Fine purveyor of TV ratings Nielsen has just found another way to monitor your home -- an official ABC app that uses the iPad's microphone to figure out exactly what you're watching (whether live or recorded) and offer interactive content on the fly. Pop-Up Video, anyone? Nielsen says the app uses the same audio watermarks embedded in most every US television show to do its thing (and thus doesn't, say, record your household conversations) so there's some serious potential for the concept to spread beyond My Generation, the single show it's been announced for so far. We'll just kick back and wait for the responsible parties to figure out we'd rather play interactive Jeopardy than figure out the size of that salacious margarita. Because, like, OMG, right? Video and press release after the break, app available free at our source link.

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DISNEY/ABC TELEVISION GROUP AND NIELSEN TEAM TO CREATE INNOVATIVE iPAD APPLICATION FOR UPCOMING PRIMETIME DRAMA "MY GENERATION"

First App Built on Nielsen's Media-Sync Platform - Using Audio Watermarks to Synchronize Mobile Devices to TV Programming


Disney/ABC Television Group and The Nielsen Company today announced the debut of ABC's My Generation Sync iPad App on the App Store, a first-of-its-kind app that enhances the experience of watching "My Generation" on TV by providing synchronized interactive content and social media functionality on the iPad.

Released one week in advance of the September 23rd premiere of the new ABC primetime drama, "My Generation," the innovative app is built on Nielsen's Media-Sync Platform which allows mobile apps to automatically detect and synchronize with TV programming using audio watermarks. ABC's "My Generation" Sync app for iPad allows fans of the new ABC series to unlock synchronized content and features, as well as share with other viewers of the program through their social networks.

"In the ever-evolving television landscape, we are constantly looking to create immersive viewing experiences around our shows," says Albert Cheng, executive vice president, digital media, Disney/ABC Television Group. "Together with Nielsen, we've created a sync-to-broadcast app that appeals to both fans and advertisers, and holds an array of possibilities for deeper engagement with our content and our advertisers' brands."

ABC's new "My Generation" Sync App is the latest example of innovation from the Disney/ABC Television Group (DATG), and follows the recently released ABC Family Chatterbox app and The Secret Diary of Ashley Juergens enhanced eBook. DATG was the first to bring full episode video to the iTunes store and just this past April, DATG delivered ad-supported video to iPad via the acclaimed ABC Player App. The app has proven to be a tremendous success with over 900,000 downloads and more than 8 million episodes started. Additionally, DATG launched an ABC News App in July 2010 that has to date been downloaded more than 420,000 times.

iPad users who download ABC's "My Generation" Sync App will be able to automatically synchronize to any episode (live or time-shifted) of the series and access exclusive interactive content produced by ABC as a companion to that specific point in the episode. Companion content will include polls, trivia, behind-the-scenes insights, production details and social networking features. The application will also allow consumers to interact with companion messages from sponsors of "My Generation."

Nielsen's Media-Sync Platform is a complete application development and operations environment that allows TV content producers and broadcasters to deploy sync-to-broadcast mobile apps in a rapid and scalable manner. Media-Sync relies on audio watermarks that are inserted into nearly every TV program in the US to support Nielsen's industry standard TV audience ratings service. While still inaudible to the human ear, the latest generation of watermarks can be detected and decoded through the microphone of mobile devices in a normal living room setting. The Media-Sync Platform is a product of Nielsen's joint venture with Digimarc Corporation, a leading provider of media identification solutions.

"The Media-Sync Platform was born out of Nielsen's continuous investment in leading-edge audience measurement technologies and we believe it paves the way to fundamentally change the way consumers interact with TV programs and TV advertisements," says Sid Gorham, Nielsen's EVP, Strategy and Business Development. "We are thrilled to collaborate with the innovative team at Disney/ABC to develop the first Media-Sync app and look forward to a broader industry wide launch in early 2011."

Premiering Thursday, September 23, (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET/PT), ABC's new scripted drama, "My Generation," follows the personal stories of nine friends. The promises they thought their futures held, as well as how far they've come and just how they got here are all told through the camera of a documentary film crew. "My Generation" stars Michael Stahl David as Steven, Jaime King as Jacqueline, Kelli Garner as Dawn, Keir O'Donnell as Kenneth, Mehcad Brooks as Rolly, Julian Morris as Anders, Daniella Alonso as Brenda, Anne Son as Caroline, Sebastian Sozzi as Falcon and Elizabeth Keener as the filmmaker. Based on a Swedish format entitled "On God's Highway," "My Generation" was created and written by Noah Hawley ("The Unusuals," "Bones"), who is also an executive producer along with Warren Littlefield, Henrik Bastin, Peter Magnusson and Martin Persson. Craig Gillespie directed the pilot. The project is from ABC Studios.

ABC's My Generation Sync App is available from the App Store on iPad or at www.itunes.com/appstore/. For a video demo of ABC's "My Generation" Sync app, visit http:// abc.go.com/shows/my-generation/ipad.