Though there are numerous ways available for viewers today to retrieve content after it has been aired, the majority of TV viewing is still linear, i.e. scheduled TV programming. Sports, news and reality shows are the natural leaders of linear TV, and best demonstrate a phenomena that is unique to the TV industry, prime time rating.
Prime time rating is a strong tool for broadcasters and content rights owners to get quantitative feedback on their programming and audience engagement. It is a specific time frame in which %X of the general population becomes a captive audience, and as such, it should be nurtured and developed.
In recent years technology has made video and live TV accessible on mobile devices, and by utilizing improved encoding technologies and higher broadband speeds, mobile users can watch video and TV almost everywhere. But how can that experience transform users from receptive viewers to active participants and consumers? How can the device and its functionality enhance viewer engagement even further, to extend traditional prime time TV to new time slots and new revenues?
Harnessing the power of video on mobile
Through devices, broadcasters gain daylong access to audiences, and can therefore introduce new prime time slots. For this to happen in a way that benefits the broadcaster or content rights owner, watching and interacting with the video on the mobile screen must be designed and served to viewers as part of a comprehensive offering, under the provider’s own brand.
In addition, before applying all the latest tricks and fireworks to mobile TV viewing, the video experience itself should be consistent with the same high quality and accessibility of the living room screen, even when surges in demand occur, especially during live TV events.
Once brand, users and revenue ownership is secured for the new mobile service, and accessibility to content is guaranteed, the service can be further enriched as a stand-alone service, and as a complementing experience to TV viewing, also known as second screen. In both cases, viewers enjoy a variety of exciting gamification and social TV activities. To make the experience engaging and rewarding, gamification elements and social TV participation can be sponsored, and connected to the physical retail world to offer real rewards, coupons and redeemable vouchers. All of these activities deepen viewer loyalty to the broadcaster brand and create new revenue opportunities through mobile advertising and content related retail offers.
The right video experience for each TV genre
A couple of Applicaster’s recent customer deployments presented here portray ways in which mobile devices can be utilized for a variety of TV genres, drive viewership and complement TV viewing.
The first example is Canal Panda in Spain, the Kids Pay TV Channel and the latest channel launch of Chello Multicanal, a Chellomedia company and the largest independent TV channel producer in Spain and Portugal. Canal Panda launched a subscription-based live streaming, VoD and social TV application for the iPhone (News - Alert) and iPad, developed and hosted by Applicaster. The offering, designed with a kid-friendly UI, includes live streaming, on-demand video, a synchronized EPG, social media, and games. It even enables the viewer to create a favorite clips library, and view it even without any Internet connectivity.
In less than three months after service launch, Canal Panda reported that ratings increased from 0.3 percent to 0.95 percent. That is attributed solely to the usage of mobile and tablet apps.
An additional successful mobile experience is Televisa’s introduction of the first video platform with the Facebook (News - Alert)-oriented Video Player. For Televisa, Mexico's biggest television broadcaster and the world's top producer of Spanish-language programming, the mobile video application enables viewers to make social expressions in relation to the content they are watching, using a set of pre-defined emoticons, and achieve badges and rewards. This new platform offers real insight into social recommendations for bringing in more viewers and additional revenue sources from in-player advertising space.
Mobile video, the road ahead
As these two deployments demonstrate, video on mobile devices has yet to unlock its great commercial potential, as we have touched only some of the innovative technological capabilities and the creativity behind new TV formats. As video and TV become part of our lives on the go, we will see more viewer-driven applications and services that will enhance the synergy between the content the experience and the variety of screens.
Sharona Meushar is the marketing and media director at Applicaster.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi