Technology

Software Companies Mobile-ize for Vegas

Stations can expect to see improvements in major tracking and sales tool systems at the NAB Show 4/08/2013 12:01:00 AM Eastern

Mobile revenue may be small, but it’s
growing and will continue to do so. And
vendors of traffic and billing software,
which are helping push that growth along, are introducing
mobile arena software improvements in Las Vegas
at the National Association of Broadcasters Show,
which runs through April 11. The developments will
help broadcasters track ads on content sent to smartphones
and tablets and also allow executives to tap
into sales tools on the go.

Both trends are evident in new features being demoed
at NAB by WideOrbit. “Everyone wants to be more
productive and address the fact that they are now selling
not just TV but digital, online, mobile,” says Eric
Mathewson, founder and CEO of WideOrbit, which
markets its WO Traffic product to more than 2,400
stations worldwide.

To speed up the sales process, WideOrbit will be
showing an app that will allow users to access order
entry features on the iPad. “We are starting with order
entry and over time will add more features,” says
Mathewson. “It will help stations keep salespeople on
the street and better utilize their time in front of clients
and advertisers.”

Also during the NAB meeting, WideOrbit will be
showing both its WO Mobile product, which is designed
to help stations build viewer loyalty on mobile
and social media platforms, and its business intelligence
software WO Analytics, which has already been
launched by about 120 stations.

Traffic in the Cloud

Pilat Media will be launching a Web-hosted version
of its Integrated Broadcast Management System (IBMS)
called IBMS Express. “It is a cloud-hosted [version] of
our larger enterprise package,” says John Larrabee, VP of
the Americas at Pilat Media. “It is a kind of scaled-down
version for smaller cable channels or broadcasters.”

Also at NAB, Pilat will be showing the latest release
of IBMS Rights, a centralized rights management system
for handling the distribution of content across
multiple platforms, and its OTTilus Online Video Platform
(OVP), an over-the-top solution for delivering
live, catch-up and VOD services.

“Demand for applications to deal with mobile has
really picked up,” Larrabee adds.

Harris Broadcasting will be launching the 7.6 version
of its OSi-Traffic software. “It will be mobile ordercapable,”
so executives can approve orders from their
iPhone or iPad, notes John Patrick, managing director,
North American media at Harris Broadcast. “We continue
to move core features to iPhones that will allow
executives to do business outside the office.”

Other notable upgrades in the OSi software platform
include expanded multiplatform capabilities. “We are
expanding the OSi platform to include dynamic ads
in streaming and mobile,” Patrick says. “Stations can
do a single order across all media types, place the ads
and target them.”

For NVerzion, the focus at NAB will be on smaller
stations and channels with lower-cost solutions. “We
are offering a $9,000 solution for [digital subchannels],
community channels, religious broadcasters and
smaller markets that can’t afford” the major trafficking
and billing systems that might cost as much as $1,500
per month per channel, according to NVerzion president
Scott Murphy.

Murphy sees a particularly promising market in digital
subchannels. “We think this will be a big deal this
year and next year, as people try to figure out how to
sell these channels,” he says.

MAM on Demand

During NAB, Myers Information Systems will be
showing a number of improvements to its ProTrack
broadcast management suite, notes the company’s
president and CEO Crist Myers.

These include ProTrack TV’s Media Asset Management
Module (MAM) and the ProTrack On-Demand
Module.

“On-Demand gives [broadcasters] a more streamlined
way of handling not only linear but non-linear
to mobile and online websites, as well as cable MSOs
and virtually any non-linear platform,” Myers says.

NAB will also see cross-platform ad sales systems
company Invision demoing its new integrated sales
and traffic system, DealMaker Crossroad (DMC), according
to the company’s senior VP of sales and marketing,
Mike Zablocki.

Invision has offered up DealMaker since the 1990s
and in 2004 developed a traffic solution for national
syndication. “But we didn’t have a unified solution for
traffic for cable and broadcast,” Zablocki says.

To create a unified system, Invision acquired the
code for the Crossroad software system developed by
Turner and has integrated it with DealMaker to create
the DMC solution. The system is particularly strong in
the multiplatform area because Turner developed its
own system to help handle multiplatform distribution
and TV Everywhere deals.

“You have the ability to sell across linear and nonlinear
and advanced TV platforms and to place spots
and view inventory in a real-time basis,” Zablocki says. Bloomberg TV has been the first channel to adopt
DMC after Turner.

In 2013 and 2014, the company is also looking to
adapt DMC to the local station market.

Consolidation and Commitment

Over the last year, the traffic and billing sector has
seen some consolidation and ownership changes, with
WideOrbit acquiring OneDomain and SintecMedia
buying media software company Argo Systems and
rights management software company StorerTV.

In addition, Harris spun off its Harris Broadcasting
division, which was acquired by the Los Angeles-based
investment firm The Gores Group.

Mike Oldham, Harris’ senior VP for global media
sales, notes that, “The Gores Group is very supportive
of the media business product inside Harris Broadcast.
We see it as a very important segment of the business
and are planning to invest heavily in it to grow and
expand our footprint in North American stations.”

Since July, Harris has added about 70 new stations
to the OSi platform, says Patrick.

Jay Batista, executive VP at SintecMedia, stressed his
company’s commitment to strengthening and improving
StorerTV’s SIMS platform. “We will be showing
version 5.0 at NAB [for a summer launch] and are
working on 6.0 for next year,” Batista says.

 

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