Friday, January 30th, 2009

Cynopsis: DIGITAL


Good morning, it’s Friday, January 30, 2009, and this is your first early morning digital briefing. 

YouTube and the William Morris Agency are close to signing a production deal that would put a number of the agency’s A-listers to work on original made-for-the-web productions on the platform, reports the NYTimes. Other top agencies including UTA, which launched its own web division UTA Online more than two years ago, have been eager to stake their claim in the new media world in the hopes of discovering rising stars and providing ins for their more established stars. But a direct partnership between YouTube and the agency that represents Denzel Washington, J.J. Abrams and Michael Bay could signal a major commitment in developing high-profile, major budget fare for the world’s dominant web video platform.


Internet portal Yahoo is jumping onto the bigger screen with a half-hour newsmagazine show co-produced with Twentieth Television. Yahoo Buzz, based on Yahoo’s Digg-like site that ranks stories based on blogger mentions and user recommendations, will be syndicated to television stations as early as this fall. The program will also utilize user rankings to determine the day’s Top 10 news items. Former MTV personality Ananda Lewis is expected to be one of the show’s co-hosts. launched Homespun Superheroes, a fun new Flash game designed to develop skills such as memory, observation and response time to help build up “superhero stamina.” Specially designed tests will help improve rank and supply your avatar with a hero rating that will help you to master the streets and “clean up crime.”


Bellrock Media’s U.S. subsidiary, Moderati launched a new Digital Entertainment Studio, focused on creating branded multiplatform entertainment for marketers and programmers in the U.S. and Japan. Moderati has hired former Revision3 programming head Damon Berger as Director of Branded Entertainment to lead that division. Damon reports to CEO, Jon Vlassopulos.
Online video start-up XOS Digital, a subsidiary of XOS Technologies, Inc. and Collegiate Images, LLC, launched a new Digital Sports and Video Syndication Platform designed to help colleges monetize sports programming they produce for the web. The company distributes shows such as College Sports Minute via partnerships with video portals and national, regional, local and niche sports publishers.


Niche networks and the commercials running on them are getting a disproportionate amount of DVR viewing vs. live viewing, according to new research released yesterday from Google TV Ads. A new agreement with Dish Network enables Google TV Ads, which serves ads on a number of cable channels via Dish set tops, to cull data from each and every active Dish Network DVR. Google is making the data available for free to Google Adwords TV advertisers.

Vertical ad network Glam Media acquired AdaptiveAds, a venture-backed display ad targeting and optimization company based in San Francisco and Mumbai, India for an undisclosed amount. AdaptiveAds specializes in targeting, adaptive ad optimization and brand engagement tracking. AdaptiveAds’ technology will become the platform for GlamAds, a self-serve brand advertising system allowing agencies to place custom media ad buys across verticals in the Glam Media network.


Amazon exceeded Wall Street expectations reporting an earnings increase of 9% to $225 million for Q4 on revenues of $6.7 billion. The company failed to tip its hat on its nascent digital books business, apart from claiming “strong” sales of the Kindle and noting that selections for the e-book reader increased by 45,000 titles – bringing the total content selection for the devise to 230,000 titles.
Following the ouster of lead negotiator Doug Allen Screen Actors Guild has rescheduled contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The groups will meet February 3 and 4, at the AMPTP offices in Sherman Oaks, CA for the first time since November.
Google, the New America Foundation‘s Open Technology Institute, the PlanetLab Consortium, and academic researchers took the wraps off of the Measurement Lab (M-Lab), an open platform resource researchers can use to deploy uniform internet measurement tools around the globe. To start, three tools running on servers near Google’s headquarters are available to help users attempt to diagnose common problems that might impair their broadband speed, as well as determine whether BitTorrent is being blocked or throttled by their ISPs. By running these tools, users will get information about their connection and provide researchers with related aggregate data.
The search giant also chose the second annual Data Privacy Day this past Wednesday to announce a major change to its privacy policy. A blog post explains that under its new policy, Google’s servers will now go beyond simply compiling search histories and automatically collect information about users interaction with a variety of Google services.


The number of amateur creators contributing to the user generated content phenomenon reached 83 million in the U.S. last year, according to eMarketer. That number will continue to increase over the next five years as internet users become more eager to contribute to the conversation, surpassing 108 million creators or 50% of the internet audience by 2012. Yet the enthusiasm for the UGC genre, which led to Google’s purchase of YouTube for a cool $1.65 billion, has waned as economic models to monetize the content have failed to materialize. Ongoing concerns include:

  • the inherent unpredictability of UGC and the risks it represents for marketers
  • the absence of advertising standards and difficulty in measuring ad effectiveness
  • The expansion of major UGC sites, led by YouTube, into licensed professional media and the resulting flow of dollars toward this newer type of content, considered safer by advertisers
  • The global recession, which has led many analysts and research firms to reduce online ad spending forecasts, including in areas that directly affect estimates of UGC ad spending, such as online video and social networking

Recession-plagued consumers saddled with expensive contract-based cell phone service won’t get much relief on prices in 2009 and will continue to get burned by little-understood and poorly disclosed fees and penalties, according to findings from Consumer Action, a national consumer group that identified the 5 top emerging cell phone issues for consumers yesterday:

  • Continued early termination fees, with only minor relief for some consumers. Faced with growing consumer anger, scores of lawsuits, actual setbacks in the courtrooms and the risk of tougher federal regulation, carriers have been forced to relent a bit on early termination fees (ETFs) that can range from $150-$200
  • Little change on overage fees of up to 45 cents a minute
  • A jump in mandatory cell phone contract extensions as more young Americans use cell phones
  • A backlash against out of control texting fees. The problem is so bad that Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl, a key member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked the nation’
  • s four largest wireless carriers in late 2008 to explain the “sharply rising rates” they charge customers to send and receive text messages



Joost is having some real success with its iPhone/iPod touch app. The company announced that the free player has been downloaded more than 1 million times from Apple’s App Store less than two months after its release. The global Web video service recently expanded with 11 new content partners, providing access to thousands of hours of anime, comedy, drama, movies, music, documentaries, sci-fi, and sports via Wi-Fi connections.
Looking to update your mp3 music collection to make it DRM-free? Apple updated the iTunes store to allow more flexibility in its “update my library” feature. Now you can choose entire albums to update, or choose which songs from each album you’d like to convert to DRM-free versions. Each update still costs 30 cents/song.
Handy dandy multimedia note-taking app Evernote completed its integration with Google Notebook, allowing Google Notebook users to easily export notes, labels, and sections right into Evernote.


Michael Arrington
, founder of technology TechCrunch, claimed he is taking a leave of absence for at least a month after being spat upon at the DLD Conference in Munich, Germany in a blog post. “In the past I’ve been grabbed, pulled, shoved and otherwise abused at events, but never spat on. I think this is where I’m going to draw a line,” wrote Arrington.

~ WEBSITE OF THE DAY ~ – one of the more ambitious portals for serialized, snackable web video that brought us shows such as sci-fi/horror yarn Project X – and production partner New Renaissance Pictures unveil their latest project tomorrow. The apocalypse-themed “The Black Dawn” appears to raise the bar in terms of depth of story; the show will consist of over 100 distinct components woven together to tell the story of thirteen college students who survive a deadly plague that blankets LA. WebSerials plan to utilize a variety of tools to fill in the blanks of the narrative and fill out the back stories of the characters including an online comic book and a college video blog show. Shows like EQAL’s LG15 have KateModern have played around with nonlinear storytelling. Many of network’s digital studios have relied on these techniques to build out digital content around hit linear brands such as Lost on ABC and Heroes on NBC. It will be interesting to see how this pure web studio can advance these storytelling techniques.

Later — Wayne
 Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital

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

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Cynopsis CLASSIFIEDSFor More classifieds, visit the classifieds page here   .

JOB OPENING: ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE, ROILIFE- GAMING/ONLINE MEDIA SALES: Minimum 5 years Ad Sales Experience. Strong On-line or Casual Gaming Sales experience for Fortune 1000 Companies Rez: (2/6)

JOB OPENING: SALES MANAGER/Discovery Communications/New York: Sell national advertising for Discovery’s Kids to US agencies & clients, 5+ yrs on-air ad sales exp required. To Apply: Req#8752 (2/5)

JOB OPENING: WEB ANALYST MGR/Full svc integ mktg co/S. CT: Analyze traffic, click stream studies, site exp, site density, onsite search, guided nav. Provide new site web analytic tracking specs. Res: [email protected]    (2/5)

JOB OPENING: VP MKTG/KidzBop/NY: Exp in kid’s mrkt & music required. Key team member with est. contacts. Resp for all brand platforms-audio/web/consumer products/live events/licensees. Apply: [email protected]. (2/5)

JOB OPENING: VP, OPS/DISCOVERY/MIAMI: Oversee Broadcast & Network Ops for Lat Amer/US Hisp Nets. 10+ yrs tv/cable ops exp, incl. mgmt/strategy/budget/technology. To apply, visit (req8643) (2/4)

JOB OPENING: VOD COORDINATOR/FEARnet/LA: Schedule movies. Responsible for creating and maintaining monthly Video On Demand program planners. Horror knowledge req. Apply to [email protected] (2/4)

JOB OPENING: REGIONAL/LOCAL SALES/Arena Media Networks/NY/CHI: Sell local advrtsng & sponsorships on our digital ntwrk in sports & ent arenas. 2-5 yrs exp TV/new media sales req, pref in sports. Contact: [email protected] (2/4)

JOB OPENING: DIR INT’L CLIENT SVS/LA: Cord. delivery of all live event channel prgrmng incl. supporting ITL clients WW. Resp. for setting up satellite feeds & del. of prgrmng content. Lead Cust svc team. Apply: [email protected] (2/4)

JOB OPENING:  CNS-COORD, PRICING & PLAN’G/FL/Comcast: Coord intrnl sales process, track commercial inv. Work w/Dir. Pricing/Plan’g to support Ad Sales Plan’g Grp. Req 1 yr exp. Apply: EOE (2/3)

JOB OPENING:  DIGITAL ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE/GSN, Santa Monica: 2 yrs + exp in Digital Space with strong digital agency contacts. Send resume + cover to [email protected]  (2/3)

JOB OPENING:  Dir, Mktg Solutions/G4: Develop brand integrations, added-value solutions, sponsorships for on-air / non-linear platforms; Strong ideation, PPT development, project mgmt skills a must. Apply: [email protected] (2/3)

JOB OPENING:  PROD COORD/Cable Company/NY: Provide admin support to Prog Execs/Mng invoice tracking & payment/Mng non-staff hire process/Assist w/ off-site prod needs for this major NY-based cable co.Resumes to: [email protected] (2/3)

JOB OPENING:  DIRECTOR/AD SALES MKTG/HGTV/NY:  Manage projects such as sweepstakes/write sponsorship proposals & hospitality events w/in deadlines. Full details, & select req 46 (1/31)

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: 2 INTERNS – EDUCATIONAL MEDIA PROD&DIST/UNPAID/LA (VENICE): Working with prod and mktng team on trailers/web data/gen distribution tasks. Must have Word/PPT/Photoshop/HTML/Final Cut /Editing skills. Email [email protected] res & cvr ltr (2/6)

SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: Comcast Int’l Media Group is looking for an MBA STUDENT INTERN to create business plan for international editions of E! Online. Resume/cover letter: [email protected] (2/5)

SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY:  Bowery Presents Media is looking for a DIGITAL SAVVY INTERN to help with production, marketing, & business development. Must have knowledge of the music business & social networks. Email: [email protected] (1/31)

SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY Central MA Tech-savvy intern wanted. Duties: research, copy edit, update website, & admin tasks. Work from home with occasional meetings at mutually convenient place. To apply, see info at (1/31)

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: DOCUMENTARY PRODUCER, DIRECTOR, WRITER in L.A. Credits include National Geographic, PBS, Discovery, History Channel, TLC and MSNBC. Contact email: [email protected] (2/6)

SITUATION WANTED: GlobeTrotter TV is a lifestyle travel show that airs in the NYC market. Looking for broader distribution. For more info: contact: [email protected] (2/6)

SITUATION WANTED: RESEARCH DIRECTOR: 20+ yrs media, Nielsen, Hispanic, & sales experience. Let me be your “Remote RD” for competitive, one-sheets, breakouts, Nielsen probs, etc. Email: [email protected] (2/6)

SITUATION WANTED:   FILM/VIDEO PRODUCER/COORDINATOR/NYC. “I help you make your movie” – any length – from start to finish – One-Man-Band or Lead a Team. [email protected] (2/5)

SITUATION WANTED:  NON-FICTION PRODUCER/WRITER/DIRECTOR. Seasoned. NBC; TLC; CMT; VH1; CNN; TLC; Discovery; E!. (Reality; Docs; Entertainment; Talk; Magazine.) Field and Post; Development & Sales tapes.  LA based.   [email protected]  (2/5)

SITUATION WANTED:  NYC-based MBA grad with experience working with top film and publishing companies is seeking FT/freelance opportunity. Excellent analytical, operational, and client service skills. Please contact [email protected] (2/5)

SITUATION WANTED: Experienced HRIS ANALYST (LA based) seeking projects related to data conversions, upgrades, implementations. Exc time mngmnt, organization & analytical skills. PeopleSoft background. Contact [email protected] (2/4)

SITUATION WANTED:  Award winning On-Air / Off-Air CREATIVE DIRECTOR. 20 years network / cable experience. Innovative promotion, design, branding and strategy. Hard working, detail oriented, motivated, avail today. [email protected] (1/31)

SITUATION WANTED: PRINT/INTERACTIVE PROJECT MANAGER in LA. Diligent, efficient, & detail oriented. See Open to FTE, Contract, short/long term gigs. Can work remotely as well. Contact [email protected] (1/31)

SITUATION WANTED: PRODUCTION ASSISTANT. I am experienced, hard-working, no drama, detail oriented, and ready to start immediately.  Please contact me at [email protected] (1/31)

SITUATION WANTED: Recent Harvard grad and FREELANCE WRITER will do pretty much anything involving words and writing them. Currently writing for a Gawker blog. Hard worker, strong writer, great bargain. (NYC) [email protected] (1/31)

SITUATION WANTED:  ADMIN/EXEC ASST (NYC): 22 years experience with top firm supporting VPs and assisting President. Microsoft Office skills. Worked under deadline. Multi-tasker/quick learner. [email protected] (1/31)

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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