Good morning. It's Friday, July 13, 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.
In an interview with The Los Angeles Times, Sony Music Entertainment CEO and VEVO Founder Doug Morris had some harsh things to say about the online music video service's relationship with YouTube. As VEVO looks to renew its distribution deal with the preeminent web video site (the current one is set to expire by the end of the year), Morris told the paper, "Google is charging us a lot of money to put our videos on their platform, and we would like them to reduce their fees." Morris did not disclose the specifics of VEVO's revenue-sharing agreement with YouTube. He went on to add, "If not, there are at least three other companies who want to take our videos." The Times says that Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon, are among the companies who would like to poach VEVO from Google and YouTube. When asked why he's essentially looking to disrupt an "ideal partnership," Morris answered that YouTube is "extracting too much money for the enterprise to work properly. The videos are expensive to produce. And there are many mouths to feed on our end. You have to pay the artist, the record companies, the publishers." For what it's worth, Morris is not involved with VEVO in an operational role. However, in the interview he says he came up with the idea for VEVO when he saw his grandson watch a music video on Yahoo, and closely follows the company as the chief at SME, which is a VEVO stakeholder.
An interesting wrinkle in the current Viacom/DirecTV dispute: Viacom has taken down a bunch of full-length episodes of its TV shows that were available for free across its websites. The move is in response to a DirecTV marketing tactic that has been promoting the online availability of select Viacom programming as an alternative to customers who currently don't have access to any Viacom-owned networks on their TV.
In a polar opposite of what Viacom is doing, AMC Networks, which is in the middle of a carriage dispute with Dish Network, has set up a webpage for Dish subscribers to watch the upcoming season premiere of Breaking Bad for free. On the page, AMC describes this is a "one-time-only" event. Dish subscribers can register starting this afternoon. Breaking Bad premieres this Sunday night at 10pm ET.
As part of NBC Owned Television Station's coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympics, each station's website and mobile apps feature a special section devoted to the Games. The sections, which have already gone live, include local athlete profiles and interviews, round-the-clock coverage of Olympic events and ceremonies, videos, and a blog that highlights trending stories from the two-week sports extravaganza. On the social media front, the local coverage is also accessible via a custom tab on each station's main Facebook page.
Mobile development technology provider Trilibis Mobile has partnered with Univision to launch a new mobile portal that consists of over 90 sites covering news, sports, entertainment, and lifestyle content. Representing Univision's portfolio of national channels, local TV, and radio stations, Trilibis says this portal has a reach of over 100 million monthly page views. In order to simplify content delivery across this network of 90+ mobile websites, Trilibis and Univision co-developed a mobile content management and publishing system that uses a dozen integration points to pull content from over 100 different feeds. The mobile company also built the portal architecture using components that are reusable. Trilibis says that this, along with the content management and publishing system, will allow Univision to easily launch new sites and add new content across its portal. Through this partnership, Trilibis will also create promotional and campaign-oriented mobile pages and sites to support Univision ad and sponsorship initiatives.
Hispanic cable network mun2's digital platform, mun2.tv, is launching Naco, Pocho, an original web-exclusive digital documentary on the subject of Mexican and Mexican-American's attitudes toward taste, class, and acculturation. The documentary is available in English with Spanish subtitles and in Spanish with English subtitles.
The Cynopsis Sports Media Awards Breakfast takes place on August 9 in New York City. If you haven't seen the finalists and registered to attend yet, you can do so here.
Video ad production start-up Poptent has raised $5.5 million, led by MK Capital. The company operates a "social network" of 50,000+ filmmakers, video directors, and producers in over 140 countries. When it receives an assignment from a brand or agency client to produce an ad or video, Poptent crowd-sources the video project to this social network. To date, Poptent says it has paid out $5 million in cash to members for completed brand and agency video assignments. CEO Andy Jedynak said in the funding announcement that the new funds will be used to support the company's continued expansion through product development, expanded services, and accelerated global expansion of its offerings.
Google has introduced the Search As You Type pilot to US-based AdWords advertisers. The feature is aimed facilitating the search, discovery, and sale of products on merchant websites. As the name says, the feature surfaces product suggestions and photos in real-time when customers enter a search query on a website. In doing so, the belief is that this method will make it easier and faster for customers to find what they're looking for, and ultimately click through to buy the product. Already offered within Google Commerce Search, Search As You Type now has been made available as a free, standalone feature. However, it's free for only up to 25 million searches per year; exceeding that Google will charge a licensing fee.
Hulu has reached a settlement with Dish Network over a dispute regarding Dish's attempt to trademark the "TV Everywhere" term, reports Multichannel News. Hulu, along with a number of other major US TV providers, including Comcast, Cablevision, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Charter, and DirecTV, challenged Dish's claim to the term, which it filed to the US Patent & Trademark Office in September 2009. Neither side disclosed details of the settlement. However, as Multichannel points out, the companies say in the filing Hulu "reserves all of its rights, claims, remedies, and defenses with respect to anyone's ability to use and/or register the term 'TV Everywhere.'"
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
In 2012, 47% of Netflix subscribers are mainly streaming movies, 19% are mainly streaming TV shows, and 35% are streaming movies and TV shows equally (the percentages are rounded up), according to new data from Nielsen. In comparison, last year 53% of Netflix subscribers mainly streamed movies, 11% mainly streamed TV shows, and 36% streamed both equally. To Nielsen, this rise in TV-content consumption on Netflix is not only due to the company inking content partnerships to re-air programming, but also that it's taking a plunge into original episodic programming of its own. Netflix recently launched Lilyhammer, starring Steven Van Zandt from The Sopranos, is about to launch Orange is the New Black from Weeds' showrunner Jenji Kohan, and has scheduled the highly anticipated return of Arrested Development for next year. This data was gathered via over 2,200 online interviews in March and April, focusing on usage and attitudes for OTT video, especially Netflix and Hulu.
It's more of the same in comScore's latest monthly rankings of the search engine market: Google Sites led the way with 66.8% of the "explicit core search" market in June 2012 (when a user engages with a search engine with the intention of retrieving search results). It was followed by Microsoft Sites, which accounted for 15.6% of the market. Yahoo Sites (13.0%), the Ask Network (3%), and AOL (1.5%) rounded out the top five. comScore finds that 17.1 billion explicit core searches were conducted in June.
New data from IDC indicates that the US PC market (in terms of shipments) shrank by 10.6% in the second quarter of 2012, compared to where it was a year ago. IDC says it's actually worse than expected as the researcher had predicted the number of shipments to fall only 4.4%. This drop can be attributed to "market saturation and economic factors," which combined with the anticipation of Windows 8 has resulted in consumers delaying purchases and vendors and retailers slowing down their PC activities in order to clear existing inventories, said David Daoud, Research Director/Personal Computing at IDC. "We don't expect PCs using Windows 8 to boost growth significantly until the fourth quarter, which leads to a conservative outlook for the third quarter," he added.
Children's iOS apps developer Callaway Digital Arts and Sesame Workshop have launched The Great Cookie Thief, an interactive book app featuring the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street. The app is based on the 1977 best-selling book of the same name by Emmy Award-winning author Emily Perl Kinsgley. It presents kids with a mystery as they try to determine who is stealing cookies from a bakery in a town in the Old West. Features include narration by the Cookie Monster and other characters who directly address the player; varied story paths with alternate endings; a "Create" mode that lets players design, print, and share "wanted" posters via a virtual photo booth; in-app purchases for additional characters and art; and more. It's available for all iOS devices for a limited-time introductory price of $0.99.
Warner Bros.' movie discovery app Flixster is giving away complimentary UltraViolet-enabled copies of select movies to San Diego Comic-Con attendees. To receive a copy of films such as Mortal Kombat, Mars Attacks!, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Green Lantern, and more, attendees have to tweet a custom hashtag that will be on display at the DC Entertainment booth at the San Diego Convention Center. Once the tweet is sent out, the attendee will then receive a direct message from Flixster on Twitter with details on how to download a copy of the movie through Flixster. UltraViolet is an initiative backed by multiple studios that aims to offset sagging DVD and Blu-ray sales by offering digital versions of purchased movies.
MTV has promoted Jason Rzepka to SVP/Public Affairs. In this role, Rzepka will continue to oversee the network's Public Affairs department and the strategic direction of all "pro-social" campaigns across MTV, mtvU, and MTV.com. Under his leadership, MTV has executed several notable social campaigns, including the Webby-winning "A Thin Line," which focuses on inspiring youngsters to stop digital abuse, and "Power of 12," a new campaign that aims to "gamify" the upcoming Presidential Election. He will report to Stephen Friedman, President of MTV.
Ted Rones has been named Director/CNBC Mobile Advertising Sales. Based in CNBC's sales offices in midtown Manhattan, Rones will be responsible for setting the network's mobile sales strategy as well as expanding relationships with marketers and agencies. He will report to Lou Tosto, SVP/CNBC Digital Advertising Sales.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM CABLEFAX
And even more Olympics-related offerings from NBC: This time, the network has teamed with Adobe to launch two new apps for both iOS and Android devices. One is the NBC Olympics "Live Extra" App, which will allow users to stream live or watch full replays of all the Olympic competitions across all 32 sports. And the other is the NBC Olympics App, which is a companion app that offers live updates to every event as well as news, results, medal counts, schedules, TV and online listings, videos, photos, and the ability to follow athletes, teams, and sports on several social networks. Both are available for free. However, access to the live and time-shifted streams on NBC Olympics "Live Extra" requires a subscription to a cable, satellite, or telco TV package that includes CNBC and MSNBC.
Later - Sahil
Sahil Patel, Associate Editor for Cynopsis Digital
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