BBC seeks perfect companions for connected TV

Editor ©RapidTVNews | 04-05-2012

As it aims to build on the undoubted success of the iPlayer, the BBC is to make further pushes into online TV with companion experiences to popular content.

Speaking at the Connected TV Summit, Victoria Jaye, Head of IPTV and TV Online Content, BBC Vision, said that the new companion experience will be available across smartphones, PC, and tablet devices, offering additional content related to and synchronised with the programme being watched TV. This could comprise further information, a play along experience, social or control features with the overall aim being to enhance audiences' TV viewing and enhancement what has been offered via the BBC Red Button

“As more and more internet connected devices enter the living room, we can extend entertainment beyond broadcast and the TV screen, bringing our shows to life for audiences in ever more exciting ways,” explained Jaye . “Our editorial approach to companion experiences is three fold: build on existing audience needs and behaviour; go beyond broadcast; drive creative renewal and innovation. We want to immerse our audience in the programme they're watching even more by building on the existing needs and behaviours the show inspires. We also want to satisfy audiences' interests and passions sparked by our programmes, by creating rich and compelling journeys beyond broadcast TV that connect audiences to related content across the breadth and depth of our BBC Online portfolio.”

Throughout 2102, the BBC will be piloting companion experiences around a handful of programme titles, to explore the key features and functions that the corporation claims will make watching TV an even better experience. It has already completed closed pilots around two BBC One TV series - Secret Fortune and Frozen Planet and in September 2012 it will be launching a companion experience for Antiques Roadshow.

For the Secret Fortune quiz show, the BBC is developing a mobile and tablet play alongside the existing play-along experience to make viewers feel connected to the show; for the Frozen Planet companion experience pilot the BBC invited the audience to be a passenger on a journey into natural history offering synchronous information about the animals and habitats featured in the show, along with the opportunity to 'Favourite' content to consume later.