Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Cynopsis: DIGITAL


Good morning, it’s Tuesday, October 7, 2008, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.

Isn’t online entertainment supposed to be recession proof? Apparently things are tough all over. Netflix ended Q3 with lower than expected subscriber numbers (8.6 million) and readjusted its revenue projections downward for Q4. The bad news is probably the best indication yet that Netflix’s watch instantly streaming solution – which can port movies over to your TV with the aid of a $100 set top from Roku – has yet to make an impact. The company has struggled to sell consumers on the idea of purchasing yet another set-top box and is facing increased competition from online video services such as Amazon’s video on demand service and Apple’s iTunes, both of which also provide net-to-TV viewing solutions. 


Public space Wi-Fi provider Boingo Wireless cut a deal with MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM) to provide access to live MLB playoff games in 23 participating airports courtesy of TBS, which holds the broadcast and third party digital rights. Boingo customers will be able to purchase a special $4 four-hour pass for a special “Airport Edition” of MLB.TV to watch every Division Series and American League Championship Series game live or on demand without blackout restrictions. Subscribers will also be able to use the pass to watch any regular season or postseason game from the MLB.com archives on-demand.
NBCU is looking to achieve some synergy between women-targeted iVillage and Access Hollywood. IVillage launched a new Access branded minisite featuring entertainment headlines and videos, with links back to AccessHollywood.com for more in depth coverage. A custom MRSS feed will be created in the coming weeks, distributing full length Access articles to iVillage.com as they are published. IVillage also launched a political portal last week featuring behind-the scenes video from the campaigns.
, the silver-screen-focused spin-off of Bravo’s TelevisionWithoutPity.com, has launched a new original online video series: “Trailers Without Pity,” out to humorously deconstruct the trailers for upcoming theatrical releases each week.
Check out this new SouthParkStudios minisite. Fans of South Park’s Cartman character can satiate their desire with free screensavers, ringtones and a (coming soon) Cult of Cartman T-shirt creation contest. The site was put together to promote a DVD bundle of the best Carman episodes, coming out today.


Dada Entertainment, a joint venture launched last year between Dada USA and Sony BMG, will be adding exclusive DRM-free tracks and ringtones to dada.net from Universal Music Group acts such as Xtreme, Pussycat Dolls and Lil Wayne.
Multiplatform ad management video system provider BlackArrow raised an additional $20 million in financing from existing investors Cisco Systems, Comcast Interactive Capital, Intel Capital, Mayfield Fund and Polaris Venture Partners. BlackArrow’s ad-management system is designed to deliver targeted advertising across multiple user-controlled video services including broadband, live streaming, cable VOD and DVRs.


The BlackBerry Application Center – the smart phone’s answer to Apple’s App Store – is beginning to take shape as the company leaked some screenshots of the interface to Crackberry.com. Scheduled to launch with BlackBerry Storm version 4.7 operating system, it appears to be a mix of both free and paid applications. Expect more details to be released later this month at the annual BlackBerry Developer Conference in Santa Clara, CA.
Say what you will about how antiquated Amtrak is but at least they have an iPhone app. Yep, Amtrak has updated its mobile website and created a new app enabling customers to book reservations, check train status, review schedules and even get weather updates. Users can also sign up to receive email alerts to find out when their train is delayed.  
Also new on the App store is a free massive multi-player online (MMO) game based on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. The goal is to predict the movement of your enemies throughout the virtual city and set traps to “terminate them”, while remaining undetected by other players. 65media developed the game for Fox.


This one has been rumored for months, but some details are finally beginning to emerge. AOL has been trying to hammer out a merger agreement with Yahoo since the Microsoft deal went south. Yesterday TechCrunch says a basic deal structure is close to being set. Yahoo would acquire AOL’s content, services and advertising business and leave its de emphasized dial-up business behind. The pitch is that Yahoo could use its ad platform to squeeze far more revenue out of AOL’s content than it does today.
eBay agreed to acquire PayPal rival Bill Me Later for $820 million in addition to a pair of Danish classified sites for another $390 million as it works to shore up its online classified business. The company also confirmed it will cut about 1,000 full-time jobs – about 10% of its work force.
Content Delivery Network BitGravity is rolling out a new application programming interface (API) designed to extends greater control over progressive downloads within Flash. The interface will enable developers to inject advertising, make bit rate adjustments automatically, deploy virtual clips and add a number of advanced features into their H.264 and FLV-encoded video. Until now adding interactive features to Flash video has been prohibitively expensive for most publishers, according to BitGravity CTO and co-founder Barrett Lyon.
Dish Network lost its appeal of a federal court ruling penalizing the company $74 million ($104 million with interest) for violating the patent on Tivo‘s Time Warp feature. The patent covers devices that can record, store, play, rewind and fast-forward live TV, such as the Dish DVR the company says it has since switched out for a model that doesn’t infringe upon Tivo’s patent. (Tivo released a statement begging to differ, saying it is seeking “further damages from EchoStar’s continued infringement of our Time Warp patent.”
Broadcaster-focused financial/advisory firm BIA Financial Network acquired The Kelsey Group to form BIA Advisory Services, LLC, focusing on new media and trends in local advertising. The newly combined resources will aim to offer clients a comprehensive view of local ad markets and perspectives on the transition from traditional to new media platforms.


Google and Yahoo have decided to put their controversial search partnership on hold to give regulators more time to review the implications of the deal.
Out-of-home advertising firm Titan Worldwide announced it is moving forward with a $90 million investment in digital signage across transit hubs the U.S. and London.


Traffic to online trading sites is spiking as users check more often to see what’s left of their stock accounts. Visits grew by an average of 30% for the week ending Sept. 21 when news of the financial crisis started to make headlines, according to Nielsen Online.
Traffic to Online Trading Web Sites, ranked by UA during week Ending Sept. 21, 2008
Site             Weekly Average (000) Week Ending (000) % Growth
                   July 28 – Sept. 14         Sept. 21
Category            9,212                    11,992                30%
Fidelity.com        2,061                     2,742                33%
ShareBuilder         625                      1,980              217%
Scottrade             790                       1,612             104%
Vanguard             720                       1,434               99%
Ameritrade           806                       1,090               35%
Merrill Lynch        436                           994             128%
Charles Schwab    634                           927              46%
E Trade                713                          900               26%
troweprice.com     282                          506               80%
Source: Nielsen Online
Meanwhile traffic to leading financial site Yahoo! Finance reached its highest traffic numbers to date during the week ending Sept. 15, surpassing the previous record by more than 27%. Interestingly users also took time to watch video about the crisis as views of the video show Tech Ticker reached an all-time high over the past two weeks. On Sept. 15 alone, the show drew more than 2.5 million streams. September saw an increase in monthly streams by close to 40% above its previous high according to Yahoo.


LIN TV Corp. hired Dow Jones executive Richard Schmaeling as SVP and CFO, succeeding Bart Catalane, who left in August to become CFO of webloyalty.com. Robert Richter has been upped to SVP/New Media from his previous post as SVP/Internet. Both will report to President and CEO Vincent Sadusky.
Elizabeth Shepard
has joined Hearst Magazines Digital Media’s Delish.com as Executive Director. The new food site, a joint venture between Hearst and MSN, is also officially welcoming other editorial team members who have been a part of its development from the get go, including: Karen Berner, Senior Editor; Sara Schwartz, Associate Editor; Kiri Tannenbaum, Contributing Editor; and Allison Stedman, Video Producer.
Marketing firm BrightLine iTV appointed Phyllis Ehrlich to the newly created position of SVP/ Business Development. Phyllis has spent the past 11 years at Turner Broadcasting Systems overseeing ad sales promotions and new media extensions for Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. She will report to BrightLine CEO Jacqueline Corbelli and will be based in the company’s New York City headquarters.
Yardbarker Network announced that Christopher Compton has joined the company as Senior Director of West Coast Sales, a new position based in San Francisco. Chris reports to Tim Ware, YBN’s VP/Advertising Sales.



Remember the original Ask.com when it was first rebranded from Ask Jeeves? It was kind of like the Magic 8 Ball; type what you’re looking for in a question format and the search engine would provide the answer. Then there was the “Ask 3D” launch, going after tech savvy users. Well IAC‘s Ask.com has completed another major redesign aimed at speeding up the service and improving relevance, engagement and navigation. The biggest change is probably the integration of a broader range of sources in its search results, incorporating news, images, video and music from blogs as well as from mainstream content providers. Click on tabs at the top of the results page to alternate between mediums. A new Q&A channel provides answers to “everyday” questions, in the Ask Jeeves tradition. You can even change the look of the screen with customizable skins, although more options would be nice.  Honestly it is improved, but inquiring minds want to know: how does IAC expect to compete with Google when there’s no clear differentiation here? Ask ranks a distant 4th among U.S. search engines with a 4.8% share of the market in Aug. according to ComScore, behind Google (63%), Yahoo (19.6%) and Microsoft (8.3%).
Later — Wayne
 Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital

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JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, ACCOUNTING/Harmonix/NY: Resp. for monthly accting close, including sales reporting, deferred revenue. CPA a plus w/ prior public accting experience. Apply: www.mtvncareers.com EOE (10/14)

JOB OPENING: BBC/NYC/ DIR AUDIENCE DEV: Drive exposure of bbc.com; mng synd relationships; dev bbc news communities; & rel w/ soc ntwrks. Increase traffic to website & audience base & 3rd party linking to bbc.com. www.bbcamerica.com/employment.jsp (10/14)

JOB OPENING: BBC/NYC/ DIR PRODUCT DEV: Drive product strategy for bbc.com. conduct mkt analysis, watch consumer trends, do comp analysis & benchmarking, est strategic partner & supplier relationships. www.bbcamerica.com/employment.jsp (10/14)

JOB OPENING: BBC/NYC/ SR MGR, DIGITAL SYNDICATION: Mng client relationships & ongoing prgrm supply to digital media syndication partners Work w/ partners to max exposure of BBC prgrmng & brands. www.bbcamerica.com/employment.jsp (10/14)

JOB OPENING: BBC/NYC/ SR WRITER/PRODUCER: Conceive/write/produce/edit creative solutions for promo material for BBC America. 5+ yrs exp as network writer/producer. Knowledge of production process. www.bbcamerica.com/employment.jsp (10/14)

JOB OPENING: INTERACTIVE MARKETING ANALYST/MEDIA PLANNER/LA – Los Angeles Times Interactive: Pull/analyze data ComScore, HitWise, MRI; Develop sales collateral/decks, update media kits; Send resumes to [email protected] (10/14)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR,TURNER AD SALES RESEARCH/CNN/NY: Resp for research-based strategic direction of CNN. BA. Min5 yrs exp in sales research at ntwrk.Must have primary research experience. Apply:  [email protected] (10/11)

JOB OPENING: FREELANCE PROJ MGR, PRINT/BRAVO TV/NY: Mng print & Digital advrtsng & promo projects. Mng work flow, creative team. Strong comm./org skills. Previous Ntwrk exp req’d. Resume:  [email protected] (10/11)

JOB OPENING: DIR MKTG & PROMO/Wang Theatre/Boston:  Dev & execute strategic tix sales, mktg/promo for concerts/shows. Pitch new biz & negotiate agreements. 8 yrs mktg exp w/ music/venues/ent. Rez:  [email protected]. “DMPB” in sub   (10/11)

JOB OPENING: MANAGER, DEVELOPMENT & PRODUCTION / NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TELEVISION / Washington, DC: 5 yrs exp in Giant Screen Film Industry. EOE. Apply to JOB ID 3651 at http://www.nationalgeographic.com/jobs (10/10)

JOB OPENING: SR RSRCH ANLYST-ASST/Lifetime / NY: Analyze & prdce reprts, suppt Ad Sales & Finance, daily & compet rtgs reprt; incl lght admin wrk. Exp TV Rsrch/data anlyst/StarTrak/Galax Expl; http://www.mylifetime.com/about-us/jobs (10/10)

JOB OPENING: RESEARCH DIRECTOR/Lifetime/NY: Support Digital, VOD & Ad Sales plus perform Primary Rsrch;Primary contact for all Digital Ad Sales request. Trck wkly/mntly data for VOD, Apply: http://www.mylifetime.com/about-us/jobs (10/10)

JOB OPENING: ANALYST DIGITAL NETWORK MEDIA/Sony Pictures/CA: Assist in sales activities involved in developing proposals & supporting AE sales activities for RFPs. Media exp required. Apply: www.sonypicturesjobs.com Req# 700795 (10/10)

JOB OPENING: MGR PARTNERSHIPS/Lifetime/NY: Dev integrated ad sales proposals for advertisers int in partnering w/ Lifetime brand on TV, online, VOD & wireless. Bckgd in media, prod & mktg a plus: www.mylifetime.com/about-us/jobs (10/10)

JOB OPENING: ACCT EXEC/MediaPlace/NY & CHI: Out of Home TV, creative “out of box” thinking, media sales/planning exp. Please email res/cl to: [email protected]. “AE” in subj (10/9)

JOB OPENING: VP BUS AFFRS/LA: Acq/dist/mktg wrk for prg & dist actvties. Strct/neg/drft/serv-deals/agrmt, mtkg/promo, dom/intl licns, acquis & biz affrs. 7+ yr lwyer @ firm, 4+ yr TV & mem of CA or NY Bar. Res: [email protected] (10/9)

JOB OPENING: BUS AFFRS ATTRNEY/LA: Prod deals w/ dev & acq. Advse execs/clients on bus strctres/labr/guild/intell prp. Rview bdgts & licns. 5yrs lwyer @ firm & 3 yrs in TV. Membr of CA or NY Bars. Res: [email protected] (10/9)

JOB OPENING: AFFILIATE RELATIONS: Input clearances in Station Clearance System for region stations. Negot make goods for netwrk distribut. Day-to-day contact w/stations . Apply: www.disneycareers.com Req 179259 EOE (10/9)

JOB OPENING: EXPERIENCED PRODUCER AND PRODUCTION COORDINATOR: Wanted for animated pre-school properties based in New York City. Animation production experience required. Email  [email protected] (10/9)

JOB OPENING: NYC ENTERTAINMENT CO INVESTMENT FUND ACCOUNTANT: 3yrs exp Fund/investment/endowment a+ Day2day acctg for funds 1/4ly reports-wk/w fund mgrs/banks- Deg nec. [email protected] 60-70K (10/8)

JOB OPENING: AD SALES MKTG MGR, DIGITAL/Zoom Media NY: Develop advertising & mktg solutions for clients; produce proposals illustrating Zoom’s Digital media offerings; assist in client mtgs. 2-4 yrs. media mktg exp. Send resume & cover ltr: [email protected] (10/8)

JOB OPENING: PROMOTIONS PRODUCER/FINAL CUT EDITORS/LX.TV/NY:  Promotions producer / editor needed immediately for LX.TV prods. 3 yrs exp. in producing, writing & editing promos w/ Final Cut pref’d. Resumes to [email protected] (10/8)

JOB OPENING: MGR AFFILIATE MKT/ION/NY: develop plans/implement campaigns for IMN properties bachelors required, 5-7 yrs. in Mrkt, 3-5 yrs in cable affiliate sales and mkt./must multitask [email protected]. EOE (10/8)

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] .

FALL INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: Entertainment ad agency immed needs an extremely orgnzd INTERN who can multi-task in our busy print division, working w/ Account Team & assisting Creative Dir/Design Team. Res to [email protected] (Van Nuys) (10/10)

FALL INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT PUBLICITY INTERN. Manhattan PR agency is looking for students to assist w/ all aspects of business, from events to rsrch. Good communication skills & enthusiasm are a must. [email protected] (10/9)

FALL INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: Ripe Digital- LA looking for Viral Video Interns. Find, log and write video descriptions. Fax resume to [email protected] (10/8)

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SITUATION WANTED: EXEC. IN CHARGE OF PROD/LINE PRODUCER: 15+ Ntwrk & cable exp ,Exec in Charge, Coord Prod, Line Prod, Prod Mgr seeking work in synd TV shows, sports, kids series, event prod opps, NY/NJ/CT. E-mail: [email protected] (10/10)

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