Smart Screen Round-Up: YouTube Live-Chats, VR on Facebook

Here’s a run-down of recent second screen-related entertainment items, via Berlin-based research and consulting company VAST MEDIA.

  • Heading into the second season finale of its animated comedy series “Star vs. The Forces of Evil,” Disney XD went to YouTube to launch a weekly “#MarcoLIVE” animated live chat series, with series character Marco – best friend of lead character Star Butterfly – recapping previous episodes and responding directly to viewer comments and questions. Voice actor Adam McArthur was on hand for each of the 30-minute episodes, with Disney XD tapping Adobe’s Character Animator program to make the real-time Q&A work. The live-stream averaged nearly 1,200 comments a minute and drew more than 35,000 comments overall.
  • Before premiering its very first German original series “You Are Wanted” in mid-March, Amazon Prime Video has launched a VR experience on Facebook to give fans a chance to win tickets to an exclusive premiere in Berlin on March 15.The short VR video takes viewers into a scene from the series, and has them search for clues in a dark room, with names and locations appearing for just a few seconds. Fans are asked to count the number of clues and post how many they caught in the comment section of the video.
  • For its “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” animated kids show, PBS Kids worked with RED Interactive Agency and The Fred Rogers Co. to create the “Daniel Tiger for Parents’ App,” for both iOS and Android devices. The app features educational songs and videos from the show, and gives parents everyday tips on how to combine education and entertainment, to tackle things like potty training and anger management, all integrated with content from the show.
  • In early February, British broadcaster BBC decided to go to YouTube for the BBC Three weekly web series “Putting it Out There,” which has comedian and scientist Eline Van Der Velden performing various social experiment in public, including kissing strangers in public, drinking dirty water, and violating personal space of people in public.
  • Meanwhile, on Feb. 17, BBC America partnered with Snap to release a half dozen mobile-exclusive episodes of its popular nature series “Planet Earth II” on Snapchat, before the series debuted on BBC America. Each weekly episode is available free for two days in the Snapchat Discovery section, and covers the same topics seen in the series, featuring unreleased footage. The episodes were produced specifically for vertical mobile video viewing, with binaural audio.

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