Good morning, it’s Monday, July 11, 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.
Former News of the World editor and spokesman for 10 Downing Street, Andy Coulson, was arrested on Friday, dragging the government of Prime Minister David Cameron into the fast-spreading mobile phone voicemail hacking scandal. News Corp. Deputy CEO James Murdoch made good on his promise on Sunday to shutdown the tabloid after 168 years in print and eighty-year-old News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch traveled to London on Saturday to help out with the crisis, which is threatening to scuttle the firm’s bid to take over pay broadcaster BSkyB. Chief Executive of News Corp. International Rebekah Brooks, who was the paper’s editor at the time the phone hacking scandal broke, continues to enjoy the full support of the company.
Google’s Google+ social network continues to experience growing pains as many users found the site inoperable over the weekend due to a massive influx of spam. “For about 80 minutes we ran out of disk space on the service that keeps track of notifications,” wrote Google head of social Vic Gundotra in a blog post. “Hence our system continued to try sending notifications. Over, and over again. Yikes.”
Best-quality 1080p HD streaming could finally be coming to iTunes. Licensing and technical challenges have so far limited Apple‘s digital downloads on the service to 720p, but the company is planning a new software release and an upgrade to the Apple TV set top in the fall that will include 1080p encoding options, according to Apple Insider. 20th Century Fox and two other major studios are planning to offer a number of new releases in the format.
Netflix began selling a new DVD subscription plan geared toward users who aren’t interested in streaming. The plan, which seems opposed to the company’s renewed focus on delivering content via the internet, offers unlimited DVD rentals without streaming rights for $7.99/mo. Then in an op-ed piece in the WSJ on Friday, Netflix General Counsel David Hyman made the case that the company’s streaming efforts are not causing traffic issues. “Wireline bandwidth is an almost-unlimited resource, due to advances in internet architecture,” he wrote, noting that it costs less than 1 cent to deliver an episode of 30 Rock.
DirecTV has generated little consumer interest in the experimental premium VOD platform thus far, according to a report in the LA Times – despite the very public outcry from theater owners when the service debuted in April. Four studios have offered up a total of 13 films so far about 60-days after their theatrical release for the hefty price of $30 per film.
Deal site LivingSocial, whose investors include Amazon.com, will be jumping on the IPO bandwagon later in the fall seeking to raise about $1 billion, according to a WSJ report. The listing, which is being underwritten by BofA Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and J.P. Morgan Chase, would value the company at between $10 billion and $15 billion. LivingSocial’s market share has grown to reach 24% in the top 20 U.S. metro markets.
Comedian Tom Kelly has discovered a flaw in Facebook’s new video calling feature. If you’re a Safari user (Mac’s native web browser), minimizing or closing the window of the chat on Facebook does not always shut down the call – leaving the person on the other line with a full view of what’s happening in front of your computer. Scary!
Google chairman Eric Schmidt has agreed to testify before the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee as it proceeds with its investigation into the search giant’s business practices, the committee announced on Friday. The FTC launched a broad, formal antitrust investigation of Google while the EU is also investigating whether the company has violated European competition laws. The hearing is expected to be scheduled in Sept.
NTT DoCoMo formed a joint venture with leading Chinese search provider Baidu, Inc. to distribute games and other mobile content to wireless users in China. The Japanese mobile carrier is expected to invest ¥2 billion ($24.7 million) in the venture, with Baidu taking an 80% stake.
Digital album sales, which accounted for one out of every three album purchases through the first half of 2011, are up 19% through the first six months over 2010 and are on pace to set a new sales record at the end of the year, according to Nielsen and Billboard‘s Mid-year Music Industry Report. Digital sales, helped by the release of the Beatles catalog and the shut down of illegal download site Limewire, have helped boost overall music sales for the first time since 2004. Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” became the first digital song to sell more than 7 million tracks on March 20 while Eminem’s Recovery became the first digital album to sell more than one million units on July 3. Adele’s 21 has been the best selling physicals and digital album of the year (1.5 hard copies, 992k digital sales) and the “Rolling in the Deep” single from the album has sold 4 million downloads.
Global shipments of tablet computers fell 28% to 7.2 million units during the post-holiday first quarter compared to Q4 sales in 2010, according to market intelligence firm IDC. And while sales of eReaders also fell for the quarter, they’re up 105% y/y and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color managed to surpass Amazon’s Kindle for the first time. IDC forecasts the worldwide eReader market to ship 16.2 million units in 2011, a 24% increase over 2010.
The next generation HTML5 video format, which takes advantage of the royalty-free H.264 video streaming format, continues to grow its footprint on the web with the rapid growth of iOS and Android mobile, according to video search and analytics company MeFeedia. Android is the fastest growing, expanding 10X from Jan 2010 until June 2011, while the iPad displays the highest engagement numbers, with 40% more videos viewed per visit than Android, iPhone, and desktop (Windows, Mac) environments.
A free iPhone app around Truth About Today officially launched today, the 3rd anniversary of the launch of iPhone apps, from production company Spin the Bottle – creator of VH1’s popular “Pop-Up Video” info nuggets. Daily minute-long webisodes examine odd but factual moments in history and the app allows you to search back past dates to view archived episodes. The Truth About Today currently appears daily on the AOL homepage as well as Spin The Bottle’s own website, and has garnered over 8 million views since its debut in Jan. 2011, according to the producers.
YouTube is testing a cuddly new video playback and playlist interface called Cosmic Panda, featuring more sophisticated page design and editing tools for creators. From a design standpoint, Panda is a vast improvement, borrowing many visual elements from slicker streaming video sites such as Hulu or Vimeo. New features include a vastly simplified interface and the ability to showcase your work in widescreen format. Users can enable the new design via the TestTube dashboard the company’s testing board for engineers to incubate new feature ideas.
Later – Wayne
Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital
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JOB OPENING: DAYTIME PROGRAMMING EXECUTIVE/ABC/NY: Experience launching and overseeing non-scripted shows as well as working with talent and agencies required. www.disneycareers.com req: 312230 (7/16)
JOB OPENING: DIR OF DEV/NY prod co: Producer/Writer with dev. exp and network relationships respond to [email protected] (7/15)
JOB OPENING: GRAPHIC DESIGNER & PRODUCTION ASST/HarperCollins Publishers/NYC: seeking a Graphic Designer and Production Asst to join the team that creates its enhanced e-books. View jobs/apply: http://www.harpercollinscareers.com (7/15)
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JOB OPENING: DIGITAL SALES PLANNER/ABC Owned/NY: generate, communicate proposals to sales teams for presentation to agencies, clients. Follow through on all aspects of digital campaigns. Apply: www.disneyabcjobs.com Req:298513 (7/15)
JOB OPENING: SR WRITER/PRODUCER/NEW YORK: Sr. Writer/Producer: Please visit www.aetn.com/careers req#99192 for full description & to apply. https://secure.sterlingdirect.com/jobboard/Default.aspx?JOBBOARDID=618&JobDetail=99192 (7/14)
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JOB OPENING: GHOST WRITERS Looking for Children’s Book ghost writers. Send samples and rates to [email protected] (7/12)
JOB OPENING: CREATIVE DIR, NBCU/Syfy/NY: Job#2123BR Oversee promo campaigns (Bdcst),consumer/trade mktg materials. Sprvs creative process incl concepting/scripting/prod/editorial. 5+yrs exp TV. Apply online www.nbcunicareers.com/ (7/12)
JOB OPENING: DIR, TECHNOLOGY & OPS/CA: Job#2190BR Oversees business operations, delivery, and emerging technology for Digital Distribution group at NBC Universal. 7+ yrs exp. To apply: http://www.nbcunicareers.com/search_nbc/ (7/12)
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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].
FALL INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: NBCU Integrated Media works across portfolio to develop custom, innovative ad sales marketing solutions. Intern responsibilities: brainstorms, research, newsletter mgmt, etc. Res/cov ltr to: [email protected] (7/13)
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: RESEARCH DIR/SALES – 20+ yrs Media, Nielsen, Hispanic Mkt, Research, Sales, and Presentation experience. How can I help you? Email: [email protected] (7/16)
SITUATION WANTED: New York Producer/UPM With business finance background 5-7 Years in tv/Film Looking for Freelance or Full Time work. Brian [email protected] http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2735106/ (7/15)
SITUATION WANTED: Recent college graduate looking for ENTRY LEVEL JOB in entertainment industry.Marketing experience, bilingual with Japanese, PBK. Based in Philly. Please contact Bethany Rycek at [email protected] (7/15)
SITUATION WANTED: CREATIVE MEDIA MIND Seeking to assist, Entry- Junior level positions, B.A. & Communications/Media background, 3-5 years of experience domestically & internationally. NY based. Please contact, [email protected] (7/15)
SITUATION WANTED: Consultant for script notes, standup act/material, pitching projects. Resume includes managing talent for 10 years, devel. exec, producer. Teach seminars/college. Reasonable fees. [email protected] for info (7/14)
SITUATION WANTED: LA. Exp’d director/ producer seeking position in production, development or sales at a feature film/ TV production company or studio, 15 years exp in commercials, TV and film. contact: [email protected] (7/14)
SITUATION WANTED: MANAGER/DIRECTOR FINANCIAL PLANNING AND ANALYSIS/LA. 10+ yrs exp in corporate entertainment finance. Extensive background in financial budgeting, planning, modeling and executive presentations. [email protected] (7/13)
SITUATION WANTED: I’ve written a 1-hour dramedy entitled, Tree House, which is loosely based on my life story. It’s, ” A Contemporary, Edgy, Multiplatform Show “. I’m looking for studio executive assistance. [email protected] (7/13)
SITUATION WANTED: UK: DEVELOPMENT RESEARCHER/AP Skilled in Factual & Fact Ent research, finding contributors and writing pitches. more info at www.sofatelly.com or email [email protected] (7/13)
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