Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM IFC + SUNDANCE


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Cynopsis: DIGITAL

03/11/09

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

For years American Idol‘s producers participated in one of the most successful, if rudimentary,  mobile interactive applications in the U.S. as millions of AT&T subscribers paid extra fees to text in their votes. (FremantleMedia has also used the platform as a marketing tool this year to remind users of the return of the show, sending out mobile ads to some 2 million AT&T subs.)  Finally there’s something a little sexier – Seattle-based Zumboi has launched an officially-sanctioned $1.99 American Idol app for the iPhone. It features a variety of content and functionality including exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes clips, a “buzz” section with blogs, news feeds and other updates and a module providing bios and photos of show participants. But go figure – there’s no way to cast votes from the app.
 

~ MULTIPLATFORM CONTENT NEWS ~

 
Extending a deal struck earlier for the European market, Sony signed a distribution agreement with NBC Universal to make a selection of movies and TV shows available for rental or purchase in the U.S. on the growing PlayStation Network. Universal Pictures and Focus Features titles such as Milk and The Big Lebowski and NBCU broadcast and cable shows including Heroes and Sci Fi’s Battlestar Galactica will be available for download-to-own in standard def and as rentals in SD and HD. The PlayStation Network, accessible via the PlayStation3 or the PSP, now offers over 1,300 movies and more than 4,500 TV episodes with some 20 million registered users worldwide.
 
Despite shuttering its TimesSelect option in 2007 – a premium service that attracted some 200,000 subscribers and $10 million in annual revenue – NYTimes.com continues to mull over a variety of paid content options including subscriptions, micro-payments and membership tiers, says Martin Nisenholtz, SVP/Digital Operations in the site’s interactive Talk to the Times feature.
 
PBS.org will be on hand to cover happenings next week at the South By Southwest Interactive And Film Conference streaming live music, online events and interviews with new media luminaries.
 

~ INNOVATORS & START-UPS ~

 
Teen savvy producers OCOLight Productions are introducing a new show called Broken Road on Mar. 15, a teen drama set (for once) in the Midwest. The series follows two teenage sisters who move to fictional small town Huntington, KS with their mom after their dad goes off to fight in the Iraq war. Available on BrokenRoadTV.com, YouTube and MySpaceTV, the show should get a boost from guest turns by Ed Asner (who joins the cast as a high school principal) and Corey Feldman (who has signed on to co-produce and direct 4 episodes.) Broken Road will also utilize real teens both in front and behind the camera, including 17-year-old creator Courtney Haigh.
 
Revision3 added a new show to its line-up featuring hosts and former critics for the gaming portal 1UP Ryan O’Donnell and Matt Chandronait. Picking up where their former 1UP show left off, CO-OP blends geek lifestyle comedy with hardcore gaming insights. (These guys know their stuff.) Appealing to perhaps a broader audience, Conan O’Brian replacement Jimmy Fallon will return the favor to Diggnation hosts Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht on tonight’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show. (Fallon appeared on January 16th as the first-ever guest on Diggnation.)
 
Knowledge Adventure went live with its new virtual world JumpStart after attracting more than 1.5 million game sessions since its beta launch on Dec. 1. The virtual gaming portal costs $7.99/mo. for a family subscription and targets 5-8 year olds with high-quality 3D graphics and advanced browser-based learning games.


~ DIGITAL ADVERTISING ~

 
In an effort to jumpstart the sagging display ad business the Online Publishers Association announced a plan to roll out a trio of new display ad units aimed at “inspiring creativity” and grabbing user attention. Participating publishers including CBS Interactive, Conde Nast Digital and NBC Universal will begin to adopt the new formats including:

  • a new “fixed panel” unit scrolling to the top & bottom of the page as the user scrolls
  •  the “XXL Box” unit which features page-turn functionality with video capability, and a
  • “pushdown” unit, which opens to display the ad then rolls up to the top of the page

 
Vertical ad network management solution Adify is launching an update with new audience engagement tools and post-impression tracking features for publishers. The technology centers around tools that measure specific user interaction with ads and actions taken after ads are viewed – giving advertisers and network partners insight into how users are responding to ads, beyond the traditional click-through metric.
 
New York-based social marketing group Mr. Youth launched an enhanced platform for RepNation, its word-of-mouth network targeting millennials. New product offerings and increased functionality include rich social media tools that enable consumers to share individually trackable URLs and multimedia assets; a New Rep recruitment platform to better identify and target brand influencers and evangelists; and an updated version of its RepWare customized community portals that serve as a the hub for all RepNation campaigns.
 
The IAB unveiled the IAB Certificate in Interactive Advertising, a new educational credential earned after 40 hours of official training with the IAB or its approved partners. The curriculum consists of a series of classes on platforms such as social media and in-game advertising & and tools, including metrics and yield management.
 

~ TECHNOLOGY DEALS, MERGERS AND SKIRMISHES ~

 
Google, Cisco and Apple are on the short list of companies to replace struggling Citigroup and GM on the Dow Jones Industrial average, per Reuters. Both stocks are trading below $2 despite billions in government handouts.
 
The U.S. should be cut some slack for not keeping up with denser countries such as Japan and South Korea in the areas of broadband speed, availability and affordability according to an analysis piece in The NYTimes. Nations with large concentrations of apartment buildings or other multi-dwelling units have been able to roll out high-speed DSL services with relatively little capital investment.
 
The OCAP/EBIF Developer Network announced that its charter sponsor – Time Warner Cable – has been joined by four additional MSOs – Bright House Networks, Cablevision Systems, Charter Communications, and Liberty Global, Inc. – in its efforts to promote interactive television (iTV) application development for digital cable.
 
Tribune Media Services announced a new agreement with Cox Communications to provide its “On” entertainment data for use in the MSO’s True2way-compatible next-generation interactive program guide due out later this year.
 

~ TRENDS, RESEARCH, ETC.  ~

 
The largest U.S. cable TV MSOs added 3.2 million broadband subscribers in 2008 – about 1 million more than their telecom rivals, according to a study by Leichtman Research Group. But broadband growth is slowing across the board as annual net broadband additions were down to 5.4 million new subs compared to 8.5 million in 2007 and the peak of 10.4 million in 2006 – the fewest in the seven years that LRG has tracked the industry. The top broadband providers now account for nearly 67.7 million subscribers – with cable companies having 36.9 million broadband subscribers, and telcos serving 30.7 million subscribers.
 
Google held on to a 72.11% of the U.S. search market in February, according to panel-based research firm Hitwise, about flat with the company’s 72.09% share in January, but up from 66.47% a year ago. Second place Yahoo saw its share of the market fall once again to 17.04%, from 17.81% in Jan. and 20.60% a year ago. Most of the share lost at Yahoo went to IAC/Interactive Corp.’s Ask.com, which held a 3.74% share in Feb., up from 3.31% in January, but down from 4.16% a year ago.
 

~ EXECUTIVE MOVES ~

 
Editorial Director of soon-to-launch MoneyWatch.com Eric Schurenberg has been appointed Editor-in-Chief of the site’s sister publication BNET, a CBS Interactive property. Eric’s resume includes previous stops at Money magazine and Business 2.0.
 
David Jacobson, formerly VP/Partner and Director of Brand Strategy at Miami-based Turbulence Advertising, has joined the interactive marketing agency Nobox Marketing Group as its new Director of Accounts and Brand Strategy.
 


~ WEBSITE OF THE DAY ~

 
New media studio EQAL has launched HarpersGlobe.com, the social companion site to CBS’s new who’s-gong-to-die-next mystery series Harper’s Island premiering April 9. Hoping to stoke the interest of fans of other successful EQAL franchises like LonelyGirl15 and Kate Modern (Harpers Globe stars LG15’s Melanie Merkosky,) the 17-episode web show begins on Mar. 18 and will incorporate videos, photos, and blogs from its accompanying social network – enabling users to speak directly with the characters, solve puzzles and feel as the rush of participating in the characters’ lives. (The essence of these shows is very voyeuristic, but that’s another subject entirely.) The two properties won’t be deeply integrated, although HapersGlobe’s Robin (Merkosky) will appear on the primetime show at some point, according to EQAL CEO Miles Beckett. But CBS should benefit from a built-in audience that will at least sample the primetime drama. Executive Producer Jon Turteltaub seems to have been attracted to the project’s horror elements, which should equally appeal to the social web show demo if done well.
 
Housekeeping Note:  As we have in 2000, 2005 and 2007, once again we are conducting a survey to get your feedback on the Cynopsis editions and how we might make them better and more relevant for you.  Please take a few minutes to click on this link and fill out the survey – your comments are greatly appreciated! 

Later — Wayne
 Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital
03.11.09

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: DEV EXEC/VA: Join team to create and pitch new TV programs, esp character-based. Must have exp in developing factual programs and knowledge of US cable net slates and players. Apply: [email protected] (3/17)

JOB OPENING: VP MARKETING/The Sportsman Channel/Milwaukee WI: Resp for building consumer awareness while overseeing affiliate marketing, media planning & promotions. 7+ yrs exp in TV or digital media. Apply: [email protected] (3/14)

JOB OPENING: ReelzChannel/NYC/ SR TRAFFIC COORDINATOR: Daily log maintenance, prep & delivery 3+ yrs exp. TRAFFIC COORDINATOR: Ensures scheduling commercial materials are executed & trafficked. Both Apply: [email protected] (3/14)

JOB OPENING: PUBLICIST/SR PUBLICIST/MTV/NYC: 3+yrs exp. in TV PR including pitching/story placemnt, events, knwlg online press; Progrming focused; Strng writ/oral comm. skills, EOE/M/F/D/AAP. Apply www.mtvncareers.com (3/13)

JOB OPENING: ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE/FISHKILL NY: Seeks AE for local ad sales.1-3 yrs ad sales exp. pref cable tv, radio, e-media adv. Valid NY DL. See full posting and apply to www.cablevision.jobs req 8247BR (3/13)

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] .

SUMMER INTERNSHIP/CREDITS ONLY: BLOGGER /Picture Earth/NY:Writer(s) sought for EarthFromAboveUSA.com‘s blog, launching April. Relevant degree or experience required. For school credit and/or bylines.Apply: [email protected] (3/13)

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: NON-FICTION PRODUCER/WRITER (STORY & FIELD).10+yrs exp. NBC, VH1, CMT, TLC, E!, Disney, CNN, etc.; reality, ent, news, talk, developmt; LA based, will travel. [email protected] (3/18)

SITUATION WANTED: PRODUCER/ ASSOC. PRODUCER (LA) Out-of-the-box thinker, creative, award- winning, all formats, all genres. Budgets, schedules, breakdowns, crewing, casting, post and more. Over 20 yrs. exp. [email protected] (3/18)

SITUATION WANTED: Top-tier agency ACCOUNT MANAGER/SUPERVISOR seeks full-time employment in LA area. If your agency needs a professional w/ multi-platform technology, entertainment or interactive experience, e-mail [email protected] (3/18)

SITUATION WANTED: SR. MARKETING/BRAND MANAGER with home video, TV, animation and indie film experience is seeking a dynamic opportunity with a Los Angeles area studio or agency. E-Mail [email protected] for a resume (3/18)

SITUATION WANTED: Award winning COMEDY WRITER/PRODUCER in L.A. Credits: WB, UPN, TBS, MTV, Discovery etc. Check out pilot, You’re Joking, Right? at www.justjokesentertainment.com Contact email: [email protected] (3/17)

SITUATION WANTED: WRITER. I’ll gladly write/re-write what you don’t want to write! Summaries; reports; proposals, human resource materials; updates; copy; web content; synopses; and more. Contact Bernie. [email protected] (3/17)

SITUATION WANTED: BRANDED ENTERTAINMENT EXPERT/TELEVISION PRODUCER seeks consulting work, long or short term. Over 15 years experience working with brands, multi-media/faceted talent. Contact: [email protected] (3/17)

SITUATION WANTED: GROW YOUR BUS/MAKE IT THRIVE/NYC: MBA w/15yrs int’l exp: turnaround & startup mgmt, strategic partnerships, negotiating, fundraising. Proj/Consult/FT. Contact: [email protected] (3/17)

SITUATION WANTED: STORY DOCTOR: Are your scripts too weak to make it to the bay? Got a rough-cut on life support? 20+ years crafting nonfic series, specials, sizzles and web content. Contact: [email protected] (LA) (3/17)

SITUATION WANTED: WRITER: Children’s writer with exp at various prod co’s & Kids’ CBC. Portfolio in educational & comedic works for kids. Exp. in development, creative consulting, editing. Freelance. Contact [email protected] (3/14)

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] (3/13)

SITUATION WANTED: MEDIA/CABLE/INTERNET ATTORNEY: Broad in-house experience in content production& distribution, operations, affiliate & ad sales. Available for project/consultant/full-time. Contact [email protected] (3/13)

SITUATION WANTED: MARKETING/PROMOTIONS/Boston: Marketing/promotions professional seeks television, web marketing, social networking focused position. Experienced in international markets. Creative + will travel. [email protected] (3/13)

SITUATION WANTED: PRODUCTION MAKEUP ARTIST (NY) Over 20 years experience including keying top-rated network and cable tv shows, print, and film. Creative, competitive rates. Email: [email protected] (3/12)

SITUATION WANTED: DIR, STANDARDS & PRACTICES: Over 20 yrs exp of editing TV shows & theatricals for acceptable airing. Available on a FT basis and can also contract out to work project by project. E-mail: [email protected] (3/12)

SITUATION WANTED: WRITER (LA, NY): Comedy writer with experience at MTV, SNL, VH1, Fox, The Onion. F/T, P/T, freelance. Contact [email protected] (3/12)

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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