Vol 2, #29, July 20, 2010
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July 20, 2010


RentCompass launches apartment rental app
Netflix bringing streamed movies to Canada
BC to offer first legal online casino games in NA
BroadSign extends access to agencies, advertisers
Consultation with NFP sector now online
XM Canada grows XM online
Calling all geeks!
Veer introduces redesigned website
Starbucks asks Canadians to pledge online

RentCompass launches apartment rental app

RentCompass launches the first Canadian apartment rental search application for Android. The application makes it easy to find rental apartments and houses on the go without needing a computer and enhances the user's experience by adding geo location information to the search result using the phone's GPS. It also allows users to exchange information about rental vacancies via social media tools like Facebook or Twitter.

The android application compliments the existing iPhone and iPad applications and the RentCompass website. The app is available for download free on the Android Market; to learn more visit www.rentcompass.com/android. For the full lineup of RentCompass mobile applications visit www.rentcompass.com/mobile

About RentCompass:

RentCompass is Canada's first apartment rental search provider on mobile devices using native applications. Landlords, real estate agents and property management companies across Canada can visit www.RentCompass.com/AddRental to list unlimited number of rental properties. Top of Page

Netfix bringing streamed movies to Canada

Netflix, Inc., the leading Internet movie subscription service, today announced it will expand into Canada this fall offering unlimited movies and TV episodes streamed instantly to TVs and computers for one low monthly fee. The Canadian launch will mark the first availability of Netflix outside the United States.

Canadian Netflix members will be able to instantly watch a broad array of movies and TV episodes right on their TVs via a range of consumer electronics devices capable of streaming from Netflix, as well as watching on PCs and Macs.

In addition to representing its inaugural international market, Canada will also mark the first streaming-only service promoted by Netflix.

At the time of launch, the Netflix Canadian service will be available in English only, but the company said it expects to add French language capability over time.

Canadians interested in Netflix can go to www.netflix.ca and sign up to receive an email from the company when the service launches in Canada this fall.

Become a fan of Netflix on Facebook (www.facebook.com/netflix) and follow us on Twitter (www.twitter.com/netflix). Top of Page

BC to offer first legal online casino games in NA

BCLC announced today the addition of online casino games to PlayNow.com, British Columbia's gambling website.

"We want to ensure money gambled in British Columbia stays in the province to benefit British Columbians," said Minister of Housing and Social Development, Rich Coleman. "We're going to redirect that money towards a variety of programs and services that support taxpayers and result in better health care, higher education and improved infrastructure."

Globally, online gambling is a $20 billion dollar industry. British Columbia's share of this global market is estimated to be $100 million a year that was going to illegal, offshore gambling sites. The amount of money wagered online each year is presently increasing at approximately 11 per cent annually.

PlayNow.com players can now access the online games launched today in five categories; Casino, Bingo, Sports, Lottery and Games. Within each portfolio are a variety of games; for instance Casino features slot games as well as table games like Blackjack, Roulette, Sicbo, Craps, Baccarat and many more. Peer-to-peer online poker will be added later this year.

PlayNow.com generated $34 million in revenue for BCLC in 2009/10, comprising 1% of BCLC's total revenue. This number is expected to increase to 4% of total revenue by 2014 and result in approximately $100 million in additional revenue.

"Given the preferences of our customers and the popularity of online gambling, offering casino games on PlayNow.com is a natural next step for our business," says BCLC President and CEO, Michael Graydon. "BCLC has been providing gambling in British Columbia for 25 years and online since 2004. The online gambling industry is not new; tapping into this existing market to provide a safe, secure and regulated alternative operated in B.C. is a sensible decision."

"PlayNow.com also offers the most control with our responsible gambling initiatives. It is one of the most closely monitored parts of our business with numerous safeguards to provide player security and encourage responsible play," continued Graydon.

Currently, 140,000 British Columbians have a registered account on PlayNow.com. Anyone currently enrolled in BCLC's Voluntary Self-Exclusion program at BC Casinos and gaming facilities will be automatically excluded from playing on PlayNow.com.

PlayNow.com has also put in place numerous safeguards including GameSense reminders on screen, easy access to odds and factual game information, a session log displaying the amount of time players have spent online, and a player pre-set deposit limit with a 24 hour restriction on increase requests.

PlayNow.com restricts play to British Columbians 19 years of age and older, and enables each player to select a suitable deposit limit. The website will operate within a secure environment which adheres to internationally recognized responsible gambling standards. Protection is provided by leading-edge security software.

BCLC achieved Level 4 accreditation in May 2010 from the World Lottery Association in recognition of the quality of its responsible gambling programs. This year's total provincial and BCLC budget for problem and responsible gambling programs is over $6.4 million. Problem gambling services are available to anyone who needs them at no cost and include clinical counselling and a 24-hour Problem Gambling Help Line.

OpenBet Ltd, a world leader in online gambling and betting solutions, was contracted to provide BCLC with gambling and betting software to offer the most competitive website possible. OpenBet supplies online gambling and betting technology solutions to operators and jurisdictions around the world. Top of Page

BroadSIgn extends access to ad agencies, advertisers

BroadSign International, the premier global provider of digital signage software, and rVue, Inc., provider of the first demand-side platform for planning and buying Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) media, announced today that the Open API integration between the two platforms has been completed.

BroadSign carried out the initial phase of integration with rVue last year, becoming the first digital signage software company to do so. This stage of integration has coincided with the launch of the new version of rVue's web interface earlier this year.

To date, 21 of the DOOH networks running on BroadSign have opted in to be part of rVue's inventory.

BroadSign-powered networks can now be visible to the advertisers and agencies who use rVue to find DOOH ad inventory that meets their demographic and geographic criteria. Once the required inventory is discovered, media buyers can proceed to booking their campaigns. They can negotiate the rates, create insertion orders and follow the campaign's progress through the same interface.

The rVue Media Planner simplifies the usually cumbersome process of creating DOOH media plans by allowing media buyers to quickly find the required screen locations within different networks and consolidate them into a single buy.

Brian Dusho, President and Chief Strategy Officer of BroadSign, states, "Our integration with rVue is a precursor of the future industry-wide automation of cross-network DOOH campaigns. The irony today is that while our medium employs cutting-edge technology, when it comes to aggregating cross-network buys - the coordination is for the most part manual. Together, rVue and BroadSign resolve that challenge and bring DOOH inventory to the media-buyer's table in an easy-to-buy, transparent and accountable way."

The rVue demand-side platform is free to enroll and requires no inventory aggregation or subscription fee. Networks can create a comprehensive profile featuring such critical information as audience demographics, reach, locations and estimated CPM values. Networks stay in control of their assets by being able to accept or reject an offer.

Ad agencies and advertisers can create an rVue account and build an agency/advertiser dashboard. This information helps marketers evaluate and target appropriate locations in their media plans via the intuitive, user-friendly web interface.

"This integration was developed to respond to the needs of both the advertisers and networks. By increasing the quantity, timeliness and accuracy of accountability data of BroadSign's networks within the platform, the connection provides advertisers with the analytics that builds additional confidence in the media while reducing the network's data management time," said Jason Kates, Chief Executive Officer of rVue, Inc. "We are proud to continue our valued relationship with BroadSign in this important endeavor."

rVue has enrolled networks in major DMAs across the United States and Canada with European expansion underway. Top of Page

Consultation with NFP sector now available online

An interactive, online consultation with the not-for-profit sector was launched last week as part of The Partnership Project.

The Partnership Project is a discussion about how to strengthen the relationship between the Ontario government and the province's not-for-profit sector.

With more than 45,000 not-for-profit sector organizations in Ontario, the consultation hopes to attract a broad cross-section of participants and opinions. The website features an online survey, interactive discussion blog as well as a portal where participants can submit research or other relevant documents.

In addition to the online consultation, the Co-Chairs have been hosting small, regional Roundtables with groups across Ontario to discuss ways to renew, streamline and modernize the relationship between government and the not-for-profit sector.

To participate in the online consultation, please visit www.partnershipproject.ca. Top of Page

XM Canada grows XM online

XM Canada, the country's leading audio entertainment company, announced today that the XM online+ mobile and internet service is now compatible with the popular Apple iPad and that an application for Android will be available later this summer. This news follows the recent Blackberry smartphone app launch and demonstrates the company's continued commitment to deliver unique and premium quality digital audio entertainment and content to listeners any way they want it.

The XM online+ app for iPhone, iPod touch and now iPad is available for free at the iTunes App store. Once the app is downloaded, users can sign up for a free 14-day trial of XM online+ to get easy access to over 100 channels of the best commercial-free music, plus sports, comedy, news and entertainment programming.

"One XM online+ subscription lets you take XM anywhere," said Janet Gillespie, Marketing Vice-President, XM Canada. "It delivers your favourite audio entertainment on a variety of mobile devices; so you can have access wherever you go. And with reports of iPad sales already surpassing the three million mark globally, we're pleased to extend our service to Apple fans here in Canada."

XM online+ gives listeners the ability to tune in via an online player for the desktop and applications for mobile devices including iPhone, iPod touch, Blackberry, iPad and soon Android-powered smartphones. Android is quickly becoming the fastest growing operating system and eager users can sign up at www.xmradio.ca/android to be notified when the XM online+ app is available.

XM online+ is available for $7.99 a month or only $2.99 a month when bundled with an XM Canada subscription and provides access to:

  • Over 100 channels of commercial-free music plus news, sports, talk and comedy channels;
  • XM's unparalleled programming from any computer in high-quality audio (128 Kbps);
  • Applications for a broad range of mobile devices including iPhone, iPod touch, Blackberry and now iPad with Android coming soon;
  • Discover new songs and purchase them direct via iTunes;
  • Listen via 3G or Wi-Fi connection;
  • Share what you're listening to online through Facebook;
  • Browse what's playing on other channels with song name and title display;
  • "Favourites" functionality to save channels for fast, easy access.

Top of Page

Calling all geeks!

ServerBeach, a leading dedicated hosting provider that prides itself on being built 'By Geeks, For Geeks', today announced the availability of ServerBeach in Canada. Dedicated hosting in Canada through ServerBeach is now available for purchase worldwide and will be housed at PEER 1 Hosting's flagship US$40 million data centre in Toronto, which opened earlier this year. PEER 1 Hosting acquired the dedicated hosting company in 2004 to help further its business by providing the necessary assistance to startups and small businesses around the world.

"We understand geographic location is an important factor for our customers when choosing where to house information," says Robert Miggins, Senior Vice President, Business Development, ServerBeach. "We are committed to servicing our fellow geeks to the highest degree and are thrilled to be able to offer a full suite of services in Canada to support them, North and South of the border, as they grow."

PEER 1 Hosting's new 41,000 square-foot data centre is the most efficient data centre the Vancouver-based company has built to date, with increased power densities, high reliability and robust security. It also marks the first time PEER 1 Hosting will be offering all three hosting services - managed hosting, dedicated hosting and colocation - in Canada, enabling greater choice and flexibility to meet customer needs and current demands.

"While in theory hosting is a borderless business, in practice geography is very much a relevant factor. When it comes to choosing a hosting provider, where the data centre is located is a key part of a potential customer's decision-making process," said Philbert Shih, Senior Analyst for Hosting at Tier1 Research, a division of The 451 Group. "There are legal and regulatory issues to consider, while cultural and linguisitc factors should not be overlooked. There is also a comfort and convenience factor when it comes to where IT infrastructure is hosted, and distance to and from a data centre impacts performance and latency. Hosters that set up operations in multiple geographies and legal jurisdictions have a value propostion that will open the door to a wider range of opportunities."

Unlike competitors, where service often ends once the server is connected, PEER 1 is focused on providing customers with continued support as their businesses grow, starting with dedicated hosting through ServerBeach, an inexpensive entry point for low traffic websites, through to colocation and managed hosting, which helps minimize internal IT pressures so businesses can put a greater emphasis on core business operations. Top of Page

Veer introduces redesigned website

Veer (www.veer.com), a provider of affordable and reliable creative elements that makes it easier to be creative, today announced the launch of its redesigned website, veer.com. To celebrate, people who complete a full registration on Veer.com (see website for details) will receive 10 free Veer Credits that can, for example, buy 10 extra small images, or a font, a small image and an extra small image.

Veer now has more than 1.5 million creative photos and illustrations covering a broad range of subject categories, over 12,000 different contemporary and classic fonts and a selection of clever creative merchandise. Veer’s creative elements are priced so affordably that nearly anyone can add style to business, marketing and personal design projects ranging from websites and blog posts to business presentations and ad campaigns.

Simplified Veer.com Provides an Uncomplicated Shopping Experience
Veer.com now features a prominent search box on the homepage and a powerful search engine to make it fast and simple for people to find relevant images and fonts to meet nearly any budget.

Veer images are available in six standard sizes ranging from extra small to extra, extra large. Image search results can quickly be sorted by price and file size, as well as other more advanced options if needed, to help people find the right image for their project at the best possible price. Once people find an image they like, they can easily buy (download a clean version), try (download a “watermarked” file to see how it looks) or save (put in an album to refer back to later).

Veer offers affordable single fonts starting at just $10. Veer has classic fonts, new releases from small foundries and independent designers, plus Veer Exclusives not available anywhere else.

Flexible Payment Options and Worry-Free Licenses
Customers can now conveniently purchase all images, fonts and merchandise either one at time with a credit card or with Veer Credits. Veer Credits are a prepaid option for shopping at Veer that provide savings of up to 56% over individual credit card purchases. Veer Credit packs come in nine different sizes, varying from 12 to 2,000 credits, with increasing savings for customers who buy bigger packs. Veer.com has examples of what can be purchased with different amounts of credits.

All images come with, at minimum, a Basic license, which provides an individual with unlimited web use up to 600 by 800 pixels as well as print reproduction rights up to 500,000 units. Customers can easily extend the license for multiple users, unlimited reproduction or product resale with a few clicks.

Veer is one of the safest places to buy images online. All Veer images are intensively reviewed by Veer’s experienced Content Editors for visual and technical quality as well as model and real property releases. Every image is protected by the Veer Customer Protection Plan, which provides customers free protection up to $10,000 in legal costs or damages if a claim is ever filed against an image.

Veer Creative Community
Veer also hosts the Veer Ideas community, a place for creative people to play, interact and share ideas with peers. Creative people can build personal profiles, share their work, connect with friends, join groups, and browse other portfolios to discover new artists. People can read the latest design news on The Skinny blog and post on the community blog, The Fat. Veer Ideas also has a wide selection of free Wallpaper downloads for personal use.

“We have built on Veer’s heritage in stock images and design to completely re-imagine how creative people of all kinds buy affordable and reliable images and fonts,” said Nairn Nerland, General Manager of Veer.com. “We created an uncomplicated shopping experience that lets people stay focused on what matters most: their creative work.”

People can make purchases on Veer.com in U.S. dollars, Canadian dollars, British pounds and Euros, and the website is available in English and German.

Contributors interested in submitting imagery to Veer can earn between $0.35 to $103.25 (USD) for every image sold, depending on image size and extended licenses. Top of Page

Starbucks asks Canadians to pledge green online

Starbucks Canada is asking Canadians to join them to Pledge to do some Green this summer as part of the company's support for Evergreen's stewardship and restoration program, which brings people together with nature to restore, protect and steward public green spaces across the country.

Consumers who make a formal pledge at www.facebook.com/starbuckscanada to devote time to green their local community and inspire others to do the same will receive a free tall cup of Pike's Place roast at participating Starbucks locations across Canada.

The Pledge to do some Green initiative is part of a new level of partnership between Starbucks and Evergreen that builds on a seven year relationship that has included Starbucks support for Evergreen's Vancouver Earth Day event. Starbucks has also directly supported many of Evergreen's stewardship and restoration projects and also provided them with a Youth Action Grant to assist in helping young people from low income groups in Toronto and Vancouver to develop green-related training and employment skills.

"This partnership complements the ongoing efforts of Starbucks to do business responsibly and to take care of the communities where we do business," said Colette Bennett, marketing manager with Starbucks Coffee Canada. "We are proud to be partnering with Evergreen as an extension of this commitment and in support of the work they are doing to green communities across Canada."

This year's partnership also includes a commitment by 600 Starbucks partners (employees) to contribute at least 2000 hours at six launch events across the country to get their hands dirty and assist Evergreen in a variety of stewardship and restoration activities across the country, including planting and grounds maintenance.

"One of our goals as an organization is to create a sustainable society where people and businesses can live in harmony with, and contribute meaningfully, to their local environment," said Stewart Chisholm, Common Grounds program director for Evergreen. "Partnerships such as this are integral to the continued success of Evergreen and our ability to support community-driven efforts that make our communities more livable."