Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Cynopsis: DIGITAL


Good morning, it’s Thursday, May 28, 2009, and this is your first early morning digital briefing. 

Standardization issues and metrics discrepancies continue to plague the online video space. Online video analytics start-up TubeMogul hopes to change all that by releasing a new metric tool for free that can track a variety of usage stats and define what constitutes a view once and for all. Fifteen video publishers including Brightcove, Dailymotion MetaCafe, and have agreed to implement code from TubeMogul to track views, engagement, referral sites and even unauthorized or pirated views of their videos – data that mainstream media companies pay ComScore and Nielsen handsomely to get their hands on. The company hopes giving away the tool and the data it generates will help it gain critical mass and eventually sign the two biggest online video portals – YouTube and Hulu.


Blockbuster will preview its new GameFly-style online videogame rental service in the Cleveland, Ohio area on June 30 (giving something for Cavs fans to do during the off season.) Subscribers in the pilot test will be able to rent titles for the Wii, PS2, PS3 and Xbox 360 platforms for an incremental monthly fee, which will only be charged for billing cycles in which they have actually rented games. The company plans to roll out the service nationwide by the end of the year.
American Idol
‘s ratings may have been slightly down this year but the show’s money making text messaging-based interactive component had its strongest year to date. Over 178 million text-based votes, trivia answers and other interactions were placed this season through the AT&T network – 100 million more than last year. The number of fans who opted in to receive voting reminders was 70% higher than last year, and those who received reminders were twice as likely to spend the $1 to vote. AT&T also made full-length videos of past winners available to fans for the first time this year via a mobile, a VOD library on U-verse TV and online at


White label online video platform Ooyala released a new video player that features faster load times, higher playback quality, a smaller web footprint, better bandwidth detection and a flexible, modular design. Several clients have been testing the player including,, and
Moving Picture Books
, a partnership between RIVR Media Interactive and Dalmatian Press, launched its first series of interactive children’s books this month available in digital format online, for the iPhone and via DVD. The stories, which cost $1.99 each online, include animated visuals and narration available in both English and Spanish.


The Produced By Conference: Learn. Connect. Be Inspired.

Spend an unprecedented weekend with the greatest producers in the biz at
The Produced By Conference, June 5-7.

James Cameron, Kathleen Kennedy, Mark Gordon, Clint Eastwood, Gale Anne Hurd, Rob Lorenz, Marshall Herskovitz, Roger Corman, Marc Cherry, RJ Cutler, Lauren Shuler Donner, Lucy Fisher & Douglas Wick, Michael Wright, Betsy Beers, Ali Leroi, Gary Lucchesi, the Pixar & Marvel teams.  They’ll all be There.  Will you?



National Geographic Channel Ad Sales is expanding its digital advertising opportunities during this upfront buying cycle by representing, for the first time, the video content and inventory on in addition to the inventory on the Nat Geo Channel website, the company told Cynopsis. The timing will mirror sales efforts for the NGC linear channel and digital assets, with respect to advertiser media placements from October 2009 through September 2010.
It’s taking longer than originally anticipated for the cable industry’s Canoe interactive advertising project to work out set-top box integration issues, reports the WSJ. Some operators are also concerned that the system’s targeting ability doesn’t allow advertisers to drill down far enough in terms of demographics. The venture, which had hoped to conclude test trials of the product this month, is in negotiations to deploy a scaled down version of the ad targeting solution later this summer.
Cox Enterprises’ vertical ad network technology provider Adify has released its API through a new partner program allowing customers to extend online advertising opportunities to new platforms and services. Adify, which works with some 12,000 publishers, hopes the open infrastructure will encourage third parties to add video, display and rich media ads to campaigns targeting the company’s 180 ad networks. Initial members of the program include advertising innovators Aggregate Knowledge, Ooyala, Rovion and Wave2 Media Solutions.


Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz told attendees of the WSJ’s All Things D conference that she took the job at Yahoo in part to solve its organizational issues.  “It needed some structure, and I’m actually quite good at that … so I took the job,” she claimed. In other comments she left the door open for a Microsoft search deal (provided it’s for “boatloads of money,”); spoke of commitments to mobile, social and video products; and admitted that online advertising buys are “manically complex,” a problem that is holding back the industry.
Time Warner will finalize a plan to spin off AOL as a separate unit at the company’s board meeting today, reports TechCruch.
Cloud-based interactive TV services provider ActiveVideo Networks acquired its smaller rival, Netherlands-based Avinity Systems BV, instantly expanding its footprint to several European countries. Both companies produce thin-client solutions that integrate within cable and IPTV set-top boxes to enable web-like interactivity. 
Content Delivery Network Limelight Networks acquired privately held mobile ad firm Liptronic to improve its ability to dynamically insert advertisements onto a wide array of mobile and internet-connected devices.


The recession is accelerating a trend from postpaid to prepaid wireless subscriptions as nearly 72% of telcom companies’ new subscribers added during Q1 were of the prepaid variety, according to Nielsen‘s U.S. Telecom Quarterly Report. AT&T and Verizon proved exceptions to the trend. AT&T had 875,000 postpaid net additions, of which roughly 82% were iPhone customers. Verizon grew by 977,000 postpaid customers and 300,000 prepaid customers during the quarter. Meanwhile providers offering unlimited voice and data plans for a low monthly fee continued to gain market share. Boost Unlimited, launched nationwide on January 15, gained 764,000 prepaid customers; MetroPCS signed up 683,000; and Leap added another 493,000 prepaid customers.
As America inches toward the June 12 digital TV transition deadline the number of unprepared homes has dipped to under 3%, reports Nielsen. Albuquerque-Santa Fe remains the least ready market with 8.4% completely unprepared followed by Dallas-Ft. Worth, next with 6.37% of TV households not yet ready. New figures show an improvement in the level of preparedness among African American and Hispanic households, but both groups remain less ready than the national average.
Top Ten Completely Unready Households by %
Average of 56 Local Metered Markets 2.69 – National Sample 2.66
ALBUQUERQUE-SANTA FE                           8.40
DALLAS-FT. WORTH                                   6.37
PHOENIX (PRESCOTT)                                4.91
AUSTIN                                                     4.81
TULSA                                                       4.69
SACRAMNTO-STKTON-MODESTO                 4.60
LOS ANGELES                                            4.57
CLEVELAND-AKRON (CANTON)                    4.36
SEATTLE-TACOMA                                      4.32
HOUSTON                                                  4.28
Source: The Nielsen Co.


has set a fall launch date for the new Zune HD personal media player, a product it will demo for the first time at E3 next week. Positioned to compete with the video-friendly iPhone, the new Zune will feature 3.3 inch, 16:9 format touchscreen display, a built-in HD radio receiver, Wi-Fi capabilities and HD video output hookups. (The HD-compatible output supports HD video playback through a separately-available HDMI audiovisual docking station to an HDTV in 720p). Zune HD users can turn to the Xbox Live Video Marketplace to purchase video content for the device – a smart move given the installed base of loyal Xbox users.


has hired former president of Carat and Carat Fusion Scott Sorokin to serve as Head of Digital, Global, a new position at the media and marketing services agency. He will head up all digital media initiatives, will be based in New York and will report to London-based Mindshare Worldwide CEO Dominic Proctor.
Sorenson Media named former SightSpeed marketer Eric Quanstrom as VP/Marketing and Strategy. The company has also promoted two of its team members to executive management; Kirk Punches was upped to now VP/Sales and Mark Ivins was appointed to Controller.
Veteran investment banker Daniel Gossels has joined Media and Entertainment M&A specialist Mesa as a Managing Director to provide merger and acquisition advisory and capital raising services in the digital media industry. Mesa also promoted Jonathan Levinson, Michael Josephs and Michael T. M. Jones to Managing Directors.


The creative minds at Google unveiled their widget-powered vision of the future at the company’s annual Google I/O developer’s conference yesterday. Web Elements are portable, embeddable mini apps that allow individuals to easily add automatically refreshable content to their sites, blogs or profile pages. The Maps Element operates as a Google Maps app. The News Element aggregates headlines from several Google News categories including Entertainment, Technology, Business, Sports and Health. (You can even create your own metadata-driven category.) The YouTube Element pulls the latest videos from providers such as the AP, CBS News, the NY Times and The Washington Post. The Conversation Element is a social networking widget allowing users to post comments on your site that are translated into the visitor’s preferred language instantly. The new Custom Search Element is also a Godsend – just embed the provided snippet of code into your site, and Google will automatically index it in its search engine.
Later — Wayne
 Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital

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JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR NAT ACCTS/Los Angeles: Dist ntwks/prdcts/srvcs aff cbl/sat/telco dist/srvc nat accts/neg carge/5+ yrs sles w/ cble/new media exp (6/4)

JOB OPENING: SR DIR COMMUNICATIONS/iVillage/NY: Develop & lead creative communications plans centered around editorial content/community stories/talent/business wins. Min 7 yrs exp. job#1058374 (6/4)

JOB OPENING: SR MGR MKTG/ABC Daytime/SOAPNet/LA: Mng/execute mktg strategy initiatives; lead devl of digital mktg/social netwk strat; 4+yrs enter /consumer mktg exp. Apply , Req ID# 191605 (6/4)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, OUT OF HOME DEVELOPMENT/mtvU/NYC: 5+ yrs exp w/Digital Out of Home Sales, Strg OOH contacts w/agencies and clients, Successful track record in building partnerships EOE/M/F/D/AAP. Apply (6/3)

JOB OPENING: MGR NEW BIZ DVLPMNT/KIDZ BOP/NY: Resp for new biz outreach consumer goods licensing, tech, sponsorship, touring, kids’ TV& films, dig. & mobile apps. Exc written/oral skills/PPT/Excel/P&L’s. Apply: [email protected] (6/2)

JOB OPENING: SR DIR, DRTV MEDIA BUYER/Razor & Tie/NYC: Resp for set up & execution of successful DRTV campaign. Min 5 yrs exp. Req biz to biz sales exp in advert/ent/media. Must have TV/DRTV exp.Apply: [email protected] (6/2)

JOB OPENING: MANAGER, MEDIA PLANNING/LA: Develop/implement media plans/anlyz off-air media campaign/comp activity/rtngs/ROI/Mng vendors/identify ad concepts/products. (6/2)

JOB OPENING: NEW MEDIA SPECIALIST/AETN/NY:Asst ops AETN VOD & other new media initiatives. Strong proj mngmt exp within brdcst/cbl ind. Emerging media & VOD mktplace exp a +. Prof database apps a must. Apply: (6/2)

JOB OPENING: PR MANAGER/NY RANGERS: Obtain non-traditional and “off the ice” media coverage w/ focus on celebrity outreach. 5 yrs exp in ent. w/ established contacts. Rez to: [email protected] “PRNYR” in sub (5/30)

JOB OPENING: SR RSRCH ANALYST, AD SALES/ AETN/NYC: Strong analytical, strategic thinking/sales positioning/2+ yrs nat’l TV research exp, network/ad agency. Prof in Nielsen systems/MRI pref. Apply: (5/30)

JOB OPENING: ADMIN FOR THE DIST DEPT/GSN/CHICAGO: Report to Exec Dir. 2 yrs exp in telecommunications and/or cable TV. Research, presentations, event coordination. Word, Excel, Powerpt. Send resume and C/L to [email protected] (5/29)

JOB OPENING: SUPERVISOR/Univision NAT’L TV Sales /NY: Prior Brdcst exp req’d, Exe Asst exp pref’d. Detail-oriented, strong comm & orgnztnal skills, fluency in MS Office. 4 yr BA degree pref’d. Email: [email protected] EOE (5/29)


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FALL INTERNSHIP CREDIT ONLY:  Interns sought for MSLO Production’s live show “MARTHA” in NYC! Interns MUST be able to receive college credit. Candidates should send their resume to [email protected] w/ “Fall Internship” as the subject (6/2)

SUMMER INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: RLR Associates Ltd. (NYC) seeks intern w/interest in Entertainment w/ strong creative, research & writing skills. Word, Excel, Powerpt. 4-5 days/wk Resume to Bella: [email protected] (6/4)

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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] (6/4)

SITUATION WANTED: Brand & Business Dev. Consultant —15+ yrs of profitable TV, media, corporate branding/mngmnt exp. Able to creatively pckg & strategically mkt you, your exp or business successfully. contact: [email protected] (6/4)

SITUATION WANTED: Media sales position wanted: 10yr veteran with onair, online and at event sales, planning, strategy and communication experience. British ex-pat based in California. [email protected] (6/4)

SITUATION WANTED: College Student. NJ/NY/CT. A summer internship with hands on exp (paid or unpaid). Majoring in Internat’l Business at Sacred Heart University, CT. Diligent; hard working; open to all industries. [email protected]   (6/4)

SITUATION WANTED: SALES PRO/NYC with 10+ years cable experience is looking for a sales position. Email: [email protected] (6/4)

SITUATION WANTED: CONTRACT ADMINISTRATOR/MANAGER: 10 yrs Contract/Sales Admin, avails, reporting, etc., looking to work out of home office, or locally in Rochester, NY. Contact e-mail: [email protected] (6/3)

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] (5/30)

SITUATION WANTED: TV/PRINT/RADIO/ONLINE/EVENTS MRKTG/PRODUCTION EXPERT NY: Cost cutting, well rounded,client services expert who can get the job done. Fantastic references. Freelance or FT. [email protected] (5/30)

SITUATION WANTED: AWARD-WINNING FREELANCE CD/ WRITER/ PRODUCER Former Creative Director for international cable network ready for freelance project work. Visit for samples and contact info. (5/29)

SITUATION WANTED: Dynamic, experienced and results oriented sales professional with an extensive track record of creating new business opportunities. Email [email protected] for more details (5/29)

SITUATION WANTED: EXPERIENCED GRAPHIC DESIGNER (LA) Reality-TV, Film, Commercial, Documentaries & Corporate. Creative & Flexible. Seeking Freelance or Staff Position, Remote or In-House. Reel & Contact Info: (5/29)

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