Interactive TV News Round-Up (VI): TransGaming, Oberon Media, Unruly, Visiware

--TransGaming to Acquire Oberon Media's Interactive TV and Connected TV Division
--Social Video Advertising Specialist, Unruly, Raises $25 Million
--Visiware Expands Connected-TV Distribution of its Playin'TV Interactive TV Games Channel
--Visiware Launches New Interactive TV Games Channels on Numericable

Because of the volume of news already being generated by next week's 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and because the [itvt] editorial team has a backlog of news to cover following TVOT NYC Intensive 2011 and our post-event vacation, 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.

  • Multiplatform games company, TransGaming (note: the company recently announced that its GameTree TV on-demand entertainment platform for connected TV's had been downloaded by 250,000 users in the first six months since its commercial launch--see the article published on itvt.com, November 8th), announced Wednesday that it is acquiring the interactive TV and connected TV division of Oberon Media. "The acquisition, which is expected to close January 6th 2012, will bring TransGaming a new recurring multi-million dollar annual revenue stream generated through distribution agreements with a number of leading smart-TV manufacturers as well as an extensive network of cable, satellite and ITV service providers," TransGaming states in its press materials. "This network of service providers includes DISH Network and DirecTV in North America and Reliance Digital TV and AirTel Digital TV, through third-party distribution agreements in the Indo-Pacific region, giving TransGaming reach to over 50 million households resulting in one of the largest connected-TV distribution footprints in the world. The addition of Oberon Media's extensive games catalog adds over 100 video game titles to TransGaming's GameTree TV portfolio, giving it the most comprehensive content library available for smart TV. The Oberon Media licenses include some of the world's most successful and recognizable game franchises ranging from Tetris to a variety of iconic brands from Hasbro. The aggregate purchase price of the assets is approximately US $7.0 million, consisting of US $3.0 million on closing, US $2.0 million in earn-outs based on the achievement of revenue thresholds, and the issuance of 4 million shares of TransGaming.
  • Unruly, a London-based provider of technology for social video advertising, said Wednesday that it has secured $25 million in Series A funding from Amadeus Capital Partners, Van den Ende & Deitmers and Business Growth Fund. The company, which claims that the financing is the largest amount ever secured for a private company in the social video space, says that it will use it to accelerate its international growth. "With a revenue run-rate approaching $50 million (2011 full-year revenue $25 million) and profitable since 2009, Unruly has 100 staff across nine offices and is doubling in size each year," the company states in its press materials. "The company has delivered a number of high-profile social video campaigns for global brands, including Evian's 'Roller Babies,' T-Mobile's 'Life's for Sharing,' Coca Cola's 'Happiness Factory' series and Old Spice's 'Man Your Man Could Smell Like' campaign...Brands and agencies have quickly recognized the power of social video to make an emotional connection with their audience, influence consumers and ignite conversations. However, media fragmentation and device proliferation make it extremely difficult to do this at the scale they require. Unruly solves this problem by providing a truly global media and technology platform for social video advertising that reaches 725 million people across 74 countries...Since Unruly's inception in London in 2006, the company has delivered, tracked and audited 1.34 billion user-intended video views and executed 1,400+ successful social video campaigns for some of the world’s leading global brands, including Old Spice, Electronic Arts, Adidas, Unilever, T-Mobile and Coca-Cola...Unruly's proprietary technology, RAMP (Real-time Amplification and Measurement Platform), powers the entire social video campaign lifecycle and their Viral Video Chart is widely recognized as the Billboard Hot 100 of the Internet generation. Unruly is a whitelisted Facebook partner and its video ad charts are syndicated to major outlets, including Mashable, The Guardian, Adweek, Die Welt and the IAB."
  • Paris-based interactive TV games company, Visiware, announced last month that it is deploying its Playin'TV games channel on connected-TV platforms from Loewe, Sharp, Hitachi, Telefunken, Finlux, Elemis, ITT and Insignia (note: the channel has been available on Philips connected-TV sets since 2009). "Visiware's game catalog has 200 titles in several categories (card, arcade, puzzle, board games...) and includes licenses such as King Kong (Universal Studios) and Scrabble (Mattel), among others," the company states in its press materials. "Three games are currently available on smart-TV sets: 'Twin Match Ocean,' 'Solitaire Club' and 'Tactic Vitamin.' Available in French and Italian, the portal will soon be available in English, German and Spanish." Said Visiware's director of interactive TV, Frederic Fellague: "These new partnerships complete our worldwide distribution network which now includes over 40 partners. 2012 should mark the arrival of our content on Samsung, LG and Panasonic television sets."
  • In other Visiware news: The company has launched new interactive TV games channels that were developed in partnership with French pay-TV operator, Numericable (which has carried Playin'TV since 2008): Minikids TV (targeted at young children and priced at 3 Euros per month), 1 vs. 100 (adapted from the eponymous Endemol game show format and priced at 2.50 Euros per month), Deal or No Deal (also adapted from an Endemol game show format and priced at 2.50 Euros per month) and Sensual TV (adult content, priced at 3.50 Euros per month). More information on the new channels is available here.
Region: 
North America