Good morning. It's Friday, August 10, 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.
Cartoon Network has released Cartoon Network 2.0 (CN 2.0), a new version of its free TV Everywhere app for iOS devices, which now allows users to watch live programming from the channel and play games simultaneously. This new functionality is only available on the iPad version of CN 2.0; the iPhone and iPod Touch versions also allow users to watch live television and play games, but not at the same time. If using the app on an iPad, users can watch videos and play games simultaneously, or swap between the two by rotating the tablet. CN 2.0 provides access to the network's lineup of popular shows, including Adventure Time, Ben 10, and Regular Show, as well as the ability to play games that are exclusive to the app, such as Adventure Time's Adventure Masters and Ben 10's Null Void: Escape Velocity. Other features include the DNA Lab, which lets users build collectible cards from resources they earn by watching videos and playing games on the app.
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Similar to what it did when Breaking Bad premiered several weeks ago, AMC Networks will live stream the season premiere of AMC's Hell on Wheels and WE tv's Braxton Family Values for Dish Network subscribers. In a statement, AMC Networks said, "We've heard from many Dish subscribers who are upset about missing our programming so we are giving them an opportunity to watch these premiere episodes at the same time as the rest of the country." The second season of Hell on Wheels debuts this Sunday night at 9pm ET/PT, while Braxton Family Values returns on Thursday, August 16 at 9pm ET/PT.
Sony's Crackle video service has launched the third season of From the Basement, a music series that features intimate performances from leading acts, including Moby, The Shins, and Foster the People during this upcoming season. Crackle, which will serve as the exclusive US home of the series, has kicked off the third season with two new episodes featuring The Shins, Aimee Mann, and Father John Misty. Two new episodes, each about 26 minutes in length, will be added to Crackle every month from now through January 2013. The first two seasons of the show are also available on Crackle for consumers in the US and Canada. From the Basement was co-created by Grammy Award winner and longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich. Crackle is available online, on Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, the Xbox 360, PS3, Sony Blu-ray players, Roku plays, Sony Bravia TVs, and other devices.
The Wall Street Journal plans to push even more into digital video by launching WSJ WorldStream, a video blog that will be comprised entirely of clips from the paper's journalists, according to blogger Jim Romenesko, who cites a memo sent by WSJ Executive Editor/Online Alan Murray to his colleagues at the paper. "Those of you who've been equipped and trained to shoot iPhone video -- and there are now hundreds of you -- will be able to upload clips of up to 45 seconds directly to the stream," Murray wrote in the memo. "An editor will review the clips before they are posted. Once in the stream, they can be embedded in stores, used on live shows, used in video packages, or viewed and shared in the blog format," he added. No stranger to digital video, WSJ already distributes video content to multiple platforms, including the iPad, Apple TV, YouTube, Hulu, and Roku, among others.
Alloy Digital's ClevverTV YouTube channel has surpassed 1 billion video views. It's one of seven YouTube channels overall from Clevver Media, which was acquired by Alloy in June. Of the seven, three are original channels programmed under YouTube's premium channels initiative. These three channels, which are titled ClevverNews, ClevverStyle, and the Spanish-language ClevverTeVe, combined with the four other YouTube offerings, including the aforementioned ClevverTV, have reached 1.8 billion video views in total on the video site.
The Olympics also seem to be producing great numbers for media entities that aren't named NBC: Yahoo Sports reports that its London Olympics coverage has generated more page views than its coverage for both the Vancouver and Beijing Olympics, combined. The company says its Olympics coverage has brought in more than two billion page views from around the globe, across PC/Macs, mobile, and tablet platforms (through August 6).
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.
In its Q2 earnings report, mobile ad network Millennial Media said that as of June 30, its mobile ad network offered access to 35,000+ apps and had a reach of more than 350 million monthly unique users across the globe, including roughly 140 million users in the US alone. Second quarter revenue stood at $39.4 million, which is a 75.6% increase from the $22.4 million the company brought in during the second quarter of 2011; Millennial's first quarter revenue was $33 million. Overall, Millennial witnessed a net loss of $2.2 million for Q2 2012, compared to a net loss of $4 million for Q1. Looking ahead, the company says it expects total revenue for Q3 2012 to be between $43.5 million and $45 million. For the full year, it's projecting total revenue in the range of $176 million to $179 million.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has fined Google $22.5 million -- the highest civil penalty the agency has ever levied -- for circumventing default settings on Apple's Safari browser in order to track users and send targeted ads to them. In its complaint, the FTC accused Google of placing an ad-tracking cookie on the devices of Safari users who visited sites within the company's DoubleClick ad network. The problem? Google had explicitly told users that they would be automatically removed from such tracking because of default settings on Safari browsers that block third-party cookies. In addition, the FTC charged that Google misrepresented itself by saying it's a member of an industry group called the Network Advertising Initiative, which requires members to follow a self-regulatory code of conduct and disclose data collection practices, which in this case the company wasn't really doing. On top of that, these practices also violated an existing settlement between the FTC and Google, which prohibited Google from "misrepresenting the extent to which consumers can exercise control over the collection of their information." So now Google has to fork over $22.5 million, and of course, disable tracking cookies in Safari. In a statement, Google said it has already "taken steps" to remove the cookies from Safari browsers. For what it's worth, Google's Q2 net income was $2.79 billion.
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According to a new eMarketer estimate, 31.8 million American internet users will access Twitter at least once a month this year, up from a little over 25 million in 2011 and well on its way to an estimated 39.6 million monthly US users by 2014. This year will also mark the first time the number of monthly Twitter users in the US will account for more than one-fifth of all social network users as well as more than 10% of the total US population. "Still not a very great share considering the amount of media attention the microblogging service enjoys, but a growing base of users," notes eMarketer. In 2011, 13.8 million of the 25.1 million monthly Twitter users were female, and 11.3 million were male. In 2012, eMarketer expects the split to be 17.2 million women and 14.6 million men. Women will continue to be ahead of men through the forecast period. However, by 2014, men will have closed the lead, as eMarketer predicts 19.0 million of the 39.6 million monthly US Twitter users to be men.
Retail advertisers need to pay more attention to digital video advertising, especially during the holiday season, according to a report from Vindico, a provider of a video ad management platform. The report finds that in the fourth quarter of 2011, retailers used only 27% of inventory that was capable of running interactive video ads. In addition, of all the publishers that were included on retail advertising buys during that same time period, 76% had the capability of running an interactive video ad, but retailers only employed interactive video ads on 21% of their total buys. Vindico does say that as more advertisers across the board start inserting interactive elements into their video ads this year, the company expects to see growth in the space during this coming holiday season.
Jill Champtaloup has joined Remarkable Content Group in the role of SVP/Acquisitions and Content Distribution. She will be responsible for "spearheading" acquisitions and distribution of alternative TV series, documentary, digital, and branded content on a global basis. Most recently, she was VP/Program Planning and Scheduling for HBO, where she worked on the Cinemax brand.
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Baeblemusic has launched a free HTML5-based video app on Facebook that provides access to the indie-music service's exclusive, curated collection of original concert and session video programming, in addition to a growing library of artist-submitted music videos. The app is organized by several categories, such as Concert, Session, Interview, and Music Video. Give it a look; you can check out videos and performances from a slew of new acts you've never heard of, some you my have if you're that kind of person (snob), and several that you probably have heard of no matter what age or cultural demographic you fall under. Baeblemusic is also available on YouTube, 5min, several Gannett web properties, Roku, Google TV, and iOS and Android devices. It also produces Indie NYC, a weekly show that airs on Friday nights on MSG Network at 11pm.
Later - Sahil
Sahil Patel, Associate Editor for Cynopsis Digital
Denise O'Connor: Group Publisher, Media Entertainment
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group
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JOB OPENING: DIR. PROG & SCHEDULING/Nat Geo TV/DC: Prog/Schdling expert will create Chl's prime/daytime/fringe/late-night strategy. Strg schdl/nielsen exp analysis/strategy. 3-5 yr Cbl TV, Strg Excel/PP, Mgt. http://bit.ly/OY8Ebg. (8/17)
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