Discovery's App Is 'Watching' TV, Social Media

As networks look for more ways to enable conversations between their viewers, Discovery Channel is launching an iPad app with an "I'm Watching" button, which can be punched to alert Facebook and Twitter followers about a person's current tune-in.

The free app also includes a series of clips from Discovery shows such as "Gold Rush: Alaska," "Deadliest Catch" and "Mythbusters." The offering allows chatting with other viewers, giving Discovery an outlet for seeding social media discussion and letting viewers tee up a tune-in reminder.

Kelly Day, who heads digital media at Discovery Communications, stated that the app is a "complement for TV fans who want to dive deeper with their favorite shows when they are on the go and to interact in real-time with other viewers while watching in prime time."

By one measure, Discovery Channel had a 1% increase in ratings for the 18- to-49 demo in prime time, through Feb. 20 for the current season.

For the channel app, development firm Bottle Rocket Apps worked with Discovery on the build-out. The firm says it has worked on 50-plus iPhone, iPad and Android apps in a little over two years for ESPN, The Seattle Times, American Express and others.

Discovery Communications also this week implemented an updated opportunity for viewers to offer comments on Facebook about its networks. Discovery said it is among a small group of companies selected to use Facebook's new comments plug-in across Web sites.



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