VideoAge’s June/July issue won’t come out until the first day of NATPE Budapest — June 24 — but we’d like to give you, our loyal Watercooler readers, a little preview of what’s in the Issue.

The main feature this time around delves into the increasingly popular trend of sponsored content, a phenomenon that finds some TV outlets actually paying advertisers for content. Popular in particular with the young demographic, sponsored content, unlike branded content, features subtle marketing. The brand or product being touted is not front and center and the ads are basically masquerading as stand-alone editorial content.

Companies are showing sponsored content on their own websites, on YouTube-style video-sharing sites. And in territories drastically affected by economic downturns, sales of sponsored content to broadcast and cable are offered to TV outlets for reduced license fees.

According to Lori Rosen, executive director of the New York City-based Custom Content Council, about 25 percent of North American companies now have some sort of sponsored content. Red Bull Media is a frontrunner in this type of programming. At MIP-TV, Red Bull Media House’s Chief Commercial Officer Alexander Koppel said the company has distributed its Red Bull Stratos (a historic jump from space Earth) to 77 broadcasters.

But VideoAge’s June/July issue isn’t all about sponsored content. There’s also a piece on the current state of Greek TV (headline: “Pain, Tribulation, Hopes of Greek TV”) and a Q&A with Joe Federbush, vice president of sales and marketing for New Jersey-based Exhibit Survey Inc., about the business of trade shows.

And speaking of trade shows, we’ve got you covered through September, with a preview of NATPE Budapest, Argentina’s Jornadas event, the Venice Film Festival and Prix Italia.

We also dissect the L.A. Screenings and the record number of new series the networks unveiled in May.

This is in addition to the usual world items, book review (this one is about stage moms!) and finally, My 2 ¢, in which Dom Serafini argues that editorial and advertising space in “dinosaur” newspapers are still more coveted than even the most popular websites. Even billionaire investors are taking note.

After this Issue has been mailed to subscribers, it will be available on the VideoAge website both in text and PDF formats.

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