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Aug 09, 2011 09:11 am | Richard Kastelein

LocalResponse, the first social advertising platform that aggregates public posts and “check-ins” across multiple platforms to help brands and businesses reach their customers, announces today its acquisition of Philo Media Corporation (Philo), backed by North Bridge Venture Partners, DFJ Gotham and angels in digital media and entertainment. Philo was a leading check-in service for television before its pivot to Reach.tv, helping television and theatrical studios disseminate advertising to consumers across social media during tune-in.

"We are very pleased to have found a new home to connect the social TV and check-in ecosystem" says Philo CEO David Levy, who will become an advisor to LocalResponse. "We have been consistently impressed with LocalResponse’s product offerings and the team is excited to catalyze the LocalResponse platform"

Cory Bergman over at Lost Remote notes this is probably the first of many Social TV M&A's on the horizon as the highly fragmented space consolidates:

The acquisition underlines the importance of data in the social TV world and the wide-ranging applications of it. Data is the driving force behind many social TV startups — those that create it and others that analyze it — and I think it’s safe to predict many more acquisitions in the months to come.

More from LocalResponse:

“Philo’s pivot into the social advertising space was so interesting we had to take a close look” says LocalResponse CEO, Nihal Mehta. “The Philo engineering team, particularly the leadership abilities of CTO, Jessica Lowe, will help LocalResponse satisfy increasing customer demand and take our platform to the next level.”

LocalResponse recently signed its 25th major advertiser to its brand platform, which helps brands and advertising agencies respond to a consumer in time and place context across social media, and soon across new location-targeted, real-time distribution channels. In July, LocalResponse revealed some results of its first, major brand campaigns, with remarkable statistics, preforming 100 times better than traditional online media buys, including a 60% redemption rate.

 

And Miso CEO Somrat Niyogi talked to Adweek:

"I don't think anyone in this space has fundamentally got it right," he said. And yes, he's including Miso in that statement, too. Niyogi said that's why his Google Ventures-backed startup is trying to experiment with new features (such as reality TV voting) as quickly as it can. And that's also why he said it makes him "crazy" whenever he hears about a new TV check-in startup that's "not doing anything new."

"Is it just about the check-in?" Niyogi said. "If that's all you're doing, what happens if Facebook decides to build TV check-ins?"

So, if no one hasn't figured it out yet, why all the activity? Niyogi said it's because entrepreneurs believe (and all the data suggests) that devices like smartphones and tablets are going to build a huge "second-screen" audience for TV over the next few years.

"The key is making ad dollars reach consumers, and the second screen is the way to make it happen," Niyogi said. "Hopefully, we're the solution, but we still have a long way to go."

Leena Rao from Techcrunch talked to Local Response chief executive Nihal Mehta and adds:

LocalResponse is backed by Verizon Ventures, Metamorphic Ventures, Extreme Venture Partners, Charles River Ventures, BOLDstart Ventures, Jim Pallotta, Greycroft Partners, and others. Mehta says the company is looking to raise another round but has also received a number of acquisition offers. In fact, he’s considered a number of term sheets and offers at the moment. It’s unclear which way Mehta will go, but LocalResponse is certainly on to something when it comes to using engaging advertising on social networks for both small businesses and brands.

Philo’s Chief Technology Officer, Jessica Lowe, will become the new CTO of LocalResponse, and two other developers, Christopher Sanson and Brian Renzenbrink, will join the LocalResponse engineering team in New York City.

“It’s an exciting space at an exciting time” says Jessica Lowe. “I’m extremely happy to be here to break new ground for social advertising.”


Aug 09, 2011 08:22 am | Richard Kastelein

Civolution , a leading provider of technology and solutions for identifying, managing and monetizing media content has announced the European launch of VideoSync - 2nd Screen -  a companion device synchronization solution (shortlisted for multiple awards).

"By launching solutions that bring measurability and consumer engagement to the broadcast space, we're helping media businesses to enhance revenues generated from TV,'' says Alex Terpstra , CEO, Civolution. "The new product launches at IBC are perfect examples of how Civolution's watermarking and fingerprinting technologies can increase profits through tracking and triggering consumer activities."

"...The IBC launch of our VideoSync solution is also highly exciting, as it enables broadcasters and brands to generate new revenues by deepening relationships with consumers. I look forward to demonstrating our full range of interactivity, measurability and content security solutions for the broadcast space at what is shaping up to be one of the most exciting IBCs,'' concludes Terpstra.

Civolution's state-of-the-art content identification platform allows broadcasters, content producers, advertisers and interactive application providers to offer time-synchronized-to-media applications such as ad-(re)placement, live voting, synchronized social TV and content-related overlays. IBC2011 sees the European debut of VideoSync . Based on Civolution's powerful watermarking and fingerprinting technologies, it allows for accurate and rapid synchronization of interactive content. Civolution will demonstrate some exciting enhanced TV applications and 2nd screen applications for the iOS and Android-based portable devices at IBC 2011. VideoSync enables 'write-once, play anywhere' type of application models, supporting live broadcast as well as pre-recorded content synchronization. These applications allow for enhanced consumer experiences, improved user engagement and open up exciting new business opportunities.

 


Aug 07, 2011 03:36 pm | Richard Kastelein

NetUP is the first company to develop an Android-based IPTV solution, NetUP.tv for Android, which is the client for NetUP IPTV Middleware. The new handy graphical user interface has been developed to allow users to enjoy all IPTV features: TV channels with pause and rewind options, TV on Demand, Electronic Program Guide (EPG), Video on Demand and many others. Users can also get access to all Android features. The application can be launched on any Android-based IP set-top box.

The advantages of Android-based set-top boxes with NetUP.tv application installed

  • Very fast GUI with animations and effects.
  • Access to all Android features: Web browsing, social networking, gaming, and thousands of applications such as YouTube, Skype, Google Maps and others.
  • Android is a multitasking operating system. It is able to run several applications at once and switch between them.
  • High hardware performance of IP set-top boxes.
  • Cost-effective IP set-top box with high performance: 1Ghz CPU, 512RAM, 2GB Flash.
  • Android is a rapidly developing operation system. With new updates for Android appearing often. These updates improve the system and add new features.

A video demonstrating the NetUP.tv application working on Android-based IP set-top box can be seen here.

NetUP Middleware server

The NetUP IPTV Middleware server has no major changes. Clients using NetUP Middleware with previous generation of IP set-top boxes have no need to purchase new Middleware server or new software. NetUP Middleware is compatible with Android based set-top boxes since 1.7 version.

 

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Both types of IP set-top boxes can work with NetUP Middleware server simultaneously: classical and Android-based ones. Which is convenient for transferring subscribers to new IP set-top boxes.

The Android OS description

The number of devices using Android OS is increasing every day. Generally such devices are smartphones or tablets, but there are other devices such as IP set-top boxes. The subscriber can access the Internet, watch YouTube videos, play games and interact with thousands of applications on TV screens using the Android based IP set-top box.

Android is a constantly developing operation system. Every new version of OS is realized with a number of new features and options.

The Android OS develops rapidly and captures the embedded devices market. The research agency IDC forecasted that in 2015 from 40% to 50% of embedded devices will be running Android.

Android set-top boxes

The performance of Android-based IP set-top boxes is much better compared to classical set-top boxes. The Android-based IP set-top boxes are built on ARM architecture with graphics hardware acceleration. Some of the IP set-top boxes are equipped with modern Cortex-A8 processors.

One of the Android-based IP set-top box’s advantages is multitasking. The user can launch several applications and switch between them at any time. The applications continue to run in the background. The multitasking is a great leap in development of IP set-top boxes.

The Android-based IP set-top boxes are much more cost-effective than most of the classical ones. It is an important factor because the number of IP set-top boxes in some networks reaches hundreds of thousands.

Additional devices for Android-based set-top boxes

It is possible to control the IP set-top box’s user interface and functions using the standard remote control or other additional devices like wireless manipulator that combines mouse and keyboard. It is also possible to connect to an IP set-top box via USB a Wi-Fi adapter for wireless Internet connection or GPS-receiver for spotting the IP set-top boxes installed in yachts or other vehicles. There is no need to install drivers, users can configure the devices using Android’s standard tools.


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