Week In Review: Invidi Gets DirecTV Deal; Timeshifting Gains; Addressable TV’s Perils And Promises

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April 25, 2011 – 12:56 am

DirecTV and INVIDIHere's today's TVexchanger.com news round-up... Want it by email? Sign-up here.

Invidi Closes Big Investment With DirecTV Deal

Addressable TV pioneer Invidi Technologies closed a huge $49 million round with a last minute addition of existing partner DirecTV to its roster of investors. With this round, Invidi’s fourth, it has raised a total of $111.5 million since opening its doors in 2000, reported Multichannel News’ Todd Spangler. Invidi has attracted an all-star list of major media companies as investors over the years, including Google, WPP's GroupM, Motorola Ventures, NBC Universal and Verizon. The investment is a further vote of confidence in the ability of addressable TV finally making good on the promise to deliver the kinds of ROI that marketers have tended to expect from online advertising, noted paidContent’s David Kaplan. In conjunction with the big cash infusion, Invidi’s Advatar software will be rolled out over the course of this inside all DirecTV DVR digital set-top boxes. Some times it does pay to be first.

Cloud Code

Cloud-based video data company Encoding.com has raised a $2 million. Among the investors was Dave Morgan, CEO of targeted TV and promotions startup Simulmedia. There’s been a lot of interest lately in Encoding’s new feature called “Instant Encoding” that could reduce the time it takes to encode by as much as 100 percent, the company claims. But NewTeeVee’s Ryan Lawler says Encoding’s previous product, vid.ly, still in beta, could be the bigger game changer. That service will automatically serve the correct formatted video to whatever device tries to view it.

Timeshifting Gains

As the 2011 TV Upfront season approaches next month, Nielsen has taken a look at some emerging trends in the digital video space. Among the noteworthy stats advertisers and agencies will be considering this year is that timeshifting continues to gain penetration, with 38 percent of all TV households in the U.S. have a DVR. In Q4 2010, the heaviest timeshifters were adults 35-49, watching 3 hours 8 minutes of timeshifted TV a week. Teens ranging from age 12-17 watch the least amount of timeshifted TV per week, just 1 hour 31 minutes and the adults age 18-24 are close behind, watching 1 hour 32 minutes of timeshifted TV per week. Download the Nielsen report (PDF).

Apple Of Your TV

Entrepreneur and angel investor Chris Dixon writes on his personal blog about how Apple will penetrate the TV industry beyond its standalone Apple TV device. He notes that Apple CEO Steve Jobs has said that it won't be by adding another set-top box. Dixon offers three other possiblities: "1) integrating into set top boxes, 2) integrating into other TVs, or 3) Apple creating its own TV." Read it.

Cisco Taps Bright House

Just because Cisco surprised nearly everyone with its abandonment of the Flip Cam, the network systems provider is not retreating from the video distribution space. Let’s face it, in a world where smartphones are getting smarter about video, it makes sense for Cisco to concentrate its resources where it can be more effective. Cisco has has convinced cable company Bright House Networks to use its technology to provide it with the increased bandwidth that will allow it to expand its VOD offerings. Read more.

Addressable TV’s Perils And Promises

If you’re inclined to think that the current climate around behavioral ad targeting is hyperbolically driven by fears of privacy and anxious regulators, wait until addressable TV starts to enter the mainstream. Ron Luebbert, president of media planner Ocean Media warns that over-eager advertisers looking to targeted TV as the ultimate Holy Grail of marketing ROI could get into trouble if they don’t consider the pace of convergence among devices (TV, PC, smartphone) and what the lines of privacy are that businesses should and not cross.

The Trials Of Convergence

Speaking of trials of convergence, broadcasters' mobile TV efforts are expected to be in 32 markets by the end of 2011, reports Mediapost’s Wayne Friedman.  That would include roughly half of all U.S. television homes. With big local names like EW Scripps, Belo, Hearst, Meredith, Gannett involved in the effort, the Mobile Content Venture, as the broadcaster-backed initiative is known, should be able to make good on its promise. However, it has to be said that other large alliances, like the MSO-backed Canoe Ventures and the network/agency/marketer collective CIMM, began with vows to give targeted TV a faster boost. And then reality set in.

Connected And Targeted

The mainstreaming of the “digital home” could hold some promise for the value of targeted ads. It could at least address some of the problems that underlie the aversion to targeted ads. Yes, privacy is a big part of it. But make the ads more relevant and more entertaining, and marketers might – stress: might! – make TV targeting more palatable. Furthermore, tying targeted TV ads to online targeting could also deliver greater cost effectiveness and ROI. Trevor Vagg, director at WPP’s Kantar Media, has looked at the development of the connected TV and finds that greater HDTV penetration paving the way to the connected home. And though the study he examines doesn’t say it, the introduction of connected TVs to more consumers  is bound to be good for targeted TV. Read more.

Cox Brings In New Technology Chief

Ex-Clearwire chief information officer Kevin Hart has been named executive vice president and chief technology officer of Cox Communications. Hart’s job: develop a strategy for the local media company’s integrated technology platform. Read the release.


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April 25, 2011 – 12:56 am

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