Next TV: Nat Geo Building Interactivity Within Original Content
Network president seeks to develop 'lean-in' programming to enhance viewer experience
By R. Thomas Umstead, Multichannel News -- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/21/2013 9:07:00 PM
Shows such as Nat Geo's Brain Games -- in which viewers interact with on-screen optical illusions, mind tricks and exercises that test and challenge the workings of the brain -- provide a lean-in, "virtual interactive gaming experience" that engages viewers beyond traditional second-screen content applications, Owens said Thursday at B&C/Multichannel News' Next TV Summit in New York.
"It's an effort for us to create lean-in TV," he said. "Most of the television people make is passive, and we create second-screen experiences to make them richer and to create a better viewing experience. Our idea is to create some lean-forward TV that's actually engaging."
Owens said that second-screen experiences for traditional reality and scripted series can be limiting, but if you build interactive and gaming features within the content, it can take the viewing experience to a higher level.
"We're building functionality around shows, but I think that sooner or later we may run out of sub-cultures and stories to tell," Owens said. "We're looking to migrate the content experience beyond just sit back TV and trying to create TV for the future that has real interactive elements that can speak to the consumer and have them engaged in their living room."
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