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In case you missed it, both Ben & I have full time jobs and haven’t quite been keeping up like we used to. And we’re real sorry about that. But since our companies are working together anyway…..

Don’t Miss The Digiday Video Upfronts in NYC & LA

Hope you’ve been following my columns over at Digiday Daily. Writing about more than video these days.

But for online videophiles in NYC and LA, be sure to check out the great content, speakers & panels at the Digiday Video Upronts next week. NYC is 4/12 and LA is 4/14.

In New York, Digiday editor in chief, Brian Morrissey, will be interviewing Dan Goodman and Bill Masterson of Believe Entertainment, talking about their new web series, The Lebrons. And in LA, I’ll be chatting with Jared Hoffman, managing partner at digital media studio, Generate, about their branded entertainment and how they are changing the talent management industry.

We’ve also got James Kiernan from ESPN, Nate Parieni from iClips, Dave Kohl from VEVO, Jordan Berman from the Office Entertainment Network, Perry Cooper, who leads the digital division at the NHL, and DBG‘s Chris Young, who is executive producing the Kiefer Sutherland webseries, The Confession.

Come by and say hello!

OVW After 2010: Convergence is Here

You may have noticed we’ve been neglecting this space recently. The reason, more or less, is that there’s not that much “online video” to write about that isn’t already being covered by mainstream media and industry publications.

We’ve reached convergence. The vast majority of content is available on all screens legally, made publicly available by the rights holders. The models for monetizing and distributing the content to new mediums are still evolving, but the content is out there, more easily accessed by going through rights holders than pirates.

The way media is being covered as we near 2011 is not as “online video” or as “TV” but as content on various converged platforms on the basis of that which is most widely watched. Some of that content is independent, most of it is owned by large media companies, (how little things change) but it’s all being covered the same way, again. And that’s a very big deal.

So there’s not that much left for me to write about. When I started writing on this blog three years ago it was in large part because most of the people writing about the industry clearly lacked knowledge of the industry. As so many people got involved in making the push toward convergence with different ideas about how that would happen, there was a very clear need for voices which brought some more technical understanding to the technologies and business models being built.

Today there are many knowledgeable people with a solid understanding of the space, who are writing intelligently about online video, and they have far more free time than I do. They have along with this blog helped to provide a voice to the industry and to those working in it and they continue to do so on a more consistent basis than us, so go check them out, they’re conveniently located in the Blogroll on the right side of the homepage.

Media is media. Content is king. Distribution and marketing are the crown princes. Access has increased, media has democratized, technology will continue to evolve. And the content production business for better or worse is the same as it ever was.

Online Video Honors Its Own at DIVA Awards

Taken from Digiday Daily….

It was a triumphant — yet somehow bittersweet — night for both winners and finalists in the inaugural Digital Video or DIVA Awards. Jason Krebs, in picking up ScanScout’s prize for Best Video Ad Network, judged in juxtaposition to the company’s acquirer and category finalist Tremor Media, offered his thanks, then said poignantly, “It will be the last time the name ScanScout appears in public,” since the company is being cheerfully absorbed by its new partner. Krebs sheds his EVP title at Scanscout to become Tremor Media’s Chief Media Officer. The team still has formidable marketplace competition in the form of MediaMind, which won “Best Video Advertising Platform” against tough competition from adap.tv and YuMe.

Kyte would have to be considered an “upstart” winner for besting perennial favorite KickApps in the best video content platform category. As finalists, both offer exceptional tools for both Web and mobile video, but Kyte’s recent mastery of real-time streaming to any iOS device may have been a differentiator. The third finalist in this cateogory, Limelight Networks, can hardly be considered an also-ran, since it serves as the backbone for Kyte’s real-time streaming.

DIVA judges also soundly disagreed with those ( like comScore) who claim creativity is absent from Web marketing and media, especially where video is concerned. Whether it was the tintillating promise of a passing encounter, as captured in RAPP New York’s campaign for Guess’ fragrance, the slam-bang action of Gorilla Nation Media’s Halo Reach: Deliver Hope Experience, or the ultimate “Best Video Creative” winner The Visionaire Group’s Fugitive Chronicles NYTimes.com’s Home Page Takeover, the emotive and entertaining power of online video creative in this year’s entries demonstrated that online can hold its own against any other medium.

The Fugitive Chronicles entry also took first place in the Best In-Banner Video Ad, and The Visionaire Group’s Chatroulette spoof of how how viewers reacted to being presented a potential “date” with the lead character in The Last Exorcism took top honors in “Best Viral Video Branded Content” over stiff competition from Snoop Dogg for HBO and Threshold Interactive’s elaborate online competition for Nestle Butterfinger. Butterfinger still took home its own “bar,” though, winning “Best Viral Video Ad” hands down. HBO, likewise, didn’t go home empty handed, snagging “Best Video Website” for its TrueBlood portal, perhaps aided by creative elements like Snoop’s Oh Sookie fan-rap tribute.

It was a good year for the macabre generally; along with the sweetly addictive PopSugar, FEARNet was a finalist in the “Best Video Website” category, and Medialets’ Vampire Weekend snatched “Best in-App Video Content” honors away from both HBO’s The Pacific Interactive Battlemaps and Jirbo’s camp app for Kick-Ass the Motion Picture.

On the technology front, innovation is often hard to recognize except in the disruption it brings. It’s something that changes the way an industry does business. Adap.tv does this by providing an open platform where all elements of the video advertising ecosystem can do business with each other effectively in a frictionless environment for transparent buying and selling. Put simply; it’s a game changer, justifying the company’s “Best Video Innovation” honor.

Homeaway, Publicis and Kyte won “Best Viral Video Branded Content” with the Griswold’s Hotel Hell Vacation; Volvo / Euro Rscg and Media Contacts won “Best In-Stream Video Advertisement” (thought the real winner in the category was probably Innovid, whose iRoll format underlay all three finalists in this category); Mindshare took “Best Branded Video Content (Long Form)” with it’s Bertolli Frozen Meals “A Taste of Italy”: Cosmopolitan won for “Best Social Branded Video Advertisement”: and Oprah Winfrey Network won “Best User Generated VIdeo for a Brand” (supported, incidentally by Kyte).

Last but not least in this celebration of all things new and digital, it was a member of the “old guard” that stole the show. CBS Interactive’s Around the World for Free — a Web-original spin-off of the parent network’s Emmy-award-winning Amazing Race — took both “Best Video Series or Show” and “Best of Show” honors. While some of CBS’s competition in the Best Series category still hailed from traditional cable — ESPN’s The Next Round — it wasn’t alone. SheKnows, an Internet-only upstart, also broke into the top three in this rarified winner’s circle, paving the way for other niche content category winners in future. Links below will stay open so our readers can browse the winning and finalist entries for a short time before they are archived in our DM2PRO.com knowledge base.

Best Branded Video Content (Long Form)
Alloy Digital / First Day for Kmart
Alloy Digital / Hollywood is Like High School with Money / L’Oreal Paris Clean 360
WINNER: Mindshare / Bertolli Frozen Meals

Best Branded Video Content (Short Form)
WINNER: Momentum Worldwide / Triscuit Home Farming
Revision3 / Team Detroit / Ford
Threshold Interactive / Nestle Butterfinger

Best In-App Video Content
HBO / The Pacific Interactive Battlemaps
Jirbo, Inc. / Kick-Ass the Motion Picture
WINNER: Medialets/ Vampire Weekend

Best Video Content Platform
KickApps
WINNER: Kyte
Limelight Networks

Best In-Banner Video Advertisement
MediaMind / ThinkJam / Avatar
Mindshare / Dove Men + Care
WINNER: The Visionaire Group / Fugitive Chronicles: NYTimes.com Home Page Takeover

Best In-Stream Video Advertisement
WINNER: Volvo / Euro RSCG / MediaContacts
Disney / Prince of Persia / Tremor Media
Tourism Australia / National Geographic / Innovid

Best Social Branded Video Advertisement
Big Fuel Communications / Fisher Price
WINNER: Cosmopolitan

Best User Generated Video for a Brand
WINNER: Oprah Winfrey Network
Coors Light/ Coors Light Advanced Television Campaign

Best Video Advertising Campaign (B2B)
WINNER: Microsoft
EyeWonder

Best Video Creative
Gorilla Nation Media /Halo Reach: Deliver Hope Experience
RAPP New York / Guess

WINNER: The Visionaire Group / Fugitive Chronicles: NYTimes.com Home Page Takeover

Best Viral Video Branded Content
HBO / Oh Sookie Video
WINNER: The Visionaire Group / The Last Exorcism – Chatroulette Reaction Videos on YouTube
Threshold Interactive / Nestle Butterfinger

Best Video Advertising Campaign (Branding)
WINNER: Homeaway / Publicis / Kyte
iNDELIBLE Media Corp / Ride NSS
Revision3 / Team Detroit / Ford

Best Video Series/Show
WINNER, and BEST OF SHOW: CBS Interactive/ Around the World for Free
ESPN / The Next Round
SheKnows / SheKnows’ HomeStretch

Best Video Advertising Network
WINNER: Scanscout
Tremor Media
YuMe

Best Video Advertising Platform
adap.tv
WINNER: MediaMind / MediaMind Version 2.0
YuMe

Best Video Website
WINNER: HBO / hbo.com/trueblood
FearNet
PopSugar

Best Viral Video Ad
Threshold Interactive / Nestle Butterfinger

Best Video Innovation
adap.TV

Tremor Media Buys ScanScout

Starting the week off with a huge bang, Tremor Media is buying competitor ScanScout, continuing the much anticipated consolidation in online video ad networks. Undertone Networks has acquired Jambo Media, according to the Jambo website, and Specific Media recently purchased BBE (formerly Broadband Enterprises).

Scanscout CEO Bill Day will become CEO of the combined company and Jason Gickman, currently Tremor’s CEO, will become executive chairman.

According to AdAge, the combined company is expected to go public within 18 months.