November 1, 2012 in Business

Youtoo brings viewers right into their TV shows

Dawn C. Chmielewski Los Angeles Times
 

Youtoo is an interactive TV company that allows viewers to put themselves in TV shows.
(Full-size photo)

Teri Osborn vividly remembers the first time she appeared on television.

“I was freaking out,” Osborn said. “I was calling my husband into the living room.”

Osborn’s 15 seconds of fame were achieved without even leaving her home in Des Moines, Iowa. She was using an interactive technology that puts viewers on television.

Developed by Youtoo Technologies, it uses smartphones, tablets and laptop computers to enable viewers to record brief videos of themselves in high definition and send the segments, with the press of a button, to a cable or broadcast network. The software filters the submissions for obscenity and nudity, then places the videos in a queue for a show’s producer to review. If selected, the viewer’s submission airs alongside the program.

“Within three clicks and in under three minutes, you can be on national TV,” Youtoo Chief Executive Chris Wyatt said.

The company’s technology seeks to capitalize on behavior that’s already occurring, as viewers reach for their “second screen” devices to do things such as cast votes during ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.”

Youtoo’s software transmits broadcast-quality video, conduct real-time polling and post viewer comments on TV screens.

“Forty-one percent of tablet owners use their tablets while they’re watching TV. They’re chatting with friends and they’re looking up stuff about the show,” said Colin Dixon, senior analyst for the Diffusion Group, a consulting firm specializing in the digital home. “Youtoo seems to be tapping into this community aspect.”


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