TVTag (GetGlue) is no more

tvtag

Earlier this year GetGlue rebranded into tvtag trying to create a fresh start for the social TV checking service after is was sold to i.TV. Too little too late it seems since the service is shutting down. Users can request a copy of their data by sending an email to [email protected].

It is unclear if and how this will effect i.TV as a company and if certain features from tvtag are being included in their TV Guide app. The Android app has not been updated since April 2013 and the website of the company does not appear to have been updated recently. Time will tell.

Miso is shutting down

Miso

One of the pioneers of the social tv segment is shutting down its services. Miso was acquired in February 2013 bij NextGuide.TV maker Dijit. At the time a lot was happening in the space of social tv with GetGlue, now tvtag, almost getting bought by Viggle, the hype around second screen and rumours of Twitter moving into the tv space in some way.

With the closing of Miso, tvtag (owned by i.TV) seems to be the only serious alternative for people who really want to check-in what they are watching and share this with friends. The latter feature is still used but these days but tvtag sees itself now as an aggregator of user content around tv shows and a curator of tv content.

Miso users can transfer their points to Viggle, the current owner of Dijit,although this will only work for US users as Viggle is not available in other countries.

TV app Vidora is moving into the right direction of the new TV experience

Vidora

Forget the Smart TV, even forget the set-top box, the future of TV is mobile. Previously dubbed the second screen, your mobile device is actually the primary screen. Or at least it should be. It is yours, it is personal, it is connected and it contains already a lot of personal data. So the easiest way to find and select streaming content and share and discuss this with others would be via your tablet or smartphone. The only thing that one could need is another device for is actually watching the content. A mobile device might just have too small a screen or too bad a sound quality to fully experience the broadcast. But if the stream could be pushed to a bigger screen, that problem would be solved too. So why is there no such app. Well, actually there is (more or less). Meet Vidora.

Vidora is an iPad app that helps to discover video content (free and premium like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime) and allows you to push it to a TV screen using the Apple TV Airplay.

Truth be told, Vidora still needs Apple TV and it does not work (yet) for other devices but on the other hand with Miracast and Chromecast on the market now there are some alternative technologies.

Twitter acquired Social TV analytics start-up Trendrr

Twitter TV

As it has been mentioned here a few times before, Twitter is a very prominent social platform to discuss TV. Or more specific, live television, meaning traditionally scheduled broadcast. People still like to watch a program at the same time and they do like to talk about it. This conversation happens for a big part on Twitter and Twitter knows this. Since TV is still very important for advertisers, Twitter is very interested in finding ways to capitalise on this. And so is Facebook.

Over the past year or so,  Twitter has been building a TV department by appointing a special tv head of tv (Fred Graver) and taking over several companies (like Blufin Labs). Just the other day, one of the products that came out of this department was the TV Trend box. In the battle with Facebook to become the ultimate TV platform Twitter and Trendrr today announced that Trendrr will be acquired.

Trendrr is an analytics company specialised in tracking and analysing real-time conversations about TV shows. They announced the acquisition themselves on their blog. A purchase price was not disclosed.

Showing content from NBC and Viacom, a new move into the world of TV for Twitter?

Twitter NBC

This morning, Bloomberg reported that Twitter is close to a partnership with both Viacom and NBC. The idea would be to include high quality video from these broadcasters into the twitter stream. To some people this might make sense. Twitter is experimenting with video through its service Vine, they appointed Fred Graver Head of TV and took over Bluefin. However, a deal with NBC, Viacom or any other production or broadcast company would not work in that way I think. Current formats are not fit for inclusion. It is for a reason that Vine offers 6 second clips. No-one is going to watch a full episode of a series using Twitter. Sure, they can create 6 second trailers and promos, but there is no need for a partnership to do so and I don’t think it makes sense to add promoted content around  such a video. That is like an around an ad.

If there is going to be deal between these company, I would suggest it would work the other way. Twitter is the main channel for conversation about TV shows. If Viacom and NBC want to profit from that, they need to find a way to make it very easy to do so around their content. Because that is what people want and that is what people do already. Trying to move people to Twitter and watch a show there would not make any sense. Or Twitter is developing a separate platform. Now that would be really interesting news.

 

image credit: http://www.theworldsbestever.com/

 

 

New version of ShowYou app makes it easier to watch with your friends

ShowYou Soial Tray

Video discovery app ShowYou has updated its iOS app to version 4.1 making it easier to share video’s with your friend. With a new feature they call Social Tray you can see in real-time who is using the app at that particular moment and invite friends to watch what you are watching.

The Social Tray also allows you to see what video’s your friends have watched or shared and to recommend a video to a friend.

The ultimate goal of ShowYou is mimicking the experience of watching video on the couch together within actually being in the same room.

Strategic partnership between Dijit and WatchWith brings Sync-to-Broadcast features to NextGuide

WatchWith

Dijit has momentum. Is hardly had the time to digest the Miso take-over last month and the integration of NextGuide with their remote control Dijit Remote a few months earlier or they strike again by partnering up with Watchwith.

Watchwith offers a cloud base real-time synchronisation solution. Or as they say “We believe time-based metadata is the future of film, television, and advertising”.

Thanks to this synchronisation, additional information about the content on the big screen can be displayed on the second screen. This has been indicated the holy grail for brands since now they can target an audience very specifically, not only with an ad but also with specific and tailor-made offers. The whole real-time syndication could mean real-time e-commerce offers that can be purchased without delay instead of a traditional banner or ad trying to convince you to buy that product.

But it is not all that. Synchronisation can also mean adding new features like polls or extra information to a program to make it more sticky and worthwhile to watch.

Rumble rebrands as Vinson, launches Stievie in Belgium

Vinson

Formerly known as Rumble, Vinson wants to disrupt mobile TV. The are introducing a white-label OTT (Over The Top) solution for broadcasters, content aggregators and content distributors. One of their first projects is Stievie, a collaboration of three major broadcasters in Belgium allowing users to watch 9 channels on their mobile device.

The platform offers all a broadcaster would want these days. Live television, a TV guide, a PVR, time-shifting and the integration of social platforms. The only thing I did not see is integration with the big screen, but it can very well be this is completely out of their focus.

On the team of this Dutch company, we see Raimo van der Klein (mobile visionary and co-founder of Layar). Before it became Vinson, the companies was called Rumble. A few years ago, Rumble was part of the innovative IT company Triple IT. According to van der Klein they are still part of the company. The CCO of Triple IT, Ben van der Burg, is also a well-known innovator in the Netherlands.

See for a demo below 

Fanhattan video discovery now available on the web

Fanhattan

Video discovery app Fanhattan has been around some time now on iOS. In order to track more video content, it launched a beta for their web version today. With the web version, it will be possible to track 29 streaming video providers like Hulu, Amazon, NBC, and Netflix (instead of 16 in the app).

Fanhattan allows users to discover new video content in an intelligent way, whether it be a paid or subscription service or for free and allows them to watch them (after subscribing or paying if necessary) or WatchNow as Fanhattan calls it or add it to a watch list what Fanhattan calls WatchLater.

Integration with social platforms are part of the intelligence of Fanhattan. Things like Facebook Likes will help the system to discover your preferences.

Updated BBC iPlayer: iOS to support AirPlay, Favourites back in Android app, Sports app for Android

BBC iPlayer

BBC has been a frontrunner when it comes to adopting internet and mobile as a serious channel next to and in addition to the traditional screen. The introduction of the iPlayer at the time (back in 2007 already!) was a tipping point for traditional broadcasters to embrace mobile. At least in Europe. And BBC has been keeping up the innovation ever since.

The last few days they, BBC introduced an update of both the iOS and the Android App and they finally launched a Sports app for Android.

iPlayer for iOS
Next the some bug fixes and tweaks, version 2.0.3 is optimised for the iPhone 5. Basically, this means a real full screen experience without any black bars. The iPad version includes some minor improvements like the possibility to get a transparent overlay when hitting the button “More” whereas the option “Live Channels” allow to switch channels during a live broadcast.
Most exciting news however, is the inclusion of support for Apple AirPlay. Owners of an Apple TV now can easily stream whatever they are watching on their iPhone or iPad to their television.

iPlayer for Android
With the update of the Android app, the BBC iPlayer has fixed some minor issues, improved the image quality and loading times and reintroduced the Favourites button. The latter disappeared after the initial introduction but is making a comeback now.
The biggest buzz around the updated version of the app is not what is in it, but what is not. The iOS version of iPlayer got the possibility to download a programme to enable viewing even without an internet connection (or a bad one / one that will cost you a fortune). Obviously Android owners would love to see this options in their app as well. But it is not there (yet). The BBC knows that people waiting for it and they left them with a note “I know what you’re thinking – ‘Where are downloads?’ Rest assured this feature remains a priority and we are working hard to determine when this can be included for Android users.” Let’s hope they will have figured it out soon.

Android Sports iPlayer
Sports is a big thing in Britain (and the Commonwealth) so no surprise that the BBC is focussing on that field particularly. After releasing a dedicated Sports app for iOS last month, now the Android version has landed.
The app is optimised for 4 and 7 inch screens, granting Nexus, but also Amazon Kindle Fire owners, the best experience.
The content is generally the same as on the BBC Sports mobile website. One will get live text commentaries on all the big football matches, football results and live scores, the latest on transfers and other gossip and live streaming video.
But it is not all football, the app contains information about formula 1, cricket, rugby union, rugby league, tennis and golf as well.