Good morning. It's Friday, July 20, 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.
With the Olympics just around the corner, mobile ad company Velti commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct a study on how US audiences plan on following and consuming content about the event. And with multiplatform content, including the ability to stream programming online and on other devices, a major aspect of the planned coverage of the Games, it's probably good news that 40% of poll respondents who plan on following the Olympics said they will do so on two or more devices. When broken down by multiple devices, 36% of those who will follow the Olympics plan on doing so via the TV and computer; 11% via the TV and their smartphone; and 10% via their computer and their smartphone.
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YouTube has launched a new custom channel that will air over 50 Ramadan series day-and-date with when they are broadcasted on networks in the Middle East, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The holiday begins on today and ends on August 18. THR says it's the equivalent of sweeps weeks for networks in the Middle East. Overall, the YouTube channel will contain over hundreds of Ramadan-oriented programs from YouTube partners in the region, including Rotana, CBS-Egypt, Melody, and Promo-media. All revenue generated by the shows on the site will be split between YouTube and the partners.
Creative Impulse Entertainment's long-running action adventure comic book series, Justice For Hire, will be adapted for both he web and as a feature film, thanks to a new deal with Spillwall Productions. Creative Impulse says it prioritizes a transmedia approach to distributing its content. When Justice For Hire was originally released in print in 2008, each issue came with a DVD that featured live-action, episodic content that provided supplemental storylines tied to that issue. The series follows two fathers who enlist their sons to form a crime-fighting business.
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.
Digital publisher Say Media has landed $27 million in new funding from New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Shea Ventures, and Correlation Ventures, along with a number of existing investors. The new funding will be used for further development of Say Media's publishing platform; to grow its portfolio of media brands; and new acquisitions. As part of NEA's investment, Paul Hsiao is joining SAY's Board of Directors. The company recently named Kim Kelleher, the current Publisher at TIME Magazine, as its new President, effective this coming September. SAY Media operates a network of sites around four "content channels": Style, Tech, Living, and Food. Some properties you may have heard of include ReadWriteWeb and Serious Eats.
33Across, a provider of social graph technology, has raised $13.1 million in funding, led by new investor Pelion Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors like Flybridge Capital, Greycroft Partners, First Round Capital, and others. This brings the company's funding total to $26 million. The company says it will direct the new capital toward accelerating investment in new products and engineering, along with expanding its presence in the advertising and publishing industries by adding to its client roster, which currently stands at more than 375 Fortune 1000 marketers and over 600,000 publishers.
Microsoft has completed its acquisition of Yammer, a provider of a popular enterprise-level social network, for $1.2 billion in cash. Per the agreement, the Yammer team joins the Office Division of Microsoft, currently led by President Kurt DelBene, even though they will continue to report to Yammer CEO David Sacks. "We look forward to accelerating the adoption of Yammer's standalone service, and enhancing the social capabilities in Microsoft's communication and collaboration offerings," said Jared Spataro, Senior Director/Office Division, Microsoft, in a blog post.
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The latest Global Facebook Advertising Report from TBG Digital shows that Facebook's average cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) rose by 58% over the last 12 months. TBG says this increase can be attributed to advertisers using the Sponsored Stories ad unit more as well as the social networking company's introduction of mobile ads. And consumers also seem to be doing their part; the click-through rate (CTR) on ads increased by 11% over the same time period. TBG once again pays lip service to the introduction of mobile ads in contributing to this growth. In fact, the company cites a study it conducted of 278 million Sponsored Stories impressions, which found that mobile ads received, on average, CTRs that were 14 times that of desktop ads. Staying on that mobile bandwagon, TBG says Facebook received $9.86 for every CPM served on mobile, which is 13 times more than it received for desktop ads. Other things you should know from the report:
According to the results of About.com's new research study (The Trust Factor) on consumer trust, 84% of US consumers say they won't even engage with a brand until trust has been established. To that end, the study identified several "essential elements" for developing trust with consumers, including format, accuracy, expertise, fairness, relevance, choice, relatability, and awareness, among others. The study also determined that different platforms are better at delivering certain trust elements than others. For example, respondents indicated that all trust elements are even more important on mobile than online. 71% of respondents said format was more important on mobile, with accuracy and expertise also ranking highly. In addition, 56% of respondents agreed that video builds trust when it is combined with other types of content.
Warner Bros. Techinical Operations has launched outmywindow. It's a new private photo sharing and storage service that allows users to take photos and then selectively share them via one-click, permission-based albums. The service features a timeline that is broken down by dates in order to make it easier for users to view older images. The app also maintains the photo's native resolution regardless of the device on which it's being accessed. Other features include real-time notifications and the ability to import photo collections from other services as well as from the libraries on the user's computer. The service is available on the web, all iOS devices, Google TV, and is coming soon to the Yahoo TV Widget.
Television production studio Endermol USA has appointed John P. Roberts as its new SVP/Digital Media and Commercial Affairs, effective immediately. In the newly created position, Roberts is responsible for developing new commercial and digital businesses opportunities in North America for Endermol USA and its subsidiary production companies, Authentic Entertainment, Endermol Studios, 51 Minds, Original Media, and True Entertainment. His team will oversee all original digital productions, interactive television, social games, and mobile apps, as well as other commercial opportunities in North America, such as live events, licensing, and merchandising. Roberts will report to David Goldberg, Chairman and CEO, Endermol North America, and will be based in Beverly Hills, CA.
Yahoo continues on its mini-editorial hiring spree by naming Scott Robson as the new Editor in Chief/Yahoo Entertainment. In this newly created role, Robson will oversee Yahoo Movies, omg!, Yahoo TV and Yahoo Music, and will be tasked with enhancing and expanding the promotion of original content, developing new franchises, and recruiting new talent.
Ian Ali, a former National Sales Director at Microsoft Advertising, has joined Intergi Entertainment in the role of Chief Revenue Officer, and will oversee the online gaming company's sales team. He will also work with Intergi's CEO, Jayson Dubin, to grow and expand the company.
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As part of ESPN's wall-to-wall, multiplatform coverage of The Open Championship, the network is making 10.5 hours of live play available on WatchESPN today, from 4:30am to 3pm ET. Tomorrow, it plans to air live from 7am to 2:30pm ET. And for the final round on Sunday, ESPN will provide live coverage from 6am to 1:30pm. That's 36 total hours of live, four-round coverage from The Open Championship if you also factor in the 10.5 hours from yesterday. So if you're unable to sit back and enjoy the fun on your home TV, do so via the courtesy of ESPN's TV Everywhere offering. Access to the website and mobile app is available to those who are customers of Bright House Networks, Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon FiOS TV, and subscribe to a package that includes ESPN (authentication!). Beyond WatchESPN, the network is also offering exclusive Open Championship content, including official films from past tournaments, on the ESPN On Demand platform. On ESPN.com, among the regular slate of content, from articles to leaderboards and live chats, the site will publish Digital Drive, a daily web-exclusive program hosted by columnist Rick Reilly.
Later - Sahil
Sahil Patel, Associate Editor for Cynopsis Digital
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JOB OPENING: DIGITAL SALES AE/Sony Pictures TV/LA: Strong dig. sales bckgrnd a must. Interest in ent, gaming, emerg. tech. Able to sell mult properties, incl: Crackle, PS Network, FEARnet & Dr Oz. Apply: www.sonypicscareers.com (7/27)
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