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BBC – Orchestrated Media + Autumnwatch

May 20, 2011

Orchestrated Media is referred to as a “experience of interaction, synchronisation, and collaboration of programme and companion content across devices.”


It can

  • “Enable interactivity around the content (voting, games) and synchronisation thereof, based on time and/or events (such as a producer-console triggered “button push”)
  • Enable richer exploration of programme
  • Enable social network interactions through sync-related information and content identifiers for replay purposes
  • Migrate content between the TV and mobile devices (such as a load-and-go service that runs overnight to load the mobile with video corresponding to the unwatched portion of a program, or a resume-for-home service that picks up viewing on the TV from where it left off on mobile)”


Orchestrated media provides an opportunity for the broadcaster to enhance the viewers tv viewing experience. It can allow the viewer to interact with the show in real time, but also can work with time-shifted content. (BBC red button live interactive experiences don’t work with time-shifted tv e.g. f1 different audio commentary).


To orchestrate content around a show to a second screen would be great, some genres are more suitable than others, in my opinion, sports, news, reality tv documentaries, music, drama, quiz shows would work well. It would be useful to reference actors in films, but you wouldn’t want it do distract one from the movie.


The BBC did a second screen Autumnwatch experiment last year, they synchronised extra related content to the broadcast show. This was a manual process. The key findings were

“Participants described a closer connection to the show and found that the content was most useful when it reflected their interests or during less engaging moments in show. 92% of the viewers also reported an increased understanding of the topics covered. Invariably some viewers wanted more detail, whereas 60% felt that it was pitched about right…. From the rating buttons data we saw that the diagrams, location maps, how to guides and photo galleries were the most relevant and enjoyable content, whereas the weather report, presenter biography and habitat information were least rewarding. Interestingly the presenter’s reference to Whooper Swans at the end of the show resulted in the most visited external link after the show, demonstrating the power of on-air cues.”


This experiment shows that access to extra content whilst watching the live broadcast “can add to the viewer’s enjoyment”


Also “don’t distract the user when there’s drama on the TV. It’s better all round to wait for the quiet points and natural breaks in the show when the second screen can be used to retain viewers who might need the additional stimulation.”


Reference – Kramskoy, Jerry. (2011) Orchestrated Media – Beyond second and third screen. [ONLINE]. Available from:—beyond-se-1.shtml [Accessed 20 May 2011].

Reference – Kramskoy, Jerry. (2011) Orchestrated Media – beyond second and third screen (II) . [ONLINE]. Available from:—beyond-se.shtml [Accessed 20 May 2011].

Reference – Jones, Theo. (2011) Designing for second screens: The Autumnwatch Companion. [ONLINE]. Available from:—de.shtml [Accessed 20 May 2011].

Reference – Ferne, Tristan. (2010) The Autumnwatch TV Companion experiment. [ONLINE]. Available from: [Accessed 20 May 2011].


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