Super Bowl 47 was the first big opportunity to explore this debate in 2013, but the results were somewhat undecided.
The Grammys and the Oscars were the next major events presenting opportunities to debate the direction of the market (and the value of the consumer experience).
- However, beyond the red carpet experience from E!, there wasn't really a bespoke experience for the Grammy's and the multi-purpose apps (zeebox) or specific function apps (Viggle) seemed to have won the day (see the write-up here).
- But the Oscars was a different story, with multiple camera angles during the red carpet experience and during the awards ceremony and a voting capability that while not perfect, was not to be found in other non-Oscar specific apps (see the write-up here).
- March Madness runs March 19th thru April 8th. Last year, they put out a premium app experience that was way ahead of its time and still ranks as one of the better apps in the stimulating feature set to enhance your viewing experience. I can't wait to see this year's improvements.
- The Masters Golf Tournament runs April 11-14th. Similar, last year's app experience with multiple camera angles and the ability to truly follow your favorite player was also leading the way in how to develop a special purpose experience. Golf lover or not, you should check out the experience this year.
- We are discussing this in a panel at OTT Con in Santa Clara on March 20th.
- We will touch on the subject again in Next TV Summit in NYC on March 21st.
- We will debate the subject from many angles during our "2nd Screen Sunday" event at NAB on April 7th in Las Vegas.
My wife is hosting a Red Carpet and Oscars party and I plan to run a few iPads and a Samsung 10.1 Tab 2 on a mixture of different apps to see what the reactions are.
On special purpose, here is what I will review:
- The official Oscars app. Last year it sported 6 camera feeds for the red carpet preshow, but also sported some technical glitches. High expectations this year.
- E! Live from the Red Carpet. Tend to a do a great job at all of these events.
- TOK for Oscars. I love their Football and Baseball app (think of 2nd Screen and Skype voice combined) and am very curious to check out their Oscars version.
- The Oscars Guide and Awards Hero (both have voting and tracking features).
- The Race to the Oscars (from the Hollywood Reporter).
For the multi-function apps, I will be spending time with:
- zeebox. They did a great job on the Grammys and Golden Globes--I am expecting more here.
- ConnecTV. While I am still getting used to the new UI, they have promised a special Oscars experience.
- Shazam. Continue to develop their features and functionality in this space.
- Viggle. Gamification / trivia -- earn rewards while you and millions of others watch.
- IMDB. Also promising a special experience for the Oscars.
- BoxFish. I am interested to see what they do with their live speech to text capabilities.
- GetGlue and IntoNow. Hugh "check-in" numbers--curious to see what they do beyond that.
- Yap.tv. Tend to have a decent social and stimulating experience for most shows.
Share your experiences with me on the blog, on Twitter, or live on Tuesday at the Beverly Hilton (1.30-6pm) at our 2nd Annual 2nd Screen Summit in LA (www.2ndScreenSummit.com)
But for second screen, I cannot honestly say we made a huge leap forward in the last 12 months. Somethings are better, some worse, and some continue to be interesting to watch as consumer engagements around the experiences drive the market forward.
The interesting: This was the 2nd opportunity we have had recently to really test "special purpose" apps vs. 3rd party "multi-function" apps. CBS deployed an updated "special purpose" app for the Grammy's a few weeks ago (with updates coming just a few days before the event itself). zeebox, Viggle, and E! Live from the Red Carpet lead the "multi-function" effort for this type of event. As a consumer myself, I can't say the special purpose app was significantly better than the 3rd party apps--in fact, because I am now used to the UI of zeebox, Viggle, and E! Live from the Red Carpet, I actually found them easier to use.
- It was still time delayed by 3 hours for the west coast. While some apps (Viggle for example) tried to keep out spoilers, most second screen apps didn't--and even my CNN app kept telling me who the winners were before I turned it on.
- The broadcasting network (CBS) had a very busy UI/UX with too many spoilers (including photos of the winners) that should have been better than third party apps like zeebox or E! Live from the Red Carpet. They seemed to have attempted to make the web and tablet experience the same (perhaps to save money), but watered down both in the process.
- Most of the focus was around the "social" aspect of second screen, with little attention being paid to the "stimulating" side of the experience (unlike the Golden Globes and People's Choice awards from a few weeks ago, which were great at both).
The positive improvements:
- For consumers looking for an enhanced viewing experience, zeebox did a great job during the event, though it could not stifle the time delay of tweets. They were not in the US last year.
- Viggle did a decent job of managing the time shift and offering consumers a quiz-based experiences throughout the show that was decently compelling--this didn't exist a year ago.
- The E! Live from the Red Carpet app gave great pre-show experiences, mostly improved from 2012's efforts in many ways.
- The program itself paid more attention in on-screen graphics and commentation to Social TV (mostly Twitter) and Second Screen, which I think is great for the industry in total.
- There were decent showings from Shazam and GetGlue (neither of which did much last year), though some good app experiences from last year seemed to have waned in their efforts.
social sharing features. You were able to watch others tweet, but there was no easy way to make comments of your own. The commercials section in the app (finally populated in the middle of the 2nd quarter) was probably the most used feature in our room. The camera angles were interesting, but as the video was delayed 20-30 seconds, it just didn't work for the live game.
zeebox app the most (surprising even me). The zeetags gained lots of interest, especially since it was so easy to see the previous commercials seconds after it aired, the big plays from other games they discussed, and key stats from players, the announcers, etc. I enjoyed chatting to a few people via the app as well (Alan Wolk, for instance). It was also the only app that we left on which was able to circumvent the auto-shutoff, helping to make it a permanent visible fixture on the coffee table. The only negative comment was that during the blackout, I went ahead and loaded their Friday update, which re-arranged the UI, confusing those in the room that had already gotten used to the layout.
TOK Football. I was able to open up an audio session with Fabrizio Capo (the CEO of the start-up) in San Francisco, though admittedly it was hard to hear his comments over the rest of our room (he could hear our room quite easily...). I thought the graphics we as well done as NFL '12 or ESPN ScoreCenter and they even launched a feature to sync the game with your DVR in case you were behind.
I never got Viggle to work during the game. I thought at first it was ambient noise, by tried Shazam and Yahoo's IntoNow and both worked fine. I tried "shhh-ing" the room, etc, but no joy.
I felt Yahoo's IntoNow experience was a bit like Shazam's. It worked, but the UI wasn't conducive to leaving it open during the game--more like a use case of check the stats while in the kitchen grabbing a beer or something.
ConnecTV's new UI/UX is still perplexing. I let the room play with it, but they thought it was just a Twitter feed (vs. the previous zeebox-like UI). I will investigate further on my own this week.
We spent about 15 seconds on the Official Superbowl XLVIII Program and the online Guide. As the room reminded me, that is stuff you read in you seat while you are bored--$9.99 down the drain.
We all really enjoyed the Coke commercial and the Doritos commercials, but no one felt the experience of trying to go online worked--should have been in an app or partnered with an existing app.
Stimulating" feature set for the game itself? I would leave TOK Football, zeebox, NFL '12, and ESPN ScoreCenter in their "high" rating and move CBS Sports, ConnecTV and Viggle down. I would probably bring Yahoo's IntoNow up to Medium. Keep in mind that one game does not define an app, but there you have it. You can see more about our methodology for app experience segmentation at www.2ndScreenSociety.com/research/.
Enjoy the week! Grammy's coming up this weekend.
36% of viewers plan to use a second screen as a companion to the big game. With 84% of Americans planning to watch the game from their (or a friend's) house, this is a second screen industry opportunity like no other. We are even being told that the CBS has sold more than $10-12m of advertising on the second screen alone (forgetting the $3.5m per commercial for the 1st screen).
If you remember last year's Super Bowl second screen experience, there were at least 15 potential experiences for consumers to try, with the NFL delivering a great experience through their own app (NFL'12) and NBC broadcasting the experience live on their web site. The Coke Polar Bears even got their own show going, and all of that earned NBC an estimated $2m in second screen advertising revenue.
So what experiences are worth of your limited time during the game this year (as you balance trying to enjoy the wings, beer, and friends with your passion about this space)? We tried to segment the apps based on the kinds of experiences they will deliver for you (click here to see more about our segmentation on second screen apps).
- Classic sports companion apps (suggested, not exhaustive).
- NFL '12. Released a new update for the Super Bowl, with guides to the town, the pre-game line-up, etc. Great stimulating features to enhance your viewing experience.
- CBS Sports. A re-vamped interface and the ability to choose camera angles should make this an stimulating experience.
- ESPN ScoreCenter. Still one of the better sports companions with live stats (stimulating) and decent social features.
- TheScore. Also a great way to follow the game, with pre-populated posts for your social networks (easier to share).
- TOK Football. An innovative way to have the stats and graphics on your second screen while being able to talk thru the app to your friends (similar to a Skype voice session)--with buttons to cheer and boo during plays.
- There are dedicated team and game apps.
- Baltimore Ravens. The latest news on players and game day stats.
- 49ers GameDay Live. The latest news on players and game day stats.
- NFL Mobile. The game streamed live, sponsored by Verizon.
- Super Bowl XLVII Guide. A free guide built for those attending the game in person.
- Super Bowl XLVII Program. An electronic version of the actual program guide that is available at the game.
- Multi-purpose TV companion apps.
- zeebox. Deliver a great sports experience and I would expect them to be all over this game on Sunday.
- ConnecTV. Have delivered decent football experiences in the past and this will be a test to see of their new UI engages fans as much as the old UI.
- Alternative enagement apps.
- Viggle. Still attracts a large audience of viewers who answer real-time trivia to earn points that result in real-world rewards.
- Yahoo's IntoNow. (Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl Plus) While the sports experience for IntoNow is ok, they are teaming up with Animal Planet to create a second screen experience for their Puppy Bowl Plus show.
- Browser-based engagement experiences.
- Doritos. Has been hosting a voting experience to determine which of their ads "Crash the Super Bowl". http://apps.facebook.com/crashthesuperbowl/
- Pepsi. Has their own half-time engagement experience. http://halftime.pepsi.com/
- Coke. Is letting consumers choose the ending of a series of commercials during the game through this voting app. http://www.cokechase.com/
Watching The Golden Globes with Second Screen or The "multi-function" app vs. the "special purpose" appzeebox for their second screen experience.
We thought this would be the perfect opportunity to explore the "multi-function" vs. "special purpose" app debate that we (as an industry) debated last Monday during CES at the Second Screen Summit and that we explore in our recently published market report on second screen, "The 2nd Screen: Transforming Video Consumption".
Honestly, I thought I would be testing the afore mentioned E! Live from the Red Carpet (there was no special Golden Globes app) that I noticed has a new update earlier this week vs. zeebox, TVplus, Viggle, ConnecTV and Shazam as they are clearly leaders in the functional feature set of "Stimulating" and are either segment leaders in either "Multi-Function" or "To Enhance". But, at least for the Red Carpet, I was mostly disappointed:
- the TVplus "Sync" feature did not work (their consumer facing app is now a "reference" app and does not have an experience for all shows),
- Viggle allowed me to check-in but did not have an experience ready (for the red carpet),
- Shazam let me check-in, but only had links to IMDB, etc., and
- ConnectTV launched a new interface which besides being portrait only, seemed to have no experience setup for the live broadcast either.
- a live cam stream from where they channel was greeting actors (but no sound--just music)
- a "360 glam cam", showing those amazing dresses from all angles
- a "heat gauge", which had actor/actress faces get larger and smaller as the Twitter stream trended about them
- the opportunity to shop from the Red Carpet
- a Twitter feed (though not curated in any fashion)
- a curated live Social feed (Twitter plus zeebox comments), but you had the option in settings to put on parental controls and slow down/speed up the feed display rate
- the zeetag feeds (very helpful to give instant bios/IMDB links for actors, YouTube clips for movies, fact links to Wikipedia, and even the ability to buy movie tickets from Fandango
- a few rotating polls, slotted between a few highlighted celebrity tweets and
- a section to download relevant apps
As we are now a few weeks into the Fall TV season, I thought I would update my views on which apps seem to be furthest along the path to develop the features that will drive serious consumer adoption.
I continue to believe there are really 5 major features sets that drive consumers to pick up a device as their second screen in an attempt to add value to their first screen experience: Finding something to watch (Discovery), determining where to watch it (Seamless content sourcing, often combined with Discovery), launching that content to your first screen (Simple), getting more information about the program, whether sport stats, actor bios, games, or commerce opportunities (Stimulating), and then sharing all of that and more with your friends (Social).
Seamless Discovery. Finding something you really want to watch from the plethora of content aggregators. There are a number of apps trying to become your modern "TV Guide", but few are doing more than displaying the grid on your second screen or a giving you a list of lists (popular now, most watched by your friends, Emmy Winners). Additionally, the real challenge with a good Discovery experience is the integration of some level of personalization, combined with multiple sources of content (Seamless), all delivered through a clean and easy to navigate user interface (UI).
NextGuide. Having launched only recently, this app continues to provide real Discovery value through its interface and continued roll-out additional Seamlessly integrated content sources (your local channel provider, iTunes, Amazon, Hulu and Netflix). If the content is available on iTunes, Hulu or Netflix, it will launch the content directly to your second screen (making it become the first screen). It does a decent job of tracking what you've watched or "favorite-d" (thru their app or thru Facebook) and then updates your recommendations based on those preference changes. My guess at what's next? Look for them to continue to roll-out more Seamless content sources, to begin integrating your local channel providers for Simple first screen integration, and to continue to refine and develop their metadata and discovery algorithm.
- Matcha. This app continues to be a good Seamless Discovery tool even though your local channel provider (ie live TV) is not included in the experience. It delivers its real value by launching your chosen content to your second screen (making it the first screen) and developing pretty deep integration to Netflix and Hulu (can read your queues, tell you about soon to expire content, etc). My guess at what's next? Look for them to find a way to integrate live TV and to further refine their metadata and Discovery algorithm.
Simple. Controlling your first screen world.
BuddyTV. There continues one app that sets itself apart from the pack of second screen apps that allow you to control your first screen device world--BuddyTV. The app (for the iOS, Android and GoogleTV) allows you to get personalized recommendations (Discovery) for content across a number of content sources (Seamless) and then allows you to launch that content to your first screen if you have AT&T, Dish, DirecTV, a Tivo DVR or a Google TV device. For Hulu, Netflix, iTunes and Amazon, it launches that content when possible to your 2nd screen. My guess at what's next? Watch for them to continue to integrate more MVPDs (Comcast Xfinity, Verizon are obvious misses), to further develop their recommendation algorithms, and launch a new UI (current iOS app is focused on the iPhone).
Keep an eye on: Comcast Xfinity, DirecTV, and AT&T. All three major channel providers (MVPDs) continue to develop and improve their ability to add value via the second screen with better integration of control functionality, but they are will continued to be limited as a Discovery tool set since by their nature they are limited to providing content only from their own service.
Stimulating. Delivering interesting and relevant information about the content on your first screen in everything from sports stats and actors biographies to games about the content and commerce opportunities.
zeebox. While having only recently launched in the U.S., this app has quickly gained the support of Viacom and NBCUniversal in the broadcast world and has already gained a strong consumer following with its quasi-Discovery function (what's hot right now) and zeetag feature allowing you to quickly and easily check out information on major keywords being derived during the viewing experience. My guess at what's next? Look for them to integrate Simple control features for your first screen with major CE manufacturers (Samsung is integrated in the UK) and channel providers (Comcast Xfinity was already announced as a future feature) as well as to continue to develop their Discovery feature in terms of the UI and algorithm.
- ConnecTV. One of the few consumer apps that continues to deliver on a Stimulating content experience across a range of channels and programs, ConnecTV's algorithm seems to be able to pull together content about the program (similar to zeetags) that are pre-populated based on the content metadata and then deliver them (and a curated Twitter feed, etc) in a simple and clean UI for the second screen experience. They also continue to deliver one of the better sport experiences in the generalist second screen app market. My guess at what's next? Look for them to continue to build out their Stimulating experience with better and more detailed metadata and begin to head down the Discovery path.
- Fanhattan. This app continues to be one of the best Stimulating experiences for TV and movies, delivering a wide array of additional content to the consumer from simple actor bios to the songs (with iTunes link) and related TV apps. While the app also carries a very robust Seamless search function across multiple content sources, their UI limits the tool's capability in Discovery (more of the list approach for lean-back and very powerful but lean-forward in a search mode). My guess at what's next? Look for them to continue to develop their Discovery capabilities and potentially to head down the path of Simple integration with local channel providers.
- Viggle. The gamification king, Viggle continues to astound the market place with its registered user growth, powered by its reward system, though its current attempts at Discovery are more geared towards its advertising community (switch to this TV show and earn points).
Social. Helping you connect with your friends and colleagues to express your views about what you are watching. Ironically, while this is perhaps the most written about feature in the second screen world (with SocialTV as a category devoted to its function), it seems to be the least invested feature in the second screen app development world. While nearly every app now allows you to chat or Tweet directly, the general view seems to be that development much beyond that is not a priority. Interestingly enough, while less than 1% of viewers comment in these tools, nearly 50% of consumers enjoy reading the comments (a world of voyeurism).
- Yap.tv. An app dedicated to the social world, focused on telling you what content is socially popular, and then allowing you to check-in, comment, Tweet, and create and take polls based on the show you are watching.
Well-funded horses. While currently not in the out in front because of a shortfall when compared to the compelling experiences above, don't count these apps out just yet:
- Yahoo's IntoNow. Still primarily a check-in app, but expect Marissa Meyer and team to push this TV experience towards Discovery and Stimulating, driving advertising models from that approach.
- GetGlue. Currently the check-in king in the second screen app world and recently touting that its chat traffic as higher than twitter on key TV episodes. My guess at what's next? Expect GetGlue to work to deliver on their promise of creating a new content Discovery paradigm.
- Shazam. Working hard to develop their well-known brand and high install base of audio ACR into an app that drives value for consumers and broadcasters. My guess at what's next? Watch for them to continue to develop their Stimulating feature set in the near term.
- Amazon's IMDB. A go-to web site that millions of consumers use to find out more about a show or movie. My guess at what's next? Expect them to further develop their "X-ray" vision feature that is currently active on the Kindle Fire (hover over an actor and get the Stimulating info pop-up window) to work on other third party platforms as a plug-in while viewing Amazon Prime content.
- M-GO. The DreamWorks and Technicolor backed venture is rumored to be launching before Christmas with integration into several major TV sets with features focused on Discovery and Stimulating.
Others missing from our June review:
TVplus. Their consumer app is great (one of the best) when there is curated content for it, but as their B2B business grows, there seem to be fewer shows in their consumer app repertoire.
- TVDinner. Less market momentum makes success vs. Viggle and others more difficult.
Having raised $32 million in new funding, Shazam is expanding its music-discovery app to serve as a marketing tool for television networks and advertisers. But the appâs global audience, Shazam says, has already hit prime time in the digital music space.
The London-based app developer claims to be growing by more than 1 million users per week, as it approaches a total audience of 150 million users worldwide. A Shazam spokesperson tells M&E Daily that the user data consists of people who have both installed the app on a mobile device and have used it to look up (or âtagâ) a song, TV show, or commercial.
Whatâs more, Shazam says, its usersâ 4 million daily tags lead to âmore than 400,000 music tracks sold daily,â through the app’s affiliation with Apple’s iTunes. That attach rate means that Shazam can take credit for 146 million track sales a year â a sizeable chunk of the worldâs $4.6 billion digital music market.
Shazamâs recent television work includes integrations with MTV and NBCUniversal shows, as well as an Old Navy commercial campaign.