Time Out is to launch an interactive TV guide that will be competitive to Sky-funded Zeebox’s social TV service.
Powered by Red Bee Media’s newly launched RedDiscover technology, it will include full integration with Facebook, as well as real-time visualisations of Twitter conversations surrounding a show.
Users will be able to log-in to a Time Out branded version of RedDiscover, browse programmes and ‘like’ shows (a lot like TiVo’s ‘thumbs up’ function) – as well as see what their friends are viewing.
Clicking on programme information will display a description of the show, as well as web links to additional data (such as Wikipedia and IMDb).
Small icons will show whether there’s Twitter activity to view, including red markers for shows that are very popular or trending. In-built links will either go directly to the Twitter feed for that show, or an integrated feed.
Another icon will show whether a Facebook friend has ‘liked’ the show, while a pop-up box will feature their profile pictures.
Where relevant, a 'watch now' option will be available, based on links to live streams from ITV Player and BBC iPlayer. Plus – people can instantly set recordings on their Sky+ or TiVo box, as well as get programme show reminders sent by SMS.
The guide will link to Red Bee Media’s online video platform (RedPlayer), a tool that allows broadcasters to deliver and monetise high quality video to a range of devices, including connected TVs, smartphones and tablets.
This means that broadcasters will be able to provide bespoke data for the guide, as well as redesign and tailor what the data/listings look like.
RedDiscover takes data from RedPlayer, but also uses technology from Red Bee's acquisition of cloud-based social search company TV Genius last year.
Time Out’s editor in chief Tim Arthur said that his team was excited about the new project.
Time Out has a long tradition of covering TV in the magazine with our unique voice and critical eye. It’s great to now be able to bring this to a much wider audience online.”
Time Out is the first brand in the UK to use the RedDiscoer technology, though it's also being used by Dutch publishing house Veronica to create a similar service there.
The Time Out Group’s rate of innovation has slowed over the years since its launch in 1968. However, the publisher is working hard to carve out its place in the connected TV race, building a comprehensive social offering in the process. It acquired Whatsonstage.com this week, luxury shopping site Kelkoo Select last year and the lifestyle club Keynoir just before Christmas.