Good morning, it’s Thursday, September 3, 2009, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.
YouTube has slowly been adding professional themed content, and has carved a path to the movie studios by offering its leader board as an effective promotional tool for new releases. The video sharing giant would like to take the relationship a step further and is now in talks to begin offering rentals of Hollywood movies, according to the WSJ. YouTube already offers some older titles on an ad supported basis, but the rental service would include streaming of new releases for a change, in the neighborhood of the $3.99 that iTunes currently charges for feature rentals. Studios involved in the talks including Lionsgate, Sony and Warner Bros. are asking for $3/title minimum fees in case YouTube wants to offer pricing specials or other promotions.
Twilight movie series producer Summit Entertainment struck a deal with teen-targeted virtual world Habbo to create a Twilight-themed environment for kids to promote the release of the next film in the series on Nov. 20, The Twilight Saga: New Moon. The virtual playground will launch across Habbo worlds in 31 countries, featuring Twilight-related virtual items, activities and interactive features.
MTV.com launched a new version of its home page yesterday after soliciting input from its users. Navigation is now accomplished through a pull down menu at the top amid the major categories of Music, Shows, News and Movies. Content, both from MTV and contributors, are pushed to users through a new “Daily Fresh” module. Music videos, UGC uploads, and videos from across the MTV spectrum will be rotated out several times a day. Also look for more social network integrations in the coming weeks.
Major League Baseball is experimenting with an a la carte model on the iPhone. Live streaming video of single out-of-market MLB games can now be purchased for 99 cents/each throughout the remainder of the season.
Online music start-up Vevo is in talks with CBS and NBC to license and develop entertainment shows for the web, reports Reuters. The planned music video portal, a joint venture between Universal Music Group and YouTube, has already signed a content and equity deal with Sony Music Entertainment and is currently in talks with the other two major music labels, Warner Music and EMI. The shows would be music themed and could potentially air on linear TV as well. The site is expected to launch in December.
Yahoo is choosing dogs rather than birds to characterize Meme, its new microblogging service that launched initially in Spanish and Portuguese last month and is now available in English. Comparisons with Twitter are inevitable, but it also has elements of Tumblr or the now defunct Pownce. The service allows users to type in short snippets of text along with photos, video and audio clips.
Ashton Kutcher’s Katalyst Media announced the premiere of season 2 of KatalystHQ, the self-reverential animated series about life about life in the corporate headquarters of the new media studio. The show will again be distributed via Slide‘s FunSpace platform on Facebook. Nestles’ Hot Pockets will sponsor the 16-episode run.
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The display ad business has gotten more social. Social media sites represented 21.1% of all U.S. internet display ads in June, according to ComScore, with MySpace and Facebook accounting for more than 80% of the sector. AT&T Inc, Experian Interactive and IAC’s Ask Network were the top three advertisers on social networking sites in July.
Top Online Display Ad Publishers in Social Networking Category – June 2009
Total Display Share of Ad Exposed
Ad Impressions (MM) Display Ads Uniques (000)
Total Internet 326,899 100.0 188,589
Social Networking 68,927 21.1 129,620
MySpace Sites 30,004 9.2 64,472
Facebook.com 26,813 8.2 67,389
Tagged.com 1,940 0.6 7,422
MocoSpace.com 496 0.2 1,067
Hi5.com 461 0.1 3,459
Bebo 435 0.1 6,350
Classmates.com Sites 400 0.1 9,181
BlackPlanet.com 345 0.1 2,084
GaiaOnline.com 258 0.1 1,859
DeviantArt.com 204 0.1 3,681
Source: ComScore Ad Metrix
The Blu-ray Disc Association announced plans to incorporate 3D technology into the Blu-ray Disc format, a huge shot in the arm for the at home 3D marketplace. The BDA, comprised of major motion picture studios, IT and consumer electronics companies, is working on a uniform specification and backward compatibility for both discs and players.
On demand movie download service Vudu completed an integration deal with South Korean’s LG Electronics. Vudu’s HD movies are now accessible on several LG broadband-connected Plasma TVs.
Opening up a path to the home television set, DivX has acquired internet television streaming platform Any Source Media for $15 million in cash – $7.5 to be paid upfront and the remainder to be paid upon certain milestones being met. AnySource’s Internet Video Navigator software enables HDTV users to access music, photos and internet videos directly from their broadband-connected sets.
Edgeware announced a partnership with U.S. based Entone to offer a fully integrated IPTV solution. The latter’s IP video gateways and media hubs are fully integrated with Edgeware’s video-on-demand (VOD) servers, enabling easy-to-deploy advanced services including time-shifted TV, VOD, whole-home DVR and online media services.
Total Free On Demand viewing soared to a record 476 million transactions in July, according to Rentrak‘s OnDemand Essentials service. Music-related content leads the category with 146 million transactions or 31% of all Free On Demand transactions. Yet viewing increased across several categories:
- The TV Entertainment category had its strongest month of the year with an 18% increase
- Free On Demand Music transactions increased by 17%
- Free on Demand Kids transactions were up by 10%
- Overall Subscription On Demand offerings saw a 10% increase in total transactions
Nokia unveiled a line of new cell phones at the Nokia World conference in Stuttgart, Germany that feature more advanced music and GPS-powered social functionality for the Facebook generation. A new app called “Lifecasting with Ovi,” debuting on the Nokia N97 and the new N97 mini, will allow users to publish their location and status updates directly to their Facebook account from the home screen of a mobile device.
- The N97 mini will feature a 3.2″ touch display, a QWETY keyboard and a customizable home-screen
- The new Nokia X6 is geared toward music and photo lovers, capable of 35 hours of continual music playback with a 16:9 widescreen display
- The Nokia X3 is also music-themed, shipping with stereo speakers, a built-in FM radio, and a 3.2 megapixel camera
- Nokia also unveiled a new netbook, the Booklet 3G, with GPS capabilities and built-in access the Ovi store, a 10-inch screen and an Intel Atom 1.6 ghz processor
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE THE WALTER KAITZ FOUNDATION
Join us on October 28 at The Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center for The Walter Kaitz Foundation Annual Fundraising Dinner, part of Cable Connection Fall. You’ll socialize with industry leaders while supporting organizations that make diversity their central mission: The Emma L. Bowen Foundation, The National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications, and Women in Cable Telecommunications.
Visit us here for details about tables, tickets and sponsorships. And make your plans now to join us in Denver, Colorado on October 28!
This one is for the technically curious. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the internet BoingBoing, a smart, eclectic tech blog that describes itself as a “directory of wonderful things,” posted a video yesterday explaining what actually happened 40 years ago. The first packet-switched computer network was established between two IMPs (Interface Message Processors if that helps) – one in Leonard Kleinrock’s UCLA lab, the other in Douglass Engelbart’s lab at the SRI facility in Northern California, then a part of Stanford. Some maintain that the actual “birthday” of the net was October 29, 1969 – when Kleinrock sent the first message between the two nodes. The message was simply the two letters: “LO.” It was supposed to be “LOGIN,” but the system crashed before the professor could finish the message. So, we can safely say that browser crashes have been around for as long as the internet has.
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Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital
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FALL INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: MKTG/ON-AIR : Fox Reality Channel, LA. Fall intern-mktg & on-air promo depts. 3 days,15-20 hrs/wk. Majors: Mktg, Adv, PR/Comm, TV/Film. Skills: Writing & computer; On-Air Pro/Avid a plus. [email protected] (9/8)
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FALL INTERNSHIP CREDIT ONLY: Coburn Communication is a mid-sized PR firm in NYC, specializing in Beauty, Media, Retail & Food/Beverage clients. Interns will work between 2-3 days/week 9AM-5PM. Please e-mail resume to [email protected] (9/5)
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SITUATION WANTED: 9 time Emmy winning CREATIVE PRODUCER-based in Atlanta seeking freelance jobs. Great with clients. 15yrs experience in promotional / creative TV. [email protected] / website: www.pack30productions.com (9/8)
SITUATION WANTED: FILM/TV/ENT PR/NYC: Seeking F/T or Freelance opps. Write press releases/pitch to targeted print/online & brdcst media, track news clips, editorial calendar opps, build press lists w/Cision [email protected] (9/8)
SITUATION WANTED: RESEARCH DIR/STRATEGIST: 20+ yrs media, Nielsen, Hisp, research, sales, presentation experience. How can I help you? Email: [email protected] (9/5)
SITUATION WANTED: EIC/LINE PRODUCER with 10+ yrs exp. Variety, Docu-Reality, Game Show, Scripted, Competition/Elimination- Mngd biz of Prod. Co’s. for major TV & cable nets. Looking for next project. [email protected] (9/5)
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