Interactive TV News Round-Up (VII): Tivu, Intertrust, YouTube, ZeeVee

--Italy's Tivu to Use Marlin DRM, MHP for New OTT Platform
--YouTube Launches "Creator Institute" Initiative to Foster Content Development for its Platform
--ZeeVee Relaunches Zinc.TV as White Label Internet Video Solution for Pay-TV Operators

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been busy this week working on the TV of Tomorrow Show 2011, we are covering recent news in round-up/summary form. Once again, we anticipate that it will take us a few days to catch up with all the news we plan to cover: so if your company has sent us a press release or briefed us on an announcement, and you don't see your news covered in this issue, please bear with us.

  • Italian DTV operator, Tivu, and Silicon Valley-based DRM specialist, Intertrust Technologies Corp., have announced a partnership to create Marlin DRM-based services (note: Marlin is an open-standards DRM platform that is used by, among others, YouView, Sony's Qriocity and PlayStation Network and Philips' NetTV platform) for Italian broadcasters looking to create OTT TV channels. "Tivu and Intertrust will use Marlin DRM to supply video protection and management technology as part of an open Italian Internet TV services platform based on the Multimedia Home Platform (MHP) standard," the companies state in their press materials. "The technologies developed will allow broadcasters and network operators to serve video to Internet television sets, set-top boxes and other Internet-enabled devices. Tivu will create services using Intertrust's Marlin technology and trust service infrastructure to supply Marlin digital certificates to network operators and device makers in Italy. These services will allow manufacturers to create a broad range of TV's and set-top boxes that will provide Italian TV viewers with expanded choices to view Internet TV. Similarly, broadcasters and content publishers will benefit from the ability to transmit TV content over the Internet without needing to commit to closed platforms."
  • YouTube has announced the launch of the YouTube Creator Institute, an initiative to nurture content creation for its platform. The initiative is the first from the company's new YouTube Next arm, which it announced when it concluded its acquisition of Next New Networks (note: according to Next New Networks co-founder, Fred Seibert, that company is "a core component" of YouTube Next--see the article published on itvt.com, March 8th). "We've worked with some of the world's leading film and television schools to put together the YouTube Creator Institute," YouTube states on its corporate blog. "Based both at YouTube and onsite at the campuses of our institutional partners, participants will learn from a unique new media curriculum, apply new media tools, find out how to build their audiences, be promoted globally on the YouTube platform, and engage with industry leaders and experts. Participants will learn everything from story arcing to cinematography, money-making strategies to social media tactics. The wider YouTube community will be able to learn along the way, too, by following the rise of the YouTube Creator Institute's inaugural class on YouTube this summer. The inaugural YouTube Creator Institute programs begin in the United States in May this year: 1) The University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts is the country's first film school and regarded as one of the leading schools in the world, with an alumni base of industry leaders and an array of notable accolades. The YouTube-USC Creator Institute takes place from May 25 until June 22 in Los Angeles, CA. 2) Columbia College Chicago's Television Department has been innovating around new online media strategies for years, with students creating award-winning webisodes while investigating new opportunities in the online space. The YouTube-Columbia College Chicago Creator Institute begins on May 31 and ends on July 22 in Chicago, IL. Any US citizen over 18 is welcome to apply, and candidates may apply online at www.youtube.com/creatorinstitute from now until March 25. Applications include two short-answer questions and a maximum two-minute demonstration of the creator's craft, whether it be a short film, a clip of a personal cooking show, or a snapshot of a nature expedition. Afterwards, the YouTube community will vote for two weeks between March 28 and April 8 for their favorite creators. The top-voted candidates will move on to the final round, where our film and television school partners will choose the inaugural class for each of their programs, which will be announced on April 20."
  • Internet TV company, ZeeVee, has announced that it is relaunching its flagship Zinc.TV platform as a white-label Internet video platform for pay-TV operators. "As the popularity of Internet TV content explodes, service providers such as cable operators and telcos want to expand their offerings to include Internet TV," the company states in its press materials. "The Zinc platform offers a unique suite of cloud-based apps which enables operators to build an Internet television platform that can find and manage content, program custom user experiences, and deliver it on both Internet-capable devices and traditional MPEG-4 IP set-tops...The Zinc.TV platform advances the state of Internet TV management products with advanced metadata automation, powerful video search, intelligent four-screen support, and features and tools that enable third-parties to bring compelling Internet TV services to market...Zinc has automated its metadata engine enabling a highly scalable, readily maintainable solution. A new, lightweight HTML interface replaces Zinc's original PC download application, enabling cross-device, multiscreen support. Zinc now works on tablets, mobile phones, as well as PC's, Macs, and connected TV's. The Zinc platform provides programming, business rules, private branding and API's that enable Zinc to be the preeminent white-labeled Internet TV platform." ZeeVee--which says that the new version of Zinc.TV is currently in trials with "services providers and partners" in the US, Europe and Mexico--has also received an undisclosed investment from Genovation Capital. Said Genovation general partner, Jeff Binder: "After looking at nearly two dozen Internet TV plays, we decided ZeeVee had developed something really unique. The Zinc team has cracked the code on backend automation that makes it possible to curate literally millions of pieces of content with almost no human intervention. The UI virtually eliminates dead ends when searching for and playing high-value Internet TV, through superior intelligent device and content filtering capability. This is exactly the type of functionality consumers have been craving and that service providers want to provide their customers, across all of their connected devices." Added ZeeVee CEO, Vic Odryna: "We have invested four years evolving this technology, first as an end-user PC application, and now as a significant cloud-based Web platform with strong automation and greatly simplified user interfaces. We have learned much from our loyal followers and are convinced that we have the ideal platform from which service providers can build their own best-in-class offerings. We will continue to operate www.zinc.tv as a user portal for consumers, because we learn greatly when working directly with end-users."
North America