Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

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Cynopsis: DIGITAL
07.17.13

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, July 17, 2013, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.

NEW PROGRAMMING + DEALS

Scripps Networks Interactive would like to be the next owner of Liberty Global‘s for-sale content business, Chellomedia, according to Variety. Chellomedia is available in 13 countries and Liberty says it produces and distributes a portfolio of 66 TV channels internationally to more than 382 million TV households. The word on the street is that Chellomedia has attracted eight different bidders and the price could be near $1 billion.

Whenever a consumer travels through the Internet, whether he or she does it idly or with targeted precision, there is data of one sort or another is being collected, quietly, behind the scenes. GE plays off this fact with a new web series, Datalandia, (Come for the weather! Stay for the big data!, its tagline crows). Filmed at Hamburg, Germany’s quirky Miniatur Wunderland, an attraction featuring model trains and towns, the show aims to actually help consumers figure out just how that data is being gathered and used.

Canadian singer/songwriter/actress Sima Fisher, who has appeared in such films and TV shows as American Pie Presents Beta House and Murdoch Mysteries, plays four different characters undergoing dance therapy in her new web series, Women Who Dance. It is expected to be released on Fisher’s YouTube channel.

African-American news site rollingout.com has launched a new web series, Celebrity Refresh, that has celebs showing off and sprucing their houses up. The first house in the series belongs to Rozonda Chilli Thomas of TLC, who fixed up a house she bought in Georgia 15 years ago. Home Depot is also a partner to the show and provides some of the gear used.

Goooooool! Join us on Aug. 14 when we present Telemundo staple Andres Cantor with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Cynopsis Sports Business Summit. Cantor, of course, is an internationally known star behind the microphone, calling countless soccer matches all over the world and his goal calls have become iconic for both Telemundo and sports culture in the United States. Telemundo Executive Vice President of Sports Jorge Hidalgo will present the honor. Tickets are on sale now at http://www.cynopsissportssummit.com.

CONTENT EVERYWHERE

The United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals has refused broadcasters’ petition to appeal an earlier ruling that Aereo, Barry Diller’s online service that streams live TV for $8 a month, is legal in New York City. The appeal had been brought by CBS and other broadcasters and was asking to rehear the case in front of a full panel of judges. No such luck. Judges had been polled and a majority did not want to rehear the case. However, Judge Denny Chin did dissent and called Aereo a “sham” and harmful to the TV industry.
In Other Words: Broadcasters will have to keep pushing this case to the Supreme Court if they want to stop Aereo.

BBC Worldwide wants more international and digital expansion. Seems that since BBC Worldwide had success in those areas in 2012-13, it will put extra energy there next year. There are now 406 million homes subscribed to BBC Worldwide, a leap up from the 356 million it had in 2011-12. Fifteen new versions of the channel launched, including ones in Burma and Brazil. The company’s eight YouTube channels have recorded 1.1 billion views. There will be an emphasis in the coming year to showcase more BBC video on BBC.com. Digital accounts for 13% of the company’s revenue.
In Other Words: Americans tiring of hearing British accents on their televisions and digital screens better get over it. More’s coming from across the Pond.

RESEARCH

Yahoo!-ABC News Network has been the top-rated online news source for 17 consecutive months, according to comScore. In June, 29.7 million unique viewers checked out the Yahoo!-ABC News Network for original digital videos. They also spent more total minutes watching video on that network than any other news destination. The network had 2.5 billion page views in June, about 800,000 higher than CNN Network’s 1.7 billion.  The top six were as follows:

  • Yahoo!-ABC News Network (2.5 billion)
  • CNN Network (1.7 billion)
  • HPMG News (1.3 billion)
  • Fox News Digital Network (894 million)
  • NBC News Digital (901 million)
  • CBS News (512 million)

More than half of the digital streaming boxes sold around the globe are Apple TV devices. According to the new Consumer Video Devices Market report published by researchers Frost & Sullivan, Apple TV has 56% of the streaming devices sold in the world locked up. Roku is second with 21.5%. In the first quarter of this year, more than 13 million AppleTV devices were sold and Roku has sold more than five million as of April. The rest, Frost & Sullivan estimate, don’t sell more than one million devices apiece each year.

ADVERTISING

Speaking of Apple, AppleTV will include ad-skipping technology. Former Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Lessin has uncovered that Apple has been in talks with broadcasters for more than a year as it plans to establish the tech for consumers to skip over advertisements in a premium version of its AppleTV products. Part of the subscription fees would go to broadcasters in order to offset the loss of advertising dollars, Lessin notes. DigitalSpy points out that Apple has filed a patent previously that “suggests an ad-skipping system may be in development,” describing “a technique that could swap to a different stream of video during advert breaks.”
In Other Words: Brands are going to rely less on TV advertising and continue moving those dollars to places where their message can be far more targeted.

Shopping just got that much easier. Consumers don’t even have to get up from their couches or turn on their computers to go online With Delivery Agent‘s new ShopTV. Folks who own Samsung Smart TVs can simply use their remotes to click on products that they see in network programming and advertising and then purchase. And the items aren’t just products on late-night advertorials. According to Delivery Agent, the initial wave of products in the program will be found in more than 500 shows representing more than 63% of the nation’s top programming.
In Other Words: Smart marketers will be thinking up more ways to place their product than ever.

Vox Media, the publisher of such sites as sports blog SB Nation and technology-info site The Verge, is trying out the idea of using full-screen ads and ditching the same old banner ads that everybody has on their sites. The ads would appear when site visitors scroll to get new content in an attempt to make it similar to when magazine readers come across ads while flipping through pages. Video galleries, photo slide shows, and art that becomes animated as well as mobile versions of the ads are being tested as well. Other sites that use full-screen ads include Buzzfeed and Forbes.

MOBILE GAMING + APPS

Comic-Con International 2013 kicks off in San Diego on Thursday and Marvel Comics will be debuting a new game for iOS and Android that will come out later this year. The game, X-Men: Battle of the Atom, will draw on 50 years’ worth of characters and will also use actual physical cards in the course of play, just as Marvel’s War of Heroes did last year. The game is built so that players can time travel to any moment in X-Men history. Bring it on, Dark Phoenix!

Games monetization and discovery network appnext is going mobile in the hopes of providing developers with new revenue and cross promotion opportunities within other games in the program. The idea is this: appnext will always be able to serve up player-targeted game recommendations during breaks in game action. The suggestion of another game can either be triggered by an in-game event or be reached when clicking a tab for More Games on the mobile device. The ability to scroll and view additional games during a break in a game has led to an up to 25% increase in engagement rates, appnext reports.

Big-budget sci-fi film Pacific Rim, the tale of monsters battling robots, did not make as much money as producers hoped in its opening weekend, but that’s not stopping the third-place finisher from launching its new mobile game that has gamers moving a robot around to defend against aliens. It was developed by Reliance Games in partnership with Behavior Interactive and has released a teaser trailer to get potential gamers’ blood flowing.

EXEC MOVES

About.com’s senior ranks are suddenly awash with new talent. Scott Kim has joined the organization as Chief Operating Officer, Alex Ellerson is now Senior Vice President, Content, and Matthew Knell has been named Vice President of Social Media Strategy and Community Strategy. Kim was previously Chief Strategy officer at Ask.com. Ellerson is joining About from Howcast Media, where he was Chief Operating Officer, and Knell was the leader on social media strategy at AOL before joining About.


A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE


Cynopsis Sports Webinar
Sports & Second Screen:  Driving fan engagement and brand ROI
Thursday * July 25 * 1:30-3:00p.m. ET

Moderated by: Chris Pursell, Director of Sports Content,
Cynopsis: Sports along with:
Rob Shaw, VP, Content/Media, Bloomberg Sports
Gus Weber, Sr. Director of Digital Products, ESPN
Chris Lencheski, President, Front Row Marketing Services with Special Guest Hall of Fame Coach, Barry Switzer
Register here: http://www.cynopsis.com/webinars/sports-and-second-screen.


DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT OF THE DAY

Being a mom isn’t the easiest thing in today’s world, a fact that Brooklyn filmmaker Debra Kirschner is highlighting in her new web series Mom Enough For Ya? In seven episodes on its own YouTube channel, the show tells the story of two sisters – one a stay-at-home mom and the other a working mom – and the difficulties they encounter trying not to be judged and attempting to make the best decisions possible or their children. New episodes come out each Tuesday and fans of the show are encouraged to discuss what’s on their minds on the show’s Facebook page.

See you tomorrow,
Mark Miller 
07.17.13

Roberta Caploe: Editorial Director
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

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JOB OPENING: EDITOR/Cynopsis/NY: Write daily Digital e-pub covering news for dig. TV ind; write special reports & help produce webinars and award shows. Excellent news reporting& writing & exp in digital industry a must. Resume HERE (7/24)

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