VH1 Testing Second Screen Video for Shows, Mobile Apps

Movie-AwardsAs it aims to expand deeper into social video for its shows, VH1 plans to roll out a second screen experience for the broadcast of the 17th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards  on January 12. If successful, VH1 is likely to incorporate video more regularly into its social media marketing for its programs and into mobile social apps.

The network’s shows are big social media draws already and regularly rank in the top 10 most-buzzed about shows online each week, according to social ranking service Social Guide. Shows like “Love & Hip Hop” as well as “Mob Wives” score high in social chatter, and networks are finding that adding video to second screen and social TV apps and services can enhance engagement. About 75% to 80% of VH1 viewers are using a second screen while watching TV, said Dan Sacher, Vice President, VH1 Digital.

For the CCMAs, the network is working with social video platform Spreecast  to integrate four live Webcam feeds with commentary from movie critics and bloggers on the awards show in a split screen discussion format that lives on Viewers can interact with the experts via chat.

“The more our fans are engaged in multiple screens, the more stickiness it creates and the more they come back,” Sacher said. “The video aspect is capitalizing on the fact that devices have become smarter, most phones have video capabilities, tablets have video capabilities and this is the next wave of where social is going to be.” As it broadens into social video, the network is encouraged by some of its other digital video experiments. In December, VH1 live streamed a photo shoot with a new cast member for “Basketball Wives” and generated 80,000 viewers, a promising number during the show’s off season.

The network also launched a second screen app, Co-Star, last May that displays and records Twitter and Facebook commentary from viewers and marries it to an episode timeline. VH1 declined to disclose how many downloads the app has generated, but said that it garnered 25,000 downloads specifically during the “Mob Wives” premiere alone on Jan. 1.

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