British broadcaster ITV
is set take the World Cup online with an immersive digital experience, ITV Live
The digital fan zone, accessible via the web during the World Cup launch, provides users of the free service with a grid-style home page where they can edit a series of screens, displayed in three-by-three format, featuring live streams, video, photo and news content, real-time chat and live data in handy widget format.
The service is ready to roll out across a wide base of ITV output after the World
Cup pilot, with the network's buzz shows such as X Factor
to be a natural fit.
caught up with Dominic Cameron
- former ITV.com MD and the man behind the 'Project TIPsy
' system powering ITV Live - last week to talk about the opportunities.
'We've noticed in the last couple of years that people are more and more using devices and laptops while watching shows. The willingness to engage is just incredible', says Cameron, who worked with London-based production company Monterosa
in bringing the platform online.
ITV Live will serve as a hub for viewing and provide a chance for people to get involved to a degree of their choosing. Cameron adds: 'For those who don't just sit back and watch or chat but want to really immerse themselves in the show, we would like to provide that opportunity.
'The advantages [for brands] are numerous. ITV can't advertise during the game but here we can bring brands in by sponsoring a widget or replays. This is also engagement par excellence
. Online is an area where people are engaging very directly with content. If this was a daytime show, people could ask what [presenter] Holly Willoughby was wearing, and they could then take people into the clothing collection and then even onto buying an item, for example.'
Capitalising on the open platform access afforded by social media applications, ITV Live will seek to connect with the likes of Twitter
inviting as much interaction as possible.
In keeping with the sharing theme, the network has worked with producers and talent - such as ITV's World Cup team led by presenter Adrian Chiles
, who will refer to ITV Live comment and chat during match presentations - to develop content to support programmes.
Cameron, inspired by audience interactions with the network's X Factor online content topping one million users, said the service would also provide a perfect hub for viewer feedback and service improvement - ITV director of television Peter Fincham
is a strong supporter of the service.
The network has already reported strong online success - recording 160 million views of online video in 2009, an increase of more than 200% from the previous year.
With the open platform approach seeking to engage service users at a variety of levels, from pure viewing to deep interaction, and a World Cup launch providing huge buzz (the tournament has already boosted the network's TV-only ad revenue by 30% year-on-year for June), ITV Live joins the likes of NBC'
s Fan It
service and VH1
's Foursquare partnership
in capitalising on quality production and a strong existing fanbase to smash through the screen between viewer and content.http://www.itv.com/live