Starling Unveils - A Second Screen Audio App

written by: Richard Kastelein

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Fresh from Social TV pioneers at Starling, TalkingTV is a second screen application that allows for audio interaction with friends while watching the same TV programme. The app, free for download on iPhone or Android, is what they call a one earpiece experience - one ear plugged in to the app, the other listening to the TV.

TalkingTV also lets you watch your favourite shows with additional commentary.

Imagine X-factor with Ladygaga. Or Eurovision with Ricky Gervais. Actually, we'd love to hear your dream TV show + celebrity commentary combinations.

Starling launched in Q4 2010/Q1 2011 bringing an entirely new look to social television with its initial breakthrough implementation for MTV Skins, the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures, and more later the Nordic launch of MTV Jersey Shore. Working closing with these programmers we pioneered a visual form of chat game which takes its cues from the graphic richness of broadcast design. Users are able to combine comments with graphic virtual goods they can earn, creating a new form of gameplay during television.

For the first time a broadcaster could “throw” a digital good from a show to its audiences’ second screen— as MTV did when they embedded songs from MTV Skins into Starling cards that originated with MTV. and then could be then be earned and shared by viewers. A year in media history is such a short time for so much to have evolved.

The team at Starling includes Co-Founder and CEO Declan Caulfield, a serial entrepreneur who for the last five years has worked within the Bertelsmann Group, primarily running the central R&D department at FremantleMedia and reporting directly to the COO. Kevin Slavin, co-founder of Area/Code in 2005 (sold to Zynga in January 2011), which continues to pioneer new forms of cross-media entertainment with clients including MTV, CBS, FremantleMedia, A&E, EA, Nokia, Nike, and the Discovery Channel. Area/Code’s projects for A&E (“The Sopranos Connection”) and MTV (“Backchannel”) are credited with being some of the earliest TV co-viewing work in the industry. And COO Arnaud Loiseau who has plenty of experience in Corporate Development in the technology and media space (over $5Bn in executed transactions, including 2 IPOs). He also holds a Masters Degree in Engineering from Ecole Polytechnique in France, an MBA from Harvard Business School (Arthur Sachs Scholar) and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).


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