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ICQ, the leading pioneer of instant messaging has announced today the launch of ICQ’s new personal communications platform for TV broadcasters, cable and satellite TV channels and IPTV operators. The new fusion of communication and entertainment (‘communitainment’) tools is targeted at broadcasters who want to stop leaking revenues from TV content, while generating their own loyal community and strong desktop presence.

Broadcasters are currently facing a lack of loyalty and tools to push their viewers to their TV programming due to a strong and consistent migration of young viewers from the world of TV to the PC.

According to ICQ, the major cause of leaking revenues for media companies are the lack of interactive community tools, inefficient content push mechanism and the lack of consistent branded ‘desktop presence’. All of these are features which new generations are becoming to depend on. In addition, TV companies still struggle to deliver relevant strategies based on online and instant advertising opportunities provided by cross media platforms.

ICQ’s ‘Active Viewing’ is the first ever communitainment tool designed to enable TV companies to push content, brands and services directly to the personal communication tool of millions of young people, both on PC and TV screen. This includes videos, promos and trailers, EPG, entertainment, news, etc. With this new platform, a new Active Viewing environment will enable viewer stickiness to the TV screen, encouraging online community and social networking atmospheres. Whilst keeping the TV and cable company audiences close to the ‘walled-garden’ of branded content.

Through a triple-layered cooperation between ICQ, TV broadcasters and IPTV operators, the new platform will serve as a promotion and content platform, a co-branded communication tool, and the next generation of cross-platform instant messaging:

The three layers of ICQ’s new platform are:

- A promotion and content platform: direct access to young people's personal communication tool through ads, alert tool and the ICQ Welcome Screen.

- A co-branded communication tool: a customised IM/Cross Platform Communication Center giving constant desktop presence, interactivity options and a tool to push content and services.

- ICQ2TV – the next generation cross-platform IM: lets users send and receive messages between the PC and a concrete, existing TV channel or program – ‘Active Viewing’ (optional layer)

"Our new partner offering is aligning TV companies and broadcasters with the new active viewing environment," said Ofer Oved, ICQ VP of Business and Sales "With the ICQ communitainment tool, TV and cable companies can minimise leakage from the TV to the internet, and retain their traditional media audiences, while at the same time increase their offerings of TV content, boosting their traffic across all communications platforms."

The first two layers of ICQ's partner model are already successfully deployed in Europe. ProSiebenSat1 Media AG, largest commercial TV provider in Germany and leading electronic media group, has conquered the much sought after online community and is one of the largest online media properties in Germany. ICQ helped ProSieben.de boost their position to no. 8 of all AGOF* listed platforms with 6.57MM Unique User and a 10.31 percent reach. Together with the other ProSiebenSat1 online media properties the group managed to climb to no. 3 in the market with a total of 13.9MM Unique User and a 37.9 percent reach.

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About ICQ:

ICQ is a leading instant messaging service provider with a global online communications community. The company's robust instant messaging software, enhanced communications features and dynamic community are available in 19 languages free of charge at www.icq.com. ICQ, created in 1996 by the Israel-based company, Mirabilis, is now wholly owned by AOL LLC. ICQ and the flower logo are registered trademarks of AOL LLC in the USA and other countries in the world.

Press contact:

Zuzanna Pasierbinska-Wilson
Email: zpasierbinska@custardpr.com
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7 494 6575
Mobile: +44 (0) 7760 467 191
www.custardpr.com

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