Extreme Reach Raises $9 Million For Its Video Ad Delivery Platform

Extreme Reach

Extreme Reach, which sells a digital platform that advertisers can use to deliver their video ads to TV stations and websites, has raised $9 million in a second round of funding. Extreme Reach says that since its start two years ago it has delivered ads from “several hundred” ad agencies and brands to more than 12,500 media properties, including 4,500 TV stations.

The company says its system eliminates delays between when an ad is produced and when it actually airs because it’s all digital and includes automatic quality-checks, along with other features. Extreme Reach says that speed is especially useful for advertisers with time-sensitive spots, such as political campaigns. (There’s a video overview of the service here).

The round, which includes $2 million in debt, was led by existing backer Village Ventures; previous backers Greycroft Partners and Long River Ventures also participated. Extreme Reach last added cash a year ago when it raised more than $3 million. There are some more details in the release.

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Score! Rachel Maddow Nabs First Interview With US Soccer Star Landon Donovan

Earlier today Landon Donovan pretty much cemented his status as the greatest soccer player in U.S. history with an extra-time goal that advanced the U.S. soccer team to the next round of the World Cup. Donovan’s last second heroics captivated a nation (or at least a growing part of it) for what some have already labeled the “Miracle on Grass.” Tonight, Rachel Maddow aired the first non-sports television interview with Donovan, conducted by Maddow regular Kent Jones.

Maddow presented the segment as a celebration of “good news” during a time that the nation really needed it, then handed the interview off to “huge soccer dork” Jones (who did more to remind of us of how great Maddow is at her job than impress with his own broadcasting skills.) So Jones interview with Donovan was a little flat and fanboy-ish — but who cares? The decision to try to book Donovan after his game winning goal was a victory in of itself, and yet another example of why the producers of The Rachel Maddow Show are really good at their jobs.

As Maddow summed up the segment by quoting Justice Earl Warren who said “the sports pages records people’s accomplishments. The front pages records people’s failures.” Maddow concluded by adding, “today we needed the sports.” Indeed! (After you watch the following interview, do not yourself the joy of watching Donovan’s winning goal.)

Oil Industry Experts Believe Plugging The Gulf Oil Well Could Hurt More Than Help

Throughout the entire ordeal unleashed on the residents of the Gulf Coast since the Deepwater Horizon oil platform exploded, the main priority has been to, as President Obama put it, “plug the damn hole.” But now some geological experts believe that making an attempt to keep the oil from rushing to the surface may put so much pressure on the seafloor that the well may collapse into itself, making the situation worse than it is now.

On tonight’s Countdown, Keith Olbermann investigated comments left in an online geology expert forum, which read, in part:

“The well pipes below the sea floor are broken and leaking. The more they try and restrict the oil gushing out of the blowout preventer, the more it will transfer to the leaks below… what will happen is that the blowout preventer will literally tip over if they do not run supports to it as the currents push on it.”

In other words, the pressure from the oil pushing down on the well could crack the hole open wider. Olbermann invited oil industry expert and Huffington Post contributor Bob Cavnar on the program to interpret the comment and explain the counterintuitive logic that plugging the hole could do more harm than good. He agreed with the assessment: “the best option for BP right now is to keep the well flowing as much as they can. Any effort to close the well in or to restrict the flow I think could cause more damage down hole, and cause that flow around the well head earlier” to increase the amount of oil gusing out.

So the best hope the Gulf has, for now, are those two relief wells set to be ready in August. A bleak diagnosis, but it seems any further prodding could lead to an even larger disaster, according to these experts.

Video from tonight’s Countdown below:

Gretchen Carlson: Hosting Fox & Friends is ‘The Same Thing As Being The President’

While Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s military insubordination via ancient music mag garnered some sympathy for President Obama in a news cycle where he was already facing two wars, the worst environmental disaster in history, and a surge of opposition in Tuesday’s run-off elections, Fox & Friends’ Gretchen Carlson went one step further and offered the President empathy– because his job is “just like our job.”

The comment came up in a discussion on President Obama’s as-of-then unknown decision on whether to keep Gen. McChrystal in Afghanistan, and the difficulty making of surprise emergency decisions when in such a high position of power. To Carlson, that is simply the name of the game, and it’s all too familiar:

“This is what being president of the United States is all about. It’s these tough, huge monumental decisions. It’s not about how you run a campaign. It’s not about whether or not you’re popular. It’s not about whether or not you’re a celebrity, good looking, tall or short. It’s in the time of crisis making these executive decisions

It’s just like our job– from a day-to-day basis, a lot of times where there’s big breaking news, we just sort of roll along. But what’s the role of an anchor during huge breaking news? Remember growing up? You tune to the television, and during that one moment during the year, they would have to carry a story all alone. It’s the same thing as being the President of the United States.”

To play devil’s advocate, it seems that Carlson’s point is that news anchors are put on the spot and expected to carry the weight of emergency stories as they deliver them to the country, just as the President carries the whole weight of that story alone when he handles the situation. And Carlson, despite saying “our job,” later seemed to clarify she was talking more about the Walter Cronkites and Edward R. Murrows of the olden days, not the sunny faces that greet rising workers. Still, at a moment when most of the media found in the McChrystal story a moment and subject with which to sympathize and join with the President, it doesn’t make for very good antics to compare a gig waking people up with lighthearted fare to being the single most powerful person in the world.

Video from this morning’s Fox and Friends below:



(h/t Raw Story)

Free Condoms Now Available To First Graders In Provincetown, MA

The New York Daily News picked up the amazing story, this morning, about a school district in Massachusetts that voted unanimously to begin giving out free condoms to students who request them…even if they’re in first grade. In other news, the demand for the Cootie Shot has begun to skyrocket.

Just so you don’t think that the school is just handing out rubbers willy-nilly, the article explains that students are required to speak to the school nurse or a trained counselor before they can procure their condoms. Still though, there’s another aspect to the decision that might send adults into a tizzy (if they aren’t already furious about the whole “condoms for first graders” thing to begin with).

From the Daily News:

“The committee also directed school leaders not to honor demands from parents who object to their kids receiving protection.”

Hoo boy. Some people aren’t gonna like that.

Normally, I’m all for this kind of thing. I believe young people should get honest sexual information and I don’t think there’s anything more destined for backfire than abstinence-only education. But still…first graders?! Was this even a concern? However, I do think that anyone worried that this will lead to a bunch of six-year-olds having sex is probably barking up the wrong tree. The real concern is obviously for the school janitors who are going to have to spend every waking minute cleaning up tons of spermicidally lubricated water balloons.

You can read the Daily News piece here and check out a report by the NBC Boston affiliate WHDH below.

Viacom Loses Its $1 Billion Lawsuit Against Google

Remember the golden days when people watched Daily Show clips on YouTube (for that matter, remember when you could watch them on Hulu)? Well, those clips (and 100,000 others) led to a lawsuit between Viacom and YouTube-owning Google that had its ruling today. In the end, the judge ruled in Google’s favor which means the company won’t have to pay Viacom the hefty $1 billion worth of damages that Viacom was asking for.

U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton dismissed the lawsuit today effectively taking YouTube off the hook. However, don’t expect to see those clips returning ever. In fact, it seems that the very fact that YouTube removed them so quickly was one of their saving grace.

From the judge’s ruling:

“Indeed, the present case shows that the DMCA notification regime works efficiently: when Viacom over a period of months accumulated some 100,000 videos and then sent one mass take-down notice on February 2, 2007, by the next business day YouTube had removed virtually all of them.”

Here is the entire ruling uploaded by Tech and Marketing blogger Eric Goldman:
Viacom v YouTube Summary Judgment

Tech Dirt points out that Viacom will most likely appeal so the story isn’t done yet. They also have an in depth analysis of the ruling here.

To refresh your memory, here is Viacom’s original statement from back in 2007:

YouTube is a significant, for-profit organization that has built a lucrative business out of exploiting the devotion of fans to others’ creative works in order to enrich itself and its corporate parent Google. Their business model, which is based on building traffic and selling advertising off of unlicensed content, is clearly illegal and is in obvious conflict with copyright laws. In fact, YouTube’s strategy has been to avoid taking proactive steps to curtail the infringement on its site, thus generating significant traffic and revenues for itself while shifting the entire burden – and high cost – of monitoring YouTube onto the victims of its infringement.

This behavior stands in stark contrast to the actions of other significant distributors, who have recognized the fair value of entertainment content and have concluded agreements to make content legally available to their customers around the world.

There is no question that YouTube and Google are continuing to take the fruit of our efforts without permission and destroying enormous value in the process. This is value that rightfully belongs to the writers, directors and talent who create it and companies like Viacom that have invested to make possible this innovation and creativity.

After a great deal of unproductive negotiation, and remedial efforts by ourselves and other copyright holders, YouTube continues in its unlawful business model. Therefore, we must turn to the courts to prevent Google and YouTube from continuing to steal value from artists and to obtain compensation for the significant damage they have caused.

Sen. Lindsey Graham Supports Obama While Slamming McChrystal And Staff

Now that President Obama has decided to accept General McChrystal’s resignation (replacing him in command with General David Petraeus), the political fallout from this entire story is starting to reveal itself. And today’s emotional comment by Senator Lindsay Graham (R – SC) might be an indication that some on the right see this story as transcending traditional political tropes.

Graham, who currently serves as a senior instructor at the Air Force JAG school, harshly criticizes McChrystal and his staff for their lack of judgment in speaking so candidly with a Rolling Stone reporter, and also openly asks if there may be further inquiry into other officer’s comments which he clearly viewed as insubordinate.

Graham said:

The statements of the General not only were outside the norm, they really did put in question military subordination to civilian control. How do you think Rolling Stone is a good group to have follow you around for a month is a judgment question.

The second thing is — let me just say this to these officers who are unnamed, to these officer who are unnamed…I understand you’re warriors and you’ve been shot at and you’re brave. But you let yourself and your Army down. The language used, the cavalier attitude, the disrespect, even though you may have disagreement, was unacceptable.

This is a low point, in my view, for the Armed Forces in a very long time. And I am glad the president made this decision. And some other officers need to be looked at.

The following clip of Graham’s comments appeared on CNN’s Rick’s List and was reported by CNN’s Capital Hill reporter Dana Bash.