Interactive TV News Round-Up (III): Google, SageTV, HBO, Limelight

True Blood-Immortalize Yourself

--Google Acquires SageTV
--App Lets Fans Insert themselves and their Facebook Friends in "True Blood" Video
--Limelight Launches Interactive In-Stream Video Ad Formats for iOS and Android

Due to the large volume of news generated over the past few days, we are covering today's stories in abbreviated round-up/summary form:

  • Google has acquired SageTV, a provider of media center and PVR software for the PC, presumably with the goal of using that company's technology to enhance its Google TV platform. "We're thrilled to announce that SageTV has been acquired by Google," a statement on SageTV's Web site reads. "Since 2002, we've worked to change the TV viewing experience by building cutting-edge software and technology that allows you to create and control your media center from multiple devices. And as the media landscape continues to evolve, we think it's time our vision of entertainment management grows as well. By teaming up with Google, we believe our ideas will reach an even larger audience of users worldwide on many different products, platforms and services. We've seen how Google's developer efforts are designed to stimulate innovation across the Web, and as developers have played a core role in the success of SageTV, we think our shared vision for open technology will help us advance the online entertainment experience. We look forward to joining Google, and while we don't have anything specific to announce at this time, we encourage interested developers to email:"
  • HBO has tapped marketing agency, Definition 6, to create a Facebook app, dubbed "Immortalize Yourself," that allows fans of the vampire drama series, "True Blood," to create a short video that inserts them and a selection of their Facebook friends into the world of the show. An example of a video created by the app is embedded above. (h/t
  • Limelight Networks has announced the availability of Limelight REACH Interactive, "a service that enables high-value interactive video ad units within applications running on iOS and Android platforms. Working in conjunction with Limelight REACH Video," the company's press materials continue, "this new service delivers engaging, interactive pre- and post-roll video ads that respond to user interaction, pausing video playback, and opening microsites associated with the advertisement. Additionally, the solution captures analytics on video playback and user interaction, providing valuable insights to publishers aiming to monetize in-app video and advertisers looking to engage viewers across mobile and connected devices...Limelight REACH Interactive helps publishers, agencies and advertisers create 'tappable' pre-roll and post-roll in-stream video ads, which open coordinated microsites. Playback of the video containing the ads is paused while consumers interact with the landing page. Further, these video ads are unskippable on the device: video playback controls are disabled while the ads are playing. Additionally, Limelight REACH Interactive delivers in-depth analytics, for both publishers and advertisers, on video playback and user interaction. Publishers can measure drop-off rates for users who close the mobile app while watching the video as well as buffering events that negatively impact user experience, while advertisers gain insight on ad views and user engagement. REACH Interactive captures the following behavior data, including: 1) when a user plays or stops video content, 2) when the video ad within content started and ended, 3) when a user tapped on video ad, 4) when the user returned to video content from ad landing page, 5) the amount of the video content that was played, in 25%, 50%, 75%, 100% intervals, 6) when a buffering event occurred."
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