mPortal Launches New Social TV APIs

written by: Richard Kastelein

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mPortal has announced the launch anew set of social television APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) as a part of the company’s cloud-based SPRINGBOARD Media platform. The social TV APIs provide the building blocks that allow content and service providers to quickly build ‘second screen’ companion apps for connected devices. Thus, turning traditional television watching into a truly interactive and social experience by enabling users to connect with friends, enjoy enhanced programming features, and more.

The way people watch TV is changing, as they are increasingly engaging in “social TV” viewing habits. Nielsen’s 2012 State of the Media: Advertising & Audiences Report (Nielsen, State of the Media: Advertising & Audiences, Spring 2012) found that 61 percent of people check email during a program, 34 percent check sports scores, 22 percent look up coupons related to advertisements, 37 percent look up information related to programming, 47 percent visit social media sites during programming and 45 percent visit social media sites during commercials.

“Audiences are growing increasingly social and, in addition to using mobile devices while watching TV, are simply no longer being held captive by the rules and schedules of traditional broadcast television,” said D.P. Venkatesh, founder and chief executive officer at mPortal. “mPortal’s social TV APIs within the SPRINGBOARD Media Platform present a great opportunity for content and service providers to get in front of this new, social audience in several different ways. The APIs allow providers to develop a completely interactive viewing experience that connects audiences with friends in various social networks while, simultaneously, giving insight into individuals’ unique viewing preferences. All of this is designed to provide a highly engaging experience that captivates audiences.”

mPortal’s social TV APIs deliver the building blocks for quickly creating second screen companion applications. Providers can develop applications that allow users to:

  •     Discover content based on their friends’ favorite shows, what’s on TV right now, and search and suggestions from recommendations engines.
  •     Interact with friends in a private chat, follow the public buzz or contribute to it across the most popular social networks, and participate in polls and quizzes.
  •     Enjoy related, enhanced content and information about TV shows, casts, episodes, and more.

In addition to offering a compelling end-user experience through social TV APIs, mPortal is offering several tools that help further providers’ efforts in bridging the gap between traditional television and social, second screen apps. Providers can:

  •     Define and manage the user’s experience by providing relevant information and interaction at specific times during the program.
  •     Understand usage patterns and consumer interests to provide a more engaging user experience that increases usage and offers value to potential advertisers.
  •     Promote complementary programming and content, as well as targeted advertising that that reaches consumers regardless of which screen they use.

The social TV APIs are part of mPortal’s complete SPRINGBOARD software suite, and more specifically the SPRINGBOARD Media platform, that is designed to extend presence to connected devices to create cohesive and compelling experiences across mobile phones, tablets, Smart TVs and other connected devices. The APIs can be used by any second screen application on tablets or other connected devices.



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