| Cynopsis: DIGITAL
Good morning, it's Tuesday, November 2, 2010, and this is your first early morning digital briefing. If you would like to read this or any other Cynopsis edition online, click here.
Taking a preemptive action toward spammers and the like, Facebook announced a new "zero tolerance" policy for data brokers after a recent WSJ investigation found that app developers were selling users' personal info to data brokering firms. Facebook has banned developers caught selling data for at least 6 months, after which time they can resubmit their data practices and face a full audit. Facebook says the ban impacts fewer than a dozen (mostly small) developers, none of which are in the top 10 applications on the platform.
~ MULTIPLATFORM CONTENT NEWS ~
ESPN officially launched its destination site on Microsoft's Xbox LIVE gaming platform, featuring live and VOD sporting events from broadband channel ESPN3.com (now in 65 million homes) and website ESPN.com. The service, free to Xbox LIVE Gold members, includes real-time stats and scoring info., a customizable "My Sports" folder and the option to access the UI using the new Kinect controller launching Thursday.
Viacom may be contemplating a return to Hulu, according to comments made by CEO Philippe Dauman in a WSJ interview. Viacom pulled The Daily Show and Colbert Report from the portal back in March, two of Hulu's top online shows. (Too late to provide an outlet Comedy Central's Rally To Restore Sanity event, unfortunately.)
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network has launched an online destination dubbed "Your OWN Channel" offering viewers the chance to upload questions for on air personalities such as Dr. Phil, Suze Orman and Dr. Oz, leading up the four-part primetime special "Ask Oprah's All-Stars" premiering Sunday, Jan. 2 (the day after the network launches.)
~ INNOVATORS & START-UPS ~
Kiosk DVD rental service Redbox unveiled a new plan to expand the number of movies offered to consumers directly in their homes by adding a web-based streaming service sometime next year. Reports have surfaced that Wal-Mart and Amazon.com are potential partners in the venture, but the company has not made any official announcements regarding who it will work with. (Amazon is reportedly preparing to launch its own streaming movie subscription service to compete with Netflix.)
News Corp. has obtained a minority stake in web ad firm Rubicon Project in exchange for its online ad group Fox Audience Network (a.k.a. FAN - which sells inventory across News Corp. entities such as MySpace.) Rubicon also announced it has raised an additional $18 million in funding, putting the total raised by the company at $60 million. Rubicon's "REVV" yield optimization platform is in position to power 500 billion real-time bidding (RTB) transactions during Q4, according to Rubicon Project CEO Frank Addante.
Yahoo, which acquired dynamic creative ad company Dapper earlier this year, announced it is relaunching its targeted ad network as the Yahoo Plus Network, offering advertisers "personalized" creative options.
~ TECHNOLOGY DEALS, MERGERS AND SKIRMISHES ~
After more than 2-1/2 years, Turkey has lifted its ban on YouTube, a ban put in place after videos were discovered that ridiculed Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the revered founder of the Turkish republic.
Lionsgate and Wrekin Hill Entertainment have entered into a home entertainment distribution deal including DVD, Blu-ray, digital delivery, and Video On Demand (VOD). Under the terms of the arrangement, Lionsgate will become the exclusive home entertainment distributor for all Wrekin Hill Entertainment theatrical releases in the U.S.
Global Crossing has acquired IP-based video distribution network Genesis Networks, capable of delivering HD and 3D images to some 70 cities on 5 continents. Genesis has specialized in delivering video for living sporting events such as the Olympics, the World Cup and Grand Slam tennis. Global Crossing paid $27 million for Genesis Networks - which will continue to operate as a separate entity - including $15 million in connection with the repayment of debt.
Clearwire announced the launch of its 4G mobile broadband service in New York City and five other markets, including Hartford and New Haven, Connecticut, Tampa, Florida and Trenton and New Brunswick, New Jersey. The roll-outs brings Clear to 62 markets overall in the U.S.
Evolve Media Corp. has acquired hunting and fishing-themed site Liveoutdoors.com, claiming a reach of over 1 million uniques/month, per ComScore. Evolve plans to expand the site and make video a more primary focus.
~ TRENDS, RESEARCH, ETC. ~
The Android smartphone operating system grew its lead in the U.S. consumer smartphone market during Q3, according to The NPD Group, increasing its installed base to 44% of all smartphones purchased during the quarter - an increase of 11% points since Q2. Apple iOS held relatively steady versus last quarter, rising one percentage point to 23%, while RIM OS fell to third position, declining from 28% to 22%. Four of the top five handset models sold during Q3 were smartphones: 1.Apple iPhone 4 2. BlackBerry Curve 8500 series 3 LG Cosmos (messaging phone) 4. Motorola Droid X 5. HTC EVO 4G, according to NPD's Mobile Phone Track service.
Turner's truTV has just launched a new free app for the iPhone, the iPad and Android featuring 3D videos encoded via a 3D stereoscopic filter requiring anaglyph red/cyan glasses to view 3D fare. Watch clips, extras and behind-the-scenes interviews from shows such as World's Dumbest, Hardcore Pawn and All Worked Up.
FX's infectious Sons of Anarchy now has its own iPhone/iPad app chock full of character backstory and story detail that never made it on the screen. The SOA app will be updated every Monday and Wednesday with a new story that will work in tandem with on-air storylines, including exclusive photography, bonus materials, deleted scenes and exclusive script pages.
It's a good thing the iPad is easy to wipe off. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia has launched its own $8 iPad app with Callaway Digital Arts, Martha Stewart Makes Cookies. Look for instructional videos, baking tips, packaging ideas, kitchen timers, shopping lists, sharing options, and robust search features.
~ EXECUTIVE MOVES ~
Meredith Corp. has named Pete Snyder as President of its newly created Emerging Markets Group, effective immediately. Pete will continue to oversee current social marketing (New Media Strategies) and mobile marketing (The Hyperfactory) capabilities and continue to report to Meredith Integrated Marketing President Martin Reidy. Jack Goldenberg has also been named SVP/Chief Technology Officer, responsible for creating a technology strategy that will support digital content and global information platforms. Jack will be reporting to Mike Riggs, EVP/General Manager, Meredith National Media Group.
Social media software developer Engage121, Inc. hired Jack Serpa as EVP/Global Sales, Marketing, and Business Development. The company also has appointed Nick Perold as Marketing Manager, responsible for expanding the company's marketing presence and online communities across digital and social media channels.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Cyn opsis Media presents:
Demographic Viewing Patterns Special Edition Series
Exploring the latest research on viewing patterns and evolving media preferences of specific
demographic groups, and identifying the newest trends networks & ad agencies are using to reach
each of these demos.
Upcoming Issues: Men (11/15), Baby Boomers (11/29), Across Ethnicities (12/13)
For advertising opportunities contact Mike Farina, firstname.lastname@example.org , 203.218.6480
Click to view specials on Kids, Tweens, & Teens, & Women
~ WEBSITE OF THE DAY ~
Yet another portal from yesteryear has redone its homepage. The no-longer tied to Time Warner AOL is back with a new look, offering a sensible category-based user interface, along with a host of new features. Video, and presumably higher CPMs that come along with it, promises to factor into the site more prominently. The "Light Box" is an in-page video player showcasing in house and partner video while "AOL Daybreak" is a morning news round up moderated by former Wallstrip host Lindsey Campbell. AOL is also taking a day-part approach to programming the site, leading with newsworthy stories in the morning, followed by fashion, pop culture and celeb fare in the daytime with news wrap-ups and themed stories in the evenings (such as "Technology Wednesdays.") Nothing too radical here, but the site's new "Lifestream" social-media tool is useful, allowing you to consolidate friends' updates from Facebook and Twitter. AOL's local blog network Patch also has a presence on the new homepage.
Later -- Wayne
Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis Digital
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