CBS connects users to programming with second-screen app
By Rimma Kats
January 4, 2013
CBS is hopping on the second-screen bandwagon with a new iPad application that brings fans synced experiences for some of their favorite shows.
The CBS Connect app also includes a social hub that aggregates Twitter and Facebook conversations across CBS daytime, primetime and late-night shows. Users can chat live with other viewers, as well as several CBS stars.
“We see TV as being inherently social,” said Marc DeBevoise, executive vice president and general manager at CBS Interactive. “Last season, CBS was the No. 1 social TV network and we offer some of the most social and multiplatform programming on television spanning events like The Grammy Awards and shows like Big Brother.
“Our CBS Connect platform on CBS.com, a social hub for conversations around all CBS programming, helped to pave the way for the launch of the app,” he said. “From day one, we made the CBS Connect experience on CBS.com tablet and mobile-friendly.
“We knew that, with the rise of the second-screen and overall tablet and smartphone adoption, people would be on these devices while watching television as a means to discuss their favorites shows with friends and fellow fans.”
Through the app, fans can sync second-screen experiences for some of their favorite shows including “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “Hawaii Five-O” and “NCIS: Los Angeles.”
CBS expects to add more shows in the future.
The app aims to provide a single destination where fans can discuss their favorite programs, as well as chat with other viewers in real-time.
Furthermore, the app builds on the CBS’ NCIS: Los Angeles Connect app, which launched with the series’ season 4 premiere.
Each second-screen experience is programmed by the show’s writers and producers to bring fans a more enhanced and interactive viewing experience.
“We saw a tremendous response to it on CBS.com and that opened the idea to build even more immersive experiences for our fans,” Mr. DeBevoise said. “That led to the launch of our NCIS: Los Angeles second-screen app at the beginning of the Fall season.
“The response we've seen to that app further validated our strategy and paved the way for the launch of the CBS Connect iPad app which includes synced second-screen experiences for two more shows, CSI and Hawaii Five-0, with more to be added,” he said.
“We look at the app as an way to bring fans one, cohesive experience that spans all CBS programming where they can engage in discussion, connect with their favorite CBS Stars and talent through our regular live chats, and dive deeper into each and every episode of the shows they love.”
Through the CBS Connect app, users can browse episode-specific insights and anecdotes provided by the shows’ creative teams, as well as check out behind-the-scenes access for each episode, such as photos, videos and maps.
The app also includes spotlights on key locations and sets, including the NCIS: Los Angeles Ops Center.
“Digital media is now an authentic part of the story-telling process,” Mr. DeBevoise said. “Through platforms like social and mobile we're continuing to experiment and find new ways to augment our programming and continue the conversation with fans long after an episode has aired.
“We made a conscious effort to engage directly with the writers and producers of Hawaii Five-0, CSI and NCIS: Los Angeles to create our second-screen experiences for those shows,” he said. “They're truly authentic.
“I think what you'll continue to see is that fans will tire of the one-size fits all check-in and 'second-screen' services and begin to engage more with content offerings that are truly immersive, additive and authentic.”
CBS will be promoting the app across its online properties and via the CBS Audience Network.
“Mobile is an important part of our business across all of CBSi's properties, from our tech news site CNET to CBSSports.com, to GameSpot, Last.fm and CBS.com,” Mr. DeBevoise said.
“Across the board, it comes down to knowing your audience and creating mobile experiences that give them access to the content and information they want as seamlessly as possible,” he said.
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York
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