More and more often tablets and smartphones are used to catch up with and follow TV, diverting attention from the traditional TV ecosystem to the smaller screens. Just look at Panasonic, for example, that unveiled an app that allows the viewing of a second TV channel on a tablet app if you buy one of its new twin HD tuner TVs, or apps from Zeebox to Twitter and Shazam that are changing the way we interact with TV. Thus, to no surprise, broadcasters start to respond to the new habits, enhancing the chances of success for Civolution, a provider of technology and solutions for identifying, managing and monetizing content.
Together with Vetrya, a leading Italian company in the supply of multiscreen platforms, media asset management, broadband services, app developer and solutions for the digital media world, Civolution enabled the innovative Italian TV channel La3 to drive user engagement and loyalty through the delivery of a customized app which presents viewers with synchronized content on a wide array of connected devices.
“Viewers want to watch TV and interact with their favorite content on tablets and smartphones, without being restricted by a TV schedule,” said Fabio Rimassa, TV Director, La3. “It’s a priority for us to satisfy our viewers demand for high quality content, anywhere and anytime. We’re excited to provide our audience with this fantastic app, offering them an original way to engage with their favorite programs. We are very pleased with the collaboration between Civolution and Vetrya which has turbo-charged our HyperSync app. We hope our viewers will enjoy the new interactive opportunities it provides.”
The new HyperSync app (free to download in the iTunes store) has been developed by Vetrya and is powered by Civolution’s audio watermarking technology, SyncNow®, which enables real-time identification and frame accurate synchronization between broadcast, on-demand or recorded television content and interactive applications on companion devices (tablets, smart phones, laptops) to present synchronized interactive user experiences including auto-check-in. The technology relies on imperceptible audio watermarks that can be embedded in live stream or, as in the case of this project, in file content before playout. The app will be accurately synchronized for multiple ‘formats’ transmitted on DTT, DTH and the web.
‘’The growing use of tablets and smartphones, coupled with application and sync technologies, have opened up new avenues for TV programming and product advertising’’ said Jean-Michel Masson, SVP Watermarking Solutions, Civolution. “We are very excited about our partnership with Vetrya. Together we have demonstrated just how simple and cost effective it can be to deliver a profitable and compelling second screen app which is a market-proven avenue to engage viewers online. Our content synchronization solution creates a winning multiscreen strategy that enables operators and content owners to extend their services, better monetize their assets and deepen advertiser engagement across devices.”
The SyncNow technology enhances Hypersync’s most popular features such as behind-the-scenes extra information on the programs or characters by ensuring that the app is synced with the TV programming. SyncNow will also ensure that Vetyra’s upgraded platform structure for the app, which supports exciting new features such as gamification, will also be synchronized with La3’s content.
“Viewers are now getting serious about second screen apps, and the exclusive content available on these apps is gaining huge traction. TV viewers are no longer just watching, but are now becoming a part of the mix” said Luca Tomassini, founder and CEO Vetrya. “Such strategic integration offers viewers a way to connect with content for their favorite shows like never before, as well as connecting and playing with other fans. We can now offer consumers a more enriched, customized viewing experience. This is a great step forward.’’
Indeed, the second screen has been so far mainly in use to surf the web or YouTube, watch catch-up TV, or join-in a Twitter debate about a live TV show, but getting apps in-sync with a live TV broadcast is where interactive apps will really come alive. For sure the more powerful and engaging TV-synchronized experience will be embraced by users. Marketers should also welcome the real-time ad identification and triggering service, enabling a synchronized advertising experience with ad-interactivity to be delivered across multiple screens.
By Daniela La Marca