CES 2012: Ooyala Brings Content to Smart TVs with Panasonic

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LAS VEGAS—Panasonic is the first TV set vendor to tie the knot with video analytics and publishing service Ooyala. The move is an extension of Ooyala’s Universal Syndication solution, which allows publishers to create custom feeds to deliver content via distribution channels such as Roku, Boxee, and Apple TV. Soon, it will let video publishers reach audiences through the VIERA Connect smart TV platform.

Ooyala’s platform also enables connected TV providers to scale distribution of new direct-to-consumer content offerings. The first named publisher to use the service is The Country Network (TCN) which will begin giving VIERA Connect customers access to its catalog of country music artists and channels, including a simulcast of the network’s live TV broadcast channel.

“This will be a huge year for hyper-selective, cross-device entertainment,” said Chris Wong, senior VP of corporate and business development for Ooyala. “The industry clearly recognizes the urgency of connected cloud services in the living room as viewers become more discriminating about what they watch and where they can access video.”

Warren Hansen, founder and CEO of The Country Network, said, “The partnership between Ooyala and Panasonic is the first real step into the world of connected television. Broadcasters, like TCN, need to look beyond linear distribution for more monetization opportunities. Only Ooyala enables publishers to reach viewers through connected TVs and any other kind of device this easily, with a single push.”

A recent report from Digital TV Research found that the number of connected TV sets worldwide will rise from 124 million at the end of 2010 to 551 million by 2016, leaping from 6% to 20% of global TV sets.

Despite all of this rapid growth, the Connected TV Forecasts report shows that only 8.9% of global TV sets will be connected directly to the internet by 2016. The analyst says that sales of connected TV sets (with a built-in Ethernet connection and, increasingly, widgets/applications) are taking off, especially as retail prices are beginning to fall.

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