Interactive TV News Round-Up (IV): Espial, Vodafone Iceland, Flickme, Google, Fox News

--Espial Powering IPTV for Vodafone Iceland
--Flickme Launches Social Streaming Movie Service
--Google Teams with Fox News to Bring Interactivity to September 22nd Republican Debate

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on TVOT NYC Intensive 2011, 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.

  • Espial has announced that it has been tapped to provide an IPTV solution for Vodafone Iceland. "As part of the IPTV solution, Espial is providing the following products: the Evo TV Service Platform, the Evo STB Client and the Espial MediaBase VOD platform," the company states in its press materials. "The Espial solution will power Vodafone Iceland's IPTV service which provides broadcast TV, TV-on-demand (TVOD), catch-up TV and video-on-demand to over 25,000 customers. Vodafone Iceland offers mobile, fixed-line, and ADSL/IPTV services to both consumers and companies." The deployment sees Espial's STB Client running on set-tops from Amino.
  • Sequoia Capital-backed Silicon Valley start-up, Flickme, has launched what it dubs a "social streaming movie service," initially featuring content licensed from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. "Flickme allows users to instantly rent or buy top Hollywood movies, including the newer and more popular titles often missing from subscription services," the company states in its press materials. "But it's what happens before and after the movie watching experience that's the big differentiator. Flickme members can log in with their Facebook accounts, connect with friends, follow people with similar tastes in movies, exchange recommendations, earn badges, and share discounts...Flickme offers limited time, shareable discounts on a generous selection of catalog titles. After buying or renting an eligible movie, consumers can share a discount on that same title with up to 10 friends via Facebook or Twitter. About one third of the movies available on Flickme have the shareable discount feature." Said Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's EVP of global digital and commercial innovation, John Calkins: "Social networks are already a tremendously important marketing tool, but Flickme goes one step further to harness the power of social media for distribution by getting fans engaged in recommending titles after the initial studio marketing campaign."
  • Google and YouTube are teaming with Fox News to present an interactive version of the September 22nd Republican presidential primary debate. "The Fox News/Google Debate will combine the questions you submit on YouTube with maps, facts and information to enrich and guide the discussion," Steve Grove, head of YouTube News and Politics, explains on a Google corporate blog. "You can vote thumbs up or down on the questions using Google Moderator, and many of the top-voted will be put straight to the candidates to answer. The result--an informative dialogue about the future of our country centered on the issues you care most about. You can submit your questions starting today, in video or in text, at The debate will be live-streamed on YouTube as well as broadcast on the Fox News Channel at 9:00PM ET on Thursday, September 22. Throughout the evening, we'll use Google's public data and search trends on air to give greater context to the questions."

North America