Description: This passage is about showtime-anytime-com-activate. Showtime sees smart TV’s as powerful platform for immersive and interactive experiences. With Beet.TV, the company’s Sho Synch app is growing popularity. The app is available on LG sets.
Tell me what you’re doing this year, what do you sing that’s interesting and it’s most notable? The thing that we’re focused on is Smart TVs and the area of concentration as TVs that are content aware.
What I mean by that is that the new generation of Smart TVs can identify the programming that’s being viewed and that opens up a whole world of possibilities for the TV set to serve up content and functionality related to the video that the viewers watching.
What does that mean for programmers? Is that about enhancing advertising which isn’t relevant to you? Is it about enhancing programming and getting more audience? It’s about all of those things. At Showtime we have a product. We launched called show sync and it’s available as a two screen experience on the iPhone and the iPad.
It’s also available on smart TVs. On the TV what that means is that you watch television. You don’t have to get an app or install. A little prompt appears. It tells you that this program is special and it has an interactive layer.
That’s available. You can click one button, on your remote and turn on the interactive experience and play along as you watch or you can watch TV. What’s nice is that there’s no apps to install. The technology goes away. There’s no friction for the consumer. They can get that at this next generation of content.
What it means for programmers is that this is a blank canvas. There’s the ability to take anything on a TV network and add an interactive layer to it. For us we’re doing the show sync product for all of our original series on primetime.
Homeland, nurse jackie penny dreadful and all of the big shows on Showtime have an interactive capability where fans want they can get an interactive layer and make predictions about what’s going to happen.
They’re playing against the other fans that are watching. There’s a social component. There’s some sharing built in. If there’s something cool that happens in the show and the content is important to you, you can click a button and share it from your TV set social media platforms and tell your friends.
All kinds of new capabilities can change what’s possible in terms of telling a good story on television. I’ve seen the experience is beautiful and the design is a big part of it. Are there any insights around engagement or audience usage or behavior that you’ve derived from the initial early deployment of it?
It’s the early days. The big takeaway for us is that we tried something very different than itv. The content goes away and we try to make sure that the focal point is that you’re watching a TV show. When there’s not an interactive moment going on or when you’re doing something, it goes away.
Things animate in and out. They’re probably partially transparent. We create a spatial relationship. The consumer learns that things go down and you could push things down and pull them up if you don’t want it and you could turn the whole thing on and off.
At this point we’re very pleased with the percentage of people that are using this. This is still the early days for this technology being rolled out. But these Smart TVs are content aware. The projections are that by the end of this year there will be 20 million sets connected active in the United States.
The numbers are going to double over the next couple of years. This is a brand new platform that we’re excited about. All programmers should take a look at what’s possible. I mentioned what we’re doing with enhancing the story and adding capabilities to programming.
But the same blank canvas is available to add an interactive layer to TV advertising network promotions, contest sweepstakes, games and sports. If you’re watching a baseball game, you can click a button and predict the next pitch sponsored by a beer advertiser for a chance to win World Series tickets.
Why wouldn’t you play alone while you’re watching TV? This is an interesting new platform for all the parties involved with the ecosystem to take a look at.