Wednesday, February 11th, 2009



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Cynopsis: DIGITAL


Good morning, it’s Wednesday, February 11, 2009, and this is your first early morning digital briefing. 

The long-rumored merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation was finally announced, joining two music industry monopolies ­- the largest ticket seller and the biggest concert promoter – at the hip. The companies, valued at a collective $2.5 billion, say they will be better positioned to market their artists and save on expenses, achieving a projected $40 million in savings. They also promise improved technology and, believe it or not, better ticket pricing. (They’re even dropping the Ticketmaster name to try and rinse the bad taste out gouged fans’ mouths.) Grammy winner The Boss, for one, is not convinced. A controversy has sprung up over online scalping of tickets to a recent Springsteen show after visitors to Ticketmaster’s website were first told the show was sold out, then redirected to secondary-market sister site TicketsNow, where prices ranged in the hundreds of dollars each. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Democrat from Bruce’s home state of N.J., and Sen. Charles Schumer, Democrat from N.Y., have called for an investigation of the “bait and switch” incident. In a press conference to announce the merger Ticketmaster CEO Barry Diller blamed the whole thing on a computer glitch, caused by Visa’s inability to process the requests.


CBS’ CNET is adopting a more open approach to its content, releasing open APIs to allow bloggers and social media users to incorporate CNET reviews, downloads and videos into their sites. The content will be syndicated using an embeddable widget powered by Gigya.
As part of an ongoing effort to utilize digital platforms to generate more interest in its brand, Lifetime struck a deal with games publisher Merscom to produce 4 new original casual games based on original Lifetime programming. The agreement includes the production of two hidden object adventure PC casual games, a downloadable PC simulation game and a game created exclusively for the iPhone.
In honor of Black History Month and have added new content to their Black History mini-sites. A Black History Widget features trivia and facts about black history updated daily, historical information and interactive timelines.
The unveiled a line up of Valentines Day-themed programming this week, pulling together romantic episodes from its vault of TV shows including Friends, Smallville, Buffy, Everwood and Veronica Mars. The site is also premiering the first five episodes of ABC romantic comedy Pushing Daisies this week, a Warner Bros. Television co-production.


It would seem micro-blogging service Twitter is inching closer to a business model. The company may begin charging for commercial accounts as more and more companies use the service to reach out to customers to promote their brands and content, according to an interview with co-founder Biz Stone in Marketing.
Teams retire player jersey’s – can studios retire roles? An online Heath Ledger fan club has emerged with an online petition calling for studios to withdraw the role of the Joker from Batman movies once and for all. They’re up to close to 1,000 supporters, scratch that, “freaks.” They’re also on YouTube, Facebook and Flickr.


Venue-based marketing company Brand Connections signed a deal to provide in-flight advertising for all programming on American Airlines flights including NBC’s Today, The Office, 30 Rock and On The Money. Ads will be strategically integrated into corresponding NBCU content to maximize brand recall and increase purchase intent.


settled its long-standing lawsuit with ConnectU over the origins of the social network for $65 million paid in a mixture of cash and Facebook shares, reports law journal Cal Law. ConnectU’s twin brother founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss first sued Facebook in 2004, accusing CEO Mark Zuckerberg of stealing code from a project they had been collaborating on at Harvard meant to be an online dating site for students.
Microsoft plans to unveil its own app store next week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, per Business Week, part of a complete overhaul of its mobile content strategy. CEO Steve Ballmer will also announce a new service dubbed My Phone that will allow users to sync photos, contacts, videos and other content from their handset then access it from any PC or web-connected device.
Southwest Airlines began testing free inflight Wi-Fi service yesterday powered by Westlake Village, CA-based Row 44. (Only a few planes will be wired for now, but look for a “Wi-Fi Hotspot” sticker when you board.) Yahoo has built the service’s homepage, which is focused on providing local destination information.
DirecTV posted it best quarter in 3 years in terms of subscriber growth, adding a net 301,000 U.S. customers during Q4. Revenue increased 9% to $5.3 billion but net income dropped about 5% due to higher acquisition costs.
TVN Entertainment struck a long-term VOD services deal with Fuse to support all of the network’s VOD needs including multiple codec’s, advanced asset management tools and services and fast turn services to accommodate VOD ad sales timelines.


In a recession, free is always popular. Traffic to free ad-supported gaming sites increased dramatically last year, according to new research from ComScore Media Metrix. The category grew by 27% year-over-year to 86 million U.S. visitors. Total time spent playing online games also increased 42% from a year ago from 3.7% to 4.9% of all time spent online. And despite the challenging display market, the number of display ad views grew by 29% in the gaming category for the year, perhaps boosted by a 17% reduction in ads per page viewed, a measure of ad clutter.
Top Online Gaming Sites Dec. 2008 vs. Dec. 2007
                                                           Total Unique Visitors (000)
                                                  Dec-2007      Dec-2008       % Change
Total Internet : Total Audience       183,619       190,650              4
Online Gaming                               67,457        85,977             27
Yahoo! Games                               16,184        19,468              20
EA Online                                      12,673        15,369             21
Disney Games                                11,933       13,458             13
WildTangent Network                        7,650       13,306             74                         9,706       11,343             17
AOL Games                                     8,380        10,750             28
MSN Games                                    9,685        10,263               6                                    7,264         8,636              19  Games                             6,020         7,092              18
Spil Games                                      1,821         6,715            269
Source: comScore Media Metrix
Display Advertising Trends in Online Gaming Nov. 2008 vs. Nov. 2007
Online Gaming                                        Nov-2007    Nov-2008       % Change
Total Display Ad Views (MM)                        6,659        8,610               29
Advertising Exposed Unique Visitors (000)    52,066      67,834              30
Advertising Exposed Reach %                        28.6          35.6              25
Display Ads per Page Viewed                         1.00          0.83             -17
Average Frequency                                    127.9          126.9              -1
GRPs Total Population                                 2,271         2,913             28
Source: comScore Media Metrix


Price slashing on the multitude of entertainment set tops has begun. Video on demand box maker Vudu announced it is cutting the price of its HD box in half to $150, available at Best Buy, audio video retailers, and online
revamped its mobile OneSearch application for the Windows Mobile OS introducing a plug-in that allows to speak search terms into you mobile device.
Here’s another interesting music-based iPhone app. iPod sleeve maker Psyclops has come out with a Dance Mixer App based on its interactive website PsyclopsHQ that allows users to create custom music mixes, dance moves and videos to share with friends. The interface includes tools to combine drums, bass, guitars, pianos, horns and DJ scratches. It’s priced at $1.99.


named Jonathan Lister as the new Managing Director and Head of Google Canada. Most recently, Jonathan was SVP of Operations for AOL Europe. In his new role, he will focus on continuing to build Google’s brand and reach in the Canadian business community, as well as developing and executing Google’s market strategy within Canada.
President and CEO Rick Feldman announced the group’s 2009 Chair and Board of Directors. Kevin Beggs, President, Programming and Production, Lionsgate Television will serve as Chair replacing 2008 Co-Chair Roma Khanna, President, Global Networks and Digital Initiatives, NBC Universal International, who will serve this year on NATPE’s Executive Committee. This year’s board also includes a number of newcomers from the digital media space reflecting NATPE’s commitment to convergence, including Keith Hindle EVP Licensing, Americas, FremantleMedia Enterprises; Jordan Levin, CEO, Generate and Kathy Styponias, GM, Media & Entertainment Group, Entertainment & Devices Division, Microsoft Corporation.


Sometimes you hear about a show or a movie but can’t remember what channel it’s on or when it’s supposed to air. Enter TVissimo, an online TV search engine that allows you to search your provider’s schedule by title, star, description, director, year it first ran, or anything else that shows up in the program’s listing info, as provided by TidalTV. It’s much more efficient than a general Google search because TVissimo only indexes TV listings. The site just redesigned its interface to add a cool new social function – now you can build customized favorite lists and send TV program alerts to your friends via email, text or Twitter. This may be a little superfluous for DVR users, many of which have their own programmable online guides, but it’s a nice way to prod all your friends to check out a new show. A Facebook app would round out the alert/recommendation feature nicely.

Later — Wayne
 Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital

Cynopsis Digital Ad Sales:
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Cyn opsis CLASSIFIEDSFor More classifieds, visit the classifieds page here    .

JOB OPENING: SPECIAL PROJECTS WRITER/PRODUCER/HGTV/Knoxville: Conceptualize, write, direct and produce high end on-air and off channel marketing campaigns.3+ yrs exp in cable net or equivalent. Apply: #262 (2/18)

JOB OPENING: SR. RESEARCH ANALYST/ Track/report/analyze key metrics, create research materials & run panels. Omniture & Excel expertise a must; exp w/ other online research tools highly pref. Res: [email protected] (2/18)

JOB OPENING: SR ACCT EXEC/ACCT DIR Out-of Home media sales/NY: 5+ yrs nat’l sales exp w/clients & advrtsng agencies strat. plan’g groups. Proven track rec of new bus/acct dvlpmnt req’d. Exp w/Youth mkt a + Res to: [email protected] (2/18)

JOB OPENING: Director Development/Story House ProdUCTIONS/DC: Lead creative development and sales process. Min 10 yrs exp in tv dev and prod req. Strong client contacts req. Apply:   (2/18)

JOB OPENING:  TRAFFIC MGR/THE HOTEL NETWORKS/NY: Mng all traffic functions across 10 ntwrks. Should have understanding of all functions from sale to satellite. 3 yrs exp in brdcst traffic reqd. [email protected]   (2/16)

JOB OPENING: DIR, FINANCE/Embassy Row TV/NY: All aspects accting & financial reptg. CPA pref, BA & 10+ yrs exp. Entertainment exp. req, TV pref. Apply: (2/13)

JOB OPENING: DIR. AD SALES RES /A&E TV-NY: Dvlp strategies & day-to-day for Ad Sls. BA/BS & 8 yrs media rsrch & mgmt exp. Knowl Nielsen/prime rsrch. Resume: (2/13)

JOB OPENING: CUST SVC REP/LA, CA/Baseline Inc: Filtering & monitoring client requests in multiple databases. 2+ yrs exp. Exp using or creating internal tracking databases. Deep understanding of ind. Send res to: [email protected] (2/12)

JOB OPENING: ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE (Universal Sports/NYC): 5-7 yrs exp @ sports network/website co., 3 yrs. Sports or digital sales exp req’d. Knwlg effective/creative pckgng strat a must. Res: [email protected] (2/17)

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] .

SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY:  Exposure to business side of television. Work on program decisions, marketing & sales opportunities for client TV stations.   COX REPs-NY-Strong comm. & math skills required, Contact:  [email protected]  #(212)372-0443 (2/18)

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: ORIGINATIVE KIDS TV PROD/DIR/EDITOR w/ 18+yrs exp. Inviting new projects/opps. US/EU citizen. Credits: PBS Kids (Buster, Fetch!, Zoom), History, CBS, BBC. Blog> CV & Reels> (2/18)

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] (2/18)

SITUATION WANTED:TV PRODUCER: Reality with network and cable credit seeks show producer/field producer position at prod. co. or network. Most recently series produced show airing on NBC O and O’s. (NY based) [email protected] (2/18)

SITUATION WANTED: PR & NEW MEDIA GURU (LA) Great Writer/Strategist, Social Media Expert, Strong Media Contacts, 15-year PR pro now avail for in-house or freelance. U want someone to hit the ground running, right? [email protected] (2/14)

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] (2/14)

SITUATION WANTED: VIRTUAL WEB HOST PRODUCER (L.A.) Producer, Director, Writer Virtually place anyone or anything onto web pages. See . Contact [email protected] (2/14)

SITUATION WANTED: DEVELOPMENT/PRODUCTION EXEC. with studio and network background with great success in kids, family and teen arena seeks staff post or consultancy. (2/13)

SITUATION WANTED: NASHVILLE BASED FIELD PRODUCER-Network, Cable,EPK, New Media. Ent.,Doc, News, Music, Reality, Docu-Soap, Social Issue/Ent. Video Journalist. Willing to travel and work as a local in NY, Dallas, Atlanta. [email protected] (2/12)

SITUATION WANTED: VIRTUAL CASTING Network, Major Cable, New Media credits.Booking – Casting – Research – Writing. Doc, News, Ent, Music – Celebs – Reality -Real People – Real Stories – [email protected] (2/12)

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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