Interactive TV News Round-Up (II): Amazon, GetGlue, HbbTV Consortium

--Report: Sling Media Co-Founder, Blake Krikorian, Joins Amazon's Board of Directors
--GetGlue Launches Self-Service Marketing Dashboard for Entertainment Brands
--HbbTV Consortium Now Has 50 Members

Due to the large volume of news generated by the IFA, IBC and CEDIA trade shows--and 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.

  • Blake Krikorian, co-founder of TV placeshifting company, Sling Media (now part of EchoStar), has joined Amazon's board of directors, AllThingsD's Kara Swisher reported Thursday, citing "several sources close to the situation." In her article, Swisher notes that it is rumored that Amazon--which is seeking to acquire Hulu and which recently acquired high-profile interactive/connected-TV application-development and design company, Pushbutton (see the article published on, August 11th)--"will soon offer an interactive television device."
  • Social-TV check-in service, GetGlue, has launched GetGlue Business, a self-service marketing dashboard that it says will allow entertainment brands to manage their GetGlue presence and create effective marketing campaigns. "Available at, the new service enables marketers to own and manage official GetGlue profiles for their properties, create exclusive rewards, and track the effectiveness of their campaigns," GetGlue states in its press materials. "With GetGlue Business, entertainment marketers can: 1) Create Official Profiles--edit and manage the official picture, description and other attributes within the profile dashboard including: input of Twitter handles, hashtags and Facebook pages information to ensure consistency and accuracy when check-ins are distributed to other networks. 2) Track Stats--access to real-time engagement analytics including daily, weekly and monthly breakdowns for total check-ins and stickers unlocked, as well as the social media reach on GetGlue, Facebook, and Twitter. 3) Create Specials--easily create and administer specials. Marketers can set up a tiered system for digital discounts, coupons or exclusive content. Brands can choose to reward check-ins, fans, or other GetGlue activities. For example, HBO offers a 30% discount at the HBO Shop to anyone who checks-in to all 12 episodes of 'True Blood.' 4) Manage GetGlue Stickers--configure when stickers are available, edit descriptions and set which stickers users will be able to unlock this and next week...By creating reward-based calls-to-action on GetGlue, brands incentivize live tune-ins and help spread marketing messages across the social graph. For brands, these messages are particularly powerful since it's coming from a trusted source rather than from the brand itself. GetGlue Business is currently being used by top-ten networks including, USA Network, Discovery, Oxygen and HBO."
  • The HbbTV (stands for "Hybrid Broadcast Broadband Television") Consortium said Thursday that it has signed up 50 members since launching in May. "HbbTV is an industry initiative that brings together broadcast and broadband TV services into one seamless user experience," the organization explains in its press materials. "The HbbTV standard utilizes existing standards and Web technologies including OIPF (Open IPTV Forum), CEA, DVB and W3C. Version 1.1.1 of the specification was published by European standards agency ETSI in June 2010. At IBC over 30 companies will demonstrate HbbTV implementations. HbbTV is inviting organizations to join the consortium to help shape the future of the HbbTV standard. Members have the opportunity to contribute to the various working groups; these groups include the Technical Specification working group where members are encouraged to actively contribute while benefiting from early sight of future specifications. The Testing and Certification working groups offer similar opportunities ensuring that the specification continues to evolve to meet changing market requirements. HbbTV was first announced to the market in August 2009; since then HbbTV STB's (set-top boxes) and connected TV's have been widely deployed into the German free-to-air market. The standard also received support from the French government regulatory body for TV, the Conseil Superieur de l'Audiovisuel (CSA), with French HbbTV services launched in June 2011. In Spain there is a wide consensus that HbbTV will be the deployed standard for interactive services. Already several national and regional terrestrial broadcasters have begun rolling out HbbTV services over DVB-T." (Note: A list of HbbTV solutions that are currently being showcased at IBC 2011 is available here.)
North America