Good morning, it’s Monday, November 7, 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 .
You might as well just call it Groupon Strikes Back. Groupon’s shares rose as much as 56% above the IPO price during their debut in the stock market at the end of last week, before settling in at 31% above the IPO price, giving the daily deals company a market value of $16.7 billion. Reuters reports that while it was a strong initial public offering, it was also the result of creating demand by only offering a limited supply of stock. Questions still cloud over the company in regards to its business model and the growth in competitive offerings from Amazon and Google. Furthermore, it did lose two executives and was forced to change its accounting numbers twice under regulatory pressure. And finally, Groupon hasn’t been profitable since it was founded in 2008. So it’s safe to say that the story of this daily deals upstart isn’t over just quite yet.
A year away from the next presidential election, Yahoo and ABC News are teaming up to stream live interviews with each Republican candidate tomorrow, Tuesday, November 8. Hosted by an array of news anchors and correspondents, the all-day event will be a part of the Newsmakers video series on Yahoo News. The interviews will stream live both on Yahoo.com and ABCNews.com, while portions of the interviews will also be broadcasted on ABC News TV programs. If interested, viewers can also submit questions to the interviewers and the GOP candidates via ABCNews.com or the #askGOP hashtag on Twitter.
IGN Entertainment is partnering up with Shine Group to launch START in early 2012, their own new YouTube channel focusing on video games. While IGN will oversee channel programming and management, Shine Group will help populate the channel with content through its subsidiary Reveille, the digital entertainment producers behind The Biggest Loser and The Office. The programming lineup will include the IGN Pro League, which is worldwide gaming tournament; The Next Game Boss, a reality TV series that pits independent game producers against each other in order to gain funding; and Celebrity Assassin, where celebs come on to hangout, play games and talk about their latest projects.
Univision Media Interactive has redesigned its Univision.com homepage to better serve the U.S. Spanish-language speaking audience it serves. Among the improvements to the site include an easier registration process and navigation; access to more video and content; personalized news and information based on the user’s location; and a revamping of its mobile as well to provide more content. Over the past decade, the media company has experienced strong engagement with the Hispanic audience, as evidenced by the 412 million visits the website has generated across both its online and mobile offerings so far in 2011.
Stephen David Entertainment has inked an agreement with Brainstorm Digital, the digital effects company that has won an Emmy for its work on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, to produce TV series and documentary recreations. Their first collaboration will be for the History Channel’s The Men Who Built America, which will use a hybrid-documentary style to tell the stories about technological innovators in U.S. history.
IZEA Holdings, the operator of multiple social marketplaces including WeReward, SponsoredTweets and SocialSpark, has announced the introduction of SocialSpark Deals. The new feature enables publishers to promote and monetize e-commerce deals within their blogs and websites. Essentially, bloggers can write posts, embed widgets on their site, or share the deal on Facebook and Twitter; then for each purchase that was driven via the content they published, the blogger receives a share of the profits.
The Interactive Advertisement Bureau issued new guidelines designed to establish a common set of methods and practices for ad verification. According to a report from Direct Marketing News on IAB’s statement, the new guidelines are meant to provide a framework in order to assure marketers about the coordination, execution and accuracy of interactive ad campaigns. Among its recommendations, IAB requests that ad-blocking be built into ad-serving systems and platforms, and that geo-targeting companies open up their processes to independent auditing.
comScore‘s MobiLens study, which took a look at trends in the U.S. mobile industry for a three-month period leading up to the end of September 2011, finds that 234 million Americans 13 years-old and over used mobile devices in that time period. While Samsung, LG and Motorola continued to lead the way in market share for mobile device manufacturers overall, the smartphone platform category is still Google and Apple’s playground. Of the 87.4 million people who own smartphones in the United States, comScore finds that 44.8% of them use a phone on the Android operating system, which is in fact an increase of 4.6% over the previous three-month period. Meanwhile, Apple’s iOS slots in at second with 27.4% market share.
LinkedIn says 15 million new users joined the professional social network in the third quarter of 2011, and saw its mobile page views rise 400% year-over-year in the same time period. In fact, the LinkedIn share button now shows up on over 180,000 websites and domains, which itself is up from 100,000 in the second quarter of 2011. And finally, 40,000 developers are now using the LinkedIn APIs, an increase of 30% over the second quarter.
According to a Forrester Research study reported by MediaPost, Baby Boomers are the biggest players in online spend. The data indicates that 70% of consumers ages 45 to 55 made an online purchase in the past three months. Even more, consumers between the ages of 56 and 66 spent an average of $367 online during the past three months, which is more than double the purchase average for people between the ages of 18 and 22.
ShowTime launched two Facebook-based social games for Dexter right after the season premiere of the critically-acclaimed drama on October 2, and both have been successful in driving additional viewer engagement. Dexter: Slice of Life, a game that lets users go behind the mask of the main character as they explore the Miami setting and locations to complete missions and look for evidence, amassed over 220,000 active monthly users in the three weeks following its launch. Masuka’s Intern Program, which lets users assume the role of an online intern for a class on forensics that a character within the show is teaching and then compete in mini-games to unlock additional content for the show, achieved 100,000+ plays in the same timeframe.
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The Dark Knight Rises has decided to do a little bit of crowdsourcing for its soundtrack. Hans Zimmer, the highly-anticipated film’s composer is asking you, as in us, all of us, to help create the sound of a “worldwide chant.” All you have to do is go to this website and follow the easy instructions, and who knows, it might land you a small, uncredited, but-a-great-thing-to-tell-your-friends role in the film. And if you’re concerned about awful your voice sounds, Zimmer says, “There is no such thing as out-of-tune, no timing we can’t fix later. If you mumble, growl, scream or whisper, it’s all good. Make it yours. If you only get halfway through, no problem! Do it alone, bring your friends, but do it with energy and commitment.” Honestly he just wants you to record something, anything.
Later – Sahil
Sahil Patel, Access Intelligence, filling in for Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital
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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] (11/12)
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