Universal Taps Boxee to Develop Promotional Interactive TV Application for "The Fourth Kind"

--App Illustrates How Boxee Can Monetize its Platform through Branded Interactive Apps

Over-the-top-TV specialist, Boxee, has been tapped by Universal to develop a promotional Boxee app for its new alien-themed movie, "The Fourth Kind," which opens in theaters this Friday. The app--which clearly illustrates how Boxee might monetize its platform by developing interactive video experiences for brands--provides viewers with access to TV spots and other videos related to the film, as well as to a collection of purportedly "real-world" video and photographic documentation of the four kinds of alien encounters defined by ufologists: sightings, encounters that have physical effects, contact, and abduction.

According to Boxee's VP of marketing, Andrew Kippen, the app "provides an example of how companies can use Boxee to bring the creativity of the Web to the TV screen. Rather than being limited to a 30- or 60-second spot," he wrote on the company's blog, "Boxee's platform lets content owners build a rich experience where audiences can use a remote control to interact with a variety of media related to a film, TV show, celebrity, band, artist, or brand."

[itvt] contacted Kippen--who confirmed that this was the first time that Boxee had offered such a promotional app--to find out more about the commercial relationship between Boxee and Universal: "Universal and their marketing firm, ignited, contracted us out to craft the app as a promotion for the film," he replied in an email. "While there was some money that changed hands, we were most excited about the project to highlight the ways that different properties (brands, films, artists, musicians, bands, celebrities, etc.) can use Boxee to provide a new type of interaction on the TV."

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