Orange recently released version 2 of its TVcheck social TV app and is now moving into the fourth phase of its implementation of features, focusing on recommendation.
Patrice Slupowski, vice-president of digital innovation at Orange France Telecom, speaking on the Social TV, Data Analytics & the New UI conference stream at TV Connect yesterday, said that Orange had identified seven bases for recommending content – item-to-item, statistics, immediate popularity, editorial authority, social buzz, excitement and random recommendation. “It is important not just to solve the problem with algorithms but with a human element in the form of curation,” he said. The feature Orange is implementing, For You, will deliver recommendations primarily based on what users have checked into via the app and identified as a favourite programme. It also has the capability to provide an instant indicator of “social buzz” around a programme in the recommendation list by displaying the number of tweets about the programme that is being recommended.
Slupowski said that an attitude that could be described as “Inter-passivity” – interacting with content in a ‘lean-back’ posture – characterises the attitude of second screen users. Second screen use can encompass conversation, gaming and discovery, said Slupowksi, but users also employ second screens to shop, to access information, to check on trends, to use the screen as a remote control and to participate in the show itself.
“We think TVcheck is a way to bridge the gap between TV and the digital world,” he said. Users are rewarded for checking in to TV shows using the app by means including competitions and prizes. “People ask what is the reward for sharing,” he said. “If I just get a list of five Eddie Murphy movies because I watched Beverley Hills Cop, it’s not a clear benefit from sharing the [user’s] data.”
The TVcheck app is currently free and open to all. Slupowski said analysis of user behaviour will be the basis for any future business model for the application.
Addressing monetisation, Slupowski said that Orange’s partners can provide bespoke advertising campaigns, but that advertising was problematic because TV ads had a duration of 20-30 seconds, not enough for users to use an app.