T-Time: Netflix Interactivity, DTC AVOD, Innovid's OTT Composer, Sony T-Commerce

A New Podcast by ITVT and nScreenMedia on Recent TV and Tech News

We're pleased to present another episode of "T Time," a regular podcast featuring news and analysis of the latest developments in advanced TV and video. A joint project between ITVT and nScreenMedia, "T Time" is hosted by ITVT's Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Tracy Swedlow, and nScreenMedia's Founder and Chief Analyst, Colin Dixon.

In this week's episode, we talk about interactive storytelling from 

Netflix, direct-to-consumer AVOD and Connekt-Powered T-commerce on Sony Smart TV's and Blu-ray disc players. In addition, Innovid CTO, Tal Chalozin, joins us to discuss how the company is enabling interactive ads across many connected TV devices.

(**Thanks to Colin for the write-up below!)

Netflix experiments with interactive storytelling for adults (1:20)

Bloomberg reports that Netflix is planning an interactive episode of Black Mirror for the show's fifth season. Netflix has experimented with interactive storytelling before. The company produced "choose your own adventure" children's content, with the Shrek spinoff Puss in Book. Apparently, the company's experiences to date have encouraged it to take the same approach with adults.

Explosion of direct-to-consumer AVOD services (7:32)

According to the latest Freewheel Video Monetization Report, ad views in premium content continue to grow strongly. The company says ad views grew 35% between Q2 2017 and Q2 2018, and 17% in the previous year. Operator TV Everywhere portals and virtual MVPDs such as Sling TV and Hulu Live are driving much of that growth. This digitally syndicated content has expanded the share of total online video ad views from 29% in Q2 2017 to 39% in Q2 2018.

Advertising-supported services seem to be on the upswing. The Roku Channel is now delivering $60M a quarter in advertising revenue to Roku. Pluto TV has grown to 10 million active monthly users and has just launched in the UK. Xumo has 3.5 million active monthly users. New startups like Dreams are focusing on free content for smartphones.

It looks like the time is right for advertising-supported DTC video services.

Innovid delivers interactive content portability (13:17)

SPECIAL GUEST: Tal Chalozin, CTO and Co-Founder of Innovid, joined us to discuss the company's new interactive video creation tool, called OTT Composer. The self-service authoring tool allows brands, agencies, and publishers to design, build and deploy interactive ads for connected TVs. The resulting interactive ad will work across a variety of connected TV devices, including Roku, Apple TV, Samsung, Amazon Fire, PlayStation, Hulu and Fox’s true[X].

Sony brings T-Commerce to TVs, Blu-ray players (29:30)

Working with software company Connekt, Sony will enable some smart TVs and Blu-ray disc players to support interactive commerce through the television. Consumers will be able to shop directly via the ShopTV app available in the Sony smart TV app store.

Mockup of Connekt's ShopTV Platform on Sony TVs