Interactive TV News Round-Up (I): adRise, Akoo, Bravo, Warner Bros.

--adRise Launches Interactive Advertising Platform for Connected TV
--Akoo Awarded Patents for Technology that Lets Smartphones and Tablets Control On-Demand TV
--Bravo Launches Facebook Game, Will Feature Each Week's Winner on "Watch What Happens: Live"
--Warner Bros. Launches Facebook Game for "The Big Bang Theory"

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.

  • San Francisco-based start-up, adRise, exited stealth mode earlier this week with the launch of an interactive advertising platform for connected-TV devices, which it bills as "allowing advertisers to reach audiences via Internet-connected TV's, and publishers to earn TV-like ad revenue, via a real-time bidding exchange. adRise has been operating under the radar since December 2010, building a disruptive video advertising platform that represents the future of TV advertising," the company's press materials continue. "adRise also announced partnerships with video advertising heavyweights Tremor Video and BrightRoll, with other major partnerships lined up for the fall...The adRise model disrupts a $75 billion advertising market by extending content reach to the connected-TV audience at a higher CPM. A billion connected-TV sets will be sold by 2015, and more than 50% of Netflix usage is on connected devices. These metrics indicate the rapid growth of the connected market, and underscore the massive opportunity for advertisers and publishers to leverage an adRise model that allows them to target and measure TV-like ad campaigns...The adRise model delivers value across the connected-TV ecosystem. For publishers, adRise's innovative software (SDK's) integrates into all major connected-device platforms. For advertisers, adRise targets TV viewers with Web analytics accuracy, and combines the richness of TV ads with the power of the Internet to create interactive and HTML5 ads. And for connected devices and platforms, adRise is working with all the major video ad networks, and creates new user experiences for viewers that produce software-based residual revenue." Said adRise founder and CEO, Farhad Massoudi: "Brand advertisers have been relying on ambiguous TV ratings for what feels like forever, and it's been an accepted reality that we can't really measure advertising on TV effectively or have any kind of a feedback loop. With the rise of connected devices comes a new expectation of accountability to advertisers and publishers."
  • Akoo International has announced that it has been awarded new patents in major global markets, including Canada, Australia and Israel, for its flagship technology that allows smartphones and tablets to search and select on-demand TV content via a mobile app or text messaging. The company already holds patents for the technology in the US, China, Russia and Mexico. "Akoo's technology currently powers the company's out-of-home television network, which research firm Nielsen recently certified as having the largest audience of any US digital out-of-home network reporting age 12+," the company states in its press materials. "Akoo's television network is available throughout the US in 161 'Akoo Pavilions,' which attract 64 million consumers each month in the most highly trafficked seating environments across premier shopping malls. In addition to making on-demand content selections using their personal mobile devices, visitors to Akoo Pavilions can access free WiFi services, connect with friends via Facebook and Twitter, and receive mobile coupons and exclusive special offers. Viewers spend an average 20 minutes per visit seated in front of Akoo's programming, Nielsen research certifies, with an on-demand transaction occurring every four seconds on the network. As a result of this consumer engagement, Akoo drives unmatched marketing effectiveness and ROI for its brand advertisers...Akoo's technology supports plug-ins for on-demand and subscription billing services and includes advanced ad-delivery capabilities that drive targeted advertising based on individual profiles, rather than geography, household, or demographic."
  • Bravo has announced "Turtle Time," which it is billing as "the first Facebook social media game to have its outcome announced on-air each week. Inspired by one of the most legendary declarations uttered by a Bravolebrity, this game invites fans to play for the opportunity to see their virtual vision come to life on-air," the network's press materials continue. "Bravo's 'Watch What Happens: Live' introduces their newest member to the Clubhouse Sunday, September 25th at 11pm ET/PT. For a sneak peek at the magical 'meeting' of Andy Cohen and his new [turtle] friend, click [here]. The fun starts new every Monday with a round of 'Turtle Time,' where each week, players are given a bare virtual turtle in an empty tank. Their challenge: to design the most fabulous outfit and tank using an assortment of virtual costumes, backgrounds and tank accessories. Players will have the option to gift items to friends, as well as purchase special items with Facebook Credits. When a turtle is created, it is entered into the competition, where players vote hot-or-not style on their favorite designs. The virtual turtle with the most votes will be re-created on that week's live show on the new Clubhouse's resident. At the end of the season in December, Andy will choose the top turtle of the season, and the winning designer will be jetted to New York to attend a taping of 'Watch What Happens: Live' and an exclusive meet-and-greet with the turtle. Bravo has notified American Humane Association so that the turtle's well-being can be monitored during production. A Certified Animal Safety Monitor from American Humane Association is scheduled to be on the set, upholding the Guidelines for the Safe Use of Animals In Filmed Media to ensure the turtle's safety."
  • In related news: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has launched a Facebook game based on its primetime sitcom, "The Big Bang Theory." Entitled "The Big Band Theory: Mystic Warlords of Ka'a," the game "brings the characters' favorite card game from the hit comedy to life in an all new digital collectible card game on Facebook," Warner Bros. states in its press materials. "Fans can play with characters from the series, as well as challenge their friends in the in-depth and accessible gameplay. The game features two play modes: 'Duel Mode,' a casual game providing quick and easy matches, and 'Battle Mode,' where players explore the more strategic elements of the card game, battling it out and challenging their friends. Players can also collect and trade rare cards with one another."
North America