Tvinci, an Israel-based “Over-the-Top” (OTT) platform, has started expanding its service to the rest of the world. Today it is announcing a partnership with MediaCorp, Singapore’s leading media company, in a move that will see its OTT platform power the lifestyle service Toggle, set for release in Q1 2013.
With this partnership, Tvinci has now established a beachhead in the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to today, it had only been available in various European countries.
In 2011, MediaCorp announced that it would be launching a trial service involving a new interactive service called Toggle, with content delivered over broadband. Approximately 200 subscribers were the first to use the service that integrates online and traditional TV entertainment in order to deliver it through a “Connected TV” experience. It is available on PCs, iPhone, iPads, and through an Internet-ready television.
Because of this integration, customers will be able to choose between a subscription or a pay-per-view service similar, just like how it is normally, and it also offers linear and video on-demand content along with a library of over 1,000 hours of programming. Powered by Tvinci, Toggle is making its official debut in Singapore and the companies hope it will be released to more customers internationally in the future.
Tvinci shares some additional information about Toggle’s integration:
Toggle provides rights protected content across iOS, Android and Windows devices using Tvinci’s multi-DRM capabilities: supporting Microsoft PlayReady and Google’s Widevine DRM simultaneously, depending on the device. Tvinci also allows Toggle users to rate, share and interact around TV shows, with Twitter and Facebook integrated into the service from the backend level to the interface.
It’s important to note this is not the next Vudu, Boxee, or Roku — Tvinci isn’t available for customers to play with. Rather it’s more of a service for cable operators to produce their own OTT offering that their subscribers would be more attracted to.
“The amount of content consumed via connected devices is increasing steadily every month. Leading operators and media companies such as MediaCorp understand the need to introduce an OTT offering in order to meet viewers’ need to access content on any of their devices, whilst also enjoying an immersive social experience,” says Tvinci CEO Ofer Shayo.
By entering into an agreement with MediaCorp, not only has Tvinci scored a major deal in Singapore, but it has won over the government as well. In this country, television is strictly regulated by the government and holds a monopoly over terrestrial television channels. In January 2011, in anticipation of more growth in online videos, the government’s Media Development Authority (MDA) sought content proposals from independent production companies to review digital branded entertainment.
According to Asia-Pacific Broadcasting, former managing director of MediaCorp Mock Pak Lum believes that there is a huge potential for the growth of online content. Additionally, he believes that the industry is still searching for “killer apps” that will take advantage of Web 2.0 technologies. Telecommunications companies that own broadband infrastructure are also interested in the connected TV because, as Mock says, they see it as a new way to offer services to customers.
This partnership comes just a few months after Tvinci announced it raised $4.5 million from Kaedan Capital, Zohar Gilon, and others. In addition to MediaCorp, platforms have been deployed for other brands like Orange, MSN, Elisa, MTV, and others globally.
Photo credit: Adam Berry/Getty Images