Interactive TV News Round-Up (II): blippar, Cadbury, Ceton, comScore, YouTube

--blippar Powers AR Game for Cadbury via Markerless Image-Recognition Technology
--Ceton Launches External USB-Based CableCARD Quad-Tuner
--comScore Now Offering Viewing Data for YouTube Channels

Because the [itvt] editorial team was recently on the road for several weeks--and has also 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 few more 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.

  • A UK augmented-reality (AR) advertising start-up, called blippar, came out of stealth mode last week with the launch of a free smartphone app (available in iOS and Android versions) that is initially being used for a campaign by Cadbury UK and Ireland and that enables AR experiences via "markerless image-recognition" technology. "In a world's first, blippar's technology has allowed Cadbury to create an augmented reality game that anyone with a smartphone can play using its product," the company states in its press materials. "Activating the game is simple: once blippar is installed on your handset, you just point your device at a Cadbury product--be that a Dairy Milk, Twirl or many others--and the introductory instruction screen of [an interactive game called] 'Qwak Smack' will 'blipp' from the wrapper onto your screen as if stuck to the bar. The game itself, which lasts an intensive 30 seconds, is quirky and childishly fun. The player is challenged to tap quacking cartoon ducks as they appear 'out of the bar' on an augmented overlay on their device's screen. The player can then submit their score to go into a draw to win an array of prizes...The partnership between blippar and Cadbury has allowed the augmented reality app company to launch its platform by placing engaging demonstrations of their technology on every street corner in Britain--wherever confectionary is sold...The blippar platform will also offer 'blipps' on everyday objects--from your oyster card through to your newspaper--and is set to grow to thousands of listings via multiple brand partnerships in the pipeline." Said Sonia Carter, head of digital at Cadbury's parent company, Kraft Foods: "We loved blippar from the moment we saw it in action. We were blown away by the technology and we're certain consumers will be. With one in three UK adults owning a smartphone, the potential market for initiatives like this is huge and we are proud to be bringing this incredible technology to the masses. It doesn't seem all that long ago we were all marveling at what QR codes could do, but blippar's 'markerless image-recognition' technology takes the experience to a whole new level."
  • Ceton Corporation last week launched the InfiniTV 4 USB, an external CableCARD quad-tuner that it says turns virtually any Windows 7-based PC into a platform for viewing and recording cable TV throughout the home. Priced at $299, the product is currently available for pre-order from Cannon PC and Fluid Digital, and is scheduled to ship September 19th (note: it is also slated to be available from Amazon, Micro Cener, the Microsoft Store, Newegg, Velocity Micro and Zones later next month). "InfiniTV 4 USB brings the company's award-winning multi-tuner CableCARD technology to an external, USB-connected design, making it an ideal solution for virtually any compatible Windows 7-based PC, including laptops, tablets, all-in-one PC's, desktops, towers, home-theater PC's and slimline entertainment PC's," Ceton states in its press materials. "InfiniTV 4 USB joins the company's currently shipping InfiniTV 4 PCIe model, positioning Ceton as the only company offering both internal and external solutions for CableCARD-based premium digital cable TV services through the PC. A Ceton InfiniTV-equipped PC makes exciting new entertainment scenarios possible in the home, including: 1) Watching and recording up to four live HD channels at once. 2) Streaming live HD channels or recordings to multiple TV's and making Digital Video Recording (DVR) available on virtually every TV using Windows Media Center Extenders. 3) Enjoying cable TV, Internet TV, music, photos, videos and more, all through one device, with the Media Center experience from Microsoft. 4) Eliminating cable set-top boxes and their expensive rental fees. 5) Sharing individual tuners with other Windows 7-based PC's to enable watching TV programming on PC displays as well as TV sets."
  • comScore has released July data on online video viewing from its comScore Video Metrix service: among other things, the new data show that Facebook is now the third most popular online video site in terms of unique visitors (behind Google sites and Vevo). comScore has also announced that the Video Metrix service now offers data on viewing of individual YouTube channels. "This new feature provides a comprehensive and granular view of the unique audiences within different YouTube partner channels, enabling advertisers to more easily create and optimize campaigns across specific channels to reach desired target audiences," comScore states in its press materials. "The July data release for YouTube Partner Reporting includes dozens of beta partners, while comScore and Google plan to initiate reporting of more partners with the release of August data. A first look at select YouTube partners from the current list of beta partners revealed that Machinima reached 16.9 million viewers with the highest engagement at 1.2 hours per viewer over the course of the month. Maker Studios drew 11.4 million viewers, who viewed an average of 8.9 videos, while Demand Media attracted 15.2 million viewers. Channels with particularly niche audiences included Maker Studios with 50 percent of their viewers falling between the ages of 12-24, and IGN with 70 percent of its audience being male viewers. In addition, men account for 83 percent of the time spent viewing Revision3's shows, whereas women account for over 66 percent of the time spent viewing Alloy's YouTube videos. Howcast was also notable in that 75 percent of its viewing audience had children in their households. comScore is proud to be the first and only measurement source available to provide the industry with YouTube insights of this caliber."
North America