WinView Inc. is introducing its “Two-Screen Brand Response” system this week, focused on synchronizing interactive TV advertising between cable and broadcast commercials with wireless devices.
The venture’s “WinViewable” feature enables viewers to accumulate “points, prizes and advertiser incentives for every commercial viewed and interacted with on their mobile devices,” said WinView founder and executive chairman David Lockton.
WinView’s debut comes amidst the latest flurry of second-screen activity, including USA Network’s revelation last week that its “USA Sync” project with Watchwith (another simulmedia provider) triggered interactions with about 40,000 viewers during the 100th episode of the network’s Psych. That participation means about 1.4% of the audience engaged with the bonus content during the show, a small but still significant participation, according to analysts.
The upcoming National Association of Broadcasters’ Show in Las Vegas is scheduled to teem with second-screen vendors, whose services are also likely to show up at The Cable Show (as they did last year) in Washington, D.C. Among the new ventures is Accelerated Media Inc., which is showcasing its “Companion Ad Network,” a system that stitches together second-screen, companion apps and connected TV widgets from networks, programmers and advertisers.
For its part, Menlo Park, Calif.-based WinView’s entry is focused on “the emergence of the social TV ecosystem” and “marketers’ goals to increase viewership and consumer engagement,” says two-screen, two-way interactive TV pioneer Lockton. The team he has assembled, including marketing executives from consumer packaged goods producers (e.g. Procter & Gamble and Kraft), seeks to meet TV advertisers’ objective to “accurately targets and measure the right audience with the right incentives.”
Lockton said WinView is in advanced negotiations with cable and broadcast networks and advertisers, but cannot yet reveal the status of those projects.
“The secret behind doing this is as age-old as making compelling TV programming,” he said, “making the viewer feel part of the medium that’s unique to them. Technology has finally evolved to a point where we can do this not only with TV shows in a synchronized real-time way, but also for TV commercials.”
WinView’s 22 patents (issued and pending) include a feature called “WinChime,” which alerts viewers’ mobile devices that a WinViewable TV commercial is about to run. Viewers must download a free WinView app to receive these alerts and then tune into the commercial for the chance to win a prize.
The company’s approach into this rapidly congesting field is focused on giving advertisers “proof of interaction in real-time reporting” as commercials run, according to Lockton. His two-decades’ experience in interactive TV games and advertising includes operation of the Interactive Network, which enabled players real-time play-along with network game shows, sports and other programs. The company settled a decade-long patent lawsuit with the old Tele-communications Inc. and other cable companies in 2008.
Lockton is enthusiastic that the current second-screen approach will be more responsive to today’s market conditions, where 80% of viewers have a smartphone or tablet nearby while they are watching TV, as several studies indicate.
“By capturing the divided attention of TV viewers to commercials, WinView enhances the effectiveness of television advertising,” Lockton said, emphasizing the “increased message recall, response, lead generation, and real-time metrics and analytics.”
For its ongoing Beta test, WinView will be accessible as a free, opt-in downloadable app on all mobile and Internet-connected devices. WinView will seamlessly connect WinViewable TV commercials with a viewer’s second-screen mobile device, “creating an interactive and social media simulscreen experience,” said Lockton.