Good morning, it’s Thursday, April 28, 2011, and this is your first early morning digital briefing. If you would like to read this or any other Cynopsis edition online, click here.
Neither Comcast nor YouTube are going to let Netflix keep growing without putting up a fight. The cabler inked deals with ABC and Fox to add popular show like Glee and Grey’s Anatomy to its video-on-demand and Xfinity lineup for the first time. Also, YouTube is said to be close to announcing deals for film rentals from Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros and Universal Pictures, which would make YouTube more competitive with the likes of Netflix, Amazon and iTunes. The YouTube movie service is said to be following an ala carte model, making it more similar to iTunes than Netflix. Meanwhile, the Comcast-ABC-Fox deal rounds out Comcast’s VOD lineup with the addition of the two new networks, joining shows from CBS and NBC already offered on VOD. Comcast said it’s the only pay TV service provider with shows from the four major English-language broadcast networks CBS, ABC, FOX and NBC on VOD. The Comcast deal also underscores that VOD continues to be an important platform for viewing shows. Comcast said the added shows nearly doubles the number of hit TV series from major broadcasters on its VOD service. The shows are also available via Comcast’s Xfinity TV service. More than 20 ABC and Fox shows are slated to be added and will appear the day after the show’s live broadcast and with fast forward disabled. The programs include Cougar Town, Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy from ABC, with The Simpsons, Bones and Glee among the Fox shows.
Sony Computer Entertainment confirms that after almost a week its PlayStation Network and Qriocity services being down there has been a major security breached. Sony explained to its registered users in a blog post letting them know “… certain PlayStation Network and Qriocity service user account information was compromised in connection with an illegal and unauthorized intrusion into our network.” Sony said that hackers accessed data including users real names, birthdates, physical and email addresses associated with their PlayStation Network and Qriocity accounts. Sony has hired a security company to conduct an investigation into what happened, and they have “taken steps to enhance security and strengthen our network infrastructure.”
Keynote Systems Inc., a global company specializing in internet and mobile cloud monitoring, released its quarterly financials for its second fiscal quarter ending March 31, 2011. Overall, Keynote Systems’ total revenue increased by +25% to $24.1 million for second fiscal quarter 2011 compared to $19.4 million for second fiscal quarter 2010. Specifically, Keynote’s mobile revenue was boosted by +37% year-over-year (or +26% after the accounting change) and the company’s internet revenue jumped by +15% year-over-year. Keynote has experienced an uptick in mobile subscriptions as well as increased web subscriptions including acquiring five major internet companies as customers: Facebook, Groupon, LinkedIn, Twitter and Zynga. Keynote is additionally seeing growth in its internet business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). For the quarter, Keynote’s EMEA internet revenue grew by 20% year-over-year.
Univision linked up with mobile TV provider MobiTV to bring telenovela episodes as well as sports and entertainment clips to MobiTV’s users. The mobile TV service is on smartphones and tablets from carriers including AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. The mobile market is a fast-growing one for all media companies and is of particular importance for Spanish-language networks given the growth in the Spanish-speaking population in the U.S. The 2010 census reported more than 50 million Hispanics in the U.S.
Via its partnership with Tribeca Film, programming distributor New Video launched a promotion for this year’s film festival to include movies exclusively on digital platforms such as iTunes, Xbox, PlayStation, CinemaNow and Amazon Instant Video. The promotion runs through June via the streaming platforms; New Video will release all titles on DVD in August.
Social media startup Klout launched its new site this week ( http://beta.klout.com) with added features that let users compare their online “klout” with others. New features also give users better control of their profile, Klout said.
National online classified ads site, Geebo is teaming with service provider WeGoLook.com that specializes in onsite inspections of items, properties and dates in an effort to help online consumers avoid fraud and misrepresentation. The two entities have entered into a non-exclusive partnership where Geebo will spotlight WeGoLook’s services in their ads giving customers the chance to have items inspected before completing online transactions.
Addressing concerns about Apple’s location-sharing features in its iPhones, the company’s CEO Steve Jobs said in an interview with reporter Ina Fried at Mobilized that Apple is not keeping track of its users’ whereabouts. The technology giant has been under fire lately after researchers found data on iPhones with the locations and of cell towers and Wi-Fi hotspots users had connected to. Jobs said in the Mobilized interview that the files found on iPhones were “crowdsourced” and “anonymous” data. In addition, Apple also issued a statement that it is not tracking user locations.
Dutch cable operator Kabel Noord has tapped Agama Technologies to provide a future proof head-end monitoring solution for its digital cable television service. The deal is designed to incorporate the Agama Analyzer H-E, which will help the cable company detect audio and video content conditions as well as provide complete syntactic and semantic verification of all levels of the TV service.
Media services firm Halogen Media Group merged with social advertising and technology firm YouCast. The combined company will aim to help marketers and media agencies reach influential people via paid and earned media.
Advanced digital media technology firm Digitalsmiths landed $12.5 million in new funding in a series C round led by production and distribution company Technicolor. Digitalsmiths existing investors, including .406 Ventures, Aurora Funds, Chrysalis Ventures, Capitol Broadcasting and Cisco, also re-upped their investments in the company. Digitalsmiths will use the cash infusion to further innovate on video search and discovery products, the company said.
Yahoo attracted 86.6 million unique visitors in March, making it the most viewed site in the news category, Yahoo said. The search giant also reported that Yahoo Sports led the sports category with more than 47 million unique visitors, citing figures from comScore.
IPad owners aren’t buying up the popular tablets to read books, according to a new survey. Simba Information found in a study that about 40% of iPad owners have not used their iPad tablet to read an eBook. Simba said the device is primarily used for games and other media.
A new white paper from Rhythm NewMedia looks at ways to extend mobile video advertising beyond consumers who happen to be watching video on their mobile devices. The mobile ad serving firm says that advertisers can deliver video experiences when a consumer launches an application or beats a level of a game, in addition to more traditional delivery streams. The company also says that video advertising is an effective way to increase brand awareness and favorability because it “evokes emotional responses to brands.” The top industries using video ads, according to Rhythm, are entertainment, telecom and CPG. The report also noted that there has been huge growth in mobile video advertising, with 36% quarter over quarter growth from Q4 2010 to Q1 2011, and that in-stream video ads outperform all other video units, with an average completion rate of 87%. Other best practices noted in the report include combining video ad units for maximum effectiveness, and that interactive pre-roll is more effective between screens.
The National Hockey League rolled out an online community aimed for young fans, age 6 to 12. Dubbed “Rinksters,” the virtual world lets kids play hockey-themed games, collect virtual money and chat with friends. The NHL hopes to groom a new generation of hockey fans.
Discovery introduced a new Facebook app ( https://www.facebook.com/DiscoveryChannel?sk=app_174954702556981) for the new season of its Dual Survival show, that encourages fans to get involved by uploading pictures of their feet. One of the show’s hosts is regularly barefoot. The Discovery Facebook page has logged 3.2 million likes so far.
YouTube co-founded Chad Hurley and Steve Chen are purchasing Delicious from Yahoo. The Web bookmarking site will be owned by AVOS, a new company of which Hurley is now CEO. Yahoo has owned Delicious since 2005.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM THE CABLE SHOW 2011
They call the shots for some of the most influential U.S. cable companies, and on the closing day of The Cable Show 2011, they’ll present their roadmap for success. Hear top cable operations executives offer their strategies for winning in a competitive environment. Addressing product differentiation, operational priorities and new service initiatives, it’s a roadmap for cable’s future. And it’s only at The Cable Show.
The Cable Show 2011: June 14-16, Chicago, IL.
The NFL Draft is upon us, hopefully to be followed by a football season. Want to be prepared for Thursday night’s start, check out http://www.draftcountdown.com/ . The site, run by Scott Wright, has mock drafts, detailed rankings of every player, every position. Articles about the drafting procedure, Senior Bowl Highlights, what players help themselves the most throughout the 2010 college football season and why. The site also has forums so members,(free membership) can discuss and argue who should be the top pick for their favorite team. The site also includes scores of links, all related to college and professional football. So is Cam Newton going to the Carolina Panthers? See what the experts think on http://www.draftcountdown.com/ .
Later – Wayne
Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
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