Earlier this month, in ABC’s summer series Boy Band, the winning singing group was awarded a recording contract.
But the show also served as a successful national audition for iPowow, which has been using its interactive participation TV platform mostly with local stations. IPowow helped the show collect 151 million votes during its live finale.
“The sheer number of votes from ABC viewers is staggering,” said iPowow CEO Gavin Douglas. “It’s amazing how successful this platform can be when it’s harnessed the right way and these guys did it pretty much perfectly.”
Jane Mun, executive producer and showrunner for the series for Matador TV, said iPowow helped keep young viewers engaged.
“When people are using devices, whether its phone or iPads, we needed a way to get people to stick with us,” Mun said. In addition to voting, iPowow enabled the show to do live trival and polling.
Though the show didn’t generate monster ratings, Mun said iPowow helped. More importantly, it boosted the shows social engagement with 15 to 19-year olds who flocked to Instagram.
“So socially I feel like we were a success and we created a band that was chosen by America,” she said.
Mun said she’d originally become award of iPowow in 2015 when she worked on America Best Dance Crew and wanted to figure out a new way to conduct voting. “I met with them and I was like, ‘wait a second, you guys do what?’,” she recalled. America Best Dance Crew wasn’t live, but when Boy Band came up, iPowow was selected.
“They are not only passionate, they are super hungry. They are renegades, they’re disruptors and they are innovators,” Mun said.
She said an iPowow producer, Jud Lewis-Mahon, was embedded in the shows control room, making the platform easy to incorporate in the production.
“The way they used the platform, they pretty much took all the best practices and applied them,” said Lewis-Mahon.” They built the audience through trivia and games and pushing exclusive content. They used it as a bridge between commercials to help with the retention over commercial breaks.”
The number of people using the platform built week by week.
“People were coming back, the retention was high. There’s a significant increase week over week building up to that final vote. And then that final vote just blew the roof off,” Lewis-Mahon said.
Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
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