The Business On... Paula Byrne, Managing director, Pushbutton
Friday 29 July 2011
Should I know Pushbutton?
Not unless you've been following the march of interactive television.
So what does it actually do?
Well, it allows television broadcasters and other content providers, such as client LoveFilm, to develop interactive capabilities on television, and applications on platforms including games consoles and tablets.
How did it start?
It started as a consultancy but moved to design and build interactive services such as the humble "red button". The UK-based group developed the capability and designed the look for channels to offer interactive services to their viewers.
So who set it up?
Pushbutton was launched by Paula Byrne – former head of Sky Active – in 2002, and she remains the company's managing director. She was joined by James Cumberbatch two years later when he became a director and co-owner of the group.
So why is it in the news?
The group yesterday announced it had been bought by US online retail giant Amazon.
For a lot of lolly?
Both companies remained frustratingly tight-lipped on how much the deal was worth.
The online bookseller? Why?
Amazon got to know the company after its acquisition of LoveFilm earlier this year. It said Pushbutton was "instrumental" in launching the film service on a variety of devices and would help it to grow.
Any other benefits?
Well, Amazon thinks app-enabled televisions are the way of the future, and companies will be looking to Pushbutton to get their content on these platforms. It will also become a partner in YouView, the forthcoming connected television venture.
Are any big names using it?
It has also worked on projects for BBC's children's channels, Sony's Bravia and the PlayStation 3. With Amazon behind it there will be a few more high-profile client wins.
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