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work by Mark Christie,
W smartphone. These are attractive in their own way, but do nothing to help the
broadcaster. ith little fuss,
transformed the way that
many – almost certainly the majority –
consumers watch television. They now
watch with a smartphone or a tablet in
So the first step for the multi-channel broadcaster is to create your own remote
control app. An obvious benefit of this is that it then carries your branding, and
you can use some of the screen real estate to advertise other services or third-
This is a genuine demand: consumers
love the second screen. The key is
for broadcasters to embrace it as
an opportunity, and to ensure that,
wherever possible, the content on the
second screen, and the portal for it, is
under their control.
The fact that it is a branded app does not preclude you providing links to other
services, and in turn developing new tools from it. You could drive discovery by
telling consumers what their Facebook friends are watching, for example.
Put simply, if you can find a way to
stop consumers drifting off into the
wider web on the second screen, then
you can keep them engaged with
your content and your brand. A good,
relevant second screen experience
is good for audience retention and
engagement, which ultimately is good
On the other hand, second screen
apps are a new skill for broadcasters,
not something they have had to create
in the past. While leading content
creators have put a lot of emphasis
on ensuring that new programmes
have at least a good website to
accompany them, that is not the same
as developing a coherent service.
Then there are the third-party vendors
who are creating apps to replace
remote controls, so set-top boxes
can be driven from the tablet or
But more important is that you can then collect data from the user. The way that
a consumer is making choices, on a second by second basis, is incredibly useful
data. By collecting it you can use it to inform everything from which programmes
to schedule to advertising placement and discovery engines.
Direct revenue can be driven by additional and complementary advertising on
the app. Consumers can also benefit from new functionality like our Ad Locker
tool. This allows users to register during the transmission any commercials they
find interesting. After the programme they can watch these spots at leisure, and
click through to other information and special offers. The Ad Locker can also be
loaded with other commercials selected on the basis of previous behaviours and
demographics, making it ideal as a route for local advertising.
The idea is to make watching advertising more fun by only delivering those
commercials which are relevant and interesting to the individual. The experience
should be more like a tailored, personal shopping experience rather than an
imposition which gets in the way of the flow of the programme.
This all sounds great, but how can a multi-channel broadcaster create such a
service. At KIT digital, we have developed a standard platform for second screen
and social programme guide apps, called 2Si. This is a white-label product,
developed to be tailored in implementation to meet the look and feel of the
broadcaster. Obviously a key strength of the service provider owning the second screen app
is that it can provide up to the minute information, including a richer EPG than
a standard set-top box can provide. It makes the user interface more intuitive,
because it works like familiar apps through gestures and visual cues rather than
That also makes it a strong way to drive video on demand services, by offering
clips and recommendations, another good way of building audience loyalty.
Added to the multiple commercial opportunities, it makes a great deal of sense
to own the second screen.
72 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 78 JUNE 2013