Good morning. It's Tuesday, August 21, 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.
As part of NBC News' coverage of the upcoming national party conventions, NBC News Digital's plans include live streaming each convention from beginning to end on NBCNews.com. This will also include live streaming the network's primetime coverage each night. In addition, NBCPolitics.com will serve as NBC News Digital's hub for convention coverage, featuring breaking news and analysis from the First Read blog and social media updates from NBC's political team, as well as providing another way through which users can access the live stream. NBCPolitics.com also has plans to provide real-time analysis of what's being said on Facebook and Twitter as it plans to measure the volume of public reaction on those social networks; break down the negative and positive sentiment; and keep track of topics that are driving the conversations. This graphical data will be paired with fresh analysis from NBC's political team. Continuing on the social front:
Emmy-nominated (Interactive Media) weekly online talk show, What's Trending with Shira Lazar, is rebooting as a live daily show on YouTube, beginning today. This version of the program will air every day at 3pm ET, and will cover relevant news and trends on the web, with a special focus on the top YouTube videos. Various segments will spotlight videos from the video behemoth's ongoing original channels initiatives, as well as those from other channels. Shira Lazar will remain on the show as the primary host and Executive Producer, however the program is expanding its roster of online correspondents and coverage of verticals such as entertainment, pop culture, music, sports, and films, in order to scale production to the new daily format. Once it's aired live, clips from each show will be available on-demand on its YouTube channel and on whatstrending.com. Notable guests on the show in the past have included Mark Cuban, Felicia Day, Snoop Dogg, Morgan Spurlock, and Chris Hardwick, among others.
Netflix reports that its subscription streaming service has surpassed one million members in the UK and Ireland. Looking to provide further support for the popularity of online entertainment among subscribers in the UK and Ireland, a recent survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of Netflix found that 10% of the UK population now spends two hours or more every day watching television content through the web. On Netflix, comedy and drama stand tall as the top two genres among British and Irish subscribers, with their favorite time of the week to watch on Sunday night. The company also announced that films like 50/50, 2012, and Iron Man 2, as well as TV shows like Covert Affairs and the next season of Breaking Bad will soon be available for subscribers.
Investigation Discovery (ID) has launched an interactive media campaign to promote the season premiere of Deadly Affairs on September 8 at 10pm ET. Available primarily through IsItADeadlyAffair.com, this fictional "whodunit" delivers new clues to users via videos, graphics, microsites, and social media channels, as they try to piece together the story behind an illicit affair gone wrong. ID has tapped Susan Lucci to "guide" users as they try to unravel the mystery. The final clue will be unveiled on-air during the season premiere of Deadly Affairs.
IFC has launched a new "Adopt-A-Comic" program that aims to showcase the work of a stand-up comedian "in line with the network's own 'Slightly Off' sensibilities." NYC-based comedian Chris Gethard (The Other Guys, This American Life) is the network's first "adoptee." The deal consists of Gethard hosting on-air programming on the network, producing exclusive content for IFC.com, as well as developing a comedy series based on his recent book, A Bad Idea I'm About to Do: True Tales of Seriously Poor Judgment and Stunningly Awkward Adventure. IFC says it has ordered a pilot script for the project.
Yesterday as a particularly notable milestone for Apple: It became the most valuable public company of all time. As of this writing, Apple's market cap surpassed $623 billion, and its stock traded as high as $664.74 per share. The old record-holder was Microsoft (naturally), which near the end of 1999 was valued over $616 billion. This rise in Apple's stock price might have something to do with an event the company is holding on September 12, during which it's expected to unveil the iPhone 5.
Conde Nast is investing an undisclosed amount of money into Flite, a digital advertising start-up of which it most recently was a client, according to The New York Times. The investment will give Conde Nast an 11% stake in the start-up, which offers a cloud-based technology that allows advertisers to alter ads in real time. "We're going to need a more scalable, more robust set of digital offerings that meet our consumers' and marketers' needs," Robert A. Sauerberg, President of Conde Nast, told The Times.
Univision Interactive's Univision Partner Group, which is a network of 300 Spanish-language publishers spanning multiple verticals, including sports, entertainment, news, and lifestyle, has received IAB certification demonstrating its compliance with the organization's Quality Assurance Guidelines (QAG). "We began the QAG initiative to increase buyer control over the placement and context of advertising so marketers and agencies can build confidence in developing spending strategies," said IAB President and CEO Randall Rothenberg. In order to receive the certification, the companies say the Univision Partner Group went through an extensive self-certification process, including training sessions, quarterly internal audits, and ongoing IAB verifications to ensure the network adhered to the guidelines. With IAB approval under their belt, all Univision Partner Groups will feature an IAB seal exhibiting compliance with QAG. Other networks that have been certified by the IAB include AOL/Advertising.com, Google, Microsoft Advertising, and Yahoo. Univision Partner Group says its network offers multiple ad solutions for marketers, including RTB and video.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
83% of cable, satellite, and IPTV providers interviewed by market research firm Infonetics Research plan to offer some form of multiscreen viewing option -- whether it's via PC, smartphones, or tablets -- by 2013. "Because it's so challenging to differentiate on content, pay-TV providers are looking to stand out from their competitors by offering additional services and features, such as multiscreen viewing, social networking, and content discovery and recommendation services," said Jeff Heynen, Directing Analyst/Broadband Access and Video at Infonetics Reseach. However, based on the other findings from the survey, these IPTV providers might have a long way to go. This is because a majority of the interviewed IPTV service providers do not currently support video streaming services like YouTube, Netflix, or Hulu, and only one-third of respondents currently offer social networking capabilities for their TV. For the report, Infonetics Research interviewed IPTV network service providers in North America, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific. Those participating in this survey most often deliver linear broadcast TV over a "pure IP network," according to the research firm.
Current Hulu CEO Jason Kilar might be on his way out of the company as early as next month, according to an internal memo, as reported in Variety, that provides a glimpse into what Hulu may become down the road. According to Variety, the future of Hulu may include the site no longer having exclusive access to current-season programming, meaning Disney and News Corp. would be able to license their content to another third-party, such as YouTube. In addition, Variety says the memo indicates that ABC.com and Fox.com would also be able to guard some of their content by only offering it on their own sites and not distributing it through Hulu as well. Comcast also has a stake in Hulu, but it agreed to have no say in how Hulu is run when it purchased NBCUniversal in 2011. As Variety notes, all of the aforementioned scenarios are things that might happen to Hulu, potentially contingent on whether Kilar decides to leave after News Corp., Disney, and Comcast buy-out the fourth owner, Providence Equity Partners (as they are expected to). Which is to say, stay tuned.
Digital media company Buzzmedia has named Stephen Hansen as its new President. In the role, Hansen will be responsible for leading product and technology development, sales, marketing, and management. He will report to Buzzmedia CEO Tyler Goldman. The company's online media brands include Spin, Videogum, and Celebuzz, among over 40 in total.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM WESTDOC
This might be my new favorite website of all time (until tomorrow's of course): ToS;DR. It stands for "Terms of Service; Didn't Read." It's a reference to "TL;DR," which, standing for "Too Long; Didn't Read," is a popular web term that appears after many long-form blog posts or emails, usually uttered by cheeky people who - apparently have better things to do than read your long blog post or email. This website, however, aims its ire at a more worthy target: The maddeningly long documents served up by websites and tech companies. It breaks down those documents into easy to understand nuggets of information on what you've just agreed to by signing up for said service. It also attributes a grade to how user-friendly said term and service is. So give it a look, and see what you've already given up (don't worry, no one owns your organs... yet).
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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