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Synacor Logs In To 'TV Everywhere' Via Social Nets

Synacor is extending its TV Everywhere authentication solution to let pay-TV customers access premium video content online using their Facebook, Twitter or Google+ accounts.

The company's Cloud Identity Management platform, announced Thursday, also is aimed at broadening Syancor's reach to provide authentication on behalf of consumer-electronics companies, programmers and app developers for enabling access to any kind of media or service.

Synacor developed the social-media login feature at the request of two pay-TV operators, according to co-founder and executive vice president sales and marketing George Chamoun. The larger of the two MVPDs is slated to go live with the feature in the first quarter of 2013, he said.

"It's a ‘remember me' function," Chamoun said. "It's simply not easy enough for consumers to remember their pay-TV login information."

Synacor will still verify that subscribers that have linked their subscription TV accounts with Facebook, Twitter or Google+ are still authorized to receive the requested comment, based on the business agreements between operators and programmers.

"It's not changing the rules of the game," Chamoun said. "You still need to log in with your pay TV credentials at least once, but after that it's binded [to your pay TV subscription] forever."

This summer, Synacor provided TV Everywhere authentication to access online video for NBCUniversal's 2012 Summer Olympic Games coverage on behalf of nearly 40 pay-TV customers, reaching about 25 million subscribers.

In addition to the pay-TV market, Synacor is pitching the Cloud ID Management Platform as an identity-management service to consumer-electronics companies and others that don't typically operate such systems.

"Customers want things beyond traditional TV Everywhere authentication, like registering for other apps and content like music, games and books," Chamoun said. Portions of the Cloud ID service are already being used by CE companies, he added, but didn't identify them.

Synacor's Cloud ID service supports multiple industry-standard technologies such as SAML, OAuth, OpenID and Social IDs to authenticate users. The service also is cross-platform -- accessible on desktop, mobile, tablet and across a range of connected devices -- and provides user interfaces in multiple languages.

In addition to the 2012 Olympics, Synacor has provided authentication services for TV Everywhere events including 2012 NCAA March Madness and the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Synacor has completed integrations with pay-TV providers including Dish Network, Charter Communications, CenturyLink, Mediacom Communications, Suddenlink Communications and WideOpenWest.

On the programming side, Syancor's TV Everywhere engagements have included working with HBO Go; Turner Broadcasting System's CNN, TBS, TNT, tru TV, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim; Epix; Comcast Entertainment Group's E!, Style and G4; Fox; and Big Ten Network.