Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

Cynopsis: DIGITAL


Good morning, it’s Wednesday, July 2, 2008, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.

DirecTV took the wraps off its On Demand service, available to subscribers with the DirecTV Plus HD DVR or the R22 DVR receiver at no extra charge. The catalog pales in comparison to cable in terms of selection, offering some 4,000 free and PPV standard def and HDTV titles. But look for some cool interactive features, including customizable programmer home pages and remote internet scheduling.


Meanwhile rival satellite service Dish Network got some bad news. AT&T is not renewing its resale agreement with EchoStar, the company revealed in an SEC filing. (The telco had been offering bundles with a discount for subscribers who sign up for Dish.) This frees up AT&T to possibly return to DirecTV in a reseller agreement.
Robert Redford
is taking a desk at Cablevision as a consultant to help produce a series of short films for mobile devices under the Sundance Channel brand, reports the New York Times. He will likely direct them and may even appear in a few.
Time Warner Cable
is rolling out its Start Over service in Staten Island this week, with plans to extend it the rest of its New York footprint by the end of the year. Start Over allows viewers to press a button to return to the beginning of a program, but it doesn’t allow ad skipping.

Cartoon Network New Media launched Mini Match, a new social gaming virtual world. At launch Mini Match offers four different game-play environments: Haunted Garden, Tower of Heroes, Underwater Lab and Alien Zoo.  On Mini Match kids can create avatars and take part with other kids in multiplayer games, “tag” battles, work together on solving puzzles and follow an unfolding mystery.  Kids can earn points while playing games, which can be used to customize their avatars and gain in-game abilities.


Time Inc. is beta testing an online magazine service called according to Folio, allowing consumers to mix and match magazine subscriptions for a flat monthly fee. Like Netflix you pay on a tiered basis; $3.95 for 3 titles/month, $7.95 for 5 titles and $9.95 for 7 titles. The service hopes to have 300 magazines to choose from at launch in September.
Always one of the best and querying its user base for good ideas, Google has added a bunch of new community features related to mobile lately:

  • The Google Mobile Community was established to help the company get feedback about current mobile apps
  • YouTube’s Mobile Tricks page solicits how to videos about doing cool things with your phone (including blending it.) Of course the page is also viewable on mobile devices
  • Don’t forget the Google Docs Mobile page to optimize Google Docs for your phone

Men7 launched a new series “DNA of Sport” sponsored by Red Bull, available on, Hulu, Veoh and YouTube. The show, which will consist of 10 episodes premiering bimonthly, looks at the evolution of action sports as genre. (The subject is right up Men7 parent company The Bennett Group’s alley; its studio arm is one of the leading producers of HD action sport videos.)
Adam Powell and Donna Williams, creators of the social gaming portal Neopets, have founded the independent gaming studio Meteor Games, based in West Hollywood, CA. The studio will work on casual games, massively multiplayer games and social networking apps, beginning with a project designed by Powell and Williams themselves.


AT&T is planning to offer a contract-free version of the 3G iPhone for those who don’t like to be tied down. An unlocked iPhone is going to go for between $600-700. (Ouch.) The move is likely intended to eliminate the market for unlocked iPhones hackers were reselling overseas for a handsome profit. To get the subsidized price ($199 for 8GB, $299 for 16GB) you must commit for 2 years and be a new AT&T customer. If you’re a current customer you must have already purchased a 2G iPhone or be eligible for an “upgrade discount” (ie: you’re current contract is up.) Contracts include 4 AT&T Nation plans, which bundle voice and unlimited data:

  • AT&T Nation Unlimited: Includes unlimited Anytime Minutes for $129.99 a month
  • AT&T Nation 1350: Includes 1350 Anytime Minutes and unlimited Night & Weekend Minutes for $109.99 a month
  • AT&T Nation 900: Includes 900 Anytime Minutes and unlimited Night & Weekend Minutes for $89.99 a month
  • AT&T Nation 450: Includes 450 Anytime Minutes and 5,000 Night & Weekend Minutes for $69.99 a month

Family talk plans start at $129.99/month for two iPhone 3G lines. For more details, including what you can do with your old iPhone, go to
Adobe released a souped-up version of Reader application yesterday, the first version that allows embedding of Flash movies, Shockwave animation and other rich media goodies in PDFs without having to load a separate player. Adobe also enhanced the newest Flash format to allow Google and Yahoo to index content created in Flash, making it searchable by users around the world.


A new trade group called BONDI was formed in Europe by AT&T, T-Mobile, Telenor, Telefonica, Telecom Italia and Vodafone to work toward open standards in mobile application development.
Fox Interactive Media has taken out a lease for over 420,000 square feet of office space in the Playa Vista development in Los Angeles between LAX and Santa Monica, reports the LA Times. The plan is to bring MySpace, Photobucket, Fox Sports Interactive, IGN, Rotten Tomatoes, AskMen and Fox Interactive Media Audience Network under a single roof.
Chinese online game developer and multiplayer online game operator Giant Interactive acquired a 25% stake in social networking site for approximately $51 million, joining Sequoia Capital China, Intel Capital, SIG and Redpoint Ventures.


Waterfall Mobile announced a partnership with design and mobile agency iconmobile to devise mobile marketing campaigns for brands built on the Msgme mobile platform. Recent efforts include multimedia campaigns for the Toyota Yaris, MSN, and BMW.
Home Depot is sponsoring a Spanish-language microsite and web show for called Handyman Al Rescate (Handyman to the Rescue) featuring 6 minute tutorials on everything from how to organize your garage to how to remodel your bathroom.


Don’t write off ComScore and Nielsen Online just yet. The initial reception for Google‘s free Ad Planning product has been chilly at best, reports Mediaweek. Media buyers complain it doesn’t provide the level of detail and functionality the paid metrics services provide, including pinpointed demographic data and reach/frequency options.
This may make you feel a little less guilty about bringing your kids to the movies so often this summer. Online ad network Mindset Media found that frequent moviegoers actually show some positive psychographic trends compared to the general population. Using a Nielsen Online panel, Mindset found that respondents who see more than 3 movies a month are more likely to be assertive, dynamic, optimistic and creative.


has added Kristie Fortner as VP/Syndication and Gordon Jones as Director of Business Development to support the strategic growth of the Advanced Media and Information (AMI) division. Fortner is responsible for leveraging Rentrak’s usage data across multiple platforms through published trend reports. Jones’ role is to drive future business growth through video on demand (VOD), broadband and linear platforms.
ReelzChannel has named Pamela Howell as VP/ Corporate Communications, effective immediately. She will be based in the company’s Twin Cities headquarters and will report to Gary Thorne, President and COO.


From the folks who brought you and its various spin-offs (Shred or Die, Eat Drink or Die, etc.) comes, a video sharing site for gamers. The basic concept is the same – users vote “pwn” (slang for great play) or “die” for each video they watch and results determine the prominence each clip is given. Kudos here for allowing users to browse by category (trailers, walkthroughs, Mods, machinima, etc.) as well as by gaming platform. Seeing how gamers also tend also to be online video junkies, the site should be able to carve out a nice niche for itself. It’s already becoming a place where celebrity types can share their inner geek. New uploads include videos by Jo Garcia, Playboy’s Cyber Girl of the Year (who demonstrates the Nintendo Wii Fit) or singer Jessi Malay (who prefers Rock Band to Guitar Hero.)

Later — Wayne
Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital

Cynopsis Digital Ad Sales:
Jason Cesare – 732-718-0629 / [email protected]
Classifieds – Trish Pihonak- 203-926-9878 / [email protected]

Cynopsis website – Video Resumes, Extended Classified Ads, Archives, and the Cynopsis Daily Video

CableU – Know Networks Better. Pitch Smarter. Click here


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For more information, call Trish Pihonak 203.926.9878
if you’re looking to make an executive change, or are looking for a change of scenery yourself.
[email protected] .

Cyn opsis CLASSIFIEDSFor More classifieds, visit the classifieds page here    .

JOB OPENING: VP, BUSINESS PARTNERSHIPS/ Active Int’l in Pearl River, NY (15 miles from NYC): Min 12 yrs exp. Acct. Mgmt/Sales & team leadership. Resumes to: [email protected] or call 845-732-8943 (7/10)

JOB OPENING: ASSOC RESEARCHER/WGBH/Boston: Assisting in Gathering and analyzing research. BA in Communications, Business or Marketing. Job Req # 4362 (7/10)

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JOB OPENING : PRODUCTION MGR-DIGITAL MEDIA/Sesame Workshop/NYC: Handle all proj budgets/financials, assist w/ prod plan’g & mng prod trafficking issues. 3+ yrs web content prod exp req’d. [email protected] (7/9)

JOB OPENING : VP DIGITAL MEDIA MKTG/NYC/Bdcstg Co: Strong marketer! series websites, ecom, wireless, social networks, iTV, etc branding exp-Film a+ 6 figures +bonus Resume: [email protected] (7/8)

JOB OPENING : SCHEDULER/DISCOVERY/NY: Responsible for scheduling/tracking programs for network. 2-4yrs exp in scheduling, programming. No relo assistance provided. Apply: www.discovery.c om ID: 8095 (7/8)

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JOB OPENING : DIGITAL AD SALES MKTG MGR/A&E TV Nets/NY: Work with Nat’l sales teams to dev & execute sponsorships for AETN digital properties. Min.3yrs exp Online/Media Mktg. TV/Mobile exp a +.Apply: ml (7/8)

JOB OPENING : DIRECTOR, CONTENT DVLPMNT/SPIN MASTER’S NEWLY LAUNCHED ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY/TORONTO: Manage the development slate. 3 yrs exp in similar role. Full job details on www.spinmaster.c om Resumes to: [email protected] (7/4)

JOB OPENING : RESEARCH ANALYST/Disney*ABC Dom TV/LA: Support synd/ABC Studios. 1 yr Broad/Cable TV or research intern, BA, strong writing/analytical skills. Knowledge of Nielsen software a +. Apply (req.168214) (7/4)

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JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, PROGRAMMING/Sony Pictures/CA: Drive strategic planning of SPTI’s digital & mobile biz. 5-7 yrs in mobile/digital media; tv prod/acquisition exp preferred. Apply: www.sonypicturesjobs.c om ID: 10002 (7/3)

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