NEWS16 September 2010

Nielsen adapts watermarking technology for interactive TV apps

North America Technology

US— Nielsen is moving from audience measurement into application development, adapting the digital watermarking technology it uses to detect programmes and integrating it into an iPad app to create interactive television.

The app, for ABC’s new drama series ‘My Generation’, picks up on the inaudible digital watermarks embedded in the show, allowing it to identify which episode an iPad owner is watching either as it’s broadcast or later via DVR, and present them with relevant interactive content on the device.

Content could include polls, trivia, behind-the-scenes information, production details or social networking features. Sponsor promotions are also possible.

ABC’s executive vice president of digital media Albert Cheng said: “We’ve created a sync-to-broadcast app that appeals to both fans and advertisers, and holds an array of possibilities for deeper engagement with our content and our advertisers’ brands.”

Nielsen says a broader industry-wide launch for the Media-Sync app platform is planned for early 2011. The platform is a product of a joint venture between Nielsen and media identification technology firm Digimarc.