Archive for May, 2012

DirecTV Introduces Advertising’s Weirdest-Looking Baby Yet

May 30, 2012  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Who does that adorable, pudgy little baby look like? Maybe it's his father. Maybe his grandpa. Maybe the milkman. Probably he's an awkward mashup of one relation's beady eyes, another's bushy eyebrows, another's douche-y 'stache, another's pouty lips, another's receding hairline, etc. He's a cute bundle of weird. Them's the breaks when you roll the genetic dice. Them's also a new ad for DirecTV from Y&R Buenos Aires, because that baby's features are diverse—just like the satellite service's range of channels. In other words, everyone sees what they want to see

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Zynga Founder and CEO Mark Pincus, Live at D10

May 30, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

FarmVille. CityVille. Words with Friends. Zynga is responsible for developing some of the most-played games of the decade. As the founder and CEO, Mark Pincus has worked quietly behind the scenes since 2007 building an empire that was worth $7 billion in a public offering late last year. But it hasn’t been all fun and games. Pincus has been criticized for his hard-driving management style, and the company’s close ties to Facebook can be counted as both a blessing and a curse. Sure, Facebook has gotten the company to where it is today (and, amazingly, Zynga accounts for 15 percent of Facebook’s revenues), but now it will be looking beyond the social network for its next stage of growth. On a day like yesterday, when Facebook’s stock dove by 10 percent, the connection between the two was clearly a bad thing. As a result, Zynga hit an all-time low and is now worth $4.5 billion. All that and more as D: All Things D continues in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. Pincus up next! 9:20 am : Game on! Kara starts with a hardball, saying we are going to start with the bad stuff. What’s up with the stock price? Mark: We always knew we were going to be a public company. It wasn’t a huge transition for us; we always had quarterly objectives. What’s changed is we have the quarterly conference call, and then a week later we have an all-hands meeting. But my job hasn’t changed, I’m focused on products.

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Thessaloniki nixes cash prizes

May 30, 2012  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film News: Fest hit by Greek financial crisis

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What to Learn From 7 Dematerializing Sci-Fi Shows

May 30, 2012  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

To accurately predict how a sci-fi show will do, you'd need either a time machine or a bathtub full of precogs. Sometimes you get Star Trek: The Next Generation ; sometimes you get Star Trek: Enterprise . It's confusing. This season, seven sci-fi series are being canceled or have already recieved a pink slip: Fox's underrated Fringe will finish its run with a half-season slated for the fall, that same broadcaster's Terra Nova

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Kixeye’s Games on Facebook Are Not Cute or Cuddly, Just Like Its Prickly CEO

May 30, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Farms don’t have rocket launchers, but games built by Kixeye do. You also won’t find purple cows or other decorations — just blood. Kixeye CEO Will Hardin That’s how Will Harbin, Kixeye’s CEO, described his company’s social games to me last week over the phone. Harbin is passionate about building games for Facebook, but we are not talking about the ones that necessarily appeal to 40-year-old housewives. The company’s titles include Backyard Monsters, War Commander and Battle Pirates, and 97 percent of the company’s audience is male. Because of the small niche it is serving, the games don’t appear in Facebook’s top 40. But they do monetize extremely well. Currently, Kixeye is registering roughly one million users every day, and while most social game companies make roughly 4 cents per user, Kixeye claims it makes closer to 60 cents. The San Francisco company has been profitable for the past two years, and this year it is projecting revenues in excess of $100 million. It’s similar to the story Kabam and other social game makers have started to tell as Facebook becomes a more mature gaming platform. Developers are starting to see that if they target a more hardcore gaming demographic, with more sophisticated kinds of games, the players will be more engrossed and, therefore, spend more time and money in the game. Besides, it is these players who are typically used to spending $60 per videogame for a console system, so getting a few dollars out of them is much easier. But even though this all sounds great, don’t expect Harbin to hype the company’s prospects. Instead of pumping up the company as a prospective IPO candidate or raising millions of dollars in private equity — just because he can — he is fairly pragmatic. In fact, the lack of sensationalism in his voice would be considered almost boring if the conversation weren’t actually such a breath of fresh air in what’s becoming an overheated sector. And, despite having plenty of good things to say, talking to me seemed like a real chore and only something he was mildly tolerating.

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Japanese director Kaneto Shindo dies at 100

May 30, 2012  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film News: Helmed 'The Naked Island,' 'Onibaba'

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Data Points: Multiscreen Mania

May 30, 2012  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Remember when we just watched TV? As ownership of Internet-connected devices goes up, people are increasingly likely to be surfing and tapping away on their phones, computers and tablets while watching the big screen, according to a Interactive Advertising Bureau report, The Multi-Screen Marketer . The more devices people own, the more likely they are to go online while watching TV. Fans of reality TV shows like Survivor scored especially high on this front, with 81 percent likely to surf and email while watching their show. With all this multitasking, are people even watching the ads? Surprisingly yes—almost half of people with multiple devices at home recalled brands advertised on the screen—perhaps because they’re too busy multitasking to channel-surf during the commercial breaks like they used to.

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Day One at D10 in Tweets and Pictures

May 30, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

[ View the story "Day One at #ATD10, in Tweets and Pictures" on Storify ] Day One at #ATD10, in Tweets and Pictures Tweets and pictures from the first day of the 10th annual D: All Things D conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. Storified by Eric Scott Johnson

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NBC’s ‘Talent’ easily tops Tuesday

May 30, 2012  |  Variety  |  No Comments

TV News: ABC's 'Cougar' exits meekly; soft start for CW's 'Catalina'

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Facebook’s Cognitive Dissonance with Sharing

May 30, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

One of the most important parts of Facebook is that we can all browse it freely and without consequence. When we decide to take an action such as commenting on a photo, it is then that we make ourselves known. – Turntable.fm founder Billy Chasen

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