WASHINGTON, D.C. — SPROCKIT and NAB Show today announced the first 10 startups selected to participate in SPROCKIT’s 2016 program. Up to 30 emerging companies will be hand-selected by industry leaders to participate based on their potential to offer real solutions to challenges in today’s evolving market that many established media and entertainment companies face.

Now in its fourth year, SPROCKIT will showcase industry-vetted emerging companies at NAB Show – held April 18-21, 2016 in Las Vegas – and convene throughout the year at SPROCKIT Sync, a series of private meetings where executives and entrepreneurs meet to collectively discuss and introduce new technologies that will advance the industry. Since its launch in 2013, dozens of emerging companies have participated in SPROCKIT and experienced rapid growth, including successful funding rounds, partnerships and even acquisitions.

The first 10 startups invited to participate at the 2016 NAB Show represent a variety of sectors with specific solutions for applications in areas such as advertising, analytics, mobile content production and content delivery. The first 10 participating companies in this year’s SPROCKIT program are:

  • AmpLive helps content creators and marketers, using live video, build better audiences by tracking user attention and using that data to retarget and engage at a later time.
  • Appiness provides advanced solutions for video commerce. The company offers time-stamped products and brands for shopping via any smart device, locally or internationally.
  • Crowdynews is the largest social media curation platform, delivering social content to the news media worldwide.
  • Nervve helps industry leaders to target, measure and monetize media through visual search and analysis.
  • OwnLocal builds the bridge between small and medium businesses and local media companies by automating digital marketing through a secure source.
  • Stre.am is a mobile live streaming platform with enterprise video player capabilities that is platform-agnostic and can consume live video from mobile devices, GoPros, and more.
  • System73 is the “Google Maps” for OTT broadcast video. Simple codes added to the video stream guarantee delivery of high quality video to millions of viewers simultaneously with no blocking, while reducing costs.
  • trueAnthem is a data-driven social publishing solution that enables media companies to maximize profitability from social media.
  • TVision Insights leverages state-of-the-art computer vision technology to collect viewers’ demographics, emotions, actual viewing habits, and content engagement by analyzing data from sensors in the living room.
  • Vigour empowers media companies and operators to revolutionize online video services using Vigour Video, a world-class interface platform that captivates customers and connects their screens.

SPROCKIT is created in partnership with World Series of Startups, LLC and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). SPROCKIT corporate members include: Cox Media, Hearst Television, Samsung, Tegna, Univision and others. SPROCKIT supporters include: Angel Capital Association, Boston Consulting Group, Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) at USC, Interactive Television Alliance, Irving Group, Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, National Venture Capital Association, New Amsterdam Media, New Vantage Group, SmithGeiger and Springboard Enterprises.

SPROCKIT is still accepting applications for participation and will be inviting companies on a rolling basis. The application deadline is March 14, 2016. For more information about SPROCKIT or to submit an application, please visit sprockitglory.com or contact Michele Nebel Peake at 301-774-7739.

Please click here to register as news media.

About SPROCKIT
SPROCKIT is the media and entertainment alliance of corporate executives and industry-vetted emerging companies showcasing and collaborating on products, services and new revenue models. SPROCKIT spotlights industry innovations through two channels: a showcase at NAB Show, the world’s largest media and entertainment event; and SPROCKIT Sync, a series of private meetings where conversations continue in Silicon Valley, New York and Los Angeles. Together, media and entertainment executives and entrepreneurs are shaping the future of the industry by building relationships to tackle cross-sector challenges, forecast trends and bring solutions to market. Learn more at sprockitglory.com.

About NAB Show
NAB Show, held April 16-21, 2016 in Las Vegas, is the world’s largest electronic media show covering the creation, management and delivery of content across all platforms. With 103,000 attendees from 166 countries and 1,700+ exhibitors, NAB Show is the ultimate marketplace for digital media and entertainment. From creation to consumption, across multiple platforms and countless nationalities, NAB Show is home to the solutions that transcend traditional broadcasting and embrace content delivery to new screens in new ways. For complete details, visit www.nabshow.com.

About NAB
The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America’s broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at www.nab.org.

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Google GOOGL -1.68%, Microsoft MSFT -2.33%, Qualcomm QCOM -1.89% and Baidu have all joined forces in a strategic investment in CloudFlare. The five-year-old security startup announced Tuesday that the four Internet giants had all participated in Cloudflare’s latest $110 million funding round led by Fidelity.

The strategic investment is evidence of CloudFlare’s vision to expand globally while honing in on mobile and enterprise. Today’s funding announced comes just over a week after CloudFlare unveiled a new partnership with Baidu to bring its security services to China’s 650 million Internet users. With more than four million customers in 30 countries, CloudFlare says it processes 5% of all Internet requests each month and mitigated more than 200 billion cyber attacks in August alone.

CloudFlare CEO Matthew Prince is far more focused on the strategic partnerships the funding round created than the cash it generated—less critical for the already-profitable CloudFlare. Prince says CloudFlare still has $50 million from its Series C in the bank, while this round brings the startup’s total investment to $182 million. Read More

The business will be reporting to Rebekah Brooks, CEO of News UK.

Rupert Murdoch‘s News Corp will acquire social video advertising platform Unruly for up to $176 million, the company said Wednesday.

“Unruly is a feisty and creative company with a start-up sensibility that fits perfectly with our own approach to developing businesses in the digital age,” said News Corp CEO Robert Thomson.

“The acquisition will serve as a catalyst for our brands, helping to extend our expertise in the digital and mobile video area, whether through the fast-growing realtor.com in the US, Fox Sports in Australia, News America Marketing, HarperCollins Publishers, or our market-leading mastheads around the world,” he added. “Unruly complements our traditional editorial and commercial expertise with contemporary insight into how people read, watch, buy and sell in the digital era.”

Led by Unruly’s three co-founders, the business will operate as a separate business unit, reporting to Rebekah Brooks, CEO of News UK.

Read More

Apr 21, 2015 – (Newswire.com)

Seattle tech startup Yottio is proud to have been selected as a winner of the Best of SPROCKIT award at the media industry’s largest annual convention, NAB Show. 

‘With the debut of our first app that let’s anyone be a real-time part of traditional media broadcasts via live video, Yottio is committed to making television relevant to the mobile generation,’ says Yottio CEO & Co-Founder, Jon Lawrence.  ‘This award from our peers at one of the largest media conventions in the world gives a glimpse of the impact we think our startup is going to have in the broader media world.’

The first annual “Best of SPROCKIT” awards recognized five exceptional SPROCKIT companies for their outstanding products and solutions, as voted by NAB Show attendees.

During NAB Show, the 30 SPROCKIT startups presented their company’s solution in a five minute pitch session, followed by a brief Q&A open to all NAB Show attendees. Read More

April 21, 2015 | By

This year’s gathering of the National Association of Broadcasters featured unprecedented support for over-the-top video strategies. From that OTT perspective, what were the highs and lows of this annual trade show? Which companies had a realistic grasp of the requirements of next-generation video, and which didn’t?

The NAB Show itself had more than 103,000 attendees, surpassing last year’s almost 98,000. Nearly 26,500 attendees were from outside the U.S., representing 164 countries. Nearly 1,800 exhibitors stretched across the Las Vegas Convention Center, taking up over a million square feet of exhibit space. The upshot: as in previous years, a whole lot of walking. By day three the Trade Show Hobble was in full evidence, with many attendees shambling along the half-mile traverse between the north and south halls on sore feet.

Still, there was plenty to see and talk about when it came to OTT technologies at NAB. The broadcast industry is actively looking to tie into OTT, and that was evident at the show. Here are a few of the show’s highlights:

Biggest news: Imagine Communications stepped out of the gate at NAB with a deal in hand with Disney/ABC Television Group that will see Imagine shift the broadcaster’s workflow into a cloud environment. The announcement set the tone for a show in which the old guard is searching for new revenue possibilities, but it was only part of a series of partnerships Imagine announced in tandem with the show–including an end-to-end OTT distribution solution with Verizon Digital Media Services, and a cloud-based delivery integration with HP.

Read More

Las Vegas – Fluendo an expert in video analysis and multimedia, was presented with the first annual “Best of SPROCKIT” award as a favorite startup at the 2015 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show.

At NAB Show, SPROCKIT showcased 30 emerging companies that were hand-selected by industry experts because of their potential to disrupt the media and entertainment industry. SPROCKIT gives startups the opportunity to meet on equal ground with executives at leading media and entertainment companies to discuss new technology or creative solutions to solving the industry’s biggest challenges.

The first annual “Best of SPROCKIT” awards recognize five exceptional SPROCKIT companies for their outstanding products and solutions, as voted by NAB Show attendees. During NAB Show, Fluendo was one of 30 SPROCKIT startups presenting their company’s products and solutions in a five minute pitch session, followed by a brief Q&A open to all NAB Show attendees. Attendees were encouraged to cast their vote for the most outstanding SPROCKIT company via an online and SMS voting platform powered by 2014 SPROCKIT startup, ExciteM. Fluendo was among the five startups with the highest number of votes and was honored at a SPROCKIT VIP Reception and Awards Ceremony in Las Vegas. Read More

After two days of presentations and demos, thousands of NAB Show attendees cast their votes for their favorite SPROCKIT startups. The five with the most number of votes – Fluendo, Psychability, ScoreStream, Unruly and Yottio – were presented with the first annual “Best of SPROCKIT Award.”

Gordon Smith, president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters presented the awards at a Tuesday evening reception in the SPROCKIT Hub (Booth #N2530) alongside Harry Glazer, CEO and founder of SPROCKIT, and SPROCKIT corporate members Roger Keating, senior vice president of digital media at Hearst Television, and Kevin Cuddihy, president of local media at Univision.

NAB Show attendees cast their votes for the most outstanding SPROCKIT company via an online and SMS voting platform powered by 2014 SPROCKIT startup, ExciteM.

Award

The halls were alive with the sound of drones this year at NAB, the National Association of Broadcasters’ annual fete in Las Vegas. What do drones have to do with online video?

On the surface, not much. Yes, you can add a camera to a drone and perhaps live-stream the image that it captures as the small unit buzzes over the landscape nearby. But in terms of technology, they’re just cool, or frightening if you’re Overly Paranoid Rob Lowe.

What they represent to the business of content creation and distribution–the business that broadcasters support and promote–is the kind of innovative thinking happening around the edges of this established, steadfast industry.

For the first time, broadcasters gave the world an open acknowledgement that new technologies and new business models were no longer just fringe showcase items but things that they need to adopt, incorporate–heck, even embrace. That includes over-the-top video. Quite a change from years past, when OTT tech was relegated to a small section of one of the upper halls here.

On Monday, NAB President Gordon Smith laid out the case for integrating “next-generation” technologies, including OTT video, into broadcast strategy. Part of that directive revolves around the pending auction of 600 MHz of broadcast spectrum, but another big part of it is that IP video products and services are available at the scale large organizations like NBCUniversal need, are competitively priced, and are already becoming part of their production and playout setups.

With the broadcast industry jumping fully on board the ferry toward online video service, OTT providers have responded accordingly.

Where the drones weren’t flying, the buzz heard around this year’s over-the-top-friendly NAB was around cloud services: From production to playout, from transcoding to transport, from all the components needed to deliver a video stream from one end of the network to the other, there was a vendor for each. And their technology, all of them said, was ready to scale to meet the demands of broadcasters’ large viewing audiences.

Perhaps most interesting in that arena was the chatter around dynamic ad insertion (DAI). It’s the first and best solution to monetize OTT video for any provider who isn’t going to add a subscription component to their service. But it was clear that DAI providers are kind of flying by the seat of their pants right now, highlighting their technologies at the show while actively developing them. Case in point is Akamai and Adobe Primetime’s collaboration on server-side DAI, which will “stitch” ads into streamed content at the CDN instead of at initial encoding. Their offering may indeed be a way to lighten the processing load at the playout level, shifting ad insertion and ad management to another part of the network. But it’s currently in beta.

One could say the majority of next-generation technologies are still in beta when it comes to scale, because the size of the OTT viewing audience, even in the next six months, just isn’t known. Analysts are predicting a moderate shift by viewers to OTT this year. But there’s certainly anticipation, or worry, that the shift will be bigger than anticipated. How well certain parts of the IP video ecosystem handle that shift remains to be seen.

But those were high-level considerations. As with last year, NAB still showcased a number of smaller startups in locations like the Sprockits pavilion, its Futures Lab and NMX. Particularly at Sprockits, and in some pre-show events, many of these companies are offering niche solutions to nattering problems like the audience measurement puzzle, social media engagement, and the user experience.

Read More

KUSA TouchscreenTagboard, an innovative social media solutions company, has announced that it has partnered with Hootsuite, the world’s most widely used social relationship platform, to create the first seamless social display workflow for media, sports, and entertainment companies. For broadcasters, implementing a social TV solution allows networks and advertisers to engage in a real-time conversation on the viewer’s platform of choice by highlighting audience social media activity during the broadcast.

The integration offers joint clients of both Tagboard Enterprise and Hootsuite Enterprise the ability to add a Tagboard app to their Hootsuite social media management dashboard. Clients will then be able to search and find social posts within their Hootsuite dashboard, and with one click, send the posts to Tagboard-powered displays; on air, through live screens, or online.

The Tagboard app for Hootsuite is now available for joint Hootsuite Enterprise and Tagboard Enterprise customers, and can be found in the App Directory.

Visit Tagboard at NAB 2015 where it is participating in the third annual SPROCKIT (Booth # N2530-18). SPROCKIT is a program that recognizes startups in media and entertainment that have immense potential to share up the industry.

SOURCE: Official Post