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EMAILED ON January 22, 2020 BY Nick DeSantis

An app turns the second screen into a cash machine

Wired UK noticed an eye-popping stat about the British company Monterosa, which makes companion apps for reality TV shows: Its second-screen app for Love Island, which just returned for a new season, has racked up £12m in sales.

That’d buy a lot of roses for Chris Harrison.

Here’s how they did it:

  • The app appeals to the show’s fashion-conscious viewers, letting them buy the clothes they see on TV with a few taps (personalized water bottles and branded tank tops run about $20 a pop).
  • The show’s fashion partner says sales shot up 67% compared to last summer’s season.

If done right, companion apps could tap into a big market:

  • Nearly half of American adults say they “always” or “very often” watch TV and use another device at the same time, according to Nielsen.
  • Adults 18 to 34 are also spending a lot more time with smartphone apps.

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