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NewTeeVee is reporting that social TV leader Miso is aiming for real time voting in conjunction with TV programming in the US market. Or what are are coining Competitive Reality Voting.
The new features, which are focused on competitive reality TV shows like Celebrity Apprentice or So You Think You Can Dance, already have a little validation, as Fox has decided to partner with the app maker. The new “Pick ‘Em” feature will enable users to share who they think are the most likely contestants in competitive reality series to advance or to be voted off. It creates an easy way for viewers to interact with each other around certain types programming and increase user engagement. Fox has already signed on as a launch partner, and will be adding “Pick ‘Em” options for shows like So You Think You Can Dance and Masterchef.
It's natural that Miso CEO Niyogi is singing another tune, as he noted to Wired magazine in the UK recently that despite Miso being basically a Four Square knockoff for TV:
“No one has figured it out in this space,” Niyogi says. “The check-in is not it.”
So it appears they are making a B2C play and getting onboard the massive move to multiplatform TV companion-type TV platforms - a movement that started earlier in Europe, with Ex-Machina's PlayToTV in 2009 and The Application Store's Tapp and ScreenToo in early 2010. Both companies have done some impressive deals in both US and European markets with B2B solutions, rather than making an overt direct to consumer play.
US broadcasters NBC and ABC have launched new real-time companion iPad apps in April 2011 offering up second-screen social features and interactivity that sync with shows being watched on TV, while ABC Video Bookstore packages archive news footage with photo galleries and interactive timelines.
The mad rush for 'ownership' of the second screen begins. You can bet that production companies such as Endemol and Freemantle will be making a play for that space in producing new shows, TV broadcasters/rights holders are actively building or outsourcing solutions as fast as they can to grab the new landscape for their own inventory and licensed content; the third party developers are also trying to get beyond the Four Square checkin methodology in the US and grab their fair share - hoping for an rapid exit strategy no doubt, and even carriers such as Orange in France are diving head first into the space. Motorola is even in the game.
This is going to fuel a wildfire of disruption in the TV industry. Blowback is coming.
Who will win? You need to answer this question.
Who controls (or will win the control) the triggers for the second screens?
The creator of the show who resells formats globally? The broadcasters who often license formats from the creators? EPG giants like Rovi? Carriers trying to regain some more rev from the pipes they own? The third party developer who we have not met yet that's going to build a game-changer like Facebook or Google or the space? Google? Apple? Youview? HbbTV?
Right now, from what I saw at MIPTV in Cannes in 2010, everyone is making a play. And that's not surprising because studies show:
Traditional TV has too many ads. Users have demonstrated that they will go to great lengths to avoid the advertising load that traditional TV places upon them. Setting aside sports and other live event programming, consumers are increasingly moving to on-demand viewing, in part because of the lighter ad load (achieved via ad-skipping DVRs, traditional video on demand systems, and/or online viewing)
There's billions of dollars globally in TV ad spend that's going to be affected by changing consumer behaviour, as they shift to more VOD and Catchup TV not only to skip commercials, but also satiate other needs such watch-when-you-want-on-what-you-want-to-watch-it-on.
Interactive multiplatform triggering by any of the above and even brands and agencies in commercials (that will likely look more like content) - will offer not only a direct-to-consumer path to engage in ways the industry has never seen before, but will also cull IP-based metrics that will put Neilson in the US and BARB in the UK with their traditional audience metric reporting into the stone age. And not just direct cookie analytics, but also long tail metrics from what's happening in the SocialSphere - where programming of the future is likely to be judged.
Broadcasters who are all facing industry disruption in the future (the living room is the last to take a hiding after print and music) have to look closely, quickly, at multiplatform because, if they don't, they will miss the boat.
Control of the second screen vis-à-vis real-time, multiplatform companion apps for live events is basically ripe for the picking, with broadcast producers able to ping second screen actions. Those who create or have access to the scripts will also be able to set triggers for the second screen in the show timeline more effectively... whether that be for tCommerce (what dress is she wearing, buy it) , game mechanics such as predictions, trivia, competitions, voting, or social elements that allow for viralisation.... that's where the real power is.
To see more compelling multiplatform discussion, please view the panel this writer chaired at MIPTV 2011 this year - Multiplatform engagement through apps at MIPTV