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Aug 03, 2011 11:55 am | Richard Kastelein

Red Bee Media, one of the world’s leading media management companies providing multi-platform technology and creative solutions to broadcasters, content rights holders, platform operators and brand owners, today announced the acquisition of TV Genius, an award-winning software company that specialises in cloud-based content discovery across the internet, TV and connected devices.

“As an integrated part of Red Bee Media, TV Genius will now have the ability to quickly grow its content discovery platform while maintaining industry-leading relevance”, said Tom Weiss, CEO of TV Genius. “The personalised EPG, social TV, and companion applications are changing the way we watch and interact with TV in significant ways. The TV Genius team is excited to be joining Red Bee Media to help create new consumer experiences for existing and new customers around the world.”

The strategic acquisition will blend Red Bee Media’s rich metadata services with TV Genius’ content discovery technology to bring a synchronised viewer experience across live and on demand TV with accurate search, personally relevant recommendations and enhanced TV guides across multiple platforms and devices. The deal demonstrates Red Bee Media’s commitment to providing clients with market leading end-to-end solutions to maximise and monetise content and establishes Red Bee Media as the UK’s first media management company to provide both broadcasters and platform operators alike with a holistic content discovery proposition.

“A critical requirement for monetising content across platforms and screens is to enable consumers to easily discover content in what is becoming an increasingly cluttered and fragmented marketplace”, said Bill Patrizio, CEO of Red Bee Media. “Accurate search and personally relevant recommendation is a key differentiator in addressing this challenge and this acquisition allows us to significantly enhance our current offering by investing in new technologies at the core of the future TV experience. TV Genius is at the forefront of content discovery and we’re excited to welcome them to the Red Bee Media family. Together, we intend to reinvent the EPG for online video.”

In line with its ongoing growth strategy, Red Bee Media plans to invest in TV Genius’ technologies as an integrated part of its portfolio and the core driver behind innovative and intelligent solutions for its content discovery offering and RedPlayer™, the first ‘media grade’, next generation online video platform. RedPlayer™, which was launched in June, allows broadcasters and content owners in the UK and internationally to deliver and monetise high quality video to multiple devices, including PC, iPhone, iPad, gaming consoles and connected TV in a secure and scalable manner.

TV Genius has seen significant year-on-year growth since its inception in 2005 and has established itself as a leading innovator in content discovery for operators, broadcasters and publishers. Its TV search and recommendation engine creates more than 100 million transactions each month in seven different countries and is used by a number of leading media businesses including ITV, Sky, Freeview, Astra, Bauer Media, IPC Media, STV and AOL. TV Genius recently announced the launch of its Facebook-integrated TV guide solution, further improving content discovery experience for TV viewers. The new solution uses TV Genius’ award-winning Content Discovery Platform to personalise TV guides; when a user logs into the EPG with Facebook Connect, all the shows their friends like are instantly highlighted in the grid. The solution taps into the increasingly popular use of social media.


Aug 02, 2011 04:14 pm | Richard Kastelein

Curiosity and rumours are trickling around Digital Spy Online over some new licenses that have been issued by Ofcom in the UK to Reach TV for Connect, Stream and Vision. All are listed as data services, and appear to be sub-categorised as follows:

  • Connect: Lifestyle/Health/Cook/Travel
  • Stream: Sport
  • Vision: Foreign Language/Audience

The was very little mentioned at the Reach TV website (before it was quickly taken down according to sleuths at Digital Spy) and that has piqued the interest of the community and the team here at Appmarket.tv

And there's more... a link to perhaps another lead?

MHEG now on screen...... Looks like some kind of IPTV service???? Web address www.visiontvnetwork.co.uk

 

The screenshot above begs the question... a World of Channels? On one channel? Where does this lead? More questions than answers right now, but leads to the conclusion that there could be some kind of new MHEG meets IPTV play of sorts going on here - if there's multiple channels on one channel as seems to be indicated by the information culled by the sleuthing efforts of the community at Digital Spy!


Aug 02, 2011 08:23 am | Gianluigi Cuccureddu SMP

"Zeebox" is the new project of Anthony Rose, the technologist who built KaZaA and BBC iPlayer, and Peoplesound founder and ex EMI SVP Ernesto Schmitt as CEO, is due to go live in October as reported by PaidContent.org. They raised $5MM from unidentified investors.

What Zeebox is

Zeebox is a real-time system for social TV viewing and for engaging deeply around those shows that depends on recognising sofa-based second screens as the place for innovation.  The -free-Zeebox app for the iPad is a TV guide that displays what your Facebook and Twitter friends are watching. If users have connected TVs they can use the app as a remote control.

Zeebox's contextual power

"But this “second-by-second” approach is the fabric of more than just Zeebox’s social interaction. Using both commercially licensable broadcast metadata and frame-by-frame analysis of live TV pictures and audio, Zeebox will apparently understand exactly what is on the TV screen at any given moment (“just as Google (NSDQ: GOOG) spiders the web”), in order to serve up all manner of related material on the handheld app.

As example, Schmitt shows how, whilst Tom Cruise is interviewed on Top Gear, the app will auto-display “infotags” for spoken topics (say, “Ferrari 458”, “Abu Dhabi”, “Sebastian Vettel” and “Tom Cruise” himself), as Cruise is speaking. Each topic becomes an in-app link to a corresponding piece of online content, on Wikipedia, IMDB, iTunes Store or whatever.

The method involved is Zeebox’s “secret sauce”, the subject of a pending patent application, but it’s called automated content recognition (ACR), a field with several vendors including Civolution."

Great to read it has this contextual power to enrich the TV content in a two-screen way besides the social context. In this article I wrote how contextually enriched video and WebTV create immersive experiences. 

Automated check-ins

Both Rose and Schmitt dislike the gamified approach of Getglue and Foursquare, they automate it through audio fingerprinting to offer a full automatic experience.

Rose's ambitions: “There’s a shitload of technical work that needs to be done. Getting there is non-trivial. We want to go to the moon.”

Looking forward to see how this evolves towards consumers but also the market.


 


Jul 29, 2011 11:03 am | Gianluigi Cuccureddu SMP

This is according to David Cooperstein of Forrester Research, who started his article with:

Despite being the largest advertising medium (Forrester projects TV marketers will spend $76 billion on advertising in 2011), TV still lags in its ability to measure anything deeper than basic tune-in. Over the past eight months, we have been covering how recent innovations in TV measurement are making TV ads more targeted and accountable. Forrester clients can read our earlier reports on measurement that discuss media measurement across digital and traditional channels and the future of set-top-box data for TV measurement.

We reported earlier on AppMarket about Bluefin Labs' advanced technology that makes a direct, real-time correlation between shows and ads that audiences are watching on TV and what the audience is saying via social media. A few weeks back they released a new product, called Bleufin Signals that "establishes social media engagement metrics for TV shows. The product analyzes billions of public social media comments and millions of minutes of TV data each month and interprets them into actionable metrics like response level (the volume of comments for a given TV program) and response share (a program’s share of social response during its specific airing time). TV networks will now be able to quantify social media engagement on their programs and drill down deeper than simple tune-in."

What could this kind of rich cross-platform analytics mean for the TV value chain?

As elaborated in this article on Appmarket.tv, two core aspects that are impacted by real-time and cross-platform communication and analysis are TV content and TV advertising pricing:

TV Content

By analysis conversations and behavior around and about a specific show or series or network, organizations can learn what viewers are about. Netnography is the branch of Ethnography that analyses the free behaviour of individuals on the internet that uses online marketing research techniques to provide useful insights. Social media insights are a powerful set of insights.

By having a better insight and moreover a continuous understanding of the viewer target audiences, TV content can be tuned and refined, increasing relevancy and quality as seen from the specific target audience. Advertisers with branded content can adapt their offerings better to their audience, ongoing.

TV Advertising pricing

TV advertising pricing is the effect caused by better adapted content, the relevanter content-target audience is, the more premium fees can be asked. Both are symbiotic and well executed provide a virtuous cycle of quality content, pricing and a viewers which are listened to.

Value chain and strategy impact

But the impact of analytics and data goes further than that. It influences, enriches and informs business strategy and the value chain. By understanding relationships between platforms, content, audiences and brands, TV organizations can incrementally adjust their strategy and/or execution. Besides that, a more efficient and effective value chain is created by listening and adapting to that what is understood from data.

CMO.com has referred to data-driven marketing, innovation can be added by opening the organization's activity directly and indirectly to external stakeholders through the use of social media (and other data sources), its data and technologies for the purpose of competitive advantages. Data enables, and a big challenge is to create understanding and extract actionable insights from all of it to compete.

More data will be created, more will be interconnected, increasing the richness of the data, but simultaniously challenging organization to react to it.

 

 


Jul 28, 2011 12:17 pm | Gianluigi Cuccureddu SMP

Tata Sky has launched a new Social TV app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch that convert these devices in an universal remote control.The app offers program listings for TV channels, and users are able to share what they're watching on Facebook and Twitter. Ryz Media will provide the platform for the application. Initially the app is introduced on Apple devices and it would be launched on Android devices later.

For an extensive read on the experience of the app, have a read on Medianama where the interface, functionality and checking in are discussed.

Vikram Mehra, chief marketing officer, Tata Sky, said:

"The Tata Sky Mobile Access App is a natural integration of TV entertainment with these smart devices allowing subscribers to not only control their TV and set-top boxes with their smart devices, but also make their content choice based on what their friends and family are viewing. This is the first-of-its-kind functionality offered by any DTH service provider in India."

Zeev Braude, CEO of Ryz Media, Inc., said:

"We are honored to provide Tata Sky a platform allowing viewers to interact with, socialize, search and share TV content they are watching. Our platform allows service providers to roll out a fully customized and integrated solution in an extremely short time frame and at an unprecedented roll out cost".


Jul 28, 2011 12:03 pm | Gianluigi Cuccureddu SMP

Amazon continues its investments in the UK. After having acquired LOVEFiLM, it went after Pushbutton that  develops apps for next-generation and interactive television and connected devices, and was responsible for developing the LoveFilm movie streaming service on Sony Bravia internet-enabled TVs and the PlayStation 3 last year.

Greg Greeley, Amazon’s vice president of European retail, said:

“Pushbutton has a strong reputation for delivering amazing user experiences on connected devices. They were instrumental in helping launch the LOVEFiLM player through a variety of devices, and we look forward to helping them continue to innovate on behalf of customers.”

Paula Byrne, managing director of Pushbutton, said:

“With Amazon and LOVEFiLM’s support, we look forward to offering our clients, as well as their customers, even more ways to access digital services in the future.”

Pushbutton was founded in 2002, by the former senior BSkyB executive Paula Byrne, as an interactive television consultancy. It then moved on to deliver design, build and delivery of services. As well as LoveFilm, Pushbutton has developed apps for BBC, ITV and Virgin Media.

As part of the deal Amazon gains a foothold into YouView, a TV consortium of public broadcasters in the UK, with Pushbutton being a content partner.


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