Good morning. It's Tuesday, July 31, 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.
Telemundo Media has announced its extensive digital and social strategy surrounding the ongoing London Olympics. The Spanish-language network plans to offer over 200 hours of online video, of which 130+ hours will be devoted to live-streaming the events, with the rest focusing on stories, expert analysis, and profiles of Hispanic athletes. Two sites will serve as the point-of-entry for Hispanic viewers: olimpiadastelemundo.com, for access to live streaming, highlights, scores, news, analysis, athlete profiles, and other online video content; and deportestelemundo.com, for feature stories. On the mobile front, a new mobile app for iOS and Android devices will offer users access to Olympics programming in Spanish. This includes on-demand videos of events, highlights, and interviews. Telemundo also plans to tap Facebook and Twitter to encourage viewers to upload user-generated content about the Olympics as well as use these social channels to increase engagement between fans and Telemundo commentators, experts, and analysts, as well as Hispanic athletes. And finally, on Facebook the network will conduct daily polls on Olympic themes, after which it will share results throughout its TV programming lineup, from its daily morning show Un Nuevo Dia to its London 2012 recaps at midnight.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM WESTDOC
Fathom Events, an entertainment division of National CineMedia that focuses on movie theater programming, has inked a deal with Amazon.com to distribute select in-theater events via Amazon Instant Video as well as on DVD through the retailer's CreateSpace on Demand platform. The first event to be released under this partnership will be Dr. Harvey Karp, Live: A Conversation About Babies, Toddlers, and Sleep. It's available digitally for $11.99 and on DVD for $19.99.
Ricki Lake's new daytime talk show is going to be accompanied by its very own social network, according to AdAge. The show's producer, Twentieth Television, has partnered with social TV company YouToo to allow users to record videos in response to on-air topics, which if approved by producers, could show up on later broadcasts. Stephen Brown, SVP/Programming and Development at Twentith Television, tells AdAge that the company might also use Youtoo to interact with viewers in other ways, including getting feedback and/or creating viewer groups aligned around similar interest topics, such as weight loss. The report also notes that this social presence will give the network the ability to sell advertising against the interactive social content, such as sponsorship of polls. The Ricki Lake Show premieres on September 10 on many FOX affiliates across the country.
PROGRAMMING CALL: Cynopsis Digital will be producing an Online Video Content e-Special Report on Wednesday, August 29. The report will take an in-depth look at the development behind some of the best original web series as well as the innovators who have made them successful. If your company has released a premium, original series this year, and would like it to be considered as among the best in the web video space, please send your submission, which should include a brief overview of the series with pertinent information such as creator(s), producer(s), story, genre, cast, and the latest stats, to Sahil Patel at email@example.com, no later than August 10.
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.
Yahoo has entered into a yearlong partnership with IPG Mediabrands to show off its content, advertising, and research capabilities to IPG Mediabrands' clients via the IPG Media Lab. Between July 27 and August 12, a special Yahoo exhibit within the IPG Media Lab will showcase how Yahoo uses social, mobile, and online video content, as well as data and insights on ROI, to deliver scalable content campaigns across multiple screens. The exhibit will be updated throughout the life of the partnership. Other aspects include:
Videolicious, a provider of automatic video creation solutions, has launched Videolicious 2.0, a platform designed to help users quickly create high-quality sales, marketing, and communications videos in real-time from multiple devices. A consumer-facing, mobile app version of the Videolicious platform is available for free on iOS devices. However, professional clients can choose from several subscription tiers offering a varying range of tools and features, including more shots, longer videos, the ability to automatically add branded elements like post-roll logos, and access to a royalty-free, commercial music library. Clients can also incorporate pre-recorded shots, voiceovers, and/or music into the content created on the platform. In addition, the company has landed $1.4 million in funding from a number of investors, including Amazon.com, Venture51, and Ludlow Ventures. The funding will be directed toward boosting Videolicious' research and product development efforts.
Premier Retail Networks (PRN), a provider of digital place-based media services, has inked a multiyear extension with Costco Wholesale Corp. to continue collaborating on the retailer's in-store media network. The two have worked together on the network since it was launched in 2004. Per the new deal, PRN's in-store media network will provide Costco stores with a new 3D content channel focusing on the retailer's 3D consumer electronics education initiatives. Under the extended agreement, PRN will continue to provide Costco with an integrated media solution that includes custom HDTV content, programming, ad sales, network operations, media management, and scheduling.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
The size of a video player can impact viewer engagement with and completion rates for online video ads, according to new data from Tremor Video, based on ad performance the company recently witnessed across its network. Tremor's data shows that viewer engagement rates doubled when watching an ad within a 400-pixel player when compared to smaller video environments. In addition, the video ad company says approximately 62% of all viewers watched an ad through to completion when it appeared in a 400 to 500-pixel environment; and that completion rate jumped to nearly 75% for ads that appeared in a player between 500 and 700 pixels. With that in mind, Tremor Video reports that in June it served 98.3% of its ads in players 400 pixels or larger.
The latest numbers from Strategy Analytics' Wireless Smartphone Strategies service finds that US smartphone shipments fell 5% year-over-year to hit 24 million units in the Q2 2012. During this time, Android ceded some of its market share to Apple's iOS, as Android's share of shipments in the US fell from 60.6% in Q2 2011 to 56.3% in Q2 2012, and Apple's share rose from 23.2% to 33.2% over the same time period. It's more bad news for Research In Motion as the BlackBerry's market share on this front fell from 10.5% last year to 6.5% in Q2 of this year. According to Strategy Analytics, the overall drop in shipments can be attributed in part to a volatile economy, a maturing smartphone market among contract mobile subscribers, and major operators altering their upgrade policies in order to increase profits.
Digital distribution of movies is on the rise, according to new numbers from the Digital Entertainment Group. Consumer spending on digital video, which includes VOD, electronic sell-through services, and subscription streaming services like Netflix, jumped to just over $2.4 billion in the first half of 2012, representing a 77.7% increase over the same time period last year. Of this, the most significant growth belongs to subscription streaming services, as spending on such services grew from $208 million in the first half of 2011 to $1.1 billion in the first six months of 2012, a year-over-year increase of 430.14%. Additionally, DEG reports that UltraViolet, the Hollywood-backed digital download service, has topped 4 million accounts.
While mobile commerce is still a relatively small percentage of the overall e-commerce market, it's growing at much faster clip and is well on it's way to representing 24.4% of overall e-commerce revenues by the end of 2017, according to ABI Research. The report attributes this growth to increased smartphone adoption in both mature and developing markets, as well as brick-and-mortar stores transitioning to more multichannel strategies in an effort to fend off competition from web-based vendors. Going forward, ABI says the introduction of HTML5, visual search, NFC, augmented reality, and better mobile web browsing experiences, among other things, will increasingly play a part in "showrooming" and m-commerce.
The Weather Channel Companies (TWCC) has released the latest version of the Weather Channel App for Nokia Lumia smartphones, which run on the Windows Phone platform. The app now has support for seven languages, and offers new social and alerting features that TWCC says is exclusive to the Nokia Lumia phone for a limited time. These include My Friends' Weather, which allows users to view and chat with their friends about current weather conditions; My Friends' Weather Alerts, which enables users to keep track of severe weather conditions that may affect their friends; an augmented reality capability that lets users see photos of locations submitted by others through the camera; and "My Amazing Day" personalized weather alerts, through which users can set "perfect days" for certain types of activities, such as reading when it rains or sailing when it's beautiful outside, and be notified when conditions will be optimal for such activities in the near future. The new app can be downloaded directly from Nokia Lumia Windows Phones.
Microsoft's Surface tablets share the same release date as the company's Windows 8 operating system, October 26, per the company's 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Surface is Microsoft's first foray into designing manufacturing its own tablet device, something which it recently acknowledged has the potential for ruffling some feathers among its group of hardware partners.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM CABLEFAX
CLIQ'D is a newly launched channel on YouTube (not part of the original programming initiative) that aims to tap into one of the site's biggest hallmarks: user-generated content. The site offers users missions based on several topics of interest (what it refers to as cliques), beginning at launch with movies, music, and comedy. Users then select a clique and can find a list of missions as well as a library of videos that have already been accepted by CLIQ'D. Users can choose a mission to complete, create a video following that mission's guidelines, and submit it to the site. If CLIQ'D deems the video to be one of the best, it will be published on the channel and the user will be rewarded $250. Some missions that have already been completed include "Yard Sale Infomercials," "Hometown Anthems," and "Batman Retires."
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Later - Sahil
Sahil Patel, Associate Editor for Cynopsis Digital
Denise O'Connor: Group Publisher
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