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Orange is having a run at the nascent second-screen social-TV space already occupied by the likes of GetGlue, Miso, Zeebox and Intonow.
It is bringing TVCheck, its smartphone app for checking in to TV shows, from France to the UK.
TVCheck asks users to point their phone’s camera at TV screens to identify shows by cloud-based signal processing, so they can share their viewing habit to social networks and interact with shows on the phone.
The app has garnered nearly 100,000 downloads since release in France last year, Orange business development director David Nahmani told paidContent, declining to disclose remaining active users.
In France, Orange has both a popular IPTV service and a mobile network to which it could have allied TVCheck but hasn’t. Neither will the app be bundled with Orange UK handsets, Nahmani said.
The idea is to ensure all comers can use it. To that end, it will be available to non-Orange customers through both iOS and Android. But, minus, the carriage that Orange’s services could have given it, TVCheck may be challenged to compete with GetGlue and Zeebox in particular.
Nahmani told paidContent TVCheck’s USPs over rivals are in-buit gamification, simplicity and show recommendation features. The app can recognise TV ads so the door is open to potential commercial tie-ups – just as Zeebox recently launched – Nahmani added, but Orange wants to try gathering a user base before committing to a revenue plan.
“We can imagine premium=access content, premium voting, advertising – but all those activities will come later,” Nahmani said.
He is trying to strike partnerships with broadcasters which he hopes might want to include interactive features relating to their shows in the app – again, just like some others apps are doing.