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Hulu Attempts First Original Series Variety 08.03.11
Hulu is attempting its first original longform series, teaming with Morgan Spurlock on unscripted project “A Life in a Day.” Six half-hour episodes were ordered of the skein, which chronicles a day in the life of prominent figures including will.i.am, Russell Peters and Girl Talk. Debut episode on Aug. 17 follows Richard Branson.
Starz Signs Multi-Year Production Deal with BBC Worldwide Productions Deadline 08.08.11
Starz Entertainment and BBC Worldwide Prods. have signed a multi-year production agreement. The potential output is estimated at more than 100 hours of drama series programming. The deal essentially gives Starz a (non-exclusive) production arm without the large cost associated with overhead as Starz is looking to compete against its more established pay cable competitors on a far smaller production budget.
Justin Bieber, Shakira, Rihanna, Ryan Seacrest, Shakira Lead Social Movement for Africa The Hollywood Reporter 08.09.11
More than 150 stars of music, fashion, pop culture and sports, including Lady Gaga, Eminem, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, Shakira, Sting and Kanye West, are combining their social media might to raise awareness of the growing food crisis in East Africa. On August 9, they’ll each take to their Twitter feeds and Facebook pages with the goal of reaching a global audience of 700 million.
TV Advertising Still a Reliable Engine in Media NYT 08.08.11
Last week, companies like Viacom, CBS and Time Warner reported windfalls in television revenue, much of it from growing ad spending. Despite worries of a possible double-dip recession, so far companies are not pulling back from their television ad spending plans, demonstrating the resiliency of the medium even when faced with a downturn and the persistent threat of the Internet to steal viewers.
Shazaming for the Brand Brand-e.Biz 08.08.11
Cool mobile discovery outfit Shazam is out to make brand messages ‘Shazamable’. Already the company had partnered with the likes of Old Navy and Starbucks on campaigns, and over the coming months A-listers Honda, Paramount Pictures and Proctor & Gamble will be on board the platform.
Why the Web’s TV Style Ratings Might Not Mean More Ad Buys Ad Age 08.09.11
It’s become an article of faith among digital folks that once online media can be measured apples to apples to TV, big dollars will flow to the web. But now that Nielsen is set to roll out its long-awaited internet Campaign Ratings — the online equivalent of its industry-standard TV ratings, known as gross ratings points or GRPs — Aug. 15, some are questioning how big that wave of dollars will be, or if it shows up at all.
BRANDED ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Pepsi Takes Active Role in “X Factor” NYT 08.05.11
“The X Factor,” a British export that will make its United States premiere on Fox on Sept. 21, is the long-awaited competitor to “American Idol.” Pepsi’s logos will be a regular sight on “The X Factor,” seen on the judges’ drinking cups, in banner ads and elsewhere. But Pepsi, which is spending up to $60 million for the sponsorship, is also playing an unusually active role in the show itself, and its connection to the show will continue even after the season ends in December.
Audi Continues Hollywood Career with Emmy’s Deal Marketing Daily 08.08.11
Audi has signed on to be the official automotive partner of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Audi will activate across a number of events leading up to the awards, and on the Sept. 18 broadcast itself at the Nokia Theater at L.A. Live.
Butterfinger Recruits UGC for Rob Lowe Movie Marketing Daily 08.08.11
Nestlé USA’s Butterfinger, which has tapped actor Rob Lowe to direct a 25-minute comedy-horror film geared to building social media buzz, is now recruiting fans to contribute to the project.
SOCIAL MEDIA & TECH NEWS
NYT Launches Beta620, a Site for its Experimental Projects Mashable 08.08.11
The New York Times launched Beta620, a public beta site for its experimental projects, on Sunday. Users can browse through, test out and give feedback on projects on Beta620 — some successful projects may ultimately “graduate” and go live on NYTimes.com.
Invite Your Friends to Google+ with New, Tweetable Link TechCrunch 08.07.11
Google just made it easier for you to invite friends to its new social network, Google+, by providing a short link you can post on the web or share with others over instant messaging. With the new feature, you have the ability to invite 150 more people to the network.
Augmented Reality Kills the QR Code Star FastCompany 08.04.11
Augmented reality leader Layar just took its system to a whole new level by installing a real-world object recognition protocol that’s a little like Google’s Goggles. In one swoop it may have turned AR apps from intriguing, inspiring, and occasionally useful toys into serious tools for information discovery and, of course, advertising.