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Mobile TV producers ready their next move — interactive games

Are you ready to go interactive? Producers of mobile-TV content are starting to shift from live TV and on-demand to interactive options, which clearly cover games shows. Globally live interactive game shows, where a viewer is watching on TV but interacting on his or her smartphone, is a new wave starting to crest. The combo ensures constant engagement and also ties in to move those who play games online to switch to their mobile devices.

A lot of this movement right now is taking in place in Britain, where companies such as Tellybug are perfecting ways to keep mobile-TV users engaged and primed for advertisers. The company has already produced solutions for on-air programs such as “The X Factor” and “Britain’s Got Talent” that let viewers play along right on their phones.

The arena in which entertainment resides is starting to blur, as interactive experiences become a staple for new and existing programming.

One show called “The Million Pound Drop” is a 10-question quiz primarily played by couples. The show has hit the ground running and has already been sold to 34 countries. This opens up a huge arena for interactive options with multiple millions of smartphones on the market. The show went interactive in 2010, and mobile devices have already spiked up to 11 million plays.

Part of the success is that viewers of mobile content often are passive, and only respond to occasional ads sandwiched in between the actual show. Leveraging the game show aspect and making it part of the branding lets mobile-TV producers engage an audience in captivating ways, prompting more repeat viewers and letting them feel like they are part of the programming. Not lost on producers is the data gained during these sessions — information such as name, address, email and preferences are often required to sign in to an interactive session. This data can then be formatted to drive specific mobile advertising and segment targeting even better.

As producers look for the next hook in the mobile-TV live and on-demand space, interactive and game shows are shaping up to be the next big thing.