Interactive TV Headlines Round-Up 2/17/15 (IV): HbbTV, HBO, Vimeo, Hulu, Imagine, Instagram, IAB, ITV Studios, JW Player, Kaltura, MiCasa, MiTu, MLBAM, NBCU, Netflix

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been busy working on The TV of Tomorrow Show 2015 (June 23rd-24th in San Francisco--purchase your Super Early-Bird tickets here!), we are covering stories in this issue in headlines/round-up format:

Eventbrite - The TV of Tomorrow Show San Francisco 2015 - 9th Annual Event! 

  • Version 2.0 of the HbbTV Hybrid-TV Specification Released; "Two Major Themes" of the Update Are "the Addition of Support for Companion Screens (Tablets or Phones) and Synchronization to Broadcast-Delivered Content"
  • HBO's Chairman and CEO, Richard Plepler, Says its Standalone OTT Service Will Launch Later this Year; Adds that "it's a Premium Product and it Will Be Priced Accordingly"
  • IAC: Vimeo Grew Revenues 30% and Surpassed 560,000 Paid Subscribers in Q4, 2014
  • Imagine Communications Joins Sony's "Networked Media Interface" Initiative, which Seeks to "Resolve Key Technology Challenges to Provide UHD/4K Baseband Signals over IP"
  • Imagine Completes Acquisition of RGB Networks
  • Gap Launches 12-Episode Soap-Opera "Microseries" on Instagram Video; Each Episode Is 15 Seconds Long; Instagram Began Offering Video Advertising Last Fall
  • James Franco to Star in "11/22/63," an Original Hulu Series from Stephen King and JJ Abrams
  • Instagram Videos Now Support Vine-Like "Looping"
  • Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Names WPP Digital President and Xaxis Chairman, David J. Moore, Chair of the IAB Tech Lab's Board of Directors; Promotes Scott Cunningham to SVP to Lead Tech Lab Initiatives
  • Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Adds Day to NewFronts Schedule to Accommodate 10 New Presenters (for a Total of 33); However, Founding Presenter, Microsoft, Will not Participate this Year
  • ITV Studios America Names Bruce Gersh to Newly Created Position of EVP and Head of Digital, Strategy and Branded Entertainment
  • JustWatch Launches a "Search Engine for Cord-Cutters"
  • Online and Mobile Video Technology Provider, JW Player, Launches Android SDK
  • JW Player Says its Flagship Player Surpassed 1 Billion Unique Monthly Viewers in December; Company also Says its Revenue and Customer Base "Grew Exponentially" in 2014
  • JW Player Releases Version 6.11 of its Video Player; New Features Include Faster Video Streaming, Multi-Language Soundtracks and Caption Text, Time-Based Metadata, Chromecast Flash Support (December 4th)
  • Taps JW Player to Upgrade its WomensForumTV Platform (October 20th)
  • Kaltura Tapped by Kabel Deutschland to Power its New OTT App
  • UK Soap Opera Veterans Seek Kickstarter Funding for New TV Drama, "Storylines"; People who Donate £500 Will Be Offered Chance to Participate in Recording of Show's Theme Tune; those who Donate £1,000 Will Receive Walk-On Role
  • Liberty Global Claims 1 Million Subscribers for its Horizon TV Advanced-TV Platform
  • Matchstick, the Company Seeking to Build a Kickstarter-Backed Streaming Stick Based on Firefox OS, Postpones Product's Launch from February to August
  • MaxLinear to Buy STB/Connected-Home Chipmaker, Entropic, for $287 Million
  • MCB Network's MiCasa Network Supplements its Over-the-Air Distribution with New Apps/Channels for iPhone, Android and Roku; Network Is Targeted at Hispanic Millennials
  • Latino-Focused YouTube MCN, MiTu, Raises $15 Million in Series-B Funding; Investors Include AMC Networks
  • MLBAM's Pioneering OTT Service, MLB.TV, Launches for 2015; Updates Include a Reengineered HD Media Player (Version 5.0), Distribution of MLB.TV Premium via PlayStation Vita and PlayStation TV, Spanish-Language Audio Overlay Option for All Games
  • NBCUniversal Partners with Jeep on "#RenegadeLifeContest" Social Advertising Campaign for 2015 Jeep Renegade
  • NBCUniversal Launches "Saturday Night Live" Smartphone App, Featuring 300+ Hours of Video Content
  • NBC Sports Digital Trumpets Success of its Super Bowl Social-Media Efforts
  • Netflix Accidentally (?) Releases Season 3 of "House of Cards" 2 Weeks Early
  • Canadian Telco/Pay-TV Operator, Telus, to Launch Netflix on its Optik TV Platform
  • Netflix to Launch in Japan this Fall
  • Netflix Now Available in Cuba
  • Report: Netflix Developing Live-Action Series, Based on "Legend of Zelda"


HbbTV 2.0 Specification


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North America