second screen

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Channel 4 to launch centralised companion app (Original)

Channel 4 is set to launch a second screen companion app next month as a new “centralised destination” for synchronised TV experiences.

The firm said that with 4Now (working title), Channel 4 will be the first UK broadcaster to develop a dedicated app to accompany its channels and programming.

The app is due to launch in beta to registered Channel 4 viewers and is part of Channel 4’s on-going viewer engagement strategy. It will include programme information, social media activity and interactive content like real-time polls, votes and quizzes, said Channel 4.

It will also support interactive sponsorship opportunities and audio-triggered, real time advertising that is synchronised with ads on the main TV screen.

“As a centralised product destination, 4Now allows us to enhance our relationship with viewers and enables us to offer them a range of interactive, synchronised experiences for shows which may not have warranted a standalone application,” said Keith Underwood, director of strategy and technology at Channel 4.

The 4Now app will initially be available on iOS with other platforms being considered for future releases. A full launch, following the initial trial phase, is slated for later this year.

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Second screen used by 96% of viewers (Original)

Interacting with a second screen while watching entertainment has been done by 96% of people, with 51% claiming to do so always or most of the time, according to new research by Edelman. 

The PR firm, which surveyed 6,5000 people aged 18 to 54 in Brazil, China, India, Germany, Korea, Turkey, the UK and the US, found that 65% of viewers said they are likely to interact in real time while watching content.

An average of 60% said they also watch content while simultaneously using a personal device to buy merchandise. Some 45% in the UK said they do this, while in India the figure stood at 80%, according to the Global Entertainment Survey, which noted that “emerging markets are especially engaged.”

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Second screen and VOD use on the rise, says Ofcom survey (Original)

Ofcom logoA majority of viewers use a ‘second screen’ devices while watching TV, while about three UK viewers in ten are using video-on-demand services from the likes of Virgin Media, BSkyB and BT, according to the latest survey of viewing habits by regulator Ofcom.

According to Ofcom’s survey of UK audience attitudes to the broadcast media for 2012, seven viewers in ten said they used their mobile phones while watching TV, with 41% doing this every day. Fifty-four per cent said they used the internet at the same time as watching TV.

The main reasons for watching VOD services were because viewers “missed the programme/film when it was on TV”, cited by 76%, when they thought “there is nothing on ‘normal TV’ to watch”, cited by 54%, and when they “wanted to watch programme/film at a time that suits me”, cited by 46%.

Use of catch-up TV as a convenience has grown from 34% in 2011 to 43% in 2012. Among catch-up TV users, 62% said they used the service when the missed a programme or film, 43% said they used it to watch programmes at times that suited them and 43% “when there is nothing on ‘normal TV’ to watch”.

Thirty-five per cent of internet users said they used the internet to watch TV shows online or download them, with 36% saying they watched TV clips from sites other than the broadcaster’s own.…

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Public broadcasters team up for Eurovision second screen app (Original)

The EBU has collaborated with Sweden’s SVT, Germany’s NDR and the Netherlands’ TROS to develop a second screen app for the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö in Sweden later this month.

The app, which is available for iOS and Android users, provides news updates, photos and videos 365 days a year, and allows users to download their favourite songs from this year’s contest.

Second-screen functionality offers viewers live updates during the shows about the contestants, their songs, opening and interval acts, as well as the results.

The app also allows viewers to vote in the competition. Votes registered via the official app will be rewarded with a video response message from the contestant backstage.

The app will be available in English, Swedish, German and Dutch.

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Zeebox launches on Android tablets (Original)

Second screen TV service Zeebox has launched a version of its app compatible for Android tablets. 

The companion TV service, which is now live in the UK, US and Australia, said the launch was in response to customer demand, with Zeebox already available on iOS devices, Android phones, BlackBerry phones and on the web.

“Our Android users have been very vocal about wanting a full-featured tablet version of Zeebox. Today we are delighted to launch Zeebox in all its glory for 10-inch tablets,” said Zeebox co-founder and CEO Ernesto Schmitt.

Zeebox was founded in 2011 by former EMI executive Schmitt and former iPlayer CTO Anthony Rose. The service lets consumers engage with friends around TV shows, buy what they see on screen, use the app to remote control their TV, and get more information about whatever programme they’re watching.

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Sports and specials account for 60% of second screen viewing (Original)

Sports and special programming accounted for almost 60% of second screen activity in the first quarter of 2013, according to new stats by US social TV analytics company Trendrr.

The firm logged 205 million social interactions in the quarter around one-off sporting and special events.” These included the Superbowl, which accounted for a massive 52 million second screen interactions. Other notable tent pole events included the Grammy Awards with 15 million interactions, the Oscars with 13 million and the NFL Playoffs with 12 million.

Trendrr, which helps clients measure and analyse the way viewers engage with content, said that overall it logged a 127% increase in second screen activity in Q1 2013 compared to a year earlier.

Of the more than 18,700 telecasts it logged in the quarter, it found that the average drew almost 20,000 second screen interactions from “hyper-engaged audiences” – more than 343 million in total.

While a “significant amount of this growth” can be attributed to increased activity around one-off events, Trendrr said that excluding sports and specials, “social TV activity continues to accelerate, growing by 53%. The most significant year over year growth occurred in January 65%. February grew by 44% and March by 46%.”

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Google Fiber for iPad hits the App Store (Original)

Google Fiber for iPad hits the app store

Let it never be said that Google doesn't show its iOS-toting fans love. Even when it's not bringing apps to Apple's platform first, it usually makes sure to offer its wares on the competing ecosystem. It may have taken a while, but the Google Fiber remote app is now available outside of Android land. You'll need to have an iPad (sorry, no pocketable version here), but just like its Jelly Bean-bound cousin, you can change channels, schedule recordings and fire up on-demand programming. The free app is available now through iTunes, though, it obviously won't do you much good outside of Google Fiber's limited coverage area.

Filed under: Home Entertainment, Software, HD, Apple, Google

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Source: Google Fiber Blog, Google Fiber (iTunes)

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Zeebox hits five million downloads (Original)

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TVs need ‘sophisticated’ second screen interface, says Google exec (Original)

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