Interactive TV News Round-Up (II): Boxee, Brightcove, Astral Radio, Clearleap

--Boxee Raises Another $16.5 Million
--Brightcove Powers Online Video for Canada's Astral Radio
--Clearleap Teams with Set-Top Maker, Pace, on IP-Based VOD Solution for Cable Operators

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been busy this week working on the TV of Tomorrow Show 2011, we are covering recent news in round-up/summary form. We anticipate that it will take us a few days to catch up with all the news we plan to cover: 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.

  • OTT specialist, Boxee, has announced that it has closed a $16.5 million funding round, led by new investors, Pitango and Softbank, with participation from prior investors, General Catalyst, Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures. Isaac Hillel from Pitango will join the company's board. Boxee's previous funding round saw it raise $6 million. "With the new funding in place, we will be focusing on three main things," Boxee founder and CEO, Avner Ronen, wrote on the company's blog. "1) Product--We are getting lots of love as well as feature requests and bug reports. The new round will enable us to grow our development team, building new functionality while continuing to squash bugs. One of our greatest challenges will be to add more movies, TV shows, and video while at the same time making it easier to discover and watch them. We have ideas on both fronts and are excited to get to work. Many of you would like to see Boxee handle all the video on their TV with no need to switch inputs. We'd like to get there, too. 2) More Content--We recently added Netflix and Vudu to the Boxee Box. These are amazing video services. There are many more sources of content on our ToDo list in the US and internationally. We realize that with every new content source we make Boxee more valuable. We will increase the pace. 3) More Partners--D-Link is already shipping the Boxee Box, Iomega is working on a Boxee NAS device and ViewSonic is working on a TV based on Boxee. We plan to sign up more device and distribution partners, giving users more options and more ways to get Boxee." Boxee currently has 34 employees and says that it is recruiting more.
  • Online video platform provider, Brightcove, has announced that Canadian commercial radio broadcaster, Astral Radio, has chosen its platform to power online video initiatives for its 83 radio station properties. "Astral Radio's online video programming includes interviews with popular artists and bands, footage from events and parties hosted by the stations, studio performances and news coverage," Brightcove states in its press materials. "Brightcove's range of customization features enables Astral Radio to easily integrate video throughout each radio station Web site for each station in both French and English. Brightcove also makes it easy for Astral Radio to significantly expand the audience reach of its video content through advanced social sharing tools for popular sites like Facebook and Twitter and a wide range of third-party distribution outlets. Additionally, Brightcove's Smart Players ensure that Astral Radio's video content will soon be accessible through any HTML5-compatible mobile and tablet devices."

  • Clearleap, a company which offers a cloud-based content management, delivery and advertising platform for bringing Internet-sourced video content to television sets, has announced that it is working with UK set-top box vendor, Pace, on a solution that it says will allow TV operators to seamlessly integrate IP-delivered VOD with linear programming in all major cable technology environments. "The expanded capabilities will enable TV service providers to offer unlimited content to subscribers over their existing high-speed data networks, while providing a rich, intuitive, and modern user experience for VOD, all available on an integrated hybrid set-top box," the company states in its press materials. "For TV operators, using broadband to manage and deliver content reduces the costs and complexity of bringing programming to viewers while opening up a wide range of new content and service possibilities. From offering a much wider selection of programming to delivering a more personalized experience to subscribers, the integration of streaming VOD is designed to help TV operators to keep up with the speed of innovation in the video industry while enhancing their ability to compete with the emerging threat of over-the-top video services. Integrating with Pace expands the reach of Clearleap's Stream On Demand solution to a leader in the set-top box industry. Clearleap recently announced integration of its streaming platform with Roku Boxes and compatibility with all Internet-connected Blu-ray consoles through a partnership with RCDb, a leading developer of Blu-ray video technologies [note: for more on the latter partnership, see the article published on, August 18th]." Said Clearleap co-founder and CEO, Braxton Jarratt: "With Pace, we are laying a foundation that makes it easy for TV operators to harness the huge benefits of IP-delivered content with a set-top provider they know and trust."
North America