Showtime Whips Up Social App9/27/2011 12:01 AM Eastern
Showtime Networks will let viewers follow online chatter to the premium net's programming and share their instant reactions with the "Showtime Social" app for iPad tablets.
The Showtime Social app is separate from Showtime Anytime, the premium network's TV Everywhere service, which is expected to officially launch in conjunction with affiliates within the next few weeks. Currently, authenticated content from Showtime is available through Comcast's Xfinity TV website and apps.
The app aggregates comment about Showtime series posted on Facebook, Twitter and blogs, sorting them to show real-time reactions. Users also can interact as they're watching a show by selecting one of four options: happy, shocked, sad or angry.
Near the end of an episode, the app displays an interactive "heat map" depicting how viewers reacted throughout the episode with a minute-by-minute timeline.
"We know people are interactive with our shows on the Internet, so we're providing a more seamless way to do that within a branded app," said Ken Todd, Showtime's vice president of digital content syndication and mobile development.
Showtime Social -- the network's first designed specifically for the iPad -- also features polls, photo galleries and a full-screen video player for sample episodes, trailers, behind-the-scenes clips, previews and webisodes.
The app also includes a sortable schedule for Showtime programming and provides the ability to set program tune-in reminders. It also provides information about how to order Showtime, and links directly to the website the provider selected by a user.
Showtime worked with a third-party developer on the social app over the course of several months, Todd said. The iPad app, released last Thursday, Sept. 22, is available in the Apple iTunes App Store.
Showtime launched the app ahead of the season finales of Weeds and The Big C, which aired Monday night, and the premieres of Dexter and new series Homeland next Sunday, Oct. 2, at 9 and 10 p.m. ET.