TechInk: Smart TVs Getting Smarter and More People Are Watching Abroad

/ Aug 30, 2013


TechInk is a weekly series that rounds up the important and interesting things you need to know when it comes to digital video tech, from new product launches to product updates; the latest happenings in ad tech, analytics, and measurement; and, of course, research. At the end of the day, we just want you to be informed if some crazy guy walks up to you and says: “Hey! Are people watching long-form videos in Scandinavia?” Enjoy.


The Russian patent office has received a request to register Amazon Instant Video, according to the RIA Novosti wire service. It’s the second step for Amazon in Russia since saying it would open a Russian office in April aimed at selling e-books and Kindles. Its main streaming competition is the already established streaming services IVI, Stream,, and Tvigle, and Russia’s recent anti-piracy law could prove to be a boon for the newcomer.

Google released a Chromecast app for iOS devices on Tuesday, making the decision between the $100 Apple TV and $35 Google Chromecast a harder decision. Of course, Google’s HDMI dongle requires also owning a handheld device or laptop as well as a Wi-Fi network, and the Apple TV brings the internet right to TVs, but both mean increased OTT viewing opportunities.


Google has also announced that it will follow suit with Mozilla and Microsoft by including a “Do Not Track” option to its Chrome browser by the end of the year. The FTC called for the button two years ago, but Google was spurred to action by the White House’s call for a “privacy bill of rights.” Though it will stop gathering data to customize ads or gather information for insurance, job search, and credit purposes, Google will continue gathering “market research” and “product development” information even while “Do Not Track” is activated.

The Reply Girls era, though already in steep decline, will come to a complete end on September 12 when YouTube shuts down its “Video Response” option. Apparently only four users out of one million were using the option, so YouTube has started developing a way for video responses to be integrated right into videos’ comment sections.

Ad Tech

Visits to long-form video streaming websites experienced a 190 percent year-over-year increase from June 2012 in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, according to YuMe’s Video Advertising blog. YuMe attributes the overwhelming success to the introduction of Netflix to Nordic countries last year and predicts that brands will be able to effectively and successfully advertise to viewers as more and more migrate to online viewing.

Cognitive Networks has partnered with LG to embed its Engage line of interactive advertising in LG’s line of 2012 and 2013 smart TVs. It will detect audio signals from content; offer a related real-time interactive ad; and give users the opportunity to react with apps for polls, social media, or order products with just the remote. Engage is currently compatible with Showtime’s sync app on LG TVs, and uses cloud-based data to recognize what viewers are watching both live or when time shifted.


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