Good morning. It's Wednesday, August 8, 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.
Nielsen has announced a new cross-platform advertising solution, Nielsen Online Audience Segments -- TV Viewing, which aims to link online behavior with TV viewing behavior so that marketers can better align their TV and online ad campaigns. It's also designed to help advertisers reach specific segments of consumers online who may be more difficult to reach through TV. Here's how Nielsen says the solution works: Using a representative sample of both TV and online panelists, the solution builds audience segments based on types of TV viewership (rather than households), such as shows or channels most viewed, heavy or light TV viewers, genres, and various viewer attributes. This way, Nielsen is able to model a group of consumers that best fit a specific campaign or message. "Being able to interact with consumers online who are, for example, heavy viewers of college sports or home design programming, or light television viewers who are difficult to reach through that medium, can prove invaluable to marketers as they're planning their advertising campaigns," said Jonatahn Carson, GM/Digital for Nielsen. The company is also offering the ability to reach consumers online based on lifestyle, demographics, and CPG habits through Nielsen Online Audience Segments. Microsoft, Adap.tv, Specific Media, Undertone, and Videology have signed on as early adopters of the solution.
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The Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) is partnering with Bombay Sapphire Gin on a new "transmedia program" for the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. The program includes an award that will "celebrate new trends in digital media and recognize these transmedia creators who employ an innovative, interactive, web-based, or multiplatform approach to story creation." After an open submission process, TFF says selections will be presented to the public at some point during next year's Festival, which is scheduled to take place from April 17 to April 28, 2013, in New York City. Ingrid Kopp, Director/Digital Initiatives for the Tribeca Film Institute, has joined the TFF programming team to collaborate on this initiative.
Independent content producer and distributor Duopoly has launched two new yoga shows from Body in Balance, a global supplier of health-based programming, on Hulu in the US. The two new shows, which are available on both Hulu and Hulu Plus, are called The Mantras of Kundalini Yoga with Maya Fiennes and Shanti Yoga. Body in Balance plans to launch other titles on Hulu in the future, including Yoga Detox, The Fertility Booster, The Perfect Bum, and The Resolution.
My Damn Channel plans to premiere a new weekly talk show, called The Bill Murray Show Starring Mark Malkoff, later this month. The show has an offbeat premise: It has no participation from the former SNL star and comedy heavyweight; the goal of the show is to eventually inspire Bill Murray to show up to Malkoff's Queens apartment for dinner. It's been a banner year for My Damn Channel, as the production and distribution studio has increased its number of YouTube subscribers 39.5% to nearly 141,000 from June 1 to August 6. The company also reports that video views across all of its YouTube channels (including one that is a part of the premium channels initiative) increased 120% in the first half of 2012 versus the same time period in 2011. Earlier this year, My Damn Channel announced its plans to release 30 new original comedy series by the end of 2012.
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 yet, you can do so here.
AwesomenessTV, a digital media company that programs an original YouTube channel of the same name, has closed a $3.5 million Series A round, led by MK Capital, with additional contributions from Greycroft Venture Partners, New World Ventures, and several individual investors including Machinima's Allen DeBevoise. The AwesomenessTV YouTube channel debuted in mid-June and is headed by producer/director Brian Robbins (Smallville, One Tree Hill); it recently topped 85,000 subscribers and 12 million video views. Original programming on the channel, which is primarily targeted toward teens, tweens, and pop culture enthusiasts, features an array of celebrities from music, sports, TV, and web. For example, there's a sports highlights show starring Los Angeles Clipper Blake Griffin. The channel will premiere its first scripted drama, Runaways, later this month. This isn't MK Capital's first investment in an online video company either; it previously put some money in Machinima, Movieclips.com, and DramaFever.
Massachusetts-based start-up Affectiva has landed $12 million in Series C financing from Horizons Ventures and the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) Digital Growth Fund. An MIT spin-off founded in 2009 by professor Rosalind W. Picard and research scientist Rana el Kaliouby, Affectiva is a provider of "emotion measurement technologies." One of its core products is Affdex, an automated facial coding platform that uses a device's webcam to track and assess a consumer's emotional response. Affectiva says it has been primarily used for market research. Going forward, the start-up says it wants to further develop the technology in Affdex so that it can be used to measure emotional responses for all forms of online video content, including ads, trailers, TV shows, and movies. The idea is that this data will allow advertisers and publishers to optimize their content in order to better reach and engage with audiences.
In-mall digital ad network operator Adspace Networks has acquired Access 360's Mallvision assets, which include an exclusive sales agreement with Simon Property Group that will add 47 Simon Malls to the Adspace's Digital Mall Network. The acquisition will also transfer access to 17 other malls from across the country to Adspace, bringing the total number of new malls added to the company's ad network to 64 (and 205 overall). Adspace says this means its in-mall ad network now has a reach of 48 million individual shoppers per month via 2,864 digital displays, and raises its gross impressions from 415 million to 641 million per month.
Rovi is suing web video providers like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon.com for patent infringement, according to Multichannel News. The lawsuits were filed after Rovi was unable to strike licensing deals with each company for its patent portfolio covering interactive TV program guides. Rovi recently inked a deal with Google to license out this same portfolio, which the search and media giant plans to use for its upcoming Google Fiber TV service. The report also indicates that Rovi is currently trying to lock up new patent agreements with consumer electronics manufacturers LG Electronics and Vizio.
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Silicon Valley-based video ad tech firm FreeWheel has released its Q2 2012 Video Monetization Report. In the quarter, FreeWheel says it served 10.1 billion video ads and made ad decisions for 12.5 billion video views. The data in this report only covers professional (rights-managed) video content from the company's customers. Here are the important findings:
Ashton Kutcher is the most influential tech investor on Twitter, possessing a "pull quotient" of 4,852x, according to PeekAnalytics, a social audience measurement platform from PeekYou. PeekAnalytics calculates the pull quotient by multiplying the number of followers a person has on Twitter with the number of people across his or her followers' own social networks, which span as many as sixty social sites. As it's described in the rankings, this is meant to provide "a good measure of how influential any given Twitter audience is, compared to the average Twitter account." Joining Ashton Kutcher in the top five most influential tech investors on Twitter are, in order, Guy Kawasaki (3,203x), Richard Branson (2,396x), Jack Dorsey (2,030x), and Evan Williams (1,994). Here is the rest of the top 1,000.
Trendrr.TV has hired Meghann Sills Elrhoul as its new VP/Client Services and Analytics. At her new post, Elrhoul will work with the social measurement company's clients, which include over 30 television networks and numerous brands, studios, and media companies. She will also assist in enhancing Trendrr's measurement methodologies as well as in the company's planned aggressive expansion into the Hispanic marketplace. The appointment is part of a recent expansion and reorganization at Trendrr, which has moved its headquarters from New York's Meatpacking district to SoHo.
Gannett has named Lori Altman its new VP/National Advertising Sales for USA Weekend. In her new role, Altman will be responsible for driving ad revenue for the weekly national magazine, which currently boasts has a reach of 50 million readers via print and online. Prior to this promotion, Altman had been serving as Director/East Coast Advertising Sales for USA Weekend since 2004. Based in New York, she will report to Mary Murcko, President/National Sales for Gannett.
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REBLORG is a new website from Tumblr's editorial department that serves as a hub for original creative work on the social blogging platform. Types of artwork that can be submitted are pretty endless; a submission can be anything from videos and animation to GIFs, glitches, music, collage, haikus, and limericks, among other art forms. The only requirements for submitting work is that you must have created it and it must be new. For those who want more information, the site has an "askbox" to send non-anonymous questions.
Later - Sahil
Sahil Patel, Associate Editor for Cynopsis Digital
Denise O'Connor: Group Publisher Media Entertainment
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