Gail Chiasson, North American Editor
Screenreach, the one-year-old company in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, headed by Paul Rawlings, is opening a New York office headed by David Weinfeld as chief strategy officer.
The company’s interactive product, the Screach App, currently has numerous experiences to its credit, and several people we spoke to at Screen Media Expo were fascinated by the product but wondered openly about its monetization possibilities.
So we talked to Weinfeld (pictured) about the product and the company which has had GBP 1.2 million in Angel funds and is openly looking for Venture Capital to speed its growth.
The Screach App is an interactive digital media platform that allows anyone to create real-time, two-way interactive experiences between a smart device (through the Screach App) and any contact on any screen, or just within the mobile device itself. Currently available on iPhone and Android products, it will soon be available on Windows, Blackberry and various tablets.
Screach sits on Facebook, so users can automatically post their experiences to their wall in real time, checking in and sharing with friends. But that’s only a little part of the total picture. Screach’s open language ScreachML means that creatives and designers can build fully interactive experiences for their clients quickly and at no cost. Think live polling, games, quizzes, points and badge collections, promotions and lots more.
For example, on March 5, Newcastle United Football Club allowed fans an opportunity to vote for Man of the Match. Using the Screach App, fans simply typed in a code and made their choice. A full 10% of the audience voted, and those who did got a 20% discount voucher to spend at the Club Shop and were also entered into an end-of-season prize draw.
San-Francisco-based RMG Networks will be using it in 800 coffee shops in the US in conjunction with its out-of-home screens. RMG’s audience in the coffee shops will be able to interact with the screens through quizzes, polls, games and more.
Developers using the Screach App can develop from scratch, or also use and customize from examples provided. Developers, eg. agencies, can get the Screach code, and get the complete tool set and guides at no cost.
So how will Screach be monetized? Weinfeld showed us five ways that Screach and advertising partners can benefit:
- If an interacton has a value, a few cents will be taken. (No reward = no cost, but the interaction will increase and grow the platform.);
- If someone buys a branded item, then mobile billing is involved and Screach gets a small percentage;
- Use of PayPal will result in a small percentage;
- A network operator can charge what he wants to the advertiser on a per-interactions basis, again with Screach getting a small percentage;
- While basic analytics will be free, Screach can charge for premium analytics.
How is it working? Newcastle United and Real Radio which promoted the game contest are now using it for all games, home and away, with a view to selling it as a sponsorship package for the 2011-2012 season.
Leeds’ Royal Armories Museum, which used Screach for an interactive exhibition at the opening of its Tournament Gallery, saw the App used 12,000 times. Now it will be used at 13 museum sites under the Hadrian’s Wall Heritage Trust.
Weinfeld is the person to talk to in the US, where he expects to soon be looking for business development, software development and content development people as the company gets further established. Weinfeld himself was previously director of retail and advertising solutions at Obscura Digital.
David can be screached – Sorry, we just couldn’t resist that, Ed at email@example.com