Friday, June 19th, 2009

Cynopsis: DIGITAL


Good morning, it’s Friday, June 19, 2009, and this is your first early morning digital briefing. 

The cable industry continues to struggle with how to standardize interactive advertising applications across multiple MSOs, systems and set-tops. Cable’s Canoe Ventures group has decided to shutter its initial Community Addressable Messaging ad plan before it launches as CEO David Verklin admits to its technical and business limitations, per Multichannel. One such limitation is that the system required ads to be booked 11 days before there air date, defeating the immediacy of a platform that hopes to serve clients such as movie studios who want to tease their big Friday releases. “CAM 1.0” had undergone extensive trials and was initially expected to launch as early as last month.


Sony’s Crackle portal unveiled a trio of racy original shows this week slated for a 13-week summer run, to be featured on, YouTube, MySpace, Veoh, Bebo, Vcast and Sony Bravia Internet Video Link televisions:

  • Owen Benjamin’s “All Stars” plays hard ball with an office softball league starring Owen (The House Bunny), Chris Wylde and Brody Stevens (The Hangover.)
  • “Mommy X*X” features former Playboy model Demi Delia as an adult film star trying to raise two teens
  • Sci-fi thriller “Cell: Full Dose” follows up on the Webby Award-winning “the Cell” documenting Michael Spencer’s travels to Columbia. Endemol UK and Pure Grass Films produce.

Fantasy football preview magazines are big business and wants a piece of the pie. The site just released an online preview priced at $8.99 featuring 160 pages of stats, analysis, scouting reports, etc. The beauty of buying an online guide is that late roster changes will update automatically, greatly reducing the chance to get burned on draft day.


In a marketing stunt reminiscent of the launch of Wi-Fi capabilities on Southwest, JetBlue is promoted its new routes and new Wi-Fi service from LAX-JFK and LAX-Logan yesterday by inviting a group of YouTube stars on board to stream and tweet from a mile high. Howcast produced videos from notables such as Kevin Nalts, Delphine Dijon, Justine Ezarik and Meghan Asha, notes AdAge. Wi-Fi is beginning to catch on in the U.S., particularly among upstart carriers. (Editor’s note: This entry is being written from an AirTran flight, which partners with Gogo for its fleet-wide Wi-Fi services; $10 buys you flight-long access.)


Consumer Goods is a rising category in online advertising, according to Nielsen as spending has increased by 57% in the past two years alone. In Q1 2009, YouTube was the top entertainment web site advertised on by consumer product companies, with 637.7 million display ad impressions and a 24% share of all advertising in the genre. (This should be considered by those analysts who continue to debate about when the portal will reach profitability.) and were No. 2 and No. 3, with 323.1 million and 202.8 million ad impressions, respectively.
Top 10 Entertainment Sites Advertised on by Consumer Goods Co.s – Q1 2009 (U.S.)
Site                 Q1 ’08          Q1 ’09             Year-over-Year
               Image-Based Ad   Image-Based Ad    %  Growth   
              Impressions (000)  Impressions (000)
YouTube              94,939         637,727                  572             115,746        323,142                  179          129,027         202,815                   57      
IMDb                  516,138        162,598                  -68      
Yahoo!                 93,850        161,809                   72         N/A         132,862                  N/A      
NBC                    229,551        116,000                 -49      
ABC                     73,426          96,145                   31          110,967          74,851                 -33         
MSN                   161,890          69,866                 -57      
Source: Nielsen AdRelevance
Gannett’s PointRoll and Tribune Media Services are teaming to introduce a new online ad format aimed at television marketers out drive tune in. ChannelFinder generates interest in the advertiser’s programming by showcasing promotional video clips, interviews, interactive polls or games. These feature-rich ads are further enhanced by localized TV listings data from TMS, which promotes viewership by offering specific channel information based on the user’s location and TV provider along with a call-to-action message.


A group representing several independent French record labels filed a lawsuit against YouTube accusing the site of copyright infringement. The SPPF claims that more than 100 music videos that were taken down by request in 2008 soon found there way back on the site, per Billboard.
Keynote Systems announced a new subscription-based service called Mobile Competitive Monitoring Analysis. It is designed to give wireless carriers, aggregators, infrastructure providers and enterprise companies new insight into performance standards for SMS, MMS, Data Throughput, WAP and Streaming.


Broadband penetration in the U.S. has risen to 63%, up from 55% a year ago as under-connected groups such as seniors and low-income groups catch up, according to a new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Yet prices have also risen with adoption rates: the ave. price paid increased from $34.50 to $39 and folks who claimed to have only one choice for broadband paid nearly $45 for their service. Cable’s share of broadband homes increased to 41% from 39% in each of last two previous surveys, with DSL dropping from 46% to a 33% in terms of market share. About 7% of the U.S. still connects to the internet using dial-up. Among this group, 32% said broadband prices would have to drop to get them to switch while 17% said it has yet to be made available in there areas.
Trends in Home Broadband Adoption by Demographic Group
Yearly Adoption Rates           2006   2007   2008   2009
All Adults                              42%  47%   55%    63%  
Male                                     45     50      58       64 
Female                                 38     44       53       63
Parents w/minor kids               51     60       69       77
18-29 year olds                     55     63       70       77 
30-49                                   50     59       69       72
50-64                                   38     40       50       61
White                                   42      48       57      65
Black                                    31      40      43       46
Hispanic                                41     47       56       68
Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project


XM launched that iPhone app yesterday and there is much missing in terms of content: there’s no Howard Stern, no MLB baseball, no NFL and no Nascar. The omissions beg the question, why pay $2.99/month when there are so many compelling free music apps out there? (There is Bob Dylan’s wonderful Deep Tracks show, but again the Pandora Dylan channel – not curated by Bob himself – is free.
Fox Mobile Entertainment found a new platform for Seth McFarlane’s droll Family Guy characters. The Freakin’ Sweet Family Guy app for the iPhone offers up bite-sized clips, access to full episodes (for purchase) via direct links to the iTunes store and cool mash-up tool. It costs $1.99 (despite being ad supported.)
Pet themed ad network DogTime Media launched a useful Facebook app to encourage its more than 22 million monthly unique visitors to adopt a dog. Users gain points by sponsoring dogs or inviting others to join the group. Frontline Plus is underwriting the program through September as part of a larger media buy. It is estimated that 6-8 million dogs and cats enter shelters each year, and half of those are euthanized.


Electronic Arts
named John Schappert, the Corporate VP of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, as its new COO. John replaces another John, John Pleasants, who is will leave EA to become CEO of Playdom.


Weather permitting, golf fans will be able to watch live video coverage of the U.S. Open using a free iPhone app powered by IBM (which also powered the excellent Masters app). The application benefits from the iPhone 3.0 OS’ enhanced processing speed and video capabilities, so the video should look even better. Coverage of the tourney is also available on, which is offering HD-quality steaming of “marquee groups” through Friday. (I’m sure tournament sponsors are hoping that Tiger and Phil will get paired up again.) The app and the USGA site will also feature coverage of the 17th hole on Saturday and Sunday as players jockey for position. Streaming numbers of last year’s Monday 18-hole playoff between Tiger and Rocco Mediate went through the roof as fans were forced to go to work – capturing one of the first huge sporting moments online. Let’s enjoy these moments while we can because there are signs that free streaming of sporting events may go by way of the dodo; Jeff Zucker hinted as much in a comprehensive interview with paidcontent this week.
Correction: Wednesday’s edition misstated the extent of the job cuts being performed at MySpace. FIM’s social networking outfit will cut 30% of its workforce or about 400 employees to leave 1,000 staffers remaining – not cut 1,000 jobs. We regret the error. However reports continue to circulate that there may be further cuts at Fox Interactive Media, so stay tuned.
Later — Wayne
 Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital

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JOB OPENING: CABLE AFFILIATE SALES EXECUTIVE/Los Angeles: Media Company seeking Top-Tier Cable Affiliate Sales Exec. Min 10 years experience; excellent compensation package with Benefits.Please Email Resume to: [email protected] EOE (6/26)

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JOB OPENING: PT FREELANCE AP, ONLINE/Sesame Workshop/NYC: 2+yrs web exp.; Support producers on content dev& production; CMS, basic HTML, digital platforms;log +track assets. EOE/M/F/D/AAP Apply [email protected] (6/26)
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JOB OPENING: TRAFFIC COORDINATOR/The Hotel Networks/NYC: 1-2yrs exp broadcast contracts, copy & logs. Must be detailed/self-starter. Resumes to: [email protected] (6/26)

JOB OPENING: FORECASTING ANALYST/MTVN/NYC: 1-2yrs exp budget models & finance or ad sales pricing/inventory. Must have advanced Excel and strong analytical skills. EOE/M/F/D/AAP. Apply (6/25)

JOB OPENING: FORECASTING MGR/MTVN/NYC: 3+yrs exp preparing revenue forecast reports and budget models. Must have advanced Excel, analytical and quantitative skills. EOE/M/F/D/AAP. Apply (6/25)

JOB OPENING: CNS-PROJ COORD/Comcast/NY: Supp Sales & Traffic sys by identifying, resrchng/resolving tech/bus issues. Help w/Quality Assurance, app train’g/implementation. Apply:|166 EOE (6/24)

JOB OPENING: LICENSING COORDINATOR/MTV Networks/NYC: 2+yrs oversee Nickelodeon accessories product dev/ensure development is within contractual rights. EOE/M/F/D/AAP. Apply (6/23)

JOB OPENING: FREELANCE RESEARCHER – AUDIENCE RESEARCH/Latitude/BOS: Join innovative research team – design/program/analyze/report audience rsrch, 5+ yrs research exp & 4 yr degree. See: Apply: [email protected] (6/20)

JOB OPENING: SR ONLINE ADVRTSNG ANALYST/ Interactive Media Group/NY: Exp. Forecast/mng online inv./ ad hoc reporting/comm of inventory landscape. , Req ID# 188518 or [email protected]  (6/20)

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SITUATION WANTED: FIELD/SEGMENT/POST PRODUCER: Available for work. Experience with MTV, VH1, E!, CMT, ABC, NBC and independent projects. Please e-mail me at [email protected] (6/25)


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] (6/22)

SITUATION WANTED: CREATIVE SCRIPT DOCTOR with 16 yrs as Broadcast Exec/Network Story Editor can consult/edit/polish your TV or film pitch/bible/screenplay. Credits include DeGrassi, DaVinci & Dragon Boys. [email protected] (6/20)

SITUATION WANTED: COUNSEL/STDS & PRACTICES/DEV (NY/LA: IP atty w/ 15 yrs in Events, B’way, TV (CBS, MTV, Nick, Golf) looking to fuse legal knowledge w/ love of entertainment. Open to all opportunities. Email [email protected] (6/20)

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