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CES 2012: Coincident Debuts Second-Screen Solution for Engaged Viewing

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Twelve weeks ago, a Coincident customer with a major pay TV service asked if the company’s technology could be used to create a second-screen solution, where interactive engagement offerings are located on a tablet, while the main program that the viewer is watching is on their television.

Yesterday at CES, Coincident unveiled ScreenSync TV. This startup can get a lot done in only three months.

Coincident is a San Francisco-based company of roughly 15 people, privately funded so far. While small, it’s gotten a lot of attention in Hollywood, working with all four broadcast networks and even getting nominated for an Emmy.

That recognition came for The Glee Superfan Experience, a browser-based interactive video application that allowed Glee fans to watch previously-aired programs, watch behind the scenes videos, and even listen to musical numbers with lyrics on-screen. The Coincident technology allowed interviews and director’s commentary videos to be placed in the linear video stream, so that viewers could click to watch a related video in the appropriate place, then return to the same spot in the program when done.

Glee Superfan Experience

According to Coincident data, viewers watch a program for 33 percent longer when it’s enhanced with nonlinear content.

Now Coincident is looking for takers for ScreenSync TV, which offers a combined broadcast TV/tablet experience. It can be used to serve up videos, games, chats, live polls, badges, and more, all of which are coordinated with an on-air broadcast. Because this works with live TV, it will require a connected TV, set-top box, or DVR that can communicate wirelessly with the tablet. That communication isn’t the main difficulty, said Coincident CEO David Kaiser in an interview with Streaming Media; the challenge is synchronizing the whole experience.

While Coincident has worked with Hollywood studios so far (and served over 30 million video sessions in 2011), it’s casting a wider net with ScreenSync TV, hoping to work with brands and agencies to create uniquely interactive experiences. Besides meeting with the press, the company is meeting with studios, agencies, and content owners during CES to look for ScreenSync TV’s first partners.

While the iPad makes a great video viewer, Coincident thinks this kind of integrated experience is what it was made for.

“It turns out the killer use case for the iPad is in the living room in front of the TV,” said Coincident’s executive vice president of sales and marketing John Gilles.

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