Good morning, it’s Thursday, February 12, 2009, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.
Under pressure to right the sinking U.S. economy, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives hammered out an agreement on the Stimulus Bill yesterday to a tune of $789 billion, just one day after the Senate agreed to a $838 billion version. Both Senate and House versions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act contained several tech-related provisions – including money for a smart energy grid, provisions to digitize health records and several billions to improve broadband access it rural areas. But it was unclear late Wednesday which survived the final agreement. (For instance the Senate ended up recommending $7 billion for broadband deployment, while the House recommended $6 billion.) The next step is for the FCC to decide which underserved areas will receive funding.
Trying to differentiate itself from rival Netflix, Blockbuster is launching a pilot program to expand its Total Access online movie rental service to include video games. So in addition to more than 90,000 movie titles to choose from, select Total Access subscribers will have access to game titles for a number of platforms including the Nintendo Wii, PS2, PS3, Xbox and Xbox 360.
Horror maestro Stephen King was on hand Monday to help launch the Kindle 2, reserving a novella exclusively for the device. Now legal thriller specialist John Grisham is close to signing an e-book deal with Bertelsmann AG’s Random House publishing arm to make all 22 of his books available in all e-book formats, reports the WSJ. Amazon’s Kindle has driven two-thirds of all e-book sales thus far, according to estimates.
VH1 Mobile is launching a new trivia game based on the TV series Best Week Ever, a new ringtone subscription service and several iPhone applications. VH1 Mobile is also launching a special mobile live chat offering in conjunction with “I Love Money 2” currently airing on VH1. Upcoming iPhone launches planned for Feb. include “VH1 Photos,” which will give users the ability to view and share celebrity photos and “VH1 Sneak Peeks,” which will give users access to clips of VH1 shows. VH1 Mobile reported its strongest year yet of growth, with more than 2 million video streams were logged in December, 2008 alone. Video streams for the year increased 93% over 2007 and page views on the mobile Web site grew by more than 580% year-over-year.
Borrowing a model from the sporting world, CBS.com is launching a fantasy league for the newest season of Survivor offering the winners a free trip to Brazil. Registered players are randomly assigned a tribe, in which they win points and compete for the top spot on the Leaderboard. Players are able to trade any or all of their Survivor team members and are awarded points based on their team members’ performance in certain categories.
Fashion photographer Patrick McMullan will guest star on NBC Local Media‘s NBCNewYork.com to provide an insider look at the major events and parties of New York Fashion Week beginning on Saturday, Feb. 14. Features include the video series “A Fashion Show with Patrick McMullan,” showcasing exclusive interviews with designers, models and celebrities.
Personal finance site Kiplinger.com unveiled a new online Insurance Center to help users price and compare health, life, homeowner, auto and long-term care insurance.
Call for Votes: Oscar.com, the official site of the Academy Awards produced by Disney Interactive Media, is hosting Oscars Designer Challenge asking users to vote on their favorite gowns from 7 up-and-coming designers. Voting continues through Feb. 17 and the winning design will be announced first during Oscars Red Carpet telecast on ABC beginning at 5 p.m. PT on Feb. 22. The Oscars Live Challenge allows you to pick the winners.
ABC is expanding its student journalism portal ABC News On Campus from 5 test college to include submissions from campuses around the world. The site encourages budding journalists to submit video, photo, audio or text stories for consideration to be featured on one of ABC News’ digital or broadcast platforms. The new website will include a “Roving Reporter” section that will enable any college student the opportunity to pitch and potentially develop and produce a story under the guidance of ABC News.
Online video portal Webcastr issued its second annual Webcastr Video of the Year Award winners, recognizing both straight-to-the-web productions as well as short form material originally broadcast on television. Matt Harding’s video travelogue “Where The Hell is Matt,” fourteen months in the making and filmed in 42 countries, took the top prize.
Top 10 Videos of the Year 2008
1. “Where The Hell is Matt?” – Matt Harding
2. “Yes We Can Song” – Will.I.Am <http://Will.I.Am>
3. Tina Fey as Sarah Palin – SNL
4. “I’m F*cking Matt Damon” – Sarah Silverman
5. “I’ve Got a Crush on Obama” – Obama Girl / Barely Political
6. “Mac vs. PC” – South Park style
7. Kobe Bryant Jumps Over a Moving Aston Martin
8. Bush Shoe Throwing Incident
9. “Time for Some Campaignin'” – JibJab
10. “Barack Roll” – Hugh Matkin
Opinion-oriented social networking site SodaHead completed a redesign simplifying navigation and increasing content integration opportunities with third-party publishers. The site, whose users pose questions and answers regarding topical issues, says it has increased membership from 600,000 to over 1 million registered users and now averages 2 million unique visitors per month.
Food Network’s celebrity chef Bobby Flay has signed on for a second year as the official host and spokesperson of the Kentucky Derby Party program and web site. It features various social networking components and ideas for throwing a Kentucky Party.
Google took the wraps off of a new program called AdSense for mobile search as an incentive to enable Google to power search for devices and carriers. Mobile phone manufactures and carriers who adopt Google’s mobile search engine – which appears as a search box on mobile portals or web sites – can now share in the revenue generated from search results. Google launched AdSense for mobile content providers back in Sept. 2007.
The FCC said 491 of the nation’s 1,796 full-power TV stations have registered their intention to keep the Feb. 17 digital switchover date, many in small to medium-sized markets. (O&O’s in many major markets have already agreed to the June 12 delay, although San Diego will lose analog broadcasts of three networks: CBS, ABC and Fox.) But the commission has yet to formally give its permission to these stations. Acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps said an answer, and some additional guidance, would soon be forthcoming and that stations should prepare their viewers for the switch.
Time Warner Cable‘s spin off from its parent company was approved by the FCC on Wednesday, putting the company on track to complete the separation by the end of the quarter. The cable division was one of the few bright spots for Time Warner during Q4, as revenue climbed 8% to $4.4 billion on increased demand for digital video, digital-video recorders, broadband and telephone services.
Newly merged Sirius XM Radio is working to stave off bankruptcy as the company tries to repay bonds held by investors such as EchoStar Corp. The satellite radio provider’s balance sheet is sagging under the weight of expensive talent contracts to stars such as Howard Stern and his team, who are paid $80 million a year.
Virtual worlds and casual MMO producer Trilogy Studios has partnered with Shanghai-based, UltiZen Games to expand the company’s online game development capabilities. Trilogy says its has expanded its operations domestically in recent weeks, making more than a dozen new hires and leasing more office space at its Sherman Oaks headquarters.
Mobile TV adoption will soar in the next 5 years thanks to technological advances such as the switchover to digital broadcasting in the U.S., expanding to attract over 500 million worldwide viewers, according to a new study from ABI Research.
Increased video consumption will contribute to the overall doubling of Mobile Data Traffic every year through 2013, according Cisco‘s annual Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast, updated this week. Almost 64% of the world’s mobile traffic will be video by 2013. The proliferation of netbooks and high-end handsets will be key drivers of traffic; a single laptop can generate as much traffic as 450 basic-feature phones, and a high-end handset such as an iPhone or Blackberry device creates as much traffic as 30 basic-feature phones.
IP Traffic 2006-2012
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR
Application (TB per month) ’08-’13
Audio 3,612 7,996 16,930 35,486 74,503 154,988 112%
Video 13,062 38,681 107,714 274,820 650,310 1,390,548 154%
P2P 6,714 15,851 33,784 69,856 134,224 220,829 101%
Data 9,680 22,547 48,984 102,054 217,282 417,847 112%
Source: Cisco 2009
Celebrity site TMZ launched a free iPhone and iPod touch app on the Apple App Store, featuring recent news headlines, updated photo galleries and dozens of video clips from TMZ.com. Rhythm NewMedia is powering the display and in-video advertising-supported app.
Send your sweetheart a Valentine’s Day cake on Facebook with the new Cookie Cake Creator app from American Cookie. You can type anything you want onto the cake so it works for Birthdays, Graduations – you name it.
Online video platform VMIX has opened a New York City office and selected digital media veteran Ted Utz to head its New York operations. Ted was formerly VP/National Sales at CBS Television Stations Digital Media Group, WorldNow, and Clear Channel Interactive. He reports to Mike Glickenhaus, VMIX President and CEO back in San Diego.
Those of you who have put off joining Twitter may want to jump in today, just to get a taste for how big this thing is getting. (And today, it’s for a good cause.) The San Francisco-based start-up is hosting a Twestival, a global fundraising event for charity:water, a group that facilitates funding for freshwater projects in developing nations. More than 200 cities around the world will host events in their local communities such as a dance event in New York City to help raise money and awareness. Or go to Twestival.fm to donate by “tweeting” one of over 400 music tracks donated by participating artists.
Later — Wayne
Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital
Cynopsis Digital Ad Sales:
Chuck Bolkcom – 646-468-6180 / [email protected]
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Classifieds – Trish Pihonak- 203-926-9878 / [email protected]
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JOB OPENING: SPECIAL PROJECTS WRITER/PRODUCER/HGTV/Knoxville: Conceptualize, write, direct and produce high end on-air and off channel marketing campaigns.3+ yrs exp in cable net or equivalent. Apply: www.scrippsnetworks.com #262 (2/18)
JOB OPENING: SR. RESEARCH ANALYST/TVGuide.com/NYC: Track/report/analyze key metrics, create research materials & run panels. Omniture & Excel expertise a must; exp w/ other online research tools highly pref. Res: [email protected] (2/18)
JOB OPENING: SR ACCT EXEC/ACCT DIR Out-of Home media sales/NY: 5+ yrs nat’l sales exp w/clients & advrtsng agencies strat. plan’g groups. Proven track rec of new bus/acct dvlpmnt req’d. Exp w/Youth mkt a + Res to: [email protected] (2/18)
JOB OPENING: Director Development/Story House ProdUCTIONS/DC: Lead creative development and sales process. Min 10 yrs exp in tv dev and prod req. Strong client contacts req. Apply: www.storyhousepro.com/page/position-summary (2/18)
JOB OPENING: TRAFFIC MGR/THE HOTEL NETWORKS/NY: Mng all traffic functions across 10 ntwrks. Should have understanding of all functions from sale to satellite. 3 yrs exp in brdcst traffic reqd. [email protected] (2/16)
JOB OPENING: DIR, FINANCE/Embassy Row TV/NY: All aspects accting & financial reptg. CPA pref, BA & 10+ yrs exp. Entertainment exp. req, TV pref. Apply: www.sonypicturesjobs.com (2/13)
JOB OPENING: DIR. AD SALES RES /A&E TV-NY: Dvlp strategies & day-to-day for Ad Sls. BA/BS & 8 yrs media rsrch & mgmt exp. Knowl Nielsen/prime rsrch. Resume: www.aetn.com/careers.html (2/13)
JOB OPENING: ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE (Universal Sports/NYC): 5-7 yrs exp @ sports network/website co., 3 yrs. Sports or digital sales exp req’d. Knwlg effective/creative pckgng strat a must. Res: [email protected] (2/17)
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] .
SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: Exposure to business side of television. Work on program decisions, marketing & sales opportunities for client TV stations. COX REPs-NY-Strong comm. & math skills required, Contact: [email protected] #(212)372-0443 (2/18)
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 DIRECTOR 20+ yrs media, Nielsen, Hispanic, & sales experience. Contract basis. Save money over a FT director. Let’s talk.Email: [email protected] (2/19)
SITUATION WANTED: 5 PRIME TIME EMMYS/ DOC. PROD, DIR., WRITER in L.A. Credits: National Geo, PBS, Discovery, History CH, TLC and MSNBC. Contact email: [email protected] (2/19)
SITUATION WANTED: DIRECTOR/PRODUCER/MANAGER: Major Network and Cable live News and Sports experience. Start-up, operations, editorial and production specialist. Available to meet your schedule Coast to coast! [email protected] (2/19)
SITUATION WANTED: TV PRODUCER reality with network and cable credit seeks show producer/field producer position at prod. co. or network. Most recently series produced show airing on NBC O and O’s. (NY based) [email protected] (2/19)
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] (2/18)
SITUATION WANTED:TV PRODUCER: Reality with network and cable credit seeks show producer/field producer position at prod. co. or network. Most recently series produced show airing on NBC O and O’s. (NY based) [email protected] (2/18)
SITUATION WANTED: PR & NEW MEDIA GURU (LA) Great Writer/Strategist, Social Media Expert, Strong Media Contacts, 15-year PR pro now avail for in-house or freelance. U want someone to hit the ground running, right? [email protected] (2/14)
SITUATION WANTED: FREELANCE or Full-time MEDIA BUYER w/ over 25 yrs of buying exp. is newly available. Seeking F/T or Freelance wk from your office or my home (New York based) Please contact me @ [email protected] (2/14)
SITUATION WANTED: VIRTUAL WEB HOST PRODUCER (L.A.) Producer, Director, Writer Virtually place anyone or anything onto web pages. See www.YourLiveWeb.com . Contact [email protected] (2/14)
SITUATION WANTED: DEVELOPMENT/PRODUCTION EXEC. with studio and network background with great success in kids, family and teen arena seeks staff post or consultancy. www.tgcentertainment.com (2/13)
E-mail [email protected] or call Trish Pihonak at 203.926.9878 for rates and specs for Job Openings.
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