Interactive TV News Round-Up (IV): Ooyala, Facebook, PlayJam, Panasonic, Totalmovie, RCDb

--Ooyala Launches Social-TV Solution for Facebook
--PlayJam to Launch Interactive TV Games Channel on Panasonic Viera Connect-Enabled HDTV's
--Totalmovie Selects RCDb's WatchWith Platform to Deliver VOD to Blu-ray Players, Sony PS3

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.

  • Online video platform provider, Ooyala, has announced Ooyala Social, which it bills as an HD-quality social-TV experience that lets Facebook users watch video across multiple screens, share video with their friends, engage in live chat while viewing, and discover new content. The solution is currently being used by Miramax (see the article published on, August 23rd). "Broadcasters, distributors and Hollywood studios can capitalize on the social-TV trend by using Ooyala Social to make premium on-demand and live video widely and easily available on Facebook," the company states in its press materials. "The solution offers built-in social features and other tools that enable media companies to grow audiences, boost viewer engagement and realize new revenue streams. Ooyala Social supports a number of business models, including rentals, subscriptions, purchases, and advertising. The solution also allows group-activated 'screenings,' making it possible for content owners to unlock specific content if a target number of people log into Facebook to watch. Ooyala Social is an additional entry point for Ooyala Everywhere, which enables the distribution of video content across mobile devices, connected TV's and browsers. Ooyala Social authenticates via Facebook Connect and gives users a seamless, high-quality viewing experience on tablets, mobile devices, and connected TV's. As an example, a viewer who rents a video on Facebook can start watching on their iPad, take a break, and then resume watching on their Google TV. Ooyala Social offers Facebook users the capability to: 1) Discover: Ooyala Social makes it easier for viewers to find relevant content based on their social circles. 2) Share: Users can share what they're watching and what they 'Like' with their friends or 'loan' a show for later viewing. Viewers can also chat together through a movie or show. 3) Watch: Viewers can watch seamless video on every kind of screen and device, from tablets, to mobiles, to connected TV's. Ooyala Social also makes it possible to watch content together as a virtual group and gives content owners to the ability to 'lock' their content until a preset number of viewers log in to watch simultaneously or buy a movie. 4) Purchase: Users can buy with Facebook Credits, PayPal, a credit card or even their mobile phone number. Content may be rented, subscribed to, or purchased outright." Said Ooyala co-founder and president of products, Bismarck Lepe: "Facebook is becoming an increasingly important distribution channel for media companies. Because of its 750 million monthly unique users, it offers a compelling complement to distributing video online via YouTube. We expect more and more companies to follow the lead of Warner Brothers, Miramax and Netflix as they build direct-to-consumer video distribution models on Facebook. With Ooyala Social, we're combining the power of social with HD-quality video. Users can easily share content, make recommendations to their network, and watch video simultaneously with friends. We've also integrated Facebook Credits as a payment system for publishers who are looking to launch a video store on Facebook and Facebook Connect, so once a Facebook user has paid for content, they can take that experience everywhere."
  • Interactive TV games company, PlayJam, said Monday that its PlayJam Games Channel will launch this November as an app on Panasonic Viera Connect-enabled HDTV's worldwide. "The PlayJam Games Channel will bring hundreds of fun and engaging casual games directly into the heart of the connected living room via a single icon located within the main UI of Panasonic's Viera Connect IPTV feature found on its 2011 line of Viera IPTV's," PlayJam states in its press materials. "PlayJam is engaged with a large number of third-party games developers to offer a mix of in-house and leading brand titles available through the PlayJam Games Channel on Panasonic's Viera Connect. The PlayJam Network is powered by its social engagement and monetization platform, which drives increased revenue and customer loyalty via a rich set of features made available to game developers such as cross-network tournaments, leaderboards, real-time mass participation events, virtual currencies and recommendations." Said Merwan Mereby, the Panasonic VP who overseas the company's connected-TV products and features: "Viera Connect breaks the boundaries of the walled-garden structure of initial IPTV programs and delivers an unprecedented, more robust, two-way interactive set of features for consumers to enjoy directly through their Panasonic Viera HDTV's. The launch of PlayJam Games Channel on Viera Connect is a great example of the amazing, cutting-edge interactive content and connectivity Panasonic is delivering to consumers that will take their home entertainment to a whole new level."
  • Mexican broadband VOD service provider, Totalmovie, has extended its service to Internet-connected Blu-ray players and Sony PS3 game consoles, using Related Content Database's (RCDb) recently launched WatchWith Service Delivery Platform (note: for more on the latter, see the article published on, September 9th). "Totalmovie consumers can now stream full-length movies to their TV's simply by inserting a Totalmovie disc in an Internet-connected Blu-ray player or PS3 game console and choosing from the available selections," RCDb and Totalmovie state in their press materials. "The service works over any broadband Internet connection, including the Totalplay fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) service. The WatchWith Service Delivery Platform enables Totalmovie to quickly extend their service to millions of IP-connected Blu-ray devices in Mexico and to leverage a variety of different business models. The WatchWith Service Delivery Platform supports subscription video-on-demand (SVOD), transactional VOD options to 'buy' or 'rent' (TVOD), advertising-supported VOD (AVOD), and a powerful new business model made possible by the Related Content Database called 'Engagement VOD' or EVOD. Engagement VOD leverages scene-level metadata for thousands of films and TV shows in the Related Content Database to present contextually relevant value-added content and advertising to the consumer. The metadata features of the WatchWith Service Delivery Platform extend beyond Blu-ray to connected TV, mobile, and Web." The Totalmovie Blu-ray streaming VOD service is being demo'd in Oracle's booth (Hall 9, C15) at IBC 2011. "RCDb's WatchWith Service Delivery Platform not only extends our reach to millions of Mexican consumers today, but it also prepares us for future monetization of our OTT delivery business through contextual advertising and audience engagement," Totalmovie managing director, Robert Delamar, said in a prepared statement. (Note: for more on WatchWith, the Totalmovie deal and other recent news from RCDb, see the interview with RCDb CEO, Zane Vella, in this issue.)
North America