The number of homes using the internet to watch television shows and movies on the TV screen has reached more than 42 million across the US and Europe, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics' Connected Home Devices (CHD) service. The report, "Multiscreen Connected TV: Assessing Device Usage and Ownership," bases its findings on a survey of 4800 respondents. The research found that connected TV usage is twice as popular in the US as in Europe: 20 per cent of US respondents have watched internet content on their TV screens in the past month, compared to only 10 per cent of Europeans. The report concludes that this difference reflects the relative strength of digital services such as Netflix and Hulu in the US market.
"These findings have important implications for content providers, device manufacturers and network operators"
The research also investigates the ways in which consumers are connecting their TVs to the internet. In the US, the most popular option is the games console, but Europeans prefer to connect a PC to the TV using an HDMI cable. Streaming over a home network and internet-connected Blu-ray disc players are also significant in both territories.
Apart from the TV screen, the PC is still the most important device. Personal devices such as tablets and smartphones are less popular, although tablets are likely to become more important as the market continues to grow rapidly.
"These findings have important implications for content providers, device manufacturers and network operators," says David Mercer, Principal Analyst and the report's author. "They demonstrate that television viewers are prepared to go to significant lengths to watch their preferred television shows or movies on the big screen. In spite of the technical challenges, many people want to be freed from the constraints of traditional, managed television services if their choice of content is not available when they want, where they want, and at a price they are willing to pay."
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Developed by the PepsiCo Beverages Digital Engagement team, Pepsi Pulse is a new visualization tool that allows consumers to follow social conversation during live "THE X FACTOR" shows in the U.S. Fans on this new platform can chart changes in social conversations around the show in real-time - and Pepsi promised that they will continue to launch more digital applications that bring brand fans closer to TV shows.
For the first time in the Social TV space - the advertiser is behind the platforms, rather than a network, show or traditional media property.
GetGlue, a PepsiCo Beverages Digital Labs partner, is bundled into Pepsi Pulse so viewers can also become part of "THE X FACTOR" community by checking in which can help consumers find the next favorite thing by demonstrating what’s trending and what’s popular amongst friends. Consumers that check in to "THE X FACTOR" on GetGlue can earn a special Pepsi sticker.
Pepsi Pulse and Pepsi Sound Off will provide the "X Factor" faithful a way to interact with each other and the show. It also provides Pepsi with platforms that could be used to cultivate conversations around Super Bowl or the Grammys, for example.
Pepsi Pulse is a digital visualization of conversations about "X Factor." A series of checkmarks with the text "2 people agree with Simon" appear on screen, or a mass of hearts appears with the text "69 people love X Factor." Mouse over the hearts or checkmarks and tweets pop up. The concept was built out in just three weeks, said Andrea Harrison, director-PepsiCo Beverages digital engagement. She said that it's meant to be a qualitative, not a quantitative view of consumer conversations. Pepsi worked with Firstborn on the project.
Pepsi Sound Off, modeled after Twitter, is a place for fans to connect during the show and incorporates a gaming mechanism. Viewers can post comments in a stream, as well as organize streams by popular hashtags. Messages posted on Pepsi Sound Off can also be pushed to Twitter or Facebook. Pepsi is leveraging Gigya's social technology. It also worked with Undercurrent and Huge on the platform.
The site builds loyalty for the show without Fox having to do anything, and Pepsi gets a reputation boost by working with a hit show, embracing social TV and being “an active participant in pop culture,” the Pepsi team says.
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The Hollywood Reporter is reporting today that Yap.tv is first independent social TV developer to create a custom-branded version of its app for the iPad and iPhone for a major network - for NBCUniversal’s USA Network.
Yap.tv is to launch a USA-branded app, available in November, for its shows and fans as it and other channels continue to expand the use of social media to reach and engage viewers and it will be promoted by USA both on the air and elsewhere.
"USA will offer viewers an app to harness and amplify the social buzz around its series," the companies said to the Hollywood Reporter. "Users will also be able to access a dynamic programming guide, view exclusive content, invite friends on Facebook and Twitter to the app as well as chat with other Yap.tv users all through one platform on all Apple mobile devices.
"We are constantly looking for ways to expand our reach and engage our fans not only through rich experiences, but across multiple platforms so that they can access our shows and engage with them wherever they are,” said Jesse Redniss, vp of digital for USA Network. "Yap.tv gives our fans an innovative platform for personalizing their interaction and engaging with content in ways that allow us to continually evolve our social TV experience.”
Yap has venture capital backing from Javelin Venture Partners and Blumberg Capital and is also advised by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.
This is great news for third party developers working in the TV realm - and hopefully the first of many new collaborations between broadcasters and innovators working on B2B solutions for the Social TV industry.
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The way viewers watch TV today has become a multi-screen, multi-tasking experience. According to Nielsen, nearly 30 percent of TV viewers looked up info related to a TV program while they were watching it. AT&T U-verse TV customers now have new and better ways to bring together their favorite social apps on their smartphone or tablet with what they’re watching on TV.
“Customers want their TV viewing experience to be social, without distracting from the TV show on their TV screen, and they want their choice of apps from their smartphone or tablet to work seamlessly with their TV and enhance their favorite TV shows,” said Jeff Weber, vice president of video services, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “These apps allow you to interact and share details about the shows you’re watching in simple and engaging ways. And you can do that on the devices that are in your hands or right next to you on the couch.”
With the U-verse IP platform, U-verse TV and High Speed Internet customers can now connect their qualifying smartphone or tablet to any U-verse receiver in the home to use a variety of apps that provide real-time TV content and social features on your device, since the apps recognize what you're watching on U-verse TV.
Today, U-verse customers can search for “U-verse Enabled” in the Apple app store to access the first apps available, including:
Over their in-home U-verse Wi-Fi network, customers can open the apps on their smartphone or tablet, identify which U-verse receiver they’re watching and start receiving social feeds and information within the app on their device, based on what they’re watching on TV. Because AT&T U-verse is 100 percent IPTV, customers can connect their apps to any U-verse receiver in the home through channel 9301, without needing special equipment, such as Internet-connected receivers or TV sets.
Somrat Noyo, CEO of Miso explains more aobut his application"
"All you have to do is open up Miso, and as an AT&T U-verse Enabled app, you simply select the receiver you want to connect to and it will immediately show what's playing on your U-verse receiver. As you flip through channels Miso changes with it to display what's on. Users don't have to search anymore to check-in, just tap and share. There is a quick one-time set up to enable pairing between Miso and your receiver.As part of Miso's app update we're also introducing a new feature just for U-verse customers: Tap on "Watch it" on any show in the Miso app and it will initiate a search on your U-verse receiver. From there you can change the channel or set a recording. This means no longer using your remote's arrows to type in show names when searching. These features are just the very beginning of how we are making it easier to share what you watch and get more from your TV experience. By being the only company to create a truly connected TV experience through the second screen, we are making interacting with what you watch more social, more fun, and better.
MISO APP DEMO
Many of these innovative new applications are being developed at the AT&T FoundryTM, a group of collaborative centers that quickly turn ideas into marketable products and services. At the Foundry, AT&T has been working with developers through the U-verse Alpha Program announced earlier this year to develop innovative ways for mobile and tablet apps to interact with the TV experience.
The new apps build on AT&T’s strategy to make advanced, interactive TV apps available to customers on a regular basis at no additional charge. AT&T U-verse TV is the fastest growing TV service in the country and the only 100 percent Internet Protocol-based television (IPTV) service offered by a national service provider.Add a comment
Splat Interactive today announced the availability of the U-verse Enabled TV Foundry App for iPhone. The TV Foundry App gives AT&T U-verse customers more control, richer context and a TV remote control experience unlike any other. Now TV Foundry App users can search AT&T U-verse for their favorite movies, shows and songs from their iPhone. The TV Foundry App for iPhone is packed with deep, curated content on movies, TV episodes, cast members, trending celebrities, soundtracks and locations that make TV viewing more fun, social and immersive.
The TV Foundry App for iPhone is powered by the TV Foundry Platform, a cloud based, Multi-screen TV engagement platform that is a production resource for anyone who wants to reach the connected TV audience.
The TV Foundry App and Platform was built by Splat Interactive (www.splat.tv), a Seattle based software-as-a-services company that enables Multi-screen engagement for the connected TV viewer. Affiliates, Studios, Enterprises, App Developers and Media Companies use the TV Foundry Platform by Splat Interactive to build immersive, Multi-screen, IP based TV and media apps across multiple distribution channels.
“The U-verse Enabled TV Foundry app is the first of many screen shifting experiences coming from the TV Foundry Platform.” said Splat’s CTO Stephen Fishburn. “So stay tuned.”
Smartphone and tablet owners are expecting a new kind of TV experience in 2012, explained Splat’s CEO Tom Freeman, “TV is changing before our eyes. Connected consumers are driving the 2-screen, companion app TV viewing experience from the bottom up. We’re proud to work with AT&T on this app. They understand the motivation of a connected TV viewer holding their iPhone. It makes TV more fun. Simple as that.”
Go to iTunes to download the TV Foundry App enabled with U-verse for iPhone today.
To learn more about TV Foundry Apps and the TV Foundry Platform go to http://www.tvfoundry.com
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Lewis is angling their marketing pitch with a strong play towards on-demand services such as BBC iPlayer and the ability to stream films or catch up on TV programmes, staying in touch with friends and family via video calling with Skype, and social networking sites and You Tube being available in TV-friendly formats.
John Kempner, buyer for vision at John Lewis said:
"Smart televisions are an exciting development and we are seeing a shift in the way our customers consume the media. 60% of all our large screen TV sales (over 32 inches) are now Internet enabled and I expect that by Christmas we will see this figure increase to 80% as customers become interactive and enjoy creating their own TV schedules of favourite programmes, such as Strictly Come Dancing, Dragon's Den and Question Time."
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Connected TVs have gained significant attention over the last year, and it’s only set to continue.
IAB - A report into the connected TV challenges faced by brands
Kathryn Meadmore from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) has written a great report.
Go read it now.
Click here for full version.
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“This research reveals a staggering amount of uncertainty when it comes to internet-connected TVs,” said Jack Wallington, Head of Industry Programmes from the IAB. “It’s clear the industry considers the platform a significant leap for online advertising, but it has also become apparent that like so many other technological developments we’re waiting for the customer to leap first.”
Chris Gorell Barnes, CEO of Adjust Your Set said:
“The rapid uptake of connected TVs should warrant serious consideration from brands on the potential opportunities available and future revenue streams. While people are purchasing internet-enabled devices it is still unclear whether they will plug them in. It is the industries responsibility to create compelling content propositions to persuade the audience. ”
Samsung Apps, the world’s first HDTV-based app store, has continued to grow both in size and popularity at an impressive rate. Samsung Apps TV recently celebrated the milestone of 1,000 registered applications and soared past the 10 million mark for number of downloads. Both achievements show Samsung’s initiative to build a Smart TV ecosystem worldwide.
Online video applications remained at the top of the lists of most downloaded apps both globally and regionally. YouTube™ stayed atop globally, and was the country leader in the United States and South Korea.
The latest achievements come after Samsung Electronics became the first in the world to introduce a TV app store in February 2010. Downloads from Samsung Apps TV have grown 100 percent just five months after reaching 5 million downloads in May 2011. In fact, as of today, the store has reached more than 11 million downloads in total, with an average of 50,000 downloads per day—double the number of downloads that occurred in May 2011.
Such rapid growth underscores the increasing number of active users of Smart TVs, as well as Samsung’s continued efforts to build an ecosystem by delivering a wide variety of high-quality TV content and services through strategic collaboration with major content providers.
As a result, consumers enjoy a wide range of applications across diverse areas of interest like news, entertainment, sports and games. For example, on-demand news applications “BBC News” and “WSJ Live” offer the top live news of the day in video and text, updated 24 hours a day. Other news applications such as “CNBC Real-time app” and “TIME TV” also provide an array of insight, analysis, breaking news, photography and video.
Entertainment applications like the “Berliner Philharmoniker” provides more than 100 live classical music concerts from one of the leading orchestras in the world, the Berlin Philharmonic. There are also great selections of sports applications such as “ESPN ScoreCenter” and “MLB TV” that have gained popularity from users by providing live score updates, video highlights, and team and player statistics.
Particularly, locally specialized applications have also played a big role in the success of Smart TV app store. Apps such as “Lovefilm” in the UK, “Berliner Philharmoniker” in Germany, and “Telstra’s NRL Game Analyser” in Australia have proven to be very popular.
In addition to such strategic collaboration, Samsung Electronics continues to hold developer application contests across the globe to create partnerships with and educate the developer community. “Apps Contests” were held in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Korea in 2010, and has expanded to countries such as Brazil, Mexico, China, and Southeast Asia this year. Furthermore, Samsung also continues to actively support developers with the distribution of its Samsung Development Kit (SDK), which allows developers to create TV-optimized applications more easily. Through the Samsung Developer Forum (SDF), the company is encouraging information exchange among developers.
Bluefin Labs, a social TV analytics company providing solutions to brand advertisers, advertising agencies, and TV networks, today announced that it has enhanced its flagship service, Bluefin Signals, to include the power of audience segmentation. The new features, Audience Profile Layer and On-Demand Audience Profile Creation, give Bluefin Signals clients the ability to analyze the television preferences of specific audience segments.
“These new features take Social TV analytics out of its infancy and into the realm of truly actionable insights,” said Deb Roy, co-founder and CEO, Bluefin Labs. “Having Social TV data for specific consumer segments enables buyers and sellers of TV advertising to make more informed decisions in connecting the worlds of paid and earned media.”
Since introducing Bluefin Signals in July 2011, Bluefin Labs has entered a period of accelerated growth, adding new clients including A+E Networks, AMC Networks, CBS, Comcast Spotlight, mcgarrybowen, MediaCom, Media Storm, Pepsi and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS, Inc).
“For TV networks, being able to mine social media commentary about TV represents great promise, but the data needs to be precise and the insights need to be specific,” said Jack Wakshlag, Chief Research Officer for TBS, Inc. “Turner's at the forefront of innovation in TV programming and research and Bluefin Labs' analytics platform plays an important role in supporting these efforts."
“Prolific social media use gives us incredible insight into customers’ preferences and behavior beyond just demographics,” said Anush Prabhu, Managing Director, Communications Planning & Analytics for mcgarrybowen. “Our clients tend to spend the bulk of their media monies in Television. Bluefin Labs’ data provides the ability for mcgarrybowen to harness social media insights towards the planning and optimizing of television media and creative, ultimately allowing us to deliver more integrated and efficient campaigns for our clients.”
Bluefin Labs’ business growth has been led largely by Jack Flanagan, recently hired as vice president of sales. One of the most experienced sales professionals in the area of analytics, Jack’s leadership has included roles such as Chief Revenue Officer of advertising measurement company Ace Metrix and global head of sales and strategy for comScore Media Metrix.
Available since July 2011, Bluefin Signals is a web-based analytics platform that provides comprehensive analysis of social media responses to over 210,000 individual TV telecasts airing across 200+ TV networks. The new functionality being unveiled this week includes:
LOVEFiLM, Europe's largest subscription service - streaming movies and TV episodes over the Internet and sending DVDs by post - have today announced a partnership with Microsoft that will make LOVEFiLM part of the next generation of TV entertainment, bringing the service to millions of Xbox 360 users across the UK and Germany.
The agreement between the two leading home entertainment companies sees LOVEFiLM become an official Xbox LIVE integrated film service provider and is the next step in LOVEFiLM's strategy for multi-platform delivery - already offering streaming on the LOVEFiLM Player, through the PC, iPad®, in-home connected living room devices, PlayStation®3 and, now, Xbox 360.
UK and German LOVEFiLM members will be able to instantly stream thousands of titles from major studios and independents, in addition to exclusive movies such as the global phenomenon The Twilight Saga, Unknown, starring Liam Neeson and thriller Source Code, starring Jake Gyllenhaal.
With Kinect for Xbox 360, user interaction will be made more personal and intuitive, with the ability to effortlessly control the LOVEFiLM Player App through motion, gestures and voice commands. This interactivity will revolutionise the way film fans manage their movie selection and engage with LOVEFiLM.
Simon Calver, CEO of LOVEFiLM, said:
"This is an exciting and important deal for our customers and is the next move in LOVEFiLM's strategy of helping as many homes as possible connect to our service. We want to be the first choice for UK and German customers to get the best entertainment. Xbox LIVE already has a large consumer base of all ages - all of whom will now be able to connect with our great content, whether TV series', exclusive digital films or DVDs, Blu-rays and games by post, all for one simple price
We are pleased to announce this partnership as both parties really focus on giving customers exciting and innovative services. We are proud to be a part of Microsoft's expansion into the entertainment space and confident it will help fuel our ambition to become Europe's largest membership entertainment service."
Stephen McGill, Director of Xbox & Entertainment for Microsoft UK, said:
"Microsoft is very excited to be welcoming LOVEFiLM to Xbox LIVE. I feel certain that the opportunity to interact with LOVEFiLM's amazing catalogue of studio and independent film releases using Kinect-enabled voice and gesture commands will be well received by Xbox owners here in the UK."
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Members will be able to scroll through titles on the page, search through categories including 'Pick of the Week', 'Most Watched' and 'Highest Rated', view ratings and search through the LOVEFiLM instant offering by title, actor and genre.
Catering to the creativity of application developers, LG Electronics' flexible Smart TV platform is taking Adobe MAX by storm.
At the developers' conference, LG is engaging Adobe's developer community as part of a broad effort to welcome them into the LG Smart TV ecosystem and inspire them to create and deliver Adobe® Flash® based applications powered by Adobe AIR® for the LG Smart TV platform in TVs, Blu-ray Disc™ players, home theater systems and set-top devices.
"Given LG's strong position in the connected device market, we're excited to be working with them to help content publishers create next-generation entertainment experiences using AIR," said Jennifer Carr, senior director, Business Development at Adobe. "Our goal is to enable developers to extend their compelling and engaging content from the desktop and mobile devices and bring it to the TV screen. LG's innovative Smart TV platform will be an exciting new opportunity for our more than three million Flash developers worldwide."
The global leader in connected devices has collaborated with Adobe to enable support for AIR 3 and Flash Player 11 on LG Smart TV platforms for 2012. This will be enabled through LG's Smart TV SDK 2.0, which is expected to be available by December.
At MAX, LG is demonstrating how to monetize developer creations through LG's vast Smart TV marketplace.
"You can earn more revenue for your existing projects today by joining the LG Apps TV marketplace," said Sam Chang, general manager of LG's Innovation Development Group, based in San Jose. "With an app marketplace in over 80 countries, plus a billing and advertising API, LG can help you monetize even further."
Developers can begin creating LG apps today through LG's App store developer community website (http://developer.lgappstv.com), and developers can download LG's Smart TV platform SDK, which will include plug-in tools for Flash development.
Chang said the company also is using MAX to highlight the superior consumer experience of LG CINEMA 3D TVs that, when combined with LG Smart TV technology, allow developers to "deliver a significant amount of 3D content through the Internet into consumer living rooms." This year's LG CINEMA 3D Smart TV models include a 2D to 3D conversion feature optimized for live TV and video streaming content; 2012 devices will also support 2D to 3D conversion for apps, Chang explained.
AIR is a key element of the Flash Platform, enabling developers and content publishers to leverage existing code and familiar tools to deliver rich, standalone applications across devices and platforms. AIR 3 brings several advancements to TVs, including full hardware-accelerated rendering for 2D and 3D graphics to enable console-quality gaming applications, and full support of home entertainment systems with HD videos and 7.1 channel surround sound. Additionally, with the new Game Input API, developers can make a range of devices an integral part of the gaming experience on TV screens, including joysticks, smartphones and tablets
LG pioneered the connected consumer electronics device market, beginning three years ago with the first Blu-ray Disc players designed for streaming content. The majority of LG's 2011 HDTVs and Blu-ray players sold around the world are built on LG's innovative Smart TV platform. (See Fact Sheet.)
Demonstrating LG's leadership in the connected consumer electronics market, LG's unique Smart TV platform provides access to thousands of movies, apps, videos and the ability to browse the Web through an easy to navigate user interface and the user-friendly "point and click" Magic Motion Remote system.*
The home dashboard is the gateway to the LG Smart TV experience. With just four main sections – Live TV, Premium Content, LG Apps and a Launcher Bar – viewers are never more than a few clicks from a vast array of content.
For TV models, selecting features are as easy as the wave of the hand with the motion controlled Magic Motion Remote.* The remote is operated by simply pointing it at the screen, moving the cursor to the desired option and clicking on the selection. A keyboard is not needed, but a LG Remote App is available for download on Android and iOS based devices.
The LG App Store is populated with hundreds of applications for download. The platform also includes a Web browser so users no longer need to turn on their laptop to access the Internet.** With this feature, news, reviews and a host of other content can be viewed on the television screen. Of course, LG's Smart TV platform provides access to endless premium entertainment options from providers including Netflix, YouTube,™, VUDU™, Hulu Plus™, YouTube™, CinemaNow™, Amazon Video on Demand™, Pandora Radio™, Mog™ and live professional streaming sports leagues***
Complementing the built-in connectivity, LG's Smart Share also allows users to wirelessly stream content from their PCs and other compatible devices for viewing on their television screen. Smart Share also includes Media Link, which provides additional information, such as cover art or liner notes, for content being streamed.
"LG Smart TV provides viewers with endless options on their television, however, if these entertainment features are difficult to access or select, consumers will not truly enjoy the technology," Chang concluded. "We have designed our LG Smart TV platform to be as easy and simple to use as possible for consumers, making it the ideal platform for developers to reach a multitude of people with their 2D and 3D online content creations."
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PlayJam will launch successful social trivia game Quiz Climber: World Edition by Relentless Software across their global connected TV gaming platform.
Developers behind Sony’s BAFTA award-winning game franchise Buzz!™, Relentless debuted their Quiz Climber app on the iPhone earlier this year, already having attracted one million plus gameplays. Quiz Climber is an extremely straightforward yet amazingly addictive social quiz, where players pit their knowledge against friends and family by answering questions on a variety of topics including pop culture, sport, history and literature. A cute squirrel ‘Quizzel’ represents each player and climbs the leaderboard to overtake others with each correct consecutive answer given. The higher Quizzel climbs, the more difficult the questions become. Players compete weekly for the top position.
PlayJam's Commercial Director, Anthony Johnson:
"Quiz Climber: World Edition is the perfect game for PlayJam’s connected TV network. Highly compelling, competitive and lots of fun, its ideal entertainment for playout on the home’s biggest screen.”
“Smart TV is a perfect platform for our vision of games for everyone,” comments Relentless’ says CEO Andrew Eades. “Smart TV sales will outstrip that of consoles for the first time in 2011 and PlayJam is at the forefront of this TV games revolution.”
Relentless has partnered with PlayJam to bring social games to the fast growing connected TV space via its aggregated games portal. The world’s largest TV network, PlayJam delivers a mix of in-house and leading brand titles to millions of connected TV devices from leading manufacturers including Samsung, LG, Sony and Panasonic. PlayJam provides consumers globally with easy access to an extensive library of casual and social games at the touch of a button on the remote control.
Playjam’s network is a social engagement and monetization platform that drives increased revenue and customer loyalty through core features such cross-network tournaments, leader-boards, real-time mass participation events, virtual currencies and recommendations. PlayJam has launched a beta SDK to provide game developers with a simple one-stop route to global games distribution via TV.