Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Reviewing the King's Speech as a Second Screen experience

I thought we'd shift gears a bit and cover some of the Blu-ray title experiences out there.  The King's Speech distributed by the Weinstein Company has had an iPad in the market place since last fall.  It is probably the reference UX for a "super fan" second screen experience in a movie (so far).  For years, we have been trained to pay more for a super disc set with all of the extra bonus materials, but oddly enough they always exist as an after-experience (except for audio commentary, which is normally something you do after you watched the movie the first time).  Now first of all, let's agree up front that not everyone wants this "super fan" level of information, and even those who do only want it in certain "cult-ish" movies.  Your standard RomCom or Action-Thriller probably doesn't lend itself to this kind of consumer experience, but for those movies where fans want to know every detail possible about the movie, the background story, the cast, the production shoot, etc, the Second Screen is a great way to deliver the UX.  First, it can be entirely passive (meaning the tablet can sit on your lap and you can allow the information to move on without interaction).  It can also be immersive, pausing if you like when you dig into the materials presented.  Finally, it also offers an interesting way to find those key points in the movie later since the app can control the Blu-Ray playback and will take the 1st screen directly to the scene where the bonus content is located.

So, let's talk thru the experience.

When you insert the disc for the first time, it should ask you to update via BD Live (assuming your blu-ray player is connected to the internet) and it will download the app itself to the player.  When you download the app from iTunes and launch it, it will automatically find the Blu-ray disc (assuming you have the Blu-ray player on the same network as your iPad).  Then you are off an running.  When you start the movie, you will notice very small, unobtrusive icons in the bottom right hand part of the screen indicating something of interest on the iPad.  The information on the iPad will continue to shift from right to left while the movie plays.  If you decide to interact, you can have the app automatically pause playback or allow it to continue (so as not to disturb others in the room).  The other bonus materials from the disc are also available to stream in, as is additional information on the lineage of the royal family, etc.  A clean, well-constructed UI that can be passive or immersive and allows some control of the first screen during the experience.  Perhaps the right blend for fan-based movie experiences.


Simple.  Medium.  Allows control of the first screen in terms of pause, play, and skipping around the scenes.

Social.  Low.  Allows sharing of content directly from the app to Twitter and Facebook, but does not allow viewing other tweets at that timecode (for example) nor does it allow the sharing of clips of scenes.

Seamless.  No integration of other sources of content.

Stimulating.  Great, synchronized content availability.  Other use cases that would blend well here are commerce and contextual advertising (ie here is a trip to England to see the places that were in the movie, etc).  High.

Discovery.  No discovery features.

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