Friday, September 17, 2010

Disney, Nielsen team on Apple iPad app

Has advanced advertising on the set top box just got burned. Does interactivity on the TV screen matter when a device in your lap better augments the viewing experience. Has the Apple iPad proven itself again, beyond that of an e-reader to become the ultimate TV companion. The answer is yes.

While the show, My Generation, may not be the ultimate in water cooler conversation, it will simply be the future answer to a trivia question on which was the first show that had interactive capabilities. "Users who download the app can multi-task between the TV experience and the iPad, which will display polls, trivia and other content timed to be relevant to what is transpiring in the 'Generation' storylines." Rudimentary to start, but the future capabilities seem endless. I'd love to see what ABC and its sports counterpart, ESPN, do with a live sports game.

So how does it work; how does the iPad app know what is on the screen. To me, this is ingenious. "What Nielsen brings to the table is audio watermarking embedded in the broadcast that signals the iPhone {and iPad} through its microphone to trigger timed content. While the technology has always been used by Nielsen strictly for measurement purposes, a new mobile-friendly upgrade opened a new ancillary business for the company and Digimarc Corp., which is teaming up with Nielsen on what it has dubbed its Media Sync Platform."

Interactivity with programming without clutter on the TV screen. In fact, an iPad app seems less intrusive than on-screen. And so much easier to coordinate what you see on screen with an online purchase. The commerce opportunity could be more easily managed through your iPad than through a set top. As ABC and Apple test the partnership, I'm sure more strategic partnership opportunities will emerge along with more revenue streams. Regardless of when, Apple is certainly making its iPad a must have device in the home.

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