A little over a month ago, general entertainment channel Zee TV launched a WAP site and a mobile application for its dance-based reality show, Maruti Suzuki Dance India Dance (Season 3) to up the interaction levels between the audience and the participants and judges of the show. The season wrapped up on April 21 and in less than a month, the app had already garnered a rather healthy response.
Encouraged by the success of the app, the channel will now further update it for Dance India Dance - Little Masters (the same format for children) Season 2, which went on air last week.
According to the numbers provided by Zee, the total downloads (from the date of launch to April 27) stood at 18,915 - iTunes Connect (10,662), BlackBerry App World (2,388) and Google Play (Android) (5,865). Also, a press statement that was sent soon after the launch of the app stated that the app was rated 4.7 out of 5 on the Android App store and was well received not just in India but across the world.
"The thing with technology is that either we break through or technology will break us," he quips.
"I think it is just a start. Along the way, we will also learn more. And, so that the audience knows that this does not end here, we will carry forward the community we have built to Little Masters as well," he says.
Chawla reiterates that Zee shall continue with its stress on the digital medium marketing its shows going forward.
The app's success can also be attributed to the innovative ways used to promote it. Among the various was the missed call route to download the app, wherein a user could dial 1800 266 1614 for the same. The automated call would disconnect after the first ring and the user would receive a text message with a link to download the app directly on the phone.
Going forward into the Little Masters season, the app will undergo changes to suit the positioning of the show. The app's updates will be shortly released. The existing users' apps will be automatically updated, while there will be further campaigns to increase downloads.
afaqs! also reached out to Mobilox Innovations, Zee TV's associate that developed the app and the WAP site.
Vishwajeet Sukhija, director, innovation and marketing, Mobilox Innovations, says, "We had to put a lot of thought at the conceptualisation of the app. The thing with an app is that minimum features and more focussed the app, the better are its chances to succeed."
Citing examples of popular apps such as Angry Birds and Shazam, Sukhija says that the functionality of the apps is very specific and they are very successful.
"Users do not have to think much with the app. We had that on our minds while designing the app as we selected basic features to suit the kind of focused interaction," he says.
Abhijit Saxena, managing director and chief executive officer, Mobilox Innovations further explains how mobile apps are redefining interactivity between the audience and TV shows.
"Mobile as a device lends fantastically to interactivity and this will only continue. As more and more people can afford smartphones, the same users who interacted by voting through SMS or IVR can now have a richer experience through apps," says Saxena.
"Every consumer is multitasking today. He may be watching TV but he is also fiddling with his phone at the same time. Instead of this being a distraction, it can actually be turned into a strength for channels. Today, instead of being a passive consumer - a couch potato - the audience can be an active participant with interaction," he adds.
On the Dance India Dance app being carried forward to Little Masters, Sukhija says that the apps are designed to have a long shelf-life and progress and such has been the intention with the DID app as well.