(Great Excerpt from the article):
"Taking a somewhat different approach to companion screen activity, Zeebox, the UK-based company founded by former YouView technology chief and iPlayer creator Anthony Rose, has sought to create a consumer proposition offering clear functionality that can work across different ecosystems and different TV shows. For Rose it makes little sense for content providers to build native apps for specific shows as the appeal of the any one app will be too limited to make it worth the effort. “It’s not going to scale if every time you change channel you need to download a new app,” he says.
Having assessed the market requirements, Rose concluded that the most viable approach would be for Zeebox to develop a consumer proposition with a consumer-facing brand.
Rose believes that broadcasters have, for the most part, yet to identify what they want to do in this space, with different departments often pulling in different directions. Strategy departments want to work out where the advertising market is going and what will happen in three to five years’ time, new media teams want to build apps themselves, and programme makers have a budget for social media marketing that they want to use to drive viewers to their content. Uniting these groups around a single point of focus is challenging enough. It then makes little sense to develop an app and put it through – say – Apple’s approval process (and a similar process for other ecosystems) when it is likely only to be used for one show or series and then never used again.
As far as consumers are concerned, Rose believes they are primarily interested in being given recommendations about what to watch and, secondarily, being presented with additional information around shows they are currently watching, such as information about products, recipes, and background information about people who appear on programmes. The latter also applies to recorded and on-demand content as much as linear scheduled programmes, meaning that some form of content recognition could be necessary. “Finding something to watch is predominantly about live TV, while finding information should work with recorded content,” says Rose. In the case of the latter, pay TV providers could stand to benefit from playing a more significant role in developing companion screen apps. “We know that Sky and Virgin Media users watch a lot of VOD and catch-up TV and we would like Zeebox to work with that,” he says.
However, says Rose, social applications today are mostly concerned with enhancing live TV shows with mass followings, such as big primetime talent shows.
For broadcasters and content producers, meanwhile the aim is to extend their relationship with audiences beyond the airing of the actual programme itself and, secondarily, to collect information about viewing patterns that can be analysed and put to use, for example by advertisers.
On advertising, Rose is enthusiastic about the range of uses to which second screen applications could be put, delivering not only viewer analytics but advertising – related functionality in the form of synchronised transactions, enabling advertisers to prompt users of iPads to buy goods or seek out additional promo material."
(TDS - I like Anthony Rose more and more every day!)