Upfronts: USA Network Unveils Screen Unification Strategy

We recently reported that networks such as ABC, TBS and TNT will be offering new apps that reflect the multi-platform TV Everywhere strategy so prevalent at last week’s Upfronts in New York. USA Network is making a similar move with its “screen unification strategy” that synchronizes the viewing experience across TV, online and mobile. USA, which unveiled its plans on Thursday, will begin rolling out the new initiative in early June.

“Each digital touch point will offer TV Everywhere, gamification, and real-time social TV to amplify the viewers’ experience,” according to the press release. “With this new offering, USA’s marketing partners will have the unique opportunity to participate in branded experiences, extending their reach and directly connecting with fans.”

“This new functionality will offer the unique ability for brands to live across any screen, going beyond traditional commercials to include transmedia storytelling experiences and streamed episodes,” notes the release. “USA will link on-air snipes and lower thirds graphics with their mobile device or desktop, enabling brands to engage on a deeper level with fans on every screen. Social media capabilities are integrated into the fabric of the site bringing people and brands together around live shows and extensions.”

USA is incorporating a redesign that it claims will make navigation more intuitive for drilling down to more immersive experiences. It has moved the navigation tools to the bottom of the screen and positioned the interactivity bar “within a thumb’s reach.”

As part of its new unification strategy, USA has partnered with tech firms Bunchball, Echo, Empathy Lab, RebelMouse and Watchwith.

“USA Network’s move to utilize a responsive design approach to create a consistent experience across devices that integrates video, interactivity, and social networking offers fans multiple attractive destinations in which to engage with their favorite content,” said Greg Ireland, research manager at IDC. “Television networks increasingly need to make content available to fans no matter where those fans are and what devices they are using, and seamless digital environments enable fan engagement with both content and brands.”