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Archives » Online ad markets

Disney/ABC And Comcast Partner For Authenticated TV Streaming

Published 1 year, 10 months ago

Xfinity and Disney/ABC Television Group have announced that Xfinity TV customers can now access three new authenticated TV+ products – WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH Disney XD and WATCH Disney Junior — at home or on-the-go — via a suite of new apps for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and online at WATCHDisneyChannel.com, WATCHDisneyXD.com and WATCHDisneyJunior.com.

The three new WATCH products are the first-ever to provide authenticated users with both access to live, linear network streams as well as an extensive offering of advantaged window “on demand” episodes.

Xfinity TV customers, who subscribe to Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior networks as part of their monthly video service, can now stream these channels live online and via the convenience of their iOS devices. In addition, Xfinity TV customers can view a variety of top series including “Good Luck Charlie,” “Shake It Up,” “Phineas and Ferb,” “TRON: Uprising,” “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” and “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” from Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior on these new WATCH products, on Xfinity On Demand, Xfinity.com/tv and through the Xfinity TV app on the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch and Xfinity TV Player app on Android-powered devices, anytime.

The free Watch apps include a simple, kid-friendly user interface that brings the current online viewing experience to the high-resolution, Multi-Touch displays of iOS devices. Once a user downloads one of the WATCH apps or visits one of the WATCH websites, they will receive sign-in instructions to verify their Comcast Xfinity TV credentials, allowing them access to their favorite Disney Channel, Disney XD or Disney Junior programs on their device(s).
Non-authenticated users of the WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH Disney XD and WATCH Disney Junior services will have access to a limited number of “on demand” episodes each month.

Later this year, Xfinity TV will also integrate all of the content available through WATCH apps on Xfinity.com/tv as well as on other viewing platforms. Today, Xfinity TV offers more than 75,000 TV shows and movies, including a variety of kids and family programming, across Xfinity On Demand, Xfinity.com/tv and the Xfinity TV and Xfinity TV Player apps for iOS and Android, respectively.

The launch of Watch Disney Channel, Watch DisneyXD and Watch Disney Junior, as well as the recent launch of WatchESPN with Comcast is part of a long-term, comprehensive distribution agreement between Comcast Corporation and The Walt Disney Company that was announced in January, 2012. The agreement will deliver Disney’s sports, news and entertainment content to Comcast’s Xfinity TV customers into the next decade on televisions, computers, tablets and handheld devices. The new agreement enhances the multichannel business model and supports the companies’ mutual goal to deliver the best video content to customers across multiple platforms using the latest technology and cloud innovation.

For the first time ever, Comcast’s Xfinity TV customers will be able to watch ESPN, ABC or Disney shows live or On Demand and across multiple screens. The companies also agreed to collaborate over the term of the deal to create new, innovative viewing experiences for Xfinity TV customers.

NBC Sports Radio Network To Launch On Air/Online In September

Published 1 year, 10 months ago

The NBC Sports Group and Dial Global have announced a partnership to create the NBC Sports Radio Network. Beginning in September, the network will be distributed to radio stations nationwide by Dial Global.The network’s content will include hourly sports news updates, daily features as well as full-length shows.

NBC is becoming a sports powerhouse, owning the Summer 2012 Olympiad, which it will stream across several of its TV and web properties (and presumably, its radio network as well). Both NBC and ESPN are expanding their sports radio offerings, proving to advertisers that sports radio still has “legs.”

In addition to distribution on terrestrial radio stations, NBC Sports’ audio content will be available on a variety of digital platforms. Live shows will be streamed on NBCSports.com, DialGlobalSports.com, affiliate stations’ websites and other streaming services. On-demand short-form audio content will also be distributed online and through podcasts and other digital applications. Dial Global will be the exclusive ad and affiliate sales representative to the network.

“We are thrilled to bring the rich heritage of NBC Sports to listeners across national radio for the first time,” said Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Sports Group, in a statement. “By adding radio to our broadcast, cable, regional, and digital assets, the NBC Sports Radio Network will give sports fans a new way to interact with the NBC Sports Group day in and day out.”

Tapping into the NBC Sports Group’s mix of national and local assets, the NBC Sports Radio Network will provide stations both national and regional sports content. Listeners may hear hourly sports updates, long-form shows and features hosted by national NBC Sports voices, NBC Sports Regional Networks on-air personalities, or NBC affiliate sportscasters, depending upon location. Specific programming and commentator details will be announced at a later date.

This partnership expands upon the existing radio relationship between Dial Global and NBCUniversal, which includes NBC News, The Weather Channel, NBC Olympics and more. Earlier this year, NBC News partnered with Dial Global to create NBC News Radio—a 24-hour radio news network distributing news reports and content to over 700 stations nationwide.

HyperLocal: AOL’s Patch Claims A Rebound

Published 1 year, 10 months ago

Time will tell, but Patch, AOL’s platform of local news, information and engagement sites, yesterday announced that May of 2012 was its most successful traffic and revenue period in the company’s history.

Patch served a record 11.7 million users in May (comScore data), representing a 14% increase over April (10.3 million users) and an 11% increase over its previous traffic record (10.6 million users in August 2011). But 11.7 million users does not seem much, in terms of monthly internet traffic, and Patch has been a troublesome child for AOL. While it added 33 cities to its portfolio in May of 2011, but was burning through $40 million a quarter in October. Still, it endures, and news of Patch’s May performance follows the recent announcement by AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong that Patch will generate between $40 million and $50 million in revenue this year - quite a turnaround.And Patch has outlasted the Gannett Company’s hyperlocal offering, “Metromix,” which shuttered in January. Patch attracts national advertisers like Verizon and Walgreen’s, alongside local restaurants, realtors and law firms.

Some facts about Patch:

  • This 14% month-over-month growth outpaced the comScore Regional/Local category as a whole, which grew only 3% over the same time period.
  • Patch had a 12% increase in engagement (visits per unique visitor) from April to May. Within the top ten regional-local properties, this represents the highest increase in engagement month over month, and ranks Patch as the second highest in engagement among those properties.
  • With an average site age of just over 18 months, Patch is now the #5 regional/local property on the web, from #10 when it first entered the rankings in December 2010.
  • Patch’s total revenue was 14% higher than its previous record (November of 2011). This represents a 17% bump in revenue over April of 2012. Patch has already booked for 2012 130% of its total 2011 revenue.
  • Patch also recently announced the launch of Patch Partners, a program to offer exclusive benefits to its local advertisers and resources for business owners at large.

“We are extremely gratified to see these measures of the traction we have gained in our communities and in our business since our launch just over 3 years ago,” commented Jon Brod, CEO & Co-Founder of Patch. “We are laser-focused on continuing to serve our users and advertisers with high-quality content and impactful products, and building upon our success to date in innovative and engaging ways.”

Launched in 2009, Patch is managed by professional local journalists, photographers, and salespeople who live in the regions they serve. The hyperlocal platform is designed as an online destination for residents to get involved in their communities. Patch is now in over 850 communities in 23 states plus Washington, D.C.

Cross Media: Will “First Digital Olympics” Fall Flat?

Published 1 year, 10 months ago

The broadcast press is abuzz about the “first truly digital Olympics.” But should ad buyers be robbing their TV budgets to run banners on NBCSports.com? Maybe not. As PaidContent reports, online consumption of the 2012 Olympiad will not be as widespread as NBC predicted: That according to research from the online sports broadcaster Perform Group, in their Global Sports Media Consumption Report 2012.

Perform Group surveyed sports enthusiasts worldwide, to find that:

  • Only 9% of UK sports fans and 16% in the US plan to view the Olympiad online
  • Just 3% of UK fans and 7% in the US plan to watch any Olympic content over smartphones
  • 64% of Brits and 71% of Yanks will watch via regular TV

Interestingly, 70% of Chinese intend to watch the games online. But as WebProNews describes, research groups in every country but China concentrated on a representative sample from all adults, while in China, the survey was taken amongst “tech-savvy” consumers in major municipalities.

BBC Sport in the UK plans to broadcast or stream 2,500 hours of the games across TV, Internet, mobile and tablet forms. And the International Olympic Committee plans to stream the entire event across YouTube. Finally, all 32 sports at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London will be streamed live at nbcolympics.com, as the New York Times reported in April. As PaidContent observes, “we will believe actual online viewing habits when we see them.”

Microsoft with Xbox Pulls Ahead In Connected TV, Delivers 35 More Stations

Published 1 year, 10 months ago

“What if your tablet or phone knew what you were watching on TV and presented bonus features without you having to lift a finger?” asks Microsoft. To kick-start the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Microsoft yesterday unveiled the Xbox SmartGlass, an application for Windows 8, Windows Phone, and other portable devices that connects phones, PCs and tablets with the Xbox 360 console “to make your entertainment smarter, more interactive and more fun.”

Users will, for example, be able to use a tablet to call up a play in the game "Madden NFL" and then play it on a TV screen, or, control websites on a TV using the tablet's touchscreen.

This solidifies Microsoft’s “head start in the battle for every screen,” describes The New York Times. Apple’s iPhones, iPads and and computers are well connected, but Microsoft has sold 67 million Xbox 360 video game consoles and has more than 40 million active Xbox Live members. The company claims its video consumption has grown by 140 percent each year on the Xbox since 2008.

Forbes calls Google and Apple “wild cards” in the connected TV race. “Google’s first connected TV got lots of attention, but little sales,” but it will try again this summer with models from LG, Samsung, Sony and Vizio. Apple’s smart TV may or may not be out by the end of the year: Apple has been shopping hardware providers and contract manufacturers, but rumor has it the Apple TV will cost in excess of $1,000. The Xbox allows you to keep your old one.

IE for Xbox
Microsoft will launch Internet Explorer for Xbox this fall in all countries where Xbox and Xbox LIVE are available. Between the Xbox, the Kinect gaming platform and Xbox SmartGlass, Microsoft claims users will be able to surf the Internet voice control, and navigate using mobile devices for “an incredibly easy Web browsing experience on the television.”

Entertainment Via Xbox
Adding to the current catalog of customized sports, TV, movies and music apps from TV and entertainment providers, Microsoft is claiming that Xbox will become “your home for sports,” with NBA Game Time, NBA.com League Pass Broadband (U.S.), NHL GameCenter LIVE and ESPN, including the "SportsCenter" and "SportsNation" properties, plus NFL, MLB and NBA coverage.

Finally, Microsoft announced 35 new content partners (both audio and video) launching on Xbox over the next 12 months, which include Comedy Central Stand Up; Nickelodeon; Paramount Movies; The Weather Channel; and Univision, the Spanish-language channel (and the first Spanish-language channel on Xbox Live).

Men’s Health Premieres iPhone Newsstand App for Monthly Magazine

Published 1 year, 10 months ago

Rodale Inc.’s Men’s Health magazine has a number of instructional apps already, including "Eat This, Not That!" and a workout designer: But you could not read the magazine or advertise in it on the iPhone, until now. Beginning with the September issue of the magazine (available in August) special content will be developed specifically for the iPhone in order to create an enhanced viewing experience that is unavailable on other devices. Men's Health currently has several branded apps for the iPhone, but this new app is the first that allows the magazine to expand its digital publication delivery across iPhone and iPod Touch devices with more than 220 million users globally. Existing Men’s Health iPad subscribers will have access to the publication with no additional charge on their iPhones.

The app was developed using Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, and Rodale claims this is the first iPhone application to launch on the Adobe platform in the United States.

“This brand prides itself on being first to market, so developing an iPhone version of Men’s Health quickly is a natural next step for us,” said David Zinczenko, Editor-in-Chief of Men’s Health and GM for Rodale’s Healthy Living Group and Rodale Books.

“Offering iPad subscribers a chance to view Men’s Health on their iPhone gives readers a new outlet to consume our content on-the-go or at the gym,” said Sean Bumgarner, Interactive Design Director for Rodale.

Men’s Health has had success with its digital apps before, as Folio describes. Its “Skin Care Center” was the 2012 recipient of the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) award for digital media, known as the Digital Ellie, in the personal service category honoring service journalism on digital platforms. Its “Eat This, Not That!” also won a Digital Ellie in ASME’s inaugural year of the awards, 2010. The brand offers more than 40 apps across the iPhone and iPad.

Men’s Health bills itself as the “go-to source for guys,” and is published 10 times a year in the U.S. by Rodale. The magazine has garnered numerous industry accolades, including being named by the Media Industry Newsletter (MIN) as the “#1 Most Notable Magazine Launch of the Last 25 Years.”

April Internet Audio: Leaders Unchanged, But Big Year-Over-Year Gains

Published 1 year, 10 months ago

Triton Digital has released its monthly Internet audio Top 20 Ranker for April 2012. Slacker is up, CBS and Cumulus are down, and Pandora still leads.

The Ranker is a listing of the top-performing Internet audio stations and networks measured by the Webcast Metrics audience measurement platform. As Radio Ink details, the top five companies remain unchanged for March and April, and include Pandora, Clear Channel, CBS, Cumulus and Slacker. Based on measurements from 6 A.M. to 8 P.M. Monday through Friday, Slacker radio listenership jumped from 51,674 in March to 63,069 in April. Both Pandora and Clear Channel were slightly up, and CBS and Cumulus were down.

So not a lot of movement among the top five, but as Inside Radio describes, April’s Triton Digital Webcast Metrics report shows “in dramatic fashion” the hockey-stick growth internet radio listening has experienced over the last year. For the first time, Triton Digital measured more than 2 million “Average Active Sessions” among the top 20 webcasters in one month, representing a 71% increase over April 2011.

Pandora alone is up 119% to 1.37 million sessions over April 2011, and Clear Channel is up 94% to 246,000. Slacker is up 60% year-over-year (YoY) to 63,000

Webcast Metrics’ Average Active Sessions (AAS) are defined as “Total Listening Hours (TLH) divided by hours in the reported time period.” The “Domestic” Ranker quantifies listening done inside the U.S. based on log-based information provided by the station, this report is not MRC accredited. The “All Streams” Ranker merely verifies the quantity of streams without qualifying where they are being consumed.

NY Times Joins Video March To Hulu

Published 1 year, 10 months ago

With no fanfare at all, The New York Times has joined ABC News, NBC, Fox and The Wall Street Journal on Hulu. As the Niemen Journalism Lab describes, NYT has signed a content licensing agreement with the streaming video site.

Right now, there is just one Times offering: “Punched Out: The Life and Death of an N.H.L. Enforcer,” which NYT produced alongside a three-part series about hockey player Derek Boogaard. In-stream advertisers included State Farm and Verizon. But NYT generates plenty of video content to supplement each of its print categories (e.g., "The Future of Zoos" in its Environment category). The video.nytimes.com content sits behind the NYT paywall, but Hulu readers will be able to see the content for free on computers, with a Hulu Plus subscription on mobile devices.

By contrast, The Wall Street Journal has 57 titles on Hulu, many of them "Top 5 In Tech," but also content like its 31-minute special report, "Europe at the Brink" (with Citizens Bank advertised instream and in a display ad).

Newspaper video content is not “journalism lite”: A Boston.com (the Boston Globe website) video series on the late Senator Ted Kennedy was up for a national Emmy. (NYT has yet to be so nominated.)

Nor is Hulu “broadcasting lite.” ComScore in February revealed that Hulu is ninth among online video content properties, behind Google sites, VEVO and Viacom Digital among others; but first in video ad impressions. In April, Hulu delivered 1.6 of the 9.5 billion video ads, followed by Google Sites with 1.3 billion, BrightRoll Video Network with 943 million, Adap.tv with 881 million and TubeMogul Video Ad Platform with 831 million. And Hulu in April announced that it would guarantee 100% completion of its in-stream ad placements. (It already delivers 96%.)

NYT’s Ann Derry, who heads NYT’s video property, told Niemen that the Hulu channel will be for longer-form documentary treatments like “Punched Out.” It is a repackaging of a three-part series that ran on nytimes.com last December.

Viacom: Social TV Must Offer Content, Communication, Comments

Published 1 year, 11 months ago

Viacom has unveiled the results of a new study exploring the social TV phenomenon through the lens of the viewer. While fairly nascent, social TV and co-viewing trends represent a shift in TV viewing from what Viacom calls a “lean-back” to a “lean-forward” experience. If there is a takeaway for advertisers, it is that those “behind the scenes” streams, additional scenes and blooper reels that networks run on their websites are pretty valuable ad real estate.

Viacom finds that viewers engage in an average of seven different types of social TV activities – online or offline – on at least a weekly basis. The most common activities include watching TV with others (85%), searching for supplemental content (61%) and viewing TV show clips on social networks (58%). The new research reveals that consumers engaging in social TV activities "C's the moment" primarily by communicating, consuming content and checking comments.

The two-phase study involved 24 ethnographies in Boston and San Diego with VMN viewers aged 13-52 that engage in social TV activities on at least a weekly basis. National online surveys were conducted with over 1,500 VMN viewers aged 13-54. When asked what social TV means to them, the most commonly reported words were "interactive," "friends" and "Facebook "or "Twitter." The leading source of discovery of social TV services is through search (38%), followed by social networks (26%) and ads run on shows (22%).  

"One of the main goals of this research was to understand how to inspire social TV activity among our audiences," said Colleen Fahey Rush, Executive Vice President and Chief Research Officer, Viacom Media Networks. 

Content
Content is king for social TV users. Viewers want something special from their social TV services rather than commoditized content that can be found through online searches. The number one request for content is full-length episodes (88%), followed by sneak peeks of new episodes (75%), and behind-the-scenes extras (71%) and highlight clips (71%).

The majority of TV socializers are interested in rewards with real value, like free merchandise or signed cast photos. When putting aside the material aspect, virtual rewards offer an emotional pay-off, described as being similar to the feeling when 'liked' on Facebook. Trivia and casual games related to a show are of greater interest if they offer some kind of reward. Real fans want to have their knowledge and skills tested, and expect the game to be challenging.

Communication
Communicating is a top priority for social TV users. Many respondents described cobbling together unique communication systems to interact with different social circles while watching a show. "When I'm watching Jersey Shore, I have Facebook chats with 10 friends and I'm texting a dozen people, and I can be on the phone to my best friend," said one participant.

There is no one-size-fits-all in terms of chat options. Of those interested in chat features, 56% prefer communicating through the social TV app/service, 53% through Facebook, 50% through individual or group texts and 38% through Skype or Apple FaceTime. For those that use check-in services, 71% check in to a show to let their friends know and 64% check in to let other fans of the show know. Check-in services are a unique way of communicating viewing activities while simultaneously encouraging others to tune-in and join a shared experience.

Smartphones dominate the use of social TV apps at 82%, trailed by tablets at 18%. For services that are delivered via HTML websites and associated apps, 52% of usage occurs on smartphones or tablets, followed closely by desktop or laptops at 48%.

Comments
Social TV users check comments about their favorite shows for a variety of reasons. Comments provide a different point of view, can pick up on something a viewer may have missed on their own and most importantly, create a direct connection between fan and show. "I love reading Daniel Tosh's tweets while watching Tosh.0. It gives the show a whole other dimension," said one survey respondent.

Not all sources of comments are equally valued. The number one source viewers want to hear from is a show's cast and crew, followed by the people they know. Audiences are sensitive to the quality of comments from a show's cast and crew – they look for authenticity and prefer the star(s) to be in character.
Social TV Users "C's the Moment" During Live Viewing

"Viewers C's the Moment" reveals that live TV show viewing unlocks the real value of social TV services and co-viewing activities. Features relating to communication, content and comments are twice as likely to be used during live than time-shifted viewing. Social TV enthusiasts reported feeling "left out" of the conversation if they missed a live airing.

One respondent said, "I'm most likely to engage with Social TV networking when it's live. So when a new show comes on, I'm very likely to check-in just before the show, see comments from other people, [and] make my own comments during the show as well."

Social TV activities also increase directly after a live show, when viewers can access exclusive content like sneak peeks without interrupting the live viewing experience. "I go to the website and watch the director's cut…after it airs as I like the extra scenes. I like to feel that I am getting something extra and it extends the show," said a participant.

Social TV can also help foster show discovery. Features like check-ins, viewer comments and shared video clips help viewers discover shows, incentivize them to watch and encourage them to join the live conversations.

ESPN Upfront: Heavy on Digital, Authentication, New Films, Advertiser Value

Published 1 year, 11 months ago

ESPN presented its annual upfront yesterday, with a heavy emphasis on authentication, apps and delivering advertiser value. While the networks struggle to create social TV experience, CNN will likely be the first to make it a norm.

At the same time, ESPN Films announced that it will resurrect its 2010 hit series of sports-oriented films 30 for 30.

As Ad Age reports, Eric Johnson, ESPN's exec VP-multimedia sales, promised advertisers more targeted reach through its digital properties including the espnW platform for female sports fans; a new ESPN radio app for both the iPhone and iPad; ESPNFC, a global soccer destination; and a partnership with Twitter that will start with the NBA Finals.

Johnson claimed as well that with the Watch ESPN authenticated TV Everywhere app (introduced last year), ESPN now reaches 40 million homes, a number it expects to double before 2013.

Of course, few networks have the budget of ESPN, and "Modern Family" fans are hardly as rabid as NBA fans. But ESPN sets the bar for cross-media convergence.

30 for 30 Vol. II
ESPN Films has announced the return of the Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning 30 for 30 film series. As with the first series, which included collaborations with acclaimed filmmakers such as Peter Berg (“Kings Ransom”), Barry Levinson (“The Band That Wouldn’t Die”), Ice Cube (“Straight Outta L.A.”) and Academy Award-winner Barbara Koppel (“The House of Steinbrenner”), ESPN Films will once again partner with a wide array of filmmakers to tell inspirational sports stories. 30 for 30 Vol. II is scheduled to premiere in October.

“30 for 30 was conceived as a finite collection and when the original series ended in December of 2010 with ‘Pony Excess,’ we had underestimated the strength of the connection fans had made between sports documentaries and the 30 for 30 brand,” said Connor Schell, vice president of ESPN Films. “We’re proud to have created a brand that has become synonymous with quality sports storytelling and we see value in bringing back a second collection of 30 films.”

In addition to a second slate of 30 feature-length documentaries, ESPN Films will broaden its scope to support a whole new crop of stories with the creation of 30 for 30 Shorts – a 30-part digital short film series. 30 for 30 Shorts will be similar to the feature-length films in that each piece will represent a specific point of view of the filmmaker and will be a reflection of how they blend the narrative with their own visual style. Beginning in September, a new short film will debut monthly on Bill Simmons’ Grantland.com. A 30 for 30 Short entitled “Here Now” about Pete Rose is currently online as preview of the series.

Volume II of 30 for 30 will have a much more defined multimedia component through closer integration with Grantland.com by featuring filmmaker podcasts with Bill Simmons, topical oral histories, in-depth features and more.  Each feature-length film and digital short will be complemented with a long-form written piece on Grantland.com that deepens the experience with additional context.

Films scheduled to air as part of 30 for 30 Vol. II include:

  • “Benji” about 17-year-old NBA prospect Ben Wilson whose life was tragically cut short;
  • “Broke,” a documentary about pro athletes sucked into bad investments, stalked by freeloaders, saddled with medical problems;
  • “Bo Knows,” another documentary about the marketing of pro athletes like legendary sports figure Bo Jackson;
  • “The Season of Their Lives,” about the 1982-83 North Carolina State Wolfpack basketball team.

Social TV Via Twitter

ESPN announced a strategic collaboration with Twitter that it believes offers fans and advertisers unique, interactive programs around major sporting events, beginning with the upcoming NBA Finals. The effort will be promoted across Twitter, ESPN networks, ABC and ESPN’s broad array of digital assets, including ESPN.com and ESPN Mobile.

Each program will be co-created by ESPN and Twitter, beginning with GameFace – the first effort, which will be focused on the NBA Finals.  GameFace will be seamlessly integrated throughout the live ABC broadcasts and ESPN’s NBA Tonight programming with a dedicated Twitter hashtag #GameFace.
Fans will be encouraged to tweet photographs of their “game face” throughout the finals.  At the conclusion of each game, NBA Tonight analysts will highlight the competition and reveal the best photographs on-air.  The best photos will also be featured in a photo gallery on ESPN.com/NBA.
“Working together, ESPN and Twitter are giving marketers a clear and powerful way to link on-air and online social conversations around sports,” said Joel Lunenfeld, Twitter’s Vice President of Global Brand Strategy.  “It’s the first time advertisers can engage the audience around ESPN’s premier content across screens and where the conversation is happening on Twitter.”

Added Ed Erhardt, president, ESPN Global Customer Marketing and Sales, “Advertisers and marketers have been asking for meaningful opportunities that tap into the power of social media. We know fans use ESPN and Twitter as their main source for content and connectivity. By taking that scale and combining it with the passion of sports fans, this program answers the value equation of social media while providing a new way for fans to engage with ESPN.”

On Twitter, #GameFace will be supported through Twitter’s Promoted Products suite (including a Promoted Trend during the Finals), and the experience will be plugged on the @NBAonESPN Twitter handle.

ESPN Radio
The latest version of the ESPN Radio app for iPhone, iPad and iTouch provides both live and on demand content, and includes a new feature that allows fans to build their own sports stations. Versions for Android and Windows 7 smartphones are slated to launch later this summer.

“This latest version of the ESPN Radio App builds on our promise to deliver the best sports audio content across any device,” said Marc Horine, Vice President, ESPN Digital and Print Media. “With this update, fans now have complete control over their listening experience as the app provides the functionality to customize specifically by sports, teams and athletes they care most about.”

Beginning today (May 16), fans can download the premium version of the app at no cost for a limited time. After that, for a one-time fee of $4.99, fans can access the full experience of the app, complete with the new personalization features and enhancements. The premium app will continue to give millions of ESPN Radio listeners access to live radio streams from more than 35 ESPN Radio stations, fan favorite shows like “Mike & Mike in the Morning,” “The Herd” with Colin Cowherd, “Waddle & Silvy” (Chicago) and “The Michael Kay Show” (New York), plus select play-by-play broadcasts, live scores and text messaging. 

ESPN Radio launched its first app in September 2009 and has since been one of the top paid sports apps in the marketplace.  Additionally, it was named Best Radio App by Radio Ink Magazine at the Digital Convergence Awards in May 2011.  The ESPN Radio App is available from the App Store on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore.