06/25/14: ABC News and Apple TV make broadcast news first, Carnival Mobile CEO talks all things apps, Opera MediaWorks acquires AdColony for $350M



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Good morning. It’s Wednesday, June 25, 2014, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


ABC News is the first major news broadcaster to launch on the Apple TV, which will include free live hourly updates with no pay-TV subscription required. Live content will come from some of the network’s big players like Good Morning America, Nightline, 20/20 along with streams of breaking news, the daily White House press briefing and nine local news affiliates. Variety reports ABC News is skipping the authenticated step in order to reach a larger audience. “The idea of this is to put users in control of their news,” said Joe Ruffolo, SVP of ABC News Digital. Apple TV also updated to include apps from AOL On, PBS Kids, Flickr and Willow TV.


CYNOPSIS MEDIA is thrilled to announce several high-profile networking and educational events for the rest of the year. Click the events to learn more.

Digital Summit: August 6th | San Fran, CA
Sports Women of Action: August 19th | NYAC, NYC
Sports Business Summit: August 20th | NYAC, NYC
Kids Business Summit: September 8th | Yale Club, NYC
Future TV Summit: October 16th | Grand Hyatt, NYC
Model D Awards Luncheon: November 13th | Grand Hyatt, NYC

Netflix renewed its deal to stream PBS Kids’s series for U.S. subscribers. Returning shows include: both Wild Kratts seasons, Dinosaur Train season two, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood season one, Martha Speaks season one, Caillou season five, and Peg + Cat will return to the service. Burns’ docs and eps from PBS’s Nova series were also renewed. Netflix also offers six seasons of Sesame Street, but through a separate deal with Sesame Workshop.

Digital sports video agency SendtoNews signed a partnership with extreme sports channel EpicTV to distribute video clips to digital outlets across the country. “Everybody loves short, adrenaline-fueled videos on wing-suit flying, big wave surfing or big mountain skiing,” Head of EpicTV Panu Lehti said. “We’re stoked to have SendtoNews provide the key link for North American websites wanting to capitalize on our engaging content.”


Discovery Digital Networks announced that 11 shows have hit more than 100 million streams each since the platform launched a year ago. The Philip DeFranco Show led the pack with 1.2 billion views, which was one of the first shows to join DDN’s Revision3. Other shows include TestTube’s DNews (26 million views), SourceFed, Petsami and more available through the DDN YouTube channels.

Frederator Studios, the folks behind YouTube’s Cartoon Hangover channel (one million+ subs), released a YT e-book guide. The 10 YouTube Commandments covers channel program scheduling, branding, title and thumbnail design and more. The book is free on Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble and Kobo.



Warner Bros. France integrated Civolution’s SyncNow tech in the My Warner app. “Warner Bros. France’s deployment of SyncNow to power synchronization of their app with so many content mediums-DVDs, Blu-rays, VoD streams, and TV programming-shows just how ubiquitous second-screen interaction with traditionally one-way formats is becoming,” CMO of Civolution Andy Nobbs told Cynopsis. “If content is being displayed on the TV screen, the mobile device is making that content interactive, regardless of the content’s source.”

Let’s get personal! Send us happy news  weddings, babies, engagements – you’d like shared with your industry colleagues, for a new feature going up soon on our web site, and in the newsletter. Info goes to [email protected].


Opera MediaWorks bought mobile video ad platform AdColony in a $350 million deal yesterday. “This acquisition will augment our services with a robust specialization around mobile video  the fastest growing segment within the mobile advertising industry,” Opera Software Lars Boilesen said. Vdopia Co-founder and CBO Saurabh Bhatia, who says the M&A activity will continue, commented: “This deal, and the early Rhythm acquisition by Blinkx, show that mobile video advertising is a hot area. There are few companies in the ecosystem that can offer the right solution at scale.” AdColony will still continue as an independent entity.


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5 Minutes With…

Even as major players like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook continue to scoop up mega user-base apps, understanding their value remains a point of debate. Cynopsis sat down with Carnival Mobile CEO Guy Horrocks, who leads the company that has powered successful apps for OREO, CNN/Time, DreamWorks Animation, Coca-Cola, to find out more.

Q: If research is repeatedly showing that mobile is where more eyeballs are moving, why do so many apps fail?
A: This is both one of the largest problems and opportunities for brands. Too many brands are still treating mobile apps like a billboard, generally with no ongoing long-term plan or value to the user. The brands that are treating their apps as valuable marketing channels, and making a direct relationship with their customers are winning (think OREO, Starbucks and Nike+).

Q: Many predict that paid apps will become obsolete in the next couple of years – what are your thoughts?
A: I think most people are finding that it’s more valuable to have a 10-50 times larger user base that they can derive value from or monetize, rather than collect a one-time payment from a much smaller audience. “Freemium” wins 9 times out of 10.

Q: With Facebook’s WhatsApp acquisition, the social network continues to concentrate on apps that extend from the original mobile platform (i.e. Paper).
A: Some brands and companies are finally starting to “focus.” Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive always seemed to use that word, and they were talking about removing all the features until you have something really great. App users will often download an app to do one distinct thing. They’d rather have the best messaging app (WhatsApp), or best photo app (Instagram), than have an app with great messaging, photo and social features (Facebook app). I think it makes a lot of sense, and I wish most brands could learn from this.

Q: Where do you see mobile gaming going in the future  will traditional video games that land on Xbox, PlayStation, etc. move to mobile gaming?
A: There’s always going to be a mix. Oculus Rift or games like Call of Duty are experiences that are better suited for a non-mobile device. In saying that though, the growth in casual mobile gaming has been and continues to be…insane.

Q: What are your thoughts on second screen TV apps?
A: People are waiting in anticipation for Apple to do something more in this space. I don’t think anyone has really nailed second screen yet. However, mobile messaging during a live sports game or TV show makes a lot of sense. We did a second screen experience for OREO during the Super Bowl last year, which unlocked a "Football" cookie during the game and gave mobile app users a chance to win $100,000 after the Super Bowl ad. Also, 4.5 percent of all users and 52 percent of active users responded for 90,000 minutes, which is amazing engagement.

Q: What are the biggest trends you see in the app industry now?
A: Apps are here to stay. The fight against mobile web for most categories is over, with apps now accounting for 86 percent of time spent on a mobile device. We are going to see more app partnerships as brands struggle to build compelling experiences and look for quick wins. Once some of the laggard brands realize that owning an ongoing mobile marketing channel via their mobile apps wins over buying ads on a one-off basis in someone else’s app, we will see more quality branded apps being released.


Teens may not be flocking away from Facebook after all. In a new study from Forrester Research, half of the nearly 5,000 surveyed from ages 12 to 17 years old used the social network more than they did a year ago. The Wall Street Journal reports the increased usage from the age group may be due to the rise in smartphones. The study showed the top networks used by teens were as followed: YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, Twitter, Vine and WhatsApp. Facebook owns Instagram and is currently acquiring WhatsApp.

In the 2014 “Beta Research Cable Network Interest Study,” top-ranked VOD networks from basic cable were AMC, History, Discovery, A&E, TNT and USA. Results came from an online survey of 3420 multichannel subscribers who rated their interest in nets on a scale of 1 to 5.


The latest installment of PBS Digital Studios series Blank on Blank revives a never-before-heard interview from 2008 with award-winning actress Meryl Streep, as she speaks about beauty in Hollywood. Blank on Blank is a show that animates archived interviews from the modern greats and stars from the past. Check out the charming interview at www.cynopsis.com.

See you tomorrow,
Jessica Reese  @JMarieReese

Roberta Caploe: Editorial Director @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

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JOB OPENING: ASSOC MGR, MKTG SOLUTIONS/MUSIC CHOICE/NYC: Develop & execute mktg solutions for client-facing teams, incl ad sales, AF sales & content acquisition. 3-5 yrs mktg, pref in ad sales. PowerPoint a must. APPLY HERE http://musicchoicecareers.iapplicants.com/ (6/26)

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SUMMER INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: Content & Media Intern/Immersion /San Jose: Exciting entertainment internship on http://immersion.com team in the mobile space for top biz/communication students. Successful NASDAQ company. E-mail: [email protected] (6/26)

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