Personalized Text Programs Let Viewers Engage With TV Audiences, Help Stations and Networks Promote Brand Loyalty
CHICAGO – Vibes Media, a leading provider of interactive text message marketing programs, today announced the general availability of TextTV, the first text messaging platform that lets television viewers interact with each other by sending text messages directly to the TV screen.
Using TextTV, producers at local television stations and national networks can set up customized initiatives that encourage viewers to interact with programming and special promotions in a more personal way. During specified times, viewers can be invited to send text messages to a particular short code and watch those messages scroll across the bottom of the screen a short time later. All messages are filtered through Vibes’ unique automated filtering program so no inappropriate messages are displayed.
The TextTV platform leverages the capabilities of Vibes’ successful Text-2-Screen product and extends them to the TV screen. Vibes’ Text-2-Screen programs on concert tours featuring bands such as Green Day, the Backstreet Boys, Gwen Stefani and Bon Jovi have spurred fans to send millions of messages, comments and “shout-outs” to other members of the audience.
Instead of sending text messages to an overhead screen at a concert venue or nightclub, viewers can send messages and see them displayed right on TV. In addition to unstructured interaction messages, producers can also solicit messages that poll the audience on a particular issue such as a news event or music video, or they can tie a messaging session to a particular TV program, encouraging viewers to post clever comments about the subject matter.
“Vibes’ TextTV platform is the first large-scale text messaging application designed specifically for television,” said Jack Philbin, president and co-founder of Vibes Media. “TextTV makes interactive television a reality. It allows audience members to interact with their television using the mobile phone they already have. Using TextTV, stations can engage their audiences, extend viewership and create entirely new sponsorship opportunities.”
CBS’ Chicago station, CBS 2, launched the first text messaging-based program using Vibes’ TextTV platform during the station’s live coverage of the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon on Oct. 7. During the Sunday morning broadcast, viewers were able to send text messages to the station using a predesignated short code, offering encouragement to certain runners or to marathon participants in general.
Messages scrolled across the bottom of the screen in short bursts at specified times throughout the broadcast. At peak times during the promotion, the station was receiving more than three messages per second. Sponsor logos appeared between each message, allowing brands to keep their names and logos top-of-mind throughout the broadcast. Announcers commented on some of the messages, drawing additional attention to the posts and the sponsorship tie-ins.
Text messaging is a fast-growing medium: about 5 billion text messages are sent every month, up from 2.8 billion a year ago, according to the industry group Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association. TextTV allows the millions of consumers who use text messaging regularly to communicate directly with television stations and networks in their own language in a new, efficient way.
TextTV promises to create for television stations and networks the same kind of powerful new programming tool that Vibes’ iRadio Platform has created for use in radio promotions.
By harnessing the interactive power of text messaging, television stations and networks can easily invite their viewers to interact. Radio producers have used the iRadio tool to facilitate text requests, shout-outs and votes using the cell phone they already have in their hand. Sponsors like the fact that each message to the listener can be tagged with a “powered by” message, making each communication brand-specific.
About Vibes Media
Vibes Media is an interactive mobile marketing company located in Chicago. Over the last five years the company has launched more than 5,000 text messaging programs in the United States. Learn more about Vibes at http://www.vibes.com.