Good morning, it’s Monday, February 9, 2009, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.
The music industry lost what was once thought to be one of its great digital hopes. Sony/UMG joint venture TotalMusic has officially pulled the plug according to a blog post by VP of Product Management Jason Herkowitz, a little over a year after it was conceived. Envisioned as a direct competitor to the iTunes juggernaut, TotalMusic sought to offer users access to unlimited music by charging device manufactures an upfront charge and a monthly fee that would be passed on to users. (News of its demise became an object of speculation after TechCrunch noticed that college music service Ruckus.com posted a cease and desist message – a start-up that was acquired by Total Music last year.) The decision seemed to be mostly about cold feet in tough times, according to Jason’s post. “I regret that we didn’t get to show you guys more about what we built – but in these extremely hard economic times (particularly for those in the music industry) it’s hard to blame them from pulling the plug on a still-highly-speculative offering. I only hope that someone else figures out how to crack this music-on-the-web nut in a way that is a win for everyone in the value chain.”
Battlestar Galactica fans will be able to quench their thirst for the two-hour prequel spinoff Caprica on digital platforms a full year before the movie airs on the Sci Fi Channel. The movie, which will lay the groundwork for a 22-episode series slated to launch in 2010, will be available on DVD and as a digital download on April 21 of this year but will not air until the show is ready to launch on Sci Fi. Caprica is executive produced by Ronald D. Moore and David Eick (Battlestar Galactica) and Remi Aubuchon (24) and stars Eric Stoltz, Esai Morales and Polly Walker.
National Geographic‘s digital team created a customized site around Morphed, a 3-part series that premiered last night which utilizes CG animation to speculate about what the development of evolution might have looked like. The site allows users to rotate 3D models of each creature at a different stage in its evolutionary development “morphing” fluidly between each.
Call for Content: Food Network’s Chef Duff is hosting a Valentine’s Day cake challenge on YouTube. Upload of video of yourself making, baking or just showcasing an original cake for a chance to appear on Food Network’s YouTube Channel. Deadline for submissions is Tuesday, Feb. 10 at midnight ET.
Online instant messaging portal Meebo, which allows users to write once and transmit messages to multiple IM platforms, added an integration allowing messages to be exported to Facebook chat. Meebo users will now be able to conduct instantaneous text chats with their Facebook friends off the social network as well as browse status updates of their Facebook friends.
Entertainment site Babelgum announced a new agreement today with digital distributor Content Republic to secure exclusive online rights to 24 world cinema feature films including Lars Von Trier’s The Boss Of It All, Academy Award-nominated Before The Rain and Steve Barron’s Choking Man. Two new films will be introduced on a free ad-supported basis each month for 12 consecutive months, beginning May 2009.
One way to make online video more attractive to Madison Avenue is to convert performance metrics to a television-based gross ratings points system. In a new tie-up with online measurement firm comScore, online video ad network Tremor Media introduced expanded measurement capabilities designed to do precisely that. Tremor Media will provide advertisers and publishers with post-campaign analytics that include online gross ratings points (GRPs) for all online video, calculated the same way as traditional TV GRPs. Results can be broken down by demographic segment, unique visitors, reach and frequency, according to Tremor.
Doritos’ user-generated Super Bowl took first place in YouTube’s Ad Blitz promotion. The E-Trade’s “Singing Baby”; CareerBuilder.com’s “Super Bowl Con”; Pepsi Max’s “I’m Good”; and Doritos’ “Power of the Crunch” rounded out the top 5. The contest racked up more than 21 million views and 2.6 million votes in all.
For those of you out of work it might not be a bad time to catch up on your reading of the classics. Google launched a new Book Search app for mobile devices allowing users to search for and download more than 1.5 million public domain (non-copyrighted) U.S. books for free. (The iPhone’s screen is certainly smaller than the Kindle’s but it will do in a pinch.) The 19th century-and-older works were scanned using Google’s optical characters recognition software so there are errors in the type, but you can also view actual scanned pages.
iPhone dating app HotorNot introduced on Jan. 21 is answering its own question in the affirmative, climbing to the #4 ranking in the social network category at the iTunes store. The free social networking application works much like the site, allowing users to rate members (on a “hotness” scale of 1 -10), buy and send virtual gifts or chat in real time. HotorNot says the app has generated nearly 7 million ratings and over 3.5 million yes and no votes since its launch.
There’s something strange in the neighborhood – Who you gonna call? A&E has launched its first iPhone app – a faux “Paranormal State EMF Reader” developed by Moderati that supposedly picks up fluctuations in electromagnetic fields. (The interface is deliciously hokey.) The free app is part of the network’s digital push to promote the third season of Paranormal State, a real-life series following the adventures of the Paranormal Research Society at Penn State.
Dan Thomas has been named as SVP/Branded Entertainment, for Sony Pictures Television (SPT). Dan will work with clients and agencies to steer compatible brands to Sony’s Crackle video portal and develop product integrations for traditional series. He reports to Amy Carney, President, Ad Sales, SPT in Culver City, CA.
One of the more creative iPhone apps we’ve seen is Sonic Mule’s Ocarina, a musical instrument simulation that utilizes all of the phone’s tools to astounding results. Like the ancient wind instrument it is named after, Ocarina produces sounds by having users cover holes on the screen with their fingers then blow into the mike. Tilt the phone to create different ethereal effects. One of the coolest things about it is its social networking aspect – tap on the globe at the bottom of the screen to find other users around the world using the app at that exact moment in time. Who knew the iPhone could make such beautiful music? Check out this rendition of Oh Shenandoah played with the app on YouTube. Or better yet, hand it to the nearest 6 year-old and see what they can come up with.
Later — Wayne
Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital
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JOB OPENING: DIR, FINANCE/Embassy Row TV/NY: All aspects accting & financial reptg. CPA pref, BA & 10+ yrs exp. Entertainment exp. req, TV pref. Apply: www.sonypicturesjobs.com (2/13)
JOB OPENING: DIR. AD SALES RES /A&E TV-NY: Dvlp strategies & day-to-day for Ad Sls. BA/BS & 8 yrs media rsrch & mgmt exp. Knowl Nielsen/prime rsrch. Resume: www.aetn.com/careers.html (2/13)
JOB OPENING: CUST SVC REP/LA, CA/Baseline Inc: Filtering & monitoring client requests in multiple databases. 2+ yrs exp. Exp using or creating internal tracking databases. Deep understanding of ind. Send res to: [email protected] (2/12)
JOB OPENING: UNIT PUBLICIST/DKC/NYC: to work on location during prod of nationally synd TV show to ensure proper execution of all publicity efforts. 5+yrs exp w/ TV a must & health/wellness a plus. Resume: [email protected] (2/11)
JOB OPENING: SR. DIR, CLIENT DEVELOPMENT/NY/Ent-Media research co: Develop new/expand existing biz for research prod/custom services. Min 3 yrs market research sales exp. http://www.epollresearch.com/corp/aboutus/careers.view (2/11)
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)
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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 (2/10)
SPRING INTERNSHIP/CREDITS ONLY: Keith Sherman & Associates seeks an intern willing to help with day-to-day activities doing PR for the theater and other events and outlets. Please send your resume and cover letter to [email protected] (2/10)
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SITUATION WANTED: PR & NEW MEDIA GURU (LA) Great Writer/Strategist, Social Media Expert, Strong Media Contacts, 15-year PR pro now avail for in-house or freelance. U want someone to hit the ground running, right? [email protected] (2/14)
SITUATION WANTED: FREELANCE or Full-time MEDIA BUYER w/ over 25 yrs of buying exp. is newly available. Seeking F/T or Freelance wk from your office or my home (New York based) Please contact me @ [email protected] (2/14)
SITUATION WANTED: VIRTUAL WEB HOST PRODUCER (L.A.) Producer, Director, Writer Virtually place anyone or anything onto web pages. See www.YourLiveWeb.com . Contact [email protected] (2/14)
SITUATION WANTED: DEVELOPMENT/PRODUCTION EXEC. with studio and network background with great success in kids, family and teen arena seeks staff post or consultancy. www.tgcentertainment.com (2/13)
SITUATION WANTED: NASHVILLE BASED FIELD PRODUCER-Network, Cable,EPK, New Media. Ent.,Doc, News, Music, Reality, Docu-Soap, Social Issue/Ent. Video Journalist. Willing to travel and work as a local in NY, Dallas, Atlanta. [email protected] (2/12)
SITUATION WANTED: VIRTUAL CASTING Network, Major Cable, New Media credits.Booking – Casting – Research – Writing. Doc, News, Ent, Music – Celebs – Reality -Real People – Real Stories – [email protected] (2/12)
SITUATION WANTED: TV PROMO WRITER-PRODUCER L.A.- Multiple Emmy and Promax Award winner. 19+ years freelance for studios and networks. Large market station management experience. Freelance or full-time. Contact [email protected] (2/11)
SITUATION WANTED: TV PROGRAM EXECUTIVE/15 + yrs exp, Creative, great work ethic, knwldgbl, sense of humor, can relocate. See www.linkedin.com/in/joepauly. Looking for next great opp in cable or brdcst TV. Contact [email protected] (2/11)
SITUATION WANTED: EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/Animator/Editor, LA- Meg Barbour – seeks work in top design studio. 5+ years experience as producer, motion graphic designer, editor, project manager, web 2.0 consultant. [email protected] (2/10)
SITUATION WANTED: BUS AFFAIRS/EXEC PROD/DEVELOPMENT (NYC). Many years expnc in docs/reality ent. Sold progs to all cable nets. Develop/pitch/prod/negotiate. Orig commissions, co-pros, acquisitions. FT/PT/Freelance. [email protected] (2/10)
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] (2/10)
SITUATION WANTED: SYNDICATION SALES PROFESSIONAL. After six years working for a major radio program syndication company, I’m ready to make the leap to television program syndication sales.I’m a seasoned pro with over 20-yrs sales experience. E-mail: [email protected] (2/10)
SITUATION WANTED: Experienced VP, DEVELOPMENT and PRODUCTION EXECUTIVE looking for new opportunity. Contact [email protected] (2/10)
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