Tag Archives: HSN

Is Social the Future of Television? You Better Believe It!

Have you heard of YouToo?

YouToo. Be On TV.

YouToo is the world’s first social tv network allowing viewers to interact with one another over a national cable television network.

Youtoo claims to be “the next frontier of social networking” because it’s both a social network and a television network which uses “advanced technology that makes them work together.”

What about Trendrr?

Trendrr. More signal. Less noise.

Trendrr is a tech solution that helps content producers process and understand the multiple streams of data from television, online, and social media, and put that data to use.

Trendrr measures the social media activities tied to television broadcasts, and the increasingly significant impact that social has on brands and audiences.

You must have heard of Revolt, right?

Sean Combs is launching a new network called Revolt.

Revolt is the new music video cable network of Sean “P Diddy” Combs that’s slated to launch next year on Comcast.

With a focus on artists, Revolt’s mission is to revolutionize the way artists are promoted using social as a platform.

These are just a few of the brands that are focusing on ‘social television‘ the intersection of television, social media, connected devices and audiences.

So what does it all mean?

It means that there is a growing nexus between television and social interaction, and businesses are paying attention.

The recent record-breaking numbers in viewership and social chatter with the Super Bowl, Grammy Awards and the Oscars, aptly demonstrates this point.

More importantly, the availability of low-priced, more powerful smartphones and tablets, means that more people will have the ability to take advantage of these intersections.

Connected devices make it even easier for brands to interact with their audiences, regardless of whether they’re in front of traditional television screens or not.

It also creates opportunities for brands to engage audiences in ways that simply didn’t exist as recent as a year ago.

Twitter hashtags, on-screen QR codes, text calls-to-action, voting and integrated mobile apps are just a few of the methods television programmers have embraced to become more social.

Home shopping networks, like HSN, have been leading the way for years, giving shoppers the ability to browse for products and make purchases from the convenience of their couches, home computers or mobile phones.

I suspect that this trend will continue well into the conceivable future, which¬†will undoubtedly provide even greater opportunities for brands to interact ‘socially’ with their audiences.

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Home Shopping Apps. HSN’s got the goods. Literally.

Home shopping on steroids!

I’m not an avid shopper.

Every once in a while, I’ll hit the store to pick up an item or two.

Most of my shopping is done online, and in response to a real need.

Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, etc., are when my shopping cap goes on, and I generally handle my business.

So shopping (outside of essentials) is never high on my list of priorities.

But that’s just me.

There’s a whole other world of shoppers, who take shopping very seriously: the home shopper.

If you’re into home shopping, then anytime is a good time to shop.

If there’s a bargain, you’re looking for it.

While shopping used to require getting into the car and heading to a mall, strip mall, flea market, or consignment store, the home shopper now has a number of different outlets for getting their shopping on (and I’m not talking catalogues either).

QVC, HSN and ShopNBC are probably some of the most well known brands in home shopping.

They’ve each got channels devoted entirely to giving shoppers steep discounts on everything from watches to sewing machines.

They also have websites, which allow visitors to browse items featured on the network, as well as other special offers.

But more importantly, each of them has a branded app, which allows you to shop directly from your iPhone, iPad or Android device, while you’re away from your television or home computer.

ShopNBC does the best job of promoting the fact that they’ve got apps.

ShopNBC does the best job of letting you know they've got apps.

The link to the iOS or Android version of their app is conspicuously located in the bottom left corner of the home page, alongside ShopNBC’s other social media links.

Although you’ve got to scroll to the bottom of the page to see this section, the iPhone and Android logos point to the fact that they’ve got apps.

And while they don’t promote the fact that they’ve got a mobile version of their site too, they do.

HSN’s apps are promoted in a similar fashion as ShopNBC, but not quite as well.

Although it's not explicit, HSN lets you know they've got something for mobile.

The mobile phone logo, appears in a banner below the fold of the page, under the title “HSN Everywhere”.

But where HSN falls short in the visual promotion, it more than makes up for it with the breadth and depth of it’s mobile app offering.

HSN has apps for the iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, Nokia, Windows Mobile 7 and offers a mobile web version of their site and an SMS service.

QVC does the worst job of promoting the fact that it’s got a mobile offering.

C'mon QVC! You've got to do better than this! Site map, really?

The link to their mobile app is buried in the site map, located at the bottom of the home page, with no icons and even less fanfare.

QVC only offers an iPhone version of their app, and they don’t have a mobile site at all.

I took each of the apps for a test drive to see how well they were built.

I didn’t buy anything mind you, but I did check out what they had to offer.

As expected, each of the apps let you to make in-app purchases.

They also have a ‘watch now’ or ‘live’ feature that lets you to follow along with the network programming directly from your device.

There is a short time delay between the live show and the mobile version, but it’s not material.

But there are material differences in how the live viewing options work on the respective apps.

HSN does the best job for a few reasons, including the fact that it utilizes the accelerometer of the iOS devices, allowing you to watch in both landscape and portrait modes.

HSN's app is the hands down fave!

The menus and content streams, that frame the viewing area, adjust, letting you expand or collapse the screen to watch in full screen/partial screen mode.

While HSN gives you multiple viewing options, ShopNBC’s live viewing is only viewable in full screen landscape mode.

And unlike the HSN app, you’ve got to quit the video, in order to interact with any other content on their app.

QVC’s iPhone app works similarly to HSN’s and is viewable in both landscape or portrait mode.

In landscape mode, the dash slides away letting you watch full screen.

Sorry QVC, but watching TV on the iPhone simply isn't the move. Make an iPad app!

But after experiencing HSN and ShopNBC’s apps in the larger form factor of the iPad, watching QVC’s show on the iPhone was markedly underwhelming.

Each of these apps had their pluses. But hands down, HSN is clearly the most progressive and forward thinking of these home shopping networks.

They have the most comprehensive suite of options for accessing their brand.

Notwithstanding my critiques, each of these brands are clearly thinking about how to help shoppers get the most out of their connected devices.

And at the end of the day, if you’re a ‘shoppy’, you should be over the moon!

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Filed under apps, branding, iPad, iPhone, mobile, opinion, technology