Good morning. It's Thursday, July 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.
The online video advertising space continues to break records, according to June 2012 data from comScore. The company's monthly Video Metrix report finds that more than 11 billion online video ads were viewed in June, up from over 10 billion in May. In addition, each of the top five online video advertising properties delivered more than 1 billion video ads in June. The order was Google sites (1.41 billion ads delivered), BrightRoll (1.39 billion ads), Hulu (1.33 billion), Adap.tv (1.15 billion), and TubeMogul (1.04) billion. Time spent watching video ads reached 4.6 billion minutes, with BrightRoll delivering the highest duration of video ads at 805 million minutes. Overall, comScore finds that video ads reached 53% of the total US population an average of 68 times during the month. Hulu and ESPN delivered the highest frequency of video ads to their viewers with an average of 52 and 34 ads per viewer, respectively.
On the online video front, comScore finds that 180 million US internet users watched 33 billion pieces of online video content in June 2012. When compared to data from May of this, the number of US internet users watching videos online remained the same at 180 million; however, there was a drop in the number of videos watched -- in May, comScore reported that Americans watched 36.6 billion pieces of video content on the web. There were also some changes among the top five online video content properties (in terms of unique viewers): Google and Yahoo held their top spots with 154.5 million and 51.5 million unique viewers, respectively. Those two were followed by Facebook (49 million, up from #5), VEVO (46.2 million, down from #3), and Viacom Digital (38.9 million, new). Microsoft, which was at #4 last month dropped to #6 in June 2012, allowing for Viacom Digital to shoot up into the top five.
Hulu is partnering with the BBC to co-produce the fourth season of The Thick of It, a political satire from Armando Iannucci (Veep). As part of this deal, Hulu and Hulu Plus will also become the exclusive US distributor for the first three seasons of the show, as well as the two specials that have been released between seasons in the UK. These will be available beginning on July 29. And later this year, Hulu will exclusively premiere the fourth season of the show in the US, which will air first on Hulu and Hulu Plus day-and-date with the UK broadcast, after which it will return to BBC America early next year. The critically acclaimed political comedy, which takes a look at the inner workings of the British Government, was also the influence for Iannucci's Oscar-nominated film, In the Loop.
Yahoo is launching a multipronged digital and second-screen campaign surrounding the upcoming Summer Olympics in London. It consists of:
A+E Networks is launching two new social media initiatives, as well as one returning initiative, tied to the 10th season of Project Runway, which premieres tonight on Lifetime at 9pm ET.
The sixth season of The Guild, a web series created by and starring Felicia Day, is coming to YouTube later this year, per Tubefilter. The show will be available on Day's Geek & Sundry channel on YouTube, which is a product of the site's original programming initiative. The show follows the antics of a group of massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) players. The announcement was made during the Geek & Sundry panel, which featured Day, at Comic-Con in San Diego.
Adobe will enable automatic authentication for its NBC Olympics live-streaming app, according to what the company's Director/Video Solutions, Ashley Still, tells Beet.TV in a video interview. She said the new app recognizes the username and password of the home Wi-Fi network. This automatic sign-in service will be available for only two internet providers, which she declined to name in the interview.
Dailymotion has launched a revamped version of its Dailymotion Cloud video streaming platform. New features include DRM support for Adobe Flash Access and Microsoft Playready; the ability for Dailymotion.com users to syndicate content between the Cloud service and their personal video archives; in-stream advertising capabilities; and customizable player designs. Dailymotion says the Cloud service allows for "multiple video upload, URL importation, or full Dailymotion video account migration" in order to build a content library. Once uploaded, the platform will encode the video and allow the user to distribute the file to a variety of connected devices. For the product, the company has elected to go with a usage-based pricing model. Pricing begins at 12.5 cents per hour for less than 100,000 hours of monthly video consumed or broadcasted through the service. They then drop to as low as six cents for usage upward of 10 million monthly hours. It is currently offering a free trial for up to ten hours of streaming.
YouTube has rolled out a new feature that allows users to blur the faces of individuals within a piece of video they've uploaded. It is available via YouTube's Video Enhancements tool within its Video Manager.
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.
The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) will collaborate with Symphony Advanced Media (SAM) to pilot test "innovative new approaches" to cross-platform advertising effectiveness by trying to directly link passive measurement of actual ad exposure to consumer response data. The organizations say the test will also include new approaches to segmenting media consumers based on their social media profiles, activities, and influence, and will do this by linking Facebook and Twitter data to media consumption. To conduct the analyses, SAM will collect data from its Media Insiders Panel, which focuses on three-screen and social media consumers, for which SAM has developed apps to track media usage across multiple platforms, including Facebook and Twitter. "As this collaboration progresses, we look forward to generating new insights for CIMM's member companies and those in the media and advertising industries who are searching for ways to improve their understanding of cross-media consumption and effectively connect with consumers on different platforms," said Jane Clark, Managing Director of CIMM. In addition to potential links between multimedia consumption and social media usage, the research will examine next-gen TV and cross-media ad performance measurement solutions using passive tracking technologies, which the organizations indicate will be conducted by the end of 2012.
The Branded Content Marketing Association (BCMA), established in the UK, has launched a North American chapter, led by Doug Scott, President of OgilvyEntertainment and International Director of BCMA. The BCMA describes its mission as dedicated exclusively to the development of the branded content industry by bringing together major players within the industry to further define creative, production, and measurement standards in the branded content space. BCMA North America says members will be invited to quarterly mixers, an annual summit, and additional industry insider events. Partners include C Squared, Cristal Festival, Always On, NATPE, MIP, UbiQ, Digital Hollywood, The Rose Group, realscreen, and Cannes Lions.
WebCollage, a company that delivers rich-media product information to retailer websites, has launched a new program with the goal of eventually making online manufacturers' product information for more than 50,000 stock-keeping units (SKUs) accessible on major mobile platforms. As a result, the company says shoppers will be able to review the same information in the various rich media formats -- ranging from video to photo galleries and interactive tours -- that they would see on retailer websites.
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AT&T is now offering carrier billing for content purchases through the Samsung Media Hub entertainment service. Per the deal, AT&T customers will be able to buy movies, individual TV episodes, and full seasons of TV shows on select Samsung mobile devices with one click. The charge will show up on the monthly AT&T bill. And most interestingly, customers will be immediately able to watch the movie or episode, even as the file is still downloading. The Samsung Media Hub is a pre-loaded entertainment service that offers a wide array of programming from the likes of CBS, FOX, MTV Networks, NBCUniversal, Paramount, and Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. Purchases can be shared across as many as five Media Hub-enabled devices, which include the Galaxy Tab devices, connected DVD players, and connected home theaters and Samsung Smart TVs, at no additional cost. Devices that will offer carrier billing include Samsung's Galaxy S III, Captivate, and Galaxy Exhilarate, as well as all Galaxy Note and Galaxy S II devices that have been updated to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). The Media Hub comes preloaded on the Galaxy S III and other select smartphones.
Yahoo has named Hillary Frey as Editor in Chief/Yahoo News and Aaron Task as Editor in Chief/Yahoo Finance. In Frey's new role, she will be responsible for the continued expansion and promotion of Yahoo News' original content, developing new franchises, and recruiting new talent. She will also oversee the ongoing evolution of the Yahoo News newsroom, and also work to enhance the existing partnership between Yahoo News and ABC News and team on major news events. At his new position overseeing Yahoo Finance, Task, who will remain the host of The Daily Ticker, will be similarly responsible for the continued expansion and promotion of original content, recruiting new talent, and the evolution of the Yahoo Finance newsroom. He will also work with CNBC on their recently announced partnership with Yahoo. Both Frey and Task are based in NY and both will report to Robertson Barrett, VP/News & Finance at Yahoo.
Hearst Digital Media has promoted Jennifer Barrett to GM/Women and Teen Network. She is responsible for leading the daily programming and product planning for Hearst's women's lifestyle and teen sites, which include Cosmopolitan.com, RedbookMag.com, Seventeen.com, CosmoGirl.com, and others. In addition, Eric Goeres has been named GM/Men's Network. Similar to Barrett, Goeres will be responsible for leading the daily programming and product planning for the company's men's sites, which include CarandDriver.com, Esquire.com, and more. Those are not the only new hires from the unit of Hearst Magazines as Paulo Lemgruber has joined Hearst Digital Media as VP/Business Development and Strategy. In this role, Lemgruber will lead business development efforts for the digital division, including identifying, negotiating, and supporting partnerships. And it doesn't end there as Zachary Abbell has been appointed to the position of Director/E-commerce, where he will be responsible for advancing the company's e-commerce initiatives through strategy, execution, analysis, and optimization. Barrett, Goeres, and Lemgruber will report to Grant Whitmore, VP/Digital, Hearst Magazines.
NY-based digital tech company PulsePoint has hired Sloan Goan to be its new Chief Executive Officer. The company says Goan was selected to guide the company's mission to deliver integrated digital marketing solutions for advertisers and publishers that span content creation, curation, distribution, and monetization. The move has been effective as of July 9.
Xytech, a provider of facility management software for the broadcast and media services industries, has hired Barry Lyne to be its new Director of Sales/EMEA. He will cover the region from the company's London office.
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You may have heard of this small, quiet, unassuming indie superhero dramedy coming out this weekend called The Dark Knight Rises. If you haven't, Empire Magazine has been kind enough to provide everyone with a custom page that contains pretty much everything you would want to know about Christopher Nolan's venerated three-part superhero saga. The page contains everything from exclusive interviews with the new film's cast to a stream of the film's score to how Batman Begins and The Dark Knight were made to, well, just check it out. The magazine has been publishing a new piece every day for three weeks leading up to the film's release tomorrow (or, for some very enterprising individuals, tonight at midnight).
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Later - Sahil
Sahil Patel, Associate Editor for Cynopsis Digital
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