May 2, 2008 The way people watch, and indeed interact with their televisions is undergoing a fundamental shift - a shift from mass entertainment to personalized, targeted, interactive entertainment (and advertising) platform. Sezmi Corporation (formerly known as Building B, Inc.) has seen the writing on the wall and is hoping to be a major player in what has been dubbed Television 2.0. The company has announced that it is commencing trials in pilot markets in preparation for commercial launch with broadband service providers and national retailers later this year.
The Sezmi offering is billed as a complete TV 2.0 solution, delivering all television content, including broadcast and cable network programming, movies and Internet video, in one simple package. By removing the artificial barriers between content from different sources Sezmi aims to provide a seamless integration of live, stored, on-demand and Internet video through a single and consistent interface. Sezmi’s primary user interface organizes content as program lists (e.g., My Top Picks, My Genres, My Channels) to simplify the browsing and discovery of television content. The Sezmi remote control has unique buttons for individual members of the household so each user is presented with a personalized homepage-like screen that organizes a line-up of content that is specifically matched to the user’s routines and preferences.
The Sezmi approach not only embraces the migration of consumer TV viewing away from appointment-based viewing, giving viewers the flexibility to watch what they want, when they want, it also brings the benefits of social networking to the TV. Subscribers are able to share playlists with friends and family, contribute to community ratings of shows and benefit from community recommendations.
Sezmi has developed the FlexCast video distribution technology that combines terrestrial digital broadcast television with existing broadband infrastructure to cost effectively deliver video content. The system utilizes available capacity in existing digital television broadcast networks and creates a private, secure broadcast transmission for content negating the need to upgrade existing broadband infrastructure.
Sezmi promises broadcasters the possibility of realizing significant returns on their digital investments through a proven subscription television business model and targeted advertising. “Advertisers are demanding Internet-like efficiency with TV advertising. They want to target the right customer with the right ad, and have accurate data on viewer response,” said Tim Hanlon, Executive Vice President of Denuo Group, a Publicis Company. “Sezmi is a breakthrough service in this area. For the first time, advertisers will know exactly who—whether it’s mom or dad or the kids—watched their commercial. Sezmi will enable improvements in advertising effectiveness and ultimately increases marketing ROI, two important goals in today’s cluttered ad landscape.”
Sezmi has established partnerships with broadcasters, broadband providers and content companies to commence technical trials in preparation for commercial launch across several major U.S. markets later this year. There is no word on price yet, but Sezmi will be offered to consumers through broadband service providers and national retailers.