Rolling news channel BFMTV, part of converged media and telecoms group Altice, has launched ‘Live Vertical’, a new smartphone user experience, which it claims is a world first. Developed in collaboration with French start-up Wildmoka, the solution automatically converts the horizontal frames of standard TV streams to a vertical format better suited to smartphone screens.
Thanks to a new way of managing live production workflows and the addition of a dedicated stream, the traditional horizontal format of television is automatically ‘rezoned’ into a mobile-friendly vertical format. Now, whenever BFMTV is viewed from a smartphone, the entire mobile screen will be occupied with content, regardless of device, brand or model. This is a major improvement on the standard approach which broadcasts a horizontal image into the vertical screen making it too small and difficult to watch.
Turning horizontal TV images to a vertical format represents a significant technical advance. It also responds to the central role smartphones now occupy in the consumption of news media. By being the first news channel in the world to offer vertical viewing on smartphones, Altice France and Wildmoka say they have defined a new standard for the industry. This innovation also overcomes the mismatch between the fact that most smartphone users naturally hold their devices in a vertical position, whereas TV content continues to be broadcast for a horizontal screen.
The pair say the partnership between Altice France and Wildmoka represents a shared ambition to innovate and improve not only the experience of viewing on mobile, but also the ‘real estate’ value of the space on mobile screens. As the only French group offering this global innovation, Altice France soon will offer ‘Live Vertical’ using Wildmoka’s technology on other group outlets such as BFM Business.
“It is a source of real pride to be the first TV channel in the world to offer an innovation that makes television the best way to get real-time news on a smartphone,” declared Arthur Dreyfuss, CEO of Altice Média. “Altice France is adding a new dimension to the medium of television, with a unique user experience that will further enhance the leading position of BFMTV and the group’s channels. This innovation is the result of our historical and eternal desire to explore new formats, to continue our investments, and to combine technical progress with editorial quality to present ever more accurate information”.
“Wildmoka is proud to have gained the confidence of several Altice Group channels over the past three years and to once again be able to launch, within Altice France, a global innovation based on artificial intelligence and the latest cloud technologies,” added Thomas Menguy, President and CTO of Wildmoka. “After assisting in the creation of sports content for RMC Sport, it is BFMTV’s turn to use Wildmoka’s unique expertise around AI and ML to verticalise its content for News in real time, in order to better respond to an increasingly connected and mobile audience.”