Orange’s TVcheck “great opportunity”

Orange has launched TVcheck, a new social application, currently available for iPhone users in France only. The application automatically recognises programmes the users are watching, and provides multi-screen capabilities for discussing the shows with social networking contacts.

Jayashree Rajagopal, Frost & Sullivan ICT Research Analyst commented: “In recent years watching programmes on TV has been converted from a passive experience to a more active one, with the prevalence of social networks. This interaction of social networks and TV viewing has been seen as a great opportunity and given rise to a number of TV check-in applications. Platforms like GetGlue, Philo and Miso have already re-invented watching TV by allowing viewers to share the programme that they are watching and encourage them to interact by offering points and badges as a credit to their viewer-ship.

“The TVcheck application launched by Orange has differentiated itself from the other existing platforms by taking TV check-in experience to the next level with improved interaction. This application; launched for all iPhone users (in France so far); offers a new communication and gaming experience based on TV content. Social features such as status updates, comments and program recommendations are intact with the application. This enables users with similar television interest to interact, share thoughts and add friends to their networks,” said Rajagopal.

Rajagopal added that the major characteristics differentiating TVcheck from other networking sites is automatic programme identification. With the help of visual recognition technology, the application is able to recognize shows broadcast on the 19 French DDTV channels. This just requires the user to point the iPhone’s camera at the TV.

She continued: “Social networking sites such as Facebook already have applications that can be leveraged for second-screen interactivity relating to TV. For example, the update on Facebook Places feature allows users to create and check in events. This can be utilised also for a TV programme (if the event is created for the program) and a reminder is sent to people who are interested. Since users of Facebook are familiar with such applications they might rather use existing platform than opt to join another TV check-in platform. However, the automatic programme identification advantage and possibility to log in via Facebook, as well as points rewarding option including a chance to watch TV recorded shows might win the users.

“Orange TVcheck has come at a time when many broadcasters are planning to leverage the second-screen interactivity to improve the viewership of their programmes. By partnering with broadcasters applications such as TVcheck, this can be done efficiently and effectively. For a telecom operator like Orange the new application brings some revenue generating opportunities such as check-in advertising that can be explored.”

Jayashree Rajagopal is a Research Analyst within Frost & Sullivan’s European ICT practice. She focuses on monitoring and analyzing emerging trends, technologies and market dynamics in the Mobile and Wireless Communications sectors across the European ICT industry.

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