Civolution - Alex Terpstra, CEO

Q. Evaluate 3D one year after it was perhaps over-hyped by various industry types at IBC 2010—what is the reality settling down into?
3D is here to stay, but may not go mainstream for quite some time. Now that the hype is over, it’s likely that 3D will follow the normal lifecycle curves we have already seen for new viewing formats such as widescreen and HD. Although the future will be full widescreen/HD, it’s not yet certain that 3D will become standard for all content types.

Q. What broad technology trends do you think will be front-and-centre at IBC?
Integration of social media with broadcast content rapidly will become a must-have for successful new show formats. It provides both viral marketing power, increased user engagement and an opportunity for additional (targeted) ad revenues. I believe that providing this on companion devices such as tablets and smartphones will be a very important trend.

Q. What’s new that you will show at IBC and that broadcasters should look for there?
Civolution’s Video Synchronization technology allows for the automatic identification of the TV channel being watched and the content being played. Upon identification video synchronization enables accurate real-time synchronization between content played on the TV and mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. What’s exciting about Civolution’s solution is that there’s no requirement for a link between the TV and the companion device, which massively increases flexibility and reduces cost, through enabling write-once-play-anywhere applications.

This new sync application is enables increased consumer engagement, deepening the relationship between content and the consumer as well as meeting the very exciting untapped opportunities and demand for personalized and targeted applications and advertising. The result will be a more immersive event-based viewing experience over which individual consumers have control.

Q. How is your new product offering different from what’s available on the market?
Civolution Video Synchronization uses imperceptible audio watermarks embedded within live or recorded programs showing on the main TV to accurately synchronize supplementary content via the microphone of the companion device such as a tablet or mobile. Examples include live interactivity (gambling, voting, polling), streaming synchronized video, additional programme information, relevant social network chatter, targeted advertising and measurement of engagement. The watermark can instruct the app to trigger an event at precisely the point in the video the content provider intended. For example, during a football game, the app can poll the audience about a foul or line decision. Similarly, it could ask viewers if they would like to see a cast member interview during their favourite show, or provide useful background statistics or other information.

Unlike competing systems, Civolution Video Synchronization is not dependent upon perishable data carried only during broadcast or on a link between the TV and the device, as the signaling information forms an inherent part of the content. This means the technology is transparent to any type of distribution or time shift.

Q. Where are you based, and how many employees do you have? Anything else we should know about your company?
Civolution is the leading provider of technology and solutions for identifying, managing and monetizing media content. The company offers an extensive portfolio of cutting-edge watermarking and fingerprinting technology applications for audience measurement, media synchronization and forensic marking of media assets in pre-release, digital cinema, PayTV and online. Through its solutions portfolio, Civolution offers the most comprehensive global media monitoring (television, internet, and radio) and online content identification and monetization to facilitate and manage profitable content distribution.

Civolution is headquartered in Eindhoven, The Netherlands and has offices in London, Rennes (France), New York, Los Angeles and Shanghai. Civolution currently has over 100 employees worldwide.