Motorola Mobility Taps Apps For 'SocialTV'

Motorola Mobility wants to help TV service providers get more sociable.

The vendor's SocialTV Companion Service, part of its Medios multiscreen video service management suite, is designed to provide social "experiences" that let subscribers interact with their virtual community of friends who are also watching a TV show, through apps on different mobile devices and tablets such as the Motorola Xoom.

Features available through the SocialTV apps include real-time chat, TV show ratings, live feeds from Facebook, Twitter and other social-networking platforms, as well as the ability to offer show-related product merchandising, on-screen advertising and a social "loyalty rewards" program. Optional features include show-specific games, quizzes and viewer voting polls.

Motorola showed off prototypes of social TV apps at the 2010 Cable Show, where it launched the Medios product.

The SocialTV Companion Service uses component modules from Loyalize, a startup that provides social media applications and analytics.

"Consumers are increasingly using companion devices to augment their entertainment experience," said John Burke, senior vice-president and general manager, Converged Experiences, Motorola Mobility. "Our SocialTV Companion Service is leveraging the convergence of companion devices, community and entertainment to create a more enjoyable and personalized experience for the consumer, while giving the service provider for the ability to monetize that experience."

According to Motorola's 2010 Media Engagement Barometer survey, 37% of Americans would change their TV provider to one that offered access to social networks, chat or e-mail while watching live TV.