Interactive TV News Round-Up (III): Yahoo!, IntoNow, NDS, Pushbutton, Amazon.com

--Yahoo!'s IntoNow Launches Android App, Supports "Project Runway"
--NDS Names Dave Habiger CEO; Ex-CEO Abe Peled Becomes Executive Chairman
--Pushbutton Acquired by Amazon.com

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been on the road the past few weeks, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format. We anticipate that it will take us several days 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.

  • IntoNow, the automatic content recognition (ACR)-based social-TV company that was acquired by Yahoo! for $22 million just 12 weeks after its launch (see the article published on itvt.com, April 25th), last month launched its first Android app and announced that it is working with Lifetime on an "inventive mulitscreen digital campaign" to support the reality series, "Project Runway." "Spanning from the garment sketches created by this season's designers to the program's finale, the on-air and online campaign is designed to engage audiences across multiple screens and create a more immersive experience for viewers," IntoNow explains in its press materials. "IntoNow from Yahoo! has a community of more than one million passionate TV viewers and helps people discover new shows, discuss their favorites, and get recommendations for what is currently airing based on their interests and the interests of people they are connected to. By tagging each episode using the IntoNow from Yahoo! app, style-conscious fans of Lifetime's mega-hit 'Project Runway' will be able to unlock digital content, show off their fashion-forward attitudes in polls, and engage in real-time conversations with their friends and other viewers. This is the first major campaign IntoNow has launched since being acquired by Yahoo! in April 2011 and it will leverage multiple consumer experiences from across Yahoo! including Yahoo! TV and omg!, as well as co-branded advertising...IntoNow from Yahoo! uses patented SoundPrint technology to automatically identify live television content and any previously aired content spanning more than 2.6 million airings. Over 130 US TV channels are being indexed live, creating a rich database to build video discovery and programming experiences." Said IntoNow founder, Adam Cahan, who now holds the title, VP of Yahoo! media products: "We all watch a lot of TV--often, more than we admit--and yet almost 70 percent of people also access Web content while watching. As more devices enter our lives, there are exciting new opportunities to really connect audiences, advertisers, and content owners. For Yahoo!, this is a chance to create a platform for the living room that can help broadcasters and advertisers activate their media and audiences while rewarding consumers for live and loyal viewing."
  • Interactive TV and conditional access technology provider, NDS, announced last month that it has appointed Dave Habiger as CEO, replacing Abe Peled, who will now serve as executive chairman. "Dave Habiger, 42, began his career in media as a founder of Providence Productions," NDS states in its press materials. "In 1992 he began working with the founding members of Sonic Solutions, later playing an important role in the company's IPO in 1994. As president and COO he organized and managed a global software development team, later becoming CEO in 2005. As CEO of Sonic, he leveraged his 15-year partnership with the Hollywood studios to help move the industry from DVD distribution to Internet delivery of movies and TV shows, establishing a leadership role as one of the largest global providers of premium movies and TV shows via the Web and consumer electronic devices. Dave led the company to a successful reinvention of its core business, leading to the sale of Sonic to Rovi Corporation in early 2011. In 2011 Dave was chosen as Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and in 2009 as The American Business Defense and Advisory Council Entrepreneur of the Year." Said Peled: "After 16 rewarding years at the helm of NDS, the time has come to start the transition to the leadership that will take NDS forward over the next decade and beyond. NDS has a strong and experienced management team, and an unparalleled cadre of talented and dedicated employees with a proven track record in pay-TV; it has been a privilege to work with them to establish NDS as the market leader in this area. Dave brings to NDS experience as a CEO, and a passion and record of accomplishment in the areas of new media and Web delivery that will be increasingly important to NDS and its customers over the next decade. I remain committed to the continuing long-term success of NDS. As executive chairman, a full-time position, I will focus on providing strategic, operational, and customer relationship continuity and will support Dave with this new challenge in every way possible. This continuity will ensure that our customers who depend on us to continue and invest in technology, deliver new products and systems, and outstanding customer support, can continue to count on NDS to help their business prosper." Added Habiger: "The industry will be going through significant changes over the next few years as it embraces over-the-top broadband delivery to expand customer choice and convenience. I am convinced that NDS is uniquely positioned to offer the technologies and solutions that make content easily accessible to consumers and valuable to service providers."
  • High-profile UK-based interactive TV application development company, Pushbutton, announced last month that it has been acquired by Amazon.com. Among many other projects, Pushbutton has developed apps for Lovefilm, the UK-based Netflix-like service that was acquired by Amazon.com earlier this year. "Pushbutton has a strong reputation for delivering amazing user experiences on connected devices," Greg Greeley, Amazon's VP of European retail, said in a prepared statement. "They were instrumental in helping launch the Lovefilm player through a variety of devices, and we look forward to helping them continue to innovate on behalf of customers." Added Pushbutton co-founder and managing director, Paula Byrne: "With Amazon and Lovefilm's support, we look forward to offering our clients, as well as their customers, even more ways to access digital services in the future."

Region: 
North America