Interactive TV News Round-Up (VII): ODG (SeaChange), Shazam, Old Navy, Sky, BBC Trust

--SeaChange's On Demand Group Teams with Inview Technology to Bring VOD to Connected TV's
--Shazam's Tagging Technology Adds Interactivity to Old Navy's Spring Advertising Campaign
--Sky Criticizes Provisional Conclusions of BBC Trust's Review of BBC VOD Syndication Policy

Due to the large volume of news generated over the past few days, we are covering stories in this issue in summary/round-up format.

  • SeaChange International's VOD content-aggregator subsidiary, On Demand Group, has announced a partnership with Inview Technology which it says will see it launching transactional and subscription VOD on millions of connected-TV sets equipped with Inview's NEELiX platform in major European markets, starting with Italy in the second quarter. "Inview's revolutionary NEELiX platform is incorporated in millions of TV sets and includes a fully integrated electronic program guide (EPG), media browser and personal scheduling tool, offering a video streaming capability, that allows for on-demand TV services as well as other added-value consumer applications," the companies state in their press materials. "On Demand Group VOD services offered on the NEELiX platform will provide viewers with unprecedented access to the latest blockbuster movies available on a TVOD basis, and a vast library of on-demand TV content available on an SVOD basis including popular TV series, children's programming, classic movies, and the latest music videos. Consumers will also have the enjoyment of watching content on-demand with full control to pause, rewind, fast forward or watch over."
  • Shazam, a company which offers a mobile application that consumers can use to identify music, TV shows and other content (a process the company calls "tagging"), has been tapped by Old Navy to add an interactive element to its spring advertising campaign, "Old Navy Records." "Wherever an Old Navy Records song or video is playing, Shazamers can tag it by holding their mobile phone towards where the song is playing," Shazam explains in its press materials. "Once tagged, Shazamers will immediately gain access to the key looks featured in the songs through one of two experiences depending on the source: [on] TV, YouTube and Facebook, Shazamers will have the option to buy the look featured in the commercial, download the song, check out the video, and learn more about the featured Old Navy bands, such as Audio Threadz. In stores, Shazamers will hear the Old Navy song once an hour where Shazaming the song will unlock style tips, access to view the video, band profiles, and the option to download the song."
  • UK satellite-TV operator, BSkyB (Sky), has responded to the provisional conclusions that the BBC Trust released last month (see the article published on itvt.com, January 12th) of a review it is conducting of the BBC's syndication policy for on-demand programs. "The BBC Trust's Provisional Conclusions adopt an unnecessarily restrictive approach to the syndication of long-form, on-demand TV content, proposing to limit the distribution of such content solely to 'BBC aggregation products,' namely the iPlayer, which will only be made available in three 'standard' technologies," Sky states in a submission to the BBC Trust. "Bespoke versions of the iPlayer will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances, and at the expense of the relevant platform operator. The Provisional Conclusions suggest that Sky is not an 'exceptional case,' despite the fact that its installed base of over 3.5 million broadband-enabled set-top boxes are unable to support any of the BBC's 'standard' iPlayer versions. The knowing exclusion of millions of existing license fee payers is one of a number of perverse outcomes resulting from the Provisional Conclusions. It demonstrates that the Trust has not acted in the public interest in arriving at its draft syndication policy. In addition, the Trust's proposals appear incompatible with the BBC's own YouView project, are inconsistent with the approach taken for on-demand public service content other than full length TV programs, allow existing 'disaggregated products' to co-exist indefinitely, and cost more than alternative solutions." The full text of Sky's response is available here.
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