Look for ABC (NYSE: DIS) to announce next week that the Sync iPad app will be back in Apple’s app store with one of its biggest hit series, Grey’s Anatomy. Sync, which ABC launched together with Nielsen last year, synchronizes additional content on the iPad relevant to what’s going on in an episode on your TV.
ABC and Nielsen first launched Sync last September with new drama series My Generation, which was canceled quickly due to low ratings.
“We went back and said, ‘Let’s try this again with a show that we know is going to be around for a while,’” said Rick Mandler, vice president of digital media at ABC, on Friday at Hill Holliday’s TVnext conference.
Mandler didn’t specify if the Anatomy version of Sync will return with any new features, but is expected to bring back features that were part of Generation like polls and quizzes, as well as social-media tie-ins like Twitter to get conversations going. Sync worked with both live and DVR versions of program
Sync is able to time content to a TV broadcast via Nielsen’s Media-Sync Platform, which allows mobile apps to automatically detect and synchronize with TV programming using audio watermarks. Programmers like ABC have been experimenting with all sorts of interactive-TV strategies for years in hopes of increasing viewer engagement and opening up new advertising opportunities.
Here’s a video demo ABC released when Sync was first introduced: