Who needs interactive TV? For its new primetime drama My Generation, ABC will serve up polls, trivia and other content for viewers on an iPad app synchronized with the programming using Nielsen audio watermarks.
The network's free My Generation Sync App will be able to automatically synchronize to any of the shows episodes -- live or time-shifted -- and access interactive content at specific points in the programming. In addition to polls, the app will provide behind-the-scenes tidbits, production details, social-networking features and interactive ads for the show's sponsors.
"In the ever-evolving television landscape, we are constantly looking to create immersive viewing experiences around our shows," Albert Cheng, Disney/ABC Television Group executive vice president of digital media, said in a statement. "Together with Nielsen, we've created a sync-to-broadcast app that appeals to both fans and advertisers, and holds an array of possibilities for deeper engagement with our content and our advertisers' brands."
My Generation, which premieres Thursday, Sept. 23, at 8 p.m., is a scripted drama about nine friends presented as if it were being shot by documentary film crew. The show is produced by ABC Studios.
The iPad app for the show is the first to use Nielsen's Media-Sync Platform, which uses audio watermarks that are inserted into nearly every TV program in the U.S. to support the firm's TV audience ratings service. The watermarks are inaudible to the human ear but can be detected and decoded through the microphone of an iPad or other mobile devices. The Media-Sync Platform is a product of Nielsen's joint venture with Digimarc, provider of digital media watermarking solutions.
The project is the latest in ABC's ongoing partnership with Apple. In April, Disney/ABC Television Group launched the ABC Player App on the iPad, which has to date more than 900,000 downloads and more than 8 million episodes started, and introduced an ABC News App in July.
In addition, ABC will offer 99-cent rentals of its shows with the new Apple TV set-top, scheduled to be available later this month.