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The operator survival guide: rules of engagement

Dr Ofer Weintraub, EVP Innovation at Viaccess-Orca

Dr Ofer Weintraub, EVP Innovation at Viaccess-Orca

Developing a successful second screen app requires a deep understanding of how people watch TV.

It entails examining viewers’ needs before, during and after the broadcast in order to deliver a TV companion that meets users’ expectations so smoothly that it will simply feel natural.

This is the challenge operators and content service providers face in developing a complete living room experience for their subscribers.

It’s exactly all this ‘deep‘ understanding, combined with the right user interface, that makes a second screen application so popular and successful.

Part 1: Deep UX analysis

Let’s take a deeper look at the thinking behind such an application creation. After analysing the viewer experience, we realised the following:

• Capture content metadata: Wouldn’t you like to know the latest gossip on Owen Wilson right after watching Midnight in Paris? Wouldn’t you like to learn the true story behind Argo before deciding whether to watch it, or the history of Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellrak while waiting for Hunger Games to start? A significant amount of content metadata that is very valuable for viewers is not being captured today.

• Engagement is the key to monetisation: This is the everlasting challenge of content service providers. Viewers who are engaged with TV content are more likely to spend money in related activities than those who are less involved. Therefore, there is a need for employing second screen apps which increase engagement and in turn increase the average revenue per user.

• Three stages of TV viewing: Viewers have specific needs at each stage of TV viewing. Before watching TV, they look to discover content. While watching TV, especially genres like reality or cooking shows, they are interested in interacting and engaging with the content in a meaningful way, such as downloading a recipe being shown on-screen, or voting for a favourite singer. After watching a TV show or a movie, viewers will probably want to explore and learn more about its content, actors and so on. We realised that we could answer all these needs and provide value at any time in one properly developed app.

• Second screens are the answer: TV is an amazing device for video, but it does not provide a suitable platform for other forms of content, such as those mentioned above. Second screen devices, on the other hand, are an excellent solution for supplying this information.

• The value of information: Pay TV operators face a challenge when seeking recent, updated content and data related to their inventory. Being able to access that kind of information will be very valuable for them.

Part 2: Deep metadata aggregation

So here we are: the time has come to transform the way we consume and engage with content using a companion screen.

By providing valuable metadata in the form of automated digital magazines that can be used at all stages of the viewing process, DEEP (Data Enrichment and Engagement Platform) was developed, to revolutionise and enrich the second screen content experience.

Before watching a programme, viewers can examine discovery content. During the programme, viewers can access content that promotes interaction and engagement. Once the program has ended, viewers can enjoy post-content learning, education and exploration.

VO second screen app

Second-screen apps have the potential to transform the way we consume and engage with content

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