Chicago-based Akoo, which claims position as the world’s largest social music television network, has been awarded patent number 7,647,613 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for Akoo’s apparatus and method of using mobile devices to select on demand content and to socially interact with programming across networked digital video and Internet protocol television services through SMS text messaging or mobile applications.
Akoo’s patented technology currently powers its nationally deployed social music television network in premium out-of-home environments, although the company’s patent portfolio strategy includes additional applications in the home, as well as across multiple platforms, including social media, mobile, and gaming consoles.
Akoo social music television engages 64.5 million monthly viewers in 53 top markets across 30 states, according to certified Arbitron audience measurement research. The company’s interactive platform allows it to deliver major label music videos and original programming to a national audience, while enabling viewers in each individual location to participate in the local programming experience. Viewers can select their favorite music videos – via text message request or Akoo’s mobile application – and share them on the network, free and on-demand.
Viewers can also access Akoo’s free Wi-Fi service to interact with programming, as well as participate in location-based digital marketplaces and social media activities.
Arbitron audience measurement research recently validated that of the 64.5 million monthly engaged viewers who watch Akoo programming and advertising, 13.4 million monthly viewers spend 30 minutes or more watching, 14.8 million viewers watch for 15-29 minutes, and 36.3 million viewers watch for up to 14 minutes per visit.
“Akoo is reshaping the media landscape by making television viewing more of a shared, interactive experience that’s converged with mobile devices,” says Niko Drakoulis, Akoo CEO. “Third-party research validates that our approach – combined with our patented technology – commands greater viewer attention, increases social engagement, and drives advertising effectiveness. As a result, Akoo offers its brand partners a premium environment for connecting with 64.5 million monthly engaged viewers.”
“The future of television is social TV,” added John Karantonis, Akoo president, strategy. “The company’s patent portfolio strategy addresses the convergence of television programming, Internet-connected devices, and social applications to drive ubiquitous, participatory viewership across platforms and devices, inside and outside the home.”
In development since late 2001, Akoo’s interactive technology was successfully piloted in September 2006 and nationally deployed by 2009. In 2009, Akoo launched branded entertainment campaigns for a group of inaugural brands sponsors, including Best Buy, CLEAR, 20th Century Fox, and leading brands in the gaming console and quick-service restaurant categories.