Second Screen Revolutionizing the Television Experience – Part 1

If you own an iPhone, iPad, Android phone or a laptop computer, then you may be online doing something else even while watching TV. This is true for 80% of those who own smart devices and is somewhat of a phenomenon in terms of its scale and rapid growth.

Entertainment companies have become aware of this behavior and the distractions that the internet creates in a so-called 'multi-tasking' crowd. They are putting a lot of resources, thought and emphasis into a social application called Second Screen. The idea behind this app is to redirect the audience’s attention back to the main TV program or movie by creating a social network with the same interest. The networks and program producers have not lost the additional potential of this app when it comes to this audience, which is additional revenue. But, how do you attract this audience, and better yet, how do you retain them after the initial download? This paper is the first of a three-part series that will examine the app Second Screen. Here, we explain the concept of the Second Screen app and its ramifications on the broadcasting industry. We also discuss opportunities for additional revenue and how to improve audience engagement and refocus attention on the primary content. In Part 2 and Part 3, we look at the technology and further explore what entertainment gurus in Hollywood think about their experiments with the app, the audience behavior, monetization opportunities and much more.

What is Second Screen?
To fully answer that question, we first need to address the behavior of audiences who own smart devices. 80% of those who own an iPhone, iPad, Android, or even a laptop are both simultaneously online and watching television. Most are checking email, texting, chatting, updating their Facebook status or Tweeting; nothing really to do with the show playing on TV.

The idea of Second Screen is to create an app that captures, or redirects the audience attention to add an extra dimension to the movie or TV program. The ultimate goal is to bring the audience focus back to the program they are watching, rather than an unrelated distraction like Facebook.
Most Second Screen apps require registration, thus capturing crucial user data and allowing viewers to
chat with others that are watching the same program. Marketers can then analyze consumer behavior
within these networks and engineer compelling advertising targeted to this audience based on what they are saying. This is an opportunity for Social Listening analytics that goes beyond traditional metrics, and is a core competency area within TCS.

Ads can be added by the app content producers using click-through to purchase, providing that
additional advertising and merchandise revenue. Thus, a Second Screen Social Network is born for the
broadcaster, advertiser, content provider or production company, and the viewer is given a value-added experience that enhances their normal TV viewing. And the viewer doesn’t even have to take the additional step of going to a website; it’s provided in a seamless, effortless experience.

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