Good morning. It’s Friday, April 13, 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.
Sony‘s CEO Kazuo Hirai outlined a new strategy to turn the fledgling company’s fortunes around. The strategy includes redirecting Sony’s focus away from building televisions and more toward mobile devices (including smartphones and tablets); cameras and camcorders; and games. On the mobile front, Sony will look to give its Xperia smartphones a serious push as Hirai said he plans to triple Sony’s in three years to $22 billion. And as speculated over the past week, Sony plans to cut 10K jobs, which is tantamount to 6% of its global workforce.
Sony’s Crackle video service has expanded its distribution on Sony devices in Canada and the U.K. In Canada, Crackle will offer ad-supported full-length movies and TV shows to all consumers of Sony’s Blu-ray players, BRAVIA televisions and Network Media Players. In the U.K., Crackle will now be available on the Sony Entertainment Network. Just like Canada, Crackle in the U.K. will now also be accessible via Sony Blu-Ray players, BRAVIA TVs and Netwok Media Players. Prior to this, Crackle was available in Canada and the U.K. through its website, Xbox LIVE and PlayStation 3 game consoles, as well as Apple and Android mobile devices.
To celebrate the 65th anniversary of Jackie Robinson Day, BET is premiering Harvard Park, a documentary that chronicles a neighborhood park in 1980s South Central L.A. that was essentially a training ground for many future baseball stars. After the BET world premiere on April 15, the documentary will be available on Netflix Instant Watch and as a digital download through iTunes starting April 16.
Marketron has introduced its Mobile Marketing and Advertising technology designed for the TV industry. Marketron’s mobile solution allows media organizations to create targeted mobile ad campaigns on both the local and national levels through demographic and interest-based data. Some of the interactive features TV stations will be able to roll out through the platform include text-to-win contests, polls, voting, news updates and loyalty programs. Already in use by more than 2,200 radio stations, KLWB-TV and KDCG-TV are among the first TV stations to adopt the platform.
Charter Communications has announced that it will deploy FourthWall Media’s Ad Widgets interactive solutions to approximately 800K digital-enabled households in five markets. Charter says that it will provide the capability for interactive advertising and will lay the groundwork for additional interactive capabilities for consumers. Ad Widgets is an end-to-end interactive TV ad solution build on CableLabs’ EBIF and SaFI standards, and will be tailored to Charter’s advertising sales management infrastructure. Once deployed, Charter Media advertisers will be able to deliver relevant commercials to consumers based on demographics or geography.
Samsung has selected ACCESS CO.’s NetFront Living Connect DLNA Technology Component to provide the CE manufacturer’s Optical SMART Hub optical disc drive with connectivity to DLNA Certified devices. In other words: “Adopting ACCESS’ DLNA Technology Component means our customers will be able to use the Optical SMART Hub to effortlessly connect and share content with a huge variety of smart devices,” said Won Kim, SVP at Samsung. The DLNA Technology Component enables users to access their digital content across any device within a connected home media network. The combination of the NetFront solution and Samsung’s Optical SMART Hub will allow users to stream their CDs and DVDs directly onto their connected devices.
Microsoft has announced that it’s moving the Bing Search API to the Windows Azure Marketplace, which is designed for developers to access data sets and APIs and distribute their applications through the marketplace. As part of this transition, the Bing Search API is also moving to a monthly paid model, with Microsoft setting the starting price at $40 per month for up to 20K queries each month. Microsoft says that with the transition, Bing Search API developers will have access to fresher results, improved relevancy and more opportunities to monetize their usage of the Search API. The transition will begin in several weeks and will take a few months to complete, during which developers can test out the Bing Search API for free through the Windows Azure Marketplace.
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According to VINDICO‘s new Online Video Ad Insights Report, mid-roll video ads had the highest completion rate (94%) of all ad positions in 2011. Furthermore, the report found that of the viewers who navigated beyond the brands’ landing pages, 96% had previously completed the brands’ video ads without clicking it. In comparison, only 4% of deeper brand page traffic came from users who clicked the ads. With that in mind, VINDICO says that “completers” are more indicative of the success of a digital video ad campaign, and not click-through rates, which it deems the “king of false positives.” The report is based on the analysis of 30 billion video ad impressions delivered for brand advertisers in 2010 and 2011. Among the other findings:
- 134% growth in digital advertising volume in 2011 and a 16% growth in campaign size, compared to the previous year.
- From 2010 to 2011, there was a 92% increase in ad-served impressions, with ad-serving making up nearly half of all total impressions that were delivered.
- 15-second ads are the most successful (78% completion rates), while 60-second ads are the least successful (54%).
66% of U.S. consumers have consulted a device for help while shopping, according to research firm Leo J. Shapiro and Associates, per eMarketer. In fact, the research firm’s February 2012 survey finds that connected devices are increasingly becoming the top resource for researching product information, as 47% of respondents indicated as such. 38% of respondents said they researched products on smartphones while shopping at a physical location, and 36% indicated that they had used their phones to read product reviews on retail websites. Device usage wasn’t restricted to when consumers were shopping at a physical location, as 54% of respondents said they used their phones to shop before going to the store.
Livestream has unveiled a new hardware encoder called the Livestream Broadcaster ($495). Integrated with the New Livestream Platform, which offers unlimited, ad-free, HD streaming for $45 per month, the Broadcaster enables users to stream live HD content, provided that they have a camera and an internet connection, to the web, as well as mobile devices and connected TVs. The purchase comes with a free three-month subscription. Livestream is currently taking pre-orders in the U.S. and Europe. The device is expected to ship in May.
Bigpoint has announced a partnership with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment to develop an online game based on the Ice Age franchise. Ice Age Online, the free-to-play browser game, will let players assume the role of a sloth that has found a nice sanctuary for a herd of animals to live. Gameplay will revolve around rescuing lost animals and camp-building activities. In adventure mode, players can collect materials from locations that will be based on the franchise, including the upcoming Ice Age: Continental Drift, which is set to come out this July.
Evolve Media Corp’s CraveOnline has launched an interactive gaming experience that promotes the release of Nintendo’s newest game, Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir. Essentially, the gaming experience takes users on a virtual journey across what appear to be the homepages of multiple CraveOnline-owned websites, thereby enabling them to see the world of the new video game for the Nintendo 3DS portable gaming system. Players have to capture images of hosts looking through the lens of the “Spirit Camera” as they move forward with the gameplay across multiple CraveOnline-owned websites. Once completed, the player can view a trailer of the game, as well as share their activity on Facebook. The video game itself is set to launch today.
Social games developer and publisher Funtactix is expanding the playable world of The Hunger Games Adventures, a Facebook game it developed in partnership with Lionsgate. Players are now allowed to leave the District 12 setting for the first time and take a journey to the Capitol. It marks the first step toward unveiling the rest of Panem, the world of the popular novels/film series.
Nick Guerriero has joined AT&T AdWorks in the role of Director/Online East. Most recently, Guerriero was at Aggregate Knowledge, where he was responsible for selling AK’s enterprise analytics solution to both agency and client executives. He has also worked at Yahoo!, where he worked with brands such as Ford, Sprint and Verizon, selling across all Yahoo! assets, including display, video, search, mobile and partner networks.
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Cynopsis: Sports Business Summit
9:00am: NASCAR: Steve Phelps, Sr. VP & CMO
Brian Hughes, SVP Audience Analysis Practice Lead
Brian Monahan, EVP Managing Partner
3:45pm: Athletes First: David Dunn, Chairman & CEO
Spotify, Tim Tebow, Pinterest, Mashable, HBO Go, Funny or Die, Google+ and Twitter all have something in common: Each are among the nominees for the 16th Annual Webby Awards. The winners will be announced on May 1, and honored at a ceremony at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York on May 21. That event will be hosted by comedian/actor Patton Oswalt, and willl be streamed live in HD via the Webby Awards’ main website. While a committee that includes David Bowie, Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone and Instagram Co-Founder Kevin Systrom will judge most of the awards, the public will also get a chance to participate by voting for the inaugural People’s Special Achievement Webby for Social Change. Nominees for this award are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Kive and Change.org. A full list of this year’s nominees can be found here.
Later – Sahil
Sahil Patel, Associate Reporter for Cynopsis Digital
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JOB OPENING: ACCT MGR/TV Guide/NY: 2+ yrs digital exp. Plan/ execute online media plans, wrk w/mktg to devlp client presentations, monitor campaign delivery & deliver superior custmr service to clients [email protected] (4/20)
JOB OPENING: SR SALES PLANNER/BlogHer/NYC: Join our revenue team. Primary responsibilities include creating high quality presentations in response to proposal requests & supporting pre-sales efforts. Resumes: [email protected] (4/20)
JOB OPENING: VP RESEARCH/OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network/LA: Leads team responsible for all regular ratings/digital reports, show testing, custom surveys & ad-hoc analyses for both TV and digital. Apply at http://careers.own.tv (4/20)
JOB OPENING: ACCT EXEC/Turner/NY: 5+ yrs nat’l cable sales exp req’d. Support Adult Swim/Cartoon/tru. Present proposals to secure bus. Dvlp/mntain client & agency relationships. Sprvse ASRs & Pln’rs. Apply: careers.timewarner.com (4/20)
JOB OPENING: SALES PLANNER/GSTV/NEW YORK: Largest nat’l away from home TV network seeks a sales planner with strong exp working closely with advertising sales. Apply at: http://gstv.iapplicants.com/ViewJob-251375.html (4/19)
JOB OPENING: PROMO EDITOR-PRODUCER/MLB Network/NJ: Edit/produce topical/image promos and sizzle tapes. Min 3-5 yrs exp w/non-linear. Strong design, FinalCutPro & After Effects exp req. Send resume/ link to reel to [email protected] (4/19)
JOB OPENING: RESEARCH DIRECTOR/NFL/NY: Reporting of TV Audience Ratings for NFL games and competitive programming. Proficiency in all Nielson rating systems required.. Please apply www.nfl.apply2jobs.com (4/19)
JOB OPENING: RESEARCH ANALYST/NYC/Scripps Networks: Ad Sales Research team. Responsible for providing support and create solutions for rev goals. Info: http://www.scrippsnetworksinteractive.com/careers req#2977 (4/19)
JOB OPENING: ASST DESIGN DIR/WEtv/NYC: manage on-air & print design team, production scheduling & budgets, art direction, some hands-on design work. Resumes to: [email protected] (4/18)
JOB OPENING: DIR-OPS/NYC/Brdcst set design comp: Plan, manage, track from conception thru implementation. Ensure & improve performance, effic & profit. Must read design docs. 7-10 yrs industry ops exp. Resume to [email protected] (4/17)
JOB OPENING: ASSOCIATE PRODUCER/NYC: NYC Game Show seeks AP to audition & produce contestants for show. Reports to Supervising Producer. Great communication skills & previous casting exp a plus! Resume to: [email protected] (4/17)
JOB OPENING: RESEARCH MGR/Sportsman Channel/NY: Wkly reprts, selling stories, rsrch. Bachelor’s deg, 2-3 yrs exp w/natl rated cable network. Full info/apply: www.thesportsmanchannel.com (4/17)
JOB OPENING: EVENT MGR/NASCAR/NY: Manage various sponsor hospitality services & commitments. 5+ yrs exp in event management/marketing/sports. www.employment.nascar.com (4/17)
JOB OPENING: APs and RESEARCHERS/National Talk show/NYC: Hiring for Conflict/Resolution driven stories. Main duties include booking guests, social media, research, etc. Job starts in May! Email resumes to: [email protected] (4/17)
JOB OPENING: SALES SERVICE REP/Chicago: Assist the Account Executive in his/her efforts to maximize advertising revenue for A+E Networks. https://www.abso.com/jobboard/Default.aspx?JOBBOARDID=618&JobDetail=126825 (4/14)
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SITUATION WANTED ADS, POSTED BY THOSE LOOKING TO BE HIRED… There is no charge for placing your Situation Wanted ad… for more information contact Trish Pihonak at [email protected].
SITUATION WANTED: MBA SUMMER INTERN (NYC, SF, LA): MarCom Specialist; focus in Strategy, Social Media Mgmt & Analytics; Ad Agency & Int’l exp; strong interest in technology + media space; http://about.me/jfchang (4/20)
SITUATION WANTED: NUTRITION EXPERT, HEALTH & LIFESTYLE HOST looking to host cooking/lifestyle shows/health reporter. Great on camera, trained host, Registered Dietitian.See www.lisadefazio.com. Contact [email protected] (4/19)
SITUATION WANTED: CREATIVE PRODUCER/PRODUCTION EXECUTIVE: with 10+ years production and business finance background looking for new full time or freelance job opportunities. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2735106/ (4/18)
SITUATION WANTED: DVLPMNT PRDCR/LA BASED: Non-Scripted. ABC; CBS; NBC; A&E; Bravo; Current; Dis; E!; Fox 21; Hist; LoGo; MTV; Spike; TLC; VH1; Travel; solid prod.co/agency/ntwrk/relationships, runs on batteries! [email protected] (4/17)
SITUATION WANTED: ON-AIR PROMO WRITER/PRODUCER/DIRECTOR: seeks freelance projects. 10+ years in kids TV. (Warner Bros., Cartoon Network, Disney, Hub) LA (Burbank) based. [email protected] Great children’s director! (4/17)
SITUATION WANTED: Jeanne Intile Burns, VOICE-OVER ARTIST/VOICE COACH, Cell: 845-721-9681, E-Mail: [email protected], Web Links: www.castingnetworks.com/jburns, http://jburns.voices.com, www.allegro-music.com (“American Biographies”) (4/14)
SITUATION WANTED: PRODUCER/Creative Writer, Seg & Field Prod 9+yrs TV: Univision, MTV, Mun2, Lat Grammy, Telemundo, Strong ethics, Mng & people skills Exp talent & celebs Eng/Sp FCP, Photoshop, MiniDVCam: 310-254-0131 [email protected] (4/14)
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