Interactive TV News Round-Up (IV): Hulu, icueTV, SeaChange, SureWest, iPowow, Miss Universe

--Hulu Plus Now Has Over 1 Million Subscribers
--icueTV Partnering with SeaChange on SureWest VOD tCommerce Deployment
--iPowow's Second Screen Voting System Generates 23.6 Million "Miss Universe" Votes in 9 Minutes

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.

  • At a Goldman Sachs investor conference earlier this week, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar revealed that the company's premium subscription service, Hulu Plus, now has over a million subscribers. The company had originally expected the service, which launched last November, to pass that milestone by the end of the year.
  • icueTV, a provider of interactive TV backoffice management and fulfillment services, announced Wednesday that it is working with SeaChange International to electronically process and fulfill DVD and Blu-ray Disc orders of first-run VOD movies for SureWest customers in Kansas City through SeaChange's VOD "Watch & Buy" application (see the article published on, September 21st). "The partnership enables both icueTV and SeaChange the ability to deliver a complete, end-to-end solution for interactive tcommerce," the company states in its press materials. "icueTV's Enhanced Television Service or 'ETS' is the only platform capable of delivering a complete backoffice electronic order management and fulfillment service that is seamlessly integrated with third-party product fulfillment warehouses. icueTV provides real-time, measurable transaction data with instant results of the campaign's performance...The SeaChange Watch & Buy program includes a lightweight set-top box application, with a customized user interface that will use icueTV's fully managed backend order fulfillment service. A DVD symbol appearing next to select titles in SureWest's VOD library alerts subscribers that the title is also available for purchase as a DVD or Blu-ray Disc...SureWest, Kansas City is the first cable operator to deploy the Watch & Buy tcommerce application with SeaChange and icueTV." Said icueTV founder and CEO, Michael Huegel: "We are thrilled to be a part of the very first, true tcommerce deployment with SeaChange and SureWest. It demonstrates our flexibility and seamless integration to the SeaChange VOD Watch & Buy frontend application with our backoffice electronic order fulfillment services. Our robust VOD solution possesses many of the same features as our standardized, electronic RFI and tcommerce capabilities. Our backoffice services are able to support any third-party applications, managing, processing and fulfilling any request whether VOD, set-top box or IPTV." Added SeaChange's executive director of product management, Anthony Landamia: "This marks a major milestone in true tcommerce as this is the first time all the partners, technologies and business models have been properly aligned to provide a true end-to-end solution that can be scaled nationally."
  • Second-screen interactive TV specialist, iPowow, contacted [itvt] earlier this week to provide us with some usage stats for the viewer voting it powered for last week's Miss Universe Pagent telecast. "Fans from 155 countries around the world cast 23.6 million votes in just 9 minutes by using iPowow’s Second Screen scoring system on their smartphone or PC," the company states in its press materials. "The 2011 Miss Universe Pageant, a joint venture by the Miss Universe Organization, Donald Trump and NBC Universal, used the iPowow Second Screen voting system at to engage with the fans and reveal the results instantly on the television, At the peak of voting, the iPowow Second Screen scoring system was handling over 65,000 votes per second, while the average viewer spent over 23 minutes engaged with the Second Screen scoring system. Unilever, the show sponsor, also used iPowow to push full-screen interactive adverts for Lux to the Second Screens during every commercial break." Said iPowow CEO, Ettienne Fourie: "The iPowow voting system enabled viewers to 'gamify' their viewing experience, whilst sending tweets and making Facebook posts from the same screen. This gives broadcasters access to millions of people beyond the usual scope of a live event."
North America