News Round-Up

--Report: Kip Meek to Be Named Chairman of Project Canvas Announces its Booth Plans for IBC 2010
--Social Animal Creates Interactive 360-Degree Video for Zipfizz
--Unicast Report Details Engagement Levels with Different Interactive Ad Formats
--Zee TV Invites Viewers to Help Name and Market New Show

Here is a round-up of some other interactive TV-related stories we are following:

  • Project Canvas--an initiative that sees 1) the BBC and other UK public-service broadcasters, 2) UK ISP's, BT and TalkTalk, and 3) UK broadcast transmission company, Arqiva, partnering in order to attempt to develop a common standard and interface for the delivery of online catch-up services such as the BBC iPlayer, the ITV player and 4oD, as well as other Internet-based services (including VOD and interactive TV widgets), to broadband-connected Freeview and Freesat set-top boxes--is set to appoint Kip Meek, the former chief policy partner at UK communications regulator, Ofcom, as its chairman, according to a report in The Guardian. The news comes just days after the Project Canvas partners announced that UK broadcaster, Five, is withdrawing from the initiative (see the article published on, July 11th).
  • Norwegian interactive TV software company,, has announced the line-up of technologies and products that it will be showcasing in its booth (2.C23) at the upcoming IBC show in Amsterdam.
  • Social Animal, a company that specializes in creating 360-degree interactive HD video for commercial and creative applications (note: other companies offering 360-degree interactive video solutions include Immersive Media, yellowBird and Analysis Systems Research), has been tapped to create an ad campaign for energy product, Zipfizz, that includes an interactive online video, as well as a traditional 30-second spot. The interactive video allows visitors to Zipfizz's Web site to use their cursor to explore a 360-degree video panorama that purports to take viewers behind the scenes of the shooting of the 30-second spot (which stars actress Josie Bissett). The video, which can be seen here, was shot using Social Animal's SA9 Camera System, for which it says a patent is pending. It is played on Social Animal's proprietary SA360 Video Player (note: the company also offers a hotspotting technology, called TouchVideo).
  • Rich media and video advertising technology and services company, Unicast, has published its Q1 2010 Unicast Analytics Benchmark Report, which details levels of viewer engagement with and interaction rates for the various kinds of rich media and interactive video ads offered by the company. A copy of the report is available here.
  • Indian broadcaster, Zee TV, is inviting its viewers to help it name and market a new show, described as "a love story between two people, Rudra and Gauri, who belong to two very different worlds." Viewers are first being asked to suggest a name for the show: they can submit their suggestions via a form on Zee TV's Web site, by email or by SMS. Once a name has been chosen, viewers will then be asked to choose between three creative treatments for an outdoor marketing campaign for the show. "This is just the beginning of an endeavor on our part to involve our viewers in shaping the contours of the entertainment we bring them," Zee TV's head of marketing, Akash Chawla, said in a prepared statement. "When people spend their creative energies towards naming a show and selecting the final creatives for its promotional hoardings, there is an instant sense of belonging that gets instilled in their minds."


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