Interactive TV News Round-Up (III): easeltv, Virgin Media, TiVo, Microsoft Xbox 360, Nielsen

Microsoft "The New Xbox TV Experience: Entertainment on Your Terms" Promo Video

--easeltv Tapped to Expand Apps Library for Virgin Media's TiVo-Powered Hybrid-TV Service
--Microsoft Significantly Expands its TV Offering for Xbox 360
--Nielsen/NM Incite Study Finds Correlation between Social Media "Buzz" and TV Ratings

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.

  • Connected-TV apps developer, easeltv, says that it has extended its partnership with Virgin Media that sees it developing apps for the latter's TiVo-powered hybrid-TV service. "easeltv has already developed a core framework application which Virgin Media has adapted to create apps to promote the launch of the latest 'Harry Potter' movie, Virgin Media Shorts and V Festival," the company states in its press materials. "These apps exploit high-quality video coupled with rich online content to give customers a unique and seamless playback experience that is closer to a linear broadcast channel than a Web site in both form and function. easeltv will also be working on further apps for Virgin Media's TiVo-powered platform." Said easeltv chief operating and commercial officer, Bill Scott: "Our relationship with both TiVo and Virgin Media is helping us develop engaging apps for Virgin Media customers, using video as a key feature to provide rich interactive content, and giving the user an on-demand experience that feels like a personalized broadcast channel."
  • As has been widely reported, Microsoft on Wednesday unveiled a revamped TV offering for its Xbox 360 games console and its Xbox Live entertainment service, which sees it partnering with nearly 40 content providers and pay-TV operators (including Comcast and Verizon FiOS TV in the US): 1) Microsoft's overview press release announcing the new Xbox Live TV offering, and listing its operator and programmer partners, can be viewed here. 2) Microsoft's and Verizon's press release announcing that Verizon FiOS TV customers will be able to access a selection of live TV channels on the Xbox 360 can be viewed here. 3) Comcast CTO Tony Werner's blog posting announcing that the MSO's customers will be able to access its Xfinity On Demand service on the Xbox 360 can be viewed here. 4) A Microsoft blog posting announcing that Xbox 360 customers will soon be able to control their device using a new free Xbox Companion App for Windows Phone can be viewed here. 5) An article by New Media Age's Jessica Davies which claims that Microsoft is in advanced talks with UK commercial terrestrial broadcaster, ITV, to launch the latter's ITV Player catch-up service on Xbox Live can be viewed here. And 6) an article by Digiday's Mike Shields which explores the implications for the interactive TV advertising space of Microsoft's reinvention of the Xbox 360 as a television platform (see the article on Microsoft's "NuAds" interactive TV advertising format that was published on, June 21st) can be viewed here. A demo video showcasing Microsoft's revamped TV offering for the Xbox 360 is embedded above.
  • Nielsen recently teamed with Nielsen/McKinsey company, NM Incite, on a study that "looked at the correlation between online buzz and television ratings and found a statistically significant relationship throughout a TV show's season among all age groups, with the strongest correlation among younger demos (people ages 12-17 and 18-34), and a slightly stronger overall correlation for women compared to men," Nielsen announced on its blog Thursday. "Men over 50 showed the weakest buzz-to-ratings connection leading up to a show's premiere through the middle of the season, but that relationship strengthened by the finale as all age groups were actively discussing a TV show via social media," Nielsen's blog post continues. "Among people aged 18-34, the most active social networkers, social media buzz is most closely aligned with TV ratings for the premiere of a show. A few weeks prior to a show's premiere, a nine percent increase in buzz volume correlates to a one percent increase in ratings among this group. As the middle of the season approaches and then the finale, the correlation is slightly weaker, but still significant, with a 14 percent increase in buzz corresponding to a one percent increase in ratings. At the genre level, 18-34 year-old females showed significant buzz-to-ratings relationships for reality programs (competition and non-competition), comedies and dramas, while men of the same age saw strong correlations for competition realities and dramas." More information on the study and its methodology can be viewed here.

North America