In an announcement demonstrating the migration away from physical product even affects the world of screeners, NBC has released a new app designed for the exclusive use of Television Academy members

NBCU Screen It is powered by cloud content services provider Brightcove Inc. and is intended to replace the truckloads of DVDs that the network mails to the more than 15,000 people who vote on the Emmys.

Widespread adoption of NBCU Screen It would obviously save a lot of money on manufacturing and postage. But it also provides an opportunity for the network to put relevant information right there in the app, where it’s more likely to be seen than are the typical dead tree materials that get sent with DVDs, and retains the branding association between NBC and its programs.

Of course, it also lets NBC know who actually watched the TV shows they were sent, which content is having the most impact, and to recall the shows if it wants to. It additionally makes it possible to provide targeted background information to members in each of the 28 Television Academy peer groups.

Secure digital screeners may even put a dent in piracy and the common practice of letting friends borrow the discs in advance of release. Looking at movies for precedent, the 2012 Oscars were the first to show a decline in the number of Oscar nominee screeners that ended up pirated, and it’s the first to use secured digital formats in place of physical product.

NBCU Screen It is built on the Brightcove App Cloud content app platform, which combines an open HTML5 web development model with intelligent cloud services that continuously optimize the performance of the app, measure the effectiveness of different content, and enable dynamic updates to the app in the future.

“The Brightcove App Cloud platform has made it easy for us to very quickly build and deploy a powerful app that delivers the best possible viewing experience on the iPad,” said Richard Licata, executive vice president, Communications, NBC Entertainment. “As part of this groundbreaking initiative, Television Academy members now have the convenience and flexibility to watch our NBC original programming and vote for the Primetime Emmy Awards responsibly.”

Working with Brightcove, NBC built and rolled out a native iOS app for the iPad that can be extended to other iOS and Google Android devices in the future.

“We are thrilled that App Cloud is the platform behind this innovative new app from NBC and that we’re able to help the organization deliver the best viewing experience possible to all of the Emmy voters,” said Eric Elia, vice president of TV solutions at Brightcove. “We look forward to making it easy for NBC to build and operate equally impactful app experiences in the future.”

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