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MTV to make iPad into Interactive Social TV

written by: Richard Kastelein

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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About the Author

Richard Kastelein
Founder of The Hackfest, publisher of TV App Market and global expert on Media & TV innovation, Kastelein is an award winning publisher and futurist. He has guest lectured at MIT Media Lab, University of Cologne, sat on media convergence panel at 2nd EU Digital Assembly in Brussels, and worked with broadcasters such as the BBC, NPO, RTL (DE and NL), Eurosport, NBCU, C4, ITV, Seven Network and others on media convergence strategy - Social TV, OTT, DLNA and 2nd Screen etc.

He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and UK Royal Television Society (RTS) member.

Kastelein has spoken (& speaking) on the future of media & TV in Amsterdam, Belfast, Berlin, Brussels, Brighton, Copenhagen, Cannes, Cologne, Curacao, Frankfurt, Hollywood, Hilversum, Geneva, Groningen (TEDx), Kuala Lumpur, London, Las Vegas, Leipzig, Madrid, Melbourne, NYC, Rio, Sheffield, San Francisco, San Jose, Sydney, Tallinn, Vienna, Zurich...

He's been on advisory boards of TEDx Istanbul, SMWF UK, Apps World, and judged & AIB awards, Social TV Awards Hollywood, TV Connect & IPTV Awards.

A versatilist & autodidact, his leadership ability, divergent and synthetic thinking skills evolved from sailing the world 24000 miles+ offshore in his 20′s on sailboats under 12m.

He spent 10 years in the Caribbean media & boating industry as a professional sailor before returning to Europe, to Holland.

A Creative Technologist and Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Metis) his career began in the Canadian Native Press and is now a columnist for The Association for International Broadcasting and writes for Wired, The Guardian & Virgin. His writings have been translated into Polish, German and French. 

One of Kastelein's TV formats was optioned by Sony Pictures Television in 2012. 

Currently involved in a number of startups including publishing TV App Market online, The Hackfest and Tripsearch TV. As CSO for Worldticketshop he helped build a $100m company.

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