Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Review of Watch With eBay as a SecondScreen Experience

If you download the update to the regular eBay iPad app, you will notice a new icon on the bottom left-hand side of the screen that says "Watch with eBay".  Honestly, the experience as a #SecondScreen app or otherwise is disappointing.  While the registration process is rather simple (your ZIP code, your provider), many of the channels in the channel line-up (I use AT&T U-verse) are missing and the items offered for the channels that do exist are only based on the title of the program (not the contents)--they are not even based on the descriptive metadata of the title itself (ie the summary of the Seinfeld episode, etc).  There is no audio fingerprinting (recognition) like you find in IntoNow and no apparent presence of audio watermarking--nothing to tell the iPad what channel or episode you are watching (you have to type it in).

- Simple.  It does not allow control of the 1st screen in any way what so ever.  In fact, the use of the app itself is not "simple" either.  You tell it what channel you are watching and it puts loosely related items up based on the title in the EPG.

- Social.  I couldn't find a way to share the items I was looking at or the experience in anyway (except passing the iPad to my wife).

- Seamless.  No integration with any video services.  

- Stimulating.  The app's purpose is an attempt to make the content experience richer by allowing you to buy relevant items--it just disappoints in that endeavor.

- Discovery.  I wish I could say it let you discover items to purchase (not the point of this axis), but it would be faster for your to type in the title of the show than to change the channel in the app as currently implemented.

I honestly did not take the time to check for an Android or laptop experience.

My overall summary (I hope this improves quickly):

- Simple.  None.
- Social.  None.
- Seamless.  None.
- Stimulating.  Low (a very disappointing low).
- Discovery.  None.

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