Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Cynopsis: DIGITAL

Good afternoon. It’s Thursday, November 15, 2012, and this is your later than normal digital briefing.

A sold out house, an exceptional lineup of speakers and hot topics fueled the first-ever Cynopsis: Digital Measurement Summit in mid-town Manhattan yesterday on a crisp November afternoon. Featuring speakers that included executives from Rhythm NewMedia, NBC Universal, FreeWheel, McCann World Group, Horizon Media, AOL, Yahoo, Videology and many more, the audience was able to take away the latest trends and best practices in the digital industry. Thank you to all of our speakers as well as everyone who participated in this fabulous event.

The AOL On Network has partnered with Kaltura to make the entire AOL video library available to publishers using Kaltura’s open source video platform. As a result of this new partnership, Kaltura’s publishers will be able to search through the AOL video catalog, which currently consists of over 420,000 videos spanning a variety of genres and categories, and then add any selected short-form video to their own accounts. “Partnerships like this are an essential part of our business because they drive scalable exposure for AOL’s original content, as well as that of our content partners,” said Frank Besteiro, Head of Business Development at The AOL On Network. “By giving the many thousands of publishers that Kaltura works with access to our library, we’re increasing ROI on the investment we and our partners have put into producing top-quality video content.”


Yahoo Studios and The Onion have teamed up to launch a new show on Yahoo Screen’s Comedy Channel. The Onion’s Extremely Accurate History of the Internet is a satirical documentary that delves into the past of the world wide web. In addition to the launch of this new show, Yahoo has renewed a number of existing comedy series. Alongside the recent announcement that it has renewed the Ken Marino-starring Burning Love for a second and third season, Yahoo has also decided to bring back First Dates with Toby Harris, Odd News, and Sketchy. While Odd News (from Yahoo Studios) and Sketchy (from Electus and Principato-Young Entertainment) are immediately rolling out new episodes, First Dates with Toby Harris (from Funny or Die) and Burning Love Season 2 (from Paramount’s Insurge Pictures) will debut in 2013.

Cooking Channel has debuted the second season of Fodder, a sketch comedy series that pokes fun at all things food, including the popular television franchises that dominate both Cooking Channel’s and the Food Network’s daily lineup. New episodes and clips will be available every Monday on Cooking Channel’s YouTube channel. The sketch comedy series stars, and was written by, a bunch of funny people from The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City.

Evolve Media Corp.’s male-oriented digital property CraveOnline Media has acquired sites owned and operated by Gorilla Nation, including GameRevolution and LiveOutdoors. With the addition of these new publishers, CraveOnline now reaches 30 million US uniques per month (based on comScore data), making it the largest male/lifestyle publisher online, according to the company. “With the entire sponsorship display marketplace moving towards a ‘fewer, bigger, better’ model, we saw this as an opportunity to double down, going to market with a sales team that is twice the size, and an ability to bring truly scalable online and offline ad products and media programs to our clients,” said Brian Fitzgerald, President and Co-Founder of Evolve, in a statement.

NBCUniversal has slid iVillage into the NBC News Digital portfolio, effective immediately. This moves follows NBCUniversal’s recent acquisition of the MSNBC Digital Network, which gave the company full ownership of its online news properties, including, a brand that reaches a similar audience as the one regularly visiting iVillage. NBCUniversal says iVillage will be integrated into NBC News Digital’s operations, which means it will share content with other sites across the portfolio and create sales opportunities for brands that span both digital and on-air properties. Vivian Schiller, SVP & Chief Digital Officer at NBC News, and leader of NBC News Digital, will oversee iVillage.



Cynopsis: Kids People Awards
Saluting Top Talent, Innovators and Passionate Kids Media
Executives & Professionals



European online video start-up Base79 has received an undisclosed investment from new backer The Chernin Group, as well as additional funds from existing investor MMC Ventures. Base79 will use the new funds to speed up expansion across Europe and into other global markets, to build owned and operated brands and video channels, and to invest in new products and technology. The start-up partners with video rights holders and producers to build online video channels and audiences for them, while also protecting their intellectual property and generating revenue through YouTube and other OTT platforms. Base79’s content partners include BBC Worldwide, Endemol’s Tiger Aspect, IMG Media, Guinness World Records, and a number of YouTube content creators. The company claims it hits more than 550 million views per month across nearly 550 channels on YouTube. When YouTube expanded its original content initiative overseas, it awarded Base79 for original programming grants.

Spruce Media, a provider of enterprise-level marketing solutions for Facebook Ads, has secured $15 million in financing from Square 1 Bank. The company will invest the fresh capital toward accelerating sales growth and further scaling its technology development team. In addition, Spruce Media says it plans to expand into additional US cities and provide additional infrastructure for its managed service and self-service business units. Facebook recently designated Spruce Media as a Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer.


VINDICO is expanding its partnership with VivaKi, a division of Publicis Groupe, with a new multiyear deal that allows Publicis’ agencies to use the full VINDICO product suite for their brand clients’ digital video ad initiatives. VINDICO and VivaKi’s partnership goes back all the way to 2010, when the agency selected the ad tech company to be the preferred video technology partner for a global, market research initiative called The Pool. Together, VINDICO and VivaKi formed The Rising Tide Co-Op to build a new choice-based online video ad model called ASq. This partnership to offer ad services and technology, including ad serving, tracking, and real-time analytics, is now expanding to include interactive units, targeting, and verification. VivaKi agencies will now be able to take advantage of VINDICO’s existing demo-verification partnerships with Nielsen and comScore.


Cynopsis: WEBINAR
Interactive TV:
How to Harness this Ever Changing Platform to Boost Engagement and Revenue
Thursday * November 29, 2012 * 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. ET

Hosted by: Lisa Ball, Editor Cynopsis along with panelists:

Patricia McDonough, Senior Vice President Insights and Analysis, Nielsen
Jeff Siegel, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Advertising, Rovi
            Registration details to follow shortly!     


The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Ensequence three interactive TV patents. US Patent 8,176,425 deals with an “intuitive way for TV viewers to navigate multiple video segments related to broadcast content on traditional and connected TVs.” US Patent 8,229,984 and Patent 8,307,020 cover methods for creating “enhanced television applications that can be modified yet retain their certification for broadcast TV delivery systems including cable, satellite, connected TVs, and mobile devices.”


53% of Americans have streamed a TV show on a connected device, according to a new poll of 2,343 adults conducted by Harris Interactive. Digital streaming of TV shows is also well on its way to becoming the dominant method with which 18-35 year olds watch TV, or at least as dominant as live TV. 44% of 18-35 year olds indicated they still watch live TV as it airs, while 41% indicated they stream TV content. This doesn’t mean the TV screen is going away anytime soon. Per the results, 89% of American adults point to their TV sets as the way or ways through which they most often watch TV programs. 56% of respondents said a live feed is the way, or one of the ways, they watch TV shows, while 32% pointed to recorded content and 29% specified on-demand programming. On the other side, through, Harris says there is cause to expect growth in the streaming of TV content. 20% of respondents indicated they’re watching more online/streaming TV content now than they did a year ago, and 19% said they expect to be watching more a year from now. This poll was taken between October 10 and 15 of this year.
The Index Quarterly Report from Casale Media’s sell-side platform, Index Platform, examined bid activity on its platform in the first and second quarters of 2012. According to the report, the overall number of impressions bought via RTB on its platform jumped 28% between the first and second quarters of 2012. In addition, the findings show that 57% of companies using RTB in Q2 were major national brands, including Fortune 100 companies. Internet brands were the second largest spenders in Q2 with an overall share of 29%.


The Weather Company (TWC) has hired Christopher Herbert to be VP/Strategy and Product Operations for its digital division. In the newly created role, Herbert will be responsible for strategy development and execution for the product organization, including, mobile and tablet apps, and Weather Underground. He will report to Cameron Clayton, President of TWC’s digital division.

Alloy Digital has appointed Eric Danetz to the position of EVP/Sales. In his new role, Danetz will oversee the company’s 35-person national sales team and guide the strategic direction and development of digital-focused media and content opportunities across Alloy Digital’s network of owned and operated web properties.


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The first season of Fodder, the sketch comedy series from Cooking Channel that’s mentioned above, was incredibly funny. If you haven’t given yourself the opportunity to check it out, do so now. I’ll wait.

With the second season now underway, some of the cast/writers appeared on My Damn Channel Live‘s daily show yesterday (speaking of which, My Damn Channel’s Founder and CEO Rob Barnett was the keynote speaker at the first annual Cynopsis Digital Video Measurement Summit, but that’s neither here nor there). The episode is Thanksgiving themed and is a pretty good way to spend an hour, if you’re so inclined.

Later – Sahil
Sahil Patel, Associate Editor for Cynopsis Digital

Denise O’Connor : Group Publisher, Media Entertainment
Diane K Schwartz : Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

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