AT&T and BabyFirst have created an app for babies to use while watching BabyFirst’s TV channel, betting kids are eager to engage with their TV on multiple screens. The app enables parents and kids to create art on their iPads and transposes that art over the show on TV. Parents can also replace the app’s logo with a photo of their kid.
Second screen apps were once all the rage, as companies like GetGlue, IntoNow and Viggle promised to change the way people watch television. These apps offered information about whatever show you watched, extending the TV experience onto the smartphone or tablet in your hand.
The impact was limited.
“The big problem we see with second screen apps for adults is you’re making the assumption that someone watching a specific show wants to communicate with the show” on a mobile device,” BabyFirst co-founder Sharon Rechter told TheWrap. “They are actually doing different things – Facebook, emails.”
Rechter believes this app will succeed where other second screen apps have not because kids are not “more engaged at doing one thing at a time.”
“We are the first to ever address such a young audience, enhancing a kid’s experience,” Rechter said.
BabyFirst already operates a TV channel available in 40 million homes, reaching customers of Comcast, DirecTV, Dish and AT&T. According to research from Kantar Media, one out of every three moms with a kid under the age of three watches the channel.
Rechter believes the company will soon be in 50 million homes, and though this app is only for those with AT&T, BabyFirst is in talks with other cable operators about bringing the app to their service.
“Our programming is not ‘Game of Thrones'; it is very simple and slow,” Rechter said. “We are not interrupting a child’s viewing; we are letting people get immediate gratification for interacting with it on a second screen. If there’s a chance of second screen working well, that’s where it is.”