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BET socializes TV with Peel app to prolong engagement

NEW YORK ? Television network BET has found success at socializing the television experience for its viewers using mobile remote application Peel, enabling contact before, during and after consumers? favorite TV shows, according to a BET executive during a session at ad:tech New York.

Though traditional social media allows engagement in real time, Peel?s use of reminders maintains an ongoing relationship with consumers, as shown during the "Socialization of TV" session at the conference. Therefore, BET can leverage Peel to connect with viewers even when they are not watching.

?Putting social in a TV execution is not social television,? said JP Lespinasse, senior director of social media at BET, New York. ?It?s all about how mobile devices can work optimally with television to create social experiences.?

Digitally engaging
Peel places its technology conveniently on Twitter that is delivered in the format of ads.

Through these ads, Twitter users can click on the embedded icons and will be taken directly to the Peel app. 

Many major networks are giving Peel a try. For example, AMC Network has used Peel for its Walking Dead series. Its Twitter post allowed users to click directly into the Peel app to set a reminder.

Several factors play into the integration of social in television. Firstly, consumers are interacting on their mobile devices while watching television, and secondly, consumers are able to replace their outdated TV remotes with their mobile devices.

Social television is quickly moving past limited engagement through real-time tweeting. Now with tools such as Peel and other smart remote apps, TV networks can host cross screen engagement for more interactivity.

Other involvements
BET has been adjusting to meet its audience?s growing demand for mobile content by enlisting high-powered help to oversee the operation of critical mobile platforms.

In its bid to push the envelope with different digital and mobile initiatives, BET, the most prominent TV station targeting African American audiences, recently hired Kay Madati, previously head of entertainment and media on Facebook?s global marketing solutions team, as chief digital officer. Mr. Madati?s duties include overseeing BET Digital, including and BET Mobile, the latter of which provides apps, ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices;, the online home for the Centric cable channel; and BET Video On Demand (see story).

The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards leveraged Peel to drive online engagement with enticing social posts, driving retweets and shares to rope in viewers by offering free tickets to the show.

The Television Academy?s Facebook and Twitter accounts posted occasional notices, directing followers to set reminders to watch the Emmy?s using the Peel app. By retweeting and sharing those posts, followers entered themselves for a chance to win free tickets to the show (see story).

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York