Love island taps fan buzz with new reactive mobile shopping experience

 

We are using cutting-edge technology to create a shop that means fans can be “wearing” that the Islanders have said within hours of them saying it.

Monterosa partners with ITV2 to launch first-ever ‘reactive’ mobile shop for Love Island. The shop lives inside the Love Island companion app and gives fans instant access to slogan T-shirts and personalised water bottles from the show, as it airs.

ITV2’s Love Island is back and already making headlines. Its all-new companion app created by Monterosa features a world first real-time, in-app retail experience. Dubbed “Watch & Wear”, the pioneering Shop enables viewers to buy fashionable T-shirts and vests featuring slogans from the Islanders.

Each ‘fast fashion’ slogan T-shirt will be sold in a ‘flash sale’ for a period of time starting from the moment the contestant says the words that appear on the T-shirt.  Both women's and men's T-shirts and vests, in a variety of sizes will be available for £15 plus postage within the UK. The shop also stocks the iconic Love Island water bottles, which can be personalised with up to 11 characters for £15. Purchases will be made safely and securely and include frictionless payments with Apple Pay.

Will Van Rest, Director of Commerce & Ventures, ITV Online: This is an exciting and bold step for ITV; harnessing the buzz that is created around a show like Love Island by using cutting-edge technology to create a shop that means fans can be “wearing” that the Islanders have said within hours of them saying it. Not only that but you’ll be able to keep your fluids up this summer with exclusive, personalised water-bottles – now there’s something to celebrate.”

Tom McDonnell, CEO, Monterosa: “The Love Island audience is young, committed and the companion app’s success proves how digitally engaged they are. This is an audience that buy their fashion online, and on mobile. ITV’s ambition and faith in Monterosa has made this agile, reactive retailing experience possible.”

The Love Island app is available to download now from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

ITV signs multi-year deal with Monterosa as preferred partner for programme companion apps

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Monterosa is already a trusted partner providing some of our biggest show apps and I’m pleased that ITV’s digital team will be working with them on a series of major projects in the coming years.
— William van Rest, Online Editorial Director, ITV Digital Studios

We are delighted to announce that ITV has signed a multi-year deal with us to create a range of apps for its key formats. It comes hot on the heels of the highly successful I'm a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! (2016) app, the all-new ITV Racing app and last month’s newly launched Britain’s Got Talent app.

The deal will see Monterosa create new apps for the upcoming series of Love Island, starting Monday 5th June, and later in the year for The X Factor and I’m Celebrity. 

The apps will be powered by our award-winning LViS platform and innovative Fan Companion product. Fan Companion is an all-in-one native app experience that enables fans to interact with a show format throughout the week. It drives loyalty and provides a proven way to maximise the true value of fan data.

In the last 12 months Monterosa has powered over 515 million fan interactions and scored nine #1 apps in France, Portugal, Sweden, Chile and the UK - including I’m a Celebrity and Britain’s Got Talent for ITV.

William van Rest, Online Editorial Director, ITV Digital Studios: Monterosa is already a trusted partner providing some of our biggest show apps and I’m pleased that ITV’s digital team will be working with them on a series of major projects in the coming years. In selecting a preferred partner, we recognised Monterosa’s mix of creativity, technical and commercial capabilities with the reliability of the LViS platform which handles the huge number of fans that our shows attract.

Tom McDonnell, CEO, Monterosa: “ITV audiences love to interact with TV formats both live and between shows and we’re proud to have achieved many millions of app installs in the last 6 months alone. With this new commitment, we’re looking forward to evolving ITV’s fan interaction strategy by providing the best voting, play-along games and exclusive content to fans, and new digital activation for sponsors for new and existing shows.”

We'll be creating new apps for the upcoming series of Love Island, starting Monday 5th June, and later in the year for The X Factor and I’m Celebrity. 

The ITV Racing and Britain’s Got Talent apps are both available to download now from the App Store and Google Play, with others to follow later in the year.

We hit half a billion interactions in the last 12 months, but what does it mean?

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500 million interactions

We hit half a billion interactions in the last 12 months, but what does it mean?

Recently we recorded our 500 millionth interaction within 12 months, which is about a ten-fold increase on the same time last year. It’s big number, but what does that actually mean? It means people have voted, played, shared or otherwise actively engaged half a billion times with experiences provided by Monterosa and powered by our LViS platform in the last year, all over the world. 

People from 195 countries have participated through a blend of web-based apps such as Carlsberg and UEFA’s Euro2016 Goal of The Tournament, chatbots such as BBC Earth's Happybot, and native apps such as ITV’s I’m a Celebrity. In fact, we’ve achieved 12 #1 apps in France, Portugal, Sweden, Chile and the UK.

A lot of fun, but what is the purpose of all that interaction? That really depends who you are.

For fans: it means getting closer and having an impact on the TV shows, sports or topics you’re passionate about. It’s about getting something you couldn't get elsewhere by participating and being a part of the action. 

For brands: it’s about going beyond badging to genuinely contribute to the fan experience while benefitting from intense engagement, longer dwell times and the opportunity to invoke transactions and data capture.

For sports teams, leagues and governing bodies: it’s about making the fan experience better while providing compelling digital assets to global sponsors. It means owning and controlling the data, providing a way to communicate and market to your audience.

For broadcasters: it’s about providing both live and 24/7 engagement around your TV formats and sporting events, keeping show brands front of mind and giving brands a stepping stone to mobile, more than just a logo on TV. In a world where Google and Facebook dominate digital marketing investment, broadcasters need to offer brands for more than brand presence. They must be able to offer brands a way to engage then interact with fans directly. 

 

Facebook takes Augmented Reality mainstream and doubles down on Messenger Bots

Facebook takes Augmented Reality mainstream and doubles down on Messenger Bots

 
Object recognition, Facebook's refined ability to know what you're pointing your camera at

Object recognition, Facebook's refined ability to know what you're pointing your camera at

Yesterday Facebook announced major platform updates in Messenger, and a new Augmented Reality platform that both have great significance to media, entertainment and sports. 

 

Camera Effects: making AR mainstream?

AR has been exciting for a long time, but there has only been one Pokemon Go - a transitory but seductive view of the future. Now, via a free Facebook tool called AR Studio (currently in closed beta), third parties will be able to create their own Camera Effects. Using a technique called SLAM, the new camera feature found in Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp will be able to detect surfaces and objects; allowing us to 'project' masks, animations, live sports scores, fantasy scores and other data into the virtual world. No headset or special glasses needed. 

Information Overlays, virtual objects for gaming and enhancing real-world objects such as buildings. 

Information Overlays, virtual objects for gaming and enhancing real-world objects such as buildings. 

AR Studio is a 3D tool that will be familiar to users of Unity or Unreal. It supports standard sharing of ephemeral video segments within Stories, and integrates with Facebook Live. Support in the various apps will roll out over the coming months. 

Open to developers and creatives

There are AR toolkits out there already and some of this has been possible before. However, it wasn't built into the world's biggest social network(s), and it wasn't an open platform. Now it's both, and that's a game changer. Snapchat's new lenses will deliver very high quality mixed reality and no doubt provide further inspiration to Facebook much larger machine. Read Facebook's full blog post on the new AR features here.

Take-away: Facebook, if they succeed, will make Augmented Reality mainstream, and with it a host of new creative entertainment and sports possibilities

 

Messenger Platform 2.0 - Fixing Discovery

Building on the growth of Messenger, now with 1.2 billion active users globally, a raft of new features focus on making the platform a better place for businesses of all kinds to engage with consumers.

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The inclusion of a new 'Discover' section in Messenger should solve one of the major challenges with bots - how to discover them. It's basically the Bot Store. Facebook is serious about providing businesses with ways to transact with consumers.

There will also be a new Games tab, with turn-based games getting some focus, and also a new way to scan Facebook's variant on QR codes - with a much better looking visual icon and an app that most people already have, maybe there's life in that old idea yet. 

Take-away: There is now a Bot Store, making it easier to get your bot used, and QR codes may have risen from the dead

Group chat bots - turn groups of fans into customers

A welcome feature for many, bots can now provide input into any conversation using a feature called Chat Extensions. Basically you can bring people together around a task or shared experience - like watching sports or booking tickets, or competing in a game. Or, as we think, doing more than one of those things at a time.

Booking travel in chat groups

Booking travel in chat groups

Whats exciting about this is converging entertainment and commerce. Play and interact together, then buy. For those who want to convert passionate fans into customers, to sell tickets for example, we believe this offers an new opportunity to develop both communities and sales. 

Take-away: group chat is good for businesses that want to make collective purchasing more seamless

 

HELLO! Magazine to use Monterosa's FanBot in search for "Star Mum"

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Facebook Messenger is soon going to be a powerful tool for publishers and I’m thrilled HELLO! is leading the way, using the expertise of Monterosa and their new FanBot voting product
— Rosie Nixon, Editor-in-Chief, HELLO!

HELLO! Magazine to use Monterosa's FanBot in search for "Star Mum"

HELLO! Magazine is teaming up with Monterosa to crown the nation’s ‘Star Mum’ in honour of Mother’s Day, using Monterosa’s FanBot to power live voting in Facebook Messenger.

The HELLO! Bot will feature a public vote to choose one of five Mums to be crowned the best in the UK. Powered by Monterosa’s groundbreaking FanBot and Messenger, the chatbot utilises our award-winning cloud platform, LViS, to create and manage the vote and will present each of the five fabulous mums in an easy-to-use Messenger conversation.

As an existing Facebook Media Solutions partner, Monterosa, has extensive experience delivering high-profile, live fan interaction products for leading media owners, brands and sports rights holders. Having just launched HappyBot, for BBC Earth; a brand new bot in Messenger which serves up tailored video montages, we are at the forefront of utilising Messenger bots to help brands engage meaningfully with their fans.

A panel of celebrity judges made up of Olympic Champion Rebecca Adlington, singer Kimberley Walsh, Loose Women panellist and model Penny Lancaster, BBC news anchor Kate Silverton and HELLO! blogger Jessica Knowles, has been busy narrowing down a longlist of 40 publicly nominated amazing mums-in-a-million to the shortlist of just five who will be featured in the vote.

The winning Mum will receive a fabulous prize including an overnight stay for two at the five-star Mandarin Oriental hotel in London, plenty of pampering, tickets to a West End show and the opportunity to experience what it’s like to be in the spotlight by starring in their very own HELLO! photo shoot.

Rosie Nixon, Editor-in-Chief, HELLO!: “I'm really excited about this unique collaboration between HELLO! and Facebook - it marks a special 'event' for us, and a first in magazine publishing. The icing on the cake is that we are pioneering some new technology at the same time. Facebook Messenger is soon going to be a powerful tool for publishers and I'm thrilled HELLO! is leading the way, using the expertise of Monterosa and their new FanBot voting product for our 'Star Mum' competition. It promises to make voting a fun and smooth process for users.”

Tom McDonnell, CEO, Monterosa: “With over a billion monthly active users globally, Facebook Messenger is growing in popularity. It provides a fantastic way to involve audiences in content and interactivity without the need for new apps. This is a great opportunity for Monterosa to showcase the live voting capabilities of our new FanBot product and to work with such a high profile publisher HELLO!”.

To cast a vote for the HELLO! Star Mum, simply search for HELLO! in Facebook Messenger or click HERE now

BBC Earth reconnects audiences with nature through new bot for Facebook Messenger with personalised video montages

 
‘Real Happy Moments’ is a groundbreaking bot for Messenger which serves up individually tailored video montages
 
We’re excited to partner with a leader in digital innovation like Monterosa, so that our fans can – for the first time – create personalised moments of Real Happiness and share them online
— Alex Ayling, Head of Digital Studios, BBC Worldwide

BBC Earth reconnects audiences with nature through new bot for Facebook Messenger with personalised video montages

‘Real Happy Moments’ bot to draw on BBC’s natural history archive, delivering clips to nature lovers globally

We're very pleased to announce that BBC Earth, the BBC’s global factual brand, has partnered with Monterosa to deliver ‘Real Happy Moments’, a groundbreaking bot for Messenger which serves up individually tailored video montages for natural history lovers globally.

We've delivered the solution based on our pioneering new FanBot™ product, which taps into Messenger’s growing user base of more than a billion monthly active users. Running on Monterosa’s award-winning interaction platform LViS, FanBot is made for large scale usage, working simultaneously across territories. In addition to personalised video, it has the ability to entertain audiences with live interactivity including voting, ratings and predictions based on user preferences.

For the BBC Earth solution, the Bot asks users a short series of questions, creating a personalised Happiness Profile. It then correlates those user preferences with BBC archive footage to produce individual Real Happy Moments: personalised, sharable montages with scenes selected using intelligent tag matching. Available through Messenger at any time of the week, based on their specific preferences.

Each video clip contains the name and Facebook profile picture of the user. Deploying machine learning techniques, the Bot uses feedback via emojis to improve the algorithm. It comes just as American audiences are tuning into Planet Earth II, which premiered on BBC America in February and forms part of BBC Earth’s Real Happiness Project.

Bots for Messenger are growing in popularity as a convenient, conversational way for companies to communicate and serve content to consumers, and this is the first time a broadcaster has utilised archive footage and smart automated editing to create content for each user individually.

In order to start a ‘chat’ with BBC Earth, Facebook users simply need to follow the link, tap the Message button on the official Facebook page, or to search Messenger for bbcearth.

Alex Ayling, Head of Digital Studios, BBC Worldwide said “We’re always looking at new and innovative ways to bring BBC Earth’s vast archive of incredible natural history content to our audiences around the world. We’re excited to partner with a leader in digital innovation like Monterosa, so that our fans can – for the first time – create personalised moments of Real Happiness and share them online to give even more people a chance to enjoy their uplifting effect.

Tom McDonnell, CEO, Monterosa: “Personalisation, short-form video and bots are three of the hottest topics in entertainment. We’re thrilled to partner with the BBC to break new ground with the launch of FanBot, utilising the growing Messenger platform as a new channel for video and the BBC’s amazing natural history footage.”

Monterosa is an existing Facebook Media Solutions partner.

Start your chat with Real Happy Moments here

ITV saddles up with Monterosa to produce horse racing companion app

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Horse racing is a major priority for us and we see the app as a crucial way to reach new and existing fans of the sport
— Sheena Peirse, ITV

ITV has once again selected Monterosa to create a bespoke fan interaction product; this time an app to accompany their horse racing coverage, which the channel has taken over the exclusive UK terrestrial broadcast rights for.

The app forms part of ITV’s commitment to bring racing to a wider audience and will feature interactive and exclusive content, video clips, racecards and results and the exciting ITV7 competition, which allows viewers to pick 7 winning horses for the chance to win a grand prize of up to £100,000. The app and competition are free to download and enter to all UK residents aged 18 and over.

Having recently delivered the hugely successful I’m a Celebrity fan interaction app for ITV, Monterosa leads the way in companion products to accompany television programming and sports events powered by our fan interaction platform LViS.

Sheena Peirse, Online Editorial Director, ITV Digital Studios: We’re very pleased to be working with Monterosa again on this exciting new product. Horse racing is a major priority for us and we see the app as a crucial way to reach new and existing fans of the sport and launch the ITV7 competition.”

Ben Barker, Director of Sport, Monterosa: With horse racing returning to ITV for the first time in 31 years we wanted to ensure that the app allowed ITV to engage both core racing punters, but also the wider ITV audience. The app powered by the Monterosa LViS platform is well-suited to deliver the huge scale that ITV will see for the main festivals of the racing calendar, whilst also delivering multiple capabilities during the course of the year.”

The ITV Racing app is available to download now from App Store and from Google Play for android soon.

TV proves its digital influence again as Monterosa's new Play-Along app for Cue The Music TV show hits the No. 1 App Store spot in Portugal

 
 

TV proves its digital influence again as Monterosa's new Play-Along app for Cue The Music TV show hits the No. 1 App Store spot in Portugal

Mobile is killing TV, or so they say. This week TV proved yet again that it has the power to instantly impact mobile behaviour at great scale. In Portugal, our Play-Along app for FremantleMedia's new interactive gameshow Cue The Music, hit the App Store top spot, as soon as the show premiered. 

Fan interaction with TV formats can drive massive mobile adoption

Fan interaction with TV formats can drive massive mobile adoption

The show achieved excellent ratings and hit the #1 Twitter trend during the broadcast, and the app is the most popular in the country this week. 

Agarra a Música as it's known in Portugal, airs on Portuguese commercial broadcaster SIC. The show achieved excellent ratings and hit the #1 Twitter trend during the broadcast, and the app is the most popular in the country this week.

While media consumption is changing so rapidly, there is still no other media channel capable of such rapid impact. Broadcasters have a finite window to utilise this power for their own long-term benefit, and for their brand partners. Actively building digital audiences on both owned and monetisable platforms should be a key priority for all mainstream broadcasters. Those digital products can of course be owned VOD and SVOD apps, but fans of entertainment and sport do more than watch passive video. Just look at Snapchat or Instagram or Facebook Messenger.  

First aired in Sweden, and created by former American Idol Executive Producer Per Blankens, Cue The Music is a lively mix of celebrities, physicality and live play-along gaming where audiences at home can answer the music questions in sync with the TV show. 

FremantleMedia are taking the show to other countries over 2017 and will be featuring the format at MIP in April. 

The Monterosa Play-Along product

Here is a preview of the Swedish version of the app in action. 

  • The iOS and Android app is a version of Monterosa's Play-Along solution, running on our LViS interaction platform.
  • It uses audio fingerprinting to achieve perfect sync with the show as it's broadcast.
  • Addressing the growing use of time-shifted video, the app also supports playing-along on-demand.
  • Live LViS-powered leaderboards are injected into the show, giving people at home the chance to get their name on TV.
  • The app supports a rich variety of advertising inventory and brand integration including ads that sync with TV, competitions, lead generation and data capture. 

 

 

English Football League’s Jonathan Casbon joins Monterosa as Head of Sport Development

 
Most recently Jonathan was helping the EFL deliver increased commercial revenues through securing new title and partner level deals.

 

 

 

 

 

It is an exciting time to join Monterosa as we build on the success from our most recent releases

 

 

 

 

English Football League’s Jonathan Casbon joins Monterosa as Head of Sport Development

We're really pleased to announce Jonathan Casbon has joined the Monterosa team as Head of Sport Development. Working with Director of Sport, Ben Barker, Jonathan is tasked with helping sports rightsholders, sponsors and broadcasters benefit from Monterosa's fan interaction platform and digital products. 

Jonathan is an experienced sports industry executive, working with rightsholders, brands and agencies to develop and exploit rights value through effective strategic partnerships. After starting his career with Football DataCo, a joint venture from the Premier League and English Football League (EFL) created to establish revenue opportunities from fixture and match data from the English and Scottish professional leagues, Jonathan moved agency-side to drive commercial opportunities from syndicated video content before most recently helping the EFL deliver increased commercial revenues through securing new title and partner level deals.

Throughout this period Jonathan has seen the emphasis of sponsorship deals move away from the traditional perimeter board media approach towards developing targeted campaigns that provide benefits to the audience, with digital fan interaction becoming a key component. His time at the EFL saw Carabao announced as the new EFL Cup partner alongside Checkatrade who joined as the EFL Trophy partner earlier this year, whilst supporting partner level deals with Ginsters, Mitre and EA Sports.

Monterosa's sports clients have included most recently the Rugby7Stars fantasy game developed for World Rugby to engage fans with the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series as well as Carlsberg and UEFA for the 2016 Euro Championships, adidas and NFL. In the world of broadcasting the app we created for ITV’s I’m a Celebrity was number one in the free app chart for the entire season run delivering hundreds of millions of interactions.

Commenting on his appointment, Jonathan said: “It is an exciting time to join Monterosa as we build on the success from our most recent releases and develop tailored interactive products for rightsholders and brands alike to build stronger connections with fans. I look forward to working closely with Ben and the team to position Monterosa and the LViS platform as the preferred interactive partner in sport.”

Ben Barker, Director of Sport, Monterosa:We are delighted to have Jonathan on board, his calibre, experience and expertise will be a great asset to our growing sport business as we continue to work with fantastic sports clients across the globe delivering innovative and large-scale fan interaction products for them.

For all Monterosa sport enquiries please do contact Jonathan directly on jonathan@monterosa.co.uk

 

From engagement to affinity - do we need to stop worrying about views and likes?

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What if that briefest moment of their day is precisely how long that potential customer has spent thinking about, or engaging with, you?

From engagement to affinity -  do we need to stop worrying about views and likes?

We all want to be liked, right? Nowhere is this more true than on social media.

The rules of marketing have been almost entirely re-written in the past decade, and social or content is a massive focus of budget, time and energy for brands wanting to engage key audiences around sport and entertainment properties. Not long ago a few hundred, thousand or better still tens of thousands of, ‘likes’ of a Facebook post, Instagram image or Tweet had everyone in a marketing team congratulating themselves for a job well done. Not only had all of these people seen the hilarious/incredible/groundbreaking 140 characters, story, video or picture, but they had taken the time and liked it too! These are still positive barometers for how consumers feel about what brands create, but should we stop there or use this engagement to go further?

We believe that the world has moved on and what we can now do with this attention has evolved dramatically..

Reality has hit; all this effort and expense channeled into creating fabulous online content, but for what? Other than the rare (and probably unplanned) gem that goes truly viral – where is the value in a ‘view’ or a ‘like’ to a brand?  What if that briefest moment of their day is precisely how long that potential customer has spent thinking about, or engaging with, you?

And that’s what smart brands are looking for now – engagement and interaction. A meaningful relationship or affinity with their audience that adds genuine value and provides a measurable return on investment.

While the definition of ‘fan engagement’ may be unclear, ‘fan interaction’ is clear, definitive and measurably valuable. It’s what we do at Monterosa every day. The best digital fan interaction products provide experiences where repeated interactions can be created, linking a fan with his or her passion point and a brand. They look to create a valuable exchange, where a fan is able to benefit from digital interaction, putting them into a state of mind to greater appreciate a brand and its products. Be it giving fans a voice by voting on big moments or in key sporting tournaments, or playing an addictive game - competing alongside millions of other fans.

Fan interaction and ultimately getting into the palms of new audiences is vitally important for sports rightsholders, brands and entertainment organisations. Once we capture their attention, we take them on a journey leading to greater affinity, loyalty and conversion to sign-up or buy. Whether educating fans about a new sport, re-engaging a lapsed fan, or turning an event follower into a fanatic, it’s all about focussing on the interactions that deliver the best, most valuable experiences.

You see I don’t just want you to like me. I want us to be friends.

Ben Barker, Director of Sport

This article first appeared on DigitalSport.co

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series fantasy game to include women's game

 

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series fantasy game to include women's game

The highly successful online Rugby7Stars fantasy game, produced for World Rugby to engage fans with the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, has been updated to include the addition of the hugely popular women’s rugby sevens - the first time a fantasy game has combined both the men’s and women’s players in one fantasy experience.

 

The fantasy game will also now be available in Japanese, French and Spanish for the new season

Undoubtedly one of the great hits of Rio 2016 was the women’s sevens; the game is growing rapidly in popularity and the Rugby7Stars game will increase fan engagement throughout the six-tournament HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series.

Monterosa has developed the game for World Rugby, with the goal of providing meaningful interaction with fans around the world via a dedicated website rugby7stars.com.  Rugby7Stars draws on the nostalgia of card trading games and live fantasy in a new way in addition to telling the rugby sevens story to new fans. To reflect the huge interest in sevens across the globe the fantasy game will also now be available in Japanese, French and Spanish for the new season. Other substantial updates made to the game play to enhance its appeal will include the addition of mini-leagues to enable fans to compete directly with friends and colleagues.

Rugby7Stars is based on a card gaming format and every player in the men’s and women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series has a card that lists their attributes. Fans use the cards to play head-to–head games against one another and then win player cards to take into the live tournaments and play live fantasy Sevens. To add to the excitement for fans, and to match the speed of sevens, fans will be able to live sub players during and between games to maximise their ability to score fantasy points.

World Rugby Head of Broadcast, Commercial & Marketing, Murray Barnett: As a governing body we are very aware of the need to reach new fans and entertain existing ones. We are delighted to be pioneering this by working with Monterosa to engage with rugby sevens fans across the globe. Introducing the excitement of the women’s game to Rugby7Stars can only help the sport go from strength to strength.”

 

HSBC Global Head of Sponsorship and Events, Giles Morgan: “We have seen the impact of the Rio 2016 Games on the sport of sevens, and initiatives such as Rugby7Stars enable new fans who are just starting to get excited by the sport to learn more and continue their journey. The combining of the women’s series is a big step forward as we look to promote the game of sevens to all sexes, and generations.”

Monterosa Director of Sport, Ben Barker: “Rugby7Stars is a great game to play.  We have created a fan interaction solution for World Rugby that we want to exceed fans’ expectations and provide a really enjoyable experience.  Adding the women’s game along with new languages brings a totally fresh and contemporary feel and we are looking forward to seeing huge numbers playing.

Rugby7Stars is available via the World Rugby Sevens website or at http://rugby7stars.com

ITV appoints Monterosa to create live I’m a Celebrity fan app for new 2016 series

 
We wanted to go even further, by enhancing what we can offer fans this year through targeted digital engagement and the use of Monterosa’s versatile platform
— Athena Witter, ITV Digital Studios, Head of Entertainment

ITV appoints Monterosa to create live I’m a Celebrity fan app for new 2016 series

We're very pleased to announce that Monterosa has been selected by ITV to deliver the next generation of the I'm a Celebrity app when it returns for its 16th series in the jungle, this week.

Having introduced the I'm a Celebrity app for the first time last year, ITV has now tasked us with creating a modernised, versatile product that builds on the growing trend for live content and competitive social gaming as a way of enhancing fan interaction and promoting brand awareness for I'm a Celebrity and headline sponsor, Aunt Bessie’s.

The new app will showcase a new live content grid with features, stories, play-along and a highly entertaining, all-new, arcade game in partnership with Aunt Bessie’s.  Aunt Bessie’s and other advertisers will be able to capitalise on ITV’s AdSync formats, with special interactivity taking over the app during ad breaks.  The app is designed to keep fans entertained both during the show and 24/7, as the show’s producers will be pushing live content to the app as it happens.

The app is powered by our fan interaction platform LViS and our new "Fan Companion" app product.  Fan Companion is a live native app framework designed for shows and events providing a real-time personalised experience that delivers value through loyalty, engagement and brand activation for sponsors.

Lorraine Rothwell, Marketing Director at Aunt Bessie’s, said:  “It was important to us to build on our phenomenally successful first year of sponsorship of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! to make year two even bigger and better, and given how successful the app was upon launch, we just had to be part of it.  It’s a great way for us to showcase more exciting content from the Aunt Bessie’s brand and really engage with our audience.”

Athena Witter, ITV’s Head of Entertainment, Comedy & Drama, ITV Digital Studios - Online, said: We are extremely happy to be working with Monterosa on our new app. We had an overwhelmingly positive response to free voting last year, with in excess of 56 million votes cast, and over a quarter of a billion total app interactions from our highly engaging playalong and content offering. We wanted to go even further, by enhancing what we can offer fans this year through targeted digital engagement and the use of Monterosa’s versatile platform we can continue to maintain our strong audience share and give our fans unprecedented levels of engaging content”.

Tom McDonnell, CEO Monterosa, said: “ITV makes some of the world’s most successful interactive TV show apps and we’re thrilled to be providing the latest generation of experiences for fans of I’m a Celebrity. Our LViS platform enables content producers to coordinate large volumes of live interaction, generating loyalty, insights and helping brands like Aunt Bessie’s get the most out of their sponsorship through immersive digital fan experiences.

The new 2016 I’m a Celebrity fan app will be available to download on Wednesday 9th November.

The exciting new I'm a Celebrity series starts Sunday 13th November at 9pm on ITV

Monterosa partner FUNX to expand fan engagement business across Latin America

Monterosa partner FUNX to expand fan engagement business across Latin America

 

We're very pleased to announce a strategic partnership with Chilean technology agency, FUNX, to provide interaction solutions to high-profile entertainment and sports organisations across Latin America.

Building on our collaboration on the No. 1 Canal 13 Copa America app, our companies have formalised a partnership and will launch live interactive apps for the Chilean Telethon (2-3 December), Street Machine (Festivals producer) and Arena Santiago. We are also integrating operations with Chilean staff members based in Monterosa’s London office.

FUNX has a reputation for generating digital audiences through fan activation for sports, entertainment, and broadcasters.  They first worked with Monterosa utilising our exclusive digital platform LViS to deliver an app for C13, broadcasters of the Brazilian World Cup, and we have been strengthening our relationship ever since; creating interactive capabilities for broadcasters and live match activation for sports teams including a streaming, stats and voting app for Copa America 2015 and 2016 for Latam Telecom Claro, a real-time voting app for C13’s top dancing show Bailando and fan apps for football teams Universidad Catolica in Chile and Sporting Cristal in Perú.

Working together we will expand our client base in LATAM with a focus on football and entertainment in Chile, Perú, Colombia and Uruguay.

Executive Director of FUNX, Edgardo Bastías, said: “Our relationship with Monterosa is incredibly important to our business and using their LViS platform means we can reach new levels of fan engagement and create reliable, robust products that bring our clients even closer to their fans. By embedding FUNX staff at Monterosa’s London Headquarters we can ensure that we have a deep understanding of all its capabilities and take advantage of technological advances as they happen.”

Tom McDonnell, Monterosa CEO said: "We are delighted to be partnered with FUNX in Latin America. It’s an extremely important market for broadcast, entertainment and sport and FUNX have the appetite, skills and reputation to succeed. Our LViS platform enables content producers to coordinate large volumes of live interaction reliably, generating loyalty, insights and helping brands get the most out of their relationships through immersive digital fan experiences. Having FUNX staff based in our London office means we can work closely together to fully understand the requirements in Latin America."

 

Context, timing and personalisation are key to maximising fan engagement

Context, timing and personalisation are key to maximising fan engagement

 

Fan engagement is a term much discussed but little understood. An increasing array of apps, games, streaming and social network propositions are vying for fans’ attention. That attention is limited; although we spend more time consuming media than we do sleeping, there are limits.

So how can rightsholders, broadcasters and sponsors make sense of it all and make sure they hit the right note with fans to cut through the noise?

In such a fast moving space, the answers will change annually if not faster. In 2017 the key will be good timing, contextual relevance and personalisation.

Prophecies on the future of fan engagement often suggest there might be a singular method of consumption such as VR or AR. But the real answer will be a diverse mix that depends on the demographic and psychographic profile of the fan, the type of sport, the fan’s location and the time of day. The same fan behaves differently in the stadium, in front of the TV and on their daily commute.

As fans we have always benefitted from social currency generated by our shared passion. Today that currency has never been more temporal. Victories, athlete stories and controversies on and off the pitch, now gain instant traction.

As the still-dominant platform for watching live sports, TV or streaming is the jumping off point. Moments are then propelled via social networks (Facebook, Instagram , Twitter, Snapchat primarily), and instant messaging such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

 
 
 

When Alistair Brownlee helped his brother over the line last month, a social media viral hit emerged in less than a day, TV footage of a triathlon gaining more views than TV itself.

But then, almost as fast as everyone was talking about one moment, attention shifts to the next. Even the biggest sporting moments have a relatively short half-life.

There is no singular medium or digital solution for fans, because they use many devices and apps, often at the same time as TV. Despite that, there is one universal fact – fans are hungry and impatient. They need to be entertained, educated, and amused in the moment.

While traditional TV isn’t going anywhere for the time being, apps, social and messaging channels have the advantage of personalisation. An app can send push notifications tailored to your team, a Messaging Bot can speak to you as if it’s your friend. A fantasy game can let you compete with your own friends.

 

 

HSBC World Rugby Sevens: Live Multi-screen Fantasy

 
 
 

Engaging fans on multiple screens simultaneously is a challenging approach that can be particularly rewarding when executed well. HSBC and World Rugby Sevens, for instance, worked with us to speak to a new generation of Sevens fans, to enhance the global TV broadcast and to build a Sevens CRM database.

We created a new breed of live fantasy which attracted fans from 140 countries in 2015-16.

The “Rugby7Stars” game engages fans both between events and while they’re watching live on TV, solving a key problem with traditional fantasy: lack of engagement between events. In the game we created, Sevens fans are given the opportunity to build their fantasy squad between events 24/7 by opening card packs of players from each country, then competing head to head with other fans around the world to steal players.

During the live broadcast, live TV graphics on the world feed feature leaderboards of fantasy players, with commentators calling out fan names making them part of the coverage.

Interaction with live TV or streaming is no longer a gimmick. Although forcing fans to interact during the most exciting moments is an unwelcome distraction, allowing them to make live substitutions in down-moments is a very successful technique.

 

 

How to maximise business value from engaging fans?

It’s essential to be clear about what you’re trying to achieve. Educating new fans, communicating with younger ones, building a database for ticket marketing are all legitimate goals but they can lead to very different approaches. 


 
 
MLB’s Statcast uses live tracking data to tell new stories and create a new sponsored product

MLB’s Statcast uses live tracking data to tell new stories and create a new sponsored product


 
 

It goes without saying that if you aren’t making something significantly better than it was before, your idea won’t last very long. Just look at Major League Baseball’s new StatCast as a product that provides value for fans through new real-time stats and stories based on live player and ball tracking data. It's truly groundbreaking using new types of tracking data never seen before. 

 
 
 

Value for Rightsholder & Sponsor

What we create has the potential to add value for the rightsholder and sponsors, a capability that can be monetised through specific sponsorship from a brand looking to associate with smart data, in MLB’s case that is Amazon Web Services.

 
 
 

We also provided Carlsberg and UEFA with a new take on both Man of The Match and Goal of The Tournament for Euro 2016. The two ‘sole & exclusive’ rights formed part of Carlsberg’s partnership and the brand wanted to activate fans while fulfilling its promise of “doing it better for fans”.

As such, they could simultaneously vote on all platforms including UEFA app, Carlsberg’s football hub, Twitter and Facebook. The experience included video, social buzz, ambassador commentary and personalised meme sharing. For the first time, the brand was able to use goal footage on social media to promote the vote. Delivering an impressive 2 million users and 9 minutes average dwell time, it proved how doing things differently drives attention and brand exposure.

 
 

The Value of Data

Last but not least, sensitively collected data is a both a by-product and for some, the most valuable output of interaction. In Norway with broadcaster TV 2, Monterosa activates fans of a sports reality competition show “Best of the Best”, with a prediction game that drives location-qualified test drive requests for sponsor Renault. Location-qualified leads carry great value to car brands. 


 
 
For our client TF1, one of France’s official broadcasters of Euro 2016, our LViS platform powered a live overlay panel featuring line-ups, live stats and audience reactions.

For our client TF1, one of France’s official broadcasters of Euro 2016, our LViS platform powered a live overlay panel featuring line-ups, live stats and audience reactions.


Forward-looking broadcasters like the UK's Channel 4 recognise that building a registered database of profiled users helps drive premiums on targeted ads and help to target marketing by age, location and interests. 

 

 

Maximising Value: Five Takeaways

 
 
  1. Do something different or better

  2. Pick your moment to motivate action

  3. Request sign-up, purchase or share at the least interruptive time

  4. Personalise the experience wherever possible

  5. Avoid pinning a strategy to a single platform or social network

 
 

Fremantle's Q The Music launches at MIPCOM. Could interactive TV formats be making a comeback?

Fremantle's Q The Music launches at MIPCOM. Could interactive TV formats be making a comeback?

Q the Music is FremantleMedia's new interactive music quiz format that premiered to a million viewers in Sweden on national broadcaster SVT. The format will be officially launched at MIPCOM this week.

 
The Monterosa play-along game supports live and on-demand play, and can be embedded in broadcaster's existing apps

The Monterosa play-along game supports live and on-demand play, and can be embedded in broadcaster's existing apps

Contestants and celebs compete to prove their musical knowledge in the high-tech studio, while the audience at home play on their phones in sync with the show. Although pre-recorded, live audience leaderboards are cut into the show as it's transmitted, creating a feeling of live. The app even works for on-demand viewers, using audio recognition technology for synchronicity.

The real-time interactive experience is provided by Monterosa, embedded within SVT's new channel app and now offered to international broadcasters either as a standalone smartphone/tablet app or an embedded module for existing broadcaster VOD apps.

With Q the Music's impressive audience figures and an increasingly loyal mobile audience (participation numbers went up every episode in the series), could this signal post-hype growth of interactive TV formats? 

One might argue that interactivity never went away; prime-time talent and reality shows such as Got Talent, X Factor and Big Brother now involve audiences more than ever through social media, web or apps. A global shift away from SMS or telephone voting towards free mobile voting has proven successful for commercial broadcasters such as ITV in the UK and NBC in the US, who engage brand partners to add value for fans by providing free voting. 

Global production companies Talpa, Endemol and Banijay all have major interactive formats on their rosters and increasingly developing 'connected' TV ideas. 

In a world where commercial broadcasters are competing harder than ever for media and sponsorship budgets, advertiser demand for innovative fan engagement ideas is high. Both producers and broadcasters benefit directly from driving audiences to register or install apps, providing a one-to-one communication channel for targeted marketing and insight generation. 

While interactivity and TV have had their ups and downs creatively, the evidence points to continued audience and advertiser demand. All that's needed now are more bold creative ideas that integrate interactivity into the show format directly, engaging audiences during and after transmission across devices and platforms. 

Get in touch with David Julliene at MIPCOM to find out more about Monterosa's fan interaction platform and products. 

Phone David:  +33 6 03 01 41 91
Email: david@monterosa.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Monterosa puts fans at the heart of the action for Carlsberg at UEFA EURO 2016™

Monterosa puts fans at the heart of the action for Carlsberg at UEFA EURO 2016™

 

Monterosa has been appointed by Carlsberg to create the interactive digital experiences for UEFA EURO 2016™.

 

Ahead of the start of the UEFA European Football Championships, Official Partner Carlsberg have announced that they will be using Monterosa’s fan engagement platform LViS to power voting & fan interaction for this year’s Man of the Match and Goal of the Round/Tournament experiences. 

 

Carlsberg has been one of the EURO official sponsors since 1988. This year, as a strategic part of its commitment to “do it better for the fans”, the Danish brewing giant has turned to Monterosa to deliver a real-time interactive consumer experience across Facebook, Twitter, UEFA.com, the UEFA app and Carlsberg's own football hub. In a first for a global sporting event, fans will be able to interact with the Man of the Match and Goal of the Tournament experiences on the platforms and devices that are most relevant to them. Monterosa’s fan engagement platform LViS will be used to power the live voting and fan interaction.

 

Richard Whitty, Senior Marketing Manager, Football, Carlsberg Group, said: “Heading into our eighth consecutive UEFA European Football Championships we are constantly challenging ourselves and our partners to bring the best possible experience to our fans across Europe and around the world. Monterosa’s unique combination of technology, solutions and innovation allows us to let the fans really be a part of making key decisions during the EURO, and we can’t wait to see them getting involved.”

 

Martin Majlund, Head of Global Marketing Technology, Carlsberg Group, commented: “Monterosa’s LViS platform provides us with an enterprise-grade solution that will allow millions of fans around the world to interact with the EUROs on the channel of their choice. For the first time they can engage through our website, the UEFA app or on social channels, we’ll be able to aggregate their votes and hopefully create the biggest ever sporting interaction.”

 

Ben Barker, Director of Sport, Monterosa, said: “Carlsberg’s desire for technology innovation is at the heart of their approach to fan experiences, and a key factor in our new relationship with them. Since the 2012 tournament, how fans engage and interact with football has fundamentally changed, and through our work with Carlsberg we’ll ensure that fans have a clear voice and are at the centre of the action.”

How live sports data is powering the next generation of mobile fan experience: 3 examples

How live sports data is powering the next generation of mobile fan experience: 3 examples

 

Team Monterosa are having a busy weekend of live sport interactivity across horse racing, rugby and cycling. We're powering a growing number of real-time interactive products that add to the fan experience and help both brands and rights-holders maximise the opportunities in participation and audience data. Here are three live examples, all powered by our LViS platform and feeding mobile, social content and live TV graphics. 

1. Horse Racing & Live Tracking

Horse Tracker is busy helping Channel 4 audiences track their horses, using wearable tracking technology and our LViS platform to sync live maps and speed/position data. 

 

2. Live Fantasy Gaming

Our new Fantasy Live app is powering the official World Rugby 7s fantasy in Hong Kong. Unlike most fantasy games, you can substitute your players live while watching in stadium or in the living room. 

 

3. Cycling Predictions

Lightweight interactivity is powering TV 2's cycling coverage, engaging fans with real-time predictions for fuel sponsor Uno. The experience is available on mobile web and Twitter, allowing fans to engage on whichever platform they prefer and see their votes impact TV graphics and commentary. 

 

A record-breaking week of TV interactivity

A record-breaking week of TV interactivity

 

Fan engagement is a tricky business. Audiences are bombarded with content options day in day out, on every device. Finding new ways to grab attention is a never-ending challenge.

The last seven days just broke our record for the most live TV events delivered in the most countries around the world. While tech journalists may have moved onto VR, mobile interaction with TV has gone mainstream.

Fremantle’s Norwegian Idol launched last night on Norway’s leading commercial channel TV 2 and introduced free real-time voting for the first time. A significant portion of the Norwegian population picked up their smartphones to vote last night, boosting traffic to TV 2’s website, driving social buzz and national attention.

Channel 4 and All3Media’s controversial Great British Sex Survey special asked the public to take a personality test that assesses their sexual preferences and Kinky factor. They get a personalised sex score-card to share socially (or keep private, depending on how you feel about sharing your perversions). Apparently I’m Adventurous.

 

In France, Air Productions’ Tout Le Monde Joue returned with impressive audiences playing-along with the “Test The Nation” style gameshow on public broadcaster France 2. This time around, History was the theme and the native iOS and Android app performed flawlessly.

Also in France on commercial channel TF1, The Bachelor came back for its sixth season this week with a live “Love’o’meter” challenge for super fans allowing them to rate the contestants and share their choices on social networks.

In Chile with our partner FunX we power voting and live ratings for Bailando the hit dance format, drawing large spikes of usage and the fourth time we’ve achieved the top spot on the App Store and Google Play.

So what’s driving this growth?

  1. Fans. The most engaged, the biggest advocates for a show, always want to get closer to the characters and stories, and to express their passion for the entertainment they love. SMS is dead. Focussing on a single platform like Twitter or Facebook alone is not enough. Almost nobody watches TV now without at some stage using their smartphone or tablet. Mobile apps, web and social experiences are easily accessible.
  2. Technical Trust. Technically, live interactivity used to be risky. With our LViS platform we’ve delivered millions of hours of immersive attention with zero failures and achieved the trust of broadcasters and producers. That encourages more creativity. We’re also getting.
  3. Ease of delivery in-house. With the tools available it’s now possible to setup and configure interactivity rather than “build” it. This means broadcasters can deploy a platform for a whole year of shows rather than invest heavily in just one. Applying some custom HTML is easy. Controlling the experience is easy. Even using APIs to build custom solutions in-house is now an option for broadcasters.
  4. Data. Interactivity is an extremely effective driver of owned or first-party data. i.e. data that broadcasters can use to benefit the core business and to improve targeting. There are very few ways to quickly acquire 500,000 new users to a CRM, with visibility of gender, age and preferential data.
  5. Brands. All major advertisers are investing in mobile. Soon there will be no sponsorship or airtime deals that don’t have a major mobile component. With ad blocking on the rise, broadcasters that can’t offer compelling, innovative ways to connect with mobile audiences, will suffer.

Some data and trends

  • Conversation rates of 5–15% from TV audience are now normal, with some big successes reaching beyond 20% of the TV audience
  • The male/female split tends to mirror the show itself, normally approaching 50/50
  • Free mobile experiences attract younger audiences
  • Android use is growing globally
  • Tablet use is down, presumably with the advent of larger smartphones
  • Use of HTML5 apps through mobile web is popular and convenient, particularly for voting
  • For big shows, fans are more than happy to download native apps with no significant barrier presented
  • Interactive ideas in TV shows increase the buzz on social networks, even if the experience takes place in an app

What next?

With audience and advertiser demand established, broadcasters must now focus on adoption of consistent technology, formats for brands, and creative execution of format ideas that work on all platforms, 24/7. Only by combining all three pillars, can traditional media businesses reap the benefits of new mobile-centric behaviours.

Tout Le Monde Joue avec le Cerveau - the show goes on in Paris as Nagui's Air Productions response to attacks

Tout Le Monde Joue avec le Cerveau - the show goes on in Paris as Nagui's Air Productions response to attacks

 
TLMJ studio
TLMJ studio

French broadcaster Nagui is one of the most familiar faces on French TV, so his response to the attacks of 13 November matters.

Last night as he welcomed viewers to his 2 1/2 hour long live interactive quiz show "Tout Le Monde Joue avec Le Cerveau" he took a moment to explain that the decision to go ahead with this shiny-floor show, after a weekend of horror and wall-to-wall news coverage had been a difficult one, but like the England-France friendly they were scheduled against, his team's decision to set aside their fears and go on with the show was the right one for them and for France. The 300-strong studio audience clapped for a whole minute, releasing the palpable tension in the big studio in Saint Denis, and Nagui's usual control momentarily slipped as he struggled with the emotion of the moment.

It was a good call. Everyone in the Air Productions team (Nagui's own production company, part of the Banijay group) was either affected by the attacks or knew somebody who was. All emphatically supported the decision. The French people agreed - 3.8m viewed the show, well above the slot average and the play-along game numbers set a new record for France 2 as they played along in their hundreds of thousands on their devices.

The Monterosa team set aside doubts and boarded the empty Eurostar on Monday morning feeling privileged to be a part of the production. Leaving Saint Denis through the security cordon this morning, it is clear that the situation in Paris is still developing, but the healing is starting and we feel proud to have been a part of it in a small way.

Monterosa secures £1.2m in funding and appoints The Mill CEO Robin Shenfield as Chairman

Monterosa secures £1.2m in funding and appoints The Mill CEO Robin Shenfield as Chairman

 
Fundraise Story

It's with great pleasure that Monterosa today announced a new round of funding and the appointment of The Mill CEO Robin Shenfield as Chairman. The deal follows a successful period of expansion and adoption of the Monterosa LViS platform by broadcasters, brands and sports rights-holders. The fundraising was led by investment firm 24Haymarket and included Angel CoFund and Shenfield.

Marek Gumienny, a founding director of 24Haymarket, has joined the board, with Shenfield appointed as chairman. The investment will be used to expand Monterosa’s team across sales, product development and delivery, extending its already-global footprint in sports marketing, brand activation and broadcasting.

Marek Gumienny said: “We at 24Haymarket are very impressed with the early-stage adoption of Monterosa’s platform across the media spectrum from major international broadcasters to content producers, rights-holders and brands. We are delighted to invest in partnership with Tom and the rest of the team and to support their vision of continuing to build the pre-eminent multiscreen activation platform combining leadership in technology and creative solutions.”

Robin Shenfield added: “Mobile has become hugely relevant to brands, particularly where content can be synchronised and made relevant across multiple screens, including live television. The creativity that Monterosa has brought to producing engaging content, especially for sports and entertainment formats, is hugely impressive, as is their development of LViS, which is recognised to be the most robust, scalable and user-friendly platform in the world for developing real-time games and other applications.”

Monterosa’s success coincides with a huge uptick in the consumption of media on mobile devices and the increasing trend for content to be consumed simultaneously across multiple screens. Millward Brown’s AdReaction 2014 reports that the owners of smartphones and tablets typically spend a third of their time watching a “second screen” while watching television. By embracing the new consumer context and deliberately involving audiences in multi-screen social interactivity, brands can capture more attention and communicate messages closer to the point of influence, purchase and data capture.

Monterosa was established by McDonnell, Simon Brickle and Igor Loboda, all ex-BBC. The company’s early successes included Test The Nation, Endemol’s award-winning Million Pound Drop, ITV’s first second-screen app for the FIFA World Cup, and Channel 4’s Horse Tracker app for the Grand National.

The success of LViS has been widely recognised with a string of high-profile awards from BAFTA, the Royal Television Society, Broadcast Digital and the Sports Technology Awards. LViS has established itself as the interaction technology of choice for TV broadcasters including Channel 4, France’s TF1, Norway’s TV 2, Chile’s C13, The Voice producer Talpa, BBC Worldwide and Chime Sports Marketing. Monterosa and Channel 4 won the Best Broadcaster Technology award at the Sports Technology Awards for LViS-powered Horse Tracker in 2015.