Friday, June 27th, 2008

Cynopsis: DIGITAL


Good morning, it’s Friday, June 27, 2008, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.

With Yahoo squarely in its review mirror Microsoft is out spending like a drunken sailor. The company agreed to buy both Portuguese mobile software creator MobiComp and (according to VentureBeat) Silicon Valley-based semantic search engine Powerset on Thursday. (No purchase prices were announced.) MobiComp designs contact and calendar suites for handsets as well as social networking plug-ins for sites such as Facebook. Powerset has developed an algorithm that gleans meaning from phrases or partial sentences. One of Powerset’s most popular tools so far is an iPhone app that speeds information retrieval from Wikipedia. 


Sony Pictures Television International announced the launch of three pan-Latin American mobile content portals distributed across 34 carriers and reaching 300 million mobile users in 16 countries across the region. The distribution pipelines give SPTI a marketplace for video clips, wallpapers, ringtones and mobile games sourced from Animax, Sony Entertainment Television, and AXN television networks. Region specific mobile content offerings include Nada Que Ver (“Nothing To Watch,”) Brazil’s Next Top Model and the animated sci-fi series Afterworld.
is providing a glimpse behind the magic that goes into creating SouthPark, including raw animation footage, storyboard sequences and production art. While you’re at it check out the new Scene Mixer mash-up tool. 


MySpace unveiled the open standard MySpace Data Availability Project, allowing third party developers to build applications that place user profile information on outside sites and automatically notify friends and family when profiles are updated. (More details here.)
Call for Content: In other news MySpace launched contest with inviting users to upload short citizen journalist videos in the hopes of being chosen to cover the National Conventions this summer for MSNBC. Decision 08 submissions will be accepted until July 21.
Teen-targeted online virtual world Habbo celebrated a milestone this week, surpassing the 100 millionth avatar created. A UK user created #100 million and was rewarded with a real-life Macbook Air (in addition to a bunch of virtual booty, including cash, and a Habbo room made especially for the occasion.)


Apple store drones, PR agents and customer service reps are being as tight-lipped as can be regarding details of the 3G iPhone leading up to the July 11 launch. Apple has actually distributed a 3-page document to sales personnel instructing employees not to gossip about features or, under any circumstances, hold an iPhone for a customer, according to Apple Insider. A report issued yesterday from FBR Capital claims Apple has already upped its chip orders for the iPhone to more than 15 million units.


The Seattle P-I is taking a comprehensive look back at the career of Bill Gates this week as he prepares to step down from his job as chairman of Microsoft. During his research, reporter Todd Bishop turned up this candid internal email from Mr. Gates in which he fumbles with the “systematic degradation” of Windows usability. It’s a comedy of errors! When coupled with the report that the IT staff of longtime Microsoft partner Intel is refusing to upgrade to Vista, it makes you wonder if Bill isn’t reconsidering his retirement …


The FCC voted to consider new rules requiring networks to notify viewers when product placement deals are struck with advertisers.
Speaking of semantics, a group of online advertising executives led by CEO Amiad Solomon and former Tacoda executive Matthew Goldstein launched a new semantic ad platform based on natural language processing. SemanticMatch, from start-up Peer39, is out to take contextual and behavioral targeting to a more complex level by insuring keyword search results are based on meaning rather than simple keyword indexing.  


Citing data from Hitwise, claims it is beating out the 6 commercial broadcast websites in the U.S. in terms of unique visits. launched a major search optimization initiative and underwent a major redesign earlier this year, upgrading to a cleaner look and adding hours of new and archived video content.  
Top Visited US Broadcast Network TV Websites (Week ending June 21, 2008)
Rank Network Website Market Share of Visits
  1 PBS                              24.23%
  2 ABC                           19.35%
  3 NBC                            17.85%
4 CBS                              17.69%
5 FOX*                             17.32%
6 The CW                         3.33%
7 MyNetworkTV        .24%
Source: Custom report from Hitwise, *includes traffic aggregated from stand alone websites,,, and
Despite the continued proliferation of video portals on the web, YouTube increased its market share of unique visits from 60% to 75% of the online video marketplace during the last year according to panel-based Hitwise.
Top 5 Online Video Websites ranked by Market Share of U.S. Visits
Rank    Name         May-08         May-07      Percent Change
1       YouTube        75.43%        59.95%           26%
2    MySpaceTV         9.01%        16.06%          -44%
3   Google Video        3.73%          7.80%          -52%
4   Yahoo! Video        1.92%          2.77%          -31%
5        Veoh               1.13%          0.86%           32%
Source: Hitwise


Yahoo announced a major realignment of its executive ranks in an effort to centralize control of product development and execution. The company is creating 3 new teams each reporting to President Sue Decker:

  • Ash Patel, former manager of the Platforms & Infrastructure group, will lead the Audience Products Division, responsible for product strategy and management
  • Hillary Schneider, previous head of the Global Partners Solutions group, will be accountable for all Go To Market activity in the U.S. Head of the Yahoo Media Group Scott Moore will report to Hillary
  • The Insight Strategy group, still looking for leader, will work on unification of strategies across platform.

Several tech-related appointments were also made under CTO Ari Balough:

  • Venkat Panchapakesan will head up the new Audience Technology Group
  • Prabhakar Raghavan will be in charge of Search Strategy
  • Tuoc Luong is the interim leader of the Search Product Team
  • David Ku will supervise the Advertising Product Team, placed within search

James Sterling has joined social entertainment studio EQAL as SVP/Business Affairs and Operations. He will oversee EQAL’s business and legal affairs both in the U.S. and abroad. James fulfilled a similar role at Mark Burnett Productions before joining EQAL.


has decided what to do with Atom Films. One of the very first video sharing sites on the web acquired by MTV in 2006, Mika Salmi founded the site in Seattle back when dialup was the norm (Mika is now President of Global Digital Media for MTV Networks.) It has relaunched as – a comedy portal producing original programming and user generated fare for multiple platforms including online, gaming platforms, mobile devices and TV. Unlike the iFilm/ merger this move seems much more organic. Comedy is still the dominant entertainment genre in web video, and Atom has compiled a ton of great stuff over the years including videos, animations, flash games. And with Viacom as a parent and Comedy Central as a big brother, there are wonderful opportunities for cross-pollination. For instance Border Patrol, one of Atom’s 4 new original web series produced by Josh Greenbaum, Ben McMillan and Ivan Reitman (Old School,) is already being developed as a show for Comedy Central. The site also has a cool user driven “upload showdown” system which borrows a little from Metacafe and Funny Or Die. Users vote up the best UGC, and videos that reach “pro” status earn promotion on the site, a licensing deal with royalty payments and a spot on the Atom TV show, which airs every Monday night at 2 am on Comedy Central.

Later — Wayne
 Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital

Cynopsis Digital Ad Sales:
Jason Cesare – 732-718-0629 / [email protected]
Classifieds – Trish Pihonak- 203-926-9878 / [email protected]

Cynopsis website – Video Resumes, Extended Classified Ads, Archives, and the Cynopsis Daily Video

CableU – Know Networks Better. Pitch Smarter. Click here


What would a year be without something new from Cyn opsis? Introducing …

Cynopsis Media: Top Tier
Executive Search Division

High level executive search, candidates fully screened and vetted, meeting precisely your criteria.

For more information, call Trish Pihonak 203.926.9878
if you’re looking to make an executive change, or are looking for a change of scenery yourself.
[email protected] .

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

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, CONTENT DVLPMNT/SPIN MASTER’S NEWLY LAUNCHED ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY/TORONTO: Manage the development slate. 3 yrs exp in similar role. Full job details on Resumes to: [email protected] (7/3)

JOB OPENING: RESEARCH ANALYST/ Disney*ABC Dom TV/LA: Support synd/ABC Studios. 1 yr Broad/Cable TV or research intern, BA, strong writing/analytical skills. Knowledge of Nielsen software a +. Apply (req.168214) (7/3)

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JOB OPENING: PROJECT COORD/Discovery/MD: Assist Marketing Mgrs in developing and executing marketing campaigns. 1-3 yrs mark/adv exp. Bachelor degree required. No relo assistance available. Req#8014 (7/2)

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JOB OPENING: PRODUCER /HISTORY/A&ETV Networks/Stamford, CT:Seeking exp’d producers w/ both long form prgrmng & promo experience. Strong background in graphics production. Apply [email protected] (7/2)

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SPRING AND SUMMER INTERNSHIPS – These positions are for credit only – nobody gets paid here. They are 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] .

SITUATION WANTED ADS, POSTED BY THOSE LOOKING TO BE HIRED … Interested in posting your Video Resume? Contact [email protected] for more information ….

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E-mail [email protected] for rates and specs for Job Openings.

Interested in posting your Video Resume? Contact [email protected] for more information ….

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

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