Interactive TV News Round-Up (II): GetGlue, Google TV, OnLive, Hulu

--GetGlue Raises $12 Million, Reaches 2 Million Users, Updates iPhone App, GetGlue.com
--Google TV Integrates OnLive's Cloud Gaming Service
--Hulu Plus Now Has 1.5 Million Subs, Hulu to Invest Approximately $500 Million in Content This Year

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.

  • Social-TV check-in company, GetGlue, said Wednesday that it has closed a $12 million funding round, led by Rho Ventures and including the participation of existing investors, Time Warner, RRE Ventures and Union Square Ventures. Rho Ventures managing partner, Habib Kairouz, will now join GetGlue's board. The company previously raised $6 million in November, 2010. "This financing follows a year of strong growth for GetGlue," the company states in its press materials. "In 2011 GetGlue reached the 2 million user milestone. Check-ins grew 1,000% and crossed 100 million for the year. GetGlue's database now contains over 350 million check-ins, ratings, and reviews...75 major television networks are using GetGlue's marketing dashboard to reach and reward fans of 680 popular shows. Top broadcast networks--ABC, CW, FOX, and NBC, as well as top cable networks including A&E, ABC Family, AMC, BRAVO, CNN, Discovery, Food Network, FX, HBO, MTV, Showtime, TNT, and USA--are managing their shows on GetGlue, rewarding fans, and monitoring analytics. In addition, over 30 major media companies have embedded GetGlue's check-in platform into their apps and Web sites. Notably DirecTV is now using GetGlue to power check-ins and their social television guide on the first screen. GetGlue has also announced a significant update of their flagship iPhone app and GetGlue.com Web site. The updates include a visual stream of check-ins, the ability to participate in multiple conversations, and a personalized recommendation feature called Guides. The new conversation screen is particularly interesting. GetGlue has developed a real-time filtering technology to reduce noise and help fans enjoy chatting with each other as they watch TV. The screen includes the ability to switch between recent conversations and makes it easy to spend an evening chatting with friends and fans on the second screen. GetGlue's product road map for 2012 includes innovations around personalization, rich media content, and the ability for networks to further customize their presence on the service. In addition, GetGlue will invest in their platform and help facilitate embedding check-ins into more third-party applications and Web sites."
  • Cloud-gaming company, OnLive, said Wednesday that Google has integrated its service as a standard feature of its Google TV platform on devices from all Google TV manufacturers. "OnLive brings to Google TV users instant on-demand gameplay from a rapidly growing library of the latest high-performance console-class titles, as well exclusive social features such as worldwide massive spectating and Brag Clip videos with full group voice and text chat," the company states in its press materials. "The OnLive Viewer, enabling OnLive social features, is available immediately on all Google TV devices currently in the market and is compatible with standard Google TV remote controls as well as the OnLive Wireless Controller and standard USB game controllers. Full OnLive gameplay is coming soon to all current and future Google TV devices, including TV's, Blu-ray players and Media Streamers, making Google TV the first integrated TV platform with console-class gameplay capability, and bringing OnLive capability to most major TV manufacturers. OnLive instant on-demand gameplay of about 200 console-quality titles, including top-tier recent releases, such as 'Saint's Row: The Third' and 'Assassin's Creed: Revelations,' is being demonstrated on the Vizio VAP430 Stream Player with OnLive's Wireless Controller in Las Vegas during the CES show this week. Simultaneously, OnLive is demonstrating soon-to-be-released full OnLive gameplay capability on current Google TV devices. Over 50 game publishers, including virtually every top console publisher, is supporting the OnLive game platform." (Note: more information on the OnLive-Google TV partnership can be found in a posting by OnLive founder and CEO, Steve Perlman, on the Google TV blog.)
  • In a posting on the company's blog, Thursday, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar provided an update on the company's growth during 2011 and provided some information on the company's plans for investing in content in 2012: "1) We grew the business 60% from 2010 to approximately $420 million in revenue," he wrote. "We exceeded our plan despite the soft advertising market (economy) in the second half of 2011. Overall the Hulu ad business grew aggressively and Hulu Plus materially exceeded our plan. 2) Hulu Plus now has more than 1.5 million paying subscribers and this number continues to grow extremely fast. Hulu Plus has reached 1.5 million paid subscribers faster than any video subscription service launch (online or offline) in US history. We are attracting more than 2x the number of subscribers each day when compared to this time last year...We expect our subscription services to account for more than half of Hulu's overall business later this year. 3) In 2011, we dramatically expanded the content available to Hulu and Hulu Plus customers. Hulu's content offering grew approximately 40% vs. 2010; Hulu Plus' content offering grew more than 105%. Hulu Plus is the only online video subscription service that offers current season content from 5 of the 6 largest US broadcast networks, with shows from The CW and Univision added this past quarter...4) In 2011, we invested heavily in the development of apps that empower users to access Hulu Plus from a wide variety of devices. Hulu Plus is now accessible on leading consumer electronics devices and mobile operating systems with a combined installed base of over 200 million. Some of the new devices we developed custom applications for include: Microsoft Xbox 360, Amazon's Kindle Fire, Barnes and Noble's Nook Tablet, select Android smartphones, LG, Panasonic and Vizio TV's and Blu-ray players, and many more. 5) The innovative Hulu advertising service continues to lead the online video advertising market, with the largest market share of a rapidly expanding market. We have now served over 1,000 brand advertisers in our company's short history...We have been focused on building a strong foundation that empowers the Hulu team to best serve customers (users, advertisers, and content owners). As just one example, our dual-revenue-stream Hulu Plus business model enables us to compensate content owners much more than anyone else in the online subscription market on a per-subscriber basis. At scale, our model allows us to profitably pay content owners approximately 50% more in content licensing fees per subscriber when compared to other similarly priced online subscription services. We believe our approach will enable us to secure more valuable content for our users and to secure content in more attractive windows than would otherwise be possible. To that end, we are excited to invest approximately half a billion in content in 2012 on behalf of our users."
     
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