewsCred says it currently powers brand and publisher sections for the New York Daily News, Orange Telecom, and Pepsi, among others.
Netflix subscribers in the US are not the only ones who will get to enjoy next year's return of Arrested Development. The video service has announced that it will also release its planned new season of the critically acclaimed comedy to customers in the UK and Ireland. The show returns in early 2013. Along with that, Netflix plans to add additional shows from Twentieth Century Fox, including comedy series Modern Family and The League, and drama series Lie to Me, Sons of Anarchy, and The Killing, to its offering in the UK and Ireland.
More news for (only) those in the UK: BBC has launched a new Facebook app that will stream live coverage of both Wimbledon and the Summer Olympics in London. Currently available in beta, the app offers BBC's network TV coverage along with up to six extra match streams from across the courts at Wimbledon. During the 2012 Olympic Games, BBC will provide 24 simultaneous streams in addition to the main BBC channels, as well as a live chat functionality.
Lucha Libre USA has brought the Mexican pro wrestling show Masked Warriors to Hulu Latino. All seven episodes of season one have already been made available on both Hulu and Hulu Plus, featuring unreleased cuts comprised of never-before-seen matches and other extra footage. On July 11, the second season of Masked Warriors will premiere on Hulu, with new episodes airing every Wednesday night through September 19.
Continuing with the international theme (and Hulu news), Hulu's SVP/International, Johannes Larcher, has given a little bit of an update on the growth of the video service in Japan. A multiyear agreement between Hulu and HBO brings titles like Sex and the City and The Sopranos to Hulu in Japan. More titles, including Entourage and Band of Brothers, will arrive later this year. Hulu also launched the first three seasons of Mad Men for viewers in Japan thanks to a partnership with distributor Pony Canyon. Overall, Larcher says over 29 million Hulu-enabled devices have been activated in the market and the total amount of content on the service has increased by more than 300% since launch, featuring over 800 films and 6,900 TV show episodes from 24 different content providers. That number includes local broadcaster TV Tokyo, which offers popular TV shows such as Moteki and Suzuki Sensei, as well as next day access to animated series such as Inazuma 11 and Danball Senki.
And now to bring it back to the States, Time Warner Cable has added Kindle Fire to the list of platforms and devices on which it provides access to HBO Go, the premium channel's much-loved TV Everywhere product. It's available to Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, and Insight customers who have HBO subscriptions.
Speaking of HBO, it's not the only pay-TV channel to offer the season premiere of its shows for free online. However, in a bit of a departure from HBO's practice of releasing the first episode of Girls, VEEP, and most recently The Newsroom on YouTube, Showtime has made the season premiere of Weeds available for free on Facebook. The final season of the dramedy begins on July 1.
Join your colleagues in NYC on August 9 for the Cynopsis Sports Media Awards Breakfast! View finalists and register to attend here.
Big Frame, a LA-based YouTube media company, has raised a seed round of over $3 million from Anthem Venture Partners, Daher Capital, DFJ Frontier, and other investors. The start-up functions as a sort of digital talent agency, it helps artists find and develop audiences online, grow revenue, and produce premium video content. It says the round of funding will be used to expand its infrastructure, grow the team that focuses on helping YouTube content producers grow audiences and revenue, and continue to invest in technology, data tools, and new content production. Since it launched in July 2011, Big Frame has created a YouTube network that consists of over 100 channels, one of which, named BAMMO, is part of the YouTube original programming initiative. The network in its entirely attracts over 8 million monthly unique viewers. The company says it will unveil a bunch of new shows next week, all of which are scheduled to debut on YouTube over the next several months, according to The Wrap. Big Frame has also produced original content for numerous global brands, including Twentieth Century Fox, Sony Electronics, THQ, and Virgin Mobile.
LongTail Video's JW Player has added support for the Akamai HD Network, a content solution that offers features such as HD adaptive bitrate streaming, content targeting, and DVR. Available to all 1.5 million publishers who use the JW Player, LongTail Video says the new capability enables publishers to stream live and on-demand HD video content on their web properties. This announcement follows LongTail Video's recent release of JW Player v5.9, launch of Open Video Ads, which allows publishers to integrate their JW Player with IAB-supported VAST and VPAID video advertising standards, and recent integration with Google's DoubleClick for Advertisers; all designed to help publishers add video content to their sites and find ways to monetize it.
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Springpad, a social, cloud-based notebook app, has introduced a new Facebook "Like" import feature, which can collect and organize "Likes" on the social network related to places, movies, TV shows, books, and music. It's designed so that users can search for and find recommendations their friends have made in the past. Springpad says it's not only an aggregation service, as it also "enhances" Facebook "Likes" with actionable information such as movie reviews and trailers from Rotten Tomatoes, price comparisons, maps, product availability alerts, Foursquare tips, and more. The service has also added the ability to share Springpad notebooks on Facebook Timeline for more access to recommendations. It is now available for free in the Facebook App Center, as well as on the web and iOS and Android devices.
Meredith Corporation is offering digital editions of magazine brands such as Family Circle, EveryDay with Rachael Ray, Ladies' Home Journal, and Midwest Living, among others, on Google Play. For these brands, Meredith says readers can buy single issues for 99 cents for a limited time. The decision to open up these magazine brands on Google Play is a continuation of Meredith's digital expansion over the past year. In that time span, Meredith has offered subscriptions and single-issues of almost 20 brands on multiple devices, launched over a dozen branded mobile apps, and premiered the Digs Channel on YouTube.
Alongside the appointment of Rich Cusick, Yahoo has made two other executive hires to expand its global media business and consumer marketing efforts. John Buchanan joins the company as its new VP/Consumer Marketing. He will lead the consumer marketing team across the globe and will report to Mollie Spilman, CMO at Yahoo. Meanwhile, Scott Bushman has been named VP/Canada, Latin America, and U.S. Hispanic, Global Media & Commerce. Bushman is returning to Yahoo and will lead business-building efforts for the company's Media Network in Canada and Latin America, as well as the U.S. Hispanic market. He will report to Mickie Rosen, SVP/Global Media & Commerce.
Chris Pirrone has been named GM/USA Today Sports Digital Properties at the USA Today Sports Media Group. In his new role, he will oversee all operations within the newly formed group.
HealthGuru, an online destination for health information videos, has hired Adam Oppenheimer in the Account Manager role for its advertising sales team.
Xytech, a provider of facilities management software for broadcast and media services companies, has promoted Greg Dolan to Chief Operating Officer. Prior to this he was an EVP at the company since 2009. Xytech says Dolan's new title "reflects [its] need to structurally accommodate a dynamic expansion in its market sector."
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To celebrate surpassing 1 billion video views on YouTube, Disney is in the midst of a 10-day programming event on its YouTube network. The event is comprised of new and original videos that come from across Disney, including Disney Parks, Radio Disney, Games, and Films, as well as its YouTube content partners. So far, the programming block has premiered:
The event runs until July 3. Other original videos scheduled to show up in the coming days include a new episode of Disney Interactive's animated web series, Talking Friends; a "behind-the-curtain" look at the Tony Award-winning musical, Newsies; and the premiere of That's Fresh, a new cooking show from parenting network Babble.
Give it a look, and have a great Independence Day (and week).
Later - Sahil
Sahil Patel, Associate Editor for Cynopsis Digital
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