Thursday, September 27, 2012

Long anticipated zeebox second screen app launches

zeebox announced their US launch today, starting with a partnerships that include NBCUniversal, Comcast Cable (Xfinity), HBO and Cinemax. For those who haven't had a chance to see the app while in the UK, it is certainly worth downloading. They are promising enhanced experiences for The Voice and Notre Dame Football on NBCU and for True Blood and Boardwalk Empire on HBO. They are additionally touting feature sets that include a 7-day program guide (for Discovery), live synchronization with their now famous zeetags (which enable contextual commerce and the look-up of Stimulating content related info), and of course Social integration with Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A quick wrap-up of the 2nd Screen Society panel at the Next | TV Summit

Last Thursday (20 Sept), I had the opportunity to spend the day at the Next | TV Summit @ the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.  While the day was interesting all around (a lot of TV Everywhere, digital video growth, etc), I found the second screen panel perhaps the most interesting and engaging of the day (no surprise here).

Guy Finley, the executive director of the 2nd Screen Society, moderated the panel which consisted of Stephen Brooks from Magic Ruby, Stacy Jolna from ConnecTV, Ed Haslam from YuMe, Alex Rowland from Alphabird, Julien Signes from Envivio, and Chris Wyatt from YouToo.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Quick wrap-up of the 2nd Screen Society Panel at the Multiscreen Summit

I had the pleasure of attending a great panel this afternoon on the monetization and consumer engagement of second screen with a strong cast of industry players at the Multiscreen Summit here in Hollywood.

Guy Finley, the executive director of the 2nd Screen Society, moderated the panel which consisted of Babba Uppal from Endemol, Tom Engdahl of Magic Ruby, Matt Kennedy of 1K Studios, Zane Vella of WatchWith, Marjorie DeHey of MEF and James Hursthouse of Roadhouse Interactive.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A wrap-up of the 2nd Screen Summit in Amsterdam (#S3AMS)

If you weren’t fortunate enough to attend our 2nd Screen Summit at IBC on Saturday, you really missed a special gathering (see the Twitter feed).  The afternoon was punctuated by some great presentations (“The Future of TV” by Alan Wolk of Kit Digital, “Synchronisation and Media Interaction with Your Consumer” by Alex Terpstra of Civolution), a strong review of the current 2nd screen market data by Renaud Fuchs of Ericsson, and two great panels on monetization (featuring Joe Inzerillo of MLB) and consumer engagement (highlighted by Anthony Rose of zeebox).  We even hosted cocktails during the event and a sizable dinner after the event to take advantage of everyone’s creative juices.  For those of you that were registered attendants or are 2nd Screen Society members or advisors, you can find the presentations and audio downloads here.  For everyone else, here were the key take-aways for me from the summit and for second screen at IBC:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My review of NextGuide by Dijit - A Personalized Video Guide

The long anticipated wait is over.  When CEO and co-founder of Dijit Jeremy Toeman (@jtoeman) told me in May that he wanted to launch a new 2nd screen app focused on consumer search, recommendation and discovery, I had some pretty high expectations.  The concept of Discovery has been something I have written about in this blog a number of times, and by every account to date, it is something that is hard to deliver on because it is part approach/sophisticated algorithm integration and part UI/UX (user interface / user experience).  There are a few decent apps in this space already (BuddyTV, Matcha, Fanhattan), and they all have different strengths and weaknesses, but NextGuide has made a strong entrance into the marketplace in its 1.0 release on iOS for the iPad.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Second Screen by the Numbers for Summer, 2012

Second screen continues to explode as a segment of the digital living room.  While the 2012 Summer Olympics certainly stole the show by becoming the "first Social Olympics" in every aspect, there has been much progress across the board to keep everyone's enthusiasm in the space buoyant:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Second Screen Hype Cycle

I was reading an article recently from an industry “evangelist” describing the second screen phenomena as very “nascent technology”, that the odds of you discovering that something is on television that you didn’t pre-record or already know about is low, that the majority of consumers will continue to want to channel surf to watch the lion’s share of their content and that the “remote is not going anywhere anytime soon”.

Not a middle of the road stance.

I thought long and hard about that article.  Part of the problem being described is a classic market adoption challenge known as “crossing the chasm”.  Fair enough--people’s behaviors take time to change as we are all creatures of habit.  But as I read and re-read the article, I started looking at the individual feature comments and thought in terms of the feature sets we have used to describe second screen (Simple, Social, Seamless, Stimulating, Discovery).

And then I re-read the most recent Gartner report called the “Hype Cycle for Broadcast and Entertainment - 2012.”

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Digital Video by the Numbers for Summer, 2012

With the summer now officially over, the digital video space continues to march forward.  I am sure much of this will be discussed at the UltraViolet workshop in London tomorrow (Wednesday, September 5th, 2012) at the PARK PLAZA WESTMINSTER BRIDGE.  Below is some empirical evidence of the progress:

How available (really) are top TV shows in the digital video world?

As the UltraViolet academy in London approaches to wake us out of our summer slumber and send us on to IBC, I sat discussing the onward march of digital video in today's Top 20 ratings-driven world with some neighbors around the end of summer BBQs.  There was a general view that most TV shows were available (in the US) on either HuluPlus or Netflix.  While there was some discussion about network specific sites like, HBO-GO and (CBS' site) and some general understanding that there was content missing from HuluPlus and Netflix, most people felt like anything they were missing was probably available to purchase as a catch-up one-off show from iTunes or Vudu.

As I pondered this seemingly simple challenge, I though back to the end of May when I wrote a blog about the current state of digital title availability in the various service offerings (rental, sell-thru, subscription) and retailers (iTunes, Vudu, Netflix) and compared them to each other and to their physical counterparts.  So, with the help of some colleagues, I set out to get to the bottom of the details.