Good morning, it’s Friday, May 1, 2009, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.
You know the old adage – if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Disney signed on the dotted line to become the 4th equity partner of Hulu, providing cash and its valuable content to the portal that has become the go to destination for premium content on the web. Assuming regulatory approval, users will soon find full episodes of ABC primetime hits like Lost, Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy; ABC Family shows; ABC Daytime and SOAPnet serials; classic series like Who Wants to Be A Millionaire, select hits from the Disney Channel; as well as short form content and library titles from The Walt Disney Studios vault. Disney will also be granted 3 seats on the Hulu board, to be held by Disney President and CEO Robert Iger; Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and President, Disney/ABC Television Group; and Kevin Mayer, EVP, Corporate Strategy, Business Development & Technology.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE from THE WEATHER CHANNEL
Al Roker is coming to The Weather Channel
– Summer ’09 –
For more information about Al’s new morning show on The Weather Channel go online:
Hasbro is investing $300 million to form a new 50/50 family and kids TV and web content joint venture with Discovery Kids. A newly rebranded network and web entity will produce content from Hasbro’s portfolio of entertainment and educational properties including original programming for animation, game shows, and live-action series and specials. Look for shows based on Romper Room, Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble, Cranium, My Little Pony, G.I. Joe, Game Of Life and Transformers. Discovery’s network will continue to operate as Discovery Kids until the debut of the soon-to-be-named channel and new programming slate, expected to debut in 2010. Discovery Communications will retain the Discovery Kids brand for, among other things, its international networks and its licensing and merchandising business.
As concerns spread about the Swine Flu virus, traffic to health, social networking and news-oriented sites continues to spike as users seek out information. (The volume of conversations about the epidemic have already exceeded those surrounding the salmonella and peanut butter scares from earlier this winter by nearly 10 to 1, according to Nielsen Online.) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services have been using Twitter and YouTube, among other sites, to disseminate information. Three agency heads hosted live Q&A sessions yesterday, now archived on CDC.gov and HHS.gov. Ban Ki Moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations, delivered this statement on the United Nations’ YouTube channel, outlining the UN’s work to fight the flu.
Forbes and E! Entertainment announced a partnership to produce eight hour-long celebrity specials as well as two half-hour celebrity lifestyle pilot shows through 2010. The new deal extends a partnership that originated in 2004 with E! to produce Forbes content-generated countdown specials based on celebrity topics.
Series Premier: AcuteTV, producers of the spirited Two Peas in Your Pod web show, is ready with its latest romp – this one lampooning reality shows that objectify women. Horrified (that’s not the right spelling but it’s spam-filter-friendly that way) is in search of America’s Next Top Working Girl, if you get our drift. The project was actually on track to be the launch show of Max Goldenson’s (daughter of ABC founder Leonard Goldenson) new digital studio MWG, but apparently producers Anne Marie Lindbloom and Jeff Venables (“The Getdown“) thought it best to part ways in order to maintain creative control. AcuteTV will premiere 4 original episodes from today on YouTube, Funny or Die and Veoh then roll out the remaining 6 episodes biweekly.
The IAB introduced a new Impression Exchange Solution to identify key functional requirements necessary for the automated exchange of impression data between publishers and third-party ad servers. The solution, developed by the IAB’s Ad Ops Council with participation from the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As), was built to eliminate the need for publishers to manually pull campaign reports from third-party ad vendors and to decrease the number of discrepancies involved.
Tech-themed ad network NetShelter announced that it topped CNET globally for the first time in terms of reach, registering a cumulated 90.6 million monthly uniques in March, per ComScore.
Proving cable’s Teflon status during recessions, Comcast managed to increase profits by 5.4% during Q1 on revenues of $8.84 billion and net income of $778 million. Video subscriptions continued to go south (the MSO lost 78,022 basic subs), but the company continues to add new phone and internet customers, albeit at a declining rate. Comcast added 328,613 high-speed internet customers, (down 33%) and 298,433 digital phone customers (down 53%.)
Sometimes when you want something done right you’ve got to do it yourself. Apple is looking into manufacturing its own microprocessors, possibly to help the iPhone and iPod touch fulfill their need for more computing power and less power consumption, per the WSJ.
AT&T modified its 3G terms of service once again this week prohibiting place shifting from devices such as the Slingbox to PCs using the AT&T 3G network, noticed DSL Reports. “Examples of prohibited uses include, without limitation … downloading movies using P2P file sharing services, redirecting television signals for viewing on Personal Computers, web broadcasting, and/or for the operation of servers.”
After years of losing ground to pure play internet companies, “legacy media” brands such as newspaper and local TV station sites actually began to gain ground last year in terms of share of online ad revenue according to Borrell Associates‘ annual survey of local web revenues. Meanwhile local media companies’ % of gross revenues earned from online is creeping up for some major groups, reaching 15.3% for the Washington Post group and 11.3% for the McClatchy newspaper chain. The overall $12.6 billion local ad pie was still dominated by the likes of Google, Local.com, IAC and Marchex, but the size of their share declined for the first time since 2005. Some reasons for the reversal could be:
- Local media companies have an estimated 98,000 feet-on-the-street salespeople who have existing relationships with local advertisers
- Local media companies are beginning to add internet-only sales reps at a rapid pace; this sales force increased by 30% to 9,000 workers at the beginning of 2009
Local players are going to fighting for a finite market. Growth of local online advertising is expected to slow considerably to $13.3 billion in 2009, then peak for the foreseeable future to $15.9 billion in 2011.
% Change of Local Online Advertising Revenue by Media
Medium 2007 2008 %Change
Pureplay 49.7% 47.6% -2.1%
Newspapers 26.9% 26.4% -.05%
Directories 9.5% 11.2% 1.7%
Broadcast TV 9.5% 8.6% -.09%
Magazines .9% 2.7% 1.8%
Radio 2.1% 2.2% .1%
Other Print 1.4% 1.2% -.1%
Source: Borrell Associates
Viewers’ comfort level with viewing TV programming online via network websites and entertainment portals such as Hulu.com has surpassed cable VOD and is rapidly approaching the DVR viewing levels, according to a recent survey of 905 users from Ridgefield, CT-based research firm Converging Insight. And the importance of watching TV programming online is likely to continue to grow at a rapid pace.
Primary or Preferred Method for Watching TV Programs
Method of Viewing % response primary % response secondary
Regularly Scheduled 64% 31%
DVR 22% 22%
VOD 4% 10%
TV Network Website 5% 18%
Other website (Hulu,etc.) 3% 16%
Downloaded episode 0% 2%
Mobile 1% 1%
Source: Converging Insight
The folks at Pure Digital added a new handheld Flip Ultra HD camcorder to its lineup and revamped the standard def version of its standard def Ultra camera. The new Flip Ultra HD, priced at $200, comes standard with 8GB of memory capable of storing 2 hours of video, features a bigger 2-inch screen and supports the 16×9 widescreen format with HDMI output, a big plus when viewing footage on that big plasma at home. The Flip Ultra line was released last year as an upgrade to the original Flip Mino cameras, which come with rechargeable batteries. The Flip Ultras take two AA’s, which means you can shoot with them all day if need be.
Jeff Levick was named President, Global Advertising and Strategy at AOL. The former Google executive will be responsible for Platform-A, AOL’s advertising business, as well as developing global revenue strategies. He will report directly to AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong.
Anyone who has developed a fascination with Twitter must admit that it is chaotic. Apart from being able to add and subtract people or companies you’re following, there’s little your can do to filter or add context to the Tweets. A brand new tool called DragToTop from a pair of serial entrepreneurs in Ottawa, Canada captures the immediacy of a Twitter or Google Trends, yet adds a powerful toolset to help individual users organize and save searches about topics that are important to them. Enter a term you’d like to search for and the organic results appear in the column to the left. Drag results that are valuable to a column to the right (you must log into the site to save past drags.) Whatever you deem important enough to drag gets added to the collective intelligence of the search engine, alerting users to what’s being saved and prioritized in real time. Google tells us what words are being searched for – DragToTop goes a step further and tells us what search results are found to be most relevant by the crowd. Creator Rocky Mirza says the site, which launched in beta last Sunday, is already being used to break gossipy news and stoke the fires that lead to viral hits on the web. “Search hasn’t fundamentally changed for several years,” said Mr. Mirza. “This is search 4.0 – machine learning bundled with human insight can’t be beaten.”
Later — Wayne
Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital
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JOB OPENING: NATIONAL SALES MANAGER/WTIC/WTXX/Hartford: Seeking NSM with at least 5+ yrs media sales exp; broadcast TV, cable or radio exp. preferred; excellent negotiation skills; strong work ethic; Resume: [email protected] (5/7)
JOB OPENING: MANAGER, COMMUNICATIONS/Nickelodeon/NYC: 5+yrs exp TV programming PR relations, Strg writing skills, Strat/Creative Comm plans, Strng Press Relationships, Knwlg of TV Ind. EOE/M/F/D/AAP. Apply www.mtvncareers.com (5/6)
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JOB OPENING: SR MGR PROMOTIONS: 8+yrs , 20-25hrs/wk Dvlp/mng strategic promotions & mktg prgrms for cable clients. Oversee creative dvlpmnt, web prod, campaign support elements & prod. For complete job info: [email protected] (5/6)
JOB OPENING: DIR, OXYGEN PRGRM RSRCH/NY: Mng all top line & detailed analyses/ratings reporting, audience profiling, presentations & highlights covering Oxygen & its competitors. Visit: www.nbcunicareers.com using job# 1019442 (5/5)
JOB OPENING: DIR, BRAND MKTG/SPEED/NC: 10+ yrs exp in mktg/adv/social ntwrkg/brand pos/strategic initiatives. Must have exp with trad and nontrad media platforms. Resumes to: www.foxcareers.com ref: FNG15901 (5/5)
JOB OPENING: ASSOCIATE ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE/MARATHON VENTURES, NY: Sale of short/long form direct response inventory. DR exp req. Sales or Buying exp req. Apply: [email protected] (5/5)
JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, ND&S/Hallmark Channel/Studio City: Increase distribution for Hallmark Channel & Movie Channel SD/HD. Min. 5 yrs. sales exp. See full posting & apply @ www.hallmarkchannel.com (5/2)
JOB OPENING: SALES COORDINATOR/LA/Ent-Media research co: Complete admin support to bus devel team. Strong multi-tasking/project mgmt skills a must. Sales Force exp a plus. http://www.epollresearch.com/corp/aboutus/careers.view (5/2)
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SUMMER INTERNSHIP CREDIT ONLY: PROD ASST/Zoo Productions: Asst with TV production, creative dvlpmnt rsrch, & general office tasks. College SO, JR, SR interested in TV Prod. Available May 12 – August 1 for 16-40 hrs/wk [email protected] (5/5)
SUMMER INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: DESIGN INTERN/NYC: Opp to design branded apparel for an exciting, new on-demand website. Strong Photoshop and Illustrator Skills req’d. Contact: [email protected] (5/2)
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: College Student. NJ/NY/CT. A summer internship with hands on exp (paid or unpaid). Majoring in Internat’l Business at Sacred Heart University, CT. Diligent; hard working; open to all industries. [email protected] (5/8)
SITUATION WANTED: Eco-consultant experienced in media/entertainment available to help you implement green changes at your company or office. One-on-one or group. NYC-based. Contact [email protected] (5/7)
SITUATION WANTED: International FORMAT CONSULTANT – Willing to travel anywhere in the world to consult, produce, or represent your formats, specializing in Asia,Australia,Europe, Middle East, North and South America and Africa. Mail to: [email protected] (5/7)
SITUATION WANTED: AVAILABLE NOW: 15-year veteran LOS ANGELES Audio Post supervisor/editor/sound-designer/mixer CREATIVE with ProTools and series television, national radio, corporate and feature film credits. [email protected] (5/7)
SITUATION WANTED: COLLEGE STUDENT/NYC/DC: Seeking exciting summer internship (paid or unpaid). Drama & Psyc major at Vassar College, particularly interested in film and TV. Enthusiastic and hardworking. [email protected] (5/7)
SITUATION WANTED: WRITER, PROD. ASST., RSCH, CREATIVE CONSULTANT: (PBS, MTV, GSUSA, Columbia) Script/story dvlpmt TV, theatre; educa & corp dvlpmt. Music, children’s media. Good sense of humor! [email protected] (5/7)
SITUATION WANTED: SR MEDIA BUYER (FL): Exp’d Sr Buyer w/25 yrs exp, worked w/ major nat’l clients across all dayparts for TV, Radio & Cable. Team player, det. oriented, FT or freelance. [email protected] or (954) 328-5136 (5/6)
SITUATION WANTED: EXPERIENCED GRAPHIC DESIGNER (LA): Reality-TV, Film, Commercial, Documentaries & Corporate. Creative & Flexible. Seeking Freelance or Staff Position, Remote or In-House. Reel & Contact Info: www.ChaztizedMedia.com (5/6)
SITUATION WANTED: ART DIRECTOR / DESIGNER/ILLUSTRATOR (NY): Children’s market highly desired, permanent or freelance. 20 years experience working concept through completion. Portfolio: www.baerdavis.com Email: [email protected] (5/6)
SITUATION WANTED: PRODUCTION MANAGER (DC metro)-seasoned professional with experience on docs, corporate and commercial video-studio & remote production and post; available immediately for freelance or FT work. [email protected] (5/5)
SITUATION WANTED: REALITY PRODUCER/WRITER/DIR : NBC, TLC, CMT, CNN, E!, Discovery, pilots, sales tapes, internet; I’ll write your reality show treatment and develop your ideas. LA Based; travels well; [email protected] (5/5)
SITUATION WANTED: INTERACTIVE MEDIA SPECIALIST: LA: 18 yrs of media expertise & MBA. Research, plan, neg. & execute online campaigns; Can integrate w/non-traditional media. Avail F/P or freelance. [email protected] (5/5)
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