We speak to Angelo Pettazzi, Head of DTT Content Factory at Italian broadcaster Mediaset, about the social TV projects his company is working on, its plans to develop second-screen apps, and the future of social TV in Italy.
Can you tell us more about Mediaset’s social TV projects?
Mediaset’s social TV projects include a number of features, such as the ability to share what you are watching with your friends on social networks like Facebook. We have experimented with this since November, and have had some good results, especially on a technical level.
Now we are trying to develop new features, expand the reach of the service, add more devices, more channels and more features: for instance, a viewer will be able to see how many of their friends are watching the same programme as them in real-time.
Can you tell us more about its plans to develop second-screen apps?
Second-screen apps are an interesting project from my point of view, and are going to join the viewer experience on the TV with the companion devices which people are normally using today whilst watching TV.
This is a a very big opportunity to enhance the viewer experience, especially thanks to the technology that we are exploiting in Italy, thanks to the platform that the broadcaster has developed, which is based on DVB-GEM middleware.
You know what the people are watching, because the platform is able to know it, and so you are able to deliver on the companion screen an experience which is synchronised to what the viewer is watching.
What do you think is the future of social TV and companion device experiences in Italy?
We are really very concentrated on that – we would like to develop the relationship between developers of experiences for the TV set and for companion devices.
We are going to deliver a social TV service by the end of this year, and if everything goes well then I think it could become the normal way of watching for many viewers. A viewer will experience a new way to watch television.