WooMe is a mobile app which offers users instant deals and personalized content on their mobile phones, based on the program being played on the television or radio. This content can be offered on the basis of an advertisement on television, a TV show like a sports broadcast or a reality TV show or a Radio show.
The app is currently in beta and is available as a free download on the Google Play Store, with an iOS version coming shortly.
How It Works? Users can open the app while watching a television program or listening to the radio, after which WooMe tries to recognize the show and pushes relevant deals and content depending on the advertisement or TV Show. Through this app, brands and advertisers can push in content like product discounts, trivia questions, polls, and bonus video and audio content among others.
The company stated that WooMe also features an opt-in passive mode, which allows the app to work in the background to automatically detect television or radio programs and collects relevant deals and content, which can then be accessed by users whenever they want. WooMe also claims to have the ability to deliver both local offers and national offers with local customization depending upon the user’s location through geo-targeting.
That being said, it’s worth noting that WooMe delivers content only on designated ads and television programs which have partnered with the company and not for all generic programming. Speaking with Medianama, Sanju Rapheal, Co-Founder and COO of WooMe, stated that the company integrates a special audio string to the advertisement or the program which enables the app to identify the program and deliver relevant content. He added that the specific string is repeated every six seconds in the program, so that app is able to identify the program irrespective of when the user tuned in to it. Raphael stated that the company has a patent pending on this technology.
Here is a demo WooMe-designated commercial which offers instant deals from Tommy Hilfiger. If you have an Android phone, install the WooMe app to have the same experience. There are other similar demo commercial videos on the company’s website and YouTube channel.
Partners: Judging by the demo videos on its website, WooMe seems to have partnered or at least have done pilots with brands like Big Bazaar, WoodLands, Westside, Pizza Hut, McDonalds, TGI Friday’s, Zara, Lifestyle, Puma, and Max Fashion among others. The company has also partnered with several brands like Shoppers’s Stop, Fast Track, Marks & Spencers, Mango, Lavie, Nike, Adidas, Pizza Hut, Titan, and McDonalds to feature deals from these brands. Rapheal also stated that they have already inked deals with a few television channels but didn’t share any specific names.
Our Experience: We tried the app on Galaxy Nexus running on Android 4.2, but the app failed to recognize any of the demo commercials at the time of writing this article. Update: WooMe CEO Maxel Rapheal has told us that the company is still testing the app on Android 4.2, since the version is relatively new and they plan to release an update next week.
Besides the TV and radio recognition feature, the app also allows users to browse through deals from various brands. One can also tap on any specific offer to favorite it, like it, share it to Facebook and Twitter or via email, or save it to their wallet. There is also a ‘buy’ button on the listings, although we noticed that the app prompts us to show the coupon at physical stores to avail the coupon.
There is also a dedicated social section which allows users to follow other users and browse through their likes and favorites or browse through likes and favorites from a global feed. The app also allows one to like, favourite or add comment on any specific listing from their friends or people in the global feed.
Potential & Challenges
While the premise of a secondary screen app which offers deals based on the television or radio programme is interesting, since it will allow brands to incentivize its customers with exclusive deals and content, it is yet to be seen how many users will actually download the app and use it.
However, to incentivize the users to download the app and get sizable traction, it also becomes imperative for the company to ink deals with various television studios, brands and advertisers to get significant WooMe-designated content out on television and radio.
Shazam for TV: It’s quite similar to what Shazam is doing in the United States. Earlier in the year, Shazam had signed deals with Superbowl advertisers to include Shazam capabilities in nearly one-third of Super Bowl ads, wherein it identified ads and offered additional content or directed users to branded mobile experiences. It had also tied up with the makers of the reality show American Idol to offer live episode-tagging and exclusive show-related content.
In September 2012, Shazam had expanded its technology to include television shows and had claimed to have capabilities to identify any show on 160 channels in the United States and offer show-related content like songs featured in the show and news updates about the cast and show.
TELiBrahma IntARact: Mobile advertising solutions company TELiBrahma also offers an augmented reality app called ‘intARact‘, which allows readers to capture designated print ads, images, movie posters, and brand logos to receive information and multimedia content, thereby allowing brands to get better ROI (return on investment) from their traditional media spend.
It had also tied up with Times Of India (TOI) to launch a co-branded version of the app called Times intARact, which has been actively promoted by TOI in the past year in its print ads. The company had also ran 23 Interactive real estate print ads in its special real estate feature of Times Home Affairs in June 2012.