Thursday, January 29th, 2009

Cynopsis: DIGITAL


Good morning, it’s Thursday, January 29, 2009, and this is your first early morning digital briefing. 

The House of Representatives voted 258-168 to defeat the bill to delay broadcasters’ transition to digital by 4 months, just two days after it passed the Senate unanimously, per the AP. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and author of the bill to postpone the switchover, issued a statement expressing disappointment that “far too many” consumers will wake up on Feb. 18 without access to news, information on their TV sets. Opponents complained that a postponement would only add to confusion in the marketplace.


Now we can all see how well gaming geeks clean up. IFC announced a deal to televise the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences‘ (AIAS) 12th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards for the first time, which will take place on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009 at the Red Rock Resort and Casino in Las Vegas during the D.I.C.E. summit hosted by the AIAS. The awards show recognizes the year’s best video games, computer games, online entertainment, and individual development teams.
This crowd will be happy to hear that the buxom Lara Croft may be returning to the big screen in a redux of the Tomb Raider franchise. Warner Bros. and producer Dan Lin are in early development of a project with Ian Livingstone of gaming publisher Eidos as co-producer, per THR. The question is who will play Lara this time around?
Cashing in on American’s renewed concerned of money matters, CBS is launching a new personal finance site this spring as an extension of B-to-B portal BNET. The site’s editors, led by former Managing Editor of Money Magazine Eric Schurenberg, will also contribute to other CBS properties on business and personal finance matters including The Early Show, CBS Evening News with Katie Couric and CBS owned-and-operated stations and sites. and have added new casual game sections to improve engagement on the sites offering more than 1,000 online and downloadable games courtesy of Big Fish Games and VideoJax. The latter is creating interactive services around Hallmark programming to promote on air themes such as Mystery Movie Month.


More stupid pet tricks coming your way: dog trainer Zak George, who has more than 11,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel, has landed his own show tentatively titled Fetch Me a Beer on Animal Planet, slated to premiere in July. In-person casting calls are currently being held across South Florida for the next six weeks through mid-March, and in the Boston metro area from now until mid-June. Interested parties in South Florida can send submissions to: dogtricksFlorida or for Boston related inquiries email [email protected] .
Hoping to attract new product ideas from some of the best and brightest developers, MySpace is co-hosting a developers workshop or DevJam event on Feb. 5 at its offices in San Francisco. The workshop will focus on monetization through virtual currency, which has emerged as one method to deliver value throughout the social networking ecosystem. 
Call for Content: Self publishing site is hosting a Web Your Book contest encouraging authors to submit their own work for the community to vote on. First and second prizes are $2,000 and $1,000 respectively, while place holders 3-5 will win an Amazon Kindle.


The Superbowl is all about the commercials for some and marketers are increasingly turning to the web to engage consumers in the multimillion dollar ad campaigns they build around the big game. Here are a few of the web integrations cooked up this year:

  • Longtime Superbowl advertiser (remember the festive monkeys?) has set up allowing users to send annoying messages to co-workers or others featuring characters from past TV ads
  • Following up on GoDaddy‘s gimmick of posting an internet-only version of the titillating ad on the its website, several marketers are posting outtakes or expanded versions of their commercials on the web including Pedigree, E*Trade and
  • MTVN’s is back with its live “Commercial Bowl” at halftime, encouraging users to vote for the best ads online after they air on NBC. Editors will be live blogging and allowing users to voice their selection for the best advertisements, then feature their own picks for The Top 10 Funniest and Top 10 Sexiest Super Bowl Commercials




Q&A & “Coffee With” Michael Steib
Director of TV Ads, Google

Thursday, 8:30 – 9:30 am

Brought to you by Cynopsis Media


AT&T reported net income of $2.4 billion for Q4 compared to $3.1 billion a year ago, suffering from the upfront subsidy charges associated with signing up iPhone customers. The company earned $12.9 billion for the year up from $11.95 billion for 2007 as revenue rose 4.3% to $124 billion. There were 1.9 million activations of iPhone 3Gs during Q4, with about 40% of them from new AT&T customers. Like Verizon the company lost landline customers but gained wireless and TV subscribers. AT&T added 2.1 million cell phone subs overall and 264,000 U-verse IPTV customers, helping to make up for the loss of 1.56 million landlines during Q4.
AOL CEO Randy Falco informed staffers in an internal memo that a 10%, 700 job cut is forthcoming over the next several quarters and that the company will be unable to grant merit raises this year. He said the cuts are in response to the tightening of online ad budgets “across the board” and part of a two-three year turnaround plan focused on improving advertising apparatus and efficiencies (which have included the acquisitions of Adtech, Third Screen Media, Tacoda and Quigo.) He also trumpeted the integration of Bebo with AIM, Goowy, Yedda and SocialThing, suggesting the rumor that AOL was thinking about unloading Bebo is unfounded.
Gaming has become a huge part of San Diego’s Comic-Con in recent years. The industry is also taking on an increased presence at the annual New York Comic Con convention, taking place Feb. 6-8 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in Manhattan. Organizers report a 50% uptick in videogame-related exhibitors this year including participation from Activision, EA, Sega and Rockstar Games.


Online gaming usage spiked significantly last year as broadband became more affordable and consumers looked for cheap entertainment options, according to ComScore. The category itself surged by 27% to nearly 86 million users with Yahoo! Games leading the pack. Americans’ total share of internet time spent playing online games grew from 3.7% in December 2007 to 4.9% in December 2008.
Top Online Gaming Sites –  December 2008 vs. December 2007
                                          Total Unique Visitors (000)
                                   Dec-2007        Dec-2008        % Change
Online Gaming                  67,457          85,977          27
Yahoo! Games                  16,184          19,468          20
EA Online                         12,673          15,369          21
Disney Games                   11,933          13,458          13
WildTangent Network           7,650          13,306          74            9,706          11,343          17
AOL Games                         8,380          10,750          28
MSN Games                        9,685          10,263           6                        7,264           8,636          19 Games                  6,020           7,092          18
Spil Games                          1,821           6,715         269
Total Internet Audience     183,619         190,650           4
Source: comScore Media Metrix
The gaming category also attracted more display ads, with total display ad views increasing by 29% to 8.6 billion.
Display Advertising Trends in Online Gaming Category – Nov. 2008 vs. Nov. 2007
Online Gaming                                       Nov-2007      Nov-2008    % Change
Total Display Ad Views (MM)                       6,659         8,610        29
Advertising Exposed Unique Visitors (000)     52,066       67,834        30
Advertising Exposed Reach %                       28.6           35.6        25
Display Ads per Page Viewed                        1.00           0.83       -17
Average Frequency                                    127.9         126.9        -1
GRPs Total Population                                 2,271         2,913        28
Source: comScore Ad Metrix reported record-breaking traffic to mobile sites in 2008, a year that brought many firsts for the company including streaming full ad-supported episodes on its WAP-based mobile site; interactive SMS applications developed for shows like Heroes and The Biggest Loser; and integration of video on the iPhone 3G. Total mobile page views increased to 31 million for 2008 for NBC, up from one million for the year prior, according to internal Omniture numbers. NBC is planning to launch new iPhone apps for The Office and Heroes later this winter, adding user blogs and advanced commenting.  Mobile integrations are simplified by NBC’s decision to develop in-house mobile publishing platforms to allow to simultaneously publish across multiple platforms including online and mobile, and eventually internet connected televisions.


Application advertising firm Buddy Media announced the opening of its Chicago office and appointed Alicia Driskill as Midwest Sales Director to supervise the operation. Alicia was most recently with, where she also covered the Midwest region.


Techie-centric web video producer Revison3, creators of shows like Diggnation and Tekzilla, had some buoyant annual usage numbers to share yesterday. Views of Revision3 programs increased by more than 140% in 2008 to 46 million overall views – translating into nearly one billion minutes of engagement for sponsors. “It’s the engagement numbers that are most compelling for advertisers,” notes CEO Jim Louderback. “Our product integration deals (like the one with Anheuser-Busch that supplies Diggnation hosts Alex and Kevin will all the beer they can drink) allow our audience to go deep around brands, creating a connection that can be very valuable for advertisers.” (Jim expounds on the virtues of the “depth” of web video here in a blog post.) Revison3 also sells midroll and post-roll ads but product integration has become the real breadwinner, commanding $80 CPMs that are rarely discounted. The company is reaching viewers on a variety of platforms; about 30% watch on, another 30%-40% get their regular fix via subscriptions on iTunes and other RSS-based syndication services and the remaining 20%-30% watch on YouTube, TivoCast and CNET. Transpera also manages mobile distribution for Revision3 shows, including distributing podcasts via the iPhone. The company is hoping to increase its subscriber base further this year via web search optimization strategies. A new partnership with a vendor called EveryZing increases the chances of Revision3 shows coming up in search engine queries by converting dialogue from each show into text then tagging key words and phrases. Google’s recent move to integrate video search with text pulls up thumbnails of videos with each search.

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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Cyn opsis CLASSIFIEDSFor More classifieds, visit the classifieds page here    .

JOB OPENING: SALES MANAGER/Discovery Communications/New York: Sell national advertising for Discovery’s Kids to US agencies & clients, 5+ yrs on-air ad sales exp required. To Apply: Req#8752 (2/5)

JOB OPENING: WEB ANALYST MGR/Full svc integ mktg co/S. CT: Analyze traffic, click stream studies, site exp, site density, onsite search, guided nav. Provide new site web analytic tracking specs. Res: [email protected]    (2/5)

JOB OPENING: VP MKTG/KidzBop/NY: Exp in kid’s mrkt & music required. Key team member with est. contacts. Resp for all brand platforms-audio/web/consumer products/live events/licensees. Apply: [email protected] . (2/5)

JOB OPENING: VP, OPS/DISCOVERY/MIAMI: Oversee Broadcast & Network Ops for Lat Amer/US Hisp Nets. 10+ yrs tv/cable ops exp, incl. mgmt/strategy/budget/technology. To apply, visit (req8643) (2/4)

JOB OPENING: VOD COORDINATOR/FEARnet/LA: Schedule movies. Responsible for creating and maintaining monthly Video On Demand program planners. Horror knowledge req. Apply to [email protected] (2/4)

JOB OPENING: REGIONAL/LOCAL SALES/Arena Media Networks/NY/CHI: Sell local advrtsng & sponsorships on our digital ntwrk in sports & ent arenas. 2-5 yrs exp TV/new media sales req, pref in sports. Contact: [email protected] (2/4)

JOB OPENING: DIR INT’L CLIENT SVS/LA: Cord. delivery of all live event channel prgrmng incl. supporting ITL clients WW. Resp. for setting up satellite feeds & del. of prgrmng content. Lead Cust svc team. Apply: [email protected] (2/4)

JOB OPENING:  CNS-COORD, PRICING & PLAN’G/FL/Comcast: Coord intrnl sales process, track commercial inv. Work w/Dir. Pricing/Plan’g to support Ad Sales Plan’g Grp. Req 1 yr exp. Apply: EOE (2/3)

JOB OPENING:  DIGITAL ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE/GSN, Santa Monica: 2 yrs + exp in Digital Space with strong digital agency contacts. Send resume + cover to [email protected]  (2/3)

JOB OPENING:  Dir, Mktg Solutions/G4: Develop brand integrations, added-value solutions, sponsorships for on-air / non-linear platforms; Strong ideation, PPT development, project mgmt skills a must. Apply: [email protected] (2/3)

JOB OPENING:  PROD COORD/Cable Company/NY: Provide admin support to Prog Execs/Mng invoice tracking & payment/Mng non-staff hire process/Assist w/ off-site prod needs for this major NY-based cable co.Resumes to: [email protected] (2/3)

JOB OPENING:   DIRECTOR/AD SALES MKTG/ HGTV/NY:   Manage projects such as sweepstakes/write sponsorship proposals & hospitality events w/in deadlines. Full details, & select req 46 (1/31)

JOB OPENING: TEMP CREATIVE MANAGER/ION/NY: Lead NY based team in creating on air/ adv campaigns for ION TV. Oversee design/writers/production. 5 yrs exp in TV brdcst promotion/cr. service depts. [email protected] (1/30)

JOB OPENING: NEW BIZ ACCT EXEC/American Latino Synd/NY: Sell nat’l ads for 2 Synd TV shows & New Scripted Series, 2-5 yrs sales exp req. Fast growth opp in an entrepreneurial envir. Min. travel req. Info: (1/30)

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: Comcast Int’l Media Group is looking for an MBA STUDENT INTERN to create business plan for international editions of E! Online. Resume/cover letter: [email protected] (2/5)

SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY:  Bowery Presents Media is looking for a DIGITAL SAVVY INTERN to help with production, marketing, & business development. Must have knowledge of the music business & social networks. Email: [email protected] (1/31)

SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY Central MA Tech-savvy intern wanted. Duties: research, copy edit, update website, & admin tasks. Work from home with occasional meetings at mutually convenient place. To apply, see info at (1/31)

SPRING INTERNSHIP/CREDITS ONLY: Scribble mats is looking for TWO CREATIVE INTERNS. Must be proficient in Illustrator and Photoshop and/or Flash, web experience is a plus. Contact Arlene at [email protected] to apply. (1/30)

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:   FILM/VIDEO PRODUCER/COORDINATOR/NYC. “I help you make your movie” – any length – from start to finish – One-Man-Band or Lead a Team. [email protected] (2/5)

SITUATION WANTED:  NON-FICTION PRODUCER/WRITER/DIRECTOR. Seasoned. NBC; TLC; CMT; VH1; CNN; TLC; Discovery; E!. (Reality; Docs; Entertainment; Talk; Magazine.) Field and Post; Development & Sales tapes.  LA based.   [email protected]  (2/5)

SITUATION WANTED:  NYC-based MBA grad with experience working with top film and publishing companies is seeking FT/freelance opportunity. Excellent analytical, operational, and client service skills. Please contact [email protected] (2/5)

SITUATION WANTED: Experienced HRIS ANALYST (LA based) seeking projects related to data conversions, upgrades, implementations. Exc time mngmnt, organization & analytical skills. PeopleSoft background. Contact [email protected] (2/4)

SITUATION WANTED:   Award winning On-Air / Off-Air CREATIVE DIRECTOR. 20 years network / cable experience. Innovative promotion, design, branding and strategy. Hard working, detail oriented, motivated, avail today. [email protected] (1/31)

SITUATION WANTED: PRINT/INTERACTIVE PROJECT MANAGER in LA. Diligent, efficient, & detail oriented. See Open to FTE, Contract, short/long term gigs. Can work remotely as well. Contact [email protected] (1/31)

SITUATION WANTED: PRODUCTION ASSISTANT. I am experienced, hard-working, no drama, detail oriented, and ready to start immediately.  Please contact me at [email protected] (1/31)

SITUATION WANTED: Recent Harvard grad and FREELANCE WRITER will do pretty much anything involving words and writing them. Currently writing for a Gawker blog. Hard worker, strong writer, great bargain. (NYC) [email protected] (1/31)

SITUATION WANTED:   ADMIN/EXEC ASST (NYC): 22 years experience with top firm supporting VPs and assisting President. Microsoft Office skills. Worked under deadline. Multi-tasker/quick learner. [email protected] (1/31)

SITUATION WANTED: TONY NOM. B’WAY PROD/THEATRE CONSULT/ACQUIS. & DEV./NYC 30+ yrs exp. in theatre. Superb theatre/film/TV contacts seeks FT or Consulting Position w/Studio/Prod Co. looking for properties. Contact: [email protected] (1/30)

SITUATION WANTED: Well networked Sr. RECRUITER (LA base) w/10 yrs exp in online media & entertainment. (Yahoo! Disney, etc) Open to FTE, Contract, short term or long term gigs. Can work remotely as well. Contact [email protected] (1/30)

SITUATION WANTED: Professional SINGER & EXPERIENCED VOCAL TEACHER seeks voice students for expanding private studio in Nassau County, NY. All experience levels & musical styles welcome. For more info email: [email protected] (1/30)

E-mail [email protected] or call Trish Pihonak at 203.926.9878 for rates and specs for Job Openings.

Are you looking for a job? Post your Situation Wanted Ad here — Email [email protected] for specs.

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