aioTV Scores Key OTT / TV Patent

Denver-based aioTV won a U.S. patent that could give it leverage to license a solution to pay TV distributors looking to market subscription services that combine access to live TV and over-the-top video content from providers like Netflix and Hulu.

“Merging OTT/Web video with legacy video offerings is table stakes for MVPDs [multichannel video programming distributors] now,” aioTV CEO Mike Earle said in an email regarding the patent. “We see MVPDs, CE manufacturers and other software offerings that are directly in the sights of these patent claims and the others we already have granted.”

Earle is named as inventor on the patent, titled, “Method and system for creating video channels for delivery of content from multiple platforms.”

Abstract: A system for managing delivery of content from multiple platforms maintains data for various video channels. Some of the video channels are television channels, while others are over-the-top (OTT) video content sources such as video streaming websites. The system includes a package generation module by which a service provider may define a package of both traditional and OTT channels to offer to subscribers in a unified programming interface. When a user uses the interface to select a set of video channels, the system compiles the set of the video channels in a subscriber package of both television and OTT channels. The system assigns a name to the subscriber package, and it stores the defined package and name, along with other information about the package, in a data storage facility for offering to a subscriber of content from the service provider.

Patent

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Claims:
1. A system for managing channels of video content from multiple platforms, the system comprising: a data storage facility comprising data for a plurality of available video channels, wherein at least a portion of video channels are associated with over-the-top video content sources that are not under any control of a service provider; a non-transitory computer-readable medium portion that stores programming instructions that are configured to cause a processor of a service provider to generate and display a service provider user interface, wherein the programming instructions that cause the processor to generate and display the service provider user interface comprise instructions to: receive a service provider selection of one of the over-the-top video content sources, access a database in which information for content items for a selected source is stored, present information for the content items from the selected source from the database to the service provider via a content management interface, apply one or more rules for receiving, from the service provider via the content management interface, selected content items from the selected source in a playlist to be presented via a channel, provide a playlist ordering menu via which the service provider may define an order in which the selected content items will be presented in the playlist, and save the playlist to a data storage facility for presentation to a subscriber via a content delivery interface; and additional programming instructions configured cause a processor to present a content management interface that is configured to enable the service provider to manage available content by: receiving a rule set comprising a frequency; periodically accessing the over-the-top video content sources according to the frequency to determine whether any video source has posted any new content since a prior time that the system accessed that video source; retrieving metadata for the identified new content, wherein the metadata comprises a title and a delivery address; and storing the metadata in the database in which information for content items is stored.

2. The system of claim 1, further comprising a non-transitory computer-readable medium portion with additional programming instructions that are configured to cause a processor to generate and display the content delivery interface to the subscriber so that the content delivery interface comprises a programming guide interface that comprises: a channel selector interface that will display identifying information for a plurality of over-the-top video content sources that the user is permitted to access; an asset listing interface that will display a set of available videos for playlist for an over-the-top video content source that has been selected via the channel selector interface, in which each displayed content asset is associated with metadata that includes an address where the content asset is available; and a media player application that, when the subscriber selects an available video from the asset listing interface, will retrieve the selected video from the selected video’s corresponding address and displays the selected video.

3. The system of claim 1, wherein the programming instructions that are configured to apply the one or more rules comprise instructions to implement one or more of the following: receive an advertisement delivery rule set, wherein the advertisement delivery rule set comprises instructions as to where to place one or more advertisements in the playlist and how many ads to place at any location; or adjust one or more filters, wherein each filter assigns a weight to one or more categories of content information, so that when presenting content to the user for selection the system will omit some content based at least one of the adjusted filters.

4. The system of claim 1, wherein the instructions further comprise instructions to: generate a package comprising the service provider-selected sources of over-the-top video content; assign a price to the package; and offer the package to the subscriber for viewing via the content delivery interface in an integrated platform.

5. The system of claim 1, wherein the programming instructions also comprise instructions configured to cause the service provider user interface to: display data relating to a plurality of video channels that are controlled by the service provider; receive, from the displayed data, a selection of a set of the video channels that are controlled by the service provider; compile the selected set of video channels and each selected source of over-the-top video content in a subscriber package; and store the package in the data storage facility for offering to a subscriber of content from the service provider.

6. The system of claim 4, wherein: the instructions to generate and display the service provider user interface also comprise instructions to generate and display a channel ordering interface by which the service provider may order channels in the package so that, in operation, the system will: receive, via the channel ordering interlace, a request to move a first channel in the package to a new order location in the package; identify an adjacency rule that applies to the first channel and one or more channels that would be adjacent to the first channel if the first channel were moved to the new order location; and permit movement of the first channel to the new order location only if the movement would satisfy the adjacency rule.

7. The system of claim 1, wherein the instructions to present the content management interface also comprise instructions to: for any over-the-top video content source that corresponds to a social media feed for the subscriber, enable the service provider to periodically access that video source by accessing the social media feed and retrieving the metadata from new posts to the subscriber’s social media feed.

8. A method of managing channels of video content from multiple platforms, the method comprising: maintaining a data storage facility comprising data for a plurality of available video channels, wherein at least a portion of video channels are associated with over-the-top video content sources that are not under any control of a service provider; by a service provider processing device, generating and displaying a service provider user interface that is configured to: receive a service provider selection of one of the over-the-top video content sources, access a database in which information for content items for the source selected by the service provider is stored, present information for the content items from the selected source from the database to the service provider via a content management interface, apply one or more rules for receiving, from the service provider via the content management interface, selected content items from the selected source in a playlist to be presented via a channel, provide a playlist ordering menu via which the service provider may define an order in which the selected content items will be presented in the playlist, and save the playlist to a data storage facility for presentation to a subscriber via a content delivery interface; and by a processing device, presenting a content management interface configured to enable the service provider to manage available content by: receiving a rule set comprising a frequency; periodically accessing the over-the-top video content sources according to the frequency to determine whether any video source has posted any new content since a prior time that the system accessed that video source; retrieving metadata for the identified new content, wherein the metadata comprises a title and a delivery address; and storing the metadata in the database in which information for content items is stored.

9. The method of claim 8, further comprising, by a processing device, generating and displaying the content delivery interface to the subscriber so that the content delivery interface comprises a programming guide interface that comprises: a channel selector interface that displays identifying information for a plurality of over-the-top video content sources that the subscriber is permitted to access; an asset listing interface that displays a set of available videos for a playlist for an over-the-top video content source that has been selected via the channel selector interface, in which each displayed content asset is associated with metadata that includes an address where the content asset is available; and a media player application that, when the user selects an available video from the asset listing interface, retrieves the selected video from the selected video’s corresponding address and displays the selected video.

10. The method of claim 8, wherein applying the one or more rules comprises: receiving an advertisement delivery rule set, wherein the advertisement delivery rule set comprises instructions as to where to place one or more advertisements in the playlist and how many ads to place at any location; or adjusting one or more filters, wherein each filter assigns a weight to one or more categories of content information, so that when presenting content to the user for selection the service provide interface omits some content based at least one of the adjusted filters.

11. The method of claim 8, further comprising: generating a package comprising the service provider-selected sources of over-the-top video content; assigning a price to the package; and offering the package to the subscriber for viewing via the content delivery interface in an integrated platform.

12. The method of claim 8, wherein generating and displaying the service provider user interface further comprises: displaying data relating to a plurality of video channels that are controlled by the service provider; receiving, from the displayed data, a selection of a set of the video channels that are controlled by the service provider; compiling the selected set of video channels and each selected source of over-the-top video content in a subscriber package; and storing the package in the data storage facility for offering to a subscriber of content from the service provider.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein: generating and displaying the service provider user interface also comprises generating and displaying a channel ordering interface by which the service provider may order channels in the package so that, in operation, the service provider user interface will: receive, via the channel ordering interface, a request to move a first channel in the package to a new order location in the package; identify an adjacency rule that applies to the first channel and one or more channels that would be adjacent to the first channel if the first channel were moved to the new order location; and permit movement of the first channel to the new order location only if the movement would satisfy the adjacency rule.

14. The method of claim 8, wherein presenting the content management interface also comprises: for any over-the-top video content source that corresponds to a social media feed for the subscriber, enabling the service provider to periodically access that video source by accessing the social media feed and retrieving the metadata from new posts to the subscriber’s social media feed.

15. A method for managing channels for delivery of video content from multiple platforms, comprising: by a service provider processing device, implementing an over-the-top (OTT) playlist generation interface that, in operation: displays a source selector menu with a plurality of available sources of OTT content, receives, from a service provider via the source selector menu, a selection of a plurality of content items from a plurality of OTT sources for inclusion in a playlist, displays a playlist ordering menu with the selected content items in an order, receives, from the service provider via the playlist ordering menu, a defined order in which the content items should appear in the playlist, and saves the playlist with a defined order to a computer-readable memory; and by a media player application, presenting a user with the playlist; and by the service provider processing device, presenting a content management interface configured to enable the service provider to manage available content by: receiving a rule set comprising a frequency; periodically accessing the over-the-top video content sources according to the frequency to determine whether any video source has posted any new content since a prior time that a system accessed that video source; retrieving metadata for the identified new content, wherein the metadata comprises a title and a delivery address; and storing the metadata in a database in which information for content items is stored.

16. The method of claim 15, further comprising accessing an advertisement delivery rule set, wherein the advertisement delivery rule set comprises instructions as to where to place one or more advertisements in the playlist and how many ads to place at any location in the playlist.