TOP advanced interactive features for streaming services

TOP advanced interactive features for streaming services

Nowadays, video viewers replace passive watching with interactive watching style. Sometimes, people may want to actively engage with other fans or participate in an online conversation if they’re watching a TV program or other event live. For instance, they may want to tweet out their support for their team during a basketball game, or may want to react in real-time to a shocking turn of events on “Game of Thrones.” That’s why popular streaming services try to focus the audience’s attention on their content and increase the activity during the show.

Modern technologies open doors for video content owners to use interactive advanced features in video streaming apps to engage with the users and collect data. There are 11 most popular interactive features presented below in the passage.

1. Watch Party

Picture from https://www.kastapp.co/

Picture from https://www.kastapp.co/

Description: Watch party connects people from different devices in real-time during the video watching. The participants see each other on a small screen that is placed in the corner of the movie screen. People can discuss the events from the video and exchange their impressions. It’s a wonderful way to draw together people who are alone at home especially during quarantine and strike times.

Examples: Facebook launched a Watch Party feature in 2018. It contains co-hosting and crowdsourcing functions: 

  1. Co-hosting lets the host of a Watch Party designate other co-hosts who can add videos and keep the party going.
  2. Crowdsourcing lets anyone in a Watch Party suggest videos for the host to add to the Watch Party. Source

Benefits for content owners: increases the engagement of users, makes your app more attractive and competitive, differentiates your services from others.

Industry: VOD, TV services, niche content, communities. 

2. Live chat

Screenshot from Youtube

Screenshot from Youtube

Description: Most live-streaming platforms offer a live chat feature during the live session. That’s the best way for your audience to participate in your stream. The audience can express their emotions not only with words but also with emoji icons. 

Examples: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook etc.

Benefits for content owners: increase the engagement of users, gather statistical data about the viewers.

Industry: live streaming, sport, education content etc.

3. Personalized advertisement

Description: Automatic content recognition (ACR) is an identification technology to recognize content played on a media device or present in a media file. Devices containing ACR support enable users to quickly obtain additional information about the content they see with any user-based input or search efforts. For example, developers of the application can then provide personalized complementary content to viewers. Source

Smart TVs use ACR technology to display HTML5-based applications and ads on the screen. Source

Examples: NBC Sports Group offered interactive video advertising for its production of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

BrightLine launched as a series of NBC Olympics promos leading up to the Olympics on NBC Sports, Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Android and Apple mobile operating systems. U.S. athletes Shaun White, Lindsey Vonn, Nathan Chen, Gus Kenworthy and Mikaela Shiffrin star in the promos, which offer viewers the option to access additional information about the athletes using the television remote.

Comcast's Xfinity will be one of the first advertisers using the BrightLine technology on NBCUniversal platforms for select ads during the games. The ads will also run on Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Android and Apple mobile operating systems and will showcase Xfinity capabilities, according to a news release. Source

Benefits for content owners: make the ads more relevant, increase the engagement with the ads, high profit from your ads campaigns.

Industry: TV, VOD, live streaming, sport,  any streaming services.

4. Ad with email sign-up form and buy tickets

Description: It happened to everyone that after watching TV-programm about traveling someone urgently wanted to take a vacation and fly to that place, where there is the sun, sea and white sand. Or to visit a new rooftop restaurant with panoramic city views. Those who always want to be on the top of all the latest innovations should think about a subscription with an e-mail sign up. 

  1. the ads that offer to send viewers promotional deals via email. It allows viewers to sign up for email offers.
  2. T-comm that allows users to purchase things like movie tickets directly from an advertisement.

Examples: Hulu

  1. The new ads by Sleep Number, a company that manufactures mattresses, have been running on the subscription video service for weeks.
  2. The first T-comm was a trailer for Warner Bros.’ “Tomb Raider” that featured a personalized, location-based overlay that lets viewers select a movie theater and time and purchase movie tickets through their connected TV. Source

Benefits for content owners: make the ads more relevant, increase the engagement with the ads, high profit from your ads campaigns, and email marketing.

Industry: TV, VOD, live streaming, sport,  any streaming services.

5. Quiz

Description: Multiple-choice answer options, on-demand leaderboard, and result notification.

Sports and Eurovision fans, fans of reality- and culinary- or talent shows can predict the victory of their favorites with just one click of a button on the TV remote control without interrupting watching!

Examples: NBC Sports with The NFL

Mark Friedman, director of creative services and advanced technology for NBC Sports Washington, said that in 2018 his network began posting questions and giving away jerseys and tickets to get fans more involved. The feature ended up getting a positive response from viewers. Source

Benefits for content owners: increase engagement with users, gather statistical data about the viewers.

Industry: Sport, TV shows, TV series.

6. ShoppableTV

Description: Many stores are closed due to quarantine, but do you urgently need a sofa / air conditioning / crock-pot or rug in the hallway? No problem! This is a feature that uses QR codes within TV shows to direct viewers to e-commerce websites. During programming, viewers are alerted to hold their phone cameras up to the screen during an "On-Air Shoppable Moment." Then, they will be taken directly to a marketer’s site for purchase. Source

Examples: NBC Sports, Telemundo, Bravo, CNBC Prime, and USA Network.

Benefits for content owners: activate direct sales, make advertising more relevant and targeted to individuals and households

Industry: TV, VOD, any streaming services.

7. Live reactions

Description: The days when social networks are very popular, TV users will not remain indifferent to emoji icons because during the show users can be happy and sad, admiring and angry. This option will help to understand not only the users’ attitude to the content but also will help everyone to express the whole range of feelings that they experience while watching shows live.

This feature allows viewers to react to the content during live streaming with emoji icons. 

Examples: Megaphone TV, Instagram, Facebook

Benefits for content owners: increase engagement with users, gather statistical data about the viewers.

Industry: Live shows, Live TV.

8. Like/Dislike buttons

Description: The same situation here as well. The button on the video player for viewers to show if they like the video content or not. When you like a movie or TV show, the app will show you more titles and shows that are similar. And when you “Dislike” a show or movie, it  won’t show you that title again.

Examples: Facebook, Instagram, Hulu, Youtube.

Benefits for content owners: direct feedback about viewers’ interests, increase engagement with users, gather statistical data about the viewers.

Industry: VOD, sport, movies, TV series, etc.

9. Vote and poll

Description: Create discussions, measure opinion and sentiment. Influence programming using social polls across multiple platforms. Deliver live results into broadcast or digital production flows with on-point graphics. Votes and polls are a quick and immediate tactic to include audiences’ opinions in your conversation. Ideal for chat shows, live sports, reality TV and everything in between, for live or pre-recorded programming and across broadcast or digital streams. Source

Examples: Megaphone TV, 

Benefits for content owners: increase engagement with users, gather statistical data about the viewers.

Industry: TV shows, documentary movies, educational content, live streaming, VOD.

10. Chapter Timestamp Feature

Description: If for some reason the user doesn’t want or cannot watch the whole hour-long cooking show but urgently needed a grandmother’s punch recipe from the 22nd edition of the fifth season… This option will easily help to achieve the result!

The feature uses timestamps that creators apply to their videos, allowing viewers to easily jump forward to a specific section of the video or rewatch a portion of the video. Source

Examples: Youtube, 

Benefits for content owners:differentiate from competitors, attracts more viewers

Industry: Cooking recipes, Music Concerts, Video interviews, News, Educational videos, etc.

 11. Interactive film  

Movie frame from Black Mirror: Bandersnatch by Netflix

Movie frame from Black Mirror: Bandersnatch by Netflix

Source

Description: For those who always wanted to be a film-director even for a while. The feature allows viewers to make a choice for the characters, shaping the story as they go! Each choice leads to a different adventure, so they can watch again and again, and see a new story each time.

Examples: Netflix

Benefits for content owners: protection from pirocy, unique content and technology, differentiates your services from most streaming services.

Industry: Entertainment,  documentary movies, educational content, live streaming, VOD.