Friday, April 5th, 2013

Cynopsis: DIGITAL

Good morning. It’s Friday, April 5, 2013, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.

Netflix has finally set a “premiere” date for Arrested Development, and that date is May 26. The highly anticipated fourth season of the critically acclaimed comedy (to put it lightly) will arrive on the SVOD service on that Sunday with 15 new episodes. All 15 episodes will be made available as soon as the clock strikes 12:01 PT (you read that right, East Coasters), in all Netflix territories, from the US to the Nordics. Interestingly enough, the original plan for Arrested Development’s fourth season was for 10 episodes, which then expanded to 14 episodes due to series creator Mitch Hurwitz shooting too much, which now has been expanded to 15. You can now commence rejoicing.


AOL has inked a dual-syndication agreement with the Publishing Group of America (PGOA) through which the PGOA will have access to relevant videos from the AOL On library, while also adding original videos of its own to the AOL On video network. PGOA digital properties include,,, and, all of which combine to offer a range of short-form videos, including recipe and how-to cooking videos, diet- and fitness-related content, and inspirational American history and travel-related stories. AOL On currently reaches 35 million unique visitors per month (comScore) and features 570,000 videos, curated into channels ranging from Autos to Food, Tech, and Style.

ESPN‘s coverage of this year’s Masters Tournament begins with the annual Par 3 Contest on April 10, followed by the tournament itself beginning on April 11. In addition to providing live access to its TV coverage via WatchESPN, the sports network is also producing a bunch of digital video projects to keep fans entertained online. These include Digital Drive, a nightly program that will be exclusively available on and hosted by Scott Van Pelt and Andy North from Wednesday through Sunday of Masters week. There is also a Road to the Masters series, which has been tracking the latest news and historical reviews of the golf season’s first major, and daily Masters coverage from Andy North, which began on April 1.


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Celtra says its AdCreator platform, which provides rich media ad production, delivery, and analytics, is now able to precisely measure viewer engagement and consumption of video content inside mobile rich media ads. The product consolidates rich media video ad metrics into a single view, offering advertisers data on total video consumption, average play time, and video attention span, as well as a breakdown of ad placements, mobile devices, and mobile platforms.In addition to the AdCreator update, Celtra has released some findings related to video content consumption inside mobile rich media ads. Tracking 150 videos used on ads running in Q4 2012, Celtra found that:

  • Videos encouraged more engagement, with 14.4% of the 730,000+ viewers interacting with the ad by playing the video (an increase of 50% versus Q3).
  • In addition, 47.8% of all viewers watched the entire video.
  • Most mobile videos were still repurposed from existing TV spots or movie trailers, and the average video length was 45 seconds.

Unicorn Media is partnering smart TV apps publisher Flingo to enable content providers to deliver ads anywhere within a video stream. Flingo is the app publisher behind more than 70 video apps from a range of media companies. The company’s app portfolio currently reaches more than 20 million devices worldwide. With this deal, Flingo’s content partners can now use the Unicorn Once dynamic ad insertion solution to place an ad anywhere in the video stream. Unicorn says this makes it easier for the monetization of long-form content, as providers can insert targeted pre-, mid-, and post-rolls to reach individual viewers.


upLynk has unveiled a new live linear streaming technology, which will give content owners the ability to create a linear feed that viewers can access online and across connected devices. It’ll fully emulate the TV experience, according to upLynk, as the technology also supports dynamic ad insertion and content replacement. upLynk’s first customer for this product, Disney/ABC, has already been using it. upLynk is currently managing video encoding and delivery for Disney’s “WATCH”-branded TV Everywhere apps/services. The technology supports streaming to multiple desktop, mobile, and connected TV platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows, BlackBerry 10, Mac, Linux, and Roku.

Saffron Digital has launched a new end-to-end UltraViolet (UV) solution for retailers, content owners, operators, and device manufacturers. UltraViolet is the Hollywood studio-backed “digital locker” initiative that enables consumers to store and access purchased film content across a variety of devices. To create its UV solution, Saffron integrated its online video platform with Akamai’s Sola Media Solutions and global content delivery network. As part of the partnership, Saffron says it will develop UV storefronts powered by its own proprietary common file format (CFF) video player. Other features of the new end-to-end solution include content preparation, a CMS, payment and authentication, and media analytics and reporting.

Terra, a Latin American internet and digital media services provider, has selected Digital Rapids’ Transcode Manager product for multiscreen VOD production and distribution. Terra is using the product to process and deploy videos for its branded online news portal, and in the past has used the Transcode Manager for a variety of multiscreen VOD projects, including Terra’s coverage of last year’s London Olympics.


Video solutions start-up Ooyala has released a special, “Broadcaster Edition” of its quarterly Global Video Index report, this one covering global multiscreen video consumption among broadcasters and entertainment networks. Pulling data from March 2013, Ooyala found that prime viewing hours for “online broadcast content” are noon on weekdays and 9pm on weekends. In addition, viewing on tablets rises sharply on the weekends, when, according to Ooyala, spend twice as much time watching video from broadcasters online. In addition, people are consuming long-form content more frequently on mobile/tablet devices. Per the report, over 75% of time spent watching mobile video in March was with videos longer than 10 minutes, and nearly half of all tablet video consumption in March was with videos that were 30 minutes or longer.

Updated Gartner forecast: Combined worldwide shipments for PCs, tablets, and mobile (feature and smartphone) phones will total 2.4 billion in 2013, amounting to a 9% increase over 2012. Down the road, shipments will top 2.9 billion units in 2017. Breaking it down by device, Gartner expects worldwide shipments for PCs (desktop and laptops) to fall 7.3% in 2013, largely being replaced by the growth in worldwide tablet shipments, which will rise 69.8% year-over-year to total 197 million units in 2013. Smartphones will also do well this year, with worldwide shipments projected to hit 1 billion units in 2013, compared to 675 million in 2012.


Pop culture publisher SpinMedia has made several additions to its management team, including the appointments of Louisa Wee as its new SVP/Business Intelligence and Strategic Analytics; Michele McIvor as its new VP/Audience Development; Megan Opp as its new Chief People Officer (quite possibly the best title ever); and Scott Southron as Chief Financial Officer.

Steven Smith has been promoted to Chief Digital Officer at AccuWeather. He will be responsible for implementing the strategy for AccuWeather’s Digital Media division through its various product offerings on both desktop and mobile. He will also work closely with Jim Candor, who has also received a promotion at the company, to the position of Chief Strategy Officer. He is tasked with developing corporate vision and strategies for the entire AccuWeather organization and for each business unit. Finally, John Dokes has joined AccuWeather as its new Chief Marketing Officer. He’ll oversee branding, visibility, demand creation, and lead generation across all AccuWeather business units.


The Best in Online Video Content & Advertising…
Don’t forget to enter the
Cynopsis: Digital Model D Awards
Entry Deadline: June 20
Late Submissions: June 27
Awards Event: November 2013 (NYC)

Visit our website for additional information on:
Who Should Enter, How to Enter, Eligibility Period, Categories, Deadlines, Sponsorship Opportunities, Contact Information and FAQs.


The second annual PBS Online Film Festival announced two winners this week: Live Art, created by the School of Performing Arts in Richmond, Virginia and presented by PBS member station WCVE, took home the “People’s Choice” prize. The Story of an Egg, a documentary presented by the Independent Television Service and PBS member station KQED in San Francisco, was the most viewed of the 25 short films that were screened online. Overall, PBS says the entries were streamed 350,000 times (an average weekly increase of nearly 55% versus the 2012 festival) across PBS Digital platforms, YouTube, and PBS social media channels.

Live Art is an educational program/concert film, which follows a 20-week performing arts program for children with and without developmental disabilities and hearing impairments. The program ends with an on-stage performance with musicians. The Story of an Egg is a documentary that reveals the real meaning behind grocery-store terms such as “cage free,” “free range,” and “pasture raised.” Check them out; you can go back to the Beluga Cam afterwards.


Cynopsis Sports Media Awards

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April 17 | 8:00-10:00am | The Yale Club | NYC

Join award finalists, support your colleagues + network with the best in the industry!

Preview the list of finalists:

Later – Sahil
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JOB OPENING: SALES COORDINATOR/NY: All aspects of account maintenance, liaison with ad agencies. Must be detailed/ able to multi-task. Excellent verbal and written communication skills. Apply-[email protected] (4/9)

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