Friday, May 16th, 2008

Cynopsis: DIGITAL

05/16/08

Good morning, it’s Friday, May 16, 2008, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.
 
CBS became a major force in the online tech publishing arena with one fell swoop (pending approval), acquiring San Francisco based CNET Networks for $1.8 billion – a 45% premium to CNET’s closing share price on Wednesday. CNET is no longer the darling of Silicon Valley, but its strong brand equity in technology and collective 200 million worldwide unique users will make CBS Interactive a top 10 destination in terms of traffic and give it lots of gadget and gaming synergies to play with. The CNET sites, including CNET, ZDNet, GameSpot.com, TV.com, mp3.com and CNET news.com, will be combined with CBS’s national and local interactive businesses, informing news portals (CBSNews.com, CBS Television Station Interactive properties), affiliate sites (the CBS Audience Network) and recent web 2.0 acquisitions (last.fm, Wallstrip). And the two companies should find it easier to merge than other seemingly unlike entities. CBS Interactive President Quincy Smith consulted for with CNET when he worked for the investment bank Allen & Co.
 

~ MULTIPLATFORM CONTENT NEWS ~

 
NBC Sports beefed up its mobile content offerings available via video service NBC 2Go. Provided through FLO TV and MobiTV, NBC 2Go will feature live simulcast coverage of The Preakness on Saturday, The Senior PGA Championship on May 24, The French open from May 31 and The U.S. Open from June 12-15. The service will also pick up NHL playoff coverage, the AST Action Sports Dew Tour and every home Notre Dame football game.
 
Utilizing the popular handheld device as a Trojan horse of sorts, Disney Interactive Studios launched DGamer – a community site where North American Nintendo DS users can connect up and share games. DS users must have access to a wireless broadband access point to join the network. Kids can choose from a variety of Disney characters to serve as their avatar, which improve in stature as they complete in-game missions. The site launches in conjunction with the release of the Nintendo DS version of Disney/Walden Media’s The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, based on the film opening today.
 
Puzzled Grey’s Anatomy fans can now lob questions at producers via the new Ask Grey’s Anatomy video blog, the latest in a series of interactive blogs on ABC.com.
 
Cablevision added Music Choice to its iO line up of free on demand programming.
 
TVN Entertainment’s VOD services surpassed a penetration of 40 million homes with a current affiliate list comprised of 126 cariers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
 
Outdoor Channel announced it is now simulcasting in HD.
 

~ INNOVATORS & START-UPS ~

 
Animoto, makers of the web application that uses proprietary video orchestration technology to automatically generate videos around music, received an undisclosed amount of funding from Amazon. Animoto’s video generating Facebook app released in March has over 750,000 users.
 
Audio book site Podiobooks.com chose Wizzard Media‘s LibsynPRO dynamic ad insertion system to help monetize its library of serialized audiobooks.
 

~ GADGETS & APPS ~

 
Amazon.com launched a handy dandy MP3 Clips Widget allowing bloggers, social networkers and website owners to showcase song samples from Amazon’s catalog of over 5 million DRM free tracks. When a user listens to a song on your site then clicks over to buy it from Amazon, the owner can earn up to 10% in referral fees depending on the label. The Amazon MP3 Clips Widget comes on the heels of the release of several new digital product widgets from Amazon’s Associates Program, including the Kindle Chicklet, Your Video Widget and Unbox Movie & TV Preview Widget. Check out the list available to associate members here.
 

~ TECHNOLOGY DEALS, MERGERS AND SKIRMISHES ~

 
Carl Icahn sent an open letter to Yahoo detailing his proxy bid to replace the company’s entire board, naming former Viacom CEO Frank J. Biondi, Jr. and HDNet founder Mark Cuban among the replacements. Yahoo’s chairman Roy Bostock responded to letter, defending the board’s action and claiming Mr. Icahn “significantly misunderstood” the facts about the Microsoft proposal. 
 

~ DIGITAL ADVERTISING ~

 
Next New Networks landed a sponsorship deal with Janome sewing machines, which will target fashion minded do-it-yourselfers through the ThreadBanger Network. The deal includes product placements and product-themed segments on the ThreadHeads show. Janome also plans to release sewing machines sporting the ThreadBanger logo.
 

~ TRENDS, RESEARCH, ETC.  ~

 
Google Sites achieved the number one spot in ComScore‘s Top 50 U.S. Properties ranking for the first time with a total audience of more than 141 million visitors. Yahoo! Sites ranked second with 140.6 million visitors, followed by Microsoft Sites with 121.2 million visitors. The net’s total audience increased slightly with music community site Playlist.com posting the biggest monthly gain. Returning new episodes helped the TV category to increase 4% to 93.2 million visitors. Yahoo! TV led the category with 15.6 million visitors – a 38% bump from the previous month – followed by AOL Television with 12.5 million visitors and MySpace TV with 12 million visitors. Significant gains were also achieved by MSN TV (up 21% to 11.7 million visitors) and ABC.com (up 18% to 9 million visitors).
 
Top 10 Gaining Properties by Percentage Change in Unique Visitors* (U.S.)
    April 2008 vs. March 2008 – Total U.S. – Home, Work and University Locations
Total Unique Visitors (000)  
                                  Mar-08       Apr-08        % Change Rank by Unique Visitors
    PlayList.com             5,548        7,632             38                137
    MLB.com                  9,799       13,318           36                   76
    IRS.gov                  17,311       23,354           35                   34
    TheStreet.com Sites  3,733         4,667           25                 238
    Chrysler LLC             4,167         5,149           24                 209
    CondeNet Network     8,760       10,563           21                  97
    Lowes.com                8,728       10,445           20                  99
    Womensforum.com+  6,150       7,252            18                 149
    Yum! Brands Inc.       4,109        4,845           18                 224
    ABC.com                   7,667        9,032           18                 111
    Total Audience       188,010     190,728            1                  N/A
 * Ranking based on the top 250 properties in April 2008
Source: comScore Media Metrix
 
Here are some web metrics that address what a combined CBS/CNET will look like, courtesy of Nielsen Online. In April, CNET Networks had 21.2 million unique visitors who did not also visit a CBS Web property – meaning a 44% increase in visitors to the total unique audience of the two companies will result.
 
Unduplicated Unique Audience for CBS Corporation & CNET Networks, April 2008 (US, Home and Work)
Parent Company            Unique Audience (000)
CNET Networks                    31,394
CBS Corporation                  26,526
Unduplicated Audience         47,773
Source: Nielsen Online
 
Composition Index for Males 12-17 and 18-34 (U.S., Home and Work)
Demographic      CBS Corporation      CNET Networks
Male 12 – 17           50                        108
Male 18 – 34           104                      130
Source: Nielsen Online
Note: Average composition index is 100.
 
Unique Audience Growth for CBS Corporation & CNET Networks, April 2008
(US, Home and Work)
Parent Company           Apr-07 UA (000)     Apr-08 UA (000)     YOY Growth
CBS Corporation             21,927                  26,526                   21%
CNET Networks              31,899                   31,394                  -2%
Source: Nielsen Online
 

~ EXECUTIVE MOVES ~

 
Lisa Choi Owens is joining Scripps Networks as SVP/Online Partnerships and Distribution, reporting directly to Deanna Brown, President of the Interactive Group at Scripps Networks.  Owens will work on building distribution for Scripps’ lifestyle content over the internet and other devices, including mobile and video on demand.
 
Strategic marketing veteran David DeSocio was named SVP/Lifetime Partnerships, charged with creating marketing opportunities for clients across multiple platforms. He will be based in New York and report to Lifetime’s new EVP/Ad Sales, Debbie Richman. David joined Lifetime from OMD, where he was Chief Strategy Officer.
 


A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM www.IFC.COM – Official Website of the Independent Film Channel


From the people who brought you
TRAPPED IN THE CLOSET
comes … LUNCHBOX!
It’s time for LUNCH and brown-baggin’ it gets so booooring!
TUNE INTO LUNCHBOX @ IFC.COM,
the Official Website of the Independent Film Channel
LUNCHBOX serves up your daily dose of indie film, music, politics, TV and entertainment … on-the-go!

EVERY WEEKDAY AT NOON, log on for

LUNCHBOX @ IFC. COM.



~ WEBSITE OF THE DAY ~

 
Mark Cuban’s personal blog, aptly named blog maverick, is always a good read for those interested in the future of where media may be headed. True to his nature, the billionaire entertainment mogul pulls no punches and is never afraid to go out on a limb to provoke a thought or prove a point. Check out “Beating Google?,” posted the day before he was named among the Yahoo invaders. He wonders aloud what it would cost to pay the internet’s top publishers to remove themselves from the Google Index and thus render Google’s powerful search engine, well, useless. Mark figures it might cost a Microsoft, Yahoo or Microhoo about $1 billion. It’s a quixotic idea, no doubt. But the community at large has to do something to slow down the Google juggernaut, he figures, and combining resources may be the only way the two portals can hope to accomplish such a feat.

Later — Wayne
Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital
05.16.08

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A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM CYNOPSIS MEDIA: TOP TIER


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

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


JOB OPENING: VP, MKTG & LICENSING/NY, 4Kids Entertainment, Inc:  Brand Marketer, Client Services, Strategic, Creative, Team Oriented w/ exp in Toys & Games Mkting/Dev., min. of 10 yrs exp. BS req.  Resume to:  [email protected] (5/23)

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JOB OPENING: MANAGER CONTENT DISTRIBUTION/FUSE/MSG Media-Santa Monica office:  3 yrs exp & travel required. For more info and to apply, go to www.thegarden.com and click on employment   (5/23)

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JOB OPENING: AUDIO/POST PRODUCTION SUPERVISOR/NICKELODEON/NY: Sup & schedl audio for animated series, incld post SFX/mix/layback & delivery. Exp w/music, cast, direct, producing A+. Email:  [email protected]   (5/23)

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JOB OPENING: A/P SUPERVISOR/LIFETIME TV/NY: seeking a detail oriented, self-starter to join our A/P Department with auditing of expense reports, verifying expenses. Apply at: http://www.mylifetime.com/about/jobs.html (5/20)

JOB OPENING:  ASSOC ACCT EXEC/Music Choice/Los Angeles:  Responsible for all aspects of account management including sales, promotions development of relationships.BS or BA required. Min 3 yrs sales & marketing exp in cable/related industry w/track record for achieving results. 50% travel. [email protected] (5/20)

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JOB OPENING:  TRAFFIC SUPERVISOR/Cablevision/NY, NY:   Min. 4 yrs Traffic experience.  Strong exp. with  OSCAR system, order entry, admin & reporting modules. View full posting and apply to www.cablevision.jobs req id 6117BR  (5/20)

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

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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