Secret Location launches industry Facebook app

Fanviewr allows content creators, distributor and producers to more easily make show websites, company founder and exec producer James Milward tells Playback.

Interactive agency Secret Location is looking to streamline content distribution for film, television and web series creators on Facebook, with the launch of Fanviewr.

Fanviewr is an application that content creators can use to upload custom content, like photos and episode schedules and synopses, for their media properties to Facebook.

The app is also a platform from which broadcasters can upload and stream video through their proprietary video players.

James Milward, Secret Location founder and exec producer, says it eliminates the need for multiple and third party apps to build a brand’s page, meaning all the elements required to build a brand page – like a video player, information tabs, and cast photo uploading, for example – are built in to the single FanViewr app, which is also accessible via mobile.

“Everything was possible in Facebook, but super disjointed and disorganized, and there was no way to align everything; this is really focusing on content creators and their specific needs,” Milward tells Playback.

“We’ve made the app to allow a content creator, distributor or producer to essentially make what’s the equivalent of a website for their show, in an application,” he adds.

Users can also use singular elements of the application – like a show’s schedule or cast member bios – to create custom posts that can be inserted on the Facebook timeline, letting content creators capitalize on what Milward describes as the “evolutionary and growing chain of information” offered by the newer Facebook site design.

The app is first available through a free trial for a month, and then users can choose from two pay package options.

A fee of $9.99 per month gets users a video player and an ‘about’ section, which Milward says he sees as more appropriate for content creators who are in the pitching stage.

For a more robust online presence, $39.99 gives users the option for content uploading, like cast and schedule information.


Broadcaster integration

Milward adds that there’s a next-level option for broadcasters to integrate their proprietary video players into the app, so that video content can be delivered from one source, via the network used by the broadcaster, instead of having to translate the video into YouTube or Vimeo.

Secret Location used a similar method to integrate Shaw Media’s King series on Facebook, and the benefit is that instead of having to aggregate video content views from several different social platforms and sources, the views can be measured streaming from one place.

The app is also accessible via mobile, defaulting to a Flash video player, but switching to an HTML5 player when it detects that a user is on a mobile device.

For producers and content creators who are in the creative stages of pitching or development, for example, he says they can use FanViewr as a default website to start building their web presence even before their projects are complete.

“If you want to get a web presence up really rapidly, but you don’t want to go to a third-party developer to build a website or buy a URL because you don’t even know what your show’s necessarily going to be called yet, you can make an app in under an hour and start to build an audience for your show before you’re even pitching,” he explains. He adds that metrics showing audience interest can help lead to broadcaster buy in.

The idea for FanViewr came as a solution to Secret Location building essentially the same app framework for every content property on which they worked.

To save on resources and time, they built FanViewr as an in-office tool that anyone could use to build a project’s app relatively simply and easily, an idea which Milward says translated into a consumer proposition.

“The reality is everyone needs to be multi-platform these days, everybody wants to be in social networks, but it’s not an easy proposition,” says Milward.