Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

Cynopsis: DIGITAL


Good morning, it’s Wednesday, March 25, 2009, and this is your first early morning digital briefing. 

Now that the Olympics are over it’s no more Mr. Nice Guy. The Chinese government blocked access to YouTube once again according to reports – this time for streaming a graphic video of uniformed Chinese troops storming a Tibetan monetary. A Foreign Ministry spokesman claimed that China is not afraid of the internet on Tuesday but refused to confirm that YouTube had been blocked. Access to YouTube was also blocked last year in China, home of a world-leading 300 million internet users, during high-profile government meetings and following unrest in Tibet.


Netflix became the latest digital media service to integrate with Facebook Connect yesterday, allowing Netflix subscribers to share their queues and recommendations with friends on their Facebook account. Such social features and its handy recommendation engine have given Netflix a competitive advantage over rival Blockbuster, which continues to trail in online subscriptions.
MTV’s Shockwave unit launched a new subscription-based premium online gaming service targeting adult users. Club Shockwave offers social features and more than 400 flash-based casual games and puzzles and deploys a “token” system to provide incentives to users; rack up points for access to additional content. The site is currently running a free 30-day trial but after that will charge $5.95/month or $29.95/year.


After suing the start-up last July, Fox Television Stations signed a deal with news video clipping service Redlasso to distribute video content from 27 local stations to bloggers and news oriented sites. Redlasso’s video product proved to be a hit last year with bloggers until content owners began taking exception, forcing it to discontinue the offering.
CBS’s online streaming service announced it will soon require a €3.00 per month subscription fee to users everywhere except the U.S., UK and Germany (where its core user base happens to reside.)
Serial entrepreneur Steve Perlman, one of the principle architects of Apple, is launching a new on-demand gaming service late this year that will enable users play console-quality video games through a standard-processor PCs or broadband-equipped televisions, per the WSJ. The technology involves advanced compression and sophisticated servers used to store the data.


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Microblogging platform Twitter began using the new ad space featured on profile pages to advertise third party sites and apps that relate to the core product. ExecTweets from Federated Media and Microsoft, which allows you to find and follow the tweets of prominent business executives, is one such app.
Online ad company Linkstorm raised $2.8 million in series D funding from several new and repeat Angel investors. Linkstorm aims to improve performance of online advertising and enhance customer engagement by overlaying cascading menus onto multiple ad formats. The investment will be used to expand the company’s sales force and to continue building out the platform’s features and serving infrastructure.


The Dept. of Justice is siding with the Recording Industry Assoc. of America (RIAA) in a lawsuit against a Boston University grad student accused of illegally downloading a group of songs via a P2P file sharing site. It is the first time that the Obama administration has weighed in on the file sharing issue. The defendant, first pursued by the music industry in 2003, faces up to $1 million in fines under current digital theft statutes.
National Telecommunications & Information Administration
was applauded when it announced it was accepting re-applications for DTV-to-analog converter box subsidy coupons that have already expired. The NTIA also announced that the Coupon Program has eliminated its waiting list, cutting the waiting time to a maximum 9 business days.
ActiveVideo Networks announced it will be demonstrating a solution to enable web-based interactive content to be viewed on cable using EBIF (Enhanced Binary Interchange Format.) Applications include clickable ads and program info that viewers can turn to for additional information.
Online video encoding and compression specialist Sorensen Media announced a rare thing in today’s economy – expansion. The company is tripling its staff and moving its sales and business operations from Salt Lake City to San Diego as it prepares to roll out a new product set “in the not too distant future,” according to President and CEO Peter Csathy.
Major League Soccer has selected Gotuit to power its QuickKicks video portal for the fourth consecutive year.


CTAM released a study that suggested today’s economic bad times are actually good for the cable industry, as folks tend to stay in more and rely on Cable TV to pass the time. More than eight out of ten total cable (81%) and digital cable (81%) households report that they are not at all likely to cancel their cable TV service, compared to November 2008, when those same groups reported 71% and 77%, respectively.
catapulted to the #4 position in terms of video views in the comScore’s Feb. Video Metrix rankings, experiencing a 33% jump in video views following its splash at the Superbowl. (Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane is the latest “alien” to promote Hulu, which also ranked #4 in terms of unique users.) Of course Google’s YouTube maintained its market leading position with over 40% of all videos viewed online. reported that it had 21 million unique viewers in Feb. according to comScore, making the most-viewed network site. More than 2/3 of all internet users viewed video in Feb., averaging 312 minutes per user.
Top U.S. Online Video Properties by Videos Viewed – Feb. 2009
Property                    Videos (000)       Share (%) of Videos
Google Sites                 5,348,579               40.9
Fox Interactive Media       462,620                3.5
Yahoo! Sites                   353,489                 2.7
Hulu                              332,504                 2.5
Microsoft Sites                259,002                 2.0
Viacom Digital                 248,103                 1.9
Turner Network               169,486                 1.3
AOL LLC                          117,119                 0.9
Disney Online                  116,104                 0.9
CBS Interactive                111,762                 0.9
Total Internet              13,072,164               100.0
Source: comScore Video Metrix, Rankings based on video content sites; excludes video server networks.  Online video includes both streaming and progressive download video.
Top U.S. Online Video Properties by Unique Viewers – Feb. 2009
Property              Unique Viewers (000)          Average Videos per Viewer
Google Sites                 99,395                          53.8
Fox Interactive Media    53,794                           8.6
Yahoo! Sites                 41,679                           8.5
Hulu                            34,731                           9.6
Microsoft Sites             28,490                            9.1
CBS Interactive            24,574                           4.5
AOL LLC                       22,778                           5.1
Viacom Digital              22,051                         11.3
Turner Network            20,119                           8.4
Disney Online               12,699                           9.1
Total Internet             145,177                          90.0
Source: comScore Video Metrix


Memory application reQall completed a major “Pro” upgrade for the iPhone and Blackberry that utilizes GPS and voice recognition software to interface with the devices’ various communications applications to achieve myriad functionality. The free version of reQall allows you to speak reminders into your phone then it converts them to text-based To-Dos such as shopping lists and meeting talking points. Set a start time and reQall will remind you via text, IM or email. The new version goes a step further and anticipates information you may need when you need it. Jot down a shopping list and reQall will remind you what you need when you’re driving past the supermarket. If there’s an important point you must make at your next business meeting, the app will remind you of it when you set foot in the building. Plug in your parking space at the airport and you’ll receive a text message reminding you as you land. The new version also integrates with more applications; users can add an item by voice or text to Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar or Outlook Tasks.  Early adopters of reQall Pro, conceived of by co-founder Sunil Vemuri while he was studying memory processes at MIT, are being asked to pay $3/month or $25/year but the basic version is still available for free.
Raisix Inc.
launched a new $1.99 iPhone app called PhotoList that enabled you to sort, rate and label your photos. Create folders and group them by category, date or theme.      


hired Johannes B. Larcher as SVP/International, the ventures first senior executive charged with expanding the business outside of the U.S. Prior to joining Hulu, Johannes held a number of internationally-focused posts including GM of International for Overture and VP and GM for Friendster.
Dana Hayes will join Travel Ad Network as its new Chief Revenue Officer, overseeing all revenue-related activities including sales and advertiser partnerships. Dana most recently served as SVP/Interactive Sales for Tribune Interactive.
Mobile content and ad platform Digital Sidebar added Jon Bukosky to head up Business Development in North America. A veteran of multiple media and telco companies including AT&T, Universal Music and ABC, Jon and will spearhead distribution, content acquisition and strategic partnerships for the company, reporting to CEO Stephanie Grossman.


Thursday, April 30, 2009

“To create a night that’s all about substance is really heartening for everybody, not just in
this room, but in the television community.”
— Margaret Nagle, accepting for Side Order of Life, Television Academy Honors

Television has the power to enlighten, create awareness and encourage positive change.
For more information or to buy tickets, click here.


One of the hot topics at the Cable Show next week will be how MSOs plan to harness their platform’s interactivity to give younger viewers what they really want – access to online video from the television. But as cable companies hem, haw and experiment with various solutions, start-ups are perfecting end-around solutions. Web and HD video vendor ZeeVee is now gearing up to compete with Boxee, releasing its latest Zinc web based video browser yesterday with an improved user interface designed to be more living-room friendly. An offshoot of a product initially developed for an expensive consumer electronic device, Zinc is now a browser-based interface offering a nice visual line-up of leading web video content along with detailed show descriptions, release dates, ratings and other info. The content line-up includes YouTube, Revision3,, Jaman, Crackle, Howcast, College Humor along with CBS, Fox, ABC and hulu (for now.) Netflix subscribers will also be happy to note that its 12,000 title watch instantly library is now accessible from interface. Boxee’s social features are superior (and that company just announced an integration with everyone’s favorite internet radio app Pandora) but Zinc’s new offering is a worthy competitor. It is currently only available for PC but the company promises a Mac version by the end of April. 

Later — Wayne
 Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital

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 classifieds page here    .
JOB OPENING: DIGITAL MEDIA ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE/Discovery Communications/New York: Sell national advertising across Discovery’s Digital assets- online, vod, mobile. 2+ yrs digital sales exp required. Apply: Req#8869 (4/1)

JOB OPENING: DVLPMT EXEC: Creative/aggressive for PT rsrch & dvlpmnt. Exp’d in shaping raw ideas into breakout formats. Knwldgbl of cable TV programming with experience in creating shows. Resumes: [email protected] (3/31)

JOB OPENING: VP/SVP CONSUMER/NY: Beauty/Entertainment PR account. Manage large consumer packaged goods biz. Prior exp managing large $1mil+ accounts. Relationships in ent/beauty world a must. Apply: [email protected] (3/28)

JOB OPENING: SR. DIR, CLIENT DEVELOPMENT/NY/Ent-Media research co: Develop new/expand existing biz for research prod/custom services. Min 3 yrs market research sales exp. (2/27)

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: needs a web dvlopng intern for a Flash/HTML website. You would come in once or twice a wk to upload images & make adjustments. Great exp with fun content! Contact Arlene at [email protected] (4/1)

SUMMER INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: MKTG/ON-AIR : Fox Reality Channel-LA – summer intern for mktg & on-air production. 30-40 hrs/wk. Majors: Mktg, Adv, PR/Comm, TV/Film. Skills: Writing & computer; On-Air Pro/Avid a plus. [email protected] (3/27)

SUMMER INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: Multiplatform media company seeks organized and energetic intern for fast-paced, lifestyle entertainment company, email [email protected] with Intern in subject line. (3/27)

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: 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] (4/1)

SITUATION WANTED: FIELD PRODUCER/ DIRECTOR:LA/ Docusoap, Lifestyle, Infotainment,Feature Doc + more. Resonant leader, keen director/ writer, strong storyteller + showrunner. 8+ yrs. Will travel. [email protected] 917.716.7277 (4/1)

SITUATION WANTED: PRODUCER-WRITER, SHOWRUNNER/NY w/org. series on PBS, Nick, Noggin, Fox, Discovery Kids, BBC.20+yrs developing, writing, producing & making co-pro and merch deals. [email protected] (4/1)

SITUATION WANTED: MEDIA PRO 15 yrs experience in network buying, product integration and multi-media promotions. LA based, available for freelance, project-based or permanent position. Thanks for your time! Contact [email protected] (4/1)

SITUATION WANTED: PROJ/OPS MGR: NYC Seeking the opp to work in on-air promos again, but open to other opps as well. Sev yrs cable on-air promo/new media & adops exp. Mang day-to-day ops of projs & campgs. [email protected] (3/31)

SITUATION WANTED: RESEARCH DIRECTOR Save money over a full time director. Let’s talk.20+ yrs Media, Nielsen, Hispanic, & Sales experience. Email: [email protected] (3/31)

SITUATION WANTED: INTERACTIVE MEDIA SPECIALIST: LA. Newly available w/18 yrs of media experience & MBA. Need high-performance campaigns integrating online & non-traditional media? Avail F/P or freelance. [email protected] (3/31)

SITUATION WANTED: ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE (NY) TV Ad Sales prof. seeks full-time media sales job. 5 years experience w/ stations (ABC, CBS, NBC) in top markets. Would like to stay in media, but open to opps. Email [email protected] for resume (3/28)

SITUATION WANTED: REALITY EDITOR in L.A. Credits: MTV, VH1, A&E, E!, Oxygen, Style. Avid & FC. Contact email: [email protected] (3/27)

SITUATION WANTED: CREATIVE PRODUCER/NY looking for immed opp-22 yrs exp in series prod for Nick, Animal Planet, Discovery. Proven pro, innovator, skilled, hardworking. Develop, write, produce content for all media [email protected] (3/27)

SITUATION WANTED: Recent graduate educated & experienced in audio, video, & television production. Very passionate and hard working; looking to get my foot in the door. Contact: Griffin Campbell 9082682078/[email protected] (3/27)

SITUATION WANTED: MKTG /ON-AIR: Fox Reality Channel-LA – summer intern for mktg & on-air production. 30-40 hrs/wk. Majors: Mktg, Adv, PR/Comm, TV/Film. Skills: Writing & computer; On-Air Pro/Avid a plus. [email protected] (3/26)
SITUATION WANTED: STORY DOCTOR: Is your Post Beast screaming to be fed? Or is it clogged with scripts that can’t be cut? 20+ years crafting nonfic series, specials, sizzles and web content. Contact: [email protected] (LA) (3/26)

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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