How Simplestream helped Narrative Entertainment UK to create a dedicated HbbTV solution and apps for iOS and Android for its channels POP, Pop Max, and Tiny Pop.




Editorial Staff


January 23, 2017

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Apps for HbbTV, iOS, Android

POP – together with its sister channels Pop Max and Tiny Pop – is part of Narrative Entertainment UK’s portfolio of brands. The programming has a target audience of children between the age of 4 and 9 and includes a wide portfolio of kids-friendly TV series.

Simplestream was chosen to design and power a HbbTV solution for the TV channel, to allow POP to benefit from expanded reach and OTT-like big screen experiences on Freesat, Freeview, and YouView. The scope of the project grew to expand the reach to iOS and Android mobile devices, with the addition of functionalities to stimulate interactivity and to enhance monetisation opportunities through advertising.


Design-first, interactive applications

The HbbTV solution developed by Simplestream brought to POP all the benefits of OTT functionalities on big screens, including the ability for children to perform basic choices in terms of content consumption, such as accessing on demand sections, backward scrolling EPG, or lists of favourite series. The subsequent expansion to iOS and Android – through App Platform – replicated the UI built for the TV app, except for ‘favourite’ functionalities, as the apps don’t expect children to log in.

• Interactivity: the mobile apps developed by Simplestream allow POP-branded channels to launch contests via top banners appearing in the homepage. These competitions can be as simple as adding basic details, can require the young users to upload images, or even be creative via the third-party integration Art Pad.

• Monetisation: on Freesat, Freeview, and YouView, advertising options are managed via Freewheel and through seamless integration with the Simplestream’s architecture; on iOS and Android, instead, the ads are controlled via SuperAwesome, in compliance with the strict requirement of kids-focused advertisement.


Expanded reach

POP remarkably grew its fan-base by reaching previously untapped audiences. This was made possible by strong content offerings paired with a flexible solution that from HbbTV naturally expanded to iOS and Android. The design-first approach – following principles that are typical of kids-friendly applications – granted a visually-compelling experience to the young end-users, consistent on all devices.

The added value of enhanced interactivity also represents a key point. The integration of elements such as competitions and the addition of the Art Pad for practical activities available on smartphones and tablets has contributed to make Narrative’s POP, Pop Max, and Tiny Pop an increasingly attractive destination for children.

The possibility to implement a safe, privacy-compliant infrastructure for adverts has also opened up new gates to monetisation opportunities, thanks to the flexible frameworks provided by Simplestream’s App Platform, and the seamless management of the entire workflow via Media Manager.