Second screen innovation drives longer brand interaction

Mi9 is one of Australia’s leading digital media companies, covering a stable of trusted publications, and delivering innovative digital solutions. Recent research, indicating that more and more people are using a secondary device while watching television, prompted Mi9 to explore the opportunities this trend offered. While Australians have been multi-screening for some time now, it is only recently that the percentage of them doing so has started to increase (Neilsen Australian Multi-Screen Report Q3 2012). Social TV products and second-screen interaction are becoming key terms in the TV environment — which means they are key terms for any company wishing to harness that potential, and deliver an engaging and interactive experience to their users.

Limited time for boundless potential

Always forward-thinking, Mi9 recognised that they needed to gain traction in the social entertainment environment, and the 2012 Olympic Games provided the perfect entry point. When ThoughtWorks got involved, Mi9 had initiated plans for an iPad app to be available for the Olympics, though there was not yet a clear definition of what the app would do and development time was limited.

Development is a team sport

The project was carefully structured to maximise the time available and a set of clearly defined features was quickly determined. ThoughtWorks, working alongside a team of Mi9 developers and product owners (which allowed for rapid decision making), delivered a working Olympics app in less than two months.

The resulting iPad app, Jump-In, functioned as an interactive and social viewing TV guide, allowing users to schedule reminders for their favourite events, and also giving them other interesting information to enhance their Olympic experience.

The future delivered

As well as delivering on time and to budget, the project delivered a platform that paved the way for Mi9 to engage with the social TV and second screen applications user market, assuring their place in the future of interactive television viewing. The technology used means that certain features can be updated and deployed without having to release through the Apple app store which saves time and money. The features can also be re-used across multiple platforms. This enables Mi9 to respond quickly to changes in the market and made it possible for a Windows 8 app to be built and released within 6 weeks. ThoughtWorks continues to be a key delivery partner in enhancing the Jump-in Platform — now available for use across all free-to-air TV channels — which is a key strategic product for the future of Mi9 and Channel 9.


“ThoughtWorks have been key to jump starting a new direction in second screen entertainment for ninemsn. From the early inception of the product through to the present, ThoughtWorks have been an instrumental partner in helping ninemsn shape and build out a great consumer offering. Their deep expertise and unique approach, working as part of an integrated delivery team, has seen some great results to date and we look forward to partnering with them into the future.”Damian Cronan - Chief Technology Officer ninemsn

Technologies used

Platforms and Language
  • iOS 5.1+
  • Objective C
  • JavaScript
  • HTML5
  • CSS3
  • Xcode
  • TeamCity
  • Jenkins
  • Test Flight
  • GitHub
  • GHUnit
  • Kiwi
  • Jasmine

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