Monday, October 29, 2012

Rise of the Second Screen

Rise of the Second Screen:
The “second screen” is a buzzword for tablets, smartphones, laptops, or other web-connected devices that users have on hand while watching the “first screen” – their main television or movie theater screen. Users typically use their second screen to share photos, browse their social network, or play a game during commercials or other forms of downtime.
In the entertainment industry, the concept of the “second screen” has become the main focus of boardroom executives, due to its ability to keep the focus on the main product, and monetize another form of communication beyond the airwaves. Over the past few years, apps and marketing campaigns from both Hollywood and the sports industry have made the second screen a key part of interacting and engaging with the product being shown on the main screen in many different ways.
Traditional broadcast television uses the second screen as a way to keep viewers hooked to a television show or event beyond the scheduled broadcast time. For example, the iPad app Sideshow was utilized heavily by HBO to promote the second season of Game of Thrones. The network utilized the app to show trivia, character information, quotable moments, polls and more during re-runs of the first season to draw new viewers and build buzz among existing subscribers.
In addition to supplementing the viewing experience, social tools like Twitter are driving the creative directions of some of the biggest shows on TV. Competition shows like The Voice and The X Factor make significant use of Twitter during the show itself and in allowing fans to vote.

Services like Twitter itself understand their role as a part of the bigger entertainment experience, and are reaffirming their strategy to perfect the service as a complementary media service. In a recent interview with APM’s Marketplace, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo explained the thinking behind the strategy.
“We used to have a filtered, one-way view of events in the world from the media — whether it was a sporting event like the Olympics or an event like the presidential debates last week. America’s perspective of it, or the world’s perspective of that event, would be seen through the lens of the way that the media described it to them… now with Twitter, people want to know what everyone else thinks and we’re getting this inside-out, multi-perspective view of what’s going on right now as it happens from everybody else that’s watching the same thing we’re watching.”
Many analysts see this strategy of becoming “hooked in” to the mainstream pop culture experience as the first move to Twitter becoming more profitable before eventually going public. It’s plausible, and a much better strategy than trying to compete with mainstream media organizations like CNN and ESPN.