News Byte: Interactive TV Deal Partners DG and Cognitive

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Is first screen marketing on the horizon?
Is first screen marketing on the horizon?

While Ryan Seacrest's Million Second Quiz didn't break any TV audience records, it did break new ground. The show used automatic content recognition (ACR) that let viewers vote at home on events transpiring live on the roof of an old auto dealership in Manhattan.

ACR is a form of audio and video fingerprinting that has been used by second-screen providers such as Shazam, but the advent of smart TVs increases its promise as the technology that delivers the home TV set into the digital age. A recent report from NextMarket Insights predicts that ACR will be installed in 2.5 billion devices by 2017.

Today's announcement from DG, an advertising and video distribution platform, that it will partner with ACR provider Cognitive Networks affirms the technology's emergence. Cognitive's ACR will be able to signal that an ad is running on TV, and the DG's MediaMind technology can display on-screen offers or interactive experiences and additional content to viewers, according to a statement announcing the deal. Viewers can interact with TV content either via mobile devices or a set's remote control.

“The technology is already out there. LG smart TVs are installed with ACR. No set-top box or even a mobile device is needed to engage in the interaction,” says Andrew Bloom, SVP of strategic business development at DG. “This is first-screen engagement, not second screen.”

As smart TVs proliferate (Samsung is also adding the technology), so will ACR-based marketing initiatives, Bloom predicts. “The problem with set-top boxes is how many different kinds there are,” he says. “The world of OEM TV manufacturing is much more consolidated. The thought is that, with smart TVs, you can get interactive marketing to scale much quicker.”

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