Friday, March 16th, 2012

Cynopsis: DIGITAL
03/16/12

Good morning. It’s Friday, March 16, 2012, and this is your first early morning digital briefing. If you would like to read this or any other Cynopsis editions online, click here.

An upcoming update to Google’s search offering will expand on the concept of “semantic search,” a technology that focuses more on the process of understanding the meaning of words in order to match queries with relevant content and pieces of information, according to The Wall Street Journal. It will support Google’s current keyword-search technology. Semantic search will be powered by a large database of “entities,” or information on people, places and things, that Google has collected in the last couple of years. Google’s index of entities currently stands at more than 200 million. As Google will also look to provide more facts and direct answers to queries at the top of the results page via this index, it is hoping some users stay on its sites longer, according to sources cited by the report. This means semantic search may not only impact Google’s ability to deliver more relevant ads, but also the amount of real estate Google has on which to place ads.

~ MULTIPLATFORM CONTENT NEWS ~

Producer Mark Burnett has announced that his company, One Three Television, has bought a stake in Youtoo, a software company that operates an interactive TV platform in which viewers can upload a video to Youtoo.com and then potentially watch it be broadcast to 177 out of the top 200 markets via Youtoo TV. Youtoo.com also serves a social network, housing several applications that boost audience interactivity via games and competitions. One Three Television will look to integrate the interactive technology into shows it produces. Burnett’s digital production company VIMBY previously produced 240 short-form programs for the Youtoo TV launch in September 2011. Burnett and Youtoo CEO Chris Wyatt are also planning to introduce this technology to major TV networks as a new way to build and deepen audience engagement.

Capablue has launched a new suite of products: Connected Plus, Lite, Companion and Commerce, all of which are based on Capablue Connected, its cloud-based content distribution and monetization platform for connected devices, and are designed to help content owners reach new audiences worldwide across multiple devices, without having to develop their own platforms. Connected Plus is a full-service VOD platform; Lite is a self-contained white-labeled solution that enables clients to quickly launch interactive apps for the connected TV; Companion is an app framework for developing second-screen services; and Commerce is a white-labeled solution for brands and retailers to build “TV experiences that integrate product promotion and e-commerce.” Capablue will unveil the products at the IP&TV World Forum in London next week.

Thanks to a new collaboration between Verizon and ESPN, Verizon FiOS TV customers can access their ESPN NCAA tournament brackets directly from their TVs, tablets, computers or mobile phones via the new Tournament Challenge app. To access the app, click on the “Widgets” button on the FiOS TV remote, select “FiOS TV Widgets” and then the icon for the app under the Featured, Sports and Game categories. Once launched, users can navigate between live games and their personalized, regularly updated bracket. Since the tourney kicked off yesterday, at this point this offering is for those who have already filled out a bracket on ESPN’s “Tournament Challenge” game. This follows an earlier partnership between the two companies that brought ESPN Fantasy Football to multiple platforms for Verizon customers. Ensequence, a software company that helps clients build interactive TV experiences for multiple devices, developed the app.

~ INNOVATORS & START-UPS ~

Path, the “private” social networking app, and former Website of the Day, might raise $25 to $30 million in Series B funding, which could value the company at as much as $250 million, reports TechCrunch. The report cites a couple of factors for why the start-up may be close to securing additional funding: interest from existing investors and a recent spike in prominent Series B funding announcements, particularly that of Instagram this past weekend.


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~ DIGITAL ADVERTISING ~

Medio, a predictive analytics company, has launched the Medio inGenius Suite, a big data analytics solution for identifying revenue opportunities in customer usage patterns on connected devices. The cloud-based platform uses a set of predictive analytics algorithms to combine real-time information, such as location, device type and application usage, with customer interest and tendencies on connected devices. The initial product in the inGenius Suite is Medio inSight, which enables developers to configure their apps to begin collecting user events and usage data. Using predictive analytics technology, inSight then unearths different user segments that can be analyzed and tracked by application, geography and other relevant app metrics, depending on industry, across multiple connected devices. The theory is, by better understanding users through how they interact with their connected devices, the better companies are able to engage and monetize them. Medio has served 15+ billion recommendations on more than 10,000 different mobile devices, says CEO Rob Lilleness.

~ TECH DEALS, MERGERS & SKIRMISHES ~

Cisco has agreed to purchase British TV software company NDS Group, from News Corp. and European private equity firm Permira Advisers, for approximately $5 billion in cash and debt. NDS Group creates technology and applications that enable pay-TV operators to deliver digital content to set-top boxes, DVRs, PCs, mobile phones and other media devices, thereby enabling subscribers to access, search for and view digital content from any device anywhere. Its current customers include DirecTV and BSkyB. Cisco said that it wants to use NDS to complement and accelerate the delivery of its Videoscape multiscreen viewing platform. The acquisition will also help Cisco’s efforts to expand its reach to service providers in emerging markets, including China and India, where NDS already has a presence. The deal represents Cisco’s increasing focus on video. “Our acquisition of NDS fits squarely into this strategy, enabling content and service providers to deliver new video solutions that leverage the cloud and drive monetization opportunities and service differentiation,” said Cisco Chairman and CEO, John Chambers. It is expected to close in the second half of 2012.

BermanBraun has acquired Whiskey Media for an undisclosed price, according to AllThingsD. Per the deal, BermanBraun will take ownership over three Whiskey Media sites: Screened, a video entertainment site; Tested, a tech review site; and Anime Vice, an anime and manga comics-focused site. Giant Bomb and Comic Vine, two other sites owned by Whiskey, will be sold to a different company, which the report says is rumored to be CBS Interactive. BermanBraun is an entertainment and production company that builds interactive websites. According the report, this deal would allow BermanBraun to further scale its online content production capabilities.

~ TRENDS, RESEARCH, ETC. ~

The latest SMART report from Millennial Media is a special Year in Review edition that takes a look at the top mobile ad verticals, as well as year-over-year data on trends such as top advertiser campaign goals. In 2011, nine verticals experienced triple-digit year-over-year growth, with finance, which grew 314% year-over-year, leading the way as the top global vertical on Millennial’s platform. “Sustained In-Market Presence” was the leading campaign goal in 2011 and made up over 30% of all campaigns; “Driving lead generation/registrations” came in second. Other interesting findings from the SMART report include:

  • 24% of all campaigns in 2011 had a “watch video” post-click action.
  • 31% of campaigns enabled consumers to place a call and 32% let consumers download an app.
  • Gaming grew 16% year-over-year and was the top overall app category in 2011, jettisoning Music & Entertainment from the lead position.

According to a new eMarketer forecast, there will be 1.43 billion social network users across the world in 2012, which represents a 19.2% increase over 2011. Via its new “Worldwide Social Network Usage: Market Size and Growth Forecast” report, eMarketer also predicts that 63.2% of internet users across the world will visit a social network at least once a month in 2012, and that number will climb to 67.6% in 2013 and 70.7% in 2014. This means, at those rates, 20.4% of people in this world will use a social network in 2012, jumping to 25.8% in 2014. The report says a big reason for this growth is the rise and expansion of Facebook, and therefore predicts that 837.3 million people worldwide will use Facebook in 2012, a 27.4% increase from 2011. The U.S. will lead the way with 141.2 million users in 2012, followed by India (68.1 million), Indonesia (49.1 million), Brazil (45.4 million) and Mexico (25.6 million).

The web will generate 21% more ad spend every year until 2014, when it will account for 22.1% of the total market, according to a new study from ZenithOptimedia, per paidContent.org. Citing the growth in ad dollars going toward social networks, ZenithOptimedia also predicts that display advertising is approaching paid search in terms of the web’s preeminent ad type. It forecasts display ad spend to rise to 41% of internet ad spend in 2014, up from 36% in 2011. For now, ZenithOptimedia expects TV to maintain its share of advertising. Overall, the firm expects global ad spend to grow 4.8% in 2012.

Viggle, the social TV app that rewards users when they audio-tag and check-in to a TV show they’re watching, has surpassed 250,000 register users and exceeded 7 million check-ins since its launch. Viggle reports that its users are spending an average of 89 minutes a day within the app and are engaging an average of 36 times per session with the app’s selection of TV-related games, videos and interactive ads. In addition, 123,000 rewards have been redeemed, with gift cards from Best Buy, iTunes, Amazon and Starbucks being the most popular. In addition, the company says it has been able to influence what people are checking into by highlighting shows in the “What’s On” section of the app. “We are seeing a very clear correlation between how we promote shows in the app and the volume of related check-ins,” said Chris Stephenson, President, Viggle.

Adweek commissioned analysis firm NetBase to monitor social media commentary in regard to the just-finished SXSW Interactive festival. Overall, SXSWi generated more than 500,000 social media mentions, with a large percentage of them unsurprisingly coming from California (19%), New York (18%) and Texas (17%). Most of the social media conversation about the festival happened on Twitter (93%), with Facebook and blogs accounting for 3% each. Twitter, Instagram and YouTube were the most mentioned brands that represented at SXSWi, while Samsung captured the most social buzz (around 165,000) mentions in terms of non-media/tech brands. In the category of apps, Highlight was the clear winner on the social media front, accounting for 72% of all social conversations regarding apps.


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~ WEBSITE OF THE DAY ~

For any Kiefer Sutherland fans out there (and really, who doesn’t love Jack Bauer?): FOX is streaming a live webcast of a Q&A with Kiefer Sutherland and Tim Kring, the creator of Touch, a new series that stars the former 24 actor, this Sunday, March 18, at 6:30pm ET/3:30pm PT. The streams, which will also feature coverage of the Touch world premiere red carpet event, will be available on the series’ page on FOX.com and its Facebook page. Questions will be taken from the live audience, as well as through Twitter, where viewers can submit questions for Sutherland and Kring (Heroes, Crossing Jordan) using #TouchGlobalEvent.

Later – Sahil
Sahil Patel, Associate Reporter for Cynopsis Digital
03.16.12

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JOB OPENING: SCHEDULING MANAGER/WE tv/NYC: research/analyze competitive data, create monthly VOD schedule, strategic scheduling Resumes to: [email protected] (3/23)

JOB OPENING: LIFESTYLE PROD & AP/NYC: Exp’d for 1/2 hr talk/make-over show. Must have strong writing skills and must be able to think outside the norm.  Resume must incl email/phone. Send to: [email protected] (3/23)

JOB OPENING: DIR AD SALES MKTG/HGTV-DIY/NYC: Create sponsorship proposals, mng prtnrshp relationships, dvlp integ & talent related plans & proactive sponsorship campaigns. Info: http://www.scrippsnetworks.com # 2939 (3/22)

JOB OPENING: COORD AD SALES MKTG/HGTV-DIY/NYC: 2-3+yrs Mktg/Sales. Detailed support of Ad Sales sponsorships. Must be detail oriented with excellent communication skills and event exp. Info: http://www.scrippsnetworks.com # 2940 (3/22)

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JOB OPENING: JR. LAWYER/Radical Media/NYC: Looking for a Jr. Lawyer to join our NY team! 2-4 Years experience required. Please send resumes to: [email protected] (3/20)

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JOB OPENING: SR DIR AD SALES OPS & PLANNING/DIRECTV NYC: Lead planning & ops for national Digital & Addressable Advertising sales. Apply: http://DIRECTV.taleo.net/careersection/2/jobdetail.ftl?lang=en&job=1200276&src=UNV-10160 (3/20)

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JOB OPENING: ACCOUNT SERVICES REP/ABC FAMILY/DETROIT: service accts build media plans track delivery flighting of deals Interact w/agency back-up AE provide office support Apply at: www.disneycareers.com ID: 29206 (3/19)

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].

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: CREATIVE ADVERTISING MANAGER: looking for a position. Experienced in the creation, development and finishing of Theatrical trailers and TV Spots. Please e-mail [email protected] (3/23)

SITUATION WANTED: EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT POSITION FILM/TV (NY): 10 years experience: Interned for a President, Executive Assistant to SVP/VP/film director/celebrity [email protected] (3/23)

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SITUATION WANTED: Jeanne Intile Burns, VOICE-OVER ARTIST/VOICE COACH, Cell: 845-721-9681, E-Mail: [email protected], Web Links: www.castingnetworks.com/jburns, http://jburns.voices.com, www.allegro-music.com (“American Biographies”) (3/22)

SITUATION WANTED: Recent college graduate, looking for an entry-level position in digital media. Graduated from Siena College with a B.S. Degree in Marketing/Management. Resume upon request. Contact [email protected] (3/20)

SITUATION WANTED: SALES ASSISTANT/(CHI): Interned at Comcast SportsNet in Ad Sales, Works as Sales Assistant at NBCUniversal. Has B.A. from DePaul in PR/Advertising. Resume upon request. Contact [email protected] (3/20)

E-mail [email protected] or call Trish Pihonak at 203.381.9096 for rates and specs for Job Openings.

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