03/28/14: Aereo calls service “next technical step” before April 22


Good morning. It’s Friday, March 28, 2014, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


Aereo is defending its TV-streaming service as the "next technological step," according to its final written argument before the Supreme Court case against broadcasters on April 22. "The evolution of technology from a black-and-white television connected to a rabbit-ear antenna and a Betamax to a high-definition television connected to a digital antenna and DVR had not changed those core principles [of the law]," Aereo wrote in the court paper. The service provides live TV programming to mobile devices, which broadcasters argued infringed copyright laws.

Billboard and Twitter announced the new Billboard Twitter Real-Time Charts yesterday. In the multi-year deal the two have signed a Twitter Amplify partnership to distribute custom in-tweet charts and videos showcasing the top current tracks as well as the most shared songs and acts.

Bravo Media announced new digital initiatives for the upcoming year, including:

  • Select a Scene: Viewers can use the Bravo’s Play Live experience to influence on-air broadcasts, and decide what content they want to see most. For example, during The Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion Pt. 1 on April 27, viewers get to decide what point of view they want to hear from which housewives more through the Play Live site.
  • Mobile Pass: Later this year, Bravo is revealing this geo-location experience for fans to tap into exclusive content and previews, interact with local network fans or receive location-based coupons.
  • Social Commercials: Bravo is continuing the fan recognition through on-air clips and social interaction, like with #GiggysBFF featuring a weekly fan’s pet.

Starz Digital Media announced a new web series to its YouTube comedy channel, Union Pool, and the continuation of its animated series Tvoovies. A live-action comedy Llama Cop will premiere on April 1., and Popcorn Addicts will premiere on April 15 on Union Pool. Tvoovies will continue to release episodes every Tuesday and Thursday including Zero Dark 30 Rock and The Hangover of Thrones.

Amazon‘s next gig may be an ad-supported streaming service meant for everyone not just Amazon Prime subscribers, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The service will feature original and third-party programming much like Hulu. No release date has been set yet, or word on if it will debut with the over-the-top box Amazon is also working on.


FEARnet acquired the SOS: Save Our Skins TV special, 13 webisodes and 90-minute movie that will be available to stream starting April 1. The show will air during FEARnet’s newest Twisted Comedy block week special on the TV channel and available at FEARNET.com.

You don’t have to be a "bracketologist" for our March Madness Contest. Just tell us which team will reign supreme in this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament at http://www.cynopsis.com/snap-app-contest/ and one participant will win a $50 Foot Locker gift card. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, April 1st


AOL unveiled plans for a new global programmatic ad platform called One. Marketing Magazine reports the new product is meant to compete with the likes of Google by providing "open ecosystem" for partners, competitors, publishers and markets are all involved in digital advertising. IPG Mediabrands (behind Magna Global and Magna Consortium) is the agency network partner for One.


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Turner Broadcasting‘s new digital entertainment brand Upwave announced TrackIt, a new health tracking system to help people make better life choices through entertainment and connectivity. TrackIt collects information from lifestyle apps, social networking sites and personal fitness devices (Fitbit, MyFitnessPal) and allocates the data to a single dashboard analysis. "As a digital content provider, we’re always seeking to connect more tightly with our audience and provide relevant content," Upwave Senior Vice President and General Manager Molly Battin told Cynopsis. "TrackIt is a tool that will increase the frequency and depth of our audience engagement. In turn, that allows us to offer more and better digital content personalized to the individual."

Disney Parks announced its first smart TV app for Samsung Smart TVs, LG Smart TVs and Blu-ray players yesterday. The app, created with TV media company BrightLine, will feature content from the six U.S. Disney Parks including behind-the-scenes, interactive theme park maps and trivia games.


Instagram‘s user base is gaining on Twitter, and has already surpassed Twitter on smartphones with 34.6 million users according to a new eMarketer report. The photo-sharing app jumped 35 percent in the U.S. last year, with 35 million monthly users and expected to hit 40 million by the end of 2014. Twitter recorded 43.2 million users at the end of 2013, with 30.8 million users on smartphones. However, Twitter rolled out two new mobile features (tagging users and share multiple photos in a tweet) to bring photos to front and center and further compete with Instagram.

Cross-channel marketing provider Dedicated Media released a March Madness and digital media info graphic as the Final Four matches quickly approach. Highlights include:

  • 181 million viewers tune in across TV, online and mobile platforms.
  • 26 percent of fans use mobile as primary game-watching device, and 88 percent use mobile devices for March Madness activities.
  • 7.7 million social media comments are made during tournament telecasts.



Digital media software firm Centro hired Doug Thomas as its new Vice President of Sales for the Midwest. Most recently, he led client service operations for Omnicom media agency Novus.

Network Advertising Initiative announced Bruce Morris has been hired as Vice President of Member Services and Business Development and Ryan Cliche as Chief Operating Officer. Morris was most recently EVP Managing Director of SourceMedia. Cliche previously led the association management practice for Plexus Consulting Group.

Matt Smith has joined TV Everywhere platform provider Anvato as its new spokesperson and customer and partner strategist. Smith was most recently Vice President, Technology at Chideo.


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BuzzFeed released a video showing just how powerful advertising is when convincing a consumer to buy into a product. The video takes on a "retro" educational feel, and features vintage ads, the science behind an ad and highlights some of history’s biggest campaigns and their effects on the bottom line. At the end of the video Buzz Feed asks, "got brainwashed?" Check it out at www.cynopsis.com.


Long Story Short

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