Discovery Networks International (DNI), the worldwide TV content provider, is bringing a companion TV app to Europe after testing it in Latin America.
The UK, Germany and Italy, as well as Brazil, are expected to be first for roll out later this year of the second-screen app, which will encourage viewer engagement by posing questions on a show currently airing, as well as providing relevant anecdotes and facts.
Viewers will then be invited to post answers and comments via Facebook and Twitter, which can be included in a broadcast. The main screen broadcast will also include banners to provide context to people who choose not to engage with content on a companion device such as a tablet or PC, to ensure that all viewers are involved. An important factor for success in companion screens will lie in providing deeper engagement in a transparent way that does not make people viewing only on the primary screen aware they are missing out.
The app has been tested in unspecified markets in Latin America, probably including Brazil, with the show ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ on Discovery Home & Health, and will now be rolled out to other markets including Brazil, the UK, Germany and Italy. According to Danny Bolivar, director of social media at DNI, the app was developed in response to feedback from viewers.
DNI’s channels, including Discovery Channel, TLC, and Animal Planet, as well as US joint venture networks such as OWN, are carried by 147 TV networks around the world. DNI also provides educational products and services to schools.