Omega Mobile: Mobile Experience Design Blog
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While watching TV the other day, I noticed a Shazam logo pop up on the screen. Of course, I immediately searched and came across this really interesting Ad Age article about how Shazam’s new mobile marketing app listens to what you’re watching and serves up synchronized content on your phone. This new technology allows companies to target their mobile design strategy to what consumers are viewing on TV, creating a whole new way to think about interactive television.

Shazam

Back in the late 90s when folks were first envisioning interactive television, we assumed the interaction would be taking place on the TV screen. Using either a remote or a touch screen, we would engage and drive television content. What Shazam’s mobile marketing app achieves is true interactivity. It shifts how we think about interactive TV, opening up amazing possibilities for brands and consumers. Instead of interactivity taking place on one screen, it takes place on two.

The content remains on the TV and the interaction happens on the mobile device, allowing brands and networks to coordinate mobile design in support of TV shows and commercials. Shazam’s mobile app works by leveraging the company’s sound recognition technology to drive interaction, solving the challenge of syncing interaction to timed content. Sound recognition provides a ‘bridge’ for perfectly syncing broadcast content to a mobile device, which otherwise would be a very complex process. What this means is that when the Shazam app picks up the appropriate words or music from the TV, a corresponding mobile experience or ad will appear instantly on your phone.

With Shazam’s technology, the mobile design experience possibilities are endless. Broadcast networks, for example, can enhance a program’s content during the show itself to increase programming loyalty. The two screens, mobile and TV, can play off each other simultaneously, as opposed to being related yet still working individually. In addition, networks can prevent people from changing the channel by providing interesting experiences during commercial breaks. For example, during breaks the network might show you ads for upcoming programs and remind you to schedule alerts. They can quiz you and offer prizes. Tease what will happen after the break.

Most advantageous to networks, Shazam’s mobile marketing app allows them to sell more advertising on combined units. Not only can they sell standard network slots, but they can also sell the accompanying interactions on mobile devices. Brands, too, like the interactive possibilities for an integrated rich experience. Many are designing their own versions of Shazam’s mobile marketing app to create interactivity between TV content and mobile devices.

These kinds of mobile marketing apps marry television’s broad profile marketing with mobile behavioral targeting. For example, you might watch an ad on TV from an auto manufacturer. Then, based on your profile, your mobile device will provide you with additional mobile design advertising based on your specific profile and preferences. Instead of everyone seeing additional content for the same vehicle, the person will get the most likely vehicle they are interested in (SUV, luxury sedan, sports car, etc) timed perfectly to the spot on the television. Because the interactivity will make commercials more interesting, these integrated mobile marketing apps and experiences may just solve the DVR issue of consumers bypassing all commercial content.

Shazam’s application of their technology is rather new. It’ll be interesting to see how many consumers embrace this type of interactivity. One thing is for sure though, the possibilities for innovation in mobile design and interactive tv have increased dramatically.

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