David deKadt, Co-founder of HavocTV Talks Second Screen

Resham ParikhResham Parikh

This week, we sat down with David DeKadt from HavocTV about the newly released Havoc+ app - now in the App Store and Play Store.

What inspired you to create Havoc TV and Havoc+?

We set out to launch a channel and services to serve people’s passions for indie music and action sports! Back when we launched the Havoc VOD services almost a decade ago, Havoc Music  & Havoc Sports, TV was experiencing a change, and cable operators needed video-on-demand (VOD) content. We started with on-demand music videos, which were extremely popular and later launched the action sports service which was also an immediate VOD hit.

Havoc Music & Havoc Sports evolved to be #1 in sports and #2 in music in terms of VOD viewers per month on cable television systems across America. Today Havoc is in about 50MM U.S. HH with our VOD services and by next year at this time Havoc VOD will be in about 65 to 70MM HH.

With that success in our VOD services, it was a natural progression to launch Havoc's 24-hour linear, social, interactive TV channel around the same indie music and action sports genres.  And now, working with Syncano we have launched Havoc+, a robust Second Screen companion app.  Historically the channel was driven by interactivity via Facebook and Twitter. Now with the new companion app, Havoc+ there are even more ways to interact and engage with the content on the channel.  Havoc TV is truly a cutting edge channel and app that attracts a critical millennial audience.

With cable operators facing what seems like a disappearing millennial audience, we’ve created a powerful way to reach that audience in an authentic, contemporary, exciting manner. We think the app makes the entire viewing experience much richer. The app is in real time synch with the Channel and viewers can interact, connect with others, communicate on the TV screen with real-time live chats, buy music and efficiently explore and learn about things they love.

There has never been a service like Havoc – so efficiently merging killer content that certain audiences love with all of today’s exciting, fun, powerful technology. Syncano has been the ideal partner to help us do just that.

How does real-time sync fit into the app?

Our app content is in complete sync with the TV broadcast. The app and the channel are run off the same servers at the same time. If the primary objective of the app is to make the viewing experience richer, then we think real-time sync with the TV screen is so important – it brings a compelling dimension to the whole viewing experience.

The app can also stand alone and be an entertaining touch point – without the TV channel. The experience is just not as robust without the video, the big screen and the app all together.

Tell me more about the interactive part of your app. How is that powered and where do you see that going?

We’re using Syncano's technology to help us empower viewers to grab news, buy music, see tour dates, read other viewer comments & social media posts and generally have a robust viewing experience.  We're empowering our viewers to communicate, engage and learn about things that interest them. People can communicate directly with each other over our platforms and connect with information and like-minded friends.

Merging our excellent, high quality content, curation and commentary with all the awesome social tools available today and the features of the new Havoc+ app we built with Syncano are all about empowering viewers to get what they want and to build a huge community around the Havoc brand. We are working on distribution efforts to bring Havoc to every continent and are already in 7 countries.

We're offering the channel and the app in various languages, so we see a huge opportunity to be a worldwide brand that is at the crossroads of cutting edge tech and passion for excellence in music and sport.

What’s the future of the Second Screen?

"TV Everywhere" is a huge buzzword right now. Everyone is focused on having access to what they want, when they want it, on any screen they want it. Soon, the “Second Screen” is going to become the “First Screen,” and our tablets and phones will become vital to the entire TV experience.

TV will continue to become more social, audiences will expect instant gratification, and people will be more engaged with programming. We think the Havoc services will be at the front of that transition.

How did technology contribute to your success?

We took fundamentally rich content, added the right technology, and created something that was simple, authentic and compelling. The technology that we have access to by working with Syncano is central to the community and brand we're building.

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Resham Parikh

Resham Parikh