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KIT Digital unveiled its new social TV solution, the KIT Social Program Guide (KIT SPG), at NAB last week. The KIT SPG integrates users’ social networks with their service provider’s EPG, allowing viewers to enjoy a full range of social TV functions, as well as change the channel, through a single interface. The solution, which has been built with the first and second screen in mind, also boasts support for cloud-based DVR functionality, VOD store integration and multiple e-commerce models and ad serving for advanced content monetization.
The KIT SPG is designed to ultimately replace the traditional on-screen Electronic Programme Guide and TV remote control experience. Served through the KIT Video Platform backend, this white-label application can be customized to client requirements.
The KIT SPG enables a variety of popular user behaviours including choosing shows based on social network recommendations, interacting with friends via Twitter, Facebook or ‘proprietary’ social networks, and viewing additional information about content from sources like IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes and Wikipedia.
The social EPG also includes social-powered recommendations. Viewers can see which movies and shows their friends are watching or have recommended. They can also discover content via a social recommendation engine that offers up relevant content based on user input and recommendations from their social network, prior viewing habits and professional critics.
The KIT SPG can push and pull social commentary from any third-party social network, including Facebook, Twitter, and service provider-run networks. “Rather than limiting users to one-way broadcasting of posts or comments as existing social TV apps do, the KIT SPG moves information in both directions, offering a much richer social experience,” the company argues.
KIT Digital points out that while viewers want to be able to share comments in real-time, different viewing habits mean that friends are not always watching content at the same time. The KIT SPG adapts to this behaviour by storing comments and posting them as the viewer watches, allowing users to enjoy the experience as if they were watching along with their friends. This feature is called Asynchronous Social Comment Review.
The Social Program Guide supports multiple user accounts but importantly, allows simultaneous access by different users so everyone can have a unique and personalized second screen experience while watching the same ‘first screen’ together. This product includes VOD integration so users can share, review, interact with, get recommendations about and buy content from their service provider’s VOD store.