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Good morning. It's Tuesday, April 24, 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.
The Digital Broadcasting Group (DBG) and PopSugar held their Digital Content NewFront events yesterday. Here are the highlights from each presentation:
DIGITAL BROADCASTING GROUP:
A digital commerce, original content, and global media company, PopSugar positions itself as an influential lifestyle brand for women. To that end, the company produces several original web series, live event coverage, and celebrity interviews, as well as other editorial content, devoted to the female audience.
Everyday Health, a media company focusing on multiplatform health and wellness content and programming, has announced the team that will run Everyday Health Studios, the company's video and TV production division. Led by Paul Slavin, GM & SVP/Global Health News and Every Day Health Studios, the unit will also be comprised of Joanna Breen, a former TV producer (20/20) who joins the company in the role of VP/Video and TV Programming, as well as Orlando Reece, who will be VP/Head of Broadcast and Digital Video Sales. Breen will be in charge of a newly announced digital and broadcast news team, which includes former ABC News correspondent Stephanie Sy, former CBS health news journalist Pam Auerbach and Veronica Brooks, as well as Julia Harrison, Stephen Nahorniak, Zoe Stark, and Leslie Steinberg. Everyday Health frames the growth of the Studios team as part of its continued investment in video. It's planning to create more than 1,500 video titles in 2012, with over 200 hours of original content spanning its YouTube original channel, its weekly show on ABC and other video content across its digital properties. I recently spoke with Paul Slavin regarding Everyday Health's video strategy:
What was the process of getting in touch with YouTube and participating in the original programming initiative?
It was a pretty straightforward process. The decision was made at Everyday Health that they wanted to participate in the initiative before I joined the company; it was a part of Everyday Health's larger push toward producing original video content. It was important for us to play in this space. So we put an idea forward, showed Google a sizzle reel. They were impressed and gave us a lot of indications that we would be a serious contender to be included in the program.
Will the content be exclusive to the YouTube channel? Or will Everyday Health look to branch it off in some way down the road?
All of the content for the original channel will live exclusively on YouTube. However, we can and will spin out some of the concepts that are based on the programming that is available on YouTube. For example, we have Recipe Rehab on the YouTube channel. It's a great title and it is something we can work with and try and spin out separately.
When the YouTube channel was announced, there was a mention of "participatory programming." Could you go into that further?
For example, we will hold sweepstakes around the country to find people who can participate in our programs. For Dr. Laura Berman's show, we have searched for people who want her to help them with their relationships. We are inviting people to send us health-conscious recipes. We want to engage the audience, and a great way to do that is to have them participate; it makes them more engaged. People love to be listened to. We will do it in a sophisticated and complete way.
There's no question that YouTube has a large audience. How do you ensure that they click through to this original content? Even more, how do you ensure they come back?
Everyday Health has a highly engaged and highly loyal audience. We reach 38 million unique visitors every month. We already see a lot of people come back to use our products, on mobile, online and on TV. We are able to use those engaged users and expose them to other great content. For example, to those who enjoy our website properties, we will introduce them to the YouTube channel. And we will listen to them to ensure we're providing them with great content. "Take a look and let us know what you think." We will use every platform possible, including straightforward advertising and TV outreach, to reach new and current users.
Looking away from your channel on YouTube or your series on ABC, each of which are tied to those distribution partners, what kind of opportunities are available to advertisers through Everyday Health?
Across all of our platforms, we strive to give advertisers access to a highly engaged audience. We also, where we can, where we have the tools, we like to show advertisers that they get a real strong ROI. They are connecting to consumers via a safe and editorially strong environment. The association with our brand is good for their brand.
Our audience is one that has a high level of specificity. For instance, take a look at MedPage Today. It has 25 very experienced reporters who are reporting on very specific issues intended for doctors and healthcare professionals. In that environment, it is possible for us to help advertisers direct their messages to healthcare professionals in specific fields and geographies.
NimbleTV has unveiled a new subscription-based TV Everywhere platform that it says allows customers to access their subscription TV service via the company's cloud-based software from anywhere and on any device, with over 10K hours of digital recording space. The service is currently in private beta. "Our model is predicated on the belief that providers and content producers should be paid," said Anand Subramanian, CEO. Here's how it works: NimbleTV sets customers up with their own subscription agreements with TV providers that the company supports. Customers make payments directly to the providers with NimbleTV acting as a payment service. NimbleTV offers local and cable channels, depending on which package is selected. No box or equipment needs to be set up. Beta users will have access to a subscription package of 26 channels, with more to be added during the beta period, according to the company. It is expected to cost $20 per month, reports The New York Times, which is largely a set-up and management fee, says NimbleTV.
Travel Channel's Destination Summer programming initiative, which features seven new original series that will air on the network over the summer months, will be complemented by additional content on TravelChannel.com. The website will offer an array of summer-themed content such as exclusive road-trip videos, national parks info, hotel and vacation planning tips, polls to determined the best roller coaster in the U.S., as well as content from Travel Channel hosts.
Google Ad has rolled out AdWords for Video, a new set of products, resources, and tools that are similar to Google's search advertising offering in that businesses only pay for clicks and set budgets with bids. Video ad campaigns can be created and managed from the same platform that helps businesses manage search and display ads. Advertisers will be able to promote the video by keyword to appear in YouTube search results, or set the ad against relevant content. YouTube also says that video ads on the site drive a 20% increase in traffic to the business' website, and a 5% increase in searches for the business. This new offering will enable businesses to gauge how many viewers watched the entire video, as well as post-viewing actions such as visiting the website or subscribing to the channel. As this offering is designed with small businesses in mind, YouTube is offering $50 million in free AdWords advertising to help 500K businesses get started. If you're new to the service, you can access a $75 credit by signing up to the service.
Cognitive Match, a provider of Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) in display ads and onsite content for advertisers and publishers, has launched two new tools: CreativeMaker and MatchMaker. The tools are intended to provide more creative flexibility as well as the ability to quickly deploy DCO campaigns across any media and on any platform ("in as little as an hour," says Cognitive Match). CreativeMaker operates as a free plug-in within Adobe Creative Suite, while MatchMaker is a campaign management system that allows marketers to select from established creative layouts or upload custom designs built with CreativeMaker. The cloud-based MatchMaker then enables quick configuration and deployment of the campaign. Cognitive Match says that its solutions are applicable beyond display ads; the same technology can be used to place promotions on brand or publisher sites, to optimize landing pages, products, or content.
Per a new deal, Facebook will pay Microsoft $550 million to obtain ownership of approximately 650 AOL patents, which Microsoft had recently purchased from AOL for $1 billion. In that initial Microsoft/AOL deal, Microsoft had acquired the rights to own or assign about 925 U.S. patents and patent applications, as well as a license to AOL's remaining patent portfolio. As of this new agreement, Facebook will own some 650 patents and patent applications, plus a license to the AOL patents and applications that Microsoft will purchase or own. Once the deal has been closed, Microsoft will retain ownership of approximately 275 AOL patents, and will have a license to the patents it has sold to Facebook, as well as a license to the 300 patents AOL did not originally sell. Facebook is in the midst of a patent battle with Yahoo! in advance of the social giant's upcoming IPO.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
According to a new forecast from Strategy Analytics, global advertiser spend on mobile media is expected to increase 85.4% from $6.3 billion in 2011 to $11.6 billion in 2012. Strategy Analytics expects the total mobile media economy (which includes advertiser spend, as well as consumer spending on mobile media content, apps, and services) to reach $149.8 billion in revenue this year. The report finds that a key driver of growth is the smartphone apps market. In 2012, the number of download apps worldwide is expected to increase by 38% year-over-year to 32 billion. Strategy Analytics finds that apps have become the second largest category for revenues (for both consumer and advertiser spend), and are becoming a key distribution channel for media on mobile phones. Other interesting findings:
InMobi has released its Mobile Insights Report: North American Edition for Q1 2012, based on data from its global ad network. In it the independent mobile ad network finds that iOS' total share of impressions in Q1 2012 stood at 36.8%, with Android coming in a close second at 34.1%. RIM was a distant third with a 7.3% share of impressions. In terms of individual mobile devices, Apple bested everyone again, with the iPhone capturing a 19.7% share, followed by the iPod at 12.2% and the iPad at 4.9%. RIM's BlackBerry 8520 (1.9%) and the HTC PC36100 (1.8%) were next. Apple's dominance can be attributed in part to having introduced the new iPad during Q1. "We will see further disruption if devices such as the much anticipated Amazon smartphone and Google tablet hit the U.S. market this year," said Anne Frisbie, VP and Managing Director/North America at InMobi. Overall, InMobi's network in North America grew 18% in the last 90 days.
Research firm Futuresource Consulting has released a report on the expected growth in use of technology within the classroom. Specifically: "By 2015, mobile PC sales will increase three-fold," says Mike Fisher, Head of B2B. "The notebook has been the main growth device for the last five years, accounting for more than 50% of last year's market value, with the Americas leading the way in terms of units shipped. However, tablets are coming to the fore... " Fisher says the U.S. market for tablet sales in the education landscape will grow from 200K in 2011 to 2 million in 2015, with adoption being in part by Apple's announcement of iBooks 2.
Gannett has tapped Jeremy Gaines to lead corporate communications. As VP/Communications, Gaines will be responsible for leading communications programs for the entire company and will serve as the internal and external communications advisor to the senior management team. He will assume the new position on May 21, and will report to Maryam Banikarim, Gannett's SVP and CMO. Gaines will be based in McLean, VA.
Cinemagram is a free app for the iPhone that can be best described as Instagram for animated gifs. It's pretty simple. Record a short, two- or three-second video with your iPhone; choose to animate a small region of the frame; apply a vintage filter; and publish/share to Twitter, Tumblr, and/or Facebook. The user interface is very similar to that of Instagram, so if you're one of the growing number of users on that popular (and rich) photo-sharing app, Cinemagram will be familiar. Snap away.
Later - Sahil
Sahil Patel, Associate Reporter for Cynopsis Digital
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