Monday, April 1st, 2013

Cynopsis: DIGITAL

Good morning. It’s Monday, April 1, 2013, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.

YouTube is shutting down. Apparently the world’s biggest video site was just some grand experiment to uncover the greatest video of all time. The site is no longer accepting uploads.

— In other words: APRIL FOOLS! YouTube is not shutting down, we promise.


Mary Kay, MetroPCS, State Farm, and Western Union have signed on to sponsor Univision’s new original web series, Arranque de Pasion, La Historia de Ela, which premieres today. Written and directed by Gazcon Fazi, and produced exclusively for Univision’s online and mobile properties, the show follows a female racecar driver who must compete with men both on the track and off the track. New episodes, each lasting five-to-seven minutes, will be available every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Mary Kay has signed on to sponsor the main character’s racing team, as well as receive product placement throughout the series and branding across Univision’s digital properties, including UVideos. MetroPCS’ deal includes product placement; Western Union is sponsoring another racer’s race team; and State Farm’s deal covers a guest appearance from a State Farm agent in the series. Vroooom!

Add this to the list of Things HBO Might or Might Not Do with HBO Go: Per The Verge, HBO Sports President Ken Hershman, speaking at Harvard Law’s Sports Law Symposium last week, said HBO Go would stream live sports by the end of the year. An HBO spokesperson later clarified to The Verge that the company has “no immediate plans to offer live boxing on the platform,” but of course is always exploring ways to improve the streaming product.


Motive Television, a TV software and services company based in London, is planning to install a full-featured demonstration of its Tablet TV product at Granite Broadcasting’s KOFY station in San Francisco. Tablet TV, a joint venture between Motive and Granite, will offer consumers access to live local broadcast stations, the ability to record live TV, VOD content, and social media features. The demonstration will go live by mid-2013, with a market field test to follow soon after. A patent application for the Tablet TV tech has been filed with the US Patent Office.


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The top five web properties in February 2013, according to comScore, are Google sites (189 million unique visitors), Yahoo sites (186.3 million), Microsoft sites (163.7 million), Facebook (144.1 million), and AOL (110.8 million). Among ad networks and buy-side networks, comScore says the top five were Google (93.3% reach of online Americans), Specific Media (84.5%), AOL Advertising (83.7%), AT&T AdWorks (82.4%), and Genome from Yahoo (81.1%).


Magic Ruby has launched a second-screen iOS app for DirecTV’s new original drama, Rogue, starring Thandie Newton and Marton Csokas. The companion app syncs with each episode of the show, and offers content ranging from cast and location information to trivia and bonus video clips. Social integration makes it possible for viewers to comment in real time on Facebook and/or Twitter. Rogue premieres this Wednesday, April 3, at 9pm ET on DirecTV channel 239.

You can now embed Vine videos online. A new update to Twitter’s short-form video-sharing app allows users to do so via the post’s page on as well as through the Vine mobile app. A couple of big media companies  – MLB, CBS, and USA Today – already taking advantage of this new functionality.

If you happen to decide to put down March Madness Live for the rest of the week and actually go to Atlanta for the Men’s Final Four, has you covered. A new mobile “event app,” NCAA Final Four Atlanta App presented by AT&T, will offer users access to complete event schedules in Atlanta during Final Four weekend. Other features include interactive maps, news, concert lineups, ticket information, social sharing, and more good stuff. For example, AT&T’s sponsorship includes the AT&T Fan Zone, which features the AT&T Prize Pursuit, which is essentially a scavenger hunt to complete tasks around the city in order to win some prizes.


A couple of weeks ago, video ad server VINDICO unveiled Adtricity, a new quality ranking system designed to help advertisers determine how well publishers are delivering video ads, and thereby optimize their video campaigns. The reports include grade-level ratings on ad viewability, the quality of content, the ad environment and execution, site safety, and traffic quality. I recently spoke with company President, Matt Timothy about Adtricity to get the scoop:

Adtricity’s goal is to eliminate fraud and create trust between the buy-side and sell-side. There’s also an element of trusting the guy in the middle of all of this. If I’m an advertiser or publisher, why should I put my faith in VINDICO?

The fact that more and more advertisers and agencies are using our services shows that the buy-side has an incredible amount of trust in us. When a publisher is scrambling around to accommodate a particular demand from an advertiser, we’ve been able to help. Remember, we’re not selling inventory to anybody. We have no agenda besides wanting the entire marketplace on solid footing.

If I’m a big-name publisher, I think Adtricity is great. It reinforces my argument that my inventory is of the highest quality. But what about the lower-tier publishers, the ones who aren’t earning high grades?

If you’re trying to put an advertiser’s story in the best possible context whether you’re a top-tier publisher or not, you won’t be hurt by Adtricity. However, if you take that ad and shove it in a banner, or hide it at the bottom of the page in an auto-initiated manner, where it will evaporate after it’s completed, we’re going to suss that out. Publishers who execute well are media brands and therefore will always be protective. If you’re a publisher that’s not known as a media brand, this is a way to start building the credibility that the big guys enjoy.

Adtricity approaches video ad measurement via viewability and verification. You’ve said that both terms have issues with respect to how they’re implemented.

Viewability and verification were invented in the interactive space because it was necessary to figure out if an ad ran in the right space, at the right time, according to the advertisers’ specs. But video is comparable to TV, where there isn’t a verification problem: it runs where it’s supposed to, and it’s always viewable. So, online, we have to go beyond that to look at the quality of the execution. Was it TV-like? This requires taking into account the dimensionality and complexities of video.

Because VINDICO handles everything from ad delivery to tracking and measurement, it allows us to match all the quality measures back to the campaign. We can show advertisers the percentage of their spend that was wasted. This is a big deal because it increases advertiser confidence. And if that happens, there’s more money in the space.

What’s the next step in addressing issues with ad reporting and quality?

From a very tactical level, the actual blocking of fraudulent ad executions. We don’t want to start this way, though; conversations need to happen first. We want advertisers and publishers to come together and agree on the good and the bad. Once that’s established, we can prevent fraud before it happens.

The next thing is to help the market understand the value of different types of creative. One of the most astonishing stats for us is that 95% or 96% of digital video creative is just repurposed TV ads. No one’s really leveraging the IP space, to capture more data and talk to people in a more connected way with multiple chapters, narrative trees, all types of dynamic creative possibilities. As TV becomes more IP-driven, we have the best lab in the world to test all of these different ideas and understand their value.


Digital ad tech company OpenX has appointed Matthew Reid to the newly created position of VP/Marketing. He will oversee the company’s marketing initiatives worldwide, including branding, customer acquisition, and product marketing. He will also continue to build OpenX’s existing marketing team. He will report to CRO Jason Fairchild.


Cynopsis: Digital Model D Awards
The Best in Online Video Content & Advertising

Our awards show continues to spotlight the groundbreaking work created by digital media, don’t let your 2012-2013 efforts go unnoticed!

Entry Deadline: June 20, 2013  | Late Submissions: June 27, 2013
Awards Event: November 2013 (NYC)

Learn about the awards program & how to enter:


Bonnaroo is one of the premier music festivals in the US every year, taking place June 13-16 on a 700-acre plot in Manchester, TN. The festival also features some great stand-up comedy acts, and actually released the 2013 comedy line-up several days ago. To get you amped up for all that comedy fun, and also to just make you laugh if even a little, Bonnaroo’s YouTube channel has launched a web series called Universally Speaking. Hosted by comedian Rob Cantrell, the series features the funny guy talking to inanimate objects as they advise him on his personal matters. There really isn’t any more to say, except to check it out.

Later – Sahil
Sahil Patel, Associate Editor for Cynopsis Digital

Roberta Caploe: Editorial Director
Denise O’Connor: Group Publisher, Cynopsis Media
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JOB OPENING: MGR PRMNG ACQUISITION/Cablevision/Bethpage: Resp: licensed rights mngmnt of VOD, PPV & TV Everywhere (“TVE”) products. Strong knowledge of new media technologies & evolving industry landscape. Details/apply: here (4/6)

JOB OPENING: DIR, BRCAST DIST/MundoFox/LA: Enforce all contractual obligations, conduct sales pitches, maximize ratings. Cable Distribution exp & bilingual+.- (4/6)

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JOB OPENING: MNGR TECHNICAL SERVICES/HIT/NYC: Mng team servicing all programming content for broadcast, HE, Web, IP. Knowledge of post-prod, DVD, Dubbing, HE mastering. Strong mngt and budgeting skills. Mattel/ (4/6)

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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: EXPERIENCED MARKETING PROFESSIONAL: 4+ years of developing innovative marketing campaigns, executing product launches and building client relationships for sports teams, agencies, studios. Email [email protected] (4/2)

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