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History TV18 debuts on mobile-screen

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | July 07, 2014
The channel has launched an Android and iOS app and will soon be available on the Windows platform.

History TV18 (erstwhile The History Channel) has launched an app that allows fans to interact with one another around feeds (videos, images and facts), participate in show discussions, and create conversations on various topics. Audiences can watch full episodes in Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu and Bengali.

Screenshot of History TV18 app

One of the features, called 'TV Buddies', assimilates and pulls out friends automatically from the user's contact list. Viewers can add other users as buddies and, on approvals, receive exclusive History TV18 stickers, which can be used in the chat rooms.

The app is currently available on Android and iOS platforms and will be launched on Windows later this month. Speaking about the objective behind launching the app, Sangeetha Aiyer, vice president and head Marketing, A+E Networks and TV18 says that in the last few years smartphones have changed the way content is being consumed and apps have become the new 'websites'.

"Television is one of the prime movers of social media, so it made eminent sense for our channel to adapt mobile as a medium to reach our audiences," she opines. The channel claims that it is the first exclusive second-screen channel app in India. Audiences using the History TV18 App can view their chats in real-time via the ticker on-air and discuss it with other fans watching the same show.

"This is a long term community-building approach where the channel can analyze past and present data to predict future behaviour and trends," Aiyer explains. Developed by iCouch, the app has crossed over 200,000 downloads from across the country in less than a month. It is being promoted in a traditional way primarily through promos. "Our audiences can also see the live ticker on-air, which serves as a promotion and directly communicates its utility and functionality to users instantly and at some level, helps brings perspective to the channel by taking viewer involvement to the next level," she notes.

Aiyer believes that a second screen will help marketers and programmers to map the success of shows through the traction it sees on social media and the platform. She asserts that History TV18 is ensuring that its content is available where the viewer wants it to be. Apart from having a formidable presence on social media (Twitter - 100,000 followers), the channel aims to focus on apps as the next medium, which will allow it to connect closely to the viewers.

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