Friday, June 24th, 2011

Cynopsis: DIGITAL
06/24/11

Good morning, it’s Friday, June 24, 2011, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.  If you would like to read this or any other Cynopsis edition online, click here

As Viacom and Time Warner Cable attempt to settle their differences over allowing iPad owners to stream live TWC cable programming to the device within their homes, the parent company of MTV Networks has levied a fresh lawsuit against Cablevision Systems, demanding that the MSO also pull Viacom’s channels from its Optimum iPad app. The suit is similar to the one Viacom levied against TWC earlier this year and was filed in the same court – the­ U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Meanwhile, both Viacom and Time Warner Cable have decided to put their perspective lawsuits on hold, asking that legal proceedings halt while the two attempt to reach an agreement. Viacom’s position is that current licensing agreements to not cover rights for programming to be delivered to secondary screens – whether in the home or not.
 

~ MULTIPLATFORM CONTENT NEWS ~

 
Hulu seems to think that now may be as good a time as any to sell. The News Corp., Walt Disney Co., Comcast Corp. and Providence Equity joint venture has retained investment banks Guggenheim Partners and Morgan Stanley to facilitate a potential sale, per the LA Times, kicking off a wave of speculation about what the company might be worth and what would happen to its content relationships in the event of a sale. News Corp., for one, has agreed in principle to a new deal that would keep Fox shows such “Glee” and “Family Guy” on the service in return for expanded ad time within the shows on the portal. (Hulu already serves more ads than any other video service on the web.)
 
Yahoo‘s omg! celebrity site has launched a new fashion-themed web series hosted by “So You Think You Can Dance’s” Cat Deeley. The twice-weekly, 20-episode In the Dressing Room offers viewers insights into Cat’s wardrobe selections and the fashion inspiration behind each look she sports on the show.
 

~ INNOVATORS & START-UPS ~

 
LA-based video network start-up WooMedia launched a new group video chat service dubbed MonsterChat.com in April, enabling groups of up to 24 friends to enter video chat rooms presented in a mosaic of live video screens. MonsterChat’s first month of live activity resulted in 400,000 visits and over 200,000 registrations, according to WooMedia, with 1,000 new chat rooms being created a day. (Three-quarters of the groups formed are private.) The company is planning to adapt the platform for mobile, with iOS and Android apps for both smartphones and tablets in the works.
 

~ TECHNOLOGY DEALS, MERGERS AND SKIRMISHES ~

 
The FTC is preparing to deepen its probe into Google‘s search practices after competitors have accused the company of favoring its own services over rivals’ in its search results. Companies both in the U.S. and Europe have levied complaints about the search giant and the EU opened its own antitrust investigation into the company last November. The FTC plans to send Google a civil investigative demand (i.e. a civil subpoena) to request more information into its practices within 5 days, according to a WSJ report.
 
The Winklevoss twins, founders of the ill-fated social networking site ConnectU, may have decided not to take their fight against Facebook to the Supreme Court but they are still pressing their case in a federal court in Boston, according to the LA Times. Cameron and Tyler’s filing is asking the judge to investigate whether Facebook intentionally or inadvertently suppressed evidence in their case that led to the original settlement, which awarded them $20 million in cash and $45 million worth of private Facebook stock at a time the company was valued at $15 billion.
 

~ TRENDS, RESEARCH, ETC.  ~

 
Mobile ad spending is projected to more than quadruple in the next four years to $4 billion with nearly three quarters of that spending coming from local markets using location-based targeting and calls-to-action, according to new BIA/Kelsey report. Mobile ad spending will grow from $790 million in 2010, when local was already responsible for more than half, to $4 billion by 2015 with the local portion growing to 70% of that total. “Revenues will grow from not only ad volume, but also premiums placed on location-targeted ads,” according to Michael Boland, senior analyst and program director of BIA/Kelsey’s Mobile Local Media practice.
 
As a weekly feature here in Cynopsis: Digital, we will list a ranking of the cable and broadcast shows that are generating the most activity on leading social networks and TV check-in services. This is a weekly aggregate of Trendrr‘s daily Social Television Charts, a service of New York-based digital agency Wiredset.
 
Trendrr.TV Most Social TV shows for the week of 06/15 to 06/21
Show                     Network  Total mentions (across Twitter, Facebook, Miso and GetGlue)
Glee                           Fox,          426, 519
The Voice                   NBC           425,650
Pretty Little Liars   ABC Family      237,911
Game Thrones,          HBO           237,863
Basketball Wives        VH1           214, 571
Family Guy                Fox            152, 837
Miss USA Pageant       NBC           142,474
The Kardashians          E!             112,007
Te Simpsons              Fox            103, 636
Teen Wolf                  MTV              98,048
Source: Trendrr TV
 

~ GADGETS & APPS ~

 
HP
is launching an editorial magazine app called the webOS Pivot to promote applications for the HP TouchPad tablet, which hits stores on July 1 starting at $500 for a Wi-Fi-only version. Pivot will be published for free on a monthly basis in English, French, German and Spanish and offer write-ups about new apps, trends and personalities in the digital content space.
 

~ EXECUTIVE MOVES ~

 
Facebook announced that Netflix Chairman and CEO Reed Hastings has joined the company’s Board of Directors. He becomes the company’s sixth director, joining VC directors Marc Andreessen, Peter Thiel and Jim Breyer and WaPo Chairman and CEO Donald Graham. Hastings guided his own company through the IPO process back in 2002 and also sits on the Microsoft board, an investor in Facebook.
 
The New York-based Digital Place-based Advertising Association has upped Ryan Pogy to Director, Member Services and hired Noah Klas to fill Ryan’s previous position of Manager, Member Services.
 


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~ WEBSITE OF THE DAY ~

 
London-based mobile music recognition service Shazam has closed on a $32 million round of funding led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Institutional Venture Partners with existing investor DN Capital participating. No word on what the company was valued at, but the maker of the popular music discovery app (which was featured prominently in Apple commercials when the iPhone first launched) has been adding more than 1 million new downloads globally each week and is approaching a community of 150 million users across 200 counties. The company recently adopted its song recognition technology to the TV, enabling brands to embed interactive branding and messaging in commercials and shows. For example, NBC’s SyFy ran “shazamable” moments during the midseason finale of Eureka to deliver exclusive extras via the app. Advertisers are clamoring to reach viewers in such ways that jump off the screen of the boring :30 spot so look for Shazam to grow this part of its business in leaps and bounds.
 
Correction : Digital Broadcasting Group’s new CMO Joe Epstein will be based in DBG’s Los Angeles office.

Later – Wayne
 Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis Digital
06.24.11

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Cyn opsis CLASSIFIEDSFor More classifieds, visit the Cynopsis.com classifieds page here  .


JOB OPENING: EMERGING MEDIA TECHNOLOGIST/NBCU/NYC: Full time technical position focused on Mobile (Social Media, QR codes, Tablets, Apps, Augmented Reality, etc.), Connected TVs and Automatic Content Recognition. http://goo.gl/119Bd (7/1)

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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].

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SITUATION WANTED: ENTERTAINMENT MARKETING EXECUTIVE (NY) seeks SVP/VP Marketing position in television. Integrated, cross-platform planning, strategy, branding, partnerships, business development. [email protected] (6/25)

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E-mail [email protected]  or call Trish Pihonak at 203.381.9096 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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