Good morning, it’s Friday, November 7, 2008, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.
Naughty Naughty … Online classified service Craigslist reached an agreement with 40 state attorneys general to curb its “erotic services” listings, long used for local prostitution services. Clients using the category must now pay a fee using a valid credit card as well as provide Craigslist with a working phone number. The site promises to share this information with law enforcement when subpoenaed. Craigslist founder Craig Newmark has often taken the moral high ground regarding his text-only site, now used by 40 million Americans each month. This initiative will be no exception. The company promises to donate all revenues from these ads to charity.
Music Choice will feature its first ever on-demand awards show beginning in December hosted by Geffen Records recording artists Jessica and Janelle Martinez of Prima J. Alicia Keys’ “No One,” Jonas Brothers’ “Burnin’ Up” and Lil’ Wayne’s “Lollipop” will compete for Most Demanded Video of the Year. Music Choice is the #1 free VOD service in the country, according to Rentrak, currently available in 38 million households nationwide.
Koch Entertainment Distribution‘s Koch Digital division announced it will make more than 2,600 hours of video available through iTunes. Programming genres include classics, children’s, anime, fitness, foreign, horror, documentary, TV, special interest, and independent film.
Battlestar Galactica fanatics may want to Jan. 20 down on their calendars. That’s the day NBC and Propworx begin a 4-day online auction of actual props from the show, at least those not auctioned off during a live event to be held at the Pasadena Convention Center the previous weekend. A portion of the auction’s proceeds will benefit United Way.
Blah Girls, the gossipy animated web series produced by Ashton Kutcher‘s Katalyst Media featuring a group of teen girls who rip on pop culture, is now being spotlighted on MySpaceTV. MySpace will promote and syndicate the second season of the series, with new episodes expected to debut early next year.
MyDamnChannel just launched a new web series called Lapdance hosted by author, journalist, MTV anchor and former Rolling Stone senior editor Kurt Loder. Kurt interviews filmmakers and musicians using his Apple’s iChat application. Four video segments are now live with MyDamn’s own Harry Shearer.
Pop culture content portal/community site GetBack Media has secured $1.7 million in Series A Funding led by Beringea, a global venture capital firm focused on emerging media. Retro-themed Getback.com recently launched a redesign and completed licensing agreements with major IP holders including Getty Images, Universal Music, Macrovision and Intellivision.
Just in time for the winter The Weather Channel updated its BlackBerry application adding upgrades including interactive maps with user-controlled weather layers, a GPS Location Tracker and a home screen temperature indicator that turns red when severe weather threatens. Using its GPS capabilities the app can pinpoint a user’s location and provide detailed conditions within 2 kilometers. The Weather Channel plans to release mobile apps for all the leading smartphone platforms including one for the iPhone scheduled to launch next week. The BlackBerry version, compatible with the new Curve 8310, must be purchased as a subscription with prices ranging from $12.99 for 3 months and $34.99/year.
Ascent Media entered into an agreement to acquire the encoding and media services division of Sample Digital. The acquisition will serve to augment Ascent Media’s existing capabilities in media management and enhance the suite of services available to content owners. Ascent plans to relocate Sample’s Digital’s Hollywood-based encoding and media division employees and infrastructure to its Burbank facility. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
~ DIGITAL ADVERTISING ~
Local interactive advertising will show little or no growth for the first time next year according to a new report from Borrell Associates, which previously forecasted steady growth in the sector through 2012. Local online ad revenue is expected to increase by 7.8% to $13.9 billion in 2009 after expanding at a frenetic 47% pace this year. Worse yet, the changes foreseen are not cyclical and show no sign of improving quickly – irrespective of upward movement in the nation’s economy. Borrell notes traditional forms of interactive advertising such as banner ads are quickly falling out of favor and advises site publishers to begin looking at expanding their ad arsenal with other offerings including email, paid search and streaming video.
DirecTV launched a new user friendly B2B Ad Sales website delivering a comprehensive on-line media kit to help existing and potential advertisers navigate through all of the satellite platform’s ad sales offerings, including traditional 30-second and 60-second spots, interactive advertising campaigns and long-form programming.
Online engagement (measured by time spent online) jumped over 60% on Election Day in Nielsen Online‘s Current Events and Global News category, overall traffic to which increased 27%. Senator Barack Obama was mentioned in nearly 20 percent of all blog discussions on Wednesday. In comparison, Senator John McCain was referenced by just 6.3 percent of all blog entries posted on that day.
Current Events and Global News Category Growth on Election Day vs. Prior Week
Oct. 28 Nov. 4 Growth
Unique Audience (000) 33,461 42,380 27%
Page Views (000) 427,385 868,310 103%
Time per Person (hh:mm:ss) 00:12:22 00:19:51 61%
Source: Nielsen Online, Custom Analysis
Top Online Current Events and Global News Destinations on Election Day
Name Oct.28 UA (000) Nov.4 UA (000) % Change
CNN Digital Network 8,496 12,847 51%
MSNBC Digital Network 5,959 12,114 103%
Yahoo! News 7,649 11,440 50%
Fox News Digital Net 3,937 5,745 46%
AOL News 4,050 4,411 9%
NYTimes.com 2,480 3,501 41%
Google News 2,053 3,255 59%
Tribune Newspapers 2,717 2,911 7%
washingtonpost.com 1,086 2,309 113%
USATODAY.com 1,326 2,009 52%
Source: Nielsen Online, Custom Analysis
CNN.com was the most visited TV network website on Nov. 4 according to Hitwise‘s panel measurement, receiving .61% of all U.S Internet visits. CNN.com’s visits increased 146% on Tuesday (11/4/08) versus Monday (11/3/08). MSNBC.com ranked second receiving .40% of U.S. Internet visits with 122% increase in traffic. Yahoo News was the most visited site overall when included among the News and Political websites that were combined together. U.S. visits to Yahoo News increased 55% on Election Day, and Google News increased 58%. MySpace and Facebook both saw a 6% increase versus Monday, while Twitter traffic increased 43% overall. Visits to Twitter Election 2008’s increased an astounding 1100%.
Mobile messaging service Sybase 365 reported an unprecedented surge in SMS traffic during the 10 minutes immediately following the official announcement that Barack Obama was elected President as the volume of messages surged over 3 times the normal volume for that time of day.
mtvU GM Stephen K. Friedman was named General Manager of MTV: Music Television overseeing day-to-day operations, strategy and management of MTV and all its relevant screens including: MTV.com, MTV2, MTV Tr3s, MTV Hits and MTV Jams. He will also continue to oversee mtvU. Stephen has been with MTV for a decade presiding over the launch of mtvU and the acquisitions of College Media Network and RateMyProfessors.com. He reports to Van Toffler, President of MTV Networks/Logo/Films Group and will be based in New York.
Don’t look now but YouTube is growing up. The world’s dominant video sharing site, which traditionally limited its video submissions to 10 minutes, is close to closing deal with a major film studio to offer free ad-supported feature-length movies on the site, reports CNET. The video portal has been experimenting with longer form content since June, went it began accepting independent feature films from partners for the Screening Room page. Screening Room debuts 4 new films each fortnight, limited to a maximum file size of 1 GB (about 1 ½ hours of standard def video.) YouTube is also close to offering live streaming in the vein of UStream, Mogulus or Justin.tv, as soon as later this month according to one source. Live broadcasting services have been growing like wildfire for the past couple of years but many niche programmers struggle to aggregate a big enough audience to attract advertisers. YouTube’s massive user base could solve that problem overnight, particularly if Google figures out a way to add contextual advertising to the mix. The site announced several new features (thumbnails, search, annotations, C.C.’s) for embeddable videos this week that will also hopefully be offered to live streamers. Of course both these initiatives will cause bandwidth costs to soar exponentially (the reason YouTube limited submissions to 10 minutes in the first place.) But that’s O.K – Google would rather invest its war chest of cash in a brand it knows and loves (and already sank $1.65 billion in) rather than use it on acquisitions that may or may not fit.
Later — Wayne
Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital
Cynopsis Digital Ad Sales:
Chuck Bolkcom – 646-468-6180 / [email protected]
Mark Bohn- 203-583-1224 / [email protected] com
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JOB OPENING: SR. MGR-HARDLINES/Cookie Jar Ent/Burbank Min. 3-5 yrs Dom. License exp in Consumer Products industry with developed relationships. http://www.thecookiejarcompany.com (Careers). Send Res/CL: [email protected] (11/13)
JOB OPENING: PUBLICIST/Telepictures Prods/LA: Unit pub for synd TV show. News bkgd & exp on assign desk pref’d. Pitch/secure stories/content. Write/distrib releases.Fast paced enviro. 5-8yrs exp Res: [email protected] (11/13)
JOB OPENING: MKTG & SALES ASSOCIATE/IME-IESE Business School/NY: Min 3yrs exp in marketing education programs. Media/Entertainment background. Internet Marketing, lead generation, hands-on recruitment/sales. [email protected] jobC10 (11/13)
JOB OPENING: MGR CORP COMM/Rainbow/NY: Work across all Rainbow brands.Asst creating strat/write releases/pitch stories. 3+yrs media relat’s. Impeccable writing skills.strong media rltnshps, cbl exp a + www.cablevision.jobs ref#7483BR (11/12)
JOB OPENING: DIR CORP COMM/Rainbow/NY:Mng daily trade/business PR,work closely with Sr mgmt to dvlp/execute strat. 6-8 yrs PR exp, cable a +. Exc writing skills a must. Strong media relationships a +. www.cablevision.jobs ref#7486BR (11/12)
JOB OPENING: DIGITAL PRODUCER/CNN’s American Morning/NY: 5 yrs min major mkt tv news production exp, 1 yr min exp with web/interactive content, strong writer, leader. See full posting & apply to www.turner.jobs req# 108698BR (11/12)
JOB OPENING: CONTENT DESK EDITOR/WNBC: Conceive/execute news coverage, make front line editorial decisions on a story-by-story basis. Dvlp/monitor journalistic & editorial elements of news gathering. www.nbcunicareers.com #856232 (11/12)
JOB OPENING: SR DESK CONTENT DESK EDITOR/WNBC: Execute editorial vision of Content Desk across platforms;mng who will generate content from Content Desk Editors, Reporters, Field Crews to Content Prods. www.nbcunicareers.com #853930 (11/12)
JOB OPENING: DIR, PROGRAM LICENSING & ACQUISITIONS/iN DEMAND/NYC: Oversee licensing/acquisitions, programming & packaging of content. Degree + 4-8 yrs exp in TV. Apply: [email protected] (11/11)
JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, ANIMATION PROGRAM SALES: Resp for coordinating prgrm sales to domestic, internat’l free-TV & pay-TV broadcasters as well as home entertainment distributors. Resumes to: [email protected] (11/8)
JOB OPENING: DIR PRODUCTION OPERATIONS/National Geographic Television: Oversee the production management of documentary programs. To apply, visit www.nationalgeographic.com/jobs Job ID 3676. EOE (11/8)
JOB OPENING: MGR, NEW MEDIA INVENTORY/DISCOVERY/NY: Mng stewardship/optimization of dig. accts. Frcst inventories, analyze site activity, work closely w/ad sales client to guarantee deliverables. Apply: www.discovery.com Req#8394 (11/8)
JOB OPENING: DIR/PROG DEV/TLC/SS: Communicate/Coordinator w/Ind. Producers-Prod, other Companies/Depts outside of Discovery; serve as network liaison btw prod/dev. Apply: www.discovery.com Req#8335 (11/8)
JOB OPENING: SR RSRCH ANLYST/Lifetime (LA): Analyze & prdce reprts- daily ratings & compet perfmnce to guide Prgm, Mktg, & Aff Mktg strat. Exp TV Rsrch/data anlyst/Star Trak/Nielsen/math/stats. Res: [email protected] (11/8)
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Exp: Rsrch/data anlyst/stats/social media. Res: [email protected] (11/14)
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FALL INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: INTERNS /LA: Bright & passionate. Neal Stevens/Stevens & Assoc., prod 5 features films in past 6 yrs. Learn ropes from A-Z. Script coverage, dvlpmnt, possible assoc of credit for movies & much more.Email: [email protected] (11/11)
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SITUATION WANTED: Creative children’s TV producer/director w/ 18+ yrs hands-on exp. seeks web/TV projects/agent/team to join. Credits: PBS Kids (Buster, Fetch!, Zoom), History, CBS, BBC. Screen reel & CV @ http://www.alangrazioso.com (11/13)
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