Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Cynopsis: DIGITAL


Good morning, it’s Monday, March 2, 2009, and this is your first early morning digital briefing. 

In an effort to stave off the demise of some of its oldest print newspapers, Hearst Corp. will begin charging for at least some of its online content according to a memo obtained by the WSJ (which itself operates using a hybrid free/pay model on the web.) Hearst’s “100 Days” digital strategy is still in the planning stages but ideas include reaching out to citizen journalists for submissions, offering self-service advertising for smaller businesses, delivering ads using third-party printers, charging for digital subscriptions and content delivered to mobile devices such as the iPhone and even developing its own e-reader to publish its newspapers and magazines electronically. Hearst, which has already announced it may close the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and San Francisco Chronicle if it cannot find buyers, is seen as a company in a do-or-die situation as it seeks to transition to a new business model before it’s too late.


Speaking of citizen journalism, The New York Times is introducing a hyper-local neighborhood blogging initiative today accepting postings on “cultural events, bar and restaurant openings, real estate, arts, fashion, health, social concerns and anything else that goes on in the ‘SoHo of Brooklyn,'” per Brooklyn blog Brownstoner. Beginning with pilot sites covering Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn and Millburn, Maplewood and South Orange, N.J., each site will accept text stories, photos and short films and will be overseen by a writer/editor from the Times.


Live video streaming portal will be on hand at the South by Southwest interactive music festival to stream live performances and appearances from musicians, futurists, artists and journalists live. The site will set up shop in the Belmont restaurant and bar in Austin.
Cross platform content production and consulting company 9 closed on an angel funding round to help brands, entertainment, media and internet companies create cross platform businesses and content.
To rev up for the premiere of The Watchmen, Joost has put together a compendium of comics-themed video clips dating back to the original Flash Gordon shorts from the 1930s.


Amazon has given ground on the experimental text-to-speech function of the new Kindle, following a chorus of criticism from authors and publishers including Author’s Guild President Ray Blount, Jr. Rather than offer the feature across its entire library, Amazon will offer authors and publishers the choice whether or not they would like to enable text-to-speech on title-by-title basis.


Nielsen released its January Video Census numbers revealing that total video streams topped 10 billion in the U.S. for the first time. Live streaming of President Obama’s inauguration helped increase the overall internet video audience increased to 135 million. After a basically flat Dec., YouTube increased its traffic by a measurable clip to 5.8 billion streams from 92 million unique users, up from 5.5 billion streams/84 million users in Dec. Following its Superbowl ad campaign, the aliens at Hulu rolled past Fox Interactive Media to the #3 ranking in terms of total streams while ABC nearly doubled its video viewer base from 3.5 million to 6.2 million. CNN also saw a huge boost from its Facebook inauguration integration, delivering 152 million streams to 5.6 million unique viewers in Jan., up from 95 million streams/8.3 million uniques in Dec.
Overall Online Video Usage (U.S.)
                                           Nov-08      Dec-08      Jan-09        Percent Change
Unique Viewers (000)           124,262    124,611       135,617            +8.8%
Total Streams (000)          9,548,267  9,593,320  10,457,785             +9.0%
Streams per Viewer                76.8            77              77.1               +0%
Time per Viewer (min)           177.9         170.7            178.6             +4.6%
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                                            5,810,271                     92,563
Yahoo!                                                 273,968                     24,518
Hulu                                                    232,444                       7,238
Fox Interactive Media                             213,351                     16,318
Nickelodeon Kids and Family Network        204,212                        6,268
MSN/Windows Live                                171,909                      14,468                                              163,503                       6,221
CNN                                                    152,780                     11,444
Turner Sports and Ent. Digital Network      143,481                       5,698
Megavideo                                             90,952                       4,439
Source: Nielsen Online VideoCensus, Includes progressive downloads, excludes video advertising
Top 10 Parent Companies/Divisions for January 2009
     Parent                Unique Audience (000)    Time Per Person (hh:mm:ss)
1.  Google                       140,202                        2:13:20
2.  Microsoft                    128,870                        2:35:34
3.  Yahoo!                       120,032                        3:32:25
4.  AOL LLC                       88,989                        3:52:12
5.   News Corp. Online         82,746                        1:26:10
6.   InterActiveCorp            67,670                        0:17:25
7.   eBay                           66,942                        1:51:31
8.   Amazon                       65,374                        0:28:08
9.   Facebook                     62,459                        2:50:02
10. Wikimedia Foundation     60,852                        0:19:28
Source: Nielsen Online
Top 10 Web Brands for January 2009
    Brand               Unique Audience (000)  Time Per Person (hh:mm:ss)
1. Google                    135,613                    1:31:58
2  Yahoo!                    118,824                    3:33:04
3. MSN/Windows Live    105,900                    2:24:41
4. Microsoft                   99,169                    0:46:59
5. AOL Media Network      88,989                    3:52:12
6. YouTube                    84,240                    1:02:19
7. Fox Interactive Media   71,244                    1:26:05
8. Facebook                   62,444                     2:50:04
9. Wikipedia                   60,382                     0:19:26
10. Apple                       59,482                     1:24:16
Source: Nielsen Online
Average U.S. Internet Usage, Combined Home & Work, Month of January 2009
Sessions/Visits per Person                   62
Domains Visited per Person                 115
Web Pages per Person                    2,580
Duration of a Web Page Viewed     0:00:55
PC Time per Person                    74:45:35
Active Digital Media Universe  168,734,519
Current Digital Media             229,254,813
Universe Estimate
Source: Nielsen Online
Entertainment-related merger & acquisition activity may slow to a crawl in 2009 after a near record volume of deals last year, according to an annual report from PricewaterhouseCoopers. Thanks in part to a backlog of deals announced as far back as 2006, a total of 1,000 deals totaling $150.8 billion in value were completed in 2008, with a lion’s share occurring in the Broadcasting (23.9%), Internet (21%), Casino and Gaming (20.2%) and Cable (18.7%) sectors in terms of disclosed deal value.


To celebrate its 25th anniversary the WWE has developed a new Wrestlemania microsite chronicling the history of the sport. One clever component is the Smash-Ups app, enabling fans to create their own mash-ups from official WWE clips, photos and music. (Die hards can also enter contest for the chance at $5,000 in cash and to see their montage highlighted on


Struggling to arrest a deep slump in electronics sales, Sony announced a management shake-up adding President to the title of Sir Howard Stringer, the company’s first foreign CEO and chairman. He replaces Ryoji Chubachi, who will become Vice Chairman in charge of product safety, quality and environmental issues. Stringer will oversee two newly-aligned divisions:

  • the new Networked Products & Services Group headed by Kazuo Hirai including Sony Computer Entertainment, personal computers (VAIO); new mobile products, including the current WALKMAN lines; and Sony Media Software and Services
  • the new Consumer Products Group will include the current Television, Digital Imaging, Home Audio and Video businesses. Hiroshi Yoshioka will become Executive Deputy President of Sony Corp. and President of the New CPG.

Sony, which expects to post a $3 billion loss for the year ending March 31, must streamline its sprawling electronics division to regain a competitive edge, Stringer said Friday.


Gossip Girl producer Alloy Media + Marketing introduced Teen.comTV, a new youth-focused video portal aggregating a handful of original shows it will distribute to other sites in Alloy’s network including social networking site gURL and virtual site Meez. First-run TEEN.comTV webisodes will include original scripted programming such as Private, based on the best-selling book series, created and produced by Alloy Entertainment, and Haute and Bothered coming in May, developed through its content partnership with United Talent Agency. By now the formula is familiar – build programming directly around sponsors’ products such as LG’s Mobile Phones and offer additional content and interactivity not found on linear TV.  But Alloy has their work cut out for them here because the teen demo can be fickle and is increasingly tech savvy. The execution of the shows themselves will be critical in helping to grow the network, which attracted 6 million unique visitors in Jan. 2009, according to comScore. Building shows around established characters is a good place to start but the portal also needs to develop shows directly for web video medium. 
Later — Wayne
 Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital

Cynopsis Digital Ad Sales:
Chuck Bolkcom – 646-468-6180 / [email protected]
Mark Bohn- 203-583-1224 / mark@cynopsis. com
Classifieds – Trish Pihonak- 203-926-9878 / [email protected]

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JOB OPENING: HR RECRUITER/Flashpoint Academy/CHI: Seek employ opps nationwide; film/TV prod, video game dvlpmnt, animation/special effects, recording arts & science, & dig. mktg ind. Creative field exp pref’d. Res: [email protected] (3/7)

JOB OPENING: ONLINE MKTG MGR/MusicChoice/NY: Resp for mgmt of content/mktg assets on website. Create/execute online mktg plans. 5+ yrs online exp required. Prefer exp w/12-24 demo.  [email protected] (3/7)

JOB OPENING: DIR NAT ACCTS/LA/Lifetime: Dist products & services w/aff cable/sat/telco/max dist to ntwrk & ntwrk media. 5+ yrs sles/cbl & new media sales pref’d. (3/7)

JOB OPENING: ON AIR MEDIA COORD/LA/Lifetime: Asst developing/sched’g, media plans/prfcnt onair pro, etc/liaison btw groups/BA, BS, equiv. (3/7)

JOB OPENING:   PROD/DIR /Jupiter Entertainment /Knoxville: Conceptualize, prd/dir a hosted pilot. Strong point of view; exp working w/ talent in challenging envir. Deliver high qual prgrmng on cable budget. Reel/res: [email protected]   (3/7)

JOB OPENING:  SALES DIR/BBC/NYC: Manage& coach sales team, direct selling, media licensing exp. Bring in new rev, est & implement strategy, grow biz. Apps to (3/5)

JOB OPENING:  SNR MANAGER, DIGITAL SYNDICATION/BBC/NYC: Mng marketing & promo for BBCWW titles w/ partners, manage clients & program supply, coord clearance process. Apps to (3/5)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, BUSINESS AFFAIRS & PROGRAMMING LEGAL/MD: Handle production and talent negotiations for TLC. JD and 5+ yrs entertainment law exp is required. Apply: #8636 (3/4)

JOB OPENING: CFO /Silver Spring, MD: Fin strategy & ldrshp, hand-on mgmt for B2B/B2C media business; Exclt comm. skills, high emotional intell, low ego, collaborative all req’d. Resume, ltr, to [email protected] EOE (3/3)

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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: OFFICE OR SET PA/PERSONAL ASSNT/LA:3 yrs. exp, creative, well organized, pays attention, catches on quick. Will travel + can start asap. email: [email protected] 323.605.2086 (3/6)

SITUATION WANTED: PROD. (TV, Print, Multimedia): Live/taped/field, booking, writing, editing, casting, on-camera, PR. News, biz, finance, entertainment, health, beauty, fashion & lifestyle. [email protected] (3/6)

SITUATION WANTED: CASTING PRODUCER/AP For Reality/Docs. Worked for NBC, CBS, ABC, TLC, E!, Reelz, and MTV. From Big personalities to experts/professors. Research galore. (In LA) [email protected] (3/5)

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] (3/5)

SITUATION WANTED: OFFICE OR SET PA/PERSONAL ASSNT/LA:3 yrs. exp, creative, well organized, pays attention, catches on quick. will travel + can start asap. email: [email protected] 323.605.2086 (3/5)

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SITUATION WANTED: TV PRODUCER- EDITOR Northeast 13 years exp, have produced 6 weekly magazine programs, I also write and shoot. Creative and tenacious, Freelance or full-time. Contact [email protected] (3/4)

SITUATION WANTED: FIELD PRODUCER/ DIRECTOR/LA: Docusoap, Lifestyle, Infotainment,Feature Doc + more. Resonant leader, keen director/ writer, strong storyteller + showrunner. 8+ yrs. Will travel. [email protected] 917.716.7277 (3/4)

SITUATION WANTED: CELEBRITY BOOKER & REALITY CASTING DIRECTOR: Extensive exp. w/TV Talk, Reality & Lifestyle Shows. Thousands of contacts to celebrities, experts, authors, real people, etc. Contact: [email protected] (3/4)

SITUATION WANTED: CASTING PRODUCER/AP For Reality/Docs. Worked for NBC, CBS, ABC, TLC, E!, Reelz, and MTV. From Big personalities to experts/professors. Research galore. (In LA) [email protected] (3/4)

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] (3/3)

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