The iTV Doctor Is In! Are we Ready to Get This?

--Plus: New Interactive TV Jobs at NBCUniversal

Dear Readers:

Today we are going to venture far outside the comfort zone for about half of our readers: women's fashion. Now, as my wife will attest, my personal sense of fashion adventure is limited to a decision of which Brooks Brothers Oxford shirt to wear when both of my light blues are at the laundry: yellow, or yellow.




But Lisa Farris, founder and CEO of Get This, is taking television to new heights of fashion with her recently launched iPad app that encourages viewers of hit shows like "Scandal," "The Carrie Diaries" and "Vampire Diaries" to bring home a piece of the action, literally--clothes and accessories from the shows. Sort of a highly targeted shopping service without the items that appeal to the (shall we say) older crowd.

iTV Doctor: Lisa, we first met at the 2012 TVOT in San Francisco. At that point, you were just putting Get This together. It sounds like you've had a busy year.

Lisa Farris: It's has been a great year. Second-screen viewer experiences have evolved beyond social TV and we've learned so much from audiences through our primary research. We're excited to finally enable audiences to shop their favorite entertainment with a rich user experience, both on tablet and online at that viewers can shop anywhere, anytime.

iTV Doctor: As I look at your show list, it appears you are targeting shows with a specific style. How do select the shows you work with?

Lisa Farris: We started with a panel of largely female viewers, and from their feedback we created a "shoppability index." The index provides us with a list of top-75 series that audiences most want to shop. There were many expected shows and a few surprises on the list. We also surveyed audiences on what they wanted to shop: it's not only fashion. Home goods are a popular category. When you visit, you'll find everything from a leather jacket and jewelry to a Fender guitar and an oversized lawn chess set. The features and editorial you'll see on Get This in the months to come are largely driven by consumer demand and feedback.

iTV Doctor: I have to assume you have some kind of contract with the networks...

Lisa Farris: We feature some shows editorially and also work collaboratively with media and production partners. When working collaboratively, there's more integration with each series, in terms of marketing, featured products and revenue share with our partners. There are three tiers of collaborative partnerships and revenue share. These can range from collaborative editorial to full integration and shoppability of a series.

iTV Doctor: Do you work with the networks, producers, showrunners, marketing folks, or somebody else?

Lisa Farris: Each scenario is different: we work with a range of people--from the press department to digital media, marketing and consumer products, to showrunners and producers. It really depends on the entertainment property. Most of the time, it's a collaboration of a few areas. Each team tends to have different objectives, from increasing audience engagement to driving new revenue. We've been fortunate to work with some visionary creative executives.

Separately, we work with a talented team of Style Ambassadors, who are some of the leading costume designers, architectural and production designers, hair and make-up stylists and artists in their field. We want to feature and promote these wonderful designers and provide audiences with access to tips and trends that are typically only afforded to people on set.

iTV Doctor: You're just getting started, but if memory serves, you are interested in getting involved at the production stage, so that you know the exact brands for all the fashions and accessories in each show.

Lisa Farris: We're currently working with both existing programs, where we shop-enable finished episodes and are very excited about some of the new series in development. We've been working with some wonderful and innovative executives who are leveraging GetThis as an integrated platform to engage and connect audiences with entertainment and brands they love!

iTV Doctor: Who handles your billing and fulfillment? And I see you're not using Paypal yet...

Lisa Farris: Get This currently works with over 85 fabulous brands and eTail partners, and that list is growing weekly. Get This provides three buying categories, in order to provide audiences with the best experience. We feature:

  1. The Original--when the item is still available.
  2. Stylist Picks--a similar brand or price point, inspired by the original.
  3. Affordable Options--a way to get the look for less.

With the exception of a few product lines, we have a multi-brand cart whereby fulfillment is done by our super-affiliate partners. We're not yet using PayPal, but are in conversations with a few financial partners and other strategic categories, as we're constantly working to make GetThis' shopping experience as convenient as it is elegant.

iTV Doctor: OK, the zillion-dollar question: What about distribution? I would have to assume that you can't reach profitable scale with only a standalone app. You'll need to plug yourself into broadly distributed apps and platforms like Viggle, zeebox and Xfinity.

Lisa Farris: We haven't had meaningful conversations with the three apps you noted; however, our plan has always been to syndicate GetThis' elegant user experience and patent-pending platform into our network partners' native apps and second-screen experiences where Get This is the buy button.

iTV Doctor: Will we see you at TVOT in June?

Lisa Farris: I'm planning on it. TVOT is one of the must go-to conferences of the year.




Addendum: Get This Job!

Here is a note we received from our good friend Jonathan Dakss at NBCUniversal:

"I'm writing to let you know that I'm now heading up a new 'Converged Media' team within NBCUniversal that is at the forefront of interactive media. We're performing cross-company content production, development and innovation where television content meets Internet-connected devices and social media to the delight of consumers and advertisers. We focus heavily on second-screen, ACR, interactive media, HTML5, and Internet-connected TV's with all NBCUniversal brands and key company partners and innovators like zeebox, Watchwith, Celtra, Ex Machina and many others.

"We now have four open positions within the team that will afford some lucky people the opportunity to influence the digital, multiplatform revolution of television first-hand while working with talented people and the best media brands in the business. They're listed below--if you know anyone who's interested please send them my way!

"Converged Media Program Manager: this relationship-oriented and highly organized individual will oversee the daily and weekly rhythms of our team in our communications and key projects with company business groups and external partners.

"Converged Media Product Strategy Lead: this creative and ambitious individual will work with a small team of product strategy leaders to leverage their interactive media domain expertise to create compelling experiences for key shows and events with our brand partners.

"Converged Media Product Manager--CMS and Tools: this B2B customer-oriented requirements-minded individual will govern NBCU cross-company tools and systems for publishing synchronous enhanced content to a myriad of partners and platforms.

"Converged Media Product Manager--Apps and Widgets: this B2C consumer-focused KPI-minded individual will govern product requirements for key second-screen/social-TV consumer applications and related games/widgets across all platforms including Web, Mobile, Tablets, Connected TV's and more.

"Please let me know if you know any talented individuals that would be an ideal fit for one of these team roles. These positions are already receiving a high number of applicants and will likely be filled quickly."

North America