Thursday, April 26th, 2012



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Cynopsis: DIGITAL

Good morning. It’s Thursday, April 26, 2012, and this is your first early morning digital briefing. If you would like to read this or any other Cynopsis editions online, click here.

VEVO and Yahoo! hosted their Digital Content NewFront events yesterday in New York City, with each unveiling a selection of original programming slated to premiere on their respective platforms in the coming year.

Featuring a closing performance from John Legend, as well as a panel discussion between L.A. Reid (Chairman and CEO of Epic Records, judge on The X Factor), Frank Cooper (CMO, PepsiCo), and Tim Spengler (Global CEO, MAGNAGLOBAL), VEVO’s NewFront focused on the opportunities music video programming is able to provide in connecting brands with audiences. Stepping slightly away from what VEVO is most commonly known for (music videos), the company also announced six new original series, all developed and produced with an array of partners:

  • Busk or Bust: Co-produced with Shine America (The Biggest Loser, The Office); a reality competition series where contestants must “sing for their supper.”
  • Cover Stories: Co-produced with Amos Content Group; a comedy series that enacts fake back-stories behind famous album covers.
  • Hear Me Out: Co-produced with Principato-Young Entertainment; a dating show where the participants’ musical choices/tastes play a significant role.
  • Sound + City: Co-produced with Show Cobra; a show that aims to uncover the influences (people, places, things) behind the music culture of a particular city. The first six episodes will cover Nashville, Brooklyn, Miami, San Francisco, Portland, and Atlanta.
  • Strange Island: Co-produced with WEIRD LOGIC, Hello! And Company; a scripted musical comedy series that VEVO is describing as a cross between Flight of the Conchords and Glee. It’s about four aspiring musicians who are pursuing fame.
  • You Play Like A Girl: Co-produced with Mike Welch; Hosted by Sam Maloney, a former drummer for the Motley Crue, the series focuses on searching the country for talented girl musicians, and giving them a helpful boost.

These new series join VEVO’s returning original programming, including GO Shows, Area Codes, Stylized, and its live-event platform, VEVO Presents. The company will also continue its live-event partnerships with American Express and YouTube (American Express Unstaged), AOL (Sessions +1), and CBS Interactive Music Group (Live on Letterman).

Yahoo!’s Digital NewFront highlighted the wide audience reach of its numerous content verticals, including Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Sports, and Yahoo! News. Aside from reach, the company also spoke at length about its content strategy, described as providing premium, contextualized content. Yahoo! gathers data about what appeals to a wide array of demographics, which it then packages to brands who want to develop and align with content that would “laser-target” those consumers. The company has also placed an emphasis on collaborations with prominent content creators to develop original programming. Here are some of the programming highlights from the NewFront:

  • Katie’s Take: Under the existing partnership between Yahoo! and ABC News, this new weekly online-only show will be hosted by Katie Couric, available through Yahoo! News. In the show, which will debut on May 1, Couric will take a look at relevant health and lifestyle trends and issues. Poland Spring Natural Water has already signed on to be the exclusive launch sponsor of the series.
  • Electric City: A 90-minute animated sci-fi series produced by and starring Tom Hanks.
  • Cybergeddon: Written and directed by CSI creator Anthony Zuiker, in partnership with Norton by Symantec, the full-length film will be broken down into several segments and distributed one-by-one only on Yahoo!

Yahoo! announced a new content vertical geared toward men:

  • Talk show hosted by Jeff Goldblum (title TBD): Premiering in July, produced by Yahoo! Studios.
  • Stunt Nation: Premiering in July, from Fishbowl Worldwide Media; a weekly five-minute show that features incredible stunts, as well as one mishap.
  • KaBOOM!: Debuting in July, from Eyeboogie; Yahoo! described this three-minute show’s concept as “ridiculously fun objects getting blown to smithereens.”

Down the road:

  • Dancing With Myself (working title): Debuts in 2013, from the creators of the Broadway musical Rock of Ages; it’s a musical “jukebox” comedy that is set in a small town in Ohio in the mid-80’s, featuring a soundtrack of popular rock/pop songs from that decade.


Veria Living, a TV network focusing on health and wellness programming, is partnering with DISH Network to stream select on-demand content online. Veria Living content, including Sports Dads, a series starring Deion Sanders, is available to DISH subscribers as part of the satellite provider’s TV Everywhere service through Using a broadband connection, customers can access and watch content on their personal computers inside or away from the home. Soon, DISH subscribers will also be able to stream Veria Living programming through the DISH Remote Access iPad app.

Select here! TV programming is now available on Hulu and Hulu Plus. While some content from the gay TV network will be available on the free, ad-supported Hulu service, additional content such as full-length movies, TV series, and specials will be accessible through Hulu Plus. Titles premiering on either Hulu offering include She’s Living for This, For & Against, and Behind the Bar. here! TV currently airs on major U.S. cable systems as a 24-hour subscription service, and is available in 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets.

The UBC-TV Network from the Urban Broadcast Company is a new network based in Harlem that will offer lifestyle-oriented VOD programming across multiple platforms, reports Multichannel News. The network has inked agreements with Time Warner, Comcast, and DISH Network to deliver original programming (news, entertainment, sports, live concerts, and more) through their video on-demand services. According to the report, the programming will also feature social media integrations that will allow viewers to connect with the network.


Microsoft and Pegatron have signed a patent deal that will provide coverage for Pegatron devices (eReaders, smartphones, and/or tablets) that run on the Android and Chrome platforms. While financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, Microsoft will receive royalties from Pegatron under the agreement. Microsoft holds patents over Android-powered devices. It licenses them out as part of an ongoing program to resolve “intellectual property issues surrounding Android and Chrome devices in the marketplace,” according to Horacio Gutierrez, Corporate VP and Deputy General Counsel/Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft.

Rovi has extended its licensing agreement with NDS Group to give the digital pay-TV technology provider continued access to Rovi’s patent portfolio covering its interactive program guide (IPG). This agreement will also enable NDS customers to license Rovi’s IPG patents across multiple devices, as the five-year extension includes rights for mobile devices, tablets, and online apps.

Enterprise-level tag management platform TagMan has inked a deal with Evidon to offer clients (website owners) a universal privacy tool, which is designed to ultimately allow website visitors to see which data collection vendors are placing cookies and other technologies on their computer. The partnership will bring Evidon’s “privacy layer,” which will provide TagMan clients with a consent tool that allows website visitors to see what sort of tracking technology is being implemented on their computer as well as the ability to opt-out. The offering will enable clients to customize their privacy messaging and functionality, as well as ensure compliance with the U.S. FTC framework.



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NFL Network (36%), Disney XD (33%), PBS Kids Sprout (32%), ESPN and ESPNEWS (31% each), and Nick Jr. (30%), were among the top cable brands that network viewers cited as having programming that they would like to watch on a smartphone, tablet (iPad), or computer. The average percentage for a broadcast network was 20%. This data comes from the 2012 Beta Research Brand Identity Study, which was conducted online in January 2012 among a national sample of 4,420 cable subscribers. Percentages are based on viewers aged 18 and over of each measured network. The study measured basic cable networks with over 50 million total subscribers and the four major broadcast networks (all together, a total of 63 networks were evaluated).

Total global tablet sales, including those for commercial, consumer, industrial, and institutional purposes, exceeded 64 million units in 2011, and are on track to reach 232 million units in 2016, according to Futuresource Consulting. In the consumer market, tablet ownership is expected to increase by 200% across the U.S. and Western Europe over the next two years (raising the installed base from nearly 52 million in 2011 across the two regions to exceeding 153 million units in 2013). Futuresource believes ownership will be highest in the U.S. with Western European markets showing”significant opportunities for growth.”

Facebook Timeline may or may not be helping brands boost user engagement, based on data from a study by social media measurement firm Simply Measured, per eMarketer. Specifically, the company analyzed 15 brands that were early adopters of the new Timeline offering on the social network. On average, these brands saw engagement on brand posts jump 46% in the three weeks after the switch, compared to the three weeks prior to the switch (1,672 “points of engagement” per post to 2,441). However, when Simply Measured focused on individual brands that had more “likes” on Facebook (Old Spice, Target, and AT&T, to name a few), it found that the switch to Timeline had a negative impact on those brands’ respective pages.

Digital coupon events across websites monitored by Marx, a Kantar Media solution, increased by 17.1% in Q1 2012, when compared to Q1 2011. Around 368 manufacturers distributed digital coupon offers on key digital coupon websites during that time, which is a 29.1% over the first quarter of 2011. “Digital coupons are a key component within an integrated consumer promotion and advertising program. More and more manufacturers are becoming involved in digital promotion and coupons, aligning with multiple websites, potentially increasing consumer exposure to their brand message,” said David Hamric, GM, Kanter Media Marx.


Snapguide is an iOS app and web service that allows users to create and share step-by-step “how-to guides.” The company has announced a new integration with the Pinterest mobile app that now gives users who have both apps installed on their Apple device the ability to quickly share/”pin” their how-to guides on Pinterest. This mobile integration is the first of its kind for Pinterest, and according to AllThingsD, may signal that a Pinterest API is on the horizon.


Veteran journalist Robert Frank, formerly of The Wall Street Journal, has joined CNBC as an Editor and Correspondent, effective May 14. He, alongside CNBC’s editorial, and production team, will provide in-depth features, reports, and analysis about the world of the wealthy and how it influences the worldwide economy and governments. Frank’s work will be featured on-air and online. He will report to Nick Dunn, Managing Editor of CNBC, and Allen Wastler, Managing Editor of

Rubinson Partners, a marketing and research consulting firm focusing on digital and social media, has added Judah Phillips to its advisory team. Phillips is a former Head of Global Analytics for Monster Worldwide and Reed Elsevier, as well as the Founder of DIS Corporation, ARO (Analytics Research Organization), and Digital Analytics Thursdays (DATA). In his role as a member of the advisory team, Phillips will help evaluate and improve marketer, insights team, and digital analytics team practices across multiple channels, including mobile, social, search, and online advertising, as well as existing and new offline channels across multiple industries.


The Accidental Wine Company deals with bottles of wine that have encompassed all types of different experiences (“accidents” of all sorts), from bottle breakage staining the other encased bottles, to a winery over-producing a certain vintage. You can smell the bouquet and reap the benefits at a discount. Though day to day brands will change, vintages will be current, and the quality will be high. In short, accidents happen, and The Accidental Wine Company counts on it (21 and older please).

Later – Sahil
Sahil Patel, Associate Reporter for Cynopsis Digital

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JOB OPENING: MGR AD SLS RSRCH/Discovery/NY: Have a strong understanding of Nielsen, MRI & Simmons and proven exp. developing sales positioning materials; 7+ yrs of TV research exp; #5769 (5/3)

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