A second screen too far?
MediaTel's Connected Consumer business manager, Anne Tucker, on the new second screen content, which provides video commentary alongside traditional broadcast programming...
How would you feel if you were watching your favourite Saturday night telly and in the corner of the room is someone continually commentating on the show? A bit annoying or a welcome addition?
This is the idea of a new collaboration between zeebox and Showcaster, whereby instead of text commentary on zeebox that can accompany a show like The X Factor, you can now have another live video feed playing on your second device, providing witty repartee.
#YappFactor is intended to air this autumn, giving comedian and radio host Jake Yapp his own show, which will run alongside the live ITV broadcast via zeebox.
However this programme has nothing to do with ITV.
Clearly at this early stage viewing is going to be very minimal and any impact on ITV in "shared" eyeballs will be very small, but it does beg a few questions.
Should ITV have their show effectively hi-jacked by another company - or is this just a missed opportunity for ITV not to have got in there first?
But the biggest question in my mind is whether anyone would want this interruption to their viewing?
In a single viewer household I suppose it could work and supplement viewing, if the content was good enough.
However, The X Factor is obviously prime family viewing, so a shared experience. Personally, I can only imagine that it would be quite annoying to anyone else in the room who just wants to sit and watch the show.
Surely the family should be chatting about the show, adding their own take on the performances, not some guy on a second screen?
Quite agree Anne. But the guy chatting on the screen is providing a virtual social experience just as sharing views with your mates on Twitter whilst viewing a show is providing a virtual experience much less rewarding than comments shared between those actually watching together. For my own part, I only ever find myself sending texts or tweets or browsing the internet whilst watching TV when what I'm watching is failing to engage much of my attention.
While I'm not sure there's much scope for secondary video (people can only look in one direction at a time, after all), I can definitely imagine a strong market for secondary audio. Imagine an otherwise unengaged member of the family tuning in on one headphone, listening in to a nearer-the-knuckle commentary from a favoured comic. This idea echoes the thought Ricky Gervais had of having his own web-based commentary for the Golden Globes - people could pay to listen to live and uncensored. He had a massive positive response from his fans, but crucially you need to have the broadcaster on-side too. Just ask the Foreign Press Association