News Round-Up (VII): YouTube, Zappware, linkID, Concurrent, Zon TVCabo

--YouTube Trials Social TV-Enabled Live Streaming Video Platform
--Zappware, linkID Develop "Red-Button" Interactive TV Application for Smartphones and Tablets
--Zon TVCabo Taps Concurrent to Expand its VOD Offering

Due to the huge volume of interactive TV-related news generated over the past few days by the IBC, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up format. We anticipate that it will take a few more 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 has today (September 14th) and yesterday been conducting a trial of a new social TV-enabled live streaming platform in conjunction with Howcast, Next New Networks, Rocketboom and Young Hollywood. "This new platform integrates live streaming directly into YouTube channels," the company explains on its blog. "All broadcasters need is a webcam or external USB/FireWire camera. Included in the test is a 'Live Comments' module which lets you engage with the broadcaster and the broader YouTube community. For the purpose of the trial, this offering will only be available today and tomorrow. Based on the results of this initial test, we'll evaluate rolling out the platform more broadly to our partners worldwide." The company has developed an embeddable live schedule for the trial, which can be seen above.
  • Belgian interactive TV technology provider, Zappware, has announced that it has teamed with digital identity specialist, linkID, on a "red-button" interactive TV application for mobiles and tablets. "The runaway success of smartphones and tablets means that campaigns can be turned into sales promotions or subscriber drives, with secure transactions just a few clicks away," Zappware states in its press materials. "Advertisers can make direct contact and broadcasters can engage audiences more deeply by offering exclusive material for sale during a program. In an example on display at IBC2010, an on-screen announcement for H&M sends viewers to their mobile devices, where an app or 'red button' gives them access to targeted material in one click. Once identified, viewers are securely forwarded to the announcement by the advertiser or broadcaster. [Zappware and linkID] enable this capability by dramatically simplifying and securing the communication chain. Reaching viewers through their mobile devices means that many of the hurdles traditionally involved in interactive TV simply vanish." Said linkID CEO, Mario Houthooft: "One of the beauties of the system is the fact that it uses the viewer's own mobile device--making adoption far easier. Strong identity management identifies a TV viewer on a personal level, instead of on the television-device level usually offered by iDTV operators. This new capability enables new personalized offerings and also allows the television experience to be integrated into social media platforms."
  • VOD, media data and advanced advertising solutions provider, Concurrent, has announced that Portuguese pay-TV operator, Zon TVCabo, has selected its video delivery platform to expand its VOD offering. "Concurrent will provide Zon with a unified video delivery and media data collection and management system, extending and expanding its current use of Concurrent's media data management solutions and operational reporting services," the company states in its press materials. "Concurrent's video delivery and media data management solutions provide Zon the ability to deliver multiscreen video, monitor video usage and analyze the subscriber experience at a census-level." Said Concurrent's chief marketing officer, David King: "Concurrent believes there are endless opportunities for new revenue growth through video. Our unified video delivery and data management ecosystem enables our customers, like Zon TVCabo, to capitalize on multiscreen and interactive video delivery offerings, as well as to quickly and effectively measure service performance, subscriber experience, activity rate and capacity management across their entire video network."