Monday, January 14th, 2013

Cynopsis: DIGITAL

Good morning. It’s Monday, January 14, 2013, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.

According to a new forecast from The Diffusion Group (TDG), the number of US households that subscribe to traditional pay-TV has peaked in the last two years, and will decline from nearly 101 million in 2012 to less than 95 million in 2017. Michael Greeson, Founding Partner and Director/Research at TDG, told MediaPost that Hulu Plus and Netflix are partially the reason for this projected decline in pay-TV subscribers. “But those services are still supplementary for most consumers,” he added. Per what Gleeson told MediaPost, it’s going to be consumers’ adoption of new OTT technology from companies like Apple and Intel that will facilitate the shift away from pay-TV as their primary entertainment platforms. “The arrival of this next generation of services is what’s going to change things,” Greeson said. He believes the arrival of such services/devices will come by next year.


The second season of Video Game High School (VGHS), a web series from YouTube creators/stars Freddie Wong and Brandon Laatsch, will be sponsored by Dodge, with the automaker’s Dodge Dart line being integrated into the narrative. Wong and Laatsch’s YouTube channel FreddieW, on which the second season of VGHS will be available, is one of the top YouTube channels with over 4.2 million subscribers and nearly 776.9 million total views to date. Collective Digital Studio, which sells and distributes the show to digital video platforms, told Adweek recently that the first season of VGHS topped 41 million views, with each episode generating 2 to 3 million views. The Dodge Dart will be featured in several episodes of season two, which is scheduled to premiere around Comic-Con. In the show, a character will be driving the Dodge Dart, as Collective and Dodge vie for a more seamless integration and promotion of the brand and product.


Date: JAN 24, 2013 | Time: 1:30-3:00 p.m. ET | Price: $295/site

Hosted by: Sahil Patel Associate Editor, Cynopsis Digital
JoAnna Foyle Abel
– VP, Marketing, FreeWheel
Charlie Echeverry
– EVPSales for Univision Interactive, Univision Communications
Marcus Startzel
– General Manager, North America, Millennial Media


President Barack Obama has signed H.R. 6671, an amendment to the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) that’s designed to facilitate the sharing of consumers’ video-viewing history and preferences across social networks. The amendment enables video service providers such as Netflix and Hulu to offer social options that publish consumers’ viewing histories on social sites like Facebook and Twitter. However the providers still need to obtain consent, which requires that they notify consumers via a separate user agreement, while also providing them with a “clear and conspicuous” way to opt out at any time. This one-time user agreement would be effective for a period of 24 months, after which users would need to opt-in again to share their viewing information. Netflix has publicly backed the amendment, and the company has plans to introduce social features sometime this year.


While the methodology behind Y Combinator (YC) Partner Garry Tan’s survey on the social network usage habits among 13- to 25-year-olds may not be the most stringent or scientific, it did produce some interesting and surprising results. With the help of YC start-up Survata, Tan polled 1,038 people broken down into two groups  those aged 13-18 (546 responses) and 19-25 (492 responses)  and asked them which social services they used regularly, which he defined as “several hours per week or more” while allowing for multiple answers. Now here’s where the thing gets interesting: Tumblr actually beat Facebook in terms of usage among both age groups. 61% of respondents aged 13-18 said they use Tumblr, ahead of 55% of 13- to 18-year-olds who indicated the same for Facebook. Similarly, 57% of 19- to 25-year-old respondents report using Tumblr several hours per week or more; 52% of those aged 19-25 said the same about Facebook. Twitter and Instagram came in third and fourth, respectively, in each category. This doesn’t have to mean anything at the moment, but it’s an interesting finding for sure. Tumblr sometimes gets forgotten in the social marketing conversation, but if these numbers translate in any way to teens and young adults nationally, it might mean it’s time to treat the visual-heavy platform more seriously as a marketing vehicle.

It’s time for another round of US search engine rankings. Per comScore, December 2012 was no different from the rest of 2012, in which Google continued its dominance of the explicit core search market with a share of 66.7%, which, admittedly, was down 0.3 percentage-points from November 2012. Following Google were, in order, Microsoft sites (16.3%), Yahoo sites (12.2%), the Ask Network (3%), and AOL (1.8%). On the bright side, the other four all witnessed minimal to no gains in their explicit core market share, while Google did. A reminder, comScore defines explicit core searches as those that exclude contextually driven queries that do not “reflect specific user intent to interact with the search results”. comScore also reports that in terms of “powered by” searches, 69.1% of searches in December 2012 carried organic search results from Google, while 25.6% were powered by Bing; that’s a 0.2 percentage-point bump for Microsoft’s search engine.


Real Media Group, a business unit of WPP’s 24/7 Media, has hired Danielle Andrews as a new Account Executive within its Technology Sales team. She will be responsible for working with publishers to sell the 24/7’s range of optimization solutions, including 24/7 Open AdStream, the company’s ad-serving technology, and Fivia, its order management platform. She will also work with publishers to sell on the Microsoft Ad Exchange, which is being made available thanks to a partnership struck between 24/7 and Microsoft. Reporting to Robert Nathanson, Real Media Group’s VP/Technology Sales, and will be based in the company’s NY headquarters.

AccuWeather has promoted Marie Svet to Chief Revenue Officer/Digital Media. She will oversee the entire advertising structure within the company, and will lead the ad monetization of AccuWeather’s ad inventory both domestically and internationally while continuing to lead ad operations and yield management. She will also set the ad monetization strategy for the company and be responsible for its implementation.


Honoring Top Sports Programs, Campaigns, and People…

It’s a NEW YEAR, so don’t forget to enter the
2nd Annual Cynopsis: Sports Media Awards
Entry Deadline: February 1
Late Submissions: February 8
Awards Event: April 2013 (NYC)

Visit our website for additional information on:
Who Should Enter, How to Enter, Eligibility Period, Categories, Deadlines, Sponsorship Opportunities, Contact Information and FAQs.


For a long time, I’ve been an unabashed fan of The Artist Formerly Known as Ron Artist; aka Metta World Peace; aka the all-around insane guy who is also slightly misunderstood because of one unfortunate incident in Detroit involving a guy who looked a lot like Turtle from Entourage. So you can probably imagine my happiness when I found out over the holiday break that Mr. World Peace has decided to put his toes in the original video content game, while also being an active participant in one of the most enjoyable Lakers seasons in quite some time (my affection for Metta does not translate to the Purple & Gold, who, if you think about it, should really be called the Purple & Yellow). Anyway, over the holidays, World Peace launched a new show on The NOC YouTube original channel called Metta World Therapy. What’s the show about? Well, the man, myth, and legend sat down with children to talk about “important issues”. It would be impossible for me to describe to you how great of an idea this is.

Since its launch, which I believe was on Christmas Eve, the first episode has topped 24,000 views. That number could be a little bit more glamorous, but it seems to fall in line with what we’ve been seeing with respect to established celebrities producing and starring in original content for the web. That’s a different discussion for another day. But in the meantime, enjoy this piece of performance art, which is what I’m choosing to call Mr. World Peace’s first YouTube show.

Later – Sahil
Sahil Patel, Associate Editor for Cynopsis Digital

Denise O’Connor: Group Publisher, Media Entertainment
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

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