Marwan Fawaz and Gary Ginsberg Named to Synacor Board of Directors

Synacor appointments Marwan Fawaz and Gary Ginsberg to its board of directors, with collective experience with world-class companies including Charter Communications, Time Warner, News Corporation, and more.

"I’m thrilled to have Marwan and Gary join our board of directors,” said Ron Frankel, Synacor CEO. “Their singular experiences, leadership skills and collective expertise with key service and content providers will be invaluable to Synacor as we prepare for a potential IPO, continue to deliver the Synacor Platform to cable, satellite, telco and consumer electronics companies, and in our campaign to bring TV Everywhere to everyone.”

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Synacor’s Ron Bernstein to Address Advertising Industry at iMedia Agency Summit

Senior Vice President of Online Sales and Operations, Ron Bernstein, will address key advertising industry executives at the iMedia Agency Summit in Scottsdale on Tues., Dec. 6 at 8:30 a.m MST

The summit, which helps agency leaders and peers gain strategic vision on an increasingly integrated media landscape, draws more than 300 senior digital agency and publishing executives eager to build business relationships. Bernstein’s discussion will focus on how Entertainment Everywhere Platforms like Synacor differentiate from typical portals which include AOL, MSN and Yahoo!. Key discussion points include: An overview of Synacor’s national advertisers and cumulative monthly unique visitors across its overall platform; Synacor’s Entertainment Everywhere Platform as an advanced advertising system; and Synacor’s highly accurate targeting capabilities and custom, integrated homepage “roadblock” programs.

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Charter to Weave Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Into Web Searches
Synacor powered portal, Charter.net, to be the platform

Charter Communications will take a key step toward embracing over-the-top content, with plans to provide search results for content available on Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and Hulu on Charter.net mixed in with video available directly from the MSO.

"We want to offer folks a comprehensive and easy-to-use experience for discovering all forms of content," said Mike McMahon, Charter's vice president of Web experience and application strategy. "We've widened the definition a bit perhaps compared with our industry peers."

Charter plans to launch the integrated search in late November. No money is changing hands between Charter and Netflix, Amazon or Hulu, according to McMahon. "From their perspective, we're a search engine, providing eyeballs," he said.

Charter.net will provide embedded playback of Hulu's free-to-consumer content, alongside its own authenticated video services which include ESPN3, HBO Go, Max Go, Epix and BTN2Go. The website also displays listings from Charter's linear TV and VOD services with information on how to access that content on TV.

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Smaller cable operators get TV Everywhere as viewers cry 'I want my HBO GO'
Synacor turns TV Everywhere on for operators

Providers such as WideOpenWest Networks LLC, have begun rolling out online and mobile access to their slate of cable and broadcast TV shows, free to their subscribers. In early October, the cable operator announced that it will be offering HBO GO and Max GO to premium movie channel subscribers for viewing on their computers, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and certain Android devices.

WOW!, an overbuilder with more than 420,000 estimated basic subscribers in Illinois, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan, actually began offering Comcast Corp.'s cable networks, including E! Entertainment Television, online a year ago. But it recently ramped up the service.

WOW! said offering customers access to cable TV content on multiple devices has become a necessity. It competes with Comcast, Time Warner Cable Inc. and Suddenlink Communications, all much larger rivals, in its markets.

"The risk of not doing it, as a competitive provider, is for consumers to go to [rival] cable [operators]," Cristin Brown, vice president of marketing at WOW!, told SNL Kagan.

Besides larger cable operators, DIRECTV and DISH Network Corp. are preparing their own TV Everywhere alternatives and could lure viewers.

"Everyone's moving in this direction," Brown said.

Synacor Inc. CEO Ron Frankel, whose firm helps pay TV operators set up TV Everywhere operations, said there is "significant" interest among providers to deploy the service. He said providers were interested a year ago but now there is a greater sense of urgency to get TV Everywhere up and running.

"They're starting to get phone calls [from customers] asking for HBO GO," Frankel told SNL Kagan.

Synacor has turned on TV Everywhere for about half a dozen operators thus far and expects the bulk of its 50 clients to have the service within six months. Frankel said it takes Synacor about four to eight weeks to set up TV Everywhere.

WOW! is a Synacor client, along with Rio Holdings Inc.'s Grande Communications, which serves 125,000 subscribers in Texas. Synacor recently unveiled an initiative it calls "TV Everywhere for Everyone" to help operators in small rural and mid-sized markets deploy the service.TV Everywhere mitigates cord-cutting

Faced with the threat of consumer defections to online video sites, Time Warner Inc. and Comcast announced an initiative called "TV Everywhere" in 2009 that would give subscribers access to content over the Internet and mobile devices at no additional cost. Customers sign in to authenticate their eligibility.

The goal is to stop people from canceling their cable subscription and watching TV shows online at free or cheap sites.


The Buffalo News takes a look inside Synacor

Synacor is a slice of Silicon Valley on the Buffalo waterfront, a battle-tested survivor of the dot-com boom-and-bust cycle and the recent recession.

The high-tech company employs legions of engineers, software developers and information-technology whizzes in an office sprinkled with foosball tables and bean bag chairs.

Synacor has hired dozens of new employees annually, offering attractive benefits and camaraderie-building activities to offset the grueling workload, and is again expanding its offices on La Riviere Drive beside the Erie Basin Marina.

“This story is just beginning, even though we’ve been at it for 10 years,” said George Chamoun, the executive vice president of sales and marketing.

The company designs and hosts online tools for cable and telecommunications companies, from email to video, serving 30 million households worldwide. Synacor is betting on cable and satellite, which is facing stiff competition from Netflix, Amazon and other services that provide TV and movies on demand. The Buffalo company is a leading force in the telecommunications industry’s push to hold onto its customers by delivering its premium content to laptops, tablets and smartphones.

“Consumers are saying, ‘I want my TV, I want my entertainment, everywhere and anywhere,’ ” said Chamoun. “Consumers want this, and the industry has to deliver this.”

Full story

The Buffalo News also took a look inside life at Synacor in its recent article, How hard-working Synacor employees keep loose.

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Synacor and Grande Communications to Deploy TV Everywhere Services as Part of Synacor “TV Everywhere for Everyone” (TVEE) Campaign
Synacor and Grande TVEE News Timed To CTAM in New York

When the services launch later this year as part of Synacor’s newly announced “TV Everywhere for Everyone” campaign—helping small and mid-sized independent operators quickly become TVE-ready—Grande subscribers will have access to TV Everywhere content at www.MyGrande.net and on TVE-ready programmer websites.

“Consumer demand for TV Everywhere is escalating. Parks Associates reports upwards of 30% of broadband consumers want TVE, and a full third would switch from their current pay-TV company to a provider offering TVE for free,” said Ron Frankel, President and CEO of Synacor. “Synacor’s TVE expertise and our new rapid-launch ‘TV Everywhere for Everyone’ solution will enable Grande Communications to offer their subscribers the most enjoyable, hassle-free TVE experience possible. We’re thrilled to be working with Grande.”

“Delivering TV Everywhere to every one of our subscribers is a top priority,” said Matt Murphy, President of Grande Communications. “We hear every day from customers who want the flexibility and convenience to watch their favorite programming whenever and wherever they may be. Synacor’s rapid-launch TVE platform is truly a turn-key offering and is crucial to meeting our immediate business goals and satisfying our subscriber base.”

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Synacor CEO, Ron Frankel, to speak at AGC's Digital Media, Internet and Mobile Conference

Ron Frankel is addressing the America's Growth Capital's 2011 Digital Media, Internet and Mobile Conference in Boston, MA at 12:15 PM on Tuesday, September 20, Westin Copley Place. The conference features over 250 of the leading public and private emerging growth companies and attracts over 750 attendees. Mr. Frankel's session, "TV Everywhere," will discuss the current landscape of the video industry with a focus on TV Everywhere, including:

-Why authentication is key to connecting programmers with operators as well as delivering the best possible search and discovery experience for subscribers so they can experience online entertainment anytime, anywhere, across multiple smart devices;

-How Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Amazon and iTunes will increasingly be viewed as complementary services rather than competition to cable; and

-Why TV Everywhere means Pay TV is here to stay, and speculation over "cutting-the-cord" has been largely overblown.

Read more at SFGate


Synacor Launches TVE White Paper as Netflix September 1 Price Increase Hits: Synacor CEO and TVE Expert, Ron Frankel, Offers Perspective

Synacor, the market leader powering next-gen portals and TV Everywhere services reaching over 30 million high-speed Internet subscribers worldwide on behalf of cable, satellite, telecom and consumer electronics companies, today showcased its TV Everywhere (TVE) White Paper, which includes integration of Turner Broadcasting's Networks and Suddenlink. Additionally, as the Netflix September 1 price hike hits, Synacor CEO and TVE expert Ron Frankel offers perspective.

According to Synacor CEO Ron Frankel, "As far as Netflix customer abandonment, don't expect a seismic shift. The vitriol makes for a good story, but doesn't reflect reality. We'll see many customers drop DVDs and shift to Netflix' streaming only offering. Growth will slow, but no wholesale desertion."

Sharing his perspective on Netflix, Frankel said, "Want to spike your subscription rates? Drop the direct-to-consumer model and allow Netflix to be bundled along with other MVPD offerings, just like HBO, Showtime or Starz. When you look at its market cap, windowed movie catalog, and original programming aspirations, Netflix looks a lot more like an HBO rather than a competitor to cable. Bundling Netflix as part of a cable tier is a better price value-proposition for consumers. Do this and see subscription rates soar."

Read more at SFGate


Why Metadata Will Define the Future of TV
Synacor CEO, Ron Frankel, speaks on TV Everywhere

Today’s consumers want TV content not just in the web browser, but on smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles — you name it. However, for “TV Everywhere” (TVE) to succeed, the industry cannot simply offer content on a multitude of devices — it must also ace the viewer’s search and discovery experience. Enter, metadata.

Metadata is the in-depth descriptive information about programming that includes title, storyline, cast, genre, release date, images and more. It drives TVE forward by powering search, discovery and content personalization, and creates the potential for new revenue streams through enhanced product placements and targeted advertising. Similar to how the remote control once empowered viewers to browse through channels, multi-device TV viewing requires detailed metadata that allows consumers to effortlessly discover the content they want to watch across multiple platforms. HBO gets it. Using HBO GO, True Blood fanatics can now find and stream their favorite episodes, or any of actress Anna Paquin’s performances, via smartphones, tablets and the web.

Read more on Mashable


Synacor to Offer Best Buy Geek Squad Support Services to Distribution Partners: Enhances Subscriber Experience Resulting in Increased RPU and Stickiness
Hassle-Free Service Provides Help From Geek Squad Agents 24/7 via Online Chat, Remote Support or Over the Phone

Synacor, the market leader powering next-gen portals and online entertainment services for high-speed Internet subscribers, today announced it will offer Geek Squad Support assistance from Best Buy® (NYSE: BBY) to its telecom and MVPD clients.

With a Geek Squad Support subscription, Geek Squad Agents will be available to telecom and MVPD client customers 24/7 via online chat, remote or over the phone to provide common computer fixes such as virus removal; operating system and software installation and repair; and troubleshooting assistance for computer-related issues.

"Our cable, satellite, telco and consumer electronics clients provide world-class support to their customers for access to the internet. Yet there are times when customers need extra help with their own computer setup," said Theodore May, senior vice president of Synacor. "Best Buy's Geek Squad is unmatched in customer care and support. Subscribers will be happy. And our MVPD clients will be happy with the resulting increases in RPU and customer stickiness."

Geek Squad Agents have completed hundreds of hours of technical, customer service and data privacy training, as well as years of hands-on experience. The average Agent has four or more years of experience and holds at least one certification.

"We're excited about working with Synacor to provide MVPD customers an opportunity to enjoy an ongoing relationship with Geek Squad on their terms," said George Sherman, senior vice president of Services at Best Buy. "With this service, people can contact us when they want, in the way they feel most comfortable -- online or over the phone."


CNN Embraces TV Everywhere on the Web, iPad, and iPhone
Synacor CEO, Ron Frankel, speaks on TV Everywhere

CNN embraces TV Everywhere by offering select providers 24-hour live broadcast streams of CNN and HLN programming from the Web, iPads, and iPhones.

Providers offering this service include two Synacor clients, Suddenlink and DISH Network.

Synacor CEO, Ron Frankel, contributes a broader explanation of TV Everywhere’s role in the industry in a recent interview with Mashable. “The response and uptake we’re seeing is phenomenal,” Frankel said. “Thanks to HBO Go, millions of people are now familiar with entering in their account ID to access TV Everywhere content.”

Read more on Mashable


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