Monday, April 4th, 2011



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opsis: DIGITAL


Good morning, it’s Monday, April 4, 2011, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.  If you would like to read this or any other Cynopsis edition online, click here

As one MSO removed channels from its live TV iPad app, another, Cablevision, launched a similar service. Time Warner Cable removed a dozen channels from its iPad app after cable networks complained that transmitting live signals to the device, even within the home, wasn’t authorized by current contracts. Viacom‘s BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Spike TV and VH1; Fox‘s FX and Nat Geo; and Discovery‘s Animal Planet, TLC and Discovery Channel were removed from Time Warner Cable’s app, leaving 44 live networks remaining (including 25 channels just added.) More than 300k subscribers have downloaded the app since its release on March 15, according to a Time Warner Cable website and blog launched to rally support for the service.


Cablevision released its new in-home Optimum live TV app for the iPad claiming that it has the right to distribute programming over iPads because it is distributing the content over its digital cable network rather than the internet. The app provides access to some 300 live channels and 2,000 selections from the MSO’s extensive VOD library, acts as a channel guide and enables users to program their DVRs remotely. Like TWC, Cablevision argues that the iPad is basically just another screen within the home and that it plans to deploy additional apps that deliver the same experience to other tablets and display devices in the coming months. says that its coverage of the disaster in Japan has set global traffic, video and mobile usage records for the site in a variety of categories:

  • The site’s 67 million global page views on Sat. March 12 set a weekend day record
  • CNN’s mobile site achieved a record 13.9 million page views globally on Fri., March 11
  • Over the 10 days ending March 20, CNN racked up a total of approx. 39,000 likes and comments on Facebook, surpassing user interaction of the revolt in Egypt

Owners of the $15 Major League Baseball “At Bat” app can enjoy live streaming of MLB.TV games during the first month of the season, courtesy of Volvo. Static and video ads for the Chinese-owned car company will appear as a pre-roll and during inning breaks. subscriptions start at $100/year and are viewable on a variety of devices including iPhone, Apple TV, Android, Boxee, Roku and PS3 set-tops and Samsung and LG televisions.
New York-based New Video struck a deal with China Lion Film Distribution to be the producer’s exclusive North American distributor across Cable VOD, Television, Digital and DVD platforms. The deal, which follows upon a China Lion partnership with AMC Entertainment to release up to 15 Chinese films per year theatrically in select N. American markets, will include rights to Xiaogang Feng’s movie about the Great Tangshan Earthquake, “Aftershock,” which set local box office records grossing over $100 million in China.


Evolve Media
is relaunching its male-targeted CraveOnline site this morning with a sleeker design and a variety of new ad products, social media options and content features. A list of the top 10 Trending topics are prominently featured along with the site’s 9 original video series.
Santa Monica-based online casting start-up GotCast raised an undisclosed amount of new funding from Columbus, Ohio-based NCT Ventures.


Mobile ad network Mojiva is announcing a new Mobile Creative Alliance made up of interactive advertising technology providers and other players to promote developments in rich media mobile ads. Rich media partners including Crisp, Eyewonder, Point Reach and Sprout’s AdVine will deliver workshops to agencies and major advertisers across the U.S to go over mobile marketing strategies and options.
Pure play internet companies are capturing a larger share of local online ad dollars, a sector growing rapidly because of the proliferation of geo-targeted smartphones and tablet devices, according to an eMarketer analysis sourcing BIA/Kelsey, Borrell Assoc. and MerchantCircle data. Two-thirds of local online and interactive advertising will come from mobile ads on tablets, smartphones and GPS-enabled laptops by 2014, according to Borrell resarch. Local small businesses are also active on social networking sites. A majority are using Facebook (70.3%) and LinkedIn (58.2%) to promote their business, and a handful are using Twitter (39.8%), Facebook Places (32.2%) and Yelp (32.2%).


Blockbuster is officially putting itself up for auction today with investors including Dish Network and Carl Icahn lining up to acquire the ailing DVD rental firm, reports the WSJ. Dish sees value in the company’s digital offerings, kiosks and brick-and-mortar stores as a way to market its satellite TV service.
FCC commissioner Michael J. Copps struck out against the AT&T/T-Mobile merger in an interview on CSPAN on Saturday, warning that the merger would face close scrutiny from regulators and an even “steeper climb” than the Comcast/NBCU deal. (Copps was the only FCC commissioner to vote against the Comcast/NBCU merger in Jan.) He also mentioned net neutrality as an important concern.
Google filed a brief to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals describing why it qualifies for “safe harbor” status under the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act in the Viacom lawsuit leveled at YouTube, per THR. Google characterizes YouTube’s actions, removing copyright-protected material from the service upon request from the content owner, as acting in good faith and points to Viacom employees who actually uploaded clips to the service for promotional purposes.
Interactive TV company Ensequence is launching an update to its iTV management platform built to simplify interactive television development and deployment for programmers.


Verizon’s version of the iPhone 4 was the most acquired handset during Feb., according to ComScore‘s MobiLens service, but Samsung was the top manufacturer in the U.S., holding steady with a 24.8% share of the market. Nearly 70 million Americans owned smartphones at the end of Feb., up 13% from the previous 3 months. Android grew by 7% in market share as a platform, overtaking RIM, which dropped 4.6 points into second place.
Top U.S. Smartphone Platforms, 13+
3 Month Avg. Ending Feb. 2011 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Nov. 2010
          Share (%) of Smartphone Subscribers                            
                   Nov-10        Feb-11   Point Change
Total Subs   100.0%       100.0%       N/A
Google          26.0%       33.0%        7.0
RIM              33.5%        28.9%        -4.6
Apple           25.0%        25.2%        0.2
Microsoft        9.0%         7.7%        -1.3
Palm              3.9%           2.8%        -1.1
Source: comScore MobiLens
Media tracking firm The NPD Group has acquired research firm In-Stat for an undisclosed amount for its expertise in the mobile internet and digital entertainment industries. In-Stat will keep its brand name, and its researchers will report to Tim Bush, GM of The NPD Group’s Technology Analyst Business.


has come up with a $35 plastic viewer you attach to your iPhone or iPod Touch (it kind of looks like those View-Master viewers still sold by rival Mattel) that presents gaming, tour and other applications in a 360-degree 3D viewing environment. The toy company has also released a series of apps for the “MY 3D” device, some free for now, including “My3D Presents,” a movie trailer app, “Sector 17,” a first person shooter and 3D maze app “Bubble Bolt” which you navigate by tilting the phone in the right direction. Target and has exclusive rights to sell the MY 3D viewer until June.


Former Huffington Post CFO Eric Ashman has been named CFO of New York-based, the men’s lifestyle site and parent company of Eric also served as CFO of


A picture is worth a thousand privacy concerns. Google has created a mobile app that allows users to access a database of personal information by taking a picture of a person’s face. (It would be a great app for those of us who are great at faces but can’t remember names – just snap a picture of someone and that person’s ID would appear in seconds.) The company provided no timetable for its release, according to CNN intended to be part of the Google Goggles search app available for Android and iPhone that uses mobile cameras to scan barcodes, recognize objects including landmarks, artwork and logos or even translate text. But Google, which refuted parts of the story is already facing a backlash of privacy concerns and has claimed it is delaying its release until it can figure out a way maintain privacy controls.
Correction: Google is laying fiber for its ultra-fast broadband network in Kansas City, KS not Kansas City, MO.
Later – Wayne
Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital

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JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, DISTRIBUTOR MKTG/Smithsonian Channel/NYC: 7+ years marketing in television/media industry. Will be Mktg generalist for Distributor and Trade. Apply at (4/9)

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SITUATION WANTED: ASSOCIATE PRODUCER/NY: 6+ years experience at: Food Network, ABC, NBC, CBS, BBC, Nick, MTV, CNN, History Channel, Sesame Street,TLC, Contact: (4/5) (917) 692-3229 [email protected] (4/5)

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