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Bravo vies for increased viewership via Shazam partnership

Cable television network Bravo is among several cable networks offering new mobile content this summer via a partnership with Shazam.

Bravo as well as Oxygen and Syfy will employ the Shazam platform to enable viewers to engage with the shows that they are watching. Users can tag a show that they are watching to gain access to exclusive content and are also able to share their tags on Twitter and Facebook.

?Shazam for TV is revolutionizing the way we watch TV ? no new gadgets or equipment required, just a smartphone loaded with the Shazam App allows fans to discover, interact with and share TV content,? said Beatrice Farina, vice president of marketing at Shazam, London.

Ms. Farina points to figures from Nielsen that indicate 86 percent of people are engaging with their mobile phones while watching TV to show the growth of the so-called second screen.

The first show appeared over Memorial Day weekend with new shows being added in the coming months.

Bravo?s songwriting competition, ?Platinum Hit,? will feature three taggable moments in each premiere episode that will unlock bonus content intended to enhance the viewing experience. 

The network will also feature its promo commercials on Shazam, making them taggable for extra information.

Interactive TV
For Oxygen?s new show, ?The Glee Project,? users can tag the show to see exclusive content tied to what is happening in the episode right at that moment.

Syfy?s new ?Alphas? will give fans the opportunity to engage with content from the show via Shazam.

?Shazam for TV delivers an unparalleled reach into the marketplace with the biggest customer base in the mobile discovery industry, and one that continues to grow at a rate of more than 1 million new users every week,? Ms. Farina said.

The deal points to the growing demand for video on mobile devices as well as the growth of interactive apps.

?There is a latent consumer need to have social interaction with the content they are watching and apps like Shazam are filling this need to interact with what they are watching as well as with other people,? said Jonathan Weitz, partner at IBB Consulting, Philadelphia.

?I believe 2011 is going to be the year of the interactive app on mobile and tablets,? Mr. Weitz said.

Second screen, not second fiddle

For programmers and advertisers, interactive second-screen apps provide opportunities around engagement and ad sales.

?You can take the experience where someone is watching TV and add a lot of rich interactivity around it and deepen the engagement,? Mr. Weitz said.

?Advertisers can have ads on TV and cross-platform on the mobile device to create a rich interactive experience across platforms for their brands,? he said.

The Shazam free app is available with five tags per month and is available across several mobile platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows 7 and BlackBerry.

Shazam partnered with SyFy last year for a similar offering.

Other networks have also introduced interactive apps on smart devices, including USA, NBC and ABC.

?You are seeing real growth in this area,? Mr. Weitz said.

?We will probably be seeing more people take advantage of second-screen interactivity,? he said.

Final Take

Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer