Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Cynopsis: DIGITAL


Good morning, it’s Tuesday, March 3, 2009, and this is your first early morning digital briefing. 

Matt Stone and Trey Parker have signed a deal to make the first 9 seasons of South Park available for Netflix‘s Watch Instantly service, per the New York Times. Matt and Trey apparently met with Hulu and Joost but decided to go with Netflix instead because the deal included upfront cash rather than guarantees or advances on a share of future ad revenue. The two writer/producers, whose SouthParkStudios site has generated some 300 million views since launching last April, have a unique agreement with Comedy Central that gives them half of all non-TV revenue generated from the show.


EQAL’s partnership with CBS is about to yield more forward-looking fruit. CSI creator Anthony E. Zuiker is joining EQAL, the company behind lonelygirl15 and KateModern, to create a new multiplatform “Digi-novel” series designed to take advantage of the web’s interactive capabilities. Dark Chronicles will be the first in a series of novels to be published by Dutton on Sept. 8 and will also exist as a social website being developed by EQAL. Readers who buy the book will find codes at the end of every 5 chapters proving access to videos, audio files, photos and personal blog entries from Mr. Zuiker and an unnamed co-author.
Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes provided Ad Age with a bit more insight into Time Warner’s multiplatform content strategy. He described the company’s “TV Everywhere” initiative as an industry wide effort to find a way to place cable programming on all of the web’s popular portals by extending today’s subscription model (i.e. limiting access to the content only to paying cable or satellite subscribers.)  The need to preserve the subscription model is obvious, given that Turner Networks and HBO accounted for a third of Time Warner’s revenue in 2008 along with nearly 50% of the company’s operating profit.
ESPN is gearing up for March Madness with a redesigned men’s and women’s bracket tournament challenge, available on ESPN.com, ESPN360.com, ESPN mobile and ESPN MVP on Verizon Wireless. ESPN360.com is also streaming 124 live college hoops games during Championship Week, as well the NCAA Women’s Tournament and select NIT games.
CBS College Sports Network struck a deal with DirecTV to add the network to the company’s Choice Xtra package, expanding its overall household reach to more than 30 million subscribers.
Call for Content: WEtv kicks off a week of bridal-themed programming with an online photo contest seeking “The Ugliest Bridesmaid Dress.” Submit pics by April 13 for a chance to win $5,000.


Facebook investor Peter Thiel went public for the first time in Business Week affirming that acquisition talks between Facebook and Twitter did indeed occur last year but that they broke down over how to value the fast-growing social networking site. The deal, pegged in the $500 million range, would have been made using Facebook stock, the valuation of which has been a moving target. (Microsoft valued Facebook at $15 billion when it invested in the company in 2007 but secondary stock market sales of employee stock have pegged its value in the $2-$4 billion range.)
Video sharing site Dailymotion struck a distribution deal with Hulu to supply Dailymotion with more than 40,000 videos from its extensive library including full-length episodes from major studios. The content, displayed through Dailymotion’s interactive video player, will be presented in a curated fashion in channels including Funny, Film & TV, Music and Sports & Extreme.
Universal search and video search engine optimization firm EveryZing launched MediaCloud, describing it as the internet’s first cloud-based computing service for generating and managing all types of metadata. MediaCloud enables companies to post live or archived video, audio, or text content feeds and receive a rich set of metadata back they can use to tag their content including transcripts, time-stamped tags and geo-targeted and tagged thumbnails.


Online advertising company FetchBack announced the launch of Keyword Retargeting, a new program to enable publishers and advertisers to serve ads based on specific keywords related to user intent and preferences.


After complaints mounted from privacy activists including The EFF and the Center for Digital Democracy, the White House has quietly dropped YouTube as its supplier of embedded videos on whitehouse.gov in favor of a Flash-based solution using Akamai‘s CDN, noticed CNET. Google uses long-held tracking cookies to record video views – a no-no on government sites. The addresses are still available on YouTube, but the whitehouse.gov embed now links back to an HD version on Vimeo.
Tivo announced a couple of deals that should help it gain more of a foothold in the cable market:

  • Tivo is teaming up with VOD and IPTV vendor SeaChange to integrate cable VOD service into its cable-only HD DVR later this year. Until now Tivo users have not had access to MSOs’ on demand titles
  • Tivo also announced an agreement with embedded tru2way software maker Alticast to simplify the process of integrating Tivo set-tops on cable systems. (Remember how long it took Comcast to do this?)

Eminem’s former publisher FBT Productions is suing Universal Music for more than $1.3 million for revenues from royalties and music downloads on iTunes. FBT makes a novel argument: it characterizes iTunes MP3 sales as part of its “licensing” agreement (which the artist splits 50/50 with the label) rather than its “distribution” agreement with Universal, which yields only 20 cents on the dollar. The case could open the door to other musicians looking to claim a larger slice of the iTunes pie.
Content Delivery Network BitGravity introduced BG Live HD at the Demo 09 show in Palm Springs, a low-cost online streaming service for live events in 1080p or 720p resolution. The Flash-based streaming service is built on BitGravity’s Distributed Origin-based network and is being used to stream video sessions from the Demo 09 conference, (enhanced with comments from Facebook.)


Smartphones will double their share of the market to about 20% by 2013 according to research firm In-Stat, with demand being driven by device manufacturers looking to leverage open OS devices to offer richer content increased interactivity. New and prospective smartphone buyers are drawn to new mobile applications, even though the median number of applications downloaded for all platforms, including the Apple iPhone, is relatively modest – ­below five applications per user for each platform, according to Frank Dickson, VP of the Mobile Internet Group for In-Stat.


NBCU’s Oxygen.com is launching a new line up of social tools to help improve engagement and increase its user base:

  • makeOvermatic added in Jan. allows users to upload their photo and give themselves a virtual makeover complete with celebrity hairstyles, make-up and accessories
  • the new quizOlicious app allows users to create, take, rate and comment on their favorite programming-related quizzes
  • hormoneOscope, coming in March, will provide users with a hormone horoscope every few days to give insight into what mood they can expect to be in, based on their menstrual cycle
  • a planned shopOholic tool will combine social shopping on Shop.Oxygen.com with eCommerce allowing users to recommend products as read reviews from other users
  • tweetOverse is Oxygen’s Twitter page

Warner Bros. Digital Distribution
unveiled “Watchmen: Justice is Coming,” an online MMO game for the iPhone and iPod Touch based on the upcoming WB/Paramount Pictures film Watchmen opening on Friday. Available from the iTunes App Store later this month, the game will allow players to battle in 3D environments and visualize changes to the gaming world in real time.


Comcast Interactive Media appointed co-founder of the IAB Scott Schiller as its SVP of Advertising Sales, overseeing sales for Fandango, Fancast, Movies.com and Plaxo. Scott will be based in New York City, but will staff and manage CIM sales offices throughout the country, reporting directly to Chuck Davis, EVP of Comcast Interactive Media and CEO of Fandango.
Former SightSpeed and Musicmatch executive Peter Csathy has joined video compression and encoding provider Sorenson Media as President and CEO. He will be based in the company’s Salt Lake City headquarters.
Michael J. Durham, former CEO of Sabre, Inc. and former CFO of American Airlines, has joined New York-based Travel Ad Network‘s Board of Directors.


One of the more interesting new products launched at Demo 09 this week is Avaak‘s Vue personal video network, a wireless video monitoring system managed through the VueZone website allowing users to view and share the live feeds of up to 50 cameras. Users simply connect the wireless gateway to their computer then they can position cameras up to 300 feet away. This thing could hatch a whole new generation of cheap-to-produce reality shows, which is scary considering the absence of editing or standards and practices on lifecasting sites like Justin.tv. Avaak is looking for guinea pigs to joint the VueCrew beta programming and is currently taking pre-orders for the $300 Vue system, which includes the gateway, two cameras and 4 stick-on camera mounts. (Extra cameras go for $99 each.)
Clarification: Yesterday’s Nielsen Online top web brands and total streams data was for Jan. 2009, not Dec. 2008. Also, the Cyn Digital edition for 2/19/09 mentioned that Nickelodeon had claimed the top spot in comScore’s Family & Lifestyle category. The site actually led in ComScore’s “Entertainment & Kids” category, with 28.7 million unique visitors. ComScore’s Media Metrix has three similarly-positioned categories that target kids so it can get confusing. The other two are Family & Parenting – led by Disney Online last month with 30.3 million uniques –  and Teens, topped by Alloy Media + Marketing’s Teen.com network (6 million uniques) featured in Monday’s WOTD.


The Multicultural Event of the Season
March 10 – Hilton New York

Market research firm Horowitz Associates hosts the
9th Annual Multicultural Media for Multicultural America Forum

This Research-and-Strategy driven event will focus on:
Cross-Platform Programming, Branding, & Advertising for
Multicultural Audiences.

Get the newest data on consumers & the market for broadband/mobile video! Register Now!


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 Cynopsis.com classifieds page here    .

JOB OPENING: MGR INT’L FINANCE/A&E Television Networks/NY: Acctg & fin reporting, budgeting, forecast, analysis. BS/Acctg; CPA + 3 yrs Pub Acctg. Media 7 entertainment exp in multinational. Apply: www.aetn.com/careers.html (3/10)

JOB OPENING: HR RECRUITER/Flashpoint Academy/CHI: Seek employ opps nationwide; film/TV prod, video game dvlpmnt, animation/special effects, recording arts & science, & dig. mktg ind. Creative field exp pref’d. Res: [email protected] (3/7)

JOB OPENING: ONLINE MKTG MGR/MusicChoice/NY: Resp for mgmt of content/mktg assets on website. Create/execute online mktg plans. 5+ yrs online exp required. Prefer exp w/12-24 demo.  [email protected] (3/7)

JOB OPENING: DIR NAT ACCTS/LA/Lifetime: Dist products & services w/aff cable/sat/telco/max dist to ntwrk & ntwrk media. 5+ yrs sles/cbl & new media sales pref’d. http://www.mylifetime.com/about-us/apply-jobs (3/7)

JOB OPENING: ON AIR MEDIA COORD/LA/Lifetime: Asst developing/sched’g, media plans/prfcnt onair pro, etc/liaison btw groups/BA, BS, equiv. http://www.mylifetime.com/about-us/apply-jobs (3/7)

JOB OPENING:   PROD/DIR /Jupiter Entertainment /Knoxville: Conceptualize, prd/dir a hosted pilot. Strong point of view; exp working w/ talent in challenging envir. Deliver high qual prgrmng on cable budget. Reel/res: [email protected]   (3/7)

JOB OPENING:  SALES DIR/BBC/NYC: Manage& coach sales team, direct selling, media licensing exp. Bring in new rev, est & implement strategy, grow biz. Apps to www.bbcamerica.com/employment.jsp (3/5)

JOB OPENING:  SNR MANAGER, DIGITAL SYNDICATION/BBC/NYC: Mng marketing & promo for BBCWW titles w/ partners, manage clients & program supply, coord clearance process. Apps to www.bbcamerica.com/employment.jsp (3/5)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, BUSINESS AFFAIRS & PROGRAMMING LEGAL/MD: Handle production and talent negotiations for TLC. JD and 5+ yrs entertainment law exp is required. Apply: http://corporate.discovery.com/careers/ #8636 (3/4)

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] .

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: FREELANCE PUBLICIST 27 years experience in entertainment, personality, business PR creating & delivering campaigns on a range of clients. Will travel. Contact: [email protected] (3/10)

SITUATION WANTED: FREELANCE or Full-time MEDIA BUYER w/ over 25 yrs of buying exp. is newly available. Seeking F/T or Freelance wk from your office or my home (New York based) Please contact me @ [email protected]  (3/10)

SITUATION WANTED: OFFICE OR SET PA/PERSONAL ASSNT/LA:3 yrs. exp, creative, well organized, pays attention, catches on quick. Will travel + can start asap. email: [email protected] 323.605.2086 (3/6)

SITUATION WANTED: PROD. (TV, Print, Multimedia): Live/taped/field, booking, writing, editing, casting, on-camera, PR. News, biz, finance, entertainment, health, beauty, fashion & lifestyle. [email protected] (3/6)

SITUATION WANTED: CASTING PRODUCER/AP For Reality/Docs. Worked for NBC, CBS, ABC, TLC, E!, Reelz, and MTV. From Big personalities to experts/professors. Research galore. (In LA) [email protected] (3/5)

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] (3/5)

SITUATION WANTED: OFFICE OR SET PA/PERSONAL ASSNT/LA:3 yrs. exp, creative, well organized, pays attention, catches on quick. will travel + can start asap. email: [email protected] 323.605.2086 (3/5)

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] (3/4)

SITUATION WANTED: MEDIA DIRECTOR: 15+ years exp, seeking freelance projects. All media TV, radio, print, OOH, digital, emerging. Expertise includes entertainment, packaged goods, tech, travel, auto. Email [email protected] (3/4)

SITUATION WANTED: TV PRODUCER- EDITOR Northeast 13 years exp, have produced 6 weekly magazine programs, I also write and shoot. Creative and tenacious, Freelance or full-time. Contact [email protected] (3/4)

SITUATION WANTED: FIELD PRODUCER/ DIRECTOR/LA: Docusoap, Lifestyle, Infotainment,Feature Doc + more. Resonant leader, keen director/ writer, strong storyteller + showrunner. 8+ yrs. Will travel. [email protected] 917.716.7277 (3/4)

SITUATION WANTED: CELEBRITY BOOKER & REALITY CASTING DIRECTOR: Extensive exp. w/TV Talk, Reality & Lifestyle Shows. Thousands of contacts to celebrities, experts, authors, real people, etc. Contact: [email protected] (3/4)

SITUATION WANTED: CASTING PRODUCER/AP For Reality/Docs. Worked for NBC, CBS, ABC, TLC, E!, Reelz, and MTV. From Big personalities to experts/professors. Research galore. (In LA) [email protected] (3/4)

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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