News:Magic Ruby Featured in San Fernando Valley Business Journal
Press Release:Magic Ruby Launches “Quasar” Production Platform for Second Screen and Mobile Applications
From Our Blog:Magic Ruby in San Fernando Valley Business Journal
- Evelinesmet sure send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
News:Magic Ruby Featured in The Online Reporter
Press Release:Magic Ruby Appointed to Create Second Screen Experience for Technicolor’s New CGI-Animated Children’s Series, The Deep
From Our Blog:Magic Ruby Launches Quasar – A Platform for Second Screen and Mobile Apps
- #secondscreen app dev to platform in the SFV Biz Journal (p.15) http://t.co/CwKi3lkSrp
News:Magic Ruby in Home Media Magazine
Press Release:Magic Ruby Brings Live Sync to the Second Screen
From Our Blog:What Powers That Second Screen App?
- #secondscreen and mobile apps, from @theMagicRuby http://t.co/J2TszqsdsX
News:Magic Ruby’s ROGUE Second Screen App in Lost Remote
Press Release:Magic Ruby to Demonstrate Live Sync at CES 2013
From Our Blog:Magic Ruby Goes Rogue with New Second Screen Companion App
- #secondscreen article on #roguedirecTV in @onlinereportr is now on line: http://t.co/hKyH1hVjsk
News:Magic Ruby Second Screen Companion App Rogue in AdOps Online
Press Release:Magic Ruby to License Delivery Agent’s TV Wallet™ Transaction Engine
From Our Blog:Second Screen Wish Lists
- onlinereportr - #secondscreen #RogueDirecTV http://t.co/jPBEIbStTs
We’d like to thank San Fernando Valley Business Journal (SFVBJ) Technology writer Kelly Goff for writing a nice article on Magic Ruby in this week’s print edition (scroll to the p. 14-15 spread). As you have probably noticed, we have been talking a lot lately about our Production Platform – Quasar, for the uninitiated. And even when the platform is not specifically mentioned – as is the case in the SFVBJ article – we’re still focused on the things that are best accomplished through the platform – namely synchronized, targeted commerce and advertising.
The truth is, Magic Ruby is evolving to meet the needs of the industry. As a rule, apps cost too much, take too long to build and return too little revenue; the companion content experience is uneven; and regular users still comprise a minority of those who download the app. These are fixable issues. Commerce and advertising generates revenue, but only if they are presented in a relevant and engaging format. Meanwhile, the largest – and most variable – time component of second screen app development by far is the sourcing, encoding, production and placement of the companion event. With the Quasar Production Platform, content is created more seamlessly; integrated into the look and feel of the app; and can be targeted based on users’ interactions, preferences and demographics so that it is always relevant.
The SFVBJ article catches us right at the point at which this platform takes shape. We are proud to have developed synced commerce for SOA, in partnership with Delivery Agent. It frankly proved many doubters wrong, experts within our own industry who contended that no one would actually buy “Jennifer Aniston’s sweater” from their app. With Quasar, Magic Ruby is going to be able to take that commerce experience to a new level – customizing the items in the catalog in a dynamic fashion. Sourcing new merchandise mid-season based on consumer demand. We’re already starting down that road with the Rogue and upcoming Wizards vs. Aliens apps (look for an announcement soon!).
Look for more news on Quasar and the cool things it lets us do with our upcoming apps.
Weeks ago I mentioned in this space that you would be hearing more and more news from Magic Ruby on the Production Platform side of things – the infrastructure tools that will help the Second Screen proliferate and become profitable. This morning, we officially announced the launch of the Production Platform called Quasar.
A quasar is a very bright, energetic galactic nucleus that emits 1000 times more energy than our entire galaxy, the Milky Way, which contains hundreds of billions of stars. So it’s an appropriate name for a platform that is designed to power a myriad of apps with monetization, personalization and targeted advertising.
According to The Intersection, the research arm associated with the Second Screen Society, there are as many as 300 second screen apps in the known universe. These apps run the gamut from check-in to smart grid guide/recommendation to sports to social media to the area that we are most commonly associated with, which is deep companion content.
Wow, three hundred. That’s a lot of apps.
I bring this up for two reasons: first, clearly the space is alive and kicking. As recently as Q4 of last year, The Intersection counted only 200 or so. And consumer usage is tracking along with this proliferation, even if some reports are missing the point. The turning point will come when apps give viewers an experience they cannot satisfy on their own, with Twitter, IMDb and Wikipedia. And Magic Ruby is working hard to bring that kind of experience, particularly on Rogue: The Second Screen Experience.
But there is a much bigger play here. Right now, the vast majority of deep content apps are created in a one-off fashion. Created manually by skilled developers, enhanced by third-party APIs that deliver one service or another, delivering a reliable – but not necessarily flexible or customizable – companion experience. Isolated stars in a nighttime sky.
Just imagine if there existed a platform – an infrastructure service that could unite all of those independent apps and convert them from isolated stars into a constellation. For the user, this kind of back-end platform would significantly enhance the experience by serving customized content based on preferences, location, psychographics, usage – across multiple apps. The kind of customizability that would paralyze a one-off app with even a few thousand users. Customized polls, trivia, commerce, ads…
The scale that has been elusive to all but a few apps , keeping brands on the sidelines for the most part, is suddenly within reach. Monetization suddenly no longer a buzzword, but a viable model, no matter how large or small the app, no matter what its primary function may be.
This is what Magic Ruby is building. Starting with our Production Platform, which we teased at CES. Over the next several weeks and months you will be hearing a lot more from us on the Platform side of things – new tools that enable new experiences, that allow developers to scale their offerings at a significant cost savings, that allow studios, networks and production companies to fully embrace the potential of this technology.
Yes, we will still be developing apps. And each one will be powered by the same Platform tools that we make available to other developers and their clients.
We are proud to announce the release of our newest second screen companion application, Rogue: The Second Screen Experience, available in the Apple App Store here. The application syncs with DirecTV’s original series “Rogue,” premiering Wednesday night on the Audience network, channel 239. If you have DirecTV, you no doubt are familiar with Audience – home of the simulcast Dan Patrick Show and The Artie Lange Show, as well as original series Damages and Friday Night Lights and syndicated hits such as The Wire and 24. It’s a good destination for groundbreaking series.
“Rogue” takes this even further: starring Thandie Newton (Crash, Mission:Impossible 2) and Marton Csokas (Aeon Flux, Asylum), “Rogue” is a rich universe of crime, obsession and complex family relationships – and the Rogue: Second Screen Experience app is the perfect way to help you navigate its complexity, with synchronized insights directly from the writer’s room, as well as bonus video, exclusive images, bios, trivia, location maps and more.
Rogue: The Second Screen Experience delivers what we believe to be the fundamental precept of the Second Screen: consumer engagement. Ultimately, we tune in to be entertained – to follow a story, well told. This app expands the story – gives the viewer more context, both behind the scenes and within the narrative – with the help of Rogue’s Writers’ Input.
Download the app – even if you don’t have DirecTV, you’ll still get a sense of what we’re building. And if you do have DirecTV, download the app and sync with this week’s premiere episodes!
John Douglas wrote this piece on iMedia Connection about what’s next for the Second Screen industry. An excerpt:
- “Until now, the industry has focused on what second screen technology can do and not what consumers can do with it….Let’s leverage the distracted viewer. If consumers are fiddling with their tablets and smartphones while they watch TV, maybe they simply want something to do!”
Last week I wrote a response to Noel Murray’s Grantland blog post on second screen apps, closing with much the same premise – “the consumer problem of give me something to do for the next hour.” The point cannot be overstated – viewers are moving beyond the one-screen (TV) medium in search of a meta-content experience. Some of it is social, a lot of it is search, some of it is none of the above. But the point is, the appetite is bigger than one screen can satisfy.
Douglas later proceeds with his Second Screen Wish List – the first item of which is incorporating the second screen into the narrative. We could not agree more. Because no matter what you want your app to accomplish – whether it’s revenue generation, ratings, marketing or deeper brand engagement – it has to give the viewer something he or she cannot DIY (because that’s what we had before second screen apps anyway).
It’s easy to focus on the prize – USERS! REVENUE! WORLD DOMINATION! But the most critical unit of measure is audience engagement. And the surest way to get that is to make the app a true authentic and irreplaceable companion of the broadcast. What’s happening in the other room when these two characters are having a conversation? What’s the song you can barely make out in the background?
We’re all trying to get our arms around the right recipe for the sticky experience that keeps bringing viewers back to the app. Maybe the magic ingredient is more of why they tuned into the show in the first place: a good story that unfolds on multiple levels. Once you have that, I think the commerce, advertising, ratings and engagement will come – in droves.