In this interview with Ex Machina CEO Jeroen Elfferich he discusses how the company’s PlayNow platform can instantly turn any show, live and on-demand, into an interactive TV app.
One of the best ways to make a show more engaging is coopt all of that second screen activity by making it interactive. Unfortunately, it is normally a time-consuming and expensive process to do this, and the viewer needs an app on their connected device to enjoy the experience. Ex Machina, the Amsterdam-based company specializing in interactive television, thinks it has found an easier and cheaper way.
PlayNow, the company’s new platform for interactivity, can create interactive timelines for any show and deliver it either live or on-demand. The simple drag and drop interface allows everything to be done in-house. You can create a template beforehand and run it when the show airs, or it can be created on-the-fly while the show is airing.
Even better, to get the experience on a phone or tablet you do not need to download a special app. Simply selecting a URL in the mobile browser allows the experience to be delivered to any connected screen, even a connected television, the consumer is using. Can push the app and content out all the screens a consumer might be using.
Finally, the approach is much cheaper than other interactive solutions (it starts at $5000 a month for an unlimited use license.) Mr. Elfferich believes the solution will allow even small video producers to be able to create interactive app experiences in-house.
Here are the steps needed to deliver the interactive experience:
- Design and Configure the app
Select the elements you want to create one of many possible second screen structures. The company provides templates and a WYSIWYG design editor so you know exactly what the experience will look like for the viewer.
- Create your timeline
Using the drag and drop interface and import tools it’s easy to implement and test the interactive timeline.
- Manage and playout to any device
Use the dashboard to control content and interactivity as the show is transmitted or streamed and get instant real-time feedback from the PlayNow platform.
Why it matters
Viewers are using a second screen while viewing television, distracting them from the show they’re watching.
Using interactivity, a show producer can get that attention back on the show, but it is expensive and slow to do it and requires an app on the connected device to receive the content.
New solutions are arriving which are much cheaper, can be used in real-time and don’t require an app on the connected device.
Chapter 1: About Ex Machina (0:30)
Chapter 2: PlayNow – do-it-yourself interactivity (1:30)
Chapter 3: App or URL live and on-demand delivery (2:50)
Chapter 4: Drag and drop interface for easy design (3:30)
Chapter 5: How a company can get PlayNow (4:25)