Universities Roll-Out Akoo’s Social TV Network

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Akoo, Elmwood Park, Illinois-based social music television network, has added agreements with some of the leading universities in the U.S. that will make its interactive video programming available to an additional 330,000 college students across the country.

Akoo’s programming will be available in highly trafficked student unions, large dining areas, and popular recreational centers on campuses, where large numbers of students gather every day for extended periods of time. To ensure a fully immersive social entertainment experience, Akoo is installing 10-to-20 high-definition TV screens and a professional audio system in each environment.

Akoo empowers social engagement by enabling students to control programming on its networked HDTV screens with their mobile devices. Students can select their favorite music videos – via text message request or Akoo’s mobile application – and share them on the network with friends, free and on-demand. Licensed music videos from all four major record labels: Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, andEMI, are available for on-demand selection.

“Akoo social TV has transformed the Morris University Center on our campus,” says Joseph Pearson, director of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. “We’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our students, who appreciate the opportunity to choose the entertainment content of their choice on the network. This creates community building as students interact with Akoo programming and share the experience with their friends. Akoo social TV is an enhancement of the university experience we are always trying to build in our center.”

Niko Drakoulis, Akoo CEO, says that third-party research validates that social TV is a much more engaging and relevant programming experience for the 18-24 year-old demographic.

“This younger demographic has abandoned appointment-based broadcast television viewing and tuned out interruptive advertising,” says Drakoulis.

Certified Arbitron audience measurement research recently confirmed that 64.5 million monthly viewers watch Akoo programming and advertising in 53 top markets across 30 U.S. states. Of these monthly engaged viewers, 13.4 million watch for 30 minutes or more per average visit, 14.8 million watch for 15-29 minutes, and 36.3 million watch for up to 14 minutes.

Additionally, an Arbitron Advertising Effectiveness study confirmed that 30-second broadcast television commercials integrated within Akoo’s interactive, social TV environment outperformed their broadcast equivalents in brand metrics ranging from ad recall to purchase intent.

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