Syncing not sinking

We’re all drowning in a sea of video content.  We’re constantly buffeted by huge waves of material coming at us on different platforms, and there are forever new ways to consume content. The challenge for broadcasters and advertisers is to ensure their programmes and ads float to the top of the viewers’ attention.

How do they do that? Let’s start with a question.

What do Ellen (USA), the Grand National horse race (UK) and the Vienna State Opera (Austria) have in common?  They’ve all used Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) technology to connect apps with the content on air to enormously enhance TV viewers’ experiences through second screens. At the same time creating a return channel to the content producers or broadcasters.

In each case the ACR they chose was Kantar Media’s SyncNow. The Ellen sync app gives viewers of the Ellen DeGeneres show behind the scenes footage, extra information and bonus content.

Channel 4 in the UK used our SyncNow service to power the 'Horse tracker' app giving viewers of the Grand National a whole new perspective on the famous race.  They were able to see consistent real-time statistics on their mobile device whatever distribution system (cable, sat, DTT) they used or if the race was time shifted.

Televised live performances of the Vienna State Opera, distributed on OTT (Over the Top) platforms, were enhanced with a multilingual second screen app so viewers could follow the action better and enjoy a richer, deeper experience thanks to synchronised subtitles and moving scores.

Audio watermarking allows our SyncNow service to synchronise seamlessly with second screen devices at scale, in real time and across platforms. But it isn’t limited to TV. It has been used in cinemas to prompt moviegoers to look out for significant moments in the plot. And in the Netherlands last year the technology was used at a live concert for the first time. After downloading an app fans saw their mobile screens become part of the light show in sync with the on-stage performance.

The only limit on SyncNow’s uses will be imagination. Having said that it’s likely the biggest market for second screen technology will be television.

As more of us use another device while watching TV – tablets, smartphones and laptops for example - broadcasters need a way to keep us engaged and stop our attention wandering. The challenge is to get the audience back to the first screen. The beauty of the Horse Tracker app is that it did just that. It allowed viewers to track the position and speed of individual horses. Providing the depth of information TV couldn’t on its own.

For broadcasters the apps gives you valuable information about your audience at a granular level. Who they are, where they are and how loyal they are to a programme. For the first time broadcasters can have a wealth of data, including content exposure metrics that can act as TV cookies, to use for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or for driving strategies.

Advertisers can also have a direct link with the TV audience for the first time. They can receive individual viewing data or 'TV cookies', in order to bridge the gap between TV and online. Ads can be targeted to hit the right demographic on their second screens.

ACR is still new but its impact will be great. We believe if you start syncing you’ll stop sinking.

To learn more about SyncNow, click here. 

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