Does Second Screening spell the end of traditional TV broadcasting?
Does anyone actually watch TV anymore – I mean properly watch it – eyeballs glued to the screen and brain 100% absorbed in the show? These days more and more viewers are being drawn away from big screen TV by the more interesting and interactive second screen.
This habit of Second Screening (as it’s been dubbed) is throwing traditional broadcasters into a panic as they debate how to bring back consumer eyeballs to the main screen.
Does Second Screening spell the end of traditional TV broadcasting?
What are the most popular Second Screening activities?
The statistics show that increasingly, viewers are no longer willing to sit passively staring at the screen. In fact a January 2014 survey (From the Consumer Electronics Association and National Association of Television Program Executives) reported that 79% of respondents used a second device while watching TV. Our busy lives mean that whereas TV previously represented complete downtime, these days it’s often background noise as we engage in other activities.
The most common Second Screening activities include:
- Checking emails
- Engaging with others via social media
- Browsing the web
- Interacting with content and chats related to the show they’re watching
While often these activities are saved for the ad breaks, they commonly take place during the actual show.
It’s clear that second screens offer viewers a portable, convenient and vastly more interactive platform than the traditional TV.
Small screen – big impact
One of the main bugbears most modern TV consumers have with TV is obviously the advertising. With the advent of Second Screening, there’s a way out. Instead of waiting irritably for the ads to end, we can enjoy other activities on our second screens.
Advertisers are now recognising that the Second Screen phenomenon is cutting the effectiveness of the previously powerful 30-second ad spots. As the effectiveness of advertising declines, so too does value.
Since advertisers bankroll the production of our favourite TV shows, broadcasters and advertisers need to find a way to work together to monetise the content they produce.
We believe (and hope) that this will ultimately drive more interactivity in TV advertising and inevitably, the broadcast.
A recent survey by YuMe and Nielsen found that advertisers could reach more of their audience (up to 8.2% more) if they allocated some of their budget to various Second Screen devices.
This means broadcasters need to provide Second Screen platforms and Apps where viewers can engage and advertisers can spend their budgets.
Let’s all play nicely
Rather than seeing Second Screening as a threat to their regular programming, more and more broadcasters are using the technology to enhance the entertainment experience on the big screen TV.
Some examples of this include:
- Follow / play along – As seen in Channel 10’s Secrets & Lies – viewers attempt to solve the mystery before the show ends. This form of interaction is often referred to as the ‘gamification’ of TV. For example, during the World Cup soccer, viewers could use their smartphone to save a famous World Cup penalty shot and go into the draw to win a Kia car – ‘gaming’ style interactivity entering the TV space.
- Instant interaction – As seen on the popular Israeli show Rising Star, viewers vote on live shows, as they go to air.
- Live comments – Used across a range of shows including Q&A on the ABC and House Rules on Channel 7. Viewers comment via Twitter and selected tweets appear onscreen during the show’s live feed.
- Find out more – Again, not direct from broadcasters but often encouraged via the shows supporting social media sites and websites. Viewers can access additional information about the show’s characters, actors and plot using sites such as IMDB and Wikipedia.
- Social experience – Not directly managed by broadcasters, but often encouraged by them. Viewers can talk to friends about their favourite show in real time and though previously Twitter was the main network for this type of interaction, Pulsar released a study that reveals Tumblr is now driving more social TV engagement than Twitter.
As far as Social Experience goes, I know that my Facebook feed went into overdrive when Patrick died in Offspring last year! And this is something that’s backed up by the findings of Social Analytics agency SecondSync who found that 60% of Facebook primetime programming interactions happen while the program airs.
Check out this example from Breaking Bad which shows a large spike in interaction at the end of the show, but also significant spikes during the show itself.
The missing link
Companies such as Beamly have created their own social media platform with the aim of being an ‘ultimate destination for TV lovers’, by offering real time, extended interactivity around popular TV shows.
The challenge Beamly faces is getting the viewer to visit yet another social media platform to interact.
Clearly if the same kind of interactivity Beamly offers was available over the top of (or at least alongside) broadcast TV, it would be much more engaging.
The impact of the Second Screen
So, with Second Screening on the rise, it’s clear that both technology developers and broadcasters need to deliver one of two things (or both):
Firstly, better functionality through the big screen TV, to draw the watcher back to the main screen to spend more time there. This is the only way to sustain the value of the advertisers’ dollar.
Secondly, successfully close the loop between the big screen TV and second screens allowing them to effectively ‘talk’ to each other. This will enable viewers to interact with the main screen through the second screen and allow advertisers to cross-promote on both simultaneously.
We believe that Seebo is the missing link.
Seebo offers the viewer the opportunity to enjoy the main screen and the second screen in real time, at the same time.
Seebo Maxx enables users to enjoy all the functionally previously reserved for the second screen, on the big screen. Meanwhile Seebo Mini and the Seebo Apps allow users to watch and interact with live TV, on the second screen.
This increased functionality blurs the lines between broadcast TV and Second Screening, combining the experience and allowing users to digest content in a variety of ways.
Over to you: Do you Second Screen? Have you participated in any of the Second Screening activities listed above? We’d love to hear from you so please feel free to comment below or via our LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ or Twitter accounts.
About the author: Patrick Tyers – Sales and Marketing Manager at Seebo Networks
Pat Tyers is a marketing professional whose passion is finding innovative ways to take brands, products and concepts to market. Pat has experience with a wide range of marketing strategies and techniques deployed across different markets and industries. Pat has immersed himself in the entertainment industry, with a particular focus on new innovations in in-home entertainment and the revolution of the humble TV set.