Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets often aren’t really mobile at all, as more and more people use them while watching television on the couch. That’s why a raft of companies from app startups to cable giants has jumped in with so-called second-screen apps intended to provide an even more engaging television experience often synchronized with live TV shows.
Fox Broadcasting this morning is upping the second-screen ante with the launch of a new syndication network that will distribute the network’s TV show companion content. To date offered only within the company’s Fox Now apps launched in November, that content will now be available to other second-screen app companies.
The network will be powered by Watchwith, which helps content providers and app developers services to create events, sell stuff, and run ads at specific times as a show or commercial airs. Initial app partners are Shazam, a maker of music identification and social TV apps; second-screen media platform Viggle; Dijit Media, maker of the personalized TV listings app NextGuide; and ConnecTV, a social network for TV.
Fox says the network is a way to extend its second-screen content such as behind-the-scenes footage, contests, and other interactive activities beyond its own app so viewers can see it wherever they want to watch it. Fox Now, for instance, provides cast and crew interviews, photos, and other content synced to shows such as New Girl and Glee. And Watchwith already works with other networks such as USA and Bravo to help them run quizzes, do polls, and provide other activities on second screens.