Good morning. It’s Tuesday, February 28, 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.
In a keynote address at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Facebook CTO Bret Taylor made a couple of announcements in regards to the monetization capabilities of its own platform, as well as setting an industry standard for the mobile web and apps. First, Facebook announced that it is working with wireless operators to introduce a billing service directly through the social network’s mobile platform. This will allow Facebook to offer paid content, apps and services directly through mobile devices. Among the first wireless carriers to sign on to this new service include AT&T, T-Mobile, Softbank, Vodafone and Verizon. Second, Facebook is partnering with over 30 phone manufacturers to establish a standard for mobile browsers, focusing specifically on HTML5. This new group, dubbed W3C Mobile Web Platform Core Community Group, which includes the likes of AT&T, Verizon, HTC, Nokia, Netflix and Zynga, is push the adoption rate of HTML5 in an effort to combat the mobile dominance of Apple and Google. With that in mind, Facebook has launched Ringmark, a mobile browser test suite that enables developers to test out how their app would work on different devices and browsers.
TBS has launched a second-screen tablet app for fans of Conan O’Brien’s late night show on the network. Using automatic content recognition (ACR) technology, Team Coco provides users exclusive, synced content in real-time as they watch the show. Each episode of CONAN will feature up to 25 different pieces of bonus content, including video clips, photos and slide shows, background info on guests, polls and quizzes, facts and trivia, memorable quotes and more. The app is also integrated with Facebook and Twitter. AT&T is the launch sponsor for the app, which is available for free on both the iPad and Android tablets.
As part of Universal Sports‘ multiyear distribution deal with DISH Network, DISH subscribers will be able to stream some of the network’s sports content on multiple screens, including the web via DISHOnline.com, smartphones and tablets. Financial terms of the deal were not made available.
AOL has unveiled a new self-service technology platform for the customization, delivery and management of premium display ads. The new offering provides marketers an easy-to-use interface to manage all of their brands’ assets and deliver them across the web. “Think of Pictela Enterprise as a content management system for ads,” said Greg Rogers, SVP of premium formats at AOL and CEO of Pictela. Pictela Enterprise is certified to serve its display ad units across AOL, Advertising.com and “most major online publishers.” Digitas and Mindshare have signed on as launch partners for the beta release.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has unveiled the five winning mobile ad concepts of its “Mobile Rising Stars” competition. The IAB Mobile Rising Stars are a product of the IAB Rising Stars initiative that aims to “create new canvasses for brand advertising on digital platforms.” Winning submitters included The Weather Channel (submitted the “Drifter” concept in the Slider category), AOL, Google, Jivox, Microsoft and more. IAB says it will now collaborate with the winners over the next 90-120 days to build detailed specs for the ad units to run across multiple screens and operating systems. The winning formats:
- Filmstrip: A scrollable, multi-panel ad unit similar to the one used in display ads.
- Slider: An overlay unit that enables users to slide the entire page over to reveal a full-page interactive experience.
- Adhesion Banner: A standard banner that “adheres” to its start position when a device is rotated or when the screen is altered (for example, magnified).
- Full Page: An ad experience that takes up the entire screen in either landscape or portrait mode; “an ideal creative canvas” according to the IAB.
- Push: A bottom- or top-page banner that expands to full screen.
LinkedIn has launched a “Follow Company” button, allowing a business to embed a button on their websites and online marketing materials that will give users easy access to that business’ LinkedIn company page. Once followed, updates from the company on the professional social network will immediately be published to the user’s profile page. LinkedIn says the introduction of the button is just the first phase of its new “follower ecosystem strategy,” which will be unveiled over the coming in weeks, that will enable brands to evolve their social communications efforts on the platform. Per a member research survey it recently conducted, LinkedIn finds that 67% of LinkedIn users believe it is a more appropriate social environment for business-to-business interactions, while 60% say they expect industry insights and news from the companies they choose to follow.
Mottert Systems has introduced new internet buying software designed with the requirements and budgets of small- to medium-sized agencies in mind. The offering is similar to traditional media buying software in the way it supports planning, authorizing, buying, ordering and reporting on internet ad campaigns. Among the features available through the solution include post analysis of click-through rates and an Exposure Analysis system that estimates the reach, average frequency and frequency of distribution for any media, including internet schedules. Mottert says versions of the software are available for purchasing online ad impressions, views and clicks on a weekly or monthly basis.
Marketron has announced that over 1,200 new radio stations have licensed its Marketron Mobile advertising platform in the past year, bringing its total to over 1,950. Marketron says that stations using its platform can offer advertisers a scalable mobile service that can integrate into all types of ad channels, including traditional spot, web display, social media and more, thus ensuring that it effectively reaches targeted audiences. The platform runs over 18K ad campaigns per month for clients such as ESPN, Microsoft, Lincoln Financial Media and more.
Unilever and Nielsen have signed a pact for the use of Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings reach, frequency and gross rating point (GRP) measurement for all Unilever brand internet ad campaigns in the U.S. The deal will cover measurement for all 2012 digital campaigns across Unilever’s portfolio of nearly 40 brands, which Unilever says it will then use to enhance its online campaign media planning and buying. Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings launched last August with Media Rating Council-accredited GRP for online ad campaigns of any size with metrics similar to those used for TV advertising; an effort to enable cross-media planning and analysis. Since then, Nielsen says the service has powered more than 350 campaigns for over 50 brands across more than 400 websites. Nielsen is planning to expand the service to the U.K. later this year.
Trendrr has published its social TV breakdown for the 84th Oscars, covering total social activity from social networks and applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Get Glue, Miso and Viggle. According to the data, the Oscars doubled its total social activity in 2012 when compared to the 2011 ceremony. In terms of gender, 56% of socially active viewers were female. In terms of sentiment, 62% of socially active viewers had a positive opinion of the ceremony (22% negative). In terms of geography, NY and LA were the two most socially active cities, followed by Chicago, San Francisco and D.C. The web was responsible for 59% of social activity surrounding the awards, while mobile took care of the remaining 41%. Taking a more in-depth look at second screen apps, Trendrr found that 224K users checked-in to Get Glue, while 88K checked-in to Viggle. For the latter, 85% of Viggle users watching the Oscars participated in a live interactive experience through the app.
Here’s more Oscar data, courtesy of Mass Relevance, a member of the group of start-ups that have been given access to the Twitter Firehouse. The Academy Awards generated a total of over 4.1 million mentions on Twitter, which includes terms (hashtagged or not) such as #oscars, “the academy awards” and @theacademy, as well as several variations of those terms. The top five most mentioned celebs were Meryl Streep, George Clooney, Angelina Jolie, Billy Crystal and Octavia Spencer. The two top tweets per minute moments (TPM) of the night were when Hugo won its fifth Oscar (Best Visual Effects) and Octavia Spencer’s win for Best Supporting Actress. The data covers the time between 1pm and 1am ET. Mass Relevance has worked on other projects on Twitter for the likes of the Obama Twitter Town Hall, the NY Giants, NBC’s The Voice and more.
Gannett has appointed Mary Murcko to be its new President of Sales, where she will be responsible for growing national advertising revenue across Gannett’s publishing and digital businesses. Specifically, she will oversee sales for USA TODAY, Gannett Digital and U.S. Community Publishing’s national efforts. Murcko will report to Gannett’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer Maryam Banikarim, and will be based out of New York City.
AOL’s chief technology officer Alex Gounares is stepping down, according to AllThingsD. He had joined the company in March of 2010 after serving as VP of advertising research and development, as well as CTO of the Online Services division at Microsoft. The report cites sources that say Gounares is leaving the company in order to return to the Seattle area.
LiveRail, a provider of a real-time online video ad platform, has made three new additions to its online video advertising team. Marc Gaccione has joined as Executive Director of Publisher Services, a position at which he will lend a hand in maintaining and developing new relationships with top video publishers. Ward Flock joins the company as Senior Director Publisher Development, while Christine Pereira has come on board as the new Senior Director of Demand Services.
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Today, some entertainment for a good cause: Backstage Drama is a web series, from Fubble Entertainment, about a man who is placed into the witness protection program as a janitor in a small town community theater. It also happens to be raising funds for independent and community theaters in the U.S. The first two episodes of the series are available for free online, after which the entire series can be purchased for $9.99, for a whole year. 30% of the money raised goes directly to a community theater, while the rest is earmarked for producing more episodes, meaning more job opportunities for people working in the arts. Starting with a soft launch, the series has recently picked it up in terms of subscriptions, enabling Fubble to cut checks to several theaters across the country. Fubble has also partnered with the American Association of Community Theaters to launch the series in theaters spanning the country. Give it a look; it’s not a bad way to support the arts, especially if you were once a theater kid.
Later – Sahil
Sahil Patel, Associate Reporter for Cynopsis Digital
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