Interactive TV News Round-Up (V): GetGlue, Channel 4, MIG, Morega Systems

--Social-TV Check-In Service, GetGlue, Secures Deal with UK's Channel 4
--Mobile Interactive Group Publishes Research on "Social Participation TV"
--Morega Systems Awarded US Patent for its "TV Everywhere" Technology

Because the [itvt] editorial team is on the road this week, we are covering stories in this edition of the newsletter in round-up format:

  • US-based social-TV check-in service, GetGlue, has secured its first international deal: UK terrestrial broadcaster, Channel 4, is partnering with the company to offer stickers and rewards for a number of shows on its digital channel, E4, including the new drama series, "Beaver Falls." "The cross-promotion coincides with the series premiere of 'Beaver Falls' (Thursday 27 July, 9:00PM, E4) but will also include limited-edition stickers for upcoming series of Bafta award-winning shows such as 'Skins' and 'Misfits,'" GetGlue and Channel 4 state in their press materials. "This is the first time that GetGlue are offering stickers from a network outside the US, and E4 will be the exclusive international launch partner. GetGlue users will earn one-of-a-kind, collectible stickers before the series premiere and throughout the season simply by checking-in to these shows. One of the 'Beaver Falls' stickers will serve as an entry into a competition to win a vacation to the US and demonstrates how GetGlue forms an integral part of the digital marketing campaign supporting the show. E4 viewers will also be able to level up and unlock fan and superfan stickers for checking in through the season. E4 will promote the engagement with on-air, on-platform and social media call-outs to drive users to check-in using GetGlue."
  • UK-based participation-TV company, Mobile Interactive Group (MIG), has published a research paper on the trends and opportunities in participation TV (P-TV). According to the company, the research is based on interviews conducted with 3,000 UK consumers, and draws on "qualitative and quantitative insights" from the IAB, PhonePay Plus and Adfonic. "The research uncovers key technological and behavioral insights into the entire P-TV value chain, from the types of devices that consumers use to interact with TV shows (tablet, Internet, mobile, apps, SMS, fixed-line), how they multi-task with them whilst watching TV, and over which payment channels they prefer to purchase participation services such as voting and competitions," MIG states in its press materials. "It also interrogates mash-ups between established social media channels, in particular Twitter and Facebook, with TV and interactivity, concluding that there is an emerging and potent P-TV model based on interactivity driven through social media--Social Participation TV, a new term identified by MIG. Key research findings include: 1) Mobile will become the main vehicle for interaction between viewer and broadcaster--40% of mobile users are most likely to be multi-tasking using their phone while watching the TV. 2) Smartphone and tablet adoption will drive TV and mobile multi-tasking in the UK and US, creating a more engaged audience, and significantly increasing program interaction--the majority of multi-tasking occurs during the evenings and weekends during peak TV times when online browsing declines and mobile browsing grows. 3) Facebook will drive a shift in interactive audience behavior away from phone calls and text with these channels becoming peripheral in the long term--Facebook mobile now accounts for 50% of its 700 million users globally. 67% of all respondents indicated that the Internet is the ideal way to interact with TV shows with 50% of those indicating that Facebook would be their preferred channel to purchase and use participation-TV services such as voting. 4) Interactive events via Facebook are expected to generate $51.7 million (£32.04 million) in the UK by 2012 and $2.9 billion globally by 2016...For broadcasters, the direct consumer interaction can be the ideal opportunity to capture data, while Facebook presents an ideal viral opportunity. But it also highlights the need for every program strategy to adopt a multi-device and platform approach, to ensure maximum viewer reach and engagement."
  • Morega Systems, a Toronto-based provider of content-portability solutions, has been awarded a US patent (7,886,318) for its content-portability technology. "This unique content-delivery solution gives satellite, cable and IPTV service providers, and equipment manufacturers a better way to extend premium, multimedia content beyond the television and the set-top box to support the connected home and TV Everywhere," the company states in its press materials. "Today, the predominant way to 'placeshift' content--in other words, to deliver content to any device such as a mobile phone, tablet, or a PC--to support TV Everywhere is by streaming content across a broadband network connection. But Morega's technology takes TV Everywhere to a new level by allowing consumers to placeshift via two methods: adaptive bit rate streaming with quality-of-service or sideloading. With Morega's unique sideloading solution, authorized users can securely download content either directly from the cloud or from a set-top box onto alternative viewing devices. This solves two key challenges posed by cloud-based mobile video delivery solutions: First, streaming or sideloading from cable, satellite or IPTV networks at the edge is much more bandwidth-efficient to the operators and requires fewer network resources for transcoded content management and storage. Second, it preserves the original broadcast ads while providing the ability to track and report mobile viewing metrics. Also, with the sideloading option, users no longer need a broadband network connection to view the content. In addition, Morega's sideloading technology uses a sophisticated backoffice, standards-based and proprietary authentication, encryption and digital rights management (DRM) system to protect copyrighted material and to assure the delivery of high-quality video entertainment content. The new patent specifically covers the transcoding, streaming and downloading of premium content from a video source to a mobile platform such as a smartphone or a laptop or tablet computer. It also covers Morega's unique approach to track, restrict and monetize premium content via digital rights management (DRM), which leverages both industry standards from the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) and Digital Transmission Content Protection (DTCP), as well as proprietary methods to protect copyrighted material and assure high-quality video when customers securely download content from either a set-top box or directly from the cloud."
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