--thePlatform Appoints VP of Engineering, In-House General Counsel
--Addressable Advertising Specialist, Visible World, Secures Deployment with Cox
--Programming Discovery Specialist, Yidio, Launches Personalized Daily Email Alerts
Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on TVOT NYC Intensive 2011, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format. We anticipate that it will take us a couple of days to catch up with all the recent news: so if your company has sent us a press release or briefed us on an announcement, and you don't yet see your news covered in this issue, please bear with us.
Invidi Technologies Corp. filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Visible World and Cablevision Systems Corp., igniting a legal battle between two of the cable industry's leading advanced advertising technology vendors.
-- mSpot Challenges Netflix with Online Movie Rental Subscriptions
-- DirecTV Invests in Targeted Advertising Firm Invidi
-- MTV Spotlights Online Creativity in Inaugural 'O Music Awards'
- Hoping to lure customers from Netflix and other streaming video providers, startup mSpot Inc. launched a new online subscription movie package that drops the rental price on some new releases to as low as $3. mSpot boasts that it is able to stream many new movies the same day they are released on DVD, while Web surfers that use Netflix, Amazon, or Apple's iTunes Store and other services usually have to wait 28 days until after a DVD is released to rent movies. But mSpot's pricing packages may be confusing to some potential customers. It relies on a combination of monthly subscription fees and a points system where subscribers have to spend credits ranging from 15 credits for a new release such as Disney's "Tangled" to 5 credits for less well known titles such as "Dark Matter." A basic mSpot subscription package costs $4.99 monthly, and includes 20 movie credits, or up to four movies. Its premium package costs $15.99 monthly, and includes 80 credits, or up to 16 movies. Customers can buy additional credits for 25 per credit. More
- DirecTV, which has stepped up its focus in the last two years on selling targeted and interactive ads to media buyers, invested in addressable advertising vendor Invidi Technologies Corp. The New York-based company said it raised $49 million in its fourth round of financing, which also included investments Google, Group M, Motorola Ventures, Experian, NBC, Verizon, and venture capital firms Menlo Ventures, InterWest Partners, EnerTech Capital, Westbury Equity Partners and BDC Capital. DirecTV plans to roll out Invidi's Advatar software this year in all of its DVR set-tops, according to Invidi.
- With award categories such as "Must Follow Artist on Twitter" and "NSFW Music Video," MTV says the focus of its first "O Music Awards" on April 28 will be to honor online creativity. The awards show is scheduled to run April 28, and MTV will distribute it on multiple platforms, including MTV.com, VH1.com, and LogoTV.com. Additional nominees and award categories worth noting: Antoine Dodson/ Gregory Brothers (Funniest Music Short); 50 Cent, Rebecca Black and Bert (Favorite Animated GIF); the Hype Machine (Best Music Discovery Service); Tiny Desk Concerts (Best Performance Series); Gorilla vs. Bear (Best Independent Music Blog); and Marshall Jones (Best Music Hack). More
--Delivery Agent Appoints New CFO
--Digital TV Labs Approved as First Test Facility for Freeview Australia EPG
--DirecTV Launches Whole-Home DVR Service
--Invidi Awarded US Patents for its Addressable Advertising Technology
The [itvt] editorial team will be on the road this week and next, so we will be covering most stories in round-up/summary form, and we anticipate that there will be some additional interruptions of our regular news publishing schedule beyond that. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience to our readers.
--BlackArrow Raises $20 Million in NDS-Led Series C Funding Round
Advanced advertising technology provider, BlackArrow, announced Monday that it has closed a $20 million Series C financing round that was led by interactive TV and conditional access technology provider, NDS, and that also saw the participation of existing BlackArrow investors Cisco, Comcast Interactive Capital, Intel Capital, the Mayfield Fund and Polaris Venture Partners.
Bresnan Communications, the US's 13th-largest MSO (it has approximately 300,000 subscribers), announced last week that it has begun a trial of technologies that enable the dynamic insertion of advertising into VOD programming.
Advanced advertising technology provider, BlackArrow, announced Tuesday that its VOD ad insertion platform has gone live with Comcast in Jacksonville, Florida.
New York-based targeted advertising specialist, Visible World (backers include Comcast Interactive Capital, Time Warner, Viacom and WPP) and Google TV Ads (offers an automated, auction-based system for buying advertising) announced Tuesday that they have formed a "working relationship" to deliver advanced TV advertising solutions. According to the companies, advertisers using the Google TV Ads platform (note: those advertisers include Priceline, Lenovo, Buy.com and Jenny Craig) will now be able to dynamically customize and target their TV ads easily and efficiently through Visible World's automated system.
Concurrent, Clearleap Integrate Technologies to Provide "Comprehensive View" of Subscriber Experience
--Say Joint Solution Will Enable Operators to Offer Addressable Advertising, "Intelligent Interactivity"
VOD technology provider, Concurrent, and Clearleap, a company which offers a content-acquisition, delivery, management and distribution platform that brings broadband video and other Internet-sourced content to television sets, including sets equipped with low-resource legacy cable set-top boxes (note: the company recently announced that cable operator, Atlantic Broadband, is deploying its platform--see the article published on itvt.com, June 30th; its most prominent competitor is ActiveVideo Networks, which is currently deploying its platform with Cablevision--
--Will Instead Focus its Efforts on EBIF-Based Interactive TV Advertising
Canoe Ventures--the company that is tasked with implementing Project Canoe, the US cable industry's initiative to create a national unified platform for interactive and addressable advertising (it is backed by Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Charter, Cablevision and Bright House)--has suspended its plans to launch what was to be its first product, the Community Addressable Messaging (CAM) system, according to a report Thursday by Todd Spangler in the US cable-industry trade publication, Multichannel News.
--Local Ads Will Be Cued Up on DirecTV DVR's
GroupM-backed advanced advertising technology provider, Invidi Technologies, said Wednesday that satellite-TV provider, DirecTV, will use its software to offer advertisers "relevant" local advertising (note: last November, Invidi announced a similar deal with rival satellite-TV provider, DISH Network). According to Invidi, its Advatar software, in combination with DirecTV's DVR-equipped set-top boxes, will allow local television advertising availability based on geographic location, and will position TV ads according to any marketer's specifications.
--Event Focused on Dynamic Insertion of Addressable Ads into VOD Avails
US cable-industry research, development and standardization body, CableLabs, said Tuesday that 14 companies participated in an Addressable Advertising Interfaces interoperability event held at its Louisville, Colorado laboratories, during the week of June 1st.
Interactive TV and advanced advertising technology provider, OpenTV, and Sigma Systems, a company that specializes in IP service fulfillment solutions, announced Thursday that they are developing an integrated solution that they say will allow TV service providers to use subscriber data for addressable ad placement in video-on-demand environments. The companies say the integrated solution will also work for linear TV.