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Simon Fuller’s XIX Entertainment partners with social TV app yap.TV

Simon Fuller

Simon Fuller is looking to "redefine entertainment"

UK media mogul Simon Fuller looks set to make a big splash in the social TV space after forming a partnership between his company XIX Entertainment (creator of the ‘Pop Idol’ franchise) and social TV platform yap.TV.

The partnership centres on a new TV show format called ‘¡Q’VIVA’, a joint production from Simon Fuller’s XIX Entertainment, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony and Jamie King. The show incorporates original, produced content on the second screen (e.g. mobiles and tablets) simultaneously with the first broadcast, or DVR, using yap.TV’s Live Pulse audio synchronisation technology.

yap.TV will develop a customer roadmap that integrates the first screen viewing experience with the second screen, and in return ¡Q’VIVA! will provide millions of dollars worth of on-air TV promotion across more than 20 Latin America and North America markets, including Fox, Univision, Televisa, TV Record, TLN Telelatino, Caracol, America Television, and others, and support from Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony.

¡Q’VIVA! will feature executive producers and hosts Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony and Jamie King leading a journey across the Americas in search of ‘The Chosen Ones’, who will have to prove they have the talent to represent their country in a Latin live show featuring singers, musicians, dancers, acrobats and other performers.

“The digital age allows us to redefine entertainment and create so many new ways for the consumer to enhance their experience and pleasure,” said Simon Fuller, CEO of XIX Entertainment. “The second screen does just that, by creating an interactive and social experience with the programmes we love, that previously would not have been possible.”

yap.TV is backed by Javelin Venture Partners and Blumberg Capital, and is also advised by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. The app is available on a range of mobile devices, and enables content creators to administrate and manage live synch experiences and other show-related content, show information, social feeds and more. It also powers the USA Anywhere app from USA Network/NBC Universal on iOS devices.

Earlier this week, IPTV News spoke to Shawn Cunningham, CMO and co-founder at yap.TV, and Mark Shedletsky, Head of Digital and Strategic Partnerships at XIX Entertainment.

“The yap.TV and XIX approach involved collaboration with XIX editors to start the viewing experience on the first screen, and continue it on the second,” said Shawn. “This was a large undertaking, as the content was being served across 20 different networks, in three different languages, across South, Central, and North America.

“In addition, there are multiple formats of the show in different countries (e.g. one hour in Spanish, two hours in English). The yap.TV platform managed delivery of this quite well as we are a social TV guide offering TV scheduling across LatAm.

“yap.TV is a complete companion to the TV watching experience, fusing social discovery of shows with interactive features, and continuously delivery curated content automatically to those shows. For example, over the last six months, yap.TV has automatically curated and routed over half a billion tweets to over 6,000 TV shows, consisting of fan and celebrity tweets.”

Regarding XIX Entertainment’s plans to roll out social TV strategies to its other properties, Mark Shedletsky commented: “Every property is different, so there’s not a single answer for how to roll this out across our other TV shows. That said, our approach will be the same – we will produce original content across both screens from the beginning to deliver a truly richer and engaging experience for the fan.”

Editor’s view: Social TV is rapidly becoming the hottest new topic in the television industry – last month’s IP&TV World Forum event in London saw keynote presentations on this very issue from luminaries such as MTV’s Kristin Frank (here) and Twitter’s Tony Wang (here).

IPTV News also conducted video interviews at the event with Kristin (here) and Tony (here)

The topic will be covered in detail at the Social TV World Summit 2012 event taking place in London on 22-23 May. For more information and to register, please visit http://socialtvworldsummit.com

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