MTV to make iPad into Interactive Social TV

written by: Richard Kastelein

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Wow! That came out of left field -  unsuspected but... really - something that really makes sense when we consider TV Everywhere as a concept (at least for me!). 

If the iPad does get the traction that many are predicting (Apple Inc.'s iPad tablet computer hits US shelves on Saturday, April 3, 2010), and they do flog 10-20 million in 2010, the converging media landscape will really have a new player in terms of co-viewed TV and Social TV. Personally, I have always had issues with watching video on mobile devices - not that I am blind, I can actually see well.

But I just don't enjoy the experience. Interactive TV on an iPad (24.3 cm × 19.0 cm × 1.3 cm) will certainly be more enjoyable and feasible for most consumers.

Will this be a one screen or two screen play? Or both? "

Part of the idea is that mobile devices are easier and more appealing to play with while watching TV than laptop or desktop computers -- but the tablet will hit the sweet spot in between."
reports Ad Age, so let's wait and see.

MTV Developing 'Co-Viewing' Apps for the iPad

Magazines and newspapers aren't the only media eying big benefits upon the iPad's arrival: TV is poised to use the device in new ways, including creating interactive, social apps designed to be used while watching live programming.

MTV Networks, for example, is developing a "co-browsing app meant to be used while watching live TV," said one executive familiar with MTV's iPad plans. "This means the iPad could be the appendage that makes interactive TV a reality."

Kristin Frank, general manager of MTV and VH1 Digital, said MTV is focusing on two approaches to its apps, whether for mobile or the iPad: co-viewing apps that capture the social-media chatter around TV and awards shows and apps for video on the go. IPad apps for "Beavis and Butt-Head," "MTV News" and "VH1 To Go" are all due in April, she said.

"Fifty-nine percent of people are multitasking when watching TV -- that's something we've always known," said Ms. Frank, referring to recent Nielsen data quantifying a longstanding observation. "This is the next evolution."

Mobile phone apps to run on the iPhone and Android devices remain MTV's priority for 2010, Ms. Frank noted, but the iPad apps under construction are a reminder that TV is not about to sit the tablet out.

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