UK broadcaster ITV will continue to develop separate apps for different shows because they generate more engagement than social media, according to group commercial director Simon Daglish.
Speaking on a panel at the Royal Television Society’s Digital World Conference in London on Friday, Daglish highlighted the success of its apps for shows like The X Factor, Dancing on Ice and Britain’s Got Talent.
He said that although having a social media strategy is also important, individual apps are more compelling than using broader social sites like Facebook and Twitter to connect with audiences.
“The most tweeted-about show in the UK last year was The Only Way is Essex – it had roughly 600,000 tweets. The Britain’s Got Talent app had 44 million interactions,” said Daglish.
“That says something really clear – that when you build something that is specific around the show, you get far, far greater levels of engagement than if you rely on social media as a whole.”
However, he said that apps worked best for entertainment shows, which are more “lean forward,” claiming that ITV has no plans to develop specific apps for shows like drama Downton Abbey.
Asked about ITV’s future app strategy, Daglish said the company was considering whether to build a generic, umbrella app harnessing interaction for all its shows.
“We’re still discussing that and looking at the options, but at the moment, and certainly for the foreseeable future, I think we will continue to build apps that are specific to the shows that we put out there,” he said.
Speaking about ITV’s general second-screen strategy, he pointed to the opportunities provided by its recent tie-up with Shazam, particularly in driving deeper engagement with on-screen ads.
Asked whether ITV would ever work with Zeebox – a business Sky took a stake in earlier this year – Daglish said “never say never,” but added that the proposition Shazam will offer going forward will be similar to what Zeebox can provide.