A Side Trip to 2nd Screen Apps

Via our parent company, zyntroPICS inc., contentAI studios have been testing integration capabilities with various interactive video platforms — The purpose has been to create truly unique 2nd Screen experiences.

zyntroPICS inc. was recently engaged to undertake a significant interactive video project for a major U.S. network that may appear unrelated to the contentAI platform, but, in fact, is a natural extension of the general commitment to story-driven, complementary applications that are allied with motion picture and television product.

We’ll be pleased to share some of the work as it becomes released publicly.

So called “2nd Screen” applications are broadly defined as an interactive experience that’s allied with linear television content.  Sometimes that can include “interactive video” itself, not just non-video assets.  We’re really excited to see how the evolution of interactive video itself will further enhanced 2nd Screen apps, in conjunction with ancillary tools, such as the contentAI platform, where Users can “chat” with on-screen characters.  How that could mash-up with interactive video itself (a “chat” could control the video to some degree?)…ah, the future is bright…

2nd Screen Apps Featuring Virtual Characters




We’ve been very focused on 2nd Screen applications for our platform and are in discussions with companies we can work with for broadcast solutions which we feel are exceptional (Hint:  They do NOT use audio for automated content recognition).  Nothing wrong with Audio ACR, but there are other approaches which are faster to integrate (and also don’t require native apps).

But, at the same time, we’ve been tinkering around with “disconnected” viewing solutions for syncing screens during online video viewing with some in-house efforts.  We’ve got some working demos available and will be releasing public versions in the near future.

The premise is simple:

*  The #1 activity for people on their 2nd screen is text-chat with friends and family

*  Now, they can text chat (via mobile web or app) with on-screen characters

*  Mobile is Personal.  Therefore, ad units and story extensions need to be personalized for EVERY individual

*  Extending story, or even “ad stories” to the 2nd screen SHOULD involve the fundamental elements inherent to the first screen:  story and character.

It’s truly exciting to watch a video and then have an opportunity to chat with the character on a 2nd screen.  In many respects, this is WHY we built the contentAI studios platform (we’re old film and tv people at heart).    If you’d like to see a Beta demo of our online video sync, just CONTACT US.


Why is “Mobile First” a “Second Screen?”

Folks who work in digital/interactive started the “mobile first” meme about a year and a half ago.  I believe it was Google who really made the phrase popular?

But, what is often overlooked is that for the mainstream, average human being (e.g. consumer), “television” remains the #1 screen in their lives:


Posts from a month or so ago (below) include studies that indicate strong “second screen” use of mobile devices (throwing “tablets” into the mobile category; but, smartphones as well), as being used concurrently with television (with use of all devices peaking during Prime Time).

The opportunities to “bridge” those screens, through so-called “2nd Screen” apps and extended story experiences is what we at contentAI feel is an extraordinary opportunity.   In fact, this entire engagement format was why we started building our platform about 2 years ago….we didn’t know if or when the market would catch up…but, we’re pleased that it has (in a big way).

Is the money shifting to this area?


There are still structural issues with regard to ACR (automated content recognition) to more intuitively sync the screens – We have a few ideas on how that will evolve.  But, we’re technology agnostic in that regard as well, as we can adapt our platform to integrate with 3rd party APIs quite easily (Actually, we really like the YahooCTV SDK; though whether they’ll get a significant user base is the obvious question).

So, “stay tuned.”  On all of your screens.

Mobile – Where the Growth and Eyeballs Are…

There is an excellent Deck, presented by FLURRY, during IGNITION WEST last week  HERE

The two slides that really stand out — Specific to contentAI — Are related to 2-screen engagement times (when the television AND the mobile device are BOTH in use) and the ratio of ad dollars to consumer time (mobile spending will increase exponentially over the coming years to play “catch up”):


Those two slides tell a remarkable story with regard to opportunities for extending television content, both programming and ad-units, to mobile experiences.

After all, 50% of “Location” is the couch.

UPDATE (5 MAY):  From VentureBeat and a similar Nielsen Report on 2-screen experiences:


“Device owners also seem to engage with content related to the TV as well, either by looking up information related to the show or looking for deals and general information on products advertised on TV,” Nielsen said in its report.

Extending Television Stories and Ad Units to the 2nd Screen – Mobile & Tablets

Last week’s IGNITION WEST “Future of Mobile” conference in San Francisco was fascinating – In large part, because the entire morning seemed to drive home the point that “mobile” is largely about “in the living room while watching TV.”   The Keynote Deck is HERE.

The statistics are rolling in:  Mobile use increases concurrent with “Prime Time” television — Where between “mobile” and “tablets” the percentages of overall “time on device” ranges from 50-80% of a consumer’s time, while concurrently watching television.

If “geo location” mobile is worth $x.  Then “couch location” mobile is worth $x, or more!

Further, one of the main activities on “mobile” while watching television is “texting.”

So, what could be more intuitive than extending the television experience, to the end user’s mobile, via conversational engagement?

Chat with a character on Gossip Girl?

Chat with a character in a TV spot to extend the advertising experience?

Children’s content?

While “social” and “smart menus” and other “extenders” are entering the market — We are pleased to be focusing on extending the core television experience and emotional attraction itself – the stories and characters.


We’re still pleased to offer solutions for intelligent and entertainment packaging and print.  But, the opportunity to extend experiences from the television screen to the mobile/tablet screen is something here at contentAI that’s in our DNA.  We come from film and television…after more than a Decade of hearing the word “convergence,” it looks like it’s finally upon us!

UPDATE(S):  Over the past week, more studies have emerged and the connection between “television and mobile” (meaning mobile, tablets or even laptops) is increasing.  Fully 30% of “tablet time” is concurrent television time: