Interactive TV News Round-Up (III): Charter, FourthWall Media, Coincident

--Charter to Deploy FourthWall Media's EBIF-Based Interactive TV Advertising Solution
--Coincident Launches Tool for Authoring Interactive Video Experiences, Second-Screen Apps
--Coincident Launches Analytics Product, Publishes White Paper on Efficacy of Companion-App Content

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. Due to the volume of news being generated by the NAB Show this week, we anticipate that it will take us several days to catch up: 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.

  • Charter Communications and its advertising sales arm, Charter Media, announced last week that Charter Communications will deploy FourthWall Media's Ad Widgets interactive TV solutions to around 800,000 digital subscribers in five markets. According to the MSO, the deployment will initially support interactive advertising, but will also "lay...the groundwork" for additional ITV services. "Ad Widgets is an end-to-end interactive TV advertising solution built on CableLabs' EBIF and SaFI standards, tailored to Charter's advertising sales management infrastructure," Charter and FourthWall state in their press materials. "Once deployed, Charter Media advertisers can deliver relevant, engaging commercials to the consumer, based on demographics or geography...Charter Media's core set of advanced and interactive capabilities includes: 1) Addressable Versioning: Enables Charter's advertisers to deliver different variations of commercial overlays to their specific customer segments during the same interactive spot on the same network. 2) Billboards: Provides advertisers with non-interactive overlays. When combined with Addressable Versioning, advertisers are able to deliver different variations of non-interactive overlays to their specific customer segments during the same commercial spot on the same network. 3) Telescoping: Provides an on-screen overlay that gives viewers the ability to use their remote to select and navigate to VOD to learn more about a product. 4) Request for Information: Adding a Request-For-Information (RFI) option enables advertisers to have an extended brand experience with a consumer who can request a special offer via mail, email, immediate phone call or mobile text message from an advertiser. 5) Polling and Trivia: Makes it possible for viewers to express their opinions or answer trivia questions." Said Charter Media president, Jim Heneghan: "Interactive TV has proven to be an effective solution for advertisers and a good experience for customers. It connects businesses with viewers in real time on their television." (Note: FourthWall Media has just raised $5.07 million. CityBizList Dallas's Brian Wolak has more.)
  • Interactive video technology provider, Coincident, has launched Coincident Create, an interactive video authoring tool that it claims enables content owners and distributors, as well as their partners and vendors, to easily create interactive video experiences without relying on Flash or professional programmers. The tool can also be used to build second-screen companion apps for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, the company says, because it fully integrates with ScreenSync TV, the second-screen solution that Coincident launched earlier this year (see the article published on itvt.com, January 10th). "An important addition to Coincident's interactive video platform, Coincident Create is an easy-to-use tool, featuring a drag-and-drop interface that requires no special programming or coding expertise," the company states in its press materials. "The tool presents authors with a wide range of new, creative opportunities to enhance the online video playback experience, including the ability to: 1) Place annotations or buttons in the video player that allow viewers to jump to another point in the video or change to another video. 2) Create overlay or adjacent buttons that allow a viewer to display Web content in the same Web page without interrupting the video playback. 3) Script the video playback experience, attaching events and actions to key points during video playback--including the ability to skip a section, loop, jump ahead or back, or jump to a point in another video...Coincident's recently announced ScreenSync TV technology was chosen as the 'Best New Idea Most Likely to Succeed' in the cable market as part of an informal polling conducted at CableLabs' Winter Conference in March...During the NAB Show in a private suite at the Wynn, Coincident will be showing the second-screen app experience via ScreenSync TV, and then demonstrating how it was made using Coincident Create...Coincident Create 'Beta-1' is now available for free download at www.coincident.tv/create. A version that allows for the creation of second-screen apps will be released in the coming months."
  • In other Coincident news: 1) The company has launched Coincident Measure, an analytics product that it says reports audience behavioral metrics based on viewer data gleaned from its technology platform. It has also released a white paper, entitled "From Analytics to Intelligence: How Dynamic Companion App Content Is Amplifying the Relationship between Audiences and Brands." According to the company, the white paper proves that viewers watch video for a longer period of time, consume more of it, interact with ads more deeply, and are more likely to engage in commerce, when presented with contextual links to companion content. "Based on its patent-pending, iTVML mark-up language, Coincident's platform allows MSO's, TV programmers and advertisers to link any frame of any video to any other frame, Web object or mobile app," the company states in its press materials. "Now, Coincident Measure leverages this technology to allow partners to collect and analyze targeted data that goes much deeper than just the impressions or clicks that are used by most of the industry. Coincident Measure tracks actions taken, sentiments expressed, items shared and the overall behavioral patterns of target audiences, allowing brands to fine-tune interactive video experiences. With partners ranging from all four top broadcast networks to top-tier advertisers, Coincident served more than 40 million event-driven companion apps to 17 million unique viewers last year, all the while collecting a broad swath of data that articulates right down to the video frame. Coincident analyzed this data using Coincident Measure and compiled the results into a white paper which can be downloaded from the Coincident Web site. Some of the key findings include: a) Offering contextual content increases time spent viewing--33% more viewers watch complete episodes when they are interactive vs. non-interactive. b) Viewers are eight times more likely to make in-video song purchases when presented with an interactive purchase overlay vs. static purchase button. c) Viewers spend 26% more time on a brand's Web page when directed there by an in-video social overlay vs. an average viewer of the same page. d) Advertisers were able to achieve a 50x increase in leads generated for a product when leveraging an interactive video campaign vs. a static video campaign." 2) The company has formed a partnership with Cisco that will enable the latter's Videoscape platform to deliver broadcast-synchronized interactive TV apps to the second screen. Light Reading Cable's Jeff Baumgartner has more.


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