Omniscient policy management solution improves ops' efficiency
A policy management solution may offer VOD providers a greater opportunity to control, monetize and improve their on-demand platforms.
Convergys Corp.—a provider of customer care, human resources and billing services—is the developer of this Lifetime Value Optimization solution.
The solution is an overlay application that provides central policy management. The system, for example, can detect whether a customer (low-value or high-value) is ordering a PPV movie, or if their phone has dropped a call. The event is then associated with a recommended policy, and an alert, apology or credit (also sent to the billing system) can be sent to the customer in real time. This avoids a customer calling an agent, defers churn events and can lead to greater customer satisfaction.
In the VOD space, if a consumer selects an on-demand movie, a command comes in asking the system if the subscriber has a package, how many movies they have ordered recently, the average VOD revenue this customer brings in, etc. Based on the response, the customer can be offered a VOD package, or the operator can focus on an up-sell. The offer is then sent through the STB to a consumer's TV screen, where they can simply click the designated button to accept.
general manager of
Front Office Systems
"We're proactively detecting events and learning information about customers," says Gary Mayerick, general manager of Convergys' Front Office System.
Obviously the solution has more capability alongside digital ad-insertion technology, but it can interface with any STB. The digital ad-insertion determines how user-friendly the messages will be, Mayerick says.
If the system detects an error in a consumer's STB, such as a software configuration error, a message can be sent to the user saying that their set-top needs a software upgrade, that it will only take 10 minutes and to press a certain button on their remote to initiate the upgrade.
If a subscriber does call in, the solution makes the experience more personalized by providing the agents with detailed customer information, important circumstances—such as if a customer's bill is overdue—and recommendations, such as packaged deals that could benefit a customer.
The solution has been available for about a year now, and last week Midcontinent Communications signed a three-year license agreement with Convergys for the solution.
"Convergys' Lifetime Value Optimization solution will enable us to offer a unique customer experience, tailored individually to each customer's needs, and as such will be the foundation of our overall customer relationship management strategy," said Dick Busch, COO of Midcontinent.
—Traci Patterson, Web/News Editor - CED, Editor - xOD Capsule
Nielsen helps advertisers target TV viewers by lifestyle
The Nielsen Company's newest development allows advertisers to target TV audiences based on socio-economic and lifestyle data. For instance, advertisers who want to reach a segment known as "Urban Elders" that drive Toyota Corollas, frequent fast-food joints and listen to gospel music will find them watching daytime soaps, talk shows and the evening news.
The offering combines Nielsen's NPower TV ratings analysis tool with the company's Claritas targeted marketing service and Prizm NE lifestyle segmentation product.
"At a time of change within the television industry, clients are looking for ways to target their advertising more effectively," said Sara Erichson, EVP of client services for Nielsen Media Research. "The combination of Prizm NE and NPower gives clients more powerful lifestyle and viewing information, right at their fingertips."
NBCU VOD content available on V Cast
Verizon Wireless and NBC Universal (NBCU) are bringing NBC programming to V Cast-enabled phones.
Customers can view VOD clips from NBCU's entire suite of video channels, with shows including "Access Hollywood," "The Office," "30 Rock," "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," "Heroes" and "Friday Night Lights."
NBC Sports, NBC News and BravoToGo will also be available with the service, and subs will have access to the Bravo shows "Top Chef" and "Project Runway."
Cablevision digital subs receive CNET TV
Cablevision Systems Corp. and CNET are partnering on a technology-focused, interactive VOD channel, "CNET TV—Powered By Optimum."
The channel is currently available to Cablevision's iO digital cable customers, offering them product reviews, commentary on breaking technology news, help and how-to advice, and CNET's tech shows, including "Top 5," "Insider Secrets" and "Prize Fight," all available on-demand.
"This is a terrific extension of our existing distribution, both on the Web and on TV," said Joe Gillespie, EVP at CNET.
Imake, you make, we all make IPTV solution
Imake Software & Services Inc. is partnering with Electronic Data Systems Corp. (EDS) and Tech Mahindra for an IPTV solution based on Imake's OpenVision product suite with Sun Microsystems' Sun Streaming server.
Imake's Asset Management System controls the distribution of up to 30,000 VOD assets per month, and it contains dynamic playlist management to enable targeted ad-insertion based on specific advertising campaign rules from Imake's Ad Exchange product.
Imake's Session Resource Manager allows service providers to cost-effectively add new services, including SDV, targeted advertising, VOD, games, music and Internet service. It also enables service providers to integrate with any video server vendor, any middleware vendor and any network provider.
HandHeld gets its hands on eBaum's World
HandHeld Entertainment Inc., a digital entertainment company, is set to acquire eBaum's World Inc., an online entertainment site offering user-generated content (UGC). HandHeld will pay $17.5 million for the site, including $15 million in cash.
eBaum's World generated approximately $5.2 million in revenue and $1.6 million in net income before income taxes in 2006. In the past year, the site served more than 2.5 billion unique page views and video streams. eBaum's World has relationships with AOL Video, Facebook, Fox Mobile and others.
"HandHeld has instantly become one of the leaders in online video and user-generated content and is now rubbing shoulders with YouTube and the video networks of such companies as Yahoo!, Microsoft, AOL and Google," said Michael Inouye, research analyst with In-Stat.
• Harris supplies transmitters to Qualcomm's mobile TV trials
Qualcomm is using Harris Corp.'s Atlas mobile transmitter for its MediaFlo mobile TV trials in Taiwan, which are being conducted by China Networks Systems and Taiwan Television Enterprise.
Qualcomm created its MediaFlo ecosystem to deliver content to mobile handsets. Harris has worked with the MediaFlo technologies team to develop a version of its Apex digital TV exciter for Flo air-interface requirements.
• Maven hooks up with Alliance Atlantis for Internet TV
Maven Networks and Alliance Atlantis announced a partnership to launch broadband video players throughout Alliance Atlantis' Web properties. Alliance Atlantis will be using Maven's Internet TV Platform for online channels that include FoodTV.ca, HGTV.ca and Slice.ca.
"Video deployment on our sites is growing exponentially, and the monetizing opportunities around that growth are critical for the long-term success of our broadband channels," said Claude Galipeau, SVP of digital media for Alliance Atlantis.
• OpenTV ups revenue, increases net loss in Q2
OpenTV brought in $24.3 million in revenue in Q2, down 8 percent sequentially but up 3 percent year-on-year. The company ended the quarter with a net loss of $4.9 million, compared with $2.5 million in the year-ago quarter.
In June, OpenTV introduced its new Rapid Porting Program (RPP) to provide rapid ports of OpenTV middleware to chipsets and STBs.
• Comcast launches more VOD offerings
Comcast has added Filipino on-Demand to its service. The subscription-VOD (SVOD) service will feature 25 hours of content, with new programming available regularly.
Comcast is also partnering with Philadelphia magazine for Best of Philly on-Demand. The free VOD channel will feature three- to five-minute profiles of the magazine's annual Best of Philly winners.
• Music publishers join YouTube lawsuit, according to the Associated Press.
• AOL struggled with ad revenue in Q2, according to Advertising Age.
Company: Oberon Media
Headquarters: New York City
CEO: Tomer Ben-Kiki
Claim to fame: Since 2003, Oberon Media has developed a global distribution network for casual games. In addition to PC- and browser-based games, the company has expanded its solutions to include mobile games. It also distributes games to set-top boxes and handheld mobile gaming platforms.
Recent news of note: In July, the company announced its intention to acquire PixelPlay, which gives Oberon another piece of the puzzle that it needs to offer multi-platform casual games on three screens—the TV, cell phone and computer. Oberon also recently purchased I-play as part of its three-screen gaming strategy.