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Monterosa and EA SPORTS smash 2018 FIFA World Cup Predictor targets

Monterosa’s LViS interaction platform was selected by EA SPORTS to power their global World Cup prediction experience, smashing engagement targets with over 850,000 fans across the planet interacting with the brand during the month-long competition.

The launch of the EA SPORTS World Cup Predictor coincided with the release of the free in-game FIFA 18 World Cup update, designed to extend the conversation with football fans and create a genuine position for EA SPORTS throughout the competition.

In the run up to the tournament’s big kick-off, EA SPORTS asked fans to predict the top two teams from each Group, continuing through the official World Cup format to predict their overall World Cup 2018 winner. At each step, fans were able to review EA SPORTS’ own prediction, from a pre-simulated tournament they had carried out within FIFA 18 World Cup update, highlighting official FIFA and popular FIFA Ultimate Team visual assets.

Once predicted, fans had the option to first share their result with friends and family through integrated social sharing with Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp platforms, then enter a prize draw for the chance to win a package of EA SPORTS rewards. This extension to the experience proved successful as dwell time with each fan lasted over 16 minutes, more than 100,000 result cards were shared and in excess of 100,000 fans entered the prize draw.

The experience evolved as the tournament began, moving to a daily conversation with fans who carried out an innovative ‘Tinder style’ swipe through a shortlist of players to select their Man of the Match, connecting directly with EA SPORTS’ FIFA Ultimate Team feature to reveal in-game upgrades to chosen players each evening. This regular activity allowed EA SPORTS to continue to blur the lines between the real and virtual games.

Monterosa’s LViS interaction platform was at the heart of the delivery, providing the scale, security and internationalisation (the Predictor was available in 12 different languages) to successfully power always-on interactivity with a massive global audience. The platform’s accessibility and real-time nature allowed EA SPORTS’ Social team to react to tournament events and fan reactions, rapidly tailoring the Man of the Match shortlist to suit.

Jon Cole, Global Community Engagement Strategist at EA SPORTS commented “The FIFA World Cup Predictor was central to EA SPORTS FIFA’s engagement strategy this summer and we’re thrilled to see so many fans around the world interact with both experiences. Without Monterosa’s LViS platform and their experience of exciting global audiences, we wouldn’t have been able to deliver the quality of interaction we did, across 12 languages, to help continue the influence of EA SPORTS FIFA on the World’s Game.”

Ben Barker, Commercial Director at Monterosa commented “We knew coming into the FIFA World Cup that EA SPORTS had ambitious targets to meet, and therefore seeing 12 markets activate our World Cup Predictor and smashing the targets set has been tremendously rewarding for the team. Multi-market campaigns used to be expensive, and time consuming, but the configurability within our platform LViS eliminates these factors for brands looking to maximise global sponsorship.

 

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MIP Preview: Gameshow Live! allows broadcasters and content producers to make next-gen live mobile gameshows

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To coincide with this year's MIP in Cannes, we're thrilled to preview details of our new solution for interactive mobile gameshows, Gameshow Live! 

Check it out here. 

Combining our award-winning interaction platform LViS with low latency streaming and a fantastic array of trivia formats, we're rolling out the solution to help broadcasters, content producers and brands deliver top notch interactivity for live mobile users.

 How it works

How it works

Initially GSL will be available to a limited number of clients. If you would like to register your interest or meet up at MIP, please get in touch.

 

 

 

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The Jockey Club’s ‘Race On’ app the first in British sport to offer mobile ticketing for general admission

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THE JOCKEY CLUB'S 'RACE ON' APP THE FIRST IN BRITISH SPORT TO OFFER MOBILE TICKETS FOR GENERAL ADMISSION

Mobile ticketing now available at The Jockey Club’s 15 racecourses nationwide

268-year-old organisation welcomes nearly two million people a year to events including The Cheltenham Festival, the Randox Health Grand National and The Investec Derby

Racegoers at this week’s Cheltenham Festival have become the first people in Britain to use app-based mobile tickets for general admission to a sports event, after The Jockey Club launched the feature as part of its new ‘Race On’ app.

The Race On app has been developed to enhance the customer experience at the 348 racedays The Jockey Club stages annually across its 15 racecourse venues nationwide, which welcome nearly two million spectators each year, as well as for those people following the races from off-course.

As well as offering mobile tickets to those purchasing general admission and with an easy share option to send on to members of their party, the app also offers a series of other features. These include a live race card, instant results, competitions to play against fellow racegoers – including a five horse selector to engage people in the sport, maps of facilities and ‘Golden Moments’ that provide prizes including visits to the parade ring to see the horses up close and even presenting trophies on some racedays. It is now freely available to download for Apple and Android devices.

In addition to The Cheltenham Festival, which welcomes more than 250,000 people over four days this week, other events staged by The Jockey Club include the Randox Health Grand National Festival, The Investec Derby Festival, the QIPCO Guineas Festival and the Moët & Chandon July Festival.

The Jockey Club took the decision to offer mobile tickets following extensive trials. Many Britons already use app-based tickets for the likes of air travel, for example, while in sport a number of US stadia have introduced the practice. Other types of mobile tickets, including as PDFs sent by email or text, have been used to access various UK events.

Paul Fisher, Chief Executive of Jockey Club Racecourses, said “So much of what we do is about listening to how we can make a person’s raceday experience even better and we’re constantly innovating to do so.

“I’m very proud The Jockey Club has achieved another first in sport by introducing mobile ticketing through our app, along with its many other launch features, from at-a-glance runners and riders information to competitions to play with your friends or family and against other racegoers.

“And because we’re always in listening mode, the features on the app today are just the start. We are already working with our partners Monterosa on future developments as part of a long-term relationship, so the plan is for Race On to keep getting better.”

The mobile app has been developed in partnership with leading fan technology firm, Monterosa, which has created apps for ITV’s Love Island, X-Factor, The Voice, ITV Racing and I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, as well as for Team GB and Visa for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games; adidas; BBC; EA Sports; NFL; Sky and World Rugby.

Ben Barker, Commercial Director of Monterosa, said “Monterosa is very proud to be working with The Jockey Club to deliver the Race On app that forms a key part of the vision for digital engagement with racegoers. Focused on enhancing the raceday experience with mobile ticketing, digital race cards, a free play prediction game, the latest racing content and an ambitious, innovative roadmap, Race On will change how The Jockey Club will be able to interact with racegoers.”

Mobile tickets will be available through the Race On app for all of The Jockey Club events for customers purchasing tickets that do not require a ‘swing badge’. The Jockey Club recognises the popularity of swing badges and the role they play in providing access to different facilities at racecourses. Therefore swing badges will continue to be delivered to customers in the normal way.

The Jockey Club’s racecourses are Aintree, Carlisle, Cheltenham, Epsom Downs, Exeter, Haydock Park, Huntingdon, Kempton Park, Market Rasen, Newmarket July Course, Newmarket Rowley Mile, Nottingham, Sandown Park, Warwick and Wincanton.

 
 

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How we launched 7 massive fan engagement apps in 5 languages, in just 6 weeks

 
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It's been quite the start to 2018 at Monterosa, with the launch of new fan engagement apps in France, UK, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.

  • Team GB Olympics App with the British Olympic Association
  • Seul contre Tous (All Against One) with France 2
  • X Factor Denmark with DR
  • Denmark's Got Talent with TV2
  • Dancing on Ice with ITV in the UK
  • Survival of The Fittest with ITV
  • Cue The Music in Finland with TV5 (Discovery)
  • Grand Prix (Eurovision) Denmark with DR
  • Så ska det låta with SVT

All of them have hit Top 10 spots in the local App Store/Play Store, with X Factor, Got Talent and Grand Prix all achieving impressive #1's in Denmark. 

What's the secret to delivering such an array of successful, high-volume engagement apps in multiple languages? Of course, our talented and expert team, but also the robust performance and versatility of Monterosa's "LViS" interaction platform, on top of which our native app product, Fan Companion is deployed.

The powerful combination provides a set of benefits for sports and entertainment organisations:

  • Rapid deployment
  • Robust infrastructure for demanding peaks of traffic
  • Array of interactive 'Elements' like Trivia, Raters, Predictions 
  • Gamification
  • Secure vote management and user verification
  • Integration with CMS, Video Platforms, Ad servers and TV graphics
 
 

Stay tuned to hear more about our major international app releases this year, throughout Europe and beyond!

 

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Thinking of making your own HQ Trivia? 5 things you should think about first

Monterosa started its life creating one of the first interactive TV shows “Test The Nation” for the BBC (remember that?!). Since then we have made interactivity for countless TV formats, the most successful of which was Million Pound Drop — kindly provided us with a shiny BAFTA for the office.

Setting yourself up for success with live interactive formats — whether in the single-device format of HQ or in the realms of TV shows or live events, involves a combination of imagination, business-sense, technology and pure expertise. Not every attempt will be a hit, but by preparing the ground for a great audience experience and massive scale, you’re avoiding embarrassment and giving yourself a chance at the big time.

You wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t already familiar with the global phenomenon that is HQ Trivia., so I’ll jump straight in.

If you’re thinking about making your own version, there are a set of tech and creative considerations you should think about before you kick off. Here are five of them (we’ll leave business model and production teams for another time):

  1. Gameplay
  2. Platform choice
  3. Sync
  4. Security
  5. Live Workflow
 

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Team GB, Visa & Monterosa launch new interactive fan engagement app for PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games

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TEAM GB, VISA & MONTEROSA LAUNCH NEW INTERACTIVE FAN ENGAGEMENT APP FOR PYEONGCHANG WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES

 

Visa utilises Monterosa’s Sport Companion app to power live interaction with fans whilst Team GB competes at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games

The British Olympic Association, Visa and Monterosa have worked together to deliver the new official Team GB app designed to enhance the supporting experience for fans across the UK during PyeongChang 2018.

Launched in the build-up to the Games, the new, free app provides fans with all the latest news and medal standings from the competition, the event schedule highlighting all Team GB activity and an area that focuses on the sports and Team GB athletes participating in South Korea.

Like the 2016 Rio Olympic Games app, which was also made available in partnership with Visa, the 2018 Olympics Winter Games app will bring Team GB fans closer to all the action in PyeongChang through real-time updates and results. Visa has sponsored the Olympic Games since 1986, and during this time, has grown alongside the Olympic Games into the leading innovative payment technology brand in the world.

Furthermore, by utilising Monterosa’s native app product, Sport Companion, fans can interact with Team GB throughout the Games via a series of trivia challenges, audience polls and voting elements appearing regularly alongside social media posts from the Team and athletes.

The British Olympic Association have combined the Sport Companion functionality with Monterosa’s fan interaction platform LViS to bring a media rich experience to both fans watching at home and those that have travelled to support the team from the slopes. Monterosa’s LViS platform is the defacto solution for sports rightsholders, broadcasters and brands who are looking to engage and interact with fans around the world in multiple languages and at scale.

British Olympic Association, Commercial Director Tim Ellerton said: “We are constantly looking at ways to engage with our fans and the app that Visa created during Rio 2016 was a huge success, which provided brilliant up to the second updates and information. Working with Monterosa we’re excited to develop and extend the scope of what the app can offer to fans and it is great to be able to share the app today in the build-up to PyeongChang 2018.” 

Suzy Brown, UK and Ireland Marketing Director at Visa, said: “The vision we have at Visa is to be the best way to pay and be paid, for everyone, everywhere, so are very aware that more and more people are embracing mobile technology for everything from paying for their daily commute to getting live updates on their favourite sports. The app is great for anyone wanting to follow Team GB in PyeongChang and will bring supporters closer to the action in real time. We particularly urge fans to download the app to follow the progress of Team Visa athletes Billy Morgan and Elise Christie who will be aiming to win in South Korea.”

Ben Barker, Commercial Director, Monterosa said: “We are really excited to be working with the BOA and Visa to provide a leap forward in the fan experience for what we all hope will be a ground-breaking Olympic Winter Games for Team GB. Utilising our Sports Fan Companion app product, we'll be letting Team GB fans get under the skin of the athletes, schedule their daily viewing and create really sharable experiences”.

The Team GB: Winter Games app is now available for free download on mobile and tablet from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

 
 

How we're powering global voting for EA SPORTS Premier League Player of the Month

 Congratulations to Harry Kane, Harry Kane is September's Premier League Player of the Month

Congratulations to Harry Kane, Harry Kane is September's Premier League Player of the Month

The new EA SPORTS Premier League voting experience powered by Monterosa Fan Voice and LViS Platform.

 

More Information
Jonathan Casbon
jonathan@monterosa.co.uk

 

How we're powering global voting for EA SPORTS Premier League Player of the Month

Last weekend we helped EA SPORTS™ capture the attention of hundreds of thousands of Premier League fans. Social channels were awash with branded meme cards as the public chose their EA SPORTS Premier League Player of the Month for September.

It was a big month for EA SPORTS FIFA fans; a month in which FIFA18, the latest instalment of the FIFA gaming series was released, seeing the continuation of Alex Hunter in The Journey: Hunter Returns and the creation of the #ElTornado skill that is sure to be replicated millions of times on playgrounds, pitches and flatscreens around the world.

It was also a month that saw EA SPORTS engage with Monterosa to deliver the official EA SPORTS Premier League Player of the Month vote for the 2017/18 season. The vote, now hosted at potm.easports.com, is the first time the official vote has been made available for fans on the Lead Partner’s channels.

Utilising our LViS platform and Fan Voice voting product, FIFA fans can now review the shortlist of nominated players alongside official stats and videos, vote for their favourite, share their selected vote with friends on social media via a tailored meme generator and submit their online gamer details to enter a monthly prize draw to win in-game FIFA 18 prizes, further integrating the FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) mode which has become so popular amongst gamers across the globe.

We are really excited to be embarking on this new project with EA SPORTS, a brand at the heart of fan engagement with football fans around the world. Make sure you don’t miss out on sharing your opinion when the vote opens again for October’s award, at potm.easports.com.

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How do you make a successful TV show chatbot?

How do you make a successful TV show chatbot?

When it comes to mass-market adoption, bots are still in their infancy, but their potential across industries from customer service to eCommerce and entertainment is hard to deny. 

Entertainment has attracted the attention of bot makers. For instance, 'Assistant'-style bots like Crypt TV provide a way to consume niche content (not that niche, it's the 5th most popular Facebook Messenger bot!). The ability to bring a fun, conversational voice to help the audience interact with entertainment content seems like a no-brainer. However, the reality has been a little different, with few success stories in TV so far. 

But....we think we might be onto something with our new "71°N Bot" for Norwegian broadcaster, TVNorge.

A quiz-based gaming format, after the first two episodes of the new series we've seen some astonishing results:

  • A quiz completion rate of over 90%

  • 95% repeat usage

  • 5% of the TV audience have interacted so far

How did we get here?

 Players get Right and Wrong (Riktig and Feil) GIFs after each quiz question, teasing funny content from the upcoming episodes

Players get Right and Wrong (Riktig and Feil) GIFs after each quiz question, teasing funny content from the upcoming episodes

We were tasked by TVNorge (part of Discovery Networks), to create a form of interaction that broke new ground, and built on the ongoing success of the format. It's a show that's been on air since 1999, officially making it the world's longest-running reality TV show!

The "71°N" contestants are highly competitive, as are Norwegian TV audiences. We wanted to challenge fans weekly, testing their knowledge about the show, and about Norway as a whole. Next, we had to consider where a fan challenge could, and should, live. Our suite of interactive products includes apps, web apps and chatbots.

App v Bot

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We needed something scalable, engaging yet quick to deploy, so our chatbot product FanBot seemed a perfect solution. Apps have their place with TV, we create many of them, but in this case we all wanted to try something light and new that might pioneer a new approach as a blueprint for the future.  

One benefit of Facebook Messenger is that the learning curve is minimal; buttons, controls, typing, layout are familiar to most users. It's the most-used messaging app in Scandinavia, popular with all ages.

 A personalised results animation is generated for players after each quiz they complete, showing their Facebook profile picture, name, quiz score and leaderboard position

A personalised results animation is generated for players after each quiz they complete, showing their Facebook profile picture, name, quiz score and leaderboard position

Retention as a key challenge

Getting people going is always the hardest stage - so we wanted to create an easy-to-understand concept with a conversational game flow that would guide the user seamlessly from start to finish without instructions. 

But the key challenge surrounding chatbots is their high drop-off rates, so we knew we needed to include mechanisms that would keep people engaging with the bot and playing the game both during and between the weekly episodes.

One component of our concept is the all-important Leaderboard, transforming what's already a shared viewing experience into a highly competitive one.

As well as fans answering various quiz questions to earn points, we knew we had to devise something else to keep them hooked. How could create more separation of leaderboard points, while giving super-fans a ‘leg-up’ the leaderboard, and reward them for their dedication to the show?

The Kicker

Luckily, we have LViS our powerful interaction platform widely used by TV companies around the world. LViS lets us rapidly create ideas such as special, limited-lifespan bonus questions and boost codes that award users extra points.

To fuel anticipation, we built a feature that pushes out alerts and then rewards users who answer quickest with more points than those who take longer. A sliding scale points-weighting mechanism that keeps fans on their toes and the show front-of-mind throughout the week. 

 A special code is revealed during each episode via TV graphics, rewarding loyal and keen-eyed fans with extra points

A special code is revealed during each episode via TV graphics, rewarding loyal and keen-eyed fans with extra points

Bonus Codes for Brands

The broadcaster can also send out bonus codes which give fans additional points and other rewards. These are assets that could become sponsor-owned in future shows.

Stay tuned for more updates as the series continues. And if you fancy trying out your Norwegian language skills, give the 71°N Bot a try!

 

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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

 

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