Joseph O'Halloran over at RapidTV News reports that ITV is heading for Android territory in their multiplatform strategy in terms of mobile and tablet.
ITV has announced the next stage in its 5-year plan to develop a multiplatform strategy that will see online TV performance and distribution improved by porting its ITV player to Android mobile devices.
In May 2011 Adam Crozier, ITV plc Chief Executive announced that as part of this strategy ITV would continue to invest in making its ITV Player more robust and easier to use, and the new move is both a vindication of this commitment and an indication of the continued strength of the Android platform which in total number is outstripping even sales of the iPad and iPhone.
Commenting on the launch, Robin Pembrooke, Managing Director, ITV Online and On Demand said: “I’m very excited to be launching our first ever ITV Player mobile app and genuinely believe that the simple design and high picture quality of this app is a leap forward in providing our customers with what they want to watch on the move. Android is just the first step in a mobile strategy that will see us rolling out ITV Player across mobiles and tablets, including iPhones and iPads, across the rest of this year.”
And the BBC?
The broadcaster [ITV] also confirmed it is working on a version of the application for iPhones and iPads, as it plays catch-up with the BBC which has had Android and iPad apps for its iPlayer since February and an iPhone edition since way back in 2008.
So naturally, most think that ITV is way behind on iPhone and why on earth are they making a move to Android first?
Let's take a look at some slides that Jeremy Copp, Vice President Mobile Europe emailed me last week after the BLN Money in Mobile Conference in London:
Wow - 953 per cent hockey stick increase in Google. Apple with a gentle rise of only 103 per cent.
Looks like a smart move to me. The Cult of Apple tends to stretch a lot further in our tech bubbles than it does in the real world. Numbers prove the case.
The new ITV Player app is now available across mobile phones and tablets supported by Android 2.2 versions and above and will provide customers with access to the last seven days of ITV’s catch-up content across ITV1, ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4. Crucially, an totally in keeping with the monetisation strategy, the new ITV Player Android app is ad-supported and is initially available free of charge to download from the Google Android App store now.
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According to their corporate blog in Korean, Samsung has officially passed the two million sold mark in just three short months since they launched their latest series of connected TVs with its new Smart Hub.
Rebecca Hawkes at RapidTVNews has more:
According to figures from The NPD Group, Samsung is the top-selling TV brand in the US with a 24.9% market share in the total flat-panel TV market. Since April, the company says it has sold about 730,000 smart TVs in North America, which boasts the largest TV market globally.
Europe has consumed 710,000 of the web-connected and application centric Samsung sets – with significant sales figures seen in the UK, France, Italy and Germany. Samsung also reports 170,000 units have now been sold in the Middle East and Africa, and 270,000 in South East Asia - with sales continuing at pace in both regions. Samsung’s home market of Korea, meanwhile, has so far registered 120,000 sales of its smart TV sets.
After the initial rush to buy the connected products when launched in April, Samsung reports steady sales at an average rate of 150,000 units a week, or 22,000 sets a day. The company’s two millionth sale was reached on 15 June.
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Reversing an earlier decision, which called for a slowdown in plans, the BBC has decided to go ahead and roll out a free based iPlayer TV application around news on connected TVs.Plans for an ad-supported, fully fledged iPlayer are also in the pipeline from BBC Worldwide.
According to William Cooper at Informitv, it will be followed by a global version of the iPlayer, initially available on the iPad in Europe for a monthly fee.
“Internet-connected TV is developing as a medium and presents an exciting and engaging complement to our existing TV services,” explained Phil Fearnley, the general manager for news and knowledge in the BBC future media department. “Looking forward, we are particularly interested in creating seamless, personalised, and location-aware experiences of BBC News across all connected devices — mobiles, tablets, computers and TVs.”
“Although the connected TV market is still in its infancy and the medium is not yet a mainstream proposition, our plan is to build on this initial launch with Samsung and we’re looking to work with other manufacturers to bring our product to their platforms as quickly as possible — technically, as it’s built in HTML, it can be re-purposed simply for a wide range of different operating systems and devices.”
Shows such as Doctor Who and Fawlty Towers will be made available for a monthly subscription of less than €8.
From the Guardian:
Jana Bennett – the former BBC Vision director now working at the corporation's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, as its president of worldwide networks and global iPlayer – will tell the Banff World Television Festival on Tuesday that the international version of the online video player will be "a different proposition" from its British equivalent, which showcases recent catch-up content only.
She will add that "the freedom from catchup means that we've got a lot more flexibility in terms of what we put on there and how we present it", with the BBC aiming to put together collections of programmes covering genres such as music, comedy, documentaries and natural history. As a result some familiar programmes which do not fit into this theme, such as EastEnders, are unlikely to be available.
The BBC last Friday launched its BBC News product for connected TV - which will bring video news clips via the web to living-room TV screens and combines existing video and text content from BBC News Online. It will initially be made available on Samsung’s range of Smart TVs and will subsequently roll out on other CE Smart TV platforms over time.
The launch aims to tap into the growing internet-connected TV market, with predictions that almost 36 million TVs with built-in internet capability will be installed in UK homes by the end of 2016. The BBC News product for connected TV has been designed as a complement to the BBC’s live 24-hour news channel. Editorial teams in the newsrooms will curate clips around the clock to run alongside text-based news from BBC News Online – all started, stopped, and navigated via the remote control. The BBC News product for connected TV will be available free of charge.Add a comment
It appears that the Google TV division has been watching SageTV’s media streaming, DVR, and placeshifting technologies for some time and have decided to buy the tech rather than work it all out in-house. Being Java-based SageTV looks to be a comfortable fit with Android. Something tells me this is more than a Set Top Box (STB) play - this could be the ultimate box move perhaps - a central, grand central station box that will do more than offer up video and the web - but also perhaps offer fiber and connect the entire house.
There always will be one box in the house - and something tells me that Google wants to be the one.
From SageTV website:
We’re thrilled to announce that SageTV has been acquired by Google.
Since 2002, we’ve worked to change the TV viewing experience by building cutting-edge software and technology that allows you to create and control your media center from multiple devices. And as the media landscape continues to evolve, we think it’s time our vision of entertainment management grows as well. By teaming up with Google, we believe our ideas will reach an even larger audience of users worldwide on many different products, platforms and services.
We’ve seen how Google’s developer efforts are designed to stimulate innovation across the web, and as developers have played a core role in the success of SageTV, we think our shared vision for open technology will help us advance the online entertainment experience. We look forward to joining Google, and while we don’t have anything specific to announce at this time, we encourage interested developers to email:
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Screenreach’s Screach App, which allows two way
interactions between a smart device and content on a digital screen, or
just within the app, was rolled out at its first live US event last
TEDx Chapel Hill in North Carolina was the first live event that Screach has debuted at in America since Screenreach opened its New York office in May. The Screach platform allows two way, real time interactive experiences between a smart device and any content on any screen, or just within the app itself, and was used to allow attendees of the event to participate in multiple option polls.
TEDx Chapel Hill focused on ‘Global Health: What’s Technology Got To Do With It’ and in the true spirit of TED’s ‘ideas worth sharing’, Screach allowed delegates to learn new facts and share their thoughts on some of the event’s most thought-provoking topics.
The audience simply had to enter a unique code into the Screach App on their smart device to access multiple option answers to the questions shown on the huge digital screen at the event. They could then choose the answer that they believed to be correct and watch the results update in real time, allowing them to see what percentage of voters selected which answers and discover which answer was correct, as they interacted with the screen. All users that connected to the app through Facebook could also see their profile image appear on the big screen when they interacted.
The Screach platform experienced almost 300 interactions from the TEDx audience of 400.
David Weinfeld, Screenreach Chief Strategy Officer and head of the New York office said:
“It was great to integrate Screach into a TEDx event. It was wonderful to see so many people's faces pop up on the screen as the questions were posed to the audience. Since the questions we asked came directly from the other speakers and IntraHealth, the experience proved to be fun, engaging, and informative for the whole audience. It gave attendees the ability to interact with the event's subject matter in a way that sparked further learning and discussion.”
TEDx Chapel Hill rounds off a month of live event experiences delivered by Screach, launching the platform’s potential as a leader in live audience engagement. The Microsoft Ubelly Critter Awards used Screach to enable attendees to vote on their favourite nominations from a range of categories celebrating achievements in the computer development industry and view the winners in real time. Thinking Digital Conference, the UK’s leading technology event, used Screach to enable their delegates to vote on their favourite speakers and watch the results update on screen in real time. Delegates also had access an in-app event itinerary and location map. Event organisers are also able to utilise the option to sell products and merchandise within the app.
Live event engagement is the latest of Screach’s triumphs following successful launches in the sports and museum industry after securing deals with Newcastle United Football Club and the National Armouries Museum in Leeds. Screenreach also has plans to launch Screach in the broadcast and retail industries in the near future.
Both Matcha.tv and Bee.tv have one thing in common - they both tap deeply into social media and your own social graph in order to help filter content that your friends like - as well as helping cherry pick video that fits you own needs.
Matcha pulls in one's video subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, YouTube as well as Facebook giving relevant recommendations for video content.
Rip Empson from Techcrunch had nothing but good words for Matcha.tv - raving about the new service:
Traditional recommendation engines that use collaborative filtering (users who liked “X” movie will like “Y” movie) have been around for awhile now, but results are often generic and superficial, often missing the personalization experience we’ve come to expect. When applied to video, which some would argue is social by nature, recommendations from those we know and trust is almost always preferable.
On the flip side, relying on friends for social recommendations only tells half the story. But with their powers combined, recommendations become more powerful and more personalized. After a year of algorithmic tinkering, Matcha has created a technology that relies both on users social graphs as well as traditional methods to provide a more augmented search and discovery mechanism.
Ryan Lawler from Gigom also had a good look and managed to talk to them:
“We want to be the social gateway to video subscription services and help you make the right decision of what to watch,” Piekarz said.
For now, Matcha.tv is focused on the big distributors, so you won’t see recommendations for web originals. Sources include Netflix, Hulu Plus, professional videos on YouTube and Facebook, as well as services like iTunes and Amazon Video on Demand. The idea is to provide one-click access to videos that users may want to watch on any service that they’re available.
Several video recommendation services have popped up over the last several years, and they are increasingly focused on hooking into social networks. Clicker added a social layer by integrating with Facebook to leverage user interests and social graph for its recommendations engine, for instance. And Netflix is reportedly integrating with Facebook to add social features that weren’t well executed through the “Friends” implementation. But with Clicker acquired by CBS Interactive and Sidereel acquired by Rovi, Matcha.tv is one of the few independent social recommendation engines left out there.
Mashable covered the release of TV recommendation engine BeeTV who released a new iPad app designed to let users get personalized show recommendations and share what they are watching with their friends.
In a lot of ways, BeeTV is similar to checkin services like GetGlue or Miso, but the difference is BeeTV’s approach is more focused on helping people find new things to watch — or share what they are currently watching — rather than necessarily being about checking into a program.
Users can enter their zip code and select a television provider to get customized updates and recommendations for content to watch now or at a future time. Using Facebook likes and ratings within the BeeTV ecosystem, the recommendations are tailored to the user.
Users can indicate that they plan to watch a future program by tapping a timer icon. They will then receive notification alerts before the program airs. BeeTV HD also lets users check out TV listings for their area, using a convenient link to Zap2it’s TV
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