The Videonet Connected TV Awards 2015 have been launched. Now in their fourth year, the awards are overseen by Videonet, judged by a panel of independent judges and presented in a ceremony at Connected TV Summit (June 24-25 in London). A new category has been introduced to recognize the companies who are advancing the television user experience, whether through an incremental improvement in their user interface, better curation and discovery for content or the advance of immersive big screen television experiences like UHD.
The awards categories for 2015 are:
â€¢ Best TV/Video Service Update or Launch
â€¢ Contribution to User Experience
â€¢ The Multiscreen & Streaming Prize
â€¢ Achievement in Advertising
â€¢ Video Technology Hero
The deadline for awards submissions is Friday, March 20 at midnight Pacific Time. The shortlists will be announced on June 3. Four entries will be shortlisted from each category; there will be one winner and one commended entry. With the exception of â€˜Achievement in Advertisingâ€™, the category winners will compete for the final prize of â€˜Outstanding Achievement in TV 2015â€™.
â€œThe Videonet Connected TV Awards embrace everything that is bold, innovative and timely in the television industry,â€ says Justin Lebbon, Conference Director for Connected TV Summit and Publisher at Videonet. â€œWe want to reward the efforts of content owners and broadcasters, platform operators, online service providers, network owners, the advertising industry and their technology and solutions providers. These awards are an established guide to who is making waves in our marketplace.â€
The confirmed judges for 2015 are:
All categories except advertising:
â€¢ Ben Schwarz, CEO, CTOi Consulting
â€¢ William Cooper, Founder and Chief Executive, informitv
â€¢ Ian Nock, Managing Director, Fairmile West
â€¢ Graham Lovelace, Director, Lovelace Consulting
â€¢ Jay Chinnadorai, Managing Director, Sumtotal
â€¢ David Mercer, VP, Principal Analyst, Digital Consumer Practice, Strategy Analytics
â€¢ Steve Hawley, Principal Analyst & Consultant, tvstrategies
â€¢ Harish Reddy, CEO, Acceleredge, LLC
â€¢ Jack Davison, Managing Consultant, 3Vision
â€¢ Matthieu de Chanville, Senior Principal, A.T. Kearney
â€¢ Jon Watts, Director & Co-Founder, MTM London
â€¢ Ned Wiley, Independent Consultant
â€¢ Tom Thomas, Senior Security Consultant, Farncombe
â€¢ Stephen Featham, Founder, Aspect 23 Limited
â€¢ John Moulding, Editor, Videonet
â€¢ Simon Thomas, Strategic Systems Director, GroupM
â€¢ Niko MuÃ±oz, Head of Global Corporate Development, SVP, Havas Media
â€¢ Stephen Adshead, Associate Director, MTM London
â€¢ Andrew Rosenman, President, Arise Communications Inc.
â€¢ Jean-Paul Edwards, Strategy and Product Development Director EMEA, OMD
â€¢ Ned Wiley, Independent Consultant
â€¢ David Brennan, Founder, MEDIA NATIVE
â€¢ John Moulding, Editor, Videonet
HOW TO ENTER
Details about how to enter, the entry form and guidance notes, prices and the payment process are all available here
For questions about how the awards work, how to enter, judging, etc. contact John Moulding, Editor, Videonet: firstname.lastname@example.org
For questions about marketing, logos and partnerships, contact Justin Lebbon, Publisher, Videonet: Justin@hubblemedia.co.uk
There were 85 entries for these awards in 2014. The Massivision Multiscreen Development Kit (MDK) from Massive Interactive was awarded the â€˜Outstanding Achievement in Connected TV 2014â€™ trophy. The â€˜Best Connected TV Service Update or Launchâ€™ was won by Sky Deutschland for its Snap OTT service. Massive Interactive won the â€˜Connected Technology Heroâ€™ category with MDK, while â€˜The Companion & Second Screen Prizeâ€™ was awarded to Virgin Media for Virgin TV Anywhere in 2014. Sky Media won the â€˜Achievement in Advertisingâ€™ award with Sky AdSmart, supported by Cisco. â€˜The Multiscreen Goes Mainstream Awardâ€™ was presented to Alcatel-Lucent for its Cloud DVR solution. You can see the full prize list, including â€˜Commendedâ€™ awards, here.
Here is some guidance about what the judges are looking for and who should enter each category:
Best TV/Video Service Update or Launch
This award is for companies who have updated an existing TV or video service as well as those who have launched a new one. Recognizing that incremental upgrades will find it hard to compete with new services in terms of their overall impact and likely volume of innovation, the judges are being asked to judge any updates on narrower terms, considering the benefits of new features/approaches and their implications for the user experience and service. For both upgrades and new launches we are looking for business, technology, marketing or consumer experience achievements and the potential for evolving or changing television (for upgrades and launches) and the wider marketplace (for launches).
Contribution To User Experience
This new category rewards service providers (for delivering) and technology/solutions providers (for enabling) notable advances in the entertainment experience related to television. It embraces user experiences on the main television screen, user experiences that rely on the combination of the main and secondary screens (i.e. â€˜Second Screenâ€™ and â€˜Companion Screenâ€™ experiences) and user experiences available on multiscreen devices. We will welcome examples from every part of the television spectrum, from immersive TV (e.g. UHD broadcast, UHD user interfaces) to a new programme guide or search facility, to a social media app integration. The judges will be looking for concepts (including unproven concepts, although additional credit will be given to ideas that are deployed and proven) that increase attention, engagement and loyalty, and which establish a closer relationship between a content owner (and their content) or service provider and the viewer/consumer. We will welcome any examples of how the relationship between a television/video related media company and consumer can be expanded, whether into new areas of entertainment (e.g. the integration of OTT SVOD services into a platform operator user interface) or into other parts of our lives (e.g. a TV user interface that encompasses some Smart Home features, or a multiscreen service that geo-tracks us and delivers weather and sports alerts during the day, wrapped within the media company brand, etc.)
The Multiscreen & Streaming Prize
This category recognizes technologies and services that advance the cause of video entertainment on connected TV devices (e.g. connected set-top boxes, connected streamer devices including dongles and Smart TVs) and multiscreen devices (e.g. laptops, tablets and smartphones). The definition of streamed video, for the purposes of these awards, is Internet delivered video (managed or unmanaged), such as adaptive bit rate streaming, RTSP and progressive download. Connected set-top boxes include STBs provided by platform operators or those bought in retail â€“ they simply require a wired or wireless IP connection and a streaming video input. Among other things, the judges will be looking for technologies or services that do any (but not necessarily all!) of the following: Improve the entertainment user experience (maybe because they enable innovations not typically enjoyed with traditional television â€“ like customized audio tracks for example, or other forms of personalisation); Help to match the user experience already seen on traditional TV, but on connected devices (like, for example, providing access to personal PVR recordings or time-shift modes like live-pause); Achieve video quality and reliability that is demonstrably closer to broadcast TV than previously possible; Demonstrate the capacity to scale streaming video (whether unicast or multicast) to new levels; Demonstrate more cost-effective delivery and/or management of streaming video; Illustrate/enable new or better ways to monetize viewing on connected TV and multiscreen devices.
Achievement in Advertising
This category rewards innovation and achievement in television advertising, whether the advertising appears in the â€˜digitalâ€™ domain (associated with Internet-delivered streaming video, so typically on connected TV devices, tablets, smartphones and laptops, for example) or in the traditional domain (associated with TV on broadcast and managed unicast networks to standard set-top boxes). The category is open to technologies of all kinds (ad planning, trading, decisioning, insertion, delivery, measurement, reporting, exchanges, as a few examples), formats of all kinds (e.g. telescoping, ad selection, dynamic or addressable insertions, programme guide ads, etc.), audience research/measurement methodologies and studies, and campaigns that demonstrate high levels of innovation and achievement (maybe because they harness new technologies and formats, show strong levels of cross-platform optimization, demonstrate compelling use of data, prove sales attribution, etc.). This category covers all types of inventory (e.g. linear, on-demand, interactive, second screen, etc.). Any non-video advertising that is delivered as a complement to a linear TV advertising campaign (e.g. Facebook advertisements to coincide with linear spots on any device, or ads appearing within second screen apps in synchronisation with linear television ads), qualify for this category but the non-video part of the campaign will be judged as part of the whole TV/digital cross-screen endeavour. Entries should therefore relate to in-video advertising or advertising that is very closely associated with a video service (this also includes programme guide advertising and overlay banners, for example). Please note that this category will have its own judging panel and for this reason entries into this category will not be entered into the final judging ballot that determines the â€˜Outstanding Achievement in TV Award 2015â€™.
Video Technology Hero
Once again, we are looking for technology heroes â€“ the solutions (or standards/specifications) that are solving the big problems or opening the door to the major opportunities in the television and video markets. The technology must be used to enable or support (directly or indirectly) the delivery of a television/video service. Technologies can come from every part of the delivery chain, from data centers and headend or playout facilities through broadcast or CDN networks to home routers and gateways and other end-user devices.