Cartoon Network viewers around the world are captivated by a new kind of TV experience, powered by Tonio.
In 2017, Turner and Tonio started a collaboration on a quiz app for “The Amazing World of Gumball” on Cartoon Network UK. The popular show is a clever cartoon about a blue cat and his adopted fish brother; a pairing that delights all kinds of fans. This flagship program has been praised by the Daily Mail as, “the kind of clever children’s comedy that parents can also enjoy”.
Reaching the Apple store top ten during the trial period was just the beginning. The 2017 trial run garnered a 44% ratings increase, proving that games like Gumball VIP capture and retain audience attention. Viewership was up for older kids, and daily reach spiked as well.
What made this app so successful
Dedicated and casual cartoon fans can both experience a new way to enjoy the program, by playing along on their mobile phones. With Tonio, the second screens are synchronized with the series episodes. Fans of the show can take part in a quiz in parallel with the TV broadcast. The game receives questions triggered by information embedded in the show’s audio.
The game works the same whether viewers watch on cable or stream the episode at their convenience. This is possible through the magic of Tonio. Each Gumball episode contains all of the right signals within the program’s sound. Tonio is within the game app, listening for cues and nothing else.
Taking the App to the Next Level
Following the successful UK trial in 2017, Turner was taking Tonio-based gaming apps to the next level in 2018, announcing releases of Gumball VIP in major markets around the globe. Lucky kids in ten different worldwide markets can play along: in Italy, The Philippines, and Singapore since 2018, Fans in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Spain (Boing Spain) and France since 2019.
Turner is breaking ground by making gaming apps that reward loyal viewers and keep the overall audience engaged. Keeping audiences’ attention is a growing challenge as viewers have more and more competition. Offering novel and challenging experiences is the smartest way to win fan loyalty in the long term. Such is the case with Gumball VIP, a game that sends viewers smart and funny questions based on the episode.