SeeSaw acquisition: Five ways SeeSaw could improve its service
Reports claim that private equity firm Criterion Capital Partners is lining up an acquisition of online TV VOD channel SeeSaw, but what would they need to do to improve the service? Mat Murray, online content manager for Fuse8 suggests five such improvements.
User profiles and Community
Watching television and movies has always been an inherently social experience with families huddling round the television for years. Even once we finish watching television, we like to tell friends and loved-ones what we think about what we saw, and what we liked or didn’t like. Community discussion boards for would allow SeeSaw members to discuss last night’s telly and keep the conversation flowing, even up to the next night’s entertainment. A big part of ensuring SeeSaw has a viable future is keeping users on the site in-between the act of watching television, and creating a vibrant community around the programmes we all watch would be a surefire way of doing this. User profiles detailing favourite programmes, recently watched shows, a TV ‘schedule’ and more would be another interesting way of cultivating a vibrant community.
Introduce movies and live TV to the service
Television assets from the major British providers is all very well, but introducing movies will take SeeSaw from being a relatively unknown iPlayer, 4OD and ITV Player imitator, into something you could manage your online television viewing around, especially if SeeSaw can bring live TV to the service as well. Every British television channel is doing TV-on-demand, but bringing movies and live TV into the SeeSaw ecosphere could make a big difference.
One direction SeeSaw could go would be to introduce group viewings of television and films on it’s website. Twitter, and to a lesser extent, Facebook, have both proved that people like to talk about what they’re watching on TV at any given moment - My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding proved this by trending on Twitter every week that the show was broadcast in 2010. Combining this real-time conversation from Twitter in the form of hashtags, with chatboxes that sit alongside scheduled broadcasts of live TV on the SeeSaw site, would truly change the way people consume content on SeeSaw.
If Internet TV proved anything, it’s that people don’t want to tied to the television set to watch their favourite programmes. They want to watch TV and movies from where ever they are, be it at work, on the daily commute, or even outside. This means that mobile apps for smartphones and tablets is the next logical step if SeeSaw want to expand their userbase. Combine this ability to ‘watch anywhere’, with the live chatroom-aspect noted above, and you have a compelling reason to watch and interact with your favourite programmes on SeeSaw, instead of anywhere else.
Develop a robust API
If you like to sit down and watch Doctor Who on a Saturday night, you want your friends to know that, but what if SeeSaw gave users the chance to embed their favourite programmes into their blog or website? With an API for the service, third-party app developers could create apps for the web and other services that enable users to experience SeeSaw content in a number of different ways.