Good morning. It's Friday, August 3, 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.
NBC continues to release tidbits of information regarding its multiplatform coverage of the London Olympics. On the digital front, the network says the women's gymnastics finals on July 31 delivered 1.4 million live streams, the most-ever for an Olympic event. That was followed by the men's swimming event on the same day, which delivered just over 1 million live streams. Overall, NBC reports that 105 million minutes of video -- 78 million of which were live -- were streamed across all platforms on July 31. Meanwhile, on the same day NBCOlympics.com reached 103.2 million page views across all platforms.
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Alloy Digital has premiered the second season of Dating Rules from My Future Self on Hulu and Facebook (using a YouTube video player for the latter). Starring Candice Accola (The Vampire Diaries), the show is about a girl in her mid-20s who is contacted by her future self, who dispenses advice on how to change her current lifestyle so that it doesn't put her on a path to regret. The first season, which premiered in January of this year, reached almost 14 million total views across Hulu, YouTube, and the Alloy network. It is Alloy's most successful web series to date. With the launch of the second season, Dating Rules marks another milestone for Alloy Digital; the company's third sequel series to have repeat sponsors. Ford and Schick have agreed to come back, looking to promote the 2013 Ford Escape and Schick Quattro for Women, respectively. To that end, Alloy's brand campaign for both companies includes product integration in select scenes throughout the season's six-episode run; a media campaign running on targeted sites in the Alloy Digital Network; "contextual editorial integration" on Alloy websites; ads and vignettes on Facebook; and a sweepstakes.
The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) has launched a new channel on YouTube that plans to cull and curate investigative videos from news outlets like The New York Times, BBC, ABC, Al-Jazeera, and the Investigative News Network. Called The I Files, the team at CIR that is behind the channel will also document the process of putting the channel together, which will include collecting data on how people use and watch video. An I Files Future Award content is also in the works to encourage students from journalism schools around the country to submit videos; the top 10 will be selected and shown on the channel. According to TechCrunch, an $800,000 investment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is backing the channel, which will share revenue with the aforementioned news outlets.
Aereo has announced a new pricing scheme in order to attract more consumers to its broadcast TV streaming service. Options include the ability to sample Aereo for free for "one continuous hour" a day; one-day access for $1; monthly subscriptions of $8 and $12 (the latter offers more storage space); and an annual subscription for $80. Aereo is currently only available in NYC, but the company has plans to roll out to additional markets soon.
Magic Ruby is a newly launched company that's looking to carve out its own space in the second-screen ecosystem. A business unit of Second Screen Solutions, Magic Ruby's suite of services includes a second-screen app development platform that was originally built by Technicolor and an ad network for marketers and brands to serve targeted ads to second-screen apps, as well as a slew of other offerings designed to help content owners and distributors monetize second-screen audiences.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
Channel 4 will use Silicon Valley-based video tech company FreeWheel's Monetization Rights Management (MRM) system to manage the British broadcaster's video and display ad operations for all content that appears on devices and platforms other than the traditional TV. This multiyear agreement covers ad operations for Channel 4, E4, Film4, and 4oD video content that is accessible on computers, tablets, smartphones, gaming consoles, and Channel 4 partner sites like YouTube, as well as display advertising across its network websites. Channel 4 will use FreeWheel's MRM system to also manage ad yields for UKTV's VOD services and websites. FreeWheel's MRM system is currently used by a number of content providers in the UK and internationally, including Sky, ESPN, and Discovery International, as well as 21 of the top 25 cable networks in the US.
Flurry, a provider of mobile app advertising and analytics services, has launched Flurry Personas, interest-based audience segments that have been compiled based on consumer app usage. The company has defined 23 Personas (such as "business travelers," "TV lovers," "sports fans," and "fashion enthusiasts") based on usage data collected from over 200,000 apps in the Flurry network. The idea is that Flurry Analytics customers can use the audience data gleaned from the Personas service to build "better, targeted features" within their apps. Similarly, Flurry says app publishers using Flurry AppSpot can improve inventory quality with the help of Personas; and advertisers using AppCircle can create targeted campaigns that have a greater shot at reaching the right audience.
Rovi has inked a multiyear deal with Google to license out its patent portfolio that covers interactive TV program guides for set-top boxes and online and mobile platforms. "Our agreement with Google continues the growth and relevance of our patent licensing program for not only traditional platforms, but also new media experiences across multiple screens," said Samir Armaly, EVP/Worldwide Intellectual Property & Licensing, Rovi, in a statement announcing the deal. For Google, this deal was made to cover its recently announced Google Fiber TV offering.
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In its first-ever forecast for the worldwide mobile advertising market, eMarketer projects global mobile ad spending to surpass $6.43 billion in 2012. Leading the way for the first time will be the US, as eMarketer sees mobile ad spending domestically to jump 96.6% from $1.16 billion in 2011 to $2.29 billion in 2012. This means the US will dethrone Japan, where eMarketer says mobile advertising is more mature. eMarketer forecasts mobile ad spending in Japan to rise 27.2% from nearly $1.37 billion in 2011 to $1.74 billion in 2012. The growth in the US will provide a boost for North America overall. In 2013, North America will reach $4.14 billion in mobile ad spending. In comparison, Asia-Pacific will slide in at second with $3.19 billion in mobile ad spending. With all of this in mind, eMarketer says mobile still has a long way to go in order to sit alongside premier ad channels like TV, print, and the internet. Last year, mobile advertising accounted for less than 1% of total global ad spending.
The London Games might actually be hurting Netflix just as the company's CEO Reed Hastings warned during its Q2 earnings report. According to Procera Networks, via a report from Variety, Netflix streaming was down 25% in the US this past Sunday when compared to normal levels. To be fair, when asked to comment, a Netflix spokesperson told Variety that even if Procera's data is correct, "one night's traffic does not a trend make."
In assessing the growth of the connected TV, a new Nielsen report finds that even though American's spend 35 hours each week watching content across all screens, 94% of that time is still spent watching content on a traditional television screen. Acknowledging the fact that web connectivity is being built into current and future generations of TVs, Nielsen says TV usage may increase going forward. An earlier report from the company pegged connected TV penetration among US households at 10.4% as of February 2012, compared to just 4.7% in February 2011. And when it comes to how much these households are actually using the internet functionality within those TVs, Nielsen estimated that in October 2011, the use of the internet feature was roughly 2% of the total TV use; in February 2012, that number jumped to about 5%.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has appointed Michael Theodore to be its new VP/Training and Development. He will be responsible for managing and cultivating the IAB Digital Media Sales Certification program as well as developing and facilitating professional development curriculums and training materials. Julie Van Ullen will take over Theodore's previous position, VP/Media Services. In that role, she will manage IAB membership relations, including new member acquisition, retention, and communication.
Dan Rua has joined the Board of Directors at social media sponsorship company IZEA, effective immediately. This is Rua's second stint with IZEA as he previously served in the role of Executive Chairman and an early investor in what was then called IZEA Innovations.
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We're going with two today:
NBCUniversal's Television Without Pity has opened voting for the 9th Annual Tubey Awards. Fans have over 80 categories to vote on, including "Most Disappointing Season of a Previously Awesome Show" and "New Series with the Most Wasted Potential," as well as new categories such as "Favorite Show to 'Hate Watch'" and "Most Annoying Teenage Character." Among the 800 nominees, there are awards show staples like Mad Men, Game of Thrones, and The Big Bang Theory, as well as cult favorites like Community and Fringe. To promote the Tubey Awards, Television Without Pity is partnering with other sites under the NBCUniversal umbrella to host site-specific Tubey categories that reflect that partner site. Fandango will spotlight "Summer Movie That Most Deserves a TV Spinoff"; iVillage will run "Cutest Kid on Reality TV"; and DailyCandy will host "TV Character with the Best Wardrobe and Style." These categories are in addition the 80 hosted on Television Without Pity's website. New categories will be unveiled each week until September 9; voters will have that week to make their picks. The winners will be announced in mid-September in advance of some other awards-based show called the Primetime Emmy Awards, I think.
And in something that's too cool to pass up, NASA astronaut Joe Acaba will host a two-hour special radio broadcast while aboard the International Space Station. The Joe Show: New Rock from Space will air today at 4pm ET on the internet radio station Third Rock Radio. During the program, Acaba will talk about his experiences in space as well as play some rock music. Third Rock Radio comes courtesy of a NASA Space Act Agreement with RFC Media of Houston, and was created to cultivate new interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Later - Sahil
Sahil Patel, Associate Editor for Cynopsis Digital
Denise O'Connor: Group Publisher Media Entertainment
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