Home to the UK’s favourite entertainment TV shows, and creator of global hits including Love Island, ITV is a £3.3 billion revenue media business going through a transformation. ITV’s strategic vision is “to be a digitally led media and entertainment company that creates and brings our brilliant content to audiences wherever, whenever and however they choose”.
Over the last decade the business has positioned itself as the most interactive broadcaster. Involving audiences via voting, play-along gaming and competitions brought audiences closer to ITV shows, giving rise to dedicated TV companion apps for Britain’s Got Talent, I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, Love Island, and This Morning.
Garnering millions of users, these apps turned from engagement tools into direct revenue generators thanks to special brand partnerships and advertising formats which differentiated the advertiser offering from other TV platforms and social networks.
ITV’s initial approach to audience interaction and TV show apps did not scale. The delivery model was a mix of outsourced app development and infrastructure management, sourced from multiple suppliers and managed internally. It produced largely bespoke app products for each show which were costly and time consuming to maintain and relaunch every season. Once launched, apps were lacking in flexibility and the last-minute nature of the sales model meant that opportunities were being lost to respond to brand requests.
They wanted a single-sourced solution that was creatively flexible, self-serve, reliable and fast to deploy. They needed a way to scale apps globally with technology which supported multiple languages. Pushing creative and commercial boundaries takes collaboration - they needed a robust and flexible platform, but one that also came with the support of a team who understood entertainment and sport. They wanted a way to unlock new revenues. They wanted a partner they could trust.
ITV approached Monterosa to explore the Monterosa / Interaction Cloud™ as a business-wide platform solution. After a competitive process involving deep discovery, technical analysis and creative process, Monterosa was chosen to deliver a first proof-of-concept. But this would not be a low-key trial, they chose the biggest show and the biggest app they had: Reality favourite I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, hosted by Ant & Dec.
Schedule interactive elements on the timeline or trigger live
Bespoke app development too slow and expensive
Commercial innovation needed to increase engagement and revenues
A need for SaaS solution with timings and costs pre-defined and built in
In-house content teams wanted control and the ability to make changes on-the-fly
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With weeks before the first launch in 2016, the Monterosa team accelerated the release of Fan Companion - at the time our new native app framework for entertainment and sports. We tailored it to the I’m a Celebrity branding with a host of special interactive and gamification features that would refresh the audience experience. We even added an 8-bit game, folded into the app.
Running on the Monterosa / Interaction Cloud™ platform, the SaaS solution for large-scale interactivity, Fan Companion provided real-time interactive content management to ITV’s internal teams, their own production partners including Fremantle and Syco. Training ensured they would be able to manage the experience themselves, with only light support required.
The show went live and ITV held their collective breath while the first spikes of user engagement took place. It worked.
The trial was a resounding success, the I’m a Celebrity app hit the #1 spot in the App and Play Stores and led to an ongoing relationship that has grown, continuously delivered, and is now in its fourth continuous year.
“The Monterosa / Interaction Cloud™ and its Fan Companion app product provide ITV with a solution we trust, and that delivers for all our programming and audience needs. The platform is robust and the Studio is easy to use for our in-house team. Monterosa's deep expertise in audience engagement helps ITV innovate, providing new revenue streams and commercial assets for our brand partners.”
Create two-way interactive moments in real-time
The interaction cloud provides infrastructure, self-service content & dynamic app configuration
Fan Companion native app framework minimises custom development
Monterosa Solutions provides expert delivery management, end-user support, creative & commercial services
Brightcove video LoginRadius SSO, SAS ad server, Shopify
Watch & Shop solution integrated including fulfilment
Since proving the solution, the Monterosa TV Show App solution has been in constant demand, making ITV’s biggest properties more interactive, engaging and more profitable. Together we have pioneered the world-class approach to converting passive TV engagement to new digital revenues while helping content creators enjoy new levels of possibility.
Monterosa-powered TV apps have hit the #1 App Store slot on more than 10 occasions, proving that standalone native apps work, and that what audiences are passionate about are the shows themselves.
By creating a range of innovative interactive ‘Elements’, ITV have been able to generate more monetised engagement that keep fans, and brands, coming back.
Setting the global standard for integrated eCommerce - Monterosa proactively created and operates the official Love Island and I’m a Celebrity stores, seamlessly integrated into apps. Love Island alone has generated over 600,000 direct unit sales including the famous Love Island water bottle.
Together we have generated a set of innovative new conversion formats including “Click to Buy”, utilised by Missguided to send fashion sales soaring by 9000% in one week. Other global and national brands that have benefitted include Just Eat, Uber Eats, Marks & Spencer, Samsung, Beats, Missguided, I Saw It First and scores more.
Mobile technology marketing experts Ogury Research wrote in its Mobile Marketing July 2018 reportRead the article
Together with ITV we have pioneered a new model of scalable app delivery that avoids fixed templates and provides creative and commercial flexibility. With one consistent set of backend tools, combined with our real-time native app framework for both iOS and Android, reliability levels are extremely high and deployment times short.
Underneath beautifully designed, real-time entertainment apps sits several key technology products and services, all part of the Interaction Cloud offering.