Good morning, it’s Thursday, January 21, 2010, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.
Continuing to diversify its revenue model, YouTube announced a new partnership with the Sundance Film Festival to make five films from the 2010 and 2009 festivals available for rent for U.S. users, starting this Friday and running through Sunday, Jan. 31. “The Cove,” “Bass Ackwards,” “One Too Many Mornings,” “Homewrecker” and “Children of Invention” will rent for $3.99 each. The experiment, part of YouTube’s “Filmmakers Wanted” campaign at Sundance, is the first of what could be a significant new business for the site, distributing rental movies and shows directly to the largest online video audience in the world. A selection of rental videos from other U.S. partners across different industries, including health and education, will also be made available in the coming weeks. Rental purchases will be enabled though the Google Checkout system.
After a big pushback from independent authors, Amazon announced it will begin offering do-it-yourself authors and publishers a bigger cut of book sales on the Kindle e-reader. Starting in June in the U.S., the ebook self-publishing Kindle Digital Text Platform will offer 70% royalties on book sales after delivery costs. (These are based on file size @ 15 cents/MB; at today’s median DTP file size of 368KB, delivery costs would be less than $0.06 per unit sold.) So for a $9 book, an author goes from keeping $3.15 under the standard option to $6.25 under the new scheme. There’s lots of rules that go along with it (list price must be between $2.99-$9.99 and must be at least 20% lower than the physical book price, for instance.) But the option should provide a huge incentive to authors to begin thinking about cutting out the middleman and publishing their own titles.
A network that has had a very much love/hate relationship with new media, HBO has relaunched HBO.com as an entire Flash-based destination. The site places an even more renewed focus on visuals than its competitors, emphasizes photography and video by shrinking text categories to a miniscule font placed in the upper right hand corner. Video clips and extras like Margene’s first vlog post from Big Love are all presented in full screen format and many cool interactive tools enable content sharing, bookmarking, embedding and extensive customization.
As Anderson Cooper’s Haitian rescue video makes the rounds, CNN.com launched a pair of new online video series with partners VICE and Sub Pop Records. Every Wed. a video from Brooklyn-based VBS.TV will be featured, turning up alternative P.O.V., in-the-field reports on often-overlooked topics. From today a new travel series dubbed Indie Asia also debuts, shot by the husband and wife team who make up Sup Pop’s Handsome Furs as they embark on their Asian tour.
Thankfully there are still enough high profile web outlets around to find a home for higher profile web-only projects greenlit during the frothy days of new media development. Sony Pictures’ Crackle web video portal has acquired the rights to the 10 episode Sci Fi-themed series “Trenches,” a project originally produced by Disney-ABC TV’s now defunct web studio Stage 9. The high budget, special effects-laden alien combat show will premiere on Crackle then later appear on partner sites including YouTube and MySpace.
ESPN has upgraded its media only website ESPN MediaZone for the blogging age. A new video player allows visitors to email, embed and link to each video on the site while social media participation is enabled through the ESPN Water Cooler and the ESPN Communications Twitter feeds.
Mobile-to-mobile video sharing platform Thwapr launched in public beta allowing users to easily capture, share, and receive video on their mobile phones. The service is designed to work across multiple mobile devices and carriers, connecting BlackBerry, iPhone, Android and Palm mobile users once and for all. The interface is very easy to use, the platform can integrate with mobile banners and video advertising – with options for targeted local campaigns and geotargeting, and the interoperability it offers is a big step forward.
Telegraph Media Group in the UK has chosen Ooyala‘s online video platform to power the online video for its newspaper sites.
GoDigital Media has licensed the delivery of over 800 titles of film & television content to the company’s channels on YouTube from Echo Bridge Entertainment and Vanguard Cinema.
Complementing an on air effort, GSN.com is reaching out to its casual gaming audience to raise money for the Haitian relief effort. Users can redeem their Oodles (GSN’s collectible online currency, usually redeemed for prizes) for $10, $25 or $50 donations to the Red Cross that GSN will make on their behalf. In GSN cash competitions, GSN is also donating 10% of the entry fee on select games to the Red Cross.
Google introduced a new targeting option for its mobile ads product running through AdWords that enable advertisers to target by mobile device or carrier. The interface allows you to choose between Android, iPhone or Palm OS, limiting distribution of ads to those devices. The corresponding ads will also display a download link instead of a URL.
Online video market research tool provider iPowow has struck a partnership with Digital College Network to incorporate iPowow’s survey interface into videos on DCNLive.com, a site exclusive to the college community.
Apple and Microsoft are in talks to make the software giant’s Bing search engine the default for iPhones, per Business Week a move analysts say is evidence of Apple’s escalating rivalry with Google. Replacing Google as the iPhone’s default search tool would give Bing a huge boost in terms of exposure, even if the deal is short lived.
Microsoft filed a lawsuit against Tivo on late Tuesday, alleging that the popular DVR infringes upon the software giant’s patents covering the display of programming info and the purchasing of video content. The company argues that the usage affects Microsoft’s relationship with partners such as AT&T, which Microsoft supplies its Mediaroom software to. TiVo released a statement saying it believes Microsoft’s legal actions are an attempt to protect AT&T.
Content management platform Platformic been selected to develop and manage new websites for eight of the Lincs FM Group radio stations in the U.K.
The folks at National Geographic released their latest iPhone app that promises to help replace that big bulky atlas on your bookshelf. Nat Geo’s World Atlas for the iPhone, selling for $1.99, is loaded with rich images, geographic and socio-economic data and features a wealth of interactive tools. Mark, annotate and save your favorite places with a cool push-pin tool and add pictures to location-based archives from your photo library.
After a lengthy closed beta period, EA Sports has launched a free beta of the browser-based version of Tiger Woods PGATour.
mtvU’s RateMyProfessors.com debuted a new iPhone app for 99 cents that gives students direct access to the site’s database of over 1 million professor ratings across nearly 6,000 schools.
Former President of the LA Arena Football League franchise Todd Merkow was hired by Outdoor Channel as the network’s new President of Digital Media, responsible for managing online, mobile and related digital media assets. He reports to CEO Roger Werner and takes over as the company unveils a new look to its site.
Zeeshan Zaidi has been promoted to COO by P2P file sharing company LimeWire. The former Head of Global will oversee day-to-day operations for the company and report to George Searle, CEO.
Former Disney Interactive Media Group sales executive Andrew Pruett has joined Apple’s newly acquired Quattro Wireless division as Regional VP of Advertising, overseeing all Ad Sales functions in the South Central & West Coast Markets.
Independent producers and developers will now have a way to charge for the video and apps they create for the television. Over-the-top video enabler Boxee announced plans to launch a transactional video platform that will enable users to purchase TV shows, movies, music and compelling applications directly from their remote. The start-up says it will charge a small fee, but that it will be lower than the 30% taken off the top by Apple and Amazon. As easy to use and as revolutionary as iTunes has been to the digital media industry, many content owners have complained about Apple’s high cut and draconian distribution policies, which make it impossible for content producers to play around with models and packages to help move back catalog content. Both YouTube’s new rental model (see the top story) and the Boxee solution, which will work on your television through the just announced Boxee Box, promise more flexibility and fewer barriers to entry for the true independents. Younger viewers no longer really differentiate between network-produced fare and independently produced video, but current closed distribution models have prevented producers from effectively monetizing their shows. It will be interesting to see if audiences are willing to support such a platform with real dollars. Larger producers will also benefit, however, as the incumbents may be forced to open things up in order to compete.
Later – Wayne
Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital
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JOB OPENING: RSRCH MGR/DIG AD SLS/NYC/BBC: give insight on traffic patterns, track perf, monitor mrkt & industry trends, comm w/ vendors. High level strat & independent prjct mngmnt. 4+ yrs exp. www.bbcamerica.com/employment.js p (1/28)
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JOB OPENING: ASST. MEDIA BUYER/LOCKARD & WECHSLER/IRVINGTON, NY: ENTRY LEVEL, DATA ENTRY, DETAILED ORIENTATED , MULTITASK, DAILY DEADLINES, SELF MOTIVATED. 1-2 YRS EXPERIENCE TV INDUSTRY A PLUS. BS/BA DEGREE. [email protected] (1/27)
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JOB OPENING: AD SALES ASSISTANT/Hallmark Channel/NY: Assists AE’s & Planners to service & maintain clients. See full posting & apply at: www.hallmarkchannel.com (1/27)
JOB OPENING: MEDIA ANALYST/Billetts America/NYC: Analyze media plans on both a cost & quality basis. 4-8 Yrs Media Buying/Planning Exp Req; Strong Excel and analytical skills reqd; resume: [email protected] (1/26)
JOB OPENING: AD SALES COORDINATOR/ DIRECTV, NYC: Entry level: MS Office, strong written & verbal communication. Multitask, work to deadlines.BA/BS degree. Passion for Ad Sales. Apply: www.directv.com/careers Req. 1000039 (1/23)
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SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: WEB INTERN/NYC: Inside edition is looking for a web intern for spring 2010. Tasks include resizing photos, writing captions, field research and logging footage. Contact Katie Harris: [email protected] (1/28)
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SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: WEB INTERN/ Animated, pre-school property. Update/maintain our website. Creative skills a plus. Admin duties including heavy filing. 20hrs/wk. Paid commute. Cover/resume to [email protected] (1/23)
SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: PRODUCTION INTERN/Animated, pre-school property. Exporting and labeling storyboards, formatting and labeling designs, admin duties including heavy filing. 20hrs/wk. Paid commute. Cover/resume to [email protected] (1/23)
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SITUATION WANTED: DIR. OF PRODUCTION/LICENSING (LA): Experienced Producer – 14 yrs. All platforms. Licensing with major brands. Live music, docs, toys, casual games. http://www.linkedin.com/in/christopherhorvath – [email protected] (1/28)
SITUATION WANTED: EXPERIENCED TV & WEB PRODUCER/WRITER/EDITOR: Worked for several stations/websites. Dreamweaver, HTML, SEO, CMS, Premiere, non-linear editing. Organized & analytical. Email: [email protected] (1/28)
SITUATION WANTED: MUSIC CLEARANCE SERVICE – Expertise in music licensing – plus clip, photo + all IP licensing. Clients include major Film, TV and Advertising projects. Learn more @ www.CopyRightDepartment.com (1/28)
SITUATION WANTED: SR. DIGITAL SALES EXECUTIVE(NYC) 16+ years of experience with proven record of developing and retaining top-level account list. Contact: [email protected] (1/28)
SITUATION WANTED: Creative COPYWRITER. Award-winning, all media, affordable. [email protected]. For samples, visit https://freebeaaron.wordpress.com (1/27)
SITUATION WANTED:9xEmmy winning CREATIVE PRODUCER-in ATL seeking freelance. Great w/clients. 15 yr exper. in promo/creative TV. Also ON-AIR HOST–see raycomsports.com (RoadTrip) [email protected] website: www.pack30productions.com (1/27)
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SITUATION WANTED: EXECUTIVE/ADMIN ASSISTANT/NY: 3 + yrs supporting execs at media companies including MTV; marketing background, organized, professional, quick learner, strong refs available [email protected] (1/26)
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] (1/26)
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SITUATION WANTED: PRODUCTION ASSISTANT/ENTRY-LEVEL POSITION, NY: 2010 Yale grad, 2 yrs Internship experience in Production and Research at Nick, classwork in child development. Organized, efficient, dedicated! [email protected] (1/26)
SITUATION WANTED: ILLUSTRATOR/ANIMATOR/ DIRECTOR w/major credits www.taylorentertainment.com/portfolio.pdf www.airfoxmedia.com/designer.html www.taylorentertainment.com Adam Taylor [email protected] (1/26)
SITUATION WANTED: 11 yrs SALES & MKTG Experience. 8 yrs digital sales. Display, mobile, SEM & technology. Established relationships in 14 states in the South. Successful track record, driven, closer. [email protected] 404-216-0772 (1/23)
SITUATION WANTED: SUMMER ON-SET INTERNSHIP (Anywhere): I’m an enthusiastic film/drama student looking to do any sort of demanding work on set for college credit. [email protected] (1/23)
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