Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Cynopsis: DIGITAL

Good morning. It’s Thursday, June 20, 2013, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.

HBO Go and WatchESPN are now directly available on Apple TV. As is the case with any TV Everywhere service, Apple TV users will require a TV subscription to HBO and ESPN in order to access programming. Besides these two services, Apple also added three other content providers to the Apple TV platform: Sky News (a live, 24/7 news feed plus a library of on-demand clips for users in the US, UK, and Ireland); Crunchyroll (a subscription service for Japanese Anime and Asian programming); and Qello (a streaming service that offers HD concerts and music documentaries). Apple also announced that iTunes users to date have downloaded more than 1 billion TV episodes and 380 million movies, and are purchasing more than 800,000 TV episodes and 350,000 movies per day.

— In other words: We have no idea when Apple will release its long-rumored TV box/service/whatever-you-want-to-call-it, but this is certainly a step in that direction.


Newsy, the online/mobile video news network that produces short-form news clips for publishers like AOL/Huffington Post, The National Journal, and Mashable, will now do the same for MSN News. The videos for MSN will cover topics such as breaking news stories, politics, entertainment, crime, tech, and science. The Newsy and MSN editorial teams will collaborate to identify which stories deserve a video treatment. Newsy says it produces more than 2,000 videos per month, which live across its website, apps, and distribution/content partners, altogether generating more than 1 billion views per year.

Blue, a scripted drama from WIGS created by Rodrigo Garcia (In Treatment) and starring Julia Stiles, is now also available on Hulu and Hulu Plus. The series, which follows a prostitute who tries to keep that aspect of her life a secret from her son, recently surpassed 20 million views on YouTube across two seasons. On Hulu, it will be available in longer-form, TV-length episodes (episodes on YouTube generally ranged between 8-11 minutes). This deal comes on the back of WIGS’ marketing and distribution deal with Fox, which is owned by News Corp., which also owns Hulu (at least for now, maybe, who knows?). In addition, American Express and Unilever have agreed to expand their sponsorship of the show to include both YouTube and Hulu.

TLC has launched a new web series, Cooking with June, which features Mama June from Here Comes Honey Boo Boo making some of her favorite recipes. The six-week web series will post a new episode every week leading up to the season premiere of TLC’s hit reality show.

Univision has partnered with Variety to launch multiplatform digital series tied to the Hispanic network’s newsmagazine show, Primer Impacto. Per the deal, Variety en Primer Impacto, will be available across Univision’s broadcast and digital platforms. The video series will present the day’s biggest entertainment stories (with an obvious focus on Hispanic stars and newsmakers) in 2.5-minute segments. The show is being produced by Penske Media Corporation (which owns Variety) out of its LA studios.


Netflix plans to expand to the Netherlands later this year. The company did not reveal details related to pricing, available content, and devices that it will support in the country. Though it did note that the service is going to offer US TV shows and movies, as well as local content, other international programming, and Netflix original series such as House of Cards and the recently launched Arrested Development. Netflix territories currently include the US, Canada, Latin America, the UK, and Scandinavia. Its global user base stands at more than 36 million members, most of which reside in the US.

PopSugar has launched an Android app, which is available for free via Google Play and the Samsung Apps store. The app offers access to the network’s entertainment, fashion, beauty, and fitness video content. Shows include Fab Flash in Fashion, Celebrity Secret Weapon, and PopSugar Rush. Other PopSugar app/distribution outlets include the iTunes App Store, Roku, the Amazon App Store, and Hulu.

The CBS affiliate in Miami (WFOR-TV) now supports the Dyle mobile TV broadcast signal, allowing viewers to access the station’s local and network programming live and on the go. The Dyle mobile TV app requires a receiver or mobile TV tuner from companies like Belkin and Elgato, and doesn’t eat into users’ data plans. The service is operated by the Mobile Content Venture (MCV), a joint venture of 12 major broadcast groups.

Correction: In yesterday’s lead story, we mistakenly wrote that Facebook would unveil a video-sharing feature within Instagram yesterday. That will, in fact, be today.



2013 Cynopsis: Digital Model D Awards
The Best in Online Video Content and Advertising



At SXSW this year, Mashable introduced its Social Lift ad unit, which allows brands to embed their social assets (YouTube videos, Vine videos, Instagram photos) within the content stream on Mashable’s site. The first use of this unit featured a Vine video starring Grump Cat, created by Friskies. This week at Cannes, Mashable unveiled an extension to Social Lift called Mashable Lift for Brand Partners. Essentially, Mashable is now giving its agency partners the ability to publish social assets on Mashable via self-service interface. At launch, Mashable has teamed up with DigitasLBi and VaynerMedia to give them access to the new product.

Mediasmith, an independent digital media agency in the US, has picked the Medialets platform as its official third-party ad server for delivering and measuring smartphone and tablet ads.

Have you submitted for the Cynopsis Digital Model D Awards? If you have, terrific! If you have not, what are you waiting for? THE DEADLINE IS TODAY.


Video discovery solutions provider Jinni has launched a new social TV product that offers movie and TV show recommendations based on the interests of more than one viewer. The “Watch Together” API is available to the company’s global customers and tech partners in the smart TV landscape. Based on the company’s “semantic taste profiling for each user,” the tech is also able to recommend friends on a user’s social network who might enjoy the same TV show or movie.


HGTV this week launched the HGTV Folio App, which allows users to access detailed style guides and photo galleries curated by home-design experts at the network. Available for free on the iPad, the app also features a “Find Your Style” interactive quiz, and gives users the ability to search for style ideas by things like room, color, or keyword, as well as organize and share their favorite room photos. Expert style guides come from the likes of Anthony Carino and John Colaneri (Cousins on Call), Jonathon Scott and Drew Scott (Property Brothers), and Sabrina Soto (The High Low Project), among others.


Ben Gerst has joined FOX Sports Digital in the newly created role of SVP/Platform Development. He will be responsible for the redesign and relaunch of, which will serve as the digital hub for the upcoming FOX Sports 1 cable network. He will report to Pete Vlastelica, who as named head of FOX Sports Digital earlier this year. Most recently, Gerst was the Executive Director/Platform Technologies at The New York Times.

YouTube marketing and advertising company Pixability has appointed former Unruly Media executive Art Zeidman as its new EVP/Sales and Chief Revenue Officer. In his new role, Zeidman will be in charge of business growth, YouTube strategy, and the company’s relationship with major brands, agencies, and media companies.

Hearst Corporation has promoted Brian Powley to Global President of iCrossing, the Hearst-owned digital marketing agency. Powley assumes his new role immediately and will report to David Carey, President of Hearst Magazines.


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Showtime is making the first episode of its upcoming crime drama Ray Donovan available for free online. Viewers can access the episode on Showtime’s website, its Showtime Anytime TV Everywhere service, and YouTube, as well as via select television providers’ on-demand channels and websites. Starring Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated actor Liev Schrieber as “LA’s best professional fixer,” the series is scheduled to premiere on Sunday, June 30 at 10pm ET/PT on Showtime.

Later – Sahil
Sahil Patel, Editor for Cynopsis Digital

Roberta Caploe: Editorial Director
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JOB OPENING: SR DIRECTOR, MEDIA & TECHNOLOGY ENGINEERING/The Weather Channel/ATL: Requires deep understanding of media, Digital & IT infrastructure. Engineering & Operations exp. Resume to: [email protected] (6/27)

JOB OPENING: PROGRAMMING COORD/Los Angeles: Provide support to two very busy movie executives in Lifetime Original Programming Department. Apply HERE (6/27)

JOB OPENING: TRAFFIC COORD/LA: Detail oriented & be part of a fast-paced co. Process commercials instructions & maximize ad inventory. BS deg. Req’s: B.S. degree pref’d; Min 3-5 yrs exp. [email protected] (6/27)

JOB OPENING: AR COORD/LA: 3-5 yrs exp. BS Acct’g pref’d. Book rev, verify & process billing, cash application posting to the system, General Ledger acctg, ensure accurate records & maintgood comm w/ client & ops. Resume: [email protected] (6/27)

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