Irish television network TV3 has launched a dedicated second-screen companion app it believes will appeal to both viewers and advertisers.
ShowPal is free to download from the iOS App Store and an Android version is promised by spring 2014.
Both content providers and advertisers are trying to gain control of the ‘second screen’, that is, the mobile device in many viewers’ hands as they watch television. According to figures from 2nd Screen Society, 58pc of Irish people are online while watching TV, with 70pc of tablet owners and 68pc of smartphone owners using these respective devices as they watch.
ShowPal will offer these second-screen viewers additional content related to what they are watching as they are watching it. Using audio watermarking technology, the app recognises what’s on and delivers a synchronised timeline of related content, which is curated by humans.
The content that appears on ShowPal is wide ranging. Games, quizzes, polls, celebrity profiles, TV show trivia, links to articles, interactive maps, exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes videos are just some of the examples.
The app will also connect with social media, displaying Twitter conversations taking place around a particular show.
ShowPal also provides opportunities for advertisers, who could run promotions or competitions through the app, or even offer users a purchase point. For example, if an Xposé viewer spots a product she likes on the show, ShowPal can direct her to a purchase point.
TV3 called on Irish developers Axonista to develop the app. “Our collaboration with TV3 on ShowPal demonstrates how broadcasters can use our Ediflo CMS to truly revolutionise digital storytelling,” said Daragh Ward, CTO and co-founder. “This is a great beginning and there’s a lot more to come from ShowPal, so watch this space.”