Interactive TV News Round-Up (I): ActiveVideo, Rogers Communications, Akoo, Audible Magic, TMS

--Report: ActiveVideo CTO, John Callahan, Stepping Down for New Role at Rogers Communications
--Shopping-Mall Interactive TV Company, Akoo, Awarded Japanese Patent
--ACR Specialist, Audible Magic, Partners with Metadata Specialist, Tribune Media Services

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on The TV of Tomorrow Show 2012, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format.

  • Cable-technology veteran, John Callahan, is stepping down as CTO of cloud-based interactive TV specialist, ActiveVideo Networks, to join Canadian cable operator, Rogers Communications, Light Reading Cable's Jeff Baumgartner reported Thursday. While his title and start date are "not immediately known," Baumgartner wrote, he will apparently be helping Rogers with its migration to IP video.
  • Akoo International, a company that specializes in offering interactive and social TV in shopping malls, contacted [itvt] earlier this week to let us know that it has been awarded a patent (4892481) by the Japan Patent Office. "The patent was granted for the company's interactive technology, which enables smartphone and tablet users to search and select on-demand television and video content via mobile app or text messaging," the company states in its press materials. "To date, Akoo has been awarded patents for its technology in eight major global markets, including the world's three largest advertising markets, the US, China, and Japan...Akoo TV provides entertainment programming across 166 premier shopping malls in 60 top US markets. The network's programming is featured throughout the most highly trafficked seating areas in each mall--branded the 'Akoo Pavilions'--which attract more than 64 million shoppers each month. Viewers in Akoo Pavilions spend an average 20 minutes per visit seated in front of the network's programming and advertising, Nielsen research certifies. Akoo TV uniquely enables viewers to make on-demand content requests with their mobile devices, via free mobile app or text messaging. Viewers in Akoo Pavilions can also connect with friends via Facebook and Twitter, download mobile coupons, and participate in exclusive promotions. An on-demand transaction occurs on the network every four seconds."
  • Automatic content recognition (ACR) specialist, Audible Magic, and entertainment metadata provider, Tribune Media Services (TMS), have announced a partnership. "Audible Magic will use best-in-class TMS metadata in its new Live TViD automated content recognition service," the companies state in their press materials. "The service identifies live TV content using audio signals and synchronizes in real time with TMS metadata to connect consumer mobile devices with programming on live TV. As a result, Audible Magic customers in the connected home entertainment market will be able to offer powerful and engaging social-TV experiences to their end-users. Audible Magic technology is used by companies in consumer-facing applications designed to serve as 'second-screen' companions for TV watchers. These apps which enable social activities to synchronize with linear-TV viewing significantly enhance the entertainment experience for end-users. Examples of synched activities include checking in to TV shows as they're airing, playing games or voting in polls related to on-screen content and participating in virtual viewing parties with Facebook friends during live events. By using the most accurate, comprehensive and connected entertainment data from TMS, Audible Magic is able to offer the best possible products to application developers ranging from start-ups to incumbents. The key to coordination of this information is the TMS Unique ID, the industry standard for synchronizing entertainment assets. New entries into the marketplace benefit from ready availability of an integrated solution allowing them to start building a customer base right away. Incumbent developers benefit through the opportunity to deepen loyalty among existing users by offering more engaging second-screen experiences."
North America