Weather Channel Syncs Up With iPad

The Weather Channel has joined the growing list of TV networks issuing free apps that offer content synchronized to the TV. The Peter Lik Companion iPad App will utilize Nielsen’s Media Sync platform, the same technology ABC (NYSE: DIS) used.

Lik is the star of From The Edge With Peter Lik, a new primetime series from TWC that begins March 31 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. This nature photographer’s travelogue is part of a primetime block that expands on weather-related themes beyond the temperature and climate information that TWC relies on most of the day.

As ABC did with series My Generation, which was canceled, and more recently resumed with hit Grey’s Anatomy, Media Sync works via an audio watermarking embedded in the broadcast that triggers timed content on the iPad. In addition to the usual social-media integration and supplemental content, the app delivers photos, polls and behind-the-scenes videos relevant to what’s on air.

Lik is likely just the beginning of a flood of similar apps as media companies aim to take advantage of simultaneous usage of TV and digital platforms, opening opportunities for deepening viewer engagement and potentially expanding marketing efforts. Last month, Fox introduced an app using different technology to accompany its series Bones. Similar but simpler is an app for The Rachel Maddow Show that just brings together tweets related to the show that can be discussed in a real-time “watch party.”