Friday, October 31st, 2008


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Join this eye-opening lunch time session Monday, November 10 at 1pm, then get the big picture on Canoe Ventures from CEO David Verklin during Tuesday’s closing panel.

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Cynopsis: DIGITAL


Good morning, it’s Friday, October 31, 2008, and this is your first early morning digital briefing. Happy Halloween.
After a painfully long courtship (4+ years) two of the biggest personal media brands are joining at the hip. Netflix signed an agreement with Tivo to enable Watch Instantly rental movies and shows to be viewed directly through broadband-connected versions of the DVR for no additional charge. Netflix, which charges as little as $9/month for its subscription services, now streams over 12,000 titles through its website. The integration is not the first larger screen solution for Netflix (Roku and LG both make devices Netflix video players), but it is the first to take advantage of a large installed user base; no digital media company has ever been able to convince consumers to buy a separate set-top box in order to enjoy its content. Given Tivo’s patently intuitive interface, it should also be the easiest way yet to get licensed content from your PC to your TV in a subscription model.


The original walled garden has finally been knocked down. Following its move to integrate rival email accounts AOL began rolling out a completely redesigned homepage that opens up the portal to third party content once and for all. RSS feeds add syndicated content from any third party site. The “My Networks” feature allows users to simultaneously update their status on several social networking sites at once including Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and Twitter. As part of the redesign, AOL’s Platform A will also offer advertisers more customization options including customized wallpapers, increased rich media capabilities and richer content integration opportunities.
Apple Corps
and MTV/Harmonix announced a partnership that will yield the first video game to utilize licensed Beatles songs – a standalone title separate from the Rock Band brand. Harmonix is working to add new levels of interactivity to the game that spans the entire Beatles catalogue and career. No word yet on when we can expect a finished product but the principles – Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and producer Giles Martin – appear to be taking an active interest in the project. has reached a new agreement with IMG Sports Media to stream Australia’s Hyundai A-League, delivering live coverage of up to 84 regular season matches as well as up to six playoff matches, including the Grand Final. ESPN will also stream select games on ESPN Mobile TV.


Microblogging site Twitter is teaming up with the blog techPresident to provide a useful tool for voters this year. The Twitter Vote Report will compile reports from polls on election day to help spread the word about broken voting machines, long lines and other problems that have disenfranchised thousands of voters in years past.
David Lynch is at work on a web series for On Networks based on his very Lynchian book Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness and Creativity, per ReelPop.


Youth targeted community site launched a “Wake Up Call” service, offering to call first time registered voters on election day to make sure they don’t space going to the polls.
A collection of episodes from’s web series The Box including the episode covering last year’s raucous West Hollywood Halloween Carnival will be featured tonight on Canadian LGBT network OUTtv.


Looking for a more advanced slideshow tool? Check out Animoto. The site deploys advanced “Cinematic Artificial Intelligence” technology that combines user-selected images and music with the same sophisticated post-production skills & techniques used in television and film. So instead of static images played to a song, you get vibrant images and a pulsing soundtrack. Animoto creations can be shared via email, blogs, video sharing sites and social networks or even uploaded to iPhones. 30-second videos are free, full-length videos cost $3 each, or users choose an all-you-can-make plan for $30/year.
Decode Interactive released the Halloween-themed Whack O Lantern, its first game for the Apple iPhone and iTouch.  Whack O Lantern is combination of Whack a Mole, the carnival game, with the characters of Strange World by artist/illustrator/urban vinyl toy designer Nathan Jurevicius, creator of Scarygirl.  Prior to this Decode and Jurevicius teamed on the animated shorts Dudson (90×15 second).


Motorola has will delay its planned breakup into two companies – a cellphone division and infrastructure division – until Q3 2009 because of challenges in the “macro-economic environment” and “changes underway in mobile devices,” according to CEO Sanjay Jha. Motorola says it will focus on supporting three mobile platforms from now on: Google’s Android, Microsoft’s Windows Mobile and an in-house platform built for lower end phones due out next year. The company sold 25.4 million handsets during the last quarter, down 30% year-over-year.
Strong growth in display advertising on CNET, increasing from $35.9 million Q3 2007 to $140.7 million last quarter, was a bright spot for CBS during an otherwise challenging time. Combining the uniques of CBS and CNET put the company at the #7 spot in terms of web brands. Adjusted net Q3 earnings from continuing operations were $290.3 million for CBS overall, versus $357.8 million for the same quarter last year.
Gaming giant Electronic Arts reported a wider quarterly net loss due to higher development and marketing costs and said that would cut between 500-600 jobs to reduce costs.


Online ad company ValueClick reported a drop in net income of 88% during Q3 on revenues of $152.9 million, down from $156.9 million in Q3 2007. Income was impacted by a stock option tender offer and tax adjustments.


comScore introduced a new extension  to its Media Metrix online tracking service dubbed Extended Web Measurement designed to measure content distributed via widgets, gadgets or other viral applications. The system will report usage on widgets powered by leading app vendors including Slide, Google and Clearspring. By measuring distributed web content across third party sites, the company aims to provide more precise measurement of broad publisher ad packages. A new granular Gross Ratings Point (“GRP”) measurement will also facilitate the comparison of online media with traditional media.
CBS trumpeted comScore Video Metrix rankings placing first among TV websites for the second straight month in unique monthly viewers (6.1MM), video streams (44.4MM) and total minutes streamed (143 MM). experienced double-digit growth in unique viewers month-over-month (16%) and year-over-year (60%), as well as triple-digit growth in streams over last year (107%). Separately a study by Magid Media Labs commissioned by CBS found that a typical advertisement on the CBS Audience Network receives a 33% brand lift and that viewers indicate a 26% lift in intent to purchase.


Time Inc. announced a realignment of its business units designed to feature a more centralized management structure, part of a massive reorganization that will reportedly result in the shedding of hundreds of jobs, according to the NYTimes. The company will split into News, Style and Entertainment and Lifestyle business divisions, each managed by 3 executives.
Falls Church, VA-based ad agency SmithGifford added New Media Designer Jason Pasch to its ranks. In his new post, Jason will be responsible for Web, Flash and blog design and other online production, and will work directly with President Matt Smith and his partner Bruce Gifford.


One advantage larger media companies have over start-ups on the web is the ability to combines platforms to increase exposure of their brand and its content. The horror site FEARnet, which celebrates its second anniversary today, is growing at a steady clip in part by appealing to hardcore fans. FEARnet employs tried and true web 2.0 strategies syndicating quality originals such as the 30 Days of Night series (one of 3 projects produced by Sam “Evil Dead” Raimi) on other web portals. But it also benefits greatly from its ad supported VOD channel, now in 30 million homes. The ability to get in front of viewers in both mediums will become increasingly important when the shakeout of web entertainment properties ensues. FEARnet is now the top free VOD service averaging 10-12 million VOD views per month, rotating library titles and premiers from its partners Lionsgate, Sony and Comcast. (The venture began when the latter two companies teamed up to purchase the storied MGM film library 4 years ago.) Its chief executive Diana Robina, who spent years overseeing several MTV brands, has learned to program the site in a similar way, swapping out 10 feature films per week each Thursday so that users know when to check back for new content. Check out FEARnet today if you haven’t been there for a while; it has made an effort to broaden its appeal sprinkling in liberal doses of humor and celebrity with the gore. (Where else can you go to learn about Bruce Campbell’s experience with cross-dressing.) Tonight’s big event is the online premiere of Ryuhei Kitamura’s little seen but well received Clive Barker adaptation Midnight Meat Train. It scored a 71 on Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer.
Later — Wayne
 Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital

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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]
Cynopsis Media: Top Tier

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

JOB OPENING: DIR NAT ACCTS/Lifetime/LA/Drive distr prds & srvcs w/aff cable, sat & telco distrs/Ensre cntrct cmplnce & negt/anlyz spec prfrm bnchmrks/Exp: 5+ yrs in sales/Ext trvl/BA,BS or equiv req/Res: [email protected] (11/7)

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JOB OPENING: CLIENT SUPPORT SPECIALIST/NY: Liaison between clients & tech. suppt & dev. groups in co. for software defects, user q’s, tracking, advert. or media indust. exp. DealMaker exp. a + Resumes to: [email protected] (11/6)

JOB OPENING: PUBLICISTS/ANIMATION-WEB-MOBILE/ Beck Media & Marketing/L.A.: Seeks accomplished pros (5+ yrs) with Animation and/or Tech PR experience for web, tech, and toon clientele. Resume and cover letter to [email protected] (11/6)

JOB OPENING: SALES MKTG MGR/Univision Online/NY: Resp for creating/mngng mkt prgrms/materials that will enable Bus Dev to enlist new websites to Ad Ntwrk, in addition help sales close new client bus. [email protected] (11/5)

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FALL INTERNSHIPS CREDITS ONLY: Fujisankei Communications Intl/ NY: Seeks INTERN for ATAKU CHANNEL, a mobile TV channel for anime broadcast on MobiTV & Sprint Live. Submit cover letters/resumes to [email protected]. More info: (11/6)

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

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