--TvTak Demo's its Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) Technology
--VH1 to Bring Back "Pop Up Video" with New Interactive and UGC Elements
--Visiware Launches its Playin'TV Interactive TV Games Service on Bouygues Telecom's Bbox
Due to the large volume of news generated by the IFA, IBC and CEDIA trade shows--and 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 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.
--Yahoo! in Connected-TV Deal with European TV Manufacturer, Vestel
--YouTube Launches Interactive Gallery for User-Generated Documentary Project, "Life in a Day"
--Zappware to Launch Cloud-Based Interactive TV Platform at IBC, Demo Flux Enhancements
Due to the large volume of interactive TV-related news generated over the past few days by the IFA and the run-up to the IBC, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up format. We anticipate that it will take a couple of days for us 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. Our regular news coverage will return shortly.
YouTube Beta-Launches New TV UI, Relaunches Mobile Service, Announces UGC Project with Ridley Scott and Kevin Macdonald
YouTube on Wednesday 1) beta-launched YouTube Leanback, a version of its service that is optimized for viewing on a TV screen (i.e. in "leanback" mode); 2) relaunched the browser-based mobile version (m.youtube.com) of its service; and 3) announced a user-generated content (UGC) collaboration with directors Ridley Scott and Kevin Macdonald that will invite users of its service (and other people around the world) to help create a documentary, entitled "Life in a Day."
In a posting on its corporate blog last week, Justin.tv, a San Francisco-based company that bills itself as "the largest online community for people to broadcast, watch and interact around live video," announced that it has rolled out deeper Facebook integration, in order to help users to discover their Facebook friends on its service and to enable them to share more easily on Facebook when they broadcast.
AMC has tapped JibJab Media, an online entertainment company best known for its viral videos and for its Starring You product line (which allows users to insert their own faces into online videos and photos), to create a service called "Mad Men Starring You" that promotes the fourth season of AMC's 1960's-ad-industry series, "Mad Men" (premieres July 25th).
--Appointment Comes as Company Prepares to Launch "Social Video Game" at E3
--Current Media Names John Arianas VP of East Coast Sales
Yoostar--a New York City-based start-up that offers a product (consisting of a Web cam with built-in dual microphones and remote control, a portable green screen, a professional stand, and what the company calls "Active Immersion" software for PC's and Macs) that digitally removes the original actors from scenes, so that users can insert themselves in their place and then record their performances to their PC or Mac or upload them to the company's Web site (note: a video of TV personality, Jimmy Kimmel, using Yoostar's system is embedded above; for more on the company, see the articles published on itvt.com, May 19th and August 11th, 2009)--said Monday that it has appointed Gregory Fischbach as president and CEO.
--DISH Faces April 30th Deadline in TiVo "Time Warp" Patent Case
--Audience-Driven, Interactive Sci-Fi Franchise, "Purefold," Abandoned
--Peled: NDS Likely to Seek Listing on London Stock Exchange in 2012
--NeuLion Selected by Major League Soccer as its Broadband Video Partner
--OpenTV Voluntarily Delisted from NASDAQ
--New UFC Site Offers All Episodes of Spike TV's "The Ultimate Fighter" Free-of-Charge
Here is a round-up of some other recent interactive TV-related stories that we didn't have room for in this issue:
--Also Holds UGC Contest for Chance to Appear During Black Eyed Peas' Grammys Performance
CBS is inviting viewers to decide which song the band, Bon Jovi, will perform during the broadcast network's January 31st telecast of the 52nd Annual Grammy awards (note: according to CBS, this will be the first time ever that the band has performed at the Grammys).
--ABC Adding Several Holiday Specials to ABC.com Full Episode Player
--STV's mySTV Integrated with Facebook Connect
US broadcast network, Fox, on Tuesday launched a user-generated content (UGC) promotion that invites fans of the reality show, "American Idol," to create "video testimonials sharing what they love" about the show, and upload their testimonials to a special "Idol Fans" section of its Web site (http://www.fox.com/idolfans).
--Music Choice Appoints Director of Content, Tasks her with Integrating More UGC into its Offerings
UK cable operator, Virgin Media, last week announced that it has appointed Aleks Habdank to the newly created position of director of on-demand television services. Habdank, who will start in his new position in the New Year and who will be tasked with the commercial management of Virgin Media's VOD service, joins the company from Chellomedia where he was general manager of Chello On Demand and where, according to Virgin Media, he was "a founder member of the management team that helped set up transactional TV services across Europe." His resume also includes stints at ntl and Zone Vision Group.
--iAd Deal Includes UGC Spots, "Crowd-Sourced" via Partnership with XLNTads
TiVo on Tuesday announced price reductions on its TiVo HD and TiVo HD XL DVR's, two new holiday-themed Facebook applications, and an interactive TV advertising deal with MillerCoors.
--Submissions to Be Showcased on YouTube, Comcast On Demand
The San Francisco Ballet--which claims, in addition to being the oldest professional ballet company in the US, to have been the first to perform "The Nutcracker"--on Monday launched a "Magical Memories Nutcracker Video Contest." The contest invites ballet enthusiasts to create a video that reenacts or reimagines a magical scene from "The Nutcracker" or that depicts a favorite memory of the ballet, and then post it on YouTube. Because the San Francisco Ballet is this year celebrating the 65th anniversary of its first performance of "The Nutcracker," it is stipulating that video submissions must be 65 seconds in length.
Current Media--the company founded by former vice president, Al Gore, and his business partner, Joel Hyatt, that operates Current TV, an interactive TV channel devoted to short-form informational programs, dubbed "pods," around 30% of which are contributed by viewers via its Web site (note: the channel, whose distribution partners include Comcast, Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, Dish Network, Verizon, AT&T, BSkyB, Virgin Media, and Sky Italia, also invites viewers to help determine its programming schedule by voting for video submissions on its site)--announced Wednesday that Samsung Electronics will use its user-generated advertising s
--Claims i2TV Now Reaches 1 Million TV Sets
TellyTopia contacted [itvt] Monday to let us know that its flagship i2TV service (note: the name stands for "Internet-to-TV") is now available in the San Francisco Bay Area on local digital broadcaster KAXT's Channel ONE (1-8) service.