Interactive TV News Round-Up (I): Azuki, Showtime, BBC iPlayer, Brainient

--Azuki Powers Showtime's New "TV Everywhere" Service for iPad
--Mobiles, Tablets, Connected TV's Drive "Huge Spike" in BBC iPlayer Usage
--Interactive Video Advertising Company, Brainient, Raises $1.8 Million, Plans to Open NY Office

Due to the large volume of news generated by last 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 more 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.

  • Multiscreen video delivery specialist, Azuki Systems, said Friday that Showtime Networks is using the Azuki Media Platform to power its new Showtime Anytime "TV Everywhere" service on the iPad (see the article published on itvt.com, January 10th). "The Azuki Media Platform enables Showtime to securely stream Showtime programming to subscribers on iPads and soon on iPhones," the company states in its press materials. "Azuki's complete solution across media preparation, content protection and packaging provides a highly scalable viewing experience for Showtime subscribers."
  • The BBC said Monday that the growing popularity of connected TV's, smartphoneshttp://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2012/iplayer.html and tablets helped the BBC iPlayer achieve record usage numbers in 2011--with 1.94 billion TV and radio program requests across all platforms. "Although computers are still the most popular platform for BBC iPlayer users, accounting for two-thirds of requests over 2011, the month of December saw a huge spike in usage through mobiles, tablets and connected TV's," the corporation states in its press materials. "In December alone, 7 million programs were requested on connected-TV sets, a year-on-year increase of over +1000%, while mobile phones and tablets recorded 13 million and 10 million requests--year-on-year increases of +163% and +596% respectively. This reflects both the growing penetration of Internet-connected devices in the market, and the near-universal availability of BBC iPlayer on those devices. This helped BBC iPlayer register a record-breaking 187 million monthly requests across all platforms in December alone, a +29% increase year-on-year. With the installs of mobile and tablet apps--many on new devices bought for Christmas--BBC iPlayer registered its best-ever week after Christmas (26th December-2nd January) with TV program requests at a weekly high of 29.7 million. The most popular day over this period was Monday 2nd January 2012 which saw a record 5.4 million TV program requests on one day, with 'Sherlock' the most-watched program with 623k--the most requests seen for any one program in one 24-hour period."
  • London-based interactive video advertising specialist, Brainient, said Monday that it has closed a $1.8 million funding round. The round was led by Prague-based Credo Ventures, and also saw the participation of Atlas Venture, Estag Capital and existing investors, Sherry Coutu and 500 Startups. "The capital will be used to expand the company's client services and technology teams, by expanding its offices in London and Bucharest and opening a new office in New York," the company states in its press materials. "Brainient's technology helps advertisers increase the engagement and performance of their video adverts through the company's two products: BrainRolls, an interactive video platform that enables advertisers to insert rich-media interactive elements into their video ads and BrainAds, the first and only personalized video retargeting platform in the world. The company has enjoyed exceptionally strong growth through 2011, with nearly 100 campaigns served over the year for customers like Samsung, Volvo, Canon, GetTheLabel and GlassesDirect. BrainRolls generated, on average, three to five times higher CTR's than non- interactive pre-rolls, and customers saw click-to-sale conversion rates of up to 10% with Brainient's personalized video retargeting platform, BrainAds."
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