Interactive TV News Round-Up (V): Shazam, Super Bowl, Synacor, WOW!, Syncbak

--Shazam to Bring ACR-Powered Interactivity to Super Bowl Ad Campaigns
--Synacor Expands "TV Everywhere" Partnership with WOW!
--Syncbak Launches Mobile Apps for Internet TV
--Syncbak in Distribution Deals with KTSF, MHz Networks

Due to the large volume of news being generated by this week's 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format. We anticipate that it will take us several days to process all the news from the show: 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.

  • Audio-based automatic content recognition (ACR) specialist, Shazam (note: the London-based company is best known for offering a mobile application that consumers can use to identify music, as well as unlock supplemental content associated with TV shows--a process it calls "tagging"), announced earlier this week that its Shazam for TV app will support several ad campaigns during the upcoming Super Bowl (note: the company is not revealing which brands' campaigns will be using the technology). "Viewers who have Shazam installed on their smartphones will be able to use the app during The Big Game to enter sweepstakes for major prizes, get additional information about a brand or product, view additional special content, download free music and more," the company states in its press materials. "Since launching Shazam for TV with a Dockers campaign in 2010, Shazam has continued to expand its offering, working with global brands such as Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Pillsbury, Bud Light and Sony Pictures. To date, Shazam has delivered multiple custom interactive campaigns for partners ranging from global A-List brands to TV shows and one-off events like the Disney Christmas Day Parade on ABC...Advertisers integrate Shazam for TV to extend their commercials to the second screen, creating a custom follow-on experience to achieve their goals and engage viewers. For example, when people use Shazam to tag a 30-second spot, they can unlock additional content or shop from their couch. And, since it is saved in their 'my tags' list for later, it is automatically 'bookmarked' to view anytime and anywhere." In other Shazam news: The company has announced that a new Shazam Player app for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch is now available in the Apple App Store. "Shazam Player, the first new app from the company since the introduction of the original Shazam App, is a unique music player that includes the Shazam discovery features that people love such as LyricPlay streaming lyrics in time with the music, videos on YouTube and social sharing on Facebook and Twitter," the company states in its press materials. "Shazam Player includes features that let you: 1) Bring your music to life with streaming lyrics, so you'll always have the words to your favorite songs with you. 2) Share the soundtrack of your day on Facebook and Twitter. 3) Watch YouTube videos and concert clips of the artists you love. 4) Keep up with concert dates of the artists you want to see perform live."
  • Synacor has announced that it has expanded its agreement with competitive triple-play provider, WOW!, to offer "TV Everywhere" services to customers in Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. "Synacor will provide authentication for WOW!'s HBO Go service, giving WOW!'s HBO subscribers free, unlimited access to HBO content at any time, wherever they are," the company states in its press materials. "Synacor's white-label TV Everywhere solution includes video aggregation, mediation, and single sign-on authentication, comprising backoffice integrations with cable operators' rights, I.D., and billing systems. Synacor's exhaustive metadata allows consumers quick and seamless access to content that's most relevant to them, ensuring an easy and enjoyable search and discovery experience." Said Synacor CEO, Ron Frankel: "We greatly admire WOW! and are delighted WOW! has expanded its relationship with Synacor. As TV Everywhere demand escalates, Synacor continues its 'TV Everywhere for Everyone' campaign to hasten TVE adoption and assist cable operators in increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty among their subscribers, while also increasing ARPU. WOW!'s continued work with Synacor ensures their subscribers will get the services they demand whenever and wherever they want."
  • Internet TV company, Syncbak, has launched mobile apps for iOS and Android. The apps "are part of the company's Internet broadcast platform, a technology debuted in early 2011," the company states in its press materials. "Syncbak's platform enables broadcasters to stream live content to mobile devices and connected TV's. 50 stations in 35 markets have installed Syncbak’s technology and are ready to go over-the-top on mobile phones and tablets...The first limited release of the platform is scheduled for this month in Spokane, Washington where KAYU, KXLY, and KHQ have been piloting the technology...Syncbak's Internet broadcast platform dynamically manages content rights and distribution in the cloud using proprietary technology installed in partner television stations. Broadcasters on the platform can immediately stream the content they own or negotiate the rights to on Apple and Android smart phones and tablets and can go OTT on smart TV's. There is no equipment cost and going mobile immediately is free. The platform offers multiple levels of viewer authentication with the highest being absolute in real time...The Consumer Electronics Association, National Association of Broadcasters, several former NBC senior executives and a number of broadcast groups are investors in Syncbak. The company's Internet broadcast platform eliminates the barriers to distributing live TV directly to viewers via the Internet by protecting TV rights at the local, regional and national levels. The Syncbak platform supports both iOS and Android mobile devices and talks are underway with manufacturers of connected-TV and gaming platforms."
  • In other Syncbak news: The company announced national distribution deals with San Francisco-based KTSF and Washington, DC-based MHz Networks, Thursday, that will see the two broadcasters distributing live content OTT and to mobile phones on its platform. "MHz is expanding its affiliate relationships in every market for 10 of its channels including MHz Worldview, the nation's most complete aggregation of live international news," Syncbak states in its press materials. "KTSF will be launching its international programming suite using the Syncbak platform for national distribution on all devices."
North America