Rovi “International Beard Day” Raises Money Globally to Fight Blood Cancers

Rovi employees held their first International Beard Day on October 4th, where they donned beards and raised money around the globe to beat blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma.

Rovi London

Rovi London

The initiative came from the Social Events Committee in Rovi’s London office, and was inspired by the battle against lymphoma that a London-based colleague is now fighting. It was decided that to raise money and awareness for the leading UK blood cancer charity, Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, and build a lighthearted campaign around it. The idea of making beards iconic to the campaign rose from the fact that the affected colleague will inevitably be losing his trademark red beard as a result of cancer treatment, a fact that is widely unrecognized in current cancer awareness. The fake beard idea was also seen as a fun and original way to grab people’s attention – which proved right.

Rovi Luxembourg

Rovi Luxembourg

The event quickly went global as Rovi offices in Luxembourg and the United States decided to take part, despite the fact that each location had less than two weeks to prepare their beard crew and contact their local blood cancer charities. Participating offices included Radnor, PA; Ann Arbor, MI; Santa Clara, CA; and New York City. With determination and team spirit, each office managed to pull this off with great success.

Rovi New York City

Rovi New York City

Thousands of dollars in donations were raised, which will be doubled by Rovi through its matching gift program. In addition to Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, charities that will benefit include Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Greater Los Angeles, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of New York, and DKMS.

Rovi Ann Arbor, MI

Rovi Ann Arbor, MI

We are truly delighted by all the support, spontaneity and team spirit demonstrated by everyone involved. This has been a great step in developing our Rovi culture by everyone working together towards a mutual goal, without financial benefit but fully for the sake of goodwill and some fun.

Rovi Radnor, PA

Rovi Radnor, PA

To see a photo album of the Rovi fundraisers in their beards, please visit the Rovi Facebook page.

Rovi Santa Clara, CA

Rovi Santa Clara, CA

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Rovi Feels the Love in Asia

DivX fans at ComputexSome may be surprised to find that a U.S.-based company like Rovi has offices in Asia, but it makes perfect sense. Many of the electronics companies that license our technology have headquarters or manufacturing facilities in Asia, including Samsung, LG, Hisense, Panasonic, Toshiba, Sony, Sharp , and Philips. And among Facebook fans of our DivX technology, four Asian cities rank highly: Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, and Singapore.

So when we exhibited at Computex 2013 in Taipei – the largest information and computer technology show in Asia, and the second largest in the world – we expected to draw a crowd. And what a crowd we got!

4K on display

4K on display in Rovi boothMaybe our popularity had to do with the fact that we displayed 4K video, encoded with our DivX HEVC solution. Maybe folks were just interested to know that we’re the technology behind the program guides and online entertainment stores they use every day. And maybe we tapped into a vein of DivX love that was larger than we knew. In any case, hundreds of people lined up to sign up for our newsletter, “like” DivX on Facebook, and pose for pictures with signs that said “I <3 DivX” and “DivX is awesome.”

Rovi’s team in Asia

Rovi has employees in many major cities in Asia, including Taipei, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Seoul, Tokyo, and Osaka. Along with myself, who flew in from San Diego, this crew welcomed all our visitors and made sure each got to know a little more about what we do, as well as getting a DivX mobile phone charger. We showed off Rovi TotalCode, TotalGuide CE, DivX Plus Streaming, DivX Video Service, electronics that have DivX Certification, and Rovi’s complete HEVC solution.

Do you feel the love?

More DivX fans at ComputexIf you weren’t at Computex this year, but want to know more about Rovi and DivX, we can help. Here’s how:

  • Sign up to receive the Rovi Insights Series. It’s a free multimedia download for iOS or Android phones and tablets, or a downloadable PDF, packed with insights about the digital entertainment industry and where it’s going. Subscribe to the iOS or Android versions to get exclusive digital-only content and have future installments delivered right to your tablet or phone.
  • Subscribe to the DivX email newsletter. You’ll hear about new versions of our legendary DivX software first.
  • Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. We have updates there every business day. You can “like” Rovi or DivX, or follow @RoviCorp or @DivX. LinkedIn updates are found on Rovi’s company page.

If you did visit us at Computex, thanks for the love! The Rovi APAC team will see you again next year.

Rovi APAC team

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The Future: 4K Yes, Jetpacks No

Jetlev JetpackIf you make or market movies or TV shows, you’re probably seriously worried these days.

Entertainment delivery is changing in big ways. Audiences now do their own programming, tune in on their schedule, discover what their friends watch via methods that didn’t exist five years ago, and expect higher quality no matter the delivery device.

If you’re a content provider, you have to know well in advance what technologies you need to pay attention to. Should you figure out how to encode for 4K? Will folks want to watch on their phones? What are the risks and benefits of cloud-based delivery like UltraViolet? Are banner ads in onscreen program guides cheesy or effective?

It’s like someone asked you to predict the future, and you’re not sure if you should invest in jetpacks.

Relax – we’ve got this

To make things easier for our customers across the entertainment ecosystem, Rovi has put together some research to help navigate this new, scary world. We have over 25 years of innovation in entertainment delivery, and we’re using what we’ve learned to give you the Rovi Insights Series, a periodic look at what’s happening in digital entertainment and where we think the industry is headed. These aren’t just our opinions, either – in the past two years, we’ve conducted more than 200 consumer studies in major markets. In this shifting landscape, this is expert research you can use.

4K, HEVC and you

Rovi Insights Series, Vol. 3The latest version of the series, Volume 3, centers on HEVC, the compression standard that we believe will drive the adoption of 4K video by delivering its higher quality with as little as half the currently required bandwidth. Industry analysts and our own Kanaan Jemili, Sr. VP of CE Products, offer their views on HEVC.

We also examine:

  • Industry benefits of HEVC
  • Challenges of adoption
  • Number of HEVC-enabled devices that are projected to be shipped in the near future
  • How quickly we think all this will become commonplace (hint: faster than you think)
  • Rovi’s end-to-end solution for the creation, delivery, and playback of HEVC video

Get it your way

Each volume of the Rovi Insights Series is available as a free multimedia download for iOS or Android phones and tablets, or as a downloadable PDF. Subscribe to the iOS or Android versions to get exclusive digital-only content and have future installments delivered right to your tablet or phone.

Armed with knowledge, you can make oracle-like choices, and your stress melts away.

See? Easy. No jetpacks required.

Want to know more?

Visit our webpage at rovicorp.com/insights, or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.

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CES 2013 – Which way to entertainment’s brave new world?

cesexhibitsAfter a week at CES, I’ve learned that at this show, you can’t do without two things: water and sunglasses. Water, because the dry desert air can make you feel like a hundred-year-old alligator, and sunglasses, because the array of consumer electronic devices on the show floor is downright dazzling.

CES 2013 was both the largest in the show’s 45-year history and a stunning peek into each exhibitor’s vision of the electronic future. The nearly 2 million square feet of show floor simply knocked me out. Exhibitors dreamed up a world in which entertainment is piped into every room in our house, rides along with us in our cars, is carried in our purses and pockets, or is even delivered through our eyeglasses. The TV section alone was immense. Marvelous, bigger, sharper, thinner TVs and video-walls of one kind or another were everywhere. 3D! HD! Ultra HD! LED! OLED! 4K! 8K!

But what does all this new, higher-def hardware mean for the average consumer, who is unlikely to spend $25,000 on a television? Probably not very much.

roviatcesRovi, however, has a new concept for digital entertainment, and it’s meaningful for every consumer. It’s called Entertainment Unbound, and it advocates shifting the emphasis from the hardware to the user experience, putting all entertainment content wherever users want it, breaking it out of the living room and putting more content choices on multiple devices.

This is more than just “TV Everywhere,” a concept that has had a hard time gaining traction with everyday consumers–partly because consumers don’t know what it is and what it’s supposed to do for them that they can’t do already . Entertainment Unbound is about giving consumers what they really want – all video content, optimized and available to all platforms, accessible by any viewer, wherever they are.tveverywherelimitsRovi is championing the concept because it is in a unique position to help the industry build out this future, given the advances it’s making in IPTV software, DivX DRM to further UltraViolet movie storage in the cloud, DivX Stash (a kind of DVR for the web), MainConcept encoders that will drive HEVC encoding, its vast store of entertainment metadata, and much more. We showcased 12 components of this brave new entertainment world in demos during CES, and the results have people talking.

roviatces2For more on Entertainment Unbound and the digital entertainment future as Rovi sees it, read the inaugural edition of the Rovi Insights Series, now available on rovicorp.com.

Can you imagine a world in which Entertainment Unbound is fully embraced? What new place would you like to see your favorite movie or TV show? Tell us about it on Twitter or Facebook.

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Keep Up With Rovi at CES 2013

roviatces2013Rovi employees from all over the world have gathered in Las Vegas for this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, and the company is set to show its partners and customers some exciting new innovations in entertainment delivery, discovery, display and advertising.

We’re looking forward to seeing some pretty cool stuff in entertainment trends like TV Everywhere, HEVC, and Multi-Screen – and we’ll have a few announcements in those areas ourselves!

Curious, but not at the show? No problem. We’ll be posting videos from the Rovi exhibit on YouTube continuously over the next few days. We’ll also be live-tweeting panels that feature Rovi executives Bob Shallow and Jeff Siegel, and updating our website, Facebook and LinkedIn pages with announcements as they happen.

Keep up with the action! Click the links below and follow us.

Twitter: @RoviCorp
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RoviCorp
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/RoviCorp
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/rovi

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Branded Content: New Ad Medium Should Make the Leap to Smart TVs

There’s a renewed sense of exploration in the advertising industry, and it’s being driven by everyday devices like TVs that are now connected to the Internet. In this always-connected environment, a new form of advertising is becoming increasingly popular: branded content. This is brand messaging that breaks out of the conventional 30-second television ad format, using the talents of popular filmmakers and music artists, and telling a product’s story in entertaining and unique ways. The Cannes Lions festival recently recognized the medium with a new award category, which was won by Chipotle with its two-minute film “Back to the Start“, featuring animation from filmmaker Johnny Kelly and music from Willie Nelson.

Branded content is often seen at events, in video games, and most commonly, on the Internet. And thanks to its interactive nature, online is where the medium really blossomed. Campaigns like Old Spice’s “Responses” saw huge engagement numbers, scoring 35 million views in its first week as users sent thousands of questions to Old Spice spokesman and “ridiculously handsome man” Isaiah Mustafa and watched his hilarious, quickly scripted video responses.

Rovi Sr. VP of Worldwide Advertising Jeff Siegel makes the case that the next logical place for this new advertising medium is on so-called Smart TVs, or TVs with Internet connectivity. Smart TVs offer the best of both worlds: the connectivity and immediate nature of the Internet, and the big-screen experience you can’t get on a computer or smartphone.

Some other reasons branded content is perfect for smart TVs:

  • Smart TVs are being adopted at an incredible rate.
  • Connected viewers are educated, high-earning early adopters.
  • Branded content feels like entertainment, not advertising, so viewers don’t feel “interrupted.”

To see all 10 reasons Jeff cites for the natural movement of branded content to connected TVs, read his article on MediaPost:

10 Reasons Why Branded Content Belongs On Smart TVs

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AllMusic Turns Up the Dial on Music Discovery

Our team at AllMusic by Rovi is giving music lovers even more reasons to enjoy discovering new artists and albums, and sharing their finds with friends. The team launched yesterday a fresh new face on AllMusic that includes an update to the site design as well as cutting-edge features that take music discovery to a new level. The innovative features bring the Rovi entertainment discovery experience to the forefront—enabling users to dive into rich music data, enhanced search for artists/songs/albums, view recommendations from the editorial team, and share favorites via social media.

It’s been twenty years since the birth of AllMusic in 1992 (check out what the music scene was all about then) and times have changed. The new features keep step with the fast-paced world of digital, all while keeping the same in-depth and comprehensive content that has defined AllMusic as the music resource for two decades.

Here’s What’s New

Enhanced Search Streamlines the Discovery Process
At the search box at the top of any page, once users start typing in a song, album or artist, they will be presented with likely options right there in the search box. It’s no longer necessary to select an album, artist or a song when searching—users can just enter the search term and will be presented with AllMusic’s best matches.

AllMusic Recommendations Allow Users to Quickly Discover New Albums Similar to Their Favorites
At the bottom of each album page, AllMusic provides recommendations on other Similar Albums to check out based on mood and theme. Similar Albums enables users to click on album cover art and experience Rovi’s signature ‘six degrees’ discovery with access to robust music data on album overview, reviews, biographies, credits and releases.

Full Track Streaming and “Listen” Tabs Now Give Users the Ability to Listen to Music with Just a Couple of Clicks
Music is for listening, and now users can do just that with these new AllMusic features that bring access to instant listening gratification. When users see a Spotify, Rdio or MOG logo, they can click through to that service and hear the whole song right away.

To add to this new feature, artist pages also now include the “Listen” tab which links users to AllMusic’s Artist Radio partners for streaming of their favorite and newly discovered artists’ songs.

Album Stream & Buy Tabs Make It Easy for Users to Own the Content They Love
Users can click “Stream & Buy” on an album page to listen via Spotify, Rdio, or MOG or purchase the album from iTunes, making it easier than ever for users to instantly buy their favorite music to add to their digital collections for enjoyment.

Updated Music Video Presentation Enables Rich Visual User Experience
Music Videos now incorporate a new design interface that includes large thumbnail images of music videos making it effortless for users to scroll through the options of all of their favorite artists’ music videos and then click to watch.

Social Media Feature Brings Ability for Users to Share Their Music Discoveries with Others
Finding new music is even more fun when you can share with someone else. Users can now post their artist, album or song discoveries to Facebook and Twitter via links at the top of each AllMusic site page, enabling them to share finds with friends, family and their social media circles.

Sorting Feature of Artists’ Discographies Simplifies Finding Content
Sifting through the sheer volume of music content available today by artists can be overwhelming. With the new artist discography feature, users can now sort an artist’s catalog of albums and songs by multiple options including year, title, and editorial rating, enabling easy categorization of an artist’s works.

The AllMusic Minute Keeps Users ‘In the Know’ on the Latest in New Releases
Users can now view editorial video previews of this week’s new releases and discussions of music as presented by AllMusic’s staff of music experts. The AllMusic Minute helps users stay abreast on the latest song and album releases and learn new insights and information from the editorial team that today’s leading online music services rely on daily.

The latest advanced features bring music exploration to a new level of enjoyment that amplifies the multiple ways that users can discover new songs and artists on AllMusic — from hand-selected notable new releases, Staff Picks and Editors’ Choice Albums, genre or mood, among many others.

We hope you will go on and take the music discovery plunge and let the AllMusic team know what you think: http://www.allmusic.com/welcome.

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Live Streaming from The Cable Show 2012

We’re sharing The Cable Show’s official program, streaming live from the show floor. 


Come here to view updates from the session, hear how the students are doing in the Imagine Park App Challenge, and just general going ons from the show floor.

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Rovi at The Cable Show 2012

Day one of The 2012 Cable Show done and gone. We’re on to day two.  At this year’s Cable Show Rovi is on the floor (Booth #1133) at the Boston Convention Center demonstrating the technologies that it has pulled together for the cable service provider industry. And there’s a lot to show.

First, the news:
- In a joint news announcement with Nuance Communications, Rovi unveiled that it is bringing voice actived guidance to television and set-top boxes (STB). At the heart of the announcment is Rovi’s entertainment data. Nuance will be using Rovi data with its Dragon TV product and the two companies are working together on an app for mobile devices that let’s you speak to the guide on your TV or STB.

- Rovi also announced further development with Pace. Rovi TotalGuide Solution (including some new enhancements) has been built on Pace’s Dallas HD-DVR Set-top box. With the joint collaboration to bring a hybrid STB to market well in development, Rovi will be demonstrating on the show floor the first implementation of Rovi TotalGuide on Pace XG1 Multi-tuner video Gateway.

- Lastly, Rovi is rounding out its news with continued momentum toward multi-screen video delivery. At the Rovi booth, Azuki and Rovi will showcase a demo of Live TV streaming (as live as it can be on the show floor, of course). Along with this development, Rovi is showcasing its full breadth of solutions for advance discovery, video guidance, and advertising.

Among these products are the company’s DivX Plus Streaming, Rovi Search Service, Rovi Cloud Services, Personal Media Manager and Digital Copy Solution, to name a few. These capabilities are a menu of offerings for cable service providers to increase the breadth and depth of their products to make it easier for subscribers to access to content on their entertainment device of choice.

To promote development of apps for the cable industry, Rovi sponsoring Imagine Park’s Imagine App Challenge, a student competition taking place during The Cable Show with access to Rovi Cloud Services and API.

Here’s a little round up of some news stories on Rovi’s announcment:

Cable Show 2012: Rovi Weaving Siri-Like Voice Controls into TV Guide – Multichannel News, May 21, 2012 

Rovi and Nuance beat Siri to the television, SlashGear, May 21, 2012

Tomorrow Will Be Televised: Live at The Cable Show Podcast, May 21, 2012 

Check back here tomorrow for live streaming from the show floor from NCTA. 

Hope everyone is having a wonderful show!!!

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Catch ‘em While They Click: Rovi and Nielsen Reveal Phase II Findings of Smart TV Study

Rovi and Nielsen today released the results of phase II of our Smart TV Study, which was designed to assess the effectiveness of a range of interactive advertising on the connected platform. Participants in the second phase were from a variety of industries such as travel, food, and entertainment.

Adoption of Internet connected devices in the living room is growing rapidly and, given the positive usage and awareness levels that we saw in the first phase of our study, it doesn’t look like the growth will slow anytime soon. With connected devices heading quickly to the mainstream, we really wanted to look deeper at consumer ad awareness and, importantly, how they interact with a variety of campaigns. The goal here was to move past the discovery phase and give our clients more of the information they need to hone their campaigns and drive real results.

In order to drive tangible results for our clients, the key is to drive ad awareness, so we were delighted by the fact that 80% of the respondents indicated they noticed the presence of ads, and about a third of those were compelled to click through.

Campaign interaction was promising and perhaps most evident in the statistics related to RFI. In one instance, a campaign managed to garner email addresses from 70% of those visiting, while another campaign motivated over half to call an associated 1-800 number for more information.

Also, a promising sign of the impact of interactive advertising on connected platforms is the fact that many respondents were driven to engage the brand further. In one instance, 85% chose to visit the brand’s Web site after viewing the campaign, while in another instance, 8 out of 10 chose to “Like” the brand on Facebook.

Perhaps the most positive findings of the study were those reflecting intent. In the case of products the intent was to purchase, while with entertainment, the intent was tied to viewing. As shown below, 75% of those visiting a product-related campaign indicated they intended to purchase, while in the case of a show advertisement, a staggering 97% said they intended to view the program.

Download the infographic (.pdf)

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