Friday, February 13th, 2009

Cynopsis: DIGITAL


Good morning, it’s Friday, February 13, 2009, and this is your first early morning digital briefing. 

The Federal Trade Commission issued a strongly-worded report detailing its ongoing examination of online behavioral advertising practices as a last chance olive branch to encourage the industry to step up and insure the protection of users’ privacy. The report sets forth four revised principles: Transparency and Consumer Control; Reasonable Security, and Limited Data Retention for Consumer Data; Affirmative Express Consent for Material Changes to Existing Privacy Promises; and Affirmative Express Consent to (or Prohibition Against) Using Sensitive Data for Behavioral Advertising. A cross section of interactive advertising trade groups quickly formed a task force to respond to the FTC’s challenge: The American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). The Council of Better Business Bureaus (BBB) also joined the effort.


Ever angling for ways to dig up some more revenue, YouTube has begun offering some videos for free or paid download, delivered in DRM-free MP4 format using the H.264 codec. The transactions, the cash from which will be shared with the content provider, will be handled through Google Checkout, Google’s version of PayPay. So far a few Universities and a few small publishers are testing the service.
If YouTube enters the downloading business then Apple should expand into streaming, right? The next version of iTunes will offer users the option to stream videos they purchase directly from the company’s servers for playback anywhere anytime – thus not taking up hard drive space, according to a report in AppleInsider. An iTunes Replay service could potentially make video streaming on various Apple devices such as Apple TV, iPhone and iPod Touch more viable because video takes up a ton of storage space.
Fox is promoting today’s premiere of Joss Whedon’s new linear show Dollhouse with an interactive components on and Through Hazel’s video blog of real-time captivity, fans are encouraged to post clips, view other fan video responses and offer Hazel advice. In return, she will respond to the audience, challenging them to help her uncover clues and discover secrets about the Dollhouse’s early defining days. 


, the company that powers the Anthem social connectivity mobile platform, unveiled a new cloud-based mobile platform that will allow carriers to embed more sophisticated applications such as email, IM and social networking functionality directly on their handsets. Spurred on by the popularity of the iPhone app store, the solution is geared toward enabling mid-range 2G phones to adopt advanced content and social networking integrations, according to Intercasting President Derrick Oien. “Operators want to preload the popular apps that are moving the needle for other platforms,” he said.
, now the top social network in the world according to comScore, has been negotiating with Nokia to go directly to the source and embed components of its network directly into Nokia phones, reports the WSJ. Integrations might include synching Facebook friends lists with the phone’s address book, allowing users to be able to send them messages and post comments on their profile pages. Also, the AP has turned up some more details about Facebook’s settlement with ConnectU, despite apparent attempts to keep them confidential.  ConnectU’s founders will receive $20 million in cash and $45 million in Facebook stock, but this is based on Microsoft’s Oct. ’07 valuation of the company of $3.7 billion. Under Facebook’s current internal appraisal the 1,253,326 shares of common stock are only worth about $11 million.


You win some you lose some. Google announced it is officially giving up on its attempt to develop AdWords advertising for radio, the second traditional ad market it has exited this year (along with the closure of its Print Ads program). The company initially had trouble getting radio stations to devote airtime to the program, then saw little interest from advertisers once it struck deals with Clear Channel and others. The remnants of Google Audio Ads, which launched in 2006 after the acquisition of dMarc Broadcasting, will be used to develop audio streaming applications for the web.


The FCC rejected about a quarter of the 491 local TV stations who had applied to make the originally-scheduled transition to digital on Feb. 17 – including major stations in Dayton, Ohio; Eugene, Oregon; Billings, Mt.; Madison, Wi.; and Providence, R.I. The commission is worried about markets in which all of the major network affiliates switch to digital, leaving unprepared households with no way to receive local news or emergency alerts. The FCC did say that stations may go ahead with the switch right away if at least one station in that market remained analog.
Paul Allen’s cable MSO Charter Communications reached an agreement in principle with major debt holders to enter Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The debt-laden cable operator, which serves more than 5.5 customers nationwide, said it still has more than $800 million in cash on its balance sheet – which when combined with operating revenue- should be enough to meet its obligations, including an overdue interest payment of $74 million due before Feb. 15.
Midway Games, which Sumner Redstone recently sold off a majority stake in, also filed for Chapter 11 status to give the Mortal Kombat publisher a chance to reorganizes its finances.


Nielsen Online has released its first public rankings of individual TV show rankings, counting views from programs streamed on network web sites as well as via embedded video players. Going a long way toward justifying the decision to forgo Hulu and remain independent, ABC scored the top watched TV network program in Dec. in Lost, racking up 1.425 million viewers and beating out NBC’s SNL by more than 3 million users. (Note that Hulu views are not counted here, as this only measures network site traffic and embeds made directly from them.) In fact ABC was responsible for 6 of the top 10 shows. The CW’s Privileged triumphed in terms of time spent as its 29,000 loyal fans spend 214 minutes on average watching the show online in Dec.
Top 10 Online Broadcast TV Network Entertainment Programs for Dec. 2008 Unique
Program                       Network                     Unique Viewers (000)
Lost                                              1,425
Saturday Night Live                            1,111
Grey’s Anatomy                               879
Desperate Housewives                             723
Heroes                                           685
Ugly Betty                                      631
Samantha Who?                              560
Scrubs                                            519
Survivor                      CBS Television                      496
True Beauty                                     462
Source: Nielsen Online, VideoCensus
Reflects video content on, CBS Television,, FOX Broadcasting, and, along with their respective embedded video players. Programs are client-defined.
Top 10 Online Broadcast TV Network Ent. Programs for Dec. 2008 by Time Spent Viewing (U.S.)
Program                Network            Minutes per Viewer       Unique Viewers (000)
Privileged                   214.6                             29
Chuck                           162.5                            226
Lipstick Jungle                   153.2                            152
Gossip Girl                  140.0                            165
The Simpsons   FOX Broadcasting           138.8                              41
Life                               137.4                            133
Kitchen Nightmares   FOX                      124.9                              40
Private Practice                   123.1                            350
Young & Restless      CBS                      115.6                            323
The Office                     111.8                            374
Source: Nielsen Online, VideoCensus
Reflects video content on, CBS Television,, FOX Broadcasting, and, along with their respective embedded video players. Programs are client-defined.
Video search engines may be improving but they’re still not responsible for much online discovery, according to a new analysis from online video tracking and analysis firm TubeMogul. The company analyzed a sample of 35 million+ streams over the period of 2 months and found that direct navigation to sites such as YouTube was still the most common way users find videos, responsible for over 45% of all views. Site referrals proved to be long tail of mostly blogs, which sourced some 80% of all referred traffic, but the top referral sites were as follows:
Site              Share of Video Referrals
Google                     7.19%
Yahoo                      2.12%
Facebook                 1.93%
Myspace                  1.55%
Digg                        1.49%
Stumbleupon           1.13%
msn/live                  0.92%
blogspot                  0.78%
aol                          0.43%
reddit                     0.29%
truveo                     0.22%
flurl                         0.21%
blinkx                      0.19%
ask                          0.19%
Comcast                  0.16%
Twitter                     0.15%
WordPress                0.15%
CN                          0.12%
Wikipedia                0.11%
Ovguide                   0.06%
Search Referrals by Category
Search engines                    11.18%
Social networks                     3.66%
Social bookmarking sites:       3.19%
Video search engines:            0.63%
Email/IM:                              0.05%
blogs, etc.                             80.88%
Source: TubeMogul


Bloomingdale’s and have launched a Set Your Table wedding registry online tool allowing couples to combine different styles and patterns from a variety of designer’s dinnerware, drinkware and flatware collections to create and view their own uniquely styled table top setting. Users will be able to see close-up images, get additional information about an item and immediately register for their table top selections on


Lewis Henderson
, the longtime William Morris executive who has headed the agency’s Digital Media group since its inception in 2006, is leaving the company at the end of the month to pursue other interests, per
LA-based Paragon Pictures has formed Osiris Entertainment, an in-house distribution arm that will specialize in broadcast and home entertainment distribution for the company’s feature films.  The company has appointed Heidi Meier as VP/Distribution for Osiris.


Social media tech firm Ludic Labs announced it raised $5 million in funding from Accel Partners, KPG Ventures and a number of private investors. The San Mateo, CA-based start-up also launched a new community site called Diddit to give us an idea of what they’re up to (as in “been there, did it.”) Diddit allows users to share their experiences with communities of interested parties including everything from trying new restaurants to visiting national monuments to snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef. There are 23 categories of things to do. It’s not a bad idea for an online recommendation engine and the interface is fun and easy to use. If it catches on we can see a number of integrations that can be baked in to the experience.

Later — Wayne
 Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital

Cynopsis Digital Ad Sales:
Chuck Bolkcom – 646-468-6180 / [email protected]
Mark Bohn- 203-583-1224 / [email protected]com
Classifieds – Trish Pihonak- 203-926-9878 / [email protected]

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Cynopsis CLASSIFIEDSFor More classifieds, visit the classifieds page here   .

JOB OPENING: COMMERCIAL OPS SPECIALIST (CMT)/NY: Schedule daily commercial logs and advertiser commercial copy. Must have exp in traffic/comm ops and traffic systems. Gabriel a +. Res: [email protected] (2/20)

JOB OPENING:  EDITORIAL MGR/ HBO Broadband/NYC:  Establish/maintain editorial, conceptual and writing standards. 7 yrs exp req. Entertainment writing exp desired. New media/online background required. Send to: [email protected] (2/20)

JOB OPENING: SPECIAL PROJECTS WRITER/PRODUCER/HGTV/Knoxville: Conceptualize, write, direct and produce high end on-air and off channel marketing campaigns.3+ yrs exp in cable net or equivalent. Apply: #262 (2/18)

JOB OPENING: SR. RESEARCH ANALYST/ Track/report/analyze key metrics, create research materials & run panels. Omniture & Excel expertise a must; exp w/ other online research tools highly pref. Res: [email protected] (2/18)

JOB OPENING: SR ACCT EXEC/ACCT DIR Out-of Home media sales/NY: 5+ yrs nat’l sales exp w/clients & advrtsng agencies strat. plan’g groups. Proven track rec of new bus/acct dvlpmnt req’d. Exp w/Youth mkt a + Res to: [email protected] (2/18)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR DEVELOPMENT/Story House Productions/DC: Lead creative development and sales process. Min 10 yrs exp in tv dev and prod req. Strong client contacts req. Apply: (2/18)

JOB OPENING:  TRAFFIC MGR/THE HOTEL NETWORKS/NY: Mng all traffic functions across 10 ntwrks. Should have understanding of all functions from sale to satellite. 3 yrs exp in brdcst traffic reqd. [email protected]  (2/16)

JOB OPENING: ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE (Universal Sports/NYC): 5-7 yrs exp @ sports network/website co., 3 yrs. Sports or digital sales exp req’d. Knwlg effective/creative pckgng strat a must. Res: [email protected] (2/17)

INTERNSHIPS – These positions are for credit only – nobody gets paid here. These ads are always posted for free, and students work for school credit only. For more information on the specs for posting an Internship ad, email Trish at [email protected].

SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY:  Exposure to business side of television. Work on program decisions, marketing & sales opportunities for client TV stations.   COX REPs-NY-Strong comm. & math skills required, Contact:  [email protected]  #(212)372-0443 (2/18)

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: CELEBRITY TALENT PROD with exp on both coasts.Will connect your synd, ntwrk or cable prgrm w/ quality & approp celebrity guests. Staff or freelance – visit ……… [email protected] (2/20)

SITUATION WANTED: NON-FICTION PRODUCER/WRITER/DIRECTOR. Reality/Ent/Docs. 3 Emmy Noms.; Field and Post; NBC; Dis; TLC; CMT; VH1; E!; Runs on Batteries. LA based.  [email protected] (2/20)

SITUATION WANTED: RESEARCH DIRECTOR 20+ yrs media, Nielsen, Hispanic, & sales experience. Contract basis. Save money over a FT director. Let’s talk.Email: [email protected] (2/19)

SITUATION WANTED: 5 PRIME TIME EMMYS/ DOC. PROD, DIR., WRITER in L.A. Credits: National Geo, PBS, Discovery, History CH, TLC and MSNBC. Contact email: [email protected] (2/19)

SITUATION WANTED: DIRECTOR/PRODUCER/MANAGER: Major Network and Cable live News and Sports experience. Start-up, operations, editorial and production specialist. Available to meet your schedule Coast to coast! [email protected] (2/19)

SITUATION WANTED: TV PRODUCER reality with network and cable credit seeks show producer/field producer position at prod. co. or network. Most recently series produced show airing on NBC O and O’s. (NY based) [email protected] (2/19)

SITUATION WANTED:PRODUCER/WRITER/DIRECTOR (NY): Ultra-creative, award winning, all formats, all genres, all major networks and major cable. Fast, frugal and fun! [email protected] (2/18)

SITUATION WANTED:TV PRODUCER: Reality with network and cable credit seeks show producer/field producer position at prod. co. or network. Most recently series produced show airing on NBC O and O’s. (NY based) [email protected] (2/18)

SITUATION WANTED: PR & NEW MEDIA GURU (LA) Great Writer/Strategist, Social Media Expert, Strong Media Contacts, 15-year PR pro now avail for in-house or freelance. U want someone to hit the ground running, right? mgros[email protected] (2/14)

SITUATION WANTED: FREELANCE or Full-time MEDIA BUYER w/ over 25 yrs of buying exp. is newly available. Seeking F/T or Freelance wk from your office or my home (New York based) Please contact me @ [email protected] (2/14)

SITUATION WANTED: VIRTUAL WEB HOST PRODUCER (L.A.) Producer, Director, Writer Virtually place anyone or anything onto web pages. See Contact [email protected] (2/14)

E-mail [email protected] or call Trish Pihonak at 203.926.9878 for rates and specs for Job Openings.

Are you looking for a job? Post your Situation Wanted Ad here — Email [email protected] for specs.

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