8 Comments

Summary:

Here’s a fresh, not-yet-covered startup we found out about recently: ivi TV. From what we understand, Seattle-based ivi, founded in 2007, is building a video player that will stream encrypted P2P broadcast TV signals to PCs. The company wants to sign up traditional broadcasters, but will […]

Here’s a fresh, not-yet-covered startup we found out about recently: ivi TV. From what we understand, Seattle-based ivi, founded in 2007, is building a video player that will stream encrypted P2P broadcast TV signals to PCs. The company wants to sign up traditional broadcasters, but will also include channels from independent content producers. This sounds quite a bit like RayV (our profile); it also has elements in common with the linear TidalTV as well as HD live-streaming efforts from startups like Kulabyte and Conviva.

The self-funded ivi already has an active blog and Twitter account, though it has only a sign-up form on its sparse web site. We’re told it plans to launch this summer.

Disclosure: We heard about ivi because they were in touch with our ad sales team, but as you know our policy is to always write about any under-the-radar video startups we can find.

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  1. ivi TV: una nuova piattaforma di diffusione TV via internet ? | Video Monte Ceneri Tuesday, February 10, 2009

    [...] [fonte] The ivi TV: una nuova piattaforma di diffusione TV via internet ? by Luca Palli, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. Italiano, Live, Livestation, P2P, P2PTV, Twitter, Zattoo [...]

  2. Todd Weaver, CEO, ivi Thursday, February 12, 2009

    Thanks for the post about us, and your attention to what we are doing at ivi!

    Being pre-launch and pretty invisible as of yet, we have yet to publicly address the issues you raise — but we appreciate the opportunity to differentiate ourselves from the companies you referenced.

    Kulabyte provides a simple, effective business-to-business (B2B) solution for flash-based content delivery. Conviva offers a slick B2B solution that adds interactivity to Internet content delivery. RayV allows broadcasters a B2B technology solution that delivers content directly to the broadcaster’s own branded player. Tidal TV is a business-to-consumer (B2C) website aggregating archived video clips and programs.

    ivi’s fundamental difference with these companies is our focus on continuous live-streaming content delivery, although our unique player application does share certain technology and interactivity elements with these other companies. Believe me, there will be more on our specific content delivery methodology as we emerge publicly in the upcoming months (so check our blog regularly!).

    As always, your facts are good: Yes we’re Seattle-based. We started developing our technology in 2004 and incorporated ivi, Inc. in 2007. We like to think of ourselves as crypto-freaks (so yes, we do encryption) and p2p gurus (so yes, we do p2p). And as we said, our focus is on live-streaming (so yes, we do broadcast) and we have a neat twist on archived delivery as well (we’ll release more on that later).

    Again, thanks for your interest in ivi! We look forward to continued dialogue about this exciting and dynamic space.

  3. Hello, I have 3 question to ivi.tv ?

    1) How are you guys planning on acquiring attractive content, and what type of content will you be offering to end consumers?

    2) Will I be able to watch professional TV content such as ABC, CBS and NBC on my computer, or will you focus more on niche or even user-generated content?

    3) How will you differentiate yourself against other established live TV players, such as UUSee, PPLive, Livestation or Zattoo? (granted, they are currently not present in the US, but may be one day, as their offerings are very popular in their respective home markets).

  4. Abigail Hamilton Tuesday, March 3, 2009

    Michael,

    Thanks for writing. It’s a pleasure to have such good questions to answer! Are you sure we didn’t hire you as a shill? ;-)

    1) How are you guys planning on acquiring attractive content, and what type of content will you be offering to end consumers?

    We have a unique model which offers the top-tier content producer a way to grow a new audience on a new platform by bringing live broadcast programming online without fear of piracy and with a flexible revenue model allowing maximum revenue capture.

    We are currently working on partner agreements based on the following criteria: Broadcasters must own all their own content, insert all their own advertising, be interested in Live Internet TV, and have a strong web presence.

    These criteria give us a fat tranche of high-quality programming that is made wider by a growing openness to third-party online models by cable companies (http://adage.com/mediaworks/article?article_id=134997)

    Our goal is to make more and better live online TV available FREE in a way that works best for content providers and viewers alike.

    2) Will I be able to watch professional TV content such as ABC, CBS and NBC on my computer, or will you focus more on niche or even user-generated content?

    ivi has a LONG roadmap, which at this phase focuses on professionally-produced broadcast content that is looking for ways to go online. ABC, NBC, and CBS have existing archived content partnerships which are still proving themselves during this many-moving-parts period. To add a live online broadcast partnership would present daunting messaging and contractual challenges at this time. ivi’s roadmap calls for a focus on proving ourselves on the shorter sales in order to prove ourselves effectively and attract the attention of the giants; investors will not want us to spend their dollars chasing elephants rather than on a solid proof-of-concept that offers desirable professional content that is real-time-oriented and offers regional news outlets, cable content, live and legal sports coverage, etc.

    So, to be more concise: all things in their time! :-)

    (and that includes UGC, in its own sweet time too!)

    3) How will you differentiate yourself against other established live TV players, such as UUSee, PPLive, Livestation or Zattoo? (granted, they are currently not present in the US, but may be one day, as their offerings are very popular in their respective home markets).

    The companies you mention will have significant barriers to entry into the US market, and some of them combine illegal user feeds of content. They are interesting companies, to be sure, but none combine safety/encryption, scalability (P2P + broadband), aggregation, global access, and an easy plug-and-play revenue model the way ivi does.

    ivi is patenting software solutions that allow it to smash barriers to legal, piracy/privacy encrypted Internet distribution of real-time television signals. We provide a flexible revenue-capture model, protection for the broadcaster and the consumer, and single point-of-access aggregation of live content.

  5. Abigail,

    thanks for your thoughtful response. No, to my knowledge, you haven’t hired me as a shill yet ;-)

    (although I’d be interested in learning more about ivi in general as this sounds interesting. I have been involved in this space for a number of years now, but have always wondered why nobody has cracked the US Internet TV market yet.. maybe ivi does).

    1) So in a way you provide a tool to broadcasters to better monetize their content on the Internet, rather than position yourself as a retransmitter (like a cableco). So yes, I can see the value of that to broadcasters. Some companies have a similar approach, e.g., Brightcove, although they are not really doing the same thing, and they are working on the long-tail of the content game. In any case, if you also manage to convince the end consumer (who want as much content as possible aggregated in one nice simple to use interface) this could be a really big play. There is just nobody who offers me a good enough TV experience on the PC yet. It’s all cluttered, clumsy, and difficult to use.

    2) So, archived and not live content (I guess the catchup TV market alone is big enough in the US, so this makes sense). but this also means more of an on-demand touch vs a truly live retransmission model. I just wonder whether tapping into the archives of broadcasters isn’t something they may want to do themselves.

    3) For sure, some of the companies that I mentioned above operate in a legal grey zone, as far as content rights are concerned. Especially the folks in China (if one can believe what is written in the press). But some do have the golden combination that you have described, at least some of the European ones that were created over the past few years, some of which I am somewhat familiar with. These are virtually unknown in the US, as they tend to be very focused on their (fragmented) home markets, just like the Chinese players who focus on providing Chinese content to Chinese consumers.

    What you do sounds great! You seem to be embarking on a rather difficult mission. But if you manage do get some of the giants on board, this could be huge. I would love to stay in touch and/or learn more about you guys!

  6. Abigail Hamilton Friday, March 6, 2009

    Michael,

    Great conversation. I’d love to take it further offline (Drop me a note with your email via the chat pane on our blog) and learn more about you and what you’re doing.

    I value your solid analysis, though I do have to apologize if I gave the misimpression that ivi was focused on “archived and not live content.” (2) ivi’s roadmap is long, as I said, but our business is bringing TV onto the PC live as it airs. It’s a very event-driven space (news, sports, entertainment) that as you point out is thirsty for a good solution and showcases our capabilities value to broadcasters AND consumers perfectly.

    (3) Since your comment I’ve been enjoying Russia Today and France 24 while I work. The performance is good, probably because the online delivery is fully legal.

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  8. Ivi Seeks To Become An Online Cable System Monday, September 13, 2010

    [...] Liz Gannes first reported about Ivi in early 2009. [...]

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