First, everyone needed a website. Then, as social media expanded and companies began to see profits as a result of engaging with fans and followers, industry leaders sought to incorporate sites like Facebook and Twitter into their online marketing plans. Most recently, the creation and use of mobile apps has become increasingly popular; USA Network will soon join the list of companies using this tool to engage viewers.
The Hollywood Reporter shared on October 17th that “NBCUniversal’s USA Network has partnered with Yap.tv, a maker of a social TV guide app for mobile devices, to launch a USA-branded app for its shows and fans.” The app, said to be made available this month, was described by its partners as “the latest step in the fusion of traditional TV and social media.”
The app will combine the following USA TV initiatives to engage fans: Character Chatter and Facebook integration, instant polls, chat groups, cast photos, and “show rankings with Yap’s animated show guide, which allows users to see what their friends are watching and what other fans are saying about their favorite shows on social media.”
USA Network understands the value of an engaged consumer for expanded reach. Jesse Redniss, VP of Digital for USA Network, told The Hollywood Reporter that this is a goal they are constantly working toward. “Yap.tv gives our fans an innovative platform for personalizing their interaction and engaging with content in ways that allow us to continually evolve our social TV experience,” said Redniss.
Although Yap founder and Chief Marketing Officer Shawn Cunningham said that they chose to launch the app with USA because they “(have) probably done the best job at engaging fans already via social media,” he has big plans to provide other TV networks with similar opportunities to engage with fans.
Do you utilize apps to connect with brands you enjoy? What are your thoughts on the USA-branded app?