A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM CRACKLE
Good morning. It's Monday, September 11, 2012, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.
To expand its video content business online, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO) has inked several agreements with companies such as AOL, Hulu, and Fullscreen to make its "how-to" programming available on different platforms. The details are as follows:
Short-form video content will be distributed across the AOL On Network, which includes the AOL On video hub and the company's owned and operated properties and publisher partners.
MSLO will make full episodes of some of its most popular content available on Hulu and Hulu Plus via the new Martha Stewart Network. It is launching with three different programs (From Martha's Kitchen, Emeril's Table, and DIY Crafts), with plans to add more content in October and throughout the year.
MSLO is teaming up with Fullscreen to extend reach and awareness of MSLO programming on YouTube. The two will work together to build the Martha Stewart Network on the video site.
And finally, MSLO plans to make a large number of short-form videos available on the new video hub on MarthaStewart.com. This includes a daily video series called Everyday Food with Sarah Carey.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM BRAVO
Total College Sports, a college sports network from digital sports media company Perform and the Chicago White Sox' Silver Chalice, has launched TCS 5th Quarter, a new weekly college sports highlights show that will air exclusively on Hulu and Hulu Plus. New episodes of the show, which is scheduled to run until January 12, 2013, totaling 18 episodes, will be available during primetime on Hulu every Saturday night. Each episode will be 22-minutes long and will cover all of the day's college sports action from the SEC, Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12, and ACC conferences.
New digital video news network NowThis News will have its own vertical on BuzzFeed, thanks to a newly formed partnership between the two companies. For the page, NowThis News will produce video content that complements BuzzFeed's editorial coverage, while also producing its own original video news stories. NowThis News is backed by Lerer Ventures (it was co-founded by Kenneth Lerer), Bedrocket Media Ventures, and Oak Ventures. The company also announced a slew of additions to its executive team, which can be found below in "Exec Moves."
The complete first seasons of ABC shows Revenge, Once Upon a Time, and Scandal are now available for streaming to US subscribers of Netflix. What makes this more interesting, however, is that the three shows will become exclusive to Netflix at the end of the month. In its battle to stay ahead of competitors such as Amazon's Prime Instant Video, and potentially become a digital pay-TV channel, Netflix wants to lock down exclusive content deals with film studios and television providers. The ability to offer such access will go a long way in determining how successful the company is going forward.
Following in the footsteps of comedians like Louis C.K., Jim Gaffigan, and Aziz Ansari, "Blue Collar" comedian Ron White also plans to offer his newest stand-up special via digital download. Scheduled to be released on September 25, White's new 80-minute special, titled A Little Unprofessional, will be available for download to connected TVs, computers, tablets, and mobile devices. The special will be available in several packages, one of which includes another special, called Salute the Troops, featuring the likes of Lewis Black and Rascal Flatts and benefitting the Armed Forces Foundation.
Michael S. Willner and Sidney R. Knafel, the Co-Founders of Insight Communications, which they sold to Time Warner Cable for $3 billion in February 2012, are back together to invest in and lead a new media tech venture, Penthera Partners. Willner will serve in the role of CEO through its next phase while Knafel is on board as the venture's Vice Chairman. Penthera is a software firm that offers a cloud-based infrastructure to deliver HD video to multiple devices, including smartphones, tablets, and connected set-top boxes. "With its rich portfolio of products and IP, Penthera is uniquely poised to help the cable industry and other technology companies roll out innovative IP-based video solutions," said Willner in a statement.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM BRAVO
DoubleVerify and Kantar Media Compete have teamed up to launch Ad VRF, a new ad campaign measurement system that combines ad viewability, verification, and behavior-based audience segments in order to give advertisers a better idea on exactly who is being reached with their media campaigns. The product integrates DoubleVerify's verification technology and viewability metrics with Kantar Media Compete's 2-million-strong digital consumer panel, which includes a variety of behavioral segments, such as "Luxury Auto Shoppers" or "New Parents." The companies say that Ad VRF quantifies metrics, including reach, frequency, viewable impressions, GRP, viewable GRP, TRP, viewable TRP, and behavioral and demographic segments. It also measures ad visibility above and below the fold and provides measurement data in real-time throughout the campaign cycle.
Here's one way to potentially ease advertiser concerns about digital video advertising: Undertone, a digital ad solutions company, is offering to give up to $50,000 back to any advertising client that paid for in-stream video ads and can prove that their video ads ran elsewhere on Undertone's network. Dubbed the "Undertone Video Guarantee," it's a promise to advertisers who contract for user-initiated video ad inventory that they will only receive user-initiated streams. This is actually not a new practice for Undertone, which previously has offered money back via the Quality Guarantee and Standout Brand Guarantee initiatives. For the Quality Guarantee, Undertone says it has run more than 10,000 qualifying campaigns since its launch in 2008, and so far has "upheld its promise every time, only placing advertisers within quality environments." The company offers advertisers multiple ways to buy digital video, including user-initiated in-stream, which this current guarantee deals with, as well as in-stream reach, high impact, and display video.
TiVo has selected Access Co.'s NetFront Living Connect media sharing solution to allow consumers with a TiVo Premiere DVR to watch content from other connected devices, such as computers, network attached storage devices, tablets, and smartphones, on their main TV. The solution is based on the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) industry standards.
At IBC 2012, Cisco unveiled its new content delivery network (CDN) portfolio, calling it the Cisco Videoscape Distribution Suite (VDS). An open platform that is designed to deliver video across multiple screens, protocols, applications, and networks, the VDS builds on Cisco's existing CDN, and is already being employed by several global service providers, such as Deutsche Telekom and Telecom Italia. Features of the product suite include centralized live and time-shifted content delivered to multiple connected devices, cloud-based recording, and transparent caching.
Audiovix Electronics Corp., an "automotive entertainment company," plans to develop the first Dyle-enabled rear seat car entertainment systems. Dyle mobile TV is the product launched by Mobile Content Venture (MCV), a consortium of broadcast groups (including Gannett, Hearst, Meredith, Fox, ION, Univision, NBC, CBS, and ABC, among others), to deliver live television to mobile devices. Taking that mission more literally, the new Audiovix Dyle systems will deliver live news, sports, and entertainment programming to the back seats of numerous cars. "With over 100 million cars on the road today, the automobile back seat represents a great new audience for live TV. We think this lays important groundwork for a new class of in-vehicle entertainment services," said Salil Dalvi and Erik Moreno, Co-GMs of MCV.
Numerous websites hosted by GoDaddy went down yesterday. It's unclear how many sites and accounts were affected by the issue. An anonymous hacker, a member of Anonymous, claimed responsibility for the outage, but said that it was an individual action rather than one led by the infamous hacktivist group.
A new report from research firm GfK Group indicates that the average Netflix user, ages 13-54, watches 5.1 television shows and 3.4 movies per week on the streaming service. Using what it calls conservative length estimates for TV shows and movies (30 minutes and 90 minutes, respectively), GfK says this means the average Netflix subscriber spends about 8 hours a week watching something on the service. What may be more surprising is that 47% of 13- to 54-year-olds "have ever used" Netflix, and 39% are monthly users, according to GfK. The research firm surveyed 1,051 people ages 13-54 in June 2012. Other findings from the study include: 37% of Netflix subscribers still have a negative opinion of the brand, not having completely moved past the 2011 pricing kerfuffle; and 51% of subscribers would switch to a similar streaming service if it was offered by their pay-TV provider (this number is up from 45% in 2011).
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NowThis News welcomes Eason Jordan, former CNN Chief News Executive, to the company as its new General Manager. In addition, the digital video news network has named Ed O'Keefe, formerly ABC News Digital Executive Producer, its new Editor-in-Chief and Katharine Zaleski, former Executive Director/Digital News at the Washington Post, as its Managing Editor. Other executives at the company include those coming from a wide array of established news outlets, including The Huffington Post, AllThingsD, NBC News, The New York Times, Newsweek, Fox News, PR, Slate, and PBS. "As more and more people turn to mobile and social outlets for their news, now is the perfect time to launch a video news network built for the digital generation. I'm excited to be working with such a talented, experienced, and impressive team," said Jordan.
Social media advertising company Compass Labs has hired Alex Vulakh to be its new VP/Sales and Business Development. He will be responsible for managing and developing existing and new client relationships. In addition, Compass Labs has also named Satish Veerapuneni as its new Product Manager. He will be tasked with further developing CLIQ, the company's social ad management platform. Both are new positions at the company.
Joe Libonati has joined Rubenstein Communications in the role of SVP. Effective immediately, he will report to Susie Arons, EVP and head of the firm's corporate entertainment practice. Most recently, Libonati led the NY office of Principal Communications Group, where he oversaw the firm's work for several YouTube original channels, USA Network, Machinima, and production company Prospect Park. In his new role, Libonati will work closely with Arons on the firm's corporate entertainment accounts, which include MGM, MRC, Uncommon Content Partners, and 20th Century Fox Television.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM NATPE
Anyone else excited for the upcoming season of Homeland? Of course you are. Well here's a partial gift: Showtime is previewing the first 20 minutes of the second-season premiere of the critically acclaimed series online at SHO.com. Showtime says the preview is also available across various free VOD channels as well as the Facebook pages and affiliate sites of over 40 television providers, including Comcast, Cox, DirecTV, Dish, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon. The first episode of the second season will be available in full on Sunday, September 30, when it debuts at 10pm ET/PT on Showtime.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
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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