Social TV: When the Second Screen Becomes the First Screen
When it comes to viewing television or movies, an actual TV set used to rule. That may no longer be the case. The term “second screen” has been coined to refer to secondary devices, such as computers, smartphones and tablets that can be used in conjunction with your television. But what happens when more and more of your time is focused on your second-screen device than on the TV? What happens when the second screen becomes the first screen?
With the proliferation of second-screen devices and their decreasing prices, a growing number of people are either:
a) consuming video content through a device other than their TV or
b) utilizing another device while watching TV.
Netflix has already moved toward being more a streaming company than a DVD rental company. Hulu offers a wide variety of TV shows and movies on the web, including recently aired shows. Amazon offers content streaming and has their own device in the Kindle Fire. Apple allows you to buy and rent movies and TV shows (even current full seasons) and watch them on your computer, iPhone, or iPad. We’ve seen traditional cable providers and even the networks themselves make the move to streaming. Comcast has Xfinity, while Time Warner and Cablevision both have streaming apps. HBO and Showtime haveHBO GO and Showtime Anywhere, respectively. Even basic network channels like ABC and NBC have apps that enable you to stream full episodes of recent shows. While this doesn’t necessarily mean the second screen is replacing the TV set, it shows there has been a shift––by both the consumer and provider. It’s clear that the second screen is no longer a novelty.
What does this mean for marketers? In short, it means opportunity.
ESPN and Twitter have announced branded partnerships. Platforms like GetGlue and Miso allow fans to “check in” to content, as well as offer other marketing options, including live chats (often with talent), contests, and unlockable exclusive content. OnGetGlue, The Avengers surpassed 500,000 check-ins before the first day of release was over, and the premiere of Game of Thrones, Season 2, was so popular it crashed the platform. Apps like IntoNow and Shazam move beyond check-ins and can extend brand reach and provide additional content. Shazam has moved into the advertising arena, inking deals with companies like Old Navy. These platforms and their APIs, coupled with social leaders like Facebook and Twitter, offer tremendous opportunity for new and creative ways to not only connect and engage with fans, but to distribute content.
But all that is simply using a second-screen device in conjunction with the TV. What happens when the device becomes the primary viewing device? That’s a question we may soon come to find out. While there might be some disagreement as to whether cord cutting is actually happening, more mainstream video is coming to the second screen. In time, second-screen devices may replace the traditional TV set.
One thing is for sure: Social TV and the second screen is not a passing fad; it’s here to stay.
By Jeff Peters, Social Media Specialist