Vol 2, #48, Nov. 30, 2010
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November 30, 2010


Fee-based online TV continues to gain ground
Samsung Galaxy Tab now available in Canada
Points.com, Best Buy Reward Zone join forces
Astral Radio extending into handheld space
Canadian Tire introduces new barcode app
ProStor, Salumatics form strategic partnership
Radient expands national cloud infrastruture
New Media Awards celebrate digital superstars
nextMEDIA to host live digital marketplace

Fee-based online TV continues to gain ground

Most had never heard of Hulu when they launched their advertising campaign during the Super Bowl on February 1, 2009. However, they quickly have become the leader for online TV show episode viewing. In fact, according to Ipsos OTX MediaCT’s LMX MOTION study, past 30 day streaming on Hulu among those who view digital video online rose from 3% in the fall of 2008 to 20% in the spring of 2010. While Hulu is not available in Canada, this strong growth points toward a growing online audience across North America.

As content providers push more aggressively to monetize their content, it is becoming more likely that consumers will have fewer content options available to stream for free. When analyzing differences by age, it was clear that young adults (18-34 years old) were driving growth in paid viewership through digital platforms, with over half (51%) interested in viewing their regularly watched programs through a fee-based Hulu, Netflix or iTunes option.

“While Hulu has set a precedent for free post-airing streams with ad support, growth continues to be driven by the 18-34 year old audience as more post-broadcast content is moved into payment models such as monthly subscriptions and per download/stream fees. The young adult population clearly has an appetite for accessing their regularly watched shows and are willing to pay for that access. Further, the fee-based market is competitive with no dominant service.” explains Brian Cruikshank, EVP at Ipsos OTX MediaCT.

For both Apple and Hulu, the per stream payment model will fuel the strongest growth in online TV viewing. Not surprisingly, Apple’s pay per download/stream follows the model established with music. Netflix has a strong installed base who will continue to get their streams bundled through a monthly subscription. Hulu’s payment model will have an impact on determining the short term growth in fee-based online TV viewing on a digital platform.

The strength of a per download/stream model is particularly acute for the 18-34 year old audience who are coveted by advertisers. Among this age group, a Hulu TV show stream for $1 with ad support rivals the Netflix monthly subscription and iTunes per stream options. Ipsos found the share of preference results were consistent across Hulu, Netflix and iTunes among those who selected a fee-based digital viewing option for their regularly watched shows. Top of Page

Samsung Galaxy Tab now available in Canada

Best Buy has announced the launch of the new seven-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab at all Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores across   Canada.

The Galaxy Tab is the first Android tablet enabling access to Android Market's more than 100,000 applications, Adobe Flash Web video and HTML 5 Web browsing. With its innovative Swype technology, the Galaxy Tab provides a faster and more intuitive way to input text with one finger motion across the screen keyboard.

Best Buy Mobile offers a variety of services aimed at improving the tablet experience, including Walk Out Working, a full array of accessories for customers to protect and personalize their tablet and complete end-to-end mobile solutions to ensure users discover the most out of their mobile experience.

Key features of the Samsung Galaxy Tab include:

  • Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity on Bell and Rogers networks
  • 7" touch screen display
  • Android   TM  2.2 (Google's guideline)
  • Adobe® Flash® Player 10.1
  • Powerful Swype technology for fast typing
  • Dual cameras
  • Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor
  • 16GB memory
  • Samsung Social Hub, Music Hub and Reading Hub

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Points.com, Best Buy Reward Zone join forces

Points International Ltd., owner and operator of the world's leading loyalty reward program management website, www.Points.com, is adding the Reward Zone loyalty program of Best Buy Co., Inc. to its expanding list of retail offerings. Members are now able to exchange loyalty rewards from other programs for Best Buy Reward Zone points via Points.com's loyalty marketplace. 

This is the first time Best Buy Reward Zone and Points.com have joined forces to enhance the experience for their members. Under the new relationship, Points.com will provide Reward Zone members the ability to grow their Reward Zone points balance faster by exchanging points or miles from other participating programs on Points.com into Reward Zone points. For more information about Reward Zone, visit  www.MyRZ.com.

"Since our new site launch, Points.com has focused aggressively on expanding our relationships with retail partners. Building a relationship with a major player like Best Buy Reward Zone is a natural extension for the service," said Rob MacLean, CEO of Points.com. "This is only the beginning. Points.com looks forward to building upon this initial partnership to give Reward Zone members full freedom to get the most out of their hard-earned points." Top of Page

Astral Radio extending into handheld space

Orbyt Media, a division of Astral Media Inc., has reached an agreement with UBC Media Group's Unique Interactive of the U.K. and GrooveWorx, an international music house and exclusive North American distributor of UBC Media, to launch world-class, market-leading mobile streaming applications designed to enhance and extend the radio listener experience into the handheld space.

"We are thrilled to add mobility to our comprehensive interactive offerings," says   Rob Farina, Executive Vice President, Content and Platforms for Astral Radio and Orbyt Media. "These new mobile applications will allow us to deliver a rich digital content offering integrated with a deep social media platform. It will create an engaging and innovative experience that will enhance the value of our offering to consumers and advertisers. The rollout of these exciting applications will be a game-changer from a user experience standpoint across all our platforms."

Unique Interactive will be providing the mobile streaming applications across the entire Astral Radio portfolio of 83 radio stations across   Canada. Functionality will include the ability for users to enter contests, share events via the social network of their choice, stream on-demand content, discover new music as well as tune in to direct live music streaming. The applications will also provide music discovery channels, exclusive music, entertainment and news content, real time song voting and recommendations, artist info, tour dates, links to purchase music tracks and the ability for a user to interact directly with on-air personalities and each other.

Scheduled to go live in early 2011, the mobile applications are designed to be compatible with top tier mobile devices including iPhone4, Android-powered devices and RIM's BlackBerry product line. The three-year agreement will also see UBC Media provide future evolutions of the applications that can easily dovetail with individual station formats and branding.

"The extension of Astral Radio to mobile is in line with our strategy to increase participation on-air, online and on-site, and broaden two-way communication possibilities between our popular radio stations and our audiences," added Farina. Top of Page

Canadian Tire introduces new barcode app

Today, Canadian Tire launched a free mobile application (app) for iPhone®, BlackBerry® and Android™ smartphones which allows customers to scan product barcodes in stores and instantly access product information including price, reviews and availability. Customers can also locate the nearest Canadian Tire store, based on their current location, search for products on canadiantire.ca  and browse the Canadian Tire flyer on their smartphones.

"Canadians are embracing technology as part of their daily lives and want instant access to information, whenever they need it, wherever they are," says   Rob Shields, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Canadian Tire. "Especially during the holiday season, customers will appreciate our free mobile app that will make all holiday shopping easier and stress-free."

Developed by  Simply Good Technologies, the Canadian Tire mobile app combines the best of image capture and upload capabilities, and GPS location mapping to allow smartphone users to:

  • Locate the nearest Canadian Tire store based on their current location
  • Search for products, information and pricing currently available on  canadiantire.ca
  • Use barcode scanning to instantly access a wide array of product-specific information
  • View the Canadian Tire weekly flyer, and current sales and discounts

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ProStor, Salumatics form strategic partnership

Salumatics Inc. and ProStor Systems today announce a strategic partnership agreement in which Salumatics will be a reseller of ProStor Systems' digital information storage solution in   Canada. As part of this agreement, Salumatics will resell the ProStor InfiniVault ®, which is delivered as an integrated storage system, and attaches to any existing client network.

ProStor InfiniVault is a scalable, secure, and affordable storage solution for long-term retention of records and images. It provides the performance and accessibility of disk-based archives, with the cost and scalability of traditional tape or optical alternatives. ProStor InfiniVault manages digital records or DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) objects over the client's existing network and can retrieve them on request. Organizations benefit from simplified data management, and flexible retention and disposition rules to meet any legal or  compliance requirement. The ProStor InfiniVault is the only storage system designed to balance the needs of managing increasing amounts of information over extended periods of time.

According to Allan Magnacca, President and CEO of Salumatics, "We're very pleased to announce this business relationship with ProStor Systems. Salumatics will leverage our local presence and industry expertise to market the hardware, implementation, and support services to Canadian customers. We are adding this technology to our already robust health information management services offerings of document conversion, remote coding, and data hosting. This will assist organizations in any industry with their end-to-end records needs, from conversion of paper records to the long-term retention of scanned data and digital images."

Says   Ian Duncan, VP of Marketing and Strategy of ProStor Systems, "Salumatics is a natural fit with ProStor's technical and business value propositions. They have a strong local presence in   Canada  and long term engagements with many healthcare organizations for its other services. Salumatics and ProStor will be providing a unique, cost-effective solution in this important marketplace for managing information and data retention." Top of Page

Radiant expands national cloud infrastructure

Radiant Communications Corp. has announced the opening of its cloud datacenter located at 151 Front Street in   Toronto, expanding the company's cloud computing infrastructure to two facilities. Radiant's other facility is located in   Vancouver. Together, the two datacenters provide one of the widest cloud computing footprints in the country.

"The availability of Radiant's  AlwaysThere Enterprise Cloud platform  in   Toronto  gives companies greater geographic options when selecting their cloud or managed hosting partner," said Radiant's President and CEO,   David Buffett. "Located at a central downtown address, the   Toronto  facility provides companies situated near the datacenter with the added advantage of geographic proximity and high end-user performance.

"The central location of our facility in downtown   Toronto  minimizes network latency for   Toronto  based customers and provides a disaster recovery location for our   Vancouver  based clients," said Buffett.

When a company selects a cloud hosting provider, the services are typically delivered from a single datacenter, making the customer vulnerable to disaster based outages in that area.

Radiant has two datacenters situated in Western and Eastern   Canada, which allows customers to select the datacenter nearest their offices, providing the best end user experience possible while also taking advantage of Radiant's disaster recovery services hosted in the other datacenter.

Another competitive advantage of Radiant's AlwaysThere cloud infrastructure is that it is based in   Canada  and not subject to the U.S. Patriot Act. Under the provisions of this legislation, American authorities can access and collect companies' data without their knowledge or consent.

"Some Canadian businesses want assurance that their data will remain under the jurisdiction of Canadian privacy laws," said Buffett. "They are more comfortable knowing their data is kept here, always under the control of a Canadian corporation."

Radiant's infrastructure reflects this focus on privacy. "Our approach is quite unique in   Canada  in that we bundle cloud services with high-speed business Internet  and  private networking security  products to create a hosted 'private cloud' with security and user experiences comparable to any internal IT infrastructure," said Buffett. Top of Page

New Media Awards celebrate digital superstars

The Canadian New Media Awards (CNMA) are once again celebrating Canada’s digital media superstars. Now in its tenth year, the CNMAs are Canada’s only digital media awards showcasing the best and brightest from all areas of the interactive media landscape. Hosted by Ben Mulroney, a veteran of the entertainment news business and the co-anchor of CTV’s etalk entertainment news program, the CNMAs include a star-studded lineup of presenters. The CNMAs wrap up nextMEDIA, a two-day event of networking, learning and strategizing with the top minds in the fields of broadcasting, video and television production, interactive marketing, publishing and digital distribution.

What: Canadian New Media Awards

When: December 1 st

7:00 p.m Pre-awards Reception

8:30 p.m. 10 th Annual CNMA Gala)

Location: The Design Exchange, 234 Bay Street, Toronto

Official After-Party at South of Temperance, 20 Adelaide St. West, Toronto

Presenters include:

  • Ben Mulroney, Co-Anchor – CTV’s etalk
  • Jarett Cale – Pure Pwnage
  • Erica Ehm – YummyMummyClub.ca
  • Alan Park – Comedian and Former Air Farcer
  • Amber Mac – Social Media Guru
  • Nadia G – BitchinLifestyle.tv

Categories for the CNMAs include:

  • Company of the Year
  • Promising New Company of the Year
  • Digital Media Technology of the Year
  • Best in Canadian Culture – Interactive
  • Best Cross-Platform Project
  • Best Online Portal
  • Best Kids Interactive
  • Best Online Program, Series or Film
  • Best Mobile Application
  • Best Web-Based Game
  • Best Use of Social Media
  • Best Online Advertising
  • Best Branded Entertainment
  • Community Campaign of the Year
  • Executive of the Year
  • Online Artist of the Year
  • Producer of the Year
  • Digital Media Woman of the Year
  • Developer of the Year
  • Interactive Designer of the Year

Visit www.nextmediaevents.com/cnma for a full event schedule, speaker bios and more details. Tickets for the awards gala can be purchased online. Top of Page

nextMEDIA hosts live digital marketplace

nextMEDIA is a two-day event of networking, learning and strategizing with the top minds in the fields of broadcasting, television and video production, publishing, music, media distribution and advertising. As the gathering place for leaders in the industry to network and discuss future digital strategies, nextMEDIA is an opportunity for the media industry to understand and interpret the evolution of digital media and how cross-platform content is funded and produced.

The conference culminates with the CNMAs, Canada’s only digital media awards spotlighting the talents and successes of the country’s interactive media industry. This year the CNMAs will be hosted by Ben Mulroney, a veteran of the entertainment news business and the co-anchor of CTV’s etalk entertainment news program.

What: nextMEDIA Toronto and Canadian New Media Awards

When: nextMEDIA (November 29 th – 30 th, 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.)

CNMAs (December 1 st, 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.)

Location: The Design Exchange, 234 Bay Street, Toronto

Speakers Include:

  • Michael Wolff, Founder – Newser.com
  • Christopher Kaskie, President – Pitchfork
  • Fred Santarpia, General Manager – VEVO
  • Margaret Wallice, CEO, Playmatics
  • Peter Tortorici, CEO, GroupM Entertainment Worldwide
  • Jordan Banks, Managing Director – Facebook Canada
  • Drew Brown, Producer – Craigslist TV
  • Mattieu Houle, Director, Mobile & Platforms – Yellow Pages Group
  • Marina Glogovac, Chief Marketing Officer – Kobo eReader
  • Dre Labre, Creative Director – Rethink Toronto
  • Mike Kasprow, Vice-President and Creative Director – Trapeze
  • Cristiano Seixas, Content Creator, Dread and Alive (special international guest)

Visit www.nextmediaevents.com for a full event schedule, speaker bios and more details.

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