Okay, there are smart televisions around. But they are still called idiot boxes. Primetime meant families in front of the telly and daily banter. But with smart connected devices, that’s changing. A lot of prime time is now spent hunched over a smart device thumbing through cat videos and liking selfies on Facebook. It is this trend that television shows are trying to tap into, as they engage their audience on the second screen.

Earlier this year, iDubba launched an Android app called iCouch which let people chat about Zee Café’s Grey’s Anatomy season 7 with other viewers live. Like if you feel like debating how promiscuous hospital workers and doctors can get or discuss Kawasaki disease. It also included quizzes and other interactive functions. The app has gone on to include a second program, HISTORY TV18’s Ancient Aliens show. The chats are also shown live on the telly.

Two other very popular shows in India Bournvita Quiz Contest and Indian Idol have also released standalone apps which allow users to interact with the show live.

Indian Idol Junior App Comes to Windows Phone 8

Indian-Idol-Junior

The Indian Idol Junior app which was till now available only Android and iOS has come to Windows Phone 8 also. Indian Idol says that that according to a 5-week analysis, 66% of the total votes for the show have been cast through the app. It also said that it has been downloaded over 1,50,000 across platforms.

The app allows users to vote live for their favorite Indian Idol Junior contestant, allows them to  use the dynamic ‘Popularity Meter’ to see how popular their favorite ‘junior’, play several games and also ask questions and get answers directly from all judges, hosts and contestants through the app.

It has a feature called “Bachpan Ki Awaaz”, which allows users to record their voice and it gets converted into a child. There are also various games like Jigsaw puzzles and “Catch the Musical Notes”.

Download: Indian Idol Junior (Windows Phone 8, Android, iOS)

Play BQC live on Your Android or iOS Device

BQC-android

The Bournvita Quiz Contest, which is in its 40th year, has released a smartphone app which allows you to answers questions in real time. The app is currently available for Android and iOS devices.

Users can either Prepare or Play live. When the show is live on Colors at 9:30 am on Sundays, users can open the app and answer live. Users have to listen to the options on TV and choose the correct option on the smartphone.

It seemed like a pretty neat concept but we ran into a few issues when we tried the app last Sunday. Firstly, users have to make sure you click on the pull question option only after the question is read on TV. While this worked for the most part it failed a couple of times. Also the 10 seconds allotted is too little a time to listen to the question on TV, choose the correct option and hit the buzzer. We would have loved it if the options were displayed on the smartphone screen and not just A, B, C or D. Also the scoring and updating of the leaderboards does not happen real time.

What is great to see in this app is that a show which began on radio, evolved on TV is finally embracing the digital era.

While these apps are just a few examples of how TV shows are trying the second screen experience with viewers we can definitely foresee more apps like this in the future and with newer and better formats. But what TV producers should be asking themselves is do they want eyeballs on the TV or on the smartphones?

Download: India Plays BQC (iOS, Android.)

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