mPortal, whose SPRINGBROARD Media platform allows pay-TV operators and content providers to create cloud-based TV Everywhere apps, is being enhanced with a new set of social TV APIs to build second screen companion apps for connected devices.
While the number of social TV startups abound, mPortal's VP, Products Fady Lamaa told me that mPortal believes its social TV APIs are the first to be integrated fully with TV Everywhere app building tools, meaning that pay-TV operators and content providers can present unified, branded TV Everywhere/social experience to their users. mPortal is seeking to capitalize on two of the biggest video trends today: connected device viewing and social.
Fady explained an example of how this could work is a pay-TV operator that creates an iPad app using SPRINGBROARD Media which includes an electronic programming guide feature. But rather than having the content presented in a standard one-size-fits-all approach, it could be sorted, based on what the user's friends are watching right now. The user could also immediately chat with these friends to get recommendations, or begun talking about the shows that look most interesting. Additional content would be available to enhance the experience further.
Importantly, mPortal is leveraging existing social networks for the data, and is distinguishing itself from other social TV companies by enabling the pay-TV operator or content provider to keep users completely within their branded experience.
The social TV APIs as building blocks which mPortal's customers can license to build their own social features or can engage mPortal to build for them.