Monday, February 16th, 2009

Cynopsis: DIGITAL


Good morning, it’s Monday, February 16, 2009, and this is your first early morning digital briefing. 

The much-anticipated online piracy trial aimed at shutting down P2P streaming site The Pirate Bay once and for all begins today in Stockholm, Sweden. Plaintiffs including Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., MGM Pictures Inc., Colombia Pictures Industries Inc., 20th Century Fox Films Co. and Sony BMG are seeking $14.3 million in compensation for lost revenues. Long a target of studios due to its popularity, cheekiness and utter disregard for copyright protections, The Pirate Bay found itself a target beginning in May of 2006 after Swedish police raided one of the group’s data centers containing servers that facilitate its file sharing activities. With more than 25 million peers at a given time, The Pirate Bay is by far the largest BitTorrent tracker and shutting down the site’s numerous servers could severely disrupt P2P file sharing across the globe, predicts TorrentFreak.


Open APIs may not be a foregone conclusion after all among studios. Indicating a possible digital media policy sea change at Viacom, MTV notified developers through a blog post that, beginning in March, MTVN’s embeddable video player will no longer be available to third-party sites. Until now developers have been able to embed full-length, ad-supported videos from MTV, VH1, CMT and Logo directly on their sites. Going forward, third party sites will only have access to thumbnails and lists of videos that link back to MTVN sites. Needless to say developers, who spent time testing the API and helping to greatly increase the distribution of MTVN content on the web, are not happy.
Sony Music Entertainment became the first major content producer to re-up with the world’s dominant video sharing site, renewing its global licensing deal with YouTube and insuring the delivery of music videos from mega stars such as Beyonce and Avril Lavigne on the platform, per AllThingsD. The renewal comes just weeks after YouTube failed to reach a similar arrangement with Warner Music and was forced to remove all licensed videos and audio from the site.
CBS Interactive utilized YouTube effectively last week by actually making a crucial clip of content available before it appeared on air. CBS uploaded Joaquin Phoenix obtuse interview with David Letterman, in which he discussed his new career change to hip-hop, in a play to increase on air viewership and get a head start on viral buzz. The ratings didn’t substantially spike that night but the clip racked up more than 2.5 million views within 36 hours of the telecast, according to internal CBS measurement.
Disney unveiled the Flash-driven, a companion site to its newly rebranded cable network Disney XD now focused on boys (formerly knows as Toon Disney.) The site combines elements of video sharing, virtual worlds and social networking, enabling kids to create profiles and avatars, accumulate points, play casual games and watch videos of original Disney content.


Fast growing microblogging service Twitter raised $35 million in series C financing from Benchmark and Institutional Venture Partners. The company’s plans include enabling a robust echosystem to grow around the service and building revenue-generating products.
Max Goldenson, daughter of ABC network founder and TV pioneer Leonard Goldenson, has launched a new multiplatform digital production outfit dubbed MWG Entertainment. MWG’s first project – “My Two Fans,” a 16-episode web musical about a late twentysomething’s attempt to rebound from a broken heart, is set to premiere on March 9 on YouTube,, Veoh, iTunes and Barrett Swatek (Quarterlife) stars in the show while Lauren Iungerich serves as creator and director.
Social marketing agency Mr. Youth focusing on word-of-mouth, social interactive and experiential marketing closed a private equity deal with two Boston-based investors: Alta Communications and The Mustang Group LLC.  Current board member Jordan Rednor also joined the round.


Ganett’s rich media ad enabler PointRoll expanded its network to deliver ads to the IPhone, enabling advertisers to target mobile users by demographic. ESPN, AOL’s Platform-A, Millennial Media and USA TODAY have all been featuring PointRoll’s interactive rich media ads on the platform, creating over half a billion impressions each month.
Usage of performance-based ads tied to measurable results will increase in 2009 as advertisers seek clarity and improved ROI, according to research from Econsultancy sponsored by Conversa. The research found that more than three quarters (78%) of advertisers are planning to raise their spending on CPA (cost-per-action/acquisition) formats this year; 67% plan to increase spending on cost-per-lead (CPL) ads; and just under half will increase spending on cost-per-click (CPC).


Young Broadcasting, owner of 10 local TV stations including San Francisco indie station KRON and ABC affiliates in Nashville, TN and Albany N.Y., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday in the wake of downwardly spiraling ad revenue. The company vowed to re-emerge from Chapter 11 after restructuring its debt and to continue operating its stations without interruption.


The whole social networking phenomenon is providing a unique looking glass into popular youth culture than can be utilized by anyone interested in studying hyper current habits of the adolescent human race. HarperCollins has turned to the Bebo community to find Britain’s latest slang words. The words were originally short-listed by a panel of 14-18 year-olds and have been divided into six categories; money orientated, ‘cool’, friends, girls/boys, street language and put-downs (always a source for inspiration). Bebo’s 10.5 million unique users in the UK are currently casting their votes and views on which of the slang words they think should be included. The list of teen slang words selected for the 30th edition of the Collins English dictionary will be made public by Bebo this summer. In the meantime, here’s a little primer:
Piff – Good
Stunting – Showing off
Co-dee – Friends
Sick – Cool, good
Pee – Money
Breh – Boy
Shifted – To get arrested
Pinky – £50
Online video usage in the U.S. remained relatively flat in terms of uniques and total streams in Dec. compared to the previous month, according to Nielsen Online. The engagement metric of time spent per viewer actually declined by 4%.
Overall Online Video Usage (U.S.)
                                           Nov-08      Dec-08      Percent Change
Unique Viewers (000)           124,262       124,611             0%
Total Streams (000)          9,548,267    9,593,320             0%
Streams per Viewer                76.8            77                 0%
Time per Viewer (min)           177.9          170.7              -4%
Source: Nielsen Online VideoCensus, Includes progressive downloads, excludes video advertising
Top Online Brands ranked by Video Streams for December 2008 (U.S.)
Brand                                          Total Streams (000)   Unique Viewers (000)
YouTube                                            5,561,410                     84,603
Yahoo!                                                 223,604                     22,231
Fox Interactive Media                             223,130                    16,245
Hulu                                                    216,344                       6,679
Nickelodeon Kids and Family Network        203,164                       7,213
Google                                                 189,964                      25,484
ESPN                                                   171,930                        8,228
MSN/Windows Live                                153,056                      12,384                                              117,652                        3,578
Turner Sports and Ent. Digital Network      99,909                      4,423
Source: Nielsen Online VideoCensus, Includes progressive downloads, excludes video advertising


Attention Developers: Google’s Android platform is now accepting applications for paid app submissions. Developers will be able to set whatever price they wish for the apps, but will share 30% of the proceeds with Google.
reached an agreement with mobile services company Webalo, Inc. to enable the studio’s executives to be the first to receive smartphone access to up-to-the-minute figures about box office receipts and other performance data, via Webalo’s Mobile Dashboard Service.


San Francisco-based email marketer and actionable analytics provider iPost named co-founder Bart Schaefer to CEO, effective immediately. Bart replaces Russell McDonald, who will leave iPost for Australia.


With millions of users out there out of work, more and more adults are turning to social networks to try and turn up work. A little over a month after it surpassed the 150 million user mark, Facebook announced it hit 175 million uses this month, growing at a clip of over 600,000 new users/day. The fastest-growing segment is 30+ year olds and with more than 35 translations of the site already available more than 70% of Facebook’s users live outside of the U.S. Meanwhile professional networking service LinkedIn experienced its own growth spurt last month – increasing from 6.3 million users in Dec. to 7.7 million users in Jan., according to ComScore. The site’s newest additions are a pair of widgets. One allows users to display their Linkedin profile on blogs and the other third-party sites. The Company Insider Widget is geared toward corporate users, allowing companies to place the simple Javascript on their sites to let users know how many of their connections work for them. Neophytes may want to check out Guy Kawasaki’s blog entry for some excellent advice on how to use LinkedIn to scrounge for a job.

Later — Wayne
 Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital

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JOB OPENING: DIGITAL AD SALES ASST/NY: Entry level position, prefer industry internships, enthusiastic multi-tasked & detail oriented individual. Full details & select req 272 (2/21)

JOB OPENING: COMMERCIAL OPS SPECIALIST (CMT)/NY: Schedule daily commercial logs and advertiser commercial copy. Must have exp in traffic/comm ops and traffic systems. Gabriel a +. Res: [email protected] (2/20)

JOB OPENING:  EDITORIAL MGR/ HBO Broadband/NYC:  Establish/maintain editorial, conceptual and writing standards. 7 yrs exp req. Entertainment writing exp desired. New media/online background required. Send to: [email protected] (2/20)

JOB OPENING: SPECIAL PROJECTS WRITER/PRODUCER/HGTV/Knoxville: Conceptualize, write, direct and produce high end on-air and off channel marketing campaigns.3+ yrs exp in cable net or equivalent. Apply: #262 (2/18)

JOB OPENING: SR. RESEARCH ANALYST/ Track/report/analyze key metrics, create research materials & run panels. Omniture & Excel expertise a must; exp w/ other online research tools highly pref. Res: [email protected] (2/18)

JOB OPENING: SR ACCT EXEC/ACCT DIR Out-of Home media sales/NY: 5+ yrs nat’l sales exp w/clients & advrtsng agencies strat. plan’g groups. Proven track rec of new bus/acct dvlpmnt req’d. Exp w/Youth mkt a + Res to: [email protected] (2/18)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR DEVELOPMENT/Story House Productions/DC: Lead creative development and sales process. Min 10 yrs exp in tv dev and prod req. Strong client contacts req. Apply: (2/18)

JOB OPENING: ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE (Universal Sports/NYC): 5-7 yrs exp @ sports network/website co., 3 yrs. Sports or digital sales exp req’d. Knwlg effective/creative pckgng strat a must. Res: [email protected] (2/17)

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] .

SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY:  Exposure to business side of television. Work on program decisions, marketing & sales opportunities for client TV stations.   COX REPs-NY-Strong comm. & math skills required, Contact:  [email protected]  #(212)372-0443 (2/18)

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: DEVELOPMENT EXECUTIVE Currently working Los Angeles based television development executive seeks new platform. I created/sold twelve series in the past four years and currently have six on the air. Email: [email protected] (2/21)

SITUATION WANTED: CELEBRITY TALENT PROD with exp on both coasts.Will connect your synd, ntwrk or cable prgrm w/ quality & approp celebrity guests. Staff or freelance – visit ………. [email protected] (2/20)

SITUATION WANTED: NON-FICTION PRODUCER/WRITER/DIRECTOR. Reality/Ent/Docs. 3 Emmy Noms.; Field and Post; NBC; Dis; TLC; CMT; VH1; E!; Runs on Batteries. LA based.  [email protected] (2/20)

SITUATION WANTED: RESEARCH DIRECTOR 20+ yrs media, Nielsen, Hispanic, & sales experience. Contract basis. Save money over a FT director. Let’s talk.Email: [email protected] (2/19)

SITUATION WANTED: 5 PRIME TIME EMMYS/ DOC. PROD, DIR., WRITER in L.A. Credits: National Geo, PBS, Discovery, History CH, TLC and MSNBC. Contact email: [email protected] (2/19)

SITUATION WANTED: DIRECTOR/PRODUCER/MANAGER: Major Network and Cable live News and Sports experience. Start-up, operations, editorial and production specialist. Available to meet your schedule Coast to coast! [email protected] (2/19)

SITUATION WANTED: TV PRODUCER reality with network and cable credit seeks show producer/field producer position at prod. co. or network. Most recently series produced show airing on NBC O and O’s. (NY based) [email protected] (2/19)

SITUATION WANTED: PRODUCER/WRITER/DIRECTOR (NY): Ultra-creative, award winning, all formats, all genres, all major networks and major cable. Fast, frugal and fun! [email protected] (2/18)

SITUATION WANTED:TV PRODUCER: Reality with network and cable credit seeks show producer/field producer position at prod. co. or network. Most recently series produced show airing on NBC O and O’s. (NY based) [email protected] (2/18)

E-mail [email protected] or call Trish Pihonak at 203.926.9878 for rates and specs for Job Openings.

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